HSD: Missed mentioning my 1,000th post

Darn it. I normally keep an eye on these kinds of things, but three posts ago I did my 1,000th post. According to my figuring the 1,000th post would have been: “Could it be that Twin Peaks is coming back?

I feel like I should have had a 1,000th post party or something. Or maybe have produced a 1,000th post commemorative coin. Or had a 1,000th post baseball cap made. Oh well, maybe when I do the 2,000th post then; which, based on how long it took to get to 1,000 posts, will be sometime in late 2019 or early 2020.

I wonder how many words that is? I could probably do a rough estimate simply by working out some kind of average number of words per post and then, you guessed it, multiply it by 1,000.

Maybe at some later time. Can’t be bothered right now.

Holy Cow … imagine how many pictures I have cropped and cleaned for posting. Almost no picture posted has not been cropped, resampled, and prepared for optimum size and impact posting. Even the screen captures are cleaned up and brightened before being posted.

Imagine the hours ‘invested’! If you assume about three hours per post, and some posts take much longer than that with images and research (some posts are compiled over days), then that would be 3,000 hours. At something like $85 per hour that works out to $255,000 or $51,000 per year.


HSD: Last wild Tiger will die within 15 years

Those who know are telling us that it is too late to save the tiger and that the last tiger in-the-wild will die within the next 15 years. After that the only remaining tigers will be those in zoos and other captivity. Already there are more tigers in captivity in America than there are remaining in the wild in the whole world.


While lions are considered the king of cats there are a lot of facts that really point to tigers as the ultimate cat. Consider the following:

  • Tigers are the largest of all the big cats and can weight up to 300 kilograms.
  • Tigers have a large brain and have amazing memory. Of the non-human meat eating carnivores only the polar bear has a bigger brain.
  • A tiger’s short-term memory is at least 500 times better than the family dog’s memory and lasts about 30 times longer than a human’s short term memory.
  • Tigers are one of only two breeds of big cats that like the water and will seek out water to play in. Tigers will dive into rivers to cross them and have been known to swim up to five kilometres.
  • Tigers are the ‘nicest’ of the large cats when it comes to social etiquette. Tigers will generally share a kill with a stranger happening by, and typically—although they generally hunt and kill alone—male tigers let the females and cubs eat first; unlike male lions.
  • At full speed a tiger can reach 65 kph and cover eight yards (24 feet) in a single full-speed bound.
  • From a standing start a tiger can leap five yards (15 feet).
  • Unlike domestic cats, tigers are not nocturnal and cannot see as well in the dark as a domestic cat—however they can see much better in the dark than a human (about five times better).
  • A female tiger is only fertile for about five days in the entire year. During these five days she has to try and encounter and successfully mate with a male.



HSD: Too easy—solved in minutes

If you went to Perthnow.com.au or News.com.au today (Thursday, 3rd October) you would have seen the following picture somewhere near the top of the site.


This was from an advert from BigCommerce for Software Engineers (who can solve complex problems).

Click on the picture to go to the article at News.com.au.

But in order to call the company and apply for the job you first had to decode the phone number. Only those who could decode the phone number could apply for the jobs.

At the time I saw this on News.com.au (about 4:30 p.m. Perth time on the 3rd) they were saying that nobody had called the encoded phone number.

Seriously, for anyone of my era in the IT field used to working in bases of 2, 10, and 16 this was an easy peasy puzzle. I simply assumed it was base 36 and the resulting number that you get is eight digits and is the correct phone number.

I have witnesses. One of my witnesses (Cameron) called the number and we were told “Congratulations. You have solved the code. Please leave your name and contact details after the tone and we will contact you”. I didn’t want to work in Sydney and my coding skills are old (Fortran, COBOL, and Pascal) so I did not leave my name and number.

So, if the News.com.au report was correct, I was possibly the first person in Australia to solve this code, and I did it within minute of seeing the puzzle.

I won’t put the number in my post in case BigCommerce are probably still looking for applicants, but your hint is Base 36.


HSD: BHP Billiton profit falls 30 percent for 2nd year

BHP Billiton have announced a 30 percent fall in profit for the 2013 financial year (here). This is bad enough, but then consider that BHP Billiton had a profit fall of 35 percent the year before (here). To make it even worse BHPB had their highest ever production from their coal, iron ore, and alumina interests.

Just to make this perfectly clear, in a year where BHP Billiton achieved huge production upgrades, especially in iron ore, their profit fell by 30 percent.

This sure makes the point on how far the price of commodities has fallen in the last 12 months and the experts are forecasting at least two more similar years before prices might begin to recover by a useful amount.

I guess we can expect to see more rationalisation across BHP Billiton and other mining companies as they continue to struggle with the steep fall in resource values.


HSD: Every 60 seconds on the Internet . . .

I am not sure what to make of this. Whether it is interesting, amusing, or downright depressing.

The following infographic charts some of the things that happen every 60 seconds on the Internet. Anything to do with porn has not been counted.


So, picking off a few statistics starting at the 12 o’clock position, every 60 seconds on the Internet:

  • 70 new domain names are registered.
  • 15,000 songs are downloaded from iTunes.
  • 347 new blogs are started on WordPress.
  • 571 new Web sites are created.
  • 20,000 new photographs are uploaded to Tumblr.
  • 204 million e-mails are sent. Who was it that predicted the death of e-mail in 2010?
  • Amazon sells US$83,000 worth of goods.
  • 72 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube.
  • 2 million searches are done on Google.

Clicking on the Infographic will take you to the source.

For those interested following are some porn statistics.


Using the numbers from the top infographic this means that about 70 new porn related Web sites are created every minute.


Click on either of the above clips to go to the site with the whole infographic over at DailyInforgraphic.com.

Obviously these statistics depending on an individual’s view of what is pornographic and what is not—which can vary greatly.


HSD: Beginning of the end for ‘photographers’?

It is being reported around the Web that yesterday (Friday, 31st of May) the Chicago Sun newspaper (Chicago Sun-Times) sacked all the photographers in their photography department.


There is a long discussion going on about it on DPReview (here).

Depending what you read it seems that in the future the Chicago Sun is planning to use pictures taken by the journalists themselves or by the ‘public’ on their smartphones.

The view seems to be that:

  • (a) The newspaper buying public no longer demand or expect good quality photographs in their newspaper.
  • (b) Even the worst smartphone picture can usually be made presentable enough for publishing in a newspaper using modern photo editing tools in the hands of an expert.


Is this the beginning of the end of the professional photographer?

The world has become so used to the relatively crappy pictures taken by smartphones that people no longer require or expect quality pictures in their newspapers.

Will the glossy magazines be next?

This being the case I find it a tad sad; bordering even on depressing.

[Both images link to sources]


HSD: So now fat is good for us . . . !! Sugar bad!!

The following is a roll-up of various articles that have appeared in the papers and on-line in relation to fat and sugar over the last couple of months. I have been thinking of putting this together but I actually got up off my butt and came in here and did it after just watching a quick article about this very topic on Sunday Sunrise (on TV).


After about 25 years or so of the ‘experts’ telling us that eating fat was just about the worst thing we could possibly do for our health, now they are telling us we need to eat fat! That the health benefits of eating fat far outweigh the downsides.

Seems we NEED fat to ensure our cardiovascular system is well maintained. Turns out fats actually reduce LDL cholesterol levels and are crucial to maintaining healthy brain function.

Eating fat, or fat in our food, is one of the key indicators to the brain that we have had sufficient food to eat and to turn off the hunger alarm. Because of this, not eating fat can make you fat (your hunger alarm is going off when you are not actually hungry).

And now, after telling everyone to eat less fat for tens of years, the low-fat diet is linked to infertility in women, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, and has even been linked to Alzheimers.

Holy cow!!


This is a bit like the ‘eggs are bad for you’ advice we got for about 40 years. Now they tell us we should eat eggs at least every other day and eat up to five eggs a week.

It seems all this time sugar has been the big bad gremlin. Especially processed sugar.

The new thinking is that sugar is the primary cause of heart disease and is the number one reason we are all getting fat.

Just because they found a build up of fatty cholesterol on the heart and arteries they jumped to the conclusion that cholesterol was the problem. Apparently not. It is sugar. It seems that spikes in sugar in the blood causes the blood to act a bit like sandpaper. This results in a rough surface being created on the inside of the arteries and heart valves. This rough surface then manages to ‘catch’ and hold passing cholesterol molecules. Then further sugar spikes lay down a sticky surface on the cholesterol that is already caught, which then causes additional cholesterol to become attached.

So the root and ongoing issue is sugar. If the blood had not been saturated in sugar the problem would not have started and would not then keep layering on itself.

The other thing sugar spikes do is cause a rapid rise in the insulin levels (in non-diabetics). From research over the last five to ten years we now realised that when insulin levels are high, indicating to the body there is an over-abundance of sugar energy in the system, the body then changes its strategy. Instead of burning the sugar the body instantly starts converting it into stored fat.

Even if you are doing hard exercise, if your insulin levels are high then sugars will be converted to fat rather than being burned.

There is obviously as LOT more to this than I have been able to summaries here. Do your own research, and maybe even have a chat with your doctor, before adopting any changes in eating habits based on the above.

Have you ever heard someone on a low-fat diet who had just eaten about three tomatoes, a lettuce, a cucumber, and a medium sized tin of tuna say something like “I just ate a square foot of food but I still feel hungry”? Seems that there is a reason for that . . .


HSD: HMV calls in the administrators

HMVTradeMarkHMV (His Master’s Voice), once Britain’s largest retailer of music and entertainment related goods ranging from radios to televisions, has succumbed to the modern Internet world of ‘free’ downloading and called in the administrators.

HMV opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1921. The HMV trademark of a dog listening to a gramophone is almost legendary.

HMV’s other claim to fame is that it owned the EMI recording label when Brian Epstein cut a demo for The Beatles in the shop studio which then led to EMI signing up The Beatles. EMI demerged from HMV in 1996 and became its own separate company EMI Group PLC.

It is possible the administrators might salvage something of HMV, otherwise about 4,350 employees will be looking for other work.


HSD: Jessops UK goes bust

The Jessops camera and general electrical retailer in the UK has gone bust. Jessops will be closing all 187 stores across the UK and parts of Europe over the next couple of weeks. 1,370 ‘permanent’ staff, and about half as many casual and commission workers, will lose their jobs.

Anyone like me who has been involved in photography for a long time will know of Jessops. They started out as a private company a long time ago catering for anyone who used a camera. Long before the Internet I have bought a few things via snail mail from Jessops back when you had to organise a bank cheque on a bank in the other country in order to buy overseas.

Sometime in the late 90s Jessops started to sell other electrical goods but still mainlined in photographic equipment.

Sometime around about ten years ago they went public.

Maybe going public was their downfall, or maybe it is just the general decline of specialist camera retailers and the end of shop-based photo-processing (for negative and slide film) that got them.

Sort of makes you wonder what sort of shape local specialist camera retailers like Camera House are in . . . doesn’t it?