yesterday's technology tomorrow

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Bald Patch
It must be the worry over flaky AOL connections or my tiredness but this afternoon I was a fool!!

I shaved my hair with a #1 and all was good. Then sitting at the computer I realised I had a little tuft that needed trimming. So back to the bathroom I went...proceeding to shave the the tuft off WITH A NUMBER 0 DOH!! Now instead of a tuft I have a bald patch. No leaving the house for a week i guess!!

0 comments | 6:27 PM

Nearly 500 and warnings
It appears someone who has subscribed to BlogChangeBot has decided to respond to the automated notifications with a warning which is reducing the level on AIM which, I think, impacts the speed at which messages can be sent. This shouldn't be a huge issue but its not very nice behavior. Just send an unsubscribe message or send me an email if you want to be deleted.

In related news, we should kick through 500 subscribers tonight having broken through 400 only a day ago so its been a big day and I'm wondering if the flaky connection issues have been due to the volume of "buddies" the bot now has??

I shouldn't worry about it really :-)

0 comments | 6:18 PM

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Baking, cooking, coding
A lack of posts in the last week is mainly due to a fairly busy week focused on otherthings.

Blog Change Bot has been going really well with over 400 subscribers within the first week which is well beyond expectations. As mentioned previously we made it into Daypop's Top 40 and also Top 10 at Blogdex.

Having spent the last few years designing and developing internet based systems some of which have been well used but most have been lightly if at all used. I believe this is because we have been building systems and "hoping they will come" and no one has shown up....much like a party at 10pm :-).

So its been REALLY and I mean REALLY motivating to see all the very kind words people have blogged about this latest creation. I can totally see why people build things for free to get recognition and use of cool useful tools.

Being a month of creativity, I've also created a new web service for work and have been doing some good cooking. A few weeks ago, Epicure had an article on pies with a good, no, make that fool proof, recipe for pastry. I've been using it a couple of times a week for apple pies, pasties, meat pies etc. Never having been much of a pastry (as opposed to dough) maker its been very fulfilling to get my pastry working right every time. I've also finally got my yorkshire puddings rising!!!! The secret has been to stand the eggs and milk in warm water to before making the batter.

So its been a pastry and yorkshire pudding week after some yummy leek soup on the weekend from loobylu and big-p and little aj (even if claire did try to poison us with her so called 'chives").

I've just watched a short video on pizza from I Carusi and have found the recipe for their dough so I'll give that a go this week.

As readers of Oskar's blog would know, his sleeping patterns have taking a turn for the worse recently so we've been trying some advice on putting him back to bed in the middle of the night....the first night we put him back to bed 74 times between 7:30 and 8:30pm and then 40+ times been 4:30 and 6:00. Last night was much better with 17 times around 7pm and then 12ish times around 4am so hopefully things are on the mend and we'll be sleeping better again. love for running is back. After a few weeks of faster running on my longs runs I ran the fastest 10km I have done for a few years in the middle of a long run on the weekend so things are looking flash for the 1/2 marathon in 7 weeks.

0 comments | 9:43 AM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Last week I launched Blog Change Bot in beta and sent around a couple of emails to people who I thought might be interested in playing with it. Since the weekend, the number of subscribers has been doubling every day. Claire said it would be huge but I didn't believe her, now I'm not so sure. Today it made daypop's top 40 which was something in my wildest dreams I thought wouldn't happen for ages, I even said to Suzette that we'd do something special if I ever made it on the list!

Thanks to everyone who has posted great comments about the bot and is using it. It definitely changed how I surf my blog roll.

0 comments | 12:16 PM

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Sushi, sushi, sushi starts with C
Its my birthday tomorrow (2^5 a prime to a prime as Cory says) so we headed out to Kenzan for what turned out to be the best Sushi we've Ever eaten.

We started with a glass of Moet each and then a platter of chef selected sushi which was just amazing. Being a totally indulgent evening we decided to have just a few more pieces and were recommended to try the Yellow fin Tuna Belly which was completely different to a normal tuna sushi. Apparently it isn't available very often and is quite a totally melted in your mouth. YUMMMMMY

The only bad choice was a yellow fishy thing that in hindsight would have to live in a of course I was a bit sick this morning but not enough to detract from the night.

The celebrations continue with drinks and Mum and Dad's this arvo, bubbly and toasted brioche with mascarpone and berries for breakfast tomorrow and friends over for dinner. Not to mention a day off as well :-)

So Hippy Birthday to me!!

0 comments | 11:12 AM

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Leroy McKenzie
Congratulations to David McKenzie and Susan Stewart on the arrival of their new baby Leroy on Monday. I'm sure Lulu will have heaps of fun adapting to her new brother. Mum is apparently doing well and Dad is no doubt planning a madison team.

0 comments | 9:18 PM

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Blog Change Bot - New Project
I've been working a new project in my spare time which will monitor your fave blogs and send you an Instant Message when the blog is updated.

The project page is at

In the meantime if you use AOL IM you should be able to click on this icon and be automatically notified when its updated.

0 comments | 5:27 PM

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Coding, coding, coding....
Can't blog must code. I'll have a beta later this week.

0 comments | 7:15 PM

Sunday, July 06, 2003

AOL IM Robot
This weekend I've spent some time playing with the JAIMBot project. Its a Java based AOL IM interface which uses AOL's TOC protocol to IM enable your applications. Its very cool and worked straight away. The code is very very good. Its got all the bells and whistles I'd need including persistence, auto relogin etc.

So now my mind is running round with ideas on what to build with it that would be useful and teach me a few things. The application has to make sense in an IM environment which is pretty wide in scope, especially if you start to thing of new phones which have a built in IM client which can be more flexible than SMS. So far I've come up with the following ideas - Weather Report, Dictionary lookup, Directions, Server monitor, Music recommender, a Loebner Prize entrant and one related to blogs which I'm going to start on this week.

If you have AOL IM keep an eye out for robotneuronwave which is the account my development bots will run under.

If you have any other ideas please post a comment.

0 comments | 10:08 PM

Allez Brad
Le Tour began last night with a brilliant ride by Brad McGee giving the Australian the overall lead along with the green points jersey. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oui Oui Oui :-)

Brad's win was a great start to a wonderful day. This morning I raced in a 10km road race with Mum and Dad doing the 5km walk. I had a good race but couldn't compete with Mum and Dad both winning medals for coming 2nd in their age groups! Well Done!!!

On a post race high I zoomed home and played with Jasmine and then went over to Mum and Dad's for a big family roast lunch with Suze's dad down for the day. Lots of fun, jokes, great red wine and lovely food. We realised it must be the first family do in a year or so we could laugh and have a good time and not have to chase and tender to Oskar.

The rest of the arvo was a nice chill out cooking and making pasta finishing with a bit of blogging, stretching and watching the sunset.

An ideal day!!

0 comments | 10:00 PM

Friday, July 04, 2003

Separated at Birth
One a blogSTAR and the other a monSTAR .

0 comments | 9:17 AM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Get well Henk
Some sad news in what is the peak cycling time of year with Le tour starting this week.

Last weekend Henk Vogel's crashed at 107km/h (which is damn fast) into barriers during a race in US. He has a broken ankle and fractured if not broken back. The doctors say if he didn't his helmet on he would be dead.

We've followed Henk's racing for the last 7 years and have seen him in action in the Tour Down Under and I saw him in a race in San Fran a couple of years ago. Suzette even got his autograph a few years ago...this is a big deal for us :-)

From Suze and I "Get well Henk!!!!"

0 comments | 10:46 AM

IBook Fixed!!
Since replacing my battery a couple of months ago, my iBook would make a popping sound every minute or so when on battery power. Jason has just started having the same problem and got some good responses. One of them pointed to macosxhints which had some tips for zapping prams and nvrams etc.

After completing the proceedure everything is Pops and my battery charge now goes up to 100% rather than stopping at 95% like it has previously done.

I must file the hint away in the useful pile.

0 comments | 10:41 AM
Playground Finder Flink Labs - Data Visualisation

neuronwave is the personal site of Ben Hosken. I am the founder of Flink Labs, a data visualisation studio based in Melbourne. Previously I founded AgentArts, where I developed a recommendations system that we ultimately sold to MSFT.I have two patents, one in Recommendation Systems and one for a datamining algorithm I invented. I have a strong interest in physical computing, emergence, self organising systems, immersive games, bluetooth ad hoc networks and other fun things.
A while ago I built and ran Blog Change Bot - an AOL IM Bot which notified you when blogs you like are updated. I also built IcyPole, a bluetooth based P2P mobile phone app in 2004. With Suzette, I've built Playground Finder - a community contributed site for parents to find playgrounds nearby and while traveling for their kids to play in. Its a "playground" for my social, location, community and mobile interests.
I live in Melbourne with my wife Suzette, son Oskar Tex and my little girl Jasmine

Random Pile of Ben
Bodypump, Flink Labs, autumn weather, balance.

Downloads etc
The Best Bagel Recipe ever
iTunes XML structure
Photo of some of my best Panetones

Neuron EcoSystem
Flink Labs
oskartex.comOskar Tex
JasmineJasmine Aurora
Playground Finder

April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004

ben at neuronwave dot com