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Warning: Once you incorporate a company and provide your details to the Companies Registry, you're doomed to receive unsolicited junk mail on a periodic basis.

I won't go into the electronic kind; the Companies office don't require you to provide electronic contact means (though when the forms are submitted, contact numbers are provided...) What i'm talking about here is plain old unsolicited postal junk.

Today we received a windowed envelope with our street address (per the companies office) in the window. Above that was no name; instead it was addressed to 'Dear Lover of Fine Wines'.

Enclosed was a self-addressed envelope (with 'Affix Stamp Here'; obviously they're not interested in supplying postage!), a glossy brochure advertising the firm 'Pieroth Wines (NZ) Limited' with an address at North Harbour Industrial Estate (Auckland); and a 'Consumer Survey' which then asks 'Are your name and address printed correctly?' Please check, so you are sure to receive your Thank-you-gift and the free 6 bottle International Wine Sampling without any delay.' To the right are three boxes with contact detail options and a title 'Details of Interested Friends!'

On the reverse is the survey, which starts with 'Your support is very important. With the help of your answers we may better adapt to the friends of Premium Wines and improve our services in future'. Goes on to ask questions for demographics and a bunch of wine preferences. It then asks for contact phone numbers (home and work) in order to arrange for the free gift and 6 bottle wine tasting.'

What's the bet that the free gift isn't 6 bottles of wine!

This is the 'please forward this to all your friends!' of the 20th century.

It's funny, when you keep a relatively close eye on the places your details are filed, and on your buying habits, you can get a good idea for all the dirty, dirty tactics out there.

A couple of days ago Matthew Holloway posted an interesting story to the NZOSS OpenChat List.

That Article, entitled Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX, was actually quite illuminating.

Enough so that I do feel you should read it. Most especially if you've been in any way involved in Gaming (PC or Console) in the last 5 to 10 years.

I knew that DirectX was a Microsoft thing but I hadn't really thought about the competition aspect. If the above article is accurate, then there's been some very clever marketing and indeed, FUDding, by Microsoft... and to a substantial degree, it's worked. Except we can't - and shouldn't - let it.

It does reinforce in my own mind, though, my desire never to own an Xbox....

Noted a couple of simultaneous subscriptions to NZLUG mailing lists this morning from different addresses @zeusmail.org - this immediately looked suspicious, and a Google confirms my fears.

A warning for those others dealing with mailing lists, forums and such; that's one domain with a baaaad rep.

A lengthy article on Bisphenol-A - or BPA - in the New Zealand Herald.

Glad to see this issue make the news - as for anyone who uses bottles to feed babies, it's been known about for a long time.

I encourage folks to read the article and understand exactly what's going on - and what the risks are. I, for one, am glad that our new son Ben is going to be exclusively BPA (but only because the brand of Bottle we have the most success with, Nuk, offer Glass, or very recently, BPA-free plastic). Laura was less fortunate as our choices were slimmer (and we were less educated).

Given the choice I think i'll happily elect for BPA-free anything. The problem is, of course, the lack of choice - and the fact that information is just not 'out there'.

I have serious issue with this extract from the above article:

As for getting advice about the issues involved, it isn't straightforward. Plunket, for example, carries no information about BPA-free bottles on its website. When mothers ask, it refers them to NZFSA.

Surely, Plunket, New Zealands most well known and well regarded early childcare support facility, should be the ones most firmly in the know with regards to this important issue?

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I'm sure most of those with an interest in the subject are by now aware of the Linux Australia conference being held in Wellington, NZ in a couple of weeks time. Yep, LCA2010 is that close.

As one of the volunteers as well as a 'professional delegate' i've been working up my calendar to ensure I get the best out of the week. Today, just to make life interesting, there was a timetable shuffle to better accomodate some interesting speakers in the 'Open in the Public Sector' stream, which is one i'm quite interested in. So tonight i've just reshuffled what I hope to attend.

Dissapointingly this means that the Public Sector stream conflicts with the Sysadmin Miniconf. I'll be looking for notes, video and such to be available from that one - with any luck.

In other news I can confirm for folks interested that there will be wifi internet available at the venue (gotta get your geek fix somehow). Details will be up on the LCA website very soon (assuming they're not there already - i'm told they are, but I havnt found them yet).

Finally, this is my first blog tagged with the LCA2010 category, so this may well come up in the 'Planet LCA2010' feed. Here's hoping. :-) It should also - I hope - appear on Twitter....

Looking forward to my first LCA. :) Mine starts on Sunday with helping some of the organising crew move stuff around. Gonna be a busy week! :)

Just seeing if this thang works.

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