Archive for September, 2006

Martha mine panoramic photo (New Zealand)

Adam just sent me a link to a page with photos of (apparently) the largest hole in the world. It is indeed some hole.

So, I thought I would share my hole photo. This one is from Martha Mine in New Zealand which I took in December 2004. It is an active gold mine and produces most of the income for the town. This hole may not be as big as the one above, but my original photo is bigger at 7257 pixels wide. Hehe. How's that for a photo?

Martha Mine Goldmine
Martha Mine Truck
Rachel and Charlie next to truck

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Embedding Flash – the ultimate way

For 2 years now, SWFObject has been the ultimate way to embed Flash movies into a website. If you are a web developer and want to embed Flash, this free tool is a must.

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Sell your photographs!

I've been working on a website – Zengle – that enables anybody to sell their photos online. I had the idea with Paul when we were travelling in Australia last year. More and more people own good quality cameras and are taking an interest in photography as a hobby. Some of the photos these people are taking are just as good as some of the images taken by professional photographers.

Zengle allows anybody to start selling their photos within minutes. You just need to pick out the really good photos from your digital photo collection and upload them to the website. There is more advice on the site as to what you can and cannot sell, but its all pretty straightforward.

For every sale, we split the proceeds 50:50 with the photographer.

There is a huge market for good quality, original photography. Almost every brochure, website, catalogue, magazine or poster needs fresh photographs. There are many other stock photography companies (e.g. Getty or Corbis) but the price of their photos is high and you need to be a professional photographer with a large portfolio in order to sell them. Plus, they don't pay as much commission as Zengle pays.

Start earning extra money from your photos… join Zengle now!

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Sustainable planning

I chatted to my old flatmate and good friend Declan Commons a couple of weeks ago. When I say I chatted to him, that is exactly what I mean because I could not chat with him. You see, he had just discovered Skype and wanted to try it out but he had no headset. So I spoke to him using my microphone and my webcam, then waited for 10 seconds while he typed back. All rather strange I can tell you.

Anyway, hats off to Dec for starting his own environmental planning consultancy. He has become somewhat of an expert in sustainable town planning over the last 10 years. When councils, construction firms and property developers plan new developments, they need to take lots of factors into consideration. By going through this planning process in a sustainable manner, they should make better decisions about the area which people could be living in for hundreds of years to come. I think that's roughly what Dec gets up to but check out Planning Workshop for the full story.

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Dirty trick from easyMobile

I have been recommending easyMobile to my friends for 18 months now since I started using this no-nonsense mobile phone service. It is part owned by Stelios, the entrepreneur that the British public have come to know and love.

However, the company recently announced a huge price rise. Any call less under 1 minute will be charged as 1 while minute. So, a quick 10 second call will cost you 15p (or 3p to another easyMobile phone). The company said:

As from 1st October 2006, calls will continue to be charged per second but with a minimum call charge of one minute. This change has been made in line with the competition and will ensure we can continue to offer you great services. If you have any questions please contact our Customer Service team on 0845 415 4500 or e-mail them at other@easymobile.com

I make short phone calls, so I calculated how much more this new pricing would cost me. In August, I made 65 calls at a cost of £5.70. However, those same phone calls would have cost me £11.48 on the new tariff. Over double the cost!
This is not the sort of behaviour you expect from a Stelios company. It is the sort of trick that Ryanair – "The Hidden Extras Airline" – would pull, but not easyJet. The philosophy that easyMobile started with was one of honesty, transparency and straightforward pricing without any catches. But they have ditched it. They have signed-up thousands of customers and encouraged people to recommend their friends (4 of my friends have joined due to my recommendation) and now they plan to milk these new customers through a dirty stunt like this.

I emailed them my comments 10 days ago. They did not reply. I am now looking for a new phone provider.

It's disappointing when a company that you trust lets you down like this isn't it?

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Teacher arrested at UK airport

A public school teacher was arrested today at Gatwick Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Home Secretary John Reid said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the Metropolitan Police with carrying weapons of maths instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Reid said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with co-ordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle".

When asked to comment on the arrest, Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking from his holiday resort before the planes stopped flying, said, "If God had wanted us to have better Weapons of Maths Instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

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