.

30 December 2007

Dangers of video blogging exposed: Jim Chomas Naked

This post over at Techcrunch on the now infamous Jim Chomas' naked & drunk video is worth a view. It is instructive as to some of the dangers inherent in posting video online. It is also utterly hilarious. I saw the url to it on Twitter and went there to watch the action. It was like watching an accident in motion - hard to look away, but quite entertaining. It is the same thing that keeps us watching Britney Spears et al. You want to see what can possibly happen next.

Unlike when you write blog posts under the influence, video shows it all up close and in living colour. I suspect that Duncan Riley was correct when he said "If Jim had any career before it must surely join the deadpool now, or maybe not, after all drunk TV had some value tonight, at least from me and 100 others. Either way if the full Ustream clip gets released I’m betting this might well be the last great viral video of 2007." Perhaps Jimmy will just continue doing his show drunk and naked in future?



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Truly excellent post on "Why I use Twitter" by Dan York

This is a really great summary of how people are using Twitter and why from Dan York over at Disruptive Conversations, in summary he uses Twitter:

1. as a News Source
2. as a Knowledge Network
3. as a Virtual Water Cooler
4. as a way to stay up-to-date with friends
5. as a Travelogue
6. to Track Conferences
7. as a PR/marketing Tool
8. as a Learning Tool
9. as Fun
10. as a Daily Lesson in Humility (and Brevity)

But it is worth reading the entire post.

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Trying hard to cancel MySpace account

About a week ago I decided to start deleting some of my lesser used online accounts, starting with MySpace. It seems that it is very hard and takes a long time to delete a MySpace account.

I went to the MySpace site and followed the directions to cancel the account, have to date done this process several times now. To no avail. Is it actually not possible to cancel your MySpace account?

Finally in desperation I logged a support ticket, which received the following email. I have emailed another request to cancel this account, let's see if it can finally happen (it is only week #2 of the process).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Re: Account - How to delete? [ref:00D78NrS.50074htCV:ref]
From: MySpace.com help@support.myspace.com
Sent: Friday, 28 December 2007 10:23:47 AM
To: Kate Carruthers
Hello, The information below provides instructions on how to cancel an account/profile and addresses why yours may have been cancelled by MySpace. You can cancel your account/profile by accessing go to "Home" and select "Account Settings". Please keep in mind that once your account/profile is deleted we WILL NOT be able to restore it for you. Click on the red link marked 'Cancel Account'. Your account/profile will be cancelled once this information is updated in our system. This may take some time to complete so please be patient. If you wish to use the same email address for a new account/profile this can only be done once the address is released.

If your question pertains to why your account/profile was cancelled by MySpace or why content was deleted, please refer to our Terms of Service for more detailed explanations. Reasons could include, but are not limited to inapproproate images, racial content, excessive violence, copyright infringement of any kind, underage users, etc. MySpace is a community where free expression is encouraged. However, we also have a responsibility to all of our users to ensure everyone abides by our Terms of Service. If this does not address your issue completely, please press "Reply" and provide any additional information you feel is relevant.

Please do not alter the subject as it will be considered a new inquiry. For the most up to date messages about MySpace, subscribe to the MySpace Help blog! You get updates almost every day! Go here to subscribe.www.myspace.com/myspacehelp Thank you for contacting MySpace.com.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please cancel my account I have tried to do this severaltimes now but no email has arrived to finalize the process(yes I have checked the junk mail). Many thanks for your help.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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29 December 2007

Employee engagement video

This video from McDaniel Partners via Phil Gerbyshak from Slacker Manager gives some food for thought on employee engagement. It makes me wonder about the financial cost of employee disengagement?



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28 December 2007

MTUB Invades Sydney: STUB4 on Sunday

Repost from STUB website follows ...



Some Melbournites (well, at least @fulltimecasual) are in our fair city, and have decreed that there shall be a STUB meetup, this Sunday (30th December) from 2pm at the Glenmore Hotel.

Where: Glenmore Hotel 96 Cumberland Street,The Rocks (map)
When: December 30, 2007 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sponsors: (none so far)
Contact: Follow/message @fulltimecasual for details.
Public Transport: Closest Train Station is Circular Quay Station (City Circle Line)
Note: Public transport is running to altered timetables. Call 131500 or go to 131500.info for timetables.


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High points in Australia's legal world in 2007

Over at the Sydney Morning Herald website Richard Ackland summed up some of the more memorable happenings in Australian legal circles in 2007, but two stood out for me:

1) JUSTICE SLEEPS IN NSW
"The NSW Court of Appeal upheld the right of judges to get in some important sleep time while trying cases. It was found in Cesan v DPP that justice can still be done by unconscious or 'dormant' presiding trial judges."

and

2) RULE OF LAW TRIUMPHANT!
"And for the most significant legal moment of the year there is the enduring spectacle of an Australian citizen pleading 'guilty' before an improperly constituted foreign 'court' for a war crime that did not exist - all with the connivance of the Australian government."

Neither of these stories give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the rule of law in Australia.

...full story here

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27 December 2007

When non-technologists write about technology: They're So Cute

Great snarky post from Marc Andreessen about "When non-technologists write about technology: They're so CUTE!" - this is a great serve on the type of overblown analysis of tech stuff done by people who don't have a clue. Really worth a read!

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26 December 2007

There is no 'I' in Team - but there is a huge 'ME' in team

I came across another lame article (no I will not dignify the piece of crap by linking to it, just take my word for it) that talked about there being no "I" in team. It made me cranky again (just after I'd recovered from the recent Samsung A701 mobile phone malfunctions too) as it avoided the whole point that teams consist of a number of individuals (a.k.a. me's or ids).

The simple fact is that teams consisting merely of rampant ids in the form of individuals who do not have predetermined and agreed manners, forms and norms of behaviour are doomed to perpetual idiocy and indecision or rule by loudmouth. Further, it is management of organisations that sets and enables the particular form of team behaviour that is exhibited in each place.

From my experience, the best teams are those where decision making and rules of behaviour are agreed upfront with a view to ensuring that the best possible decision is made.

Well, I'm sick and tired of being in teams where the stupidest but loudest and best connected idiot in the room determines the direction that the group should take. I'm sick of decisions being made by the least qualified individuals in the building when there are others who actually have a clue in the particular problem domain.

My new year wish is for a world where people become self aware enough to admit they don't know everything and defer to other individuals who actually have a clue about the issue under consideration.

Let's see how my new year wish unfolds?

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25 December 2007

Gotta respect girls that like to Digg

Thanks to Michael Arrington over at Techcrunch for this vid, Kina Grannis is great and I too like to Digg:




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This is what happens on family visits ...

funny pictures

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I know how teh kitteh feelz

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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24 December 2007

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Over being cranky now - best wishes to everyone for peace and happiness this Christmas Eve.

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Samsung A701 - this useless piece of rubbish that is masquerading as a phone

This stupid Samsung A701 mobile phone crashed again. Had to remove my battery & SIM card to reboot the phone again after a yellow screen of death. This is not a phone it is just an annoyance. Can't wait to replace it immediately the shops open after Xmas.

This is the first phone I've had that crashes more than once in a blue moon.

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Crappy Telstra NextG network and Samsung A701 phone

It is difficult for me to find words adequate to express my unhappiness with Telstra's crappy NextG network and the equally crappy Samsung A701 phone that I own. But I'm going to try ...
The NextG network is the most unreliable thing since the early days of digital networks in Australia - high levels of drop outs, and there are dead zones all over suburban Sydney. God knows what it's like for anyone in a smaller city. For heaven's sake I could not even get a call out in Hornsby today, and it drops out regularly on the lower north shore and Northbridge, Chatswood, and St Ives. Luckily my friends are now used to one of us having to call back after a drop out. Maybe it is part of Telstra's plan to increase revenue by doubling the cost of each call due to these drop outs mid -conversation?

I wish the NextG people would just find out what their brethren over at Bigpond are doing because they've managed to provide me with a reliable DSL service for several years now.

As for the phone, it is an annoying thing that is so unreliable that I'm going to replace it immediately after Christmas. Maybe I just got a lemon, but I will NEVER EVER by a Samsung phone again. It needs to go and be repaired again. So now I am going back to my old 2G Nokia handset which, by the way, still works day in and day out - even if it is a little clunky.

I feel better with that off my chest - still not happy, but better out than in.

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Online video and social networking big in 2008?

Suspect that video based social networking is about to take off in 2008. But of course, I could be wrong!

During 2007 we've seen the consolidation of video sharing on sites like YouTube and others, now we're seeing sites like seesmic launching. Early in 2007 lots of normal people (i.e. non-geeks) were talking about Utube (sic) but had never seen it, but now everyone knows what it is. Growth in video communications is coming our way. Who knows, soon I might even have a friend who can take one of my video phone calls?

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Subprime crisis - Comments

It is always instructive to watch what a smart & successful company like General Electric* does and try to work out why they are doing it.

Several years ago GE spun off their insurance businesses and this divestment was of interest to me at the time because GE was removing a number of capital intensive operations from their business while retaining an equity interest. By this move GE no longer had to maintain tier-1 capital for these insurance businesses but instead retained a dividend stream from their equity, they also substantially reduced their own risk in those operations. By 2006 GE had sold their remaining equity in these operations, noting in their 2006 annual accounts that:

"In 2006, we substantially completed our planned exit of the insurance businesses through the sale of the property and casualty insurance and reinsurance businesses and the European life and health operations of GE Insurance Solutions Corporation (GE Insurance Solutions) and the sale of GE Life, our U.K.-based life insurance operation, to Swiss Reinsurance Company (Swiss Re). Also during 2006, we completed the sale of our remaining 18% investment in Genworth Financial, Inc. (Genworth), our formerly wholly-owned subsidiary that conducted most of our consumer insurance business, including life and mortgage operations, through a secondary public offering." (Source: GE 2006 annual report p. 49)


This deal by GE really got me thinking about the problems associated with insurance products in the globalised markets where risk is interlinked between geographies and products. With the sub prime mortgages problem in the US lenders have loaned money to people who cannot repay their mortgages. The lenders don't really care because all the mortgages are insured, but the insurers are probably very worried right now. And, if the mortgage insurers have been following the lead of the lenders you can bet that they also relaxed their underwriting rules to write those policies.

The credit crunch is going to be worse for the insurers because often they not only insured the mortgages, but also provided the deposit bonds. Also the ratings agencies are really going to come under some scrutiny - the real question is do they have any clue as to the underlying risk of the products they are rating? I suspect the answer is about to be revealed as a resounding not really.

The sub prime mortgage problem exists because lenders ignored prudent credit policy on the optimistic basis of a rising property market. We are now seeing the almost inevitable consequence of these poor credit policies. GE had the foresight to reduce their exposure to these insurance businesses, a pity some of the other players were not so prudent.


* Note: A few years ago I worked for GE in Australia, but no longer have any business relationship with the company. I have no personal knowledge of the GE business strategy behind these deals and the comments above are based on publicly available sources and my own interpretations.

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23 December 2007

Why software testing is important - from New Scientist

Here is a story for those among us who do not believe that software testing is critical, this is from New Scientist's Doh! Of Technology:

Back to the future
IN FEBRUARY 2007, 12 F-22 Raptors, the US air force's new stealth fighters, left Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, bound for Okinawa, Japan, on the high-tech planes' first overseas outing. Things went smoothly until they reached the 180th meridian - otherwise known as the International Date Line.

Some of the pilots suddenly found themselves without any navigation aids. With nothing to tell them their compass heading or even whether they were level or not, it was as if the pilots had been instantaneously transported from the cockpit of the world's most advanced aircraft into one dating from the first world war.

Fortunately the skies were clear, so the squadron did an about-face and was able to follow its in-flight refuelling tankers back to Hickam.

The error was diagnosed as a problem with a "partial line of code" that had pitched the planes' computers into an infinite loop of trying and failing to calculate their position while dealing with an unexpected date. A fix was issued, and three weeks later the planes made their trip to Japan without a hitch.

"Reliance on electronics has changed the flight-test process," says
Donald Shepperd, once head of the US Air National Guard. "It used to be tails falling off, now it's typos that ground a fighter."


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Seesmic

Finally got an invite to Seesmic last night from Loic and, of course my webcam is not working on my desktop. This means I will have to use the Mac, which I generally only use on the road. It would seem very strange to use it here in my study. Unless tomorrow I brave the Christmas retail madness and buy a replacement. Dunno what to do for my first video though?



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Techcrunch goes political with the US election

Techcrunch goes political with the US election, Michael Arrington explains:

"TechCrunch wants to provide a voice for digital policy and technology issues in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, and so we've decided to hold our own political primaries online. Voting will be open from Tuesday, December 18 through midnight pst Friday, January 18. TechCrunch will endorse one candidate from each the Democratic and Republican party as the "Tech President" candidate based on the popular results of reader voting and blog input from our community of technology leaders and entrepreneurs."

More at http://primaries.techcrunch.com/


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Unidentified LOLcat object

funny pictures
moar funny pictures



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Microsoft Office 2007 Upgrade

I recently upgraded to Microsoft's Office 2007 and what a pleasant surprise it was! The upgrade process was really easy, the product itself has a really nice user interace, and it's easy to use. This is so much better than the previous versions, although I do suspect having a lot of RAM helps.

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Thomas Paine & the Declaration of the Rights of Man

I am reading Christopher Hitchen's Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biography. Paine's writings were highly influential in creating the world we know today, where equality before the law and democracy are normal. I'm also dipping into the The Thomas Paine Reader to access the original writings. I did read Paine's works many years ago at Sydney Uni when studyin history, which itself is almost ancient history, but Paine's writings have a freshness that stands the test of time.

So many of the ideas we take for granted in Western society were denied to people in Paine's time. Indeed, he was forced to flee his homeland for merely asserting that man (and he did talk about men in the way of his time) had certain basic and irrefutable rights.

His ideas were foundational in the development of the United States, and informed much of their political and legal culture.

He also argued against the British system by which the people occasionally managed to wrest a concession from the ruling hierarchy: e.g. Magna Carta, and the Bill of Rights 1688.

Now that I am studying law and living in an Australia that has been gradually abrogating rule of law, it seems to me that his arguments might have some truth.

No doubt Paine was a radical, even by today's standards. But he did stand firm on his belief that man had inalienable rights and that true nobility came from the 'democratic floor' rather than hereditary titles.

I can only hope that one day Australians will have acknowledged rights that are protected by the full power of the state and which cannot be changed at the whim of the current government without the full and informed consent of the populace. This means that these rights need to guaranteed by something other than mere legislation, which can be changed through parliamentary process without consulting the populace. I don't know the answer, but I do know that Australians need their rights to be defined and protected.

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22 December 2007

Gmail crashing in latest version of Firefox

Gmail has been crashing my Firefox since I upgraded to version 2.0.0.11

It is very annoying so I've started running IE7 again



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How addicted to Apple am I?

During 2007 I have become a fan of Apple - just a Macbook and and Ipod nothing fancy. But they are sooooo easy to use, and sooooo stylish in design. According to this quiz:

81%How Addicted to Apple Are You?

But I must note that I prefer to use Microsoft Office on my Mac than other options.

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Cancelling Commercial Christmas

In my house, somewhat to the consternation of various relatives, we have decided that we are not doing anything for Christmas or on Christmas day. This means no presents, no family get together, no shopping at the mall (except for basic foodstuffs). We are just going to stay home and have a normal day off. Rest, maybe go to the beach, have a nap, etc.

We are not grinches, we are not angry with anyone. The fact is that our families are financially able to buy their own stuff, we are too. Nobody needs more food than we normally eat. We're not saying we don't want to catch up with family members. In fact, we plan to catch up with some them who are based in Sydney over the holiday period.

Nobody in my family is particularly committed to the actual date of 25 Dec, let's face it Jesus was most likely born some time in April. December was decided on by the Church to hijack the Roman feast of Saturnalia, which was celebrated between December 17-25; or that of Sol Invictus. More on the origins of Christmas on Wikipedia.

I've got no issues with Christianity, I just think that Jesus would be horrified by the commercial debauchery that occurs in his name each year. It's time for me to put a stop to it in my life. Simplicity, peace and no unnecessary shopping are the watchwords for this Christmas.

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How to tell if your son is a hacker

Some nifty advice on how to work out if your son (not daughter though) is a hacker, Leo Laporte and Martin Sargent of TechTV discuss an article from Adequacy.org (it's an oldie but a goodie).





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21 December 2007

SnapShot of twitter.com (rank #3,778), jaiku.com (#25,108), pownce.com (#21,420)

Thanks to Chris Brogan for this link. This is interesting - as mentioned I don't get pownce; but use jaiku and twitter. My preferences seem to match the stats: twitter, jakiu, pownce.




The stats on number of people show a clear preference for twitter:

twitter.com 469,914
jaiku.com 72,161
pownce.com 85,218


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LOLcat Bible Translation



This is the funniest thing - a lolcat translation of the bible

It includes such gems as 1 Corinthians 13:

"(1) iff i talkd wif teh tungz of manz n angylz, n duzzn haz luff, i are becom liek teh human, knockin down all teh potz n panz frm teh shelf, srsly.(2) iff i haz powarz of liek tellin the futurez an, an i gotz all teh missteriez an all teh knowingz an all teh faithz, enuff taek all teh mowntanz awayz, an i duzzn haz luff, i gotz nuffink.(3) an evn iff i givez all mai stuffz awai, n iff i delivur mai bodiz to b burnded up, and i duzzn haz luff, i gotz nuffink.

(4) luv is pashient n kind, luv haz no jelusniss or showin offz, luv no is stuck-up (5) or r00dz. Luv no insistzes on doin it rite, itz not pisst off alla tiem or rezentfluffle.(6) luv izzn all happiez about doin it wrong, but is happiez about teh truthz.(7) luv putz up wiht all teh stuffz, beelivez all teh stuffz, hoepz for all teh stuffz. Luv putz up wiht all teh stuffz. i sed that areddy.

(8) luv no haz endingz. Tellin the futurez, tungz, an alla stuffz u know wil die.(9) we haz knowingz a bit, an we haz profacy a bit. We no haz 2 much tho.(10) o, wait. wen teh perfict coemz, teh not perfict will dyez, lolol.(11) wen i wuz a kitten, i meweded leik a kitten, thinkded liek a kittenz, an I chazed strings liek a kittenz. wen i wuz becomez a cat, i NOT WANT kitten waiz ne moar.(12) for nao we see in teh foggy mirorr like when teh human gets out of teh shower, but tehn we see faec tow faec. Nao i haz knowingz just a bit, tehn i will haz all teh knowingz, as i haz been knownz.

(13) nao faithz an hoepz an luvs r hear, theses threes, but teh bestest iz teh luvs, srsly."



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OLPC: the best designed notebook in the world by Robin Harris

This is great commentary on some of the anti-One Laptop discussion recently. Harris makes some good points. I've seen on of these PCs and they are beautifully designed and engineered. Some people just don't get it.



OLPC: the best designed notebook in the world by ZDNet's Robin Harris -- "The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is the best-designed notebook computer in the world. It just isn’t designed for you. Get over it. Criticism of the OLPC centers on the fact that it isn’t like the notebooks adults use. As the ASUS Eee shows a low-cost conventional laptop can be powerful. But that misses the point. [...]"





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Twitter is dangerous by ZDNet's Michael Krigsman

Here is another critique of Twitter - this time as the enemy of corporate confidentiality. Does Krigsman not realise that the problem already exists with mobile phones & PDAs? I can already send a text message to the 200 people in my mobile phone's address book. Although Twitter does make it more easy to do. It just means that organisations need to ensure people are aware of confidentiality issues. But you can never legislate against stupidity, so someone will surely leak something sometime.

Twitter is dangerous by ZDNet's Michael Krigsman -- "Twitter is rapidly becoming a serious threat to corporate information protection. The program’s great strength — many-to-many messaging — becomes its great weakness in this context. Imagine this scenario: 20 people are in a confidential meeting, one of them using Twitter. This attendee broadcasts an off-hand “tweet” (Twitter comment) to his or her “followers” (Twitter friends). [...]"

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19 December 2007

Pirate Pete


Pirate Pete, originally uploaded by kate.carruthers.

Here is pirate Pete the accountant showing off his booty (obtained from Harry's Cafe). This is his natural state.

16 December 2007

The Story of Mark Eklund, the Former Catholic School Student Killed in Vietnam = Truth!

This is one of those stories that friends email you with the request to email it to 10 friends for a 'miracle'. For some reason I decided to check if it was true and discovered that it is alleged to be true. In any case I like it. It has always seemed strange to me that we wait until someone is dead before talking about their good points. I have always thought this was better stuff to hear while you are still around, also hearing it might encourage people to do more good stuff. Here is the story from Truth or Fiction:

"Summary of eRumor
This is the touching story of a teacher at a Catholic school in Minnesota. She describes an unforgettable elementary student named Mark Eklund who had been likable but frustrating because of his inability to stay quiet in class. The teacher transferred to teaching junior-high and later had Mark again. One day asked everyone in the class to write down each student's name and also write the nicest thing they could think of about that person. Years later, the teacher got word that Mark Eklund had died in Vietnam and she was asked to attend his funeral. Mark's family showed her that the piece of paper from junior-high with other student's kind remarks about him had been carried in his wallet until the day he died. The teacher then heard that other students had also saved their pieces of paper from that day and how much it had meant to them. The story closes with encouragement to tell people how much we care for them and how special they are to us while there is still the time to do it.

The Truth
According to Saint Mary's school in Morris, Minnesota, this is a true story written by Sister Helen Mrosla, a Franciscan nun. According to an Associated Press article published in the Topeka Capitol-Journal in 1998, Sister Mrosla decided to write about Mark for Proteus magazine, which had asked for stories about education. That article was later printed in Reader's Digest but has probably reached its biggest audience via the Internet. Some versions of the circulated email also include promises of good luck if the story is forwarded to other people, something that Sister Mrosla is not happy about. She said it cheapens it somehow."

The actual story can be found here

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Funny cats and corporate life

funny pictures
moar funny pictures


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15 December 2007

InfoSec News Subject: [ISN] Warning sounded over 'flirting robots'

Here is a great story from ISN on Tue, 11 Dec 2007 01:01:27 -0600 (CST) - now the bad guys can extract personal info using flirting robots. Talk about paranoia for online dating!

"http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9831133-56.html
By Ina Fried, December 7, 2007

Those entering online dating forums risk having more than their hearts stolen. A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personalinformation from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PCTools.

The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is goodenough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from areal potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too,establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contactinformation, and photos."As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud,CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering,"PC Tools senior malware analyst Sergei Shevchenko said in a statement.

Among CyberLover's creepy features is its ability to offer a range ofdifferent profiles from "romantic lover" to "sexual predator." It canalso lead victims to a "personal" Web site, which could be used todeliver malware, PC Tools said.

Although the program is currently targeting Russian Web sites, PC Toolsis urging people in chat rooms and social networks elsewhere to be onthe alert for such attacks. Their recommendations amount to just goodsense in general, such as avoiding giving out personal information andusing an alias when chatting online. The software company believes thatCyberLover's creators plan to make it available worldwide in February.

Robot chatters are just one type of social-engineering attack that usestrickery rather than a software flaw to access victim's valuableinformation. Such attacks have been on the rise and are predicted tocontinue to grow.

Update 4:10 p.m. PST: Mike Greene, vice president of product strategy atPC Tools, said that the company learned of CyberLover's existenceearlier this week as part of its regular monitoring of IRC chat roomsand other places where talk about malware takes place.Greene said that it is hard to tell how prevalent use of the program isin Russia."We don't have exact statistics, but I think it's early on," he said.Greene said that the perceived anonymity of the Internet hasdesensitized people to the fact that information disclosed in an onlinechat can cause real-world damage."

People are used to not opening attachments or maybe not clicking on alink that shows up in their IM," he said. "But this emulates a realconversation, so you more are likely to give over personal information,click on a link or send your photograph."


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Journalism Professor Says Citizen Journalists Should Be Regulated

Over at Techdirt it has been noted that "David Hazinski, a journalism professor and former NBC correspondent, claiming that 'unfettered' citizen journalism is 'too risky' and that it needs to be regulated (via Romenesko) by 'official' media companies, handing out 'certificates' to citizen journalists".

It is great to see that free speech is so well understood by an actual journalist, pity about his elitist tendencies. There is much in the modern media that is merely opinion, and that opinion is no better than anyone else's. And it is certainly not more valid than any citizen journalist. It is only in the area of fact-checked news stories that 'official' news media may have an argument. But this raises issues about 'facts' and their interpretation within an ideology and their presentation as objective. But that's another whole can of worms.

One thing I ponder is how did journalists get to be so special? Again the press has lost sight of its own origins in the 18th century pamphlets and newsletters. Ordinary people took up their pens to voice their own opinions and it has grown into the press industry we know today. The Internet is just enabling us to reclaim citizen journalism for the people (OMG that sounds a little bit Marxist, but you know what I mean).

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14 December 2007

Largest Adobe Flash crash in the world

This via Michael Krigsman is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time - it's an error on the huge billboard in Times Sqaure in New York.

"The big screen in New York’s Times Square runs Windows and Adobe Flash. I guess you could say that Flash crashed big-time (no pun intended). From Andrew Flynn’s website: And here’s a close-up of the error box:"

Philip Rosedale Answers Your Second Life Questions

Over at Freakanomics they did a Q&A with the creator of Second Life, Philip Rosedale about Second Life (aka SL).

This is interesting stuff - the questions are wide ranging from security and privacy to economics.

But I still don't think that SL is a very good user experience in Australia due to low bandwidth & our generally 3rd world broadband (thanks again Telstra).


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My celebrity look-alikes

I can't believe that crappy program says I look like these celebrities!




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Laurel Papworth - Online Communities - Australia and Global: eMarketer.com is a SPAM site...

Laurel Papworth - Online Communities - Australia and Global: eMarketer.com is a SPAM site...

Poor SilkCharm is getting spammed by www.eMarketer.com this is bad manners!

12 December 2007

NSW Pearcy Award 2007 - to the non-cricketing Waughs

Great to see that Pia and Jeffrey Waugh have been awarded the NSW Pearcey Award 2007 for their collaboration within the open source software sector and their sustained contribution to the Linux movement in Australia (more at LinuxWorld)

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9 December 2007

Twitter visit on YouTube - too funny

This visit to Twitter by Loïc Le Meur is very amusing ...




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Loïc’s List for Internet Start-ups

Loïc Le Meur est un « serial entrepreneur » français de 35 ans, he recently shared his 10 tips for internet startups:

  1. Don’t wait for a revolutionary idea. It will never happen. Just focus on a simple, exciting, empty space and execute as fast as possible.
  2. Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
  3. Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
  4. Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
  5. Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
  6. Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
  7. Don’t spend time on market research.Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
  8. Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans.They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case.
  9. Don’t plan a big marketing effort.It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
  10. Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.

Thanks to Carleen Hawn for this list.

8 December 2007

Has Being Skunk Drunk on the Bust Jumped the Shark?

Good discussion by Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins on Mashable: Have we really drunk the koolaid? Has the interet jumped the shark?

I think there is business value in the internet yet. But I also think there is a lot of dross in the market. But you need that volume of activity to generate the real innovations.

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6 December 2007

Presentation: Online Collaboration - Frameworks for Success

Copy of my presentation from Online Social Networking and Business Collaboration Conference yesterday available on slideshare


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TED Talk by Philippe Starck: Why design?

Philippe Starke, the famous designer talking about design -and without Powerpoint!

I stayed in one of his hotels in New York earlier this year - it was very gorgeous and funky. His ideas about user centred design are very interesting.





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4 December 2007

The Potential of Enterprise 2.0 - Six Lessons for Success

Here is a link to Ross Dawson's presentation: "The Potential of Enterprise 2.0 - Six Lessons for Success" at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Sydney. Some interesting ideas as usual with Ross.

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