As a rule, I don’t write that much news content…

But, as they say, rules were made to be broken.

ZDNet Australia has my piece on the draft guidelines for mobile chat room operators released today by the ACMA, the first bit of pure news writing I’ve done for quite some time. Always nice to flex some different writing muscles.

I like coffee. I like beer.

I most assuredly don’t like the idea of this:


A drink somewhere between coffee and beer could soon be on the menu. Nestec, part of the Nestlé empire in Switzerland, has filed patents in every major market round the world on a “fermented coffee beverage” that pours and foams like beer, but smells of strong coffee and packs a concentrated caffeine kick.

The beverage is made in a similar way to beer, but fine-tuned temperature control stops the formation of ethyl alcohol. So the new drink could go down well with people who want a long tall pick-me-up while driving.

Nestlé admits it was tricky to preserve the characteristic coffee smell in the production process. Coffee beans are roasted normally, and the chemicals containing the natural aroma collected in a cryogenic condenser, before being converted into coffee oil. The remains of the roast are then ground to powder, mixed with yeast and sucrose, and fermented for 4 hours at just below 22°C. At this temperature the yeast can still metabolise but does not generate alcohol.

The aroma oil is then mixed in with the liquid and nitrogen is injected to make it foam. Adding a touch of extra sugar also helps trap the aroma until the drink is poured, Nestlé claim.

(heartlessly pinched from New Scientist, although I spotted it in a games forum, strange creature that I am)

Dead man walking… has one of my PSP reviews up, specifically my review of Medievil for PSP: “On the other hand, the original PSOne title, while lacking the cut scenes, tepid minigames and superlative Tom Baker, goes for around ten bucks on eBay…”

Meanwhile, I’m busy working out how best I can help my best mate, whose home is threatening to fall into a very big hole. Life — it’s never simple, is it?

They publish him here, they publish him there…

They publish that dastardly Kidman everywhere..

Specifically: has three more of my articles up today:

D-Link DGL-4300 Wireless 108G Gaming Router:
“… it’s not often that you can use the word “easy” and “networking” in the same sentence, especially if you add “wireless” to the mix.”

Ricoh Caplio R3: “If you’ve ever laid awake at night wondering whatever happened to those leather patches that adorned university lecturer’s jacket elbows in the 1970’s, then you probably need serious help.”

NetComm V300:
“If we were feeling uncharitable, we might even be drawn to say that it’s got a design that only its mother could love…”

And in case you think that CNET’s the only place I ever get published, I feel I should point out that I’m in at least two magazines either out today or by the end of the week. It’s just a little harder to link to stuff that’s not online is all. PC User went to print today, and should feature my reviews of Coolect and Omnipage 15, while GamePro Australia (on sale this week — Friday I think) features my possibly-world’s-first-but-at-least-very-early review of Lionhead’s The Movies. Rush out, buy a copy of both. Buy many copies. Tell the guy at the Newsagent that I told you to, and you’ll get a free quizzical look.

Magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri.

I studied Latin in my first year at University.

Well, perhaps “studied” is the wrong word. I was there for most of the classes, that I firmly remember, and I still see my 1st year Latin lecturer from time to time — he went on to be the head of classics at Sydney Grammar, and employs a very good friend of mine who was in the same Latin class. I was more or less just along for the ride.

Some (not much) of it rubbed off on me; enough to generate a pass in the subject at least. Which is why this particular translation amuses me quite a bit. I’m glad it’s got the translation within, though.

Futher Kidman sightings…

The October issue of Sound & Image magazine has a guide to wireless networking, written by yours truly. I spotted the issue in question in Borders this morning, although whether it’s a “new” issue or one that’s been out for a while is uncertain, what with magazine cover dates having almost no meaning these days. Anyway, rush out and buy a copy. You know it makes sense.

Fat Cat isn’t just for children any more…

I think I’ve worked out why Lita (one of our three cats) isn’t as lithe as she once was.

Behold — in the wise words of the Simpsons Sea Captain “‘Tis no cat, ’tis a remorseless eating machine, Arr.”


There’s Kidmans on the starboard bow… has published my review of the Altec Lansing inMotion iM7 speakers, which have perhaps the strangest first line of any review I’ve ever written:

The 80’s were a great decade for style. No, honestly, they were. From big permed hair that you could rest dinner plates on, to thin leather ties for stylish chaps, the 80’s had it all.

I often wondered what the end of civilisation would look like…

Apparently it’s going to look something like this.

Can I just say aargh now and be done with it?

iTunes gets even more interesting…

As an additional side-note to that iTunes commentary:

I noted you could only buy “Intensive Care” on a song-by-song basis, but that’s not in fact strictly true. It is something of a cock-up, though:

If you go into the album listing, it says Song Only, and lists the booklet as Album only, and you can’t buy it. Go into the reviews (which includes a comment complaining about this very problem) and a little window opens at the top, with a “buy album” button.

And it’s cheaper than buying the individual songs.

That’s just… dumb. If I was feeling charitable, I’d presume it was teething difficulties. The thing is, they’ve had several YEARS of experience setting these things up in the US, UK and elsewhere — and even with the non-Sony thing, which is apparently identical to iTunes Japan — so you’d think they’d be able to get simple stuff like that right.