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Now we know who Grog is… what changed… #grogsgate

I Work in the Public Service and I Tweet T-Shirt or Sticker I’m sure people much more articulate that I have covered this… but what the hell here is my 2cents worth on the whole #grogsgate affair.

The Australian has taken the line that it was in the public’s interest to know.  But now we all know what has changed.  Do people feel betrayed by Grog, do people question everything he has written, do we feel he has lied.  For me the answer is no, and this is where The Australian has let itself down and betrayed Grog for nothing more than a petty squabble over bragging rights.

Unlike many of the pseudonyms that have been referred to, or hidden leakers and secret “sources”, not one thing changed.  People have a name and nothing more.  Perhaps if the Australian had thought about this, the fallout wouldn’t be so bad.  IMHO the public interest test was failed.  All we learned was a name and which department he works for. Everything else is the same.  These two “facts” haven’t changed a single thing he wrote.

The Australian did play the man and not the ball.  Unlike secret emails from Treasury, or worse anonymous editorials attacking our political process and blatant crankiness that their chosen one didn’t win the election, not one thing changed knowing who he is.

Worse still is the fallout for Grog, who has been forced to defend himself for what has proved to be trumped up nothingness.  Sure some people were curious, and perhaps his name should have come out, but there are ways and means.  Perhaps it would have come out in time anyway.  But then what did it matter, when a blogger writes they have to defend themselves on their writing, not on the masthead.

It was Grog’s writing that drew people in.  Sure people agreed with him and yet people also disagreed with him.  His blog gave people an open platform to disagree and to a name.  That name may not have been real, but it was still him and he would still have to defend his words.

It’s funny how Mark Scott took his words to heart and looked at what the ABC was doing, not treating him as a threat.  The Australian, doesn’t take the critics well and instead of addressing them gave us a story that didn’t change a thing.

That is the crux, it was a non story, but a non story that will have ramifications for Grog and for media as a whole.

Grog won’t be the last to be outed, but I am sure The Australian isn’t going to like when the bloggers fight back, which they will.

And yes my name is Wolf 🙂

My #730spill #730report t-shirt proves controversial….

Well I never….

When I set out to make a t-shirt about the changing of the guard in #730reportland, I never figured it would be controversial. I’ve had more comments about it on twitter than any other t-shirt.

People have criticised me for who I have left off and the order they people were put in. The order is random by the way, just the way I looked peoples names up and nothing more.

Names put to me include ( in no particular order ) Me ( and no I didn’t nominate myself), Barrie Cassidy, Monica Attard, B1 and B2, Big Ted, @firstdogonmoon, David Speers, Chris Lilley, Johnathan Holmes, Laurie Oakes, Mark Colvin, Steve Cannane and Eleanor Hall, just to name a few.

If I sell a couple more… and get some more names… I might be forced to make a senate ballot paper.

So go buy the t-shirt, hoodie or long sleeve… and leave a comment.

Another photocomp…Vote Early… vote often….

This photo comp ( Celebrate your City Photo Competition ) is based on votes… so here is the pimping.. each image goes through to the entry.

So please vote and add comments ( and yes you can vote for all the images 🙂 )

Voting is Open till 8th of October, so ignore that button that says the comp is now closed, it is only closed to new entries.

To Vote just click on the images below, then once the page loads, click on the stars to give the image an rating from 1 to 5… ( 5 being the best )

We Shall Remember them

The Power to Get Home

Crown Fire Show

Station Pier Sunset 1

Through the Arch Window

You think 12Mpbs is Enough….. A Look back at the last 10 years.

We will take 12Mbps as the likely outcome for the majority of Australians if we don’t get the NBN. Of course the argument goes that no one needs 1gbps because there isn’t a user case for it. And even 100mpbs would be a waste because private industry didn’t build it already.

Just stop and think about the last 10 years in Australia and the tools that we use. Then after reading this think about what you are going to do in 10 years time.

Starting a bit before 10 years ago, in 1992 there were two yes two ISP’s in Australia. Telstra weren’t to switch on ADSL until 2000. And it wasn’t until 2006 that Telstra removed the cap and let ADSL1 get to 8Mbps. ( BTW how many people actually get that kind of speed)

Google which is now such an integral part of some many of our lives ( see all those ads on the side) only overtook Altavista in 2000. YouTube launched in Nov 2005, only to be grabbed by Google less than a year later for a cool US$1.65 billion in Google Stock.. Now people upload more than 24 hours of content every single minute. Google Maps which is doing a fine job of killing of map directories launched in 2007. Street View didn’t hit Australia till August 2008. Yes just a squeak over 2 years ago.

Flickr, didn’t launch until Feb 2004. It wasn’t until December 2006 that pro accounts got unlimited uploads. In this month Flickr officially had its 5billionth photo uploaded, given that the 4billionth shot was uploaded in Oct 2009, that is 1 billion photos in 11months. Uploads run to around 3,000 per minute.

MySpace… much maligned at the looser to Facebook launched in 2002. But still for the looser they are still the 32nd most visited website in the world. Which of course leads to the current behemoth that is Facebook. It didn’t launch to the public until September 2006. 4 years later it has ½ a billion users. They are now the number 2 visited website, with of course Google still number 1. (Source Alexa.com)

Of the Top 10 sites as September 2010, really only Yahoo and Windows Live can claim to have been any sort of influence pre 2000. YouTube, Facebook, Baidu, Wikipedia, Blogspot and Twitter just didn’t exist. These are content rich sites. They are not just light weight text sites, but sites with rich media, photos, HD Video e.t.c.

The big argument is about wireless taking over and making Fibre to the Home obsolete. Ignoring the obvious thing about the physics of it all and that fact that you can just your N grade wifi with many of the new devices to connect to the backbone at your home or work, let think about wireless devices.

It wasn’t until the N95 that you could get a 5megapixel camera and GPS in one device. That was March 2007. Nokia also gave us the first phone with a compass, in 2008. Apple didn’t launch the first IPhone until June 2007. The IPhone 4 now has a 5megapixel camera. The Nokia N8 is launching with a 12 mega-pixel camera, with 8 mega-pixels becoming common on high end phones. Nokia in 2008 became the world’s largest manufacturer of any kind of camera. These devices now support N Wifi, with its data capabilities of 600mbit/s. Telstra’s Next G has speeds upto 42Mbit/s. So are you going to rely on just wireless or use your local or someone else’s WiFi network.

My phone has a 1 GHz CPU, 10 years ago that was the top of the line CPU for home computers. Now I do lots of stuff on the move, but the heavy lifting as it were is done at home on the big computer, the one with 12gig of ram and 3tb of storage.

The advent of P2P has forced a dramatic change in the way we view television and listen to music as well. Napster only came onto the scene in 1999. Bit Torrent wasn’t released as a protocol until 2001, now it is estimated to be anywhere between 20-50% of Internet Traffic. Whereas previously Australia was often low down in the priority order for showing first run shows, now networks “RUSH” TV shows often within a day or less of airing internationally just to circumvent this technology. The ABC only launched IView in 2008. In 2010 is launched live streaming of ABCNews24 (chewing up around 300mb p/h ) in the process. Now all the channels offer some sort of IPTV Catch up service.

This is just a sample of various tech over the last 10 years. Many of the examples above are only 5 years old. The other big advantage of the NBN is that either end of the cable can be upgraded, so the 1gbps is an artificial limit. In some respects it happens to be the most cost effective for deployment for the whole project.

There is no technology on the horizon that is going to be able to compete with Fibre to the Home for speed. This is a rare chance for Australia to be a world leader with all the benefits that will bring. Or it is a chance for us to shy away and spend the next 10 years catching up. Look above to see what happened in the last 10 years, the clock is ticking.

Photography as an example of why we need the #NBN

I just brought myself a new 1.5tb drive for backing up my photos today for $98. That goes with the 2Tb I have in my computer the 320gb USB drive and the 880gb USB powered HD’s that I have. 10 years ago a 1tb drive would have cost me around $15k.

I remember fondly my first Zip Drive. (I have about 1gb of zip disks floating around here in the office at home somewhere as well ) That 100meg of storage was a god send for backing up working files and those huge 2meg photo scans that I had.

Back in 1999, Nikon introduced the D1. Their first Digital SLR. It had an amazing 2.7megapixel sensor and cost around 12K AUD. 10 Years later their top prosumer camera has 16megapixels and a price under 1.5K.

Of course now I shoot 10meg Raw shots, and when I can afford the new D7000 they will be near 20meg per shot for raw. And I’m only shooting DX format shots.

Even the new Nokia N8 has a 12megapixel camera. That means a phone will be producing shots that chew up as much space as from my DSLR.

A top of line the Hasselblad H4D chews up 50MB raw files for each shot for a 40Mpixel camera. All in a camera that costs 30k USD. That size will in the next 10 years be what a lot of people have access to as their image sensors..

My Nikon D90 can shoot 720p, but I have a 1080p video recorder as well. Even my phone shoots at 720p.The D7000 is a 1080p camera. The replacement for 1080p is 4k. Having seen Blade Runner with a 4k projection all I can say is wow. So we don’t have home 4k systems yet, and very few cinemas have them. Yet already Youtube will support 4k Video. So there is a business case for using 4k video for say live streaming of a concert over IP and selling tickets. Or even like with the recent World Cup, selling tickets for the Cinema.

As more people can access the technology to create cheap high definition content that they wish to share they run into the limitations of ADSL. Try and upload a video and you will see how long that takes compared to downloading. The NBN whilst not truly symmetrical will offer speeds up to 1gpbs/400mbps compared to say ADSL 2 at 24000/2500 kbps (which is the theoretical best if you live next to the exchange ).

IMHO this ability to upload the content that we are creating is the killer app for the NBN for the general public. The rise of social media, the rise of YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and their increasing ability to serve the content that we produce are what we the public will use the NBN for.

All the doubters say the NBN is going to be too fast… tell me what you did 10 years ago on the net and tell me what you do now… then think about just what the Digital Camera has done in 10 years.

The amount of data we are creating and storing is going up by these volumes, the prices for storing and accessing the data is falling at the same rate, why do people suddenly think that the demand for transferring these files via the internet will suddenly stop?

Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D90….

Here is the Show Down Table, comparing the D7000, to the D90.

These are the major features where the D7000 trumps the D90.

[image title=”Nikon D7000″ size=”full” id=”1394″ align=”right” ] [image title=”Nikon D90″ size=”full” id=”1393″ align=”right” ]
Nikon D7000 Nikon D90
Construction Magnesium alloy body Polycarbonate
Sensor • 23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor
• 16.2 million effective pixels
• 14-bit A/D converter
• 23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor
• 12.3 million effective pixels
• 12-bit A/D converter
ISO range • ISO 100-6400
• H1 and H2 (ISO 12800 and 25600) expansion
• ISO 200 -3200
• L1 (ISO 100) and H1 (ISO 6400) expansion
Movie resolution* • 1920 x 1080p (24fps) • 1280 x 720p (24 fps)
AF sensor • 39 AF points
• 9 cross-type sensors
• 11 AF points
• 1 cross-type sensor
Metering sensor • TTL exposure metering using 2016-pixel RGB sensor • TTL exposure metering using 403-pixel RGB sensor
Viewfinder • 100% frame coverage
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
• 96% (horizontal and vertical) frame coverage
• Built-in diopter adjustment (-2 to +1m-1)
Continuous shooting rate • Approx. 6 fps max • Approx. 4.5 fps max
Max Shutter Speed • 1/8000 second • 1/4000 sec
Modes • Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait, Night landscape, Party/indoor, Beach/snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Pet portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn colors, Food, Silhouette, High key, Low key, U1 (user settings 1), U2 (user settings 2) • Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night portrait
Pixel Density • 4.6 MP/cm² • 3.3 MP/cm²
Video Format • MOV, H.264 (Stereo with external mike), 20 Min Max length • AVI M-JPEG ( Mono), 5 Min Max length
Memory format • SD/SDHC/SDXC (dual slots) • SD/SDHC
Dimensions 132 x 105 x 77mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0in)
148 x 111 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.3 x 2.8in)
Weight (inc battery) 780 g (1.7 lb.) 704 g (1.5 lb.)

(Source of Table:  DP Review and Nikon- if I have missed out something let me know.)

As you can see this camera leaves the D90 in the dust.  Low light and fast photography have all been ramped up incredibly.  And for a RRP or around the $1200 USD mark it gives the non professional shooter a great camera with many Pro and Semi Pro features at what I think is a great price.

A few other thoughts….

The extra mega pixels can ensure larger printers ( although the prints I have got from my D90 at A3 are stunning), but it also gives you a bit more crop room.  You can cut that little bit more of the edges of your image that don’t quite line up and still get the same print size.  Further (somewhat reduced by the D7000 having a virtual horizon) is that you can rotate your images to straighten them as well and still get a full size print.

The extra 4% in the view finder may not seem much, yet having a 100% Viewfinder means that nothing unexpected will creep into the side of your image. I’ve got used to always checking on my D90 that I’ve got the whole shot and nothing extra, but having the 100% Viewfinder is something that just makes your life in post processing much easier.

I’d love to get my hand on the camera just for the Shutter Speed as well.  1/8000th of a second will freeze just about anything.  Perfect for insects in flight, water in motion e.t.c. The extra 2 FPS on the body is also fantastic as well, letting you burn through action.

The other great feature is the “weather-resistant” body.  There have been times I’ve had to stop shooting with just a few drops of rain on the D90, the D7000 lets you get a bit more extreme with your shooting, without having to worry about dust and a few drops of rain.

The Video feature has been dramatically expanded as well.  One thing is I am glad that Nikon have moved to H264 .mov files.  This has become the standard for video these days and opens up a lot more options for cleaning editing as well over the motion jpeg format. ( But this is something for others to comment on.  I’ve never really used the video feature on my D90, and I’d suspect that the same would be true for the D7000.

Overall, whilst the D90 maybe around for awhile yet, I’d have to say just on the specs and the initial reviews your better of getting the D7000.

Note sure on Australian released date… but US date is October… so should be sometime next month.


Please now buy some of my art work…. So I can afford it….

Some More from around the Web:

Nikon Rumors
Nikon D7000: Camera Road Test With Chase Jarvis
D7000 dpreview hands-on
Offical Nikon D7000 Site

And hands on video care of Engadget.

and a Nikon promo video….

Missing from the EXIF: 10,000 Meters

I’m a window seat kind of guy.  Flying doesn’t bother me at all.  I can watch a plane crash doco and get on my flight straight away no probs.  Most of the time the Taxi ride to and from the airport is of more concern to me than any flight.  But the trick with being a window seat person is to know which window seat.

That not only includes front or back of the plane, close to the wing or not, but also where is the sun. The time of the day of the flight and the location of the sun define where I will sit on most flights.   As a rule I try for the sun side of the aircraft if flying early morning or evening.  Why, because that is where the light is.  Sunrise gives you the standard sunset, but also the low angled light on farm dams and other small water courses.

And Sunset.  Sunset from an aircraft it just magical.  But you need to be aware of the plane you are flying on, are you close to the wing, so that it will in every shot, or far enough forward or back you can choose.  Sometimes a hint of wing is great in a shot, helps to act as a framing device and places the shot in context.

Most of the time I fly, I have my Sigma 18-20mm lens on. With only a UV filter. Forget taking a polarising filter on the aircraft, it will only show up the layers in the windows of the aircraft and as a general rule ruin most of your shots.

This shot was one of a few hundred I took on the flight, playing with the fading light, the reflections on the window, and tweaking the shutter speed to the slowest that I could hand hold on a moving plane, whilst holding the camera about 2mm from the window. Close enough to not get reflections from the cabin, and not to close as touch the vibrating window.

As for post production there was just a slight tidy and noise reduction in Lightroom3 and because Lightroom3 has lens corrections, I fixed the corner lens curves as well.

( and yes the shot was not taken at 10,000 meters, it was just over 11,000 but artistic licence in titles is allowed 🙂 )

And there are photos that need just colour to tell a story.  I’d like to think this is one of them.

Of course when someone left a comment saying my shot reminded them of a Murray Fredericks photo, I was of course thrilled.

10,000 Meters

And the EXIF data.

Camera Nikon D90
Exposure 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture f/6.3
Focal Length 200 mm
ISO Speed 1600
Exposure Program Manual
GPS Latitude 36 deg 48′ 13.45″ S
GPS Longitude 146 deg 51′ 19.35″ E
GPSAltitude Ref Above Sea Level
GPSAltitude 11421 m

And of course you can buy this as a print from Redbubble as well.

"me = exit" – The t-shirt

If you follow me on twitter… you know I sign off most days with “me = exit”.

And I’ve been thinking for a while it would make a great t-shirt.  Now that Redbubble do back prints, it works even better.  It most situations the last thing that people see is the back of your shirt.

Remember if you buy anything of mine from Redbubble it does go into my Camera gear fund 🙂

Click the image to buy the t-shirt (from $30 AUD )

Kim Stanley Robinson at #aus4

Thanks to my sister in law I got to go to Aussie Con 4.

I caught most of the talks Kim Stanley Robinson did…. here is just one of them. Talking about Climate Change, Science and the politics of denial.

(from the Aussie Con Programme )

“Climate change and utopia. – In the last thirty years utopia has gone from a nice idea to a survival strategy. In the coming era of climate change we will not be able to muddle through in our current system, because the bio-physical base of our existence will not support it. Social change is therefore inevitable; and the work of all the sciences together now suggest an emerging plan for change in a positive direction, and a resulting sustainable civilization. Enacting that plan will be both the history of the twenty-first century and the best utopia yet. The talk will explicate this argument. “

(Sorry in advance for the couple of times my phone hunted for signal)

For my photos from Aussie Con 4 visit the flickr set here