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Technology MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

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My simple measure: Is the world a better place for this man having lived?

I think we can all say, “Yes”.  Well done, Steve.

Kinecting The Dots - Developing with the Kinect SDK

Monday, September 19th, 2011

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Qld MSDN User GroupTwo fascinating topics for this month’s QMSDNUG meeting…

Patrick Klug, Novamind
A brief showcase of some fun WPF animations

and a look into how NovaMind used these animations in the new NovaMind Presenter.  Patrick will briefly share lessons about animation performance, shader usage and animation best practices along with some open-source project recommendations.

About Patrick Klug
Patrick is one of the guys behind the Windows version of the mind mapping software NovaMind (www.novamind.com) and is very comfortable with C#, GDI+ and WPF.

Bronwen Zande and John O’Brien, Soul Solutions
Kinecting The Dots - Developing with the Kinect SDK

The Microsoft Kinect holds the Guiness World Record as the fastest-selling consumer electronics device ever, selling 8 million units in the first 2 months.  With the recent release of the official SDK, you are the controller, with the ability to change the face of future applications.  Learn how to take advantage of depth sensing, skeletal tracking and speech recognigion in a sub $200 device.

We’ll cover some more advanced skeleton functions, integration with the XNA game engine and gestures.  Learn how to build a compelling application using the Kinect and your existing .Net skills.

About John and Bronwen
John and Bronwen are just back (a couple of hours ago) from the Build conference in Los Angeles.  They are Certified Specialists with many years of experience in a wide range of Microsoft Technologies, including Bing Maps, Windows Live, SQL Server and now, the Kinect SDK.
See the Soul Solutions Blog (www.soulsolutions.com.au/Blog.aspx) for more of their adventures.

Date: Tuesday 20 September 2011
Time: 17:30 for 18:00, finishing approx 19:30
Location: Microsoft Brisbane office, Level 28, 400 George St, Brisbane.

RSVP
All welcome. Bring your colleagues.
On this occasion, please do NOT respond via e-mail.  Registration via Eventbrite is essential at http://qmsdnugsep2011.eventbrite.com.

These details are also on QMSDNUG’s website at www.qmsdnug.org.

Building Windows Phone 7 Apps for the Enterprise

Monday, July 18th, 2011

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Qld MSDN User GroupAt this month’s QMSDNUG meeting, we are fortunate to have Brendan Kowitz along to repeat his presentation to the recent DDD!Day in Sydney.

Brendan Kowitz, Readify
Building Windows Phone 7 Apps for the Enterprise

We already know that Mobile Phones are a powerful tool in the hands of the right people.  In this session we look at how we can use the Windows Phone 7 platform to integrate with the greater enterprise to deliver precise, clear, visual information to key stakeholders who are on the move.

We’ll also look at strategies around how to make data available by leveraging Windows Azure as well as how it can be consumed in respect to importance and urgency.  Lastly we’ll discuss all those important questions around delivering our enterprise apps to the right people.

About Brendan Kowitz
Brendan is a Senior Developer working for Readify.  All things .NET, Web, Mobile, HTML5, WindowsPhone, Project Management and Leadership.
His blog is at kowitz.net.

Date: Tuesday 19 July 2011
Time: 17:30 for 18:00, finishing approx 19:30
Location: Microsoft Brisbane office, Level 28, 400 George St, Brisbane.

RSVP
All welcome. Bring your colleagues.
On this occasion, please do NOT respond via e-mail.  Registration via Eventbrite is essential at http://qmsdnugjul2011.eventbrite.com.

These details are also on QMSDNUG’s website at www.qmsdnug.org.

Ever wondered what your blog looks like in Chinese?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

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A recent outlier in the blog stats showed that someone from Shanghai had recently visited my “Future Filter” blog post, part of my campaign against Senator Conroy’s plan to censor Australia’s internet.  Interestingly, they had viewed it in Chinese, and this is what they saw.

As a geek, I was interested to see another use of Google Translate.

As an anti-internet censorship campaigner, I’m sure I have nothing to worry about.  Nobody from the People’s Republic of China would be particularly interested in opponents of internet censorship.  Or would they?

Welcome Del, to the Blogosphere

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

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Del's blog, Del's AdventuresEarlier this week I was pleased to have fun setting up a new blog for a dear friend, Del.  She is an outstanding teacher who has taught all three of my sons and (mostly) kept a straight face.  She is also the Brisbane Broncos #1 Fan.  Maureen and I have known Del for more that 20 years.

Here’s her new blog, tentatively titled Del’s Adventures.  You’ll find it at broncdel.wordpress.com.

An Experience with Facebook Ads

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

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In early January, I experimented with Facebook Ads.

 
The Ad on the left was targeted at All Australians and produced one click-through in 24 hours.  The Ad on the right was targeted at Australians aged 18 to 40.  It burnt through my daily advertising budget in about 40 minutes.

ISP Filter Will Disadvantage Australian Companies

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

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UPDATE:
Thanks to those who provided feedback on this, particularly Jeff Waugh and others via Twitter and Whirlpool.  It would appear that requests from overseas to Australian-hosted websites will not be filtered.  This means that the problem described below will not eventuate until Google sets up and starts issuing crawl requests from an Australian node. — MikeFitz
———————

A Deloitte analyst, Damien Tampling, has been reported by ARNnet as predicting the Government’s controversial ISP filter will have minimal long-term effect on Australian businesses.

I think there’s an important factor that Mr Tampling has missed altogether.

It has become clear over the past few months that Google is now placing a higher importance on “Page Load Speed” when calculating Page Rank – the all-important score that gets my business near the top of page 1 of Google search results.

My Australian website, hosted in Australia, will be crawled by the googlebot through an Australian ISP.  Senator Conroy says it will load “a blink of an eye” slower, but this is an eternity to the googlebot.  My page rank will then be lower than that of a competing US, UK or NZ company.  I and other Australian companies will forever be at a commercial disadvantage because of the filter.

As I see it, ISP Filter -> Slower Page Loads -> Lower Google Page Rank -> Commercial disadvantage for Australian companies.  What do others think?

———————
See also…

Mandatory ISP Filter Mind Map

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

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I have prepared this mind map to help guide the discussion in an upcoming meeting with a Labor MHR.  As best I can, I have presented the basic arguments against Senator Conroy’s current Mandatory ISP Filter policy with a minimum of technical jargon.

Mind Map presenting arguments against Senator Conroy's Mandatory ISP Filter
Mind Map presenting arguments against Senator Conroy’s Mandatory ISP Filter and offering a better solution for Child Cyber-Safety (click to enlarge)

The aim is to enlist this Member’s support for changing Labor’s Child Cyber-Safety policy away from the expensive and ineffective ISP filter and towards in-home filtering and education for parents about their role in ensuring their child’s safety.

Critically Urgent

The need to get this policy changed is now critically urgent as Senator Conroy has announced that legislation will be presented to Parliament in the next few months.

If you think it is helpful, please use the Mind Map to guide your own discussions with friends, relatives, workmates, etc.  Download a copy as

Of course, many technical arguments have been omitted but if you spot any errors, serious omissions or room for improvement, please let me know.

Thanks to Kath (@sleepydumpling) for suggesting that I use the word “PROHIBITION” instead of “CENSORSHIP” when talking to a politician.  Of course some politicians will think Censorship is perfectly reasonable in certain circumstances and the word doesn’t create a negative image for them at all.  On the other hand, Prohibition reminds us all of the bootlegging and other unintended outcomes of banning alcohol in the 1920s.

For further information:

Future Filter

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

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My basic argument against the government’s mandatory internet filter is
It won’t work; it’s a waste of our taxes; parents will let their guard down; children will be harmed.

However, there’s also this other niggling question…
Do I trust ALL future governments to NOT misuse the national internet filter infrastructure?

Do you trust ALL future governments to NOT misuse the national internet filter infrastructure?

2009: The ACMA is blacklisting an ANTI-abortion website because its images are offensive to children.
2011 (as the filter goes live): We now have the national infrastructure to filter all RC material, including euthanasia and PRO-abortion websites.
2016 (after the revolution): The People’s Republic of Australia will now ‘harmonize’ all references to the Federation Square riot and massacre which, of course, DID NOT HAPPEN.
2021 (after the Jihad): The Islamic Caliphate of Australia will now filter all pro-Christian websites.

Who knows what the future holds?  If a national internet filtering infrastructure is in place, will it be mis-used?  It’s only a matter of time.

What sort of Australia do you want to leave for your children?

———————
Update
You can now purchase this cartoon on a t-shirt.

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Phone Senator Conroy
Phone Senator Conroy
87 Percent
87 Percent
Pervert Conroy?
Pervert Conroy?
Quixotic Conroy
Quixotic Conroy

Pervert Conroy?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

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One of the most despicable things Senator Stephen Conroy has done was in the early days of the mandatory ISP filter policy.  He asserted, on the floor of the Senate, that opposition to this bad policy equates to support for paedophilia[1][2].

Yeah, well two can play that game…
Now that his ISP filter clearly won’t protect children, what’s his real motivation for pushing on regardless?

Now that Senator Stephen Conroy's mandatory ISP filter has been shown to be ineffective and a waste of money, why is it still Labor policy?

Citizen: Senator Conroy, you know your ineffective ISP filter won’t protect children from internet nasties?
Sen. Conroy: You must be a pervert.
Citizen: You know parents will let their guard down, thinking “The government is doing my job for me.”
Sen. Conroy: You must be a pervert.
Citizen: You know children will be harmed as a result of your ISP filter?
Sen. Conroy: I KNEW you were a pervert.
Citizen: You know it will be a huge waste of our taxes and won’t get one paedophile one meter closer to a courtroom.
Sen. Conroy: Isn’t it GREAT? (Welcome to the pervert club, by the way.)

Of course I don’t really believe that Senator Conroy is a pervert.  But I sure don’t like his “bully boy” tactics.

His real motivation for pushing on regardless is to establish the Western world’s most efficient censorship scheme.  Don’t fall for Conroy’s Con.

The mandatory ISP filter will never be 100% effective.  Our nation will never be able to afford the army of bureaucrats necessary to keep an ACMA “BlackList” up to date enough to protect children, while avoiding the unintended consequences of censorship experienced in other countries.

A better solution is parental supervision, aided if necessary by in-home filtering software targeted at the age-group of the children.

I call upon Prime Minister Rudd to cancel Senator Conroy’s white-elephant censorship scheme once and for all.  Spend the money on the Australian Federal Police and parent education.

———————
Update
You can now purchase this cartoon on a t-shirt.

———————
[1]  Senate Estimates Hansard, October 20, 2008 (PDF 1.21Mb)
Senator Conroy (in response to a question from Senator Ludlam about whether other countries have mandatory or opt-in systems):
I trust you are not suggesting that people should have access to child pornography.
Senator Ludlam: I am just wondering if I can put these questions to you without being accused of being pro child pornography.

[2] “If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree.” ABC News: Conroy announces mandatory internet filters to protect children

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Phone Senator Conroy
Phone Senator Conroy
87 Percent
87 Percent
Future Filter
Future Filter
Quixotic Conroy
Quixotic Conroy