It is no secret that I rarely update my blog - so much in fact that I feel a bit guilty myself, and also I've had "complaints" from friends that my blog is dead. On Tuesday one of my friends challenged me to write a weekly post:

I challenge you to write a weekly entry to your blog on 7 new things you learned about this world, 1 new item for each day. not too difficult hey?

There was no reason I could think of to decline this challenge, so I have decided to take the challenge! Though I'm going to cheat a tiny little bit, instead of "7 new things I have learned" it will be things I have learnt, found interesting, would like to share. So here we go - my first weekly post and hopefully the first of many more to come!

Sunday, 25 October 2009,, are reserved domains that are not available for registration!

In the past couple of months, I've written and done a fair bit of testing and as expected there are always going to be "dummy" email addresses, web-links etc. The most common being ones like:, One random day I thought to myself "Hey, what if someone registered '' as their domain name, wouldn't they get a tonne of random traffic?"

Well, to my surprise, the domain names:, and are actually all reserved and not available for registration. If you want to read all the details you can have a look at RFC 2606 (warning: I've found RFCs have the tendency to be sleep inducing).

ps. didn't quite discover this on Sunday, but discovered it relatively recently - and trying to remember something that happened on Sunday when it's Tuesday is surprisingly hard!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Incentives/rewards that are offered to us to motivate us can actually make things worse as it restricts our ability to think creatively. Intrinsic motivators work heaps better than extrinsic motivators.

Watched the TED talk: Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation and indeed it was surprising. From experience our society tends to use incentives such as money to motivate us to do something. However, in Dan Pink's talk he shows us that there is scientific evidence that this extrinsic motivator is probably doing more harm that good in the majority of cases.

He highlights that scientific studies have shown that for basic mechanical tasks extrinsic motivators work really well, but for any tasks that require "rudimentary cognitive skills" these extrinsic rewards actually make things worse. The reasoning behind this is that "Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus, concentrate the mind. … That reward actually narrows our focus and restricts our possibility." The problem with this is that most companies/businesses operate using the reward-based system even though a good majority of the jobs require employees to think outside the square to solve problems. It's definitely a good watch!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Friends are a great source of motivation - whether it be working together, giving you ideas, or even just 'triggering' ideas :)

I think this one is quite self explanatory…simply talking to friends often gives me this extra energy to go and do something. Sometimes it's just the conversation itself, other times it's something I've always wanted to do, but didn't know how to approach it, and friends are awesome at giving you ideas. Talking to friends doesn't always trigger the motivation inside me, but talking to friends is always nice :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Sitting in front of a computer is really bad for your posture - should be wary of your posture and do stretches regularly!

Ok, I admit that I am in front of a computer a good majority of the day - pretty much all day at work, then all night when I get back home. After a rather bad fall during on Tuesday during soccer asked a friend who is practicing physio and luckily she said all seemed good. Though she did also tell me that since I spend so long in front of a computer I really need to watch my posture - straight back, shoulders back and no poking my head forward to look at the monitor. In addition should also be regularly doing stretches to relax the muscles around the neck/shoulder area.

Been told time and time again about the posture (though it is so hard to sit upright!) but didn't realise that we should also stretch on a regular basis to relax/strengthen the muscles around the shoulders/neck. Guess that is one extra thing to do in the breaks I try to take every 30 minutes when using a computer.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Passion, focus and vision are all vital to achieving a goal.

In my many random readings, came across this article: 10 things Google has taught us, and I thought the first three points were quite good. You need passion to move forward and be willing to put in the hard work. You also need focus otherwise all your passion may be spread out amongst too many of your ideas. Lastly, you need a vision to tie together the "focussed passion" to work to an ultimate goal.

One of the quotes I quite liked from the article was to do with focus: "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the 100 other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully". I have probably suffered from this fault myself - too many ideas and I seem to want to try them all out - will need to learn to pick carefully and say 'no' to the other ideas!

Friday, 30 October 2009

All domain names consist of letters from the English alphabet, numbers, dots, dashes, underscores right? Well, actually no, meet: Internationalised Domain Names!

Was watching the morning news when I saw that the ICANN had approved domain names that contain non-Latin characters. My initial reaction was something along the lines of: Wow, that is awesome. Would be cool for non-English speaking people! Though it would mean getting to these non-Latin domains may prove tricky - you can't expect everyone to know how to type Chinese, Greek, Arabic etc! I wonder how this will work…

I had thought that Internationalised Domain Names were new and just introduced today, but a quick google later in the day revealed that I was very very wrong. In fact it was proposed in December 1996 and implemented in 1998 and a protocol to handle non-Latin domains had been agreed on, adopted and supported by many top level domains!

Today's announcement seems to be just an extension from IDNs as existing non-Latin domains still ended with .com, .kr, .tw etc but now with the announcement from ICANN these restrictions no longer apply. It shall be interesting to see how this unfolds and if the allowance of non-Latin extensions will mean greater use of IDNs on the Internet.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Auctions feel very much like gambling, and "3rd and final call" don't seem to be very "final" at all!

Attended an auction today (was only there to observe, didn't bid) but what I can say is it felt like the bidders were gambling that that extra $1000 or $500 in their bid will make their bid the winning bid. For at least 3 bids before the winning bid, I was able to sense the winning bidder felt like he had won, but was then out bid, so he tried his luck and put in another bid.

It was also very interesting to see how the auctioneer dragged the auction on when he saw that there was potential interest from one of the competing parties. In my opinion it was a bit unfair, since several times at the "3rd and final call" the auctioneer actually stopped and asked uncertain bidder "are you sure etc etc" and because of that it increased the price by at least $1000. Maybe all auctions are like that where "3rd and final call" isn't really final until the auctioneer is 100% certain that he has squeezed every last bid out of everyone.

ps. Not convinced that "Thought of the day" is a great name...been trying to think of another name all of today but couldn't come up with anything! Any suggestions…? pps. This is my first stab at something like this - any comments, suggestions, feedback will be awesome!