stuloh I suspect that Google is a little late with Google+. A few hundred million people too late.
stuloh Great day for a ride up the 280 with the top down!
stuloh Nice and toasty outside today. Love summer!
stuloh $19.77 for a new set of the first four Song of Ice and Fire novels? Don't mind if I do.
I thought these were two interesting tidbits from this blog post:
In Australia, [Parliament] sits for only 80 days a year – an innovation we should copy – and on each day there is a 90 minute Question Time session in which all government ministers partake. The behaviour in the chamber on this occasion was even worse than the day before. And that’s saying something. I like adversarial politics. I would hate to have a sterile chamber like the US House of Representatives or the German Bundestag, but the Australians take adversarial politics to ridiculous levels. The pure hatred and loathing on the facts of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have to be seen to be believed. And the others take their lead from them. The Speaker, a gentle soul called Harry Jenkins, seems powerless to call order. Every few seconds he murmurs ‘Order’ but few take any notice. He names people. Still they take no notice. He can send people out of the chamber for an hour to cool down, and does. He can ban people. But they see no shame in being named or sin-binned. Indeed, it seems to be a badge of honour. The Speaker doesn’t ever seem to stand. He just sits there and every 20 seconds or so, says ‘Order’. To me, he is part of the problem. He’s not an authority figure, and boy does that chamber need an authority figure. Anyway, during Tuesday’s session I tweeted this…
“The UK House of Commons is often accused of behaving like a playground. It has nothing on the Aussie House of Reps. Unbelievable behaviour.”
This led to quite a strong reaction on Twitter and gained me about 200 extra followers. Remarkably virtually everyone agreed.
Just a final word about my first impressions of Australia on this visit. The one thing that has struck me so far is that it is an incredible optimistic, cheerful nation. People actually smile at you. You don’t get many smiles to the dozen in London, but here, it’s as if people are enjoying life and are not letting problems get them down. Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city and on the outside at least has coped very well with integrating a huge number of migrants from fellow Asian countries. But the prices! My God, this is the most expensive place I have ever been in my life. It’s far more expensive than Scandinavia and Switzerland. A Mars Bar costs £2! A can of coke in the hotel is £5. I ordered a club sandwich, a cranberry juice and a cherry strudel desert. The bill came to more than £55. Breakfast is £30. Madness.
I was just watching the WWDC Keynote and it struck me the velocity at which things are moving onto the cloud. OS X Lion is only going to be available on the App Store and not on an optical disc. Music collections are moving all online. Apart from heavy duty office applications, everything’s pretty much on the cloud these days. Heck, I even work for a SaaS provider. In a few years, we’ll be storing and accessing everything online. (There’s some discomfort over centralizing data with a corporation – and all the perceived privacy and security that come along with that – but when you think about it, there are also privacy and security benefits that come with it too. If you lose or break your computer, you don’t have to lose your data… who really backs up religiously? And the risk that a cloud provider’s data center is going to get hacked in a way that your data will be comprised is a fair rarer event that your laptop getting stolen. All this discomfort will pass as people start figuring out all the benefits that the cloud brings.)
Anyway, the thing is that cloud requires bandwidth. Lots of it. And that brings me to the main point I want to make – cloud computing is one of the key reasons why bandwidth is such a crucial part of ensuring that Australia remains competitive in the world. As expensive as NBN is to put in place, the cost of not doing it, or slapping on a half-assed bandaid solution like the one the coalition proposed during the last election, is insanely myopic. It’s not about something facetious, like letting people watch more YouTube videos online (as I remember one sceptical politician pointing out). Bandwidth in Australia is still expensive, and a lot of plans are capped. In California, I pay $30 a month (or actually $15, since I split with my flatmate) for a true 2 MBps connection (that’s megabytes, not megabits), with no caps or overage fees. My connection allows me to run Backblaze, which I use to backup my entire computer onto the cloud (all 300+ gigs of data) and the bandwidth costs me next-to-nothing. Try doing that in Australia.
stuloh Groupon's S-1 rego statement: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1490281/000104746911005613/a2203913zs-1.htm