Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brisbane River

This is an amazing video!  Its made up of over 10,000 still images, and highlights just how amazing the Brisbane River is.

Friday, November 11, 2011

iOS 5.0.1 is here

As mentioned in the post below there have been battery issues with iOS 5.0 and also with the iPhone 4S - well apple have rectified this today releasing iOS 5.0.1 with a fix for the battery issue and some other minor bug fixes.

The great thing about iOS 5.0.1 is you dont even have to go through iTunes to update it any more, simply plug your iPhone/iPad/iPod into a power source and follow the following simple steps.

> Settings
  > General
    > Software Update
       > Download and Install
          > Agree to the T&Cs

Its that simple!  The update will then download and install on your device and you are ready to go.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is your iPhone 4S / iOS5 chewing your battery?

Users of Apple's new iPhone 4S have reported that the battery life is abysmal even when no apps are open.  With battery life dropping by up to 10% an hour, with nothing open.  This has also been noticed by a few users of other models of iPhones since upgrading to iOS5.

The problem was first brought to light by The Telegraph in England and apple had been unable to explain it.

The fix for this is quite simple - the battery life is being drained by location services.  To stop this drain simply open your settings, go to location services, scroll down to the bottom where it says System Services and open this.  Then disable every service except for Cell Network Search.

Battery life can also be effected by a bug in the iCloud Contact Sync coding, which causes the processor to work hard, causing the battery to drop 20-30% in 10-15 minutes while running warm.  This can possibly be fixed by by disabling contacts in the iCloud or restarting the device.

But whatever happens expect the engineers at apple to find a solution to the issues and a fix to be issued with the next iOS update.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

$$$ Ka-Ching $$$

First the major credit card companies brought out their instant pay options - Visa PayWave & Mastercard PayPass and were latched onto by major banks around the world.  Now Australian bank Commonwealth (owners of New Zealand's ASB) have launched their own version based on the iPhone platform.

Kaching is being launched exclusively on the iPhone, but will later on be available for android phones.  Until NFC (Near Field Communication) chips are installed as standard (expected in the iPhone 5) users will have to purchase a compatible iCarte case with built in NFC chip, to be able to take advantage of this app.
In addition to wireless NFC payments, the Commonwealth Bank's Kaching app is also the world's first to provide peer-to-peer payments (P2P) via mobile, e-mail and Facebook. The Kaching app links to the iPhone's address book to enable mobile and e-mail payments, while the app will link direct to your Facebook ID to enable payments via the social networking service. The Kaching app will enable mobile, e-mail and Facebook payments to non Commonwealth Bank customers by directing these users to a secure, external site to collect payments.
Read more about Kaching from ARN HERE

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Warriors wow

I am so proud to be a New Zealand Warriors fan right now.  After 16 years and only making the NRL Grand Final once before, not only have the Warriors made the NRL Grand Final, but the Junior Warriors have made back to back Grand Finals and the Auckland Vulcans have also made the Grand Final of the NSW Cup.

Here's hoping that next Sunday provides a 3peat of Joy for Warriors fans.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brisbane Roar + 96.5fm supporting the community

What happens when tragedy strikes a refugee family?  My favourite team and favourite radio station come together to play the final preseason game as a fundraiser for the family.

Thank you Brisbane Roar and 96.5 for having a social conscience and putting this on.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Memes and Trolling

Ever wondered about Internet Memes??  There was a great item in the today about the origins of 10 of the best internet memes.
5. The O Rly? Owl: A photograph of a snowy owl with an amusing facial expression was taken by photographer John White in 2001, before being snatched and superimposed with "O Rly?", thus creating a meme commonly posted on forums as a response to a debatable statement.
9. Futurama Fry: In season two, episode 11 of cartoon Futurama, the main character Fry is seen to make a suspicious face. This is now a meme, with text superimposed on to the still image, generally saying something along the lines of, "Not sure if trolling ... or just stupid".

Check out the rest of the list HERE

Friday, August 26, 2011

From the archives

Gold, pure unadulterated 27 year old Gold

From 1984

I just LOVE the mac introducing Steve Jobs - ".... he's been like a father to me ..."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Short Thought #1

A new series of posts on current news items and my thoughts on them.

Eleven people die in Slacks Creek house fire, south of Brisbane
BODIES have been found in a Slacks Creek home after a fire overnight that claimed 11 members of an extended family.
The fire reportedly started just after midnight in the home, in Wagensveldt St in the suburb of Slacks Creek, that was occupied by two Pacific Islander families.
This is tragic absolutely tragic, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the two survivors and the entire extended family, as well as friends, neighbours and the rest of the local Pacific Island community.

There really isnt anything you can say other than that.

High bus fares drive commuters away, but Translink are set to raise them another 50 per cent

BRISBANE bus commuters are being driven away by high fares, Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says, and more pain is on the way.
What can I say the State Government through Translink have screwed the public transport network in South East Queensland right royally.

With a single zone adult fare set to rise from $2.65 to $4.04 by 2014 this is simply ludicrous, how are people supposed to be taking public transport if the state government is pricing it out of the reach of the ordinary person?

Cr Quirk has some good ideas about curbing the rise in costs but I dont think they go far enough, if the state government cares about getting people onto public transport and vehicles off the roads then they should do something to stop the rising costs that make Translink one of the most expensive public transport providers.

Channel 9's live crosses to reporters from news chopper straight from Frontline
IT'S the type of thing that happened in the fictional current affairs show Frontline.
Host Mike Moore would cross to a reporter who was allegedly in a hostile zone, but was really nowhere near danger.
Fiction became reality last weekend when Channel 9's weekend news bulletins crossed to reporters in a helicopter allegedly hovering over the Daniel Morcombe search site "near Beerwah".
What can I say, how in this day in age with all the modern technology about and the fact your competitor is just a few hundred meters away on the same hill, can you expect to get away with a live cross to a helicopter sitting outside your studio?

Once again Channel 9 fail - thats twice now on this blog I've pulled up Ch9, and both times they appear to be faking things to get ratings ...

If you want news you can trust watch Ch7.

Aus media groups to boycott World Cup
In an unprecedented move, Australia's leading news media organisations have informed the International Rugby Board that they will not be seeking accreditation to cover the World Cup in New Zealand.
So News limited, Fairfax Australia and the Australian Associated Press agency have all announced they wont seek accreditation for the world cup.
Their New Zealand counterparts are covered by a governmental law introduced when hosting was announced so they are fine but they share the concerns of their Australian counterparts.

For an organisation who is trying to globalise their game and match FIFA, the IRB have really shot themselves in the foot with these harsh conditions and rules.

My opinion Rugby Union is a game that will only flourish in the Home and SANZAR nations and wont grow because its governing body is doing everything it can to prevent widespread coverage of their sport and their show piece tournament.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Social networing overload?

Social Media and Networking seems to be the fastest growing sector on the internet these days.  So when is enough enough, and when does it become too much or overload?

I personally have 2 blogs on Blogger, 1 on Tumblr, 2 clients websites based on Word Press.  I maintain my own and a clients Twitter and Foursquare account as well as their Facebook page and my own Facebook account.  I have photo sharing accounts with Photobucket, Picasa and Instagram.
  I also use Google+, Orkut to connect with my Brazilian friends, LinkedIn to connect with business people, and also hold down a You Tube account.  I message through Skype and also have a Messenger account even if I haven't used it in ages.
  In the past I have also had accounts with Myspace and Bebo but these have been closed as they began to get less and less relevant.

So by my calculations I personally use 20 different social networking sites or accounts.  So is that overkill?  Is that normal? And while we're on it I use 5 different web browsers, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari and when Im forced to by companies who are so far behind the times its not funny IE.

I may not be classed as part of the younger generation any more, but working in IT does necessitate the need to keep up with the times and the trends.  I have also found it great to meet so many people through twitter who even though I have never met, I have great conversations with even if they are limited to 140 characters.

I have also found twitter to be a great medium to keep up with people I have met on forums and websites, as well as keeping up to date with happenings on said websites, and other businesses that have kept up with the times and communicate with their customers and clients through this medium.

Another force in the industry has been the advance of smart phone and tablet technology and as an owner of two very modern smart devices from a well known and well capitalised company I have found these great platforms to interact with the world using these social networking tools, (Including checking in every time I go to the mall)

So I believe to stay up to the play with the modern world and the ever changing needs of a more mobile more connected society it is imperative to operate all these different accounts on these different networks, to not only keep myself abreast of developments and changes, but to keep up to date with the ways of the world and Gen Y.

I am interested to here your thoughts on all the different social networks out there, do you use a lot, some, 1 or 2?  Do you think Im over doing it having 20 different accounts? (remembering at least 4 are for clients)  Let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Damaging your band

Adidas are on the verge of damaging their brand in New Zealand with the current fight over the pricing of the All Blacks world cup 2011 jersey.  Adidas have priced it at $220NZD and have said in the media that New Zealanders are comfortable paying for the privilege as they can see the benefit of Adidas's investment in NZ rugby.

Well people power has proven Adidas wrong as Kiwis have been up in arms about the price and the saga has played out in the media.  There has been wide swept public backlash at the exorbitant cost of the jersey in New Zealand, when it is retailing on USA and UK websites for less that $90NZD.
The jersey was retailing in New Zealand for $220 but was listed for sale at US$79.99 (NZ$92.68) on US websites and could be found cheaper on British websites.The jersey was retailing in New Zealand for $220 but was listed for sale at US$79.99 (NZ$92.68) on US websites and could be found cheaper on British websites.
You might say well ok, Kiwis can just buy the jersey from these websites at the cheaper price.  Well Adidas doesn't think so having the companies stopped from selling and shipping to New Zealander's, which has caused even more outcry.

 Even Prime Minister John Key has suggested that Adidas are in the wrong and should reconsider their pricing.  The outcry then moved to the retailers who have less than 7% margin on the jerseys.  A meeting between the biggest retailer Rebel Sport and Adidas didnt result in a positive outcome.  Rebel Sport and other retailer have now discounted the price of the jersey by $50 cutting into their own profits.

The row has turned sour for some Adidas staff with branding being removed from their vehicles as they were becoming the targets of verbal abuse when caught in traffic or waiting at the lights.  Today also saw a peaceful demonstration outside Eden Park in Auckland where an effigy of the Adidas logo was burnt.  Adidas have also canceled a ritzy supporters party due to the 'crisis'

So why is the jersey this price?  Well it certainly isnt the costs of making it, with the manufacturing price per jersey believed to be around $8 as the jerseys are made in Thailand where staff are severely under paid and also young.  So none of the purchase price goes back into New Zealand it is merely a money grubbing multi-national corporation who has sunk their teeth into NZ and seem to be winning.

Adidas have now apologised that this issue has derailed attention in a world cup year, as well as restoring access for Kiwi's wanting to buy the jersey from one of the overseas websites, but the haven't lowered the price, and havent admitted they are in the wrong.

In my opinion they have shot themselves in the foot, and continue to do so, and are in the process of destroying their brand and brand reputation in the New Zealand market.

Read more from HERE or HERE or any number of New Zealand media websites - its on them all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I smell a (ratings) rat

The good thing about Australia and New Zealand is they are basically the same country when it comes to tv shows, with free to air networks on both sides of the tasman, showing each other’s locally produced content.   

So back in 2003 I was swept up in the same “block” fever that hit Australians, following the fortunes of the couples as they fought to renovate the building and win, and the presentation skills of Jamie Durie.  I even followed with interest the legal fight between Ninox Television (creators of Dream Home in NZ) and Nine over copyright infringement.

Like others I followed Jamie from the block to backyard blitz, before he dropped off the Aus/NZ radar when his career took him to the USA, appearances on Oprah and shows on cable networks.
So now living in Australia it was with interest I started to watch Top Design, Jamie’s new offering on Nine, one which has been successfully used in America, on the Bravo Channel (although its original run was only two seasons 2007-2008).   

Interestingly enough Top Design runs on Nine immediately after The Block, and in competition with The Renovators on Ten, although The Renovators seems to be running into ratings issues.
Episode 3 (S01 E03 airing on July 27th) caused some controversy amongst social media pundits as it featured a challenge involving restoring/designing a chair and then creating a room with the chair as centrepiece.  This resembled a very similar challenge on The Renovators which aired two days prior on July 25th (S01 E02).  It was also this episode when Jamie announced that 3 “intruders” would join the remaining contestants on Top Design.

Episode 4 (S01 E04 airing August 3rd) introduced us to the 3 “intruders” Karl, Chris and Katrina.  Now Chris and Katrina seem to be genuine contestants but there was something about Karl and his attitude to the competition and fellow contestants that made him seem not so real.  Karl announced he was there to shake up the competition and wasn’t there to be a “Mr nice guy”  According to his bio Karl is a furniture maker.  In the two episodes Karl was involved in he fought and bickered with the contestants he was paired with and caused no end of pain for them.

Karl galvanised people with the general consensus on twitter (#TopDesign) that he was a nasty piece of work, with multiple people calling him a fake and questioning every part of his role on the show right down to even if Karl is his real name.

Now I too believe Karl wasn’t a real contestant but someone brought onto the show to shake things up and show the judges how the designers work under pressure and with difficult people.  This was confirmed in last night’s episode (S01 E05) where at elimination Jamie sprung a double elimination on the contestants.   

After eliminating Katrina, Jamie brought the double elimination into play and started talking to Lisa about her responsibility for the bad design that caused her team to come bottom and Katrina to be eliminated.  It was at this point that Karl jumped in and said that he wasn’t one to spill his guts on national television, but he had a close family member suffering a severe illness and he would rather sacrifice his place on the show to assist that person, than see Lisa be eliminated, as he felt she had more to offer.

Jamie was too quick with his responses which sounded to well-rehearsed and scripted to have been genuine and on-the-spot as it were.  Karl was then “eliminated” and Lisa kept her spot.
I believe this was a huge play to win ratings and audience share, as there were too many irregularities and for want of a better word holes, in the whole performance of Karl, and especially in the way the “double elimination” played out.

I am interested to hear your comments on this post, if you’re a Top Design fan, team Karl or team Robert, and if you think Nine stried to sneak a “ratings rat” into their show.