Drones

An American drone:

US drone

An Australian drone:

Kevin Rudd

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Social networking app ‘letter’ takes senior citizens by storm

Twitter-logo-(letter)

A new social media application is taking the world by storm, but this time it’s the senior citizens leading the charge.

The new craze among the over-60 brigade is ‘letter’, a process of writing down 1-2 pages of reflections, thoughts and updates about the writer’s life. The ‘letter’ is then placed in an envelope and sent to a unique address. Recipients of letters are then able to reply to the original sender.

Already the latest networking craze has attracted an enormous following. Australia Post spokesperson Karen Reynolds said the service delivered “hundreds of millions” of letters just in 2008, despite some teething problems.

“During peak times that senior citizens are using the ‘letter’ service, such as lunchtime at local shopping centres, our service has crashed under the strain of high traffic in Australia Post stores,” she said.

Social media commentator Dirk Vergenboom said that once the application got started, users took it in some unusual directions.

“After the initial novelty of sending traditional letters wore off, some of the more enterprising users started putting $5 notes in cards and sending them to their grandkids for birthdays,” said Vergenboom. “It has really taken on a life of its own.”

Variations have quickly sprung up, with people writing ‘love letters’ and even ‘ransom letters’. And already the application has caught the eye of professional spammers, who are already sending ‘chain letters’.

Vergenboom said that the letter application was a reflection of shifting communication trends.

“The days of one-to-many ‘broadcast’ communication are over. People are looking for highly customised, personalised one-to-one experiences. ‘Letter’ is such an obvious way to meet that need, it’s a wonder no-one thought of it before.”

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iPhone app takes the hard work out of getting frustrated

According to The Age, “Sydney has been upstaged by Melbourne, with the official bus, tram and train operator, Metlink, releasing its own iPhone trip planner app for free earlier this month.

“Users can obtain the most up to date timetables as they are generated, view live tram information including real-time departures and arrivals for all tram stops and view live scheduled and unscheduled service interruptions for the entire public transport network.”

What a great leap forward this is! My journey to work will become a veritable carpet ride! Traffic will part like the red sea, as my ever-punctual bus is gently shunted forward by a choir of angels.

In case you don’t have an iPhone app to tell you, I am being very sarcastic.

Do you know what this news really means? Now I can be frustrated at late or non-existent bus services in a very informed, knowledgeable way, instead of just raging blindly.

Instead of standing at the bus stop quietly fuming “Where’s my bloody bus?”, I can now quietly fume “Damn that 7.37am route 889 bus that has broken down at the corner of Ferntree Gully road and Springvale road.”

Will this wonderful app now explain to me why I just watched two buses travelling the exact same route depart the bus stop at the same time? And why I now have 25 minutes to catch my breath, having run to catch said bus (or buses)?

Apparently New South Wales are looking to implement a similar system, “making no secret of the fact that it is taking the lead from Melbourne.”

Here’s some free advice Sydney: never, EVER, take the lead from Melbourne on anything to do with public transport. EVER!

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Gangland Cluedo

Media Release – 16 June 2009

Hasbro is proud to announce the launch of its latest board game: Gangland Cluedo.

This modern twist on a classic board game retains all the fun of the original – eccentric characters, diverse murder weapons and a range of locations for the murder.

“Players can choose to play as notorious underworld crime figures such as Mick Gatto, Alphonse Gangitano, Lewis Moran, or even crime matriach Judy Moran,” said head of game development Simon Waugh.

“Anyone could be the killer – that’s the fun!” he said.

“For example, when I tested the game at home I committed murder at an Auskick clinic with a sawn-off shotgun. There are carparks, nightclubs, restaurants…literally hundreds of possibilities.”

Waugh said that with so many variations, the family would get hours of fun from the game.

“My wife killed a Moran – I can’t remember which one – at a delicatessen! It’s crazy I know, but that’s the kind of random surprise Gangland Cluedo throws up.”

Gangland Cluedo is the first in a series of revamped games Hasbro is planning to release. In coming months they will also release Somali Pirate Battleship, 20/20 Test match cricket, and Google Search Monopoly.

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Susan Boyle to cover ‘Rehab’ by Amy Winehouse

Susan Boyle has revealed that her first post-Britain’s Got Talent project will be a cover of ‘Rehab’ by Amy Winehouse.

“That song just speaks to me, and it speaks of my experiences in rehabilitation,” said Boyle.

Boyle was taken to the Priory Clinic, a leading mental health clinic in North London, after staff at her hotel became concerned about her wellbeing.

“Something wasn’t right,” said the hotel manager. “At first we thought it was her eyebrows, but apparently they’ve always been like that. It turns out she had just been behaving erratically.”

At one stage it was believed the troubled star would join Winehouse in her latest detox effort on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, a claim that Boyle said she was still considering.

“I did consider the prospect of staying in a remote backwater where no-one worked and everyone drank all day. But then I thought ‘Scotland will always be there – maybe I should go to St Lucia.'”

But music industry sources claimed the joint rehab stint was unlikely to happen.

“Her foul language, trashing hotel rooms and petulant temperament just wouldn’t be a good influence,” the source said. “Amy really needs to surround herself with the right people at the moment.”

Meanwhile Amy Winehouse has leant her support to the besieged singing sensation.

“I understand Susan is exhausted and emotionally drained at the moment,” said Winehouse. “I can really relate to that – I am often exhausted and emotionally drained. In fact just last weekend I injected a lot of smack and drank a bottle of scotch and I was very emotionally drained after that.”

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Cats

There are two types of people on the internet: those who share pictures of their cat, and those who don’t. I am about to go from the latter category to the former.

Before I met the Excellent Missus, I was firmly entrenched in the ‘dog’ camp. Didn’t know anything about cats, didn’t want to. However, the urge to impress a girl will always override anything – anything – else. I could have had watery eyes, a sniffly nose, hives, the works. But I was always going to be “What? Nooooo, I LOVE cats. Here kitty, kitty, kitty…” As it transpired I didn’t have any of those symptoms, and the cats – Coco and Tripper – slowly grew on me.

Tripper has now ‘gone to Japan’ but Coco is still with us. And it was Coco who enlightened me on the inherent joy of owning cats. You see, dogs have no sense of themselves – you can do anything to them and they just give you 100% attention and loyalty. Cats on the other hand are aloof, noble, self-possessed, dignified creatures.

Or so they think. The great joy of owning a cat is trying to embarrass it. Maybe this is best demonstrated with a few photos – after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ll just preface these by saying we are starting to accumulate baby clothes in the house. We looked at the cat. We looked at the jumpsuit. The cat looked for the nearest exit…the rest is history…

I'm going to kill you for this.

I'm going to kill you for this.

Cat in a jumpsuit

It is kind of comfortable though...

It is kind of comfortable though...

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