Monday, October 30

11 Goats for Africa - wonderful!

(Actual goats probably won't look as they are depicted in this image).

Thanks Guys!

Sunday, September 24

Microwave engine

New Scientist reports: "Relativity Drive: The end of wings and wheels?"

Of course, any crackpot can rough out plans for a warp drive. What they never show you is evidence that it works. Shawyer is different. He has built a working prototype to test his ideas, and as a respected spacecraft engineer he has persuaded the British government to fund his work. Now organisations from other parts of the world, including the US air force and the Chinese government, are beating a path to his tiny company.
The device that has sparked their interest is an engine that generates thrust purely from electromagnetic radiation - microwaves to be precise - by exploiting the strange properties of relativity. It has no moving parts, and releases no exhaust or noxious emissions. Potentially, it could pack the punch of a rocket in a box the size of a suitcase.

Monday, September 18


Our magnolia has survived the winter, and is now starting to shoot!

I was quite worried about it, as about 4 weeks after it got planted, the last leaf fell off it (after all, we did plant it in Autumn...), and there had been no signs of life until now.

Not expecting any flowers from this tree for a few years yet. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 18

The Ultimate Karaoke Machine

Sean Alexander reports:

"Thanks to the possibility of playing MP3-files or listening to your favourite radio programme, you can now relax and at the same time enjoy your favourite music during a refreshing shower or vitalising steam bath. Hot mist from above, cold mist at head-height, a ‘cool down’ programme that offers you coolness from top to toe, aroma and light therapy, a rain shower or a Scottish shower are all part of the extremely luxurious equipment level."

Yes, he's talking about a Villeroy & Boch Shower/MP3 player.

Thursday, August 10

Reuters pulls doctored pictures from freelance photographer in Lebanon

Thomas Hawk reports, with a few links to other places:

The Washington Post is reporting that Reuters has pulled 920 photos from by Lebanese photographer Adnan Hajj after discovering that two of his photos were manipulated and doctored in photoshop.


Password Security – WTF Style

The Daily WTF reports on a company’s password security policy:

From: Network Operations

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 3:21 PM

To: Everyone

Subject: 2006 Password Change


It's that time of the year again, time for everyone to choose

their new passwords. For new employees, we apologize for the

inconvenience, but this a practice we follow to maintain the

integrity of our network security.


Please reply to this email with the new password(s) you want to

use for the systems outlined below. Starting next Friday evening,

we will work through the weekend to change everyone's passwords

and anticipate being complete by Monday June 5th at 6:00am.




When we receive your reply, we will let you know if the passwords

meet the guidelines outlined. Please let us know if you have any

questions or concerns.


Thank you for your continued cooperation,


Network Security & Operations


The passwords e-mailed back were then stored in passwords.xls on a public network drive.

Wednesday, July 19

Microsoft SysInternals Acquisition

From the SysInternals Blog:

I’m very pleased to announce that Microsoft has acquired Winternals Software and Sysinternals. Bryce Cogswell and I founded both Winternals and Sysinternals (originally NTInternals) back in 1996 with the goal of developing advanced technologies for Windows. We’ve had an incredible amount of fun over the last ten years working on a wide range of diverse products such as Winternals Administrator’s Pak, Protection Manager, Defrag Manager, and Recovery Manager, and the dozens of Sysinternals tools, including Filemon, Regmon and Process Explorer, that millions of people use every day for systems troubleshooting and management. There’s nothing more satisfying for me than to see our ideas and their implementation have a positive impact.That’s what makes being acquired by Microsoft especially exciting and rewarding. I’m joining Microsoft as a technical fellow in the Platform and Services Division, which is the division that includes the Core Operating Systems Division, Windows Client and Windows Live, and Windows Server and Tools. I’ll therefore be working on challenging projects that span the entire Windows product line and directly influence subsequent generations of the most important operating system on the planet. From security to virtualization to performance to a more manageable application model, there’s no end of interesting areas to explore and innovate.So what’s going to happen to Winternals and Sysinternals? Microsoft is still evaluating the best way to leverage the many different technologies that have been developed by Winternals. Some will find their ways into existing Microsoft products or Windows itself and others will continue on as Microsoft-branded products. As for Sysinternals, the site will remain for the time being while Microsoft determines the best way to integrate it into its own community efforts, and the tools will continue to be free to download.Personally, I remain committed to the Sysinternals and Windows IT pro communities and so I’ll continue to blog here, to write about Windows technologies, and to speak at conferences. Until I know my Microsoft email address and post it you can continue to contact me at’m looking forward to making Windows an even better platform for all of us!


Lets hope that all their useful tools remain free and that the innovation in those tools continues. Hopefully Task Manager and Process Explorer can merge in Vista, so that we can get the best features of both... though I suspect it’s a bit late for these tools to appear in Vista. Perhaps Longhorn.

Wednesday, July 12

Syd Barrett dies, aged 60

Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett has died at the age of 60.A spokeswoman explained,

"I can confirm that Syd Barrett has died. He died peacefully and there will be a private family funeral. We would ask that the family be left alone and be given space at this time."

A statement released the surviving members of Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright said,

"The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death. Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire."


Various news stories around the place:

Friday, June 16

Microsoft Announces Plans for July 2008 Transition for Bill Gates

Microsoft Announces Plans for July 2008 Transition for Bill Gates: Working full time at Microsoft through June 2008, Gates then will continue as chairman and advisor while increasing Foundation efforts; Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie to assume expanded roles.:

"Microsoft Corp. today announced that effective July 2008 Bill Gates, chairman, will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced a two-year transition process to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates’ daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.

The company announced that Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume the title of chief software architect and begin working side by side with Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities, to ensure a smooth transition. Similarly, Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and will work closely with Gates to assume his responsibility for the company’s research and incubation efforts"

Tuesday, June 13

Record Meteorite Hits Norway

From Slashdot: Record Meteorite Hits Norway: "'Early Wednesday morning, a meteorite streaked across the sky in northern Norway, near Finland and Russia. A witness (Article in Norwegian) went up the mountain to where it hit and reported seeing large boulders that had fallen out of the mountainside, along with many broken trees. Norwegian astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard told Aftenposten, Norway's largest newspaper, that he would compare the explosive force of the impact with the Hiroshima bomb. This meteorite is suspected to be much larger than the 90-kilo (198-pound) meteorite which hit Alta in 1904, previously recognized as the largest to hit Norway. From the article: 'Røed Ødegaard said the meteorite was visible to an area of several hundred kilometers despite the brightness of the midnight sunlit summer sky. The meteorite hit a mountainside in Reisadalen in North Troms.''"

Wednesday, May 17

NEWS on 2008 Prius from Japanese Mag

NEWS on Coming Prius from Japanese Mag - PriusChat:

"The Prius, which is dominating the Hybrid market, is sold at an average of 2,500,000¥, and the 2008 model will most likely be unable to go below 2,000,000¥. It will most likely break the incredible 40km/L, so the price competition will be something to watch.

The 2008 Prius will undergo a full model change and will use the newly improved THSIII system. It will run completely on battery in the city, so there will most likely use the expensive LithiumIon battery used in cell phones. They will still aim to keep the price low and …."

Monday, April 24

Seagate Leaks 750GB Barracuda 7200.10 Details

DailyTech - Seagate Leaks 750GB Barracuda 7200.10 Details.

These are the first of the Barracuda series based on Seagate's 'perpendicular technology'.

Sunday, April 23

Deep Note - The THX Sound

Music thing has done a great interview with Dr James 'Andy' Moorer about the creation of the THX sound.

"'At the same time Tom Holman was also working at Lucasfilm. He had developed what is now called the THX sound system. It was to premiere with Lucasfilm's 'Return of the Jedi.' They were making a logo to go before the film. I was asked by the producer of the logo piece to do the sound. He said he wanted 'something that comes out of nowhere and gets really, really big!' I allowed as to how I figured I could do something like that. "

A very interesting read.

Friday, April 21

Dr Who on the ABC

The first episode of the 2006 Season of Dr Who aired in the UK last weekend.
Upon checking on the ABC website, there was no mention of when it was going to air in Australia.

I therefore did 2 things.
1) I downloaded the first episode off the internet and watched it.
2) I asked the ABC when they were planning on airing the new series.

The answer I got from the ABC was:

"Thank you for your recent email.

We have secured the rights to broadcast 'The Christmas Invasion' 2005 special and Series 2 of the new Doctor Who, both starring David Tennant as the 10th Doctor. We anticipate that the Christmas special and the new series will be broadcast later in 2006. At this stage, I cannot be more specific about when this may occur. You can keep up to date with what's on ABC TV by visiting the ABC TV page at

Kind regards

***** ******
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs"

I guess the ABC doesn't mind missing out on segments of its audience as it doesn't get advertising revenue anyway, though it does seem rediculous for them to hold onto the series like this and not just show it a few days later than the UK.

Saturday, April 8

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: Virus-Assembled Batteries - Technology Review

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: Virus-Assembled Batteries - Technology Review:

"More than half the weight and size of today's batteries comes from supporting materials that contribute nothing to storing energy. Now researchers have demonstrated that genetically engineered viruses can assemble active battery materials into a compact, regular structure, to make an ultra-thin, transparent battery electrode that stores nearly three times as much energy as those in today's lithium-ion batteries. It is the first step toward high-capacity, self-assembling batteries."

Wednesday, April 5

Self-Parking Cars

Self-Parking Cars Coming To U.S.: "New Toyota hybrid cars are now available in Britain with a $700 'parking assist' option."

Translation: They are now selling Toyota Prius's with the Parking Assist option that has been available in Japan for a few years in the UK, with plans to sell it in the U.S. soon.

It can't be long until it arrives here in Australia!

There is a short video demonstrating the parking assist feature on the site.

Wednesday, March 22

Star Wars TV series in 2008

BBC NEWS reports: Star Wars series to run and run:

"The TV series spin-off of the Stars Wars film franchise will run to at least 100 episodes, according to producer Rick McCallum.

He told BBC Radio 1 the writing team would soon be meeting to start on the project, which would begin filming in 2008 and be ready the same year.


The series will be set between episodes three and four of the film saga."

Wednesday, March 8

AOL Launches Free Online TV

InsideGoogle reports:

"Via Gary Price's ResourceShelf, comes the news that AOL's In2TV has launched. I'm excited about this for one reason alone: Kotter.

In2TV lets you watch classic TV shows streaming. But before we get to the hows and why, here's the list of shows:

* 10 episodes of Alice
* 10 episodes of Babylon 5
* 10 episodes of the Beetlejuice cartoon
* 10 episodes of Chico and The Man
* 10 episodes of Dark Justice
* 10 episodes of Eight is Enough
* 10 episodes of F Troop
* 10 episodes of Falcon Crest
* 10 episodes of Freddy's Nightmares
* 10 episodes of Growing Pains
* 10 episodes of Hangin' With Mr. Cooper
* 10 episodes of Head of the Class
* 10 episodes of Kung Fu
* 10 episodes of La Femme Nikita
* 10 episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, including none of my favorite episodes, and the disastrous wedding episode, 'Swear to God, This Time We're Not Kidding'. If you've never seen the episode that proves why a series I loved in season one deserved the horrible death, then you should, just to understand. All the other episodes, while not classics, are from season one, so they're pretty good.
* 10 episodes of Maverick
* 10 episodes of Perfect Strangers
* 10 episodes of Pinky and the Brain - Hoo baby! That's great news!
* 10 episodes of Scarecrow and Mrs. King
* 10 episodes of Sisters
* 10 episodes Spenser For Hire
* 10 episodes of Freakazoid
* 10 episodes of The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr.
* 10 episodes of The FBI
* 10 episodes of The Fugitive, including the pilot
* 10 episodes of The New Adventures of Batman - that's the really old silly cartoon, not the Bruce Timm version
* 10 episodes of V
* 10 episodes of Histeria
* 10 episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter
* 10 episodes of Wonder Woman"

Saturday, March 4


In an effort to get better control of my ATOM/RSS feed, as well as to remove some of my reliance on the blogspot domain, I have decided to set up a feed via Feedburner.

The new feed is available at:

It will automatically return Atom, RSS or viewable HTML depending upon how you try to retrieve from that URL.

Friday, March 3

Pentagon to enslave shark-kind

Pentagon to enslave shark-kind - The Register:

"Sinister news has leaked out of the US Department of Defence, where plans are afoot to implant mind control devices into sharks in the hope of using them for underwater espionage."

No reports yet as to whether they will have "LASER" beams strapped to their backs.

Tuesday, February 14

Nokia Reveals UMA Phone

BetaNews Reveals:

"Nokia made a host of announcements Monday ... including its first UMA capable device ... .

The Nokia 6136 phone will be the company's first entrant in the UMA space, a technology that supporters say is useful in areas of little or no coverage. The 6136 would be able to switch between a GSM and wireless network without dropping the call, Nokia says.

To support the launch of the phone, the manufacturer has also announced a solution that would allow a carrier to offer cellular and data services over a WLAN. Nokia says the two products allow the company to offer an end-to-end solution."

Thursday, February 9

Brokeback to the Future

I just got sent this YouTube video by e-mail. I thought I'd post it here for all you Back to the Future fans.

Brokeback to the Future.

Monday, January 23

Pixar to be taken over by Disney

The Telegraph reports: Jobs to scoop $3.5bn as Pixar board approves Disney takeover:

"The board of Pixar Animation Studios, the digital animations company, is set to meet tomorrow to approve the company's $7bn (£3.9bn) takeover by Disney.

The all-share deal will make Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, around $3.5bn and the single largest shareholder in Disney. Jobs created Pixar in 1986 when he paid $10m for the computer animations division of Lucasfilm, owned by Stars Wars creator George Lucas."

Tuesday, January 10


Ring Ring Ring Ring, Bananaphone.

Badger Badger Version:

Background Music in house Version:

Monday, January 9

Canon Technology -SED-

SED Displays - the new CRT:

"the SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display), jointly developed by Canon and Toshiba Corporation, is almost ready for practical application. Its greatest feature is the ability to produce vivid color images that surpass conventional types of display. Also, the SED delivers exceptional overall image quality—fast video-response performance, high contrast, high gradation levels—and low power consumption."

It's like a LCD sized CRT. They apparently demoed a 50" display at CES.
Using InkJet technology (for the electron emitters), it works like a CRT, but with flat electron emitters, rather than an electron gun that CRT uses, so it doesn't have the problems that CRT has at larger sizes.

Optical Mouse cam

Optical Mouse cam:

"Are you using an optical mouse right now? Ever wanted to see your desktop through the eye on the bottom of it?"

This person has transformed his optical mouse into a dodgy black and white scanner.