I recently moved from Westpac to CUA. This guy pulled $190,000 out of Westpac (in $20 bills) and moved to a Building Society. I want to see ONE MILLION Australians pull their money out of the "Big Four" banks and move to either a smaller bank or credit society this year. We have the power to shape corporate behaviour, but we need to start using our power with focus and intelligence.
This is what Chrissy and I watched this morning in bed. Not your usual breakfast TV. It’s a terrific talk. (via Beyond The Fringe)
UPDATE DECEMBER 2012
These days I’m using SOCIAL CHESS on the iPad to play turn-based games. I highly recommend it however you can’t export your games to .pgn, which is a shame for those of us that like to study our losses. 🙂
I have also been checking out CHESS PRO. It seems like a great training app for people who are new to chess. It takes a slightly different approach to other training apps.
How does it work? It’s really simple: you just play! The coach shows you the moves a Grandmaster would pick. Not just one move, but the 4 best moves.
Comes in a free version as well as a $9.99 version.
UPDATE (September 2012)
This post gets a lot of traffic, so I thought I should update it to include the apps I am currently using on my iPhone and iPad as a lot as happened since 2009!
Here are my main chess apps:
iPad / iPhone
This is my main app for playing real-time games online. I’ve tried both the iPad HD version and the iPhone version and I’ve ended up using the iPhone version on my iPad, as it seems a little more advanced in terms of features and reliability than the iPad version. I can usually find someone to play against in a matter of seconds and the gameplay, at least on the iPhone version, is quite smooth. The apps themselves are free however to play online you need an ICC membership which costs about $5 / month.
On the iPad, I tend to still use Shredder (see below) to play and study, and Chess With Friends (see below) to play asynchronous games, however I’ve found another app that is better at allowing the importing of .pgn files for analysis, and that is:
t Chess Pro allows me to grab the emailed games from ICC, drop them into a .pgn file, and upload it to Dropbox. Then I can download that on my iPad and open it in t Chess for analysis.
ORIGINAL POST from 2009:
There are a huge number of chess applications for iPhone these days and, as I’m a bit of a chess nut, I’ve been trying to test them all out to find out which are the best chess apps for the iPhone or iPod Touch. There are apps suitable for beginners through to grandmasters as well as apps that will let you play a quiet game by yourself on a plane, through to games that let you play against other iPhone / iPod Touch owners online.
These are the ones I suggest you take a look at. Prices and ratings are from the Australian iTunes store.
If you’re an avid chess player, you probably already know about Fritz and Shredder from their PC apps which have been around for many years and are battle tested against world champions. You might not have heard that they now have iPhone versions.
The PC version of Fritz has beaten grand masters from Kasparov to Kramnik. Not enough ratings in the Aussie appstore for an average, but seems to be getting 4 and 5 stars so far, which isn’t surprising.
- Suitable for beginners through to very, very, very advanced players
- Claims to have the strongest chess engine on the appstore
- Game analysis
- Allows you to send games to other players via email.
- No online play.
- At $8.99 it’s one of the more expensive chess apps.
Another chess app that’s been around on the PC for many years, Shredder claims to be “the most successful chess program ever”. It has an average rating in the iTunes store of 4.5 stars.
- Comes with 1000 in-built chess puzzles.
- Game analysis.
- Coach for beginners.
- Huge opening book.
- Send games via email.
- $12.99, it ties for the most expensive chess app for iPhone currently.
- No online play.
Best Free Apps
What options are out there for people who want a serious game but don’t want to fork out the big bucks?
Deep Green Chess Lite provides a solid game of chess for beginner or intermediate players. Average rating 3 stars.
- The best interface of all of the apps tested, IMHO.
- Doesn’t resume or save your game if the app is closed down mid-game. Considering how often I receive calls on my iPhone, this is annoying. Might be better for Touch owners.
iChess allows for online play on FICS (freechess.org) servers as well as standard play against the AI or human opponents. Average appstore rating 2.5 stars.
- It has the best of all worlds – online play AND AI play AND it’s free.
- It resumes the game you are playing if you take a call mid-game.
- There have been reports of the AI making illegal moves.
- The app has crashed on me a few times.
Best Online Play
I’ve been using CWF since it first came out and it’s a terrific asynchronous chess experience. It will set up games for you with random players or allow you to invite friends via email. Average rating of 2.5 stars doesn’t do it justice.
- It’s free!
- Works over 3G, Edge & WiFi.
- Also allows for local “pass the iPhone” games.
- Doesn’t have push notifications for when your opponent makes a move although I imagine with the release of OS3.0 that will be coming soon.
If you want real-time online play, then Cyber Chess might be your best option. It connects to both FICS (freechess.org) and ICC (Internet Chess Club) servers. Only one rating on the Aussie appstore, which is for 3 stars. Price $1.19.
- Allows for real-time chess against human opponents.
- Training mode.
- Support multiple chess variants.
- Currently doesn’t support FICS tournaments.
What I’d really like, but haven’t found yet, is a chess app that let’s me play against another human iPhone to iPhone on the same network. The same way that apps like Bump set up a private network, I’d love to play chess against the person sitting next to me in a cafe without having a real board. I’d love it if we could both whip out our iPhones and start a real-time game against each other. If anyone knows of an app that has that feature, please let me know in the comments section or on Twitter.
A great summation by David Swanson on AfterDowningStreet on his post about all of Obama’s broken promises so far:
The lesson is not that you voted for the wrong guy, given the choices. The lesson is not that rightwingers who hate Obama are right about anything. The lesson is not even that Obama has betrayed you. The key lesson should be that change does not come from electing someone. Change comes from forcing our culture to change, creating better communications systems, and disrupting the pleasant existence of our representatives in Congress. But we’ll never stop cheering for nonviolent activists in other countries and become them ourselves as long as we believe our role consists of loving or hating an elected official, and one whose job was supposed to consist of merely executing the will of the legislative branch.
With the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, I’ve been reading up on the conspiracy theories, for and against. I personally don’t think it *was* faked, although it’s an interesting idea.
What made me think of this lately was the incredible news that NASA taped over the original moon landing footage! And then they recently had Hollywood "clean up" copies of the footage, George Lucas-style. I wonder if this time, we’ll see Buzz Aldrin shoot first? Anyway, I read that and thought "OMFG the conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this news."
So I posted up a quick (and yes, badly worded) twtpoll today asking people what THEY thought about the moon landings – fake or not?
Yes, yes, I *know* it’s a small sample size (to all the haters out there) – when did you think a twtpoll was a scientific research methodology?
What’s interesting to me is how the attitudes of the Twittersphere differ from the general public. If this is an accurate sample of the Twittersphere in general (and not just my followers), does it suggest we are more skeptical of our governments that the general public? Or is it a product of the past decade since the Gallup poll? Or it is Australians (who probably make up at least 25% of my followers) are more skeptical than Americans about the event?
For all of the people who replied that the folks who think it might have been faked are morons, let me ask you – why do you believe so strongly? What evidence do YOU have that they DON’T have?
Let me also ask:
Do you think the USA *could* have faked it if it wanted to? Seems possible to me. People say "how could THAT many people keep a secret?" but how many people REALLY needed to know the truth? Let’s face it – the US has been doing LOTS of dirty shit over the last 60 years that they’ve managed to keep mostly quiet… who shot JFK again?
Do you think the USA had motivation for faking it? Sure – the cold war, space race, investment in the military industrial complex, etc. JFK said they were going to do it before the decade was out – how would it looked if they failed?
Do you realize all of the moon landings – ALL OF THEM – happened during Richard Nixon’s White House? Do you believe anything ELSE that came out of Nixon’s White House?
A few people asked me what evidence there is to suggest it was a hoax. I don’t have any and I don’t believe it *was* a hoax. HOWEVER… it got me thinking… if it WAS a hoax, what evidence WOULD there be? What evidence would we be searching for?
For that matter, it if was genuine, what evidence would it take to convince the skeptics?
I didn’t come up with any good answers. Do you have any?
Most of the media coverage of the recent bombings in Jakarta seem to be skirting around the edges of… something.
It seems that the target of the Marriott bombing was a regular business meeting held there – but a regular business meeting involving which companies and organisations?
From combing the various reports, it appears that it was a meeting run by a US-based consulting company called CastleAsia "a Jakarta-based consultancy helping multinationals access local markets." Several mining-related companies were involved, including:
- Husky Oil
- The head of the ANZ Bank’s Natural Resources dept in Indonesia
- Rio Tinto
- Verity HR (mining-related recruitment)
- Freeport–McMoRan Copper & Gold
Considering the recent attacks on employees at the Freeport mine in Papua, which have been linked to the country’s own security forces, and Freeport’s history of paying huge amounts of money to members of the corrupt Indonesian military for "protection" and it’s shocking human rights record, perhaps the media and our governments might somehow start to connect these acts of violence with the actions of foreign-owned mining companies in Indonesia?
There are lots of suggestions that Jemaah Islamiyah (or a JI splinter group) is behind the bombings but, as far as I’m aware, they are yet to claim responsibility. On top of that, some analysts are suggesting that JI has been wiped out.
Who stands to benefit from the bombings?
Perhaps it *was* JI and perhaps it *is* a senseless bombing of innocent civilians by a group of crazed religious fundamentalists. However it might also be an easy escape goat, a diversion tactic, a neatly-packaged up scenario to stop most of us thinking further about the issue.
Who stands to benefit from the bombings?
Who might want to cause trouble in Indonesia?
The guy who lost their recent Presidential election, Prabowo Subianto, a former General and son-in-law of former President Suharto? Let’s remember that Suharto, friend of Australia and the USA, was an incredibly corrupt and evil man. He was also a great friend of Freeport – as was his son-in-law, Prabowo.
Is there some connection between the election result and the recent violence? Have Freeport changed who they are paying protection money to and this is the payback?
I am privileged today to have, as guests on the show, the director and subject of the film that won the Grand Jury Prize award in the U.S. documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival this year (which makes Ondi the first and only two time Grand Jury Prize winner in Sundance history!).
The film is called “We Live In Public”, “the story of the Internets revolutionary impact on human interaction as told through the eyes of internet pioneer and visionary Josh Harris. As far back as the early 90s, Harris predicted a future dominated by life online and created the companies that were direct predecessors to MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. The tale turns ugly when his underground NYC bunker housing dozens of permanent “citizens” and outfitted with hundreds of surveillance cameras is busted by FEMA as a millennial cult — Harris decides to take the experiment a step further and in doing so becomes a media casualty.”
Yet another Catholic leader turns out to be a paedophile – Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The only problem is that he’s dead and he escaped punishment. He also apparently had an affair with a woman, fathered her child, and misused funds.
Maciel was the founder of the Catholic congregation called the "Legion Of Christ", which claims to have 70,000 members.
Tim Freke is the co-author (with his writing partner Peter Gandy) of many books about the Jesus myth – including THE JESUS MYSTERIES and THE LAUGHING JESUS. I chatted with him recently about one of their books “The Gospel of the Second Coming”, a marvelous book that manages to combine humour and insight – it explains the Jesus myth as a Gnostic parable. As Tim points out during our chat – nobody really thinks there was an historical “good Samaritan” or “prodigal son”. They are understood to be parables. Tim explains that the whole Jesus story is a series of parables wrapped up in another parable – the parable of Jesus himself.
Click on the above image to order your copy today from BookDepository (free shipping!).
I’m very excited today to release the news that I’ve partnered up with ourbrisbane.com to co-produce the "Brisbane Confidential" series that I’ve been talking about for the last year. Brisbane has a surprising number of cool, funky places and I want to show them to you. Each week the series will showcase some of the funkiest cafes, bars, restaurants, boutique stores and events in Brisbane. New episodes will be available each Thursday on ourbrisbane.com, BrisbaneConfidential.com and through iTunes.
Partnering up with ourbrisbane.com is exciting because they are THE site to tell you about what’s happening around Brisbane. They have huge reach in Brisbane, about 500,000 people visit their site each month. When I made a decision to move up here early last year, the first site I ended up on to learn more about Brisbane was ourbrisbane.com and I remember thinking at the time "I wish they had some podcasts".
Well, now they do. 🙂