Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spurs Won the League Cup!

Fantastic game. Spurs wholly deserved it.

That win has secured a place in Europe and Ramos has brought home silverware after only 4 months in the job.

Forget the bans on ketchup, the most important thing he's brought with him is a winning mentality.

Spurs are a keeper away from being a decent team, I want to see both keepers purged from the books in the summer.

Btw, Chelsea are a manager short of a great team. Both Mourinho and Jol got sacked early doors this season, Spurs got Ramos, Chelsea got Grant. Says it all really.


My Dad has been going on and on about get the new Nikon D3 (by all accounts an amazing 1.3 kg chunk of magnesium alloy).

So I thought I'd do a little looking around for a possible update to my own D40.

I love my D40, but it wouldn't hurt to see what else is out there, eh? (and also I am supposed to take pix of my pal's wedding in May -- I just hope they don't expect too much...)

The two updates to the D40 are the D40x and the D60. Seems that they just increased the megapixel count from 6 to 10.

Interestingly, I found this article on the megapixel myth. It basically confirms what I've thought all along, megapixels don't matter that much.

[Although I reckon David Pogue's tests are flawed, he's printing 5, 8 and 13 megapixels to 24x16 inch prints at 400 dpi. Basically all of his prints probably looked pretty dodgy, because by my calculations at that size you'd need a ~61MP (24*16*(400^2)) camera to get a good print]

When I email people photos or post them up on Flickr, I reduce them down, so at most they are 800 pixels wide or 600 pixels high (i.e. ~0.5MP max (800x600 pixels)). Mostly I view pictures on my monitor, which means I can only see full pictures at a resolution of ~1.3MP tops (1280x1024 pixels). *Sometimes* I print average size prints (4x6 or 5x7 inches) at about 300 dpi (magazine quality resolution) that translates to about 3MP at most.

That means I can crop out up to half of the image (maybe focus more on a face, or take out a garish lamp post at the side of the picture) and still come away with printable quality!

The only thing with the wedding is that it's be nice to be about to do a big print if I get a really good shot. At 300 dpi my camera can only do 10x6 2/3 inches max. Kind of a bummer, 10x12s would be nice!! (but that would require a 11MP+ camera - or I could knock down the dpi to 200 (colour newspaper quality) and see if anyone notices :):))

The main thing to understand is you shouldn't buy cameras based on megapixels. Number one thing you want from a camera is striking pictures. Flickr's camera finder can give u a good idea of picture quality (although generally you'll only see the cream of the crop there).

[Why are reliable photography review sites so few and far between?]

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Excellent program on the multiverse!

Looking for Furniture in Jakarta?

It seems that Ibu Sabine's is the only place to go!

Fair Trade Marijuana and Illicit Coffee

I don't drink Fair Trade coffee or smoke marijuana.

I don't hire hookers or go on Fair Trade holidays.

I don't buy People Tree jumpers or fake Rolexes.

When you buy illegal goods and services directly or indirectly you are sucking people into lives of misery.

When you buy Fair Trade directly or indirectly you are saying legal (often reasonable and democratic) practices are immoral.

Last week my lil sis saw a homeless guy getting high on heroin in broad daylight near a café full of well off Free Trade coffee drinkers.

Legal practices can often be immoral, but I rather let citizens of other countries figure that out for themselves. Illegal practices can often be moral, but I'd rather not support the criminal infrastructures that provide those goods and services.

People need to think harder about right and wrong.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Self Censorship Rules

Fatih Syuhud and Ong Hock Chuan don't like anonymous blogging.

Well dudes, the 80s called and they want their new order media back!

Get with the program:

1) Credibility doesn't rest with real names (ahem :P)

2) Don't underestimate the intelligence of blog readers

3) Anonymous blogs are so entertaining

Anonymity isn't cowardly! It's exercising freedom of speech, where otherwise a person would feel too endangered to say whatever the hell they like. Indonesia is still a dangerous place for those who speak their minds, self censorship rules - or haven't you noticed?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Right, Wrong, Democracy and Religion

Once I was chatting with one of the researchers at my old faculty. We were flipping through the latest issue of American Economic Review for some reason, and there was an article which surveyed academic economists on some economic principle or other.

His response, "science isn't a democracy".

He was totally right, and ever since I've had a pretty cynical view of the American Economic Review and many other elite journals. You'd be surprised the amount of dodgy articles you can find in them...

Well, religion sometimes is a democracy and sometimes isn't. The Catholic church it is pretty much a dictatorship. Islam is more democratic, and I love that there are so many shades and colours, refreshing!

Anyways, Ireland only legalised contraception in '79 (and then u needed a prescription until the 90s [I think?]) unfortunately the Catholic church is still followed verbatim in the Philippines though...

New Arab City in Israel Planned

Aren't the ones that have existed for centuries already sufficient?

People like Mr Sheetrit make me want to vomit.

(A few days ago the minister suggested wiping out a neighbourhood in Gaza)

Team Darfur

I don't now what the futz is about, Team Darfur is a great idea!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Critique of Economics

A really good and /readable/ critique of economics.

Price Drop Evangelism

Wise words:

Asset prices are a measure less of our wealth than of our propensity for self-congratulation.

Ireland - Palestine

I read this story about two Irish women being trapped in Gaza during the week.

Strange to say, but there are quite a few Irish that are strongly pro-Palestine (hrm, what does that actually mean anyways?).

Ireland is mainly Catholic and Palestine mainly Muslim, but many have strong empathy with Palestinians because they see similarities between Irish history and Palestine's recent history.

Sharia in Britain

The Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of Britain's twist of Christianity)

says Sharia should be introduced for Muslims in Britain.

Who would be responsible for interpreting Sharia law? Would they be elected?

What would happen if a Sharia law conflicted with British common law?

Would a Shia, for example, come under the jurisdiction of Sunni laws? Would an Indonesian Muslim be subject to a Pakistani interpretation of Islam?

If Sharia law is such an inevitability for Muslims in Britain, why hasn't Sharia been introduced for Muslims in Indonesia? The country with the world's largest Muslim population and a democracy.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Jakartan Apocolypse

1) I saw Cloverfield last wknd (was really good)

2) Therry's comments on how she'd fancy a new start for Jakarta

3) Pals telling me about how flooding wrecked their homes

So the logical question is: how is Jakarta gonna end? (or how would you like it to end? ;))

I personally think a 100 tonne Godzilla trashing Monas might be an idea :)

[Also: are there any apocalyptic Indonesian films out there?]

Are Sharia bonds the next sub primes?

Looks like some religious peeps are about to pull the rug out from under Sharia finance.

Female Genital Mutilation in Indonesia

Triesti has a good write up.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Desperately seeking labourers

Even the wealthiest nations rely on the poorest people from the poorest nations. Why do we live in a state of denial?

Interesting video.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dork Talk

Surprisingly Stephen Fry has a column all about technology.

He's even mentioned Debian, Seamonkey and GNU in his posts. Wowzers!

In his latest column he mentions the Asus Eee Laptop. It's €300 (~4m Rp) and runs linux.

To me commercially produced computing will have a much better chance of spreading technology throughout the developing world than charitable projects like the OLPC or the Classmate laptops.

Machines like the Asus Eee will come with Linux preinstalled (Linux costs nothing to install). Yes, it's extremely easy to find pirated versions of Windows, but let's face it, how many of you have installed any operating system on your PC from scratch?

Hardware is now almost a commodity, as it's becoming incredibly cheap, software will soon follow with the continuing growth of Linux and open source software.