Going to Southampton

June 15, 2008 Leave a comment

I’m off on holiday back to my home town Southampton, England (home of the Saints, Matt Le Tissier and Benny Hill) for a friends wedding.


It’s only been my second visit in eight years and last time I only spent a few days at home so it will be great to see the New Forest again and revisit my old pubs.



See you in two weeks!

Categories: Technology Tags:

Twitter me softly

June 8, 2008 Leave a comment

…with his words…

I know, I know a late coming and just when everyone is leaving for FriendFeed, but follow me if you will.


Oh, and FriendFeed http://friendfeed.com/keen for those who really like lots of noise.

Categories: Technology Tags: ,

Notetaking: my tips

June 5, 2008 Leave a comment


I only run a small team of 3 direct reports but under my News portfolio I daily work with 25 Journos along with 30 Program Managers and Developers. With lost of requests coming from all sorts of directions (sound familiar), structured note taking is important to stop getting into a mess. Well, this is what I do…

I split my note taking into two categories, and I’m never without one of them.


I use my notepad in very much the same way as Matt Cutts, the guru from Google. In my ubiquitous Moleskine (I choose the plain A5 version) I put in tasks or actions only.

Inside view of a Moleskine ruled notebook; the elastic band is visible on the right, as is the bookmark in the center.

I add tasks and tick them off one by one and when all tasks are completed (or the task is too old) I rip out the page. I try to ensure I don’t have more than a couple of pages with writing, if it becomes more then I create a new succinct list and rip out the old.

Tablet PC

For everything that needs to be kept permanently, I use my Tablet PC and OneNote. To be honest, it’s not that often I need to write down a lot of notes and generally you’re aware of those meetings such as brainstorming sessions to meetings with clients. If am caught without my tablet, I write it down in my notepad and transfer it to my tablet afterwards.


OneNote is great tool, being able to search your text, handwriting and even your cut and pasted images! It’s the perfect way to keep my notes organised and easy to find, there too many features to write here but do a Live Search (still not really a verb!). It’s also much safer to keep your perma-notes on your PC as my machine is backup by our network and I also backup to the cloud using Mozy.

Categories: Time Management Tags: ,

Under the weather?

June 3, 2008 Leave a comment

Another day, another news launch. Today we put live our new weather site…weather.ninemsn.com.au


The site is very comprehensive showing conditions, forecasts, weather maps, radar images (my personal obsession) along with surf and snow reports for the whole of Australia.

Check out the official line.

Categories: General Tags: ,

Silverlight: 6pm bulletin

June 2, 2008 2 comments

A while ago I promised to build a Silverlight app in the first quarter, whilst that didn’t happen we’ve finally built our first ninemsn site using Silverlight, the National Nine News 6pm Bulletin.


From 6pm every night we’ll be live streaming the news for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane locations. You can choose to view the stream in either Silverlight or Windows Media Player (from those who can’t or won’t install the plug-in).

Along with the stream we’ve selected stories that match the bulletin so you can get more detailed information about the topic.

A lot of infrastructure changes have gone on in the background including upgrading Channel nine and Hostworks environment. We’ve also done a bit of testing the 640px wide screen works well at a bit rate the same as our standard 320px video player.


Out of interest, from the soft-launch stats 55% of people have chosen the Silverlight player which is a great result for the technology considering our non-technical user base.

Fixing widowed words

May 12, 2008 Leave a comment

I was just forwarded on a great entry on the IHT.com Developer Blog.

Like a lot of News/Sport sites we rely heavily on feeds. Whilst this provides us a lot of great up to the minute content, atheistically it never looks as good as when we produce the headlines, abstracts etc ourselves as we ensure length, widowed words issues are minimised.

Well the clever IHT.com developers have put in a regex solution in place to help fix the widowed word issue.

Here’s an example with a headline:

And now with the body text:

Read the whole entry.

Categories: Technology

Live Search Maps – Launched


Live Search Maps includes business listings, provided by our exclusive partner Yellow™, Ratings and Driving Directions.

The launch has also been timed with the roll out of Bird’s Eye View (for Sydney CBD, Gold Coast, Wollongong and Hobart – other locations to come)


Categories: Technology