Monthly Archives: November 2007

Earth Sandwich?

Hrm – I’m tempted to take this challenge, surely it wouldn’t be too hard to do with a 3D map of earth and two people approximately close to the selected poles, and two military grade GPS devices 🙂

As a (rather big) aside, ever since getting my Zune (and updating to the latest software) I’ve started getting back into podcasts, and in-particular I’ve found my tastes turning to shorter shows in the five to fifteen minute range. Some of the shows that fit that description are:

I think the reason is that I can usually afford to steal a few minutes to listen or watch the entertaining material, but getting thirty minutes or more to listen to something that I need to think a lot about is much harder, and I’m more likely to look for a textual version of the same content because it has higher information density.

Australian politics on FaceBook.

I noticed this little sponsored advertisement on my FaceBook today:


For my international audience, Australian’s go to the polls next week to vote for their local members in the federal election. Based on the outcome the major political party with “come into power” and the Prime Minister will be chosen (the Prime Minister is just a member of parliament like everyone else).

There are really only two candidates for Prime Minister given the more than likely outcome out of the election, John Howard and Kevin Rudd. John Howard will be Prime Minister if the Coalition wins enough seats, and Kevin Rudd will be Prime Minister if Labor wins enough seats.

The advertisement above looks like it was placed by The Greens. Historically The Greens have been aligned with the environmental movement in Australia, but to be honest their policy platform is a little bit more broad than that and since the environment and climate change has become a major issue this election they are bound to get a greater percentage of the votes than in previous years.

Hrm, forgot where I was going with this, but since we are exposed to so much of the U.S. political system I thought some folks might be interested in what happens here in Australia.

Zune Update #6

Well I said I would post back when I had a chance to play with the updated device firmware on the Zune after the upgrade. I have to say I like the improvements in the UI, I guess there is only so much that they can do with the device but the new UI seems to be a little bit more polished.

Interestingly I ran out of space on my Zune, or at least the new Zune software wouldn’t let me sync. I looked at the available space and I saw this:


Apparently it is some kind of glitch, and according to this post I need to delete my database file and re-index my content. That is a bit of a pain but I guess I’ll need to do it (a bit of a bummer because I had actually started to use the new love/hate rating system).

What I am going to do this time is tell the Zune software not to automatically sync all my content. My idea is that I’ll be more selective and allow more room for larger files like videos and podcasts.

Having said that – I’m starting to see the appeal of the Zune 80GB – if only it came in brown…

Zune Update #5

Well – its time to do the device update:


One of the things that I am interested in trying out is the Wireless Sync capability, but I wonder how well it is going to work given that I am so mobile and the wireless networks that my laptop is connected to tend to vary (Home, Melbourne Office, Sydney Office, Melbourne Airport, Sydney Airport).

This will be my last post tonight – tomorrow I’ll post up my initial impressions of the device update side of things after I chill out to some tunes (and podcasts!).

Zune Update #4

Wow. I am loving this new software – check out this screenshot:


It is the new Now Playing screen. It shows a montage of all your album art. The new UI is friendly and engaging and actually makes me want to play with it more.

The Zune team might have just shipped an iTunes killer here (if only they could open it up to the rest of the world – come on guys!).

Zune Update #3

I decided to wait for the new Zune software to update my media library before plugging in the Zune 30GB. Instead I flicked across to what I think is one of the most important features in the new software – the podcatcher.


One of my favorite music podcasts is Tracks Up the Tree (feed). They mentioned recently that they were only going to support the iTunes format moving forward – but hopefully they will change their mind. As you can see from the screenshot it is already pulling down the attachments. Sweet.

I’ll be adding subscriptions to my other podcasts soon. This is going to be so cool!

Zune Update #2

Hard disk churning – then:


Hrm, it probably says in there that I am not allowed to use a Zune outside of the US, but I would only know that if I scrolled down and actually read it, unfortunately, I accidentally hit Accept. The voices in my head are telling me to do something.


I like that they have stuck with the brown theme. The guys from work always ask why I got a brown one (Zune 30GB). I also love that “DRM-free” content is now being bandied around as a feature.


The install has finally finished, and after a few initial wizard steps (notes that it now supports music collections on external drives – investigate later…):


Right – time to update the device!