Showing posts from May, 2007

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra at the Central Library

What can I say -what a cracking laff ... in fact it had me (and Luke and Duncan/Beaker ) humming for the rest of the afternoon and smiling from ear to ear. If they ever come near you then I urge you not to miss the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra Crap-cam (mobile phone) pictures of the event : And, of course, there's YouTube vids of this awesome band orchestra

The touch screen thingy gets closer to me as Microsoft shows off Surface

From the video of the concept (and here ) to Microsoft's Surface . The blogging world gets it's knickers in a tizzy as the latest geek cool thing is 'released' - can I actually buy this thing yet - oh, no, available in the US at the end of 2007. There's a part of me that says, "Well done Microsoft, it's good to be cool and it's not all about Google and Apple". What is it Mike? Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant, dynamic surface that provides effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects. Beginning at the end of this year, consumers will be able to interact with Surface in hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues." Microsoft press release: Microsoft Launches New Product Category: Surface Computing Comes to Life in Restaurants, Hotels, Retail Locations and Casino Resorts This is what it looks like* Others talking about it TechCrunch:

Doddery Old Fart passes away

For those that have been reading, laughing and learning to drive slower on hillside roads with Doddery Old Fart over at the Rest Area 300m blog will be saddened to learn that he passed away suddenly yesterday morning. If you'd like to leave a comment (on his blog) then I'm sure it'll be received by the family and help a little.

Software you can *touch* - slightly unnerving

Give the PowerCursor site a whirl (!) This is what they say : Powercursor is a software toolkit in Flash for designing interfaces you can touch. Tactile sensations like stickiness, roughness, pressure, volume or mass can be experienced in a graphical user interface without resorting to special force feedback devices. Powercursor uses a technique called 'visually simulated force feedback' to evoke the tactile experience. The software engine consists of a set of force field objects that can be added to any Flash project: Holes, Hills, Slopes, Roughs, Walls, Whirls, and more. Powercursor enables interaction designers to add a sense of feel to their Flash interfaces without difficult programming. Try more examples or download powercursor and start creating richer interfaces now. If you want to learn more about the scientific background of visually simulated force feedback, read the original research paper What You See is What You Feel (pdf) , written by its inventor Ko

Ukuleles at the Central Library tomorrow - you know you should

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra [video at Haere mai ] City Library, 12.30pm, this Thursday Thanks to Wellingtonista Alan and MG for the heads-up.

Here's a challenge - could you help make NZ's egovernment more effective

If you've got ideas (particularly in the "Web 2.0" space) and are up for the challenge then you really need to check out BarCamp | BarCampWellingtonNZegov

Joost invites available to New Zealanders and Welsh

[Updated] Oops, hadn't thought it through - you're gonna need to send met the email address you want to sign up with - send it to Ask by leaving a comment and you will receive. What is Joost? Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping. More at their website:

Weirdo woman in the UK causing untold damage - find her and get her arrested

Not a lot I can do from here but pass on the plea from Rachel to those over there (UK) - this is from JonnyB who says it as I would and saves me typing: I'm not a great fan of internet campaigns - too much 'look at me! I'm a nice caring person!' But on the basis that in addition to the London traffic we have 200 or so regulars that I have scarily and stalkily identified as logging on from Oxford, this is hopefully a bit relevant. I also don't like the term 'cyber stalking'. Like 'road rage' it seems a nice cosy phrase to mask what's just a new variation on an old ugly crime. Felicity Lowde ('FJL') has been bullying and manipulating bloggers and internet users for a couple of years now, including readers of and linkers to this site, and a couple of people who I'd now call 'friends'. She's been convicted; she's now on the run and continuing to work from (it's assumed) internet cafes or libraries in London or Oxford

I am finally a VP

I am Vice President* Public Relations of the Chartered Chatterers Toastmasters Club (based here in sunny Wellington). I know, it's a small start but a start nonetheless :-) I assume that's what "VP" means in this context

TWTWTW*, the best of MiramarMike, 21st-27th May, 2007

Blog articles A week of silly maths , YouTube videos and iGasms with the most significant change to the blog being the addition of search which you can now add to your browser . Comments flooded in for the I have an above average number of legs posting. Shared RSS items A quiet week as work and real life was more hectic than normal. However, after scanning through a week's worth of poop here's the best of the rest (top posting in bold ): Helping Fijian Bloggers Ever Had Your Colon “House Cleaned?” (Nov, 1934) Improv Everywhere Rumor: Google Testing Outbound Calling from Google Talk? Stephen Fry to pen script for Dambusters Lessons from Seth Godin's talk about "The Dip" in Phoenix today How to Make OpenCola DOG (Distrust/Disdain of Google) moves in - my own posting here What Biomedical Nerds Dream About Rugby: England too fat to win World Cup, says Fitzy Photos P hotos uploaded for this week in May include strange ones from Jack , me and kids , cracking v

Tell me if you like ...

... trying not to blink or swallow for as long as you can

Crickey. Ha ha ha ha ha. Good. Ok. Keep going. Arse!!

My reactions to the rugby this weekend - in order: Last-gasp drop goal hands Argentina victory - Argentina 22 Ireland 20 South Africa 58 England 10 : England the sick men of Africa NZ Maori beat Canada: 59 - 23 Juniors made to work to tame Samoa: 31-10 NZ on track in London Sevens And the most annoying, Late heartbreak for Wales in Sydney - Australia 29 Wales 23 [ BBC 'as it happened' ]. This used to happen to the All Blacks a lot when I was in Australia, which was even more annoying ... they're a magnanimous lot the Aussies when they win, *cough* ;-)

Google is VERY successful and as such you & I are starting to question it's motives

[Update #2] Well, DNA is "in" Google's product set: Google Takes Stake In Sergey’s Wife’s Biotech Company [Update] Robert Schoble , an influential ex-Microsoft employee has posted a similar article title, DOG (Distruct/Disdain of Google) moves in . As well as his view he has links to to others that are 'questioning' the Google approach/business model although I don't hold with the Feedburner purchase is all evil as espoused by some. We worry about the power that is coming with it's success. Some worry so much that they now see conspiracy theories ... I don't, but I understand why others do. The best example is the MasterPlan: About the Power of Google It postulates (word of the week?) that Google is not capturing information merely to offer up 'relevant' information services but it's working with the CIA to capture everything about a you and I, including DNA . But what the documentary doesn't offer up as a hypothesis is the answer to

NASA, fake moon landings and Stanley Kubrik

Hat tip Mike Harding Don't forget to smile

One for the gals

Enjjjjjooooooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ... [cuddle]

Search YOUR content from your browser

Oh yes, what I have just built upon the MiramarMike search ... oh yes, watch out Google here comes MiramarMike. The lesson though is that it is extremely easy to do and brings search results straight to me - I no longer have to "go to the search page" - just type in the search box of my browser and voila! What is the 'browser search box'? In Firefox and Internet Explorer (IE7) there is a built-in search box (extreme top right) which is usually set to Google or Microsoft's Live Search (I suggest you change it to Google ). How to add new ones? Both browser can, however, have any number of search engines and Firefox and IE will let you add news ones with a click - Firefox | IE And creating your/my own? The way browsers understand the world of search engines is standard and so you can create your own. Whilst Firefox has a page that is too techie and detailed for most Internet Explorer has a very simple and usable method of generating your own search 'add

Humour for a Friday

It's gonna be a slow one today with meetings taking up my life ... wish me luck, all the best and may your God grant me no action points. Gmail - Viagra as part of the 'package'? JonnyB - humour at its finest “The thing is,” I explained to Nigel after my initial euphoria had gone down like an erection, ... Flight of the Conchords - Wellingtonista Wednesday I know, I missed it but this isn't a paid for service so expect a less than perfect service. HBO Premiere on Wellingtonista

It's the word 'exploded' that makes it . And the picture of the snake/croc

Whilst Snake bursts after gobbling gator is not new (5-Oct-2005) I am still impressed enough to state, out loud and in a confident manner, "Wholly fuck-a-doodle!?!?!" Key quote: The Burmese python tried to swallow its fearsome rival whole but then exploded. Hat tip Duncan via email

MiramarMike search

I've added a Google customised search (top right, of course) that will search all of MiramarMike. It will find my content at: This blog (MiramarMike) bookmarks Flickr photos Shared RSS items AllConsumed items It will also trawl through my profile/pages at these sites that I sometimes add content to: LinkedIn 43 Things Yahoo! Profile Virtual Tourist profile MySpace MyBlogLog Bebo Facebook Knowledge Management wiki

QI - BBC Four's most popular show ... on YouTube

One of the highlights of the all too brief visit to the UK was getting back in touch with love comedy wrapped around with 'satire' and my 'love of words.' And the British are masters of all these ... well, when I say "the British" I mean those that can speak intelligently and hang around the BBC for kicks. For me, the epitome of this is Stephen Fry * and he has his own programe - QI: Quite Interesting - which just rocks (my satirical/humorousness/word-y world). And my YouTube/Google Video (others?) adventures are uncovering more and more gems. Last night I watched oodles of QI and had to drag myself off to bed with a severe telling off as it was Toastmasters morning (6am ... it's still bloody dark!!) I won't bore you anymore with my rantings, here are the links, click away to enjoy QI but do report back once you've had your fill: BBC Official site QI Ltd official site RSS: QI Fact & Quote of the Day RSS: QI Rolling news Wikipedia: QI And now

Jonathan Schwartz's excellent dissertation on 'free software' and non-litigation

Have just finished reading Jonathan Schwartz's (CEO of Sun) excellent and lengthy article about how litigation is, in the long run, a recipe for disaster and alienation against the user community especially when that community now has options, choices and isn't held back by fear and product lock in. Key quotes for me (but read the whole thing ): ... Traditional newspapers publish content produced by their employees. ... To the extent editors allow the unwashed masses to contribute content to their publications, they host "Letters to the Editor," typically limited to a single page, and heavily filtered. ... Simplisitically, in the world of traditional print media, >99% of the content comes from employees, less than 1% comes from the community they serve. The editor is in control. ... On the other end of the spectrum, a variety of on-line media companies ... aggregate and organize content produced by the global community. This content is (poorly) known as "User

I have an above average number of legs

It's true. Maths to prove it - first the scenario Let's have a wee pretend there are 100 people in the world and I am one of them. I have 2 legs. And let's say, like the real world, that most people are the same as me and have two legs, um, how about 94 people also have 2 legs . Unfortunately there are a few that don't. Bombs, accidents, birth problems and the like can, somehow, leave people with 1 or even no legs. For arguments sake let's make that 3 people have 1 leg and another has no legs at all. That leave 1 person that may, just as nature can, produce a person with an extra leg (diddle iddle iddle um). This happy person has 3 . Complicated mathematics ... 94 + me with 2 legs: 95 x 2 = 190 legs 3 people with 1 leg: 3 x 1 = 3 legs 1 person with no legs: 1 x 0 = 0 legs 1 person with 3 legs: 1 x 3 legs = 3 legs Total number of legs: 190 + 3 + 0 + 3 = 196 Average is total divided by items: 196 legs / 100 people = 1.96 legs I have 2 legs ...

They hold a grudge in Palmerston North and take things slowly in Dunedin

Palmerston North And John Cleese has been soundly lambasted for his 2005 comment that Palmy was the "suicide capital of New Zealand" ... hee hee. I quote from the Radio New Zealand news site : A sign has reportedly been put up outside a city council rubbish tip, renaming it Mount Cleese. ... It says the Palmerston North-born comedian Fred Dagg suggested it be called the John Cleese memorial tip, after Cleese made his comments about the city during a tour in 2005. Dunedin I love these 'kids TV comedy moments' that come to life. I especially like that, despite it having a slight Benny Hill feel, it ended very grown up and serious with pepper spray, tear gas and tyre spikes. This time the story comes from Stuff *: A Dunedin man will appear in court today charged with stealing a bus after he lead police on a one and a half hour slow-paced chase through the city. Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said police tried to stop the bus after it went through a red light at the intersect

Bill Bailey on YouTube

After seeing Dylan Moran last week (1st half 8.5/10; second half 6/10) I seem to stumbling upon loads of Black Books-type connections. I've just spent the last hour watching YouTube video of Bill Bailey ( Wikipedia ) and loving every minute. Amongst Starskey And Hutch , Hats Off To The Zebras , The Greatest Cockney Rock Album EVER!! , Chaucer Pubbe Gagge , Foreign Police Sirens and many more this was my favourite. I suspect I will never be able to watch BBC World again without a smile:

Tell me if you like ...

... waking up in the middle of the night, cosy and warm in your bed, listening to the storm outside as the wind rages furiously around the roof and the rain batters the window

TWTFTW*, the best of MiramarMike, 7th-20th May, 2007

A fortnight of web wonders to catch up on as I suffered from a terrible bout of 'bottom explosions' this time last week and just wasn't up to it, or anything to come to that. Blog articles This fortnight saw me sharing a coloured spreadsheet for the World Cup , ranting against theft and killing a mouse . But if you miss all those and only get to read, play and extend the TradeMe RSS feed I built with Yahoo! Pipes then I'll be a happy boy. Most commented on article was a "Tell me if you like ..." but had nothing to do with the posting. Shared RSS items Feeds for Africa, as always, and how Robert Schoble reads his 600+ feeds is is an excellent video to surviving the onslaught. A fortnight's worth of sexy, cool and still useful articles in reverse chronological order (I think): PUTTING THE UNITED STATES ON ACRE OF PAPER (Jan, 1924) Neil Gaiman: The Nature of the infection Jobs surges ahead with new product Universal search: The best answer is still the b

stealing IS a crime, right?

[Update] After Yahoo! started deleting pictures the head honcho at Flickr has subsequently apologised [actually, here ] with the BBC reporting on the whole affair. Meanwhile, Rebekkah is still out of pocket with the dodgy buggers as outlined below ... -------------- Ensure you make your voice heard against the stealing of Rebekkah's photos by London based print-selling company Only-Dreemin . Address your thoughts to Her full story : I have a LOT on my mind right now.. to be honest, i've rarely been so royally pissed off as i am today. The photos shown above all have one thing in common (besides being rather lovely landscape photos): They were all taken , without my permission, by the London based print-selling company Only-Dreemin . This company prides itself on offering its customers only the best quality canvas prints of the finest photos , by top artists. What they fail to mention is that some of the photos they're selling prints of have be

This is game playing at its most inclusive - awesome

Thanks to the VortexDNA blog for bringing this to our attention!

All Blacks named for Tri-Nations, French and Canadian test

The squad for the all the All Black games leading up to the World Cup was named this afternoon by Mr Henry and his fellow 'brains trust' (how many times will that phrase be used up to and including the months of September/October). My initial view is, yep, fair enough. No Ma’a Nonu and fair enough, prat! The lack of backs from Wellington probably says a lot about why the 'Canes didn't do so well this year as they're normally well stocked with quick, powerful and clever runners. Others views mostly concentrating on the 2 new caps of Waikato halfback Brendon Leonard and Wellington prop John Schwalger: Dropkick blog & readers comments Stuff NZ Herald Sydney Morning Herald Google news links ... Forwards Jerry Collins (Wellington), Troy Flavell (Blues), Carl Hayman (Otago), Andrew Hore (Taranaki), Chris Jack (Tasman), Richie McCaw (Canterbury), Chris Masoe (Wellington), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), Anton Oliver (Otago), Keith Robinson (Chiefs), John Schwalger (Hurric

$4bn lost in 6 minutes because of an email

Wow, that's some sort of reaction to a fake 'Apple products delayed' email reported on engadget . Ha-tip to Lukas for the reference from Techcrunch

MY electronic world is changing - so is yours

Christ, all I seem to blog about is Google! Google 'universal search' ships Web 2.0 to the masses Anyway ... conversation with a work colleague around 'Web 2.0' and how it's been reoorted that only white, affluent and males are really interested and taking up the "Web 2.0" world was quickly disproved by myself (a white, affluent male) by showing of the new Google 'universal search' ( press release | blog ). The results pages now has "Web 2.0" functionality nicely tucked in amongst the standard results. An example: Google 'darth vader' search (go on, click it - only works for the google.COM and not See how the pictures are integrated, slightly differing header with 'drop down' AND, the YouTube video found can be played directly inside the page. Yahoo!/Flickr remove items This has me really worried. As Yahoo! censors pictures by deleting them it is setting a dangerous precedent and one that users of online servi

Fat Freddys Drop playing Wellington: Fri June 8th + Sat 9th

And that's all I have to say about that Friday 8 June & Saturday 9 June 2007 THE FRONT ROOM 5 Hania Street, Mt Vic, WELLINGTON Tickets: $40 + booking fee Available: Real Groovy

TradeMe RSS feed of auctions by user - created using Yahoo! Pipes

+ = [Updated] Stuart has extended my Pipe to include a full RSS [description] field. The feed is: -------------- Rowan Simpson set a small challenge with his Vista gadget for Trade Me posting to take their public XML being used for the official Vista TradeMe gadget and use it for ... well, whatever. An opportunity for me to create my first Yahoo! Pipe , yaaay. For the benefit of those that don't know, Yahoo! Pipes is : ... a new online tool that allows you to blend, manipulate, and combine feeds from various data sources to create a streamlined, single feed of information. Essentially Yahoo Pipes allows you to create feed mashups of different data sources without having a knowledge of programming. My Pipe was to take the TradeMe XML file (sample), manipulate it and feed out using RSS . It took about an hour as this was the first pipe I had smoked (boom, boom

What it's like to be inside Google

Whilst this is ostensibly a talk around Usability with Irene Au there are wonderful insights into how Google works. Did you know that they: are a massively centralised organisation have "Fix it days" where everyone concentrates on a particular facet of software perform "Toilet testing" - didn't quite get this BUT they did say that te Usability team has a team blog which they print out once a week and put on the toilet doors and is extremely effective communication Play now: Download MP3 | Help with Listening The blurb on the talk: Irene Au discusses her previous experience at fast moving companies Netscape and Yahoo!, and how that experience will influence her latest challenge. As the new Director of User Experience at Google, she will be confronted with an organization that is clearly defined as engineering driven--practical people focused on achieving practical ends through the use of strict scientific and mathematical principles. How will her user experience

Tell me if you like ...

... hoovering your tummy or your arm

There is a break in transmission from the studios, in the meantime ...

... please enjoy this video from your friends and ours, YouTube. (I'm ill, it's not pretty and I promise not to give details)

Google Docs - sharing information is just soooo easy, look!

I'm merely showing off that Google Documents (the spreadsheet side of things) by being able to share what I've just done for a mate ( World Cup 2007 New Zealand TV schedule *) with one simple click of the button) In fact I can share this spreadsheet (specific sheets and even down to specific cells) in so many ways I'm spoilt for choice: HTML, HTML to embed in a web, CSV, TXT, ODS, PDF, ATOM, RSS, XLS And not just share I can invite people to view it, collaborate on it and subscribe for updates - this is what I'm talking about when I talk about information being usable!!!! Web page: * Of course one could just go to the TV3 page but hey, where's the fun in that?!

What would your response to this dialog box be?

Coz mine was to wait for the number in the centre to count down ... and nothing happened

Boycotting Subway

I can do that - details at Aucklander at Large : We are calling upon New Zealand to boycott all Subway franchises. This follows the decision of management of Subway George Street, Dunedin to fire Jackie Lang without following due process over a matter of a $4 soft drink, and charge Ms Lang with theft. We believe that the management in this situation have overreacted big time, and only through boycotts of local stores are we able to get Subway to take notice and pressure George Street store manager to reverse the decision and give the worker her job back. Further reading: Scoop: Statement Issued By Subway Developments Ltd Scoop: Vulnerable Worker has University Branch Support TV3: Subway worker charged for sharing drink Google news ...

Wellingtonista + The Flight of Conchords = perfect Wednesday

Don't rely on me to supply your weekly Wednesday humour, pop over to the Wellingtonista ( subscribe ) for your regular giggles. This week it's Something for the Ladies

Kent earthquake appeal

As seen in my InBox this morning ... KENT EARTHQUAKE APPEAL A major earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale hit Kent with its epicentre in Folkestone. Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly, muttering "Faaackinell". The earthquake decimated the area causing approximately £30 worth of damage. Several priceless collections of mementos from Majorca and the Costa del Sol were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their giros arrived. Invicta FM reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered and were still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Folkestone. One resident - Tracy Sharon Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said, "It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay-Mercedes came running into my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Victoria-Storm slept through it all. I was still shaking when I was skinning up and watch

I killed a mouse today ... with a brick, to the head

It was icky, I hated doing it but the silly sod had stuck it's back legs into the trap and not it's head like it's mate who was as stiff as a board. The mouse had dragged itself (and trap) about a metre to the double door and was obviously on trying to escape using its normal route. Here it had got stuck, the trap wasn't gonna fit under there, and that's where I found it this morning. At first I was a bit puzzled as I looked around for the trap. Luckily I had opened the other side of the double door and which would've made a mess of the floor. I then saw the trap, went to pick to up and ... MOVEMENT! Poor sod. Was alive but resigned to its fate. The traps are pretty strong so I can imagine it was knackered from the middle backwards to the tail. I gathered my thoughts. Found the other trap with stiff occupant. Aha, so there were 2! Told Liz to keep Meg away, ironed shirt (was cold), popped mouse into a plastic shopping back and took it out to the garden. Brick.

TWTWTW*, the best of MiramarMike, 1st-6th May, 2007

This week was a wee bit 'work' focussed with the top article being When Google rules the Web what will you do? which lead to me standing up in the wee hours giving a Toastmasters speech about its theories. Most commented article echoed Jim Donovan's challenge to businesses to truly honour their corporate values. I did ask whether I should split the blog into two - yes and no came back the resounding whisper. So I shan't. As for the masses of feeds I read the following shared items (to the right) are the most useful and relevant one week later (limiting myself to 10) - enjoy: Taxi driver delighted with new one-way road system Tana Umaga says Goodbye to the Hurricanes Dreamworks wins bidding war for The Lovely Bones Alan Moore on Idea vs Plot 22% of people sleep with their phone Putting the "I" back in IT Perfect Explanation of RSS — Engaging Video Tutorial First time boaties Who says we need our logo on every slide? Why Invest in Social Features for Your

Being a tourist in Middle Earth

I am sure that Abigails trip around the Wellington Lord Of The Rings movie sites is a typical tourist adventure and hey, I'll probably do it myself one day. However, there is probably a lot to be said for leaving the magic on the screen - examples: I do hope Abigail had a cracking time here in Wellington - thanks for sharing the photos.

Only men can invent things

Well, according to Google - try 'she invented' as a search in Google [or just click here ] Hat tip to Philip Lenssen at Google Blogscoped

Poll: Should I split this blog into two?

[Updated] OK, so the voting is split 50/50 ... bum. Executive decision - whilst I will keep it all in one place I will think of a way that splits the content so you can show/hide the IM/KM/"work" stuff. As you probably know I use this blog for 3 main reasons: Keep in touch with the folks and friends away from Wellington (especially when it comes to sharing the photo's) Pop-up to the random readers the funny, quirky, thought provoking pieces of Web-ness I discover Somewhere from me to get my thoughts around 'work' issues out in the open The dilemma I am stuck with is that the 'work' items and the other 2 are rarely subjects that cross-over in feel, audience or source and so should probably be separated out (as most "good blogging' guides will insist). However, I am also of the view that we are not distinct areas of expertises and much like people are connected, ideas and approaches are connected as well, even within one person. And that's th

Tell me if you like ...

... making spit bubbles