The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Is Google Becoming Evil? Free Google Apps No More

Google Apps Not FreeI'm a big Google user; and by that, I don't just mean that I use their search engine.

Over the years, I've increasingly centred my online life around the company's products: I use Gmail for email, Google Calendar is now my organiser, I have an Android phone that syncs to both, and recently I also used Google Docs (now 'Drive') for collaborative docs and spreadsheeting during the house construction, and so on.

But in considering all that, probably the single product that I've voluntarily advertised, espoused, and assisted friends and family in terms of setting them up with, is Google Read more →

Cannon Upgrades: SSD Goodness

Intel SSD 330 SeriesIn the past few days I have upgraded the trusty old Cannon with an SSD (Solid State Drive).

Our main desktop computer (The Cannon) was getting pretty slow under all the bloat that had accumulated over the past almost-three years, so I thought a change was in order. If I were to follow tradition, the three year mark is usually when I would start looking at putting together a brand new build, especially with a new version of Windows coming out, but The Cannon build has aged really well over that time.

It's probably due to the fact … Read more →

Aus. Government Abandons Internet Filter Plans

It was 'shelved' as a policy prior to the last Federal election, but now the Australian Government has finally publicly abandoned its quite stupid policy of implementing compulsory internet filtering. I have been a quite vocal opponent of the policy since its announcement in 2008, and am not surprised by this backdown.

Since Julia Gillard's toppling of Kevin Rudd, following the 2010 election the implementation of the filter was never going to happen. Poll after poll showed its unpopularity, and internet experts and technology industry insiders' continuous criticism on whether it could be practically implemented, let alone be effective … Read more →

Goodbye Faithful Clock-Radio & Loopers

Old Clock RadioIn this past week I said goodbye to my faithful clock radio that has been my bedside accompaniment for the past 17 years.

My Dad had got me the clock radio/CD player (Sony ICF-CD800) on an overseas business trip in 1995; I was 12 at the time and marvelled at the ability to play CDs in my own bedroom. Yes, CDs!! Remember those? 😛

It played its last CD quite a few years ago, and since then I've really only used it as a clock and an alarm. It's a considerably sized device because of the CD tray and speakers, … Read more →

Compulsory ISP Data Retention

Government internet spyingFor all the goodwill that this government has generated among IT people with the NBN, it always seems to have something up their sleeve that goes way too far in terms of people's "safety".

Previous plans for compulsory internet filtering have thankfully (and hopefully permanently) been shelved. Now the Government seems to be proceeding with plans to make ISPs and telecommunications providers compulsorily store and retain customer usage data for two years. Whilst it hasn't yet been revealed specifically what 'customer data' will be retained, one can presume that for ISPs it will contain customers' internet browsing histories.

This type … Read more →

The State of Firefox?

Firefox & ChromeThere's been a few articles rolling around the internet recently on the state of the Firefox web-browser. I've made no secret that since 2004, Firefox has been my browser of choice.

However in recent years, Firefox has been losing ground rather than gaining. Most commentators point to the rise of Google's own Chrome browser, and a lot of people I know have converted over from Firefox to Chrome for various reasons. A lot have been for social reasons, i.e. because it's 'cool' (something that was previously a Firefox drawcard over Internet Explorer), and other reasons people cite are practical: … Read more →

Getting Back Into Reading & Kindles Everywhere

Kindle TouchWhen we got married over 6 six years ago, I stopped reading books. I'm not totally sure why - maybe it was being more busy and more tired - but other than a select few non-fiction books, I haven't read a single fiction book in the last six years since.

Recently, after going to bed at night it has started taking me a while to get to sleep, and I've realised that previously I would have used this 'non-sleeping time' to read a book.

So I decided to get back into reading.

I bought a Kindle Touch e-reader direct from … Read more →

The Increasing Nicheness of Web Development

HTML5 CSS3 modern web designIn the past month or so I've done a little bit of web development. In addition to totally redesigning this very website, I have also recently put together a new website for my brother-in-law's cabinetry business.

Before now, it had been at least a few years since i've done a fully-fledged new design for a website, and it really struck me how things have evolved and progressed in terms of 'modern' web design and development.

Back when I first did my website in 2004 (blog post, site archive page), pretty much anybody who knew the … Read more →

Transforming Tablets

Asus Transformer PadLast week I gave in to the tablet culture and got one.

I've been increasingly using my phone to access the internet whilst watching TV for various live social and sporting events: recently I've been posting on Whirlpool while watching live Euro 2012 matches, and also used SBS's great social media effort for this year's Eurovision.

In my opinion this is where tablets or iPads really shine: as a couch-based internet access device. Where laptops are too clunky and cumbersome, and phones too small and finicky, a tablet is the perfect tool for quick internet or social media access … Read more → Overhaul & Welcome to WordPress

Well I finally did it. Goodbye old site (pictured).

After mulling over whether or not to convert my trusty old blog to the WordPress platform for years, and recently actually thinking seriously about doing it, over the past few weeks I've spent a lot of time actually getting it done. It was about as painful as I expected it to be, which was unsurprisingly quite very.

Other than the drastic improvement in look,  the regulars will notice a lot of changes as I've simplified the whole site down to its core. Gone are the Gallery, Intros, GamesRead more →