Monthly Archives: November 2007

Yahoo’s spam filter sucks!

I’m getting so pissed off with how useless Yahoo’s spam filter is.  Oh, and I won’t even consider adding an exclamation mark every time I write Yahoo – fucking wankers.  I have both Gmail and Yahoo email accounts and the difference between their spam filters is staggering.

Gmail hardly lets any spam through but every day I have to wade through spam in my Yahoo inbox.  And it isn’t even cleverly designed spam.  It is absolutely bog-standard Nigerian 419 scams and messages telling me I’ve won the Irish lottery.  And even when I mark something as spam an identical message gets through later in the day.

And the clueless feebs at Yahoo wonder why Google is kicking their arse from one end of the internet to the other.  This is the absolute basics of spam management and Yahoo is failing miserably.

On a slightly related note, I had a funny experience with what I guess I could call phone spam.  I’ve published the number for the angry phone far and wide (0403 069 148) and received a few interesting calls.  Yesterday I received one from a chap saying he was calling from Ghana.  He was apparently feeling hard done by and was assured I was a generous and caring person.  He then proceeded to recite one of the standard spam scripts that Yahoo is so useless at blocking.

I said straight away that I knew the call was a scam and I wasn’t going to give him any money or any of my personal details.  But he was not easily dissuaded and wanted to keep telling me about how I was the only one who could help him with his desperate plight.  At first I thought I’d see how long I could keep him on the line and so cost him money but I soon realised from the low sound quality he was calling via voice over IP.  So no chance of sending him broke.

I really wish I had a camera running and was able to record the whole thing because there was quite a comical element to it.  My African phone spammer had managed to call just after I had put some dye in my hair.  Because of this, I couldn’t put the phone right up to my ear or it would have been covered in dye.  This, of course, mad it hard to hear him.  Plus he had a really thick accent.

So he’s doggedly ploughing through his script and I keep interjecting with “Dude, I can’t hear you.  Or understand you.  And I wouldn’t give you any money if I could.”  All the while holding the phone daintily away from my ear to avoid colouring it purple.

Sad to say, it was the highlight of my day.

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Filed under General Angriness

Back in the job market

I’m testing the waters in the job market again.  I won’t be starting another contract until at least December but I’ll probably need to start lining up interviews soon.  I checked the main job website and the market looks healthy.  It seems as though about 60 contract positions for my line of work are being advertised each week.

I say “seems to be” because although that’s the number that pops up when I search, it isn’t strictly accurate.  Some of them are being re-advertised so they aren’t all new.  Some are being advertised by more than one agency so the numbers are a bit deceptive.  And then there’s the morons who advertise permanent roles under the contract listings.

This really bugs me.  When I’ve questioned agencies about this in the past they’ve said they wanted to reach the widest range of candidates possible.  Yeah, including the ones who aren’t even slightly interested.  That makes sense.  I decided to call one of the agencies and share my displeasure with them:

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Filed under Video Blogging, Work

When private and public meet

I had a funny experience today.  The upcoming YouTube gathering coincides with the Melbourne World AIDS Day Concert hosted by the Burnet Institute.  Both events will be at Federation Square on November 1st.  Given the global nature of YouTube and the global nature of World AIDS Day seem like a perfect fit, I’m working with the people at the Burnet Institute to do some cross-promotion with YouTube.

At a big meeting today it was my job to explain to the various attendees what the As One YouTube gathering actually was.  When I described the promotion that had been happening on YouTube, the guy next to me said “Yeah I saw a video about that done by AngryAussie.”

The fact that he referred to me in the third person while I was sitting right next to him threw me for a moment.  Then I realised.  He had no idea I was AngryAussie.  When I explained that I was AngryAussie his reaction was amusing to say the least.

About a dozen expressions flickered across his face.  What?  What are you talking about?  You’re crazy.  Oh, wait a minute.  Yeah, maybe.  No, but… Do I look like a dork for not recognising him?

It’s nice to know that my “disguise” actually works.  Apparently I come across differently when I’m not wearing a mask and ranting.  Who knew?

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Filed under Blogging, YouTube

My brain won’t switch off

So at about 2.30am I realised I wasn’t going to sleep and I should stop wasting time in bed.  I’d be much better served getting up and wasting time on the computer.  My brain was going over and over details about the As One gathering for YouTubers in Melbourne.  I kept thinking of all the things I still have to organise.

I’m lying in the dark ticking off videos I want to make, people I need to call, information I have to publicise and on top of it all I’m still planning for my trip to LA next week.

Well, at least I have one less thing to worry about now.  In the middle of wasting time skipping through YouTube videos (welcome to YouTube, Oprah!) I got an email from my NY contact saying the producer had changed plans.  Now they want to shift the interview from LA back to NY and do it in December or January rather than next week.

With any change to a plan there are positives and negatives.  The single biggest positive to this change is that I don’t lose a week of preparation time just before the As One gathering.  I’m sure my partner in crime, SeanBedlam, will be greatly relieved (although he’s been nothing but supportive about me going for this interview).  Now I can concentrate on one thing at a time.  I’m thinking of all positives and negatives of this change:

POSITIVE: More time for me to prepare

NEGATIVE: More time for me to freak out

POSITIVE: I get to go to New York!  For the first time!

NEGATIVE: I don’t get to see the people I would have seen in LA

I’m sure there’s more than that but it’s 4am here now and my brain isn’t functioning as well as I thought it was.  When I started writing this I imagined I had a really long +/- list.  Hmmm, there is the possible complication that I was planning to start a new job in December or January.  Oh god, and NY is going to be freezing in Dec/Jan isn’t it?

Ah well, life is an adventure.  I knew I was asking for trouble when I made that “May you live in interesting times” video a few weeks back.

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Filed under General Angriness

How to speak Oz – lesson one

With the Melbourne As One gathering for YouTubers fast approaching (December 1st for those who need reminding) I find myself with a lot to do.  I’m answering questions, still hopeful of securing some sponsorship, organising events for the days and working with the Burnet Institute who are running the World AIDS Day Concert which is also on at Federation Square on the same day.

But I need to do more.  Now that several people from overseas have confirmed the will be coming I have realised I need to help them.  With the local language.  Many of them assume they will be OK because they think they speak English.  Sadly, some will find they only speak American which is not the same thing at all.

Teaching these people to speak Australian (or Strine as it is know to academics) will not be an easy task.  But I am not daunted.  I will start with the basics and work up from there.  Todays lesson covers two things visitors absolutely must know:

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Filed under Language, Video Blogging

Think ahead

As part of my preparation for going to be interviewed in LA, I’ve been working with a director to practice responding to questions.  I’ve mentioned the director before, his name is Adrian Calear.  I went to college with him and these days he’s a respected director in the Melbourne comedy scene.  My thinking is, chances like this don’t come along very often so I really don’t want to fuck this one up.  If I do well in this, who knows what other doors might open.

One of the things Adrian has been teaching me is how to structure my responses.  Start with something concise that can fit into ten seconds but be thinking two sentences ahead in case the interviewer asks you to elaborate.  While the skills I’ve been learning will be directly useful beyond this TV interview (I have to start going to job interviews again soon) there’s a lot of areas where it would be indirectly useful too.

This was actually brought into focus for me as I was driving home.  There are a significant number of drivers on Melbourne roads who are only alive because they haven’t run into another driver (literally) who’s as stupid as them.  These are morons who seem incapable of reacting to what’s directly in front of them.  Hoping that they learn the ability to plan for what’s ahead is a long shot to say the least.

You end up stuck behind these cretins when they slam on the brakes as they reach a green light because they suddenly remember they wanted to turn at this intersection.  They come out of side streets without slowing down and just maybe think about looking for oncoming traffic after they’ve already cut you off.  These are the people that I use to justify my car-mounted machine guns.

The biggest concern with these morons is that their idiocy is life threatening when they get behind the wheel.  But sometimes they’re just plain fucking annoying.  The particular brand of genius I was subjected to on this drive was when there were two turning lanes at an intersection they get in the wrong one.

I’m talking about the sort of intersection where there are two lanes for turning right.  If you’re going straight once you turn the corner it doesn’t matter which lane you’re in.  But if you’re going to turn left STRAIGHT AFTER the intersection, then common sense dictates you get in the left lane.  Sadly, common sense doesn’t seem to be one of the core requisites for getting a driver’s license.  Because there are far too many morons who clearly think “hey, I’m in the wrong lane, but what could possibly go wrong with sailing across a few lanes of traffic without indicating?  Because after all, my convenience far outweighs little things like the safety of other people.”

I wouldn’t have believed I could have morons inflict this on me three times in one drive but that’s what happened.  I guess they were very excited at this weeks’ meeting of “Morons United” when the chief moron explained this brand new way to fuck people up.

Worse still, these idiots cop an attitude when you dare point out their stupidity.  It drives me crazy when they flail their arms about pulling “what’s your problem” faces.  You’re my fucking problem, dickhead.  Well, I’ll fix them with my new invention: chainsaws mounted on extendable arms at the front of my car.  Let them stare at the bloody stumps where their flailing arms used to be until they get the message.

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Filed under Driving

Stalkers, take note

I received confirmation of my travel plans for going to LA next week.  I’m flying in to LA on Monday November 12th and doing the shooting for the TV show on the 13th.  They’ve got me staying at a place called the Montrose Suite Hotel in West Hollywood.  I had a look at their website and it looks pretty good.

If anyone is in the LA area and wants to get together, I’ll probably be in the mood to party a bit on the night of Tuesday the 13th.  Assuming the shooting goes well, that is.  If I screw it up completely I’ll be in the mood to get so drunk I forget it all.  So youknow, either way could make for a good time.

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Filed under Blogging

It runs in the family

People often ask me if my angry behaviour has any effect on my kids.  Allow me to present Exhibit A:

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Filed under Video Blogging

Pointless Interview Questions

The job market is a fun place. Well, it’s fun for me at the moment, mostly because I’m in no rush to start another contract.  This makes me very relaxed during interviews which tends to result in me coming across better.  It also frees me up to decide I don’t want a particular job.  I’m not desperate for money so I’m content to wait for the right opportunity rather than grab the first thing that comes along.

It also gives me a bit of freedom in my responses when I think the interviewer is asking stupid questions.  I don’t want to burn any bridges so I’m not actually rude.  I never actually come out and say I think the interviewer is asking stupid questions but it’s fairly easy to turn things around so they are in the position of justifying why they’re asking questions that are so, well… stupid.

For instance, there was the putz I had to see this week who thought he was being really clever.  It seems as though someone gave him the book of Microsoft interview questions and he was eager to show off his new “knowledge”.  This style of interviewing gives you abstract questions that have no relationship whatsoever to the work you’ll be doing.  Or to the real world.

Proponents say they’re trying to see how creatively you can think.  Normal humans say it’s a waste of time.  In my case, the interview went a little like this:

Annoying Recruiter: How would you move Mount Fuji 1/2 a kilometre to the South?

ME: Why would I do that?

AR: Uhhhh, it’s a project you’ve been assigned.

ME: As part of my work I’ve been asked to move Mount Fuji?

AR: Yes, so how would you do it?

ME: How could that possibly benefit the business?

AR: What?

ME: As an analyst, my first reaction is the project would be prohibitively expensive and take forever to complete.  The first thing I’d want is to see a business case that showed how this would benefit the business.

AR: But how would you do it?

ME: That isn’t the important question.  What you need to be asking is why would you do it?

AR: I just want to know how you’d do it.

ME: But if you can’t tell me why it should be done, that tells me there’s a problem.  As an analyst, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I let the project go forward without answering that question.

AR: I’m trying to get an idea of how you’d approach the problem.

ME: I’m telling you how I’d approach it: I’d try to find out why someone wanted to do this.  Seriously, even suggesting such an outlandish project tells me that things are seriously out of whack.

AR: No, this isn’t a real work project. I gave you an unusual example to see how you’d approach a problem that you wouldn’t face in your day to day work.

ME: So what you’re saying is the way you’re planning to work out if I’d be any good at this job by asking me questions that have nothing to do with the job and could never be of any value to the job?

AR: Uhh, yes.

ME: It never occurred to you to ask me questions related to actual issues I’m likely to face in this job?

AR: Well, this is a creative exercise.

ME: So you’re sticking with the plan that finding out how I deal with something useless is more valuable than finding out how I’d deal with something that actually matters to the business?

AR: Well that isn’t really the point…

ME: Is it hard to get your job? (extended silence) Wait I’ve got a better question: If I took this job, would I ever have to see you again?  Because I gotta tell you, that would have a pretty big influence on my decision.

I’d like to point out I’m not a cruel man.  It was never my intention to reduce the interviewer to tears.  But I think with the right therapy, he’ll come through this a stronger person.

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Filed under Work