Saturday, November 28, 2009

Google News Medium For Microcharging

Why isn't Google News used as the vessel for microcharging on news stories?

Why hasn't this happened?

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Hated Jargon Word Of The Year: 'Stochastic'

Why are so many academics using 'stochastic' now-a-days? "...stochastic shocks...", "...stochastic model...", "...stochastic simulation...", ...

This is definately one of my most hated academic jargon words. It obscures meaning, it doesn't illuminate. Why do so many academics use so many words that obscure meaning when they should be using words that elucidate and communicate?

If in 'stochastic' you are meaning 'random' or 'random variable' use 'random' or 'random variable'! Wherever there is a plain English word for the meaning you are trying to convey use the plain English word! Please, try to communicate with us, not impress us.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Starting To Populate AucklandStreetSignsSuck

Had a good day capturing video of the crap Auckland street signage situation. When I get out there I start to recall all the old ones and find more! It's great!

AucklandStreetSignsSuck.com

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Printing The Common Purpose Manifesto

Contacted the printer for printing The Common Purpose Manifesto. I am so looking forward to printing this. What an exercise writing it has been. May be ready by Christmas. That would be so good.

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TheTshirtShop's Starting To Happen

Right. It's starting to look 'happening' now. Take a look. You can even buy one T-shirt! I'll be adding more soon.

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TShirtShop Shopping, FAQs & Shirts Next

Right, the next thing is too add the shopping cart, update more FAQs on delivery and cost, and, of course, design more shirts and put them on the site.

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TheTShirtShop Update

I had to redo the entire website as the server was timing me out using the online RVSiteBuilder that was part of cpanel. I ended up downloading a simple template (simple templates are quite hard to find!) and modifying that, then uploading it via cpanel. That I can now modify the site offline is a real plus as I am no longer reliant on the server connection. Yay!

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The Number One Priority Is Ourselves

The number one priority is ourselves. I feel guilt in saying this but I know that no-one else has or ever will put us at number one (or even equal) if we don’t. If we don’t look after ourselves first, no-one will, and we will perish. If we don’t look after ourselves first we cannot look after others. If we don’t feed ourselves, we cannot feed others. If we don’t love ourselves, we cannot love others.

Our first priority is always ourselves and then others. If we cannot look after our own basic needs first, we cannot look after the basic needs of others. One of those basic needs is self-determination or freedom, if we do not have that, we cannot help others attain it.

Of course looking after ourselves may mean working in a group so we can all attain what we need, but we are still all responsible for ourselves, each person working independently in the group to see what is needed and what they can provide.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Web Design Tiring

I'd forgotten how tiring web design is. It just sucks me in and I can't stop. Everything's so incremental, but it's great to see the results after all the frustration. Still enjoy it. Probably cause I do it so infrequently it's such a labour for me.

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TheTshirtShop

I'm starting a new online shop to supply the message of The Common Purpose and TheDUDE on T-shirts. It's called TheTshirtShop. I couldn't get the .com but I got the .co.nz which is fine as that's where I am (still a bit of a bummer though). The .com is of course just held by some tw*t as a placeholder.

Anyway, have a look. Note that nothing can actually be bought yet as I'm still building it and working out the logistics of supplying the Ts. Shouldn't be long though.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Feeling Impatient

I've been writing The Common Purpose for few years and now I just want it published. It's not up to scratch, but I just can't stand waiting any longer - who says a book has to be perfect?! - I want to get on with my life, I want to ACT on what I've written. Stuff that it may not be perfectly lucid and clean! Aaaarrrgh, frustration!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lucy Lawless! (and Jim)

Lucy Lawless was queuing behind me today and I didn't recognise her! Duh!

But I did recognise Jim Salinger (climate scientist) who was fired for talking to the media (I've blogged in support of him on The Author's Thoughts.com blog). "Good luck Jim!" Wish I had said it to him in the queue (could've got to speak to Lucy too, damn!).

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Keep It Simple

Do it in the easiest possible way. It may be basic, simple and (in some eyes) crude (in others elegant) but in my experience the easiest possible way to do something is invariably the best way. It isn't always obvious what is the easiest way, but to start with simple and keep it simple means it will likely get done. And if it works simply, which is the prime criteria, then it works well. Keep it simple.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writing Lucidly

Writing lucidly and briefly is much more difficult and time consuming than writing a lot. I wish I could just think something, write it, and not have to do anything more. But I always have to review and correct many times. I can't stand lengthy expounding, and sometimes the worse perpetrators are the academics with their jargon laden drivel that makes no effort for the reader.

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Call Of Duty NIGHTMARE

Call of Duty nightmare and that's just installing. I haven't even got to the gameplay yet.

After finally completing installation, which took hours with the disk and the online updates from Steam, I started the game only to find all the text options scrambled into illegible coloured blocks. The video graphics and sound were fine and I enjoyed the introduction which I somehow started by clicking randomly on the coloured blocks. Unfortunately, text options are a critical part of the game, and eventually I could go no further.

So I searched for the problem on the internet. This gave one relevant result, but for a PS3, with the advice that they reboot their hard-drive, impractical for a PC. Instead I navigated my way past Steam into a RightNow-powered question and answer place on Activision's site. No answer matched my problem, so I put in my question (about 20 minutes ago). Now waiting.

Actually, in the meantime, I've uninstalled the game and am now reinstalling (which takes a long time, I already know). Hope it works... It didn't. Last hope with Activision.

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Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2

I have bought Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. My first computer game since the first Call of Duty (excluding a chess game). The graphics were amazing in that one, sometimes I'd imagine myself more living the game than playing it. So I felt I had to buy this one.

I'm also interested in a game of such popularity it will set the tone of a generation, like the original Star Wars did for mine. I can't say I've ever played first person online though. I should do that. And perhaps I will, though at the moment I haven't even been able to start it due to Steam's 'server too busy' messages. Seems CoD MW2 is suffering from its popularity (I also got the game days late from my supplier).

Steam (the website that backs Activision's games) has information on the number of concurrent Steam users (which I guess tells you that when they are busy they go slow, though whether this is really a consolation...).

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Ignore The Odds - GO FOR IT!

We have to proceed like we are going to make it. Being realistic is being stupid. To succeed against the odds, we have to ignore the odds.

We have to expect the unlikely, and behave like the unlikely will happen, for the unlikely to happen at all. So go for it.

This isn’t about money, it’s about living.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

TheDUDE Press Release

I've done a press release for TheDUDE! Will hopefully appear on Scoop. Here's the text:

Press Release: Meet TheDUDE - A New And Irreverent Political Blog

A new and irreverent New Zealand blog on local and international issues that matter (at least to TheDUDE) has begun at www.thedude.info. The blog’s author, known mysteriously as just ‘The Author’ appears to be based in Auckland or, at least, has a familiarity with that city – this can be deduced from the content of some of the posts, such as “Auckland Street Signs SUCK!!”.

“The Dude” is the name of the blog, and The Author (whoever that is), its writer. Regardless, TheDUDE employs a short, pithy style that is to-the-point, and as a consequence, very easy to read.

The posts address some current national issues, such as the current Maori Party debacle over Hone Harawira and house prices, but it is does them from an interesting perspective, grounded in a humanitarian base with a strong rights-activism flavour.

It also addresses some fundamental issues around New Zealand identity and ethnicity in ways that haven’t commonly been projected in the traditional media, for instance the idea of New Zealand being called ‘Te Whenua o Maori’.

New posts appear about every couple of days, so there is no risk of overload, unlike other sites. And those that come are well thought through with a clear preference for only delivering the essential idea. Well worth a look and keeping a feed on.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Babylon Zoo - X-Ray Eyes

I bought The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes (1996) a decade ago but just heard the song Space Man on TV and remembered how good it was: so I bought I it again and reviewed it on iTunes. Thought I'd put the review here too:

"This is a great album. Every song has a similar kind of sonic sound, but it's not one I get tired of, and they all meld into a brilliant kind of trippy album that I can just escape into. And despite this, somehow each song also sounds fab individually. I wouldn't purchase this music song by song, dive right in and get the lot. That's what I'm doing."

"Actually, I bought this on tape a decade ago (and lost it). Unfortunately it looks like I'll need to to pay for the songs again. Not quite the way it should work - digital duplication costs nothing and I've already bought the songs. Those greedy music labels."

"Anyway, if you haven't already bought it, get it. I'm starting to hear their songs accompanying TV 'human interest' news stories which is what reminded me of how good this album is." benwallace13.com, reviewed on iTunes, 11 Nov 2009.


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Gnostics Of The Serpent

I found this information on an interesting group called the Ophite Gnostics ('Gnostics of the Serpent') in Anthony Nuttall's Shakespeare The Thinker (2007).

The Ophite (Greek for serpent) Gnostics "thought that God the Father was the evil party and the serpent good." "...as Gnostics, they thought knowledge was a good thing. As soon as the Ophites read that God told Adam and Eve that they were not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, they said, in effect, 'You see? Anyone who forbids knowledge is an oppressor. Jehovah is a jealous tyrant.' Meanwhile the serpent, against the orders of the tyrant, leads Adam and Eve to knowledge."

"After telling them they won’t fall down dead, the serpent adds that the real consequence of their rebellious action will be that their eyes will be opened and they will become as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5)."

"[For the Ophite Gnostic] ...God is a jealous, punitive figure and the snake his noble antagonist, the champion of humanity." "For the Ophites the Trinity is a dysfunctional family; the Son is the antagonist of the Father." (p263-4)

A very interesting bent on the Christian story. Anthony also found this quote from William Blake:

"Thinking as I do that the Creator of this World is a very Cruel being and being a Worshipper of Christ I cannot help saying the Son O how unlike the Father."

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Cyber Suicide

The killing of your online identities. The killing of your blog and its history. The removal of yourself from FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace and so on. The removal of your websites. We can wipe ourselves, perhaps not literally from the face of the Earth, but from the web of the internet, and this is saying something now-a-days.

Sometimes I feel like doing this when I get negative comments. In one blog community I participate in (Thoughts.com) every participant can be rated from one to five stars. It's not a good idea. You have one person who takes a dislike to you (you don't know why or who) and they drop your rating. Not good for self-esteem. It makes me feel like committing cyber suicide in that community, removing myself and all my history from of it.

Ah well, perhaps I'll reconsider or more likely just withdraw further communication.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Good And Different

We should never say we’re no good at something cause we do it different from how others do it, because if we say we’re no good at it others will believe we’re not, even though we’re really good and different.

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Life Is So Short

“Life is so short and so fleeting that, you know, we have to be living it the way we envision it for ourselves.” (…) “The idea of achieving your dream is something that takes a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, but you know that old adage that the definition of luck is when preparation meets with opportunity, … that’s something that I really do believe in.”
Hilary Swank, Talking Movies, 1 Nov 2009.

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