The photographer who shot himself… dead

Thursday, 31 July, 2008

Holidays can become dangerous affairs, especially if you are a determined photographer, or travelling with one. Photography should also be added to the list of things not to do during a lightening storm.

The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are 1 in 700,000, while the odds of being struck in your lifetime are 1 in 5,000, according to the National Weather Service. It’s a lot more likely that a seasoned photographer with a knack for storm chasing will be struck by lightning than an average person caught in a storm.

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Mamma Mia!

Thursday, 31 July, 2008

4.5 stars

It’s very hard to find fault with a movie that sees a girl, who is about to marry, invite the three men who may be her father to the wedding (without her mother’s knowledge, of course).

More so when, at critical junctions in proceedings, the cast spontaneously burst into song (and there seemed to be something especially comical about Pierce Brosnan doing so), singing old ABBA tunes.

Indeed the best approach to Mamma Mia! is to sit back, or rather, lap dance in your seat (while hoping no one notices), and enjoy it. I never realised just how catchy those ABBA songs were, until I couldn’t get up and dance along to them…

In addition to being executive producers, former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus also had cameo roles in the movie… something I’m sure ABBA buffs would have spotted immediately, despite their disguises.

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While writing War And Peace, I made tea

Thursday, 31 July, 2008

A not so short story about making a cup of tea. Great reading… if you’re taking an extended tea break.

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10 ways newspapers can improve comments

Thursday, 31 July, 2008

Ten ways to go about encouraging more meaningful comments left in response to newspaper articles online. Derek Powazek has given the matter quite some thought.

If you think bad comments bug you, they bug the good commenters twice as much. Yes, you should be paying someone on staff to be the Community Manager. In addition, you can also enable the community to help. Give every post a “This is Bad” button. Then give the community manager a private page where they can see the comments with the most bad votes and take appropriate action.For bonus points, give each post a “This is Good” button, too, so they can also tell you about the good ones. Remember that your members are not the enemy: they want to help you keep the place clean, too.

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Australian Starbucks closures will reduce wi-fi hotspots

Thursday, 31 July, 2008

In addition to 700 job losses, the pending closure of 61 Australian Starbucks cafes will also bring about a reduction of wi-fi hotspots in some Australian cities.

Canberra may be left with no Starbucks wi-fi hotspots at all, should the company decide to close all three cafes providing wireless internet access in the Australian capital.

Starbucks currently has 37 stores equipped with Telstra’s wireless hotspot service, with 11 located in Victoria, six in Queensland, 17 in New South Wales, and three in Canberra. However, announcing its plans yesterday, Starbucks committed to keeping just 23 stores open in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, meaning that Canberra is likely to lose all three of its Starbucks Wi-Fi hotspots. The closures would see the loss of at least 14 other stores in the states it will maintain operations in.

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Sydney Design 08

Thursday, 31 July, 2008

Walks, talks, exhibitions, and events, including the Young Blood Designers Market, are all on the agenda for Sydney Design 08, which will run from 8 to 24 August.

Find out what design means to you through a 17-day program encompassing exhibitions and events at the Museum and satellite venues all over Sydney. Highlights this year include a series of special night openings to ignite the spirit of modernism and complement the new exhibition Modern times: the untold story of modernism in Australia.

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A list of the worst films ever made

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

I’ve only seen one movie on this list of the worst movies ever made, and that was Batman and Robin (with George Clooney), and man that was a mistake if ever I made one. :)

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Don’t know HTML? Great, you too can be a web designer

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

I’d say if you want to be a web designer then having a working knowledge of HTML would be pretty much be a prerequisite. But not necessarily… an art director I once worked at a web design studio didn’t even know what H T M L meant…

If you aren’t proficient in HTML, you may be wondering why it is necessary to learn HTML when there is so much else you need to know. Knowing HTML can only enhance your productivity and value as a developer. After all, it will be much easier to track down a bug in a Web interface with intricate knowledge of how the page is delivered to the browser. In addition, HTML knowledge (along with CSS) means you can work with an application regardless of the tool used to create it. You are no longer bound to your preferred development tool or the one used to build the site. Also, knowledge of the source code gives you greater control of the end result. You can use your favourite tool to build the application and dig into the source code to tweak it.

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Simplicity is the key to success: Marius Kloppers

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

I can’t track down an online version of Ruth Williams’ article on BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers, that was published in the SMH’s Good Weekend magazine of 26 July 2008, but thought one of the credos of the 18th most powerful person in the business world, was worth sharing:

“I adhere to the same principles in my private life as in my business life,” he explains. “I keep it fairly simple. I don’t have a lot of things; I try and keep the number of issues that have to be managed to a reasonable level.”

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Mobile Web Best Practice guidelines

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

The W3C has released a set of Mobile Web Best Practice guidelines, providing a consistent framework for developers of content for mobile devices to work with.

In theory, at least.

Today, many more people have access to mobile devices than access to a desktop computer. This is likely to be very significant in developing countries, where Web-capable mobile devices may play as similar a role in deploying wide-spread Web access as the mobile phone has played for providing “plain old telephone service”.

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