Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Monday, 17 May 2004
Free Outlook Web Access Trial

Anyone who has seen me tikki touring around the world with my Tablet PC in tow will know that I'm a HUG fan of Outlook Web Access... outside of the firewall here @ Kognition it's all I use (save for my Smartphone checking mail during the day).

The Exchange team @ MS are offering a free trial of OWA here... it lasts for 30 days which should give you a good idea of what it is like.

Human Aggregation|Monday, 17 May 2004 22:50:15 UTC|Comments [0]|    

This is a political broadcast...

So I went to the ACT party leadership campaign shindig here in Dunedin tonight- see photo below.

Had a great time. I got to ask my “do you support drug legalization“ question, which, along with my “should bar owners be allowed to decide if people smoke in their bar“ question have been my mainstays for politicians since my student days. I mean you could ask them an economic question but you'd get four identical answers.

Here is my rundown of the candidates as I saw order that they spoke.

Muriel Neuman
Muriel is from the socially conservative wing of the party. Spoke well, but quite from notes oriented. Her platform is very much welfare (thank god it's not the 'dreaded P'!). I think she'd make a pretty good deputy, maybe to one of the more liberal leaning guys.

Rodney Hide
Rodney has obviously got the highest profile of the four- and wasn't afraid to tell us so.  He speaks well and explains ideas well- I think he was a former lecturer. He's obviously carrying the baggage of being a perk buster a bit- addressed this too - is it that significant really? Judging by the polls it's hard not to rate him. Rodney is from the socially liberal side of the party, always has been, which obviously appeals to my libertarian side a lot.

Ken Shirley
Where has this guy been hiding? He is articulate and has a real presence in front of a crowd. He has been ACT deputy for some years... why haven't we seen him wheeled out before! I came away from the meeting with the feeling that somehow Ken has been flying under the radar. He's a liberal and I think he'd make a great leader too.... would a Hide/Shirley combination alienate the conservative side of the party too much? Why hasn't he made more noise up until now!?!

Stephen Franks
I've got a lot of time for Stephen. He's not afraid to hold to his principles even when it might not be politically expedient e.g. the East Coast Aquaculture thing. Yet, funnily, he took the 'devil in the detail' approach to copping out of my question- he seems to do that a bit on conscience issues. Stephen certainly has the intellect to be leader, but, I don't know if he has the political presence (yet) for the job. Again, he'd probably make a none too shabby calming voice of conservatism along side one of the others.

Ultimately the new leader is going to have to make some serious noise to pull ACT back into the political landscape. There are votes begging in my generation for a truly liberal party that respects both economic and social freedoms. Generations X and Y are going to become an influential voting block and I firmly believe that ACT has the ability to capture a decent chunk of that block.

Finally... I think the candidates met with some of the Uni students prior to the rally and then those students came along. Seemed like half of them were wearing suits!.... Put it away guys... if you want to look like 'Youth for Maggie Thatcher' then go somewhere else. Ties are for funerals!

PoliTechLaw|Monday, 17 May 2004 09:34:33 UTC|Comments [0]|    

the polli bloggers
me taking a photo of rodney taking a photo of me!

Moblog|Monday, 17 May 2004 06:30:21 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Bill Ryan on Linux W33ni3s

“It all reminds me of the Port O Potties at my first Lallapalooza concert.  If you could have sold $20.00 tickets to a clean restroom you'd be rich.  And if there were only $20.00 restrooms available, there still wouldn't be too many takers on the Free Port O Potties.  I think the analogy holds here as well.”

Human Aggregation|Monday, 17 May 2004 03:56:31 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 16 May 2004
Our PMs Blog

So our Prime minister has a blog.....

unfortunatly is is extremely lame- reads more like Monday Morning Show and Tell at the local primary school if you ask me.

Others seems to agree- here and here

The NZPundit guys have even launched a spoof blog that you can post to publicly... makes for some funny reading.

PoliTechLaw|Sunday, 16 May 2004 21:36:46 UTC|Comments [6]|    

I Love Debunking Sites

A site debunking much of the traffic enforcement legislation and policy in new Zealand... well worth a nosey.

Rambles|Sunday, 16 May 2004 20:55:48 UTC|Comments [6]|    

 Friday, 14 May 2004
If you want google to google your dasBlog site properly

Be sure to turn on URL Rewriting in the configuration.

Otherwise it is going to ignore the parameterised Permalinks

Rambles|Friday, 14 May 2004 21:05:52 UTC|Comments [6]|    

 Thursday, 13 May 2004
Tech Ed Sold Out

If you haven't heard already, Tech Ed has sold out.....

Neil has some comment on Scobles non hype which is rather interesting.

But what interest me is just how well we do in New Zealand-

We get about 1100 people (more actually but that way I can do the math better) to our Tech Ed. The US one has sold out @ 11,000. Now our population is only 4 million whereas there population is near on 300 million....

So.... I'll see y'all @ Tech Ed then!

.NET|Thursday, 13 May 2004 22:42:54 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Only in America....

Could you buy a 2400psi gasoline powered water blaster (pressure cleaner)... like Don Box.

His Media Center PC looks nice though!

Human Aggregation|Thursday, 13 May 2004 07:52:44 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Tablet PCs while waiting inline.

Scoble blogs about using his tablet PC while waiting in line for planes and security.

I can so relate to that... I flew Air Canada from Honolulu to Vancouver last month and had to wait about 1.5 hours in their line.

I had my ruggedised tablet (a Panasonic Toughbook) with me just slung over my shoulder on a shoulder strap so I could just swing it up and surf/blog, then let it dangle again when the line started moving.... I'm sure everyone thought I was wierd... but then they were all freaks and geeks as well- they ran out of seatbelt extensions on the plane! Thank god I wasn't sitting in one of those rows... broad shouldered guy like me has precious enough room in coach as it is!

Rambles|Thursday, 13 May 2004 04:08:45 UTC|Comments [0]|    

What's new in CF 2

Sam Gentile has a great sumary of the new stuff in CF 2.0

.NET|Thursday, 13 May 2004 01:20:42 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 12 May 2004
Cellular Call Back- The day I dabbled with multilevel marketing.

Always one for a bargain, I decided to plunk down some dollars and give cellular callback a go. If you're not familiar with the concept here's roughly how it goes.

You initiate a call by making a request of a service centre... you do this by either using a piece of software if you are on your PC, or by txt messaging the number you want to call to a certain short code or phone number. Here's the slide deck...

The 'system' then rings you back on your mobile and, once you answer, rings the other party to the conversation for you... A few hoops to jump through, but, talk about CHEAP phone calls. US 5c per 30 seconds to all of the major countries.... and that's from your mobile. Voice quality is excellent- if it's using VOIP it's certainly not problematic for quality.

It's sold via some pyramid scheme, but, to be honest it makes for cheap phone calls so it got my $$$. Come join my pyramid- - well it's not a pyramid it some other sort of cell based, unlimied level paying... blah blah blah.... I've never been much of a fan of multilevel marketing (Away and all that garb) but it does make for cheap airtime, something I go through a lot of! Hopefully I might be able to move down a Vodafone Daytime minutes plan or two.... I think @ US10c per minute it works out just under 50% of the normal Vodafone price per minute.

Rambles | Toy Box|Wednesday, 12 May 2004 07:25:58 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Rallying behind Casey.....

Casey 'Brains n Brawn' Chesnut has been taking some flack over the content of his website from prospective employers. Bill Ryan has rolled in behind him... and I'm going to as well!

I think of all the fellow MVPs I HAD to meet when I was at the MVP Summit this year Casey was at the top of the list. Why? I had read his blog.... I had laughed my ass of a few times, but, had equally learnt some pretty cool things. He struck me as someone prepared to call a spade a spade... and with the intellectual horsepower to back it up...... Besides that he's another gym guy and I had to see if he was bigger and stronger than me...... which he is *grins*... but not by much!

As a prospective employer (which I am) I'd snap this man up in an instant (I just don't know that he'd think my NZ$ rates would be competitive when you turn them into US$).

I hope that Casey realises that an employment relationship is a two way street- he should be just as selective about who he chooses to work for!


UPDATE: There are some good echos in the chamber.....
Here , Here , Here

Rambles | Rants|Wednesday, 12 May 2004 04:42:25 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Motorolla Smartphones.....

Lukas is blogging about the new Smartphones coming from Motorola.

He seems to have missed/forgotten/misplaced the MPx double clamshell phone- does he know something I don't? Dale Coffing had one of these @ the MVP Summit... Maybe it's becuase it looks to be becoming a a Windows Mobile SE Pocket PC device????

Not my kettle of fish to be honest... I'm think the MPX100 will be my sort of style... I'm a phone functionalty first kinda guy.

P.S. Get comments on ya Blog Lukas!

.NET | Toy Box|Wednesday, 12 May 2004 03:28:32 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 10 May 2004
More Skypers.....

Ingo Rammer and a few others are getting into the skype thing.

I wonder if they know that there is a Pocket PC version available yet.... now this is the killer app... mobile VOIP!

Toy Box|Monday, 10 May 2004 23:06:40 UTC|Comments [14]|    

When XML goes bad......

Now I've always been a bit of a fan of XML......

I've written books on it...
Spoken @ Universities and other tech tiki tours around it...
...hell.... I've even got the number plate....

But there are some things that just should not be dne with XML..... one of these things is using it for writing bloody log files....

Nick (Kognition Senior Dev type guy) and I sat down this afternoon with one goal in mind..... find out why the %$^&$ our elegant and superbly architected Web Services layer was causing the ASPNET_WP process to consumer hundereds of megabytes of memory on most of the development team PCs.

The culprit was WSE. Some developer, somewhere in the evil empire, had decided that it would be a good idea to have the WSE implementation of WS-Security write to an XML log file every time something happens- this is great for debugging thought we, so it was duly turned on. Of course this developer didn't do it the elegant way as suggested by Dare, oh no... they commited the ultimate sin.... loading the whole bloody log file into a DOM (read in memory tree structure) simply to append a line... and doing it on each request of course.

The result is performance on par with a G.W. Bush press conference and a MASSIVE memory footprint. So, Mr Evil Empire dev..... do the nice thing and change the way logging works...

OK... so to recap for Google searchers who need to know about this problem in the future.

WSE has an XML based logging function. It causes the ASP.NET worker process to consume large amounts of memory. This also causes the Web Service request to be extremely slow. So.. don't enable logging.....

.NET|Monday, 10 May 2004 04:09:20 UTC|Comments [18]|    

 Saturday, 08 May 2004
The catalyst for getting MoBlogging set up.....

OK, so I've been meaning to setup my blog to work with my Smartphone for a wee while....

The catalyst though was finding out that I was being outdone by a bloody politician (Rodney Hide)......

I have been asked to explain how I manage to blog from Parliaments debating chamber. Its easy. I have a sony P900. I use Opera 6.3 as the browser. I log in over the GPRS network while sitting in the chamber and report the news from within Parliament in real time. You arent allowed to use a phone in the debating chamber but I am not. Well, not really.

...can't have that!

At present I'm MoBlogging via email and so can send photos from the phone camera. I thought about building a thin client app to blog from in .NET this morning... but instead spent most of the morning tearing my hair out trying to get Exchange to work properly. Rodney is using a browser and I don't know if he is using the P900 camera yet.... maybe we can get him to switch to a Windows Mobile device...... Rodney notes that the PM also blogs... Her blog reads more like a Monday morning Show and Tell at the local primary school....boring!

He's doing a meet the people in Dunedin on the 17th..... I might have to go and lure him to the darkside....


PoliTechLaw|Saturday, 08 May 2004 07:59:23 UTC|Comments [0]|    

blog from across the room
using smartphone

|Saturday, 08 May 2004 03:07:00 UTC|Comments [18]|    

 Wednesday, 05 May 2004
Bye Bye Nastyboy - Removing Dynamic Help from VS.NET

If, like me, you find that the Dynamic Help 'feature' in VS.NET is a right royal pain in the ass then this article from Fabrice tell you how to turn it off.

Anyway, today I found a nice way to disable dynamic help completely, for doing so go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Visual Studio\7.0\Dynamic Help

And modify the value of the Never Show DH on F1 to YES.

The mere existence of that registry key says to me some kind person @ MS thinks Dynamic Help blows goats too.....

This involves $^%$^ing with your registry.... if you %^&% it up don't come crying to me.

.NET|Wednesday, 05 May 2004 22:19:11 UTC|Comments [4]|