What is your core?

What do you care about? What’s the core of your life?


For me it’s relationships, for others I’ve noticed it can be food, music, sometimes it’ll be work but that’s rarely actually the case.


Your core part of you is what your mind drifts to thinking about when you are idle. It’s what you remember well, it’s what matters to you. It’s what provides greater than normal satisfaction, but sometimes also greater than usual stress.
It can sometimes be hard to know what your core is without being able to compare with others and realising they don’t weight those parts of their life nearly as much as you do.
Your core is likely linked to how you show your love to people. Do you want to hug them or cook for them? Do you go out to a music venue or play some yourself?


As a note. If people seem addicted to computer games, work, sex or something like that it’s a problem in their environment, likely related to what their core is, or often is just financial troubles. Whilst they might be thinking about their addiction a lot, that’s not what their core is. The same often goes for work. You might spend a lot of time thinking about it and it might be a grerat source of both satisfaction and stress, but that doesn’t mean it’s your core.


For me, my core is about relationships. My last girlfriend also had it as her core, but my ex before, was mainly about food. She could rattle off the dinners we had over the last week or so and couldn’t understand how I didn’t remember them, where as I remembered the people we’d met and conversations we’d had.


“If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy.” — Elon Musk (in RollingStone)


That said I don’t think everyone has a single prominent core that you can easily perceive, or like with most people, it might take a while to discover.


What do you think your core is?

Optimising Human potential as we head towards the singularity

The many of people, myself included have fallen into a trap.

We have a set of behaviours when using a computer which are mostly there to optimise the power of the computer, not of humans. We might have to start copying a load of files and leave the computer for a while as things are slower, or when trying to organise our files and folders might multitask, trying to keep track of multiple file copies, whilst downloading the latest episode of a TV series, chatting to friends on social media all whilst we are meant to be working on an assignment. Such multi-tasking of attention is not what the brain is designed for or can really do. We can usually only concentrate on one thing at a time and have to keep switching attention, but each time you switch it takes up to half a second.

We have become so used to computer restrictions like only being able to send 160 character sms’s that we have duplicated the restriction with services like Twitter which don’t need such restrictions.

Basically, we have been optimising computer potential, which was a scarcity, at the cost of human potential. But we are near if not have reached the point where that needs to change. We need to be using computers to optimise human potential or else computers will leave us in the dust before we even reach the singularity.

As computers are getting faster we can predict that they will be as computationally powerful as humans in only a couple of decades. Only 18 months after that they will be twice as fast and barely 6 years later will be 32x as powerful, assuming Moores law is the main limiting factor.

Juncture in life – What will happen next?

Is at an interesting juncture in his life and isn’t sure how things will go, most options involve me working very intensely over the next few months, the biggest issue is that I’m in enough debt that it hurts (~$8K) :

  1. Teacher Time, the web platform I’m helping develop with a passionate group of entrepreneurs is coming along really well, we just validated the business model and have our first paying customers. I want to work on it full time, but without funding I’m not going to be able to afford to. If we do get funding then I’m likely to move to Sydney for a few months to really put things into full gear.
  2. SneakerNet : I allied to the Innovsy startup incubator to get SneakerNet off the ground. The couriered hard drive service would likely end up with me riding around Adelaide a lot whilst also developing better data backup processes for various companies and professionals. It would require that I setup a physical presence with a secure storage site, making it a lot harder for me to move (at least for a number of years until I’ve sold the business off or maybe it does a major pivot).
  3. City of Marion Glade Crescent redevelopment : Myself, Saeble and Derek/NextFaze applied to do an interactive artwork project as part of the redevelopment of some wetlands and playground in Hallet Cove. We did a pretty decent pitch of Laurie the Lizard (a physical metalworked masterpiece complete with LED lights and touch sensors) which is mixed with Augmented Reality and a Lizardgotchi app. We have a 1 in 3 chance of winning and if we get it I’m going to have to get out the soldering iron and learn to program Arduino microcontrollers and connect them with an Android phone (and get help from people who are good with electronics). It excites me but is pretty challenging.
  4. Earth Communities : This is the one I really think will be awesome, but is a much longer term project. It’s about creating an intentional (sustainable) community which is a practical application of the Price of Zero transition to an RBE. Most likely I would work on websites, hosting, film making and photography for non-profits. I’m currently uploading a 6.5GB high def video of the hour long presentation video of Craig Cowling explaining the concept (the 2nd time it was filmed).
  5. Last ditch option : None of the above pan out and I go on the dole for a short while as I try and find a programming job or *shudders* more IT support.

So overall it looks like my options revolve around either anchoring in Adelaide, going interstate, or floating around.
I don’t know what will happen, but I certainly know that the future will be interesting.

A change of plans

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately due to time constraints, I simply do not have time to write the quality and quantity of posts that I had previously been aiming for.

Instead of trying to post once a week on random things, I am currently aiming on posting more tutorial/informational posts when I have the time.

These will be things that I know about, such as what is required to get a website up and working, PHP programming ideas, or maybe how to setup a portrait photography studio, and in time I’d like to do some video based tutorials. Probably starting off with some Photoshop techniques, and branching out into using a camera, or how to setup your Internet connection. Note that at points I might not post for over a month, that’s usually because I have a large job (like I currently have), and is the nature of being freelance.

I will also be posting the odd random bits of information, and some occasional personal venting or trumpet blowing/promotion.

In the mean time, I hope to continue my Photo(s) of the week, even if I sometimes skip a week and double post.

PS : If you have any requests for information/tutorials on things IT, Web, photography, or video related then leave a comment and I’ll see if it is within my capabilities.

Post of the week – 004 : IPTC info in photos.

This  was an old post I forgot to upload a while ago and is an excerpt from a conversation on the DLF (Digital Laborers Federation) email list regarding IPTC information in JPEG photos, which is useful for Photographers, and especially those uploading images to Flickr.


Peter Moran wrote:
> Hey
> I’ve finally got myself a flickr PRO account and wondering the best way to manage things.
> I manage my photos with folders, and occasionally open Picassa (WIN XP) – but if Im going to go to effort and
> tag everything for flickr, I would like for Picassa to be able to read all that and so I can search all my photos
> local also, not just on flickr.
> Unfortunately Irfanview doesnt batch edit EXIF data – my camera seems to just put “EXIF Image Data” in
> the image description field, which then loads into flickr. Manually deleting/replacing this is boring.
> Id like to keep the filename somewhere on flickr also..
> SO maybe a way to batch edit the Image Description field in EXIF? Adding the filename, and whatever else I want?
> I read somewhere you can add tags to it also which flickr can read?
> If I can do all this, can Picasa then search using the EXIF info? No point to tag everything in Picasa if on new computer
> I lose all the tags cause its not within the file itself.
> Cheers
> pete

My Reply :

Hi Pete.
Firstly, EXIF information is the extra metadata information that the CAMERA saves. Things like shutter speed, ISO, aperture, flash settings, etc..
IPTC information is what you are interested in, which is custom meta-data, like the photographer, copyright information, the location the photos were taken, and other various information.

You can use Irfan viewer to VIEW the IPTC info, but it’s not good at adding it.
You are better off using something like Photo Mechanic, which is especially used by a lot of photojournalists.
I use Photo Mechanic regularly to save IPTC/XMP information to my images before I upload them to the internet. It also has very good image selection and batch editing options.

After a large photoshoot I will quite often have a quick view through the photos in Irfan viewer at full screen, to see which ones I like the most. I will then review the photos again in Photo Mechanic, tag the good ones, setup the cropping information, etc, and can then batch save all the tagged photos, or all of a certain colour class to a resized for web JPEG, all watermarked and with the extra IPTC info I defined.

It’s like Lightroom, but it was around way before that and unfortunately doesn’t have all the image manipulation options that Lightroom or Apple Aperture have, although from what I’ve seen, the different programs will all pick up on the tagging, although as far as I’m aware, only Photo Mechanic will actually write IPTC info to Camera Raw files (although I haven’t tried).

Getting back to the topic, Photo Mechanic uses what it calls an ‘IPTC Stationery Pad’, in which you write the basic keywords, copyright, and photographer details, etc.. You can then batch apply the IPTC info to all the selected photos, and and if you so feel, can manually add captions to individual photos.

Most of this information is then picked up by Flickr, so that you don’t have to manually add it.
Also, I’ve read the IPTC information for Pulitzer winning photos, and they are amazingly detailed, although mostly you just want who you are, what your website is and what your photos are about.

Sorry if I’m sounding like a prophet, that is preaching, but the other good thing about Photo Mechanic is that there are multiple ways you can save the IPTC pad information. You can save it to a file, as either a IPT or XMP file, which you can then import on another computer, or you can add it to a quick link (lightning icon), for frequently used presets.

Michael Kubler
Grey Phoenix Productions

His Reply

Hi Michael
Great info! I was a bit confused at the two.
Seems that programs will then be able to search using info within both EXIF and IPTC.
It seems as Flickr picks up the Image Description from the EXIF info, not in IPTC. I will have to do some tests and see what it picks up where, so it can auto name and describe and add tags for me when I load to flickr.

Photo Mechanic looks nice, but $150 for full version…
Im just testing ExifToolGUI, a GUI for the command based ExifTool.

Its free and it will edit Exif Iptc and XMP, copy etc.
Not sure about batch changes though yet

Seems Flickr picks up from IPTC

Caption Abstract – goes to the image description
object Name – goes to Title
keywords – goes to the tags
Country – goes to tags

Byline, Byline Title, Headline, Object Title – All appear in the more details page

From EXIF info

Image description is stored, shown in the More Details
User Comment stored in User Comment

So – that all seems to work!
now if I can get the batch naming from file sorted..

I could use IPTC for caption abstract, object name, keyword, author
And maybe store the original filename in the EXIF image description or user comment.

If only id done all this BEFORE adding like 300 new photos to flickr :( !!

Post of the week 003 – Financial Insitutions

How much are you paying to have your money stored ?

Having recently done some looking around, I was surprised at the number of people who actually PAY to have their money in a bank.

A bank invests the money that you store with them, and get paid interest for it.
The investment could be loan for a house, in which case that person would be paying interest on that the mortgage. The investment could also be in shares, or even a movie, in which case they might get paid a % of the profits.

It rarely matters how your financial institution invests the money, the main thing is that they do, and they make money with your money. So why do people PAY their bank accounting fees?

Let’s make a comparison.

A Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution. That is, they are owned, by their members, and the board of directors is generally voted in by it’s members in a democratic way. A credit union does not exist to increase it’s profits, but instead to provide credit at reasonable rates, and other financial services to its members
A bank however is a for-profit financial institution, whose primary activity is to act as a payment agent for customers to borrow and lend. Banks are usually listed on the stock exchange, and instead of being customer orientated, are most focused on share holders, and profit margins.

Community CPS – (a local credit union) vs the Commonwealth Bank

At CPS most people will be in the ‘Level 2’ tier being either under 25 yrs of age, or having over $5,000 in the account. Which allows you to make $13 worth of account transactions a month, such as Eftpos, ATM, etc…

At Commonwealth Bank you PAY $4 a month to have unlimited ‘free’ Electronic access transfers… But they still sting you for ATM transactions, EFTPOS, etc.. Or vice versa, you can have free ATM access, but pay for Internet banking. Either way, you still have to PAY to have the bank look after your money.

Personally I like the idea of a credit union better and if you haven’t already, I suggest checking to see if your financial institution and plan is the best for you.

Michael Kubler

Disclaimer : I am not a lawyer, nor accountant, and the information on this website, while researched, does not claim to be true. If you are in doubt, please contact an appropriate professional.

Thought for the week 002 – Ridiculus Red Tape

How much have you been abused by Red tape?

Summary : Annoying customer service misinformation, almost draconian procedures, and stupid loop holes.

Story : Recently my girlfriend, who has recently arrived in Australia from Russia was trying to pass her drivers licence learners theory test. I drove her into the city, we walked to the office on Tuesday, filled in an application form, took a ticket number and waited in line, only to be told that her Russian Passport, translated birth certificate, plus a number of other documents aren’t enough, and that she needs the passport and two documents with her name and current address on it.
We returned the next day, parking, taking a ticket, waiting in line, only to be told that her passport, tax file number letter, and a payslip (both of which had her name and address on it) were not enough. This time the woman at the booth showed us a list of valid ID types, and explained that Anya (my girlfriend) needs a letter, or some sort of card with her details, which is signed by herself and someone else. One such document was a letter of introduction from the bank.
Off we went up the hill to CPS credit union, to open an account. Upon showing her Russian passport the bank officer advised she can only open the account a restricted account for foreigners as she did not have her permanent residence visa. The restrictions included not having Internet banking, nor a visa card.

We then went back to the Motor Transport office, however they had closed the testing for the day. We had to come back YET AGAIN. Thankfully when we came back the next day, she completed the test with only one question wrong, and no problems.

The crazy thing about the whole situation is that I opened an account for myself at the same branch of the bank, the day before she did, but using only my drivers licence as ID.
So theoretically, once she receives her drivers licence card, she could open up a full bank account before she gets her Permanent Residence visa.

Thought for the Week – 001

When did you last update your will?

Your last will and testament is more than a document describing how your assets will be divided, it also allows you to describe what will happen with your body afterwards, and a chance to say your final goodbye.

Some things to think about:

  • Specify an executor of your will.
  • Which person(s) do you entrust with your assets ? (who gets your stuff?)
  • What happens with your body afterwards?
  • What happens with your virtual (cyberspace) life?
  • A final goodbye.

An executor of your will is someone whom you nominate to carry out the directions of the will.You could for example specify that it is your son/daughter, life partner, or possibly your parents, however it is best to only have one person (and update your will if that person is no longer capable of completing such tasks. That person will normally then appoint an Executor Trustee company for the actual grunt work, however can still be called on to help resolve issues where their is some ambiguity, or get the final say in matters.

Also, specify what happens to your body (cremated, or buried?). Alternatively if your not sure, then specify someone, such as the executor of your will, to make that choice.

Being the admin of a webserver, I have also attached a copy of instructions and username/passwords for my various computers and systems. My death should not mean the death of other peoples websites.

Personally, I want what something similar to what we did with my grandad. To have my organs donated to science, then the remains can be cremated. After a few years, have my ashes spread to the wind at the end of a jetty into the water at sunset, when the sun is touching the horizon, and preferably on my birthday, or some other significant date.

If possible, at my funeral it would be great to have a slideshow presentation of photos of me. Funerals are for the living, and not the dead, and I’d like people to remember me as a friendly, happy, hard working person.