Friday, May 28, 2010

Provence, France + Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

I cant wait to post you the photos for today whe i get back. I felt like I've visted 5 countries in one day.

Dale and I hired a car and drove around Provence today, starting from our hotel in Avignon we completed an anti-clockwise circle of about 400k's that took me from medieval villages, to the flat vineyards of wine country to the rocky plateau of lavendar farms to the eerie and rock strewn mountain of Mt Ventroux.

In Australia you could drive 400k's in one direction and have little if any variation, in Provence it felt like every 15 mins was a new scene and the photos show it.

Unfortunately this means that some of the places end up with a description in The Lonely Planet Guide as "has a fantastic cheese and wine fair in the first weekend of May".

The view from the restaurant where we had lunch didn't even get a mention in the book (see photo below in a week when i get home and can upload them) - awe inspiring isn't it - you think it would at least get a quote like "mostly harmless" (boom tish for all the HHGTTG fans).


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cuomo Accepts Nomination for Governor

Andrew Cuomo accepted his party’s nomination for governor in a speech here Thursday morning....

Yeh but he's still a popularity vote seeking jerk -

Lack of public music in France?

It's the weirdest thing that i noticed today, There is a real lack of music while in public places in France.

When eating in a restrant or even walkingdown the street in NY you hear a cacaphony of music..... here it's nothing. Not bad - not good, just is.

I spend all my days on my pc's working at home so unless i'm on the phone i pretty much have my media server playing all the time, it wasn't until i caught myself craving more music at the end of a 3 hour listening session (jenny lewis, erin sax seymour, bettie serveert etc) on the TGV train from Paris to Avignon and wished the trip was longer that it hit me how much i'd been missing it over the last few days.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The best 5 minutes of my time in Paris so far

This was without doubt the best 5 mins of my time in Paris so far.

In the portico between the smaller square and the open square of the louvre was this genius artist plying his trade as a busker.

I hope you enjoy this as much as me.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Museum de Orsay

Wow just got back from the Orsay, what a day. Was great to see the Van Gogh self portrait (as a kid a did a rendition of a pencil drawing in this style that i still keep with me today-will see if i can dig it up and post below at a later date).

It was really interesting to see stuff in person that i'd seen in books but never seen before in person, was really surprised at how much i appeciated the technical kills of the dab style of Cross and how it influenced Cezanne.

Lol now for the embarrasing bit, i had no idea that "pastels" referred to the painting medium (eg pastel sticks) and not the colours.... yep - major art buff here - NOT :)

Was also interesting to see they allow no photograhy at all in the Orsay as opposed to the Louvre the day before which is a free for all and you can take non flash photos of almost everything.


P.S. Finally found the sketch i did - lol remember this was when i was in the 5th grade.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Farmville ropes in 7-11

Farmville is getting 7-11 to pay them....for virtual items. I've blogged about this idea before and love that you can charge for goods that cost nothing to produce but by introducing "artificial scarcity" you intoduce "value".


Twitter bans competing ad networks

Lol - suck it Twitter, just cause your way of making money isn't working out doesnt mean you can ban others for it as well.

I hope you realise that now that you are being archived by the library of congress you now have some federal competition laws applied to your service........

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Welcome to Paris.... would you like fries with that?

lol, cracks me up, this is one of the first "restaurants" i see when i get off the plane at Charles De Gaulle Airport.

(i'm writing this later but yes ....I also saw a Starbucks in Paris as well).


Paris - how to get around

ok so there are two airports in paris but all international flights go to Charles De Gaulle. CDG airport is about 1 hour taxi ride from the center of Paris (60 euro) however your best bet is to use the metro.

Catch the "B" metro from CDG into the city, there is a special 10euro ticket from the airport but this is still the best and fastest way to get into Paris. Just follow the signs from customs to "B" RER Metro and within 10 mins you'll be on the train into town.(they even have these cool blue footprints to follow).

Also if like us you plan to stay in Paris for a while be sure to get the Paris Visite pass;

This can be bought in 1, 3, or 5 day pass lengths and covers the cost of travelling to CDG airport on the B metro line.

Getting around the metro sounds hard with luggage but it's not, save your 60 euro cab fair and buy the visit pass instead and basically travel on the metro for free the entire time you are in town.


Paris - where to stay

God looks after fools and children.

I'm to old to be a child but man i have some of the greatest "fluke" luck in the world, it doesn't seem to matter what it is but basically i always seem to squeak it in and everything works out perfect.

So basically after hunting around for various hotels (we were planning on staying in paris for 1 week with 3 adults) or various furnished apartment rentals we absolutely scored in the area/apartment we ended up staying with eve though we started looking for something totally different.

We found the apartment through though orginally were looking to stay on the "left bank" because thats where it is cool etc but after spending 2 weeks here in 3 different locations i can tell you that you might want to check out the Marais area

Basically the whole apartment for 7 days was only around 1,000 euro so less than $US400 for the week per person.

It's on the 4th floor of a pretty narrow stair case but faces a super quiet interior court yard on a small quiet side street but while still very close to shops, supermarkets,food etc so worked out perfect.

Google maps - 11 Rue Beautrellis, Marais, Paris, France

Basically because of it's location on the Number 1 Metro line (Bastille or St Paul were our closest stops - ) it made it supereasy to traverse east /west through paris and then jump on the appropriate north/south metro if and when we eeded to change.


Just arrived in Paris

First 20 mins in Paris, totally chilled out with two coffees + two croissants, then waiting to get let into our apartment in Marais, then out to do some sight seeing.

Loving Paris already.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blind readers and being grateful

wow just had the coolest conversation with a blind person about our  website.

You can check it out here -  mainly just me explaining the layout of the site and how it works but made me realise that we sometimes take too much for granted.

If you can read this be thankful for this point alone.


Tissot Augmented Reality

Nice augmented reality application to display various Tissot models "on your wrist"

Hat-tip to Jim Orenberg

And if you like that you should check out Tobi from Zugara a white label application that allows you to utlise virtual "click zones" for social network sharing etc.


Monday, May 17, 2010

LinkedIn url shortener

Gee it used to be nice when you could post a URL and not have a website mangle it in a shortener.

I noticed LinkedIn has now implemented their own shortening technology for any posts on their site as well.

YouTube Surpasses Two Billion Video Views Daily

Less than a month after its 5th birthday, YouTube has announced that it has exceeded 2 billion video views per day
We’ve been tracking YouTube’s explosive growth for some time, and the numbers are beyond impressive. There are now over 24 hours of video uploaded every minute to the site, but even that is overshadowed by the newly-announced 2 billion video views per day stat. That’s almost 1/3 of the world’s population.

As part of the celebration, YouTube also created a very detailed infographic tracing the site’s history

My Comments on the article are below;

Not too many people paid attention to the YouTube global broadcast of the Indian IPL cricket tournament (because i run the website it was a big deal for us), pay attention to what YouTube plan on globally simulcasting next.

This was the third event (but the biggest so far) where YouTube were delivering live video and I expect them to go more in this direction.

Virgin America says ROI is there for Twitter’s promoted tweets

Virgin America says ROI is there for Twitter’s promoted tweets
Virgin America has given the thumbs up to Twitter’s new promoted tweets program after it took the move of announcing its expansion to Toronto “without the support of traditional advertising

My comment was:
Ok, so i hope in that ROI calculation they took into account the cost to them of the 500 seats at 50% off.

Somehow i think they didn't.

Dean Collins

Microsoft Response Point Voip server discontinued

Interesting announcement today;,microsoft-response-point-voip-gets-a-dirt-nap.aspx
Microsoft this week revealed its intention to discontinue its Response Point, its small business VoIP system for companies with up to 50 employees.
While not unexpected, the move is significant because Response Point was once a promising product in which Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took a particular interest.
"After taking a good look at the Microsoft Response Point offering and the needs of small businesses, we’ve decided to discontinue the sale, support, and development of the Response Point phone system for small businesses, effective August 31, 2010

Anyone got any thoughts about using OCS in smaller than 50 users?

Shows the naysayers who suggested 3com/MS voip was better because they had “big company support” compared to the small Asterisk open source voip vendors.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Perfect day.... except for

It's this absolutely perfect day in New York today, you know those spring/early summer - not to hot but lots of sun and just a gentle breeze through all of the new tree foliage kind of day.

There is only one small problem - this would be the perfect Saturday in Sydney to read the Sydney Morning Herald but in the USA the New York Times doesn't come out until Sunday?

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while... whats with bringing out the "monolith" weekend version of the paper when the weekend is half over?

It's not like reporters are working hard on Saturday finishing off the last paragraphs etc, basically the paper is pretty much finished on Friday etc but for whatever reason the NY Times has always been sold on Sundays and NOT Saturdays.

Anyone know why?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Steve Ballmer reviews the iPad

Steve Balmer reviews the iPad -

This is the funniest thing i have seen this week.

LOL - at Safari comment.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flash on an Android

It's not available publicly yet (eg this is a closed alpha) but check out this flash demo running on an Android.

I think all that can be said is "SUCK IT STEVE JOBS!!"



I dont understand why people get so confused about GPL license rights etc.

Interesting slashdot discussion happening here;
"I am a recent graduate, and I've been working on my own on a project that uses GPL-licensed libraries. Later a university department hired me, on a part-time basis, to develop this project into a solution that they needed. The project's size increased over time and soliciting help from the open source community seemed like the obvious thing to do. -

Best answer i saw was -

1. Alice starts a GPL project.
2. Bob hires Alice to write an extension to the GPL project.
3. During her employ (or before, it doesn't matter) Alice uses some GPL libraries written by Claire.
4. Alice leaves Bob's employ.

FACT 1: Bob owns all the changes Alice made while in his employ.
FACT 2: Alice had no right to distribute changes owned by Bob.
FACT 3: Bob is not obligated to distribute the changes.
FACT 4: As the GPL only relates to distribution, not use, Bob is free to use the software.
FACT 5: If Bob later distributes the changes without placing those changes under the GPL, both Alice and Claire can sue him.

It's not rocket science.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Paris Suggestions

I'm going to be in Paris from the 19th of May to the 7th of June - email or post your favorite tips/suggestions/must do things below.


MsTag - just give up already

ha ha, it's just been brought to my attention that MsTags are available in Black and White (i dont know how i missed it before).
The black and white Microsoft Tag are larger than the color codes. Color codes have 5 lines of 10 triangles or 50 triangles. B&W has 7 lines of 14 triangles or 108 triangles.

Ha Ha Ha, just give up already MsTags. Look if you really want to make an entry into the 2D barcode space offer a fantastic backend platform for QR codes and get on board with an open standard.

There are lots of functionality that you could be offering people and with your size you bring a lot to the table but this proprietary system for just Ms Tags is a joke>

yes you have the marketing dollars to throw at it but you are just delaying the inevitable closure of your platform and pissing people off when they realise your indirect codes have stopped working.

If anyone finds this post thinking about implement 2d codes (eg MsTags or QR codes etc then check out there are so many reasons why MsTags are a bad idea.
And Microsoft if you need help implementing a kick-ass QR code platform you know where to find me.


Foursquare Exceeds 40 Million Check-Ins
Location-based social network Foursquare counted its 40 millionth check-in a “couple days ago”, according to a Tweet from one of its developers.

Interesting, does this mean that each interaction with 4sq is really worth $2.50? based on the rumors of $100m valuations etc.

I know they've been growing rapidly over the last few quarters and have just hit their 1millionth user so growth of interactions is going to increase rapidly as a lagging indicator but still – I was surprised at the low number of checkins per user.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

“Is Social Media A Fad?” New Video With Mind Blowing Stats

I'm one of the people building the future of listening - ask me how you can benefit.


Friday, May 07, 2010

Moby - 18

Sometimes there are some music tracks that just transcend the rat race as we know it.

Moby - 18 is one of those cd's. Put this cd onto your headphones lean back and experience, your life will just seem a little bit better by the end of it.

If you dont have this cd in your collection then it's just a little bit incomplete.

p.s. just put some other Moby tracks into the "Mood Music of the Day" box ------>>

NY Subway Grime

What is it about NY subway grime that no matter how nicely clean and showered you are that it only takes about 3 or 4 stops before you feel the grime invading the sheen of your nicely ironed armor.

There is something so pervasive about the particulates in the air that they cling to you even as you dart up the stairs into the sunlight and never leave you body until you safely make it home and have yet another shower.


Thursday, May 06, 2010

iPads with keyboards
What caught my eye, however, was what her proprietary research shows about the impact of the iPad and other tablets on the broader gadget market, starting with netbooks

LOL - have you read how many people are saying "this ipad is great and I just cant wait to get a keyboard for it".

FTW – it’s called a Notebook.

Basically what they are saying is they want better websites/applications online and most current website/apps UI suck and i totally get where they are coming from.
You know what the whole iPad experience has taught me is;
1/ People will "pay" for the web
2/ People want "more" from webs and apps and we aren't doing enough from a UI perspective.
Any thoughts?
P.S. BTW i called Rupert Murdoch a genius about paywalls last year...come back in a year from now and he's going to make Zuckerburg's rev model look like a lemonade stand.

10% of Under 25s Think It’s OK to Text During Sex

LOL - to the 10%-6% who think it's ok to text during sex - newsflash if you are that disassociated while having sex that you can concentrate on a text message...Newsflash - you're doing it wrong.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Apple buys then kills LaLa

Four months after buying Lala Media's popular online music service for a reported $80 million, Apple is pulling the plug on the site, which had been operating for five years.
Lala notifed its users in an e-mail Friday morning of the shutdown  ....

Step 1/
Buy the cd’s rip music to media server as mp3’s – put the cd’s in a box and store away.

Step 2/
Listen to your music on any device, anytime, anywhere.

Step 3/
Knowing that no matter what no one can pull your license or kill your right to listen – Priceless.

I wonder if people realise their rights to the music they purchased on iTunes is just as tenuous?