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Heavy Plant

Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Focussed

in: Sydney New South Wales, Australia
Sydney is a city with more than its fair share of contemporary architectural oddities but there is one I encounter almost every working day and so stands out from the sci-fi inspired towers and glass blocks. It’s not obvious, it’s not always even apparent and I am almost certain that it is an accident of design.

The gently concave shape of the Sheraton overlooking Darling harbour, combined with its mirrored windows and westerly aspect, mean that in the afternoon and early evening the sunlight is reflected and focussed at a particular (hot)spot on the pathway across the road. As I walk past this on my way home, depending on the weather, I am either gently warmed or subject to quite intense heat from the presumably unintentional solar furnace. Remarkably you can actually see this effect on the aerial photograph in the map after the jump (only you can't any more because Google have updated the photo - bugger).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Subscribe

in: North Curl Curl New South Wales, Australia
There's been a shift in my thinking regarding internet based/enabled services which I think is probably reflected in other people too. It's really simple, if it's good I am willing to pay. What this probably means is that I and others like me are starting to recognise that the internet technologies that looked like toys for so long are now recognisably useful tools. This might also mean that the web is finally becoming the platform/ecosystem that it has promised to be but never fully became.

Businesses have paid for cloud-computing and hosted services for some time but my feeling is that persuading individuals to do so has always been difficult. Consumers are used to the internet being free and are generally resistant to any change in that. However, I think that is now changing and it's due to the Freemium model that service start ups have been using; get the majority if the functionality with just a free account and if you then want the whole package you pay a subscription. It's a 'try before you buy' business model the advantage of which is that if you're good you'll do well, the disadvantage being that if you're not quite good enough everyone finds out quickly. The services are now just that bit better than they have been. Given that I try almost all of them I have been driven to pay for some of the good ones.

Things I've paid for which I think are useful and I would actually have trouble living without are: