iphone

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Yes, OK, we fell for it. Shut up. We have to make a living, you know. Apple’s new iPhone 5 was the topic for my spot on Phil Dobbie’s Balls Radio this week.

Oh wait. We don’t get paid for this. Well that’s just wrong.

While the conversation bounced off the piece I wrote for Crikey, somehow I also managed to compare Windows Phone 7 to Judaism. You should probably listen before you complain.

Here’s the audio of my segment. If you’d like more, Mr Dobbie has posted the full episode.

Play

This week’s episode wasn’t on Sydney’s FM 99.3 Northside Radio. There’s things happening the background. But if you want to keep listening then keep track of it all at ballsradio.com.

The bulk of the business end of my week Monday 10 to Sunday 16 September 2012 was spent at Microsoft’s TechEd 2012 event on the Gold Coast, and the weekend at Parramatta.

Microsoft’s event, like all major vendor conferences, began with an intense burst of frustration thanks to the inevitable series of overly-long overly-staged buzzword-saturated propaganda events — “keynotes”, the industry has decided to call them — designed to hammer the new technology’s marketecture into your head while preventing the opportunity for critical thinking.

And, like nearly all others, it eventually settled down into something sensible once all the vice-presidents and managing directors and pointlessly-animated PowerPoint presentations and bass-heavy music had been stage-managed out of the room and actual engineers and designers and other geeks started talking through specific details.

I’ll have more to say about that in due course.

Parramatta, by comparison, delivered a delightful spring weekend full of ducklings and food and wine and almost no pretension whatsoever.

I’ll have more to say about that in due course also.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 154, “Good-guy hackers and other infosec anomalies”. A conversation with Michael Montecillo, a threat research and intelligence principal with IBM Security Services, covering good-guy hackers (well der!), click fraud, his views on the profile of hacktivism following the arrest of key Anonymous and LulzSec members, and more.

Articles

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday I did a spot on ABC 105.7 Darwin, but it wasn’t recorded my end so I can’t bring it to you today. That’s a remarkable similar statement to last week, except that one was a pre-record with Richard Margetson and this one was live with Kate O’Toole. I’m annoyed that the recording didn’t happen, ‘cos I managed to give a coherent exposition of my thoughts about online bullying.
  • On Tuesday I did another regular Balls Radio spot with Phil Dobbie, talking about the High Court rejecting an appeal in the Optus TV Now case.
  • On Friday I spoke about the new iPhone 5 and the utility of smartphones for journalism on ABC Radio National’s Media Report.

Corporate Largesse

I attended Microsoft’s TechEd 2012 on the Gold Coast as their guest.

  • Microsoft covered my airfares from Sydney to the Gold Coast and return, airport transfers, three nights accommodation at Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino on Broadbeach Island, and all the food and drinks.
  • The conference backpack was a high-quality Targus job, containing marketing material from sponsors and other vendors. The former I’ve kept, because my The North Face backpack is starting to wear out. All the latter I’ve thrown into the recycling bin, unread.

Also:

  • On Monday evening I attended the SANS Sydney Community Event “Your Security Monitoring — An Attacker’s Perspective”, where the food and (soft)drinks were sponsored by Shearwater Solutions. An article about this will appear in due course.

The Week Ahead

It’s a busy week of (mostly) writing for me, with around five articles already committed to various mastheads, as well as my presentation at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. I think my original plan to win the first annual Orkney Short Crime Fiction Prize will have to be dropped. I has disappoint.

I’ll be heading from Sydney to Wentworth Falls this afternoon (Monday) and will return to Sydney for the school holiday period on the coming weekend. I also plan to be in Sydney on Wednesday morning for Symantec’s announcement of their Australian expansion plans. How will that turn into an accommodation schedule? I’ll figure that out this evening.

[Photo: Ducks at Parramatta, a delightfully pastoral scene photographed on the banks of the Parramatta River on Saturday afternoon. I managed to get quite close to this family of ducks before they raised the alarm and took to the water.]

Yes, Apple released a new iPhone 5 this week. I wrote about it for Crikey. And I spoke about it on ABC Radio National’s Media Report yesterday, in the context of using smartphones for journalism.

Will the new iPhone improve citizen journalism? More broadly, can we use modern Android phones to produce quality journalism?

Play

The tools I mentioned were:

  • CoveritLive for liveblogging.
  • WordPress for blogging more generally, though of course there are others.
  • Any number of tools for posting photos and other images, but I mentioned Flickr and Twitpic.
  • YouTube is the gorilla in the room for posting video, but there’s also services for live video streaming such as Ustream and Livestream. The latter even works as a video switching service in the cloud.

“You’re going to get phone calls after this, Richard, from plenty of people who say ‘No, no, no, use something else. You can get into kind of religious wars about this sort of thing, and it’ll all be out of date by November,” I said. Which is true, but I still might write an article talking about this in more detail some time.

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and over at their website you can listen to the entire episode.

I ended up talking about Apple versus Samsung on Radio 2SER’s current affairs program The Wire as well, syndicated via community radio stations around Australia.

The journalist was Tawar Razaghi, and their website introduces the story like this:

Apple wants Samsung to take eight mobile models off the market after it won a landmark patent case against Samsung over the design of its mobile phones. Apple was awarded $1.5 billion in damages and now has the exclusive rights to pinch-and-zoom gestures on their touch-screen technologies.

Patent law is intended to reward innovation but with companies engaged in patent turf wars this case highlights how patents may inhibit innovation instead.

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The audio is ©2012 2SER-FM 107.3, and you can download a podcast of the entire episode once that section of their website is back up after the current maintenance work.

The billion-dollar legal penalty that a US court imposed on Samsung for allegedly copying Apple was the topic for my spot on Phil Dobbie’s Balls Radio on 28 August 2012.

Here’s the audio of my segment. If you’d like more, Mr Dobbie has posted the full episode.

Play

You can of course hear us talk live every Tuesday night from 7pm AEST on Sydney’s FM 99.3 Northside Radio.

I’m fairly sure that copyright remains with Mr Dobbie rather than being transferred to Northside Radio, but I’ll figure that out later.

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets — leaving out all of the most important bits.

I can’t tell you about the highly personal things that happened last week, except to say that something which had been gnawing at the very core of my being has… changed. And my mind is still adjusting. As is my shoulder, which continues to misbehave. But codeine is dealing with that. Again.

The tooth situation is being resolved, though. Stage one of the root canal work has been performed.

I can also tell you about the nauseatingly young-and-in-love hipsters, pictured above, with their matching skateboards and matching sneakers. Well, that’s all I want to tell you about them, or I’ll get cranky.

So with the linkage…

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 108, “Adobe’s long battle with security flaws”. A conversation with Brad Arkin, Adobe’s head of product security and privacy.

Articles

Media Appearances

Every single media spot I did this week related to Apple and/or the death of Steve Jobs.

Corporate Largesse

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Matching skateboards and sneakers, a rather nauseating expression of young love spotted on King Street, Newtown, on Saturday night.]

I’d originally planned to ignore the iPhone 4S news this week, but early Wednesday morning I got an SMS from Adelaide radio 1395 FIVEaa and… well… here it is. My chat with Keith Conlon, John Kenneally and Jane Doyle.

What’s embarrassing listening back to it today is that I’d completely missed the significance of Siri, the combination of voice recognition and artificial intelligence that creates personal assistant far more sophisticated than mere voice-control of the phone.

Oops.

My excuse? My entire research time was about seven minutes.

Play

The audio is ©2011 dmgRadio Australia. Even though they did put this on their own website, I don’t know how long that’ll last. Besides, this is a reasonable plug.

A quick heads-up. I’m about to post all of the media spots I did this week relating to Apple’s release of the iPhone 4S and the death of Steve Jobs.

That’s in addition to the pieces I did for Crikey:

Normal service, on a wider range of topics, will doubtless resume tomorrow. Or Monday. Or… somewhen.

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This week was very much a calm — sort of — before the storm.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 86, “Apple: Big Brother or just misunderstood?”. When news broke that Apple’s iOS-based devices were logging location-based information, the media went wild. I speak with information security engineer Alex Levinson from Katana Forensics and Professor Roger Clarke, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation.

Articles

  • APF urges criminal penalties for smartphone privacy breaches, for ZDNet Australia, based on Professor Clarke’s comments on Patch Monday.
  • Gamification: Hot, new, unethical? for the new site Technology Spectator. I’ll say it straight up: the mindset behind the gamification trend disgusts me. And, despite what the first two commenters on that op-ed imagine, it’s not because I haven’t heard or read enough about it. The more I hear and read from gamification’s buzzword-addled cheer squad the more disgusted I become.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday I spoke with Perth radio RTRfm about the Sony PlayStation Network hack.
  • On Friday I spoke with Kate O’Toole on ABC 105.7 Darwin about the surge of spam and malware following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

I haven’t posted the audio files of those radio interviews, even though I have them. Should I? Part of me says I should do so, because it helps create a proper archive of what I do. But another part of me reckons that radio in particular is ephemeral, and that my conversations about these issues really haven’t added much new to the vast global pool of media on these subjects. What do you think?

Corporate Largesse

None. But that will seriously change next week. Stand by.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Victory is mine! The view from the dining table at Wattle Cottage, one of the Bunjaree Cottages where I've been living off and on for the last three months. The title is because this was the last in a sequence of photos documenting my battle with the forces of natural gas. I guess you had to be there...]

I’m reviewing the HTC Desire smartphone as part of the Telstra HTC Desire Social Review program.

Telstra has given 25 people, including me, a free HTC Desire handset as well as a bunch of credit on their Next G mobile network to provide “a mix of opinions and perspectives” on this so-called “superphone”.

Before we received our phones, we were asked to explain our expectations of the Desire. “We will be interested to compare this to your thoughts after the review,” said Telstra.

Here’s what I said:

HTC Desire is a “superphone”, eh? It should therefore integrate quickly and reliably into my workflows, and have the grunt to last a long working day. I reckon it could replace my laptop for staying in touch, coordinating my business and gathering media when I’m away from my desk. Android‘s meant to be “open”, so it should let me do things the way I want. I should beat my current Nokia N96 in every way.

Us reviewers will be using the hashtag #telstradesire so you can find our tweets, and Telstra will lead our discussions through a series of posts at Ben Bevins’ blog starting on Wednesday.

I’ve only just started to use the Desire. But here’s my initial impressions, along with a bit more information about what I hope to be able to do.

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