bike douglas kastle hack trolly

Bike Hack

I found this image over on Wired. An interesting upgrade to a bike to allow for greater carrying capacity. I can’t imagine this hopping curbs too well though. This has got face plant written all over it.

bikini bondi douglas kastle Girls sydney

I love living in Bondi – now with even more bikinis!

Sydney Bondi
Originally uploaded by duncanleyburn

I live pretty close to Bondi Beach. Any morning that I cycle into work I usually take a leisurely cycle down the promenade. A week doesn’t go by when there is some thing mad going on. Yesterday morning I was treated to the Guinness record attempt at the largest bikini shoot.

It is still a bit early in the year for the beach but it was quite a sight seeing hundreds of girls running around in their bikinis. Credit goes to who ever arranged this, I know how long it takes to get one girl ready, can you imagine how hard it is to co-ordinate and get 1100 of them ready? There was an extra level of High Maintenance in the air on Bondi Beach and fake tan. However it certainly beats getting up on an September morning in Dublin and putting on your wets to cycle to work.

Check out the aquabumps web site for a few more up close and personal pictures.

cover flow douglas kastle DRM firmware ipod linux nano sha1 steve jobs winamp

wey-hey I got the new iPod nano but …

Sync in Progress
Originally uploaded by Andrew*

I was quite surprised to find the new iPod nano 3G along with the rename iPod classic was available in Australia 2 days after Steve Jobs announced it (it was Wednesday in San Fran, but Thursday in Oz). I through pure power of will alone resisted the temptation to buy it then and there, my facade broke by Tuesday and like the iPod whore I am I ordered one online and it arrived yesterday, which was Friday.

First off it looks great and I have shown it to a good few cynical engineers that are known of their skepticism for geeky gadgets, but even they were impressed.

However I have already ran into two problems. Firstly after I loaded up my default playlists and then disconnected from the computer the nano would freeze. It appeared to be some thing to do with the new cover flow application trying to arrange the images. After a few resets of the nano it started to play ball. However any time I disconnected from the PC it would start freezing again. Then this morning when I connected to iTunes it informed me that there is a 1.01 firmware upgrade (bare in mind this device was only release 9 days earlier ) after I updated the firmware the problem seems to have gone away. I have done a search on a 1.01 firmware for the apple nano 3G and can’t get any details on what was fixed so I can only assume that the cover flow issue I was seeing.

Problem number 2, I hate iTunes, I’ve run it on I don’t know how many machines and I find it clunky, buggy and I have successfully crashed many times. I especially don’t like the way it doesn’t dynamically track a folder that has been added to a library. It should be removing files that are no longer present and adding new files (which is usually just me moving files around as I catalog them) which it doesn’t. Winamp I find is a lot better for this and I have been using it for my iPod video for a while. However when I plugged in the new nano, winamp recognised the nano alright, and I copied over playlists. However when I ejected the nano and started trying to browse the music, nothing. I found that strange and didn’t think too much about it.

Then I find the internet alive this morning with the linux community finding the same problem, “iPods reengineered to block synching with Linux“, I’m guessing this is the same problem I’m seeing in winamp. This is a surprise. After Steve Jobs writes his magical letter coming out against DRM to find that they are employing DRM tatic to stop 3rd party apps from downloading to new iPods. Hopefully people can find a way to circumvent this. Apparently the DRM tactic uses SHA-1 hashes to maintain it’s database tables, SHA-1 has been proven to be breakable and maybe that can be exploited (though currently to achieve a successful collision is considered within reach of massive distributed Internet search).

With all that said, I can’t wait to see the iPod touch once it comes out at the end of the month.

a boy bruce schneier douglas kastle father ted hoodies security the man vague

D’Officials – No Hoodies!

In Ireland there are two constructs, “The Man” and “A boy”, that are used by parents to corral their kids in. “A boy” is usually a person that got himself injured doing something stupid and is used as a warning to other kids, “A boy broke his legs climbing over those rocks”, or “A boy almost had his finger cut off climbing in that window”. (There is a window in the primary school of Dungeagan in Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry and I was that boy that people get warned about).

“The Man” however is the marginally empowered person that flexed it when ever he can. You meet them all the time when you go through metal detectors in airports and they take away nail clippers, or the security guards that tell you you can’t take pictures of a building. The comedian’s John Kenny and Pat Shortt, also know as D’Unbelievables, capture the phenomenon excellently at the start of the performance on D’Video :

I was reminded of “The Man” while reading Bruce Schneier blog, where in the UK a four year old girl was asked to remove her hoodie for vague “security” reasons:

“She had her hood up on her cardigan, a young lad came across and asked her to take her hood down because of security.”

When Ms Lewis learned what had happened, she spoke to the worker. She said: “He said ‘It’s policy, they don’t allow any hoodies in there.'”

While it would be great in society to slap these upside the head and tell them to stop acting the maggot that usually doesn’t help so we’ll always be stuck with them. Here’s another example of “The Man” from Father Ted :

douglas kastle iphone ipod shuffle war driving WiFi

No Surprises – A day in the Apple

are you a phoner or a podder?
Originally uploaded by nobihaya

Apple have introduced their new line of ‘pods. The high points are a red iPod shuffle (cool), a fatter but shorter iPod nano (smaller?), a stripped down iPhone that is now being called iPod touch with the iPod classic pulling up the rear.

What is interesting, but expected, is the deployment of iPods with WiFi capabilities, with some of the patents that were floating around this is no suprise, but now that it is is moving into the wild it will be very interesting to see what happens next.

As an addendum to the Apple announcement/release I have been running a WiFi enabled phone for 2 months, and war driving like crazy. I live is a fair sized city, Sydney, Australia, WiFi spots, free and paid are few and far between. San Fran may be a different beast in the geeky nerd world but the may be a hole in deployment possibilities on the WiFi front.

add douglas kastle teenager TV


iPod Video
Originally uploaded by Alexandre Van de Sande

Apparently science has caught up with me. At last there is a study that connects attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in teenagers with watching too much TV as a child. I think this is crap, I watched tonnes of TV as a kid and it never … Oh look a squirrel.. hee hee hee!

big brother douglas kastle people search polar rose privacy sexual realtionship database spock

spock – Strike 1

I have been keeping an eye on the people search website spock for a while. It being part of the new wave of web 2.0 projects that is trying to tie down peoples online identities with there real life carbon based fat asses. Their goal is to index people from various source on the Internet including LinkedIn, XING, Myspace, Friendster and Wikipedia.

While they have said they are committed to the privacy of their users, I was surprised to receive an e-mail from them this morning, one of the first I have received since I signed up at their website. This is the body of the e-mail :


As one of Spock’s newest users, I wanted to let you know about a cool search on Spock.

You can find out who Spock users think should be the top results for fun searches like Arrested for Drunk Driving.

Log onto Spock and check it out!

Have Fun!
The Spock Team

Now am I the only person that think it strange the one of the first communiques highlights such an invasion of privacy, drink driving while frowned upon is probably something that people would like to keep to them selves. While this search may be possible, for an emergent company like spock I would have thought they would stick with the warm and fuzzy functionality that is possible. A bit like the way bitTorrent is always sold as having legitimate applications (which it does, I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 using it) the bulk of the applications would be considered illegitimate (That is an argument for the courts and the ISPs).

spock isn’t the only website getting in on the web 2.0 ability to connect with the real world. Another website to keep an eye on includes the sexual relationship database :

In an effort to better understand society’s interconnected nature, this database was created to serve as a repository for information regarding the sexual histories of individuals, across the world and throughout time.

which allows people to assign former sexual partners to any name they can find, though I am convinced that this is a hoax, though the company behind the website, world health optimization management or W.H.O.M. (?), only returns 4 hits on google… If it isn’t a hoax it will more than likely get spammed out of existence by warring teenagers making up who had sex with who (even though none of them are).

And finally polar rose, which I have covered before, that is developing facial image search technology so that individuals can be found all over the Internet. They however have been quite for a while and I’m still waiting to see the bulk of their work.

bitTorrent douglas kastle evil fantastic four sarcasm

BitTorrent is evil – Obviously, I saw it in FF4

I have never been a great fan of the Fantastic Four, the recent movies haven’t been great entries into the super hero genre, but were at least successful enough to spawn one sequel.

As a movie property 20th Century Fox and Marvel have obviously lost billions through people downloading the movies using bitTorrent. Just this week the most recent movie in the franchise, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, has entered the top ten of Most Popular DVDrips on Bit-Torrent. So to stem this evil it has fallen to the comic book to present a social commentary on the perils and possible uses of such a vile technology as bitTorrent.

The picture to the right is taken from Fantastic Four Issue #549. In ways even I can’t understand evil master mind, the Wizard, managed to clone bad guy Klaw using an audio file that he downloaded from bitTorrent. I may not be up on my super hero world view any more, but it does prove, incontrovertibly, that bitTorrent is evil. Here endth the heavy handed lesson kids, stay in school.

What is unclear is what did all those other people who were downloading the same file that gave the Wizard such a fantastic upload speed.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for posting this.

color coded douglas kastle reputation wikipedia

Wikipedia trust coloring demo

I love wikipedia, it is a comfortable hole that I fall into a lot and find it very hard to get back out of. In many way like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, I seem to inexorably coming back to pages dealing with Star Trek or Nazi Germany, maybe that says more about the user rather than wikipedia.

Most of the time when reading pages I don’t feel there is any reason to doubt what I am reading (I have proof-read some Star Trek articles for quality and have yet to find an error). However there are some pages, politicians, Scientology etc. that you just know you cannot believe by faith alone. It is a problem and I have covered the issue of wikipedia reputation before. It is good to know that other people are working on solving this problem.

The tack that they have taken is similar to the idea that I proposed (even though it is probably self evident) which is to give a user a rating based on the work contributed, but also what survives edits. As a result words on a specific page are color coded based on the user who added it and their reputation. I like their color coding, it is a lot more subtle than I thought could be done and I think it works. If nothing else it is a very good way of highlighting what is contention and bringing eyes to bare to at least help resolve it. I can’t wait to see this deployed.

computer generated universe theory dilbert douglas kastle Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy on the go s60 scott adams wikipedia

Wikipedia on the Go has arrived

Originally uploaded by bjortklingd

Just two weeks ago I was predicting the arrival of downloadable wikipedia for smart phones. Well it has arrived. The Series 60 Weblog has made available a downloadable wikipedia that can be installed to any S60 platform enabled smartphone.

This is happening to me a lot recently, ideas that I come up with are been invented or created not long after I utter it. Either I am hyper-intune with the current internet connected world or Dilbert writer Scott Adams is onto something when he suggests we are nothing more than badly programmed computer generated holograms. There was even an argument for the latter recently stating that it is statistically more likely that we are computer constructs than living beings.

“But my favorite theory is that I’m nothing but a hologram in a computer program built by my ancient self, before the planet was destroyed by some disaster. The reason I can glimpse my future is that I have all of the qualities of the real me who wrote my program. In other words, I can accurately imagine my future because it is playing out much like I would have authored it myself.”

It kinda reminds me of the type of logic used in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Specifically the case where the population of the universe is reasoned to be zero:

“It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.”