31 January 2008

ad:tech Sydney March 2008

I'm on a panel discussion at ad:tech sydney (Wednesday, March 12, 4:20pm - 5:10pm ) ... and it should be fun.

The topic is Merging Online and Offline Initiatives: Integrating a Brand Online

MODERATOR: Michael Gethen, CEO, Independent Digital Media

PANEL: Cameron Holland, Global eCommerce Manager, Lonely Planet
Gavin Gorazdowski, Managing Director, Newgency
Kate Carruthers, Partner, Consensus Advantage

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

30 January 2008

New Trend Blend for 2008

Ross Dawson has just posted his Trend Blend 2008:

Trends mentioned in the map include:

  • Simplicity

  • Reality mining

  • 3-D printers

  • Virtual protest

  • Female chauvinism

  • Geospatial web

  • Celebrity worship

  • Karma capitalism

  • Networked risk

  • Data visualisation

  • Same sex couples (with kids)

  • Constant partial attention

Ross suggests checking out Richard Watson’s new book Future Files: A History of the Next 50 Years for more detail on these.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Social Shopping - growing segment

The number of social shopping sites is increasing (here is some listed by Mashable) .

These type of sites are starting to build up momentum and they are building on social networking and the predilection of people to research online before they buy. It will be interesting to see how far they go in changing shopper behaviour.


By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

29 January 2008

Another F3 crash causes traffic chaos in Sydney

A large truck crashed into the wall on the F3 early this morning and closed the southbound carriageway leading to the usual traffic chaos for commuters north of Berowra.

Here are some images of the traffic on the Old Pacific Highway - this road is usually empty -traffic has been almost at a standstill like this since 7 a.m. this morning. Since the temperature is over 25 degrees C cars are overheating or running out of fuel.

The sad thing is that even if people manage to get through the mess it will be just as bad coming home.

It is about time that the north of Sydney had a better solution than diverting all traffic onto the Old Pacific Highway every time there is an accident.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

28 January 2008

Debunking Ideas about Nonverbal Behaviour

Aggregation of research that debunks some of our ideas about non-verbal behaviour, for example "The idea the vast majority of communication occurs nonverbally is quoted everywhere from advertising to popular psychology articles. In fact the original experiments from which these findings derive have been seriously questioned."

Definitely worth checking out ...

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

User Interface Design Patterns

User Interface Design Patterns is a really helpful site. In the software world we've used software design patterns as good practice in coding but the idea is not so prevalent in the UI design space. Which is funny when you think about the use patterns for websites.

There are other sites that collect patterns but this site is nicely organised and easy to use. They seem to be trying to create a 'coherent' UI design library and to provide code examples to make implementing these patterns more easy.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism but were afraid to ask

Anarchism is one of those words we use without really thinking about it's real meaning. Usually it is used as shorthand for disorder, no order or chaos. But there is a long history behind this political philosophy, and it was a significant driver of radical political activity in the western world during the 19th and 20th centuries. I came across a good overview of anarchism recently.

As introduced on the site: "Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism but were afraid to ask. This classic statement of anarchism was written by a diverse group of anarchists in Cardiff around 1980 and it remains a testimony to the timeless relevance of anarchist ideas. It has been widely reproduced on the Web but usually in a version full of typographic errors. As one of the collective authors I am pleased to bring it back home to Wales. It is reproduced here exactly as it was written. Anarchists have no need to edit their history! Terry Phillips "

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

27 January 2008

Some interesting commentary on Australia Day and Australian-ness

Ian Kath sharing some perspicacious points he found on Youtube about Australia Day, Australian-ness and our mob:

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

24 January 2008

Dear Slashdotter, where have you been?

For all who have missed the significant developments in the LOLcode meme here is an update from Adam Lindsay (the inventor of this important concept):

Dear Slashdotter, where have you been?
"It looks like LOLCODE got some second-hand attention from a Perl6 story on the front page. It looks like some geeks out there had not heard of LOLCODE out there yet, so here's a really quick review for those of you just joining us:

LOLCODE originated on creator Adam Lindsay's blog in late May, 2007. The meme quickly spread throughout the 'net by the time we hit June.

After some chaotic first steps, the LOLCODE specification reached some consensus on basic functionality via collaboration on the forum. The forum could use some new energy to help finalize specification 1.3, but please be respectful of the consensus that has come before.

There are numerous implementations already around. The Perl6/Parrot integration is the latest and (in some ways) most impressive, but there's been some serious implementation work everywhere from Erlang to deep Java/Eclipse IDE integration to the .NET Dynamic Language Runtime.

Hey, if you're interested, we sell t-shirts, mugs and other CafePress stuff at http://store.lolcode.com/. (I have a kid to feed, okay?)"

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

User generated content & the mainstream

Even the mainstream (i.e. banks) are starting to understand the power of UGC (user generated content) - here is the quote of the week:

"I believe that notions like user centred development, like user-created content and social networking are all very powerful trends and that it would be crazy not to understand it and determine how to exploit them."

– Michael Harte CIO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

20 January 2008

speak lolcat - lolcat translator

Translate English into lolcat, the language of all cute animals and pets - http://speaklolcat.com/

Docta dolittle eat ur hart out!

At last we can all speak fluent LOLcat

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

3D Body Scanner and 3D Software

This is the NX-16, a dressing-room size scanner (Image source: tc2.com)

One of the big barriers to broader take-up for online fashion shopping is the problem of correct fit. But we are now seeing early commercial products that will address this problem. The TC2 3D body scanner is one possible solution - it is a 3D scanner that "scans the whole human body in less than 6 seconds and produces a true-to-scale 3D body model within minutes". More details over at TC2.

Interesting stuff!

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

New and Challenging Ideas - ChangeThis!

I love this site, it aggregates ideas in the form of 'manifestos' and is about spreading good ideas. The term manifesto is defined as "an argument, a reasoned, rational call to action, supported by logic and facts". The goal of the site is to present "calm and thoughtful and direct and transparent" writings as manifestos.

Some of the manifestos I've found particularly interesting are:

There are lots more thought provoking manifestos - ChangeThis is worth a browse.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire


At last someone has seen the light and is using LOLCODE for serious purposes!

more here

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

18 January 2008

Herding Cats - Project management in action

This is an oldie but a goodie and completely explains project management to the unitiated ...

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

@STUB Twitter meetup 18 Jan 08

@STUB Twitter yum cha lunch 18 Jan 2008 video on www.seesmic.com

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

16 January 2008

Disemvowelling - you learn something new every day!

This great idea from Internet Duct Tape - part of tips for dealing with idiots on the internet. I had not heard of it before and it is amusing. The tools for 'disemvowelling are particularly helpful.

"Tip #1: Disemvowel
From Wikipedia: “In the fields of Internet discussion and forum moderation, disemvoweling is the removal of vowels from text either as a method of self-censorship, or as a technique by forum moderators to censor Internet trolling and other unwanted posting. When used by a forum moderator, the net effect of disemvowelling text is to render it illegible or legible only through significant cognitive effort.

Xeni Jardin, co-editor of Boing Boing says of the practice, “the dialogue stays, but the misanthrope looks ridiculous, and the emotional sting is neutralized.”

This original sentence:

In the fields of Internet discussion and forum moderation, disemvoweling (also spelled disemvowelling) is the removal of vowels from text.

would be disemvowelled to look like this:

n th flds f ntrnt dscssn nd frm mdrtn, Dsmvwlng (ls splld dsmvwllng) s th rmvl f vwls frm txt.”

You can disemvowel any text using this tool. There is also a Firefox extension that lets you disemvowel comments if you’re a WordPress administrator. The same guy has a Firefox extension for handling religious trolls."

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Xobni & their marketing strategy

Xobni said they will give me beta access if 2 people click thru on this link to register for beta access too. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. Is it 'friendly' viral marketing or is it more akin to blackmail? Still thinking about this.

Xobni outlook add-in for your inbox

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

13 January 2008

History of teh LOLcats

Teh LOLcats, dey has a history ...

The History of LOLCats - Watch more free videos

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

We take our freedom of speech for granted!

This news item from Techcrunch - hat tip to @jowyang for the link - makes me conscious of how precious are our freedoms of speech and association. People fought hard in the past to achieve those freedoms for us and we need to protect them.

Some bloggers in other countries are risking their lives to do what we take for granted - post opinions and news on a blog.

Check out the full story here.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Thinking about Climate change

Hat tip to Annalie Killian for this one - both amusing and worth thinking about...

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

11 January 2008

LOLbunnies now?


funny pictures
moar funny pictures

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

9 January 2008


Have been playing around with seesmic over the past few days. Still getting my head around the medium. Not sure I like the use of flash - it looks really nice but is a bit clunky to actually use, also if I record video somewhere else I need to convert it to .flv, am also having some problems with the flash interface freezing in Firefox.

Tried to create a video using my wireless connection today but could not upload it. T-dog (she is still suspicious of the medium) and I have made 2 short experimental posts so far.

More experimentation is called for.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Telstra shutdown of CDMA & feedback on NextG experience

Conroy has to decide if he should allow Telstra to shut down the CDMA network - press release just out. You can give Telstra feedback on your NextG experience their phone number is: 1800 883 488.

"Government receives report on Telstra’s Next G coverage
Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, today received a report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority on whether Telstra’s Next G network provides equivalent or better coverage to the CDMA network.

Telstra’s carrier licence conditions require it to continue to operate the CDMA network until the Minister notifies Telstra that he is satisfied that the Next G network provides equivalent or better coverage and retail services to those provided by Telstra’s CDMA network as at 1 June 2007.

“I am required to provide my decision to Telstra by 21 January 2008 and intend to make a public announcement shortly after my decision,” Senator Conroy said.

“I will carefully consider all the relevant evidence provided before making my decision.”

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is providing advice on whether equivalent services are being provided, such as voice calls, SMS, internet, pre-paid and post-paid options, as well as car-kit/aerial equipment. It is also compiling input from relevant stakeholder organisations

The Department will continue to provide an opportunity for people to provide feedback on their Next G experiences by calling 1800 883 488. Where appropriate, details are provided to Telstra to follow up."
Full release here

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

7 January 2008

Movers 2.0 - Top Web 2.0 Sites

This nifty little tracker created by Eran Arkin, one of the developers on the eSnips team, is a good way to check out who is moving and shaking in the web world:

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

5 January 2008

Future of the Internet - Vint Cerf in Switzerland

Interesting talk by Vint Cerf in which he discusses the current status of the internet and some of the forces driving its evolution:

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Getting Things Done Talk

I can't get organised enough to do 'Getting Things Done' but I know a lot of people who swear by it. Here's a talk by David Allen about it from YouTube:

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

NerdTests.com says I'm a Kinda Dorky Nerd God

NerdTests.com says I'm a Kinda Dorky Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Progress on cancelling Myspace account!

Just received an email from the Myspace folks about cancelling my account:

"Re: Account - How to delete? [ref:00D78NrS.50074htCV:ref]
From: MySpace.com
Sent: Wednesday, 2 January 2008 4:56:54 PM
Reply-to: AU-help@support.myspace.com
To: Kate Carruthers
Hello,Thank you for bringing this profile to our attention. The profile in question is scheduled to be removed.Thank you, MySpace.com"

W00t! progress? I hope so. See my previous post here

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

New Year's Resolutions, Commitment & Hesitancy

Now here is a quotation to inspire all who are making new year's resolutions at this time.

Until one is committed
there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills
countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favour all manner of
unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamt
would have come his way.

I have learned a deep
respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

from W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1951) - hat tip to Tom Dotz for this one.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

2 January 2008

Great explanation of LOLcat history

David McRaney over at Zero Sum Mind has written a very helpful explanation of the LOLcat phenomenon. Also the Wall Street Journal has discussed LOLcats and I Can Has Cheezburger.

But don't overlook the new LOLdog site I Has a Hotdog.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Federal Government Regulates Internet Content

For everyone who is concerned about this matter and wants to get their head around the issues, the actual source documents are available as follows:

The legislation noted above was passed by the Liberal government in 2007.

What we actually do not know as yet is what actual regulations or legislation the current Labor government will enact. They seem to be just making confusing press statements at the moment. I know I'm confused!

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

Human Rights Charter in Victoria

In the state of Victorian citizens will have basic human rights, like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, protected under a new charter from 2008. It's a pity the rest of us don't have the same guarantees. When will the federal government step up and assure our rights?

An excerpt from the media release follows:

DATE: Friday, December 28, 2007

"Victoria will make history on 1 January as it becomes the first Australian state to fully implement a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said today.

“Victoria is at an historic stage in the protection of rights in our community,” Mr Hulls said.

“The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities formally protects 20 important rights and, by implementing this charter, we are sending a clear message about the way we in Victoria wish to live and be treated -- with dignity and respect.”

As of 1 January 2008, all public authorities will be required to act in a way that is compatible with the charter and give proper consideration to human rights when making decisions.

Courts will also gain charter responsibilities on 1 January. People who feel a public authority has breached their human rights are not able to seek damages under the charter – however they will be able to raise the claim in court if they have another cause of action.

The Supreme Court will have the power to make a declaration if legislation is found to be inconsistent with human rights set out in the charter and Parliament would be asked to respond. " Full media release here ...

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

1 January 2008

Krigsman talking sense on IT projects

In Five tips for achieving IT success in 2008 by ZDNet's Michael Krigsman gives list of five tips that guarantee successful projects in 2008, summary follows below and full post here...

  1. Build a business case

  2. Engage stakeholders early and often

  3. Ensure strong executive sponsorship

  4. Manage vendors wisely

  5. Embrace and plan for change

You would be surprised how often these basic principles of project management are not followed, and how resistant some people are to doing them.

via Aide-mémoire

What is most likely to help you reach the top?

Summary of the tips from LifeHack on getting to the top follows, the original post is from Oct 2007 but still resonates for me. This is worth thinking about today as we all consider resolutions for 2008.

  1. Whenever you can, act friendly and open

  2. Don’t be manipulative

  3. Take the risk (if risk it is) and freely offer your trust to others

  4. Focus on helping others, not helping yourself

  5. Be yourself

  6. Take time with people

  7. Listen more and talk less

  8. Remember your manners

  9. Try to be good humored at all times

  10. If all else fails in times of stress and crisis, remember this: keep a tight leash on your anger, stay calm, and forget about it afterwards.

"Friendly people have many friends: friends who will speak up for them, help them in tough times and watch out for their best interests,and, best of all, people forgive their mistakes and overlook their weaknesses.

Today’s constant obsession with competition and winning makes it easy for people to slip into bad habits towards colleagues, customers, and subordinates. The more successful you are, the more important it becomes to act with humility and genuine warmth towards everyone."

Read the full post ...

via Aide-mémoire

New definition of consent in rape for NSW

Changes to the law of consent in rape come into force today. I think it is a big step forward to have consent formally defined. Some people have claimed that these changes will cause frivolous cases where women will have a change of mind after the fact. But nobody has been able to provide any evidence to support such a claim. Instead I think that the clarity of the definition will make cases easier to run.

In the latest amendment to the Crimes Amendment (Consent—Sexual Assault Offences) Act 2007 No 66 (Schedule 1 Amendments) under section 61HA(2) the "Meaning of consent A person consents to sexual intercourse if the person freely and voluntarily agrees to the sexual intercourse."

and under section 61HA(4) consent is negated if:

"(a) if the person does not have the capacity to consent to the sexual intercourse, including because of age or cognitive incapacity, or
(b) if the person does not have the opportunity to consent to the sexual intercourse because the person is unconscious or asleep, or
(c) if the person consents to the sexual intercourse because of threats of force or terror (whether the threats are against, or the terror is instilled in, that person or any other person), or
(d) if the person consents to the sexual intercourse because the person is unlawfully detained."

via Aide-mémoire