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Launched CollectiveAction!

I've been working on a new site over the last few months called Collective Action. It's a way for Australians to take real, immediate action on the issues that matter to them - from animal welfare to intellectual property.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

It's built on Rails 3, Postgres 8.4 and it's hosted on Linode running Ubuntu Lucid LTS.

12:00 AM on Monday, 03/01/2011

English instructions for Magical Battle Arena

If you want to play the game Magical Battle Arena, here are some English instructions, helpfully translated by a guy I know:

Main menu ring:
moving to the right
1st = play in story mode
2nd = play in versus mode
3rd = training
4th = network play
5th = options
6th = quit

Menus:
z = take action/continue
c = cancel

In Game:
arrow keys = movement
w = ascend, move up
q = descend, move down
d = change target
a = standard attack (attack 1)
z = standard magic attack (missile) (attack 2)
x = guard/shield/(attack 3)
c = move fast, dash etc.
s = super version of z, c, or x
enter = menu with options to quit, configure etc.

12:00 AM on Saturday, 09/10/2010

Response to "Homes to pay heavy price for internet from NBN"

In response to the article "Homes to pay heavy price for internet from NBN" in The Australian.

This article is absolutely full of rubbish.

Firstly, there's no need to rewire your house for the NBN - you can just string the cables next to the skirting board etc. - as many people do now for their phone lines.

Secondly, you may not need to put down ethernet cables at all - if you don't want to use all 100mbps right now, you can just use a wireless network, as you do now. You'll still get a massive speed improvement. The only scenario I can think of is in a multi storey house, you might want a wireless access point on the top floor with a 100mpbs connection to it - in that case, you'd only need one cable. And remember that 5 devices can onlyuse a maximum of 20mpbs each - so in that example, 2 wireless access points would allow you to max out your connection at 100mbps, with only 2 lengths of ethernet cable.

Thirdly, this article ignores advances in wireless technology - in 5 or 10 years from now, we might have wireless technology that's as fast or faster (in real world speeds) than 100mpbs - so you'll only need to plug the first access point into the wall, and no fitout of your house will be required.

Fourthly, say that you *do* want 100mbps in every corner of your house, and you don't want ethernet cables on the skirting boards. Fine, you'll have to pay for a fitout - but this is the biggest development in home communications tech in 50 years - i.e. how we transfer voice and data. This network will be around for the next 50 years; in the grand scheme of things, if you had to spend $4000 to fully wire a house, it's not that much over a 50 year span. Think about when people had to put in phone lines in the first place, so they could talk to each other - was the cost too expensive? Was it not worth it so that Barry in Sydney could talk to his mum Ruth in Adelaide?

Fifthly and lastly, all the talk about ferraris and commodores misses the point - this is the biggest speed increase we're likely to get for a long time - 100mbps might seem excessive now, but in 20, or 30 years, will it seem excessive then? Also, it's so shortsighted to only consider our current uses of the internet - who knows how we'll want to use it 20 years from now, and what data usage that will entail. 20 years ago, who could imagine what we use the internet for today? And even with only today's uses, we can run our foxtel over the net, and have video chats at the same time - no need for a foxtel satellite installation etc. - this will use up a fair bit of bandwidth, esp. if you watch 3 channels on 3 tvs in the same house. And what happens when extremely high definition TV comes in - how much bandwidth will that use?

So in summary, this article is terrible journalism - it scaremongers people into thinking they'll have to spend $4000 on their house, when they don't need to at all, and even if they do spend the $4000, this will be an investment for the next 50 years.

12:00 AM on Saturday, 21/08/2010

Woolworths Home Shopping Fail

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall...

12:00 AM on Saturday, 07/08/2010

Questions/answers for Oz Quiz and Co. released

The questions and answers driving Oz Quiz, MusicMentor, CountryCaps and WorldFacts have been released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Please take the opportunity to use and extend these questions and answers; significant work has gone into creating them (by my mother, Rosie Williams) and it would be great to see them used by other people/projects.

You can get the questions/answers at the github repo.

The quiz code itself, as well as the code for the iPhone and Dashboard applications will be released in the near future, so you will be able to use these questions directly and easily with my quiz software.

12:00 AM on Tuesday, 06/07/2010

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