Friday, November 27, 2009

Google Webmaster Central

Just a little note to myself as I dive into another Google feature/app/offering/necessity?

Google Webmaster Central

"Welcome to your one-stop shop for webmaster resources that will help you with your crawling and indexing questions, introduce you to offerings that can enhance and increase traffic to your site, and connect you with your visitors."


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google's Wave, I'm sure this is gonna rock my world/boat.

I've been lucky enough to be invited to preview the Beta of G's Wave, and a happy lad I am, just sad I have so few contacts as yet because it's yet to be passed around to the crew I tend to communicate with.

A long intro/about (over an hour!) can be seen in this vid:

And one of my favourite Extensions for G's Wave, their Real Time interpreter can be seen here (this clip is only a couple of minutes long :)

I've used the Japanese to English translator briefly, looks pretty good :)
I need more online (Wave) pals to test it out.

Web translators all have the same problem tho, not usually very good at getting the translation right. But use small clauses/sentences and the meaning has less chance of being overly munged.

I can't wait to see more people using da Wave, it's gonna be a pretty kewl revolution. How well might we really test the dominant paradigm(s) when people really are "on the same page" with the information stream(s) they share.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

collaboration tattooed

collaboration tattooed , originally uploaded by tattoo harizanmai.

now I think this is one amazing tattoo..


Installing TeamViewer 4

TeamViewer will allow you to log on to aanother computer also running TeamViewer so tha tyou may operate that computer. Extra features such as File Transfer and Chat make this a handy tool for computer/software support functions.

Setting it up is easy but a couple of pointers are worth noting, IMHO...

1st, you want the Normal Installation. Unless you seriously want your computer sitting and waiting for a connection from the outside world, a potential security flaw and a load on the computer resources (making it slower) then you don't want it to start automatically with Windows.

Personal setup if you are not a company, in which case there is a need to purchase a license.

In the image below you can see the final screen, after setup has finished.
Your computer's ID and pwd - generated randomly each time you run TeamViewer.

You provide these details to anyone wanting to log in and operate your computer and you request similar from them, first putting their ID into the field on the right hand side and then providing the pwd when it asks.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Trees; our essential life support system - providing climate control and fresh water.

Animals get most of their energy by breaking down carbohydrates and fat. They acquire this energy rich provender by either eating other animals, or by eating plants - or both, as human beings do. Organisms like us, which need their food ready-made, are called 'heterotrophs'. But the buck has to stop somewhere - and in most earthly ecosystems, it stops with plants. Plants make their own carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and everything else they need from raw materials - simple chemical elements, and the simplest possible chemical compounds. They obtain the energy to do this from the sun. They are 'autotrophs': self-feeders.

They key to autotrophy is photosynthesis. Within their leaves plants harbour the wondrous green pigment known as chlorophyll. Chlorophyll traps units of energy - photons - from sunlight. Then, acting as a catalyst, it uses the photon energy to split molecules of water. Where there was H₂O, now there is H plus O. The O - oxygen - floats away into the atmosphere as oxygen gas. If it weren't for photosynthesis, there would be no oxygen gas at all in the atmosphere, and creatures like us could never have evolved at all.

The interesting bit in this context is the hydrogen, which is then combined, within the leaf, with carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere. Thus simple organic acids are created, compounded from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. These simple compounds, with a little more manoeuvring, are transformed into sugars (the simplest carbohydrates). When the sugars are modified a little more, they become fats. Add nitrogen, and they can be made into proteins. Incorporate a few other chemical elements, and all the components of living tissue can be made. Chlorophyll itself is basically a protein, with some magnesium at its centre.

Green plants are engines of photosynthesis. it is what they do, their raison d`ĂȘtre, and we should be properly grateful that it is, for without their ingenuity and labour, insouciant heterotrophs like us could not exist. Trees are the greatest of nature's engines of photosynthesis. Their need to photosynthesize explains the whole ,vast, elaborate architecture of the tree. Leaves are the meeting place of carbon dioxide (wafting in from the air), water (drawn up from the ground) and sunlight. All are brought together in the presence of chlorophyll, which acts as host and mediator.

Leaves archetypically are flat and thin, to expose the chlorophyll within them to as much sunlight as possible. The chlorophyll is held in loosely-bound cells in the middle layers of the leaf - a spongy arrangement, so air can circulate freely. The air enters through perforations underneath the leaf, known as 'stomata', which open and close according to conditions (generally closing when it is too dry, and the leaf is in danger of wilting, and also, typically, when it is dark). All green plants do this - but trees, the greatest of plants, hold their leaves as high in the sky as possible, for maximum exposure to air and sun. The water (and minerals) come mainly from the ground - sometimes from deep below the ground - and so must be carried upwards through all the length of the roots and trunk and branches to the leaves aloft.
The whole vast and intricate structure is evolved to bring air and water together in the presence of sunlight; and the water and attendant minerals come mainly from the earth.
But how can a tree take water to such heights?

Some plants derive their water from the air. Some trees do this too: extraordinarily, the mighty redwoods of California get about a third of their water from the morning fogs that sweep in from the Pacific. Mostly, however, trees draw water up from the ground, through the conducting vessels of the xylem, coursing through their trunks and branches. It would be wonderful with X-ray eyes to see a forest without the timber. It would be a colony of ghosts, each tree a spectral sheath of rising water.
But how does the water rise up to the leaves?

Now it seems that water is sucked up from above by a combination of osmosis and evaporation. The sap in the cells of the leaf interior is a concentrated solution of minerals and organic materials, and water from the conducting vessels flows into them by osmosis. Because the cells of the leaf interior are open to the air (via the stomata), the water within them evaporates and exits via the stomata (and to some extent through the leaf surface in general). As water is lost, so the sap that remains in the leaf cells becomes more concentrated - and so more water is drawn from below.

So water is dragged from above by the leaves, up through the vessels of the xylem, not in a crude and turbulent gush but in millions on millions of orderly threads. Each liquid thread is only as thick as the bore of the conducting vessels: the biggest are 400 microns across (0.4 of a millimetre) and most are far smaller than this. The tension within them is enormous: the threads are taut as piano wires. Water molecules cling tightly together. Their cohesive strength is prodigious. Were it not so, trees could not pull water from below, and could not grow so tall; but in practice the forces are such that a tree could grow to a height of three kilometres if the tensile strength of water was the only constraint on its growth.

The final evaporation of water from the leaves, out through the stomata, should perhaps be seen as a side effect of the whole mechanism. .. it seems that most plants (including all trees) lose water through the stomata simply because this is very difficult to avoid; or at least, the loss is a price worth paying to maximise the efficiency of photosynthesis. The point of the plant's architecture - all those conducting vessels, all those perforated leaves - is to bring the Greek elements together: to present water to the sun, in the presence of air. But it is hard bring them together without losing water, and sometimes losing more than the plant would like.
The overall effect is a flow of water from the roots, through the vessels to the leaves and out to the atmosphere: trees act like giant wicks. The final loss of water by evaporation is called 'transpiration'; and the total flow of water from soil to atmosphere is the 'transpiration stream'. The overall magnitude of this stream, especially when several trees are gathered together, can be prodigious; and its effect on soil and climate, and thus on surrounding vegetation and landscape, is critical to all life on earth, including ours.

from "The Secret Life of Trees" - Colin Tudge

Now you see how trees lose moisture to the skies, which of course is how clouds are created (other than evaporation from bodies of water), there is a method the trees use to try and get that water *back* from the skies..

"For a raindrop to form the water needs a nucleus around which it can take shape. This can be dust from the atmosphere or a particle of sulphur from the ocean. But a scientific breakthrough has shown raindrops can form around a nucleus of bacteria.
These bacteria are released in massive quantities by the rainforest. Broad leafed rainforest plants release billions of tons of these aerobacter into our atmosphere. These aerobacter seed the clouds. And it's this seeding process that creates much of the world's rainfall.

But the rainforests do more than provide us with rain. The huge amount of water vapor transpiring from the abundance of leaves creates a vast cloud canopy giving us shade and cooling some of the hottest parts of the world.This cloud cover also reflects much of the sun's heat back out into space, without it life on earth would be unbearable.

The rainforests work in unison with the ocean and the air currents. Together they function as a grand global air conditioning system.
Nature's way of regulating the world's climate."
from David Warth's production "Rainforest: The Secret of Life", narrated by Jack Thompson

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Problems with the file creation date

I was setting up a backup script (automated copy routine) and found this interesting write up on the Xcopy site of the various Date stamps used by Windows...

The problems of the File-Create date can be traced back to
the inconsistency in Microsoft's various file management
utilities. It seems that the purpose of three distinct
variations in the file date values were never clearly defined
by the designer of the feature.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Renaming Files & Folders on Mac Tiger & Leopard

I just found Name Mangler, there are others, as found I'll post 'em here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Missing Choose Folder in OSX ScreenSaver

- Close System Preferences
- In the Finder, navigate to /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources
- Open Computer Name.saver
- System Preferences will open and confirm that you want to replace the screensaver of the same name. Agree to that and it will display Desktop & Screen Saver preferences and you will find Computer Name returned to a proper screen saver icon. You will also find the Choose Folder item back in its rightful place.


found this at

thanx Ben!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Apple Screensave Engine

I'd forgotten where I found this, but after I deleted my shortcut to it I figured I should make a note of *where* exactly the screensaver engine lives so that I can make such a shortcut again when need be.

You can of course use Hotcorners to activate this but I found having an icon in the Dock a tad more specific (one accidentally activates the screensaver when using Hotcorners and if u have "use password on wake" on then it starts to become annoying.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Human's Do

ok, this is a rant, sorry. Just skip it if you're not at all concerned with the plight of the planet.

We suck! As far as I can ascertain that's it, -humans suck-. We suck the life outta things. Sure that's a generalisation, there are small pockets of population/culture that do things in a sustainable way but on average the greed of humans; the goal to have more and compete to be better, look better, BUY bigger is costing us.

The Earth is a bountiful place to be sure, but in the face of the exploding population of the most powerful - dominant species on the globe it cannot compete. I don't doubt that it will survive in some form if we create an unhealthy, non human-life supporting environment, but the Eden we've grown accustomed to is facing imminent wipeout.

What's being done? Well we take away the vegetation that covers the globe. Yes here comes the tree hugger blurb but it's doubtless that with a massive sun beating down on this little ball of dirt we need all the sun protection that we can get. Face it - compared to the size of the globe the amount of fertile life supporting dirt is pretty small yet we do what we can to suck the nutrition out of it without a chance for it to replenish and we destabilise it so that what little is there can be washed or blown away.

Trees do an amazing job at air conditioning the climate. Providing cooling during the day, warmth during the night. They transpire moisture into the air which leads to the most necessary of things - fresh drinking water from rainfall.

On top of that most stupendous of sins we can then look at our social system that has us working in servitude most of our lives in order to simply BE. Well of course we don't seeit that way. At first it's a few simple items that have us wanting to work for cash. The desire to be independent by owning our own car. Then music, fashion etc expect us to shop for those things that declare 'who' we are in the scheme of things.

Then the need for houseing, rent or mortgages, demands that we provide a certain income level and this demand requires a 40hr+ working week from us which means we can spend less time being human - with our family and loved ones - less time connecting to the estranged environment that we are basically trading in for this 'human existance' in the cities.

So the voters in the cities that the politicians try to appease have very little concept of what country life is about, nor why it's actually where most of our heads should be focussed on. For it is the *country* that sustains our living, not the smog, oil and feaces belching cities that place such a huge demand on our economies because of their maintenance/cleanup costs.

Our obvious greed/demand for more is obvious in our *constant* warring across the planet. The moment a population is getting too big for its location (something most common since we left behind the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and took on an agriculture based one) we start looking to take someone else's land. Basing our decision on plain need if not fear that the other will do the same so first in best dressed. We also claim our 'Gods' tell us this is the right thing to do to the 'heathen others' for their own sake.

That in the name of bringing them the light we can justify dashing their babies against the rocks, enslaving, raping and/or killing them.

"A committee is a life form with 6 or more arms & legs." To me this is the human race in a nutshell. All windmilling of arms and running on a treadmill to where? To the death of an incredible planet full of health and spirit. But so many of us vote for the right to consume. To own and operate those things which will hasten the end of nature rather than ecourage its blooming.

The forest provides cover from the heat during the day, from the cool of the night. It brings/makes the rain. It helps the rivers flow all year round. It keeps the soil from eroding away. The leaf litter from them and the dung from wildlife in and amongst them adds to the soil fertility. But no. We take them ALL out and wonder why the paddocks can only provide for a short time. Where the 'goodness' in the soil has gone after we've harvested or gazed it repeatedly for years with no inputting of fertility.

We are now thirting for water because our rivers are drying up. No rain, no rivers - wow the trees are looking pretty good now but they take so long to grow to a point where they can do these functions for our planet. We want the quick fix for drought and salinity after spending 200 years doing our best to improve our 'productivity' at wiping out these systems.

Yet still the politicians appease the voters by allowing rampant clearing and development when it's these same processes that will result in a cry for funding to help them out later.

"Our farms have no water!" well who took it? And why? Surely the farmer had enough food for his family? No he wanted more.. the car, the bigger machinery to expand the operation, the extra family car(s). Supposedly to feed the world yet the financiers mess with the tariffs so that farmers get ripped off and the starving still do not get feed.

And what kind of world *can* sustain a population that can't survive on the acreage around it. How big will cities grow, before we are starving and rioting in the face of land unable to produce food for all the mouths in the little apartment boxes of our Brave New World. Is it then that we shall start to puree the dead and make protein smoothies out of them? Is it then that we will put the waste from our bodies and kitchens BACK onto the land so that it can use the fertility to create the food we expect of it?

Is it then that we will decide to educate the common man on, and enforce pracises of basic natural systems?

That animals shed skin, feathers, claws, teeth and feaces all over the face of the earth. That the process of composting and insect activity takes those deposits and makes new life from them. That rain water runs through these places, through the soil and becomes our [once] clean rivers. We drink that water without thinking what a wonderful *automatic* system is already there for keeping us alive, yet we disdain any thought of a compost toilet or recycled water from sewerage.

Without doubt the expense of sanitising water with machinery is worthy of disdain but the thought of water that was once side by side with feaces shouldn't worry any of us. It's been part of the process for millenia. What should worry us is that our stupidity has brought us here; where we waste water by defecating in it, where we are now having to do what nature did for free by then processing millions of litres of water so we have something to drink, where we do nature's work. For we have taken the rainfall away from her, taken the trees from her. Without the forest cover the soil is exposed to the power of the sun and this reduces its biodiversity. And it's this biodiversity that does so much work for free.

When will we stop mowing it all down to build "perfect suburbs" and start living amongst it again?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

OS X screenshots - format & location

Set location & format for OS X screen shots circa OS X 10.4

default shortcut keys are:

Save picture of screen to file: ⌘⇧3
Copy picture of screen to clipboard: ⌘⌃⇧3

Save picture of selected area to file: ⌘⇧4
Copy picture of selected area to clipboard: ⌘⌃⇧4

To modify the location open a terminal window and type:
defaults write location /Users/username/pictures/Screenshots/

I choose to put my screenshots in a folder called 'Screenshots' which is in my Pictures folder.

To modify the format you are using type:
defaults write type image_format

defaults write type jpg

Replace image_format with your preferred image format; PNG, JPG, TIFF, PICT and I think PDF maybe

You may then have to logout/login to make the change(s) take effect, or try this command in your Terminal window:
killall SystemUIServer

Although Leopard may have done away with this necessity.