CRM software runs my life

Month: June 2008

Top Gear Season 11

Ferrari 599 - Isle of MannFinally, Top Gear is back! The first episode lived up to my expectations, some absolutely stunning cars and stunningly stupid stunts. Isn’t that what Top Gear is all about? Unfortunately the season will finish just when I get used to an episode every Monday (AEST), it is only 6 episodes short. As good as I think Jeremy is, he must be getting a pretty ridiculous hourly rate. Fingers crossed SBS can get the Australian version of Top Gear up and running so I don’t have to suffer withdrawls between seasons again. Top Gear have done an interview with the chosen hosts, so things are looking a bit more official and promising. Keep your fingers very tightly crossed that it doesn’t end up being “ambitious but rubbish”.

Java Starfish

This was a project that I completed for the 1st year Advanced Software (SOFT1901) stream at Sydney University in 2002. It is a good example of some of my java capabilites, especially applet work. I will post the full applet online in the near future. Click for the full-size image to see more detail:
2D Population Graph Population Density Shade Map Population Balance Pie Charts
Screenshot of Simulation Running

The Audacity of Hope

Barack Obama - The Audacity of HopeI purchased an audiobook today through Audible.com, which incidentally was the first time I have used the site or purchased an ebook. The process was simple enough, but the whole DRM thing annoys me (thankfully Tunebite helped with that).

Getting to the point, the audiobook I purchased was Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope”. Why? Well the main reason for buying the audiobook was that I think he is one of the greatest orators I have heard in a long time. Rupert was right, he does have a level of rock star appeal.

On a more serious level he fascinates me for a number of reasons. The main reason is that he is such a mixture of backgrounds, some say a “a neutral persona on whom people can project their personal histories and aspirations”. This is partially because his background is so diverse that almost anyone can find something in common; a Kenyan father, an American mother, born in Honolulu, grew up in Jakarta, Hussein as a middle name and a first name based on the Hebrew word baruch (blessed).

The more critical factor is that people claim that he just ‘clicks’ with them, and for some reason he clicks with me too. How is it possible to do this across such a wide audience? Will connecting with everyone mean that eventually some people are going to feel betrayed? Quite possibly. I guess he just has to walk the rock star line and keep performing to the people in the hope that he eventually hits number 1.

Mortgage Stress

How much of your income goes to pay the mortgage?
It is not hard to find doomsday predictions for the Real Estate market. Sites such as Who Crashed the Economy are a collation of tales of pending economic (and particularly housing sector) destruction. There is a trend that indicates mortgage stress and housing price falls are limited to the outer suburbs of Sydney, primarily the west and south-west. Even when you analyse mortgage stress on a nationwide basis these suburbs keep appearing.

So I guess the question is whether this effect will be seen in the more blue label, inner-city suburbs. Most experts seem to think that the next 9 months or so are a good time to buy; if you have some savings tucked away and can ride out high interest rates in the short term. The next official inflation reading comes out on July 23, so a change in rates after this time is entirely possible. Whether the increases end there, or another ones comes in November, is anyones guess. I will be watching these news stories pretty closely, as it seems most of Australia is.

I was prepared to bid at an auction on the weekend, but it sold for $100k (15%) more than the quoted price range, and $50k less than what turned out to be the vendor’s target selling price! Clearly there is still a lot of dodgy underquoting practices from certain agents and turbulent pricing changes are still shaking themselves out in this market. I just have to hang in there and hope (as evil as it is) that a foreclosure can deliver me a reasonably priced dream home.

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