Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

The problem with Fav Notifications and Twitter

The problem with email notifications for twitter favs, isn’t email. Nor is the problem that they are opt out, not opt in. The problem is that they exist. So many people waste characters in their bio with ” RT’s are not endorsement “, now people will add very shortly “favs are no endorsement”.

Sure there are third party apps that can grab favs, but as a general rule it isn’t something Joe Average uses. But suddenly everyone will be aware of what you do and do not fav.

At work for example I see content from people I follow that is as a rule Not Safe for Work (NSFW) and often it is amusing or interesting. Many times I just use fav’s as a bookmarking situation to read later. Other times I will fav something that I find offensive for example to read later, or just to write a ranty blog post about.

From a work perspective, any number of work accounts that I monitor may fav something in twitter, for actioning later for any number of reasons.

We have already seen cases where people have fav’d something only to have it comeback in the media as implying endorsement.

How long will it be before people are highlighting just how many times something is fav’d as some new #smeg metric as well.

Now I need a way of bookmarking tweets so that I can use them, without notifying the person that I have done so. Back to the old twitter website I go to save old fashioned bookmarks.

And with 7 Milliwheatons of followers, I am certainly going to be turning off the email notification anyway. Want to know if someone fav’d something of yours, guess what it doesn’t matter unless they told you why they fav’d it. Want to know if they RT’d you, look it up on the website.

Before you think this won’t effect you, stop and think about the last time you fav’d something that really you wouldn’t want the person to know you have.

I was wrongish….. #auscertgate

Ok, I will admit I got it wrong, but as it turns out I was also right. I presumed that Ben wasn’t arrested as in arrested and charged, and that QPSmedia got it right.

This “still” very unfolding saga, which by the time I upload this blog post will have changed completely over the arrest of the journo @bengrubb has to coin a bad phrase been very grubby indeed.

Firstly, and most importantly I am not a lawyer, not trained in law etc,and neither will you find that 99.9% of the people making comments about the legality of the situation are. This kind of stuff is important to realise.

So, was Ben arrested, well yes, but no, but yes, but no, but yes. See depends on how you define arrested. See arrested for questioning,is quite different to arrested and charged. While both do involve him losing liberty, one ends in court the other doesn’t.

Not knowing the whole situation, but listening to the police this morning, this differing kind of arrest seems to be the cause of the confusion to some degree with @qpsmedia first said arrested, then the now infamous ” my bad ” tweet.

Why so many people on Twitter jumped to the conclusion that QPS Media were deliberately hiding information last night is beyond me. Ockham’s razor “simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones”” presents us with A: The police were deliberately covering up, from the arresting officers, to the media unit the events that unfolded, or B: That miscommunication between the force and the media unit on what transpired happened. I’m going with B.

As for the police holding the ipad, now that is a serious issue, it is the modern journalists notebook and may well contain sensitive information, sources etc. This is a major problem for the police, and is what I think people should be concentrating on. That QPSmedia made a mistake and publicly admitted that it did, should not be the story or the focus.

That said, I have to question why publish the photo, the photo sourced from a “hack”. The original story is still online, it is the “hacked” photo that is the problem, so why was it needed. The sourcing of the photo is the problem, and what created the complaint in the first place. ( from my reading of the situation ). Yet, this”fact” that the story is still online, but the photo is removed shows that Fairfax’s legal advice was to remove the photo.

Before people saying about the original hack, but the URL was guessed. Sure, and if someone keeps putting in a password till the get the right one for your bank account, is that guessing as well. (Note:IANAL ! )

This still has a long way to go, the impact on journalists is quite scary, we should be focusing on this and this alone.

The Age goes to the dogs with conjecture over #OBL

In this story on The Age Team 6’s dog of war which states that there was a dog on the raid, I thought,hmm.. what facts to they have…

Original text ( unedited in Italics )

Move over Inspector Rex, the super secret SEAL Team 6 has a smart dog.

The mystery dog is likely to be a German shepherd or Belgian Malinois, the breeds trained by US military dog handlers, The New York Times reported.

Ok, so no facts in the opening par, but that is o.k because the NYT reported it, so the Age hasn’t done any journalism yet.

“There should be little reason to speculate about why there was a dog involved – man’s best friend is a pretty fearsome warrior,” said the deputy managing editor of ForeignPolicy.com Rebecca Frankel, who writes a weekly war dog column.

“They’re a central part of US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan – as of early 2010 the US Army had 2800 active-duty dogs deployed (the largest canine contingent in the world),” she wrote on the National Public Radio website.

Whilst, the number of dogs is fact, the leap is made with the statement about “little reason to speculate”. That should be the first reason for pause, this wasn’t your standard raid, so there are LOTS of reasons to speculate. Further this nothing to do with the bin Laden raid, just a nice bit of fluff, that “leads” the reader to filling in some blanks about the raid.

Team 6’s dog would have been strapped to one of the SEALs and dropped into Osama bin Laden’s compound from a helicopter, The Guardian reported.

Sorry, someone else is reporting something, have we confirmed that the dog existed yet…. missed that I guess.

It was probably used to check for explosives or sniff out bin Laden himself, the commander of the US Defence Department’s Military Working Dog Centre, Major William Roberts, told the Times.

Excellent, more conjecture, still no facts in the above par.

“Dogs are very good at detecting people inside a building,” he said.

Correct a great fact, that has nothing to do with the actual raid.

“There is a cultural aversion to dogs in some of these countries, where few of them are used as pets. Dogs can be very intimidating in that situation.”

Sorry but this fact still doesn’t address the issue, that The Age is saying a dog was used.

A military dog was also believed to have been used in the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in December 2003.

Again, with the “believed”, so no actual facts to get in the way of the story.

Fay Stokes, the secretary of the German Shepherd Dog League of NSW, said she was not surprised a canine would have been involved in the secret mission.

Yeah for Fay, but what does she know about the raid, who was and wasn’t involved and what training the SEALS use and with what animals.Judging on the above, she may well be going with the “believed” version of the Hussein captured story.

“They’re highly intelligent – very discerning and very loyal dogs,” she said, adding that, while poodles were also smart dogs, they did not have the size and strength of German shepherds.

“It’s the soundness of their character … but it’s also about how well they are trained.”

Yep, great facts about German Shepard’s, but with no basis of grounding on the raid at all. More so when the initial conjecture included doubt on the breed anyway.

Last month, US dog trainers Cobra Canine was awarded a $US550,000 contract to train the animals at the US Special Operations Command’s Naval Special Warfare Group 2, where the SEAL team would have come from, Wired magazine reported.

A fact, at last. Whew, all those cute dog photos were going my head in. But wow, that must be some fast training program, or the dogs are really quick learners seeing as this contract only started a month ago.

The dog could have been decked out in a waterproof tactical vest worth more than $US21,000, the Times said. Last year, the SEALs bought four such kits worth more than $US86,000.

Whoops spoke to soon, back to conjecture…

Infrared and night-vision cameras would have been attached to the dog’s vest so its handler could see what it was seeing up to nearly a kilometre away using a remote monitor.

The vest would be either in camouflage or coyote tan and have a speaker on it so its handler could talk to the dog during the raid, the Times added.

What why is the word “would” used in these sentence. On what grounds did the could in the first sentence become a would in the next. Perhaps a sub-editor missed the would/could or something just got edited out which proved something.

Australia’s own hero dog, bomb-sniffing Sarbi, received the RSPCA’s highest award for animal bravery last month after going missing for more than a year in the tough terrain of Afghanistan in 2008.

Oh good, finish with a nice fact. Yeah for facts…. And of course, it wouldn’t be an article for Australian readers without the “local” connection.

The facts that were in this story boil down to German Shepard’s are smart, $US550,000 contract was signed last month, special vests for dogs cost $21,000 ( well maybe a lot more) and the SEALS brought 4 of them last year, and Australian dog got a medal last month.

Great to see quality journalism is alive and well in Australia.

Angry Birds and moving to the HTC Incredible S

The first app you will need….

Well, ok, not the first, but certainly has to be up there with must installs if you are a bit of an Angry Birds Fan ( or addict as some people say). So you have a new android phone and want to move your scores over… after all why waste all those hours you have wasted all over again.

Here is what you need to do in a few easy steps:

  1. On your old phone, go to the Android Market, search for Angry Birds Backup
  2. Download all three apps by Antbee for Angrybirds, Rio and Seasons
  3. Run each app, which consists of saying yes to create the backup
  4. Plug your phone into a computer, copy the AngryBirds Backup Folders to a temp location
  5. Install all the Angry Bird Games on your new phone
  6. Install the same Antbee backup applications on the new phone
  7. Copy the folders to the SD card on your new phone
  8. Open each app backup App, press restore backup
  9. Spend hours trying to get those last few levels with 3 stars that you haven’t quite done yet.
  10. I haven’t got past step 9 yet…..

Takes only a few minutes to do, costs nothing and saves you a fortune intime.

Of course if you don’t have Angry Birds already, well you won’t understand why this post is sooooo important.

There are a lot of other apps that are much more important and that I douse everyday, things like Google’s My Tracks, Seesmic, Foursquare, Google Skymap, Street View, WordPress, Googles, and Weatherzone to name a few. At least with the new Incredible S it should be a long time before the annoying “low on disk space” warning comes.

This first appeared on the HTCAu Book Page

New Toy – HTC Incredible S

– Stantard Disclaimer First…

The HTC Incredible S was supplied by HTC and Optus as a review device, the terms and conditions of this review are to do a number of reviews over afew weeks, sharing my experience as I use the device. There are 5 HTC Incredible Reviewers, all whose content will appear first on the HTCAU Facebook Diary Page

Like the Telstra Desire Social Review Program from last year, I do get to keep the device once the review period is complete. ( As an aside, I am still using the HTC Desire that was part of the review program from last year )


My First Post…….

Don’t you hate it when someone gets a toy before you do…. especially when you knew you were getting the same toy. Well that is how I felt when it was with dread that my new HTC Incredible S wasn’t going to arrive till after Easter. Still, I did manage to get lots of chores done instead of playing with my new phone all weekend, which I am sure my much better half wouldn’t have liked.

So finally today it has arrived….. hmmm… shiny… hmmm… fast…hmmm… big screen…. hmmm, no make that huge screen…. hmmm not as banged up as my HTC Desire is looking. (Note, I am hard on phones due in no small part to being clumsy, and whilst the Desire has a few dents, it is still going fine), hmmm… shiny.. oh wait Ialready said that.

First thing, plug in the very swanky power adapter to charge the phone up some more. This thing is tiny, a couple of prongs and a USB port, perfect for the road warrior (sorry not THAT road warrior, no phone reception beyond thunderdome) to chuck in their kit. Although to labour the point, within a few min of comparing the Desire to the Incredible S, it is a case of two phones enter one phone leaves. ( Thanks Desire, you have done me proud )

Admire the big screen, hmmm shiny big screen… sorry… Now, first things first pull the back off, has HTC fixed that annoying placement of the SD Card slot that was on the Desire, whew, yep, tick that. With the Sim card placed under the battery as well, you can just pick up a spare battery to chuck in your kit bag.

Next, log into my Gmail Account, press sync and oh look all my contacts on my phone done and dusted, well that was easy. Now I am bit of a power user, with custom screens, software etc all over the place, so I really haven’t had a proper play with the phone but Foursquare and Seesmic are installed already.

Unlike when I got my first Android phone, this isn’t a huge change for me, there are lots of things I am looking forward to testing, the maps, the camera, battery etc, which are all said to be improved.

I’ve only just had a quick play and whilst the new HTC Sense has moved some things around, most settings are where I expected them to be. For a quick play with this phone, it has ticked a number of boxes I was hoping it would… now to really get stuck in.

(P.S to whomever at HTC said make the soft buttons rotate at the bottom of the screen in Apps, a big thanks, I like it )

First Impressions – Asus Eee Slate EP121

Now, to be honest, this is a device I have been waiting for, for quite some time,and a device Mrs Wolfcat has been waiting for even longer. So am coming into this review with high expectations of what I want out of this Tablet/Slate. Previous to this Asus Slate, I still have my Asus R2H which whilst very long in the tooth, still runs as a good car computer these days.

So, I’ll lay out what my expectations of the device were, so that the rest of the review has a framework. 1) I wanted a full computer in slate format, running full windows (not just an app. store environment), 2) it had to be light, easy to use, have connection options ( SD card and USB ), 3) be able to run lightroom, photoshop etc out on the road, and 4) for Mrs Wolfcat it had to be a Wacom tablet for her to draw on.

First impressions after a few hours of playing with the device are wow, this isn’t a toy. When it takes <15 min to install the full Photoshop CS5 Design suite and when I launch PS CS5 and it does so in under 4 seconds, the Eee Slate feels like a half decent computer already. Running a Win7 setup at home, it was a breeze to set up networking, to enable transfer of some of the install files etc which I needed.

Asus Ep121 - aka - this is a real computer.The touch screen is very responsive,

(even if I do feel that Windows isn’t registering the clicks where I think I have pressed). This may be a bit of me ” training vs device ” training, nothing too worrisome just a touch annoying ( pun intended). The onscreen mini keyboard that pops up via Windows on input dialogues works well, and can be dragged around the screen – unlike the “full” keyboard that appears when you press the dedicated keyboard button. The mini keyboard can also switch to handwriting mode, which is pure voodoo. My handwriting is not unlike a drunk chicken taking too much LSD whilst eating magic mushrooms and yet Win 7 still translates it perfectly without any training.

The Wacom Digitiser however is a precision instrument. There are some issues with CS5 64bit Photoshop and the pen, a driver issue from what I have found on the net, and whilst Mrs Wolfcat hasn’t done a full drawing test on the Slate yet, her first impressions were that it is responsive enough with fine enough control. The internal pen holder locks securely and should lessen the chances of losing the pen (if and only if you are the sort of tidy person who puts it away).

The supplied Art Rage Studio 3 program is a great tool for artists with very impressive blend modes and supplied brushes. This means that the Slateis out of the box installed with one of the killer apps that it is designed for. The device is amazingly bloatware free, with a trial version of Office 2010 the only other software installed. No extraneous antivirus/browsers/adware etc software at all.

Asus Ep121 - Not to thickHaving shown the Eee Pc Slate to a few designers, their reaction was, wow, a portable Cintiq Tablet, without the need for a notebook, the tablet, the big power supply etc. This is the primary reason we brought the Slate, and for that, on first impressions it works a treat.

Video playback looks fantastic on the screen. To test video playback I ripped a Bluray disk (yes one I own) as a mp4 file (size 5.5gb), placed it on a share drive and pulled it over a Wifi-G connection. There were only minor issues with playback or stuttering during fast moving scenes. Seeking, pausing etc on fullscreen were all seamless. I’ve yet to do a full battery run down to see if the device will last the “2.4 hours” (compared to the 4 hours battery life for standard use) it is rated to for 1080p playback, but at least I know it can certainly handle the video.

I’ve quickly tested the HDMI output which worked perfectly. It is a pity that the device doesn’t ship with a mini to full HDMI converter. However it is not a core function for me, because you still need a HDMI cable with you and access HDMI screens to run presentations on larger screens, and I don’t do a lot of this kind of work.

The supplied bluetooth MS keyboard is very nice, but not without a few issues. Why did Asus think it was a good idea to put a portable keyboard with a swanky device that is 3cm bigger than the slate itself? It means thatyou have to buy a bag for the keyboard’s length, not the Slates. Possibly this was a rush to market thing, but this really irks me. The Slate comes with a professional looking folio, which folds back to support the Slate in a vertical or horizontal arrangement. Yet has no accommodation for holding the keyboard. The basic keyboard is missing some of those nice notebook function keys for screen brightness etc, which would have made it a lot more functional when using the Slate at a desktop computer – which it is very capable of doing.

There are a few other issues with the Slate itself. The screen rotate feature is basically useless – taking around 5 seconds for the screen to switch orientation. Lock the switch now and leave it that way until a driver update comes out. It does not have a GPS, hey I like that kind of thing and would use it. It only has USB2.0 ports, where as USB3.0 ports, with portable drives now on the market, would make more sense. But at least the SD card slot is SDXC complaint and having 2xUSB means I can run all of the accessories I have at the moment. It would have also been great if the Slate had a SIM slot, as the slate really is a mobile office device and having to plug in a USB stick or tether a phone is annoying. Also missing fromthe side is an Ethernet port. And if Asus are targeting this device to the corporate environment, including a USB to Ethernet adaptor would be a really smart move.

I purchased this at Harvey Norman, as they have an exclusive on the device for 4 weeks from what I can tell, pity really.

The staff at Harvey Norman had no idea really what it was I was buying, and could offer nothing in the “sales pitch” beyond reading off the box. Both HN and Asus need to learn how to do their sales better by training their staff in the products that they carry. What’s more, with the device now in Australia, why haven’t Asus updated their local website with this product?

Asus Ep121 - Nice Power BoxHaving run the Slate on power for a good number of hours, it will sit on your lap just fine because the Slate doesn’t seem to get too warm. Likewise the supplied power transformer remains relatively cool, is not a heavy brick, and is a very svelte device with the added bonus of a USB charger built in. This means you can charge your phone etc faster directly from the transformer than from the USB port on the computer. A very nice finishing touch that reduces the amount of power devices you have to carry.

Win Experience Index ( 1.0-7.9 Scale )

Test Subscore
Processor 5.6
Ram 5.6
Graphics ( for running Aero ) 3.3
Gaming graphics 4.7
Hard Disk 5.9

Specifications ( as from Asus – with additional comments from me )

Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium ( 64bit )
Display 12.1″ LED backlight WXGA (1280×800) Screen

Capacitive and Electromagnetic Panel with AFFS

CPU Intel Dual-Core i5 470um – 1.33Ghz
Memory DDR3, 1 x SO-DIMM – 4GB
Storage 64GB SSD
Wireless Data Network WLAN 802.11 b/g/n@2.4GHz

Bluetooth V3.0

Pen/Touch Pen and Touch input – 2 touch Points
Camera 2.0 M Pixel Camera
Audio Hi-Definition Audio CODEC

Stereo Speakers

Digital Array Mic

Interface 1 x Digitizer pen

2 x USB 2.0 port

1 x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Head Phone /Mic-in)

1 x mini HDMI port

1 x Card Reader: MMC/ SD(SDHC/SDXC)

1 x DC-IN

Battery Battery Life: 4.5hrs

Play 1080p video: 2.4hrs

34W/hr Polymer Battery

Power Adapter Output: 19.5V 60W with USB charging port

Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal

Dimensions 312 x 207.2 x 16.95 mm (WxDxH)
Weight 1.16 kg
Accessories 1 x User Manual

1 x Warranty Card

1 x Support DVD

1 x Foil Case (with support function)

1 x Power Adaptor

1 x Bluetooth Keyboard

1 x Cleaning Cloth

5 x Refill Nibs

1 x Nib Remover

2 x AAA Battery for KB

When coming to this device I wanted a lot from it, and perhaps I don’t have all that I want, but the one thing I don’t have is buyers regret. This is the first cab of the rank for me in slate format full computing and once a few little issues are bedded down the future does look great.

If you want a lightweight full slate computer which boots from sleep in under 2 seconds with enough grunt to run Photoshop, full Office, Flash and all your web plug-ins with nearly any bit of Win7 software for less that $1500 AUD you really can’t go wrong.


(P.S it only comes in white and looks quite nice as well )

(P.P.S undoubtedly I’ll have more to say about the EP121 in the next few weeks…. but for now I must had it over to Mrs Wolfcat… sob sob sob )

My photos are teh ABC tv’s

Yeah, one of the last things I was asked to do for the ABC before I left was to supply images for an ABC Environment ad. Finally it has begun airing.

( Video has been removed :- ( )

Do follow the kind people at @ABCEnvironment they are really nice ( and I mean that and not just ’cause they got my photos for free….., I just wish I had got the tree frog photo, that last image is great, but it isn’t mine )

Here are the shots that are on RedBubble ( In order )

I didn’t say which images were in or out, just that they could choose from my Flickr collection… and they managed to choose a few that are also on Redbubble as well…. So if you like the shots go and buy them….

For more info on the commercial visit the ABC Environment Blog

#wtrip09 revised plans :-)

any good plan has flexibility… so does #wtrip09

now it stands as the following…

Day 1- Leave 2pm Wednesday Drive to Mildura – Wednesday
546 km – about 6 hours 52 mins

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Day 2 Mildura to Roxby Downs – Thursday
795 km – about 10 hours 15 mins

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Day 3 Roxby Downs to Coober Pedy – Friday
450 km – about 5 hours 17 mins

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Then to come home

Coober Pedy to Adelaide – Thursday
844 km – about 10 hours 10 mins

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Adelaide to Melbourne – Saturday
727 km – about 9 hours 36 mins

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or to put it another way… minimum distance will be 3,363 km – about 1 day 18 hours (total driving) which if we got 400k per tank (which is easy enough to do the car has done 600k on a single tank) will be around 8 fuel stops at say $50 per fill up or around $400 in fuel… plus another $200 in accommodation along the way (on the way up only)… so the trip will cost in the ball park of $600 to do.


yep.. getting closer to easter and yes whilst the blog has been someone negleted.. in no small part to having way to much work to do… and really not wanting to sit in front of a computer again when I get home… I have been planning a new road trip.

This time we are driving to Coober Pedy at Easter to stay at a friends sisters dug out. Hazzah….

The car is booked in for a service in a couple of days… but here is the initial planning for the route over at least….

And yes like #wtrip08 it will be geotagged, geotwitted and geophotos to the death 🙂

Day 1 – Leave Work at 4pm and get a bit of the trip out of the way

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Day 2 – Long Drive

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Day 3 – Arrive Coober Pedy (Look at Woomera On the Way :-))

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Free Wifi….

Now I am sure that most of you will have heard that McDonalds Australia is about to switch its wifi from the WAY WAY OVER PRICED Telstra model to the “Free” model. This I have to say is one very smart move from them and is a good way to keep those kiddies coming back for more. Of course it might actually get me near the stores as well.

I have been known to park in the carpark and surf for weather information when driving up in the Hills of Melbourne, but if I can go into a store and get a coffee (a real one not that crap hot water stuff) I might just do that to check emails (or even twitter) whilst I am out having a drive.

http://www.freewifi.com.au/listing_mcdonalds_summary.php has a great list of what stores have free wifi and what stores don’t.

Now before you all think I have turned into another mcdonalds advertising agent… lets look at this from a differenet prespective.  Firstly, it shows that the Telstra pricing model didn’t work!.. If it had macca’s wouldn’t be making it free!  Secondly the “free wifi” with your Iphone for telstra users also wasn’t working, and for the same reason….  Perhaps despite all the hype there were just not enough Iphone users going to maccas for a burger and wifi.

See I am not a Telstra users (I have a back 3g sim that I use on long road trips) and I am not an Iphone user, so the Wifi at maccas cost 20c a minute for me.  That starts to add up quickly when you think about out.  Now of course this all new all free maccas does come with a caveat… Internet sessions are not time-constrained but do have a 50MB limit applied. Which is the equivilent of using the Sydney morning Hearld home page for under an hour (the page weight is over a meg and it auto refreshes!)  But if you are smart and use the mobile friendly pages you can stretch that out for a bit of surfing…

Would you like wifi with that...Take this photo for example.. Maccas wifi on Swanston Street was turned off during renovations.. and so they put aup  sorry sign.  The reason for the sign is expectation.  Even for the paid model.  But soon it will be free. What that means now also is that FREE Wifi is starting to be seen as something fast food and cafes need to have. I know that I make decisions on where to go for a relaxing coffee based on who has wifi and who doesn’t, and I know that once kids work out that Maccas has free wifi and hungry jacks doesn’t the kids with their iphones and nokias are netbooks e.t.c are going to hang around up the front.

Gen C makes content, Gen C shares content, and now maccas has acutally become an enabler in this.