wasabicube wasabicube.com/ Peter Asquith 2013-12-21T10:08:54+13:00 Privacy wasabicube.com/articles/2013/06/24/privacy.html 2013-06-24T16:50:16+12:00 2013-06-24T16:50:16+12:00 &#8220;If you&#8217;re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.&#8221; Nothing to fear unless you have a very good definition of &#8220;wrong&#8221; and know precisely whose definition is being used. <p>&#8220;If you&#8217;re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.&#8221; Nothing to fear unless you have a very good definition of &#8220;wrong&#8221; and know precisely whose definition is being used.</p> <p>Another popular defence of pervasive surveillance is &#8220;privacy is a modern idea&mdash;until recently we lived in villages and everyone knew what everyone else was doing.&#8221; While this may have been true, the world beyond the village did not, except in very extreme cases, know what your were doing. Certainly not thousands of faceless contractors in concrete bunkers analysing at the bidding of secret actors further afield.</p> <p>Even in a village, the extent to which people knew what was going on was limited to what was seen from behind windows and in the street. There was still an good degree of privacy within private communications and what went on behind closed doors.</p> <p>There is danger in recording the history of your ideas, feelings and actions and allowing future scrutiny by agents unknown. The danger is the changing lens through which they will be seen; and the lens will change&mdash;just read your old diaries or look at photos of yourself twenty years ago and tell me that you still agree with your sentiments and fashion sense! The change will be wrought not only by the natural change in you, the subject, but in the attitudes, mores and policies of the future society or those claiming to have society&#8217;s interests at heart.</p> <p>Societies change over time. What was acceptable then may not be acceptable now; what is acceptable now may not be acceptable in twenty years time. If conditions change&mdash;and I&#8217;m guessing we&#8217;re in for a tougher time in future than we&#8217;ve recently known (but that&#8217;s another discussion entirely)&mdash;the scrutiny that may be brought upon the stored histories of people may not see them in a flattering light. Try defending your embarrassing, teen-aged, extremist positions to the secret court of the future state.</p> <p>Kafka, anyone?</p> Metadata wasabicube.com/articles/2013/06/22/metadata.html 2013-06-22T22:11:51+12:00 2013-06-22T22:11:51+12:00 There's been a lot of talk about metadata. What is metadata? <p>Metadata is data about data; from the dictionary: <em>a set of data that describes and gives information about other data</em>. The smallest element you can resolve is pure data, everything else is metadata.</p> <p>Any jurisdiction claiming its interest lies <em>only</em> with &#8220;metadata&#8221; can almost certainly make a case for anything of interest being metadata.</p> <p>Given a collection of words representing an email message, it could be argued the relationship of one word to another is metadata. Maybe each word would engender two items of metadata: &#8220;word preceding&#8221; and &#8220;word following.&#8221; It is hardly a stretch to reconstruct the original data&mdash;or email message.</p> <p>Another example might be a transcript of a voice call. The call represents the data; the transcript represents metadata. Again, you could argue storing the voice call recording on a hard drive or in memory represents a metadata representation of the original audible voice. Magnetic data about the original sounds&mdash;metadata.</p> <p><em>Metadata</em> is slippery.</p> <p>I would go as far as saying any <em>information</em> is metadata.</p> <p>Without a strict legal definition of metadata&mdash;or some more appropriate word&mdash;to describe the point at which metadata stops and data starts I would argue it is unsafe to use the word metadata in any legal context.</p> Braun BNC002BKBK wasabicube.com/projects/2012/12/31/bnc200bkbk.html 2012-12-31T00:00:00+13:00 2012-12-31T00:00:00+13:00 Over Christmas, 2012, I came down with a bad cold so I had the perfect excuse to do some 3D modeling. <p>I&#8217;ve recently got back to some 3D modeling. This effort occupied quite a bit of the Christmas holiday. <br /> Conveniently, I suppose, I&#8217;d come down with a bad cold so I had an excuse to sit around the house working on <br /> the model using <a href="http://cheetah3d.com/">Cheetah 3D</a> on the Mac.</p> <p><img src="/images/bnc002bkbk.jpg" style="width: 420px; height: 240px;" title="Front and rear view of the Braun BNC002BKBK travel alarm clock" alt="Front and rear view of the Braun BNC002BKBK travel alarm clock" /></p> <p>The model was created entirely in Cheetah3D with vector drawing of some of the base curves and text in iDraw.</p> Webstock 2009 - Day one wasabicube.com/articles/2009/02/16/webstock-2009-day-one.html 2009-02-16T18:25:46+13:00 2009-02-16T18:25:46+13:00 <p>Just spent a great day at a workshop run by <a href="http://hchamp.com/">Heather Champ</a> and <a href="http://powazek.com/">Derek Powazek</a>.</p> <p>A fabulous insight into what it takes to run a community web site from the ground up: from the whos, whats and whys right through to the erradication of trolls. (Or, at least, the enthusiastic discouragement of trolls.)</p> <p>I&#8217;ve followed both Heather and Derek for many years and was great to finally meet them in person.</p> <p>Also of note today was the realisation that <a href="http://www.zefrank.com/">Ze Frank</a> is much taller than he appears!</p> <p>I&#8217;ll have more to add but, in the meantime, I&#8217;m going to post this before the charges my hotel think are fair and reasonable for paltry Internet connection get the better of my bank account!</p> <p>Taggy goodness: <a href="http://hchamp.com/" rel="tag met">Heather Champ</a> <a href="http://powazek.com/" rel="tag met">Derek Powazek</a> <a href="http://www.zefrank.com/" rel="tag">Ze Frank</a> <a href="http://webstock.org.nz/" rel="tag">webstock09</a></p> Counting down to Web Directions wasabicube.com/articles/2008/09/21/counting-down-to-web-directions.html 2008-09-21T18:03:43+12:00 2008-09-21T18:03:43+12:00 <p>It&#8217;s become a bit of a tradition to spend the last Thursday and Friday of September in Sydney for <a href="http://webdirections.org/" title="Web Directions South">Web Directions South</a> and this year&#8217;s no exception. Usually C and I add a few days to the gig and see some of the sights (or, at least, the shops) while we&#8217;re there. This year with work pressure and so on it&#8217;s going to be a whistle stop visit. In on Wednesday afternoon and out on Saturday morning. A shame but there you go. It&#8217;s been a good year for travel this year and my carbon feet are certainly feeling a bit big for my boots.</p> <p>Looking foward to catching up with familar faces and meet up with new people from all around. The more I&#8217;m involved with electronic communication the more I&#8217;m convinced that the real strides are made face-to-face. New ideas, new perspectives and a more nuanced interaction than is possible through the ether. The <a href="http://meetup.co.nz/" title="Auckland Web Meetup site">Auckland Web Meetup</a> has been proof of this locally and Web Essentials/Web Directions and <a href="http://webstock.org.nz/" title="Webstock: Code for Freedom">Webstock</a> have proved it to be true, further afield.</p> <p>So here&#8217;s to another great Web Directions South and, in the spirit of celebration, I&#8217;ve revamped wasabicube to try out some graphical and JavaScript experiments and I&#8217;ve had some <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabicube/2871173673/" title="I thought you said badgers there for a minute">button badges</a> made. Hope to see you in Sydney in few days.</p> <p>Of course, if you are going, don&#8217;t forget to <a href="http://www.moltn.com/blog/2008/08/14/wear-your-passion-at-web-directions/" title="Cheryl and Scott have been designing tees and they&amp;#8217;re great!">Wear your passion at Web Directions</a>!</p> <p>Taggy goodness: <txp:pnh_mf_tag href="http://www.moltn.com/blog/category/conferences/wds08-conferences/">wds08</txp:pnh_mf_tag> <txp:pnh_mf_tag href="http://www.moltn.com/blog/2008/08/14/wear-your-passion-at-web-directions/">moltnWD</txp:pnh_mf_tag> <txp:pnh_mf_tag href="http://webstock.org.nz/">webstock09</txp:pnh_mf_tag> <txp:pnh_mf_tag href="http://meetup.co.nz/"><span class="caps">AWM</span></txp:pnh_mf_tag></p> It’s not about the iPhone! wasabicube.com/articles/2008/07/09/its-not-about-the-iphone.html 2008-07-09T20:42:45+12:00 2008-07-09T20:42:45+12:00 It's about the price of data <p>It&#8217;s about the price of data.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone">iPhone 3G</a> launch presented an opportunity for <a href="http://www.vodafone.co.nz">vodafone</a> to get behind a phenomenon. To tap a market that sits between the teen-aged texters and the business babblers. An opportunity to recast the present, ridiculous data charges and build excitement back into a network that&#8217;s eschewed the cool, edgy, competitive, <a href="http://www.telecom.co.nz/">Telecom</a> bashing provider in favour of a safe-playing, Telecom clone. Their hip advertising replaced by weary campaigns targeting weary householders with services nicely packaged in pricey chunks (so the maths is easy &#8211; even when you&#8217;ll pay more than you did before).</p> <p>The plans announced yesterday were paltry, aimed at no-one in particular, looking like they were crafted to hit a price/return point rather than provide a useful service. They reveal a poor level of understanding of the product and for the audience. They see the iPhone as a phone first and an Internet device second. I don&#8217;t think iPhone users are migrating Blackberry or Windows Mobile business users (not yet) and they&#8217;re not chatterboxes, they&#8217;re web-savvy, gadget users who &#8220;get it&#8221;. People who understand social networking, understand geo-location and proximity, who understand that it&#8217;s not about talk and text but about a whole mix of interaction; of <a href="http://twitter.com">Twitter</a> and <a href="http://jaiku.com">Jaiku</a> and <a href="http://brightkite.com">Brightkite</a> and <a href="http://www.loopt.com">Loopt</a> and <a href="http://google.com">Google</a> maps and <a href="http://www.youtube.com">YouTube</a> and swathe of potential, interactive play and discovery.</p> <p>The initial cost of the iPhone isn&#8217;t that surprising &#8211; despite the misleading leaders thrown out early in the week &#8211; but this was the time for vodafone to get real about data rates. We expect high-end phones to have a price premium but we don&#8217;t want them sitting on the shelf because we can&#8217;t afford to use them.</p> <p>The current uproar isn&#8217;t about the iPhone, it&#8217;s about the whole mentality of the mobile market in New Zealand. The devices we&#8217;re buying today promise to free us from the shackles of fixed &#8217;net connections but not at these prices. Let&#8217;s hope the iPhone, new phones running Google&#8217;s Android and the other &#8217;net-enabled phones combined with the new Telecom network, later in the year, will force a major rethink.</p> <p>[Disclosure: I&#8217;ve been a, largely happy, vodafone customer for more than ten years (I signed up in the days of BellSouth) and use a 1st generation iPhone &#8211; but only for calls and text when I&#8217;m not on Wi-Fi. (Checking my <span class="caps">IMAP</span> email breaks the bank!)]</p> Machine tags for Twitter wasabicube.com/articles/2008/05/07/machine-tags-for-twitter.html 2008-05-07T11:52:42+12:00 2008-05-07T11:52:42+12:00 <p>With the advent of applications such as <a href="http://brightkite.com">Brightkite</a> and <a href="http://twitter.com">Twitter</a> bots, people are starting to Tweet what are, essentially, machine data via Twitter. It occurs to me that a prefix of &#8220;#m&#8221; for example before the data would allow Twitter clients to ignore the information or re-purpose it into a more meaningful message, in much the same way that <a href="http://flickr.com">Flickr</a> hides machine tags.</p> <p>What do you think?</p> Webstock workshops in Auckland (and elsewhere) wasabicube.com/articles/2008/04/17/webstock-workshops-in-auckland-and-elsewhere.html 2008-04-17T09:43:08+12:00 2008-04-17T09:43:08+12:00 <p>Calling all Auckland web types! The wonderful folks at <a href="http://webstock.org.nz">Webstock</a> are organising a nationwide series of <a href="http://webstock.org.nz/upcoming/">workshops and mini-Webstocks</a> in the coming months starting in Auckland on May 5 and 6 with <a href="http://andybudd.com">Andy Budd</a> and <a href="http://tantek.com">Tantek &Ccedil;elik</a>, then Garr Reynolds of <a href="http://presentationzen.com">Presentation Zen</a> fame in late June.</p> <p>Andy is a published interaction designer and web standards developer at the Elf Cartel or <a href="http://clearleft.com">Clearleft</a> in Brighton, England.</p> <p>Tantek could be described as the Godfather of <a href="http://microformats.org">microformats</a> and was instrumental in the success of <a href="http://technorati.com">Technorati</a>.</p> <p>There are plenty of places still available for the Auckland workshops &#8211; don&#8217;t be shy!</p> Barcamp Auckland 2 wasabicube.com/articles/2008/04/09/barcamp-auckland-2.html 2008-04-09T09:13:46+12:00 2008-04-09T09:13:46+12:00 <p><a href="http://ludwignz.com/">Ludwig</a> and his team at Botany Downs Secondary College come through again. Sign up now for <a href="http://bca.geek.nz">Barcamp Auckland 2</a> immediately!</p> Result! wasabicube.com/articles/2008/04/09/result.html 2008-04-09T09:10:27+12:00 2008-04-09T09:10:27+12:00 <p>Liverpool <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/7332209.stm">through to the Champions&#8217; League semi-finals</a>. Excellent!</p> Wouldn’t it be cool if... wasabicube.com/articles/2008/03/31/wouldnt-it-be-cool-if.html 2008-03-31T10:44:14+13:00 2008-03-31T10:44:14+13:00 <p>Wouldn&#8217;t it be cool if you could search video or still images by sketching a rough shape from a scene and having a search engine identify all frames that contain that geometry?</p> Altered state wasabicube.com/articles/2008/03/30/altered-state.html 2008-03-30T15:27:22+13:00 2008-03-30T15:27:22+13:00 <p>A change is as good as a rest, so they say. So here I am changing <em>wasabicube</em> again in the quest for the Holy Grail of layout and design satisfaction. You&#8217;ll notice the adoption of slab serif in the logotype. You&#8217;ll notice the relative minimalism. You&#8217;ll notice the serif in the body content. All changes from the previous design.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve been considering the need for a platform that lies somewhere between <a href="http://twitter.com">Twitter</a> and a full essay style for some time. Welcome, then, to my <a href="http://wasabicube.com/blurt"><span class="caps">BLURT</span>!</a> platform. All being well I&#8217;ll be blurting a lot more often. After all, I&#8217;ve still to report on <a href="http://webdirections.org/">Web Directions 2007</a>, <a href="http://bca.ludwignz.com/">Barcamp Auckland</a>, a wrap of 2007, <a href="http://webstock.org.nz/">Webstock 2008</a> and more besides&#8230;</p> <p>Stay tuned!</p> BarCamp Auckland wasabicube.com/articles/2007/11/23/barcamp-auckland.html 2007-11-23T12:23:56+13:00 2007-11-23T12:23:56+13:00 The countdown is on to the free, web community, "un-conference". Whether they know it, or not, everyone attending is an expert at something and has the opportunity to present and generate the content. The schedule emerges at the start of the day and the fun begins - the more attendees, the more content and the more discussion. This is going to be a great day! "Register now!(Register at BarCampAuckland)":http://bca.ludwignz.com/ [Aside--Yikes! A post!] <p><a href="http://bca.ludwignz.com/"><img src="/i/barcampauck.png" title="BarCampAuckland logo" alt="BarCampAuckland logo" /></a></p> <p>The countdown is on to <txp:pnh_mf_hcalendar summary="BarCampAuckland" href="http://bca.ludwignz.com/" dtstart="20071215" start="December 15" >the free, web community, &#8220;un-conference&#8221;.</txp:pnh_mf_hcalendar></p> <p>Whether they know it, or not, everyone attending is an expert at something and has the opportunity to present and generate the content. The schedule emerges at the start of the day and the fun begins &#8211; the more attendees, the more content and the more discussion. This is going to be a great day!</p> <p><a href="http://bca.ludwignz.com/" title="Register at BarCampAuckland">Register now!</a></p> <p>[Aside: Yikes! A post!]</p> iPhone wasabicube.com/articles/2007/07/03/iphone.html 2007-07-03T13:41:06+12:00 2007-07-03T13:41:06+12:00 My impression of the iPhone based on a couple of in-store, hands-on sessions in San Francisco. <p>C and I were in San Francisco, on Friday, coincident with the much anticipated <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabicube/sets/72157600562362324/">launch</a> of Apple&#8217;s <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/">iPhone</a>. We saw the queue stretching up <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabicube/668305012/in/set-72157600562362324/">Stockton Street</a> and into <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabicube/668304430/in/set-72157600562362324/">O&#8217;Farrell</a> at midday, then in the evening we got back to the Apple Store at around 6:20pm having been longer exploring than we&#8217;d expected. We missed the launch by twenty minutes but, given the crowds, we probably wouldn&#8217;t have seen too much. We got there in time to see some of the first of the <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabicube/667450473/in/set-72157600562362324/">new iPhone owners</a> emerging from the store.</p> <p>We talked to <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabicube/667448525/in/set-72157600562362324/">one guy</a> who&#8217;d caught our eye in the morning, He&#8217;d been waiting since 2pm on Thursday and was number three in the queue. What had attracted our attention was that he was the only one in the line-up wearing a suit. He had a tent with him. His office was nearby and he was able to carry on working with his laptop and mobile phone during the wait. Apparently the choice of attire had got him interviews with quite a few of the media. He was very happy to have his hands on a new iPhone.</p> <p>A couple of hours after its launch, I was able to touch an iPhone for the first time at an <a href="http://www.att.com/">AT&amp;T</a> store on Market Street and on Saturday morning I had a bit more time with Apple&#8217;s latest product at the Apple Store.</p> <p>Although I wasn&#8217;t able to use the iPhone as a phone nor experience its <span class="caps">EDGE</span> data rates, I was left gagging for the day that it, or a descendant, will be available in New Zealand.</p> <p>The iPhone is a thing of beauty that exudes quality; all shiny glass and metal. It feels superb in your hand. It has presence and enough weight to feel solid while not being heavy. It&#8217;s thinner than you imagine. The 160dpi display is beautiful and pin-sharp. The multi-touch UI is responsive, precise and intuitive. Typing on the virtual keyboard is at least as natural as, and more accurate than, using my Motorola <span class="caps">SLVR</span>&#8217;s keypad (though the <span class="caps">SLVR</span>, perhaps, isn&#8217;t the finest example of a keypad for touch-typists!)</p> <p>I loaded up <a href="http://www.wasabicube.com/">wasabicube</a> in Safari and was amazed at how detailed the initial, non-zoomed, view of the site looked. The multi-touch display allowed me to select menu items despite their tiny size. Simple zooming &#8211; either by double-tapping or using the finger and thumb zoom gesture &#8211; allowed the columns of the site to be seen easily. Scrolling up and down, or left and right, by dragging a finger was very natural. With Wi-Fi the pages loaded with the same sort of pace I would expect them to load on my MacBook.</p> <p>The little UI touches make the experience. The bounce that a scrolling page makes when you it the bottom, or the top, seems right. The ability to flick through photos or album art and have the physics agree with what you expect is truly captivating.</p> <p>The iPhone was very hard to put down. The pre-launch hype was well deserved. The iPhone, in my opinion, delivers.</p> <p>This is a groundbreaking product. Some say that it&#8217;s too expensive, others that is doesn&#8217;t do all that their Blackberry or Treo can manage. Others that the <span class="caps">EDGE</span> data performance is pitiful or the built-in battery is a hamstring. While all that may be true I think it&#8217;s the things it does do that are the deal maker. It does everything it was claimed to be able to do. In many ways it does them better than expected. The iPhone will appeal to a wide audience. It&#8217;s the future, now. It changes the way we think about interacting with devices. It makes the current crop of mobile phones, PDAs and music players look and feel dated.</p> <p>For a first generation product it&#8217;s amazing. I can only imagine what the second generation iPhone will bring!</p> <p>[On Saturday afternoon I saw my first iPhone user in the wild; a woman walking up Market using an iPhone as if she&#8217;d had it forever.]</p> Teeter wasabicube.com/articles/2007/03/27/teeter.html 2007-03-27T16:25:55+12:00 2007-03-27T16:25:55+12:00 Are we teetering on the brink of a dangerous Internet? Are the misanthropic hordes at the door? The recent, appalling, threatening, behaviour towards Kathy Sierra plumbs a new depth from the counter-community that signals a warning that we must heed and from which we must develop strategies to protect our privacy, publicity and physical safety. Will misanthopy win the Internet day? Or can we protect ourselves socially, psychologically and physically when we have an open on-line presence? We must ensure that the future of the Internet is golden. <p>Are we teetering on the brink of a dangerous Internet? Are the misanthropic hordes at the door? The recent, <a href="http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html">appalling, threatening, behaviour towards Kathy Sierra</a> plumbs a new depth from the counter-community that signals a warning that we must heed and from which we must develop strategies to protect our privacy, publicity and physical safety.</p> <p>The strength and beauty of the Internet is the ease with which we can communicate, form networks and broaden our social and intellectual horizons. Communities can form across a myriad of related and, more interestingly, unrelated topic threads. We can share our passions and interests and we can share our lives.</p> <p>The Internet has proven to contain a rich vein of humanity, of bonhomie and been a huge spur for intellectual discovery. I can say without doubt that I have met hundreds of individuals both at conferences and through the ether who are an affirmation of the good that can come of this overarching medium. It is hard for me to recall a single exception.</p> <p>However, I have the nagging feeling that I&#8217;ve been myopic. The Internet that I see &#8211; my Internet, if you will &#8211; is an exciting place of social software, like-mindedness, sharing, caring and interacting; it&#8217;s a place of interaction and productivity the like of which we&#8217;ve not seen before. When I stand back, though, I&#8217;m reminded that it&#8217;s not all sweetness and light. Take the thousands of spam and scam emails that assail my inboxes each year; take the port-scans and virus payloads; take the bigotted, blinkered and polarised comment threads that infest the fora associated with newspapers and current affairs sites; take the humourless, crass and utterly childish &#8220;comments&#8221; that regale YouTube posts; take the use of encrypted email and chat-rooms that coordinate acts of terror and crime; take the sick and threatening behaviour towards Kathy and you see that all is, indeed, not sweetness and light.</p> <p>The freedom to connect, to express, to interact is not only available to us but is equally available to those malignants that wish ill on the world. The information we publish about ourselves; our beliefs; our values our physical and geographical states all reveal potential vulnerabilities to our privacy and our well-being. For every picture we put on Flickr; for every personal musing we tweet or blog, we reveal something of ourselves to the vast majority &#8211; to whom we wish to reveal &#8211; but also to the minority who may bite back.</p> <p>The Internet was built upon openness, on gentlepersons agreements, on equitable interconnectedness and the free passage of data &#8211; it was built on trust. Spam, viruses and threats of a tiered Internet reveal those foundations to be shaky, as do criminal and spiteful characters hiding behind cloaked identities. Added to which, legislation has not kept up with the pace of change and has difficulty with an international jurisdiction.</p> <p>How do we strike a balance between publicity and privacy; between vigorous debate and sniping; between individuality and anonymity? How do we broaden our audiences and our circle of friends while keeping the voyeurs and advantage-takers at bay? Building walls around our opinions and knowledge, restricting our art and literature to a hand-picked clique does not seem like a step forward. Perhaps we need a new framework of trust and responsibility. We must work to ensure the golden age of the Internet is ahead of us not merely a fading memory.</p> Meetup momentum wasabicube.com/articles/2007/02/09/meetup-momentum.html 2007-02-09T14:59:33+13:00 2007-02-09T14:59:33+13:00 A good Web Design and Development Meetup last night, discussing CSS, Subversion, New Zealand webmasters and a plug for Charles. <p>Had a good meeting at the <a href="http://www.meetup.co.nz/">Auckland Web Design and Development Meetup</a> last night.</p> <p>There were some new but well-known faces and quite a buzz about future meetings. Bitter-sweet for <a href="http://www.prosper.co.nz/">Nathan</a> , I should think, who presided over his last meeting for a while (he&#8217;s off to work in London, shortly). Nathan started the group back in 2003 and he&#8217;s stuck at it to the point where there are now over a hundred members and regular turn-outs of 15-30. Well done, Nathan, and good luck with the London stint. The reins have been handed over to <a href="http://joomla.co.nz/">Paul Gutch</a> with <a href="http://www.bluespark.co.nz/">John Ballinger</a> helping out.</p> <p>Yesterday, Nathan did a quick presentation on <span class="caps">CSS</span>, which lead to some good discussion of best practise and tools and plug-ins that ease the process.</p> <p>Glen Barnes gave an overview of the <a href="http://subversion.tigris.org/">Subversion</a> (<span class="caps">SVN</span>) version control system and, despite the lack of Internet access to his <span class="caps">SVN</span> repository, gave us a good idea of the benefits of version control even when working on small, personal projects.</p> <p>Finally, Matt Broad spoke about <a href="http://nzwebmasters.org/">NZ Webmasters</a>, which is a community site he&#8217;s developing for anyone who is in New Zealand, or New Zealanders abroad, doing stuff with the Web. The site aims to be a community portal to encourage people into the industry, to further their knowledge through contacts and to provide a platform for &#8220;webmasters&#8221; to offer their services to charity and not-for-profit organisations.</p> <p>During the course of the evening <a href="http://www.xk72.com/" title="Karl von Randow">Karl</a> from <a href="http://www.cactuslab.co.nz/">Cactus Lab</a> put in plenty of plugs for <a href="http://getcharles.com/" title="Web debugging proxy">Charles</a> his, as he puts it, &#8220;<span class="caps">HTTP</span> proxy/<span class="caps">HTTP</span> monitor/Reverse proxy&#8221;. It&#8217;s very impressive and a huge boon if you&#8217;re developing with Ajax or database-driven Flash or just to see the amount of traffic and data that&#8217;s passing between you and the sites you visit/develop. Excellent.</p> Old Skool no more wasabicube.com/articles/2007/02/01/old-skool-no-more.html 2007-02-01T09:44:34+13:00 2007-02-01T09:44:34+13:00 Yesterday I buried my Old Skool Flickr identity and a little part of me flickered out. <p>So, yesterday, I buried my Old Skool <a href="http://www.flickr.com/" title="Flickr; The best way to store, search and share your photos">Flickr</a> identity and &#8220;merged&#8221; it with my <a href="http://www.yahoo.com/">Yahoo!</a> account. I&#8217;d put off doing the meld on other occasions when the Yahoo! corporate machine made noises but this time there was a deadline, so I decided to bow.</p> <p>Despite the obvious benefits of a unified ID (and if you&#8217;ve ever been involved with developing and maintaining on-line applications you&#8217;ll know what I mean), I still felt a little part of me fall off its perch and go to join the choir invisible. Flickr has become an important part of my life and, since I publish many of my photographs there, a part of my identity.</p> <p>The Old Skool Flickr was a young upstart showing what could be done with the Web, with its own quirky way of doing things. Then it was subsumed into the Yahoo! corporation but there was still a core of the personality that made Flickr so attractive in the first place. I&#8217;m pretty confident that as long as <a href="http://www.sylloge.com/" title="Stewart Butterfield">Stewart</a> and <a href="http://www.caterina.net/" title="Caterina Fake">Caterina</a> are in the mix there will always be a bit of that <a href="http://www.ludicorp.com/" title="Ludicorp; Groupware for play">Ludicorp</a> spirit, however, a chapter has come to an end; an identity has been homogenised.</p> So that was 2006 wasabicube.com/articles/2007/01/19/so-that-was-2006.html 2007-01-19T14:39:10+13:00 2007-01-19T14:39:10+13:00 A potted summary of 2006 at wasabicube. <p>Although we&#8217;re more than a fortnight in to 2007 already I&#8217;m going to put 2006 to bed by recapping some personal highlights and disappointments.</p> <p>Two thousand and six rapidly turned into a blur of a year. I spent some time in January converting wasabicube.com from my own potted <span class="caps">CMS</span> to Textpattern and redesigned in the process. That was pretty much it for the site until much later in the year. I spent a total of around three days working on the site. Must do better in future.</p> <p>From a Web design and development point-of-view the highlights were <a href="http://www.webstock.org.nz/" title="Webstock Conference">Webstock</a> in May and <a href="http://www.webdirections.org/" title="Web Directions South">Web Directions</a> in September. Webstock was a huge success, particularly when you consider it was their first attempt at a major conference. Great speakers, great venue and great attention to detail. Web Directions continued where Web Essentials left off and, again, provided a fabulous opportunity to hear and meet some of the luminaries of the industry.</p> <p>July saw me give my first <a href="http://www.wasabicube.com/files/WDM06071301.pdf" title="Web Standards - a business case">Web Standards presentation</a> to the <a href="http://www.meetup.co.nz/">The Auckland Web Design &amp; Development Meetup</a>. [Speaking notes coming soon &#8211; Ed.] It seemed to go down well despite the, frankly, expected arguments against from a couple of &#8220;dyed-in-the-wool&#8221; developers of pixel-perfect brochure-ware.<br /> Although we had good intentions, <a href="http://www.dontcom.com/" title="Darren Wood&amp;#8217;s personal blog - dontcom.com">Darren</a> and I didn&#8217;t get the Auckland Web Standards Group off the ground despite coming close. We&#8217;re looking forward to getting things kicking along in 2007. <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/nigel/" title="Nigel Parker&amp;#8217;s personal blog">Nigel Parker</a> put in a great effort in bringing a bunch of Web people together in November and we&#8217;ll be doing our best to build on that group to prove, particularly to Wellington, that Auckland can do community!</p> <p>And it was my year of the <a href="http://www.apple.com/" title="Apple Inc">Apple</a>. Having got a shiny white iBook for C a couple of years ago I found myself using it whenever she was away. So, in September, after waiting for the Intel Macs to appear and a respectable time for the issues to be dealt to, I migrated to a black MacBook and I haven&#8217;t looked back. The MacBook covers all the bases I need including running Windows XP brilliantly using <a href="http://www.parallels.com/en/products/desktop/" title="Parallels Desktop for the Mac">Parallels Desktop</a>. Fantastic.</p> <p>October marked my fortieth birthday. Forty came around far too quickly, in my opinion, and I really don&#8217;t think I&#8217;ve fully come to terms with the implications. Blissfully ignorant, I&#8217;m sure I still get what the cool kids are on about! Surely? Hey, and thanks to C, I now have a lovely black iPod. It&#8217;s brilliant and surely shows how much I am hep with the young people&#8217;s jive!</p> <p>During December <a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Twitter</a> became a bit of highlight for me. It&#8217;s hard to define but it, along with other &#8220;community sites&#8221;, Twitter begins to hint at the power of the Web to bring people and ideas into contact. With caveats, it emphasizes the potential for leveling social hierarchies and creating an egalitarian world where the power is in the communication and the ideas rather than the power, status or geography of the participants. On a more practical level it provides, as <a href="http://www.userfaction.com/" title="Userfaction">Justine</a> put it, the background office chatter that&#8217;s so often missing for those of us who, predominantly, work alone.</p> <p>So 2006 treated me very well as I hope it did you. Here&#8217;s to a 2007 that sees a more peaceful and tolerant world that brings you all that you and those dear to you could want.</p> Season’s greetings wasabicube.com/articles/2006/12/20/seasons-greetings.html 2006-12-20T15:33:22+13:00 2006-12-20T15:33:22+13:00 Season&#8217;s greetings from wasabicube <p><img src="/images/wasabicube_xmas.png" title="Season&amp;#8217;s greetings from wasabicube" alt="Season&amp;#8217;s greetings from wasabicube" /></p> <p>Whatever you&#8217;re doing over the next couple of weeks, have a happy and safe break away and here&#8217;s to a fantastic 2007!</p> Twitter - first impressions wasabicube.com/articles/2006/11/23/twitter-first-impressions.html 2006-11-23T20:58:00+13:00 2006-11-23T20:58:00+13:00 Caught up in the Twitterverse - first impressions <p>I&#8217;m surprisingly taken by <a href="http://twitter.com/" title="Twitter">Twitter</a>. When I saw it mentioned on <a href="http://hchamp.com/" title="Heather Powazek Champ">Heather&#8217;s</a> site I had a look and, frankly, thought that it&#8217;s just a wee bit odd to post little snippets of your life out into the world. However, now there&#8217;s a corps of friends and acquaintances in the Twitterverse I suddenly see that it&#8217;s, actually, very cool.</p> <p>The dynamic is interesting, it ebbs and flows; it breaks into conversation and then into fragmentary observation; it rises and sets with the day and follows the sun around the Earth; it waxes lyrical and staccato &#8211; but I&#8217;m getting carried away.</p> <p>The immediacy strikes me &#8211; <a href="http://adactio.com/journal/" title="Jeremy Keith">Jeremy</a> posted a journal at Adactio, mentioned it on Twitter and suddenly the Twitterati chimed in with comment. Fantastic. On the other hand you can go amble through conversations past and explore the zeitgeist in your own zeit.</p>