Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Apple Offerings

Apple have released their new line up with the new iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina display, updated MacBook Pro's and the release date for the new Mac Pro.

The 5th generation of the iPad has been launched as the new iPad Air labeled
"the lightest full-size tablet in the world". It looks like a larger iPad mini, and has the same bezel, chamfered edges and curved corners as that model.
The new bezel sees the iPad 20% thinner and 28% lighter, and coupled with the new 64bit A7 processor and the M7 movement co-processor, it brings a whole new dimension to the iPad.  The new iPads will be available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB & 128GB in wither Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi +4G options.

Read More HERE & HERE

The iPad Mini has now been updated with Retina display as well as the new A7 & M<7 processors
The display has a resolution of 2048x1536, the same as the company's larger iPad Air. The screen has a pixel density of 326ppi.
Read the iPad Mini reviews HERE

The new MacBook Pro range is now cheaper than ever before and features new free software suites.

Apple have also announced a December release date for the new cylindrical Mac Pro machine

Read more about the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro machines HERE or HERE

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hyundai A-League Rd 2 ladder vs my preseason predictions

So at the end of Rd 2 of the Hyundai A-League my preseason predictions have proven spot on for Newcastle, with Perth, Mariners, Heart & Roar all in the right areas, however Victory, Wanderers, Adelaide & Sydney have thrown up some unexpected results

Friday, October 4, 2013

A-League Season 2013/14 preview

Season 2013/14, the 9th A-League season, is set to kick off in a week’s time, so it’s time to look ahead and see just what the season has in store for us.

Kiwi sports fans will be looking towards the Wellington Phoenix to see how the side will stack up after some disappointing times is recent seasons.  The biggest change for the men in yellow and black has been the change in coach with former Melbourne Victory mentor Ernie Merrick in the driving seat for the new season.
The biggest challenge Merrick will face in the opening few rounds is his predecessor Ricki Herbert plundering his kiwi players for All Whites duty, but after that Merrick has his work cut out to take the struggling side and make it into the winning squad it could so easily be.

There has been a raft of squad changes as well with Merrick not afraid to drop the axe on underperforming players or those who don’t fit his style of play. Those released from the squad include Tony Lochhead, Alex Smith Dani Sanchez, Jimmy Downey and Lucas Pantelis.  Custodian Mark Paston has retired while Isaka Cernak has gone to Perth Glory and Solomon Islands international Benjamin Totori has moved to the Oakleigh Cannons in the Victorian Premier league.

New members of the squad include some former and current a-league players a few other international competitions and a couple from domestic leagues.  The headline signing is livewire midfielder Carlos Hernandez who returns to the A-League from Prayag United in India to link up with his former Victory mentor.  Defender Luke Adams joins the club from English League 1 side Derby, while forward Kenny Cunningham joins the team from Club the Strongest in Bolivia.  The current a-league players joining the Phoenix are goal keeper Lewis Italiano from Perth Glory and defender Reece Caira from Western Sydney Wanderers.  Alex Rufer makes the move to the big time from Wairarapa United and Josh Brindall-South moves from the warmth of the QLD NPL at Moreton Bay United to the cold and wind of the NZ capital.

Wellington will be strong through the middle of the park with Hernandez linking with established players like Bertos, Huysegems, Brockie, Ifill, Lia, Sigmund, Muscat, Durante and Fenton and with Moss in goal this could be a very strong starting line-up, especially with the likes of Boyd on  the bench.

Other Kiwi players around the A-League include the return to the A-League of former Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix livewire and current All White Kosta Barbarouses. Barbarouses will join former Roar mentor Ange Postecoglou at Melbourne Victory.

Looking through the off-season transfer lists for all clubs, Melbourne Heart have signed some big names and should look to massively improve their showing in the competition.  Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC & Brisbane Roar have all been shrewd in their signings with the three coaches building on their form at the end of last season, with Mulvey at the Roar and Farina at Sydney marking themselves on their sides in their first off-season.  The squad I think that has been decimated the most in the off-season window and who still have to work hard to maintain their showing is undoubtedly the Central Coast Mariners who have been victims of their own success with a raft of their young talent heading offshore.  However this will be tempered slightly with the return to the club of Matt Simon.

My pre-season prediction for the end of year ladder is.
  1. Melbourne Victory
  2. Brisbane Roar
  3. Western Sydney Wanderers
  4. Wellington Phoenix
  5. Sydney FC
  6. Melbourne Heart
  7. Central Coast Mariners
  8. Perth Glory
  9. Adelaide United
  10. Newcastle Jets
This wasn’t an easy prediction with a lot of the mid field table looking very similar (4-7) I expect the bottom 3 teams to struggle and the top three are also interchangeable in those positions.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

iPhone 5S, 5C & iOS7

The overnight launch of the new Apple tech heralded no surprises and no new kit.  As expected Apple launched the new iPhone 5S and 5C and announced the long awaited iOS 7 release date.

Expect to see iOS7 next week (I can't wait) it has a brand new look and some great features, as well as AirDrop and siri will have twitter and facebook integration as well as being able to change settings on your iPhone for you (at least on the 5S)
iPhone 5C - pic from the Apple website
The iPhone 5C is designed for colour with several new colours in the revolutionary poly carbonate single piece shells shells, the 5C builds on the existing iPhone 5, and is aimed at the lower cost market.

The new iPhone 5S builds on the existing 5 with new tech including a new A7 chip but the biggest enhancement has to be the new Touch ID which is an inbuilt fingerprint scanner in the home button.  This can be used as a password to access the iPhone and also as authority to purchase from iTunes & the App store

iPhone 5S - pic from Apple website
As always for more check out the apple website or for local sites or

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Weird Dreams

Image from
Do you dream?

I haven't dream't in ages, or that I have remembered up until the last few nights.

On Sunday night/Monday morning, I dream't that I was here in Brisbane and was hanging out with a bunch of people - quite normal as I am often around these people, however I noticed the sun was shining.  Now thats not unusual the sun shines 95% of the time here in Brisbane, however I immediately knew something was wrong with the sun shining, and looked at my watch - now this is weird as a) currently I don't wear a watch and b) It was on my left wrist and I used to wear my watch on the right wrist.

Anyway I looked at my watch and realised the reason I was concerned about the sun shining was it was 8:30pm at night.  Now as a Kiwi who grew up with daylight savings I am quite used to the sun shining at 8:30pm at night but that just does not happen here in Brisbane. Now I was concerned that the sun was shining bright at 8:30pm, but I was the only one.

Me the Kiwi who is used to daylight savings and the sun shining at 8:30pm at night was concerned that in Brisbane the sun was shining at 8:30pm at night yet my friends who I was with who are from Brisbane, didn't notice and weren't worried that the sun was shining at 8:30pm at night!

The second odd dream was last night (Monday night/Tuesday morning) and was located at our property in the Marlborough Sounds New Zealand yet with some Australian items.
The view in question (photo from my sisters facebook page)
So I was standing on the deck of our property looking out across the sound watching the boat traffic (see above pic lifted from my sister's facebook page - thanks sis) from here you can see the Interislander and BlueBridge ferries crossing left to right on their way to Wellington and right to left when they are arriving into Picton.

SO there were boats all over the place and ferries crossing in the main shipping channel then a Qantas Boeing 737-800 comes out from Picton and crosses the view heading for Wellington like its a ferry.  Now that seemed a little odd but I wasn't to worried about it.

A bit later on the wind had picked up and the sound was choppy and another QF B738 was heading out, now I know it was VH-VXB Yananyi Dreaming because the tail was in Yananyi colours despite the fact the body of the plane had been stripped back to bare metal (kind of in the spirit of the Cathay Pacific Silver Bullet B747F's) but at the time in the dream I incorrectly identified it as VH-ZXA (a QF B763) now in fighting the wind its wings were bent at a very odd angle upwards.

Anyway it hit a wave, got a little airborne and as it hit the sea again panels fell off the side of the aircraft as did the wings and it "crashed" now it went out of sight however the rear of the fuselage returned to sight going in the opposite direction, however it had broken in half and the front half had I assume already sunk, now I was watching the back half sink in front of me.

Instead of being concerned about the 170 odd pax + crew being injured and drowning and calling 000 or since we were in NZ 111, I was more concerned about being the first to post an eyewitness account on various online aviation forums!

So in the last two nights I have had some VERY weird dreams, and I have no idea why I have had them, I'm slightly worried about my brain after these.  If anyone out there wants to interpret these dreams go right ahead.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Apple tech in 5 days?

Are apple about to launch a brand new line of tech? Or is all the hype just over the new iPhone 5S & 5C?

We are all aware that the new iPhone 5S & 5C will launch this month but the invitation (image above) has others abuzz that a new line could also be launched
The invite for the event, to be held on Apple's Cupertino campus, promises that "this should brighten everyone's day," hinting that it may launch more than just the iPhone 5 successor. Rumors have been swirling about Apple launching a new watch, or perhaps even a new TV.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also said earlier this year that Apple would launch "new product categories  from the fall season (Sep-Nov) through 2014.

So we wait to see what next weeks launch brings - will it be something new an innovative? Or is it just clever marketing to create interest?

Read more from ARN HERE

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Burger Urge: The Dictator

Democracy has failed us. Slavery is freedom. Ignorance is strength. ALL HAIL THE DICTATOR!
Just saw the very awesome marketing campaign for this burger driving through the Brisbane CBD today - 3 black SUVs with "The Dictator" hanging out the sunroof of the middle one.

Check out burger urge's Website or visit them at one of their locations

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Roar kit announced

The 2013/14 Brisbane Roar kit has been launched with a new Home, Away & Event Kit launched today, by kit manufacturer Puma.


Captain Matt Smith in the new Home Jersey
Besart Berisha in the new Away Jersey
Ivan Franjic in the new Event Jersey
See more at the HERE

Friday, August 16, 2013

48hrs near Seddon #eqnz

Here is an animation showing a 48hr sequance of the fault line near Seddon causing all the large quakes via The New Zealand Herald

Cute animal discovered

Scientists have "discovered" a cute little animal with a "teddy bear face"
The critter leaps through the trees of mountainous forests of Ecuador and Colombia at night, according to a Smithsonian researcher who has spent the past decade tracking them.
But the adorable olinguito shouldn't have been so hard to find. One of them once lived in the Smithsonian-run National Zoo in Washington for a year in a case of mistaken identity.   
It really is a cute little thing isn't it.  Read the rest of the story via HERE its quite a good read, especially the details of the mistaken identity.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Route 300 video

The Brisbane Times today posted a copy of a video that is showing at the EKKA of (translink) Brisbane Transport Bus route 300 from Adelaide Street to Toombul Shopping center.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

nzompilot's Positivity Challenge

Image via

This is something I wrote for publication on my personal Facebook & Google+ accounts but thought was worth sharing here as well.

When everything seems hard, when life gets you down, when you feel like you're getting thrown through the ringer at every turn, its often hard to believe that you make a difference at all.  I know its something I really struggle with, and I'm sure other people struggle with it as well.

Even though its often hard to believe we are always making a difference, whether its as simple as a smile and wave or verbal thank you to a bus driver that makes their shift or its something a lot bigger where you set an example that others follow, every day there is a way that you are making a difference.

Its my challenge to myself to actually try and observe these little or big things so that I can see what impact I am having on the world around me.  This in turn should help me to feel better about myself, and I challenge each of you reading this to do the same.  

Pay attention to the bus driver when you leave the bus see if your
acknowledgement of them makes them smile, see if the person you make eye contact with a smile at walking down the street, smiles back and if their facial expression changes.

Go out each and every day and make it your challenge to be positive and use that positivity to make a difference on those around you. Even if feeling positive is the last thing you feel like doing, even a simple smile can change you and those around.

This is my challenge - will you join me?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games power abuse

Graphic from
There is an article in this morning's couriermail about a raft of new laws proposed for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.  Some of them I am completely against and find to be a complete abuse of power just to make things 'look good' to 'keep up appearances' for overseas television audiences.
THE raft of new laws proposed for the Commonwealth Games include giving the green light for the killing of protected animals that stray into venues during competition.     
I find this proposal abhorrent as one of the protected animals on the Gold Coast is the Koala.  Not only is this an icon of Australia, its a protected species as the Koala population is declining and their survival as a species is threatened.  So killing them just because they venture into a commonwealth games venue is ludicrous.

One of the other proposed laws is even worse when it comes to abuse of civil liberties in the name of keeping up appearances.  The proposal requires owners of buildings and properties within camera shot of venues and iconic scenery to clean up their properties, remove graffiti etc.  While removing graffiti is always a positive thing forcing private citizens to clean up their back yards is a complete abuse of power.

I do however agree with some of the proposals such as increasing the power of police to crack down on ticket scalpers, unauthorised broadcasts and to relocate people to "some distance away from the event site"

But I do disagree with the final proposal to limit the number of mobility scooters at each venue.  This is a blatant discrimination against elderly and disabled people who have an equal right to attend events as able bodied and young people.

Read the full article HERE (may require creating a free news+ account)
and read the government briefing paper HERE (released under the Right to Information Act 2009)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Translink Bus changes (rant)

So the first round of changes to Brisbane Transport (BCC) Buses under the Translink banner come into effect on Monday July 22nd.

I am a little more than cranky with the changes, and with TransLink, BCC & Qld Gov.  I even had a 15 tweet rant on twitter on the way home tonight.  What really pisses me off the most is they are about to raise the fares by another 7.5% yet they are about to screw with capacity on some heavily utilised routes.

As of Monday July 22 the changes to routes 77, P88 & 111 take effect.  But not all the changes to these routes take effect and this annoys me no end.

The P88 route which was set for the chop is chopped but unlike the promised in the BCC report (HERE) it is not being replaced by the stated new P163 service.  What annoys me the most as a regular user of morning and evening peak P88 and 111 services is the lack of capacity.

Between 6am and 7am there were 6 P88 services 6:00, 6:10, 6:20, 6:30, 6:40, 6:50 & 7:00, these were operated by the Garden City Depo with a mix of MAN 18.310 (CNG) & Scania L94UB buses, both of which have a stated seating of 44 passengers or total capacity including standing of 63 passengers. This equates to a maximum of 372 pssengers on the 6 services.

They new P163 does not start and Translink advises passengers to instead take the 111 service. However the new timetable for the 111 service (effective 22-July-2013) shows no change between 6am and 7am, with only 7 services 6:00, 6:15. 6:25, 6:35, 6:45. 6:55. 7:00.  These services are operated by the Willawong Depo with mainly MAN NG313 Articulated buses but occasionally MAN 18.310 (CNG) buses.

The MAN NG313 has stated seating of 63 with a total capacity including standing passengers of 85. So the 111 service between 6am and 7am offers capacity of 595 passengers.  So combined currently between the P88 and 111 on Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street their is capacity of 967 passengers.

From Monday 22 July the capacity between Eight Mile Plains and Roma Street from 6am to 7am will drop from 967 passengers to just 595 passengers.  Now as a regular commuter on this route during this time, I cant see a way that these 7 111 services will be able to hold the entire demand.

Yes there are other routes that travel along the busway between 6am and 7am, but they are also often at capacity before they reach Garden City or Griffith University.

I find this to be entirely short sighted of the BCC, Translink & the QLD Gov that they are almost halving capacity between Eight Mile Plains and Roma Street in what is a peak period, with no replacement services for the capacity they have cut.

I encourage you to have your say, by commenting on Translink, BCC & Qld Gov websites, tweeting, emailing and Facebooking them, or contacting your local member of State Parliament and complaining.

Instagram set for more changes

Facial recognition, landmark detection, and even audio cues picked up through your phone’s microphone could let Instagram Video intelligently suggest a cover frame for mini-movies or even tag them, according to recent Facebook patents.
We all know how quickly Insta users like myself have adapted to posting 15 second video's to Instagram so it will be interesting to see how these potential new updates take hold.

The story of the potential upgrades comes to us via TechCrunch writer Josh Constine who has written two articles (HERE & HERE) on the Facebook patent requests.  The requests for these patents were filed in October 2011 and were granted in April 2013.
Essentially, they describe technology for looking at each frame of a video as if it were a photo. Detection algorithms can then be used to identify people, written words, brands, and landmarks through facial and pattern recognition.This could let Facebook suggest formal tags of people, places, and brands in a video, or just quietly log that information as metadata to be used for determining who to surface the video to in the news feed. For example, the video could be shown more prominently to people nearby, who Like those landmarks or brands, or who are friends of those who appear in the video. Though Instagram uses an unfiltered feed, it recently added a tagging system that could take advantage of this kind of detection.

Read Josh's articles for more on these developments

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Potential BIG changes for sport in Marlborough

As a former product of good 'ol Blenheim, I have been interested in reading a rather well put together article by Marlborough Express Sports reporter Clay Wilson in today's paper (ONLINE HERE) about changes that the Marlborough District Council are exploring for public sporting venues in Blenheim.

As it currently stands Cricket, and Netball dominate Horton Par, Athletics and cycling are at Athletic park, Oliver Park see's football (soccer) and cricket, Landsdowne Park is the home of Rugby, while Polo happens at Rewi Murray park.  Softball and Football share A&P park.

Under the proposed changes to Landsdowne Park, Rugby will share the facility with new Athletic, Netball and Softball fields/courts, with two different layouts for Winter and Summer
Possible winter field layout
Possible Summer field layout
As you can see touch, softball and athletics are the main stake holders in the summer, while Rugby and netball are the main stake holders in Winter.

Moving softball away from A&P Park, free's up more space for summer football, as does moving cricket from Oliver park to Rewi Murray park.  Polo would move from Rewi Murray to the new Equestrian venue at Bothams Bend.

Netball would move entirely from Horton Park to Landsdowne as would Athletics from Athletic Park, allowing the council to sell the netball half of Horton Park and Athletic park to fund the development at Landsdowne Park.
It is hard to doubt that the implementation of the entire plan could have a hugely positive impact on the health of sport in the Marlborough region. And although Lansdowne Park will remain the home of Marlborough rugby, it will also become a venue where several other sports are able to flourish, said Bartlett.
"Lansdowne will always be the home of rugby, we can't stress that enough. We want to make sure [rugby] are happy and benefiting from anything we do, but we still all believe it can be a multi-sport park."   
It will be interesting to see if council gets support from the community and the various sporting bodies, but I for one can see these being advantageous for those people still in Blenheim

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Facebook groups/pages

For those who follow my Aviation blog, you'll know I recently posted a list of some of my favourite Aviation groups and pages on facebook, well now its time to do the same for my favourite Dr Who & Community groups/pages

Doctor Who and the Tardis by Craig Hurle

Probably my favourite Doctor Who fan page out there, run by mega fan Craig Hurle and his associates

Doctor Who and the T.A.R.D.I.S
 Another great fan page

Matt Smith
 A great fan page dedicated to the 11th & current Doctor - Matt Smith

Doctor Who
The official BBC facebook page for whovians

Save "Community" The TV Show
The best page for people who live by the mantra '6 seasons and a movie'

The official NBC page for Community

If you have more you like and follow then feel free to flick them to me in the comments section

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Im not ok

I follow several people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram who like myself suffer depression, and this post is dedicated to them.

Depression is an ugly thing that effects way to many people (1 in 7 Australians will suffer depression) depression comes in many forms, but many depressed people (like myself) hide behind a mask, putting on a fake smile.
Depression is not always cured by simply taking anti-depressants and having everyone expect you to see the world like this
Effects of "ignorital" on Lisa Simpson
Instead you should be out there talking to your friends, out there looking for the people in your life who are exhibiting signs of depression and asking them if they are ok

I'm not saying that if you see someone who is depressed that they will immediately jump to tell you how they are when you ask, as the above pic shows, I know personally I always want someone to notice but when they do I wish they hadn't.
But if you truly care for your friends or people you follow on social media you will keep on being there for them, keep on asking them if they are ok, and keep on offering them a shoulder to cry on when they need it. They might not take you up on your offer, but it will reinforce to them that yes there are people there who care for them even when they feel utterly alone

I know that no one reads this blog and I often wonder why I bother writing it at times, I mean after all who wants to know what is important to me?  My aviation blog gets large numbers of people reading it, but my personal blog often seems pointless.  But I will persist in writing it because I have a hope that one day a post like this will have an impact on someone and will stop someone from doing something stupid.

Before you give up, before you think to yourself the world would be better off without me - talk to someone, if you're friends with me on facebook chat with me, if you follow me on twitter DM me, if you only follow me on instagram then add me on twitter and chat with me, I know how you feel, I have depression stemming from a chronic illness, I just want to hide away by myself, I am utterly lonely and am stuck int he loop of shutting myself off by increasing my isolation, but I will always be there to chat with you when you want (during normal AEST hours)  If you cant raise me or want to talk to someone else then please call one of these numbers and chat.

96five careline: 07 3831 1965

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Kids helpline (12-25): 1800 55 1800
Parentline: 1300 30 1300

New Zealand
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Samaritans: 0800 726 666
Youthline: 0800 376 633

*** Please note this post seems to be dropping most of the pictures when viewed using firefox - I can see them fine in IE & Chrome but not firefox***

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Daily Dalek webcomic

Here's a post for my fellow Whovians - The Daily Dalek a webcomic by tonecartoons
The concept behind this webcomic is quite simple - a new single frame dalek based cartoon every single day
The comic often plays on well known events/themes/shows like the Mary Poppins take off above or the Garfield take off below
There is lots of other Doctor Who references in the cartoons beside the Daleks (i.e odie as K9 above)
If you are a Whovian then I thoroughly recommend this webcomic to you, also check out some of the other webcomics that tonecartoons produces

Monday, April 15, 2013

Potential twitter hijack threat warning

This afternoon's ARN newsletter has highlighted a potential security threat to twitter which could see accounts hijacked.

A feature in the Twitter API (application programming interface) can be abused by attackers to launch credible social engineering attacks that would give them a high chance of hijacking user accounts, a mobile application developer revealed Wednesday at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam.
The issue has to do with how Twitter uses the OAuth standard to authorize third-party apps, including desktop or mobile Twitter clients, to interact with user accounts through its API, Nicolas Seriot, a mobile applications developer and project manager at Swissquote Bank in Switzerland, said Thursday.
This is a potentially widespread issue that could effect common apps like tweet deck, twitter for iOS etc  Seriot used this method to build a completely legitimate program which works with Mac OS based mutli-protocol chat client Adium, but believes this security loophole could be used for nefarious purposes which could impact all users of API based twitter apps.

Read more on Seriots development and its potential security risks, at ARN HERE

Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo montages

Like many people I use my iPhone as a camera & like many, my photo's get shared on instagram.  As an Instagram user i've noticed people posting montages or collages of photos and recently downloaded an app to do this as well.

Feel free to follow me on instagram (@nzompilot)

I thought I'd share some of the fun I've had recently

©nzompilot - a collection of some recent beer's I've tasted

©nzompilot -  lighting showcase at an event I recently did tech for

©nzompilot - some of my favourite autumn sunrise shots taken over the last few weeks

©nzompilot - tonight is the Roar's toughest finals challenge so here are some pregame.after game shots

©nzompilot - an every day occurance for me Brisbane trains

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Apple - life sentance

There is an interesting article on itnews this morning which makes you stop and think just how much of my personal data is stuck in corporate archives for how long?

As most people do I just skip straight to the end of EULA's and T&C's and check the box then move on, but turns out with my apple account I am now a customer for life.

Apple customers are customers for life, thanks to a clause in the company’s terms and conditions requiring a death certificate before an account can be terminated.
An Apple account and associated data can only be closed once Apple has sighted a death certificate for the user.
Just makes you wonder what else big corporate's are hiding in the EULA's &/or T&C's which no one actually stops and reads.  Just proves the point that you should be very very careful about what information you enter into online accounts.

Read the full itnews article HERE