This is an interesting Ad. A few companies have tried the ‘we used to suck, not so much now’ strategy in recent years. Anyway, it entertained me. I most definitely recognize the character.

Love and Disability: a Mother's Story

A mother grieves for her daughter’s lost potential. But she believes the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme, if done right, could deliver a better life for her and her family.

This is worth 10 minutes of your day. The sections on how isolating being a disability-parent is resonated very strongly with me. Emily and I recently had our second night without the kids in six years. 

We used to be the party that put out wars: Eisenhower, Korea; Nixon, Vietnam; Reagan, the Cold War. And here we talk about starting wars. That’s all Republicans on the defense side seem to want to talk about — not negotiating a way forward diplomatically, as we had under earlier Republican administrations, but always falling back on the war option as if we haven’t had enough over the past 12 years,

Jon Huntsman. (via engagedelectorate)

I was bummed when Jon dropped out of the primary.

Some thoughts on finishing my MBA

I got the Exam results for my final MBA unit today. In no particular order, some thoughts:

I finished the 12 units with an average score of 70.25 (Distinction). If I had scored 5 fewer points on any subject, I would have finished with a Credit average.

I am most proud of scoring Distinctions in Law for Managers and Finance for Managers. Both subjects were new to me, and had demanding requirements.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my spare time now.

I started my first unit in July 2010. 2.5 years to complete.

I most enjoyed International Business Management and Introduction to Commercialization.

I least enjoyed Data and Business Decision Making. If I failed that unit, I’m not sure what I would have done.

I was most surprised by Finance. I thought it would be the most boring unit, but I actually have a massive crush on it.

If you had told me 3 years ago I could turn out a 16-page case analysis of a company I’d never heard of before in 24 hours, I would not have believed you.

That’s all for now.

ABC closes Tasmanian production unit

I feel really bad for ABC staff out of a job. Feel almost as bad for TAS. We will almost certainly lose anothe dozen families to the mainland.

It’s really frustrating to see services paid for by national taxes centralized. It is the wrong direction for our nation. Why cram more people into Sydney when you have cities like Hobart that are just so livable?

Stanford / NYU report on US drone strike policy

Reading this report was a pretty grim way to spend an otherwise lovely Sunday afternoon. It makes me very sad that this issue is not an area of significant discussion on the US political scene. Bipartisan support for the evil practice of ‘double tapping’ is just… ugh. You wonder if they will ever do studies on the drone operators in the vein of the Milgram experiment. At what point does a soldier/airman shed moral responsibility for launching missiles at civilian first responders?

There is now significant evidence that the US has repeatedly engaged in a practice sometimes referred to as “double tap,” in which a targeted strike site is hit multiple times in relatively quick succession. Evidence also indicates that such secondary strikes have killed and maimed first responders coming to the rescue of those injured in the first strike. 

God Bless the USA indeed.

This is me trying to teach my kids how to play pen & paper RPGs. They love it a lot so far.

I use a very basic system, mostly built around letting the kid(s) tell the story. I like player-facing rolls, so I never roll the dice. Instead, whenever something important is about to happen, I get Arch to roll a d6. On a 5,6 he is successful  On a 3,4 he is partially successful. On a 1,2, he fails and the baddies get to do something.

Read the image captions for more detail.

Looking at the SWTOR free-to-play stuff makes me sad.

Really sad.

I had so much fun playing SWTOR. It was the first (so far only) MMO I ever really got into. I’d never got past the ‘free’ month on any others.

PvP was frustrating, but still a lot of fun. Downing operation (raid) bosses for the first time with my guild was one of my top gaming moments ever. I loved the ping from the Sydney servers. Some weeks I’d log in every day, it was that much fun.

But then along came Diablo 3, and that was it. I remained a subscriber for a few months after that, but the community’s back was broken. Putting together operation & flashpoint groups became too time-consuming, and the changes to PvP turned it into a gib-fest. I played a tank, and focus fire would take me down in 4-5 seconds tops, even if I popped all my stims and CDs. You had no time to do anything.

Anyway, there’s plenty of post-mortems out there about the game, and I don’t want to do that. I was just feeling a bit sad for a game that was so very fun, had so very much potential, and now is a byword for rushed production and how much of a game-killer EA is.