Monday 29 November 2010


Starting WEB207 this week... as soon as my brand-new reading specs arrive!

Thursday 25 November 2010

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

Hmm... today was HOT.  Trekked back to the car which had been parked outside and told Joshua that I was going to open the windows "just for a minute" to let the hot air out while the air conditioner fired up.  Pulled out into the street and I hit the window "up" button.  The rest went like this:

Joshua:  "Mum, was that one minute?"
Me:  "Err... yes."
Joshua:  "Hmm.  Well.  You know when you're on the computer, and I ask you if I can watch TV?  And you say 'in a minute'?  Well that is WAAYY longer!"

Busted :p

Tuesday 23 November 2010

What I'm running on my Android

LOVE my HTC Desire!  A few people have asked what apps I have - here's the latest list (I can't be bothered trying to link them, just search the names in Android Market and you'll find them easily enough):
  • Facebook for Android
  • TweetCaster for Twitter (allows multiple Twitter accounts)
  • ColorNote Notepad Notes (still can't find anything to sync with Outlook Notes)
  • Dropbox (lets me share files betwen PC and phone)
  • KeePassDroid (have KeePass installed on PC and data file in Dropbox - always up-to-date password manager *wheee* geek-heaven!)
  • Google Maps / Google Sky Map / Google Goggles / Street View on Google
  • TinyShark (plays Grooveshark for free)
  • OI File Manager
  • Airplane Toggle / Wifi Toggle / Silent Toggle / Bluetooth Toggle Widgets (from Droidmania - good for quick access on-screen)
  • GPS Toggle Widget (SchreinerDev)
  • Silent Time Lite - lets you configure the phone to automatically go to Silent mode at certain times - I have a "Night" event which makes it all go silent at 10pm each night.
  • SMS Backup - absolutely the best thing ever.  Sends a copy of every SMS you send/receive to your email.
  • Aussie Weather Radar
  • Footy Scoreboard
  • Ashes Cricket Live Score
  • Barcode Scanner (scans QR codes)
  • Unit Converter - Convertpad
  • Adobe Photoshop Express
  • Live Drive (Think Nimble)
  • Bookmarks manager
  • Angry Birds
  • Angry Birds Seasons
  • Jewels
  • Solitaire
  • Real BlackJack
  • Mahjong
  • Sudoko Free
What I still need
A successful, easy, FREE way of syncing Outlook Tasks and Outlook Notes to the Android.  C'mon Microsoft and Google, TALK dammit.  If anybody knows a good way to do this please let me know.

For a review of my Telstra-branded HTC Desire that I posted on a Telstra message board recently, please click here.

Saturday 20 November 2010

A Life on Facebook


Have I ever mentioned my geek-lust for @timberners_lee? :P

Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality

Friday 19 November 2010

Review on my Telstra HTC Desire (Android)

Originally posted here
I've had my Telstra HTC Desire for 4 months now, after using a variety of smartphones (a new one almost every year) for the last 6-7 years. While it's one of the best phones I've ever had, there are 2 glaring issues which, if I'd known about them beforehand, probably would have made me second-guess this purchase:

1. Despite the fact that it's supposed to be fully a customisable device, Telstra have hard-coded it so that it is impossible to remove any Telstra-specific apps that you don't want. There is NO way to delete those Telstra apps, which largely do not work if you are using Wi-Fi anyway. This is despite a sales-rep in a Telstra shop assuring me that they COULD be removed. The only way to get rid of them is to flash the ROM with a generic Android ROM, which is a little daunting for most people and apparently voids the warranty anyway. I could understand Telstra putting their own things in, but to make them unremovable makes the whole concept of Android a bit of a joke, and makes we wish I'd bought a generic handset from overseas instead.

2. HTC Sync, to sync between Outlook and the Desire using a cable, is a complete and utter disaster of an application. I acknowledge that this isn't a Telstra issue, it's an HTC/Google issue. Coming from a WinMobile device where I could sync Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes easily, it was a shock to discover that I can NOT sync Tasks or Notes. Further, the sync randomly randomly corrupts my Outlook contacts each time I sync (and yes, I've tried 3 different versions of HTC Sync). As a result I've done one sync and then turned it off for Contacts, then fixed up all the corrupt entries in Outlook, and now only sync my Calendar. The only thing that makes me dream about my WinMobile days, quite honestly!


Thursday 11 November 2010

Topic 2.4 - The Shaping of Time and Space

Harris, Laurel. 2003. Time, space. In Theories of Media (University of Chicago). Archived by WebCite.

This glossary entry is useful in terms of its discussion of the socially-constructed aspects of time and space, and the role of media technologies in changing our experience and conception of time and space. How are time, space, and the Internet interconnected, how has the Internet affected the way we experience time and space?

Soraj Hongladarom. 2002. “The Web of Time and the Dilemma of Globalization,” The Information Society 18(4), pp. 241 - 249. In E-Reserve.

This article is useful in terms of considering the political aspects of time, particularly in relation to the power balance between global and local cultures, as applied to Thai culture. Are there any parallels with your local culture/s?


1. How has engagement with the Internet affected your experience of time and space?

2. The mindmap: how well does it represent your learning and understanding of the Internet and everyday life since? Given what you know now, what would you do differently?

I've moved from an office-based (apparently 9-5 but not really!) job working for an employer, to being self-employed and working from home at all different times of day and night.  This has also enabled me to study online in a similar way.  I read a lot of stuff about work/life balance and people complaining that you can never switch off like you used to, but the Internet has enabled me to work, study AND spend quality time with my kids and achieve the kind of balance that I would never have managed pre-Internet.  Mind you, I do seem to LOSE a lot of time too, reading links from Twitter mostly, which has helped me to expand my knowledge in a lot of areas that I had no previous experience in - but has also helped me on the journey to needing reading glasses!


Fairfax boss: Our users prefer us to autoplay video

Fairfax says that users PREFER videos on their site to play automatically. Have your say at Mumbrella. :> Oh, and if you use Firefox you can install Adblock Plus if you want to block it (I also use this to block Facebook ads, don't see any of 'em!).

Wednesday 10 November 2010

This is what I'm studying

This short video introduces the BA (Internet Communications) offered by Curtin University in Perth, Australia. It is designed primarily for students thinking of studying with us through Open Universities Australia.


Friday 5 November 2010


Sunsets (Live from the Sunsets Farewell Tour DVD)

Thursday 4 November 2010

How children lost the right to roam in four generations

When George Thomas was eight he walked everywhere. It was 1926 and his parents were unable to afford the fare for a tram, let alone the cost of a bike and he regularly walked six miles to his favourite fishing haunt without adult supervision.

Topic 2.3 - The Relationship between Society and Technology

Williams, R. & Edge, R. (1997). What is the Social Shaping of Technology?. The Research Centre for Social Science.

These authors criticise the exaggeration of the inherent qualities of technology. What is SST? What is technological determinism? What does SST offer in contrast?

Micah M. White, “Facebook Suicide ,” Adbusters, June 4, 2008. Archived by WebCite.

This piece for an activist magazine issues a call for to leave Facebook; read the comments as well. What relationships between the control of our social networking information (power), community, identity, profit (economy) and privacy does this highlight?

  1. With reference to Facebook, an online game, or any other Internet application or technology, look into how the developers and users negotiate its development:
    1. Are there examples of the developers and the users disagreeing with some change or other? What was the outcome of these?
    2. Have the people using the application found uses that the developers may not have anticipated?
The Facebook privacy issues were a classic case of Facebook going just that bit too far, and users revolting.  Earlier this year changes to the Facebook platform resulted in everything I had previously clicked "Like" next to suddenly being visible to the whole world next to my name, even though my privacy settings were all set to only allow myself or people on my friend list to see my profile.  And there was no way to stop that from showing.  So I went in and removed all of my Likes (although I've since put some back, but now they're all carefully "neutral" or "professional", in case they decide to do it again one day).  There were people all over the world threatening to leave Facebook, which resulted in this email from Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, to a friend (intriguingly, the friend questions his own right to publish the email, and only does so when Mark gives him permission, which I found quite hilarious at the time - I was wondering what excuse Mark could possibly come up with to make his friend protect his privacy!)

The privacy issue was covered in the media and finally Facebook announced that they would be "Making Control Simple", which I thought was really a very subtle way of saying "we stuffed up".

This was reported in what I considered to be a more HONEST way by many media outlets:

Google has also encountered privacy problems with applications such as StreetView and Buzz, resulting in lawsuits by various governments including Australia, Canada and the European Union.
To answer the second part of this question, the best example I could think of was Twitter, with users creating the @username and #hashtag, but now that I've logged into Blackboard I see that William beat me to it!