Friday, August 26, 2005

Web Essential 2005

Yes, I am going to WE05, again. Last year, WE04, was a great event as it was the first time I've been to a fully focused web development conference. Semi-permanent, Flash, AGIdeas, and other design conferences often have a full spectrum of design and art side. WE04 was an eye opener that focused into the direction of web development, such as semantic HTML(XHTML), CSS, accessibility and future of web development and a host of other stuff.

The atmosphere was also great fun, with Dave Shae (CSS Zen Garden) and Douglas Bowman (Stop Design) as special guests the quality was certainly good. It really pushed me last year to go further in my web developments and improve my sites. This seemed to have exploded with guests like Eric Meyer, Douglas Bowman, Molly E. Holzschlag, Jeffrey Veen, Tantek Çelik, and a host more guests. All gurus of the current web and no doubt full of information on the road ahead.

So, I'd recommend this to anyone if they can get the last 10 tickets or so. See you there in September.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Talk

Its out and its beta. If you haven't got it yet then don't worry. First you need a Gmail account for it work. It also needs a lot more UI development to go but I can see where its going. Google talk a has working IM and call function but without much additional chat tools. Emotive icons are not available as yet so many chats can't be emotionised. I hope its going to get much better. If you like download it and check it out.

http://www.google.com/talk/

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Australian Broadband

One of the discussion I have been heavily into at the moment is the current state of the Australian Broadband industry. The present monopoly of Telstra is, for all intent and purposes, a hinderance to broadband growth. For most other countries with competitive telecommunication industries, serious advances for end user access online have been achieved. Notables are South Korea, Japan in Asia, Finland, Sweden and other advance European countries, and of course, North America.

Most think we do not have the population base, city density or handicapped with our huge land mass per capital. Of course, these are all valid points to the slow growth of broadband. But surely we need to advance and face these challenges. The biggest limitation lies on the mess that is Telstra. Those who do not live in Australia need to understand the huge monopoly it has and control the telecommunication industry. Telstra, a former government operation as Telecom, has over 90% of all Australian telecommunication infrastructure. This means they have a huge hold on the market.

Competition like Optus, AAPT and others may have smaller networks of their own but still mostly access to Telstra lines for its networks. This was made possible by government intervention and legislation by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The possibly for change is presently changing as Telstra is going forth to its full sale next year. It will be interesting to see what will change, if at all, to the broadband industry then.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Death of a PowerBook & Podcasting

First thing. I have been a total lazy bug. My blogs have been totally out and stopped for a month since I wrote my last piece. Total apologies. You will know why it took so long soon.

So what have I been doing all this time? Part of it is my time has been the death of my 17" 1.33ghz PowerBook I got in December 2004. It was devastating to lose my favourite laptop after something out of my control. One minute I was in a meeting and when I return to my desk its dead. The beautiful 17" LCD screen was totally scrambled. After much testing and advice from authorised Apple repairers, the logic board has VRAM corruption. It now scrambles all my video output (yes that includes all video-out).

OK, I'll try and fix it. Maybe not. The cost of repair is over $2000 Australian dollars. Total shock and disgust with the 4-figure cost. There is no way I am going to fork out $2000 for a fault appearing totally out of thin air. For that money I might as well buy a new one or put it into a investment account to buy the planned Apple-Intel PowerBook. So now I have no working Mac since I also sold my G4 6-months ago. Now, I've been force to go back to my old PC and wait until next for the new PowerBook. Sad, sad predicament for a creative and lost of respect and dissappointment with Apple hardware.

On a lighter note, even without my PowerBook, I have been enjoying some great podcasting. Audio-on-demand is such a good idea. Its like blogging but with audio and anyone with a decent recording gear can doing. Here are some of the stuff I've been listening to;
If you've got iTunes, you can start straight away and subscribe to them. Find it in the Music Store under Podcast.

If you too are listening podcasts. What are your favourites? Let me know as I would love to check out other cool podcast.