Thursday, December 31, 2009

Secret (not any more) plan to save Earth from asteroid

It's like a blockbuster disaster movie
description: 350-metre wide asteroid Apophis could strike Earth in 26 years and could kill "hundreds of thousands" but is actually from today's news. The Russians are said to be preparing to meet to work out ways to prevent a collision when the asteroid passes within 30,000 km of the planet. Meanwhile, the US space agency NASA said in an October statement that updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a-million. It's uncertain whether they wil join with the Russian to discuss the possibility of impact, or if they are making plans for April 14.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holy apparitions

Not sure if this is something you would want or not - in today's paper there is a story of a woman who saw the face of Jesus on a banana peel - and she is no stranger to this type of thing ... apparentlly a friend of hers saw an apparition of Mary in the mould of their shower floor. Now what was that about godliness and cleanliness?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Way too easy

Hmm - Kindle for the iPhone and iPod Touch is now available in Australia and I downloaded it on the way to work this morning ... and "The Lost Symbol" and a sample of "Flashforward" and ... well, that was it so far but it is way too easy to buy books this way especially with the 1-click option! It will be interesting to see if Amazon (owners of Kindle) have eliminated the pesky geography issues that plague some other online ebook sellers. Now if only the Kindl application was more customisable and/or provided a plainer typeface.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Word of the day ...

"paywall" - like a firewall on your computer that keeps bugs and other unfriendlies out - but in reverse - you can't get access unless you pay. Expect to see more of these - especially from the publishers who are keen to have us pay fir content.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peaceful words

In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize last week, US President Barack Obama reportedly defended the right of his country to wage "just wars" in the name of peace. Somehow doesn't seem quite in keeping with the occasion - although given that the Nobel prize was established by the man who invented dynamite, maybe it's not that far off the mark.

Home for the holidays

It just makes me want to rush out and buy his new book (which I would have already if they weren't holding up the e-version because thy were afraid it would hurt hard-cover sales) ... Author Stephen King and his wife are donating money so 150 soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard can come home for the holidays.

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the news

Seems you can't look at a newspaper or magazine (or blog) these days without reading something about Tiger Woods. I was surprised to find, in one edited transcript of SMS exchanges between the Tiger and one of his "friends", that he referred to himself as "blasian". I'd not heard the term before. Nor the phrase, in the same report, "beyond PR redemption". So does this mean that the saying "no publicity is bad publicity" may need revisiting?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It's kind of odd that there's so much yet so little happening about electronic publishing. On one hand there's the US magazine publishers who are looking to provide a delivery mechanism for use on all manner of devices; and on the other there's the move by publishers to delay release of ebooks so they don't interfere with hardcover sales. I guess it's all about maximizing profits ... but who knew ebook readers would be worse off the more popular electronic material became?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Holler for a ...

A "to do" list can be a helpful thing: place to hold up - check; hand gun - check; getaway car ... oops. Police yesterday caught a man who had allegedly tried to hold up a hotel in Alexandria, Sydney, as he tried to hail a cab to make his getaway. Whi said there's never a cab around when you need one?

One of a kind?

How do you personalize your wedding? The latest craze seems to be to take part in a "drown the gown" ceremony which is reportedly ((The Daily Telegraph) being adopted by newlyweds looking for more extreme ways to make their wedding their own/memorable. I guess it's different from going out in your wedding best and having a paint ball skirmish. Not sure what it says about the venerated institution of marriage ... or if it affects the resale value ...