Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ariel Atom 3

Totally unrelated to my F1 post below there was an email from Ariel in my inbox today about the new Ariel Atom 3

The Ariel Atom is a road registerable car that is pure engineering and light on creature comforts(though not yet registerable in Australia; the guys there have been trying to get rta certification for the last 2 years and the day they get clearance is the day they get my deposit but until then it's only available as a track car) .

The 3rd generation isn't all that different to the first 2 but has had a number of minor refinements. but how much fun must this thing be to drive.

If you are in the USA and just want to take one for a spin email me as there are track days on both the east coast and the west coast.



The video above covers some of the new functionality but if you want to see what they really are about nothing beats Jeremy's original review below - the guy is a riot.



Cheers,
Dean

P.S. BTW for all the hoon heads visiting this page, check out  http://www.livenascarchat.com/  and  www.LiveF1chat.com   :)

F1 Facts

This was sent to me by my friend Andre Merhi who's a F1 fanatic. Some figures in here (eg. tyre temps) are just out of this world.

Enjoy.



Few Facts about F1
Here are some interesting facts about Formula 1 racing

01. an F1 car is made up of 80,000 components, if it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would still start the race with 80 things wrong!

02. Formula 1 cars have over a kilometer of cable, linked to about 100 sensors and actuators which monitor and control many parts of the car.

03. An F1 car can go from 0 to 160 kph AND back to 0 in FOUR seconds!!!!!!!

04. F1 car engines last only for about 2 hours of racing mostly before blowing up on the other hand we expect our engines to last us for a decent 20yrs on an average and they quite faithfully DO....thats the extent to which the engines are pushed to perform...

05. When an F1 driver hits the brakes on his car he experiences retardation or deceleration comparable to a regular car driving through a BRICK wall at 300kmph !!!

06. An average F1 driver looses about 4kgs of weight after just one race due to the prolonged exposure to high G forces and temperatures for little over an hour (Yeah thats right!!!)

07. At 550kg a F1 car is less than half the weight of a Mini.

08. In an F1 car the engine typically revs upto 18000 rpm,(the piston travelling up and down 300 times a second!!) wheres cars like the palio, maruti 800,indica rev only upto 6000 rpm at max. Thats 3 times slower.

09. The brake discs in an F1 car have an operating temperature of approx 1000 degees Centigrade and they attain that temp while braking before almost every turn...that is why they r not made of steel but of carbon fibre which is much more harder and resistant to wear and tear and most of all has a higher melting point.

10. If a water hose were to blow off, the complete cooling system would empty in just over a second.

11. Gear cogs or ratios are used only for one race, and are replaced regularly to prevent failure, as they are subjected to very high degrees of stress.

12. The fit in the cockpit is so tight that the steering wheel must be removed for the driver to get in or out of the car. A small latch behind the wheel releases it from the column. Levers or paddles for changing gear are located on the back of the wheel. So no gearstick! The clutch levers are also on the steering wheel, located below the gear paddles.

13. To give you an idea of just how important aerodynamic design and added downforce can be, small planes can take off at slower speeds than F1 cars travel on the track.

14. Without aerodynamic downforce, high-performance racing cars have sufficient power to produce wheel spin and loss of control at 160 kph. They usually race at over 300 kph.

15. The amount of aerodynamic downforce produced by the front and rear wings and the car underbody is amazing. Once the car is travelling over 160 kph, an F1 car can generate enough downforce to equal it's own weight. That means it could actually hold itself to the CEILING of a tunnel and drive UPSIDE down!

16. In a street course race like the monaco grand prix, the downforce provides enough suction to lift manhole covers. Before the race all of the manhole covers on the streets have to be welded down to prevent this from happening!

17. The refuelers used in F1 can supply 12 litres of fuel per second. This means it would take just 4 seconds to fill the tank of an average 50 litre family car.They use the same refueling rigs used on US military helicopters today.

18. TOP F1 pit crews can refuel and change tyres in around 3 seconds. & it took you about 8 sec to read above point.

19. Race car tyres don't have air in them like normal car tyres. Most racing tyres have nitrogen in the tyres because nitrogen has a more consistent pressure compared to normal air. Air typically contains varying amounts of water vapour in it, which affects its expansion and contraction as a function of temperature, making the tyre pressure unpredictable.

20. During the race the tyres lose weight! Each tyre loses about 0.5 kg in weight due to wear.

21. Normal tyres last 60 000 - 100 000 km. Racing tyres are designed to last 90 - 120 km.

22.  At top speed, F1 tyres rotate 50 times a second.



So Formula 1 Driving is not piece of cake,thats why Michael Schumacher is the world richest Sports Person!!!!


Cheers,
Dean


P.S. If you are a big F1 fan you might liek to check out http://www.livef1chat.com/ next time a live race is on.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Amazon Patent taken down by Kiwi

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/27/amazon_1_click_patent_interview/

Lol I love this guys attitude....I was bored so i thought I'd take down one of the most powerful online ecommerce companies out there.

Perfect example of the stupidity that's out there when it comes to the USA patent system.

Hope this isn't the last we here of examples like this.


Cheers,
Dean

Cityware - (facebook bluetooth application)

So as some of you know I have some Facebook applications under development/consideration.

I was at the Facebook developers conference where someone told me about Cityware.


It's a bit messy as it's a cut and paste post from there website but if you are interested then this thing will blow your socks off and you'll read it to then end.

How big is this application going to get? dont know but super interesting to see what happens.


Cheers,
Dean



Cityware
What is Cityware?

For an overview of Cityware, watch the video.

While Facebook does a great job of capturing our friendship networks, it does not capture who we actually spend time with. During the course of a day we come in contact with various people: friends we meet at university or work, people we always see at the bus stop, and complete strangers that we bump into while shopping. These people form our real-world social networks.

These daily "random" encounters with strangers are actually quite important. This is how you make new friends, or meet the love of your life. Using Cityware, you can identify your real-world network, see who you bump into most often, and explore how much time you spend with friend, or strangers. To do all this, Cityware consists of three components:1. A Facebook application that allows users to explore and visualise their real-world social networks.2. A server application that analyses the relationships between people and provides data to Cityware.3. A Java utility (the Cityware utility) that enables users to upload their data to our servers.

The motivation behind Cityware is to allow users to explore their real world networks in a Facebook-style environment. With Cityware, users can see who they spend most time with, who they meet most often or most recently. Additionally, Cityware information is linked directly to Facebook profiles, thus providing and extremely rich dataset for users to explore. Here is a

Cityware has been developed by
Vassilis Kostakos and Simon Jones at the University of Bath, and in conjuction with the Cityware project.

Installation
For Cityware to work, you need to:
1. Add Cityware to your facebook profile. If a friend hasn't already tagged you in Cityware you may need to enter the Bluetooth ID of your mobile device. You can do this from the 'My Settings' page on your Cityware profile.
2. Set your Bluetooth-enabled device set to discoverable mode. Most mobile phones, PDAs and laptops support this feature.
3. Live in an area supported by Cityware, or help us
expand Cityware.

Why does Cityware only work in certain areas?
Because Cityware requires an infrastructure of "nodes" which can actually detect which devices are in the area. This data is then uploaded to our servers so that we can feed it into your Cityware profile.

Where does Cityware work?
Anywhere there is a Cityware node... the node network is growing each day. To view nodes which our users have marked on the map
click here and search for "Cityware". You can easily make your area Cityware-supported, by clicking here.

How can I get Cityware to work in my school, university, company, or city?
It's free! All you need is a computer with an internet connection. Click
here.

Cityware is not working. What's wrong?
Make sure you fulfill the requirements described above. Also, note that even if you live in a Cityware-supported area, you are not guaranteed to show up in Cityware. For this to happen, you need to have walked past one of the specific locations (such as the cafeteria of your school, a coffee shop, or the library foyer). Data takes a few minutes to appear in your Cityware page. The mini-Cityware profile that appears in your Facebook profile gets updated every time you click on the link "My Cityware", or the Cityware link in your top-left application panel. If you have multiple devices registered with your account, your mini-profile will show data from the device that appears at the top of your settings page.

How do I find my Bluetooth ID?
Each Bluetooth-enabled device has a unique Bluetooth ID that uniquely identifies it. This is exactly how Facebook works, by assigning a unique ID to each user. For example, your Facebook ID is: 674616722. There are a number of ways to figure out your Bluetooth ID. The easiest way, if you have a Nokia phone, is to type *#2820# in your phone. Many phones will allow you to use our BTIdentify tool
(for a full list of compatible devices click here). Download the BTIdentify jar file here and copy it to your phone using your USB cable or Bluetooth connection to your PC. Run the application and it will show you the Bluetooth address of your device. For all other phones and mobile devices, please follow these instructions. 1.Pair your device with another device or laptop. For example, you can pair your device with your desktop computer (provided the computer has Bluetooth), or you can pair your device with a friend's mobile phone (provided your friend's phone has Bluetooth). The pairing process usually involves the exchange of a password which you can set.2.After pairing, you need to find on your desktop (or friend's phone) the list of paired devices. For Windows computers, go to the control panel and double-click on "Bluetooth". For Mac OS X, go to System Preferences, and click on Bluetooth. For mobile phones, you need to go to the Bluetooth preferences screen, and look for an option "Paired devices" or similar.3. A number of details will be provided about your device, including its name, the services it provides, as well as its ID (also refered to as Address). The ID should be 12 characters long. Sometimes the ID is printed with colons (11:22:33:44:55:66), in which case you can just ignore the colons. This is the ID that you need to enter in Cityware settings.

Using Cityware
The main page
The main page displays a person's Cityware profle. The profile can be either yours or someone else's. Your profile will show you statistics on the people you encounter on a daily basis. By encounter, we mean being in the same place at the same time. The displayed information can be sorted according to the
duration of encounters (how much time you spend with someone),
frequency (how many distinct times you encountered each other),
or recency (the last time you encountered each other). By default your profile will show the top 8 encounters per page, but you can click on the "Show more" link to display up to 100 entries. You will also note that the top 3 entries from each category are shown on the Cityware box in your Facebook profile.
Cityware knows which Bluetooth devices belong to which Facebook users by using tagging. When looking at a Cityware profile, you can click on the link "Tag this device". This will allow you to link the specific Bluetooth device to a Facebook user. Doing so will then enable you to explore their Cityware profile.

The settings page
On the settings page can see which Bluetooth devices have been linked to your account. For example, you may own a mobile phone and two laptops that have Bluetooth, and these will show up here. On this page you can set the type of Bluetooth device to be either a mobile phone or a computer. You will also notice that each device has an assigned name that you cannot directly edit. The only way to change a device's name is by changing its Bluetooth name on the device itself. Eventually, the new name will make its way into our servers.
Finally, if you want to dissasociate yourself from a device, you can click on the link "Untag this device". This will remove the association between your device and your Facebook account.

What is your privacy policy?
Cityware is an academic research project, and we do not intend to make a profit. All data we collect is stored securely on our servers. We intend to publish the results of our research in a fully anonimised way, such that no individual's privacy is undermined.

Troubleshooting
It's not working!
Cityware requires data about you, so that it can show it to you. For Cityware to have data about you and your friends, you need to be in a Cityware-supported city, school, or office. If you would like to involve your organisation in Cityware, click
here.
I live in a Cityware-supported area, but it still doesn't work
Make sure your Bluetooth is switched on, and set to discoverable. Also make sure that you have been near the computers running the Cityware utility. Finally, make sure your device shows up in the settings page. If not, then add it using the "Add device" link in the settings page.
I do not live in a Cityware-supported area. What should I do?
You can easily turn your area into a Cityware-supported area. Click
here for more information.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Eyeball Valuations

Interesting article in todays New York Times primarily about Current.tv and one of it's owners Al Gore however really interesting point that I noted was two figures stated about what a 'viewer' valuation might be worth in a dollar figure.

Basically they value Current.tv at $40 per subscriber - now I dont know how much Time Warner pays current.tv each month to carry it on my subscription that I pay $45 a month for 600+ channels but it cant be much.

Obviously some of this will also be offset with the amount of advertising they can sell during the lifetime of my subscription as well.

Personally i think $40 is too high but what do i know.

A more realistic figure is the actual valuation from last months Oxygen network sale to NBC. Oxygen runs a 'female focused' cable network....and yes they run good movies from time to time so I've watched it occasionally.

The trade sale at $12 per subscriber seems more realistic.

Oh and in case you didn't know Oprah was one of the founding directors/investors in Oxygen....and was reported to have received $250m+ for her part of the sale. Lol that woman could get a flat tire on a freeway and still make money out of it some how.

Anyway interesting times. In case you are really interested in eyeball valuations you might also want to have a listen to Shelly Palmers podcast with the CEO of Jump.tv where in the last 1/3rd of the interview they discuss valuations for new online video media.


Cheers,
Dean

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Robert T. Bigelow and his amazingly expanding space station

When VC's look for an investment opportunity one of the key 5 factors they are looking for is barriers to entry.

If you're going to build the next Facebook you may have all of the other 4 requirements covered but so what - any 18 year old kid can knock together something in his parents basement that devalues you and your proposal.

So when i read about Bigelow (who I've never heard of before today) in this article all I could think of is wow what an amazing barrier to entry for any competition.

It may read like a bad re-write of the Jodie Foster Contact movie but there definitely seems to be something there. Keep an eye out for this guy.


Cheers,
Dean

Comcast Sucks

I just don't get it - why spend millions of dollars a year on television marketing and print if you are going to alienate your users so badly.

Comcast is a cable provider here in the USA. Cable providers have had a really sweet deal for a number of years pretty much being a monopoly for high speed Internet. Although you can get 3mb dsl in a large percentage of the country once cable providers moved their services up to 8mb downloads it's pretty much the default choice. (eg I use Time Warner cable but my other option are Verizon dsl (and a few other dsl providers) no fios yet unfortunately :(

Because cable has this monopoly it was them or a lower speed dsl (of course that was until fios fiber and a few other options became available in the last few years).

So with these new options you think the cable companies would be trying to bend over backwards to win/keep their high speed customers, especially their savvy technically literate users as they are tending to pay for the faster tiers of service.

Well Comcast a few weeks ago decide to start blocking bit torrents.

A bit torrent is a way of downloading a single file from multiple locations at the same time eg, lets say I need to download a 100mb movie trailer - I download using bit torrent from 10 people at 10mbs each in 10 seconds rather than from 1 person at 10 mb in 100 seconds (or 1.5mins approx).

That's a simple example but you get the idea.

Yes a lot of people download pirate content using bit torrent but that's not the only use. Eg I can download asterisk updates using bit torrent or large development files or software updates etc.

Private people can also set up their own bit torrent servers to deliver their own private content to people they are working with etc.

You get the point - it's basically a very smart way of sharing files, any type of files. I mean you paid for that extra fast high speed bandwidth for a reason right?

Wrong.

So Comcast have bought some technology from a company called Sandvine. This company has a way of looking at your ISP traffic and working out when you are downloading bit torrent files - when they detect you doing this Comcast then 'throttle' your network to the point it looks like it's no longer working.

Whats worse is they have also been caught with their pants down (probably by internal staff who think it's a stupid idea in the first place) http://mashable.com/2007/10/26/comcast-isnt-net-neutral-are-they-liars-too/ Dont you love the semi-lies and the selective 'wording' in that pr debacle.

Either way Comcast sucks and I hope all of their customers walk with their feet - even if just for a few months so that ISP's know they cant push us around.


Cheers,
Dean

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cakke

I have just seeen one of the pivotal pieces of online video for the year.

I needs no explanation apart from in 4 days it's now been watched over half a million times.

Pass it on, if your friends are viral video fans they’ll love it.


I dont have any information on the creators apart from their limited website here
http://cakke.wordpress.com/2007/10/21/the-internet-stars-are-viral/

But I'm nominating them for an Oscar.


Cheers,
Dean

Friday, October 26, 2007

Spraycan Art

It's amazing what some people can do with a sheet of art paper, a spray can and some old newspaper.


If you like this video be sure to check out the guys web store at http://www.spacepaintings.com/

Have a good weekend all.


Cheers,
Dean

Australian Immigration and Citizenship Test

There has been some discussion in Australia over the last few years about immigration and assimilation. One of the suggestions apart from compulsory English language tests (on a serious note.... what a joke I'll vote for it when it's compulsory country wide for everyone including existing Australians)

On a much lighter note a number of potential questionnaires have been circulating for approval.

I think that the test below comprises of the appropriate mix of lifestyle, mateship and important Australian knowledge to assimilate nicely. Any thoughts?


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. For any Americans reading this you might need to grab a translator to assist you :)



Immigration and Citizenship Test

1. Do you understand the meaning, but are unable to explain the
origin of, the term 'died in the @rse'?


2. What is a “bloody little beauty”?


3. Are these terms related: chuck a sickie; chuck a spaz; chuck a
U-ey?


4. Explain the following passage: 'In the arvo last Chrissy the relos
rocked up for a barbie, some bevvies and a few snags. After a bit of
a Bex and a lie down we opened the pressies, scoffed all the
chockies, bickies and lollies. Then we drained a few tinnies and Mum
did her block after Dad and Steve had a barney and a bit of biffo.'


5. Macca, Chooka and Wanger are driving to Surfers in their Torana.
If they are travelling at 100 km/h while listening to Barnsey,
Farnsey and Acca Dacca, how many slabs will each person on average
consume between flashing a brown eye and having a slash?


6. Complete the following sentences:

a) 'If the van's rockin' don't bother ?
b) You're going home in the back of a ?
c) Fair crack of the ?


7. I've had a gutful and I can't be fagged. Discuss


8. Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of a wedgie?


9. Do you have a friend or relative who has a car in their front yard
'up on blocks'? Is his name Bruce and does he have a wife called
Cheryl?


10. Does your family regularly eat a dish involving mincemeat,
cabbage, curry powder and a packet of chicken noodle soup called
either chow mein, chop suey or kai see ming?


11. What are the ingredients in a rissole?


12. Demonstrate the correct procedure for eating a Tim Tam.


13. Do you have an Aunty Irene who smokes 30 cigarettes a day and
sounds like a bloke?


14. In any two-hour period have you ever eaten three-bean salad, a
chop and two serves of pav washed down with someone else's beer that
has been flogged from a bath full of ice?


15. When you go to a bring- your-own-meat barbie can you eat other
people's meat or are you only allowed to eat your own?


16. What purple root vegetable beginning with the letter 'b' is
required by law to be included in a hamburger with the lot?


17. Do you own or have you ever owned a lawn mower, a pair of thongs,
an Esky or Ugg boots?


18. Is it possible to 'prang a car' while doing 'circle work'?


19. Who would you like to crack on to?


20. Who is the most Australian: Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson, John 'True
Blue' Williamson, Kylie Minogue or Warnie?


21. Is there someone you are only mates with because they own a
trailer or have a pool?


22. What does “sinkin p*ss at a mates joint” and “getten para” mean?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fios 20/20 $64.99 a month

Verizon are rolling out a "fiber to the home" to provide both TV and Internet across certain parts of the USA and have been offering 5Mb and even 10MB services for the last year however this week they have thrown down the gauntlet against the cable and dsl providers.

Fios 20/20 is now available in select trial areas for $64.99 a month.

So for about $10 more than I'm paying now with Time Warner cable (8Mb down / 768kbs up - eg the fastest I can get) I can get 20Mb down and even better 20Mbs up.......where do I sign?

As long as this isn't a bundled service requirement as soon as the truck roll heads past 120th st I'm in.

All we need now are applications apart from browsing and voip to utilise these speeds but I'm sure I can think of something.


Cheers,
Dean

Facebook, Microsoft and Ford

This post is going to be short and sweet.

So Facebook is supposedly now worth $15b now that Microsoft has bought 1.6% for $240m - bullshit.

I don't know about you but even though I used Facebook at least twice a day I'm certainly not wedded to the platform and although there are no competitors out there on the market today I know that should something else come along that offers more functionality (and there is so much more Facebook could be doing..... a lot more) then I'll walk.

If given the choice between owning Ford (market capitalization of $13b on yesterdays closing) and owning Facebook I would take Ford each and every day because the barriers to entry are so much higher in the auto industry - for all Microsoft knows some kid is working on a Facebook killer in his parents basement and is ready to walk all over Facebooks $15b valuation.

What applications/websites are you absolutely wedded to and can't imagine something coming along that is an improvement?
(For me it's Plaxo)


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2008 GTR in the flesh ..... Yummy :)


Godzilla returns and damn she's hot and sexy.

Living in New York I have absolutely zero need for a car but if I had money to burn and didn't mind paying as much to garage my car as the leasing payments, this is was I'd be putting into my parking space (lol - car parking in our old building cost $1600 per month - and here in Harlem I don't even know where a parking garage is).

However.....when I come back to Australia this is what I'll be buying.

Oh my poor license it aches from losing 'points' already.


Cheers,
Dean

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nike Marketing

I meant to post this last week but got busy.

For any of you reading this that are involved in marketing this New York Times Nike marketing article is the hottest article you are going to read this month.

What Nike are doing is dropping the pretense that they are reaching their customers through broadcast delivery methods and moving some of their spend to a "community ecology" delivery.

I know every brand manager reading this is going ... "sounds like hard work" and "doesn't scale well".

Yeh funnily enough writing a big fat check for 1/3rd to 1/2 of your total years marketing dollars for a 30 second spot and appropriate advertising run is pretty easy and you get to go up to the pub.

Well guess what - someone younger, faster and smarter is going to suggest this to your boss and you're going to be out of a job.

I'd be interested if anyone feels they are already doing something similar already, and if you are - How much dialog are you allowing between your customers and through what methods?

You can see what some other people are saying here;
http://blogs.mediapost.com/spin/?p=1148


Cheers,
Dean

Sunday, October 21, 2007

3 Year Anniversary

Wow I just noticed that this week is the 3 year anniversary of this blog. It all started with this post.
http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2005/10/joining-masses.html

I originally started it to talk about life in New York for family back home in Australia, but throw a lot of my work (tech and advertising) into the mix.

So far there are 330 posts and an estimated 30,000+ page views (although there are only 24,000 page views on the stats page I started that later).

It's funny I wish sometimes I could reach out and talk to people who are viewing the blog, especially the ones who read through a ton of the archives (you can see how many individual pages are viewed and some people click on every months all the way back).

Anyway hope you enjoy what you are reading here. Drop me an email or a comment on a post sometime.


Cheers,
Dean

Saturday, October 20, 2007

MadMen Season Finale

Wow just finished watching the season ending of Mad Men.

If you haven't seen this series yet you should (I'm sure in the USA we'll get repeats and I'm not sure it's actually screened in Australia yet).

http://www.amctv.com/originals/madmen/
Mad Men is a period drama set in the 1960's surrounding an advertising agency and primarily one of the exec's Donald Draper.

It's amazingly well acted, the writing is flawless - and best of all the writers dont treat you like idiots so you actually have to think about what you are watching and pay attention.

Some people love it, some people give up on it too soon. But if you give it 2-3 episodes at least and you'll be hooked.

Cant wait for the return of season 2 - this thing has legs.


Cheers,
Dean

Friday, October 19, 2007

WingSuits

There is something about WingSuits that is just too freaking cool.

I dont care how boring and staid your day to day life is when you see something like this you just want to run out and try it.




Usual disclaimers about risks blah blah blah but want to try?

Have a great weekend :)


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sun/samsung

Sun and Samsung have announced they are going to be developing a Java mobile phone.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/biztech/sun-samsung-developing-java-phone/2007/10/10/1191695988341.html

Whilst I think this is a wide open opportunity I really have to look back on Savaje (a company I did some work for last year) as being an opportunity that Sun blew letting them go into liquidation (even if Sun did buy the liquidated assets and the IP).

For more background check out http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/javaone.html

It just seems crazy to start from scratch when this was all ready to go last year.


Cheers,
Dean

RIAA going into space to prosecute Astronauts :)

The RIAA announced today they were setting up a special prosecution team to blast into space to prosecute the International Space Station astronaut pirates.

They were quoted as saying "we will go to all ends of the earth to prosecute anyone illegally downloading copyrighted material"

The cover for their illicit distribution networks was blown in an interview when Yuri Malenchenko blatantly taunted that his stash of ripped music and movies from his last visit was still safely on board.

http://www.space.com/news/cs-07101-expedition16-personal.html
"There is some music I brought up and some movies," Malenchenko said.
"There's movies up there, some will have stayed but we try to change them out because we have limited space and so we just add new ones. So we get to pick a new set of movies that go up for us to watch in our free time. And they've gotten a lot more capability now to send up short TV shows or other things for us, which is great, so if you have a favorite series of whatever, they can get that up to you," said Whitson.

NASA when questioned about the rumours that their computer network was just a cover for distributing porn and ripped mp3's for staff issued a stern "No Comment".


Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baseballers Spitting

So I'm watching a great baseball game between the Red Sox and the Indians, but do they have to spit that much?

It's distracting and disgusting.

I wonder if they spit that much when sitting around their multi-million dollar lounge rooms in the off season .... eeeeww.

Or if their wives nag them as they are walking out the door "....and if you see a camera on you would you stop that stupid spitting habit - it's embarrassing and makes you look like a redneck turd".


Cheers,
Dean

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mount Morris Park

So we finally had a weekend to chill out today rather than packing/unpacking/rearranging/shopping for new stuff we need for the new apartment etc etc.

Was a perfect Autumn sunny day so took the camera and headed out for a walk around the park and the local neighborhood.

I've uploaded a few snap shots here so feel free to look around.


Cheers,
Dean

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quiet in Harlem

Wow it sure is quiet in my new office.

Not surprising considering I used to have a 6 lane highway (FDR Drive) running past the old apartment and the new office in Harlem backs up onto gardens etc.


Makes me wonder if you can get permanent hearing damage living in a noisy area.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. LOL no I'm not quite unpacked properly yet.

ePort Signs On More TV Groups

Most people here wont find this applicable (and a smaller subset will understand why this is cool) but for what it’s worth this is the coolest thing I saw today;


ePort Signs On More TV Groups
Several more TV groups have signed on to ePort, the Television Bureau of Advertising’s open-standard e-business platform, set to launch next month. Including Allbritton Communications, Barrington Broadcasting, Bonneville International, Cordillera Communications/Evening Post, Fox Television Stations, Hubbard Broadcasting, Montgomery Communications, Morgan Murphy Stations, Ottuma Media Holdings and South Jersey Radio (owner of WMGM-TV in Philadelphia), ePort now has the support of 37 broadcast groups and 448 TV stations.Plans for ePort were announced in Feb. 21, backed by seed money from the National Association of Broadcasters, with the remainder of funding coming from broadcast groups and rep firms. The first phase of ePort will start in November in time for spot TV buyers to send first quarter 2008 orders electronically. The entire suite of open standard transactions, from avail through invoice for on-air, Web sites, digital sub-channels and other multiplatform offerings, is expected to be ready by March.



Cheers,
Dean

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Autumn

One of the really different things about living in New York compared to Sydney is the change of seasons.

It's amazing how quickly a season can change from one week to the next.

It seemed like just last week that it was sweltering heat and full on Summer and in the last few days it's like Autumn has rushed in and is all around us to stay for the season.


The other thing is how much we have grown used to the change of seasons and almost look forward to it, eg winter...enjoy staying indoors and snuggling up, summer...get out an about and enjoy the fantastic weather while you can.

In Sydney it just seems like...sunny today - lets go to the beach , yeh i know it's winter but the weathers nice etc etc.

I do miss the beach though but you get what I mean.


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Republican Debate

So the Republican Debate was on msnbc last night.

For my aussie friends quick summary; in the USA they hold primaries about 9 months out from the general election to decide on the final two candidates for President, normally this is a Republican and a Democrat but occasionally people try to run as a 'third party'.

So what happens is you have a field out about 5-10 people from either side of which about 2 or 3 from each side get most of the press.

Each respective candidate has raised on average about $20m with the majors, Hillary, Obama and Giuliani at least double that figure (can you start to see what is wrong with US politics already??).

Ok so in the primaries they will whittle it down to two, probably Hillary on the democrats side and Giuliani on the republican side but here's what I wanted to post about.

Last night the Republicans (I think there were about 8 of them) held a msnbc live telecast debate.

I have never seen a bigger bunch of losers in my life. Fred Thompson whilst a fine actor (and to me at least an unknown senator) fumbled his lines and answers (earlier he referred to the Soviet Union as the USA's biggest threat - the soviet union collapsed in 1991, I guess he meant Russia but the guy is stuck in senility land).

The biggest issue with the majority of them is they dont stand for anything....they are just saying whatever they think will get them votes and hopefully say it in such a way that 'all listeners' think this is the candidate for them.

Like how every second candidate at least once during the night said ...republicans have to be voted in as we are the only ones who will cut government spending - lol like Bush hasn't increased spending over the last 7 years in a way never seen before (that and it was Clinton's decision to retire national debt instead of tax cuts in 1997).

There were a couple of highlight moments like when Ron Paul lost his cool about someones answer about bombing Iran and shouted "are you all nuts-this is insane we are even considering this" (rightly so but I've given up even trying to explain to Americans why going to Iran would be a whole different ballpark compared to Afghanistan and Iraq - heck it's not a different ballpark it's a whole different solar system.....lets just put it this way the day the USA invades Iran is the day i packup and move back to Sydney as the shit will be hitting the fan in a way we've never seen before).

Most of the 90 minutes I was just scratching my head going are these guys for real.

I mean there were things on the democrats debate a few weeks ago where I was saying hmmmm dont agree with that and I was looking forward to some interesting counter views last night but basically at the end of the show I was like who the heck is ever going to vote for these guys when I'm pretty much pro-business and pro-small government.

So here's the prediction - Hillary will win in 08 against Giuliani.


Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gaping Void Cartoons

Check out these Gaping Void cartoons sounds like a really interesting insightful guy.....lol and yes I agree a lot about what he says about New York.

The reason I posted here however is check out this neat idea for Blue Monster Reserve.















Makes me think of what other companies are large enough that could be targeted with similar products.

Anyone know of other products similar to this?


Cheers,
Dean

Monday, October 08, 2007

Moved to Harlem....trendsetting yet again.

Ok so some of you may have noticed..... it's been very quiet here last week..... of course some may not - so here's the deal.

Jodie and I and Lou Lou have given up our amazing views from the 30th floor on the Upper East Side and moved to 34 West 120th St, Suite 3, New York, NY, 10027 - yep thats right we moved to Harlem.

After 3 years of the 'New York' experience living in a skyscraper in the sky (and loving every minute of it....including the sunsets and the views.....and the doormen who take care of everything for you) we've moved uptown into a very different but very interesting area.

Now when you tell most people (including New Yorkers) that you are moving to Harlem images like this .....
video
.... isn't the first image that pops into their minds (and rightly so - lots of areas of Harlem are still ....well.... a little average).

So the background is this - for the last 4-6 months of so Jodie and I have been thinking about buying here in New York (.....our time frames for length of time we are going to stay here haven't changed it's just there are major tax advantages for owning (all interest and expenses for your primary residence are tax deductable - similar to investment properties in Australia for those of you reading from there) and the rent on the UES was getting a little steep at just under 4k per month).

We had seriously considered Williamsburg and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and even looked at a few different areas on Manhattan however we kept coming back to places in Harlem as a cost/benefit ratio.

  • It's a lot closer than Brooklyn for the subway ride to midtown (actually with a quicker 3 block walk to the subway it takes less time than when we were on the UES at 72nd & York which is all the way over near the east river).

  • The brownstone architecture and size of the apartments/cost are very reasonable as opposed to some of the newer high rise developments in midtown.

  • And mainly we love the access to Mount Morris Park.
We love the brownstone architecture - for those of you reading this from Australia imagine an area very similar to Paddington.
video

We made 2 offers on 'floor through' condos within brownstones that were under construction but for whatever reasons weren't able to arrange it in time for the move out date of our lease so we decided to move up to Harlem as a trial rental first and then buy soon as we found something appropriate.

As fate would have it on the second day of looking for rentals I walked into the most fantastic brownstone. It looks very similar inside with 12 foot ceilings etc as Jodie's place in Petersham, Sydney.

It's right across the road from Mount Morris Park and best of all 2 bedrooms so I finally get to move my computers out of the living room so when we have people over for dinner we dont get questions like 'what the heck is that'.

Having been here a week now the area is even better than we ever thought possible. It's amazing sitting at the cafe on the corner of our block that you could be less than 15-20 mins from Midtown but sitting on a street you can actually enjoy eating otuside and with such wide footpaths on Lennox Ave I'm sure this is going to be a popular strip in years to come.

video
Best part of all we are right across the road from the park - I can only imagine what something similar across from central park on 5th Ave would cost.

Prices have gone up a lot in the last few years (maybe a bit too much - it will be interesting to see how 'deep' the market is for people willing to cross the 96th street 'border'), and there is a lot of localised soci-economic issues (similar to Redfern in Sydney). But so far has been a great move and I'm really loving the quiet treish view from my office (more photos at www.collins.net.pr/photo soon).


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. If you haven't used Google Street View before check out THIS LINK and you can go for a walk around the block using the arrows.