It’s been a while…

Dear blog,

Welcome to Friday. It’s 6.41am and I am at a bus stop, waiting for the bus to the Uni. It’s 13.6F, but with the breeze, feels like 8.7F, according to WeatherAU app on my beloved iPhone 5. Running the new iOS 7, more on that later. I’ve taken my gloves off – and yep, the app is correct. Nice to verify the app;)

Why so early? Well, it’s a great chance to get work done when it is quiet at the Uni. Two solid hours of quiet. I practice Ukelele, work on my thesis, (teaser), mark assignments, work on lectures. Plus my body is most tolerant now, and I sleep so poorly that I am awake at 3 it seems nowadays.

I have not been blogging since semester 2. I only have so much time, after all. But this morning I realised I often spend twenty minutes playing in my iPhone at the bus stop – why not resume blogging (and my poor neglected journal – Day One is the must have multi platform app for that!)

Teaching two subjects is so much of a time vacuum. Rewriting one as I go makes it hugely so. So, being me (pause for bus) (now on bus) I enrolled in my Honors degree stream. I always felt bad about not finishing my B.IT (Bachelor of Information Technology), degree. With RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), I qualify to do the four year B.IT Hons degree. And of course, being me, that’s not enough. I want a PhD. I’ve always dreamt of that. Why?

A PhD seems like a weird life goal. When I was originally at Uni 20 odd (some very odd) years ago, I longed to stay there. I looked with awe at the lecturers – even the Post Grads seemed involved in something so special, so – aspirational. A huge fan of Dorothy L Sayers, her ‘Gaudy Night‘ was a book that captured that sense that a University was a place if something higher – higher standards, loftier intentions. learning in its purest form. Now, amongst it all, I am perhaps more realistic, and my awe is also lessened, (we lecturers turn out to be just people after all!), but the passion for knowledge, scientific rigor, and the joy of collaboration and research is strengthened. While lecturers are more human than many students give us credit for, we genuinely believe in what we are doing – and everyone I work with genuinely CARES about what not only their research, but also the students, and their importance.

Anyway, here I am on an early bus heading in to work on my thesis presentation (lecturing to a hundred students is not nearly as scary as presenting to ten or fifteen people about what my thesis is covering). I will talk more about that another time:)

Oh, and iOS 7? As someone passionate about the user, about UI, and interfaces – a solid round of applause Apple. A big leap – with much of the improvement a subtle thing that many won’t notice, the big ticket items garner the attention,but from my point of view, there is much behaviour that is a huge step into a new and exciting direction.

I will be back, dear blog. I have found the corner of time needed, and after all – It’s About Time.

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Owning Social Networks (without them owning you)

twitter logo map 09

twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

A list of fixes for social networks made me start commenting with my own list, and it got longer than my one or two sentence post to a socnet alone rule. These become actual blog then socnet posts. And that is rule number 1.

2. I am not owned by my socnets. Sometimes I answer a comment. I guarantee I read every single response, but unless it merits a reply, I merely acknowledge and note whether that is someone I will follow more closely. I do not have time for anything else.

3. I try to allocate a session each day, a half to one hour postarama, with augments throughout day if I stumble across articles I find interesting. For everything I post interests me. If I miss a day due to

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

busy life, well, so be it.

4. I post only for me, and never look at viewing numbers, and only occasionally check out how many are following – for what do those numbers mean?

5. I am trying to blog once a day on longer form things that interest me – see rule one. More if something makes me want to, else one is sufficient, and see rule 3.

6. I sanity check email one big burst a day, trying for the same time each day, then allow ten minutes each two hour block to sanity check. Again, it does not own me, and I have had no complaints. Of course I am still drowning in it, but it helps!

7. If multiple socnets, post once, disseminate everywhere. Things like or various extensions and plugins allow you to blog then post to many networks – Google Plus feeds through to Twitter. I have tried but failed due to Google Plus API to do blog (WordPress) to G+ then Twitter and Tumbler, but I have. WP extension to try tomorrow that may work, but I have to lower security and turn off two factor authentication, thanks Google, that sucks.

8. No, no Facebook, too hard and too socially weird for me, I tried a couple of times and ended up overwhelmed, and being friended by people who aren’t of course really friends. I prefer quality. The way G+ handles relationships just works better for me, and I despise FB rules on privacy.

9. I also handle accounts for Flinders Uni CSEM, so Hootsuite is my friend. As is having the same tools configured on every platform/tool, so I can quickly post.

10. GOTO 1 ;)

Top 10 Facebook, Twitter And Other Social Annoyances You Can Fix Now | Lifehacker Australia.

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Google – can it compete with Facebook? Or anyone besides search engines?


Image via Wikipedia

Farhad Manjoo has this article running atm : Google+ had a chance to compete with Facebook. Not anymore. – Slate Magazine.

It got me thinking. Look, i love Google+. It is the same rush of intense gratitude for a service I had when first using Facebook, before it becoame so big and monstrous (all things to all people works for some, not me, and that’s ok). Google+ combines that with the integration of its other services. Wonderful. And blessed shock, for once, the interface is good. Not great, but good. Damning with faint praise.

I have written often on how, from a developer pov (and a user who wants so much to embrace their products), their UI is woeful, and they could benefit hugely from feedback from both developers and users there. I have an iPhone4. My husband has the Samsung Galaxy 2. I look at it, and admire it, but I wouldn’t swap for the world, and he is NOT enjoying Android – but I can see how much the iOS would suit him. I have tried living in Android world, I have had Android handsets, and always gone back to iOS. And I WANT to live in a Googleverse. But Apple UI beats them hands down – and I know of others working in Android who regretfully feel the same way. (Often they are people who care about UI and the user experience too).

But being a developer in Android, I know how hard it is to get Google to take feedback. By hard, I mean damn impossible. They are like a black box – feedback goes in, their own ideas come out. And we at the Serval Project want to work with them – they have teams working on similar ideas to us in mesh networking.It has been interesting at the IEEE 802 PLenary how many people say the same thing about Google being hard to connect to, to work with. And that is a pity. Because we get technical genius that misses the need – Wave, Buzz. They brush it off as learning, and integrate useful bits. But that is expensive, and alienates users. The more they do that, the more cynical people are about their products, and the further behind they are.

So in reading Farhad’s article, I so want to disagree with him, I really do. But he is probably right, because Google hasn’t learned that lesson yet.

But if you ever are Google – let’s talk.

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A site about Siri responses:)

STSS, aka Shit That Siri Says, is rather fun, and shows what a deep understanding Apple has of their market. They knew people would push the envelope, and have shown a lot of style in being ready for it.

But this is for me to enjoy later – right now, i must work on a better understanding of IEEE procedures, not enjoy this site – oh what fun though! must…resist..

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Cult of personality: a reflection on coverage of Steve Jobs – The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

I mourn the loss of a visionary, but like many, i am alarmed at how much the media is attributing to his ‘amazing unique talent’. Yes, it was amazing, he was the Henry Ford of our time, but he was a deeply flawed and contradictory man. Like all geniuses. Like all people. He surrounded himself with genius such as Jonny Ives, and the brilliance of Steve Wozniak. And, Apple has cases to anser in manufacturing (the FoxConn factory suicide rate remains an ugly testament to first world malfeasance and greed – and i am no innocent there). So, balance people. That is all i ask. But i will continue to post any clever tribute – i think they deserve kudos in and of themselves.

Jobs (at least in his later life from about 1995) was a very clever businessman, able to spot a market trend and to profit from it. He made a fortune out of developing the cast-off computer animated design business of George Lucas of Star Wars fame, which became Pixar, the producer of the Toy Story movies.

He then moved on to exploiting the rise of the internet and smartphone technology, for which the iPod can be seen to be the pre-cursor. All very clever stuff and worthy of high praise, but not a cult of personality that has been fostered around him, and now is asserted as the proper basis for his memory.

Indeed, Jobs was just as ruthless a businessman in his success as, say, Henry Ford. The exploitation of his business partner, Steve Wozniak, is quite inexplicable. The denial (for a time) of the existence of a daughter, Lisa, quite bizarre.

There must, therefore, be balance in the historical record that marks out Steve Jobs‘s greatness.

It is to be hoped that the silly expressions of emotion on his passing will be replaced by more nuanced and sober assessments, and the sooner the better, before there is a clamour for the beatification of the blessed Jobs of Silicon Valley.

It was, after all, the apple that was the cause of all the initial fuss, was it not?

via The modern cult of personality: a reflection on the death of Steve Jobs – The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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Steve Jobs Legacy

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...

Image via Wikipedia

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs

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Apple – Remembering Steve Jobs

The first computer i touched in high school back in the early eighties was an Apple Mac. I was entranced. Little did i know here was my future passion, my calling, my industry. His (and Steve Wozniak’s) vision was something that led to my dream & my passion, and my fulfilment. How many people manage that?
To his family, nothing can ease your pain at your loss. But the world lost something special too. So in what ways we can, we share your loss.
Vale, Mr Jobs.
Apple – Remembering Steve Jobs.

The secret numerology behind the iPhone event invitation | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

It’s been announced.

Invitations to Apple’s iPhone event on October 4th have been sent out, and we asked famed numerology expert Helmut Weltschmertz (see photo at right) of the Koblenz Institute of Numerology and Used Car Sales to tell us exactly what the numbers and symbols on the invitation meant. Here’s what Dr. Weltschmertz was able to surmise for TUAW:

via The secret numerology behind the iPhone event invitation | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog.


Oh, this made me snigger.