Friday, January 30, 2009

Why I don't Miss the Cinema So Much

This is from a post on a website elsewhere and I thought it's worth a republish here:

I went to the Bourne Ultimatum with Wife and former (female) housemate. Before the cinematic event we enjoyed a lovely dinner where my wife and ex housie decided that a heroic dose of wine was called for.

Once drunk, they decided it was time for me to outline what happened in the two preceding films. The glazed eyes and repeated questions such as ''but WHY did he lose his memory?'' indicates this is not going to go well.

Arrival at the cinema finds me in the queue behind Nadine Garner. I attempt to flirt with her, only ruined by the wife and ex housie ''mumble mumble HENDERSON KIDS!''.

One in the movie, the oversize handbag carried by ex housie turns out to be full of plastic glasses and a bottle of red. They open this (oh we're late BTW) in the dark, pour some on the floor and sit back.

They eat snacks in manner that I'm pretty sure sounds not unlike the Germans shelling Stalingrad. Ex housie has to go to the toilet three times (the last one to throw up due to hand held camera angles and wine). Both ask me questions throughout the movie in that faux ''I AM WHISPERING'' yelling voice.

At one stage they put their hands up to ask me a question. This is , according to them, the funniest thing they have ever done.

I reach for a killing implement.

Wife crosses and uncrosses her legs- desperate to go to the toilet. Finally she goes, and the movie ends a minute later. Housie is still throwing up in the ladies. I ponder going home with Nadine Garner.

They want to kick on to a bar. I walk home through the golf course. At midnight, the sprinklers come on for no apparent reason and I get wet.

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posted by thr at 10:08 am 0 comments links to this post

Friday, January 23, 2009

10K a day..

I've joined Rach, JimBob, Carl and Mikey with a new years weight loss resolution.

we're trying to walk 10k a day. Its pretty tough. The updates are in my right hand column and here:

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posted by thr at 11:41 am 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Towards 50 knots

The rise and rise of the GPS data logger has brought back speed windsurfing in a huge way in recent years.

Going back 15-20 years, speed sailing was an incredible pain. You had to lay out a 500 metre course, with timing gates set for a certain tide and then hope it all panned out. Having a GPS means you can hit the water when you want.

And it's ratified:
The following applies when using GPS survey equipment:
a. Receiver logging rates shall be set at 10 Hertz, which results in a GPS position every 1/10th of a second.
The GPS system shall provide time stamp with each position that are accurate to within .001 second.

More on the rules here.

The Navi BT-11 brought an SD equipped GPS data logger to everyone. For about US$80 you had a device that was incredibly accurate, water resisitant (a waterproof camera style bag sorted that out) and made analysis, top speed and even integration with Google maps incredibly easy. Here's an example.

So we come to Macquarie Innovation. The first time I saw it's predecessor Yellow Pages Endeavor I did not know what to make of it. I sailed behind it on my windsurfer in 1993 when it was doing its test runs and at the time I thought it was not super fast, but had weirdly blistering acceleration.

I recall reading about designer Lindsay Cunningham and thinking he was actually full of crap; of course that opinion turned out to be full of crap. He designed the "boat" to be an assymetrical speed machine, designed only to beat the record with efficiency, not be the blunt instrument we windsurfers were and still are. In that year they took the outright and boat class record, pushing the record to 46 knots (52mp/h or 85km/h) over the 500 metre course. Several things about this record blew me away. First Cunningham predicted it- the speed they would achieve and the wind they would need to do it in- just 20 knots. This record stood for 11 years until the blunt instrument of windsurfing inched its way past.

After that, I thought a smaller craft for one crew might be e better option and it could be made stronger and therefore go out in more wind. Once again; blinded by the theory that you need lots of wind (30-40knots) to go fast. The new craft had a different wing/sail but was still about the same on-water dimensions.

This latest record of 48.14 is up by 2 knots, around 4%. Thats huge in my view. If the world record for 100m dropped by 4%, that would represent a drop of .4 seconds- about 4 metres! The peak speeds were over 51 knots. Really all the team needed was a steady 22 knots (instead of the 18 they got) and we would be looking at a 50+ knot world record- and probably another 11 years of holding it.

The efficiency of this new craft is astounding:
This performance represents not only the fastest speed ever recorded by a sailing boat, but also the most efficient use of wind energy by any craft competing for the World Sailing Speed Record.
Capable of sustaining speeds in excess of three times that of the wind powering it, Macquarie Innovation showcases an Australian project that is leading the world in sail powered performance, efficiency and design technology.

Dr Tom Chalko- sustainability early adopter and speed sailing fan was there:

MI speed sailing craft on course in Sandy Point on 8 March 2007. It reached 48 knots in 16-18 knots of wind. I must have been the only spectator - there is not a single footprint on the beach..

Well done to the Macquarie Innovation team. Long may your record reign.

The container as used by the team for their gear.

Licensed under Creative Commons.

Image used courtesy of Yachting Victoria/Macquarie Innovation Team.

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posted by thr at 8:51 am 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Twits hate Facebook

Of late I've noticed a strangely snobbish and superior attitude emerging amongst so called social media experts (I hasten to add most are in fact genuine social media experts!) towards Facebook.

Sure, they love their twitter and spend hours tweeting, replying and retweeting and explaining to "idiots" why Twitter is such a great resource, yet they regard Facebook as being some sort of opiate for the masses, a place where the great unwashed gather.

We've seen Scoble fall in and out of love with Facebook , and go bananas over Friend Feed (which I am slowly coming round to), but I am curious about a few Australian folk and how they approach Facebook.

@Trib (Stephen Collins) started a group for his business Acid Labs only recently. That seems odd. Stephen is, in my view, a true cutting edge social media animal, but only just got around to using Facebook for business. I started a Tom Reynolds Motoring group on Facebook last year when it became apparent that people who heard me on the radio wanted to be my Facebook friend. I do not generally accept those friend requests purely because I want Facebook to be a place where I am friends with people I know personally. That's not to say all of my Facebook friends are "real life friends" but if I knew them outside of their Facebook friend request, then that's good enough for me. Trib also seems to have his Twitter connected to his Facebook status, an issue I will address later.

And then there's @duncanriley. Recently he had to "lower" himself to reply to a Facebook email and posted (and yes, I am sure it was toungue in cheek/seeking a response) "I'm replying to an email on Facebook. I feel dirty." Duncan discovered he had many pending friend requests, FB emails and notifications. I think he softened his view, but still jokingly maintained an air of horror at getting into Facebook. Until recently, he too had his Tweets linked to Facebook : "... I've got tweets going into FB, but have to log in to reply"

Some other Facebook h8rs:

  • stilgherrian & andrewsayer RT @crispynoodles: One word: "Phew". RT: @andrewsayer Twitter Rejects $500 Million Takeover Offer From Facebook http://tr.im/1gfy (Sure it's a retweet- but he clearly supports this!)
  • cameronreilly: @pmenadue PETE! Long time no see mate. I'm playing on Facebook at the moment but it sucks. Need a realtime board.
  • kcarruthers: @JackBastide I find facebook a little dull compared to twitter, preferring the realtime view on friendfeed instead
  • fulltimecasual: I understand the power of facebook now. One snarky update = a flood of emails. Thank Christ twitter aint like that. :)

Facebook <3

  • MSpecht - Uses it for work and play.
  • SilkCharm - Does presentations on the power of FB
  • liubinskas: "On holidays and playing my dads facebook scrabble while he gets another cold beer on a hot day. Twttr feels like work... "

To really understand the Twitter snob hate for Facebook, you need only go here.

Twitter updating Facebook- just say NO.

Of course there's an app that allows your tweets to go directly into Facebook. You can establish a filter that will prevent this occurring (When I used it I simply used the @ symbol- a direct twitter message.) These filters are less than effective. Effective however, is the way you lockout your Facebook friends from Twitter. Your Twitter updates will appear to FB like you are having a great/werid/busy/sooky time but not including them. I got lots of comments on my FB stream when Twitter was connected to Facebook- and none were positive. Most ended in a ? mark.

Here's an example from @Trib.

"Stephen RT @liako Spread the word & let's build a kick-arse team that will help identify expertise in the Aussie industry: http://twtvite.com/ick9m3.via Twitter - 15:58 - Comment"

The next item in his Facebook was from FriendFeed and was the same post, just not as a status...

"WTF?" said trib's FB friends...

I'm not alone in this thought: jpoh: @reemixx i wonder the same... my facebook timeline seems pretty full with my twitter updates and i think i might be spamming my friends

JJprojects worked out how unimportant Twitter is for his clients

jprojects: @jpostman Yes Facebook is still where to reach most. This is still quite small, we all here and elsewhere forget that sometimes I think.

So, the obvious question is Why The Hate? For as long as Twitter remains an early adopter haven- complete with downtime (Fail Whale), in jokes and no monetisation, the early adopter cool crew will love it.

Facebook was never like this. When it was small it was not really an early adopter place- it was for grads. When it went mainstream it jumped right over the early adopter crew and boy do they hold grudges. Scoble thinks LOLcats will cost you a job interview, the Twitter crowd think that just being on Facebook is not far from that. It's because the "regular" folk are there- interacting, searching, commenting and unbelievably getting the most out of Facebook. That's not early adopter, that's mainstream!

Don't believe me? Watch them all get up and leave when Twitter goes mainstream (or gets ads)...

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posted by thr at 9:38 am 5 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Harry at Five Months

Elwood, Victoria, Australia, originally uploaded by thomasrdotorg.

Bigger, happier and developing his own lil personality.

I don't have to like it, but I do.

posted by thr at 11:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, January 09, 2009

Fwd: Respond me if you can

Sometimes the Spam filter on Gmail works, other times it doesn't. I suspect the fact there is no link in the email could be why....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <ladypozitive@gmail.com>
Date: 2009/1/9
Subject: Respond me if you can
To: xxxxx@xxxxx.com

I regret for the long answer, I hope you have not forgotten me? I send my photo here. I would be glad to continue our acquaintance, if you not against? If I do you boringly, please forgive me. I shall wait your answer :)

Yours Ramilya


posted by thr at 1:53 pm 0 comments links to this post