Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Screw Android - DELL

Technology giant DELL have revealed that they will be withdrawing from the smartphone market and Android at least for the short term future, with website 'techbuffalo' reporting the news.

Instead DELL look to gear themselves up with their range of MICROSOFT O/S tablets. Is that a big middle finger to Google from DELL?!? Sounds very much like it to this observer :)

Source: 
http://www.technobuffalo.com/2012/12/12/dell-says-its-retiring-from-smartphones-not-going-to-invest-in-android/

Additionally, "Google says that it is not developing apps for Windows Mobile or Windows 8". It's not even the end of 2012 and Google decide to give modern Windows products the cold shoulder with DELL doing likewise to the Android OS. This should make for interesting times. Again, in this observers opinion, this sounds like a severe case of Google being a whiny little runt of an organisation. So much self involved and proud are they that they won't develop for what could be a key market for everyone. 

And to think, if Windows had combed out their undesirable app developers andf Google were on it, a stink would surely have been created over it.

With a strongly fought battle between Apple and Samsung over the mobile O/S device market already and with these announcements all us tech-enthusiasts can do is sit back and watch the fireworks and place bets on who will get buried first.

Adsense Penny-Pinching

Greetings all.

Just a quick entry to my loyal followers and visitors. Something has changed to this site...ads are no longer hosted. Why? Reason's unexplained. What I can tell you is that I have used Google Search for approximately 10 years, Gmail for approximately 6 years, etc, etc.

I am now reconsidering my use of any and all Google services and products.

The problem is that my content has generated a little money on the side, which I have disclosed openly, and was investing for renewable power (solar energy). The money earned but not paid out (In Australia you have to rack up $150 before Google release it, no doubt earning interest off the work of Australian content hosts) has simply disappeared - A root cause of my just anger and disappointment.

The money is not a big deal, but instead the accusations that I have done something wrong and the fact that the money I earned honestly will line someone else's pockets when I was going to use it to benefit the environment as well as educate others by sharing the experience. Google has dented that dream from coming to fruition, delaying it by a time period unknown - As this will become an ongoing financial pick-pocketing by Google

My right of appeal was rejected (valid points ignored?) and my YouTube 'channel' advertising ties have also been cut as well as any opportunity for my account/s to earn revenue through their systems.

Watch this space as it, along with all other content hosted on Google may be removed and hosted at a more loyal and trusting service provider.

Same great service, none of the Google horse-crap.

Do I sound jilted? :P

Monday, December 10, 2012

End of an Era - HOPE Folding Team

Approximately at the end of 2007 or during 2008 the 'HOPE Priority Limited' Folding @ Home Team with the intentions of demonstrating my own contributions to the distributed computing project as well as the individuals I influenced to become involved in the cause.

From the beginning of 2013 I will cease to credit my work units to this particular team. I will not be decreasing my work efforts, I will simply be having my workloads credited to a different team altogether, perhaps a new team of my own creation. 

With about 2 weeks left of folding to go in 2012 I am aiming to churn through as many work units as possible :)

The current total work unit credit count accredited to the team CURRENTLY stands at over 3,400!

The legacy will live on forever :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Blog, New Vision, New Generation

Well it's been awhile since entries. Some of you be wondering what's been happening. In short, as happens from time to time, I've run out of steam in regards to my blogging for the time being - I do have my occasional bursts of creativity, flair and desire to share ideas and thoughts.

For whatever reason I developed a new blog page which can be found at:

http://idgafptyltd.blogspot.com.au

As you can see this newer blog has a similar feel and focus (this page had one?!?) to this page you have come to know and love - along with the amount of traffic that finds it's way to View*Know*Do

And like this page, is created in Australia, by an Australian/

Check out this new blog for all the usal topical issues, news, current events and a running, honest commentary by the author - Be sure to check it out and if you made the decision to follow this page, you may want to consider doing the same for http://idgafptyltd.blogspot.com.au

And don't write-off this blog yet, it may still have some champagne quality entries to come. Keep your eyes peeled on both!

Thanks always for your time and support.

:)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Windows versus Mac - PC changes in ~10 years

The picture below was originally (at least when I first saw it like 10 years ago) the windows guy frustrated because "M$" was complicated and Apple was 'idiot proof'.

These days, as you can see, some people aren't satisfied with Apple devices (among others *cough cough SONY *cough*) because they are so closed down.

With Windows 8 and the whole Microsoft Surface/Tablet device raising concerns about a 'locked down' Microsoft hardware perhaps Android will be the cream that rises to the top.

I've known Apple Fanboys who agree with articles that say that Apple haven't brought anything much new to the table lately...I have had a Windows Mobile 7 phone (now 7.5) for years and see no reason to upgrade. Perhaps  I've had my technology fill? I'm not big into 'App's, 3D still seems a novelty to me and most new state of the art games have become too complex and involving to be fun for me anymore - though they are very impressive.


As you can see this image is from another site...

Note: When you close the bonnet of the Apple car it would flick the switch off :P


Sunday, July 8, 2012

'The man' knows what's better for you than your own doctor

Did you know? That "the Cancer Council (New South Wales Australia chapter) supports introducing a system for compassionate provision of marijuana to patients who may benefit from it"? And that "The federal (Australian) law regarding drug use places marijuana in Schedule 1" - this means that it has NO MEDICAL USE and CANNOT BE PRESCRIBED BY A DOCTOR.

This even sounds dumb right? Cannabis for sick people, be humane for goodness sake.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

On Katy Perry's 3D Documentary Concert Film 'Part of Me'


A user posed the question on a particular online discussion forum if it was too early/soon (in Katy's career) for Katy Perry to have done 'Part of Me'.

My response was that I don't think it is too early for Katy Perry to have done a movie like this. That she has a history that people are interested in and she has the personality to actually just deliver what people want rather than wait. 


I haven't seen the movie myself but plan to. As I said on the forum, I hope her braveness to do this movie has a positive outcome for all involved, including music fans if it does inspire other artists to do something like this for their fans and critics.

Much respect for Katy Perry as an artist and as an individual. It's a shame I have to travel to watch the new release films :/

I also saw for the first time Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" music video - I recommend checking it out on YouTube, if inclined :P I also saw the 'Firework' music video the other day...sparked (no pun?) by seeing her in an interview with Ian 'Molly' Meldrum on TV which impressed me. I certainly like the direction Katy Perry's music has taken :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flybuys mass mail out

The Coles Myer + other partners loyalty program 'flybuys' was recently re-birthed somehow issuing brand new cards and collecting updated information. According to the informational video on the Flybuys website and other promo videos flybuys have been sent out to 16 million houses.

I am a member of this system simply because I can earn some gift cards every so often for doing my regular shopping.

Anyhow I received my flybuys activation package that included the envelope, an activation form, a little presentation sleeve that housed the new plastic cards, a guide booklet and a piece of associated advertising.

I decided to figured out how many resources were involved in this mass scale send out. The total amount of paper weighed 47 grams - Multiply this by 16 million and that totals 752,000Kg or 752 ton. That is a lot of paper/card.

Not to mention the computer time and printing works with their demand on electricity and inks/dyes. Then there was distribution via the postal service and the fuel they use. Finally the time it took of someone's life to deliver the mail.

Worth it? How should the delivery be different?

I'm not convinced this roll-out was such a good idea...aren't we headed in in the direction of using our 'smart' phones/devices to minimize the amount of cards people handle?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Email in 2012

Hi everybody,

I've been watching 'did you know' videos on YouTube for years. The figures that they have on the World's population and what the upcoming trends in technology are projected to be are amazing.

The newest one for 2012 is reasonably predictable - It's geared around social media, notably Facebook (for obvious reasons, I hope if you're reading this). Predictable because it is used by millions of users and because it has made many people connected online for large amounts of time. The internet has been populated, in fact if Facebook itself were a Country it would be the world's third largest by population with a greater population than the United States of America.  The video goes on to say that 50% of the world's population (3.5 billion people...me being one of them) are under 30 and that 96% of Millennial's have joined a social network.

Now to the statement it makes which is entry is all about, there is a part of the video that states "Generation Y and Z consider email passe" and that "some universities have stopped distributing email accounts" adding that they distribute 'e-readers', iPads, and tablets (PC's I would imagine!).

It was this that really got me thinking. Is it true that email is on the way out?

Personally I consider email to be alive and well, it just may not be as recognizable as it once was - To me an SMS or MMS is simply a watered down version of an email that has limited formatting options and greater size restrictions on the amount of content you send...oh and email is cheaper for the user (at least where I come from...with SMS's costing far too much for what it is).

The Facebook inbox or Twitter interactions I don't see as becoming a replacement for email, nor SMS...I'm not sure how Apple ID's (is that what they are called?) work but if that's touted as a email killer I really hope the concept sinks.

Thanks for reading - I'm not going to host the video to which I have referred to in this entry, however if you are interested it will be a top result of searching for 'Social Media Revolution 2012' into a YouTube Search.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share, leave a comment, etc :)




Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to set up a blog website

Hey I noticed when I typed into Google search "how to set up" that 'website' and 'blog' were suggestions made by Google, therefore they must be somewhat popular searches.

I'll be honest, if I can create a blog and maintain it for a considerable amount of time anybody can match that :P

I've been blogging with Google Blogspot (Blogger) for around 5 years now however I only really got into it last year because I realised the potential to earn some potential passive income via ad hosting.

Google have made the process of having a website or a blog as easy as creating an account and creating pages...which is like creating any other word processing document, as well as having options to link to YouTube videos, images (upload or direction to image that is online) and text options...not to mention options on how the blog itself actually looks!

I created my first website with Geocities...anyone remember that?

I would encourage anyone that likes to share thoughts, ideas, findings, and anything worth documenting should create a blog...I would remind anyone interested to just be mindful that people will be able to view what you have posted - Some may not agree with your opinion, so if you're intending to be offensive confess to it upfront.

If you have a blog existing or just created I invite you to follow me as I generally will follow back those that have interesting blogs :)




The Australian 'Drug War' - Finally a topic of discussion

Recently Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr (to those that forgot, Kevin Rudd quit the position) spoke up about the Drug War being a failure in Australia with a report to come.

According to ABC News:
 A group of eminent Australians, including former federal police chief Mick Palmer and former New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, are about to hand down a report which says the 'war on drugs' has failed and concluding that Australia should consider legalising some substances.
...Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton also believes a debate about how best to tackle drugs is overdue.

Think about that for a second. The former premier of New South Wales (NSW) and current foreign minister...along with a former Australian Federal Police Chief and former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions believe Australia has progressed to the stage where sensible drug policy is at least a topic of discussion in an political environment usually consisting of mining assets, 'education', climate change, and who the leader is.

Bob Carr stated the obvious in saying that police resources are wasted hunting down cannabis users and those outside nightclubs with ecstasy....and that people that use certain drugs should not be labeled as criminals and suffer the consequences of such a label (i.e. inability to travel to certain areas)

Already the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, has expressed an opposing view to that of...you know, experts.

According to Sydney Morning Herald:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has rejected the idea of decriminalising narcotics, saying tough policing is necessary instead to prevent the devastating consequences of drug use.
Which just goes to show that she only supports scientifically backed evidence when it supports her decision to introduce a new tax on everyday Australians.

What irritates me perhaps the most are those that dismiss the concept of discussion of the subject - Old school prohibitionists with their blinders on.

When anyone questioned the carbon tax they were labelled as people living in the dark ages and spoken down to being told something along the lines of "ZOMG the sky isn't going to fall!"

However it seems the sky would in fact fall if cannabis or MDMA (ecstasy) were to be legalised :S

Other interesting points of note about this recent news is that Bob Carr's brother reportedly died of a heroin overdose in the 80's and that Bob Carr was the premier of NSW when the 'Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre' was opened, which has since been proven to be a success and made a permanent fixture.

In other drug news "Ecstasy with a street value of $120,000 has been seized in the NSW city of Wollongong. A police raid on a home at Blackbutt yesterday uncovered 150 ecstasy tablets, worth $2000"

$2000 / 150 tablets = ~$13.35 per tablet, considerably cheaper than what most would price ecstasy at in Australia - So where's the effectiveness in the disruption to drug supply the 'drug war' seeks? It seems that these drugs are cheaper than ever.

I'll end it here before I write a novel.

Thoughts?





Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breakdown of Electricity Bill

Sounds interesting? Well...maybe. I was just curious to know for myself the facts considering electricity costs contribute to a considerable amount of most people's income.

Well we're all friends here...my last bill was for $321.35. Ever wondered if I can back up my 'green' talk? Well my last electricity bill cost over double my last one AKA cutting consumption in half. And the money I saved was an awesome bonus and gets me closer to my goal of eliminating my electricity bills completely by installing solar cells and keeping usage to a minimum.

GENERAL SALES TAX

I'm living in Australia and a utility bill is apparently subject to General Sales Tax (GST)...think that sucks? Don't forget most electricity here will be further taxed as it will be subject to the Carbon Tax.

So 10% (cost of GST) of the bill straight-up isn't even for electricity. The GST on this bill totaled $29.20, what the Government spends it on I wouldn't have a clue - Repaying the debt they generated I suppose...

PRICING OPTIONS + CHARGES

*sigh* Moving on...I have two methods of metering my electricity usage - Peak Hours and Off Peak Hours.

The peak hours are (my understanding) times in which there are high demands placed on electricity providers to...provide electricity i.e. at around 6pm when everyone's gone home from work and turned on the Air Conditioning, Television and cooked their dinner. Off peak refers to times when there isn't as much demand such as the early hours when people are generally expected to be in bed asleep with most appliances turned off.

The cost of electricity is charged as units...these units are Kilowatt Hours or kWh for short; equal to an appliance consuming one thousand watts for one hour.

Another charge is the 'Access Charge'. A fee charged simply to have access to the electricity in the first place. I know, right?

MY COSTS

Note: I receive a "4% discount", the costings below reflect this so-called 'discount'

The Access Charge for OFF PEAK is $0.0943 per day or ~$34.40 per year provided that the charge doesn't increase in cost. A kWh of OFF PEAK electricity in my last bill was costed at $0.1445

The Access Charge for PEAK is $0.9408 per day or ~$343 per year provided that the charge doesn't increase in cost. A kWh of PEAK electricity in my last bill was costed at $0.2517


FINAL COSTING

Between the OFF PEAK and the PEAK electricity I racked up electricity costs of $192.78
The bill period covered 96 days so the combined ACCESS CHARGES costs were $99.37


THE BREAKDOWN/CONCLUSION

For an electricity bill total of $321.35...

$29.20 (~10%) was for GST
$99.37 (~30%) was for Access Charges
$192.78 (~60% was for electricity

As you can see close to half a electricity bill isn't for electricity consumed by the user...provided you are provided with electricity the same way I am :P




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coca Cola prices: Then (2008) and Now (2012)

Years ago I saw 2 Litre bottles of Coca-Cola selling for an all time high price...at $3.14 I snapped a photo :P I have held onto it for all these years. Here it is.


I always figured if I held onto it long enough that it would be an interesting look back. And now it is. I still remember thinking how expensive this price tag was back in May 2008 when I took it. The other day, in the same supermarket I saw what I thought was an odd "special". It just didn't seem that cheap. I lifted the tag and guess how much a 2L bottle is in March 2012?

Have a look for yourself...


As you can also see, the price tags now have unit pricing...and the quality my camera produces has improved :D These prices are in AU$ - In US$ this product would cost $4.01 according to www.xe.com at the time of writing.

Do you think this is overly expensive? Please note that this is on a regular store shelf, it is not provided chilled.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beer production in Australia


I didn't find it fair to talk about Marijuana in Australia without pointing out Australia's "Beer Culture". So I did something I've wanted to do personally for awhile now, determine exactly how much beer is produced in Australia. So I turned to Wikipedia...

The 'Breweries in Australia' Wikipedia article divides breweries into 3 categories.'Major Breweries', 'Microbreweries' and 'Brewpubs'.

'Major Breweries' currently consists of 9 breweries consisting of nationally recognizable beer brands.

'Microbreweries' are distinguished by adding that "The maximum amount of beer a brewery can produce and still be classed as a microbrewery varies by region and by authority, though is usually around 15,000 barrels (18,000 hectolitres/ 475,000 US gallons) a year."

There are a total of 114 Microbreweries listed in the article. I did note that one microbrewery was closed, so I am unsure how many are still active in the complete list (sorry, no. I won't be crecking them all individually :P)

Brewpubs; restaurants or pubs that have breweries attached to them...34 of them make the Wikipedia list.

157 recognised breweries in total...now for some figures.


Carlton & United Breweries

Producers of Victoria Bitter (VB), Carlton Draught, Melbourne Bitter, Carlton Cold, Carlton Midstrength, Carlton Black, Crown Lager...although I could only produce figures for how much Victoria Bitter (VB) that they produce.

"VB is Australia's only billion dollar retail beer brand and sells the equivalent of one slab (24x375ml cans/bottles (9 Litres) every second"  

9L X 60secs X 60mins X 24hrs X 365days = 283,824,000 Litres per year
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Bitter)

Cascade Brewery

36 million litres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Brewery)

Coopers Brewery


"Production during 2010-11 reached a record 62.9 million litres"
http://www.coopers.com.au/about-us/news - "Coopers continues Record Production" 21/12/2011

Boag's Brewery


J. Boag and Son currently (2010) employes over 150 people and produces over 76,000,000 litres of beer annually.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Boag_%26_Sons

Tooheys Brewery


Production output: 300 million litres
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooheys - Citation provided

Providing these figures are true, between these 4 breweries and the most successful beer of just one other major brewery, a total of 758,724,000 litres are brewed! If Australia's population were to be 23 million (it's less) there would be enough beer produced to give everyone over 32 litres.

Thanks for reading :) To wrap things up here's a picture that illustrates what Australian's today think of our collective alcohol consumption...


Marijuana Figures for Australia

Yes sorry everyone, it's another Cannabis-related article. The figures surrounding it are interesting to note.


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics: "On 17 March 2012 at 11:55:22 AM (Canberra time), the resident population of Australia is projected to be: 22,860,514" (Source www.abs.gov.au)

Whilst the director of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre estimates that 750,000 Australians use cannabis every week, and approximately 300,000 smoke it on a daily basis (Source)

The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey published in April 2008 by The Australian Institute of Health demonstrated that "Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia, with a reported one-third of all Australians aged 14 or older (33.5%, about 5.8 million) having tried cannabis and 1.6 million using it in the past year" (Wikipedia Article: 'Cannabis in Australia')

Okay all this got me thinking some things...

Firstly, despite the laws imposed on Marijuana, evidence shows it to be readily available considering the amount Australian's are purported to consume in a week.

Secondly, the disconnected policy surrounding the States and Territories of Australia not only makes things confusing but it also provides prospects to drug suppliers residing in areas where the penalties are not as severe.

And finally the amount of money that the industry as a whole must make is insane (a technical financial term).

Let's use the figures provided and make some assumptions. 750,000 Australians use cannabis 'every week' - Alright let's say they use it during that week and between everyone combined each of the 750,000 users consume 1 gram of marijuana...that combines for a total of 750kg of Marijuana for one week...or about 39-40 tonnes a year...a little over 105kg on average, per day.

And how much does Marijuana sell for in Australia? According to the Australian Crime Commission (Illicit Drug Data Report 2007-08) "the average price for one gram of cannabis ranged from A$20–A$35, although prices in remote areas can be significantly higher" (Wikipedia Article 'Cannabis in Australia)

...but using prices for one gram wouldn't be accurate. Others say they 'bush weed' can sell for $200 for an ounce (28 grams), which sounds strange but I wanted to use the lowest figures anyhow. So 1g @ $200/oz. prices is equal to ~$7.14 per gram... Multiply that by the 750,000 weekly users @ 1g each and that is equal to $5,355,000 a week.

Of course some smokers wouldn't pay anything for their Marijuana, whilst others would pay a lot more than $200 for 'bush weed'. In any case at the $7.14 per gram price, the 750,000 weekly smokers and based on the figure of an average of 1g for each of them...the supply chain would still make $278,460,000 per year from a total population (i.e. babies, kids, adults, the elderly combined) of less than 23 million.

I think it's about time the Drug Laws associated with Cannabis in Australia reflected reality somewhat and stopped incriminating the unlucky ones that get caught and remove the money supply from the seedy illegal street dealers that can sell for as much as they like and to whoever they want to.

1 Year Old + 15,000+ visitors

Well, 15,000 visitors perhaps since I put up the counter...and actually the 'Birthday' occurred a few days ago...but I digress!

Yes it's been 12 months of blogging away. Usually when I start doing something like this something else grabs my attention and the project eventually fades away. But not this project, and I'm glad :)

Thanks to everyone that has checked out the page and especially to the regulars and those that share my site with others.

I obviously don't get to post as often as I once did which is a major shame but I must say when I do have an idea for the blog that is definitely getting published, it still makes me happy.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Internet as "the cloud"

Hi all, sorry again...it's been awhile. I've been seeking inner peace :P

Anyhow I got looking at my old files from when my house first got the internet in the year 2000 (what I asked for for my birthday present that year). A lot of files originated in the years 2000 and 2001 then pretty much stop. Why was that? I got a job in 2001 and did 2 "Information Technology" type subjects in my final 2 years of university which I found I just had "the knack" for and used most of my time looking up old text files, playing games, and playing videos and music...so I didn't really need to use the now aging home PC. That and with my brother and father now using the internet themselves they were infecting the machine with all sorts of malware, including some nasty viruses that gave me nightmares considering I had become the house PC technician.

I got thinking today how things are different now on the internet. Apple Inc and Microsoft (among others?) have really been pushing "cloud computing". So I asked a friend online "Isn't the whole internet pretty much one big open public 'cloud' from a single users perspective? It's someone elses content (or your own) served/provided by someone else" - To which they told me yes as the internet has always been illustrated in network diagram as a cloud...saying this about them"it's out there somewhere, but we're not exactly sure where"...and all websites are 'clouds'.

I quipped saying I thought it was because it's a 'fluffy term' :P He agreed with amusement.

Being a fan of Free Alternatives I am a fan of Google figured that YouTube could be considered a cloud owned by Google that offers legitimate content such as VEVO music video services that is supported via ads and a storefront to purchase?

Whereas other companies using different business models offer the same thing...only more restricted, they don't always offer the ad supported content, and are probably provided at a cost (perhaps hidden).

In any case something else that got me reminiscing was thinking how all my 2000/2001files came from an old Windows 98 computer shared with my dad and my brother using 56.6k dial up using 32MB RAM and a HDD of 4.3GB...which is less than a typical modern-day personal 'cloud' storage space of 5GB providers are offering.

I got back into computers in late 2004 after saving some money from a new full time job and buying a laptop of my own...complete with DVD BURNER! OMG!

Now I'm thinking a phone/portable internet device capable of running Google Apps like Docs, YouTube, Gmail, News, and the Search Engines...as well as other websites such as Facebook which provide free messaging/community BBS's (essentially) these cheap and available and ultra portable, energy efficient-you name it devices are outperforming  pioneer equipment of the information age.

Now that single devices can provide pretty much everything you could ever want of it, and then some...the question really is what do YOU want to use it for? And when is a full shift to these systems going to occur within the wider population?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Metal Gear Auction Price - NES

Someone just bought the 'original' copy of 'Metal Gear' (Released March 1988) for the Nintendo Entertainment System for $AU85 and $AU6 postage - About $97.50 US Dollars at the time of writing.

Metal Gear Solid Hd Collection for XBOX360/PS3 is selling for $AU69 (expensive? Well...yeah :( Australian gamer) and is essentially 3 games in one...

...So, Can't beat the classics? Nostalgia O.D? Work of art?

Personally I think some of each :)

I remember how difficult this game was, especially without the map, instructions or things like the internet for walk-through's, cheats or assistance...and because this game wasn't highly popular at the time (I think a certain magazine *cough* Nintendo Magazine System *cough cough* gave it a rating of something like 56%

The Angry Video Game Nerd (do a video search) has even reviewed this game as well, with plenty of criticisms :P

Anyhow for anyone that has this game or are interested in an auction price for a complete set (box, manual, map, dust jacket, and cart) here is a screen capture for evidence. Note the time and date is Australia Eastern Standard Time.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Orange Candle

I'm not sure what it was that made me discover making candles from oranges on the internet, but it happened and I'm writing about it now...what interests me often interests you :)

Basically you have to carefully peel an orange so that you have two halves, intact, and without the orange 'meat' inside.. The 'stem' of the 'pith' (is that correct terminology?) acts as the wick of the candle which is burned anyhow refer to the pics below, they are pretty self explanatory but I'll provide some comments for each in any case. Enjoy :) Feel free to point people to this entry if you think they might like it. Perhaps something for Earth Hour 2012

Halved Oranges (if you don't know how - Google some techniques) with air vent cut in top half

Some oil is poured into the bottom half with the natural pith 'wick' make sure it gets saturated but not drowning in the oil

The natural wick after being lit

With the top half 'lid' on top

Some oranges have some pretty natural patterns, I think they resemble Halloween Jack-O lanterns

And you can always get creative with the top 'lid' half - Just be careful. I made mine look like the Sun :)

Extracting Juice from Oranges

I finally have my juice extractor at my place. I always figured it took up too much room and it was a pain to prepare product for and cleaning up afterwards.

Well as I have been drinking a lot of orange juice lately, I figure the long life stuff on the shelf is sort of weird when fresh is available, and that the fresh stuff is a bit steep for what you get. I'm talking about $5-6 for 1.5L-2L of so-called fresh Orange Juice in the chilled section of major grocery stores/supermarkets.

A 3kg bag of Valencia Oranges was like $3.50 or something, so I decided I could perhaps do better myself.

What do you think? I'll let the pictures I took (below) do the talking :) Make sure you keep an eye on my blog (I know you all do anyway right? ;P ) as I have some other pictures associated with this entry.

I cleaned these up a bit, removing the pith...though the machine would have taken care of it :)

Ready for Juice Extraction

The end result 

Aquarius Tea Mug Musings


I've had this mug that I drink tea from since I was like 8 or 9 (That's over 15 years). I remember I used to drink from it as I actually read my horoscope (I have a university degree in Science...) and Garfield comic strips. I used to cut them out and paste them into a scrapbook (before I had a PC - yes actually physically cutting out and pasting :P).

Anyhow the thing about reading the comic strips is that the interest grew I started getting book compilations to read and I started reading other strips that interested me - Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert, The Far Side...I also used to be pretty into comic books as I have had an entry about in the past (check the tags/labels).

As some readers might also be aware I am a collector and I was actually given a copy of the complete The Far Side works for my 18th birthday from my parents.

Recently as I'm trying to "de-stress" from work I've found myself enjoying re-watching the complete Dilbert TV Series I have on DVD which have had me literally loling :) I really need to get my copy of Office Space back from my supervisor :/

It's funny taking time out to enjoy a cup of tea like when I was young can make so much difference too mood and mindset...and that some things never change :)

I guess you can tell now I am an Aquarius - I just noticed that it's the last day for 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Modern Duet Hits

I can't remember how I stumbled across a comment about Professor Green, but anyhow it stated that his new song (I'm not sure...perhaps 'Read All About It' (ft Emeli SandĂ©)??) was a rip-off of Eminem and Rihanna's song 'Love the way you lie' - A song I would argue was a solid offering from Eminem and great vocals from Rihanna.

So I got thinking there have been plenty of modern duets including the Triple J Hottest 100 winning song by Gotye 'featuring' Kimbra 'Somebody I used to know'.

Geez even Katy Perry and Kayne West produced 'E.T'...

Dizzee Rascal and Lily Allen (Cooper), Jack White and Alicia Keys, Eminem and Dido/Elton John, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross...There was even that called Duets, that I'm happy to say I have never watched :P

I believe duets are successful because they simply sound great. I dunno, perhaps it's in knowing two individual solo artists have collaborated on an agreed upon project means the chances of something awful being created is fairly low. Of course I'm biased I enjoy most duets I've heard, and tastes vary.

In other music talk :P I got thinking how awesome it would be to be at a live Dropkick Murphy's gig on St Patrick's Day - So I looked up their tour and they most certainly are! WOW the thought of Boston on St Patrick's day is enough to get me excited, but a live performance by those guys? Mind = Blown.

Seem's I'll be finally seriously inquiring about a passport ;D



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On M.I.A + the Superbowl + Bad Girls + More

Well I couldn't mention M.I.A (previous entry) without commenting on the whole Superbowl incident - her 'finger malfunction' :P where M.I.A flipped a camera/s the bird during her performance at the half time show with Madonna and Nicki Minaj.

I'm not read up on any statement she or her record label may have made but I can't help but think she did it perhaps to promote her new single 'Bad Girls'.

A few initial comments (as I said I'm not well read up on the story) on news stories about her obscene gesture stated that they had never heard of her....so it's been super effective in some regards :P

I've actually been a fan of M.I.A for years - I like Sunshowers, Galang, Boyz and obviously Paper Planes :) And seeing her live at the 2011 Big Day Out in Sydney Australia was a highlight.

Looking at the comments on the video I can't help but feel her particular genius is still flying over a lot of people's heads...or perhaps I am just interpreting everything wrong.

Of course there are sensitive people running off their mouths without really thinking about the message this honest and talented artist is conveying.

Also, the fact her 'Born Free' music video was banned from popularized and commercial websites is just another reason to like her :)




Anyone else never watched a Star Wars movie before?

Well I noticed M.I.A's (ZOMG She made an obscene gesture!!!) 'Bad Girls' official video has been released on YouTube so I went on to check it out and there is banner for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3D on the front page.

I remember back in 1998/1999? when the 'original' movie was released, there was so much hype surrounding it...and to this day I still haven't seen it. In fact I've never seen any Star Wars film, and you know what? Considering how much of a money spinner it has become I'm glad.

Recently the movies (original trilogy only?) came out on Blu-Ray with some outrageous price tag...and with some even more outrageous edits from what I've heard.

It seems every time you look there's a new video game, book series, TV/animated series, re-release, etc. Any Star Wars knowledge I have comes from parodies from the likes of Family Guy, South Park, The Simpsons and more.

I also know about the Blu-Ray 'remaster' because as the release approached online forums were flooded with video clips of the new change...which I admit I watched and lol'd at.

Has anyone else never watched a Star Wars movie in their life?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Original Zelda on NES - Price sold at Auction

Hi all,

The other day I was looking at collectible NES gear on eBay. I sorted the results by price and noticed a complete original copy of The Legend of Zelda. Eventually the auction closed and the game raked in $AU255 for it's previous owner.

Definitely good news for anyone with a good copy of this title! And perhaps a lesson to those that had it and let it go :O

I captured a screenshot of the closed auction for some evidence, I figured perhaps someone is looking for some sort of appraisal on this particular item so here it is.


Does anyone reading this have something similar? Would you pay that much for a game that's over 20 years old? :)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

How much does a cigarette weigh?

This is an experiment I did...I'd say coming up for nearly 2 years ago. Interested in the economics of rolling ones own cigarettes (tobacco is bad mmmkay?) I weighed a 'tailor made' cigarette as a whole (paper + filter) and then just the tobacco contained within.

Below are the pictures...as you can see the cigarette weighed 0.8g and the tobacco 0.7g - Now this is for a popular product on Australian shelves, it is the 'king size' cigarette. Assuming the cigarettes are consistent (quality control) there should be 14g of tobacco in a packet of 20 cigarettes just under half the amount contained in the smaller 30g tobacco pouches on the market. Prices vary so I can't really give a definitive answer to the cost but you have to factor in rolling papers and filters as well (unless you smoke from a pipe/unfiltered rolled cigarettes.

Of course it all comes down to preference - Smoking peers have told me they don't smoke as many if they roll their own as it's a hassle...whilst I personally think the tobacco that came out of pre-made cigarettes looked of a much lesser quality (oh look a legal threat from giant tobacco :P) than that in pouches.

Anyhow...Just something I found in my photo album and thought I'd share. Enjoy.





Old School Aussie Gamer - Mate!

To recognize Australia Day here is a picture of two old video games (Nintendo NES and Gameboy) of Australian decent. The NES game is 'Aussie Rules Footy' by Beam? And 'Agro Soar' (A video game for an Australian Children's TV Show Character) by the same company.

The Footy game was bought secondhand so isn't in the greatest condition...but WILL play, but it is temperamental there is a box but no manual (lucky there is only 4 buttons!). Agro Soar was a fairly generic platform game (you know the types that seem to always get 6/10 ratings) that worked off the characters (then) popularity.

Anyhow I figured this might be interesting to overseas gamers


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Neighborhood 'Sulphur-crested' Cockatoo - Happy Australia Day

Here's a picture of a native bird that used to hang around in my neighbors backyard tree. It was domesticated as it could say 'hello'...I'm inclined to think it was a pet escapee :P

I haven't seen it in awhile but I don't rule out seeing him (or her) again...after hearing it first no doubt!



These photos were captured on a Samsung personal Digital Camera by the author of this blog, yours truly. Feel free to share :)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Australian Police Officer Bashes Victim Caught on Video

Hi everyone,

I've been coming up with blanks for content lately so sorry but there's not too much I can do about that - I'd change it if I could but it's outside my control really.

Anyhow a news story I saw today compelled me to right.

A video has been released of a uniformed New South Wales Police Officer punching an allegedly drunk spectator who (again allegedly) didn't follow orders when asked to leave...an embedded YouTube video (Bite me SOPA ?) is below, and below that is some more of my insight on the matter.

Also, the reason I said "allegedly" some many times was because news reports say the police officer 'allegedly' punched the person - I get that the news don't want possible legal issues with influence and whatnot...but it's not an even playing field...as the victim in all this was outed as being drunk that they failed to follow orders to leave, and resisted...arrest? Is that what they're trying to convince was happening here? Anyway...


My comments:


  • The officer has been identified in news articles as being the State of NSW's Police Commissioner's son (like father like son?) 
  • The officer's 'partner' nor the security personal seemingly nothing to stop the brutality
  • The officer completely ignores the screaming spectators plea
  • The attack appears methodical...with the officer having enough time to think about his course of action as the others constrain the victim
  • The officer didn't seem to understand that citizen's don't tolerate this mass abuse of power...or that almost everyone has a video camera on them at all times
  • Again, the media (some? not all?) discriminates by presuming the police to be innocent until proven guilty, however the victim is branded as a drunk who didn't do as told and resisted.
  • Police have ample tools to deal with such situations...I mean when the victim was held back by FOUR people why didn't he just whip out the hand cuffs and drag him out where he wouldn't cooperate with walking to the police vehicle?
Another element is the responsible service of alcohol laws...these particular cricket games at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) have had full strength beer reintroduced where other events are limited to selling low of mid strengths. With this incident occurring so soon after these changes you'd have to imagine that this will be dragged into question thanks to a thuggish prick in a uniform with a badge.




Saturday, January 14, 2012

So I tried out Windows 8...

To cut a long story short it was a jazzed up version of Windows 7 with a fancy 'Metro' "Start" menu...and windows explorer crashed and burned on me and never booted up again. There's nothing really I have to comment on about the operating system however the progress information during file transfers (a speed graph) is a neat feature which I haven't seen on Linux or Apple (although I'm sure someone can and will inform and correct me).

R.I.P Windows 8 Lenovo Netbook Australian Summer 2012 *Developers* Edition

And to top it off it was just about to finalize a work packet for Folding @ Home

Following that episode I tried out Ubuntu 11.10...and now Windows 7 has nearly installed over the top of that waste of time.

In short...can't wait for a commercial stable release of Windows 8 that will work on tablets, netbooks and 'smart' phones...Linux sorry it didn't work out, again.

Was anyone else following CES news? How about those 84" TV's and quad core tablets (which will be able to run Windows 8 :D)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Keeping my word - Funds for Solar

Hey everyone,

I'm guessing most of you might be wondering what I am talking about.

When I begun this blog as a pastime and sort of like keeping a journal I recognized the potential to make a bit of money from it too. Hence the non-invasive (I hope) advertising hosted on my pages which I receive a percentage of when/if I strike it lucky (??) and create some content that attracts not only my regulars and followers but also new visitors and casual browsers.

Too my surprise not 12 months in from creation I was paid - Mmm incentive :D

Anyhow...from the very beginning I promised money generated would be used towards converting to Solar Power in efforts of removing my relevance on energy providers.

I was given a minimum payment...which isn't enough to do anything with, so it has been put into a safe lower interest bearing account so it is not only being put aside for it's purpose but slowly but surely getting me closer to the end goal.

Below is a picture of solar cells and rechargeable batteries I got out on a particular sunny day during the festive season which I hooked up to various electronics in attempts to get me more motivated to create the best content I can and provide it on a regular and ongoing basis :)

Please note that money generated from ads hosted on this site were not spent on this set up - The set up planned with proceeds from ad revenue will be a efficient system with a designated task which can have addition cells added to where more finance becomes available - One concept is to power a computer 24/7 which contributes to a distributed computing project such as Folding@Home


Digital Swiss Army Knives

I've been doing a lot of de-cluttering of my home recently...call it a Feng shui attack - a lot of 'crap' is gone, a lot is lined up ready to ship out. If the last box remaining isn't the last of it, it's very close to it.

I've done the same to my car which was a mess inside and out (now it's looking good) and my work space at work.

Something about work is I finally feel as though I am fully equipped to take on any challenge that comes in for me. I feel my major clean up (after 5 years of hard work, living and travelling) gave me a condensed look at what I have achieved. Usually I don't stop to take time and appreciate what I have done.

As most regulars might have already picked up on :P is that I have a background in 'Information Technology' and I still have a strong interest in developments in most, if not all, aspects of what is known as simply 'technology'.

I've been at my current place of work for over 7 years now - To young people that sounds like a lot, to others...they'd say that time passes so fast 7 years would have went by quick.

Anyhow in 7 "short" years (I still consider myself somewhat 'young') the reduction in size for pieces of technology and their increased abilities is really quite fascinating...not to mention the prices.

When I first started I had a 'tower' PC with a 15 or 17 inch CRT monitor, then during computer upgrades it became a 'desktop' computer with a 17 inch flat screen display that outperformed its predecessor AND took up less space...now I have a i5 Laptop which outperforms its predecessor and takes up even less space.

Now I think I could almost, perhaps get away with working with a current, or upcoming generation 'smart' phone running Android. Why not get a tablet? I imagine some of you are thinking. My answer to this is the issue is size, I want something that takes up as little of possible but is still usable.

If I were provided with one it would replace the following tools of my trade both out in the field and in the office.

- Digital Camera (with ability to capture location)
- Audio/Video recording
- Clock/Watch//Stopwatch/Timer
- Clip board and pen/pencil
- In car navigator
- Phone Directory
- Calendar
- Communications (Phone, SMS/Pager, Email, GPS)

And no doubt potentially a lot more It sounds like I'm preparing my speech to management doesn't it? :P All I need now is USB input, better software support...and an everlasting battery!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Junk Mail" - A Collection Experiment

Ever wondered how much unaddressed 'junk' mail a mailbox not displaying a "No Junk Mail" sticker gets?

Well obviously it's going to be different everywhere. There are far too many variables to come up with any sort of meaningful figure. But in any case I started to put every piece of junk mail that I received in my mailbox into an old postage box I had lying around. I forget exactly when I started but I believe it was leading up to Christmas 2010 in say late November 2010 and it occurred in an area outside of the Sydney Metropolitan Area in New South Wales, Australia :)

So roughly it's a years worth of junk mail - I say 'roughly' knowing it's more like 13 months, however I believe I lost some to the recycling bin due to it being left out in the rain and 'helpful' people.

Anyhow I'm sure you're curious to know how much was deposited.


...Well that box is full and that's a AA Battery to the bottom on the right hand side for some sort of scale for the size/room it occupies...or of course you could go off the bricks.

I weighed this (sorry, no evidence photograph you'll just have to trust me) using the highly accurate method of getting on the bathroom digital scales, waiting for the number to stabilize than held onto the junk mail - it weighed 22.5kg (including box...). That's 49.6 pounds - And that's a lot of resources.

Perhaps it doesn't sound like much to some but just think about how many letterboxes receive some sort of regular junk mail:


Sorry it's a bit blurry, but I think this photo sums things up. There are 19 mailboxes (in the first complex) with one that has a visible NO JUNK MAIL sticker - 8 rolls of junk mail reside in the others and it is assumed the other residents already retrieved theirs. Where those 18 mail boxes received 22.5kg of material, as I did, that adds up to a total of 405kg  ~890lbs ....4 Ton worth where 180 mailboxes got the 22.5kg.
"Recycling just one tonne of paper saves approximately 13 trees, 4100kwh of electricity and over 30,000 litres of water"
- National Packaging Covenant by the NSW Jurisdictional Projects Group

One image I evidently don't have available to me right now is the recycling bin for private Post Office (P.O) Boxes provided by Australia Post. I also have one of these mail boxes...and every time a batch of flyers comes out that goes to PO Boxes, these bins literally overflow. I do have a picture somewhere which I can edit in when it is rediscovered.

If that isn't thought provoking enough consider this...


... fluctuations in weight exist during the year as there are spikes in who and how many business advertise this way. The above image is some pre-Christmas junk mail I got received and weighed. As you can see the roll of junk mail (and rubber band) weighs just under 1kg at 836grams ~1.84lbs

There exists on the internet a large range of information about the benefits of recycling paper but I won't delve into that aspect, but rather encourage you to consider them or look them up yourselves and make up your own mind on this issue.

Something I take into account myself is the time and other resources it took to produce the end product: From growing, nurturing trees and harvesting the wood which somewhere along the line becomes pulp of paper creation...as well as the combined distance it traveled including from the forest to the individual delivering it....to ultimately ending up in someone's mailbox before eventually getting tossed (hopefully) in the recycling or used for something else more useful than being landfilled.

It's a tough  thing to comment on...Livelihoods rely on the industry, businesses need to promote who they are and what they provide, and people want to be kept in the loop of all the great bargains; whilst on the other hand it is pretty much a big middle finger to people interested protection of the environment and more sensible uses of natural resources, it promotes perhaps unhealthy purchases and consumer culture and it becomes part of the waste stream when the reader is done with it.

Thoughts? Comments?



Catalogue themes - An illustrated Guide to Consumerism

Just a quick entry this time. For about 1 year now, probably longer, I have been collecting all the unaddressed mail otherwise known generally as Junk Mail with the majority being advertising material.

Looking at what accumulated over time (I will provide another blog entry dedicated to the experiment) and knowing what's in it you really can pick all the events that marketing pounce on. Know what it is currently in Australia? "Back to School" sales - 'School' in my State doesn't go back for at least 22 days I'd say, sometime after Australia Day (January 26th). The sale items are office and stationary supplies. The next sale event here (based on something not cooked up by stores) will be Australia Day where imported crap with the Aussie Flag on it will be peddled...After that? Valentines Day? Then Easter. Clearance of 'Summer Stock', 'Winter Bargins, an so on.

I'll talk about it more in an upcoming blog but the amount of time and resources that must go into trying to push a sale onto someone really kind of disturbs me...then again I'm sure it is an art form, and I find myself bored with free time so what's it matter to me what people spend their time doing? :P

Because it made me laugh recently here is a still taken from the motion picture Cops and Robbersons where Chevy Chase's character lies about smoking and rolling his own cigarettes when the character in fact has strong anti-smoking views. To save face and respect he rolls one in front of his neighbour who he lied to about smoking...the cigarette (if you can't see from the picture) is put together poorly haha Seen it before? It's old fav of mine, it's silly but I like it :)



If you are the copyright owner and object to this image being used please get in contact with me and I will remove it immediately. I am using this still image in good faith.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cocaine in Australia - Drug of the Summer 2012?


Okay I confess - The story of Cocaine interests me. I remember watching the movie Blow with Johnny Depp shortly after it came out for rent after a recommendation from a mate in Food Technology class :P

In short I loved it and since I have read books about cocaine, seen numerous videos about all aspects of cocaine production from plant to vial, read official documents from authorities such as health departments and enforcement agencies, as well as proported "trip reports" on various open web forums.

Pretty much I am attracted to anything that has anything to do with cocaine...movies containing it, hearing new slang words for it, hearing of the most recent 'record breaking cocaine bust', new distribution methods, technology and routes, the latest public figure to be caught up in association with it...well you get the point...EVERYTHING.

Today I learned something new and I am keen to share it. In fact, it's something I predicted. Cocaine is being effectively distributed between states in Australia...well two at least.

News articles today...

Melbourne Busts

Sydney Busts

...cite cocaine being detected by police drug units in two seperate Australian cities Sydney (NSW) and Melbourne (VIC).

This may come as no suprise however what this means is a substance that has been valued at $450 A GRAM (Source "80g worth $3600 - Implying Cocaine on streets may be heavily cut? Only possessed by those willing to part with and with access to $$$?) and is heavily regulated has not only got into an underground market, but it HAS a market at those prices.

Think about this if nothing else. Most people would know of the nasty side of the illict drug trade which includes cocaine. With the price of Cocaine being reportedly £20 a gram in parts of the U.K (Source) and for the U.S between $20 (b.s?) - $175 (after the "crack down" - Source) why WOULDN'T alleged 'cartels' want to hit this apparent Australian honeypot? After-all the AU dollar has been stronger than the U.S dollar for what? Nearly constantly for 12 months? If Australia = High profit, and where the proceeds are used to finance conflict...that means Australia's influence per user could be the highest in the world. Who knows perhaps New Zealand pay even more, or NZ users visit Australia and there's some 'drug tourism' occurring.

With the Summer starting to kick in and a lot of Festivals  + Australia Day, it'll be interesting to see what else turns up in the news in this area.