Friday, 12 August 2011

Planes Above

Darwin is an important link in many old and new air routes and aviation. A vital link between Australia and the rest of the world.

A lot of it is unseen, but pass overhead the aircraft do........with monotonous regularity.

Sometimes, especially at night you can hear aviation traffic overhead, or even see an aircraft by the moving navigation lights. Darwin is a way point, where slight adjustments to the course are made, so coming close is a regular occurrence for many commercial aviation operators.

Last night was unusual with two north bound aircraft leaving very large and conspicious con trails in the sky above Darwin, a few minutes apart. They hung in the sky for maybe 30 minutes, without dispersing, two obvious pink con trails illuminated by the setting sun.

Even captured one on camera, with the light of the rising moon.

Enjoy the view - going north. Leaving Australia.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Are You a Cyberslacker???

Cyberslacker - it is a beautiful term to describe those who contribute to cyber forums etc while at work, in work time.

Are you one?

It seems an awful lot of Australians ARE.

The following is from the Weekend Australian newspaper and says it all!! It is a very interesting set of statistics and ancedotal materials.......a great story.

Digital forums being skewed by cyberslackers
Christian Kerr
The Australian
August 06, 2011 12:00AM

THE anonymity afforded by the internet makes it hard to know for sure who is driving online public opinion. But one thing can be said about this surfing, tweeting, blogging community busy putting links and comments up on their Facebook pages: it is made up of people with nothing better to do.
When the digital dawn arrived as the 20th century drew to a close, it was heralded as a new dawn, too, for democracy. But digital democracy is not representative democracy; representative in the sense it embodies the true vox populi.

Online political commentary is driven by what the pollsters would call a self-selecting sample. And just as many online opinion polls now come with footnotes pointing out that their findings are not scientific, online public opinion needs a similar qualifier.

Web-based activist group GetUp! claims almost 600,000 members. Since it was founded in 2005, its email-driven campaigns and web-based petitions have become influential political tools.
Its national director Simon Sheikh claims one in every 30 Canberrans belongs to the organisation. He also has said that contrary to its youthful image, the average age of members is 55.

This has led many on the Coalition side of politics to deride the group as a bunch of cyberslacking, bored and idle, middle to low-ranking, left-leaning, white-collar public servants getting older and grumpier every day as they strive to hang on to just a little of the idealism of their radical youth.

Tommy Tudehope, a social media expert who served as social media adviser to Australia's most cyber-savvy politician, Malcolm Turnbull, during his time as Liberal leader, warns against taking online opinion in isolation.

He compares the situation with looking at the polls. While one may contain dramatic figures, wise politicians will look at their longer-term patterns. They will study the trend lines.

"I would never taken one social media platform in isolation," Tudehope says. "You have to take them all together." Even then, he says, the information and opinion received from social media needs to be married with data from other sources to form a reliable view.

Tudehope points out some of the immediate distortions of the web world. Tradesmen and manual workers do not sit at desks with computers on them. He talks of cyberslacking, too. "It's an issue for all companies," he says, but goes on to warn that the problem is particularly prevalent in enterprises where employees are "given more freedom at their desks".

Michelle Prak, a social media consultant with Adelaide-based Hughes Public Relations, points to Sensis data from earlier this year that shows only 22 per cent of social media users say they visit social media sites at work, but wonders aloud if the market researchers have been told some little white lies.

She also cites data from Google Analytics that points out Twitter reaches 11 per cent of the Australian population, compared with 8.5 per cent worldwide; and Facebook 67.3 per cent, far higher than the global average of 50.8.

Web consultant ROI says social media dominates how Australians use the internet.

Nielsen research published last year found almost one-quarter of online time was spent on social networks and blogs, and this number was increasingly rapidly. The average visitor spent 66 per cent more time on these sites than was the case 12 months before.

Australians, Nielsen found, averaged the most time on blogs and social networking sites, seven hours and 19 minutes, and were logging on from work and home. Our time spent on these sites outstripped the No 2 nation, the US, by just under 45 minutes and the No 3, Italy, but just over. More industrial nations exposed our cyberslacking shame. Germans devoted only four hours and 13 minutes of their home and work time every week to blogs and social networking and the Swiss three hours and 43 minutes. Japan's usage rates were even lower, at two hours and 50 minutes.

Andrew Braun, director of mobile, internet and technology at Roy Morgan Research, says his company's Single Source data shows that more than a million Australians aged 14 and older have read or added a comment to a newspaper blog in the past four weeks. More than 1.3 million of us have read or commented on someone else's blog or online journal.

Almost 400,000 Australians have started or managed their own blog or online journal. More than a million have viewed or contributed to online forums. Monash University researchers have found workers spend more than one-quarter of their time on the internet on non-work-related activity.
The Australian's online traffic climbs noticeably as the working day begins. It stays high all morning, peaks during the usual lunch hours, stays strong through the afternoon, then falls noticeably as home-time looms.

All the experts agree; just what is done while cyberslacking is next to impossible to quantify.
But given all these patterns and figures it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that much of the political commentary offered on the web and through social media is produced on someone else's time. That fact itself may explain the snarky tone of much of it.

Vivienne Storey, of Blands Law, helps companies develop social-media policies governing all kinds of web-based interaction. Workers who spend too much time online on non-work-related activities, Storey says, may be unhappy or frustrated. "I always say wasting time on the internet, that's really a deeper issue in the workplace," she says. "It's got nothing to do with access to social media. It's: why are the employees bored?"

The Roy Morgan data lets us quantify another demographic with time on its hands that may also be bored or frustrated and shaping online opinion.

In the past four weeks, close to 250,000 people who do not work have read or added a comment to a newspaper blog. More than 400,000 have read or commented on someone else's blog or online journal. One hundred and eight thousand have started or managed their own blog or online journal. And 284,000 have viewed or contributed to online forums.

There are fears that the often angry tone of web-based political discussion is making mainstream debate derogatory.

The climate-change debate has raised temperatures, in recent weeks and in the past.

Coalition sources say some offices were receiving an email every second at the height of the emissions trading scheme dramas of 2009.

Last week an angry Turnbull tweeted the details of a serial text message pest. "I don't mind abusive emails or tweets but why does Thomas Lynch [Turnbull gave his phone number] think it's OK to send me abusive SMSes about climate change?" he asked.

Online political opinion is unrepresentative. Much is ferocious and fiercely partisan in tone. That is because many of its authors have too much time on their hands and, like everyone who finds themselves in that state, have got bored and cranky.

is the link, and there are plenty of comments too.

Does this represent YOU??

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Time to Spare?

So the Tour de France is over for another year, there has been time to catch up on sleep.... so what do you do now??

In Australia and Asia the time difference makes for late night tv viewing, and with the finish so is about 0130hrs here in the Central time zone of Australia......and later on the east coast, around the finish time each day.

Is now the time to hit the bike and catch up on exercise?

OR.......prepare for the Tri Nations Rugby and the World Cup? More tv is a struggle!

This week cool nights are back with us, so swimming may not be a good option either.