Hello! I’m Montaigne and I’m a singer-songwriter. I represented Australia at Eurovision this year (and, technically, last year as well). I’m currently writing songs for an indie video game and preparing to release new music, and I have just announced a tour.
When I’m not doing these sorts of things, I’m on the internet. That’s right. I’m a little internet grub. More than anything, I love things that make me laugh. The internet: it makes me laugh. Here are some things that have made me bust my frickin’ guts.
1. This wholesome child
My first thing obviously has to be a wholesome one. A big part of the laugh for me is the shock of hearing what is practically a baby saying the words “gender-neutral toilets”, because as a child that was not part of my lexicon. I’m very glad that it is now, but it seems I underestimated modern parents’ ability to educate their children in progressive social standards. It’s also funny because he says gender-neutral toilets like Pontius Pilate in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
2. This wholesome couple
I reckon there is very little authentic reaction in these guys’ vids because they just be pranking each other so often that they’re probably ready at all times for the artifice and to react in kind. But before I knew what their whole schtick was, this TikTok came up on my feed and I watched it about 5 times in a row. I love it so much. It reminds me of me and my partner.
3. This weird, raw TikTok
When I was having an emotionally difficult time during Eurovision, this TikTok made me feel normal. And also she’s just so funny. She’s got another one about having her period and wanting to be green. She’s wonderful. “Horton hears a what? A me, mom.”
4. Helicopter hiker rescue
Look, this one is a bit rough in reality, but it’s OK to laugh because she ended up OK. Anyway, I don’t know why, but every time I watch this or even think of it, I lose my goddamn mind. Does that make me a bad person? No. Does it raise interesting questions about the way infinite exposure to infinite content on the internet disables our ability to recognise the physical reality and consequences of what we view? Yes. Maybe one laughs because it is so dire? I’ll never know.
5. Aunty Donna
Some of that wacky humour we all love. I LOVE AUNTY DONNA. (Language warning!)
I don’t read many celebrity interviews but Suffa from Hilltop Hoods sent me this one with a hearty recommendation and, sure as hell, it’s a romp. You think it’s gonna be about Tenet and then it isn’t. Once the writer starts to describe the process of making the piccolini cuscino, it’s impossible not to chortle.
7. This tweet about the ABC
I think Ben Jenkins is one of the funniest people in Australia and it is remarkable that this tweet got read out in Senate estimates. Just absolutely ripping stuff.
8 & 9. These improv lyrical masterpieces
My eighth and ninth funny things come as a package deal because they fall under the same genre: singer bamboozled by lyrics, either because they forgot them or because the event producers failed to provide them with the help they needed. Patti LaBelle still manages to sing the hell out of this song while, from start to finish, patently flustered. God she’s funny.
Leslie Uggams also trucks on while she sings “but the butts in out of bushes”. Good on her.
10. The best CV you’ve ever seen
Let’s top it all off with a Brian David Gilbert cherry. I love that this got him a job at my favourite video game journalism operation. He’s since left Polygon and does all kinds of stuff – most visibly for me, his YouTube videos, which he makes with his partner, Karen Han, who is also very funny.
The latest iteration of Amazon’s battery-powered Ring doorbell adds a new feature to capture the early details of events most competitors would miss without needing to be plugged in.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 costs £179 ($199.99/$A329) and can be installed in any home with wifi. It tops Ring’s battery-powered range, which starts at £89.
The look and basic function of the Doorbell 4 is very similar to Ring’s older models. It has a camera with night vision, motion sensors and a large doorbell button.
When someone pushes the button Ring’s signature chime plays and an alert is sent to your phone. You can view a live feed and speak through the doorbell using the app from anywhere with internet. If you don’t answer, the new “quick replies” feature is like an answering machine for your door, recording caller’s messages. And it works as a motion-activated security camera too.
Four seconds of pre-roll
Most battery-powered doorbells sleep until motion is detected to save power, which means they typically only capture the second half of an event as it takes time for the camera to wake up and start recording.
Ring’s “pre-roll” system fills in the gap before the motion sensor is tripped. It takes a clip from a looping four-second lower-resolution colour recording that can be operated all the time without draining the battery too much.
It is a gamechanger for battery doorbells, giving you a much better idea of what has happened before the main camera fires up.
Video, motion and replay
The main 1080p HD video is clear and sharp enough to discern faces and name tags, and recorded HDR (high dynamic range) to better handle the sun shining straight at your door. The infrared night vision is bright and clear, too.
You can adjust the motion sensitivity and define areas you want monitored so that you only get notifications when something happens in the chosen zone, which is particularly useful for avoiding notification overload if your doorbell faces the street.
While standard motion and doorbell notifications, live view and pre-roll are free, you need to subscribe to Ring Protect to get the most out of the doorbell. A free 30-day trial is included so you can see what it does, and plans start at £2.50 a month, but it is essentially cloud recording for your videos as they are not stored locally.
You get up to 30-day event history, messages recorded by visitors from the quick replies feature and still snapshots taken every 14 minutes to fill in the gaps between events.
Ring Protect also enables smart motion alerts, to differentiate between people and other things such as cars, and rich notifications, which show an image of the motion or person within the alert on your phone.
Set up and battery life
Setting up the doorbell is very easy. It comes with screws and wall plugs, plus a bracket for angling the camera towards your door if needed and cables for attaching it to an existing doorbell wire and chime if you have one.
Once it is mounted you just slot the battery in the bottom, open up the Ring app on your smartphone and scan the QR code on the side of the bell. The app will run through the rest of the setup in about five minutes.
If you don’t have a traditional chime you can buy the wireless £29 Ring Chime or use any existing Amazon Alexa devices in your home to ring instead.
Battery life varies depending on how many features such as snapshot and pre-roll you have on and the number of motion events and live views. With everything active and capturing roughly 45 events a day, the battery lasts about a month. I would buy a second £20 battery as it takes at least five hours to fully charge the battery via microUSB.
You can block the recording of certain parts of the camera’s view such as your neighbour’s drive using privacy zones. Ring has recently added options to limit how long recorded videos are stored on a camera-by-camera basis, strengthened account security with two-factor authentication and, in addition to standard encryption, has enabled the activation of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for videos.
E2EE offers the strongest protection and means only the mobile devices you select can decrypt and watch captured videos. No one else can see the video, not even Ring. But with E2EE turned on some more advanced features such as pre-roll, snapshots, the event timeline, rich notifications and Alexa integration for watching a live feed from an Echo Show cannot be used.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is generally repairable and a range of spare parts, including the rechargeable battery, are available at reasonable cost. Most parts are also interchangeable with older models. The company will support its devices with software updates for least four years from the point it stops selling the device on its site, and continues to support all of the devices it has sold so far.
The response time to live view requests through the app is shorter than previous Ring models, but it can still take a few seconds to answer the door, so Ring has a separate stripped-down Rapid Ring app that is faster to load, which can be used for answering rings alongside the main Ring app.
Alexa smart displays can show a live feed on demand or automatically when the doorbell rings.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 costs £179 ($199.99/$A329) and Ring Protect costs from £2.50 a month.
For comparison, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) costs £89, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 costs £219, the Google Nest Doorbell costs £179.99 and the Arlo Video Doorbell Wire-Free costs £179.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is yet another great battery-powered smart doorbell from Amazon.
It intentionally doesn’t look any different from previous versions, so that parts are interchangeable and the older models don’t look dated. But it wakes up faster, the colour pre-roll captures much more of each event and its night vision is really good.
It can be installed almost anywhere but it needs good wifi so you might need a booster. You’ll probably need the extra £29 Chime too, which brings the real cost to £189 as a bundle, plus the £2.50 a month subscription to really make the most out of it as it doesn’t have local video storage.
Note the Ring Android app has an extremely annoying hard-coded pattern of four strong and long vibrations for every motion alert. It cannot be changed, which forced me to disable motion alerts entirely and lost the Doorbell 4 a star. Ring said it is working to fix the problem by the end of the year. This issue does not exist for the Ring iPhone app, however.
Pros: easy to install, clear video, great colour pre-roll, lots of accessories, solid iPhone app, faster, quick replies, snapshots, Alexa device integration, great as a regular doorbell replacement, end-to-end encryption available.
Cons: no local storage means you need Protect subscription for event review, no constant video recording, fairly wide for some door frames, battery needs charging once a month, Chime likely needed.
Linus Torvalds has revealed that winding back the decision to default to -Werror – and therefore make all warnings into errors – has made for another messy week of work on the Linux kernel.
“So I’ve spent a fair amount of this week trying to sort out all the odd warnings, and I want to particularly thank Guenter Roeck for his work on tracking where the build failures due to -Werror come from,” Torvalds wrote in his weekly missive about the state of kernel development.
“Is it done?” he asked rhetorically. “No. But on the whole I’m feeling fairly good about this all, even if it has meant that I’ve been looking at some really odd and grotty code. Who knew I’d still worry about some odd EISA driver on alpha, after all these years? A slight change of pace ;)”
Torvalds expressed his annoyance that his efforts have seen him enter “fix one odd corner case, three others rear their ugly heads” territory.
But he’s willing to wear the pain. “I remain convinced that it’s all for a good cause, and that we really do want to have a clean build even for the crazy odd cases,” he wrote.
And if he must handle this sort of thing in any week of the kernel production cycle, it might as well be the week of rc2.
“I hope this release will turn more normal soon – but the rc2 week tends to be fairly quiet for me, so the fact that I then ended up looking at reports of odd warnings-turned-errors this week wasn’t too bad,” he wrote.
Late last week, Torvalds also took some time to share what he described as “the true 30th anniversary date” of Linux.
On September 17th he wrote “a random note to let people know that today is actually one of the core 30-year anniversary dates: 0.01 was uploaded Sept 17, 1991.
“Now, that 0.01 release was never publicly announced, and I only emailed a handful of people in private about the upload (and I don’t have old emails from those days), so there’s no real record of that,” he wrote. “The only record of the date is in the Linux-0.01 tar-file itself, I suspect.
“Just thought I’d mention it, since while unannounced, in many ways this is the true 30th anniversary date of the actual code.”
So The Register though it worthy of mention, too. ®
Research from Trinity College Dublin and workspace network NoCo identified time-saving benefits for workers as well as environmental benefits.
Remote working three days per week could save drivers up to 14 days of commuting time a year. That’s according to a study carried out by researchers at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and hybrid workspace company NoCo.
More than 540 people were surveyed about their commuting habits to ascertain how long people spent travelling to and from their workplaces and examine the environmental impact of these commutes.
Remote working three days a week for a year could reduce a drivers CO2 emissions by 670kg, the research found. Public transport users, meanwhile, could save almost 11 days of commuting time by working remotely three days a week.
Irish-owned Noco has been expanding its workspace network around Ireland, aiming to tap into the rise in remote and hybrid working. It currently has hubs in 350 locations nationwide, as well as an online service that enables companies to connect their team to a network of ‘close to home’ workspaces across Ireland.
“The slowdown of economic activities during the pandemic resulted in significant improvements to air quality and GHG emissions. At NoCo, we are preparing for the future which means addressing climate change,” said Brian Moran, co-founder of NoCo.
“None of us can afford to ignore our carbon footprints anymore and we believe that the shift to remote working will help to meet Ireland’s national carbon targets, as well as provide people with reduced commuting time and a better work-life balance.”
An extra lie-in in the mornings was another benefit of working remotely or working from home, according to survey respondents. When travelling to an office, 59pc of people said they left home before 7:30am. When travelling to a remote location, 76pc left after 7:30am.
Almost half of the respondents (49pc) said they would consider buying an e-bike for their commute to a local remote working hub and 14pc said they would consider buying a push bicycle.
A small number of people (15pc) said they were considering selling their car as a result of Ireland’s post-pandemic remote and hybrid work dynamic. The majority (80pc) said they believed it would be possible for their employer to implement a hybrid work scheme in the near future.
Prof Brian Caulfield from the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at TCD said the research shows remote working hubs may play “an even more substantial role than we thought” in reducing carbon emissions from commuting.
“From a personal-time perspective, the findings of the survey demonstrate that remote workers are able to spend significantly more time at home and substantially less time commuting,” he added.
There were, however, some negative aspects to the new remote and hybrid work culture, according to participants.
Around 78pc of people said they experienced feelings of isolation as a result of working from home, while 85pc experienced Wi-Fi and general connectivity issues and 84pc experienced problems with inadequate home office space or equipment.
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