Yesterday I switched over to using FeedBurner to manage the RSS/Atom feeds for the site. People are welcome to continue using the existing ones, but I may eventually start using FeedBurner to splice in del.icio.us links and things like that, so I’d recommend changing over to the latest and greatest – http://feeds.feedburner.com/kstruct. For anyone who has no idea what I’m talking about, I’ve also added a page about subscribing to the site.
In other news I was quite happy to find that this site has made it up to #1 in Google for the search matt sheppard. I’m surprised how quick that was actually. Though I’m not expecting to improve anywhere near as quickly, I seem to have made it to #21 on matthew sheppard
Technorati Tags: FeedBurner, Google, Matt Sheppard, Matthew Sheppard
30 Dec 2005 07:23 pm
Coke and salted peanuts?
So, I finished reading The Secret Life of Bees over Christmas, and really did quite enjoy it. Just to completely miss the point though, the main character, Lily, apparently likes Coke with salted peanuts in it. I will go and find some to mix myself, but I am curious to know if anyone else has tried it. Everyone I’ve asked so far has just looked blankly until I explained that I read it in a book.
18 Dec 2005 06:11 pm
Adelaide is north of Canberra
Yep, Adelaide is north of Canberra.
This is probably only interesting to a particular band of people, specifically those who know not too much, and not too little Australian geography. For what it’s worth, Adelaide is where I grew up, and I now live in Canberra, the capital of Australia.
I’ve always found it a little surprising but I don’t know why really. It just feels wrong somehow, but is quite clear when you look at a map. Even though Canberra’s colder (mostly due to being high up and away form the ocean), it feels like it should be further north. Then again, Adelaide is pretty much level with Sydney, and Canberra’s obviously south of Sydney, so maybe I just haven’t spent enough time with a map.
It seems like a lot of other people are suprised by this as well however. Maybe it’s something to do with Adelaide being the state capital of South Australia. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who wasn’t surprised when I told them this – though maybe I’ve just been choosing my victims carefully
18 Dec 2005 06:01 pm
Air Hockey over Distance
I’ve always quite liked air hockey, in spite of being quite bad at it. One of the other teams in the lab I work in has built an air hockey game which works with two players at a distance. Each person gets half a table, a projection screen and so on. While I’m sure there’s a lot more to the research behind it, than just ‘wow, it would be cool to play air hockey over a network’, it really does sound cool. I haven’t actually played with it, but really should con someone into giving me a demo sometime.
Anyway, congrats to Floyd (as well as Shannon in the screen in the photo, and the rest of their team) on the write up they got in the Sydney Morning Herald.
12 Dec 2005 07:18 pm
Unauthorised Christmas wrapup
Our last show for 2005 was a lot of fun, even if I really didn’t get to spend much time on stage. Unfortunately our second scene (an alphabet) fell rather flat and we didn’t manage to pull it back enough to make it through to the fourth round (in spite of a couple of hear wrenching moments involving scoring mistakes).
Our first was a pretty decent word at a time story, and third was a pretty good puppets scene which I unfortunately got myself kicked out of for saying Christmas about 20 seconds in. Even if our team didn’t pull off anything spectacular, there were some really good scenes, and some really random judging to go with them.
I did take my camera along with the best of intentions, but ended up without any photos of the show. We really need to organise to have an official photographer in the front row sometime. Anyway, noting much else to say. Thanks to the rest of my team, Richard, Alex and Irene, and to all the other players for making it a great night.
10 Dec 2005 09:20 pm
Computer science, Google and the nature of information retrieval
I can’t claim this idea as my own. It came up over a few beers with people from work on Friday afternoon, but still seems to be amusing enough to post a day later. I’m not naming the people involved, but if they want credit they’re very welcome to post their names, links or whatever below.
To quote from wikipedia’s science article, “science can only make conclusions about our observations of nature.”. This is quite an interesting statement with respect to the idea of ‘computer science’ where in many cases, nature, at least in a traditional sense, is more or less absent. Today I’m talking specifically about information retrieval, which is a specific branch of computer science generally concerned with what we would call searching (think Google et al).
The academic information retrieval world (which I currently work right next to but couldn’t claim to be a part of) currently has a major ‘brain drain’ towards Google, Yahoo, MSN etc where research results are not usually published. This has meant that in a lot of cases there are problems that the academic community knows are solvable because Google solves them, but but from a research perspective there is very little published to base further research on.
The logical step here is to think about these secretive web search companies as almost like nature itself, in that they begrudgingly submit themselves to be studied, but aren’t giving away any secrets easily. I just find the idea of Google being on a par with nature itself really funny.
07 Dec 2005 09:50 pm
Standup meetings – what are the questions
Over the past month or so we’ve been trying to institute stand-up meetings a la extreme programming within the team I work in. In my old job, working with one of the other members of this new team, we did these meetings pretty much daily for the two and a half years I was there, so I guess for me the whole thing has long since become a habit. It has been rather interesting being in a reasonable size group where most people haven’t had these sorts of meetings in the past, and I wonder if we aren’t taking the wrong approach.
05 Dec 2005 09:57 pm
New Internode plans
I’ve been very happy with Internode since switching away from TPG (mostly due to poor Mac support) over a year ago. They’ve just introduced a bunch of upgraded plans, which bumps me up from 2GB per month to 8GB at the same price. I probably won’t really use it – I’ve never gone past my old 2GB limit, but I’m certainly not complaining.
I keep thinking I should make the jump to an ADSL 2+ modem and go for the entry level Internode Extreme ADSL2+ plans. Twice the transfer limit (which I probably wouldn’t use) and a connection which might be up to almost 5 times faster seems like a pretty sweet deal for an extra $20 per month. Maybe next time I move house and have to pay for a new ADSL connection anyway.
04 Dec 2005 02:31 pm
I went to see Diana Anaid who was playing at the Greenroom last night here in Canberra. A very nice set, even though she seemed to have a bunch of trouble with her guitar’s pick-up.
I was actually a little surprised the place wasn’t packed out. I guess she’s not quite as well known as I imagined. Pity really, because she’s got a great voice, is really good looking (her face is somehow like a more attractive version of Sarah Jessica Parker) and has some great songs to go with it all. I’ve no idea really how I even first heard of her. The songs I know best are ‘Perfect Family’ and ‘Don’t believe in love’ and though I’m familiar with her best known song, ‘I go off’, I’ve never had a copy of it. It’s a shame her web-site doesn’t sell any of the back catalogue, and the iTunes music store link seems to be broken.
On a final note, I have to admit, I had never noticed until tonight that Anaid is just Diana backwards, which I guess means it’s only a stage name. One of those in jokes the music world always seems to be holding over those of us who don’t pay much attention to anything beyond the music itself I guess.
03 Dec 2005 05:20 pm
I installed the new Firefox 1.5 on both my Mac and my Linux box at work last week. I have to say, I was really surprised to find that the Linux install was just a .tar.gz file with everything in a directory inside. No real instructions on how to replace your existing Firefox install, just a directory you can run the new one from wherever you put it. I ended up copying it all over into my /opt directory and changing the links to it, but it seemed very strange.
Of course, the thing is that this is basically exactly how the Mac OS X install works (more…)