Slice of Heaven

A week of IT

Slice of Heaven

Attention all Kiwis in Australia: your cash is needed urgently. The only domain name any Kiwi living on West Island need bother with,, is up for sale.

We only need to raise A$825 to secure the rights to what is that most Kiwi of Aussie beachfront properties.

The name has finally become available after the body that runs Australia's domain name register, Auda, agreed to release thousands of geographical names.

Ideas on what kind of website to run should be sent on a beach towel to E-tales.

Upping the IQ of three countries

Following on with our Australian theme, the US government has announced it will change the US working visa to allow more Australians into the US to work in the IT industry.

Typically the H1-B visa has been used to limit the number of scurrilous IT workers trying to sneak into the US to only 65,000 a a year. Now the Americans have introduced the E-3 visa which will allow up to 10,500 Australian IT workers, and only Australian workers, into the US.

Here at E-tales we commend the Australians for their signing of a free trade agreement with the US that allows them to export so many trained professionals in exchange for a promise to remove sugar subsidies in the next decade or so. And if you're thinking about moving to the Gold Coast it would probably pay to wait for a little while: pretty soon they'll be begging you to go.

When is a con not a con?

A recent piece of spam received by Computerworld was remarkably transparent, we thought. From Mr Olusegun Olawole of Con Oil and Gas Ltd, it was an invitation to help collect a payment cheque due from a late-paying customer. The deal is that we would get a 10% cut of every payment we help Con Oil and Gas extract from wayward customers. The name Con Oil and Gas was particularly apt, we thought. Maybe the name was chosen so that if they were ever tracked down and charged, they could argue they weren't engaged in fraud as they had openly declared their activities to be a con.

Pity it won't improve the weather

The BBC has bowed to public pressure and changed its new weather map. Celtic outrage at the way Scotland was being presented to the world has overcome English pragmatism, which stated that the map was, in fact, an accurate representation of the Highlands.

E-tales feels we should be congratulated for our part in this battle — our story on the MetService software, which powers the BBC's system, ran in Computerworld on May 23, just days before the decision was made. Clearly the staff at the Beeb saw our story and realised they were in hot water over the whole issue. Bottles of single malt whisky can be sent by a thankful nation to the address on our contacts page.

Make your own message

The latest version of Mac OS X, christened Tiger, is out, and legions of Macophiles have been poring over every pixel of the lickable OS looking for bugs, features and, most of all, dreaded UI inconsistencies (the horror). As with most point-zero releases, Tiger indeed proved to have some bugs to be found and revealed to the world. Our favourite to date is a blank dialog gox found by John Gruber. On his blog, Gruber writes that the dialog appeared when he tried to log out. "Admittedly, there is a kind of zen perfection to this dialog," he says. "Perhaps it wasn't a bug after all, but rather, a life lesson."

E-tales is edited by Jo Bennett. Email your tales of wit and woe to

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