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10 March 2010 @ 12:06 am

so i lost my mp3 player :<
i maintain hope it will come home some day soon.
but i'm watching/enjoying lots of 90s (where i actually mean 1999-2002) songs on youtube.
it's scary to think that was like 10 years ago. when i shared 1 dialup connection and now i have my own personal mobile internet connectivity everywhere that's faster.

heck, even 5 years ago is pretty weird. not even knowing what a software engineer is and now i'm almost qualified to be one.

i don't really have a 5 year plan yet. maybe some 5 year ideals, 1 year aspirations. ultimately if everything goes to plan, i'll have just enough options to be indecisive. magic 8ball here we come!
☆: tiredtired
♬: Silversun Pickups - Growing Old Is Getting Old
12 December 2009 @ 07:24 pm

When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers
Who would hurt the children in any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
Exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids

But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night
Their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives

I saw this story today (well the reaction to it really) and it seemed to remind me of the nastier bits of schooling.

The Wall is kinda a funny thing to me because it was the first piece of "literature" that meant something deep to me. Maybe it was just a point in my psycho-social development where pop culture seemed tacky and anything more intricate would have seemed meaningful. It seemed pretty scandalous to be studying material that on the face of it opposed schooling :P

I've had teachers who have been so blatantly discriminatory that it angers me to still remember it. I guess the best example is where I got a D for an essay in high-school because it was "too good for me to have written it". This immediately puts you on academic probation and you're first on the list to get dropped from that stream. So next time I printed out every note and draft I had made to get to the final essay - A! But then I get dropped anyway. le sigh :P

But every cloud has a silver lining. Being down trodden makes you appreciate being on top of everything more. Being the underdog makes you care for future underdogs. Be fantastic to everybody, dude.
Continuing the series on stuff-I-do, OpenStreetMap in pictures!

"OpenStreetMap is a project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them.
The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways."

So essentially, OpenStreetMap is the wikipedia of maps. In Canberra, persons unknown to me have driven almost every road (I've only ever found one missing!) and alot of bicycle paths with GPS recievers AND written in the names of them. That's dedication and it leaves some interesting things for me to do:

  • I imported the location of every public toilet, school and barbecue/picnic site in Canberra

  • I did an atrocious job of mapping out the way I walk to Uni.

  • I located every ATM in Civic.

  • I try to enter the location and serial number of all the ACTION bus stops. One day there might be Google Transit for Canberra!

  • I drew the outlines of some buildings in the ANU. Apparently you can view buildings in 3D but I haven't tried yet.

  • The one tiny road I didn't find on the map was an exit on Barry Drive. Fixed :P

  • Footpaths and Businesses in Belco/UC

  • Building outlines for Dickson Shops. Somebody wrote the cuisine and name for every restaurant down one street after that!

You too can enjoy the pristine quality of crowdsourced data! Cloudmade have a Google Maps like website where you can get directions that won't ask you to go to Uriarra to get to Belconnen :P
☆: awakeawake
♬: Röyksopp - Remind Me
Something I've wanted to do for ages was to make my own 3D Wii MotionPlus demo! I made it in Python with cwiid and Soya3D. So I did it.

Soya is awesome! It has a built in collision detection library (and you can access the ODE physics engine) and a 3D GUI library called Pudding (Soya Pudding, geddit?) and a network gaming engine called Tofu. And it talks to Blender/3DS max/old school quake models and maps nicely.

In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics physics!
That's not to say it hasn't been hard.
For one, the catepillar had the ability to roll onto itself and then push itself into the sky - which it does within a minute of the simulation starting. Now it just curls into a ball instead and then snaps out of it.
Thanks to the hackery that Nintendo did to jam the MotionPlus onto the bottom of the wiimote, I can't seem to get data out of an attached Nunchuk (although it's meant to be possible).
The MotionPlus needs alot of recalibration but you can trick players into doing it when they click on things. And I-Am-Not-A-Geometry-Expert. I have enough trouble rotating things in 2d space with a fixed axis... Soya has Subworlds on each Character model with their own 3d axis.
☆: busybusy
08 December 2009 @ 06:16 am
The article is up here: http://www.theage.com.au/national/call-to-tweet-blog-for-service-20091207-kfc9.html
and http://www.smh.com.au/technology/yes-minister-tweeting-could-be-the-new-way-of-working-20091208-kfk3.html
I'm only explicitly quoted in the SMH version (which they fixed my spelling mistake in! xD).

The winner of the event was LobbyClue, now named LobbyLens, which charted relationships between lobbyists and government tenders. Alexander Sadleir, a designer of the site, said more open data would not only allow for better scrutiny of government but provide opportunities for academics and other government agencies to make use of the information.

''By releasing government data for easy reuse, new applications can be developed where a need arises but where government may lack the resources or prerogative to achieve it,'' he said.

One barrier to the data being made available was the copyright protection applied to government material. The report recommends public sector information be licensed under Creative Commons, which allows other people to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the material as long as it attributed.

My full transcript/opinions below
Read more...Collapse )
07 December 2009 @ 01:30 pm
this is day 1 of 30, borrowed from fifiwoofwoof

I totally had something different planned for this post (and it's really awesome!!!!) but has to wait because I got even cooler news today.

My LobbyLens project is mentioned in an official government report!!! edit: And a reporter contacted me for an interview :D

the story so far
So what IS LobbyLens? Well you have to start with the Lobby bit first.

Lobbying is the practice of influencing decisions made by the government (in groups or individually). It includes all attempts to influence legislators and officials, whether by other legislators, constituents, or organized groups.

At it's most innocent, lobbying is just people getting together to present their point of view to government. But unfortunately, some lobbyists are paid by corporate clients with "success fees" if they get those clients what they want. It's why the Obama administration cracked down on what connection senior advisors can have to lobbyists and why the Rudd government publishes a "Register of Lobbyists" (and State governments have joined in too!).

I should mention that we never actually suspected there was/is anything wrong with lobbying in australia, just that it's interesting to investigate

LobbyLens takes that register and turns it into a graph (and map) of relationships. Politicians are connected to Portfolios who have Departments that do business with Suppliers that might have been hired due to the efforts of Lobbyists. It's pretty spiffy technology!

i get by with a little help from my friends
Even more spiffy is how it came about. On the afternoon of October 31st, I went to ANU to help out with Government 2.0 (making government more open and accessable through the power of technology). There was a big speech and then... everybody disappeared! After wandering around aimlessly, I ran into a bunch of people who were talking about doing this lobbyist thing. And I was like "Hey! I know how to get a list of suppliers!". And they were like "Cool! Join our team!". So we started a team! A team of people from different states that had never met before. It was like... unreal :P
We got free meals at the Purple Pickle and free snacks/soft drink for 24 hours... I think our team was one of the few who did 24 hours straight (there was a prize for that!) and our website was awesome at the end (even if the "men in black will come and get you now" taunts were interesting). So we won the grand prize!!! Meccano robots :P

where to now, dr. spock?
I'm still working on Gov2.0 stuff to make the world a better place - “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”. We're not there yet; there's still plenty of interesting things to discover in a hidden datasilo somewhere and there's a cultural shift to make public servants feel comfortable being open. But it's been a busy couple of months and there's even more interesting things to come in 2010.
☆: bouncybouncy
17 March 2009 @ 03:24 pm
1. Where would you like to be in 5 years?
~in your arms~
Would like somewhere nice to live, nice job, nice computer :P

2. If someone made a movie of your life, which actors would play you and me?

3. What was your firstest ever email address?
alex@me.no.fry. i had my own MS Mail server on like windows 95 but no internet so i could only send things to myself.

really, samnmaxco@aol.com

4. What is your ideal vacation?
Somewhere colorful and exciting? probably not somewhere getting close to nature... close to technology. Hong Kong? Singapore?

5. Do you know any swears in German?

dummkopf? not really :P
27 January 2009 @ 06:01 pm
hello neglected blagosphere!

points of notice:

Anyway, mikurubeam asked if you could have multiple homepages in firefox and I said "with an addon". I was suprisingly wrong! If you just add | symbols between the websites, you can have multiple homepages in stock Firefox. Like: "www.google.com|www.bridgetonova.com|www.yahoo.com"

Additionally, you CAN reblog from Google Reader to tumblr with "Greasemonkey" and this script: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/18605 . If you're not using Google Reader... you're missing out on the blog-subscribing revolution :P It's a great way to read all your webcomics and blogs in the one place.
http://criggo.wordpress.com/feed/ - Blog of humourous newspaper clippings
http://blog.flickr.net/en/feed/ - A *light* blog of photographs. You can also follow people on flickr with RSS/Google Reader!
http://qcjeph.livejournal.com/data/rss - Questionable Content webcomic.
http://feedproxy.google.com/passiveaggressivenotes - Passive Agressive Notes >:D
http://juliasmexicocity.typepad.com/safetygraphics/rss.xml <- Safety labels!

And the IE8 RC1 is out. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/worldwide-sites.aspx
♬: Travis - Somebody Else's Song
01 May 2008 @ 10:46 am
You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.

Sir Charles James Napier in "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know it" (Steyn 2006)

meta-edit: i wanted to know the source of the proverb in the title. but THIS POST IS THE SOURCE ACCORDING TO GOOGLE. WITHIN LESS THAN AN HOUR. XD
☆: enthralledenlightened
21 November 2007 @ 11:01 am

goodnight sweet 35, how we loved thee dearly.
☆: sadsad