The Great Butterfly Race

The Great Butterfly Race

The Great Butterfly Race

Travel bugs are great fun

The Great Butterfly Race

Travel bugs are great fun, these can race all over the world, here is a race of 8 butterflies from Auckland New Zealand back to Melbourne Australia.

You can follow each of the butterflies on the Great Butterfly Race Page.

It’s not known how long each of these 8 will take to get back to Australia, however time will tell.  They will be released on November 26.

 

Before the Mega…

Before the Mega…

cathedralcachingBefore the Mega, I thought I should update this blog…

Well – since the last entry, I have around another 250 caches found and Eltham has over another 40 caches placed. It’s hard to believe that this game has hooked me in so much, but it has.

There are lots of reasons why.  Playing with satellites, the thrill of just the find of a well thought out and well hidden cache, or even the race for the First to Find – all these are amazing things that can get the adrenalin running.

The trackable items which go from cache to cache – Geocoins or even simple travel bugs all make for great fun.  My personal favourites thus far which I own would be Zoltan the Zombie.  He’s travelled almost 50,000km and is currently residing in Japan.  I have others in California and France as well. It’s great to give joy to others, but also to see the adventures these bugs and coins go on.

There are some coins which unfortunately have been “misplaced” along the way – Pretty things can go missing and end up in other peoples pockets – permanently – I guess that’s just the way things go.

The joy however of placing caches has been one of the great things I have had.  As the cache owner you also get to see the logs of all the people who visit your caches and share for a brief moment in their journey in the game.

Some caches are tiny, some are cleverly camouflaged, some are puzzling or mean, and some are crazy… However thinking about them and providing the enjoyment to others along the way is what makes this game so great.

And that’s where the community comes in.

Wondering if the Bananas, Atsmug, GeoJas or Smepster&Darcy will get the FTF on a new cache, or some one else is always fun. The community which plays this game knows no age boundaries – 4 to 104 can all play; and do.  It’s even possible to catch up with old friends and reconnect in ways not even though of. And it’s all for the game.  But even just a simple log from an as yet unknown cacher can cheer you up no end. The joy shared is joy multiplied.

So this weekend marks the Melbourne Mega event cache – over 600 people have logged “Will Attend” this event – http://coord.info/GC5GCJ8 and it is certain to be lots of fun sharing stories and being part of an energetic (albeit somewhat nerdy) community. It’s a great way to get the kids away from screens on the couch for a while and take a walk out and about.

To those who know don’t really know about Geocaching – find out some more.  It’s great fun and an amazing way to meet people.  You can visit http://geocaching.melbourne/ to find out a little more about the local Melbourne scene, and the Facebook group is active as well.

So join the crazy fun and give it a go – I hope to see you at the Mega!

TheRobotPBarry and the twitterverse

TheRobotPBarry and the twitterverse

The Barrybot Project

I always like to watch ABC on Monday nights – Mediawatch and Paul Barry are always interesting and when followed by the antics of QandA, there is always some interesting TV.

So on the program on July 6, there was an article describing how Journalists are now able to be replaced by Robots who write more clearly and concisely.  This paves the way (possibly) for copyrighters to be left on the unemployment queue…  Obviously you can’t replace live reporters, or the weather girl (or guy), but general news articles can be very successfully constructed. By robots.

At the end of the article, The Real Paul Barry was replaced by an animated version. Thus, an opportunity opened up to create a Twitterbot. Thus, The Robot Paul Barry was “born”.

Quickly followed and retweeted by The Real one, it was then up to me to find out quite quickly how to write a twitterbot using the new security protocols etc which Twitter introduced.

So – a couple of hours later, and we have a twitterbot (known now as Barrybot).

V1.0 – Follows, unfollows and tweets
V1.01 – looks as specific random topics which are relevant to Paul Barry
V1.02 (in development) to generate random simulated headline statements, similar to those which The Real Paul Barry might use… Some more research needed.

In any case, the project has allowed me to get an interface to Twitter from a command line or website again along with being able to run a bot on twitter.  I think my cat @_firstworldcat might need a helping bot to tweet her meows…  We will see.

New Geocaches for Eltham

New Geocaches for Eltham

A sample small geocache, containing a pencil, a logbook for finders to sign, batteries and toys (which finders may take, leaving in exchange items they bring), and a travel bug, which may be tracked online as it moves from cache to cache across the country or around the world.

A sample small geocache, containing a pencil, a logbook for finders to sign, batteries and toys (which finders may take, leaving in exchange items they bring), and a travel bug, which may be tracked online as it moves from cache to cache across the country or around the world.

Eltham gets 6 new Geocaches

Looking to get into geocaching? Eltham has recently had 6 new geocaches installed, inviting more geocachers into the outer suburban town.

Geocaching, a family friendly global treasure hunt, involves using a GPS locator to go to a target set of coordinates and locate an item.  The item can be a super small magnetic canister, a camouflaged container, or a medium to large storage container depending on the cache.  Most contain a logbook to sign as well to prove you’ve been there.

Eltham’s new cache’s area range of these.

The idea is that people visiting a cache location do so for a reason more than simply “to get a cache” but that there is some significant reason for visiting the area.  A centre of community activity, an historical monument or a scenic view.

The 6 new caches are:
Traditional CacheLost Youth Premium Member Only Cache
In Youth Road, Eltham| GC5W1VJ | Victoria, Australia 

Traditional CacheOther side of the tracks
In Railway Parade, Eltham | GC5W1TF | Victoria, Australia 

Traditional CacheI Can Jump Puddles Premium Member Only Cache
At Alan Marshall Reserve, Main Rd, Eltham | GC5W1T5 | Victoria, Australia

Traditional CacheLittle round in the square Premium Member Only Cache
At Eltham Town Square | GC5VT4D | Victoria, Australia 

Traditional CacheIn memoriam Premium Member Only Cache
At the Eltham War Memorial, Main Rd, Eltham | GC5VQ5V | Victoria, Australia 

Traditional CacheTrestlemania Premium Member Only Cache
At the historic Train Bridge, Panther Place, Eltham | GC5VKBQ | Victoria, Australia 

Caches marked with a “Premium Member Only Cache” symbol are Premium member only caches which are available to people once they have paid for a monthly, quarterly or annual membership.  If you try some of the generally available caches, and find you like it, then paying for a premium membership is a great way to get access to many more caches.

Geocaching is also a great way to get some exercise and to get out of the house for the whole family.

To join and find out more – visit GEOCACHING.COM.

Andrew (Kangadrew72)

 

What about Apple Pay for Australia

What about Apple Pay for Australia

apple-pay-watchAs we all lie in our beds staring at the ceiling tonight, unable to sleep because of the excitement of receiving our new, shiny Apple Watches, I can’t help but think about one of the Apple Watch’s much talked about features;  Apple Pay.

Or perhaps it’s the fact that it hasn’t been talked about almost at all is more concerning.

Our friends on the other side of the big Pacific pond have Apple Pay. http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/ works a treat. You can find out all about how the Apple Pay will enable the future of all transactions and become “Your wallet. Without the wallet”. This is one of the reasons I was going to use the Apple Watch, but Apple has been slow to get banks on board in Australia, and 6 months after the release of the iPhone6, we still don’t have Apple Pay on our phones. Let alone our watches.

Whilst Apple’s equivalent Australian web pages say absolutely nothing and a cursory search of Apple’s Australian content turns up nothing other than passing references in the capability statements of the iPhone6, the media too has failed to pick up on this glaring omission.

Most of the Australian reviews either fail to mention it altogether or mention it in passing. Clearly they are either hoping that as they have not been able to use it in Australia they don’t have an opinion and people will soon forget, or, they have forgotten to remove that from the feature list propaganda that Apple execs provided to them when they got their test products.

Ah marketing. You’ve done it again.

Perhaps Apple are really hoping that the Apple Watch launch will distract people from the fact that this feature has for now been shelved, perhaps to ne’er see the light of day.

Perhaps the gushing, doe-eyed Apple fanboys and girls grinning ecstatically at their wrists as the battery meter glows ever redder will not notice this missing piece of the puzzle.

Perhaps I am completely wrong, and we will wake up tomorrow with all the Apple Pay features fully enabled, ready for “The Watch” to take on the world leaving us ever more tracked and with the ability of Big Tech to yet again sell advertising space, but this time on our wrists.

Perhaps I’ll wait a week before I venture in to and Apple store to see an Apple Watch fashion consultant and open the wallet.

Perhaps.

A.