This is a personal sub-blog / companion blog to compliment (go with) my primary personal homepage NUI.NZ. I had decided to split out general interest / life snippets from NUI.NZ to a separate mini-blog.
KAHA is where I occasionally post various items, including general thoughts, opinions, observations, notifications and what not. It is in effect my Social Media Profile surrogate. As explained on another page, have elected to instead go down the route of building my own personal web presence as a key means of keeping in contact with friends and family both at home and abroad rather than rely on more traditional social media platforms.
If you need to get a hold of me urgently or at short notice, please either call me or text me, my number is on my about page as I may not receive any instant messages until the evening.
First, here is something that I mildly found amusing…
As an aside, I don’t know about their business model anymore. I can’t say that buying from (or should it be through) them is necessarily the cheapest. While there are still bargains to be had, I have noticed that private individual sellers simply wishing to moved pre-loved goods on are getting fewer and fewer as years go by as they continue to get displaced on the listings pages by International Sellers or otherwise local drop-shippers, who often flood TradeMe with listings at asking prices higher than NZ RRP (Recommended Retail Pricing)… Continue reading “TradeMe – Not necessarily the cheapest place”→
(This post is a sort of a lead in from my previous post about Meetup.com)
Anecdotally, it seems the majority of groups which have left the Meetup.com platform have moved their group to Facebook. Branding I’ve come to realize is at play here with Facebook’s seemingly relentless march to take control as much of the web as humanely possible.
While I’ve found many people announce that they “Hate” Facebook saying it’s crap, to them, it’s a familiar sort of ‘Crap’, people subconsciously lean to Familiar because Familiar is “Safe”. Another words… “Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t”.
Like ‘McDonalds’ is to fast food, People may criticize their food as ‘plastic’, but yet keep coming back to it because there is some psychological guarantee that it will be the same ‘Plastic’ food they they know of. Take this, if you landed in a new country, would you try some unfamiliar food outlet selling unfamiliar food or head straight towards the Big illuminated ‘M’? This is something that came to my mind when I was setting up a Test Instance of Oxwall and is something us Decentralization / Open web advocates are going to need to consider.
Meetup has over a number of years been rolling out a newer “Mobile” orientated layout which hasn’t been without it’s critics. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that the new design is radically different in style and layout from the previous layout, and some Features and Functions of the old layout that (greatly) facilitate administration of each Meetup group have been removed. Refer to the Discuss Meetup Forums for more details.
I’m wondering for smaller, more close knit groups (and less risky from a legal perspective) who wish to move, could possibly take the jump go get their own web domain and some web space and just deploy an instance of Oxwall (Available from most budget Web hosts as a Wizard type installer for easier deployment).
In terms of getting self hosted groups to be able to cross fertilize their membership base as Meetup Groups can under Meetup.com, I’m thinking someone could either start a directory, or may be a Webring of sorts, but have to admit, It’s probably wishful thinking.
The following post deals with the background, along with my personal experiences and findings to-date with the RIOT/Matrix instant messaging and group chat system. To connect to the Matrix Synapse instance, please refer to the basic guide to get started.
In Late December, some concerns were raised among friends regarding their discomfort with Relying on WeChat (along with other proprietary commercial instant messaging apps) for communicating amongst ourselves, and subsequently I was asked whether or not it would be possible to add some sort of chat function to NUI.NZ
I’m going to be upfront. I don’t believe at this stage that I am ever going to pull the majority of my Facebook Addicted friend base out from the clutches of the Facebook eco-system (FB Messenger and WhatsApp) and at this present time, only aiming this service at Family and a handful of closer friends who have expressed desire to use an alternative instant messaging platform. Continue reading “Riot Matrix: Background + Findings”→
If you are planning to drive in the state of Victoria, during your trip to Australia, please note…
Self Drive Tourism Warning
While I never received a fine during my Road trip in Victoria, Australia, many other foreigners including tourists and those newly emigrated to Australia haven’t been so lucky (much to their horror at how comparatively strict and expensive the penalties were). If you’re used to driving at the speed limit, there is less wiggle room for even a momentary lapse in concentration should you be in the vicinity of an enforcement camera.
In Australia, the ethos of the “Speed limit not being a target, but the absolute maximum speed you are allowed to drive at” is perhaps instilled a bit more vigorously than say in New Zealand or North America for that matter.
The State of Victoria for example may set higher speed limits, but enforce them a lot more strictly (with a 3 km/h effective tolerance, by way of deducting 3km/h of the detected speed to form the alleged speed, along with heavy fines for even low level speeding).
In New Zealand, the speed limits may be set lower for the equivalent roading environment, but enforced more loosely (Higher general speed tolerance enforcement of 5km/h during holiday periods along with much lighter fines for low level speeding)
Victoria, Australia has some of the heaviest monetary penalties for speeding with fines that I’ve heard of, starting from 200 AUD for even just a few km/h over the speed limit along with 400 AUD fines for running red lights.
There are concealed (Not easy to spot) traffic enforcement cameras all over the state of Victoria. Melbourne in particular is swarming with Fixed Traffic Enforcement Cameras dotted all over the place, particularly on their Highways / Freeways, particularly under the over bridges cross over the motorways.
In Australia (and New Zealand), You can not make a free left (kerb side) turn on a red traffic signal as you can in many places in North America.
Road works zones are ENFORCED at the temporary speed limit, The State of Victoria’s fixed cameras can be adjusted to accommodate on the fly. There have been countless reports of even locals losing their licenses while traveling on the Freeways at 100km/h having missed the temporary 50km/h speed limit in place.
If you are driving a rental car at the time of the infringement, your Rental Car provider will most likely also slap an additional Administration Fee on top of any fines of around 66 AUD (if it’s a mailed speed camera fine). Unfortunately, it appears many Car rental companies do not make the hirer aware of how comparatively heavily and strictly enforced speeding is in the State of Victoria upon the hirer picking up the car from Melbourne Tullamarine international Airport.
The parking signs to those unfamiliar can be extremely confusing. Again heavy fines from around 80 AUD upwards applies for parking infringements.
While as a foreigner you may be able to get away with not paying any infringements, issues may arise at the border should you wish to enter Australia again.
The reason I’ve heard for such seemingly heavy enforcement for low level speeding is that it’s “aimed at bringing about cultural change in the driving public”. Another words, an attempt at “Nipping it in the bud”. That said, Victoria still has their fair share of speeders (The occasional hooner that is clearly 30 km/h above the speed limit) and the usual tailgaters following other vehicles closely as anywhere else in the world.
Finally gotten around to setting up a Matrix Synapse Home Server. It is currently in test mode, however, will continue to play with it when I get back home later this week so watch this space I guess. (I’m buggering off on another Plane / Road Trip down country this evening, probably a record in how close to departure I’ve ever booked a plane ticket)
Photos from a Caving experience on a private farm at Pio Pio. Thanks agasin to Suzie, Phil and Luke for their hospitality and having us scullywags. Click picture to below to access the gallery on NUI.NZ…