Showing posts from 2006


Ok, so now I'm sort of on holidays, I thought i'd update with a pictorial blog. Just to kill time while watching 5 series of 24 :p - here's a few annotated screen shots of AOE3:
"But not this day, this day, we fight! I bid you stand; MEN. OF. MIDDLE-EARTH...oi, where are you three going?"

The spanish armies were shocked as a being from another planet arrived on a meteor...

The explorer wondered the true effectiveness of their wall in keeping people out.

Boo! ok, there is no real caption for this, I just really like the picture.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm, what do I do with this HUGE saw.
The sermon on the the middle of the US. Maybe those Mormons are onto something....

Merry Christmas!!

^^ see title ^^
tis a pity xmas tv is so least the cricket is on soon :)
Did you know...the average US citizen now spends more than they earn? *sigh*
funfunfun, only a week left of 2006

Back from ACT

Those who have read this for a year ... should find somethign better to do!
Anyway, you might remember from a year ago when I last came back from tutoring at one of these informatics training camps, that I was full of praise for the people who attended - fortunately, this year was no exception, and even surpassed my expectations. Seriously, spending 10 days with the type of people who are at that camp {both students and staff} is always a good way to spend time - despite the much lower average age, the conversations seem interesting, there is very little anger and plenty of respect for eachother. Then coming back to the rest of the world...lets just say, it's a pity the 10 days couldn't have been longer, and it doesn't look like I'll be tutoring again until next december either :(
On other things - Australia have the ashes back, and my TC rating is improving again :D - Xmas is here for another few days, but will still probably be designing for much of the time until tues…

State of mind

Supp exams over! {seemed to go ok, not sure when results are out}
During which I also got two weeks of designing done - 1st in week 1, then the only submitter in week 2 so if I pass, another guarenteed 1st. Nice $$, and it improves my Las Vegas chances :)
However, for the next 10 days, I'll be in ACT tutoring ppl programming, so probably won't update or be on MSN much over the next while {email or phone still ok if contact is needed}
Enjoy the next week, survive the heat / onslaught of christmas carols, and see you soon!


Looks like empty tags work in blogwatcher (...finally :p)
Anyway, a few things google-related happened this week:
1) When looking up words containing 'pat' (like..PAThetic) I noticed that 'patness' was a word. Cool. Then to find what it meant I typed it into google, and got this. First thing of note is that 'patness' is *nowhere near* 'features', no idea how it's matching...second is the coincidence - the first result for patness is from "Jenkins online", at the url of "stupidevilbastard" :p
2) Just when I was thinking google suggestors may be taking the day off, I was asked who the director of crouching tiger hidden dragon was. I thought it was Ang Lee, but just to check, I searched google. To my suprise, the first result wasn't a real page link, but actually the answer to my question, with references for proof. I can't get it to work for acting cast or any part of the crew, but still, tis impressive.
3) Went into town to lo…
Some of you may have noticed that blogwatcher doesn't like title-less blog posts :p
So, in trying to implement a fix, I needed a post without a title to test on - that's what this is for ;)
I'll fill it with some other random stuff though, like:
1) XMI design done :D was happy with this one, just gotta hope noone else submits
2) Cat Empire concert tonight! They should be good live, thanks to my aunt for the ticket
3) The Ashes are coming to Adelaide! I'll be going later hopefully, but can't be there tomorrow because...
4) HD for maths subject but 84 for my computer science one :S - i was going in on 30% already from pracs, so need to check at exam viewing tomorrow to see what went wrong. tis my first D :p
hopefully the title-less blog post will be fixed, until then, PatTag is available for those who want it - there's even an rss feed so you can add your tag to your normal blogwatcher listing :)
Song of the moment: Tears (Rush / Dream Theater)

Edit: ok, looks like it wo…

3 - It's a magic Number

The TCCC is over and results are in - 3rd! :D
Nicka81, who everyone thought would come 1st, did in each of the 3 components - maone then came 2nd in each (just passing me in appeals for the 3rd) and then I came 5th-3rd-3rd, enough to put me 3rd overall! However, as expected, the actual contest part was a bit of an anticlimax, most of the fun comes from meeting all the other coders who, until now, I've only known by their tiny little member photos. San Diego itself was ok, a bit foggy & rainy, but I imagine during summer it would be a nice place. Especially if there's a programming contest on ;)
This is just a quick message to say thanks for the birthday wishes, hope exams went well for all, my 'supps' are in 2 weeks :p - oh, and Pat Tag is being upgraded, you may have to post comments instead until it is finished, but you can watch the progress on the right =)

Off to the land of the terminator

I'm off! To San Diego, 14th->20th Novemeber. Two of those days will be spent flying in the air :S
However, I don't mind flights too much - I can sleep, and now I even got myself some noise-cancelling headphones to help out :p
For those interested, the site for the contest is:
and general news may appear frequently at TopCoder's home site:
And there'll be a live telecast of the last day of competition! (though, probably at 3am or so here)
While I'm gone - best of luck to everyone with exams/essays left, enjoy the post-exam freedom, good luck with soccer on sunday, etc...! Not sure how much time or availability I'll have over there.
A few thoughts to leave you with, that have stumped me
1) When Nappy companies claim that their new products are more comfortable than their last...*how do they know*?? Are there professional nappy testers?
2) Are interest rate …


Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
And today's date is....November 5! 401 years ago, Guy Fawkes attempted to carry out the Gunpowder plot. To celebrate the occasion, time to blow stuff up!...or maybe watch V for Vendetta, I think I'll go with the latter. Again, good luck to all those with exams / essays in the upcoming week - the most recent week of designs is out, so I'll be disappearing again until next friday, enjoy! 3 months of 'holidays' are coming soon...

S.W.A.T week

It's that time of year again - when uni world is turned on its head, as the arts students hit the keyboards and the eng students hit the books (metaphorically, but quite possibly physically too). Good luck for all those with essays due over the next few days, and for all those who have exams starting soon. Due to going away to San Diego (14th->20th) I miss the 2nd week of exams, so my schedule looks like: swat week 1 - exam week 1 (2 exams) - USA week - holiday week - swat week 2 - exam week 2 (3 exams). So I get 3 weeks between exams, but I also am not finished until early december :(
Oh, and that's an intentional typo - it really *should* be called s.w.a.t week. Just because.
No word from Google, but they just had their big tournament last weekend (congrats to the winner, Petr) so hopefully will hear soon. This week is just about coding assignments, improving my tag board stuff, and hopefully writing/recording music. Then starting friday is final-design-week!
A few interest…

Day 7 - Thursday 12th, submission day

Week 2 of design contest is about to start, so if anyone reads this, to keep you from boredom I'll post the last day's report from the previous design, the interesting night it was:
"Well...that was interesting, not a day I'll soon forget. Anyway, I shall start at the start - due to CS tutoring of students at Uni, I have to start at 11am, which means walking to the busstop at 9. It's also going to be a 35 degree day, and I'm bringing my laptop in so I can do some more XMI documenting from within the CS labs. By 2pm, I've got a software design lecture (ironic?), and as I've documented virtually everything except the new SQL stuff that I haven't added in poseidon yet, there's not much to do until after I finish at 5. At this time I also start up my list of tiny one-point things that need to be fixed, like incorrect names, missing attributes, extra things to add to documentation, etc...
Get home, finish dinner by 6:30, pull out the Iced-Coffee and…

Stuff while I'm gone

Ok, so TCCC design finals have started - under a cloud of mystery as one finalist is possibly disqualified and another takes their place :S
Anyway, my intention is to blog each day of this next week to track my progress, but as the contest is still running I can't post it til the end. So, while I'm away, I thought I'd leave a list of comedy things to be found on this interweb thingy to fill in time, one per site:
1) Wikipedia (search for "Baby Food")
2) Google videos
3) Youtube
4) Cyanide and Happiness
5) South Park episodes
6) Carlton Draught - more dancing =)
As a final thought, I'll leave you with something interesting today from a psych lecture:
Scenario 1: There are 4 cards on a table, each has a letter on one side and a number on the other. The faces you can see are: "A" "4" "D" and "7". If you want to test whether "All vowels have an even number on the other side" is true, what is the most number of cards you…


It's official! - results of the TCCC design contest are out - I ended up with 40/40 pts, in the top 8, so get to go to San Diego California!!! Means I'll be away 14th->20th November - I miss the 2nd week of exams, so have to reschedule sitting 3 of *also* means that I'll be flying over the Atlantic on the 19th, and it'll last only a few hours before I cross the dateline. Last year I was in ACT for my birthday, this year it won't even happen! ....does that mean I stay 19??
Speaking of travelling, my parents leave for their 6-week european holiday after mum's retirement - Sis & I get to fend for ourselves at home, should be interesting...
In other news, the ACM final location has been announced, so it looks like my team & I will be in Tokyo in mid March '07. Our ACM prizes have also come in - not only is the iPod shuffle 1Gb, but it also has 'Google' written on the side =) Seriously, how much do you think it'd cost to have your …


Yep, Holidays have started!
"Wait!"...I hear you say..."Didn't they start saturday" - yeah, I guess, though now week 5 of the TopCoder Collegiate Challenge (TCCC) design contest has just ended, which means I get a break after working for almost 6 weeks straight :S - this week was particularly hectic though, due to ACM, Google Code Jam and TCCC algorithm *also* being on at the same time. The result? Prizes won this week:
1 TCCC t-shirt for passing review in design1 TCCC t-shirt for participating in round 1 (yes, it's the same shirt)1 TCCC student rep. shirt for convincing someone to compete.1 GCJ shirt for coming in the top 250 in round 2.1 Google shirt for winning the ACM regional1 ACM shirt for attending the ACM regional1 iPod shuffle (apparently...still waiting) for winning ACM
1 trip to Tokyo (probably) for winning ACM1 trip to San Diego, CA, for placing top 8 in TCCC Design (still pending)Seriously though, what are you supposed to do with six programming s…

Browser personality

Something I came up with while procrastinating - another one of these games, tis quite simple. Most browsers cache the addresses you visit often, so press 'a' and copy down what your browser suggests. Then 'b', then 'c' etc... to find which sites you frequent. This is me through my browser:
g: (not google!)
K, Q and Z had no matches.
One and a bit weeks left in design cont…

iPod therefore I am?

For all those not interested in tech stuff, tune out now! For once, I'll do a codemonkey-esque update. No, it's not about how MySpace is one of the ugliest looking sites yet gets 7000 new australian members to day, 60% of whom will never return. Though that in itself puzzles me.
No, instead, it's about Apple's iSTUFF idea, what will / should happen, and why.
Firstly, many have tried to topple the mighty iPod - Sony have the walkman, Creative the Zen, Microsoft are soon to the Zune, in an attempt to make an iPod killer. But no, these are doomed to fail. Why? A few things, most are driven by ease of use. You see, people don't like to do too much stuff when it comes to computers. Apple managed to capitalize on this by making a system which:
Uses one program (iTunes) to do virually everything.Gives you access to the iTunes (Apple) music store from within the programUses non-standard file format AAC for iTunes downloads, rather than mp3Handles 'podcasting' which is…

Flash update

Image's getting busy...very busy. But before I have to knuckle down and do...stuff...I thought i'd update with why I may be hard to track down over the next week or five:
1) TCCC design has started! 5 weeks of consecutive UML designs to try to earn my place in America. This wouldn't be too bad, but the very first week, I pick a hard component. Ok, good in the sense that, if I pass, I get the US$1500 payment, 500 digital run points and 10 TCCC points, but bad in the sense that there were problems with the specs, so now its been extended til monday which takes time away from the next design.
2) SRMs go on as usual - most recent was cancelled due to server 1am in the morning before a 10am start the next day! :p - add to this the ACM regional and Google Code Jam, TCCC algorithm, plus training = so much coding, so little time :(
3) No assignments this week (*phew*) but...only because there's 4 or 5 due next week! One is doing a UML design (= TCCC design for …

Two Twisted

In the spirit of the new Australian tv show (which I haven't seen, I'm just stealing the name, sorry) comes two back-two-back narratives from today:
Tale #1: Bus Prophet (starring 4yo kid and grandfather)
-- *bump*, bus hits kurb while going around roundabout --
kid] Papa...did we just hit something?
man] Yes, our bus just hit the kurb when going around the roundabout.
-- kid thinks for 10s --
k] Papa...why did we just the kurb?
m] Because he's a lousy driver.
-- kid thinks for 1 minute, waits until the bus is quiet, then in a REALLY loud voice:
{we now skip 20 minutes ahead in time}
k] Papa...why are there no seatbelts on busses?
m] They don't think they're needed.
k] But...the driver wears a seatbelt?
m] That's right. They say it'd be too expensive to put them on every seat.
k] That's Silly!! *10s pause for thought* much do seatbelts cost??
Deep. At least, about as deep as Australian drama gets :) But stay tuned in, for.…

Guilty of Gross Stupidity

It's happened again...sporting stars, found guilty of gross stupidity. Last time it was Barry Hall (there aren't too many words to describe 'punching someone in a semifinal') and now, the cycling world tops it with Floyd Landis. There would be few out there who think he's perfectly clean, but then again there are plenty of other athletes guilty of drug cheating. The thing that gets me about this case, though, is how he managed to get 10 minutes behind on stage 16, then the *very next day*, stage 17, suddenly thrash everyone by six minutes. Add to this his claim that he has naturally increased testosterone levels, even though the extra found was artificial, this seems to win the sporting stupidity award for the week.
This is not confined to the sporting field though. Recently, a man put a 14-month-old girl into a tumble dryer because he thought it would be fun for her. It is unlikely that there was any malicious intent, but there's laws against being dangerous, m…


They say a picture's worth a thousand words. So, here's a blog entry that's 5219 words long:

It's on! The TopCoder Collegiate Challenge has been announced :D It's TopCoder's big Uni-only tournament - soon the Design contest will start, I'm hoping to make the top 8 to get a trip to the US (not too many uni students design). The algorithm contest starts part way through next month too.

Wondering why I've gone crazy? Squint your's part of the ASCII world cup feed. I'm glad to be back on the scoreboard at soccer, and for those in either one of the two teams, click the pic above.

During holidays, I played a bit of poker online, managed to come 16th out of 1000+ in an Omaha tournament, the second time I'd ever played it ;) and up to over $100,000 in play money, after starting at $1k...if only it were real :p

Uni's back! Enjoy the learning. This has a double meaning too, as last night was the first ever TCHS SRM (school-age programming c…

Separated at birth #2

First, we found out Andrew Symonds was now playing with band Gorillaz - this time, compare the pear:

...oh, wait, I mean, pair:
No wonder Queer-Eye Australia didn't work - they didn't have Tim Cahill as the 'lifestyle' (a.k.a what-the-heck-does-he-actually-do) guy! Oh, and speaking of Australian versions of US's terrible!! Oh, how terrible - they're soon going to have Australian Celebrity Survivor!!
After the complete failure of the normal Australian version of Survivor - their first challenge NEVER FINISHED because it got windy ;) - someone has decided to now have it starring B-grade celebrities. And what is more, they have chosen Dicko as the host! The greatest parts of the US (= true) version are (a) The scheming and back-stabbing, which I seriously doubt celebrities will do much of infront of a camera, and (b) Jeff has the host! I for one will not be watching this version :p

Holidays :D

Winter often seems to be accompanied by the cold-weather blues. It's inevitabre (I'm sorry, it's what? ... Inevit, inevitabre!) due to colds, lack of sun, football fixtures, + miscellaneous other. Anyway, I promised more pictures, so here's a start. During these wintery weeks, remember; Make the ball happy!

Oh, and for all those who noticed the post time and thought: " never wake up before 10am!" - you are correct ;) Waking up implies sleeping, which I have yet to partake in due to aforementioned football fixture (unfortunate way for Zidane to go) - it is now 9am, I wonder when that sleep wall is going to headbutt me in the chest...

E for Education

Before I start -
Seems like Czech AND Argentina are out - probably Germany or winner of Brazil v France will have the best shot. And while that's happening, Federer is continuing his title defense at Wimbledon :)
In addition, two new Lemonade sites: the wiki, and the OneWay portal - the former is great for quick generation of information, the latter looks much nicer but is a bit less userfriendly - for now, use both, but later I think the wiki stuff should be moved over to the portal.

However, what I actually thought I may as well blog about was the weird stuff happening to the Education Systems in each of the states. Unfortunately, at the same time, people have introduced Outcomes-based Education (OBE) in Western Australia as well as protesting against a mandatory A-E grading system throughout primary schools. Sure, maybe A-E is a bit blunt, especially when not accompanied by any explanation. But, why 'unfortunately'?
Well, it all stems with what people are recommending they…


Many apologies - long time between drinks. Has been a rather busy few days ... I mean, weeks ... I mean, month and a bit ;)
So, in as few words as possible:
that pretty much sums it up. Thanks to the music of Dream Theater for keeping me sane :p
And just when I thought I was heading into a period of relative calm after (and during i suppose) exams, where I could work on the Lemonade game, suddenly I get *two* contract job offers in two days! I'm not sure how much I can say (not really a secret, but ppl may want to keep them a suprise) though I'll add later once I finish them. So shall be busy writing code & documents over the next few weeks.
In addition, the TopCoder Collegiate Championship is beginning soon :D - my best chance to get onsite, as you h…


Ok, quick update before swatvac starts and I get preoccupied with other forms of procrastination - 1) Well spotted by Jelly from QLD - my blog is now a year old. Let's reflect what we've learnt since it started.....right, that didn't take long. However, in my first few posts it seemed I wanted to add something interesting down the bottom of each post...maybe I should do that again...
2) Yes, Tom, you're right, BlogWatcher (and gyronet in general it seems) has been a bit tetchy this week. It seems to be ok now, but I hope it doesn't continue - also, the main checker.php site has now hit 6000 page loads! coolies :) I managed, by accident, to be the 6000th hit, i might post the screen shot later - gotta think of something for 10000 :p
3) Exams / end-of-semester essays / presentations are on their way, coming to a town near you. Well, near me, in adelaide. Best of luck to all those who have them on at some point soon :D yes, even you arts students!
4) Hopefully I get to f…


Firstly, fewer than 500,000 people watched Eurovision! tsk, to all those ppl who were watching the mining disaster interview, you don't know what you missed :p ...but, if you want to find out, I now have the CD :) - On the topic of music, here's the answers from the earlier quiz (sorry for when the songs temporarily disappeared :p)

ONE POINT (easier)
4. 'Love, just don't stare', he used to say to me, every Sunday morning (Dream Theater, Awake)
6. You held my hand and walked me home, I know (Avril Lavigne, Don't Tell me)
8. Lord unchain my hands - let me sing inside the crowded trams. (The Cat Empire, The Crowd)
1. And I'd give up forever to touch you - Iris, Goo Goo dolls (Bodie)
2. I looked away, then I looked back at you. - Avril Lavigne, Fall to Pieces (JAmes)
3. So we've put an end to it this time. I'm no longer yours, and you're no longer mine. - Missy Higgins, Ten Days (Jack)
5. Hast Du etwas Zeit fuer mich, Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich - N…


It's that time of year again! Eurovision finals are being televised, anyone who's not doing anything - I recommend you watch them! Sure, the songs aren't great, the bands aren't great, the dancing is appalling...but, it's Eurovision, what other reasons do you need? Although I already know who wins {curse you, MSN messenger, having it in the news thing before it's televised!}, after watching the semi it's certainly worth it :)
In addition - yesterday, I was watching a game where one team was trying to minimise the possession of the other, by utilising open spaces and passing it around the back to free players, slowly pushing forwards and taking opportunities in advancing by using precision passes. Sounds like (real) football, right? Well, the suprise was, it was AFL! Richmond v Adelaide, the former winning using the (real) football-style tactics to beat a team that was considered unbeatable in that match :p - it was certainly a change from the usual kick-long…

Remember, remember...

A few quick updates:
1) The person I sort-of knew was the first out of Big Brother :p (hopefully this means the rest of my family will stop watching it...)
2) Blog Watcher has hit 5000 page loads! And they're not all me! -thanks to all the members - now uni has slowed down, I might be updating it again
3) TopCoder open has just finished, congrats to Petr (algo), Pops (design) & sindu (devel). I also got asked to do a design (yes, they *asked* me personally :D) and was one of two submitters, so fingers crossed i score over 75.
4) Happy 21st to Tom! I'm not sure when the actual day is, but the night was fun :)
Now, for your literary pleasure, see if you recognise this:
"This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin …

Today Tonight Delight

looks like my vow to post a better summary won't be followed up, sorry - needless to say, it was fun, but *very* busy, and for most, I feel hearing about me hitting a keyboard won't be all that interesting ;)
Anyhow, I'm taking this opportunity to call Today Tonight out on one of its (many) bad stories, not only was this not news-worthy, it was a shameless self-promotion, and a good example why I don't watch it - except when someone says: "look at this stupid story", which is how I found myself watching it today.
To set the scene, TT were reporting on their wonderful 10c-per-litre discount they gave in conjunction with a two local petrol stations (i.e. not run by the "Big Corporations" - like Shell, BP, Mobil...). As it happens, TT advertised this fact on their show earlier last week, to make sure many people turned up to take advantage of the offers. Many people did (of course they did, it's about a 9% saving!) which, apparently, shows how hard …

Waggin' Bands

Ok, I know I'm a few weeks delayed from others - being out of the country tends to do that to you - but as promised, here's my version of the guess-the-lyrics game. And remember - No google!

ONE POINT (easier)
4. 'Love, just don't stare', he used to say to me, every Sunday morning.
6. You held my hand and walked me home, I know.
8. Lord unchain my hands - let me sing inside the crowded trams.
1. And I'd give up forever to touch you - Iris, Goo Goo dolls (Bodie)
2. I looked away, then I looked back at you. - Avril Lavigne, Fall to Pieces (JAmes)
3. So we've put an end to it this time. I'm no longer yours, and you're no longer mine. - Missy Higgins, Ten Days (Jack)
5. Hast Du etwas Zeit fuer mich, Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich - Nena, 99 Luftballons (Bodie)
7. Here comes johnny singing oldies, goldies - Be-bop-a-lua, baby what I say. - Walk of Life, Dire Straits (Bodie)
9. There is freedom within, there is freedom without - Crowded House, Don't Dream …

I'm Baaaack

Howdy, partners! Hope y'all had a boot-scooting time while this here cowboy was off yonder in texas, yehaw!
Sorry, had to get that out of my system. If you're wondering, people don't actually sound like that in texas, and most don't have 'texan' accents as such - still, it's a nice place to go, San Antonio especially, if you're into that civil war history side of things. I however was there for a rather different reason - 3 days of almost non-stop coding!
Now, I'm extremely jetlagged, and have been trying to work out of it by staying up when my body tells me to sleep, so my coherence levels are mighty low - for now, I'll just say i had a smashing time, hopefully will get the chance to go again in the next few years :)
I managed to survive the Sydney-LA flight, even though that's the same path as the LOST plane (I think), and I also managed to survive the as-big-as-texas meal sizes - their smallest coffee is 'tall', which is our biggest,…


Currently I'm using a shared network connection, so will be pretty quick but -
They had a string orchestra playing at the opening ceremony! Like, a whole orchestra playing just for us. Cool :p - although, now that one day has finished, it's a pity there's only two actual days left, it's going rather quickly. Texan / Mexican food is pretty nice, had plenty of local flavours already. I seem to not be affected by jetlag, though the others are still feeling tired at some random times, hopefully we'll all be ok by wednesday morning. Also, for those interested who are awake at midnight wednesday night, there should be a scoreboard put up around here:
when the final actually starts, so if ur up keep a look out for "Adelaide: KQ".
Tomorrow is the "ICPC Java Challenge" - it seems to be some interactive AI bot-writing thing, we get toi find out what game is being played tomorrow, then get 3 hrs full on to write t…

You Es of Eh?

In about 5 hrs i have to be awake - gotta love early-morning 6am flights :D - At least I'll get to use the new airport though, should be interesting.
As you may know, I'm soon to be heading off to the United States to compete in the ACM ICPC world finals. 80 teams of 3 contestants, 5 hrs of contest, 10 questions, *fingers crossed*. I just foind out that apparently San Antonio (yes, rather like Simon Anthony) has a 'Volcanic Ash Advisory' - rather odd, I didn't know it was in volcano country. Last time I went to US was so long ago that, as I was leaving, and our bags were getting fully scanned by security (it was '03, so after 9/11), one of the people pulled out my usb mp3 stick, and asked me what it was. "It's an mp3 player, like a portable CD player with no moving parts" - "Oh, okay, I've never heard of them". Oh how times have changed :p
On the topic of songs, I'm not yet jumping on the BandWagon of post-20-song-starts, as I&#…

Deja vu?

That's odd....
It's 2am now....i could've swarn it was 2am an hour ago...

Enjoy the extra hour everyone, I'll have an actual update soon! ;)

Red is good

Results are out - ended up coming 55th. So, barring any major incident {like...Outbreak of the Asian flu virus in Poland and Russia} causing 7 contestants to not be able to attend, looks like I *just* missed out. Turns out if I had submitted Q1 a bit faster {like...a minute or so} I would've made it, and I knew a solution for Q2 it was just a slow one. However, I was glad I managed to get a working {albeit slow} solution, so that was nice :) And now my rating has jumped above 2200, which means i am "red", or everywhere my name appears it's in red. Red is the highest you can get to, and I think i'm the 4th australian to do so, which is pretty cool - just gotta try and stay there :D
However, with the commonwealth games on, and AFL/NRL starting, I had to wonder: why is it that the average man-in-the-street could name the top 50 or so football players from their state, yet the #1 programming in the whole country, who happens to be also in the top 10 in the world, is v…

OMGOMGOMG just in - got through the round of 200 for the TopCoder open, now I'm in the final 100, and next thursday get a shot at the top 48 who get to go to Las Vegas!! Oh...and the hrm...nice prize money associated with it ;) Anyway, I said I'd actually say something blog-ish this time, so here goes:
Recently, I heard about a Law tute which happened at Adelaide uni :: it was a group exercise, the tute was split up into smaller groups of people, and given 20 mins to work on a problem, to see how they interacted with eachother - sounds ok so far. Trouble is...the problem was the well-known logic puzzle of the Fox, goose and bag of beans (or whatever combination of objects you like...i think it was fox/duck/grain in this case. Now, being a well known puzzle with a simple solution {at every stage, you've only got one move which is not pointless or illegal, except one where you have two choices *both* of which lead to a solution} I wouldn't have thought it unusual for o…

Blog Watcher 1.3 is out!

Quick update - i know i've been pretty lax of late, hopefully an interesting update will be coming soon. Anyway, this is just an announcement that Blog Watcher v1.3 is now in Beta :: that is, I've made all the changes I was hoping to, now it's just a matter of finding any unwanted behaviour. So, enjoy the new changes, play around with it, tell your friends, whatever :p
However, news is that two contests have started at blogwatcher!
#1) Bug Watcher: To encourage the finding of bugs, a Bug Watcher list has been set up, featuring the names of all the people who have found bugs in the site. If you find a bug you think needs fixing, send it to me at my gmail account, and I'll update the list. Winner will be determined...some time...and win...something. Note that a 'bug' in this case is unexpected behaviour, not just something you think I should add that I've been too lazy to add so far.
#2) Stylist: The style sheet for Blog Watcher is very nice {kudos to Dale and J…

Jeez it's hot

Lessons learned this week: 1) Latte Iceshakes are very nice on a hot day, esp. if you want to stay awake and 2) Playing tennis for an hour in heat, then staying up to program in a contest at 3:30am til 7am, then playing soccer from 3pm that day is kinda tiring...esp. if you're unfit :D
Hope everyone is enjoying being back at uni / school / work / whatever - 12 contact hours per week for me, no days off, and about 6 or so un-timetabled prac hours, but i can even do them from home so it's not too bad.
This is mainly a programming-related post to say that blogwatcher is still going through its changes, but much closer to a state I'm happy with. Once I do some bug fixes, and remove the 'VIEW' buttons and make clicking on the links update the database, I'll probably take it out out of update-mode and v1.3 will be complete. Hopefully with the improvements I'll be able to release it to more people and the server will still cope.
In other news, looks like I just miss…

More Stuff

Sorry I couldn't think up a nice blog's late and I've had a lot of caffeine...
Why am I staying up? Well, there's a programming contest tonight {actually...2am tomorrow morning}, with money as prizes, so I figured I'd stay up. While biding my time until then, and watching the winter olympics, I figured I should add to the ideas I said I'd post before. Here's two more:
0) Callable contacts list (CCL): This idea occurred earlier today when I forgot my phone when going into town. Simple really - you set up a contact list online, which stores the numbers that you have on your phone (name-number pairs). If you find yourself without your phone, you can still call people, by calling the CCL number, selecting which of your contacts you want to call {by using the standard 0-9*#, buttons}, and you get redirected through to them, for a small fee.
1) Cigarette Buy-back scheme: The major problem with smoking is all the health problems you can get - another prob…

Music Awards

Australia won a winter olympics gold! yaaay! What's more, it's by a good-looking, quiet-spoken IT millionare :D
Due to the recent award ceremonies around the globe, I've decided to add to my list of once-off awards, by adding some musical ones:

Complete-Ripoff Award for abuse of reusing other people's tunes:
Rogue Traders (Vodoo Child, taking from Pump It Up) tied with...
Rogue Traders (Watching You, taking from My Sharona)
I'm-Sure-I've-Heard-That-Before Award for abuse of musical technique:
Advertising Space (Robbie Williams - enough of the falling bass already!) tied with...
James Blunt (any song... - please, try to throw in a chord other than 1,2,4,5,6)
Play-It-Again-Sam Award for blatant, pointless lyric repetition:
Goodbye My Lover (James Blunt - "I'm so hollow, I'm so hollow, I'm so.." - ALRIGHT we get it)
All These Things That I've Done (The Killers - "I've got a soul but I'm not a soldier" ... no, repeating a fortune-…

TCO Design + why I don't follow a religion

Firstly, I've been rather busy recently, working on Java designs for the 2006 TopCoder Open, which runs for 5 weeks and finishes two thursdays from now. Turns out last week I my design won it's component, so the 10 points helps push me higher on the scoreboard, as well as earning a nice reward for my efforts :) Two more weeks of work, then a week of waiting and results should be out :D
Second - recently there has been much turmoil and debate overseas over the publishing of certain cartoons, and the response that they brought. Ok, here's my reasoning: (the numbers are approximations, but the maths is still the same):
There are 6 billion people in the world. Of all the belief systems, the one with the most followrs has 1 billion or so. This means that at least FIVE BILLION people believe in the wrong explanation for a pretty fundamental thing, which makes religion seem like the biggest con ever. Sure, you can believe what you want, but it makes no sense to force it on others, …

Hard working pollies (sounds like rap)

Just thought I'd share with you the first ever winner of the "Grab a calculator" award: Recently in the mail I received a letter from a local MP (Isobel Redmond, for those curious) which contained the following:
"It is certainly true that parliament usually only site for about 80 days each year. But even as a backbencher parliamentary sittings onlr represented about 30% of my job - ....... - add to that four Shadow Portfolios ... and the parliamentary sittings are probably only around 20% of my job, possibly less"
Ok, so not only does it contitute both 20% AND 30% of her job simultaneously, I guess in a state of quantum uncertainty, but assuming that the 80 days are full days of work, then she works for 400 days a year, 'possibly'! Wow, that's some hard working politician - I want access to their time machine :)
Back to work for me (TCO component design...), it's coming along ok, and the other news is that I've uploaded another song (heroes) an…