November 3rd, 2010


Coffee as a hair product and other fine tales

I got home last night after planting plants on teike and happyinmotion's roof, to find the toaster sitting outside on the dog kennel and my computer in WTF mode.

Seems the toaster has something wrong with it - something that trips out the power to the whole house when you try to make toast. And of course, this included Aristotal. Weirdly, as part of the 'forced reboot', it had somehow set the defaults in BIOS not to recognise the keyboard. I couldn't see anything else that'd changed (although tbh I wouldn't really know), but yeah - 'recognise USB keyboard' was set to [disabed].

The bootup sequence was freezing on a screen that required me to pick a 'repair' or 'continue' option, and without the keyboard I couldn't tell it what to do. Consequently I was proud of myself for finding and fixing this issue and getting my machine (my machine! my shiny only-a-year-old machine! wah!) going again, all by myself. And all my geek friends are probably glad I did too.

No idea what's up with the toaster though. I guess we need a new one. Damn thing's less than a year old. Stupid planned obsolescence.

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This morning I fell over my own feet and came a cropper with a full cup of coffee in my hand. Now I have coffee in my hair. Mmmm...

And this: apparently the government is abolishing gift duty. While I can definitely see the point about making it easy for rich people to avoid tax, I figure that rich people are already pretty good at avoiding tax and for less-rich people, it will make it easier to pass on any wealth you might have to your loved ones. I find it hard to see this as a bad thing.


I just got this email in my inbox:

"On 3 November 2010 08:30, Google Buzz <> wrote:

Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we've reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (, a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.

The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.

Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at

This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States as part of a legal settlement and was authorized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Google Inc. | 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway | Mountain View, CA 94043

You might have got one too.

This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States

This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States

Even Google assumes everyone lives in the US! *sigh* My email to tell them they hadn't just sent it to US recipients got bounced. *sigh again*