Monthly Archives: November 2006

Australian Idol Winner: Damien Leith Vs Jessica Mauboy

Tonight the finale of the fourth season of Australian Idol was held. For the last few months, contestants from all over Australia have been performing against one another to win Australia’s vote in the hope that they will be crowned the winner of Australian Idol 2006.

This year, Australian Idol travelled much farther across the Australian countryside to find the contestants. Without a doubt, the group that made it through to the final 24 for the 2006 season of Australia Idol were of a higher standard across the board compared to previous years. The most unique find in the history of Australian Idol would have to go to Bobby Flynn, who delivered some simply mesmerizing performances throughout the contest.

At the beginning of the competition, everyone was amazed to see Damien Leith perform with his extensive range and astounding falsetto. Throughout the competition this year, Damien has given some truly unique performances which include:

  • Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah
  • Giacomo Puccini, Nessun Dorma
  • Roy Orbison, Crying
  • Radiohead, Creep

Not to be short-changed, Jessica Mauboy has come such a long way. After being discovered in the Northern Territory this year and at only 16 years of age, Jessica has one of the most superb voices Australia has produced. From memory, Marcia Hines said whilst talking to her diva daughter Deni that they thought Jessica had the most natural and complete voice they had heard in a very long time. During her time on Australian Idol, Jessica has also delivered some fantastic performances:

  • Chistina Aguilera, Beautiful
  • Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston, When You Believe
  • Alicia Keys, Karma
  • Christina Aguilera, Impossible

This year, I am truly happy that Damien Leith and Jessica Mauboy made it into to the final two. Both performers are exceptional and I would have been as equally pleased to see either of them win. I am even more pleased to hear the Andrew G and James Mathison quietly announce that they won’t be rushing an album out for the winner this year, it’ll take time but it’ll be a full and complete album worth buying. That is great news as I always think it is just Sony BMG cashing in on the event by putting an album to market a fortnight after the competition as ended.

What are your thoughts on the two finalists and the eventual winner of Australian Idol 2006?

Akismet, How I Love Thee

Akismet Spam Filter, Caught & Nailed 49,999 Spam MessagesTowards the end of September, I posted that Akismet was the bringer of light. Roughly six weeks later and nearly 30,000 dirty dirty spam messages later, my opinion of Akismet as a spam filtering mechanism hasn’t changed one bit at all.

Akismet has been so consistent at blocking spam from my blog that I am heavily considering letting it simply delete the spam automatically. I don’t think I would want it to report all of what it automatically deletes as spam, as that might very well harm the Akismet service (read: skew their statistics).

Of course, if I implemented some form of human computer interaction during posting, that would also pretty much crush the spam problem as well.

WordPress Plugin: Kottke Style Archives

Kottke Style Archives, a WordPress archives plugin which emulates you sick of seeing WordPress archives that stretch the length of your arm? If you are, then you might have just found the next best thing to sliced bread! The Kottke Style Archives plugin is a WordPress archives plugin which will display your yearly archives in a similar format to Jason Kottke.

If you’re wondering why you might want your archive page looking like that, there are a couple of simple explanations:

  • You don’t like having to scroll
  • You need or value your screen real estate
  • You want your site to be more accessible on mobile devices, see point #2
  • You want a change, after all – everyone has the same ol same ol archives page

You can find out all about the Kottke Style Archives plugin at its permanent home. If you have any comments, problems or suggestions – feel free to drop them into this thread.

Google Malware Warning

Google intergrate malware blocking services into their search servicesI was recently searching for information using Google and was suprised to see that they have integrated a malware blocking service into their search results.

As Google are indexing the internet, they are always taking into consideration what content is on your site. They are now using that information to warn their users of a web site which might contain suspect or malicious content.

Personally, I think that it is an excellent service to provide the Google user base. A lot of people who simply ‘use’ computers aren’t aware how easy it is for their computer to become infected with all sorts of nasty stuff. At least if they are confronted with an intermediary page as listed above, it will make the users think twice about viewing the site or using any of the content/services which they may provide.

Wired Purchases Reddit

It seems that in recent times, aquiring cool community driven sites has become the new black. In the latest round of bringing black back into vogue, Wired have stepped up to the plate and have sucessfully struck a deal with Reddit.

For those that aren’t aware, Reddit is a social news site. If you’re asking yourself what that means, its simple; instead of the site owners deciding what is newsworthy – the users of the site submit the news items. To keep the news relevant and fresh, other users can choose to vote a news item up and down in importance. The higher the number of votes a news item receives in a given period, the higher the item will float until it ultimately reaches the #1 story on the site.

Reddit was initially funded through Y!Combinator and to the delight of Paul Graham, it was written in Lisp. Not too long after the site was launched, the owners of the site controversially rewrote Reddit in Python to the horror of the Lisp fanatics. It raised such a noise online, soon other Lisp fanatics were posting articles on how to (re)-write Reddit in 100 lines of Lisp.

The question now is, who is next? Rumors have been flying rampant about and it was confirmed that certain parties were interested but that they couldn’t come to a reasonable (read: less than USD$150M) dollar value.