Lots o’ stuff…

…going on at the moment. Been a bit quiet on the online front of late and thought it best to say “yep – still alive, all is well”. Waiting for a moment to post about it all.

Palestine is still the issue…

Australia votes with US to keep Israel’s barrier:

Australia’s ambassador to the UN, John Dauth, told the General Assembly that Australia did not support the court’s intervention – and therefore not the new resolution – because “we remain of the view that it unfairly isolated a single issue in a complex conflict; that it served no purpose, given the nature and content of resolutions already passed; that it would politicise the court; and that it would distract the parties – as is happening – from the urgent need to resume negotiations in order to resolve the tragic and long-running Israeli-Palestinian dispute”.

The fact that the wall is illegal, and is a major affront to the Palestinian people and therefore undermines the “urgent need to resume negotiations in order to resolve the tragic and long-running Israeli-Palestinian dispute” has nothing to do with it? Ridiculous. Glad to see the Howard government is still cowtowing to US pressure to follow the “party line”.

Govt criticised for West Bank barrier vote

Annan Urges Israel to Tear Down West Bank Barrier

Israelis Fire Missile at Gaza Camp – Witnesses

This continues a long history of US opposition to finding peace in the middle east. The words come out of their mouths, but the actions scream louder and louder as time moves on. There is no simple solution to this conflict, but the unending US support for Israel’s provocation and flaunting of international laws and blocking of UN Security Council resolutions is a major contributing factor, regardless of the politician’s rhetoric.

More on Moore

Scott Rosenberg on Farenheit 9-11. Our merry band of four who were originally attending the film on Saturday has since grown to around ten. There’s a lot of anticipation about this film.

On a related note, I went to the local Collins bookstore and was surprised to see an entire shelf of books aimed squarely at Bush and the current administration. I’ve been asking people if this is a suprising amount of negative literature on a sitting president in their first four-year term? I don’t think even Bush Snr, widely derided and voted out after four years, didn’t get such a hard time. Apparently Clinton got hit pretty hard too, but as hard I wonder? I don’t know. Interesting nonetheless.

Yet there are only three books I know of that are visible in mainstream book stores on Howard’s misdeeds – Dark Victory (Marr, Wilkinson), The Axis of Deceipt (Wilkie) and Not Happy John! (Kingston). The “teflon Prime Minister”, perhaps?

Oddpost

Oddpost is aquired by Yahoo!

Awesome!

I loved the Oddpost product – the only reason I stopped using it is because my online life now predominantly resides on a Mac, which at this stage is not supported by Oddpost (I’m not bitching btw – this is a fact of life that, as a web developer, I am more than willing to accept). More importantly I am really happy for the team that built the product – Ethan and Iain and the ever responsive support person Debbie, and the rest of the team that built in a wicked spam filter and slaved over browser bugs and performance bottle-necks to build an awesome web-based app, one that I think sets the standard, and probably will remain that way for a few years, on what can be done in a browser-based application.

In the Loosely Coupled article linked to above, Phil makes some very valid points about how this impacts Microsoft’s desktop business moving forward. One thing that isn’t mentioned is that Oddpost, with all of it’s DHTML and Javascript goodness, supports Internet Explorer for PC only. There were murmurrings that this may change, but honestly, Microsoft still owns Oddpost at the moment. If IE breaks the application (through any number of quite legitmate ways), they’re going to have a lot of hard work ahead of them keeping compatibility. I am aware that they have already poured a lot of time into supporting 5.x variants of IE, so it’s not hard to imagine a large amount of work going into compatibility for 7.x if/when it ever arrives.

As Mozilla matures and starts to introduce enhanced application-development features, perhaps the landscape will change. But at the moment, to deliver the rich experience that Oddpost does, Microsoft still owns the space with ~90% of the browser market (in terms of installed base). So, I don’t think they’ll be quaking in their boots just yet. But I’m sure they’re thinking hard about they’re next move, but it seems that Avalon and .NET are where they’re heading. What does that mean for the “browser”? Less development, less features, and a shift of those features from the browser into technologies like Avalon. Whether developers will buy it, who knows. Certainly is an interesting time though…

Happenings

Things have been a bit quiet of late on the weblog. As always, this is because lots of things have been happening offline that have left me with little time to read or write about anything that wasn’t absolutely essential.

The good news is what’s been going on has been really good. Last weekend I was lucky enough to be part of the bridal party for John and Kylie’s wedding. J & K are long-time and very good friends, and it was a delight to see them express their committment to each other in a small ceremony and very fun reception. I’ve decided, though, that if I ever decide to do something like that, photos will be limited to 1 hour! Seeing how exhausting the process was for the newlyweds, I think I can skip that part 😉

It was great not only for the main event (which happened on Saturday), but for the time spent with some friends I’ve not seen in quite some time (about a year in fact). It was wonderful to reconnect and continue to share a part of each others lives, even if it is a smaller part now that we are geographically displaced. As always happens at these kind of things we’ve committed to catch up in one place at least once a year. I hope that we can keep that committment.

My new housemates are also getting closer to settled. We’re all a bit broke, and a bit shy on furniture (no couches = a pain in the ass – literally!), but I think it’s going to work out now that we’ve had a bit of “get to know you time” (not that I really had any doubts, but now that we’re a couple of weeks in it’s nice to still have that feeling). I really like the dynamic that seems to be building between us all, which I think (and hope) will turn the house into a more lively, creative and safe place for us all to grow. Only time will tell, of course, but good signs to start off with.

It seems that every time my birthday comes along I start to get restlessness. It was this time two years ago that I decided to go to uni. This time four years ago that I decided to strike out on my own with Bucketbox (my now defunct consulting company). This year I’m going through the same process. Lot’s of writing, lot’s of reflection, and the odd decision here and there. A lot of people see new years as the time to do this sort of thing. My pattern seems to be around birthdays.

The decision to close down Bucketbox is part of this process I think. And I have made a few other decisions that will probably shape where I head over the next few months, although I’m still quite unsure as to what it is I want, and more importantly which expectations are realistic and which are just wishful thinking. Hopefully things will become a little clearer in the coming weeks.