30 May 2006

amusing coincidence with ads

Three-Arm-Baby

evolution at work! but check out the associated ad to the story on yahoo news. "how would you rate your body?" my answer would definitely be "3"!

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30 May 2006

switzerland

i was in switzerland for the last 5 days, taking a short break, meeting up with chris and salina and going to another place in europe that i've never been to. turns out that i also met some great people, jessica and dave who were really generous shipping us from city to city, making sure we have stuff to eat and opening up their beautiful house to us.

anyway, we managed to visit zurich, geneva and st. ursanne. we even managed to hike up a mountain called stockhorn.

things i learnt

apparently, the disneyland's mattahorn is actually a real mountain in switzerland. and also it appears on a pack of tolberone! that is after we were going through jessica's photos and i pointed at a photo and said, "hey, that looks just like the mattahorn in disneyland!" then was told it was the real mattahorn. *embarassed*

mountain we hiked up

P5250039.JPG

the second day we were there, we went to stockhorn, which was quite a way up. it also happens that up here, there is still quite a bit of snow around, even near the end of may. so we made a two hour hike up that mountain, which was quite tiring, but equally satisfying.

zurich and geneva

these are the big cities in switzerland. both interesting in their own way. zurich is german speaking and has a lot more posh and rich shopping, whereas geneva is filled with museums of all sorts. just so happens i didn't do much at both places. we did make it our mission to find the most ridiculously expensive watch in zurich, which happened to cost upwards of £120K by omega:

 Gallery Albums Switzerland2006 P5260092 T640

we were wondering how many of these are sold per year? how much would insurance cost on it?

we also spotted this metallic tree, which i believe is where apple powerbooks are grown.

 Gallery Albums Switzerland2006 P5260095 T640

other photos from my trip are here. unfortunately we had a USB interface issue so we couldn't quite exchange all our photos. but i'll put more online when chris gets back to australia.

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21 May 2006

temptation of the nintendo ds-lite

i've been mulling over whether to buy a nintendo ds-lite for the last week or so. i've done probably a little bit too much research, and thanks to patricia for checking out some of the prices in hk. here are the price points at different places:

japan official : ¥16800 - US$148 - HK$1150 - £80
us official (2nd june): ¥14640 - US$129 - HK$1000 - £70
ebay hk (+shipping): ¥23000 - US$200 - HK$1550 - £110
liksang: ¥23000 - US$200 - HK$1550 - £110
hk street price (console only): HK$1280 - US$165
hk street price (+ mario kart): HK$1600 - US$206

so it looks like the best deal, surprisingly, is the US release which will happen in a couple weeks time. i don't know when the UK release will be, but i'm pretty sure it'll be at least 20% more expensive than the US release price.

 N10 News 060126

not surprisingly, the street price for the ds-lite in hong kong is more expensive than the release price in japan, but only by US$17, and most expensive is liksang and other importers who are selling it for nearly $50 more expensive than japan.

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19 May 2006

tracking myself

i don't always blog because i don't always have garbage which i'd like to air out in the filth pot that is known as the internet. but i do other things on the net like watch videos on youtube, check out photos on flickr, read news on digg and listening to music and podcasts.

so now you can track what i'm doing on my status page.

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18 May 2006

my dodgy ankle

some of my friends know, that before i went to cambridge, i played indoor football (soccer) every week in sydney with a bunch of friends. but three weeks before i was due to fly out to england, i landed awkwardly on my ankle and tore something in my ankle. i've forgotten exactly what it is because i'm never good with medical terms. but it did mean i had to be on crutches up to the second last day i was in sydney. (i actually still wanted to continue using them, but it would of been difficult to return back to the clinic i borrowed them from.)

my physio told me to make sure it was exercised so that it would strength again, but it turned out that i only sporadically played any sports afterwards. since then, after an extended period of any exercise/sports, my ankle would begin to feel sore, and i would be reminded of how crap i am at taking care of myself. in fact, it would show up sometimes if i spent long periods of time walking (like when going sightseeing on holidays.)

today i played some badminton, which was great and fun to go out and move about and not just do eyeball exercises in front of my laptop. i really need to do more sports apart from cycling to the lab, but also take care with my ankle. i'm thinking of getting something to strap it up if i know i'm going to play for an extended period. damn my ankle.

i can take solace in that my ankle doesn't just sprain for no reason except walking on a pavement like some people ;) or that i didn't bust my knee dancing to saturday night fever ;)

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18 May 2006

new glass cube apple store

there's a preoccupation with glass amongst apple stores. at least the ones i've visited like new york and london, the glass staircase is the centerpiece. apple is about to open it's newest apple store on famous fifth avenue, new york.

it just looks amazing, so next time i'm in new york i'm definitely going to check this out. according to the news, it is going to be open twenty four hours, 365 days a year. which means you can get your ipod or macbook fix at 3am in the morning, and countdown to new year in the apple store if you really feel like it.

 Cultofmac Applestorestairs
(btw, photo from boingboing.)

check out more photos inside from macworld who got a sneak peak before opening tomorrow.

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18 May 2006

google maps for australia and new zealand!

"good news everyone", google maps just added street maps for australia and new zealand! maps.google.com.au isn't live yet, but i'm pretty sure that isn't far off now! this is great news for all mapping aussies. so that was only a couple of weeks after google maps europe. not bad at all.

Google-Maps-Sydney

as much as i would like, i'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with my little google maps australia street maps mashup before. i'll still leave the demo online, because maybe it will come in handy as sample code for other places that still do not have street maps and want to employ the same trick.

thanks to peter and james who tipped me off in my blog comments about the exciting news!

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15 May 2006

inquisitor developer puts out cool search web app

i'm a big fan of david watanabe's work. if you've used a mac, you've probably come across acquisition, the best looking p2p app, and newsfire. i'm also a user of inquisitor.

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he's put out a neat auto-completing search page that does what inquisitor does, but accessible by any web browser (or at least safari and firefox)

try it - inquisitor beta.

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15 May 2006

got my uk drivers licence

last week, i finally swapped my australian drivers licence for a uk drivers licence. previously i was using the fact that i have an australian drivers licence and plus i'm a student, so apparently there's some loophole for me to drive.

but i wanted to swap my nice cleanly designed NSW drivers licence for the pink monstrosity of the UK licence so that i won't have trouble driving in EU countries. turns out the process of getting the licence wasn't bad at all. in fact it took much shorter than the 15 days they said it would take. i sent my application in last tuesday and got the license less than a week later on monday. this is really a record in british efficiency. (it takes a week to open up a bank account here).

what that means is that next time i go back to australia i need to get a new licence, but i suppose i can drive with my british licence in australia too. it does mean that i did have to forgo my aussie gold drivers licence that has its price clearly labelled at the back, AU$118 for 5 years however, compared to the £38 for 45 years, the british licence is a pretty good deal.

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14 May 2006

bbc mistakes taxi driver as tech expert

an awesomely hilarious clip that is starting to make the rounds with a BBC screwup where they mistook a taxi driver as a tech expert and proceeded to ask him about the case between apple computers and apple corp.



story from the times and the sunday mail. and of course on blogs.
KB: It does really seem the way the music industry's progressing now that people want to go onto the website and download music.

Taxi driver: Exactly you can go everywhere on the cyber cafe and you can take, you can go easy. It is going to be an easy way for everyone to get something to the internet

[UPDATE: apparently the guy's not a taxi driver but an IT guy from Congo who's applying for a job at BBC. Not really the way to impress your employer, is it?]

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