August 27, 2016

IMG_7749Last night you’ll recall that Dwayne said “there is no snooze”. There I was hitting the snooze on my alarm this morning.

Dwayne kicked my candy ass out of bed, earlier than usual. Sure I also remembered my Mum flying down to Melbourne this afternoon. 

Leave early – 8:57 train. Arrive work 9:58.
Scream silently.

There’s a deep story here about two ways to interpret the events that caused an early start to be wasted … You’re not getting that today.


There was a PokeWalk from Jolimont (is that anything like getting off at Redfern?)
Two new catches! Silver lining and all that. 

A wise person may or may not have said “Lord give us caffeine to change the things we can change, alcohol to accept the things we cannot change and the Mushrooms to know the difference”

Short walk at lunch went, err, long. Because pokemans.

Dined at Docklands. Fireworks, food & funnies.

Good luck Hayley, looks like you are going to need it.

Publish or perish : two days in a row!

Thursday, 25th August 2016

August 26, 2016

Trying a new thing here – capturing some thoughts of the day.

Careful, topics will vary since this is A Dog’s Breakfast.

A comment about my walks getting longer from an accountability buddy on my fitness tracker (Jawbone UP2 for anyone that cares) lead to a long walk at lunch, with three hill sprints! I blame the weather (Spring is close, I feel it in my bones) and that comment.

On the bright side, I caught a lot of Magikarp walking along the riverbank.

Despite the exercise, I didn’t get into the groove of the day work-wise. Managed to get a few brainless things done, a longer list of those will be handy next time brain decides to get-up-and-go.

In all the wandering mind moments, I recalled Merlin Mann talking about a new album in the old school prog metal genre on Back to Work “286: Secret Rap Name”

That’s how I discovered Dead Revolution by Hammers of Misfortune which I’ve listened to a few times now. It also lead to a nice exchange with @hotdogsladies himself (which is a thrill unto itself🙂

Staying on the music front for a bit : Heavy Music Magazine on Facebook noted that Metallica’s “…And Justice for All”, their fourth album, was released on this day, 25 August in 1988.

Wow. So many memories. Remind me to tell you about “seeing them on tour, getting the t-shirt, being in a car rolling off mountain in that t-shirt and surviving” sometime.


Work day done I walked, as I do, over the bridge to find a tram or train. This sight stopped me : I paused for a moment of gratitude and snapped a pic. I love living in Melbourne, especially when it shares moments like these.


Watched Dwayne & the Rock Clock on Graham Norton : originally aired on Friday 10th June 2016. Thanks Australian TV for random repeats in primetime. The Rock Clock is Dwayne’s app to help you reach your goals. Cute. It has an alarm and no snooze button, just The Rock saying things like “get your candy ass outta bed!” That was in my head the morning after!

Late to bed. Slept OK but.

Christmas is going to be DIVINE at the Astor

December 18, 2014

Christmas eve in Melbourne – a little something special from our beloved Astor Theatre.

Watson makes (your) it elementary

August 29, 2014

VentureBeat writes:

Big Blue tonight announced the Watson Discovery Advisor, a cloud-based tool that will let researchers tap into Watson’s big data processing smarts to speed up their work.

Remember Watson? It is the computer system built by Big Blue that understands natural languange. So much so, that it competed and won on Jeorpardy! against real human opponents.

Now available to researchers, some luck students, startups and anyone with a good idea (and presumably deep pockets!)

How long before we all have Watson-like tech in our pockets?

Starting to sound a lot like Her

You know you’ve been neglecting your blog when …

August 15, 2014

The last post you had was from last year’s conference.

Which is on in two week’s time.


Yes, it is time for Australian Blogging conference put on by Darren & his amazing team over at Problogger Events – I bought the ticket way back in March!

Accommodation was booked a few days ago and flights just yesterday.

Let’s hope I got them all correct – I certainly was distracted when I booked the flight up to the Gold Coast, since I was stung by the $8.50 fee the airlines love to charge when you don’t use the very specific payment method they like. This leg is on Tiger and I plain forgot to use the Mastercard. Duh.

Just quietly – the process of booking flights is exhausting. Navigating through all the options, upgrades and upsells was just nasty. Which, I suppose, is the point. They’d love you to cave in at some point and just book whatever they stick onto your fare.

Such a shame they can’t be a bit more friendly to the customer.

SEO Presentation PBEvent 2013

September 14, 2013

Sitting in a session by @jimboot titled SEO Presentation PBEvent 2013.

Wondering if I can rank up there with him!

Jim has ranked almost instantly with his SEO at PBEvent 2013 post

Here is Jim’s plan for great rankings:

  1. to choose keywords
  2. Consistent keywords
  3. Page title, h1, file names & image captions
  4. Series of posts targeting phrase & interlink
  5. Solid framework like thesis
  6. Use Yoast SEO or All in one SEO

PBEvent 2013

This has been a great conference so far – I’ve been learning a great deal on Facebook, social strategies and more.

The SEO Presentation PBEvent 2013 stage

PBEVENT SEO Presentation Jimboot on stage

Robot Cars are here – only if the insurers allow

July 18, 2013

Robot cars are here. The waiting is over. Get used to it – but only if the insurance companies let you!

The fact is that robot cars have in fact been with us for five years already, as noted by FuturePundit back in 2006:

Skepticism about the feasibility of computer-operated vehicles became harder to maintain when the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Grand Challenge periodic contest for autonomous driverless vehicles finally produced winners in October 2005.

So why aren’t the car showrooms full of self-driving robot cars? That’s a great question. One that was answered, for me, at the Singularity Summit Australia a few weeks ago here in Melbourne by James Newton-Thomas.

James spoke about his career with AI (artificial intelligence) – way back in the 1980s he had developed loan officer systems that the human loan officers came to rely upon! Through the 1990s he worked on autonomous vehicle AIs for Caterpillar (the big name in mining vehicles.) The comment that really piqued my interest was this : having developed a robot vehicle to replace human operators, the stumbling block to implementation around the year 2000 was that the insurance premium was so high that it wasn’t a financially viable option.

Now that is really interesting. This means that ten years ago JNT had developed a robot vehicle that was ready for work in the mining industry but was essentially blocked by the insurance industry!

Why was the premium so high? I am not an insurance industry expert, so I couldn’t tell you. James did mention that his impression at the time was that since there was no history, no set of facts upon which to calculate the risk, the insurers erred on the cautious side (as they should be wont to do) and went high. Really high.

So that’s where we were until this week. Robot cars are certainly possible, because they have been built. Sure, not in mass production. Sure there are still limitations, but those are being rapidly eroded.

Then everything changed – Google announced on October 9th, 2010 that they not only had built robot cars, but that they had driven them over 225,000km in San Francisco!

Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles.

Wow – that means there’s over five thousand driving hours (assuming 25mph average urban speed) of robot cars. In an urban environment.

Is that enough data for an insurer to make a better assessment? We can only hope so.