Another hot week in Sydney and another week closer to the end of 2009!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

#326 - Hot weather makes me feel lazy.

Today was a super hot and humid day in Sydney and I just simply felt like doing nothing at all. The day was indeed a very lazy day, just sat at my desk doing not much at all. In fact halfway through the day I just decided to lie down and sleep, though not much longer afterwards I woke up because it was too hot. Tried googling to see if there was any explanations to why hot weather makes people sleepy or lazy, but unfortunately didn't come up with anything useful other than a random comment on a forum saying "Cold weather makes me sleepy too. Being awake makes me feel sleepy."

Monday, 23 November 2009

#327 - Tackle things one at a time as they come - don't spread yourself out too thin!

Everyone of us have the same amount of time - 24 hours in a day and it is really up to us how we use these precious 24 hours. Many of us have heaps of things that we want to do, a huge "to do" list that seems to only ever get longer and longer, unfortunately with only 24 hours it isn't always possible to accomplish everything that we want to do. Discussing this with a friend, we came to the conclusion that the best way is to concentrate on a few things and tackle them as they come, rather than spreading yourself out, having a finger in everything and only getting bits and pieces of everything done. We felt it was more important to get a few things done well rather than have lots of things partially done. In fact, this is quite related to one of my earlier musings (Thursday, 29 October) - focus is important in achieving a goal.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

#328 - USB 3.0 will be here...soon!

Today was the first time I heard about USB 3.0 when I read this article: "Where's USB 3.0?" Maybe I'm slow, but a quick skim of Wikipedia reveals that USB 3.0 was first demonstrated in September 2007, the standard/specifications released in November 2008 and the originally estimated public release was sometime this year.

Reading about USB 3.0 makes me want it right now! It is said to be approximately 10 times faster than USB 2.0 (max transfer rate of 3.2Gbits/s compared to 480Mbits/s) - that is like transferring 700mb (amount of data that fits on a CD) in 1 second! In addition, USB 3.0 will be able to simultaneously send and receive data (current USB devices can only do one at a time).

Unfortunately the good news sort of ends there. If you plug the new USB 3.0 device into a normal USB 2.0 port it will transfer at the USB 2.0 speed. Also, as with many 'deadlines' the public release has been delayed to sometime next year, so still sometime before we get devices using USB 3.0 and computers with USB 3.0.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

#329 - Be optimistic and don't say something you'll regret.

Watched the TED talk Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion today and despite probably missing his focus on classical music, I still felt it was quite good (he is a great speaker). The two messages that I took from his talk were right at the start and at the end.

The first one was: be optimistic. Benjamin tells of two shoes salesman who went to Africa and saw that the natives were all barefoot. One of them reported "Situation hopeless. They don't wear shoes." The other reported "Glorious opportunity. They don't have any shoes yet." Exact same situation, yet so very different responses. I try to be as optimistic as possible, so I would hope that I can be like the second salesman and have a bright view on any situation.

Towards the end of the talk, Benjamin tells a story about a girl who survived Auschwitz. Unfortunately one of the last conversation with her younger brother ended with her berating him and calling him 'stupid'. So since surviving Auschwitz she made a promise to herself: "I walked out of Auschwitz into life and I made a vow. And the vow was, I will never say anything that couldn't stand as the last thing I ever say." Although this is probably something that is going to be very hard to achieve, I think it is something that we can all aim to do - don't say anything that we'll regret.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

#330 - TEDxSydney

Being a big fan of TED (awesome talks - many of them are must sees) the idea of having TED in Sydney sounds great. Although I don't think this is strictly a TED event per se (the 'x' means "Independently organised TED event"), I hope the talks will be just as great. Since TEDxSydney will be held in Sydney, I would imagine it will have a more local focus with more speakers coming from Australia - it'll be interesting to see what talks come as a result of TEDxSydney!

Friday, 27 November 2009

#331 - Be grateful - it's good for you :)

As kids I'm sure we've all be told to be grateful for what we have and thank people who help us etc. So it was quite interesting to read this article Does "counting your blessings" really help? It explains a 10 week experiment where three groups of participants, one group was told to list five things they were grateful for, the other five things they found a nuisance and the other five to just list events during the week. The group that listed five things they were grateful for were in general more positive and also healthier. Other studies have shown that gratitude is not only related to feelings of happiness, hope etc but it might actually cause you to be happier!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

#332 - WordPress doesn't have tables!

The fact that there is no simple way to insert tables in WordPress came as a big surprise to me when I started writing the "Firefox Multitouch Gestures" post. Googling about it only led me to various WordPress plugins for adding tables, though none of them seemed to do what I wanted to do - a simple table! I had always assumed that being a fairly mature blogging platform, WordPress will support simple tables 'out of the box' by unfortunately this is not the case. So I resorted to the HTML mode and manually entering table tags for the table. As expected, switching between HTML and WYSIWYG mode in the post editor screwed up the HTML, but luckily it wasn't that bad. The table works, but it appears slightly malformed (there is no right border) - will do for now I suppose.