Friday, April 29, 2005

iDog - iPod dancing dog

Sega Toys' iDog - Hands on - Review at

"So you're a Sega fan and a gadget lover. You have an iPod but no one's interested anymore. They're just so 2001 and even the iTrip in your car doesn't impress. Showing people the Nomad you came across, well, the less said about that the better.

There is but one (affordable) option remaining. The iDog, an Apple imitating robotic personal music-player peripheral."

Click the heading to read the full article

Sunday, April 24, 2005

blinkx 3.0 review by PC Magazine

  • Bottom Line
    Version 3 retains blinkx's unique implicit-query ability and Smart Folders while adding new features such as Lotus Notes support, additional per-user security, and more.

  • Pros
    Automatically locates and notifies you of local and Web content related to whatever you're currently working on. Indexes Lotus Notes content and e-mail. Previews local and Web results including video. Smart Folders automatically gather search results in real time. Indexing video and audio using speech recognition.

  • Cons
    Only indexes 500 million Web pages. Limit of 150,000 local files. Searching can be slow. Sporadic problems with indexing.

  • Download
    Click here to read more and download the free software

  • Article on blinkx TV

  • Full Review,1759,1785149,00.asp

  • Extract
    "blinkx 3.0 searches local documents and files, Web sites, news, blogs, and even television content, all at the same time. As with previous versions, you don't have to request a search explicitly. When you open a file or view a Web page, blinkx analyzes its text and makes an implicit query for similar content. Icons in the program's toolbar (which is embedded in the title bar of the active window) light up to show that a particular content type is available. Clicking on an icon displays a menu of the most likely hits with text excerpts; one click opens the local file, blog post, video clip, or other found item. You can also choose to enter an explicit query in blinkx's main window."

    "blinkx 3.0's Smart Folders automatically collect links to local and web-based items that are similar to existing documents in the folder or that match specified keywords. The new, Shareable Smart Folders will allow blinkx users share their Smart Folder training information—the info that tells the folder what to collect-- with others via an e-mail link. No actual documents or stored links are exchanged; the link only points to a page on Blinkx's site that stores the training portion of the Smart Folder. The recipient can either download the free blinkx utility in its entirety or download the Smart Folders component only. As soon as the Smart Folder is received, it starts gathering links that match its training and also searches the new end-user's local system for matching content. In the end, the Smart Folders on the two users' systems should have matching Web-based content and different local content." Monkeys with Nature

"Or maybe eBay can donate a million dollars to a leading heart-surgery hospital. Then we'll have 'The eBay Center for Heart Disease and Surgical Recovery.' The only change in the actual hospital will be that surgery charges can be handled either through insurance or a new 'Buy Now' feature that offers faster surgery, but at a slightly higher price. Thankfully, eBay is no"

Click the heading to read the full article.

Stellent - "Outside In" Technology

Ever wonder how Google searches the web and indexes all kinds of files including PDF, DOC and more? The answer is some very clever conversion software created by Stellent Inc called "Outside In", now in it's 8th version.

One component you see in Google's interface is called "HTML Export" and is activated when you click [View in HTML] when you stumble across a PDF document (but I must admit that most of the time the formatting looks pretty bad).

Key Features
  • Converts a document's text into HTML and its graphics to GIF, JPEG, or PNG formats
  • Supports over 370 file formats such as word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, etc.
  • Powerful template capability allows custom display of information
  • Can exploit CSS for complex formatting
  • Provides browser access to hundreds of file types

So now you know. Have a great holiday break and see you back at uni! -Kevin

Thursday, April 21, 2005

EVENT DETAIL - Graduate Positions at CSC Australia 2006

CDO Employer Presentation   - Computing/IT and Business Administration

Topic: Graduate Positions at CSC Australia 2006

Date: Tuesday 3rd May 2005

Time: 1.00 –2.00 pm

Room: E6A 133

Details: Students from IT/Computing and Business Administration
can meet directly with CSC Australia employer representatives for
information on 2006 graduate opportunities. Come along and speak
directly to the employer about Graduate roles in IT including web
development, network services and systems engineering and finance.

Company info at: or

No booking required

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dual-core test results

Click the heading to read the short article

"A dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition at 3.2GHz scored up to 37 percent higher than a comparable single-core chip at 3.7GHz."

These test results are disappointing considering you have the power of two CPU cores and nowhere near 70% improvement in speed (2x3.2GHz / 3.7GHz). Hopefully pricing will reflect this.

"Early tests of Intel dual-core chips suggest dual- and multi-core systems will improve performance without pushing up clock speeds."

"However, using a lower clock speed lets the dual-core chip keep power consumption at about the same level as the single-core chip, and reduces the amount of heat generated. Though Extreme Edition chips are aimed at gamers, the results indicate how other dual-core chips are likely to perform."

The other issue is also that software needs to be written to take advantage of the extra core. Speed improvements don't happen automatically just be changing the CPU, so don't expect frame rates to increase that much :)

Copper's cleverness makes it a whole new telecoms game

Why copper may be better than fiber - Click the heading to read the full article

"Telstra's ADSL2+ network delivers broadband speeds of between 12 and 25 megabits per second and already covers a few hundred thousand homes. That's fast enough for pay TV, video on demand, high speed and telephony. By mid next year it will be more or less fully national at a total cost of $210 million.

This makes talk of a $15 billion national fibre roll-out look very silly and outdated, and talk of giving Telstra an access holiday to encourage it to spend $15 billion looks even sillier.

By the way, it also makes the overlapping roll-outs in the '90s by SingTel's Optus and Telstra of $5 billion worth of hybrid fibre-coaxial cable look more stupid than they looked at the time. That network will be made entirely obsolete by ubiquitous high-speed, TV-capable ADSL before Foxtel posts a profit from the cable."

by Alan Kohler -

Landlines under threat

Households may ditch a million fixed-line telephones in the next three years as rental charges rise.

According to independent telecommunications expert Paul Budde, fixed-line rental costs have risen about 40 per cent since 2001, while mobile phone costs have been falling.

Fixed-line rental costs about $30 a month.

Nearly a third of telephone calls made from homes are already on mobiles, and Budde, of Paul Budde Communication, says between 10 and 15 per cent of European households no longer have landlines as a result of competition from mobiles. Between two and three per cent of Australian households have done the same.

Budde says stiffer competition among mobile-phone carriers had brought prices down, to the benefit of users.

A growing number of households, particularly single-person ones, are questioning whether a fixed line offers value for money, considering rental is about $360 a year before even making a call. "

QLD Optus falls off the Internet

Last Thursday (14th April 2005) many Australian internet sites when down and stopped working for fifteen minutes as Optus' whole internet system for Queensland collapsed. They have announced that they are nearing completion of a fix as of 20/4/05 to ensure that this will not happen again.

Adobe Digital Media Store Closing

The Adobe Digital Media Store will permanently close on June 3, 2005. In addition, you will no longer be able to purchase digital editions from the store after April 22, 2005. All accounts will be disabled after June 3, 2005.

Q. Why is the store closing?
A. Adobe opened the store as both a showcase for PDF content and as a demonstration of PDFrelated eBook technology. Due to the success of online retailers in the current market, there is no longer a need for Adobe to support a separate PDF store.

Q. Where do I go to buy digital editions in the future?
A. There are many eBookstores on the web that carry PDF digital editions. Among others, please see:,,,,,

Intel Dual-Core CPUs

Let the Dual-Core Revolution Begin

In 2005 Intel will start shipping the new Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition with two full processing cores. That's two CPU's in the physical package of one CPU! Allowing two threads (like two programs) to execute at the same time or four threads with Hyper-Threading (pseudo-parallel processing).

Click the heading above to read more and see a great animated demo of how it works.

"Dual-core processor-based PCs for the desktop are the next generation in PC computing performance and power. Combined with the Intel 955X Express Chipset, the Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition supports Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology, making it a perfect solution for your most demanding multitasking needs. Power computing users, multimedia entertainment enthusiasts and gamers who crave optimum PC performance for audio, video, digital design, and high-end gaming are in for a treat."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


(email sent)

post a comment (click comment icon)

Hey guys I just wanted to know what you think about a Movie Night on Friday at Greater Union Macquarie Centre?

I know its a Movie night, but maybe sometime in the afternoon anywhere from 1pm to 5 pm would be a better time, incase people are catching a bus back home...

anyone that doesnt have their membership cards can collect it then.

Which movie do you want to watch?

Here are some movies that we could watch (there was a suggestion in the meeting to watch a comedy):

The Pacifier(PG)
Sessions: Friday 12:00PM, 2:20PM, 4:40PM
Type: Comedy
About the Movie:

Miss Congeniality 2 (M)
Sessions: Friday 12:50PM, 2:05PM, 4:30PM
Type: Comedy
About the Movie:

Robots (G)
Sessions: Friday 12:30 PM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM
Type: Comedy, Science Fiction, Animated
About the Movie:

Hitch (M)
Sessions: Friday 1:45PM, 4:20PM
Type: Comedy, Romance
About the Movie:

Sessions: Friday 1:10PM, 3:50PM
Type: Action, Adventure
About the Movie:

Make sure you check out the blog

Kunaal Bhagani

Sunday, April 03, 2005

EVENT DETAIL - Sydney Linux Users Group

Interested in Linux? Why not come along to your local LUG meeting! For Sydney, our local Linux User Group is SLUG, which meet monthly at UTS (a short walk from Central station).

Meetings are held on the last Friday of each month. At the meetings you have the opportunity to ask for help with Linux-related problems you may be having (ranging from how to get started to as technical as you want), listen to current news in the Linux world, hear talks on interesting Linux-related topics and more.

Many of the people who attend are actively involved in the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) community. Some people there may be the authors of software you run! At each meeting around 30 or so people attend (often more when there's a really good talk on).

Be sure to check the web site for the time, room and topics for the upcoming meeting. Often the details are not available until a week or so before the actual meeting.

You can subscribe to a number of SLUG mailing lists, including the main one (slug) and a jobs list (which advertises some Linux-related jobs that are available). Additionally, you can join #slug on FreeNode and talk to some members to find out more about SLUG, upcoming meetings, etc. or even just Linux in general.

I attend almost every month. They're a great bunch of people and the meetings are well worth attending for anyone with an interest in Linux and/or FOSS.