May 31st, 2007

This morning Marcus and I went to Google Develper Day Sydney (although we made it into Google Developer Morning due to work) for Google’s first ever developer conference, which is taking place all around the world with Sydney being the first (for timezone reasons).

The presenters we saw were Aaron Boodman (inventor of GreaseMonkey) and James Macgill talking about Google Gears and Mapplets respectively. This was really interesting as they were both new offerings.

The highlight for me was James Macgill talking about Google Maps and then bringing up a slide with Global Surfari in it! I am sure a royalty cheque is in the post – Slide at Google Developer Day 07 Sydney

Slide with James talking

That was nice as they were talking about the lack of Australian content for maps and gadgets etc…

Would have liked to stay for the rest of the day but too busy right now 🙁

May 30th, 2007

I got this email today –

The prestigious Microsoft has successfully organised and sent out Sweepstakes marking the 2007 anniversary. Microsoft is running an e-mail beta test. Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number 08795727498 with serial numbers BTD/9080648302/07 and drew the lucky numbers 14-21-25-39-40-47(20) which subsequently won you Million Great Britain Pounds). Please be informed by this winning notification. To file your claims, please contact your assign claims agent with your ticket number, serial numbers and your drew the lucky number.

Mr. Kyle Hitchens
Microsoft Award Promotion
Head Winning Claims Dept.

The effort that spammers must go through to get around spam detection software must be huge now, I get about 1 spam email a day but always have over 2000 in the spam folder of Gmail, which means I get sent almost 3 spam emails every hour.

This spammer obviously got through the filter but unfortunately is completely unbelievable –

  1. “Sweepstakes marking the 2007 anniversary.” – Anniversary of what?
  2. “Microsoft is running an e-mail beta test.” – An email beta test of giving away money?
  3. ticket number 08795727498 with serial numbers BTD/9080648302/07 and drew the lucky numbers 14-21-25-39-40-47(20) – Is (20) the bonus ball?
  4. Million Great Britain Pounds) – Without the full stops it looks more like one hundred million
  5. Please be informed by this winning notification. – Consider me informed
  6. – Microsoft Award Promotion uses a yahoo email address with two ss in the name because is already taken.

The US FTC has a great report which can be downloaded here regarding fraud and statistics about how much money and how many people are involved.

May 11th, 2007

My old work buddy Matt was over in ‘stralia very recently, I worked with Matt all the way back in 2001. We invented ‘the sandwich game‘ a very early day blog post from 2003, where we had to buy the cheapest lunch around London. I was always at a disadvantage due to an allergy to egg sandwiches.

Mark, Burgers, Dave and me
Mark, Matt, Dave and Me – The Dream Team – London 2005

Well Matt got a new job and lucky for him his training was over here in Sydney, so after a relaxing business class flight over, we met up for a few beers –

jetlagged matt
Jetlagged at Tank Stream bar Sydney

One night we went out with Rach and Mike to Sushi Suma in Surry Hills for a sushi fest. Matt wanted to buy twice what we needed, we glad we didn’t in the end as we were stuffed with what we had!

Sushi Suma
Sushi Suma!

and finally the controversial desert you get at Sushi Suma (ice cream, beans, green tea sauce and corn flakes mashup?!?!) –

weird desert at sushi suma
Controverisal Desert at the Suma

Matt has now got his own blog called Uncle Travelling Matt checkout his recent trip to Australia and trips to the big apple. Good to see Matt and looking forward to meeting up again when he makes some more trips!

May 7th, 2007

A long while ago Amy and I got cheap tickets to go to Melbourne for the weekend. I have never been to Melbourne before so was really excited about going. We flew Qantas as well so we got to use the brilliant lounge facilities (can’t go back now).

Sydney Airport Qantas Lounge
Qantas Lounge at Kingsford Smith

When we arrived we got the bus to the Windsor Hotel, where we stayed for the next few nights. When we arrived we went out for a walk and shop around the CBD.

Downtown Melbourne
Downtown Melbourne

There’s loads of little backstreets in Melbourne, which makes it a bit different to any other city I’ve been to in Australia in fact it did actually feel like we were not in Australia anymore. People say that Melbourne is a European style city, I think it is more of a mix of Mainland Europe and somewhere with large streets and trams San Francisco maybe?

After shopping we checked out Federation Square as recommended by Anhdres. The Australian Centre for Moving Image was really cool, although I felt really old when they had my first computer on display as a museum piece –

Spectrum 48k
Spectrum 48K and tapes at the ACMI

That night Amy and I were recommended to go to a restaurant called ‘Cookie’. It had a roof top bar as well so we went up there and sat on the deckchairs and had a drink before dinner but it was a bit windy and cold –

Roofbar in Melbourne
Rooftop bar In Melbourne

Dinner was fantastic, the bar had about 85 different types of bottled beer from all around the world and a massive cocktail collection. I ended the night with a Vodka based Expression cocktail, which I don’t recommend at all.

The next day we went to the Victorian markets, which was a big market selling stuff, Amy really liked it –

Amy  in the Victorian Markets
Amy in the Victorian Markets

We visited St. Kilda, a little suburb of Manly which had even more trendy shops for us to go around, we visited a really trendy cinema and watched ‘Half Nelson‘ which gets reviewed very highly at Rotten Tomatoes but which we thought was only ok. That night we hit a local Noodle place around the corner from the hotel as our feet were aching.

The next morning we saw a red ball being rolled into the hotel reception –

Big Red Ball
Big Red Ball Shoot

They must have been filming another advert for Melbourne Tourism (see embedded video for advert) –

We headed off to Melbourne Zoo on train for a day out looking at animals in cages. They had some amazing tigers, jaguars and panthers –

Melbourne Tigers
Melbourne Zoo Tigers

We headed back to the CBD to get ready for the flight back to Sydney, we stopped off at South Gate, which is the South Bank of Melbourne.

Melbourne South Gate Towers

We sat outside and had a coffee and blackforest gateaux whilst watching this guy steal a bike –

Bike Theif
Bike Theft Maybe

We watched him for about 20 minutes as he tried to cut through the bike lock with a pair of pliers. In the process of doing so security came up to him twice, took down a few details and then left him to it. It was funny how no one noticed who walked past him, it was only because we were sitting down that we saw him. When he finally broke through the lock he put it in the bin and came over to us and said “it’s my bike, I lost the key” and I was like “oh really unlucky” and smiled and he walked off. He looked a bit dodgy, if he had stolen it, he’d pulled off daylight robbery very well.

Without realising it, The Logies was being hosted at a hotel on Southgate. The Logies is a TV awards for TV people, so only of any real interest to anybody who thinks Australian TV is good. However we had to stand at the side of the red carpet and take a few photos whilst we had the time. Here’s a comedian Dave Hughes who is actually pretty good (not looking at the camera) and his girlfriend –

Dave Hughes Red Carpet
Dave Hughes on the red carpet

And that was the end of our little weekend holiday to Melbourne. When we came back to Sydney it really did have a sort of flying abroad feel to it which was nice!