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Participating in Democracy and #qanda isn't bad! (Are you listening Lawrence)

my #qanda tweet makes The AgeWow, I’ve really made it.  One of my tweets made page 8 of The Age (31/72010).  Pity I haven’t brought the paper in years and it was a friend (with a free copy) who found my name in it.

First point, and really it is so small as to be trivial, The article reads “But worse has followed. On ABC TV’s Q&A political panel The Worm was replaced by a series of idiot remarks from the Twitterverse and began less than a minute are the panel was introduced.” Pity really that Monday 26 April was the first episode of Q and A to have live tweets,  so I wouldn’t infer that this is brand new.  So I am going to draw the conclusion that Lawrence Money is not a regular Q and A watcher.

Great panel” was the pointless first tweet from emilybweeb.”

Sure, it may have been pointless, but why is her opinion any less valuable than anyone else’s.  She may have genuinely thought it was a great panel, why is she not allowed to have and yet more importantly share this view.

On the Q and A Website they state..  “Q&A is about encouraging people to engage with politics and society.” But Lawrence seems to be of the opinion that if it is not funny or relevant to him, it should be derided.

…  “ A minute later came wolfcat: “Based on last night’s debate has anyone woken up yet?” Hilarious, huh?”

The Panel was taking about the debate and how boring it was… so yes it was funny.  Why was it funny, because it was in context and timely.  But I guess when you are writing a static column a week after the event you’re going to miss the joke.  (Don’t worry I am laughing at you now if it is any consolation)

Well see this is the thing, like the worm, the tweets are a sentiment tracker, but unlike the worm tweets add context and meaning as well.

“and this from unsongsongs:” Obviously the cut backs in The Age mean that they can no longer afford proof readers, the username is @unsungsongs.  (Hint for your style guide as well. You should refer to users including the @ symbol)

By the end of the evening that episode of #QandA 14,492 Tweets from 2,941 contributors.  (Source: @tweeveetv), so it is an active community trying to participate in democracy.

Also it is not the first time the ABC has had tweets on live TV, that honour goes to News Breakfast, which has been doing them (off and on) for the last two years.  But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a rant. Nor should we look at places like Current TV who ran live moderated tweets during the Obama campaign debates.

Now of course, social media isn’t for everyone. Nor is it the solution to all the world’s problems, but it is a tool, (yes even sometimes tools use it), but it is a tool never the less.

Times have changed and Twitter and other Social Media platforms give people a chance to interact across the country and often the world in real time when talking about serious issues or even trivial ones.  Both issues are what makes us, us.  Not everyone is highbrow all the time, nor are we serious all the time.  Even when it comes to serious issues a joke can be a way of breaking through the static of disinformation and disinterest.  Perhaps if more people interacted this campaign wouldn’t be so dull after all.

So you're not going to vote Labor because of #nocleanfeed…

I’ve seen lots of people talk about Net Censorship and how it is the only thing that people are going to use to define who they vote for in the election.

Firstly, anyone that votes only on one policy is nuts… there are a lot of things that makes Australia what it is… voting on one tiny aspect of a whole of government approach is just weird IMHO.

Now I am on the record as saying that I think the whole Net Filter is a big joke… (a bad one), but a joke. It won’t do one thing to stop what the government claims it is for. How often do you see when places are raided, collections of DVD burners. These DVD’s are distributed by hand or by post, not by the internet. But I digress…

From IT News

Ludlam, who has long opposed mandatory filtering, said the Liberals were likely to support Labor’s filtering proposal under Tony Abbott’s leadership.

“I think the Liberals are ducking and weaving; I think internally, they’re split … but the fact is, the party is led by Tony Abbott who is deeply conservative,” he said.

Never have truer words been said.  If you don’t think that a government lead by someone on the record by such a Conservative as Tony Abbott would not leap at an opportunity such as this (even if only partially technically feasible) you are in the words from The Castle ‘Dreaming Mate’.

#wtrip10 all the main driving videos

Here are all the driving videos from my road trip to Adelaide and back. ( I lost a bit of video from Apollo Bay, through to the 12 Apostles due to my R2H playing up…)

These are just the low res versions, watch on youtube or choose HD for the better views…

Great Ocean Road – Geelong to Apollo Bay (Dur 3:45)

Detailed Blog Post

Warrnambool to Kingston SE (Dur 4:38)

Detailed Blog Post

Kingston SE to Adelaide (Dur 4:11)

Detailed Blog Post

Old Coorong Road (Dur 2:25) (This is a subset of the above video)

Detailed Blog Post

Adelaide to Melbourne (Dur 7:02)

Detailed Blog Post

Kingston SE to Adelaide Video for #wtrip10

The Video

(this is HD Video… best watched full screen, or just choose the 480 version from the video controls )

The Route: 350km Approx

View Larger Map

The Drive from Warrnambool to Kingston SE #wtrip10

The Video

(this is HD Video… best watched full screen, or just choose the 480 version from the video controls )

The Route – Approx: 416 km

View Larger Map

Quick Drive Video up the Old Corrong Road

The Video

The Route
41.3 km – about 1 hour 39 mins

View Larger Map

Great Ocean Road in 2 Min 25 – HD Version

Finally got to do a HD Video of the Great Ocean Road….

Note to self: Never do the Great Ocean Road on the weekend or in Summer, people are idiots and drive slowly and never use turn outbays ever.

(this is HD Video… best watched full screen, or just choose the 480 version from the video controls )

The Route:

View Larger Map

The Drive Adelaide to Melbourne in 7 Min

First video from #wtrip10…. the one day drive from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Video from a Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000, attached to an Asus R2H and a Seagate 880 USB HD. Video captured at 5fps 720p quality. Then speed up in Windows Live Movie Maker Beta.

(this is HD Video… best watched full screen, or just choose the 480 version from the video controls )

The Route

View Larger Map

#wtrip10 – Stalking me via Enroute

This is more of a test than anything.  Using EnRoute for the Location Sharing on my 3 day drive to Adelaide following the coast.

As I am on Vodafone sim on my HTC-Desire (more outback trips I use a Telstra Sim), there are a few black spots along the coast I will be dropping back to Edge network as well… so I have no idea how well it work.

(p.s sorry about the frame as well, but all going well this should work)

(p.p.s sorry in advance for the fact that I will forget to turn on the software at some point in time :-))

Also you can stalk me in the usual ways via Twitter or Foursquare as well.

Google's App Inventor… the new rapid prototyping tool.

Yesterday Google announced the App Inventor for Android, which is basically a drag and drop GUI for making Android Apps.  Immediately blog posts fill with “all the apps will be crap”, “how do I hide these apps”, “nothing good will come of it”, etc comments.

Firstly I think the people with this attitude are bit full of themselves.  Why, because a lot of apps on both Symbian and Iphone are just templates and are well crap.  They are the ones that have low ratings, but make up the numbers.  The numbers is what people trot out when talking about how cool their ecosystem is.  I’m a big fan of quality of quantity myself.  Not that I am saying that Android has the quality, not yet.  I am frustrated that a lot of apps that are on Itunes are just hollow shells on the Android platform.

I can however see two major uses for it. The first is I can custom make quick apps to do something only I need.  It doesn’t have to look pretty, it doesn’t need a good UX, it just needs to be quick and dirty and work.  So I am sure my phone will fill up with these kind of apps, just for me and knocked out in 5 min.

The bigger one though is prototyping, and rapid prototyping.  This tool will give not just high end programmers the ability to make an app, but a much wider community.  How often have to encountered people in your own organisation with a great idea who can’t get it up because they can’t even show you a wireframe of their idea.  Many of the projects I have done over the years have started life as a series of boxes on a screen, boxes that pull in, mash up and output content.  Of course the best ideas still need graphic design, UX, UI etc.  Those that have that ability or access to those skills will take their projects from the mundane to the extraordinary.  But now Android has a tool that can be used inside a business to show what can be done.  Selling a concept to your manager via a wireframe PDF or an interactive document are very different propositions.  The ability to interact gives feedback to the user, even in prototype stage.

The faster you can make a prototype the faster you can see if a project is even going to work.  A rapid prototyping tool can save weeks of development when you can quickly find the issues in software, issues that could make or break the complete development cycle.

The most bizarre thing about the google post about the software is that they don’t even mention this functionality on the main page.


Thinking about this some more…  Google have just opened up a dev environment to the Lego Mindstorm kids… and lots of other kids as well. Forget shelling out $100 to Apple, Google is free.  When you are 16 and living on pocket money $100 is a lot! This really is a big game changer. Kids (and adults) will be able to make an App just for themselves or their close social network and distribute that app to them.  Millions of these apps will be created and the vast majority of them will never see the light of day on the App Store.  Why because you don’t need the App store to distribute them just a USB cable.  In many respects the breaking down of the App store may well be the liberation that the platform needs to break into the mass market.

Further to my first point, granularity is said to be king in this modern internet world.  When people can make an App for 1 or 2 people, then granularity has traction.  Drag and drop for interface functions means ease of build, which opens up these micro markets.  Micromarkets means developers working on your platform and not the oppositions. All this leads to market share (over the long term).  Google are a long term player and this when compared to Apple shutting down “Flash Developers”, shows where Google are heading.


I for one am really looking forward to this new tool from Google.

Here is the video…