Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who knew ...

... there are now some new words/phrases to cover texting disorders. According to a report in today's The Gold Coast Bulletin you could have textaphrenia; textiety or post-traumatic text disorder. The last one is my favourite: physical and mental injuries sustained while texting, such as walking into poles and people, plus feelings of depression when no one contacts them. Textaphrenia isn't bad either: hearing texts come on or feeling your mobile device vibrate when it has not. And lastly, textiey: the anxiety teens feel when they have not received a text or are unable to send texts - they feel like they have no friends and also over-analyze the reasons why people have not replied immediately. To be fair, of course, some people do reply immediately - it just takes them a very very very long time to tap out the message on the tiny phone keyboard - and predictive text doesn't help.

What the ... ?

"The navy would not need to use a nuclear weapon ..." said former President Bill Clinton when saying there may be no other option to stop oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico other than to blow the well up. There is still some hope that two relief wells might be able to stem the flow, but if that fails he said the most important thing was to fix the leak. "The navy could probably top it but there are all kinds of consequences that would have to be considered" he is reported as saying. He also insisted that BP was "trying to do the right thing" and should be given more time to plug the leak Hmmm.

Who thinks of these things?

Paul has so far successfully predicted the outcome of all Germany's World Cup games - which in itself isn't spectacular, one could say, unless you were also told that Paul is an octopus. He is being billed as a "psychic octopus" and makes his choice from two boxes, one with Germany's flag, and one with their opponent's, lowered into his tank. Let's hope he continues his winning streak, and, if he doesn't, that no-one's hanging out for calamari for dinner.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

By any other name ...

They're there to lend a hand in times of disaster and they promote drug-free messages ... these are just two of the benefits The Church of Scientology offered to an Australian Senate enquiry when speaking against the introduction of a new bill which would require religious groups to provide what public benefit they provide before granting them tax breaks. They were not, suggested their spokesperson Virginia Stewart, unlike the Salvation Army. Except of course that they may not do the other things the Salvation Army is renowned for eg assisting people struggling through the economic downturn and offering assistance to the homeless.

Good luck!

Without knowing the context - and sometimes even knowing the context - it's difficult to know if this is a positive affirmation or a suggestion that the exercise is a lost cause. You just have to love the English language!

The voice of the people?

What does Lindon Litchfield know that the rest of us don't? In a letter today to the editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin, about Julia Gillard's ascension to power, he asks: "Although one needs to respect the office of PM, the question is how will Gillard handle the coming depression and world war?" and goes on. "No better than her predecessor I suspect. Basically Australia is well and truly screwed and way beyond the point of return, so sit back and enjoy the rest of our downhill ride people ..."
A cheery message for the start of the day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New idea

Hmmmm. This is a little disturbing. I had just written a blog entry - checked out another application and come back in to finish editing it - when I realised I had not saved it properly and it was "gone" - and now I have absolutely no idea what it was about ... until just then. Not sure if it had anything to do with the newspaper being open to exactly that page - where Gold Coast fertility experts have identified a simple blood test to pinpoint within a few months when a woman will cease to be fertile. This could well be a new concept in family planning.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Democracy ... getting it right

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd faces a leadership challenge this morning and is quoted as saying "I was elected to do a job. I intend to continue doing that job." The suggestion was that the "job" he was talking about was that of Prime Minister. However, it seems Mr Rudd could have the concept of democracy in this instance wrong - which is a worry in someone who continues to commit Australia troops to support democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was not elected by the Australian public to lead the country ... his Party elected him as their leader and because the Labor Party ended up with more seats at the last Federal Election, and because he won his seat at the time, he "automatically" took the position of Prime Minister. If he wants to say he was "elected to do a job" then he could admit it was to lead his Party ... and that in a democracy they have the right to choose someone else should they wish to. Or another option is for Australia to become a republic and for him to run for the role of President ... then if he wins, he can say he was elected (to lead the country). (Who knew there were high horses around this early in the morning?)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Exploring the new iPhone OS

How exciting is this? I download the new Apple iOS this morning - onto my iPhone - and am now able to type this using a bluetooth keyboard (conveniently recently purchased for use with the iPad). I am still investigating the other improvement the update delivers. Unfortunately I didn't have time to read all the articles about it while it was downloading - only because I ran out of time. Much fun in store for the coming days me thinks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The WritePad way

I admit it, I have given in and purchased WritePad for iPad - which allows you to write on the screen - just like you can with other tablet devices. I still have to order the stylus that will allow me to write on screen delicately - rather than using sausages like the Koreans who have been hesitant to take off their gloves/mittens in cold weather yet still wanted to be able to use their iPod/iPhone touch screens. I did have WritePad for the iPhone but that just wasn't as elegant a solution as the new one is - it gives you an entry panel which converts each letter as you enter it rather than waiting for entire words/phrases to be recognized. I'm giving it a 10.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Naming Protocol

Forgive if I have pondered this one before - but how do you name your device - if you name it at all that is. Or, if not a device, then your pet? Or your child? What is it that kicks in and makes you think "I love/like that name enough to want to attach it to something or someone I get to name". Usually my partner helps me with my naming, or friends, but sometimes I manage to find the "right" name all on my own. Case in point: the iPad. I have called it "Padtheway", keeping Paddy in case someone else gets one and wants that name (yes M, that would be you). The iPhone is Ivan, the Vaio is Virgil (the previous Sony was Toni), and the Tablet PC is Moses; the smaller tablet PC is Mini-Mo (with a nod to Mike Myers whose forebears we hope, given his almost familiar resemblance, must cross our paths somewhere way back when). The cat is Em - short for Emma, but really named after Extra Mild - which she definitely isn't; and our other cat was Homer - not so much after the Iliad hero as Homer Simpson - we saw him eat just after he and his sister (Belinda Loveheart - now there's a name!) were found dumped. We were offered them both, but chose Homer to take home to be with Emma - since they did seem to mostly share the same surname (Ma).
UPDATE: And after all that, I have just remembered the reason for this post (and when I say "remembered" I mean "read where I had written it down so I wouldn't forget it") ... why would you name your device "Mongrel" - as I saw on the list of nearby Bluetooth devices as I sat at Maccas the other day ... or is that the owner's nickname?


On the way to work this morning (I think it was this morning because I marvelled at how different the drive was when I was 10 minutes later than usual) I saw a woman coming up the street I was approaching and she was pushing a large red and black "runners" stroller - you know the type, they're designed for mothers (or fathers) on the run - literally. Imagine my surprise then when I was within proper viewing distance to see that the wee bairn in the stroller was nothing of the sort ... rather some kind of border collie cross (I immediately thought of Fiona, Lisa). My initial thought was that perhaps it was a "pampered pet" but then I actually engaged my brain and wondered about all the reasons you would take your pet out for a walk that wasn't actually - and decided there are some pretty dedicated animals owners out there (as if I hadn't actually known that already).

3G or not 3G - that is a question

I was excited at the prospect of 15 minutes free Wi-Fi at Zarraffa's Coffee until I tried to use it. Not sure if there were a lot of other people taking advantage of their complimentary offer but boy, was it slow. In the end, time up, I was glad to go back to my 3G. (Must check out what recharge I can get for that at the end of the month ... I may need to go for the 3GB for $30 from Telstra - their 1GB for $20 may not be as good value as it sounds - as they charge you 2 (units) per increment on it, rather than 1 per increment on the bigger plans. (I am amazed at how long it has taken me to find out what the increments are and to make sure I was remembering it correctly - but finally I found it on the Telstra website and finally worked out how to take a picture, crop and post it from the iPad). (Just hope it's readable.)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A new art scheme

Some years ago, I suggested to S that one way that the aboriginal community could be funded was by imposing a 5% "tax" on all artwork - especially artwork when it was re-sold, often at prices much higher than had been paid to the original artist. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I heard on the news last night that such a scheme - a "royalty" collecting scheme - with the proceeds being paid to the original artist (rather than putting into a central fund as I had suggested) was about to "go live". This was the first I had heard about it and I'm just wondering if the art world has heard more about it and whether there is a collection scheme or some sort of infrastructure in place to handle it. (I've had other ideas as well ... but look how long it took for the iPad to eventuate!!!!!)

It's a dud

You have to wonder about some members of the human race, don't you? Some folk in Britain have just been arrested for selling explosive detectors in strife-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. So it should be okay to sell such a product, yes?, especially if it's okay for others to sell munitions to the same countries. Seems though that the explosive detectors aren't ... independent scientific testing has concluded that they are not capable of detecting explosives or anything else. Well, I don't think that's right ... it obviously detects people who are sick of being blown up by people and companies selling munitions to strife-torn countries. And I'm not even going to go anywhere near the story of the two Australian servicemen who were killed yesterday when they approached an explosive device to disarm it - only to have it detonated remotely by an "insurgent" who had been following them. Hmmm ... wonder if the Global Financial Crisis has affected arms sales.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

(Not the only) News of the day

The average reader could be forgiven for thinking that nothing else happened in the world of tech yesterday except for the official "launch" of the iPhone 4 - even though it won't be available until later this month. Steve Jobs brandished the sleek (almost as three-quarters as thin as the iPhone 3S) new device at the WWDC in the US. Tech bloggers and emagazines started reporting its features immediately - even though most of it is "old" news following leakage of details and photographs on Gizmodo after a prototype found its way into one of their reporters hands. Jobs made a reference to this and added (almost) "you ain't seen nothing yet" before running through the features of the new device including a front-facing camera (although Skype-type communications will only be available over Wi-Fi in the first instance) and the wraparound-antenna-embedded housing. Amazingly, the glass screen is said to be many many times more durable than plastic - which will be good news to all of those carrying around a device with a cracked screen now - at least when the time comes to upgrade they know there is a smaller chance of screen damage happening again. The other piece of news, although not totally unexpected, is that an upgrade to the iOS (i-Device Operating System) is on its way for later model iPhones, iPod Touches and, later in the year, the iPad.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Getting colder

It's a good question - did I notice that I had cold morning breath this morning (as opposed to morning breath which is quite quite different - although hopefully this is never so bad you can actually see it) because it is colder or because this was the first cold morning where I was talking to myself in the car (about the state of the windscreen clarity in the car in front of me - especially as it was being hit by the morning sun)? In any case, it is cold - but not so cold that we've had our first frost yet.

Where am I?

I'm not 100% positive but I would be willing to put money on the music I just heard being Mahler's Resurrection Symphony ... which isn't bad for breakfast music at Maccas.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Ways to choose a partner

Our Office Administrator is a single female and admitted today that she was using the installation of a security lock at the front door as a potential culling tool for prospective partners. That of course would be culling as "choosing" rather than as "killing". When the security lock was installed, so was a door bell - signed PLEASE RING. The doors had already been labeled as PUSH or PULL, depending on what side of the door you approached from. Anyone who stands outside and tries to PUSH the door labelled PULL without ringing the bell automatically gets excluded from the dating pool. Alas, there is no camera linked in to the video feed because there are some attempted entrances which are worthy of a "funniest videos" program. Hours of entertainment.

Banking details

Talking with one of our suppliers the other day, to request EFT details, I had mentioned that our Accounts Department was "tyrannical". He said he was pleased they were because that meant he would get paid; and yes he understood the need for third party verification of his banking details but even he was surprised when he realized that he had noted that he had to send through a bank "despot" slip.

Depends how you look at it

I'm not sure why it is but given the choice of reading an electronic news feed as a list or set out in "newspaper" style, I definitely prefer the latter. It could be that there appears to be more of a choice or simply muscle memory that we are used to scanning over a range of items to select which story to read first - assuming that everyone reads the papers this way and not from the start to the finish, reading every story in order. Or maybe there is the illusion of variety in allowing the reader to "select" from the items on offer - a bit like the shopping experience. Hmmm, makes me wonder about what the more effective selling technique - especially when it comes to items in the Apple App store - where the apps are displayed in a list on smaller-screen devices - but spread out on the iPad. I'm sure someone at Apple would know which version garners the most sales.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I'm not sure which is more surprising - the fact that the woman behind the McCafe counter remembered my coffee order - or that she wasn't a teenager!