This from the Sydney Morning Herald:

$10 chip puts Australia on the fast track

A new silicon chip developed in Melbourne is predicted to revolutionise the way household gadgets like televisions, phones and DVD players talk to each other. The tiny five-millimetre-a-side chip can transmit data through a wireless connection at a breakthrough five gigabits per second over distances of up to 10 metres. An entire high-definition movie from a video shop kiosk could be transmitted to a mobile phone in a few seconds, and the phone could then upload the movie to a home computer or screen at the same speed. The “GiFi” was unveiled today at the Melbourne University-based laboratories of NICTA, the national information and communications technology research centre. “I believe in the longer term every consumer device will have this technology,” said project leader, Professor Stan Skafidas, who with his team spent almost a decade developing the chip.

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More Australia Day advice

Friday, 25 January 2008

Continuing on from previous years, Sam Kekovich has offered his annual dose of advice on how to be Austraaalian on Austraaalia Day.

Have a look here.

Also, there have been these tongue-in-cheek ads in the Financial Review and other papers, over the last week that had me a bit puzzled.



I knew there’s a government organisation that works to publicise Australia Day trying to build up a sense of history and belonging among us for this day. These ads, however, have a sly sense of humour to them and I was quite sure that it was a spoof of some government ads. But no, it appears that these ads are from the government.

Now we really know that the politically correct reign of the Howard government has ended and Australians can truly be relaxed and comfortable about themselves without getting involved in all sorts of anal and nationalistic chest thumping.

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Races in Oz- serious and not so…

Monday, 5 November 2007

Every two years the World Solar Challenge is held- this is an

event based on a competitive field of solar cars crossing the Australian continent powered by nothing but the sun. Teams are required to research, build and design vehicles capable of completing the 3000km journey from tropical Darwin in the Northern Territory, to cosmopolitan Adelaide in South Australia. [link]

This year the race was won- for the 4th consecutive time- by the Dutch team from Delft University, Nuon, with their car the Nuna 4

World Solar Challenge

The car traversed the 3010 km distance from Darwin to Adelaide purely on solar power. previous years competitions have established that these solar cars can travel as fast as normal cars so this year the requirements were changed to make the specifications closer to a normal family car.But this is not the real inspiration for this note on races; this is being written on the eve of the Melbourne Cup horse race- the race that stops a nation. One of the few countries that actually has a public holiday (in Melbourne, where the race is held) for a horse race. Sport and gambling come together in this race with bets being placed by almost every grown person in the country. Offices run their own pools and even in places where the day is not a holiday, all work comes to a standstill for the 3 and a half minutes or so that the race runs.

For the not so serious races, consider these:

The Henley-On-Todd Regatta, held in the town of Alice Springs in the red centre of Oz- is held on the banks of the Todd River to raise funds for charity. It’s been held annually since 1962, making the one to be held on 30 August this year the 46th race.

In 1962, Reg Smith and his compatriots at the Alice Springs Meteorological Bureau proposed they hold an actual regatta along the lines of the famous Henley-on-Thames, a race between Cambridge and Oxford Universities. The idea was taken up by the Rotary club of Alice Springs, and the fact that the town was 1,500 km’s from the nearest large body of water was never seen as a problem.

Yes, you read that correctly- the regatta is held on land on the very dry bed of the river Todd! Reading on, at their site:

Watching seemingly sane people race in bottomless “eights”, “oxford tubs”, “bath tubs” and yachts through the deep coarse sand of the Todd River provides an unique spectacle amongst world sporting events. The multi-event program attracts many local and international participants from the audience who often finish up on world TV news paddling canoes with sand shovels and in “land lubber” events like filling empty 44 gallon drums with sand.There are crazy bathtub races too and whole naval battles by, among
others, “Vikings” and “Pirates” crewing battle boats on truck’s
chassis, bristling with mortars and high pressure coloured water
cannons hurling flour bombs at their opponents. But if it rains and
there is water in the river, the boat race has to be cancelled.

Pictures of some participants in past years, here.

And then there are reports of annual goat races and wheelie bin races at a Lightning Ridge, an opal mining town in New South Wales!

…love their you beaut utes.

If that’s all gibberish to you, you may need a crash course in Australian expressions and slang.

Relaxing at the bar … ute enthusiasts get into the spirit of<br/>the event.

After his beer, and his footy, the love of the Aussie bloke apparently is…his ute. And Deniliquin-a town in country new South Wales state- is capitalising on this with the annual Deni Ute Muster to boost tourism to the city. Last year’s record showing of 6211 utes is expected to be overtaken this year. It’s also set a record for the largest number of blue singlets  worn in a place.

Enjoy more details of this very Australian yarn here.

Switched on Desis

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Here’s something from the electronics trade rag, SmartHouseNews:

The Story Behind The New DECA Range

Mendelson Tiu – Tuesday, 18 September 2007
DECA (Digital Electronics Corporation Australia Pty Ltd) was founded in 2005 by Nihal Gupta, who saw a new direction in design and style emerging in the Australian market place during that year. Now, two years down the road, DECA is now offering a new line of electronic furniture that will blend into one’s home with ease.

According to DECA’s Managing Director, Nihal Gupta, the new range of products was both created and inspired by iconic designer Marcel Wanders. “I was very focused on the key principals of design and style. Using this as my benchmark, I traveled around the world seeking products that would fulfill that criteria and was thrilled to discover that an accomplished designer such as Marcel Wanders had designed a home electronics range. Technology and functionality were also important prerequisites of my inspiration. I am
pleased that this new range introduces technology and features ahead of their time, and being beautifully crafted with design and style, they are simply unparalleled in the marketplace.”Nihal also mentioned that Marcel Wanders was chosen to design the new DECA range as the products released in Europe was a huge success. “Marcel Wanders believes we should live with passion and style. It’s all about a combination of beauty and technology that harmonises with people’s lifestyles. Today’s consumers accept and expect technology but the new wave of consumer electronics will offer an aesthetic solution as well.

Our range answers all those ‘what if’ questions – ‘what if my iPod could communicate wirelessly with my speakers?’, ‘what if my side table was also a home theatre system?,” Nihal added.

As you might have gathered, all this high falutin’ language essentially means that you are going to have to part with serious bikkies to buy the stuff in the range.

Which brings me to another desi- one Raaj Menon who has quite a well established offering of wireless routers, ADSL modems and also a quite interesting Network DVD Media Player– which is a DVD player cum wireless audio/video streaming device. There are others like it, but these guys had one a few years ago when they were not so common.

21- maybe 50- Bum Salute

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Anti Bush protesters show their all in a ' mass moon' at Hyde Park.

With all the seriousness going on with the APEC meeting at Sydney, it is fun to see how good ol’ Australian disrespect of authority is still alive and kicking!. Here’s a protest that gave an approximately 50-bum salute to the ‘War Criminal Bush’ [Link].

The Bums for Bush campaign was hailed a success by organisers,
even though drizzling rain kept many protesters away from the
mooning anti-Bush protest.

Around 50 people lined up at Hyde Park’s north end and mooned an
audience of several hundred people, including supporters and
media.

This, soon after the security measures were shown to be woefully inadequate after the ‘boys from The Chaser’ managed to get within a hundred metres of Bush’s hotel’s entrance with one of them dressed up as Osama bin Laden! [link]

We really should be grateful that our Australian cops are so unused to this sort of high security that they are actually incapable of successfully carrying these repressive measures designed by skittish politicians afraid of their own people.

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Mankinis on Martin Place

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD was the site of an exciting competition for the best Borat-inspired mankini. Sydney Morning Herald columnist David Dale got his knickers into a knot with all the excitement, waxing lyrical about the “pimply cheeks, hairy buttocks and waxed nether regions” of the contestants”.

We read on to learn that

A sobering, if not disgusting, display of the male anatomy, the parade of five finalists had the hosts, radio talk jocks Merrick and Rosso, squirming, especially when contestant number three, Steve of Rockdale (aka “Pubes of Fire”), performed a few cartwheels and risked full-frontal exposure.

Expert judges evaluated the contestants on “hair displacement, cuppage and tortion (sic)” and then awarded the prize to one Matias Stevens.

First prize was return tickets and a five night stay for two in Kazakhstan. Wonder if the second prize was a TEN day stay there….

Read the full report here.

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