Thursday, December 31, 2009

Radiohead Creep

Wow be prepared to be blown away.

This is an amazing rendition of RadioHeads - Creep.

more details here

Happy New Years Sydney!!

I just noticed that it just ticked past 8am here in NY and realised all my friends in Sydney would have just celebrated New Years.

This is the view from my office window this morning.

Although it's very pretty as just started snowing about 20 mins ago it makes me realise how much i miss you all. I think New Years next year will have to be spent on a boat in Sydney harbour surrounded by all friends i miss so much.

See you all in 365 days.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brooklyn 8.30pm, "Feels like -19c"

Feels toasty warm inside the apartment (running around in shorts and t-shirt) but wow it's cold outside.

No snow or anything just windy and cold, just got back from taking Lou Lou for her nightly walk and even she was happy to come inside.

Enjoy Sydney for those of you reading this in Australia :)


Awesome script for image cropping

We've been looking for a better way of image cropping avatar photos for the new website.

Basically at the moment users just upload any photos and we resize it to the 60x60 image you see on the site currently.

Dave just found this awesome script for image cropping -

As you can see in the example below we have the two "fixed size" images that allow the viewer to see what their avatar will look like (the smaller 60x60 is used on the chat pages and the 90x90 is used on the profile popup).

The user can select the "location" they want to use and the quasi "zoom" is handled by them dropping and dragging the selector box.

Really pretty easy actually.

We'll be rolling this out to all of the sites over the next few days after some further testing but if you find it useful be sure to thank the original developer.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Julia and Julia

I just watched Julia and Julia tonight. It was the most perfect little movie.

Pretty much everything you think it will be like, it delivers, but with a sweetness and sincerity that is just so lifelike.

It makes me want to run out and cook up a storm.

If you need a pick-me-up or to feel in love this is the perfect choice (lol as opposed to Revolutionary Road I watched the other night - if your relationship is on rocky grounds this is NOT the movie you want to watch with your partner).


Sunday, December 27, 2009

de-latinisation of the web

So in case you didn't know; ICANN has de-latinised the web recently.

Some background links are


Now that non-latin domain names are now live;

How are do you think this is going to be handled moving forward? is this is going to be a real problem. for example - I own the domains
(yeh i know pretty cool domains to own - i'm selling them if you are interested....)

I was recently contacted by the domain holder for

Which is  in chinese  that he had just registered ????

How the heck is this going to work???

eg. I could register the domain for in Hebrew tomorrow and anyone who uses the Hebrew version of their keyboard would be going to a totally different website that i control and as long as i'm not phishing there is nothing paypal can do??


UPDATE: There are much bigger issues than trademark at stake. As you can see from the facebook conversation below – my phishing concerns are worse than you think. It's way worse.

If you cut and paste the following text into your browser bar;

>                    раyра                      <

it looks like BUT ITS NOT!!

Some of the letters are Cyrillic and lead to this webpage -
(it's not registered yet - so it will lead to your isp's default null dns page).
This is a major screwup by ICANN

Dean Collins

Alastair Bor
Yea and what about  >     раyра       <  (I just typed the p and a in Cyrillic characters).

Try cutting and pasting the text in my comment above into your browser :)

If you only have english qwerty keyboard check out

Easy way to use foreign characters... including Greek, Hebrew, Georgian, etc... helps if you can read a bit of Russian to navigate the site...

Dean Collins
This is a major screwup by ICANN - there is no way people aren't going to get caught by phishing techniques like this.

What can we do about this?

XMBC powered by Xperience

How sick is this demo of the new Xperience interface for the latest version of XBMC

(been living under a rock? no idea what XBMC is? - check out but basically it is a software application that will run on linux, osx and windows. It provides fully 'media center' functionality allowing you to watch videos, listen to music, watch tv etc).

Oh and it's open source so free......giddy up.


Everlast - House of Pain

Wow i had no idea, i just found out that the lead singer from Everlast eg "Black Jesus"

Is the same guy from House of Pain eg "Jump Around"

It could just be that it's 4am in the morning but that is blowing my mind, could it be any different???


Saturday, December 26, 2009

WebTV 2.0

lol almost fell out of my office chair when i read this;

I was almost humming along with Dire Straits "I want my MTV" and I want my WebTV.

lol everything that is old is new again.

What makes people think that it will be any better this time around? Do people really not remember?


Tasers being introduced in Australia

Very dissapointed to hear tasers are being introduced in Australia;


After seeing in the USA how they have become a 'first tool' rather than 'tool of last resort' this is a bad thing for Australians.


Friday, December 25, 2009


You have to love Jodie, she's the perfect Geek Wife.

Yes that is a CyberPower PR2200LCDRTXLTU UPS sitting underneath our christmas tree.

Merry 'Geek' Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Venture Capital doing it tough

I know i've commented before about how venture capital is doing it tough with so many web apps going cash flow positive/being bought out without the need for funding (or significant funding that angel investors cant provide on their own) but seriously this latest news that First Round Capital are doing without their chauffer driven cars and having to walk is a real shock to me.

I'm not sure that harden New Yorkers are ready to see the sight of skivvy wearing khaki clad VC's standing on the street corners of New York with tin cups and cardboard signs that read "please help"   :)


TV - how hard are you prepared to hunt?

Great article below

Debunking IPTV Myths
Online video adoption is constrained by the amount of premium content available in real-time, business-model challenges

My comments are;
I think the curatorial value the networks/channels are providing is often overlooked and under valued.
When i first came across Akimbo several years ago i thought "this is the future of all tv" (all on demand, ppv via the net, to a tv connected set top box).
It lasted about a month when i realised that you really could have the scenario "1m channels and nothing good on".
People sometimes just want to come home from work, kick off their shoes and sit back and watch.
Boxee does make things a little easier, but at the end of the day hunting around various locations for your content may be a pain threshold thats too high to cross at 9pm at night.

Dean Collins

So what do you think? how hard are you prepared to hunt for your 30/60 minute fix? Do you really want to watch anything at anytime or do you just want to be entertained.

If you could watch anything at anytime, how long would it be before you ran out of 'things to choose' and needed someone to recomend something for you to watch? (hmmm do i sniff startup business opportunity there? kind of like but for tv – hold you smartphone up to the tv, let it capture a 30 second audio snippet and then it tells all your friends what you are watching on tv/online).


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Enter the App Age?

Steve Smith wrote this great article "Enter the App Age"
........"I was curious," my daughter answers, as if I should be proud of her experimental spirit rather than scold her for wasting $1.99 on an app she really didn't want anyway. Now that she is armed with her SIM-less iPhone and going a little app-crazy, the regular receipts I get from Apple are a laundry list of weird downloads.

My Comment to his article is below;

lol your article had me racing to my registrars website to see if " " was taken unfortunately it was (I already own

But i totally agree with you that apps and snack size media is the future, and even if you only use it a few times before it gets deleted you still feel satisfied.

My question however is why does everyone run around saying pay walls wont work and rupert murdoch is an old print fogey who 'has lost his marbles'?

Consuming content in snack sized pieces called apps sounds exactly like micropayments for content to me.


Warning about using for Press Releases

Just a quick warning about releasing press releases using ..... DONT USE YOUR REAL EMAIL ADDRESS.

I have received 30 pieces of spam from pr companies who have harvested my email address from the press release.

eeek! what was i thinking?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Russell lost survivor??

I cant believe Russell lost survivor - that is absolute BS crap.

Natalie did nothing to get herself through to the end - people are just pissed off with Russell and jealous that he makes so much money.


It snowed..... :)

The view outside my apartment window this morning, isn't it just like a freaking Norman Rockwell painting.

I cant wait to go ouside and play with Lou Lou but some grinch wont get out of bed yet :(

Now for the bad news, someone has to shovel the snow off the back deck.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Google gets out their checkbook
Google and Yelp are in advanced acquisition negotiations, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources. And while the deal isn’t done, we’ve heard that it’s very likely to close. The price is supposedly at least $500 million.

Google buying Yelp
6 Reasons Google wants to buy Yelp.

Wow - who would have thunk it, $500m dollars for a resturant review site you could build with the most basic of CMS platforms.

I really wonder where the ROI is on projects being bought for this kind of money, i mean how does google expect to get paid back on this deal (albeit Yelps 2009 revenue is supposed to be about $30m - but do they really expect this business to be around for 14 years?)

Yelp raised $31m over 4 rounds so either way i'm sure there are some VC's having a very merry Christmas.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm looking for a date

lol it's amazing that online dating is as successful as it is, i met with some management from online mobile dating company MeetMoi this weekend only to find that they are now pulling in high 6 figures per month from their $9.99 per month mobile dating application.

BTW; ever wanted more dating statistics than you ever would need in one lifetime check out;


Early internet video rights

Interesting segment about "Early internet video rights" around the 18 minute mark of this video

Reminds me of what i found when i was working with Akimbo finding Australian content providers, took less than 3 months to find 100 content providers (albeit Akimbo was a slam dunk business model.....shame about the eventual hardware outcome though).


(btw - we use OpenX to serve ads for and love it, OpenX market...not so much love, it's a dog and i dont think we've ever served an ad from the openx market).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 compared to Napster

It’s for reasons like this I’m glad we were never going to put video up on and , it's just not worth it in this day and age. CEO Michael Seibel was grilled by members of the House Judiciary Committee this morning about what his site was doing to combat piracy.
Seibel told Congress that the site complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by taking down infringing material upon request. Additionally, Seibel says, the site offers a tool for copyright owners to remove their content and helped develop a digital fingerprinting system. allows users to post and view live streaming video.

Dean Collins

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Zooey Deschanel

Watching the 2005 version of "Hitchikers guide to the galaxy" on Ch 717 SciFi; Zooey Deschanel in space shorts yum yum   :)

If you cant get enough Zooey then check out "She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here"

Rock Music in Beijing

Great article in WIRED this month about rock music in Beijing

Below is also a sample track from a band called P.K.14

“Some Surprises Come Too Soon,” by P.K. 14

Australian internet censorship

Guess I'm not moving back to Australia -,conroy-reveals-plans-to-censor-the-internet.aspx
(well not without my own personal vpn proxy server located here in the USA).

Comprehensive post with links about the issue here from Gavin Heaton.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Mobile Ad Networks - are they a scam?

Just got told i needed to have 100,000 minimum daily impressions in order to sign up for Moovoo mobile ad network; when i asked him how many click throughs were they getting on average for that 100,000 impressions he refused to answer - the call ended with him saying mobile advertising is a $400m business in 2009 and going to double in 2010 - yeh ok but how many people are clicking on the ads?

I see a ton of mobile ads displayed on free mobile apps on my Droid from AdMob but i dont think i've clicked on one yet (at least not on purpose - for some reason when i go to close the "Kill-All" app i keep hitting the admob advertisement).

Is mobile advertising a scam? eg, publishers getting rich from marketers spending money but little in the way of traffic.

Does it even matter with the quality of mobile screens these days (eg my droid goes to regular pages instead of mobile versions). Is google the next No1 mobile ad network provider? is there a decent mobile ad network that pays decent CPM rates which dont vary the minute you put their ads on your platform?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nokia is Finland

Wow this is an amazing statistic;

In 2007, Nokia paid 18 percent of Finland’s overall corporate taxes, but that dropped to 9 percent last year.

Link referrals

I was reviewing the results of the referrals this weekend.

The one that really stuck out to me was   We've had on average 8 visitors a day visit our baseball fan application from this site

The Peoples Choice Chat Directory

It's amazing how some of the smallest details continue to bring you the most opportunities.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jurisdiction shopping

Super interesting court case happening in Australia this week.

In an internet defamation case that lawyers say could set an "extraordinary precedent", an American games company is suing a British blogger in the Australian courts.

Evony, an online games company registered in the US state of Delaware, is suing Coventry-based blogger Bruce Everiss for libel over a series of allegations made on his website. In a bizarre twist, however, Evony has decided not to pursue its case in Britain or America, but 10,000 miles away.

A hearing in Sydney on Monday will determine whether or not the supreme court of New South Wales has jurisdiction – with the potential to set a precedent for the way defamation laws are applied to the online world.
I hope that this doesn't go through as otherwise this could be the beginning of a massive wave of jurisdiction shopping;

I originally thought the "Gutnick V Dow Jones" case was allowed to go through 'because' he was Australian.

Imagine courts from all around the world 'buying' prosecutions to happen in their physical domain because they are known to swing one way or the other (kind of like Marshall Texas for US patent cases).

On the other hand the USA has been ignoring the WTO for years around online gambling and Antigua so maybe it's not that big a deal?

What do you think?

(Hat tip to Ross Dawson)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hot Potato New York Times article

I just came across this article in the New York Times today on a competitor of ours

Hot Potato, which recently launched at the TechCrunch Crunchup, takes a different approach to creating conversations centered around places and events......

Lol how about an article on the original “live event chat” company –

While you are it you can write about and as well.

Lol and I swear we had the words “developing highly scalable chat technologies for interacting during live events” on our website the day we went public back in May 2009 though it's always a shock to see these words in the Hot Potato powerpoints and descriptions -lol.

Though to be honest after using the Hot Potato app for the last week since it launched i feel it's a closer competitor to and much more of a 'check in' style application rather than the "destination" chat website application that we have for and

Dean Collins

P.S. and yes I am jealous of the $1.4m they raised in their seed round - makes out $300k we are looking to raise look like a bargain.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Birds on my deck

I just caught this view outside of my home office window;

two birds just hanging out enjoying the sun


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Google QR Decals

Google announced this week they are going to be sending out 20,000 QR code 'decals' to businesses across the USA this week.

Basically the URL embedded on the QR code is going to redirect to a proprietary google website.

I swear some people are as dumb as a stack of bricks.

Yes QR codes are a good idea, yes they should be more widely adopted, but go create your own free QR code leading to your own website instead of sending people to a proprietary website that google will want to start charging you for in a few years.

BTW in case you've been living under a rock and dont know what QR codes are about feel free to check out for a "60 second Overview" to bring you up to speed.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Dragon's Lair on iPhone

Oh Wow this is too cool.

I hope they bring this to Android as well, i'd be the first to buy it.... plus the graphics would look way better.

Way too many hours playing hookey from school at Hurstville Westfield were spent playing this game.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Things you see in a New York subway

Things you see in a New York subway

They were pretty good at it too.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Mike Walsh - Fourth Estate Domain interview

So how does Mike keep his hair so silky smooth :) I've been living in New York for 5 years now and he looks exactly the same as when i met him at Newscorp.

Good video - well worth the 30 mins to watch it;


Thursday, December 03, 2009

How many tweets does it take to make it onto the Twitter Trending list?

Apparently about 100 per minute or so;

Tony Abbot ascended to leader of the liberal party on Tuesday after a Malcolm Turnbull was unceremoniously booted from the top spot. It was an upset victory, most expected Joe Hockey to come out on top, and the Australian twitterverse went a little crazy with the news, with tweets flying think and fast. At one point both the #spill hashtag and 'Tony Abbott' making it to the Twitter's fabled trending topics.

But how much excitement to you need to make something trend on Twitter?

Interesting..... so if 100 of you post "I Love" in the next 60 seconds we can make it onto the trending list :)


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

NHL trying out Tweetmixx dashboards

Was reading this today;

The National Hockey League (NHL) on Wednesday becomes the first in a handful of companies scheduled to launch a white-label platform from Mixx that aggregates tweets from Twitter on Web sites and blogs. TweetMixx Channels creates a distribution channel for tweets both off and on Twitter. The platform comes with a widget that bloggers can embed on a variety of sites. A plug in to Facebook will launch in two weeks. The product roadmap also includes a snippet of code to personalize iGoogle and other Web pages. The platform has filters to monitor chatter, too.

Wondering if there is there any manual 'curation' of the comments? How are they going to prevent another "skittles effect"

One of the reasons that we dont pull Tweets about games into websites is that fans want dialog, not lots of "one way shouting".

Technically it is very easy to do (we already do outbound tweets and posts from the chat) just not sure if we would 'want to'.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fifa world cup 2010

With the 2010 south african world cup coming closer i'm not sure if we are going to do anything around this yet.

It would be a great way to get real time international interactivity between multiple countries..... but the fifa lawyers scare the heck out of me (compared to those wussy Twitter lawyers :)

cant use the terms;
• 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
• 2010 FIFA World Cup
• FIFA World Cup
• World Cup
• 2010 World Cup
• World Cup 2010
• South Africa 2010 or SA 2010 or ZA 2010
• 2010 South Africa
• Football World Cup
• Soccer World Cup

It appears according to this

we should be ok but then in the same document they say we cant publish the schedule for a commercial use (which is think is BS here in the USA anyway)

Either way no need to make a real decision yet.

What do you think? are Americans ready for a 'football' game that uses a round ball or is soccer still an alien concepts to them?


Embrace your wobbbly bits....or not.

A friend of mine posted in facebook how she would never do plastic surgery because Miss Argentina just died from it.

A 38-year-old former Miss Argentina has died over the weekend from complications resulting from cosmetic surgery, friends say. "This woman who had everything is dead because she wanted to have a slightly firmer ass".

My counter intuitive advice is do you know that more people die from coconuts falling on their head each year than shark attacks..... yet no one fears coconuts.

The point being if you worry about death from palstic surgery you should probably also stop driving your car...walking across the road... flying is ok but eating the hamburger is definitely out.....

People are lousy at judging risk....but great at judging fat.

Bring on the lypo, and the lasik and the titanium hips and who knows what else when i get that old.