James Purser's blog

Really Stupid Dangerous Games

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 A long time ago, not so far away I used to participate in Venturers (that's the next level up after Scouts for the uninitiated). As you would expect for such a youth organisation, there was a good deal of focus on out doors activities, including camping, caving, abseiling and so on.

It was on my first (and as it turns out last*) caving trip that I discovered an excellent way to satisfy that urge to set fire to something and be completely and utterly physical (and stupid) at the same time.

Fireball

Australias First Woman PM

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 So Australia has its first woman Prime Minister, it's very historical and all that but I'm just not feeling the "I was there when it happened" type vibe.

Perhaps it's because with two female Premiers currently serving, and any number of female politicians (Wollongong and its surrounds are almost exclusively represented by women), a woman PM seems to have been just a matter of time rather than some giant hurdle that we had to be fighting to overcome.

Whatever the reason I'm more concerned with seeing where PM Gillard takes the party and the country.

OpenAustralia Search Droid - 0.2 Available

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Just a quick note to let everyone know that version 0.2 is now out.

This version has definitely fixed the 1.5/1.6 version installation problems as well as the JSONArray issues I was having before.

I've also been asked to consider building an iphone version of the app. I'm looking at what's required, but the first step seems to be download 2.3GB of code (including iPhone Emulator and IDE), which makes Androids development environment seem positively anorexic by comparison. 

OpenAustralia Search Droid - Progress

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It's been a while since I last did anything with the OpenAustralia Search Droid so I thought I would give it another crack. Over the weekend I've brought it up to what I think is worthy of a 0.1 release and in fact have taken it a little further.

It is a very basic project, something more along the lines of a teaching project, but it has the following features:

And the bidding has begun

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Well the election campaign is starting to heat up, you can tell, because the opposition is actually starting to release policies instead of just doing the usual "We oppose it cos we can!".

You can also tell the election campaign is starting to get real when the parties start to get into the "I'm tougher than the other guy is" competitions.

In the national interest and other useless phrases

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Okay here's a list of phrases that have been rolled out in the election campaign (whatever anyone else tells you, we're in election mode federally) so far that I think should be banned:

"In the nations interest"

Google won't censor china, what hope Conroy?

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Google has just announced that as of right now, they have ceased providing a specially filtered search service for the Chinese mainland, rather they are redirecting each request for google.cn to google.com.hk, where the requirement for filtering doesn't exist (AFAIK).

This is a big step for Google and it's going to have repercussions for other nations that seek to censor their internet feeds, such as Australia.

Inspiring and Depressing at the same time

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Last night I finished watching a series called "From the earth to the moon". I think it was the first of Tom Hanks' forays into docu-drama (coming after the movie Apollo 13).

As you might guess from the title the series follows the events leading up to the first landing on the moon and afterwards to the final Apollo mission in 1972. As a series it is an excellent examination of the people involved in the American Space effort, from Astronauts to their wives, to the contractors and everyone else involved.

Dear TV Networks - Sigh

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Okay, Freeview (the group that represents all of the major Free to Air Networks, including commercial and government owned) has announced that it's going to be launching a new Electronic Programme Guide service in June, complete with new hardware and something they are calling an Online Catchup Service.

Never take a photo of a Yeast Ring

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Today while out with the family, we decided to purchase a treat for the kids. So we headed for the nearby donut place to purchase the required sickeningly sweet treat.

Turns out they didn't have enough of the particular sweet my son wanted, so he picked what looked like an iced donut with chocolate flakes on it. Except it wasn't called a donut, rather it was called a Yeast Ring.