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 News.com

C|NET News.com

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 RayShaw.com.au 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 http://www.home.com
• 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 News.com

Keystroke Logging isn't Wiretapping

Via Slashdot.org

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, www.caseydonovan.com. The problem is, Casey's site is actually www.caseydonovan.com.AU. 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.

NEWS.com.au | 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 DV.com 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 DV.com, 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 Wired.com 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.