E-tales: Nerdy cake

'Occasionally, and by this I mean very, very rarely, geeks find significant others and get married,' says blogger

Theresa’s long, expensive goodbye

Not surprisingly, there’s been a bit of a kerfuffle over ex-Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung’s $5 million leaving prezzie. Comments reported in the NZ Herald have ranged from Nick’s: “Will you marry me? He then reconsiders, saying, “It might be better we don’t meet as it may not be good to be associated with you come the revolution.”

Meanwhile, Dave wonders exactly what Theresa did to be “worth (say) 50 or 60 nurses or doctors” And Mawera writes, plaintively, “I once received a bunch of flowers and a nice card. Now I feel ripped off!”

Second Life Freudian slip

E-tales was amused, when searching the international news wire of IDG Communications, publisher of worldwide computing titles, to encounter the following headline: “EMC adds Avatar backup technology to VMware”.

Thinking the storage specialist was releasing a product for use in Second Life, our e-taler eagerly opened the file to read the story — only to discover it was about EMC introducing Avamar Virtual Edition for VMware, a product that enables de-duplication across multiple instances on VMware ESX Server hosts. Well, that could possibly have some relevance to Second Life, but our E-taler was disappointed the article turned out to be about Avamar, not avatars.

Nerdy cake

Nintendo, circuit boards, and even an iPhone, as well as a Futurama cake are all choices for novel tech-oriented wedding cakes.

They’re featured on the fun “retrospectacle” science blog, under the “blatant nerdery” category, of course. Our favourite cake, as well as that of blog poster Shelley Batts, is the top-line picture in her gallery of what she calls nerd wedding cakes: the Xbox cake.

We didn’t think the Xbox was the game machine of choice out there, but obviously some geeks have truly bonded over Xbox games if this stupendous cake is anything to go by.

As Shelley says, “Occasionally, and by this I mean very, very rarely, geeks find significant others and get married (in the real world, not Second Life!).

When such an noteworthy event happens, blissful geeks have been known to go all out on their wedding cakes, creating frosted confections of such phenomenal nerditude that I had no choice but to reproduce a few here for your gawking pleasure.”

B*tch up north

At a recent vendor lunch, another of our E-talers was discussing the differences between the Aussie and Kiwi accents with a Kiwi PR-person and some Aussie execs from a large tech company.

The head honcho — an American living in the Land of Oz — was most interested to learn that while Australians indeed pronounce the letter “i” as “i”, Kiwis turn it into an “o” or even an “a” – for example, Kiwis living in Australia are much teased for saying “fash and chups” rather than “fish and chips”.

The very civilised lunch then took an interesting turn when one of the members of the party left to go fishing for the weekend. The Kiwi PR-person explained: “He’s got a bach up north.”

The American executive stared at her for a moment, remembered what he just been told about pronouncing “i” as “a”, and said: “He’s got what?”

Of course, “bach”, as in a Kiwi holiday home and pronounced “batch”, was completely foreign to him.

Interesting times with Xtra

It’s been several weeks now, but life with Xtra continues be interesting. “May you live in interesting times” is a Chinese curse, by the way.

It is also an apt description of life as an Xtra customer these days.

Our E-taler’s interesting experience started with the recent Xtra partnership changeover — from MSN to Yahoo — and upgrade to the service… and continues. But now, although the email outage problem that caused such a public stink is largely (but not entirely) sorted out, the problem now is spam.

Ironic really, given that the anti-spam act is now in force. But our E-taler complains that whereas before the service upgrade he didn’t get any spam, now he’s averaging 10 spam messages a day.

He speculates that Xtra has either swapped a good spam filter for a bad one or there has been some kind of security breach.

Either way, it’s unacceptable, to say the least. Any answers, Telecom?

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