October 13, 2008

OK OK, wayyyyy too long

Yes,

it's been way too long!

My excuse?

1. Web Directions South - amazingly excellent, best event yet. Apparently most twittered event in Australia to date.
2. Launch of Scroll magazine
3. Final preparation for Web Directions East in Tokyo early n November
4. preparations for Web Directions North 09 in Denver early February. Amazing line up of speakers, the conference will be launched this week.

That ought to do for now!

October 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (41) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2008

Yes, it's been a long time

I know it's been a long time since I posted here. My excuse? Lots happening elsewhere.

First up, Web Directions South is shaping up bigger and better than ever. Amazing speakers and workshops, partiesand much else besides. Discount pricing ends Friday BTW, if you haven't signed up yet. You will kick yourself if you miss it.

Secondly, we just launched Web Directions East. Tokyo, November 7, 8 and 9. Amazing speakers (Eric Meyer, Dan Cederholm, Jeremy Keith, Andy Budd, Doug Schepers and Jeffrey Veen,as well as local super stars of the web as well.)

Then, we launched a web professionals job board - over 30 great jobs for web professionals already online, from all over Australia, as well as NZ, the UK and more. It's free to post, and 100% self service - so if you are looking for great contractors, full or part time staff, then post your ads there.

We've also released a bet of Style Master 5 for the Mac, with a windows version to come, along with a new help desk for westciv, and dedicated Style Master blog.

Plus we have a number of really exciting projects in the pipeline, one of which you'll be hearing about in the next few days, and another by the end of the month.

On the personal front, Scarlett was 5 months old yesterday - so two girls well and truly under 3 is plenty to keep our hands full.

And lastly, I think, I've been mountain biking with some seriousness (for someone my age with nothing better to do) these last few months, and next Sunday I'll be doing my first 100km race.

Stay tuned here, and various other places for news of all of the above.

john

September 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack (0)

July 11, 2008

Annals of transport safety cluelessness

Flying back from Tokyo this week, I picked up, inside the customs area having checked in, some makeup and so forth as a present. My final destination was Sydney, though for whatever reason, my flight stopped in at Cairns for an hour or so.
So, of course the said present was in my carry on luggage (as my bags were already checked).

When we got off at Cairns (to get back on the same plane) we had to go through a security checkpoint before going into the transit lounge.

Of course, at this point, one can't take liquids etc etc, other than 100mls, in a clear bag, yadda yadda. So, what happens with my several hundreds of dollars of cosmetics etc? Security wants to confiscate them. In the original sealed bag that were put in by the shop assistant in Tokyo airport (nicely torn open by the security staff), in a plastic sealed box. Sanity prevailed (not before I'd have been willing to make a lot of fuss, both on principle, and because of the cost of these items). But what kind of insane system do we have going here?

I guess one day we'll all be flying naked.

As I said to security while they tried to explain that I'd have to give up the cosmetics - "that's just ridiculous".

July 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

June 26, 2008

In fairness to the SCOTUS

Having stuck it to the US Supreme court a couple of times (no doubt the good justices are a-quakin in their boots) I must observe that a recent death penalty decision may represent a low water mark for the death penalty in the US.

Much more encouraging signs here than just few weeks ago.

June 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (42) | TrackBack (0)

May 29, 2008

Speaking dates in Japan in June

As mentioned a few weeks back, in a couple of weeks I'll be speaking in Tokyo at a number of events.

I'll be doing two microformats related presentations, as well as a CSS 3 and experimental CSS presentation.

First up, on June 13, I'll be speaking at this vent at Mitsue-Links. It's free, but places are limited, and it will be conducted in a combination of Japanese, and English (which will be translated into Japanese). It's to help celebrate the launch of my microformats book in Japanese!

Then, on June 14th, I'll be speaking at the Apple Store in Ginza, on the experimental CSS you can find in Opera, Mozilla, and of course Safari/Webkit, as well as some aspects of CSS3 which are starting to get more widespread adoption. I'll also be showing off an unreleased version of Style Master 5, which has support for a lot of these features of CSS. "CSS Reloaded" is from 6.30pm to 8.00pm, and free, though places are limited to get there a bit early. It will be in english, but very visual and code oriented, so hopefully very intelligible to those with CSS knowledge.

Finally, the big event is on Saturday June 16th, "SwapSkills for the Happy Web Weekend" (no, I'm not 100% sure what it means either but it is going to rock!)

It's a one day mini-conference, where I'll be speaking both on microformats, and on "the web beyond the desktop". Also on the bill is Michael Smith from the W3C in Japan, who has enourmous experience with mobile applications and the web on mobile platforms. This runs all day, and costs just ¥12,000.

I look forward to meeting up with any readers out there. Also, feel free to leave advice about the most important etiquette issues for me as a non Japanese person, and suggestions of the types of Japanese words and phrases that would be most helpful while there.

May 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2008

Can we please

Retire the ghastly neologism "webinar" and never use it again.

Anyone out there not think it is one of the ugliest words ever?

That is all.

May 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (61) | TrackBack (0)

May 10, 2008

Holiday destination Question

Any thoughts from folks - either from personal experience, or even by reputation?

Skiing holiday - Denver Colorado, or Salt Lake City, Utah?

One constraint is it needs to be a major city, rather than a resort like Aspen - so good/great skiing within an hour by road. Both these locations fit the bill it would seem. So, where would you recommend and why?
Similar cities that are worth a thought?

Thanks in advance

John

May 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0)

May 08, 2008

On marriage

Pop quiz

In which year did the US Supreme Court hold that a law in the state of Virginia (similar to laws in dozens of states) that provided "a penalty of up to five years in prison and a clause: Those who tried to evade the law by marrying out of state, then returning to Virginia, would be treated the same as those who had married in the state."

OK, give the decade a go. How about the century?

It was 1967. I was one year old then. Sadly, the wmen who, with her husband, brought the action to have these barbaric laws overturned, Mildred Loving, passed away this week.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the Federal Government (you know the one that so many of us were relieved got elected after 11 years of the previous nasty inward looking government) has overturned the Australian Capital Territory's law that would provide for a civil union ceremony for same sex couples. Not a "marriage", simply a ceremony and attendant rights recognizing the relationship

First up - to the government. Shame. And gutless. Where's some leadership on this one. You just lost 85% of your brownie points with me, and doubtless a load of folks like me. You recently held a 2020 Summit, to help develop a vision of Australia in that year. Here's one you missed. There will be same sex marriage in australia by then.

Second up, to them and everyone they are pandering to - just get over it folks. Shift happens, societies evolve, change, and on the whole get better, fairer and more decent.
Why anyone is fussed that two people who love one another wish to have that publicly recognized is frankly baffling. And remember, it was mainstream opinion in many parts of the US (and law in a majority of states) that African America and Caucasian people should not be allowed to marry. In fact,were committing a criminal offence for doing so.

To the churches who are driving this kind of crap - why should my taxes go to you (in the form of tax exemptions for religions, and all kinds of support from the public teat) when you foster, promote, and actually implement discriminatory policies?

Farewell to Mrs Loving. She put it best

"I think marrying who you want is a right no man should have anything to do with"

Amen

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2008

Deranged

Who said this?

Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of "objectively intolerable risk of harm" that qualifies as cruel and unusual. ...

Th Supreme Court of the United States this morning in ruling it lawful for states to use lethal injections as a means of execution.

I'e been quite forthright on what I feel about capital punishment several times here, but to see the highest court in the US, "rationally" discuss the legality of not only the barbaric act of state sanctioned murder, but whether on top of everything else, inflicting pain while doing so is acceptable, is, to put it bluntly, sub human.

While this case has been pending before the SCOTUS, there has been an effective moratorium on the application of the death penalty in the US, surely a positive step. Will that come to an end now?

And with many US states now expanding the range of crimes for which the death penalty may apply to crimes other than murder, are things getting better of worse in the nation which holds itself up as the light on the hill for freedom, values, democracy and so on?

April 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (35) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2008

apophenia*?

Apart from the new arrival, one of the reasons for the slow posting (ie almost non existent) posting of late is that few weeks ago I moved house, and am still waiting for the broadband to be transferred.

In the meantime I've been using a HSDPA network by a major provider - which has been as slower than my memories of dialup.

Well, tat changed this morning (ironically, the day the broadband is due on) - while not ADSL2+ speed, it's tens of times faster.

The question is why?

Is it atmospheric conditions?
Has there been something wrong with the network access where I live for the last few weeks?

Or is it something else?
Last, night, sadly, a mail plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Sydney airport - only a short distance from where we live (the place is abuzz with helicopters, television OB vans, and so on). I wonder whether the network coverage in this area, which is at the edge of Sydney, has been bumped up by the provider?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Something is definitely going on, I'm just intrigued as to what.

* the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)