Legally stream (almost) all the music you want in Australia – for free.

December 16, 2010

We all like music, right? I mean, some of us profess to enjoy it more properly, appropriately or adequately than others – this here Superior Hipster for example:

…but when you get down to it, pretty much everybody likes it.

So, we all want more of it, right? Thus the dawn and success of the iPod, and various other MP3 players. We could carry our thousands of tunes with us everywhere we went, beautiful.

Read on through my rambles to find out what I think the best music streaming service available to Australians is (so far). Read the rest of this entry »


Power Pinata from Vodafone

December 3, 2010

Here’s a nice idea for a game. Smash the living daylights out of this Piñata using facebook, a robot connected to the internet and baseball bat. When the Piñata bursts it’s a free for all to grab a prize.

Here it is in action. It’s a little like watching cricket … the difference is the English are actually smashing the Aussies.

Anyone discovered any cheats to make the robot smash the Piñata a bit harder?

Lovely idea though. I’m jealous. @handypearce


iPad Australian pricing, release date announced.

May 10, 2010

The iPad is finally coming to Australia. The release date – May 28th. The price – starts at $629 for the 16GB Wifi model and goes all the way up to $1049 for the 64GB 3G.

If those prices agree with you, then you might want to preorder one fast.

“An unbelievable price” says Apple.


Mashable’s iPad 3G Review: for Australians and Lazy People

May 3, 2010

Mashable have a really fantastic review of the 3G incarnation of the iPad – it’s a bit long though, so I’m going to shorten it down to only the necessary information (for lazy people) and throw an Australian perspective in at the end to balance out their US-centric complaints.

Find the review summary, and Australian perspective after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »


Climate change journalism meets social media

November 10, 2009

Earth Journalism Awards
It’s expected that 40 world leaders will attend this year’s COP15 climate change talks in Denmark next month to hammer out the details for what is hoped will be the successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Fifteen journalists, winners in the Earth Journalism Awards, are being flown to Copenhagen to cover the two week conference.

Voting mechanisms on the EJA siteThe organisers, the Earth Journalism Network, are making great use of social media to plug this event – obviously they’re marketing the awards themselves all over the usual social media, but there is also a final sixteenth award which is determined by user interaction. All fifteen journalists are finalists, and the whole world gets to vote for an overall winner of the Global Public Award using the EJA site, but also on Twitter by retweeting #ejavote and the URL of the story. Additionally, each entry has its own Facebook fan page, for which every fan constitutes a vote.

This is a great mobilisation of social media tools to get what is an environmental/political issue under the noses of the millions of tweeters and Facebook fiends.

Local journo, John Pickrell from Australia’s own Cosmos Magazine (they who brought us HelloFromEarth.net), is one of the fifteen finalists for his piece on ocean acidification and its effects on our very own Great Barrier Reef. You can read his and all the other finalists’ articles on the EJA website and make your voice heard – http://awards.earthjournalism.org/finalists.


Strange Maps

September 16, 2009

Two of my favourite things are niche blogs and maps. Combine the two and you have Strange Maps.

If this kind of cartographical madness floats your boat, have a look…

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Literary map of San Francisco

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Allegorical map to “success” (I remember this from a print on someone’s wall from my childhood – thanks for the bizarre blast from the past, Strange Maps!)

whiteaustralia

…and this relic from the White Australia era which depicts a racist view of Asian immigrants. Strange map!

Enjoy: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com

@iclazie

HT @dankrause


Bodysurf.com.au – niche photo exhibition

July 17, 2009

These photos submitted by visitors to bodysurf.com.au capture the excitement, beauty and simple pleasure of going for a bash in the waves.

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Love it. @iclazie


Censor This? Censordyne

July 9, 2009

In 2008, the Australian Labor Party introduced a policy of mandatory Internet filtering for all Australians. While the policy has not yet come into force, it has generated substantial opposition, with only a few groups in support. The Labor Party does not have enough votes in the Senate to enact any legislation to support the filter, so that the filter has "effectively been scuttled" unless the government is able to implement the filter by other means.

Get Up – Action for Australia, an independent organisation giving everyday Australians opportunities to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues, have come up with their own ad that they want to put on TV to address the issue.

here it is:

I personally am against Internet censorship and according to multiple surveys I am not the only one. To protect our children, we as parents should take the responsibility and not our ISPs or the government.


Vivid Sydney, Sydney’s Festival of Music, Light and Ideas

June 12, 2009

Better late than never – vividsydney.com

Vivid Sydney, developed by Events NSW in partnership with the City Of Sydney, will be the biggest international music and light festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It will showcase the city as a major creative hub in the Asia-Pacific region, celebrating the diversity of Sydney’s creative industries.
Vivid Sydney features four exciting new events:
Luminous
Smart Light Sydney
Creative Sydney
Fire Water

vivid


A coincidence an Englishman won ‘The Best Job in the World?

May 7, 2009

Being English myself I’m pleased to see that fellow Englishman Ben won ‘The Best Job in the World’ yesterday and will soon be spending 6 months as a caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Now I’m not one to be cynical, even though I am English, but I’m sure that this little stat may have had something to with it.

best-job-in-the-world
Full tourism stats here

Nothing against the campaign, it’s super awesome and well done Ben I’m sure you are the best man for the job.


Why Australia could fail in the event of a large Tsunami and how social media could prevent disaster.

February 8, 2009

We’re over 2 years since the terrible Tsunami of Dec 26 2006. At the time, most countries around the world had failed to put adequate measures in place capable of warning citizens in low lying areas. Since then a lot of work has been done. Australia has a monitoring system (of sorts), however it is seriously flawed in my opinion.

Why? Quite simply, by not embracing existing technology and modern consumer behaviour, tens of thousands of lives (maybe more) are at risk if a large scale tsunami or mega-tsunami were to hit our shores – especially at night. Historical events indicate Australia has experienced them in the past and experts don’t doubt there will be more (here).

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Australia is surrounded by plate tectonics that are capable of generating a large tsunami.

The biggest threat is that there is only a 2-4 hour window from first warning until a tsunami hits Australian shores. A night-time tsunami could be devastating.

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Australia has 1000’s of beachfront dwellings, metres from the ocean.

Here’s the problem with the AU system: The method of warning people of an approaching tsunami is outlined on the Bureau of Metorology website (here) – in fact it states:

Need Emergency Advice? Please listen to your local radio and TV announcements or call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) for latest warning information. For emergency assistance, call your local emergency authority on 132 500

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Which raises a vital question: Exactly how is this system supposed to work if a tsunami hits Aussie shores at 4am when we’re all sleeping? Are we supposed to be tuned into our TV’s or listening to the radio at 4am? Is the siren going to sound and wake us? Nope. In fact there is a process shown on the BOM site, but it doesn’t explain how anyone will actually be alerted if we are all sleeping.

The diagram below shows the official process that will be initiated in the event of a Tsunami, but I would argue that with such short warning times (2-4 hours) any such system should be connected direct to publicly accessible data feeds.

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The solution:
Our world has changed. We no longer rely on traditional media channels to broadcast information on a one to many ratio. The reality is that we are hyperconnected through the Internet, social media networks, broadband mobile networks. We are almost permanently wired. Twitter has shown to be a proven method of breaking news faster than anything else we have ever experienced allowing ‘people’ to be the carrier of a message, rather than a media channel like TV or Radio. In essence we have a global system made of networked people that could be alerted at high speed in the next emergency. A basic RSS feed direct from the tsunami system would allow applications to be built and installed on Phones, iPhones, computers, custom wifi or internet based products all of which are capable of alerting citizens quickly. Individuals receiving such an alert would be more likely by virtue of the technology, more highly connected than average and potentially capable of  transmitting the message far and wide through new digital channels, and in numbers this would likely be quicker then any government body or emergency at alerting mass numbers.

The Result:
Devices most consumers already own (phones, ipods, Laptops) will be capable of generating warnings with the right software installed, (even at 4am via alarm based apps), providing high risk-low lying coastal areas more warning time than they have currently.

What needs to be done immediately:
1. BOM site to install an RSS feed direct from the tsunami warning system. (Public could develop its own apps using this feed).*
2. Official warning apps made available across all digital devices capable of receiving the feed, made accessible from BOM site.

* I estimate that in terms of cost to produce (1) this would be little more than a couple of days work in development time for an experienced team.

I’ll be sending this blog post to Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull – via Twitter of course. Note: I’d send it to Senator Conroy (Minister for broadband / Internet), but he’s unfortunately still MIA when it comes to social media technology.

Update: 14/3/2011
Following the devastating Japan Tsunami on 11/3/11 I have reviewed this article. Most of what I have said still stands and the threat of a nighttime Tsunami is very real to Australian shores. There has been a little progress, but not enough:

The AU govt has introduced a new system http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/ but unfortunately there are a many issues in relation to a major tsunami threat. As it says on the site “It was not technically possible to incorporate a location based capability”. Bottom line it is still a push alert system and will leave many at risk until users are able to ‘opt in’ to alerts.

However there is a private company that offers free AU Tsunami warnings via SMS etc here: http://www1.ewn.com.au/ – until the government gets its act together it’s probably the best option to get an alert to your phone in the middle of the night.

Regards – @eunmac

The spread of the Japan Tsunami 11/3/11

 


Kea New Zealand viral: Australia, the bit that fell off

February 4, 2009

Great little video with some priceless comments throughout. Worth checking out.

Australia the bit that fell off New Zealand


Jason Wood, Australian Politician speech goes terribly wrong. Very funny.

August 8, 2008

From the Australian Parliament, possibly the worst reading goof of all time. The  word ‘implication’ was a struggle but the word ‘organism’ came out about as wrong as it gets! This clip is doing the rounds via email as an attachment at the moment so thought it was worth a post. Nice come back from Kevin Wood in the interview at the end.

Who is Jason Wood?
He is the federal member for La Trobe in Victoria Australia.
http://www.jasonwood.com.au/AboutJason.asp

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He’s certainly got my vote next time. Jason Wood for PM 🙂


Long iPhone Queues in Australia. Sold out? Almost…

July 11, 2008

I’ve never seen anybody in this Optus shop on Oxford street, Sydney, but today the line stretched way back with people lining up for a good old distance – desperate for the next big thing in mobile – the 3G iPhone. With it taking 30 mins to sign each person up, this is one slow moving line. What most of the people in the queue don’t realise is that there are only white 8Gb iPhones left (seriously we do wonder why anyone would want a destined to look really grubby white phone), and there’s a 3 week wait for new stock. I imagine Optus will be doing swift business as their packages include 700MB of data for $79 and no upfront fee for the iPhone. Vodafone appear to be about $200 more for the same kind of plan.

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The latest stats are that iPhone users are 5 times more likely to access the internet than regular mobile users so this is actually good news for the digital industry.


First Review of Nokia Music Store Australia.

May 2, 2008

Nokia appear to be taking a big bash at the dominance of  iTunes in the local market. With high hopes I tested it out by attempting to download the free single of the week. Unfortunately It didn’t go quite to plan. I’m quite a Nokia fan (since getting an N95) as most people in here know so this held some promise, I’ve also been waiting for a challenger to iTunes (even though I do mostly like iTunes) but I’m afraid it’s not good news…

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First you have to register then install the ‘Nokia Media Bar’ – which is not the best experience. I did not really like the intimidating message below “To Play or Buy music you need to install the Nokia Media Bar”

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Here’s the deal. I don’t want any more plugins. I don’t want proprietary players and I don’t need any more music player software… I just want to download my tracks and use them how I want with the software I want! Especially when what I’m installing does not work…

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   It took ages to download the track and when I finally got it – this is what I saw…

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Then this…

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Sorry Nokia – although it looked promising …20 minutes later and I still haven’t been able to listen to anything…you just lost me.