Google Pi?

Anyone else notice the version number on the version of the iOS Gmail app released over the last couple of days? Mine updated this morning, and I had a nerdy giggle.

Well played!

Think Drone Strikes Are Okay?

With all the current ruckus with respect to potential terror attacks – (the threat of which I am not seeking to understate) – and Australia likely heading into Iraq to carry out airstrikes, it is probably important to gain a perspective on how potential terror attacks are dealt with.

John Oliver nails it once again.

A Personal Statement

A few people have asked me of late, why I haven’t been writing as much this year, so I thought it might be time to take a moment to say a few things to clear the air.

So far, 2014 hasn’t been the greatest in my life. By no means has it been an ‘annus horribilis’ but I’ve had worse too. I’ve had some health issues, some personal issues, and some work issues. Thankfully – (and I’m happy to say) – all of these are working themselves out quite nicely.

Late last year I was made redundant from a job I truly loved, so I was a bit blown away for a bit. However, it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In January I landed in a new job that has worked out fabulously so far, and has allowed me to improve my work/life balance significantly.


My health issues – (while not super significant) – have slowed me down a fair bit while I got things under control. I’m absolutely on the up, and feeling pretty good again.

My personal issues have been exactly that – personal – and I don’t intend to provide details here.

They have almost certainly been a factor in my health issues. A number of you have provided a great level of support, and know what issues I’ve been dealing with, and that I’ve made some big changes in my life to work through them. Your love and support has been deeply appreciated.

Always remember that when the chips are down, you find out who your real friends are. I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year, and I’ve got to say I am pretty proud of how I’ve handled things. Sometimes you just don’t know if you will make the right decisions in a crisis until you’re in that crisis.

So, the bottom line is, I should be able to start writing at my old levels again. Writing about stuff that is important to me isn’t my job, but it is most definitely enjoyable. I always get passionate about stuff, but I guess that’s the point.

Thanks again for your support.

Sunday Nerding: London Crossrail

Like many nerds, I find trains and railways fascinating. I also love a great engineering story. Today I present the first part of a documentary series into London’s new Crossrail project, the first new addition to their underground system in over 30 years.

Bombers Eliminated After Poor Second Half

NORTH MELBOURNE 2.3 2.4 9.5 14.9 (93)
ESSENDON 2.4 6.7 10.8 12.9 (81)

North Melbourne: Brown 4, Thomas 3, Petrie 2, Dal Santo, Greenwood, Gibson, Ziebell, Cunnington
Essendon: Daniher 4, Colyer 2, Chapman 2, Goddard, Howlett, Bellchambers, Ryder

North Melbourne: Wells, Brown, Greenwood, Gibson, Cunnington, Thompson
Essendon: Heppell, Chapman, Watson, Daniher, Colyer, Hurley

North Melbourne: Nil
Essendon: Nil

North Melbourne: Ryan Bastinac replaced Ben Jacobs in the third quarter
Essendon: Courtenay Dempsey replaced Martin Gleeson in the third quarter

Reports: Levi Greenwood (North Melbourne) for rough conduct on Mark Baguley (Essendon) in the third quarter.

Umpires: Donlon, Margetts, Findlay

Official crowd: 78,559 at the MCG

Sunday Nerding: The Telstar Satellite

Back to one of my favourite topics – space technology – and a documentary on the development and launch of the Telstar series of satellites.

Draw Enough To Confirm Home Final

CARLTON 6.3 7.4 11.4 14.6 (90)
ESSENDON 1.3 9.6 11.11 13.12 (90)

Carlton: Watson 4, Yarran 2, Menzel 2, Armfield, Bell, Waite, Lucas, McLean, Wood
Essendon: Daniher 2, Watson 2, Ryder 2, Ambrose, Merrett, Winderlich, Stanton, Chapman, Goddard, Gleeson

Carlton: Judd, Watson, McLean, Docherty, Gibbs, Yarran,
Essendon: Watson, Hibberd, Daniher, Ryder, Stanton, Heppell

Carlton: Nil
Essendon: Nil

Carlton: Patrick Cripps replaced Dennis Armfield in the fourth quarter
Essendon: Martin Gleeson replaced Orazio Fantasia at three-quarter time

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Wenn, O’Gorman

Official crowd: 56,658 at the MCG

Bombers All But Finals Bound

ESSENDON 3.2 7.6 11.9 16.12 (108)
GOLD COAST 2.3 4.6 10.8 13.11 (89)

Essendon: Goddard 3, Ryder 2, Carlisle 2, Zaharakis 2, Hurley 2, Daniher, Colyer, Hocking, Merrett, Myers
Gold Coast: Lynch 4, Matera 2, Prestia 2, Lemmens 2, Shaw, Cameron, Swallow

Essendon: Hurley, Ryder, Goddard, Zaharakis, Watson
Gold Coast: Swallow, Prestia, Martin, O’Meara, Lynch, Harbrow

Essendon: Hooker (concussion)
Gold Coast: Gorringe (knee) replaced in selected side by Leslie, McKenzie (hamstring tightness)

Essendon: Orazio Fantasia replaced Cale Hooker in the third quarter
Gold Coast: Timmy Sumner replaced Trent McKenzie at three quarter time

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Kamolins, Meredith

Official crowd: 33,281 at Etihad Stadium

Essendon Home In A West Coast Thriller

ESSENDON 2.1 4.5 9.7 11.11 (77)
WEST COAST 2.4 8.4 11.6 11.8 (74)

Essendon: Winderlich 3, Daniher 2, Watson, Myers, Stanton, Ambrose, Chapman, Zaharakis
West Coast: Kennedy 3, Cripps 3, Darling 2, Cox, Shuey, Lycett,

Essendon: Hibberd, Winderlich, Heppell, Watson, Myers, Zaharakis, Daniher
West Coast: Hurn, Priddis, Darling, Mackenzie, Kennedy, Gaff

Essendon: Nil
West Coast: Sam Butler (concussion)

Essendon: Zach Merrett replaced Jake Melksham in the third quarter
West Coast: Simon Tunbridge replaced Sam Butler in the fourth quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Ryan, McInerney

Official crowd: TBC at Etihad Stadium

Reducing Government Red Tape…Or Not…

Having recently moved – and changing electorates in the process – I’m going through the usual rigmarole of changing my registered address for just about everything. A pain in the butt, but a necessary evil.

Fortunately, given many government agencies share data, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) automatically finds out about your move – (in most cases) – and sends you a letter to confirm.

Or is that TWO letters to confirm?

Two letters, dated the same, arriving on the same day, and both seeking to confirm my change of address.

Well done!

Perhaps if we are going to cut red tape – as our current government claim they will do – we should perhaps not send the same thing out twice?

Does this happen for every person who moves?

Each of the two letters is also slightly different in content – which is also a bit bizarre, that two different form letters exist for this purpose.

I guess the most likely explanation is that two different agencies advised a change of address – (note that one says “Michael Wyres”, and the other says “Michael A Wyres”) – but surely in this modern age of computers, we can do some data matching to save some money on postage and administrative effort?

Maybe that’s just too hard.