Eric Lindsay's Blog 2007 January

Monday 1 January 2007

Uploading Creativity

People have been able to create their own art since humans evolved. However distribution of art has always been a problem. Geography or cost restricted circulation. Printing made a vast difference, since multiple copies were economically possible. The Internet made just as much of a difference to distribution, for those items that can be expressed as bits rather than atoms. Now everyone is talking (and no-one is listening).

Saving the Republicans

First Barack Obama and then Hilary Clinton. If that doesn't bring out the redneck vote and save the Republican party, nothing will.

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

Interesting Linux based approach to an Internet tablet from Nokia back in mid 2005. 5.5 x 3.1 x 0.7 inches, 8.1 ounces, with an 800 x 480 64k colour touch screen. Insufficient memory for applications at 128MB flash, and reduced size RS-MMC of 64MB to 1GB. Uses Opera 8 as a web browser, has IM, Email, Internet Radio, RSS Reader, an A/V player, image viewer, PDF viewer. Clock, search, calendar, file manager, notes and sketch, and several games. Connections include 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 1.2, plus USB 2.0 connection to computer. 3.5mm audio out.

Claimed browse time 3 hours, standby 7 days, from a 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery. Interface is similar to Series 90 smartphone. It includes zoom buttons.

Tuesday 2 January 2007

Apple iPhone

Not with Cisco owning the iPhone name. iMobile? ApplePhone? However despite all the people who want an Apple mobile phone, I can't imagine how Apple can come up with a good enough product to enter that field. Phone designs change from day to day, and keeping up would be tough. Phones are basically a commodity. The way phone companies subsidise handsets just doesn't fit with Apple's position as a company making a premium profit on hardware.

An Apple phone would need to be small, simple to use. You could use an iPod type of interface, even a thumb wheel number dial. Or voice input, name to number, as others have done. Would that be enough? I can't see it. If you add wi-fi or Bluetooth, battery life suffers. Battery life is already bad if using a phone as an iPod.

[I still think Apple will fail to overcome the battery life problem. But hope I am wrong.]

Wednesday 3 January 2007

Core 2 Quad Pro

Dual Intel Core 2 Quad processors for the Mac Pro. Everyone can see that coming now we know Intel have the chips. If the heat problems can be solved, a single Core 2 Quad for the top line MacBook Pro.

What I wonder is whether the top of line iMac might get a Core 2 Quad? Might impact too many of the Pro lines. However since the chip will end up in Windows boxes, I think Apple will move an iMac to it.

[Nothing announced for Macintosh.]

Kill Tobacco Smoking

Isn't it about time we got rid of sociopath tobacco companies, and totally closed them down as a business? Humans can choose to smoke, but should not be pushed over that addictive cliff by some arsehole company interested only in money.

Thursday 4 January 2007


A date to be announced, maybe a month hence, but not an immediate release. I would imagine all the details are announced. I can't see it is of any interest to me, not having a living room. On the other hand, I use the Airport Express in situations where I could run an audio cable. If the convenience features are there, I would think about it. But, I don't think it is for me.

[Called AppleTV. Given I don't have a large screen TV, nor a living room, I simply see disadvantages compared to running a large monitor direct from my Macintosh. Also, the only iTunes video content I could get would be Pixar shorts (recently released) and MacWorld Expo keynotes.]

Friday 5 January 2007

iLife, iWork, Leopard

MacWorld is a consumer event. No doubt a new version of iLife will appear. Updates to everything (except iTunes). However, will Apple add another product? I don't think so.

More movies for iTunes? Apple could probably have Disney agree to movies in a bunch of other countries, which would be well received outside the USA. But a feature at a MacWorld keynote. I don't think so.

Google Earth integration into iPhoto, with the hidden button enabled next to Latitude and Longitude display in Info. I really want that to come out in iPhoto. I have even started geotagging a few photos.

iWork. Parts of sheet display are in Pages, but only for simple arithmetic. It isn't enough. Pages made easier for text entry. They really need a bunch more decent templates.

iWork could use another product. Lots of people suggest a spreadsheet, and lots of them simply don't need all the power of Excel. I sure don't. However if I don't get at least a simple spreadsheet soon, I'll have to move my few PDA sheet items to Google.

Apple could do a front end to a database, since all the support needed is there. Not fancy enough to hit FileMaker Pro. Databases are not in demand like a word processor. Plus Microsoft Office for Mac doesn't have a database. I could see a nice, simple database front end turning up. Imagine putting your data in iWork, and having the output from iWeb.

Leopard probably isn't ready for release. No point in beating the Spring 2007 release date. However we should hear about some of the extra features in it, now Vista has been released. It will draw buzz away from Vista. Especially if it turns out Leopard will run a few Windows programs without Windows.

[Nothing at all about iLife, iWorks or Leopard. Bummer.]

Saturday 6 January 2007

Dot Mac

Big disk space increase (cynically I suggest this is because few will use it up). Otherwise Dot Mac seems a dead product, just like it has been for years. Apple almost certainly outsource it. It does occur to me that perhaps they will change who runs it. I keep wondering about what Google could add.

[It turned out the disk increases seen by Windows was a bug. I think dot Mac is dead. ]

Sunday 7 January 2007

Caffeine Doesn't Add Flavour

Caffeine doesn't add flavour to soft drinks. Well, doh! It is mildly addictive. The low end of the speed spectrum. Of course the stuff is added to soft drinks. A manufacturer would have to be a lunatic not to add a legal but addictive substance. Whether it should be allowed is another matter. I think I'll have another Coke (tm).

Monday 8 January 2007

New Gadgets

New monitor displays. With cameras. Why not? Question is how big the top of line goes. Dell just released a 27 inch, to go with its 20 and 24 inch. Top end for Dell and Apple is 30 inch. Dell also sell large screen TVs. This would be a big item for Apple, but they may need it just to stop people buying elsewhere. I have a 24 inch Dell monitor, and it is great.

Wide screen video iPod. I don't think so. No great advantage releasing it just yet, especially at a show that is usually more computer oriented.

Mid size desktop, either an upgraded Mac mini or a downsized Mac Pro? No way. Where is the advantage to Apple in this niche?

I would love to see a sub-miniature laptop (not a tablet), but suspect the market is too small.

Tuesday 9 January 2007

CES Las Vegas

The annual Consumer Electronics Show started in Las Vegas on Monday, with 2700 companies on site. I imagine many of them are aiming their products at the living room (a space I don't actually have in my Whitsunday Terraces apartment). Not new high technology so much as ease of use. Seems someone finally noticed some people have problems even connecting some of the gear (I certainly have hooked up stuff for others often enough when visiting). Sony has a Living Room computer, with digital and analogue tuners. It is round. And white.

As is often the case after computer people crash an event, Bill Gates gave the opening keynote, and he is usually at least entertaining, one way or another. He announced the expected IPTV for the Xbox games console. Expect it before next Xmas, along with a movie and TV download service. Sony are offering one too. Golly gosh, how original. The TV channels must think every computer company is wandering around with a sniper rifle. What else? A Windows Home Server. Hope it works better than most of the previous pathetic offerings in that area (see Buffalo, D-Link and Netgear).

Sanyo had yet another Xacti camera, again failing to do HD, and compressing files beyond use, as well as being impossible to hold steady. No wonder they stuck image stabilising into it - but wait, it is the digital variety, not optical, so it is as little use as ever.

Wednesday 10 January 2007

Awaiting MacWorld Expo keynote

It was 27C and 81% humidity when I went to bed. It was over 27C and 86% humidity when I awoke at 5:30. So the air conditioning went on. First time in the past 8 or 9 months I have done that at the start of the day at the Whitsunday Terraces.

Apple MacWorld Expo Keynote

What Steve Jobs talked about.

The seven month transition to Intel chips was the smoothest ever. That sure is true. That seemed it for Macintosh, to my disappointment. I haven't seen the keynote. Download of streaming content isn't one of the options on the pathetic crap sold as broadband to Australians.

Two billion songs sold by iTunes Store. Apple now 4th largest music retailer in the USA, passing Amazon. 58 songs a second. 50 million TV shows. 1.3 million movies in the past 4 months. New deal adds Paramount movie catalogue to the Disney ones being sold, to make 250 movies offered. Video is no use to me, since it isn't sold here.

The pre-announced iTV is called Apple TV. Wirelessly connects digital media to a widescreen TV via 802.11n (draft) WiFi in 720p HD. As expected it has a built in power supply, USB2, Ethernet, HDMI, component, wire and optical audio ports. 40GB hard drive incorporated. Auto syncs with a computer, and can take content from five. Content comes from iTunes. US$299, available in February.

Nothing here that I can use, since I have no video content available in iTunes. Nor for that matter, the bandwidth to get it. On the other hand, if I rip some of my DVDs to H264 or MPEG, and actually got a big screen sitting somewhere away from my computers, maybe it could be some use.

To my astonishment Apple introduced a mobile phone, and called it an iPhone. I didn't think they could do it, at least, not well enough for them to go ahead. Well, also a wide screen iPod, and an Internet communicator, all in the same gadget. No keyboard or stylus, instead something new called multitouch, using your fingers. Initially that sounds like a chord keyboard, like Frogpad (but done with typical Apple flair). To my amazement, the phone is claimed to run OS X.

iPhone syncs via iTunes. Media, contacts, calendars, photos, notes, bookmarks, email accounts.

Physically, a 11.6 mm thin 115 mm by 61 mm 135 gram phone with a 480 x 320 pixel 3.5 inch 160 dpi colour display. Speaker, microphone and iPod dock connector at the bottom. Proximity sensor detects when it is near your face, turns off the display and touch sensors. Ambient light sensor. Accelerometer tells when to switch portrait or landscape mode. Ring or silent switch on side. Two megapixel digital camera on the silver back (is 2 megapixel enough - some phones exceed 3 - enough for web site photos).

Five hour talk time, 16 hour play time is the claim. I have to wonder whether they will manage that, since it has Wi-Fi. With the right chargers, I could see times like that being acceptable.

It is quad band GSM and EDGE, with a SIM tray. Also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Switches from phone to Wi-Fi when it gets in range.

Apple see the killer app for a phone to be making phone calls. And that is still hard (I only have a half dozen numbers in my phone). They make using your Contacts easy. Does three way conference calls.

Text messaging similar to iChat. Safari browser that works with web based email. Pinching the image zooms images. Works with Google Maps. Also supports Dashboard style widgets. Yahoo! Mail pushes IMAP content to it. Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) congratulated Jobs and Jerry Yang (CEO Yahoo!) hoped Yahoo! OneSearch would also be supported soon.

iPhone is scheduled for release in USA in June, Europe in 4th quarter, Asia in 2008. Apple hope to get 1% of the market. Pricing with 2 year contract is US$499 for 4GB, $599 for 8GB. Cingular to distribute in USA initially. Some USA readers have pointed out that Cingular phones are not locked, unlike most USA vendors.

I have to say that phones using Windows Mobile and Symbian have had all the hardware features in the iPhone for several years, and at far lower prices. It hasn't been enough to make them popular. Sales maybe 20 million a year.

Apple Computer changed their name to Apple Inc.

Move along, nothing for me here for at least a year.

Thursday 11 January 2007

Apple iPhone Sales

Sensible analysis of Apple iPhone USA sales potential

More likely the iPhone will be Apple's first product for which sales outside the USA will exceed US sales. Most of the billion phones sold are GSM, and most of the world uses GSM. I'd suspect 60%-70% sales outside the USA (which would fit well with the numbers above for US sales). That should also help with the problems of ramping up production, since European and Asian sales don't commence until the end of 2007 and start of 2008.

This should be really popular in any computer oriented society, like the USA, U.K., Australia. Can't see it being as popular in areas with little computer and WiFi penetration, but the pricing probably wouldn't be right in many such areas.

Major discounting of iPods isn't all that likely. Slightly different market in some cases (check the Shuffle and Nano size, and the iPod with hard drive capacity). Those interested will probably have multiple iPods, and eventually add an iPhone.

Friday 12 January 2007

Apple iPhone Comparisons

Just how smart does a phone have to be before it is a Smart Phone? I ask because I am not at all convinced the Apple iPhone is a Smart phone. For comparison purposes, I took a five or more year old Ericsson SH888, long out of production. The other comparison was a Nokia 6225, which sells here without contract at under $100.

The Ericsson SH888 is a dual band GSM phone, with a removable NiMH battery, and an on-off switch. You can disable any tracking by removing the battery.

The Nokia 6225 is an AMPS and CDMA phone, with a removable 780 mAh Li-ion battery and an on-off switch that is nearly impossible to find.

SH888 and 6225 allow several languages, display the time in 12/24 hour format, provide date and alarm, and have adjustable ring loudness.

SH888 and 6225 Redial 15 (20) previously called numbers.

SH888 and 6225 The last ten numbers you called you are stored in the Phone Book.

SH888 and 6225 The last ten calls you were unable to answer are stored together with the time received in the Mail - Missed Calls menu

SH888 and 6225 During a call, you can use volume keys to adjust the volume, mute the microphone, and enter phone numbers on the one number Scratch Pad.

SH888 phone book or more flexible 6225 contacts list stores and recalls numbers. Recall by position or name, with the first 10 positions via speed dialling from one digit. 6225 contacts can include images.

SH888 has text messaging. 6225 has predictive text input, and distribution lists.

SH888 and 6225 IR port and data calls, used for data and fax calls from computer (or PDA) via GSM. 6225 can beam or text address cards.

Apple iPhone

I am listing what a few typical mobile phones can do, for comparison with an Apple iPhone.

6225 supports multimedia messages up to 45 k. Messages can be organised in folders.

6225 profiles allow timed special handling of calls. For example, silent ring while in a meeting, followed by a return to normal operation after.

6225 allows wallpaper and colour schemes.

6225 includes an FM radio with 20 presets.

6225 includes a simple colour camera, with and extra portrait (smaller image) mode, and a night (long exposure) mode, plus a self timer. Photos can be stored in a gallery and organised in folders.

6225 includes a selection of games.

6225 allows 10 voice dialled numbers, and 5 voice commands.

6225 allows 180 seconds of voice recording.

6225 mini browser for phone specific web content.

6225 has a calendar organiser with alarm, calendar. Notes for birthdays, meetings, calls, memo and reminder. To-do list for up to 30 notes. As well as a calculator, 6225 has a countdown timer and a stopwatch.

My conclusion is that in terms of number of functions, even very ordinary phones can do lots more than an Apple iPhone. However I think number of functions is probably totally irrelevant.

Smartphones, Bah!

Liam Proven writes about Symbian Smartphones. Then goes on to point out that his late 1990's Psion NetBook was in many ways a better product. I still feel that way, and still use my Psion NetBook.

Comparison of Apple iPhone and Nokia N95 Symbian S60 smartphone. Except for display size, touch screen and memory capacity, the Nokia has better specifications than the Apple iPhone in every respect. Nokia are also the best selling phone company in the world.

My prediction. The more expensive, lower featured Apple iPhone will outsell the feature laden Nokia N95 two to one by the end of 2008.

Saturday 13 January 2007

Apple iPhone

I have to ask why anyone would bother with SMS if they had anything better available to them? OK, it can be relatively cheap compared to phone calls. Thumbing is a pain in the hand, and I can never remember how to punctuate things correctly.

The regular phone interface is a total pain in the arse for anything except receiving phone calls. We once spent ten minutes in a dimly lit airport trying to figure how to switch off a Nokia phone prior to boarding the flight. The phone was new, set up by a phone store when bought, and had never been switched on or off by us. The same phone is still an exercise in frustration, because we can never get the stupid backlight to come on, and can't read the display until it does. Not my phone, but that instantly put Nokia models into my list of items I was not in the least interested in owning.

Even making a phone call is an exercise in frustration. Do I have the phone number in memory? On the SIM card. Search by name? Is that first name or last name? Search by position. I usually end up scrolling through the numbers in the phone until I recognise the number. Luckily the address book entry feature is so broken I only have a half dozen numbers in the phone - and it wouldn't interface with my computer to let me use the software from the phone maker - which wouldn't install anyhow!

Seems to me the iPhone won't be competing with any killer smart phone that can do anything, and do it well. It will be competing with really lousy interfaces when you try to call some rarely phoned number.

If an iPhone worked at home with a regular Apple Bluetooth keyboard, and send messages via your home WiFi network, that would be great. My reaction to getting an SMS at home is - why didn't you email? Only one person regularly sends me SMS instead of email, and she doesn't have email. Of 550 cards in my Address Book, 70 don't have email. All the rest have email. If the iPhone accepts spam filtered push email, that gets around the problem of receiving email while away from home.

The big problem in most areas of this country is that WiFi is not as yet ubiquitous. Very few free access points. However paid points are getting more and more widespread.

Sunday 14 January 2007

Apple iPhone

Bruce Tognazzini looks at iPhone and thinks it is pretty good. He mentions web sites that see an iPhone as being exciting for the young - all that music on hand - but not for the old. He disagrees. Just as older buyers are more likely to buy a Macintosh, he thinks older buyers are more likely to buy an iPhone.

I absolutely agree. I didn't buy a Macintosh because they were sexy and with it. I first looked at them because I was sick and tired of fighting with Window on a new IBM ThinkPad. A few friends had Macs, so I asked about them while visiting, and they seemed a lot happier than my friends who asked me to fix their Windows PCs. I am not incapable of using Windows - I was just tired of fighting it all the time. Also, as an older person, I have the resources to look upon buying a Macintosh Powerbook as a potentially disposable item. If I hated it, I could resell it, no big deal except for the loss of time.

Phones are a whole different thing. I have always hated phones. Cell phones rapidly fell into a category reserved for especially perverse objects. I have only owned three cell phones. They last a hell of a long time. This is because I take out the battery and hide them in a desk drawer. Only if I think I might have to make (or receive) a phone call do I drag the phone out of the drawer and clip the battery in. Then I have to remember to charge it. As for contacts lists, conference calls, voice messaging, SMS, I use each reluctantly, and only if I can't find any alternative. My cell phone is basically a useless brick that I don't want to carry.

However an easy to use camera, mp3 music player, phone and data store that remains charged could be a different matter.

The camera needs to be easy to use, but I have seen photos from phones before, and they are terrible. Still, I wouldn't be planning to use it as a replacement for my 10x optical zoom regular camera, merely as an emergency camera.

The music player needs to be easy to use, and iTunes based music scores highly with me. The more you use it, the more you find it can do. However I need a computer to store the 30GB I have now, of what will eventually be 200GB of audio. A stand alone phone isn't even close.

A phone so easy to use that I don't have problems with it? That is a radical concept. That would be worth a lot to me.

I use my iPod as a data store now. It contains copies of my Address Book, and iCal. It has lists of all my DVDs, and multiple other data. It has a selection of photos. The real problems with it is that I can't read the display on a Nano without glasses, and I can't enter data. Not even notes.

Monday 15 January 2007


Give Paypal open access to my bank account or credit card? I don't think so. I don't trust them (nor anyone else much online) enough for that. I would love to have a Paypal account, but until I can put money into it by sending Paypal a cheque, there is no way.

This means I never send money to people whose only way of accepting it is via Paypal. Some stuff I can buy with alternatives like a credit card, some with a cheque, and some with one of the shop fronts like Kaji. There is a heap of software I don't use because I can't find an acceptable way to pay for it.

Live Web and Security Camera Feeds

Many people make their web camera or security camera feeds available on the internet. Google or other search engines will help you find security cameras on the internet, as My Digital Life explains.

The site lists a bunch of search patterns likely to show working cameras. Positioning a security camera so it also shows great views could be a good move for a resort.

Tuesday 16 January 2007

Information Wants To Be Free

Floodle sets eBay information free. Whether all eBay information is worthwhile, even free, is another matter. Interesting however.

Death of DRM

Nice satire at Medialoper 2007 in Review with a future history of how DRM died.

Wednesday 17 January 2007

Unhide iPod Music

How to unhide music on your iPod on a Macintosh. No special software involved. If you are familiar with Unix, you won't need this, but the instructions are nicely detailed.

YamiPod manages iPod under Linux, Macintosh, Windows. If you don't like iTunes, but want to use an iPod, you need some alternative like this.

Thursday 17 January 2007

iPhone Networking

Lots more could be done with iPhone and social networking. Integration of data and social networking is something Apple could do, and there are good interface ideas in the post. However it needs someone who wants to change the world.

Friday 19 January 2007

Web 4 and iPhone

Seth Godin understands how iPhone could bring Web 4 networking to us in a tribal fashion, if the web doesn't get there first. How knowing where you are (GPS), what you are scheduled to do and where (PDA or phone Calendar), and who is involved (Address Book) means a good network system could help solve problems. Read Seth's article. He understands where we need to be.

Apple PVR

Just add a Firewire output from a cable box to turn an Apple Macintosh into a personal video recorder. Since I don't have digital TV here, it isn't much use to me. But might be worth checking the backs of cable sets for a Firewire output.

Saturday 20 January 2007

iTunes Bookshelf

The free iTunes software from Apple is mostly a special purpose database. It seems to call upon QuickTime to display videos, and webkit for displaying web pages. It seems it may call upon external helper applications to cope with PDF files as well.

Sunday 21 January 2007

iTunes Bookshelf (2)

I discovered that Manybooks had a nice (250) collection of mostly older science fiction that could be downloaded in PDF. This was about the right size and type of data for a solid test run using iTunes as a bookshelf. A variety of authors with multiple books, several book series, plus some single works. A bonus was book covers, to use as album art for coverflow.

Monday 22 January 2007

iTunes Bookshelf (3)

Importing PDF versions of books (and also Apple manuals) into iTunes works fine (with some modification to what each field contains). Preview displays the PDF when they are clicked in iTunes. I realise reading books is not an intended use for iTunes, but doubt the demand for a virtual ebook library would be high enough to justify a special application just for that purpose.

However I can't successfully import cover art for use with CoverFlow. The Album Artwork folder makes it look like you store the itc files for CoverArt separate to art embedded in mp3. I realise you can't add cover art metadata to a PDF like you do to an mp3, but it would be real nice to be able to view book covers in CoverFlow, if there was some way you could manage it from a local copy in iTunes.

I sent an enhancement request to Apple :-)

Tuesday 23 January 2007


Should ISPs bounce email to unknown addresses? No way. Most email with bad addresses is spam from captive computers controlled by spammers. If you bounce, the email bounces back to an innocent person whose email address is being used without their knowledge. ISPs should reject unknown email, not bounce it. If your ISP doesn't know the difference, stop using them (they may have problems in lots of other areas as well).

Should you bounce spam email? No. See above. It just makes more spam. Just improve your filters.

Should you use challenge response email filters? This also causes spam to innocent parties if you are filtering any known public address, since most mail will be from spammers.

Since it is hard to convince people not to use challenge response systems, it is hard to eliminate false bounces. My response now is that if I hit a challenge, I do not respond. Plus I remove the email address in question from my records (so that it doesn't happen again). So if your system challenges my email, you never hear from me again.

Wednesday 24 January 2007


Absolutely nothing happened today.

Thursday 25 January 2007

High Definition DVD cracked

I am delighted to note that AACS copy restriction keys have been bypassed between disk and player. Probably only one player compromised as yet. However any film that is broken tends to become available on bit torrent. One of the four broken films was Serenity, a 20GB download. I bought the DVD, but I would buy the data in HD, provided it wasn't locked.

When you don't have bandwidth, cracked files are no use. However disks with copy restrictions are also no use to me, so this trend is encouraging to me. I didn't buy any DVDs until after the copy restriction could be removed. I won't buy HD until the copy restrictions are gone. If this means the local VideoEzy goes out of business for lack of people buying videos, so be it.

Friday 26 January 2007

iTunes Restrictions

Norway, amongst other European countries, falsely claims Apple locks customers into its iTunes software and iPod music player for music downloaded from the iTunes store. Why does anyone let technically incompetent lawyers make any decision more complex than sticking their fool heads up their arse?

iPods and iTunes play a variety of music. Since I ripped all my CDs to them as MP3, I know they play music just fine. iTunes only content restricted with FairPlay can be ripped to CD, and reimported as MP3. While I personally would never buy any DRM music, especially in a lossy low bit rate format, I have a bunch of free iTunes downloads, so I know they convert just fine. What is that, no CD copy? Think of it as a backup. If you are not able to cope with File, Burn Playlist to Disk, maybe you shouldn't own a computer?

Backup is different to audio CD, although you should backup as well. Don't try to burn to MP3 directly. Burn to an audio CD, and reimport as MP3. It isn't rocket science. Burning audio CDs is in the help.

Can you put music on an iPod without iTunes? Sure. Look up Apple's developer web site for using iPod Notes, put your iPod into Disk mode, and copy away. It works just fine. Not as convenient as iTunes, but that is why I prefer to use iTunes. Strangely enough, the same method works just fine with any brand of MP3 player.

Storm in a teacup.

777 Aircraft with Engine Damage

Stunning photo of airliner engine malfunction on takeoff of a Malaysia 777 at Stockholm on 3 November 2006 by Fredrik Granberg at Notice the debris falling from the engine.

I had no idea there was a web site full of airline photos. I doubt they would be interested in my snaps of a Tiger Moth crashed on a local beach.


Saw the peahen followed by its two growing chicks around 7 a.m. this morning, walking up the road. I am really glad both still seem in good shape. I still don't understand how fuzz covered chicks can manage to fly 3 metres up a wall into the garden separating the two sides of the street.

Saturday 27 January 2007


Teac's HDRM7250 digital video recorder gets a few things right (unlike most such gadgets). High definition (which would be more use if any TV channel was broadcasting anything except advertising laden shit), dual tuner, and a 250 GB hard drive. Essential addition is an Ethernet port to connect to your network. OK, it doesn't do bit torrent itself, but it is reported to accept shows from your computer. USB port for an extra drive. DivX, Xvid, MPEG-4 and Windows Media (boo!) Might be worth keeping an eye on, but find some reviews first to see if the glitches are fixed.

Sunday 28 January 2007

Unhappy Meals

Michael Pollan says eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Very sensible article on why food is good for you, and why much of the Western diet isn't food these days. Raises the interesting point that we say we eat 2000 calories, but we produce 3900. Wastage isn't that high.

Queensland Down the Toilet

Any developed country that deliberately puts sewerage output into its dams shows that its government didn't know how to plan for population growth and fund infrastructure development. South East Queensland hasn't built a dam for twenty years. The incompetent Labor state government now blames residential consumers for using about the same amount of water they have always used.

Monday 29 January 2007

Milk Meets Coffee Photos

Some great photos of milk meets coffee. All the more amazing as they were done with hand timing, not electronic shutter release.

Tuesday 30 January 2007

Buildings at Airlie Beach

Jean blogged some photos of resort development at Airlie Beach starting 1998.

Switching to Vista

An Apple Macintosh user switches to Microsoft Vista by MSNBC contributor Joe Hutsko. Gives a good but shallow account of improvements in Vista, using some excellent Windows laptops from HP and Dell.

Vista's pretty, but it's a shameless Mac OS X imitator says Julio Ojeda-Zapata in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

Wednesday 31 January 2007

Telstra YouTube

Telstra are encouraging a YouTube like video phone upload site. Wotnext accepts short clips in .avi, .dv .mov .qt .mpeg .mp4 .3gp and .wmv. Size limits are 300k mobile, 5Mb via web.

Nokia 800 Internet Tablet

I recently mentioned the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. The Nokia 800 was released on 8 January 2007. Lots of improvements. Bluetooth goes to 2.0. Hardware now includes a 640 x 480 VGA camera that can be pointed forward or back. Media is now SD (yeah!) Memory is now 128MB RAM, 256MB flash.

Display is still 800 x 480, 4.1 inch wide, and said to be 225 dpi resolution! Dimensions are 74 x 144 x 13 (18)mm. There is a large bulge at the back. Price under US$400. Nokia made some available cheaper to developers. Great idea. Recharging via the USB cable doesn't work. Wonder why not?

While this still isn't near to replacing my Psion Netbook or Psion 5mx, it sounds like it is getting closer.

I would give a Nokia link, but some idiot at their web site decided the only content needed was some unwatchable Flash (spit).


It has been raining a bit towards the end of the month. My rain gauge on the balcony at the Whitsunday Terraces showed 20, 57, 20, 20, 40, 58 (on the 30th) and 54 mm (on the 31st).

Peter Faust (flood control) dam past Proserpine has benefited by 20,000 megalitres of water. Dam level has risen from 11% to 16%. Flood warnings are now out for most North East Queensland coastal rivers.