Archive for February 2007

Twitter == IRC, but broken

I realised today what twitter almost is – but isn’t.

It’s almost IRC.

The scenario I envisaged today: at LCA this year, there were many IRC channels in use: the main #linux.conf.au, but also many #lca2007-mata for the Mathews A room.

If twitter had channels that one could subscribe too, it would make a wonderful extension/replacement for this kind of thing. Participants could keep up to date with the channel via IM (the Jabber client exists already), email, web – or via SMS.

Scoble has already had almost this experience. It could be done now – but it would require every participant to follow every other participant, and then they’d see every message from all those people. There’d be a constant “Add me too!” and another 700 people have to go follow that one more person.. it’d be insane!

I’d like to just be able to “/j #lca2007”, and see all the messages sent to that channel[1] – but only messages sent to that channel, not the ones about the participants personal lives as well.

I can think of quite a few revenue models here:

* Subscription service with fixed amount of SMS per month

* Charge events such as LCA a nominal fee to get the channel set up – such a fee could be included in registration fees (or paid for by sponsorship). I don’t think this is such a crazy idea: the organisers of the conference would surely love a broadcast service that allowed them to advise attendees of venue changes, make announcements, etc

* The Adsense model – you can join #lca2007 for free, but every 10th message you receive will be a targeted advertisement. This blends with the other two ideas of course – the ads could be from event sponsors, from people who want to advertise at the event (I’m thinking of events like Comdex – how much would companies pay to have an opt-in advertising avenue like that?) – and of course, there could be a subscription fee to get rid of the ads.

Twitterheads, get cracking! Channels, please!

[1] I like scoble’s syntax for directing messages to a person, would be well modified to send to a group – just start a message with “@lca2007” to send to the lca2007 channel.

Update: I’m not the first to have made the IRC connection. 200ok mentions the similarity, but doesn’t suggest channels. Teamforce suggests using IRC rather than twitter – but it seems to me that this is solely because twitter doesn’t have channels. CruelToBeKind has even more reasons for Twitter to implement IRC-like channels.

Please, twitter – Channels, please!

Sydney (public) transport == broken.

First we had the traffic chaos caused by the crowds flocking to see the QM2 and QE2.

Then we had the traffic chaos caused by Dick Cheney’s visit, combined with the shutdown of all trains in the CBD.

It’s only getting worse though. According to today’s MX, the same we-close-the-roads-for-your-convenience courtesy extended to Cheney will be extended to all 23 APEC leaders between the 2nd and 9th of September.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, evening trains will be replaced by buses between Central and North Sydney from the 3rd to the 5th; buses will replace trains between Ashfield and Central and on the Airport line on the 8th and 9th. The article also suggests that the entire City Circle will be shut down on the 8th and 9th, the days of the actual APEC conference.

That’s not all though; the NRL final is due to be played the following weekend at Telstra Stadium. Guess which weekend citrail have decided to replace the Olympic Sprint trains with buses?

I’ll add links to this story as I can find them online – the best I’ve seen so far is on news.com.au, but it doesn’t contain all the detail that was in the MX report.

Update: SMH has the same story, but with more detail. Confirms that CBD, Inner West, and Airport lines will all be shut down for the weekend of 8/9 Sept; also implies that the whole harbour bridge may be shut for the same period.

Of course, the govt. says it’s not going to be much of an issue:

The Premier Morris Iemma today acknowledged that Sydneysiders would be faced with delays, but said the government was working to minimise disruptions.

He said a public holiday would be in place to ensure that disruption and inconvenience was minimised.

Of course, that makes sense. Everybody knows that when there’s a public holiday, we all just sit around in our houses – no-one takes public transport, no-one goes to the CBD, and most of all, there’s no reason at all why anyone would be travelling on public transport through the CBD in order to reach, say, a nice beach to relax for the day, or the city’s major parks…

Cityrail’s own trackwork timetable looks pretty grim for September. Some of the highlights:

* Northern, North Shore, Newcastle and Hunter lines down on the 1st/2nd

* North Shore line down between Springwood and Penrith Sept 3-6 (I don’t understand that either, I’m just quoting Cityrail)

* Newcastle line down between Gosford and Wyong during the day Sept 3-7

* Inner West, Airport and East Hills, and City Circle lines all down Sept 8-9. East hills services operate via Sydenham and terminate at Redfern

* Inner West between Central and Strathfield, and Olympic Sprint lines down Sept 15-16

* City cirle operates via Musem only, Airport and East Hills lines down completely, South line down between Macarthur and Liverpool, and Southern line down between Goulburn and Liverpool on Sept 22-23

Huzzah!

Hackergotchified!

I finally got off my posterior, laid flat on my bed, and created an hackergotchi.

Woo!

Anyone who wants to improve on my paltry efforts and show me what a real pro can do, feel free 🙂 The source material is attached…

Imified

Just discovered www.imified.com. It rocks! This moblog post was made, not from my mobile, but from gTalk.

Vanity, Vanity, all is vanity.

On a whim, I decided to see if any common-misspelling type sites for this domain are registered.

Sure enough, zasper.com exists. It’s not a spammy type site though – it seems to be someones portfolio.

I think I’d rather it was spam – I’d find that kinda flattering. Still, the pictures on the site like kinda pretty…

Google for zasper is a bit interesting too…

Second Life shennanigans

Wow, this is almost enough to make Second Life sound fun:

This triggered a flurry of IMs from Mastress, at first indignant and then apologetic and mollifying, wheedling and needy in ever more broken English. For a second, I considered picking up the conversation, because topping a domme is always fun. But no. Who has the time? And anyway, they were just a pair of wandering perverts (and probably both men) who broke into my house for dominant/submissive shenanigans.

Boat People v2.0

It was only a few weeks ago that we were joking that “Election is looming, time for more boat people!”

Well…

A BOATLOAD of 85 asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka and Indonesia sabotaged the engine and hull of their boat just hours after it had been repaired by the Australian navy, the Government claimed yesterday.

Last night, the 83 Sri Lankans and two Indonesians who were intercepted on Tuesday were still on the navy’s HMAS Success in international waters 50 nautical miles from Christmas Island.

The Government confirmed yesterday that some of the men had indicated to Australian authorities that they wished to claim asylum.

However, it is unclear when this occurred because Mr Andrews’s office told media on Wednesday that no asylum claims had been made.

Since the Tampa incident, which shaped the 2001 federal election, the Government has tried to discourage boatpeople by excising islands from Australia’s migration zone and forcing unauthorised arrivals into offshore processing facilities such as Nauru.

Mr Andrews … defended the handling of the case, saying it was “Australian Government policy in practice” and that there had been no “untoward delay”.

*sigh*

A few years ago, The Aus would almost certainly have labelled these people “Illegal Immigrants” – and indeed, that’s probably the image Howard wants to project. It’s interesting that they’re now being labelled “Asylum Seekers”.

Window Reflection




Window Reflection

Originally uploaded by mauriceguerrieri.

Another beautiful shot of buildings reflected on other buildings.

The Queen at the Opera




The Queen at the Opera

Originally uploaded by ‘Pong.

Pong had a great angle for this… I’m almost jealous.

Advice for Malcolm Turnbull

Okay, so I’m not known for tact, smoothness, or in general saying the right thing at the right time.

However, even I know enough not to make gaffes like this very often:

“I am entitled to an amount for every night I spend in Canberra,” he said.

“Where I stay, whether I stay in expensive accommodation, or in cheap accommodation, in my own apartment or an apartment belonging to my wife, in a hotel or a serviced flat is immaterial, you get the same amount and where you stay is of no concern to the Government.”

This really isn’t a good approach at all. There may be, and probably are, very good reasons why MT should be paid this benefit. Focusing on the fact that “I am entitled” really sends completely the wrong message though: it sends the message that “I don’t care about the people whose money I’m spending, I care only about getting every cent I’m entitled to”.

Instead, focus on the benefits that your electorate get from this arrangement. I can’t think of any right now, because I never get paid $175/night to stay anywhere. I’m sure there are some though – and, Mr Turnbull, you have plenty of staff to think of these things for you.

You’ll come off sounding less like the arrogant, self-absorbed prick that you are, and more like you may actually care, just a little bit, about the people you purport to server.