Sunday, October 30, 2005


A group of us went for a hike at Cold Springs yesterday with some of the friends (man am I out of shape after spending a year living in NY city).

It's about 60 miles north in upstate New York on the Hudson river opposite the West Point Academy.

Spectacular scenery, changing of the leaves and sweet as pie small town America with a flag in front of every second home.

I know Americans are renown for being Patriotic, in war more than ever, but it it got me thinking.........How Come Australians Aren't More Patriotic?

A straw poll with some of my Australian hiking buddies drew responses such as "Australians are modest, we keep our patriotism on the inside" and "Australians never fought in a war for independence".

Are we less patriotic or do we just show it in a different way?

Is Americas patriotism seen in a different light from the Arab world?

When i watch shows like "Off To War" (an insiders 'fly on the wall' view of 10 soldiers all from the same small town in middle America - actually pretty well balanced in it's reporting) I cant help as an outsider but draw similarities between this and the imagery we see on CNN about Arab women crying over their dead 'terrorist' sons or the religious chanting of a large group of Arab men.

Are we really all that different? Is what we are proud about so dissimilar that we need to blow each other up? Is the middle view of both America and the Arab world being distorted out by a few fanatics, distracting us from reality?

Is there a way to get a better mutual understanding?


Thursday, October 27, 2005


You need to check out Sensiva software and what it can do (seriously one of the coolest pieces of software out there-the first coolest is of course

Sensiva is a windows app that enables you to create various actions by clicking and holding the right mouse key and then drawing a shape.

Those actions may be anything from opening a specific web page (eg I draw a G and google opens up in a new explorer page and if you highlight the text before hand automatically cuts and pastes it into the search box)

To close an application (for example when I draw a L it closes the window I'm looking at (or if I draw a line left to right-down like an italic I it minimizes the page - makes it easy to jump from one app to another).

My favorite action however is a reverse upper case L (right to left), I have set this up as delete so when browsing through email I can delete an email quickly and easily without needing to move the mouse and click the delete key each time.

It's a little expensive for such a simple application but to be honest if you are on a pc all day like I am this thing will be indispensable within a week of trialing it. I've been using it for over a year and this is one of the first apps i reinstall onto any new pc.


PS Update...found out that the app is no longer being sold...and the website got sold to a female products company. lol i figured the cheque must have been huge. Anyway not sure if it is being sold/branded under a new product name but they have some patents and as gestures are a huge business....i imagine David Dupouy (or his investors) are doing just fine. Patent number: 6057845

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hasidic Reggae

Matisyahu is my new favourite singer.....this guy absolutely blows me away.

Check out three of his tracks here;

Ok so you may have worked out from the title that Matisyahu is an orthodox Hasidic jew, but his reggae style is amazing, his totally original lyrics are an amazing blend of religion and self empowerment.

It's great to see how someone can take totally diverse areas and make it their own so powerfully.

He's local to NY but touring at the moment so hopefully I'll get a chance to see him live sooner rather than later.

He's got a great sounding but average looking live video here


Monday, October 24, 2005

Rainy Soul

Jodie left for Australia for 3 weeks this weekend :(

This rainy day is how I feel today.

p.s. This is the view from the corner of 72nd and York (the first intersection from our apartment in order North, East, South and West (towards the river and our apartment) .

Friday, October 21, 2005

Secret Code in Color Printers Lets Government Track You

I promised my wife I wouldn't be too anti-American in this blog (she thinks the visa police are going to come after me because I'm a guest in the USA on a 3 year renewable visa) but this move by the US government is insane.

Tiny Dots Show Where and When You Made Your Print

A research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently broke the code behind tiny tracking dots that some color laser printers secretly hide in every document.
The U.S. Secret Service admitted that the tracking information is part of a deal struck with selected color laser printer manufacturers, ostensibly to identify counterfeiters. However, the nature of the private information encoded in each document was not previously known.

"We've found that the dots from at least one line of printers encode the date and time your document was printed, as well as the serial number of the printer," said EFF Staff Technologist Seth David Schoen.

You can see the dots on color prints from machines made by Xerox, Canon, and other manufacturers (for a list of the printers we investigated so far, see:

The dots are yellow, less than one millimeter in diameter, and are typically repeated over each page of a document. In order to see the pattern, you need a blue light, a magnifying glass, or a microscope (for instructions on how to see the dots, see:

EFF and its partners began its project to break the printer code with the Xerox DocuColor line. Researchers Schoen, EFF intern Robert Lee, and volunteers Patrick Murphy and Joel Alwen compared dots from test pages sent in by EFF supporters, noting similarities and differences in their arrangement, and then found a simple way to read the pattern.

"So far, we've only broken the code for Xerox DocuColor printers," said Schoen. "But we believe that other models from other manufacturers include the same personally identifiable information in their tracking dots."
You can decode your own Xerox DocuColor prints using EFF's automated program at

Xerox previously admitted that it provided these tracking dots to the government, but indicated that only the Secret Service had the ability to read the code. The Secret Service maintains that it only uses the information for criminal counterfeit investigations. However, there are no laws to prevent the government from abusing this information.

"Underground democracy movements that produce political or religious pamphlets and flyers, like the Russian samizdat of the 1980s, will always need the anonymity of simple paper documents, but this technology makes it easier for governments to find dissenters," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien.

"Even worse, it shows how the government and private industry make backroom deals to weaken our privacy by compromising everyday equipment like printers. The logical next question is: what other deals have been or are being made to ensure that our technology rats on us?"

EFF is still working on cracking the codes from other printers and we need the public's help. Find out how you can make your own test pages to be included in our research at
Contact: Seth Schoen
Staff TechnologistElectronic Frontier

A good friend of mine has posted some interesting comments on this here

To All - this is insane, I cant believe this is happening, what is happening in the world we live in when something like this happens. There has been a total collapse in the morality of the US government and even worse in the printer manufacturers.

When Republicans wonder why the lost the next election this is one of the turning points, what country are we living in Russia?

I currently own a very good quality Cannon Pixma, Unfortunately it is relatively new so I wont be junking it but you can be sure that my next purchase will be from a manufacturer not listed here (guess you lost at least one customer Mr Cannon).


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Street Art

As some of you know I've been a huge fan of Street Art for some time. I was in Brooklyn recently when I saw this poster.

This piece of work grabs me on so many levels, the absurd and funny, the sad and tragic, the all knowing and above it all with the final realisation that you are still part of the machine at the same time. The artists website is located here

One of the best online collections of Street Art I found is located here

Hope this affects your day.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cool Plates

ok so I really just wanted to test out my new mobile blog feature but I saw this motorbike number plate and snapped a photo using my treo 600 and uploaded it via gprs.

Btw for the phone geeks of you out there check out the new imate jas jar ( ), this will be my new handset as soon as I can convince my wife that $US 1100 is a totally reasonable price for my newest favourite toy (anyone in the market for a well maintained treo with all of the latest software?)


Joining the masses?

Well I finally have succumbed to joining the masses and publishing a blog. Mainly because my wife wanted me to stop posting irrelevant junk to my other website
but also because she keeps saying I have more to say about stuff than anyone she knows.

I'll probably be posting a mix of personal thoughts, some points of view on Life in NY and I'm sure way to much geeky IT 'news' and useless other thoughts.

Will it mean anything or fall apart as a waste of time....we'll see. I keep being amazed at the quality of some of my friends blogs but I also note whenever I browse the majority of blogs it's probably only of interest to close personal friends to keep track with whats going on in their lives.

For those of you that are wondering this blog is being driven by and delivered onto my homepage through the use of Iframes.

The advantages of using Blogger is that I can post via a website, email and also posts from my mobile phone.

You'll also be able to use a xml feed using the following url lol - if you understand what that means then you understand what to do with it otherwise just keep moving.......nothing to see here....)

Well here goes, hope you find something of interest.