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Grou.ps – Free, but Not Really


I haven’t posted for a few days on this Blog. Reason? I have been busy deactivating social networks and deleting information I have stored on the Grou.ps platform. I have also been advising members in these communities to do the same.

I was once an advocate for Grou.ps, despite the many problems that existed there, sure that the service was improving and there was great potential in the platform. Now I feel that I have been betrayed by a platform I defended and pushed. Why do I feel this? The service has decided to go premium – though there is a free option also. However, the free option removes the privacy and moderation that owners of Grou.ps communities were assured of. You can just imagine what will happen with spam and privacy under these circumstances. Added to that, the platform is plagued with performance issues and seemingly full of bugs (at least that has been my experience and that of many others in the support forums).

I will not be supporting Grou.ps and longer and withdraw all of my endorsements of their product. As someone in the support forum said, they don’t mind paying for a service that works. Neither do I, but there is also the issue of the bad taste left in my mouth as a result of the way Grou.ps has ‘betrayed’ their loyal members and users.

http://grou.ps/

Google Books


Google Books have often had a lot of bad press. The bad press has been largely over issues relating to copyright and similar issues. However, as a concept I find the Google Books project to be a tremendous idea, especially making available so many books that are no longer in publication. I have found Google Books to be a tremendously important resource.

See more at:

http://books.google.com/

Oops… Been Forgetting to Post


View Towards Yaccaba and TomareeFirstly, I must apologise for not posting over the last few days. I have no excuse – except to say I forgot to do so. Oops!!! OK, so I have the apology out of the way – time to post a photo for today.

Today I went on a ferry trip from Tea Gardens to Nelson Bay, did a spot of shopping and then came back via the ferry. It was a bit choppy on the water today and we got tossed around a little. Wasn’t a bad trip and I picked up a few items that I had wanted to get for a while. The ferry cruise across the ‘port’ would have been a lot more pleasant if it wasn’t so windy and cold, but still a good trip.

The photo at right was taken from the ferry while in the middle of the crossing of Port Stephens towards Nelson Bay. The picture shows both Yaccaba and Tomaree, with Broughton Island in the distance.

HAWKS NEST – OCEAN BEACH


100_1674web Today’s photo was taken at Hawks Nest, the neighbouring town to Tea Gardens (where I currently live). I went down to the beach and decided to take a few shots of the coastal scenery close to where I live.

As can be seen, the weather was fantastic and the surf pretty small. The scenery however, was still pretty special I think. The water here is of great quality – crystal clear. Not a bad beach.

For more photos visit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622123626697/

BAD HEADACHE


 

I wasn’t real sure what today’s photo would be of unt100_1671il just a short time ago – that was when I got it – a bad headache!

I don’t feel like doing a lot now – just resting and hoping that it goes away soon. I have taken two of these cheap paracetamol tablets, which in my past experience work just as effectively as the more expensive options, so why not use the cheaper?

Now to rest!!!

SWOOPING BIRDS


 

It was the official first day of Spring here in Australia. However, Spring has really been with us here for quite some weeks now, given the very warm days and bushfires we have already experienced. In fact August 2009 was the hottest on record.

plovers and chicks Given that it is Spring it is time for a new season of new growth in the gardens and of new birth in the surrounding wildlife here in Tea Gardens (though it isn’t that clear cut obviously) and there is plenty of wildlife here.

On the way home from work today I was swooped by a Magpie – several times. The Magpie does this in its breeding season to drive off potential threats to its nest and young. Recently I have also been savagely swooped by the local plovers, which attack with even more ferocity than the Magpie.

The plovers had been defending their nest for some weeks prior to their eggs hatching. Their nest was beside the artificial lake in the centre of the village where I work at Tea Gardens Grange. The nest is just a small spot on the ground on which the eggs are laid. In this case their were four. They seemed to sit on the eggs for between 4 and 6 weeks before the young were hatched – swooping the entire time if you ventured too close, as well as making plenty of noise. One of the adults sometimes seemed to pretend to have a bad leg as it hobbled away from the nest in an attempt to get any threats to follow it.

At the moment there are two remaining chicks that are growing fairly rapidly now. The parents are still defending their young with menace.