Gerrard leaving Liverpool

July 6, 2005 by  
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Liverpool reject a £32m bid by Chelsea for Steven Gerrard, Gerrard’s agent says the guy doesn’t want to be at Liverpool anymore, fans say his silence is a bad sign. On the one hand, he’s only one player, they can afford to lose him and pick up other talent. On the other hand, he’s arguably the best midfielder in the world… It really pains me to see him go play for someone else, but if it’s what he wants, what can you do?

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The new black

July 5, 2005 by  
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So what’s the coolest thing going around? Podcasting, apparently.

The day after I unveil my first podcast The Australian’s (newspaper) italive pullout has a double-page spread on the subject. The article isn’t that great; its reason for being written is simply the release of the new version of iTunes that supports podcasting. I guess it doesn’t tell me anything new because I’ve been madly reading how-to-podcast articles wherever I could find them as I tried to get that first one up and going.

In my podcast I mentioned radio stations going digital. Or more precisely, moving away from cassette tapes to digital recording. In last Thursday’s (June 30, 2005) Media section of The Australian they also had what they called a ‘special industry focus’ on radio. One of the stories, “Industry overdue for digital dawn“, spoke of radio’s need and desire to switch to digital technology while being held back by slow decisions on government policy concerning the matter.

On the same page as that article was one about the success of podcasting of several Radio National programs that you can subscribe to through ABC Online. I was excited by the article’s claim that the Media Report was one of those being podcast, and rushed off to subscribe. It is in fact not offered, which seems a little strange given this whole podcasting business can be described as a new form of media. Ah ha. I have just re-read the first two pars in the story.

Radio National’s podcasting experiment has been so successful that another raft of specialist programs will be made available online from July 9.
The popular 8.30 Reports –
…Media Report… will be added to the list of MP3-downloadable content.

Seems I got a little too excited in my haste there, and will have to wait another four days. But the trend quoted in that story – 19,000 Radio National program downloads on June 19 to 74,000 last week – can also be seen in Feedburner statistics.

Feedburner is a free service that manages syndicated feeds, over 60,000 of them, of which mine is one. An RSS feed basically allows you to read new website content (such as these blog posts) without actually visiting the site. Now, with podcasting, those feeds also allow you to listen to the posts, without having to manually download them. Their numbers show they’ve managed an increasing number of podcasts through their service, from 500 in November last year to almost 6,000 this May. With the media coverage podcasting currently receives (mainly thanks to iTunes) that number will inevitably climb even faster as we all jump on the bandwagon.

Now as far as my podcasting goes, I need to find a way to make it more ‘professional’. A jingle to start with. Some interviews perhaps. I read about doing online interviews, and a way to record iChat audio directly into GarageBand. The problem is, I don’t use iChat. I have just downloaded Skype, however, and will have to look into whether I can record audio through that. Perhaps an online interview with you could be on the cards, Mr Carlill?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening in podcasting at the earley edition.

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Holiday pics

July 4, 2005 by  
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Here are the photos from my holiday. Not a lot went on that was good for taking pictures; no lazy days on the beach, girlfriend smiling in the sunshine, or dolphins and whales with a windswept lighthouse backdrop at Byron Bay. No, it was four days of rain, and one night of 500mm (20 inches) of the stuff.

If I had taken my camera on our walk down the street you could have seen some cars pushing through deep water, but I didn’t, so it’s just two boring pics of the water level…

This was the front, after the water had subsided a bit. Earlier the sidewalk was not visible, more than half the trailer’s wheel across the street was under water, and there was a line of debris a little higher than the last plant on the driveway, where the water must have risen to when the tide came in overnight.

The yard backs onto a golf course whose creek is usually over 20 metres away. Only 5 metres from the back fence is a raised tee. It was the final outpost at about 9.30 am, but within 30 minutes was also inundated. If the debris left hanging from the bridge the next day was anything to go by, the water level on the golf course rose by about 6 feet. Thankfully the rain stopped because the rise to the house, as seen in this pic, was not much more than the tee that had disappeared so quickly.

On the plus side, we got to spend a lot of time inside just lazing about. We went out and saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith one night, stayed in with pizza and Anchorman another night, I read The Da Vinci Code and got to spend four days snuggled with my beautiful girlfriend. All in all, a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday.

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July 4, 2005 by  
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My first podcast, for your listening pleasure. Take care all. I didn’t expect the file size to be what it is, 1.9MB for 2 minutes of talking. Anyway, you can subscribe to this podcast through feedburner, and I believe it’s that you need. Also, my geocities hosting only allows me 15mb storage, so that doesn’t leave much room for podcasting…

Update: I changed the bit rate, so the file is 500kb, which is better.

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July 4, 2005 by  
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Linking the file in the actual post body seems the best way to go, seeing as it worked. I don’t have a podcast to put up yet, but I will try one soon. The earley edition goes audio. Bring on visual and I’ll corner the market! See y’all soon.

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July 4, 2005 by  
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One more time, with the linked mp3 here in the post, instead of in the title… this is somewhat ridiculous, and I’m obviously doing something wrong… another picture for you.

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July 3, 2005 by  
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Let’s try this one more time… Hey, here’s a pretty picture to keep you occupied while we’re at it.

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July 3, 2005 by  
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trying again, not working currently

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July 3, 2005 by  
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This is not an actual podcast. This is a test to see if this works, as podcasting. Bear with me.

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Zing zing

July 2, 2005 by  
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It’s 5.25 am and I’m testing blogger’s new photo blogging addition. No more hosting needed? Let’s see.

Cool. This is a photo of a church in Greenwich, London, in 2002. Walking down some dark back alley with my sister in tow, I set up my tripod in a doorway and pointed the camera up trying to avoid the trees in frame and the local thugs thumping me and taking my new camera. Everything worked out just fine – if I say so myself.

I’m also trying to figure out how to do some audio blogging, but also podcasting, now that itunes supports this cool feature. I have four weeks of holidays, so why not diversify my media empire?

Zing zing is a reference to my current state of mind given the time of day and not having slept.

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July 2, 2005 by  
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I arrived back from my holiday today, a little later than expected. Kate and I had planned to spend time at Burleigh beach Monday, go to Byron Bay (90 minute drive) on Tuesday, Currumbin Lakes and the beach again on Wednesday, and return to Brisbane Thursday.

That was the plan. Instead it was raining and cold, so we didn’t go to the beach Monday, or Byron Tuesday. Instead we went and saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith on Tuesday, but vowed to go to Byron Bay on Wednesday regardless of the weather. The talk and bravado faltered at the sight of trees bending in the wind and continuing rain. It rained continually Wednesday, getting heavier and heavier as the evening wore on. Anyone in Brisbane/Australia will know what happened. Over a 24-hour period, the Gold Coast received 500mm (20 inches) of rain. Then the tide came in.

Waking up Thursday morning, Kate informed me we would need to leave within the next 10 minutes if we were going to get out of the street. This is where I would show some pictures if I could find my camera right now. To cut a long story short, we didn’t attempt to get out of the street since the water was knee-high at the bottom of the driveway and thigh-high around the corner. The golf course behind the house was entirely inundated, and watching the tee closest to the fenceline disappear completely within 30 minutes was a little worrying. Instead, we went for a walk to check out just how high the water had risen, and to watch cars attempting to make it through the thigh-high water at the intersection a few houses down. I didn’t take my camera with me on that walk, unfortunately.

As a city bus plowed through the water at the roundabout, the driver managed to lose an 8-foot long piece of silver sheeting. I waded in to retrieve it for him, more worried about others driving over it, and received the princely sum of $4 in thanks to go towards a beer. I’ll put some photos on here when I find my camera.

That’s all for now. It’s 4.30 am, and it looks like I won’t be getting any sleep tonight…

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