Hoo roo, Uluru, am I even supposed to be here?

    Uluru is such an icon. Its simple beautiful existence is one of my earliest memories, reading about it in encyclopaedias or National Geographic and Australian Geographic magazines. Seeing it in advertisements and in movies, Oprah and Young Einstein, but back then everyone called it Ayers Rock. Today we call it what it always has been: Uluru. Uluru has had a complicated 200-odd years of history. Before Europeans visited Australia for the first time, the red centre was just plodding along quite well as a special place for the Aṉangu people and neighbouring Aboriginal nations.

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    Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?

    For an interesting NASA and Apple-related fall down a rabbit hole, start with the origin of the name of “The Whole Earth Catalog” in 1966, skip forward to 1972 when a whole earth photo was made.

    Photo of the whole earth made in 1972

    Then take a turn to one of Steve Jobs' favourite sayings “Stay hungry stay foolish” which he quoted in 2005 at Stanford in his famous commencement speech.

    Back page of the last Whole Earth Catalog magazine: Stay hungry, stay foolish

    Ad then wrap back around to how the whole earth image as an iPhone wallpaper came to be.

    Original iPhone with earth background

    Welcome to my brain, where I just think about this stuff.

    I, for one, welcome our new British open web overlords

    The BBC has embraced ActivityPub, nice work @[email protected]! I’ve always thought that the long term advantage from a commercial and brand point of view is to be able to say “follow us” and the words that follow are your own brand and your own network. The power of Mastodon, ActivityPub, the Fediverse, means that the BBC can be on Mastodon, and someone else can be on a completely different platform that supports ActivityPub (like Threads or Micro.

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    ✈️ Flighty 3 is a private frequent flyers social network!

    One of my most-used and favourite apps is Flighty, and they’ve just announced a new version that’s basically a frequent flyer’s private social network. I love it! Flighty 3.0 is the new way to share your flying with family and friends. Keep track of your loved ones, not flight numbers. Another industry-first from Flighty. Flighty Friends - Connect with family and friends once, then you can see each other trips and get alerts — automatically and ongoing.

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    Why the rush to 5G?

    On a per user basis, a 5G network is cheaper to operate than a 4G one. The technology is easier to maintain and more reliable. It’s not sexy. That’s something that is hard to sell to consumers, but makes a huge difference to telcos. There’s much more to this. The additional capacity may not be a pressing matter in New Zealand right now, but in time there will be more connections and 5G gives carriers headroom to cope with future demand. There may be future apps that can use the speed.

    Did you notice the 5G mobile revolution? billbennett.co.nz

    My new Kobo is better than my old Kindle, but barely

    📚 I’ve owned and used a Kindle for over a decade, it had been my favourite gadget for so long. But over the years I started to realise that Amazon wasn’t interested in pushing the platform forward any further and the software wasn’t going to get any better. I even upgraded to the Amazon Kindle Scribe and it was an embarrassingly bad product. The final straw was when Jean-Louis Gassée’s new book, Grateful Geek just didn’t work on any physical Kindle devices, despite Amazon happily selling me a copy.

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    Apple Vision has been 'in development' for 28 years

    Tim Cook once said that “we are high on AR for the long run” and it’s true, for 28 years Apple - and the rest of the tech industry - has been noodling around on augmented reality and virtual reality. Out of a purely personal interest, I started flipping through rumours about Apple and its “glasses” to see where the leakers got it right and wrong, and the next minute I’m back in 1995, so I thought a curated list of all the leaks, rumours, and related dates might be a nice record to make in the year of our headset, AVP 0.

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    AI and I just published a children's book: The Mountain Princess

    About three hours ago I was putting my daughter to bed and thought it would be cute to have ChatGPT write a fairytale about Luna and where we’re staying this week, Liechtenstein. I thought it was a cute story and something others might enjoy. Three hours later I’ve had Midjourney make illustrations, assembled the book - very roughly - in the ‘Kindle Kids Book Creator’, and it’s now submitted to the Amazon Kindle store.

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    The fascinating story of Castle Itter and the last European WWII battle

    Driving across Austria this week we’ve seen plenty of castles, we even stayed in one, and every sighting of one is pretty special. There’s one near us which looks very much like a castle, and tonight on our last night in Hopfgarten I found out the history of the castle on Atlas Obscura and it’s the most interesting of stories: In the final weeks of the European theater of World War II, an unexpected union of German and American forces guarded a select group of abandoned Nazi prisoners against the Waffen-SS.

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    It’s so pleasurable to read lovely and persuasive writing like this

    The genesis story of Apple computers

    I’ve been thinking about this story from Steve Jobs, recalled in 1996 and told in the new book Make Something Wonderful, about how and why he and Steve Wozniak started Apple: The reason we (Woz and I) built a computer was that we wanted one, and we couldn’t afford to buy one. They were thousands of dollars at that time. We were just two teenagers. We started trying to build them and scrounging parts around Silicon Valley where we could.

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    Netflix, One Tel, and me, a nostalgic love triangle

    Britt and I are watching Netflix’s new show The Mole at the moment and as that guy who knows Queensland like the back of his hand I’ve been following the filming locations keenly. (If you know what that Daintree resort is, please tell me!) So as the team reached “The Great Barrier Reef” aka The Whitsundays I immediately recognised the location as Woodward Bay, just a few minutes' drive north of Airlie Beach.

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    My mate Jay has made a documentary about remote knowledge workers, digital nomads, working around the Arctic Circle and I’m pretty damn jealous of those landscapes, the visuals, and the lifestyle! Check out the trailer!

    Salon Tom Weston’s Five Rules of Being A Grown-Up:

    1. You must not have anything wrong with you, or anything different about you.
    2. If you have something wrong or different about you, you really need to correct it. You need to be able to pass under all circumstances.
    3. If you can’t correct it, or change it in any way, you should just pretend that you have. It’s not a problem anymore. Good news!
    4. If you can’t even pretend not to have corrected the situation, you should just not show up, because it’s very painful for the rest of us to see you in your current condition.
    5. If you’re going to insist on showing up, you should at least have the decency to be ashamed.

    Write one blog post every day that scares you

    If you’re uncultured swine like me, you probably thought that Baz Lurhmann gave this commencement speech and it was released as a song. The truth is far more boring and interesting at the same time. Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

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    "He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers"

    We, we the people, reframe and view government as a god. Which is quite unhealthy. We position our prime ministers and presidents as idols, put them on a pedestal, and expect a lot from them. Ultimately, those positions - from the top to the bottom of the organisation chart - are not gods, they are servants. They serve our community. We render a select number of social services to this service provider and ask them to look after them.

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    The Final Comeback of Axl Rose, by John Jeremiah Sullivan in 2006, referenced in the Rubesletter by Matt Ruby, today:

    Axl has said, “I sing in five or six different voices that are all part of me. It’s not contrived.” I agree. One of them is an unexpectedly competent baritone. The most important of the voices, though, is Devil Woman. Devil Woman comes from a deeper part of Axl than do any of the other voices. Often she will not enter until nearer the end of a song. In fact, the dramatic conflict between Devil Woman and her sweet, melodic yang—the Axl who sings such lines as Her hair reminds me of a warm, safe place and If you want to love me, then darling, don’t refrain and Sometimes I get so tense—is precisely what resulted in Guns N' Roses' greatest songs…

    And what does she say, this Devil Woman? What does she always say, for that matter? Have you ever thought about it? I hadn’t. “Sweet Child,” “Paradise City,” “November Rain,” “Patience,” they all come down to codas—Axl was a poet of the dark, unresolved coda—and to what do these codas themselves come down? Everybody needs somebody. Don’t you think that you need someone? I need you. Oh, I need you. Where do we go? Where do we go now? Where do we go? I wanna go. Oh, won’t you please take me home?

    In 2022 I want to be a lot more deliberate about my inputs. Garbage in, garbage out. I’m continuing to craft my newsletters and subscriptions, detailed on my inputs page. Plus I’m now documenting books I want to read, books I am reading, and books I have read.

    Small atomic changes should put make sure I’m walking down the right track.

    Dear Me,

    If, in future years, anyone asks you to give advice to your sixteen year old self… don’t.

    Make your own unique messes, and then work your own way out of them.

    See you,

    Alan Rickman

    I missed this New York Times piece on my hometown, Mackay in North Queensland, about how the mayor is almost single-handedly trying to turn the community around on climate change.

    “Over the past year, Mr. Williamson, a fifth-generation Mackay local, has tried more outreach and education, meeting frequently with residents to discuss why the trees are needed, and whether a lighter mix of vegetation might be allowed for partial ocean views.”

    If Mackay was going to be in the New York Times I always thought it would be because they ship about 100 million tonnes of coal out of the region every year.

    Om Malik on the lethal and constant feeling of self-importance we walk around with:

    “With all the conversation of breaking free from big social platforms, owning your own digital identity, and being independent, I have been asking myself: how can all of us who have slowly become online performance artists ever be post-social?”

    Since March 2020 I’ve thought a lot about what it means for us to think we’re so self-important and what that means for us living in a community with a virus like the spicy cough.

    I’m sure it’s not only me, but the moment a sense of self-importance enters my soul I start feeling sick. This photo of a chicken with a mullet often helps me get over myself.

    “I used to think the top global environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought with 30 years of good science we could address those problems, but I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy – and to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation and we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

    – Gus Speth

    West Philadelphia born and raised, and now rebooted, much more dramatically

    Morgan Cooper made a fan-trailer of a dramatic reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 2019: Will Smith saw that video and now there’s a real trailer and a real show! That’s one of the best things about this new world without as many gatekeepers, and falttened lines of communciation and promotion. You can just have an idea, run with it, and see where it lands. Reflecting on the original show, there’s obviously a darker storyline underneath the lighthearted primetime television show, but the 90s were never ready for that.

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