around the traps

around the traps

what's news?

A little update for those who haven't heard through other channels...

L broke her foot a few weeks back; the novelty of that has certainly worn off. She spent a week in a plaster 'backslab' cast; and is now in one of those moon boot contraptions and on crutches until Christmas.

It happened when she tripped on a crappy, broken footpath; fell over and twisted her foot. She 'fractured her fifth metatarsal' which is apparently at least as painful as it sounds.

There's not a hell of a lot more you can say about that, really. It sucks, it's ongoing, we look forward to the end of it.

Bugger! Then this week we got rear-ended. An ambulance came out of a side street through a red light; so the motorbike in front of me pulled up in a hurry; so I pulled up in a hurry to avoid collecting the bike; then the Audi behind me pulled up......almost in time to avoid clipping me.

You can't really see the damage in the photo, but the quote just came back at $1800 to fix it. Ever get the feeling approved repairers aren't shy to quote up? Anyway. It'll be going on the other guy's insurance. I feel bad for him since it was really the ambulance's fault - although you can't really fault them either. Ambos have to do crazy stuff to get through Sydney traffic. Unfortunately in this case, there was a car accident because we had to take drastic action to avoid them.

Meanwhile, work is crazy. I live in Interesting Times.

So anyway. That's what we're up to.

mix tapes

Around The Country In 22 Days: The Orange Mix Tape.

For all the convenience of an ipod or the sound quality of a CD, for some reason discs and playlists just don't have the same feel as a mix tape. Probably just nostalgia I guess. But there was something kind of satisfying about the way you could slam a tape into the car stereo, and you were away.

In my first car, the venerable Industrotank, the centre console spent its entire time filled with tapes. I didn't even have to take my eyes off the road. I could pull out the current tape; flip it into its case with one hand; move it to the back of the console; then flip out the tape at the front of the queue and slap it into the stereo.

You really can't do that with CDs. With CDs, sooner or later you have to look down. Not good. Ipod's ok so long as you don't mind the insanity of 60gigs + ecclectic taste + set to random.

Mix tapes took time and planning. You had to work out what you wanted to fit on; then you had to check that you weren't going to run out of tape mid-song; then get taping. If you were impatient and didn't mind reducing your favourite songs to Chipmunks covers, you might use high speed dubbing.

Meanwhile you'd try to scribble all those track names onto the inserts, which all had two things in common. First, they resisted ball points, but flowing ink pens took forever to dry; so you had to damn careful not to smudge them. Second, they always seemed to be one line too short (five lines if it was a punk tape).

So anyway by the time your tape was finished, you'd invested plenty of time in it. Why not run off a couple of copies for your mates after all that? Except of course now you've got to do that damn insert all over again ;)

All hail the mix tape.


around the traps

mob rules

Since I started my professional/work blog, I try not to post Web Stuff™ here. But this is a bit different.

Every once in a while, something happens in my professional life which I want to share with everyone - not just my industry colleagues.

A few weeks ago at a conference the lights dimmed, the screens lit and we watched Mark Pesce's closing keynote for Web Directions South. It was called Mob Rules and just one of the after effects is the start of a grass roots mesh networking movement across Australia.

That presentation is now available thanks to Mark putting it on YouTube: Web Directions South 2007 | Mark Pesce, "Mob Rules" (for the first 2 minutes you might not be quite sure where it's going, but trust me and just stick with it).

If nothing else it will show why mobile phones may be far more significant for the third world than they ever were to developed nations. For many of us, mobiles are toys; they amuse us and they are convenient. But they are unlikely to fundamentally change our lives at the food and shelter level.

For the fishermen of Kerala, this is not the case. Being able to phone ahead to market has changed their lives, from randomly making a profit or loss with their catch to consistently being able to make a profit. It has also changed the markets from randomly having no fish at all, or too much fish.

You can read about it on Mark's blog (Mob Rules (The Law of Fives)) or watch the slides/audio on the Web Directions South website (Web Directions South 2007 | Mark Pesce, "Mob Rules").