Saturday Musings - Order in the Midst of Chaos

Saturday Musings - Order in the Midst of Chaos

There was a knock at the front door and sure enough a smiling Irishman greeted me in his paint flecked overalls. He was here to paint the interior of the house and modernise the look a little.

What I didn’t really comprehend was the level of disruption that we would all experience as the furniture was dragged to the middle of each room.

So after a couple of days’ work, Roselyn (my wife) and I looked at the colour on the walls and decided we didn’t like it. This is despite the incredible number of sample pots of paint that we splashed against the walls.

We could have stayed with the colour and grumbled for the next ten years of our lives but today we made the decision to cut our losses and get something more to our taste rather than the tastes of some potential buyer at some point in the future. Sometimes you just have to say, “No, I just don’t like that.”

While this was all going on I’ve been getting back on the tools and writing some pretty awesome code for a new project. There’s nothing quite like the inspiration of paint fumes to fan the juices of creativity and inspiration.

I enjoy coding for a number of reasons and foremost is I have a personal belief that if a company founder in our industry really understands what’s going on at that level then they can ultimately bring better results to customers. I also find there’s something strangely beautiful and calming about a project materialising one line of code at a time. It’s all about seeing a vision come to fruition out of the chaos of the data right before your eyes.

It many respects, coding is like our Irish painter working on our house. By themselves, each brushstroke would look like a patchwork mess but combined they form the basis of a beautiful environment to live in.

Running an online business or domain investment portfolio is similar to painting as well. Each click that brings a customer, an interaction on your website or a dollar of revenue is what makes the canvas of your business so great and at times, all consuming. Tweaking advertising expenditure, portfolio mixes and deal structures is what makes you get up in the morning, pick up your brush and add some colour to your ventures.

Which reminds me, I think that I’d better get back to my own canvas with some new inspiration! Have a great weekend!

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Saturday Musings - Sneak Preview, Book Two of the Mindwars

Saturday Musings - Sneak Preview, Book Two of the Mindwars

I just received a great email from Jeff Sass from .CLUB. He just finished reading my first science fiction book, “Battleframe” and I thought that I’d wet everyone’s appetite with the first chapter from book two.

Just as a warning…..this may end up not being chapter one or it may not even make the cut. It’s unedited so it may be a little rough but it should provide some insight into the exciting world of Battleframe.

For those of you that were wondering, you can buy either the physical copy of book one on Amazon, either as an ebook or physical copy. Here is the link.

I hope you enjoy it!

Book Two of The Mindwars

Esther cried out in alarm as her body spun out of control through the air. The roaring wind assaulted her ears as she plummeted through the air. With a sudden snap of glowing blue wings, everything righted itself and her descent slowed. She tried to look around but it was if someone else was controlling her body. Flashes of purple hued lightning leapt with a crack of thunder and revealed a solid bank of clouds far below.

Where was she?

Her head turned on its own accord and she looked back at five other pilots forming up on her left and right. Each of them wore a unique battleframe that she recognized from her recent study of Concord technology. A trim lightly armoured recon Raven looked tiny against the massive Rex next to it and the Bio was completely different again.

Why were their five? Who are these people?

Something in the back of her mind suggested that she should know each person but an impenetrable fog clouded her mind. Like in a dream, she could not quite focus on what was happening around her. The previously distant clouds suddenly rushed towards her just as she lost sight of the others in a purple pyrotechnic crackle of electricity. She seemed to know what to do and with a press of a button, a display appeared before her vision that penetrated the clouds surrounding her.

A sudden wind shift buffeted her from the left side and a quick adjustment of her weight kept her gliding on the path forward. She instinctively knew what to do and how to fly through the twisting air currents.

Was she doing this? Who was she?

As quickly, as they had entered the cloud top Esther and the five pilots punched their way through the bottom, revealing a spectacular mountain landscape far below. Giant snow-capped peaks raised their sharp jagged edges towards her. Looking down she could make out a river cascading off a cliff face and plummeting thousands of feet to the valley floor below.

Her arm passed across her vision as she pulled a Charge rifle out of its back harness. She was wearing a Raven battleframe like the pilot next to her. “Why was this important?” Esther knew that she should know what she was looking at but she still could not puzzle it out.

Looking forward, the Charge riflescope appeared before her eyes and she peered through the augmented lens into the distance. The scope revealed a huge fortress nestled against a cliff face

What is this place?

Her fingered squeezed the guns trigger and a beam of blue energy lanced out and dropped her target. Silently as death, she glided over the fortress’s outer wall and landed with a few quick steps. Her head turned to the left and for the first time she saw her own reflection in a window. For a second, Russell’s kind eyes stared back at her and then moved on.

Esther’s dream world suddenly swirled around her and everything collapsed into place. She knew that somehow this was really happening and that her loved ones were attacking a massive Scourge base. Somehow, she was seeing through Russell’s eyes and she knew that he was in mortal danger. Even as her view of the dream world clouded, she tried to reach out to her husband to offer her support. Anything to help him see the enemies surrounding them. He was her love, her life.

Her head turned towards one of the other men and she recognized James incased in his enormous Rex battleframe. Her mother’s heart cried out towards her son that was thrust into a war at such a young age. He smiled back at her and deep within she felt Russell’s pride for their son.

The dream faded and in desperation, Esther cried out, “Russell, Russell, Russell!”

And then it was gone.

 

Esther sat bolt upright in bed, panting heavily with the impact of what she had witnessed in the dream. Now that she was upright, the sweat that beaded her brow ran down into her eyes, stinging them with its saltiness. She wiped her face on a corner of the sheet and was just about to step out of bed when there was a knock at the door just before it flew open.

Marie stood in the doorway dressed in her pajamas and her red hair in a complete riot. She took one look at Esther and said, “You had it too.”

Esther nodded in reply.

Closing the door behind her Marie walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. Her eyes looked haunted, almost gaunt from the experience. “I was inside Mihaley’s head and saw everything through his eyes. And you?”

Esther whispered back, “I was with Russell.”

“How is this possible?”

“I don’t know.”

“How could we both dream the same dream?”

“Marie, it’s impossible and we both know that it wasn’t a dream. We were really there.”

“Have you read anything about this sort of thing with Concord technology? Maybe we’ve been exposed to something.”

Esther shook her head. “No, I’ve read a lot since our husbands left and this isn’t something that the Concord has done.”

“So what do we do now?”

Before Esther could reply, a knock sounded at the door. Esther cocked a questioning eyebrow at Marie who responded with a shrug.

Her voice was firmer by now and Esther called out, “Who’s there?”

A female voice replied, “Sergeant Eltivia. I was doing my rounds and saw your light on. Is there anything that I can get for you?”

“No, I’m fine thank you Sergeant.”

Despite her reply to the negative, the door opened to reveal the Sergeant dressed in a standard issue Concord grey uniform. Her blond hair was perched in a bun atop her head but what struck Esther and Marie was the Sergeant’s radiant blue eyes.

Esther was a little annoyed at the intrusion as she said, “Sergeant, I said that I did not require your help.”

Sergeant Eltivia smiled warmly to both women opposite her. “Of course you both need my help. You’ve just experienced your first synaptic co-joining. It goes far beyond mental rapport and it can’t really be controlled. We were concerned this would happen.”

Her previous annoyance gone, Esther felt strangely at peace and relaxed in the presence of this stranger in her private quarters. She thought that she should be alarmed but it really did not seem appropriate. Stumbling across her words she said, “Synaptic what?”

“Synaptic co-joining.”

“What’s that? Who are you?”

The Sergeant pulled a couple of clips out of her hair and let it cascade perfectly down her back. As if smiling sweetly to a child she said, “I can’t stand putting my hair up. I don’t know what woman on this planet see in it.”

In the deep recesses of her mind, Esther felt an alarm going off. There was something wrong here. She should be concerned about the sergeant not relaxed and at ease. Like building blocks that form the foundation of a house Esther unknowingly began to construct a mental barrier between her and the Sergeant. The woman’s blue eyes looked deeply into her own and became all encompassing.

“Don’t do that dear. I’m not here to hurt you. Quite to the contrary. I needed to make sure the link didn’t expand and start broadcasting your presence to the entire galaxy.”

Like a child dismantling a house built from a plastic toy, Esther felt her mental wall disintegrate under the other woman’s scrutiny.

“Who are you?”

The Sergeant looked at Esther and then Marie. A look of concern reflected in her blue eyes, “It doesn’t matter who I am. What does matter is that you must return to Australia. There are things happening right now that are going to change the balance in the galaxy and it all hinges on you being home.”

“We can’t”

“And why not?”

“Our husbands asked us to work with the Concord team here.”

“Don’t worry about that I’ve already dealt with them.” The Sergeant strode forward and before the two women could react she placed one hand on each of their foreheads and half mumbled to herself, “I just need to erase a few things from your memory and enhance a little bit of desire. That seems to have it.”

Dropping her hands, she took one look at Esther and Marie as they stared blankly into space. Just one last thing to do. Taking out a clear vial from her pocket Creativity, masquerading as the Sergeant, dropped it into a pocket in Esther’s suitcase before she vanished from the room to report back to Wisdom.

Esther yawned as if she’d just woken from a deep sleep and blearily looked across at Marie. “What was I saying again? That’s right, I suddenly feel like we need to get the girls and head home.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more. We need to get going straight away.”

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Saturday Musings - Innovate or Die

Saturday Musings - Innovate or Die

When we reflect on the last hundred years of history innovation has been rampant as one breakthrough after another has succumbed to the creative talents of people who think differently.

Escrow.com

Think about it, just over a hundred years ago the Wright brothers flew for the first time at Kittyhawk and now humanity has been to the outer reaches of the solar system. The rate of change an innovation is simply staggering.

I found myself reflecting a lot about innovation this week because on Monday I took delivery of an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head set. I’ve been waiting for over five months for the Oculus and it’s been twenty-two years since I first experienced VR at the Walt Disney Imagineering labs in Florida. You could say that my expectations were pretty high!

It only took a couple of minutes to setup and then I put on the head-mounted display unit for the first time. To say the experience was staggering is an understatement. The sense of being in a virtual world was completely engrossing, including feeling vertigo in a demonstration which involved standing on the edge of a skyscraper.

I fired up a futuristic star fighter flight simulator that involved being launched out of a space-carrier and into the middle of a space battle. I can look behind me, above me and forward as enemies’ wheel around my ship and try and get a missile lock. Flying behind asteroids and other structures for cover is entirely real as they swoosh past my left and right. I was really there!

An interesting thing happened to me when I left VR. I began to think about the computer generated world as being all around me. Staring at a flat monitor as I write this blog just seems so old hat now. There is one thing for sure we are on the brink of a VR revolution that will change the way we interact with computers forever.

So after my bit of playing around I downloaded Unity 3D to start to learn how to program the Oculus myself. With a bit of help from an Amazon book it wasn’t long before I donned the headset to explore a world that I had created. This was a lot more fun than flying spaceships!

I’m a firm believer that if you want to really be innovative then you need to be learning about technological advances when they are in their infancy. When the Internet was first commercialised in the early 90s I founded an ISP because I wanted to learn all there was about the Net. Likewise, I did the same thing with a broadcast technology that I developed back in early 2000.

Before founding ParkLogic I learnt a lot about domain names by being a domain investor myself. This innovative philosophy is at the heart of why ParkLogic is so successful with domain investors all across the world. We are constantly looking for new innovative ways to extract greater value from domain traffic. The reason why we never stop is we have a mantra of “Innovate or Die”.

I had a discussion with one of our team this week and he was asking why we were testing out a new monetisation opportunity. I replied by saying, “We are charged by our clients to constantly find better ways of monetising their traffic. We can’t just rely on a single source of revenue; we need to innovate for our customer’s sake or we should stop right now.”

Every day I read a synopsis of the latest innovations in technology and science from around the world. For example, quantum entanglement will not impact the domain industry in the short-term but in the long-term it’s going to change everything. Behind the scenes Artificial intelligence is now changing the way we interact with the web. How it will change the domain industry is anyone’s guess.

So the question I have for you is what have you done in your business that was different today compared to a few years ago? If you’ve been doing the same thing with your domain traffic as you’ve always done, then don’t be disappointed with poor results. Give me a call, do something different and be amazed at the outcomes at little innovation can generate.

Have a great weekend…..I know that I will because I’ve got a world to build!

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Saturday Musings - In a World Gripped By Fear

Saturday Musings - In a World Gripped By Fear

Sadly, when I look at the world today I see that it’s largely been caught up in the hysteria of fear. It’s questions like the following that seem to be plaguing everyones mind as the media pumps out an endless litany of terror.

Who will win the presidential race? Does that person walking down the street carry a gun? What are the implications of Brexit? Will I keep my job? Will my kids love me when they’re older?

Escrow.com

Like the USA, Australia is in the middle of a federal election campaign. The two major parties here have finally devolved into, you guessed it, fear campaigns. You can almost feel fear's icy tentacles grip the nation as the attack commercials are shown time and time again on the television. It’s really quite sad.

Being bound by fear of the future and what may happen can be debilitating. One of my favourite science fiction books is Dune by Frank Herbert. In the book there is the following quote:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

The quotation takes a stand against fear and states exactly what it is, a mind-killer that brings death and destruction. So how do you overcome your fears?

I was recently traveling on a packed bus in Amsterdam and an odd thought crossed my mind as a looked on a lady with wearing a haj, “If she has a bomb vest on I would never know.” It was ridiculous, full of bigotry and most of all fear. How do I quickly get off the bus? Will I have time? Am I right with my maker?

All these thoughts rushed through my head until I mentally faced my completely irrational fear not with mental fortitude or grim determination but with love. I decided to look on the people around me not as faceless individuals but as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children. The woman wearing the haj wasn’t nearly so scary anymore. Suddenly, my fear evaporated and instead I found myself smiling at those around me (they probably thought I was crazy – LOL).

There’s a great quote from the Bible which says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” President John F Kennedy said, “It’s amoral when men and women of good conscience fail to act.”

So in these turbulent times make a decision to show your love for your neighbour, your friends, work colleagues or even the stranger down the street. Together, if we stand against fear we can make a better world, despite our leaders, a world that we can enjoy with our loved ones.

Have a great weekend.

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Saturday Musings - What Terrorists Need To Learn From the LGBT Community

Saturday Musings - What Terrorists Need To Learn From the LGBT Community

I turned on my television this week to be faced with yet another massacre being perpetrated across the screen. Innocent lives snuffed out in an instant by an unbridled rage empowered by a maniac with twenty-first century weapons. All of this in the name of an ideology that has a complete disdain for life and liberty.

The biggest problem with terrorism is not that it appears insane, because it’s not. The biggest problem with terrorism is that its carefully orchestrated to play to the ferocious western media appetite. Just think about it, one attack and the terrorists get a couple of week’s media play in prime time that would have cost millions of dollars to purchase.

Escrow.com

So what we are looking at is not the mad outworking of a deranged individual but an entirely different kind of warfare that the massed military might of western nations is struggling to come to grips with. So if this is a new type of war then what’s the objectives of the terrorism?

I wish that I could come up with an instant answer to this question but sadly that’s not going to be the case. What I do know is that the middle-east is a seething hotbed of dictators, warlords and extremists all trying to enforce their will on an oppressed people. Each of the groups are also armed with weapons that come from either the east or the west…

Overlaying all of this is a western alliance that flies in at thirty thousand feet to blow the extremists back into the stone-age in the name of securing our energy supply (ie. oil). What would you do if you were a goat herder minding your own business and just watched your family get blown to smithereens by any of the above geo-political forces?

In a fit of frustration and despair you willingly don an explosive vest with the sure knowledge that you’ll be joining your family soon. You end up viewing everyone as the enemy because they have something that you no longer have……a family.

Those that still have loved ones or haven’t suffered some emotional trauma from the endless conflict (not sure if there is anyone left in this group) have braved a mass exodus to what hopefully will be a better life. As testament to the drownings in the Mediterranean, many of them won’t make it.

Just think about this for a second. The goal of the current mass migration is fleeing their country and into the arms of those people that define them as collateral damage from a drone strike. To give you an idea of the torment these refugees have been afflicted with, we (ie. us) are seen as safer than where they are fleeing from. Remember, most of these refugees have been fed a diet of the west being the great Satan….and yet, in desperation, they still come.

As I watched my television I was reminded of another oppressed people…..the gay community. When you compare them to the people of the middle-east you can see many similarities. For years, gays were hunted down, murdered, assaulted and at the very least bullied by powerful individuals, communities and nations. The stories shared by gay individuals are often truly horrific and terrifying.

So how has this oppressed minority responded? Did they rise up with weapons and bombs to make their point? No, on the whole they responded in love, patience and kindness. This is despite the fact that they were watching loved ones die from AIDS while protesters heckled them.

In the latest shooting in Orlando, what does much of the media give air to? The fact that there are going to be anti-gay protestors at funerals (this completely sickens me) and lots of details about the attacker and his links to ISIS.

It would have been nice if the media reported on how the gay community has responded in love for each other and their fellow man. Even though they have just cause, none of them have donned an explosive vest or raised up arms against anyone else in response to their trauma. They have “turned the other cheek.”

The gay community has provided a clear example for the terrorists of this world to follow. If you really want change then respond in love not hate, life is precious not cheap and mourn with those that mourn.

Likewise, over the years, the west has become experts at blowing things up. Maybe it would be better to put our arms around the goat herder in compassion rather than call his family collateral damage?

Terrorists leaders that prey on the misery of distressed individuals and send them in to blow themselves up should also know that love is strong. If you refuse a message of love, for the sake of the billions of people in the world you will be found and brought to justice either in this life or the next. In the meantime, the rank and file members of such extremist organisations, put your weapons down and embrace a much more radical concept that brings lasting change…..”love thy neighbour”.

I will continue to pray for the gay community that lost so many loved ones this week and for the perpetrator that bought into an ideology of hate rather than love.

Have a compassionate weekend.

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