Tuesday, 9 January 2007


Saturday, January 28, 2006

I'm going to Pluto!

Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:00 PM Ted
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The Animals Take Over The Cube Farm!
Are you a "cube-farm chicken"? Stuck in a cubicle somewhere with the inevitable Dilbert cartoon pinned to one wall? Read this article now, and maybe email it to your boss. Then email them a link to this blog article as well - thoughts on how to make workspaces more productive...
As the article mentions - in a cube farm environment you're stuck with the hubbub of dozens to hundreds of co-workers. It's creative, because interactions can't be predicted, and some of them will bring the birth of a new idea or process, or a new approach to a problem - basically, the cubicle area is a moderated think-tank in that sense. Also, of course, the land of cubicles is also the land of the longwinded joke, the noisy distraction, the unwelcome jerk.
There are of course a couple of different work area types, and the above is only one, albeit and unfortunately the most common one in this age of cheapshit companies trying to screw the last drop of a mythical thing called "productivity" out of their fellow human beings while paying the lowest price possible for it. But cheap begets cheap, and that article seems to be saying that finally that's being realised again. Funny how things just go around, come around...
Back to my idea. Why are you "stuck" in an office or cubicle? Because you personalise the space, it's now "your" space. That's YOUR wall with YOUR Dilbert cartoon, YOUR workstation, YOUR coffee cup on the liquid crystal changes-colours-when-I-put-my-cup-on-it coaster. Do you know why office typing pools were originally set up? Why cubicles were invented?
Typing pools meant that any typist could sit at any position and be in familiar ground. Customisation of that space was anathema. Cubicles were invented partly as a way to restore the impersonal experience of a typing pool back to something a bit warmer and more customised, without losing the interchangeability factor. And these days it's no longer necessary...
To begin with - your workstation is usually logged onto an office network these days - whichever machine you log into, your work is there, so the only thing keeping you in your office or your cubicle or whatever, is your cubicle toys and a sense of one-upmanship...
Add to the above, that with a properly designed wireless network you can take your work with you on your laptop, and you have a situation where "offices" and "cubicles" and "meeting rooms" can be dispensed with and turned into custom work areas. Need a place to brainstorm? Try one of what used to be called meeting rooms for the day.
Quiet time to work through a long programming problem? Sit in a closed off, "used-to-be-called-an-office" area for the day. Hey I can take my laptop to the sit-down meals/kitchen area if I want, and work there for the day if that's what I need.
See, I'm not advocating throwing everyone out of offices and cubicles, I'm proposing that if someone needs a particular environment, provide it. Have the office divided up into more kinds of work areas. Cubicles with doors, cubicles with removable panels so that they can be turned into semi-open-plan spaces, a row of desks and chairs that can become a brainstorming space or a theatre or a meeting area, a set of offices which are designated "intensive" areas, and so on.
Got programming books you just "have to have"? Procedure books, scripts, or anything else on paper that's a must-have for your job? Either get them in electronic form or else get a book locker and take the ones you need with you to your chosen workspace, and put them back when you've finished. It works, and it also means that some resources can be shared and therefore you'll need less copies around.
Provide unified logons, roving and movable workstations, whatever it needs. And keep a block of offices for those that need them daily, a set of cubicles for those who can work in that environment, a typing pool for the typists. But provide options, options, options. And don't let anyone monopolise any spot.
I think that makes for a work environment where more work can get done. It can also mean more bludging and time-wasting, but that's what a company should be paying their managers for, to keep an eye on that. Innovate, manage, and reap the benefits. Or keep the old system, and keep your bottom line low. Your choice.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 5:50 PM Ted
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Terms Of Ensearchment
Another roundup of what people have recently been searching for - and found my blog...
hybrid fallacystilnoxvietnamese new year perth 2006perth chef cooking in your kitchenbest espresso in perthmongolian restaurant leedervillekicking dachsunds in wwisubiaco station st marketkakulas brothers australiasolar steam vehicleradox recipegrenade launching blanksthrobbing left big toegail pisconeri memorial awardlongzstock road markets perthtedalog litefreecycletomato machinesivor biggun lyricscanning vale marketsfluoride free site:aucanningvale markets free old solar panels perth
To the person looking for a chef to cook in your kitchen - I'm available! I may not have a chef hat or chef papers or chef knives but I am too a chef, I can swear in French!
The other red higlighted entries are notable only for their oddness and hopefulness...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 4:47 PM Ted
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$10,000 update:
Nothing.... hehehe I bought a ticket apiece for the SO and myself and hers won $4 while mine struck out. So much for reading the omens and portents, anyone want their fortume told?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 4:25 PM Ted
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GROU.PS and Penguins - what more can you want?
GROU.PS - I've started a collection there, it's not really anything more than a way to stick a bunch of links to my stuff in one place but it's fun anyway...
And here's my time wasting link of the day, launch a penguin back to his spaceship, waste time, waste time, waste
Categories - ::/:: posted at 4:07 PM Ted
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Skyshow, Australia Day, 2006.
Did you see the fireworks? You and me and thousands, yep. Wasn't the finale a buzz? You and me and thousands probably thought so, we're a really lucky city to be able to afford to pump so much fire and beauty into the sky in such a few wonderful minutes. I tried to calculate how much those fireworks shells must have cost but in the end I just gave up and let the sheer extravagance and spectacle take me flying.
South bank was a pleasant evening punctuated only by the mandatory "Aussieaussieaussieoyoyoy" yobbos, and not much else as far as we were able to see. I looked around me, listened. Enjoyed.
A group of Chinese young folks sat a short distance from us. In between, a European family, making soap bubbles and enjoying the afternoon. Some African young men to the left of us, and an Indonesian Muslim family to our right. Big tough biker type with a digital camera and tripod behind us, with whom we had a great conversation on cameras and online albums.
A couple of ideas struck me then. One: All the people (kids mostly) on their cellphones - "We're beside the trees next to the toilet block, there's a table with a little roof..." and "... beside that, can you see the two white cabanas? Where are you then?" - and it occurred to me that our cellphone network must be coping pretty well these days. We have the technology for anyone, anytime, anywhere, to get on the phone and say "I'm here - where are you?" and that is kind of awesome, if you remember that ten years ago such rock solid coverage wouldn't have been taken for granted as it was tonight.
Two, the fact that it was really very patriotic, for a laid back don't give a shit bunch that we normally are. I saw literally hundreds of flags, either painted on or being worn, flown, or waved. And that brings me to the next thing, my third observation:
Three, there were also thousands of cheap glowsticks with Aussie flags glued on the end. Somewhere, an entrepreneur named CMOT Dibbler is chuckling at the adaptability of the purveyors of cheap trash... But you know you've arrived when some third world country knocks out probably millions of little plastic flags glued to those glow sticks that they couldn't sell the last few years. And even more you know you've arrived, when people buy them because they have that flag to wave...
Umm.. Fourth. I observed (loudly enough to have been heard in the surroundings, that with this much fervent patriotism, was the perfect occasion for a terror bombing. So when someone let off some illegal fireworks partway through the Skyshow, did the explosion cause mass panic? Nuh-uh. One girl managed a little squeak, everyone else turned, then cheered. We are so laid back and secure in ourselves that things that cause hysteria in other places didn't even create a ripple in our space. That too is awesome.
I don't know how many years I've watched the Skyshow now, it seems like forever. But this year, it was the best. I say that every year, and every year it's true. Now I can go to sleep happy and exhausted, good night Australia, good night Perth!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:29 AM Ted More Comments: (3)
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Right, That Does It!
The fourth time this week in the news I've spotted this magic figure 10,000 - so tomorrow I'm off to scratch a $10,000 ticket...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 4:59 PM Ted
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Seriously, For A Second. Do YOU Have Prostate Problems?
Here's some medical news. About four months ago I had high PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigens) levels in a blood test my doctor ordered. As my regulars know I have emphysema and that makes me prone to respiratory infections in particular and other infections by association, and I'd been under considerable stress at my last workplace so was wayyyy down in my health cycle, but that was a new thing I didn't want to have to deal with. Sooooo......
Two weeks later I quit my job, went to see a urologist for further testing and treatment, and began working for myself. It's a sad reflection on how much I let my last workplace get to me, that I actually felt much less stressed in even that two week period...
So my urologist got biopsy samples taken (ouchie!) and suggested a few diet items might be a preferable alternative to hard chemical treatment at my early stage of the illness, which is known as dysplasia, where cells are not cancerous but are no longer fully healthy and normal, either. Being a holistic hippie as I am, the idea of the diet struck an immediate chord.
I started researching the ingredients and foods the urologist suggested, and discovered the things he didn't tell me, such as suggested dosages, ways of preparing, and so on. I also found another dozen things which are good for your health and bad for the health of cancerous and precancerous cells, and I started to apply these things to the way I cook and the way I eat.
I'm extremely pleased to announce that within two months of starting, I lost the "full-bladder" feeling, have no other symptoms that I can see, and I don't expect my PSA levels to be any higher than for any other person around my age at the next tests in to months' time. I've now been following my own advice for four months, and collecting my information into a small ebook which I'll make available sometime after the test. In the meanwhile, I'm setting it out in blog format with comments here in its own section, and I hope you all realise that this is not a medically approved course, it's not something I suggest you do - it's just something I've been doing which has seemingly helped me and which you may find useful for yourself.
And the recipes aren't too bad either. (Speaking of which, I also base a lot of my own recipes on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book, which I've found to be very useful to help plan meals and portion sizes, and I recommend you get a copy out of your library and see if you similarly like it and perhaps you might buy your own copy as I did.)
Once again - here's the link to my work-in-progress, please note that the research and writing I've done on it is totally free, and although there's a Paypal link you are in no way obligated to pay for it. I do, however, ask you to treat it as copyright material and refrain from copying it or re-releasing it as your own.
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Thursday, January 26, 2006 2:49 PMposted at 11:52 AM Ted
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Will it have a root kit I wonder?
http://www.pcworld.com/resource/article/0,aid,124437,pg,1,RSS,RSS,00.asp - maybe it will flash the screen and send you into epileptic fits if you take a picture of a Sony CD cover?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:19 AM Ted More Comments: (2)
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Love Irony. Or Else.
Thought this was quite ironic in my browsing today. The first site I browsed to for news had this rosy-cheeked fresh-faced banner at the head of the page, just chiding and deriding me for browsing to the site with IE:

(full-sized version here if you can't read it)
And this was the next news item I opened. Cool. It's not April yet, is it?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:29 AM Ted
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Moron Tap-An-Apple Choir
... or tap-your-spacebar, in this case...
This is pretty clever - it seems to have a database of the rhythms of syllables of a lot of popular songs, you open their search application, tap in the syllables of the song using the spacebar, and voila! - it comes up with the song title! In my case, every time... I am seriously impressed, this is indeed cleverness.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 7:44 PM Ted More Comments: (2)
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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Recycle With Freecycle
Heard of Freecycle? I hadn't, until now. Best of all, we have a few local groups:
So go take a look in your hood, put something on offer, or go find something. (No I haven't checked each one yet but I will be checking. So far it looks like a good concept but needing support.)
Categories - ::/:: posted at 7:54 PM Ted More Comments: (4)
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Quick Roundup: Expected and Unexpected
Expected: Australia becomes known as a smelly polluter to the world. Thanks a lot John, now Australia has gone from The Lucky Country, bypassed The Smart Country, through the age of The Paul Hogan Country and Kingswood Country, and is fair and square in The Age Of The Stinking Country...
Unexpected: The age of the wristwatch unexpectedly cut down by - cellphones. I've been using my SE T630 as my timekeeper for about a year now but I didn't realise I was at the forefront of a trend, I thought I was just too lazy to go shopping for a new wristwatch...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:09 AM Ted More Comments: (3)
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.
Sarah and the Goon SquadLittle Miss Pissy PantsMilchfrömmlerOne Dog Said to the Other TEdALOG Lite
Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to (this is in no way mandatory)(yes it is!):spiceblogthat's stellasilly bahraini girlkittamostly risible
What were you doing 10 years ago? Strangely enough I was also riding what was to become the Internet bubble. I'd just bought my first domain name and it was named after my kittycat Faroc who'd just died of snakebite, and the faroc.com.au domain name is still going now so he's immortal for as long as I can pay the rego...
Five snacks you enjoy: 1. beef jerky2. homemade cheesy chicken nuggets3. salted plums4. vietnamese rolls5. and yep, crystalised ginger
Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:1. the tide is high - blondie2. my shirt collar (it will not go stiff) - ivor biggun3. the real slim shady - uh guess who...4. unchained melody - anyone5. almost any christmas carol. ever. stupid tapes my grandparents sent from home...bonus song: when i'm calling you-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooooooo-oooooo... - frank ifield
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire: 1. buy a Lotto ticket2. buy an RV3. buy a yacht to take the RV overseas on4. buy viagra5. buy a politician or small 3rd world country (use of viagra optional)
Five bad habits: 1. daydreaming about Lotto wins2. trying to think up the Next Big Thing3. spending too much time on the net4. watching Stacked on Seven5. stressing
Five things you like doing: 1. spending too much time on the net2. watching Stacked on Seven3. cooking4. eating5. flying kites
Five things you would never wear or buy again: 1. rubber chicken. (you figure out which heading it goes under.)2. body shirt. Eeek!3. cigarettes4. 20 year old hyundai5. any drink that includes oyzo.
favorite toys:1. laptop2. espresso machine3. kitchen4. kites5. anything to do with comedy including but not limited to rubber chicken
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:50 PM Ted More Comments: (4)
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Gizmodo Gizmodo Let Down Your Comment Drawbridge!
Saw this article over at Gizmodo and just wanted to add my one comment:
"For some reason, every time the weather turns, an orc appears..."
Gizmodo don't have a commenter system, more like an in-club. And I'm not in. Oh well, have my own blog anyway, and I'll just erase their comments, so nyah!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 5:14 PM Ted
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ongoing War. It's Funny. And Serious.
EBaum's World sux. That's the reason why several webmasters and publishers around the world are allegedly launching attacks against their servers.
Story is that someone created an animation featuring Lindsay Lohan and showing her in several different modelling poses but always with the same facial expression. That's funny enough by itself right there...
But a person claiming to be the creator of the animation says that the animated image was linked to by someone at EBW, thus leaching bandwidth, and then later that the image was used without permission, and then the bunfight started.
I think it shows a couple of things - good and bad - about the Internet.
Firstly, the idea of IP has been pretty much hammered by the 'net, to the point where one has to wonder if there aren't better ways to earn money for one's creativity.
Second, since the 'net is after all an information sharing medium as well as a communication medium, it's bound to blur some lines between the fixed media publishing businesses, the transmission media publishing businesses, and communications providers and technologies.
Lastly, while we regard our system of Law to be an imposing and permanent edifice on our cultural landscape, it really is anything but that. Formalised Law can only have been around for as long as it could be recorded, i.e. the last few thousand years of human development. And A) it's different in every geographical region, B) different in every area of specialisation, and C) different from one timespan to the next, often The Immutable Law of last year become The Standing Joke for this year due to one decision in the intervening time.
It also shows us that of the now over one billion people on the 'net, most realise that it's a new circumstance, and has it's own Laws that apply. It also has its own Justice system, consisting at this stage of spur-of-the-moment vigilante squads like the above, a few more formalised bodies like the IETF and the W3C to name but a few, which are really more engineering regulators, and a handful of people and organisations who operate with limited measures of success to keep their particular areas of the 'net as "legal" by their standards, as they can.
That latter group includes ISP operators who keep an eye on their users and the users' web content, people who run chat rooms and websites, and bloggers who keep an eye on their comments and preclude spam or content that they don't approve of.
Our problems with Law on the Internet are due to the fact that the Internet can be a very locationless place, with content hosted across many servers - each of which can be in an area where that content is not illiegal - to anonymous and distributed server layouts - where you don't even know which server among a pool of several hundred has which snippets and parts of one particular file which you consider to be illegal.
So a new natural justice system is slowly developing, and you can expect these vigilante posse style actions to continue until someone comes up with a mechanism to administer a less mob-rule-centric and more damaging (in the Internet sense) method of controlling and administering the New Internet Law.
What do I mean? (Sorry to rabbit on like this, I'll be finished shortly I promise) Well, if you own a well-known site you are getting paid by realword advertisers to hawk realworld goods, or maybe you're selling those goods. A default under the NIL would see your bandwidth curtailed to that site, reducing your capacity to earn. Perhaps that could be achieved by each provider signing into a Code of Conduct Agreement, or perhaps only the major router centres would need to be in this.
A single site (distributed throughout the 'net) would accept complaints and issues, and adjust the rating of the defendant's data centre which in turn would email the responsible person, note the incident, and, depending on how it's set up, after a certain number of infringements and a certain amount of time, adjust the bandwidth capacity (or perhaps the number of connections per minute allowed) of the defendant, for a specified period.
This doesn't take much to achieve, truly. It doesn't even need much human intervention, either, once it's set up. One or two new cases may crop up in a year when someone finds another way to fleece their fellow surfers, but for the most part it would work by itself.
Want to register a complaint against an XXX site? First you need your registration. Sad but unavoidable. Now, whenever you surf to sites which have been registered as possibly illegal under NIL, it will be recorded and if you also subsequently complain against that site then that too will be recorded. On the downside you're no longer truly anonymous. On the upside, that's what creates half these problems in the first place. If you're not going to be doing anything which NIL considers to be illegal, why worry?
The attitude will slowly prevail, that some loss of anonymity is a necessary part of accountability, and once more and more people register their Visa, that can also be used to control things like spam, fakemailing, and phishing. It depends utlimately not on something which is done against the wrongdoers to make them diffferent, but on doing something to every legitimate person on the 'net, which makes them known to be a good person, and which can be revoked if they do wrong. A far more gentle system than capital punishment, and it makes sense.
What do you think?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:39 AM Ted
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Saturday, January 07, 2006

does digg do it? (UPPDATED, with bad language.)
(Argh f*cketty-f*ck! Don't I hate this sort of thing happening!)
An article at O'Reilly.net has some sobering news for certain online news gathering services, but I'm not convinced. There's more here than I could have answered in a comment on that article so I've brought the comment and a few bits of speculation back here. In my comments I mentioned the things I love and hate about digg, although it's becoming true of other news gathering services as well. That is, the quantitiy and quality are becoming problematic. I love the number of links, hate it because there are just so many more to follow. I love the freshness of some of the links, and hate the immaturity of some of the links. For me, it's become a case of needing some way to sort the links out based on value to me, and that's more difficult to do with each passing week that digg gets more and more popular and more and more links appear each day. [see footnote 1]
Slashdot has it partly right, with its editorial selection process and the comment moderation process. They also have a wide selection of topics a news item can be filed under. But it's not the answer, especially as people HATE being censored or moderated, and because sometimes it's a bit difficult to categorise a piece of news - there's the right category there but there isn't an appropriate subcategory, the one I want is under that category heading there.
Flickr and delicio.us have it partly right, with their folksonomies and tags and open spirit. But the fuzziness of tags is the problem here, you call it auto, I call it car, and another person calls it myheap. [see footnote 2]
News and journalism have it partly right, they have a news wire service, journalists to refine that into an article, editors to decide if the article fits into a particular category and put it in the right slot where necessary, and a way to make that article known to the readership. But it's a case of finding a news source that covers ALL the areas one is interested in, and due to the economics, that's never going to exist. [see footnote 3]
Suppose there was a service like slash / digg, with a core taxonomic system that people could expand, which allowed you to find the right mix of different news that you wanted, and which included most of the missing parts of the above services?
You could "work" for such a service, either generating news or linking to news. Either way you could be paid a micropayment for each authenticated reader of each authenticated story, multiplied by a comment percentage, also validated against authenticated readership only.
To the end user - the readership - what would result would be a newsfeed sorted by their particular relavance, so that the top stories are all of interest, and as they scroll down the list they get more and more of the top news in other classifications. This is not a new concept, relevance. It's been around for decades and we've got a handle on it.
The way the money comes into this is through advertising. Various targeted ad services pay per view or per click, the trick here is to set that a certain percentage of whaever revenue is generated by your link goes to you. A certain amount goes to the humans who have to ride shotgun and sort out contested matters, keep the site running, and pay for the bandwidth. [see footnote 4]
The way that most clickfraud is kept down is by authenticating viewers. There are only so many genuine IP addresses on the Internet, with so many genuine users behind each one. Thanks to the scale of databases and computers, it's now quite possible to store that as part of the authentication details for individual readers, along with a token, along with habit patterns (logs in around 9pm AEST weekdays, that sort of thing,) geospatial info, and more. [see footnote 5]
That's a lot of data but you can help this application to scale by splitting it into geographical units, keep adding more in places where you have more users. If a reader is on one server today and another one tomorrow, pack their information and send it to their closest server. If you lose a server you may lose a few hundred thousand readers' information, it can be recreated in short order. Treat people as the data, don't treat their data as the data... This would scale well, remain fast, be pretty reliable overall, and be very useful. [hmm see footnote 5 again, just for the heck of it]
As reader, my preferences will be refined by each time I go to the site and click some news or comment on some news or suggest another tag I consider relevant. As a contributor I might get paid by the number of people in whose hotlist my link appears, and again if they follow it through. Perhaps someone more clever than I can come up with a way to collect stats from RSS feed readers as well, and collect the number of links followed or read.
The main advantage to me is that I would no longer be sorting through links like "This Is The Greatest Link On Earth! Follow It!" only to find that it's all about the migratory habits of lawn beetles. I would be able to follow most of the links in my "Top News" section confident that it's the sort of reading I prefer. I could follow the "General News" links confident that they're the latest articles that the majority of readers prefer to read.
The potential is there for a quite interesting experiement: After as year in operation, what would the news popularity envelope look like? The news and magazine publishing industires would quite possibly get a wakeup call if they studied this profile. I think the scene's ripe for something like this to appear, and since computing power is becoming so cheap, it wouldn't take much to do it, either.
--- --- ---
1. Digg is now between 40 and 100 links a day by my estimation. I don't have exact figures because I clear the 'unread' flags several times a day, but that's definitely a lot more than when Digg first came to my attention a few months back.
2. "Folksonomies" is a term coined to cover tags as applied to various items online. If you have a link on delicio.us pointing to my blog here, for example, you might tag it with the word "blog" and then the link would show up every time people searched for "blog" on delicio.us. "Tags" is another way of saying categories, but these categories are asigned by the creator of the item, and often by anyone else who reads that item and can be bothered to add a tag. The problem is, as I said, that there can often be five different tags to an item and each means the same but comes up differently in a result. So if you tagged your bookmark to my blog with the word "ted" then people searching for "blog" would never find it. That's the problem with tags, in a nutshell.
3. Old-school news has had centuries to refine their techniques, but that doesn't make them better, only more sophisiticated. And remember that the word "sophisticated" comes from the same root as the word "sophistry" which means untruth. These companies live or die by their readership and the advertising dollars that readership generates, and their journalists are constrained in what they write because if Coca Cola advertises in the paper they are NOT going to want an article that points out that Coke is bad, for example.
4. Yep, advertising, which would seem to make this service suffer the same as the traditional news in footnote 3. But the critical difference is that while one single newspaper has a limited range of advertisers and must kowtow to their restrictions, a global service such as I'm thinking of would use a whole range of ads served up as per Google or Amazon, i.e. content-relevant - and with such a wide spectrum of advertisers, you don't have the problem of a relatively small range of interests reducing what you can report about. Just look at Digg, or pretty much any blogs.
5. Google are "very concerned" about the rate at which Google is burning through computing power. Google is also storing vast amounts of their viewer information, such as geospatial location, habits, clickthrough histories, search histories, and more. And why do you think that might be, children? Perhaps it's because to them, such data is the tool that makes their advertising such a precious commodity? Bet on it. Using that much information to customise a news engine per reader could result in something quite powerful.
Reward for reading all the way down: diggdot.us, an RSS aggregator that combines three sources on one page...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Saturday, January 07, 2006 3:12 PMposted at 10:06 AM Ted
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Friday, January 06, 2006

Gravyland Perth Blog Pages Aggregator Report
Feeds fixed and improved, even.
Got the message, went to post a comment. Ooops PHPoop all over the place, dunno if my comment ended up posting or not now...
Comment text follows:
" I.. Ummm, I... Erhem. Ummm, yes, I use the blog feeds page... I, um, ah - use the RSS feed for the page to aggregate all the Perth blogs to my RSS reader...(And actually, I do browse the articles there occasionally, like when I'm out on a job and waiting for a scan to finish, or whatever. I'd prolly fade to coma if I didn't have my daily fix of local blognews.)So - who's going to be wearing the carnation at Little Creatures? How am I gonna recognise any of the people I've read so much from? More importantly, am I going to even be able to make it, seeing as my track record is so bad? Stay tuned! "
Sorry if that didn't make it into your comments, you need to check some file permission or content isn't screwed, see PHPoo errors:
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Hope that helped.
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Friday, January 06, 2006 1:53 PMposted at 1:53 PM Ted
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What They Saw Revisited. Yikes!
How could I have not commented about this gem among the search terms? I'm sorry people, I've let you down!
02 Jan 22:47:52 sphincter steak archives/04-01-2005_04-30-2005.html
Sphincter Steak? What the?!!
Then I remembered that James Lileks has that on his site and I copied a piece of it. Good old hot dogs...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:58 AM Ted
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RSS BS And Excess
Reading my morning fix of (RSS-delivered) news I happened to find this article at Digg. I commented, because this seems to be a perfect case of "the computer made me do it!" and as such it got my dander up.
I use Abilon as my feed scraper of choice, not because it's particularly better or more swish or more feature-packed than anything else, rather, I evaluated several readers over the past few years and got used to the interface in Abilon. It does what the others do, which is to get updated articles from each of the 80-odd sites I check, some of which are RSS aggregators themselves so I estimate that I read between 120 and 160 feeds.
No I'm not Superman, nor do I spend all day reading the news either. I've got the reader set up to check once an hour on those feeds and I open the reader interface twice a day most times - once for breakfast, and once after dinner when I'm watching the news. I don't read every article, I skim the headlines and the article abstracts that the authors set up, and then open the interesting articles in a browser for in-depth reading.
Mr de Kermadec on the other hand seems somewhat slavishly devoted to his up-to-the-second news feeds, and he's blaming RSS feeds for that. What utter bullshit... I used to play games on the PC until 3 in the morning, back in the 80's when such things were cool and new and compelling. And back then already, the hubbub was building up:
"I'm totally addicted to Wolfenstein, it must be the game's fault. Yeah, that's what it is.""Oh - now I'm totally addicted to Doom, I spend all day in my room and I've lost 20 kilos, those game designers and programmers have a lot to answer for!""Damn, now I've seen Quake and haven't been outside except to buy Coke in almost a year. I guess it isn't the games after all, it must be the computers themselves that do this to me, computers are the devil's devices..."
Me, once I realised how much of my life I was losing, I stopped constantly downloading and playing and - okay, the only word for something like this is "obsessing" - obsessing over new software, and recentred my life. That's all it takes Mr de Kermadec. Quit being so obsessed. We humans are apparently hardwired for communication among other things, but that doesn't mean it's our entire raison d'etre. Go fetch that donut you want, and when you get back well gee lookit that, that piece of news is still there and still current...
Oh, yeah - the other thing that news feeds can be used for is procrastinating and avoiding work - remember how much furore there was over email being a "productivity-decreasing application," and how people at work were spending too much time on IRC or MSN Messenger, and how website browsing was spelling the end of profitability in offices? Hmmm can I see the similarities here?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:45 AM Ted
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What They Saw
Here's another of the semiregular lists of the search terms people have been looking for, and then a message to the person looking for how to make their Nokia cough up it's IMEI identification at the end: (In fact, each of the lines in red has a comment at the end, because they are searches that bear a little elaboration.)
03 Jan 13:17:12 kiwi brand knife http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/06-01-2005_06-30-2005.html
03 Jan 13:09:44 mongolian bbq leederville http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/06-01-2005_06-30-2005.html
03 Jan 13:06:42 rocco macri blog_guidage.htm
03 Jan 12:55:39 rocco from box deli in perth http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/
03 Jan 12:54:08 rocco from box deli in perth blog_guidage.htm
03 Jan 12:39:36 kailis leederville restaurant http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/
03 Jan 12:30:03 kakulas sister fremantle blog_guidage.htm
03 Jan 11:11:56 mongolian bbq leederville http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/06-01-2005_06-30-2005.html
03 Jan 11:02:06 kailis dinner menu leederville http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/
03 Jan 10:55:16 stilnox tablets archives/06-01-2004_06-30-2004.html
03 Jan 09:21:56 rissoles http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/07-01-2005_07-31-2005.html
03 Jan 03:31:59 stilnox weird archives/07-01-2004_07-31-2004.html
03 Jan 03:21:17 how do i find the effing imei on a nokia phone archives/03-01-2004_03-31-2004.html
03 Jan 01:33:11 kiwi brand knife http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/06-01-2005_06-30-2005.html
02 Jan 22:48:04 sphincter steak sphincter steak&hl=en
02 Jan 22:47:52 sphincter steak archives/04-01-2005_04-30-2005.html
02 Jan 19:48:29 chung wah chinese new year - city of perth http://arach.net.au/~ted/myblogs/blog_aboutage.htm
02 Jan 17:52:45 kakulas brothers blog_guidage.htm
02 Jan 14:25:24 master butchers co-op showroom blog_guidage.htm
02 Jan 09:20:13 halal market perth Halal market%2BPerth&hl=en
02 Jan 05:56:03 kiwi brand knives http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/06-01-2005_06-30-2005.html
02 Jan 05:55:12 kiwi brand knives http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/06-01-2005_06-30-2005.html
02 Jan 03:43:52 bad arach http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/
01 Jan 18:55:50 jo joes pizza perth archives/02-01-2004_02-29-2004.html
01 Jan 10:29:11 buy postmix syrup archives/10-01-2005_10-31-2005.html
01 Jan 08:53:20 swansea st markets wa blog_guidage.htm
01 Jan 08:00:19 huey's restaurant archives/10-01-2003_10-31-2003.html
01 Jan 06:52:46 canning vale markets new years day http://arach.net.au/~ted/myblogs/blog_aboutage.htm
01 Jan 04:42:27 cafe oggi blog_guidage.htm
01 Jan 01:22:53 water on the lungs cat archives/05-01-2005_05-31-2005.html
31 Dec 15:57:57 dome coffee and perth blog_guidage.htm
31 Dec 15:53:35 dogging perth archives/07-01-2005_07-31-2005.html
31 Dec 12:02:31 kailis leederville restaurant http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/08-01-2005_08-31-2005.html
31 Dec 11:07:15 the re shop leederville blog_guidage.htm
31 Dec 09:08:37 cafe di rocco blog_guidage.htm
31 Dec 04:39:58 canning vale markets open new years day? http://arach.net.au/~ted/myblogs/blog_aboutage.htm
30 Dec 22:01:28 palm pilot ordering for restaurant http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/08-01-2005_08-31-2005.html
30 Dec 12:48:55 dome cafes perth blog_guidage.htm
30 Dec 11:17:46 kailis leederville http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/
Oh yeah and to get the IMEI number of one's mobile phone, I believe they all (including Nokia) just require you to type in *#06# (star hash zero six hash) on the keypad and up pops the IMEI. Hope you found it already, if not, hope you find it this time around.
And hey I notice that a LOT of people are looking for Kiwi brand knives online, and I have to say without reservation that these are the best value for money around, I paid a few bucks per knife and now have two large preparation knives and a 4" paring knife for under ten bucks Australian, that has to be good no? I find that almost every Asian food store I find has these knives in a variety of styles and sizes, Chang's Brother (along High Rd halfway between Bunnings and Dewson's roughly) is one store that comes to mind right away, it's actually got an "Oriental Supermarket" sign outside or something like that, and it's a bit like the Tardis, a LOT bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. Also bothe the Oriental food shops at Canning Vale market shops have them too.
Rocco? I've known Rocco as an acquaintance for over ten years now and I think there isn't a nicer person or a better host in Perth. Look up the Box Deli lounge bar restaurant on whitepages and go there - I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Say Ted sent you. You never know...
I'm rather glad that a lot of people are finding links to food and entertainment here, and will be developing this aspect a lot further in this year, to the point where it should start becoming a very current and relevant resource for finding what to do on your next free weekend. Bear with me while I sort out the Mysteries of Mambo and MySQL to start making this happen...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:51 PMposted at 3:34 PM Ted
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The Animal Machine
Just read an article on how animals move - "Constructoral Theory" - which claims that the way animals move, the amount of energy they expend doing so, and the speed they do it at, can all be explained and predicted by physics.
All very well but then Prof Bejan goes on to explain that the same theory also covers anything that moves including rivers and traffic flow, and that begs a big question:
How are we going to handle it when we realise that we're just more pieces of matter that happen to think they're alive? Well, at least it would explain some of the coworkers I've had...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:45 AM Ted
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Waste Time Splendidly.
Try the puzzle game here, or the fun puzzles here or here, or just idle away some time here and play around. Whatever, your 2006 just got some essential playtime in it, and early on too so the play habit is reinforced. What's a year without toys?
Don't forget please to mention Faroc Enterprises to anyone you know that needs PC / IT work done, I'll tackle pretty much anything, and could do with the work right now after the festive season...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:13 AM Ted
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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Now to learn to put '06 on the date...
Well that was exciting... Happy New Year y'all!
Oh and my first visitor for the new year:
1 Jan 01:22:53 MSIE 6.0 Windows XP 1024x768 Morocco wbs-196-2-109-14.wbs.co.za (
www.google.co.za/search?hl=en&q=%22water on the lungs%22%2Bcat&meta=
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Sunday, January 01, 2006 2:40 AMposted at 2:35 AM Ted
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