Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

Just posting the obligatory best wishes for the year-to-be. Here's hoping 2005 is as good as, if not better, than the year I've just had, and infinitely better than the way 2004 has ended for the world.


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami animation

From the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, a gif animation of how the tsunami derived from the earthquake and how it spread across the Indian Ocean.

I've read a few comments on various sites about Burma, a country known for its repressive and dictatorial military regime. By their accounts they have only been lightly hit, although whether that's the truth or just an excuse to keep foreign eyes off them is anyone's guess. It's interesting to see that the most intense force of the waves was where you would expect; Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. It's also interesting to see the strength of the waves that missed that area completely and eventually struck East Africa.

A technological response to the tsunami disaster.

Courtesy of Red Herring

The Red Herring Technology website has an article about the public use of blogs and other mobile technology to submit and disperse information after the disaster.

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami” blog had 10 contributors (from Mumbai to New Jersey), 12,109 page views, and 29 posts - mainly information from disaster relief crews - within 12 hours of being set up on Monday. Wikipedia’s “Tsunami” entry quickly incorporated this newest example, and a comprehensive entry titled “2004 Indian Ocean earthquake” sprang up as a collaborative historical record of the event. By Monday, Google News had more than 3,000 international news stories clumped into a tsunami-coverage list.

On Sunday, the day of the disaster, 13 of the top 40 links picked up by BlogPulse addressed the “tidal wave disaster,” reported Intelliseek’s Sue MacDonald. “Up to that point, I hadn’t seen any blogs from that part of that world up, but when places like Instapundit linked to their blogs, we caught that,” she said.

In particular it indicates that in the future these sort of technologies may help warn people of impending natural disasters and prevent deaths, rather than just reporting after the fact.

Information wave - Today’s real-time disaster relief may be tomorrow’s real-time rescue effort.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami - SMS blog from Sri Lanka

The devastation is just incredible. I thought it was impossible for a few waves to create so much damage, but once again I've been shown to be incorrect in my assumptions. As part of my job I have access to a lot of video footage, much of it that doesn't get shown. While it's fair to say that you've no doubt seen the "best bits" on your TV, it's the extended story of people with cameras that is just fascinating and somewhat scary.

An interesting upshot of all this is a collaborative weblog, ChiensSansFrontiers, another member of the Blogger family. One of the members of this weblog has been SMS'ing reports from on the ground in Sri Lanka, one of the hardest hit areas. Given the lack of available reporting is some areas it's good to see someone with inside knowledge of the area able to get around and gather knowledge with an almost instantaneous ability to get it published.

I'm standing on the Galle road in Aluthgama and looking at 5 ton trawlers tossed onto the road. Scary shit.
Found 5 of my friends, 2 dead. Of the 5, 4 are back in Colombo. The last one is stranded because of a broken bridge. Broken his leg. But he's alive. Made...
----- He got swept away but swam ashore. Said he's been burying people all day. Just dragging them off the beach and digging holes with his hands. Go..
----- with gear to get him tommorrow morning. He sounded disturbed. Guess grave digging does that to you.

[11 buses carrying passengers missing. An estimated 2.5 million people displaced.]
[Government agent and LTTE working together in jaffna. Health supplies are grossly inadequate. Disease needs to be prevented. Water is contaminated by dead bodie]..
[..bodies says tamil national alliance parliamentarian gajan ponnambalam.]

Stay away from the Galle road.
Continous looting and violence reproted in Moratuwa.

UNICEF airlifting goods to Jaffna in a few hours. But they're handing it over to the government offices there, and not distributing it themselves. Bad idea, says I. It might never get to the people who need it. (5.38 am)

Priorities as of this morning - Disposing of bodies, healthcare for survivors, clean drinking water. But all you people doing aid work, keep sending all the food and clothes too. (5.44 am)

Leaving Anuradhapura now. Heading onto LTTE areas now. Losing signal in about an hour. (6.06 am)

Lanka official figures - over 21,000 dead in Sri Lanka. (6.49 am)

7100 bodies buried in 4 graves in the South. 7600 alone buried in a single grave in Sammanthurai in the Amparai district, Eastern Province. (6.54 am)

The government continues to claim it is 'taking steps' to provide relief. But nothing is getting to the people who need it. It is the people who are taking food, water, medicines and clothes who are are making a difference. So those of you doing it, keep at it! It's helping more than you will ever know. (7.15 am)

Losing network signal in a few minutes. Don't know time of return. Will message. Keep the good work going. Change the world. (7.17 am)

Last message from the Omantai checkpoint. There are unconfirmed reports of the LTTE 'taking over' relief convoys to their areas. (7.56 am)

The LTTE has been taking the aid and claiming to distribute. No news beyond that. (8.06 am)

ABC News - Sri Lanka buries its dead in mass graves
ABC News - Concerns raised over speed of tsunami aid

Sunday, December 26, 2004

New RSS feed - We Make Money Not Art

I've posted stuff from this site already, but I love the stuff they're reporting on so much I figure they deserve a feed.

We-Make-Money-Not-Art is a blog written by Belgian New Media Consultant Régine Debatty, dedicated to looking at how New Media is being used here and now. Some of it is really inspiring stuff. Check it out.


If I didn't know it before, it's been confirmed just how much my wife Ellen loves me! I scored the Star Wars Original Trilogy box set and a copy of Star Wars Monopoly. I mean, how cool is that! Only in this game is it possible for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader to share a jail cell, for a Tuskan Raider to earn rent on Coruscant and for a couple of spaceports to be built on Dagobah; one at Yoda's cave and the other on the swamp. Not to mention the fact that every time Ellen landed on Hoth she kept singing "Echo Base, far away in time. Echo Base, far away in time..." Priceless stuff.

Other items from the family included a desk organiser and stationery set to help fill out my new desk (courtesy of my recently acquired job), and some cash to be used for various purposes. Given the above-mentioned job I already have permission to scout for a Digital Set-top Box so we can keep an eye on the product I'll be creating. If it's affordable, I may even be able to swing for one with a built in hard drive recorder.

Best of all, I got to fire of a bit of holiday video courtesy of the new camera. I might edit up a bit and post it for my brother and sister-in-law over in London.

Hope your Christmas was a good one.

Friday, December 24, 2004

A very Merry, etc.

To anyone that stumbles across this site, have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous New Year. I have to admit that for me and mine 2004 will be hard to top, but anything's possible. Party hard, party long, but be around to see what 2005 brings; don't wind up as part of a "Road Toll" wrap on the local news.

If your culture is not one that follows the Christmas tradition, then accept this greeting in a spirit of international fraternity, rather than Yuletide bonhomie.

"A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night..."

Like to chat during your meal?


I love this idea so much.

You may remember me mentioning my last assignment whereby we were required to create a piece of technology that "facilitated communication among large scale social networks" using mapping technology ("large scale" being defined as two or more). Well this seems like it could have been thought up out of that brief.

Communication Grill Chang-tei, by Japanese artists Kou Sueda and Kouji Ishii, is an electric cooker controlled by a chat software for making Yakiniku (Japanese-style barbecue).

The conversation exchanged on a network powers the electric heater. In order to roast meat, you have to continue carrying out a chat with the person that shares your table. Once you stop chatting, the fire of the electric heater goes out. But beware, if the conversation gets too lively, the meat could burn.


We Make Money Not Art Communication Grill Chang-tei

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Actually, this guy deserves his $3m.

Coke to pay worker $3m after shooting ABC News

Apparantly this guy was shot, several times, during a botched hold up while he was refilling a vending machine. Coke was found liable because the guy had come back to work after being convinced that he'd never have to fill those particular vending machines. He'd been a victim of an attack at the same site two years earlier.

"In September the court found that Coca Cola Amatil was liable for injuries suffered in the second attack, including a pierced lung and a tongue half blown off by a bullet.
Justice Robert Hulme has ordered the group to pay damages of $2.89 million to the victim, including $100,000 to his wife and son who witnessed the shooting."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

NORAD ready for Santa trek | CNET

It's good to see someone's keeping an eye on the old bugger.

NORAD ready for Santa trek CNET

Message from the future | MIS Magazine

Via SmartMobs.

If you thought nanorobots, skycars and holographic images were the stuff of science fiction, think again. This intriguing article by Helene Zampetakis runs through some of the technologies that are being developed right now and will impact us in the next five to 20 years.

MIS Magazine - Message from the future

Wireless goes lighter-than-air?

What's a cheaper way of blanketing cities with wireless receivers than sticking them in orbit? Simple - fill a bag with enough helium to lift 1.4 tonnes of communication equipment and sit them 20km above the surface of the earth. It's a lot easier and cheaper than sticking them on a rocket and a lot more convenient to maintain. | Not quite out of this world

The problem I see at first glance, maintaining satellites is a money spinner. It's one of the ways space agencies are able to maintain funds. If that goes by the wayside, where does it leave space exploration? Then again, maybe it will be the kick they need to start exploring space properly instead of just piddling around in Earth orbit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Homemade IPod ad "Goes Viral"

Enough wallowing in my career success. It's time to get back to blogging.

Wired News has an article about an interesting homemade ad that an IPod enthusiast, school teacher George Masters, has created. Using a mix of Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects), Cinema 4D and a few plugins for After Effects by Swedish plugin manufacturer "Trapcode," the clip page has reached almost 50 000 hits and is being spread through email.

Clip download page - Quicktime required.

The interesting thing for me has to do with the "evangelical" nature of the creation of this ad. Mr Masters is obviously a big fan of the IPod, so much so that he felt compelled to spend 160 hours creating the ad. In doing so he has marketed a product, not because he's being paid to do it, but because he just loves it. It's an interesting phenomenon that's only become possible with the advent of new technologies and cheap image software. There's no way anyone could have done something like this ten years ago.

Wired News :: Home-Brew IPod Ad Opens Eyes

Memes In The Wild - Viral marketing
Interview: Ed Robinson, Maria Silva - The Viral Factory

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

At last the big news - I GOT THE JOB!!!

After 10 years of working in video and television, 8 of which have been with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, I have this day been offered a position with ABC New Media and Digital Services as a Technical Support and Content Producer. I'll be responsible for providing support for and producing the ABC's broadband video News content, as well as gearing up for the introduction of the ABC's second digital channel.

After all these years of working Freelance and Casual it's an incredible relief. Thanks to all those that have supported and encouraged me through the years. I'll have more on what's happening as I get into it.

ABC News Online
Article on ABC Onlne
Media Release: ABC to launch Second Digital Channel

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New RSS feed

As a precursor to official news that I hope to post here in the next few days, I've integrated a RSS feed from ABC Online News.

I've also integrated a feed from "," a site that looks at new tech gadgets.

It's "Karate Kid" - the Musical!?!

I'd heard Bill Simmons and his trusty minion, "the Intern" talk about the impending production of "Karate Kid - the Musical" and now it looks like it's finally opened. However, if it's straight theatre you're after you're in the wrong place, in more ways than one!

ESPN Page 2 - "Bonzai Daniel-San!"

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Criminals are not only a "Cowardly and superstitious lot," they're also pretty stupid.

It's a few days old, but I only just came upon it. I've heard of the urban legend about the camera, the toothbrushes and burglars, but this is ridiculous. Robber leaves behind a mobile phone containing his picture

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Radio Heads Mobile

Russel Buckley of the Mobile Technology Weblog writes that in his opinion the obvious partner for the mobile phone is not television and video, but rather radio. It's a thought worth pursuing; when you're mobile you have less ability to concentrate on pictures, whereas radio can be appreciated and absorbed while participating in almost any activity. However, while it's true that the technology allows the user to go beyond listening to a standard radio station and instead get more personalised radio broadcasts, I have to wonder if there is the commercial interest in radio over video. Then again, maybe we're all so hell-bent on putting pictures on our phones and PDA's we're looking past the obvious.

TheFeature :: Radio Heads Mobile


The concept sounds interesting. Now I just need to get a decent enough internet connection.

The basic idea is simple; create a profile, choose three artists you like, then the system picks and plays tracks based around not only the artists you've chosen, but also similar artists based on the preferences of others with similar tastes. It's an enthralling concept and one I'm a little disappointed I'm not able to really get into at the moment. If anyone is using Last FM I'd be interested in hearing comments.

Last.FM - Personalised online radio station

Friday, December 03, 2004

"Cost Effective Sports Coverage"

From the lovely people at

Occasionally people ask about what's the best way to shoot sports with just a single cam. Well, whether single DV cam to be edited later or multi cam coverage, live switched and streamed on the internet, Rev. John Jackman and Bruce A. Johnson have written an interesting article on the subject.

Access requires registration to, but it's definitely worth it if you're interested in video.

article - Cost Effective Sports Coverage

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Hi-Def DVD saga continues!

Thanks to Mitch for the heads up.

Just when you thought Blu-ray was going to get squashed by Toshiba's HD DVD, Sony announces it has a partner, German company Singulus, to mass produce the disks. The part I find particularly interesting is this.

Sony said in September that its next-generation PlayStation game console would support Blu-ray technology, considered an important announcement because PlayStation 2 played a large role in spreading the use of the current DVD.

C|Net News - Blu-ray moves toward mass production

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Anim8tor, free 3D animation software

Courtesy of Harold Heims' Plug-in site newsletter.

Anim8tor is a free 3D application currently at v0.9. It can create some interesting stuff in the hands of an experienced user.

So if you're interested in getting a handle on 3D but don't want to spend the money, you may as well start here.

Anim8tor main page

Return of the King Extended Edition

If the phone is too much, there's always the final installment in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The official website has just put up a trailer for the DVD, released this month, just in time for Christmas. I know that in the week following Christmas, before New Years, Ellen and I intend to sit down on a sweltering Summer day and watch all three Extended Editions back to back. With this one that pushes the total running time out to 11 hours 20 minutes. That's going to be some movie marathon!

View the Trailer here!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Christmas Presy.

If anyone out there's wondering what to get me for Christmas, I'm willing to give up my Motorola V600 for this...

LG LG-KP3800 cellphone with OCR

or maybe one of these...

In Korea, E-mail is sooo passé

From Smart Mobs.

You thought email was the modern, hip way to speak to people, doing away with old fashioned snail mail? Not in Korea, where SMS, Internet Messengers and mini-homepages are the new instant communication method of choice.

The perception that "email is an old and formal communication means" is rapidly spreading among (young people). "I use email when I send messages to elders," said a college student by the name of Park. For 22-year-old office worker Kim, "I use email only for receiving cellphone and credit card invoices."

"The new generation hate agonizing and waiting and tend to express their feelings immediately," said Professor Lee. "The decline of email is a natural outcome reflecting such characteristics of the new generation."

Smart Mobs: New Forms of Online Communication Spell End of Email Era in Korea

The Blogosphere By the Numbers

Courtesy of Smart Mobs.

According to David Sifry, Technorati 's chief executive, the current number of blogs is now over 8 times bigger than the 500,000 blogs it measured in June, 2003.

The company tracked 3 million blogs as of the first week of July, and has added over 1 million blogs to its stable since then. Meanwhile, Pew Internet & American Life reports a new weblog is created every 5.8 seconds. That roughly translates into 15,000 new blogs every day.

Check out the article for links, including this one showing a graph of weblog posts per day.

Smart Mobs: The Blogosphere By the Numbers

VHS vs Beta all over again...

You may remember me mentioning an article last week about High Capacity DVD's called BluRay.

Well, Engadget has just mentioned Toshiba's announcement that they now have agreements from Warner Bros. Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and New Line Cinema to start releasing their movies in HD-DVD format, a rival to BluRay. BluRay has the backing of Sony Pictures, MGM and Twentieth Century Fox...

which mainly means we’re in for yet another VHS vs. Betamax format war where everyone loses and most people will probably hold off buying players and discs in either format until there’s a clear winner.

Sometimes you gotta question the wisdom of a capitalist system.

Intelsat Americas-7 satellite lost in space

I know space is a long way away, but how do you lose a satellite? What, did it get sucked up by aliens? Maybe shot down when the Russians were testing their missile defense shield?

The purchaser, Zeus Holdings Limited, has advised Intelsat it is evaluating the impact of the IA-7 failure.

I'd be more inclined to worry about the impact on some poor, lonely lighthouse keeper when a couple of tonnes of glowing red-hot space junk comes calling in the middle of the night.

Geekzone, mobile forums

Striking up digital video search | CNET


It seems that three players are looking at getting into the "video search" game; Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Call me short sighted, but I'm not sure I see what the fuss is about. O.K., so they're creating search facilities to allow you to find specific clips via broadband, digital and set-top services and play them on your computer or media center, but I find this version a little underwhelming. I know video-on-demand is the future, we've been waiting for it for what seems like an eternity, but this is just the beginning.

Apparantly Google's search facilities are ultra-secret. Only a handful of broadcast execs have actually seen the system, however it apears they are basing their search on the closed captions embedded in the video signal. of course, the problem there is getting permission to do that.

"The business models are too soon to tell, but everyone is interested," a source said. "First, the meetings are about, 'Don't sue us for nicking your closed captioning,' and then it's the commercial possibilities."

Microsoft, bless their little hearts, are getting ready to release in 2005, probably to get set up with their Windows XP Media Center.
I particularly like this bit.

It also is testing a system for inserting commercials into video that would be contextually relevant to the programming.

Got to find a way to pay for all those law suits.

As for Yahoo (didn't they used to be relevant?) it seems they're looking at expanding their existing, albeit archaic, search engine by tapping into XML feeds to keep up to date with what people have accessible. Of course, they're not actually 'fessing up to being involved.

Yahoo spokeswoman Stephanie Iwamasa would not confirm the existence of a Yahoo video search service.
"We have not announced any launch plans for multimedia search and do not have relationships (feeds or otherwise) with video search aggregators," she wrote in an e-mail. "Furthermore, we do not comment on rumor or speculation."

The next revolution is upon us! When they get around to it.

Striking up digital video search

Friday, November 26, 2004


For those of you clever enough to use the Firefox browser by Mozilla I hope you've been checking out the new Extensions recently. I just came across a great one called WeatherFox by Richard Klein and Jon Stritar. WeatherFox sits in your status bar and gives you constant updates on the current weather as well as outlooks for as many days as you see fit to ask for. It's fully customisable, as compact or noticable as you feel like and constantly updates weather whenever anything changes. Definitely become my new favourite extension, although I sadly miss the old Googlebar extension.

To get WeatherFox just click on "menu/tools/extensions." In the Extensions window click on "Get more extensions." That will take you to the extensions page. You can't miss WeatherFox. It's the one currently sitting at the top of the "Top Rated" list.

Maxims for the Internet Age

Courtesy of this month's Computer Newsletter. I've mentioned Ray's newsletters previously on this blog. Check them out.

I'm sure there's nothing new in these, but they're funny, clever and worth reiterating.

Maxims for the Internet age!
Thanks Margaret G for this:

• Home is where you hang your @
• A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.
• You can't teach a new mouse old clicks.
• Great groups from little icons grow.
• Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.
• C:\ is the root of all directories.
• Don't put all your hypes in one home page.
• Pentium wise; pen and paper foolish.
• The modem is the message.
• Too many clicks spoil the browse.
• The geek shall inherit the earth.
• A chat has nine lives.
• Don't byte off more than you can view.
• Fax is stranger than fiction.
• What boots up must come down.
• Windows will never cease.
• Virtual reality is its own reward.
• Modulation in all things.
• A user and his leisure time are soon parted.
• There's no place like
• Know what to expect before you connect.
• Oh, what a tangled Website we weave when first we practice html.
• Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a person to use the Net and he won't bother you for weeks.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

SMS message promotes Free U2 Concert in NY

I noticed on the Smart Mobs website a couple of days ago a message about an SMS that was doing the rounds about U2 giving a free concert in New York.

*strong rumor* Free live U2 show: Empire Fulton Ferry State Park (between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges). F train 2 York St.
2:30 pm.

My initial response was the possibility of a hoax. While it's true that U2 are known for utilising technology in their stage shows and promotion, it was this very element that made my brain tick to the possibility that it was a memetic-based hoax. If you're going to try and get people to disseminate false information, or fake memes, then you need to facilitate the prospect of the host believing and assimilating the meme. Using U2, a band known for utilising technology, adds the memetic selection criteria of authority and conformity to the meme.

However, it wasn't to be. Maybe I've just got hoaxes on the brain after my most recent assignment. The concert was completely legit, organised by MTV and promoted via "word of mouth" and websites. No mention of SMS, but that could fall under word of mouth. It looks like a good time was had by all.

Kansas City Star | 11/24/2004 | U2 free concert draws thousands in New York

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Nanotech: The Modern Answer to Lower Golf Scores

From C|Net News

I knew Nanotechnology was becoming more commonplace, but this is getting ridiculous.

Or is it? I know my drives can do with all the help they can get.

Nanotech golf ball corrects its own flight | CNET

Keystroke Logging isn't Wiretapping


The other day I mentioned that Gutnick vs Dow Jones had been resolved in such a way that defamation under Australian law could extend to the point where the publishing or downloading of the page took place, in this case Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I said at the time that I was unsure of the ramifications of this decision, happy that there was some regulation being attempted but wary of further ramifications. Well, I know how I feel about this decision and I'm not happy at all.

"A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed wiretapping charges against a California man who used a hardware keystroke logger to spy on his employer, SecurityFocus is reporting. The court ruled that the device doesn't violate the federal Wiretap Act because it only intercepted signals off a keyboard cable, not an interstate network."

The ramifications are huge for anyone worried about civil liberties and privacy. Thankfully this precedent is still only valid in the U.S., however these sorts of things have an insidious way of spreading.
Federal Judge: Keystroke Logging Isn't Wiretapping

Unofficial Semester results

I don't know whether to laugh, cry or just strut!

I'd been told that the result for my Mapping assignment using Flash, the Domestic Load Evaluator or "DoLE" had been given an unofficial 7 (out of 7) which meant the mark for the overall subject, Interaction Design, was 7 as well. I've just been unofficially informed that I've received 35 out of 40 for my final assignment in my other subject, New Media Technologies, which puts my overall mark at 90 out of 100. That's a 7 as well.

Between this semester and last semester I've managed to notch up a cumulative Grade Point Average of 6.75 out of 7, and the one 6 I got only missed out by 2% on being a 7. Of course none of this is official until the results are published, but until that point, I'm just going to sit here with a satisfied smile on my face.

The assignments so far.

KIN811 - Visual Interaction

Final Project - Interactive Narrative "The Plantation"

KCP336 - New Media Technologies

Research Project - "Fact or Fiction"
Final Project - Website of Research Project

KIN809 - Interaction Design

Interaction for small scale social groups - "The Dark Room"
Interaction for large scale dynamic social groups - "Domestice Load Evaluator"

Update - I wound up with a 6.75 GPA and graduated last September with Distinction.

For KIN817 - Project Management I did a Project Methodology for a marketing video and got a 7.

For KIN810 - Introduction to Information Architecture I built a PHP database to help the Broadband Unit keep track of File video for use in news stories. I got a 6, because to be honest programming's just not my thing.

I then did two electives from other disciplines. ITN701 - Systems and Networks was basically a bunch of exams. I got another 7.

Finished up with a Journalism subject, KJP401 - Newswriting. The two major assessment pieces can be found here and here. Another 7.

Maybe one day I'll go back and finish up to a Masters.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Grass Roots, Lo-Tech

The people of Sydney enjoyed a day of free trains today thanks to the actions of one woman, Rebecca Turner a legal secretary and disgruntled rail passenger. Ms Turner was apparantly so frustrated by Sydney's constantly late train service that she began a protest movement to convince other train users to make today, the 22nd of November, a fare-free day. Ms Turner did this by hand delivering fliers on the platforms of Central train station in Sydney. This led to media interest which in turn created a groundswell of support. Despite cries of protest from the government and city rail authorites who proclaimed that any passenger caught without a ticket would be fined to the full extent of the law, the Premier Mr Bob Carr was forced to bow to public pressure and declare the day an official fare-free day.

The problem is that the Rail authority has now lost $5 million dollars on the day and tomorrow the service will be just as bad as before. However, it definitely puts the issue in the public and therefore the political eye, and it was all achieved with a few slips of paper, one determined woman and a lot of angry customers. Congratulations to all involved.

Watch your "A's" & "U's"

If there was ever an incident that points out not only the breadth of content on the internet, but also the little differences that separate such an international medium it's this one. This story has been all over the Australian comercial news today, but I repeat it here for any international visitors.

Last night the local version of the "Idol" television series, "Australian Idol" held its Grand Final at the Sydney Opera House and 16 year old Casey Donovan was crowned as winner for this year. As part of the celebrations, local telecommunications giant Telstra offered her single for download (at a slight fee of course). Part of the page offered a link to Casey's official website, The problem is, Casey's site is actually Even that wouldn't be such a faux pas, except that the link offered by Telstra, visited by thousands of Australian teenage fans last night and today, is to an American site dedicated to now deceased 80's Gay Porn idol, Casey Donovan (Warning: explicit content).

Apart from the ironic hilarity I find in this, it's a cautionary tale to people to remember that the internet is an international medium. Moreover, it brings up the eternal question of why American websites aren't required to suffix their addresses with a "US".

Needless to say Telstra has fixed the link problem. | It's Idol porn by any other name (November 22, 2004)

Try scratching this 50 Gb DVD

Thanks to Mitch Lerman at Digital Video Fuel forums.

From CNet News.

Researchers at electronics giant TDK have developed a tough new coating that promises to make scratched DVDs a thing of the past and that will help usher in an emerging data storage format with 10 times the capacity of the current DVD standard.

The data size is increased through the use of a blue laser rather than the regular red laser. Having a shorter wavelength, the laser is able to pick up data that's more tightly packed on the disk. Called Blu-Ray, the issue has been the lack of toughness of the disk surface which has meant they scratch easily. This new coating means that companies like HP and Dell will be including them in future computers as standard.

Just the thought of 50Gb of easily removable and transferable storage that's nearly indestructible and can be slipped into a CD or DVD case for storage or movement is mind boggling.

Article Link

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Perils of War

There's been a lot said about the fatal shooting of an unarmed Iraqi insurgent in a mosque in Fallujah by a US Marine. Most has had to do with the horror felt when viewing an otherwise civilised man, a representative of a purportedly democratic and freedom loving people, shoot another man in cold blood. The problem as I see it has to do not with the rights and wrongs of this individual act, perpretrated by an individual in incredibile circumstances, but rather the psychological aspects that brought him to this point.

On the one hand, the U.S. soldiers are brought into a situation where they are in constant threat of violent death at the hands of an un-uniformed adversary i.e. guerilla warfare, in an urban, close-combat environment. To enter that environment, or for that matter any environment where you are expected to kill or be killed, requires a particular mindset that I just can't imagine. To top it all off, reports have come in that this particular group of soldiers had a colleague killed in an ambush by an apparantly dead insurgent who was booby-trapped only 24 hours before. On the other hand, they are under constant scrutiny by the media and therefore the population of just about every nation in the world, to be the "clean-cut, good guys" of this combat, therefore submitting to the full extent of the rules of combat, where the insurgents, with all their booby-trapping, kidnappings and horrific mutilations and murders, are seen as some sort of "freedom fighters." I think it says more about the actions of this U.S. government and the way the world views America more than anything.

I am not apologising for the actions of this soldier. Far from it. To shoot and kill another human being, any human being, is an alien thought process to me. But then, I've never put myself into a situation, whether through national service or otherwise, where I'd need to. Instead I believe that this event only highlights the stupidity, the inanity and the outright barbarity of war. Any situation that drives people to act in this way can only be counter-productive to humanity as a species. Any situation where people are encouraged and driven to submit to their baser instincts are detrimental to our evolution.

Am I glad that there are people that are willing to serve, die or even kill to protect what we have as a society? Yes I am, although it pains me to say it. Because I know that there are people out there that, for whatever reason, wish to kill, maim and instill terror to further their own interests and yes, I do realise that these attributes have been used to describe the U.S. government's attack on Iraq. I just wait for a day when we, as a species, realise the futility of war, any war, and there's never a reason for anybody to find themselves in a situation where it makes sense to shoot a defenceless person for fear of their own life.

ABC Australia 7:30 Report program transcript - US Marine investigated following death of wounded Iraqi insurgent

Gutnick vs Dow Jones finally resolved.

It's been an issue that's plagued media types since the Internet first started becoming popular. How do you create local and national laws for a medium that spans national boundaries? Well, at least that argument's been decided in Australia. Back in 1998 Melbourne businessman Joseph Gutnick sued American publisher Dow Jones for defamation through a subscription newsletter on Barron's, an online magazine that has some of its subscribers in Australia. Dow Jones felt that any defamation case should take place in New Jersey, where the company's servers are based. Gutnick's lawyers argued that the defamation took place where the article was published, i.e. anywhere it could be downloaded and read off the internet, in this case Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The Victorian Supreme court agreed with Gutnick.

The case was appealed through to the High Court and has finally been resolved in Gutnick's favour.

The Australian - "Sore Losers Take a Swipe"

I'm still undecided how to take this. While I'm wary of any regulation that puts potential limits on the flow of information on the internet, I believe there should be rules in place to prevent irresponsible journalism. The problem is if it goes too far.

"...the principle has been adopted and expanded in Canada, where a former African diplomat successfully sued The Washington Post for an article that was read on the web in Ontario.
In a frightening outcome for publishers, Cheickh Bangoura - a UN official accused of misconduct - did not live in Canada at the time of the publication. He moved to the country much later. The decision is the subject of an appeal

I looked into Gutnick in a recent assignment on the validity of information on the Internet. Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What is "Podcasting?"

There's been a lot of talk recently about RSS or Syndicated feeds. Well, just when you think you've hit the leading edge, you find that people are pushing it even further. Podcasting involves subscribing to a syndication feed but instead of reading a text file, the user is subscribing to an audio feed downloaded to their IPod or similar mobile device. The best thing is that the content can be downloaded to the device during downtime so it's already onboard when the user wants to listen, thus cutting down on access times.

I have to say, this mobile Internet thing is getting more and more interesting. If my ABC job falls through I'm going to have to seriously look into the money-making aspects of this stuff. Between this and the growing market in Mobile Video there has to be possibilities for a young(ish) guy with ideas.

New Toy!

Well, the release of Canon's new XL2 has allowed me to get a great price on the previous model, the XL1-S! I would have loved an XL2, but the budget just wouldn't stretch that far. Instead I get to look forward to seeing what the XL1-S can do for me.

Marvel Comics battle Roleplayers

From Wired News

Marvel Comics has sued a series of companies that run the massive online role-playing computer game "City of Heroes" on the basis that the game allows players to create characters that strongly resemble Marvel's copyrighted material. It's just the most pathetic excuse for a law suit. Someone at Marvel is not thinking. Instead of embracing the fact that their material is popular enough that people want to copy it, or joining ranks with the people that run the game to allow special add-ons, they just go the RIAA route and try and squash anything that doesn't fit their narrow view of their company. Pathetic.

Marvel Battles Role-Players

Gotta Love This Job!

Yesterday I found myself woken around 6am by a phone call.

"Can you be in by 7:30? There's been a Train Crash up north and we're expecting footage to start coming in. You'll need to cut a story for the Midday news."

Now, seeing as I'd not gone to bed until 2am I found it a little difficult to get going. I don't usually do my best work after only getting 4 hours sleep. That said, it's not the first time and it will no doubt not be the last. So in I went to get in the footage and cut up a couple of stories. Besides, things could have been a lot worse. I could have been one of the emergency personnel that got woken up very early that morning to go out and help the injured. In the end all I wound up having to do was edit a few stories and I have to say I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. A good thing too, as the Midday story wound up leading the national bulletin.

It was a shame the crash happened, but it could have been so much worse. No one died and only five people were seriously injured. I love the coment made by one work colleague, a journalist; "This is such a Queensland accident. No one dies, all the locals come out and help wherever they can, then when you ask people onboard if they were scared they all say 'Naah, not really. If you're gonna go what can you do about it?'"

I love this place.

Monday, November 15, 2004

So loving Firefox 1.0

By now regular visitors should know how much of a Firefox junky I am, but tonight I discovered one of the new features of the newly released 1.0. Called "Live Bookmarks," this feature allows you to bookmark a site's RSS feed. The feed appears as a bookmark folder, with new content from the site constantly updated as it appears. It's the easiest way to keep a constant eye on your favourite RSS-enabled sites and I'm already loving it!

Even more RSS Feeds

Joining the Blogroll down the lefthand side are "SmartMobs", "The Many Hands Project" QUT student blog by Chris Garrett (there are issues with these two, but I'm working on them), "The Feature" Mobile Internet site, and Douglas Rushkoff's blog. I've been a fan of Rushkoff's books for a while now so it was good to finally find his weblog.

Happy reading.

Open Source Currency by Douglas Rushkoff

Via SmartMobs.

Douglas Rushkoff writes an interesting article on Mobile Internet site "The Feature" that points out fascinating possibilities for the way we pay for things this century, all using our mobile phones (which are, after all, a network of wireless computer devices) and "complimentary currencies."

Handheld wireless technology stands ready to enable what's known as the "complementary currency" movement in ways so powerful that the dominance of national currencies such as the dollar and the euro may soon be called into question.
What if we could use our cell phones to confirm transactions with one another as simply as pressing a button? We don't even need to shake hands with each other, only with the central server, which can confirm that both parties have agreed. As Paul(Paul Hartzog) put it in an email, "enabling the back-end for a truly decentralized marketplace with buyers, sellers, traders, and sharers is the open-source 'killer app' of the next century."

An interesting thought and well worth the read.

TheFeature :: Open Source Currency

You may wish to read the article in Internet Explorer. There seems to be some issues with the page's CSS in Firefox (at least at my screen resolution there was).

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Underwater Camera Housings

So you've got a big idea for a story, but you need to shoot it underwater. What's out there for you to beg, borrow or steal? This interesting article from by Ken Gordon of Xtreme Video Magazine runs through the different options, from aluminium cases rated to 300 ft, to plastic bags designed to keep splashes off at sea level.

It also contains the odd handy tip.

When shooting half-under and half-over the water, rub the lens port with an apple to avoid water droplets on the upper part of the shot.

Article - Requires Registration.
But as I'm fond of saying, if you aren't already registered at, what's keeping you?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Firefox 1.0 Released!

It's finally here!

Firefox 1.0

Get your copy, the first non-beta version of this wonderful Browser, before the servers get clogged. Mozilla are putting a full page ad in the New York Times next week, so numbers should jump substantially.

Don't know why you should bother? Here's why.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

St Expedite - The Patron Saint of the Nerds!

From News.

"Patron Saint of the Nerds"

This article is just great. A Patron Saint of those that want it now, on time, no waiting.

In 1781, or so the story goes, a packing case containing the body of a saint who'd been buried in the Denfert-Rochereau catacombs of Paris was sent to a community of nuns in the city. Those who sent the body wrote "Expedite" on the case, to ensure fast delivery of the corpse for the obvious reasons.
The nuns got confused, assumed Expedite was the name of a martyr, prayed to him, had a bunch of prayers answered amazingly quickly and the cult of St. Expedite was born. News of this saint who cheerfully dispensed quick miracles soon spread rapidly through France and on to other Catholic countries.

"I'm not a big believer in the saints, but St. Expedite is another whole story -- he's so good he's scary," said freelance computer support consultant Kathy Dupon, a resident of New Orleans. "My clients were forever paying me late until I taped a card with the saint's picture behind my mailbox as a joke last year. Now my checks almost always arrive on time."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

New RSS Feed - "Blog Maverick"

I've just added the RSS feed from Mark Cuban's weblog "Blog Maverick". For those of you who have no idea who Mark Cuban is, he's the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Making his billions in software and new media, he figured it would be great to own his own basketball team. In the years since he's made a name for himself with the number of fines he's been handed for dissenting with NBA referees and officials.

I'm not much of a Dallas Mavericks fan, but I like Cuban's style. For those with an eye to the future of digital video and TV, check out this post, "Applications For Your Future TV." It's an interesting look at where Cuban thinks the industry is headed and some ideas he's throwing out for people to run with.

While you're there, check out his coments on the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and their cracking down on peer-to-peer filesharing.

Just back from my interview

Well, I've just arrived home from my job interview with ABC Online in their News Department. Things seemed to go quite well, but I've been told there's a whole heap of applicants so I'll hold off on any sort of celebrating for now. The decision should be back in two to three weeks.

The irony is, just a week or two ago I interviewed the Manager of the Brisbane Online News as part of a University assignment, and today he was heading the committee.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A new NBA Season

The new year of American hoops action has finally kicked off and I find myself in a bit of a quandry. I've been a lakers fan for about the last 15 years, from the Showtime Lakers, through the bad times and on to the recent championship winning teams, all while barely having been able to watch a match (don't blame me, blame Australian Free-to-Air TV). The problem is, given everything that went on over the American Summer I'm not sure I can still bring myself to follow my team. A damn shame really. I really used to like that Kobe, but now, like so many others, I'm not so sure.
I'm interested to see how the big guy does in Miami, so I guess I'll just go into this season without a designated team and see what develops; just watch and see who's stepping up this season. Maybe Utah? Denver? We'll see.

For more on the coming season, here's "The Sports Guy" Bill Simmons' run through each team and how he thinks they'll fare.

Meanwhile, my home town Brisbane Bullets, after having been tipped as the league favourites to win the title this year, are running 4-7. 4 and freakin' 7!!! They even just went down to the last placed Taipans tonight. I know they've had a bad schedule of games, but things have to improve.

Mobile Clubbing - "It's all in your head!"

Via Smartmobs
The Flash Mob is dead! Welcome to the next generation of spontaneous technology-based public gatherings. Mobile Clubbing involves organisers designating a time and place, usually a train station or such, for participants to arrive at. They then dance to their own personal stereo, Walkman, IPod, whatever. Once people have had their fun, they move on.

Why? Because they can, and it's fun. What other reason do you need?

Hard Dance London - Mobile Clubbing hits London again.

The Mobile Clubbing website.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The U.S. Election

Well, it's all over bar the legal challenge and it looks like the world will be graced with the presence of George Dubbya for another four years. I so much want to say something about it, but I fear I'll put out my American friends who occasionally visit here from various forums I attend.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was a result of the recent victory by the Howard Liberal Party government in Australia's recent federal election. I was so angry and dissapointed after the result I felt I needed somewhere to vent. I feel kind of the same way now, which some Americans may find surprising seeing as how the election result doesn't affect me personally.

The problem is, in a way it does, like it affects just about every person on the planet at the moment. America has an incredible role in the world today, one that I don't think a lot of Americans fully understand. In my opinion it's one of the major reasons many people of the world dislike Americans. I'm not talking about militant Iranians or North Koreans, but those that otherwise would stand as allies with the U.S. We see the incredible power that country holds, based on such wonderful principles of justice, democracy and the rights of mankind, then we are faced with an image of Americans as insular, self-serving and greedy. The thing is, I know it's not true. The Americans I've met personally have been some of the warmest and friendliest people it's been my privelege to know. We just feel frustrated to see a nation with so much power, and the power to do so much good with it, seemingly ignoring it.

I'm not talking about the Iraq conflict, although I have my opinions on that as well. Yet I find it annoying when countries bitch and moan when the U.S. takes matters into their own hands, then complain when they want the U.S. to step in and fix some conflict that matters to them. I'm talking more about a capacity to share the good fortune they have, not through the barrel of a gun but rather through the power of the message of Freedom, even within their own country.

Suffice it to say that I'm disappointed, but I'll say no more. I know how much I dislike non-Australians making comments about my country and government even though I've found precious few areas I agree with the government on. I'm sure the last thing any American wants today, whether they voted for Bush or Kerry, is someone from the other side of the world, with only half the facts, making comments.

Final Assignments Finally Finished!

Well, its the end of the academic year and I've finally posted my final assignment to the net, so here's links to the final two assessment pieces.

First, DoLE - Domestic Load Evaluator. The brief was to create a piece of technology that made use of mapping technology to facilitate communication in large scale, dynamic social networks. Confused? Join the class. In the end I came up with this proof-of-concept that involves a cartoon character to let a family know what work needs to be done around the house. The rest is explained in the project.
Requires Flash.

Next up is a website based on a research project I completed earlier in the semester. Titled "Fact or Fiction" - Examining the Validity of Information on the Internet, this site looks at the factors that allow false and misleading information to spread so easily, a quick look at about a half dozen of my favourite hoaxes, and a brief examination of various regulations and legislation created by the Australian Government and Courts to regulate Online Content. Mixed in are about a half dozen interviews with journalists, Online service providers and even some of the hoaxters themselves. Hope you enjoy. Comments are welcomed.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Now that I've finished my recent assignment here's anther link.

Terragen is a free photorealistic landscape rendering program that allows you to create images like these.

You can create image sequences of flyby's using a second free piece of software that's designed to work with Terragen. It's called Camera Path Editor.

Moreover, using a stereoscopic add on, this user created a 3D flyover of Mt St Helens.
When viewing, watch the video crosseyed so the pictures overlap, similar to those fractal 3D images that were so popular a few years ago.

Eminem's new video

Here's me throwing my hat into the political ring.

You can view Eminem's new pro-vote, anti-Bush video "Mosh" here.

I will admit to being a bit of an Eminem fan, and not much of a George Dubya fan, but besides all that the video is worth watching for the animation.

Link courtesy of

TI Brings Live Digital TV to Cell Phone

The future of television is coming faster than we think.
From NEAsia Online,

"Texas Instruments (TI) announced development of what is claimed to be the wireless industry's first digital TV on a single chip for cell phones, which will capture broadcast signals and allow cell phone users to watch live broadcasts."

Full article

Link courtesy of SmartMobs.

The wit and wisdom of Grinner Hester

I hope grinner doesn't mind, but I HAVE to archive these posts. They are truly great for anyone interested in video editing.
Grinner's a great, highly experienced guy who's happy to share his knowledge. Just don't ask him about "The Osbournes."

From Wrigley Video Productions Forum ---


10 Steps to Getting and Keeping a Client.

The Revolving Revolution.

The Art of Editing.

The Salary Thang.


Individual Posts

How Much Salary?

Not Enough Work?

Leaving Beer in the Fridge Overnight.

Owning Your Own Business.

Just Clay!

Lord of the Freakin' Edit!

Anyone Else Get This?

Time to Play (1)

Time to Play (2)

For a Good Time...

I'll update and add more as he writes 'em.
(update) Grinner's gone and joined the darkside. His new blog can be found here. Nothing there at the moment, but that will change I'm sure.(/update)

The Computer for the 21st Century

Mak Weiser of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) wrote this article over ten years ago, and while it might seem dated it's an interesting look at the push towards ubiquitous computing, i.e. lots of small computing devices spread through a house all communicating with each other rather than one or two large ones in a single room.

If nothing else it's interesting to see what's already been accomplished and what's still to come.

The Computer for the 21st Century

Thanks to Chris for the heads up on the link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Learning to Blog

Well this has definitely been a learning experience. Between setting up the blog, sitemeters, "On this Day" links and now RSS feeds I'm definitely getting a lot out of the "Blog" experience.
Now if I could only come up with some decent content.

Once I've finished my last two assignments for the year I'll get stuck into it. One due this Friday, the other due the next Friday. In the mean time, it's working in Flash while listening to old "Tea Party" and "Jeff Buckley" albums.

Monday, October 25, 2004

"Why Macs Suck!"

For those that have never seen it.

Please note, this is not meant as a personal indictment on Macintosh computers. I just think the clip is hilarious, especially the last line.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


The first of the Uni-related links.

(Tele-)Presence is the "subjective experience of 'being there' in mediated environments such as virtual reality, simulators, cinema, television, etc."

It's fascinating stuff, especially in the field of designing for interactivity and immersion.


In particular, Lombard & Ditton's "At The Heart Of It All - The Concept of Presence" is worth a read.

Based on this stuff, one of my assignments this semester involved creating a purpose built room for enhancing presence in Horror based Role Playing Games.

The Crusade Against Evolution

From Wired magazine's October issue. A discussion on the uptake of "Intelligent Design" in American schools as a "competitor", or at least alternate theory to Evolution. I find the idea of ID a little lacking in logic, although George Gilder's comments at the end hold some interesting thought.

"In a world of science that still falls short of a rigorous theory of human consciousness or of the big bang, intelligent design theory begins by recognizing that everywhere in nature, information is hierarchical and precedes its embodiment."

It's just the "People are really complicated, too complicated for us to completely understand and we seem to be able to see an underlying logic to it all, so obviously we were designed by a higher power" conclusion I have problems with.

The Crusade Against Evolution

In fact, for all things incredibly cool in the world of technology -

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Time for a bit of Star Wars

At some point I intend to put up a bunch of links to Star Wars fanfilm related topics. Until then, here's a Flash based parody.
Baa Baa Imperial Sheep courtesy of High as a Koit.

Also, for the prop makers out there,
Film fans make lifesized Millenium Falcon in backyard
courtesy of Milk and

Simple Touch-ups

Just added the "On This Day" hack courtesy of New Links and a visitor counter courtesy of Sitemeter.
The contractual obligations are now out of the way.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Ray Shaw Computer Newsletters

Brisbane based Ray Shaw puts out a monthly newsletter on the state of computers and personal computing. His evaluations are insightful and interesting, especially his comments on Windows and Microsoft.

This month's newsletter has an interesting write-up on installing XP Service Pack 2 and Microsoft's new upcoming OS, MCE (Media Centre Edition) 2005.

One thing of note for digital home and amateur video producers.

What is DRM?

DRM (Digital Rights Management or Dirty Rotten Mongrels to some) will be an ever increasing pain. MCE supports all sorts of copyright protection features including stopping the recording of a TV broadcast if the TV station tags them as copyright. It seems that whilst you can record TV and movies to DVD you may not be able to play them back on any other MCE PCs or devices if DRM is activated. It also applies to music. It wont affect home movies unless you put a copyright music track in the background.

Green Screen debate

One of the things I think I'll be spending a lot of bandwidth on is linking to other sites I find interesting. I've got two whole semesters worth of New media stuff to get through, but to start here's a great discussion on the relative merits of green vs blue when it comes to chroma key compositing, first from the Digital Video Fuel forums.

KingLeonard's Crusade and the Search for Arcane Knowledge tm

Leading on from that is the further discussion at Wrigley Video forums (a great community and place to learn editing, especially Adobe Premiere).

kingLeonard's Crusade 2: The "Myth" of the Digital Greenscreen

Rocky's Birthday

My boy Rocky Murray turns 21 today. For those that aren't familiar with Rocky's work check out his video clips of daring do at Internet Stuntman.
Best of luck mate, enjoy your big day and try not to break anything.

Doonesbury, Politics and the Internet

From an article I wrote for the Queensland University of Technology Post Graduate Blog, the Many Hands Project.

U.S. cartoonist Garry Trudeau has been making waves last week with his daily Doonesbury cartoon strip. Labelled the Honest Voices Reading List he's been linking to blogs, forums and articles from supposedly Conservative voices in the lead up to the U.S. elections.

First up Monday was a Guest Commentary by son of the former Republican President Dwight Eissenhower.

With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

The site received so many hits it crashed.

Tuesday was an email from a Journalist of the conservative Wall Street Journal talking about the situation in Iraq.

I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote.

Wednesday: A former Reagan administrative official makes his statement about Bush.

Thursday: A Republican legislator makes this statement to his constituents before retiring at this election.

Friday: The Lone Star Iconoclast, Bush's home town newpaper, who endorsed him in 2000, writes this editorial.

(Interesting follow up to this article. Click

...several hundred people in or near Crawford, Texas, canceled their subscriptions after the editorial ran. But a few locals started subscriptions, and many other people from throughout the country signed up for mail subscriptions... But as much as the Iconoclast welcomes out-of-town readers... local advertisers prefer local readers who can patronize their businesses.

Actually, many local businesses pulled their advertising either to protest the paper's editorial or because of pressure from other businesses or residents. Different advertisers... including ones congratulating the Iconoclast on its courage... have arrived to pick up the slack, at least temporarily. Some of the new ads are running on the Iconoclast's Web site, which is now being read by thousands of people from all over.

A defeat for small town community or a victory for an international communication medium?)

Saturday: A piece from conservative columnist George Will in the Washington Post.

Then again, Trudeau isn't a stranger to using his strip and the internet for political purposes. Last year he arranged a FlashMob for then Democrat hopeful Howard dean via his strip. (Unfortunately the permalink to the archive has run out.) The event actually took place when supporters picked it up and ran with it.

It's an interesting use of various technologies to get a political point across. Doonesbury is published in approximately 1400 newspapers around the world, not to mention its daily internet subscriptions. If nothing else it's another interesting means of using humour to sell a serious political message.

A Beginning

It's late, I'm tired and yet somehow I stumbled across this place and thought to myself "Hey! Why not create a blog!" It seemed the thing to do.

I can't guarantee anything of interest, but hey, I don't expect anyone to drop by and read it anyway. If you have wandered in by mistake, feel free to drop me a line. The email address is around here somewhere I'm sure.