No No No – This Is Not News!

There is no doubt that the various social media platforms that many of us use and enjoy on a daily basis have created an avenue for people from all walks of life to have their voices heard.

For many, those voices are drowned out in a blurry haze of tweets, Instagram photos, and Facebook posts, and one might wonder if it’s all really worth it. To really cut through that haze, one has to be particularly visible. When you have a name, your message bubbles to the top.

But is the mechanism for getting your message through more important than the message itself?

Caught a glimpse of this in Monday’s print edition of the The Age – with a detailed analysis of various Twitter accounts of Victorian parliamentarians in the lead up to this weekend’s state election.

“Victorian parliamentarians have amassed a cacophony of more than 150,000 Twitter followers but lag behind many of their federal government counterparts.”

You know what? Who cares? Is the “median number of followers of Victorian MPs” actually relevant – to anything?

Print media is struggling enough already to get enough eyeballs to survive in the medium to long term, so why waste time and effort on this?

Report the news – don’t invent something that isn’t news, and write it up as if it is.

We’re smarter than that – so respect that.

Sunday Nerding: The Illusion Of Time

Do you have a little time to watch this documentary? You do?

Think again – you might not!

This one is a bit super-nerdy, but quite interesting – as Brian Greene tries to answer what time really is.

Sunday Nerding: The Story Of Linux

Even if you have never heard of it, if you are a regular internet user, or a regular user of a modern smartphone, you are interacting with the Linux operating system all of the time.

In terms of marketshare of public servers on the internet, Linux is installed on around 38.6% of these machines. Most of the popular social media services are built using it, at least at some level.

But what is it?

Remember to turn the subtitles on – as some of this is not in English – but enjoy this documentary on how Linux came to be.

A Pointless Warranty

Wandering through the local K-Mart the other day, while wasting a little time, I came across this dummy security camera in the electronics section.

Dummy security cameras are cheap – (this one was $12.00) – imitation security cameras you use as a deterrent against criminal activity – the more realistic the dummy camera is, the less chance would-be criminals might target you.

All without spending too much money on the “security camera”.

What if your fake security camera breaks down?

That’s right, this one comes with a “12 Month Warranty” – just for peace of mind in case your fake security camera stops being fake enough?

What a relief!

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.