Hi, I'm Fuzzwah.

This site is a dumping ground for things I find interesting. If you're looking for content I've personally generated you might want to head directly to one of my other sites:

Hi, I'm Fuzzwah.

US terror vs gun laws

If only Americans reacted the same way to the actual threats that exist in their country. There's something quite fitting and ironic about the fact that the Boston freak-out happened in the same week the Senate blocked consideration of a gun control bill that would have strengthened background checks for potential buyers. Even though this reform is supported by more than 90% of Americans, and even though 56 out of 100 senators voted in favour of it, the Republican minority prevented even a vote from being held on the bill because it would have allegedly violated the second amendment rights of "law-abiding Americans".So for those of you keeping score at home - locking down an American city: a proper reaction to the threat from one terrorist. A background check to prevent criminals or those with mental illness from purchasing guns: a dastardly attack on civil liberties. All of this would be almost darkly comic if not for the fact that more Americans will die needlessly as a result. Already, more than 30,000 Americans die in gun violence every year (compared to the 17 who died last year in terrorist attacks).

The Art of Physics

Physics laboratories around the world house amazing machines that probe the heart of matter and unlock the secrets of the universe. Incredible as their scientific work is, these particle accelerators, heavy ion colliders, gamma ray detectors, and neutrino experiments are also beautiful. That's the takeaway from the 2012 Global Particle Physics Photowalk, a competition that looked at the intersection of art and high-energy particle physics. In September, hundreds of amateur and professional photographers were invited to take behind-the-scenes tours at 10 top-tier scientific facilities around the world and see some of the devices chasing the latest breakthroughs in physics.

The Art of Physics

A Late Comer to Smartphones

I can still remember quite clearly being rather jealous of my manager when he first got his nokia 6100. It was 2002 and I had been given a nokia 5110 to be in contact. The difference between the two phones was remarkable, it really was a huge leap in terms of size, weight and features.


Around the same time I was tasked with a project looking into PDAs such as the iPaq. And to recommend if the University where I worked should look towards these style of devices. Long story short, we knew smartphones were on the horizon - though back then we used the words "convergence device" - and figured it was silly to have staff carrying around both a mobile phone and a PDA.

So at one point in my life I was really eager for smartphones.

When the iPhone came out I wasn't interested in having one. I thought the hardware was amazing, but there was no way I would ever infect a PC of mine with itunes and I had no interest in becoming locked into an Apple walled garden. The Android devices did excite me, but when I stopped and thought about it, I couldn't see any reason I needed a smartphone.

I'm a geek who is generally at a keyboard for around 12 hours a day. When I'm away from a computer I'm generally pretty happy about it. By this stage I actually had a nokia 6100 of my own, as it was and still is the smallest and lightest phone nokia has released. The battery lasted for around two weeks and it could make and receive phone calls and text messages as well as had WAP support which I made use of every now and then for geeky things I'd set up like rebooting servers.

I have a tiny mp3 player (a Sansa Clip) which I use to listen to music and audiobooks, which also has a battery life of around two weeks. The other upside is that I just clip it onto my collar and only require a short cable on my headphones.

One large reason why I'd held out from getting a smartphone was that I know I'm a tinkerer. I'd seen my friends spend hours getting their phones set up just right. From jail breaking iphones to creating personal android apps, I could foresee myself losing whole chunks of my life doing things which I quite rationally decided I didn't actually need.

Also, back home in Australia smartphones aren't cheap. I was happily getting by on a pay as you go contract which normally cost me around $15 a month. I was quite happy spending the $60-$70 I was saving each month on important things like beer.

Maps was one feature which I could imagine I could make use of, but even though I was now working as a travelling geek and driving all over the city to client locations I got by using the old fashioned idea of preparation and a memory.

Among my circle of friends I've become well known for my love of my old phone and my reluctance to get a smartphone.

Now I've taken a job where the company provides a phone. They want me to be contactable via email and generally be a modern geek and actually have a smartphone.

So I've just spent about 5 hours over the last two days tinkering with the HTC Incredible which I'm using temporarily until the Samsung Galaxy S4 is released later this month. It took me about another hour of research to decide to go with the S4 over the soon to be released HTC One.

As expected I do really like having a little computer in my pocket. I've already fallen in love with flipboard, google music, instagram and evernote. However, I'm still using my mp3 player to listen to audio books on the light rail on my commute to and from work.... its just easier.

NBN Government vs Coalition

The Coalition criticises the NBN as being too costly, claiming that their FTTN approach is vastly less expensive (the Coalition claims $17b less). If we work off the assumption that the copper infrastructure 'comes for free' then this might be a reasonable claim. But it doesn't. The reality is that the Australian copper network is nearing the end of its lifetime and will be in need of complete replacement in the near future followed by ongoing maintenance. To my knowledge, this cost has not been factored into the Coalition's estimates, which significantly underestimates the total long-term cost of the network. Fibre has a very long lifespan - on the order of at least half a century. This is not the case for copper, which deteriorates very rapidly, requiring constant maintenance or downright replacement. I suspect that once this is factored into the pricing, the Coalition's plan will not be quite as cheap as touted. Telstra currently spends $1b per year maintaining their copper network.

Ancient Computers in Use Today

While much of the tech world views a two-year-old smartphone as hopelessly obsolete, large swaths of our transportation and military infrastructure, some modern businesses, and even a few computer programmers rely daily on technology that hasn't been updated for decades.

Ancient Computers in Use Today

BASEline Flight Computer

BASEline is designed for skydivers to improve flight performance by offering real-time audible and visual feedback.BASEline displays information from phone sensors such as altitude, speed, glide ratio, tilt, distance and bearing to target. Learn your glide ratio, fallrate, etc. Record tracks of your flights. Improve your skydiving performance.

Outlook 2013 Reading Pane Header

I found the 1st thing I detest in the Office 2013 suite today; the fact that you can't hide the reading pane header in Outlook 2013. MS have removed this feature which was available in Outlook 2010 because apparently some users would hide it and then not be able to find how to re-enable it.

What a ridiculous reason to force all users to have nearly 30% of their screen real estate (if they prefer to have the reading pane at the bottom of the window, like me) taken up by superfluous information.