December 1215 places why I love Brisbane?
According to my research findings, there are more than 1.86 million population in Brisbane alone. Blessed with an abundance of sunshine and spectacular waterways, Brisbane is surging forward as modern metropolis with a new air of confidence and style. Rapid inner-city development, a swelling population and a cosmopolitan upswing have given it greater stature in recent times, yet it retains the friendliness and relaxed attitude it has always been praised for. Locally known as Brissie (or Brisvegas) it’s the nation’s 3rd largest destination and deserves all acclaim for being a dazzling river city. Sleek catamaran ferries so called “CityCat” glide up and down the Brisbane river, which snakes its way around shiny CBD buildings and sprawling subtropical parklands under the mighty Story Bridge, past colossal rock faces at Kangaroo Point and out of magical Moreton Bay.
Some of the places i discovered and found it to be spectacular and “must-watch” sights for those who are planning to go to Brissie are such as:
- Treasury Building (Casino) – the most grand and impressive of Brisbane’s historical architecture.
- South Bank Parklands – an enormously popular family area with blooming arbours, cafes and restaurants, picnic spots, tropical gardens & walkways.
- The Story Bridge – a bridge that connects ‘the Valley’ with Kangaroo point.
- The City Hall – Opened in 1930,the four clock faces on each side of the tower are the largest in Australia and was the most expensive building in the country until Sydney Opera House was completed in 1971. It was the tallest building in the city until 1973.
- Footsteps Gallery – (166 Ann St. Brisbane), established to support emerging artists from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Tourists can purchase handmade Aboriginal souvenirs.
- Parliament House - (George St. Brisbane), is where a person can watch state politicians trade legislation and insults from the public balcony on sitting days.
- Botanic Gardens – An ideal chill-out spot for anyone who wanted to crave for fresh air and beautiful views of the Kangaroo Point cliffs. It’s filled with walking trails, green lawns, bamboo gardens, bunya pines, macadamia trees and Moreton Bay figs. It’s also a good opportunity to spot possums.
- Roma Street Parkland – (1 Parkland Blvd), The world’s largest subtropical garden in a city centre. It features 40 varieties of Australian native trees, a lake, three waterfalls, a playground and public BBQs.
- Queensland Cultural Centre – comprises 2 art galleries, a performing arts centre, museum and the state library. It’s stunning architecture, landscaping and riverside location are must-sees – even from the outside.
- South Bank Parklands – an enormously popular family area with blooming arbours, cafes and restaurants, picnic spots, tropical gardens and walkways. It has spectacular views across the river to the CBD.
- The Wheel of Brisbane – This London Eye-style prime riverfront views, is fully enclosed, air-conditioned capsules rise to nearly 60m but the experience is all over in 13 minutes or less! (depending on the crowd).
- Fortitude Valley – Brunswick Street Mall is the heart of this valley, where coffee shops thrive by day and bars buzz at night with live music and DJ beats. Running parallel to this mall is Chinatown, a compact but lively strip of affordable restaurants, Asian supermarkets and clothes boutiques.
- New Farm – just east of the valley along Brunswick St, is bursting with coffee shops, wine bars and restaurants to cater for its new cashed-up residents. By taking a “CityCat” ferry to New Farm, you can go to the New Farm park, a spacious parkland with playgrounds, picnic areas and scenic river frontage. On the eastern fringes stands the Brisbane Powerhouse (119 Lamington St, New Farm) that hosts a range of visual arts and music and comedy performances and has two restaurants.
- Newstead House – This museum is a beautiful hilltop spot near the Brisbane River. Rooms are decorated with Victorian furnishings, antiques and period displays. The surrounding lawns offer lovely river views. Also, there is an excellent Fireworks Gallery (52a Doggett St. Newstead), dedicated to contemporary Australian and Aboriginal art.
- Finally, Mt. Coot-Tha Reserve – About 7km west of the city centre, an expansive bush and parkland area peppered with picnic spots. A must-see is the lookout at the top of the mountain that brings spectacular views of Brisbane. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Moreton Bay in the east and the Glass House mountains to the west.
Did i miss out some interesting places in Brissie? Feel free to share it in my comments below.
December 2My new camera Nikon D7000
It’s been a quite a while i have written a blog post. Too busy with assignments, projects and work i guess! Today, i am feeling one step closer to be “superior”. I just bought a DSLR camera Nikon D7000. It’s awesome! It’s a beast! Why? For many reasons:
- It’s not only powerful but user-friendly. I haven’t touch a DSLR camera for many many years. Without reading the manual, i instantly fix the camera, battery grip, lenses, UV filters, flashlight and other accessories in less than 10 mins!
- Graced with a 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, the Nikon D7000 exceed the 12-megapixel mark. A/D conversion is 14-bit, handled by the new EXPEED 2 image processor.
- Capable of shooting up to 100 JPEGs at 6 frames per second, the Nikon D7000 exceeds its predecessor’s utility for action shooting, and Nikon also keeps the pressure on in the ISO sensitivity department, with standard ISOs ranging from 100 to 6,400, but reaching to 25,600 in its expanded range. When it first arrive from the box, i used the battery out of the box without recharging it. I managed to shoot using a single battery in 16.2 megapixel fine picture for more than 200 shots, and it still has 13% battery remaining. Wicked!
- Metering is also improved in the Nikon D7000, with a new 3D Color Matrix Metering sensor with more than twice the pixels of past sensors at 2,016 pixels.
- A new Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor now sports 39 autofocus points, nine of them cross-type. 100 percent viewfinder coverage promises easier image framing as well, a major improvement in the Nikon D7000.
- It has a Dual slots. Both slots are compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards and it’s possible to configure the camera to use the secondary slot as an overflow when the first card is filled; as a backup of everything written to the other card slot; or to have Raw files routed to one card, and JPEGs to the other. In addition, you can select which card movies should be written to, and copy data between cards in-camera.
- Its Autofocus developed a new Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor, which includes 39 AF points, including nine cross-type sensors at the center of the image frame, operable with every autofocus Nikkor lens. The 39 focus points cover much of the image frame, and the Nikon D7000 includes 3D tracking capability that follows moving subjects from point to point as they traverse the frame. For manual point selection, when a 39-point system might prove overly complex, it’s possible to restrict the number of manually selectable points to a subset of 11 points throughout the frame. Nikon has also improved AF control in the D7000, with a new button positioned centrally in the Focus Mode switch used to select the AF point in concert with the camera’s control dials to select autofocus mode, active points, etc. Detection range for the D7000′s AF system is -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F / 20°C). It also supports AF fine-tuning to address back- or front-focusing lens issues!
- Its viewfinder now boasts 100% rated coverage, easing accurate framing of images. The rear-panel super density 3.0-inch LCD panel, with resolution is still 921,000 dots, roughly equating to a VGA (640 x 480) pixel array, with each pixel comprising three adjacent red, green, and blue dots. The D7000′s LCD panel has a wide 170 degree viewing angle, making it somewhat more useful for shooting from the hip, low to the ground, or overhead, although the tilt or tilt/swivel types on some competing cameras can make these tasks rather easier.
- Last but not least, the Nikon D7000 draws power from a new EN-EL15 lithium-ion battery pack. It was stated that its battery life to CIPA testing standards should be approximately 1,050 shots. The Nikon D7000 is also compatible with an optional MB-D11 portrait battery grip, which can accept either one EN-EL15 lithium-ion battery pack, or six standard AA cells.
In conclusion, thank god i didn’t purchase the Nikon 5100 as it is intended for amateur/intermediate level only. But with this beast, Nikon D7000 it’s a professional that almost compete with its bigger brother – Nikon D3S. Just look at the photo i have taken below without any training and reading the manual at all!
My rating for this book review: 5 Stars
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Portfolio (December 2006)
Why is it worthwhile to read this book?
We’re moving away from a closed, hierarchical structure focused on capital and physical goods. In this old system, you tried to be a good manager while you moved your way up in the hierarchy. The trend now is toward a new kind of open, networked enterprise that is modular. It’s dynamic, flexible and it reaches outside the boundaries of a corporation.
Summary (via Netcast)
The book describes why the new business models for an enterprise require the seven principles of Wikinomics:
1. Peer Pioneers
4. The New Alexandrians
5. Open Platforms
6. The Global Plant Floor
7. The Wiki Workplace
What do these seven principles mean to us? Let’s look at them in layman’s terms.
The Peer Pioneers talks about how The Wisdom of Crowds (that means any one of us) can be harnessed to make smarter decisions. Good examples of this are Linux and Spikesource, which is an open-source application. The success of open-source software has encouraged a growing number of “innovation communities” to adopt an open or distributed model. This means more resources can be applied to solve problems. Openness is the key for implementing good strategies in any organisation, like Zopa, which is a website that allows people to lend money to each other eBay style.
Meanwhile, Ideagoras talks about open markets for ideas, and innovations for uniquely qualified minds. It comes from the Greek agora.
Then we have Prosumers (this is one of my favourite principles). It comes from the words “Producers” and “Consumers”. It tells us how we are beginning to be a prosumer society. An example of this would be SecondLife. I became a prosumer when I had my avatar designed in SecondLife. There is also a company called Linden Labs, where 99 percent of its product is built by its consumers. This shows how we turn our customers into producers.
The New Alexandrians is about the sharing of science. There are thousands of these mass collaborations underway today all around the world in the area of science. New collaborative platforms are making it possible to engage very broad communities of public and private entities in large-scale collaborative research and development efforts.
Next we have Open Platforms. All the world’s a stage, and we get to participate using others’ API for free. Everyone likes freemium (Free + Premium). Also, sharing is caring! One great example of this would be Pikspot, which is like YouTube, Digg, and MySpace combined, for instantly creating rich media communities. It’s an open platform, where we can create a community that uses video in three minutes.
The next principle is The Global Plant Floor. It’s not that mass collaboration is a better way of building the most difficult thing we can think of to create; it may be the only way. A great example of this would be Boeing designing a plane. Boeing suppliers co-design airplanes from scratch and deliver complete sub-assemblies to Boeing’s factory, where a single plane can be snapped together like Lego blocks in as little as 3 days. Meanwhile, I was amazed with Tapscott’s findings about a Chinese motorcycle industry that is essentially an open-source motorcycle, making it cheaper for the community.
Finally, the final chapter of Wikinomics is The Wiki Workplace. It discusses the use of Wikis, blogs, collaborative filtering, social networking, RSS feeds, jams, and so on within corporations. Consequently, it is called the definitive guide to the 21st Century Enterprise, for Enterprise 2.0. According to Tapscott and Williams (2006), if we publish a book, we don’t own it because it’s done under a creative commons license. If we create the definitive guide to the 21st century corporation, that’s going to help our organisation somehow because in business we don’t fear theft of Intellectual Property (IP), we fear obscurity.
Still not impressed with Tapscott and Williams’ Wikinomics principles? Well, let’s look at another insightful video explaining how GoldCorp, a gold mining company, with Rob McEwan at the helm as the CEO, adopts these four principles of Wikinomics. They made a great discovery during their search for gold.
(Photo courtesy of Tapscott, 2007, p. 29)
Food for thought
How are we going to find leadership for change? The good news is it can come from anywhere in an organisation. Sure, it’s helpful if the boss is involved, but it can also come from anywhere else. Therefore, leadership can be found on each of our personal journeys if we will it. It looks like Wikinomics will be our road map for doing business in the twenty-first century.
A French poet by the name of Victor Hugo once quoted, “Nothing’s so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” The time has come for the new web, for a new generation for whom this new medium of human communications is their birthright. The time has come for a new model of enterprise and for profound changes in how we innovate, how we create goods and services, and how we, as organisations, engage with the rest of the world. And hopefully the time has come for each of us to find the leader within us to change our organisation and, in doing so, change the world.
Tapscott, D. (2007). Wikinomics: Winning with the Enterprise 2.0. NewParadigm. pp.1-56.
Tapscott, D., & Williams, A. D. (2006). Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. New York: Portfolio.