Flames to dust, lovers to friends.

Looking backwards through the window of time, it’s always tempting to focus just on the good times, and wanting more of those. If someone offered you a lifetime of good times and nothing else, who wouldn’t take that?

But life isn’t like that.

It’s like how you have to eat the lettuce along with the bacon bits in a Caesar salad. If you wanted to invent a new salad, composed just of bacon bits, that’s probably a bad idea.

Yin and yang.

I’m not saying it’s bad to look through that window, gazing at close memories, and peering at those further away, hazy through the fog of time. It’s important to hold onto those memories, those experiences with travellers whose paths no longer cross yours – because without them, what is left?


Yesterday, I packed up six years of memories into two suitcases and a few boxes, and drove them back to my parents’ house. We did the things that had to be done, had a farewell hug, and said good bye.

It’s funny to think that two suitcases and a few boxes is the entire physical manifestation of six years. But I leave with more than just that, and I hope you do too.

It will be tempting to think, what if? But time continues forward, as it always has and always will. This isn’t the time for regret; it is the time for us to grow, albeit apart.

I gave a talk at Google I/O in June this year with fellow Googler Brendan Kenny, on the topic of Spatial Data Visualization using the Google Maps API:

If you’re interested in playing with the demos yourself, follow along with the slides, and perhaps even take a look at the source code!

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Photos from the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Bondi on a beautiful, warm spring day. (Click the images to enlarge.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Crossposted from Google Geo Developers Blog

With a paper map, you can truly make it your own by getting out a pen or a pencil, and adding your own annotations to it. You could circle all the museums that you want to visit, or trace the route that you will take on your road trip.

Maps API applications can now offer users this sort of tactile interactivity using the new Drawing Library. The Drawing Library provides a toolbox which enables users to draw markers, lines, and shapes on the map, much as they would in any drawing application. The tools can be used for collecting annotations from users, or for selecting regions to search or highlight. Applications can listen for events when overlays are added and respond accordingly, such as issuing the search query or saving the annotations to a database.

Shapes on a map, including shapes users have just drawn using drawing tools, can also be made editable so that users can modify or correct them. For example, the user could change the bounds for a geospatial query with the drag of a mouse. The Polyline, Polygon, Circle, and Rectangle classes have a new editable property, which toggles the visibility of control points on these shapes.

For more information on using the drawing library and editable shapes, please refer to the Maps API documentation. The Maps API forum is a great place to discuss these new features, or raise any other Maps API issues that you may have. We hope that these new features will result in even greater interactivity for applications built on top of the Maps API.

Chrome advertisement on NYTimes.com

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At around 3am Sydney time, YouTube went down:

Google’s monkeys are still slaving away at it as I write this. And it looks like it’s just affecting Australia:

For future reference, if you’ve got a box outside Australia with ssh access, you can always quickly set up a proxy like so:

ssh -D 1337 username@example.com

This sets up a SOCKS proxy on localhost (your own computer) at port 1337 (substitute port number to taste) – then simply point your browser at it. With this, I verified that the YouTube outage at the very least didn’t affect the United States, by ssh-ing into nointrigue.com, which is hosted in the US.

Related post from a while ago: Silverhawks: Getting around content restrictions. (Using -D with ssh is easier than the method with Privoxy mentioned in that post, though.)

Happy Australia Day.

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Just over two years ago, I created the inaugural nointrigue.com Australian Law Firm Rankings, which worked on the basic assumption that the bigger and the more notable a law firm is, the more people would be wanting to talk about it. And what better way to measure this than to ask Google.

Here are the rankings updated, for 2011.

There have been some slight changes in methodology, in an attempt to focus the search results down to the pages that truly matter. Starting with what we used for the 2009 rankings:

"law firm name" law site:.au

this has been supplemented by search terms that remove pages from the law firm’s own web site and from some particular web-based directories (the list of which is arbitrary and could well be improved). For example:

"Allens Arthur Robinson" law site:.au -site:yellowpages.com.au -site:truelocal.com.au -site:findlaw.com.au -site:lawyerlist.com.au -site:hotfrog.com.au -site:aar.com.au

For law firms with an ampersand or a plus sign in their name, additional search terms were inserted to allow for variations in spelling, like so:

("Gilbert + Tobin" OR "Gilbert and Tobin" OR "Gilbert & Tobin" OR "Gilbert Tobin") law site:.au -site:yellowpages.com.au -site:truelocal.com.au -site:findlaw.com.au -site:lawyerlist.com.au -site:hotfrog.com.au -site:gtlaw.com.au

Now, without further ado:

Law Firm  Pages  Partners1 ’09 
1 Clayton Utz 78,900 201 6 Up
2 DLA Phillips Fox 72,400 149 10 Up
3 Minter Ellison 66,100 291 4 Up
4 Blake Dawson 57,400 175 8 Up
5 Freehills 48,500 202 1 Down
6 Mallesons Stephen Jaques 46,600 186 2 Down
7 Allens Arthur Robinson 37,900 177 3 Down
8 Corrs Chambers Westgarth 25,700 108 9 Up
9 Maddocks 23,500 53 12 Up
10 Baker & McKenzie 21,200 90 13 Up
11 Norton Rose2 19,800 146 5 Down
12 Middletons 18,900 67 17 Up
13 Sparke Helmore 18,500 49 16 Up
14 Cooper Grace Ward 16,000 24
15 Holding Redlich 15,600 55 14 Down
16 Henry Davis York 10,100 52 22 Up
17 Gilbert + Tobin 9,470 55 15 Down
18 Piper Alderman 9,170 57 21 Up
19 Hunt & Hunt 7,130 55 7 Down
20 Arnold Bloch Leibler 6,990 29 20
21 McCullough Robertson 6,490 46 19 Down
22 HWL Ebsworth 5,320 120 27 Up
23 Kennedy Strang3 4,970 72 31 Up
24 Griffith Hack 4,890 30
25 Gadens 4,470 125 11 Down
26 TressCox 4,270 35 23 Down
27 Davies Collison Cave 2,990 36 24 Down
28 Hall & Wilcox 1,780 30 28
29 Thomsons Lawyers4 1,250 47 30 Up
30 Lander & Rogers 815 47 26 Down
31 Moray & Agnew 596 59 29 Down
32 Macpherson+Kelley 340 51
33 Colin Biggers & Paisley 324 29

Notes:
1 The number of partners is the projected figure for 2 January 2011, as reported by the Australian Financial Review on 10 December 2010, page 47.
2 Norton Rose merged with Deacons, which was #5 in the 2009 rankings.
3 Kennedy Strang is a group of law firms (Kemp Strang, Russell Kennedy, Thynne & Macartney, Lynch Meyer). The reported page count is the total count for these law firms.
4 Thomsons Lawyers was called Thomson Playford Cutlers at the time of the 2009 rankings.

To get a feel for the “noise” in the page count, that is, the number of pages in the result set that do not actually refer to the law firm in question, I manually examined the top 30 search results for each law firm. For only three firms was 1 out of the 30 pages identified as spurious; the other law firms had no spurious results. This, of course, doesn’t mean the signal-to-noise ratio remains constant as one progresses towards the tail end of the search results; Google’s algorithms, by now, are probably quite good at getting the more relevant pages to appear in earlier search results.

Mandatory reading (for those of you who have read this far and have taken everything seriously): xkcd on using Google to measure things

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Happy New Year… to all my readers! May 2010 bring world peace, perpetual happiness and an Apple slate computer. — Enoch, in Rome.

05 Jan 2010 | 4 comments

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