Just thought I’d post a quick pointer to [BarCamp Auckland 07](http://bca.ludwignz.com/)
which is happening on December 15th at Botany Downs Secondary College.
Have a quick look at the website for more details and to signup. They even
have some sponsors already (Microsoft). In case you arn’t aware Barcamp is
a type of unconference, see [barcamp.org](http://barcamp.org) to learn more.
I got my new [Asus Eee PC](http://www.eeeuser.com) today. I’m pretty happy
since I only ordered it from Dick Smith’s online store on Sunday. It is even
smaller than I expected.
So far all I have done is unpacked it and spent ten minutes testing. Main
+ The power plug is quite large but the cord is very long.
+ Camera has to be enabled in BIOs since it is off by default
+ Works okay once activated though
+ I plugged in a USB Flash drive and played some music and a TV episode no problem.
+ Shutdown and startup are pretty quick.
I was called up for jury duty this week. I had sent a letter asking to be
excused but no luck getting off.
I’ve been called up twice before, the first time I was on a jury while the
second time I got challenged and didn’t have to serve.
This time around it was the Auckland district court so it’s fairly busy with
around half a dozen jury trials running at once. However the whole system
is pretty slow so I took a book (as advised) and managed to get through
quite a few pages while waiting around.
Eventually I was picked along with about 25 others (there were two other
trials starting that day) to go into court, our names were called out on
at a time and people walked forward to take their seat unless one of the
lawyers challenged them. I got challenged so got to go home (well work really)
Monday and another go on Tuesday.
Tuesday we had another twenty-something people go into the court. However it
turned out this was the same trial as Monday. Apparently a witness had dropped
out so they had to restart with a few changes dropped. Of course I got called up
again but the lawyer recognised me and challenged me again (same with at
least 1 other person). Sort of amusing I guess although the charges were
I get another go tomorrow (Thursday) so I still might end up on something.
The whole process feels very inefficient, lots of waiting around in rooms
with lots of other people wondering what is happening next
Trying to do the post per week thing. I’ve been oncall (primary and secondary)
for the last two weeks so not getting much done. [Curry](http://auckland.thursdaynightcurry.com)
was at Raziv in the central city which was noisy and slow service but cheap.
Over this weekend I got a little addicted to [Wesnoth](http://www.wesnoth.org) so
I didn’t get a lot done. Also had a splitting headache on Sunday so wasn’t exactly 100 percent
when I was getting calls about an outage we were having.
Some interesting things coming up in the next couple of days. I’ll write later
I’ve decided to move my blog under it’s own domain name ( blog.darkmere.gen.nz )
for various reasons. The main is that the posting scripts I hacked up were
having some problems and generating bad RSS and the other was that I wanted
to keep software and hosting options split between my [main site](http://www.darkmere.gen.nz) and the blog.
The software I am using is [nanoblogger](http://nanoblogger.sourceforge.net) which
is shell code rather than anything complicated. But I guess if it doesn’t work
out I can look at other options.
Moving your blog
A little plea to bloggers out there. When you update your blogging software,
move to a new site or otherwise change things please think about those who
read your site via RSS.
Remember you have gone to a lot of trouble to attract these people who are
subscribed to everything you write.
Thus it is NOT a good idea to just stop your RSS feed with no explanation
when you move. We love what your write but seriously it might take us a few
weeks to work out you have been quiet. Then we have to fire up our browsers,
search for your new site and go though the process of subscribing again.
Over the last 24 hours I’ve had two of the sites I follow ( Freakonomics
and Juha Saarinen (new URLs) )
move to new sites. Actually they both moved a couple of weeks ago but didn’t
see anything on their old feeds (freakonomics is trying to fix this now) so
I only found out when I read about it somewhere else.
Even if your old site won’t let you point to the new one a little farewell
note with a subtle hint will at least alert your readers to the move.
It looks like google video recently got rid of the ability to
download their videos as .avi’s . They are still available in a PSP
orientated format which I seem to be able to play but the resolution is worse
than the avi was.
Since the main thing I watched on google video was the Tech Talks
of people speaking to google the extra resolution really helped with reading
the slides on people’s presentations. I’d ask google to provide a higher resolution
format but there doesn’t seem to be any contact available for Tech Talks. I left
a note on google video feedback however.
I suspect the next move will be to shut it down and go streaming-only via youtube.
A few months ago I read an article on
how Gordon Bell is digitising and saving much of his life including all his
email, web browsing and even wearing a camera all the time that takes a photo
every few seconds.
The problem I can see with wearing a camera and microphone at all times is that
sometimes you are going to be in situations where you don’t want to record. The
obvious ones would include areas like changing rooms and toilets where people
are naked with an expectation of not being recorded and also places like
research labs, airports, military bases and movie theatres where the residents
The problem is that if you are wearing a camera 80 percent of the time then you will
sometimes forget to turn it off in the above areas which could cause embarrassment
or even get you arrested.
The solution would seem to be that the camera can in some way sense that it
should stop taking photos (at least without manual intervention). After a bit
of thinking it occurs to me that using 2D bar codes like
to encode regulations might work.
Using bar codes means that they would be automatically be picked up by the camera
and acted on. The idea could be further developed by using a short range wireless
technology to transmit the message to non-video equipped devices.
The actual message format should be something that is standardised to that
different devices could understand it. Things like “No video recording” , “No audio recording” and
“Mute speakers” come to mind. I guess somebody will create an XML standard.
Some sort of authorisation could be added and normal fraud laws should
be enough to stop me pining a sign on my shirt and turning off cellphones on
A busy last couple of weeks.
- Work is as busy as ever, more interesting than usual though
- I was down in Wellington today talking DNS with a few people, all very
interesting and fun.
- I’m a bit behind with a bunch of other projects but one thing I’ve done
in the last couple of weeks was create a Linux.conf.au: First timers Guide , bit of fun and people seem to like it.
- On the weekend various people and myself went to the
Auckland International Cultural Festival , pretty good although a bit hot.
I think some of the stall holders could have also got more sales but having
smaller portions off food at lower prices. If you want to try out lots of
different foods then paying $10 for a lot of food is not an attractive option.
On Sunday night I went along to the Karajoz Great Blend
at the Auckland Museum. Not too bad.
- Morgan and Robyn have a few details, read them first.
- The “Back of the Y” guys and the dancers were good.
- No Soy Milk for the Sponsor’s coffee bad
- No Soft drinks bad
- I agree with the comments by Morgan about the panel, it’s didn’t really gel. Rob McKinnon of theyworkforyou.co.nz was okay, although he sounded a little over-rehearsed. He was good to talk to afterwards.
- Rick Ellis wasn’t to bad, he seemed a little over confident though. I am interested that TVNZ is planning to use Akamai for content delivery. AFAIK they are fairly expensive for the sort of bulk stuff TVNZ will be doing to just a few ISPs. I
also wonder how what ISPs will do when their Akamai clusters start trying to stream to a few hundred/thousand of their users. Putting them on the far side of their traffic shapers might be the first step.
- I also found the music a little loud, I guess I’m getting old but I have trouble hearing conversation over the background noise. A more concentrated and quieter discussion area might have been a good idea.
- The venue was very nice however.