Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sydney Roads F3-M2 Tunnel Project


The NSW Government together with Transurban have issued a map to the community showing the "indicative" path for a tunnel to link the existing M2 with the F3 (now "re-branded" as the M1). The path loosely follows the existing daily bottle-neck route of the Cumberland Hwy/Pennant Hills Road, which parallels the current North-West (Epping to Hornsby) railway line. See www.rms.nsw.gov.au/f3tom2/ for details

Open Letter

2 ideas - 1 email (all for better value):

1) don't "provision for future widening" do it right the first time -
history shows that every single major route in and out of Sydney needs
to be 3 lanes (min). Save time, [overall] money and headaches and do
it right the first time.

2) IDEA: move the Hornsby to Beecroft (or take it back to the already
underground tunnel at Epping) railway line underground (while the
machines are down there) and then sell off the very valuable
above-ground real-estate corridor to help fund the project. Long term
all the existing property's land value increases as noisy transport
corridors are channeled below.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Google Maps April Fools (or is it?)

Like a lot of people I look forward to April 1st when the big companies try to pull the wool over our eyes with some lame, but interesting hoax. Google has been doing it for a few years now, with different business units coming up with something unique to the products they build. This year however, the company teamed up on a single concept: Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity (CADIE) - which is basically just an bot with Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a cutesy looking panda for a logo. This was a bit of a cop-out as all the Maps team really created was a Google My Map with a about 20 placemarks (all in America) represented with the panda icon (wow).
While scratching my head thinking "there must be more to it than this" as it's pretty average - I stumbled on this at this location when in Streetview:

Now I'm not sure if this was an unpublicised April Fools or just a Streetview glitch. It looks like your trapped in the rib cage of some weird purple walrus (or panda). And what's also strange is that a continuous section of road, just stops when you get "caught" inside the view. And even more funny is that this is near "area 51".
I'm hoping this was part of the April Fools day pranks as it is actually half-decent compared to the rest of the CADIE cop-outs.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The demise of Twitter: from push to passive

When Twitter first came in to "my net life" it I was annoyed yet attracted to it's in-your-face constant alerting of social updates. The instant info burst of where funkycoda was going for lunch or DmitryBaranovsk's request for a timely response for a solution to a JavaScript problem or lachlanhardy alerting followers to the release of another new social network where all great uses of the interruption technology which came to me via an instant message (when on my desktop) or an SMS (when on out-and-about or the road).

For now, I am resigned to reading "tweet" history on the Twitter website. Reading over such social comments after-the-fact makes me feel like I missed out. Commenting later is not much good to anyone seeking an instant response. The "he's doing it now" nature of the service often made me also want to contribute then and there using the same technology of receival to comment back.

For a while, things have changed: IM stability for Twitter was a hit and miss affair earlier this year and it seems to have been taken down (permanently) for months now. So for a long time now I have not been making regular updates as I have not had an easy way to make them. Now also with the death of SMS alerts in Australia I am again disconnected from the JIT nature of the service and for me, apart from friend connections on the service I have lost use of the here and now aspect of it. There are many other services that allow me to "micro blog" that do it much better and are usable (brightkite being my current favourite).

NOTE: I know there is twitteriffic out there but I have not used it as I am against the fact that I need to provide my login credentials to a third party and run a dedicated app in place of something that fitted seamlessly with my existing day-to-day applications. Twitter should offer a service like this themselves or provide a google/flicker open auth ID type solution so a 3rd party does not see my personal login.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Google out of Touch with current Mac Line-up

One thing I noticed last week while I was considering how to spend some business profits to lower my tax payments (always fun) on the Apple Store was that Apple now scrooge on the Apple Remote across the entire MacBook range - it was even debatable if the new MacBook Air even worked with the remote.

The Apple Remote, which is primarily used to control Front Row, is now a $29AUD add-on (you could purchase it at a later date - but would then have to pay shipping if your total order was not over $100).

Since the remote first appeared it has shipped with Apple all the MacBooks and consumer desktops "in the box". It is still a standard includ with the iMac and Mac mini. I wonder why Apple have decided to drop it as an incision in latest round of MacBook product updates? It seems even Google (Official Google Mac Blog: Most Mac models today ship with a six-button remote control…) were not aware of the change to the status-quo. I doubt it would be a cost saving measure - the device is so simple at mass-production it would cost less than $5. It's also feather light, so it would add next-to-nothing in additional shipping costs. One issue I see is that the current MacBooks may not be updated for a while and Apple do not want issues/complaints about flat batteries, or acid leaks. But I really hope they are about to launch a redesigned remote that looks like the 2nd generation iPod Nano. I think the anodised aluminium would look like it belonged next to the new slim line keyboards, on the base of the latest iMacs and and the higher-end MacBooks. Now that would be nice.

New aluminium Apple Remote

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Random background image in Mac Terminal

As submitted to Mac OSX Hints:

Found this one out by accident. In Apple's Terminal.app, under the 'Terminal' menu, choose 'Window Settings...' then the 'Color' plane.

Under 'Background Settings' you can set the background to be an image BUT you can also choose a folder.

Setting the option to a folder full of images will cause each new Terminal window to have a different image from the chosen folder.

It's these "just works" feature that makes Mac so cool.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Commercial Free Maps

Google just released their Flyover 2007 imagery to the Australian version of Google Maps (not Google Earth). I've spent maybe a bit less than an hour surfing and have not found any obvious signage created specifically to be snapped up by the Google Plane or Microsofts flying-machine which was also doing the rounds, even after so much national publicity.

While the images are great - if only the whole country (or better, world) was captured to this detail - I was really looking forward to seeing how creative people were in getting their message noticed by the seach engine snappers.

Apart from Circular Quay I'm finding it hard to believe that these images were even taken on Australia Day. These images could be of any other weekend in Sydney. Was the Google Arial Australia promotion all one big con?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Out-done again?

The biggest Australian flag in the southern hemisphere

This is a phrase that was used many times in the special wrap feature of last weeks last weeks Australia Day edition of the Blacktown Sun.

Does this mean that some other country (in the northern hemisphere) has an even bigger print of our own flag?

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