Saturday, December 31, 2011

Picture of a Bee of a Catnip Flower

Sorry to anyone looking for a story, this entry is simply what it says. But you're still welcome to have a look-see in any case :)

Honeybee on a Flowering Catnip Plant

Picture taken by Webmaster of View*Know*Do (this page)

Lazy and Inconsiderate Shoppers

Sounds like I'M MAD? Well more irritated by how people conduct themselves...and in public no-less -We're LIVING in a Society HERE!" As George 'Cantstandya' Costanza  from Seinfeld would say.

So what am I talking about? This picture below:

This photo was taken by me where a supermarket's car-park basically meets up with a public car-park. There are 10 (right?) shopping trolleys/carts in this photo. I'd say where that red circle is (indicating where the trolley/carts are stored is <10 meters away from where these have been discarded. How lazy is that I mean really? I'm sure all it took was the first stray trolley/cart to start the collection.

Funnily enough a member of the supermarket staff saw me taking the picture and informed me that they were doing regular checks of the car-park for this sort of thing and moving them. As you can probably see for yourselves this bunch was starting to obstruct traffic.

Anyhow something I thought was interesting enough to share. Also I know I referred to these as trolleys/carts - We tend to call them trolleys here, but I assume other areas call them carts - So what do you call them?

Welcome to 2012

Hi everyone, just wishing everyone good health and prosperity in 2012. 

Personally I am gearing up for the Chinese New Year on January 23rd as this year marks the year of the Dragon...and I am hoping it brings some positive enjoyable times to look forward to :) And Australia Day occurs 3 days after too :D

Considering my visitors enjoy pictures here is a picture of a piece of 'latte art' I managed to pull off (somehow). Enjoy :) ...And of course feel free to share to anyone you like (or otherwise :P)

'Love Heart' Latte Art

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The sad truth about Australian Retail

Recently I've read speculative reports that 2012 will see mass lay off's in the Australian retail sector. The thought of this coming to fruition unsettles me. Why? Because I too believe that there is a good chance that this scenario may be experienced.

A local trade 'n' sell page on Facebook saw one individual listing for sale a copy of a particular SONY PS3 game for $75 (firm lulz) that they had only played once but didn't like, adding that they had only recently paid $109 for it.

See the thing is I can buy this on-line at a vendor I know of for $'s overseas of course but it does offer free shipping and secure payment methods. To those wondering if $109 for a game is a ridiculous claim...sadly, it might not be as Australian gamers suffer having to pay premium prices for pretty much everything gaming such as software and hardware (those following from the earlier days might remember THIS older post about Australian video discrimination when it comes to release dates and prices

Apple were (/are still??) doing something similar; read about that HERE 

If these offers are recognised by the surging numbers of people activating Android and iOS devices (especially over Christmas + Boxing Day Holiday's) and Facebook being a massive scale Bulletin Board System (BBS) chances are word will get out and become 'viral' as they say these days...which could be catastrophic to 'traditional' stores.

What's worse for retailers is so-called 'Smart Phones' capability to act as a sophisticated bar code reading  device that can potentially return price results from a number of stores advertising their price and categorizing them by parameters such as how has the cheapest price.

I guess the real winner where all this takes off, will be the consumer. The effects of everyone having everything they could ever want and need plus more? That's a little harder to predict this early :P 

Thanks for reading, if you know anyone that might enjoy this site please let them know about the place. 

Seeing as how my visitors like pictures here is one of Gil from The Simpson's with a timeless quote that may unfortunately be echoed by some retailers here in Australia. I do not own this image it is merely a URL so if you are the owner and have objections please speak with me...Using the work in good faith

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

I hope everyone has had safe and enjoyable holiday season so far and if I don't sneak back online between friend and family visits...I wish everyone that end up on this page for whatever reason a Happy New Year and a Healthy, Prosperous, Enjoyable 2012 :)

A note on Advertising

I have noticed lately that professional and respected websites have made comments on advertisements hosted on their pages. As someone that endeavors to be professional and host to a respectable project I found it important to be open and honest in regards to revenue generated by view*know*do and other, somewhat associated projects.

I will host ads as permissible by Google's ad hosting service wherever I can. I would like readers to understand that whatever sum of money that may be generated is spent towards achieving personal Carbon neutrality for the author (AKA yours truly).

Obviously as contributions towards this noble goal (if I do say so myself :P) continue, the day when the dream is fulfilled draws closer - So what happens with the proceeds when that day comes? To be honest I'm not sure...I'm thinking either financing research which I will publish results of freely and openly, or donating to charity. Personally, at this point in time, I'm thinking the money would be better spent on research.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Catnip Garden Expansion

It was about 16 months ago I suppose that I bought a packet of catnip seeds. I got them at a run of the mill place for cheap, tossed some into whatever soil/potting mix I had at the time and hoped for the best.

The best turned out to be a great plant. It appears to be very tall with large leaves...and in the past it has produced viable seed. I think I've covered this before but the news is that I now have 3 established Catnip plants as well as a sprouted seed emerging in another pot. Wow, I'm really liking this :)

I harvested some leaves about 2 or 3 weeks back, froze some and dried it's all combined and the resident feline seems to really enjoy the stuff...although not to the same extent of some videos of cats under the influence (lulz) of catnip.

I decided to share all this because I got a really nice picture of a close up of a catnip 'bud' I suppose it is, which is just starting to flower now :P With a ladybird on it :)

I also have an older picture of the plant itself which can be found at an earlier entry here

The collected seeds with coin for size reference

Some loose leaves being weighed (not very accurately!)

Frozen and crushed Catnip

3 different types of Catnip...Clockwise from top right - Fresh, Dried, Frozen

Close up of a flowering head on a Catnip plant with a Ladybird on it :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thoughts on Christmas Shopping

Christmas is drawing close - coming up next week to be precise. I recently went Christmas shopping and thought about the annual ritual.

Year after year, I get more possessions thanks to family and friends which makes the list of potential gifts for me decreases - Not a good thing for those that want to show me how much I mean to them with a gift :P

Anyhow I get reading about things - How the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its rates to help out retailers, how millions of dollars ($400 million at least according to a recent Sydney Morning Herald Article "Millions of gift cards not redeemed" goes unused and that online shopping is killing traditional stores.

Addressing these; Firstly, going off general observation, the number of shoppers in the physical stores does not seem to have decreased, the numbers I believe have either stayed the same as previous years or increased. I dare say stores projected growth and perhaps didn't get it, or got the growth but everyone is spending less than was planned.

In saying this there also seems to be a lot of competition, as I said in a previous blog entry talking about the 'Bridesmaids' movie - If one gift someone was going to get someone else was that film, there are a lot of different ways of obtaining it.

The RBA lowered the interest rate, with the "Big 4" banks passing cuts (eventually). This resulted in news reporters to talk about how those cuts would provide for a better Christmas. Again, I'm not convinced this is the case, sure they save the money...but blowing the savings on Christmas, unlikely if you ask me - A portion of them? Likely. All of the savings? Very doubtful.

And finally the gift cards - Perhaps I've said it on this blog before, perhaps not. I share many a comedians criticism's of gift cards - Essentially money given to retailers in advance (before anything is actually redeemed) so they have credit up their sleeves. And it is like a currency in it's own right...that is only accepted at one particular place. In saying that, most stores offering gift cards have good variety to choose from...and a gift card ensures the recipient buys something 'appropriate' - Perfect for those inclined to buy 'inappropriate' items.

Some readers of my blog were surprised to see my incomplete listing of appliances that make for 'perfect gifts - The things like popcorn and milkshake makers. When a store sells these items for ~$30, are Australians really scrimping for a good Christmas? Those with larger families and kids might feel a squeeze but come on, Christmas only comes around once a year. It couldn't be planned for?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The new-age kitchen

Hello all,

Recently I have been busy (sorry regulars) and haven't created an entry so I made an effort to publish one now. As I'm sure you all know the Christmas season is well upon us, people out shopping, school presentations and performances, the music, movies...the buzz is certainly in the air.

Anyhow I've done well over the years and have pretty much accumulated just about every appliance I could ever want...and a few other bits and pieces too. I must be so hard to buy for :P

So I got talking to someone about how in High School the textbooks in Food Technology talked about how the family kitchen had changed between say the 1960's and say the 90's.

The kitchen is home (or can be) to all sorts of weird, wacky and wonderful pieces of equipment.

Think about it...a 'modern' kitchen can bake fresh bread, make cupcakes/muffins or pancakes or crepes...there are popcorn makers, juice extractors of all sorts and sizes...kettles, toasters, sandwich presses, food 'processors', deep fryers, electric knives, Microwave ovens, convection ovens, pressure cookers, slow cookers, snow cone makers, ice cream makers, pie makers pizza ovens, snack ovens, food dehydrators, electric can openers, coffee makers, milk shake makers, electric beaters...the list goes on.

I dunno about you but when I go out shopping for Christmas and see the shelves lined with all the appliances I think of how much electricity is consumed by all the contraptions....let alone the cache of television sets every electrical appliance store have in stock.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photograph of a Red Back Spider

Warning to those suffering from a phobia of spiders, perhaps you might want to stop scrolling down now :)

I noticed a number of my loyal followers (deep thanks everyone) area from living in Australia. My decision to share a photo I took of an Australian Native...the Kookaburra has been received well.

Sometimes I take for granted that I live in an area where I I see such beautiful native species, I feel in the mood for sharing lately and sharing the enjoyment that it brings.

What I'm sharing now is a photo of an infamous native Australian spider - The Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasselti). Named for obvious reasons this spider has a striking red marking on its back and its  extremely toxic venom.

...The specimen shown below was captured in my very own backyard area.

Enjoy at your own risk :)

Redback Spider

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Photograph of a Kookaburra

And now...for something completely different!

Well I did have a photography blog I made especially for things like this but to be honest I never used that blog much at all, it just never happened.

Here is a picture of the standard I had hoped for a photography blog...It is a Kookaburra - The use of zoom reduced the overall quality a little bit but I think it's still a decent photo.

The Kookaburra is a native bird of Australia and neighboring island's. It is quite an interesting bird...recognized by most for its distinctive 'laughing'. I believe there is a "dream time" story (Aboriginal culture) about how the Kookaburra got its laugh.

Anyhow here is the picture - It was taken by me at a place near where I work. Enjoy :)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Well I came on to blog about something else (see next entry) and saw I was hosting an ad for the new Zelda game for the Nintendo Wii. I rented this the game and I really enjoyed it, what I played of it anyhow.

I asked a friend who is into gaming what games he was currently playing, Skyward Sword was one of them although he'd only played through the tutorial so far.

I too only got a little bit into the game (only over night rental and I ended up doing something else other than playing it) although I was impressed with what I experienced.

I hope this game is a success for Nintendo, who I hope have more good products up their sleeves.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First YouTube Video

Well, submitted in accordance with revenue making policy. It's the espresso I made during lunch today. I am no expert and don't even know if I'm doing it correctly or not...but what I do know for sure is that introducing a strong coffee into my lunch break has had a noticeable impact on my afternoon productivity :P

Here it is, I'm interested to see how many views it receives as I have never taken too much notice of YouTube statistics before and I'm sure it's interesting to here goes. Someone give me at least 1 view to start me off :D

The video was recorded with my 2011 generation 'smart' phone.

Out in nature

...of sorts

I have a small little garden area, pretty much inappropriate for successfully growing anything too much. Anyhow I've managed to get catnip to grow from seeds. That plant then went on to produce viable seeds so I collected them earlier this year.

I now have 3 catnip plants growing. I plan on harvesting ~50% of the fragrant leaves on the biggest (mother) plant and perhaps trading it as treats for cats that like to tune out :P

Another thing that is curious about my garden is that each year a bunch of small 'cherry'-like tomato plants spring up out of nowhere. I don't really like these particular tomatoes but I figure this year I will harvest them and offer them to my coworkers.

Here is a picture of my mother catnip plant and some closeups of the tomato plants - I might take more pics as things progress.

Oh and I can't resist showing off my 'Pineapple Sage' plant, the leaves smell like sweet pineapple - I love it :D

Thanks for reading - I plan on growing carrots next, but with a an old fish tank as a grow box.

The 'Sage Pineapple'

'Mother' Catnip

Green Tomatoes

More Tomatoes to come

Monday, November 21, 2011

Going out?

Hi everyone, to my regulars I apologize for my infrequent posts - I am actually trying to reduce how much time I spend on the computer and the internet. Although, ironically enough, the more I "live my life" the more content I find myself with to share on this very blog.

Anyhow here's something I noticed as I made sure to log out of Facebook (time sinkhole, privacy black hole). Facebook offers a prompt after logging out "Heading out? Stay connected Visit on your mobile phone.

I'm trying to escape Facebook and it wants me to operate it on my phone? I never liked the locations feature on Facebook for one reason - I don't like to advertise to everyone my whereabouts. 

Something else about Facebook I noticed recently (After Steve Jobs died) is that if a number of 'friends' say a particular word such as a name, place, event, movie, etc Facebook files them together and bumps them up your news feed.

It's pretty amazing the influence one website can have over a person...although people have been going to Google for guidance for years now :P

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What are Nintendo up to?

It was around this time last year that I finally went out and bought a Wii, I recall Nintendo had just recently released the Mario Anniversary console that was that funny red colour and came with a copy of New Super Mario Bros (??) as well as basically Mario All-Stars and a book.

I couldn't wait though and bought the Motion Plus pack with Sports Resort...I just wanted to get it home and set up - After all, Donkey Kong Country Returns was coming out. That and Goldeneye was an exclusive.

Not 12 months later and the console bundled with Mario Kart is about half the price I paid for my system.

Moving on...I have had Nintendo's for over 20 years - NES, Gameboy, SNES, N64, DS and Wii. I am not overly blown away by the 3DS - In fact considering certain 'Smart' Phones have the same 3D technology integrated, Steve Jobs philosophy of integration of components into ONE unit, perhaps people will no longer want a seperate device for hand held gaming - Android, iOS, Windows Mobile 7 and other mobile OS's will probably swoop in more than they already have - And the SONY PSP best watch out too.

I'm concerned about Nintendo now as they might be heading down the path of SEGA and focusing attention on developing software - Iconic branded games such as Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, etc for other hardware platforms.

Supposedly this Christmas season the weight of Nintendo's holiday success balances on...the redesign of the Wii (sits down flat and doesn't have backwards Gamecube capability) and the release of the new Zelda game Skyward Sword.

I don't think it's going to be enough personally - The Wii has been out for years, if they are looked after the consoles last for years people already have Wii's - And Zelda? Great games but they don't suit everybody's taste. Perhaps if Nintendo did focus in on game software hings wouldn't be THAT bad...I mean theoretically they'd have more time towards making great games.

I just hope to never see them on SONY.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cowbell Aplenty!

Today I was introduced to a new piece of music, something I really needed as I haven't made a significant new music discovery it what feels like 12 months (Eliza Doolittle).

The song is also an awesome song - Magic Carpet Ride, covered by Stonefield (group of chicks).

The Bruce Dickinson (SNL Christopher Walken) would have been impressed, as the cowbell player really did explore the recording space with this rendition of a classic song originally by Steppenwolf.

The song is on the recent Triple J release 'Like a Version Volume Seven' (or YouTube it).

Just because I found it amusing, here is a shot of Google Chrome spot on the money with their search prediction :D

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jay-Z 'Occupy's opportunity to ca$h in

In the news this evening Jay-Z (who? lol j/k he's some form of entertainer to particular audiences) has been criticized for selling 'Occupy Wall St' themed shirts and they have been taken down for sale (AKA everyone wanting one now).

I wondered what caused the criticism that lead to taking the item of the shelves (online store)...perhaps a lot of Wall St. "Suits" are big Jay-Z aficionado's and took offense? Hmm maybe...Perhaps more likely, a faceless corporation affiliated with Jay-Z, such as SONY, had board members that wanted to 'stick it' to 'Occupy' supporters and removed the shirts from sale.

I was off on both assumptions - What was I thinking? The criticism came from 'Occupy' supporters and general observation that Jay-Z et al. would be making MONEY from the sales. Jay-Z and his crew are trying to piggyback on the notoriety of others...probably sourcing garments from sweat shops and investing the high profit margin into financing corporate scum - All from a notion that this kind of behavior is wrong.

It makes me think of Che Guevara, his approach to popular/consumer culture, and how the iconic image of his face is sloganized on all sorts of commercial merchandise.

Because my readers also like a bit of video footage, and I'd never seen a Che Guevana video before I figured I'd share a video I found uploaded by someone on YouTube - A poem read by Che Guevara, written by 'A desperate man'  w/ Enlgish Subtitles.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Call of Duty's New Sales Record(s) - Steam Hacked

It blows my mind when I hear things about a game pulling in $400 million by moving more than 6.5 million units on its first day in North America and the United Kingdom. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 did just that with news reports revealing the details just today - Perhaps more amazingly it broke its own sales records, set and broken in 2009 and again in 2010 (that must be a record in it's own right).

People talk about the video game industry being a billions of dollars per year industry...seems as though it's close to becoming a billions PER DAY industry.

In other news, Steam, the online video game provider/network, has been infiltrated by hackers reportedly leaving 35 million users vulnerable and potentially exposing their credit card details...

Finally recent analysis has shown that Nintendo and Sony's combined portable games revenue has gone from  81% (of all revenue from portable game software) in 2009, to an estimated 42% this year. (Source Macworld Australia/Flurry Analytics). News of this left me wondering what will result from this state of affairs. Steve Jobs of Apple once said something about integrating many functions into one device (i.e. e-books on an iPad rather than having a dedicated e-book reader device). Considering this one must wonder if portable games devices will become a thing of the past. 3D capable smart phones are already on the market...when games are made for them the 3DS is in deep trouble whilst SONY appears to be making a transition already, with their N*Gage-like PSP/Phone hybrid device.

Is it possible that exclusive Nintendo games may one day be affiliated with iOS or perhaps Android will land an exclusive relationship with Nintendo, afterall Google did give an approving nod to Nintendo game Starfox/Lylat Wars by including an Easter Egg associated with the games phrase/internet meme "Do a Barrel Roll"

Invitation to earn revenue from your YouTube videos

The title of this blog entry is the email subject received recently. It was good to finally see this particular email arrive in the email inbox - YouTube is great.

Unfortunately the ideas one may have about video content for YouTube may consist of content which would render the video ineligible for earning income with - Content including video game/software footage, favorite music and video scenes.

These restrictions are what some would call unfair. On one hand people are encouraged to 'share' YouTube content on popular online networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogger etc promoting things like songs and movie/video game trailers...on the other hand, individuals don't have the rights to "use" the content to liven up their own videos.

One can 'favorite' items, subscribe, comment on videos, link to, 'share' and so on...but to include any content that isn't yours, and making money from it is out of the question.

As an individual, what chances would one person have in gaining permission from a major copyright holder to use their material in order to make a few extra dollars on the side? Extra dollars earned online, with the proceeds spent on internet access.

Apparently recording software (i.e. A video demonstrating what Apple iOS 5 is capable of/how it works/what it looks like) is deemed more 'commercial' than educational  and it is not permissible where one intends to generate income from the video (yet some people pay for private education all the time).

You'd hate to think that people that create good video content will stop because what they can and cannot do is controlled to the point where it's not worth the trouble in trying to do something good both for themselves, as well as for others.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Selling Movies - Wasting potential

"Potential what?" I hear you ask...well I'll type my thoughts out and let you answer that yourselves :)

Recently I noticed seems most places you go, no matter really where you are there's always someone trying to sell you a movie. What am I talking about? The advertising for the movie Bridesmaids.

It's everywhere, it's available on DVD and Blu Ray, Movies on Demand (PayTV), as well as download for rent or to own. Supermarkets are trying to sell it, department stores, internet stores, video get junk mail where the cover of it alone takes up about 1/3 of the page, it's sponsored on websites like YouTube and the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) and I bet it's been promoted on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Considering the movie costs typically about $20 at most of the places selling it I believe everyone actively promoting it are running a significant risk seeing as how competitors doing exactly the same thing they are.

I doubt I'll ever buy that particular movie, if I do chances are someone will show it to me, or I'll rent it... preferably when it gets cheaper to rent seeing how I'm not running out to see it. This means all the promotions and advertising was wasted on me, buy a lot of different businesses.

The philosophy behind advertising and persuading a consumer aside...

What I don't like is the grade of film that has this financial risk associated to it. Discs, cases, covers, posters, junk mail (printed catalogs - paper, ink, graphical designers, printers, delivers), transporting and someone putting them up for display/sale...all for the price of $20. How many people do they expect to buy it for $20 before copies end up in bargain bins for $5 a pop?

I can envision that this movie also has some product placement, which I have written about previously about a somewhat similar production The 40 Year Old Virgin

The budget for the project has been estimated at $32.5 million (IMDB) and has generated $281 million worldwide as of September 4 2011 (IMDB).

I can't help but think of how that money could have been spent, and the time and effort people put into it from the beginning the the end of production, distribution and sale.

Yogurt Making

As followers may have picked up on I am a supporter of self sufficiency - I don't like being at the mercy of others, or at least I like to minimize the amount of people/products/services I need to rely on. A perfect example is my goal of installing enough solar to generate what I use...perhaps more, but that's a different matter altogether.

I have a home brew kit, a pie maker, and am awaiting a bread maker that someone has said they will give me. The funny thing is that I know I can produce the end products without the use of these devices but I will admit they do make the process easier in most cases.

What did I get the other day? Well if you paid any attention to the blog title you'll have "guessed" - A yogurt maker. I figured they were cheap (on sale for $20) and if it produced yogurt to the quality (or better) than the stuff I buy occasionally it'll be worth the purchase.

The maker is a EasiYo design, which is used along with the companies line of make your own yogurt starter cultures. What you do is mix the contents of the starter culture with water in a 1L container provided as part of the yogurt maker kit. Once mixed well the 1L container with the mix goes into what I'll call the incubator, which is an insulated (??) container that encloses the 1L container inside along with hot water to encourage the growth of the starter cultures. The 1L container sits in the humid, warm environment for between 8-12 hours (up to 24 hours) until the yogurt 'sets'.

For my first batch so far I used a Strawberry flavored starter packet. These are sold separately to the yogurt maker (you don't get a packet with the kit to start you off with) and costed depending on the variety - There is a premium range which obviously costs more. My packet cost ~$3.70, which produced 1L of fresh yogurt.

The kit comes with a booklet on how to use the yogurt maker, as well as some recipes, information on the other products available (extra containers, start cultures) as well as information on yogurt. As I said when I bought this it was because it was on sale, it is a novelty idea, and a bit of fun. One thing about it is how healthy the yogurt it makes is, with claims of billions of good bacteria in every spoonful (they state some yogurts only have millions of the same bacteria).

Like my home brew kit, this yogurt maker is a great practical unit for bringing science to life! I mean you can learn a lot about microbiology with one of these babies!

Below is a picture of the unit, minus the 1L container...which is in the fridge about 1/3 full which I forgot to take out for the picture (and I am too lazy redo :P)

The box the kit came in, the booklet that came with it, a packet of 'real base and culture' (sold separately) and what I described as the 'incubator' 

Not pictured: 
The 1L container that houses the culture + water mix and goes inside the 'incubator' to make it's journey into becoming yogurt (can be seen in the illustration on the kit box)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kim Kardashian is a loser

Well something sure has ended my struggle with writers block - Kim Kardashian.

"News" broke recently (today?) that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from whoever agreed to marry her (a New Jersey NBA player?). I obviously don't see in Kim what the leagues of others seem to. The marriage that lasted the whole of what? 72 days is just another reason I dislike this horrible celebrity.

I, like many others I'm sure, had never even heard of this person until her sex tape started doing the rounds on the internet. I don't know who did the marketing of that video but attaching the name to it did wonders for her success it would seem.

She later went on to star in a flurry of bad television and movies as well as promoting perfume and, again I guess, beauty products for self conscious people.

Her Twitter account is like one tacky billboard strategically tweeting product brands, places or people. Considering she has just under 11 million followers, what she says publicly to these followers COULD be positive, but instead they seem to be shallow sales pitches for crap people don't need.

What irritates me is that her wedding was reportedly paid for with 500 guests, designer attire as well as income from the freak-show such as exclusive 'stories' and photographs.

The whole thing is ridiculous, I really hope that people stop and think for what reason they even acknowledge the existence of this parasite. Gay couples are fighting for their right to marry the person they love, all the while this person in the spotlight makes the whole institution of marriage look like a joke.

I believe it was Elizabeth Taylor that was asked to make comment on Kim Kardashian on a recent episode of 60 Minutes who sort of tip toed around the matter - I'll put my foot down and say that Kim Kardashian is trying to capitalize on mirroring herself on successful this case, sacrificing dignity for being the flavor of the month photo on the front cover of magazines and getting some publicity.

Kim is in her 30's now, she exhibits NONE of the traits of a truly successful person. She isn't a 'strong' woman, she doesn't even seem to have any self respect. If this sort of character is what anyone admires and aspires to be...I say if the end is nigh, it isn't nigh enough...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cheap Drink Dispenser

I was out shopping one day at the supermarket, I was pretty bored and had time to kill so I got looking at what was available and why I'd want to pay good money for certain products.

Then an idea struck.

Have you ever seen those large containers of 'natural spring' water? I used to stack them when I worked at the supermarket - People who go out into the wild camping and people that live outside the town water supply buy them for safe drinking water - And certain people that don't trust tap water also buy them because it's basically bottled water bought in bulk.

Anyhow they come in different sizes but it was the 10 liter container that got my attention...10 liters? That's how much cordial you get out of one bottle of concentrate. If I poured 1 or 2 liters out and added cordial concentrate in I'd have a container full of cordial! And these containers have taps on them so I could dispense it into a glass of a bottle with ease! Wow I was onto something :D

I bought the cheapest 10L container of water (price $4.09) I could find as well as a 1L (super concentrated) container of lime flavored cordial (name brand @ $3.99) which totaled $8.08. I got home and poured out 1L of the water and substituted it with the 1L of cordial and gave it a nice shake up. Success! It worked like a dream and the container fits into my fridge so it can be chilled.

The best thing is you don't have to buy the brand name cordial and you can make this whole idea even cheaper. Look after the container and you can reuse it, it's like a one time investment - Have you seen how much commercial drink dispensers are? This thing works essentially the same and it even has two handles on it.

Anyhow this is probably something people have been doing for a long time but I've never seen it myself so I figured I may as well share it (which you are also free to do if you want to). Some pictures of this set up are below.

The containers of water in the supermarket, note the handle and tap and that they are stack-able

The container with lime cordial, note in this picture there is a robust handle on the top

The price of convenience - Red Apples

Well I've just copied photos taken on my smartphone to the PC and come up with a lot of ideas for blog entries (that was the idea but I've been a bit busy/lazy to follow through with it).

One that jumped out at me straight away was a product at my local supermarket that I found to be absurd. They sell packets of sliced apples in the fresh chilled produce section. The bags are little by anyone's standards weighing in at 80g. As you will see in the pictures below one packet costs $1.27 which in unit pricing equates to $15.88 per kg - Now that's expensive! One night I noticed no one had been buying them (perhaps the store got it wrong and people AREN'T suckers) and the product had been reduced to 64c which is still $8 per kg.

I walked perhaps 10 paces to the apple stand where fresh red apples were selling for $2.84 per kg. This means if you could find an apple that weighed say 200g it would cost 56.8c...but you would be burdened with having to cut it up yourself.

I understand the logic behind paying for convenience but this example just made me shake my head. Think about it, there's extra cost associated with the packaged product because there has been additional processing, the packaging, and the fact it needs to be in transported/stored under refrigeration.

The product (with reduced price)

The original pricing

The price for apples without the extra processing

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Enough Trees in Australia to neutralize CO2 produced?

Another day...another bit of quick research, calculations and theories :D

Living in Australia if you travel at all, you travel a lot because of the sheer size of the place and distance between populated areas. One thing I have done a bit of over the last few months is planting trees, giving away free trees, encouraging people to plant a tree (it really is a rewarding, feel good experience) and taking care of a small garden/helping others with their own gardens.

As some will recall I am employed in the environmental sector - I'd felt office-bound for too long and the whole tree planting experience was good for my mind, body and soul (tried not to be cliche but seems there's no avoiding it).

One thing I started to notice during this recent activity was tree plantation efforts of others. Driving up the highway one thing you see is a lot of trees and young saplings that have just been planted or well on the way to becoming healthy adolescent trees.

I'll mention at this stage I'm talking about Australian native trees, they survive well in the absence of water (thanks to adapting to the local weather).

On one of my more recent trips on the highway I got thinking..."wow there are a lot of trees, I wonder if the numbers of trees in Australia and their ability to absorb and utilize CO2 represents a significant figure - Something to counter argue the need of the carbon tax".

As with yesterday's experiment, the passing of the Government's Carbon Package has driven me to do some research. And here is what I discovered:

According to one acre of trees stores 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year. And according to Google's Public Data Explorer (World Bank World Development Indicators) there are 1,493,000Km2 (368,928,334 acres) of forests in Australia.

This means 959,213,668.4 tonnes is already being absorbed by trees in Australia (theoretically speaking). If you divide this by 23 tonnes (CO2 per capita - As given by...wikipedia) a population of >41mil would have their contributions to CO2 neutralized this way. Australia's Population is <23mil.

Given this information, how a tax on Carbon pollution for Australia came to be  becomes...just more frustrating a thought. On one hand the Government expects us to reduce Carbon Pollution, on the other hand they encourage an ever-increasing population...which is a real problem. The Australian Government encourages this with financial benefits, leave entitlements, etc. The population rises, trees fall victim to urban sprawl (2010 forest coverage is down considerably from 1990) and our standard of living is sacrificed. Point in case? The Carbon Tax. A tax imposed on this generation for living in the transitional period between reliance on fossil fuels and the emergence of a clean technological era which can be proved as being the natural order of things anyhow. 

Sure organic decay also contributes to greenhouse gas concentrations (however small the scale) but 'forests' aren't the only plants in the Country - We are also a country of keen gardeners.

Given this information just makes me question the need and true purpose of a Carbon Tax. How about you?

Australia subject to Carbon Tax. Unnecessary?

Well the Australian Labor Government's 'Carbon Package' was voted in favor this morning. I have mixed feelings about the whole situation.

One thing this decision has done is prompted me to finally make a blog entry I've wanted to do for quite awhile, but it never happened before due to various reasons (mostly laziness :P), until now.

I am a firm believer that technology is steering "us" towards more sustainable living as it is...without taxing people. If you've read my blog for awhile you'll have seen entries about energy efficiency and use of resources.

Today I will post some amateur, independent...and well rushed research I have conducted - The difference in energy demand between VHS/VCR and DVD technology. Enjoy, and if you know people that would be interested, could learn something or need something like this for homework by all means feel free to share :)

Okay here it is...

Aim:      To determine the differences between VHS/VCR and DVD technology in terms of energy

Method: Play 'The Big Lebowski in both VHS and DVD formats on compatible playback devices whilst
             gathering data on energy consumption from a power meter device (as found in stores)

The DVD set-up: DVD Player connected to power through a power meter

DVD playback maintained a power consumption rate of 5 Watts, skipping chapters did not result in an increase of energy demand.

 The VCR set-up: DVD Player connected to power through a power meter

The VHS tape (ex-rental)  reaches this classification screen at 13m:18s in...

 The power consumed during Fast Forwarding (and Rewinding for that matter) runs at 9-10 Watts. 
Note: I did not time how long it took to Fast Forward to this point

VHS playback maintained a power consumption rate of 8 Watts

Conclusion: To play a DVD (in this instance...variation would presumably exist between difference
                    brands/models) requires 3 Watts LESS than it takes to play the VHS format.
                    The VHS tape requires rewinding after it has been watched for re-viewing

Further notes:

1. The Big Lebowski has a running time of 119 minutes
2. The tape length of a 'E-120' VHS cassette is 173.7 metres (570ft) - 18.8m of tape is involved to reach the 13 minute mark (to the classification screen, as above).

I hope you have enjoyed this

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'Bali Boy' - A reflection

It's been in the national news here in Australia for about a week now - A 14 year old Australian male got caught in Indonesia with 3.6 grams of cannabis bought from a peddler on the streets and is now held up in prison. I'm not sure if the news broke elsewhere in the world so for overseas visitors I will try to paint the scene to make this all relevant.

The Australian Government made the efforts to get the boy released a top priority - Every day there has been updates, the boy is repenting (oh wow someone caught up in the law regrets their actions and getting busted AFTER the event), he claims he was 'pushed' into buying it like he had no other option, and now the legal representative is trying to worm him out by using his age and seeking out loopholes in the countries law - He might be able to get leniency if he admits he has a drug 'problem' (habit?).

At this stage I'll point out that, to me, going down this avenue blows the kids credibility to bits...first he was forced to buy it...and now he has a drug problem?!? Give me a break I doubt he was pushed into it if he was dependent on the substance.

Moving on, another Australian tourist in the area claims that around the time of this kids arrest he was harassed by drug dealers - I find this to be of no consequence, he didn't buy it which demonstrates if the kid didn't want the marijuana he didn't have to buy it.

Well that's the I want to talk hypocrisy. This kid gets caught breaking the law overseas. A law that exists here (minus the nature of the penalty). This kid faces 'up to' 6 years imprisonment in an Indonesian prison...which would suck, majorly but hey, those are the breaks.

In Australia someone caught and convicted of possessing marijuana is subject to life altering consequences ranging from fines, prison time, inability to travel overseas, etc

So why is this individual receiving special treatment?

One thing this situation HASN'T done is created any intelligent discussion on drug law in Australia - Which is simply absurd. I was hoping it would, but no.

The news has even boasted about how the boy has been contacted by Ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (as the foreign minister), current Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and the member of Parliament from the boys electorate (who also happens to be the controversial Climate Change Minister) Greg Combet. What's this got to do with anything? Well these Australian Government Officials have spent time speaking with a known criminal - Whether you are compassionate to the boy and his situation or not the fact is these officials have spent time on the issue - Time is money and tax payers finance these peoples time. That's right, tax payers are effectively supporting someone caught with drugs overseas.

The whole situation just makes me wonder what the hell the real objective is. Rescuing a boy from a situation he got himself in which others aren't so lucky to be pardoned/excused/forgiven for?

Admit the cannabis laws are stupid - Now is their opportunity to set things straight, to be fair and to make things right. What are the chances of this happening? I'd probably die of shock if anything changes as a result of this incident...but I can live in hope.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Advertising - Banks, Charities, Booze and Insurance

Today I logged into Facebook, had a quick look to see if anyone said anything original, shared anything entertaining or enlightening, or if anyone had posted on my wall or anyone had requested friendship - You know, the usual...I spent about 5 minutes there :P

One thing jumped out at me, a 'sponsor' ad for my financial institute. They have turned 100 years old (or are going to shortly) and are offering $100 to those that sign up two different account types with them by the end of the month AND use their card 5 times by December 14. It turns out you have to apply in-branch and it applies for the first 10,000 customers only - Meaning if they all take up the offer, the bank is giving away 1 million dollars...Brilliant.

This really irritates me. I mean it's my bank paying money to run an ad, trying to capture more clients and doing this by giving away funds. I've been a member of the bank since I was like 3, that's just over 20 years. I'd rather they look after loyal clients like me than run with these gimmicks.

I understand some believe that you have to spend money to make money and that this will be a good investment in the long run but I have different thoughts on the matter. If customer satisfaction were to be increased and clients of the bank seemed to be well of financially, these people would be more inclined to recommend the bank to their friends, family, peers, work colleagues, etc and anyone else that might ask.

I got thinking about other advertising that I can remember off the top of my head.

Red Cross Blood Donations - I saw this on Windows Live Messenger. The first thing I did was open a chat window with a friend that is Anti-Microsoft and asked him if he figured the Red Cross paid for the ads or if Microsoft gave it to them for free, or gave it to them and claimed it on tax somehow. He figured the latter, I still wonder...

Everything else I notice tends to be for Alcohol and Insurance...oh and Fast Food too I suppose.And I tend not to notice ads on websites...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple iPhone 4S

The 'new', or rather 'updated' iPhone "4S" was announced yesterday. It boasts increased processor speed (equal to the iPad 2), an upgraded camera (8MP) with 1080p HD video with stabilization to parallel most rivals (eg HTC) as well as some basic photo/video editing options, enhanced voice recognition 'Siri', and better battery life...oh and something about better reception and a new operating system.

Personally I have never had an iPhone. Sure I know plenty of people that do, the number of people I know that own them seems to increase more and more every month - With a special mention of my brother who I'd never have picked as ever having one.

With a swag of Twitter tweets about the disappointment in how un-revolutionary (my way of putting it) this new device is...I must say I believe this might get more people than me and the usual Apple cynics questioning in what direction the device is going, what additional features can be crammed into the device and how many features users truly want and need and how easily/readily people will integrate them into their life.

Already technology writers are focusing on the iPod range. When Apple appears to be trying to get everyone to use an iPhone by making it more affordable and having all the features social network users could want and makes one wonder if people are carrying a phone that has the function of an iPod built into, why would they buy an standalone portable music/video player? It's just another thing to carry around, keep an eye on, make sure its battery is charged, etc.

I never understood why someone would want a 160gig iPod classic anyhow, how many people have that much music (or want to watch videos on its screen) as well as needing it in their pocket?

One other thing I got thinking was about Tim Cook selling this product. Steve Jobs could arguably sell anything to Apple loyalists...with the new guy pitching them, has the flair disappeared? Are people seeing past the hype of "OMG Steve Jobs like's it so much he is promoting it personally!" and seeing these things as what they really are?

One speculated change to the then rumored 'iPhone 5' was the removal of the "Home" button, a button that many people questioned the use/need of. Curiously double clicking (I thought that was a Windows thing?) the home button now on the iPhone 4S activates the camera.

I do give Apple credit, even if their 'revolutionary' products may not be exactly that per se, I think that it's undeniable that they have driven changes in technology and how people interact with those changes, all I am wondering now is whether technology has run out of steam. Besides 3D, increasing specs of components that already exist (processors, memory, storage, camera capabilities), and software that takes advantage of and finds new uses for the hardware...I just don't see what other avenues exist for expansion in the consumer handheld technology sector.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time spent on Facebook

Hi all, I was looking at a few old text files I authored just now and came across 'Facebook Timewaster.txt' - In the past I used to write about things and post them on forums online, or on Facebook as notes...sometimes I used to just write them out and send them to people I knew because I thought they might be interested to read what I had created.

This file was created on April 29th 2011 and gives a source...which is now out of date, as it no longer gives the figure - But I assure you at the time of creation it was given, and I recorded it accurately.

Anyhow the information is about how much time is spent on Facebook in a month, I did some calculations (if you notice an error I'm happy to have it pointed out).


"People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook"



60 minutes * 24 hours of a day

= 1,440 minutes

1,440 minutes (one day)


700,000,000,000 minutes (Spent on Facebook) / 31 days (longest month used)

= 22,580,645,161 minutes (spent every day on Facebook)


1,440 minutes of a day

= 15,681,003 days spent a day on Facebook


36,600 days (100 Earth leap years)

= 428 (100 year lifespans where every year was a 366 day leap year)


I still think that although that much time is spent logged into Facebook, it doesn't represent the reality, as their is no indication of things like how much of that time users are logged in represents idle time...or any suggestion as to how many 'real' accounts exist (i.e. One could be logged into multiple accounts at the same time).

TODAY, October 4, 2011 Facebook's statistics page boasts that there are "More than 800 million active users" and that "More than 50% of our active users log into Facebook in any given day".

I want to crunch some more numbers (I have a problem :P)

Using a figure of 50% of the active users logging in for say, today...and using a flat figure of 800 million users we could assume 400 million users will log in. There ARE 31 days in this month so we'll use the (dated) figure of daily minutes spent calculated above of 22,580,645,161 minutes and we'll average it out across those 400 million users; giving us the result of each of the 400mil users spending ~56.5 minutes on Facebook.

I don't know about you but the thought of 400 million people (big assumption) spending just under 1/24 (4.16%) of their day on Facebook boggles my mind...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Names on Coke Bottles

Hi everyone,

I'm unsure whether this is just an Australian thing or if it's happening in other places but a new marketing campaign of Coca Cola is to put peoples names (150 different boys and girls names) on the bottles (just 600ml I think) and suggesting that you share a coke with them.

Now I've got a bit of research behind me in regards to Coca Cola and how it promotes the brand, especially their signature cola product. This one seems fairly straightforward...put popular names on the label of the bottles - people with those names will want one; people will wonder why names are on the bottles and look it up on the internet - BOOM the company peddling the stuff get their attention.

One other thing they may or may not have predicted (I'd imagine they'd have expected it) is people are taking photos of the bottles, and tagging Friends on Facebook in the photo because it has their name on it. Coca Cola really are, even if in a very small way, integrating themselves into another element of modern culture.

Personally I just wish Coca Cola would reduce their prices, I mean last time I checked a 2L bottle from the Coca Cola soft drink range (Colas, Lift, Fanta, Sprite) they were $3.45 a unit...more than the price of fuel for the car. Sure most of the year there are multi-buy deals they aren't really good if you only really want one bottle and don't want to hoard a bunch of bottles around your place until a time you might want them. Though reducing the price wouldn't be a gimmick I suppose, and wouldn't make the company as much why would they?

Below is a picture of these new bottles that I am describing in this post. One final thing I'll say is my name is never on the trinket ranges you see in gift and souvenir places. I always used to check, often I still will...but these days I'm glad that my name doesn't appear on things. It's like I fall outside the marketing campaign, that I am free and liberated from being a target audience...the joy of not being sold anything!

My brother did visit Hawaii last year and my name must be more common over there as I finally have a key-ring that bears my name on it :P Also, before I show you the picture, have you ever known anyone with the name Aarav? I sure have haven't. No disrespect to the name or anyone named Aarav but I put this in the same classification as 'BORT' license plates on The Simpsons. Perhaps those that were informing Coca Cola the 150 most popular names decided to troll them a bit and threw that little gem in?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

IBM 120 Petabyte 'Drive'

This is file #2 of what I'll label as being the lost blog entries. A file created on August 31st 2011, published for the first time...right now, October 2nd 2011. I hope you enjoy it.

A project being undertaken by IBM being discussed on an online message board the other night got my attention - A 120 Petabyte Hard Disk Drive run by using 200,000 regular computer hard drives. I ran a search of the topic on an online search engine and there were news stories about it claiming it to be the biggest of its kind.

Frankly, I was underwhelmed. Compare me to the likes of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, but when you break it down, those 200,000 HDD's are packing on average just under 630GB (from memory of my earlier calculations), which for hard drives selling on the market today is talking the lower end of storage capacity. For about 5c per GB that 2 Terabyte HDD's retail for, this project is (not factoring in labor for installation and setup, nor electricity requirements) is the range of about $6 million dollars - A lot of money for everyday people but spare change to, I would imagine, the product that this storage system is making available.

In the news story, it is speculated that in the near future cloud computer infrastructure will incorporate storage systems like this project as an industry standard. I wonder when the 1TB 'thumb' drive will be available. I am still fascinated about the storage capacity of not only SD cards but MicroSD cards. I am amazed that movies that were once in massive film canisters and in VHS cassettes now fit on the size of a fingernail (no piracy).

The largest HDD I have now is 2TB (less formatted) as well as a portable 640GB HDD powered by USB alone. Master the possibilities!

Steve Jobs - Thanks for the memories

Hi everyone, this is obviously an older blog post...I typed it up on my netbook which I must have intended to use as my system of choice for blogging...but it never worked out. Here it is, the lost entry on the stepping down of Steve Jobs from his baby, Apple Inc.

Well the news broke last week, Co-Founder of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs has stood down from his position of head of Apple Inc. due to inability to fulfill the requirements of the position.

I have watched 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' as well as 'Triumph of the Nerds' and 'Nerds 2.01'. The first computer I ever recall using was an Apple of some sort, I first saw what the internet was on an Apple computer, I loved the colorful iMacs and I've seen the popularity of iPods, iPhones and iPads first hand. The Mac Mini's...boy if people knew the power and ease of a home entertainment system based on this system was!

Although I primarily use Microsoft Windows and dabble with a few different distributions of Linux (representin' holla) I do see the importance of and influential prowess of the brand that is Apple.
Time will tell if Apple the brand and continued success, growth and innovation can exist without the great leader of the past.

My thoughts are with Steve Jobs, his family, his friends and everyone that this man's presence has had an impact on.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christmas Decorations

Hey everyone,

The weekend just past I went shopping (more browsing than anything else). I was hoping for a little bit of retail therapy, but as usual I didn’t see anything that I wanted or needed, not even gifts for other people. Ah well.

One thing that I did look at was Christmas decorations. No your calendar isn’t wrong, it is in fact still September. I have a really soft spot for Christmas, as I have gotten older I appreciate the time off work and being around family more than anything else…although the presents I do get are nice too :)

Every year I go out of town to a bigger city to do Christmas shopping, and most years I can remember I’ve always looked at the new decorations. This year it seemed to be bigger is better, with massive plastic trees and ornaments to suit. My family has always had a small tinsel tree that fits on a wooden chest we have in one of the living rooms near the door. It’s easy to set up and when it’s not Christmas it takes up minimal space. These days I have my own place with a tree that is the same size.

I was thinking that the reason the Christmas stuff is already out on shop floors taking up room is because to buy one of the things most people would have to save up the money to afford the things, it’s crazy!
When I got home I was in the Christmas mood (not a good sign) and so I watched Mr Hankey’s Christmas Classics on DVD. Oh man I love that episode of South Park.

I wonder when supermarkets will replace their same old song catalogue with Christmas Carols, I remember when I worked in a Supermarket that around Christmas was almost torture with bad carols, and people that go crazy buying up a month’s worth of supplies because the supermarket will be closed for a whole one day on Christmas. I really despise over consumption but as I said I have a weak spot for Christmas. Now all there’s to do is to consider what to buy my family for Christmas and what I want so I can start to drop hints… 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gambling Reform in Australia

Hey everyone,

One of the "Government's" new policies is implementing pre-commitment technology into electronic poker (pokie) machines here in Australia. Personally I very rarely ever play the things, I know the odds of winning or even breaking even, I know how hard I work for my money...I'm just not willing to throw my earnings away in the things. I used to play more often when I was younger but I never gambled anything too significant. I think I gambled enough to get burnt and I never had the determination in me to try to win back what I lost. Some people do.

The new proposed legislation would require gamblers to set a figure (a dollar amount) that they are willing (and able?) to lose. The venues that have these pokie machines are upset because I suppose they'll potentially lose income, or perhaps they're upset because the gamblers are upset that they are being treated like children despite it being law that you can't play them unless you are of age (18).

When the Federal Election occurred last year neither of the primary parties said anything about this law, it become a hot topic because it was a condition of the Labor Government to bring it in, if they were to get the necessary vote from a independent member of Parliament - Labor didn't get into Government by winning enough votes, they had to garner support from other representatives. Basically, as I see it, corruption of power was put in place..."You want to form Government, I want my pokie reform pushed through - I scratch your back, you scratch mine"

Anyhow the two big 'football' codes here in Australia (National Rugby League and Australian Rules Football) are bagging out the new policy, all the teams in the competitions are afterall, clubs and those clubs have venues, lined guessed it revenue making poker machines.

Naturally the Government has the hair on their neck bristled up and over educated academics that research gambling behavior are 'condemning' the sporting institutes speaking their mind on the topic.

The thing is that both sporting codes are using the finals season to really speak their mind to massive audiences watching on television at home.

A few months back, sport was being criticized for offering the odds on the games, and progressive odds at times like during half time saying it was giving the wrong message.

I think gambling addiction is as bad as any other addiction, it really consumes time and money and alters what I'd consider a healthy mental's an addiction after all. However Australia didn't vote for this, they had no idea someone would be pushing it and I think that's wrong. It's just another freedom that's being taken away. I also feel that demonstrates just how heavy the government acts to issues that they perceive to be problems. Really...they can't control problematic gamblers in any other way than manipulating the way in which they go about it? To me that's underhanded and a truly slimy way of dealing with things.

I'm not sure the best way to deal with people that have obvious gambling problems which negatively impact on other aspects of that persons life, but I know I am not convinced that the Government's approach is the best way of dealing with the matter.

Anyone out there have any alternative solutions that might work better?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg...God Tier Troll?

Oh man Facebook drains me, I swear I only have a Facebook profile because I'm single (boredom, potentially met someone on there)...and I suppose I'm too cheap/lazy to text message certain people :P 

I think the image hosting has always been stupid because you don't refer strangers to your personal profile...unless of course you're one of those 1000+ "friends" types...The video hosting never presented a real challenge to YouTube, Celebrities don't seem to use Facebook much as other services, and well I find most of the 'content' that is on Facebook to be incredibly shallow.

Anyhow I digress :P Today a whole bunch of people expressed a dislike for the new look and feel of Facebook. Now I've been using the site for a few years now (casually) and it's changed a fair few times already, but this new change is a whole new ball game. It's upset a lot of people which makes me wonder if those that are in charge of design are just massive trolls :D

Suspiciously Google's Social Network venture gets opened to everyone around (same day?) the same time. It's like Google knew something was going to happen. * Que Twilight Zone Theme Music*

Here's a relevant picture :) Thanks for reading

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Invitation to Google+

Well I get the invite to join Google+ this morning. "Great" I think, I missed out on testing it earlier this year and I think it's great a likable powerhouse like Google is throwing down a challenge to Facebook.

When I go to sign up though I notice all my Google Services will be consolidated to the one name, yes even retrospectively. I've had a gmail account from back when you needed an invitation from someone, I've started blogs and sites that have failed and had embarrassing content. One thing I seriously don't want is my real identity attached to all these things. I mean this blog alone is a retreat for me from those I deal with in person. I wouldn't mind if people I know in real life knew about and visited this site (some do), but really this is a means of sharing and communicating with people from all walks of life, and the issue of identity doesn't come into it...and that, to me, is a good thing.

So I won't be establishing a Google+ account, which is a true shame. The concept seems really promising to me and I was really looking forward to perhaps promoting this site and its content on the Google+ platform, but if that is what it involves, I can pass up the opportunity a little bit easier.

Something I don't get about hemp

I just figured I'd put this out there.

Every time I see a documentary, or pro-cannabis movie/tv show one thing you will no doubt hear about is the uses of hemp. People will say how many uses there are, the uses of the past, how cheap it would be, that other industries are frightened it'll put them out of business, etc, etc.

Supporters imply if they could grow it things would be so much different but the law gets in their way.

Well growing hemp is legal in NSW Australia (as it would be elsewhere, but I am familiar with NSW seeing as I live here). So how come these people don't invest in it being grown here? Is it because they are ignorant to the fact hemp can be legally grown elsewhere? Are they to scared to put their money where their mouth is? Perhaps they don't have the money to do that...Either way you don't hear about major foreign (or local for that matter) investment in hemp in the state of New South Wales in Australia.

One thing hemp is reportedly good for is paper. However most paper for years and years has been made from wood pulp, the industry has been built up around wood pulp from trees. Can that industry process hemp instead or would the whole industry have to be redesigned to work with hemp fiber?

I'm all for hemp, I just question how easy it really would be to gear the world towards using it.

What are your thoughts?

Letterman's Top Ten List September 19 2011

Firstly I love David Letterman, and I've watched him for years. I know people that don't like the program but I honestly can't see how you couldn't. It's great entertainment - I don't watch it nearly as much as I used to though :/ Hopefully I'll change that around.

Secondly, sorry if this blog entry is a bit of an 'ordinary' topic but I can't think of anything else I'd rather talk about right now :) The topic was Top Ten Highlights Of Barack Obama's Deficit Plan, I changed the channel to The Late Show just as he was wrapping up the segment, I saw #2 (lulz) and it made me laugh so I looked up the list online. Here it is...

Top Ten Highlights Of Barack Obama's Deficit Plan

10.Pay everything off with a giant bake sale on the White House lawn
9.New 10,000% tax on waffles -- no way people are giving up their waffles!
8.Congressional Super Committee now reports to even more powerful Super Duper Committee
7.Medicare no longer covers ass X-rays
6.From now on, quarters are worth twenty-six cents
5.Change the definition of the word 'deficit'
4.Seniors must wait until they're 112 before they can collect Social Security
3.Open more post offices -- those places are money machines!
2.Congressmen must pay hookers in cash
1.Jets giving three and a half in Cincy -- it's like found money

Strangely enough #7 got me thinking about how many people go to hospital because they got something stuck up their ass, and who pays for it. 

#4 hit home because the revised age of retirement in Australia went up to 67 not that long ago (a year or two?), whereas other countries have a lower retirement age - I seem to recall outcry when Frances went up.

#3 I'm not sure how to it tongue in cheek about how post offices are set to become more and more obsolete and that there's less need for them in modern society, or is it a crack at the prices set at post offices? Either way there's something in it to laugh at :)

What do you think of this list? Do you enjoy Letterman? If not care to explain why not exactly?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Technology 'Golden Age'

Hi everyone,

As some may have picked up on, I have recently gotten into pawn brokerage reality television shows. One thing that is often a requirement to start talking about a deal is to test the equipment to ensure it is in good operational condition.

I've found myself appraising items around my home. It is fun because I have realistically valued things that I have held onto that are worth nothing and I have no use for, nor would anyone want it.

An example of what I'm talking about is a pair of DELL desktop PC's. They are from 2001 and have had parts (i.e. RAM, HDD) taken out for other projects...they are Netbooks are cheap, they are more power efficient, have displays built in and can outperform these desktops. What can I do with these things? Well I believe I'll deconstruct them and take photos during the process. Who knows someone might want to know how they were put together one day.

Moving on...

One thing I did come across today was my brothers old SONY Walkman (WM-F2015 Google it ;) ), Made in Japan...with belt clip :D

I plugged it into my personal stereo and fired it even had a cassette tape in it! Worked like a treat. I couldn't help but think the thing is close to the size of massive personal Hard Disk Drives on the market today. My brother used the thing a fair bit at one stage, before he eventually got a portable CD player and  a 30GB iPod after that.

A guy that closed a web forum he operated stated (in 2009) that his purpose for the forum had been soaked up by cheap web hosting, internet speed and social networking sites.

I was upset that forum was closed and scoffed that NOW (then) was the so called "golden age of technology".

Increasingly people are saying how 'Millennials' already don't understand what technology like cassette tapes and VHS are like. Below is a picture I took of old school VHS, DVD and blu-ray. As you will see the VHS tape was an ex-rental and asked for $4 to rent it for 7 days, the DVD I bought cheap, the blu-ray I believe even cheaper years later. As you can see the tapes we big and bulky, you had to fast forward and rewind and well looking back now it looks like a total pain in the ass. The DVD comes with 'extra' bonus material and the blu-ray with even more. So you can own forever movies now in High Definition bundled with all sorts of extra footage and material and it's CHEAPER?!? I think I'll reconsider my stance on the whole golden age thing now...

Also, the amount of resources saved from the upgrades is really a good thing. I suppose digital downloads on lightening fast internet's coming soon with a solid grounding already occurring.

Thanks for reading :)