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Study in purple and grey, Leura: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 March 2014 has been a vast improvement, with plenty of signs of productivity returning.

The difficulties hinted at last week were more about continuing gastro-intestinal problems rather than stress and depression — though obviously such things interact — and I’m fairly sure that the third anti-depressant I’ve been trying has very much not been helping in this regard. But I won’t tangle that thread of thought into this Wrap.

While there might not seem to be that much more this week, that’s because I don’t include the various geek-for-hire things I still do from time to time for some legacy clients. A couple hours of relatively straightforward systems administration pays more than writing a typical column, which can reduce the stress remarkably. Such a thing happened this week.

Articles

By the time today (Sunday) ends, I should also have finished a piece for Crikey that’ll probably be published on Monday — though given the fascinating political news following the state elections in Tasmania and South Australia yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were held over until later in the week.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

We seem to have gotten back on track from Wednesday, and the coming week is looking good.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday I’ve got lunchtime briefings in Sydney, with Dell Australia and infosec company Imperva respectively, so that means I’ll almost certainly be in Sydney overnight too.

I haven’t locked in the exact order of play after that. It’ll depend on when payments arrive and when I feel in the mood for work, but obviously you can follow my Twitter stream to stay up to date.

[Photo: Study in purple and grey, Leura,14 March 2014, being a picture of the typical pre-storm cloudscapes we see up here in the Blue Mountains.]

Wow, a lot has happened both personally and professionally in the last ten days — including writing another The Full Tilt column and getting to some of Linux.conf.au 2013 in Canberra, the city in which I write this — and none of it has yet made it to blog posts. That will be fixed before the end of the weekend.

02 February 2013 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Linux.conf.au 2013 logo: click for conference websiteIt’s exactly one week until I’m meant to be in Canberra for Linux.conf.au 2013, but ZDNet Australia and TechRepublic don’t have the budget to send me. So who wants to pay for it?

Last year I wrote six articles and produced four daily podcasts. I don’t think it’s too immodest of me to say that they were well-received, and that I should cover this year’s event as well.

So, who’s going to cough up the dosh? I’ll need to have the air fares and accommodation covered, along with various minor expenses, and of course I’ll need to be paid as well. Much as I support and respect the free and open source software (FOSS) community, this media stuff is what I do to pay my bills.

I reckon there’s three ways we can do this.

  1. Another media company pays me to cover the event as a freelancer in the traditional way.
  2. I cover the event independently. I could perhaps create the Corrupted Nerds masthead for this (I wrote about that on Friday), though that seems better as the title for a security-related thing. I’d need to arrange advertisers and sponsors in the usual way, and time is short.
  3. I cover the event independently, but crowdsource the funding through Pozible or someone. This is supposed to be the future, so perhaps we could try it?

How much are we looking at? About $5000.

A flight from Sydney to Canberra on Sunday and back a few days after the conference ends — because I need to finish making media objects first, then fly, and if I’m in Canberra I’d do some other things while I was there (about $240). Transport to and from the airports (about $150) and to and from the conference venues ($250). Accommodation for the duration of the conference, ‘cos I’d cover the rest out of my own budget (between $1100 and $1400). Call it $2000.

As for what I’m paid, well, that’s flexible. Last year the podcasts and articles came to just under $3000 including GST. While that may sound relative high for one week of work, bear in mind that I was up at 5am and working until after midnight most days, and working into the weekend. I think I pulled an all-nighter in there somewhere. So you’re pretty much rooted for days afterwards. And freelancers provide their own equipment, and in theory things like paying for future holidays (what?), insurance (come again?) and so on.

Obviously we’d have to decide the exact format of the media objects — whether they’re written stories or live blogs or podcasts or photographs or whatever, or of course a mix thereof. The conference organisers will presumably post the raw recordings of the presentations, but the journalistic approach is to seek out the newsworthy stuff, to analyse and comment upon whats being presented and how it’s being received.

So all up, it’s about $5000. My task for Monday morning is to decide which method to focus on. Which do you think might be best?

Here’s everything from the Linux.conf.au 2012 conference on one place. All of my coverage, plus that of Angus Kidman for Lifehacker and Sam Gentle.

This will be a boring post for anyone not interested in Linux, so I’ll put the content after the jump.

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A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 January 2012, i.e. last week. Yes, just like last week’s Weekly Wrap it’s being posted way late because I’ve been incredibly busy.

The main cause of that was covering Linux.conf.au 2012 (LCA) conference. Indeed, some of the conference coverage wasn’t posted until well into the following week — which is this week as I’m posting this post, except it shouldn’t be because this post is about last week. Confused? You should’ve been there!

Now there’s so much stuff here that I’m posting the main body of text over the fold. If you’re only seeing the preview, do click through ‘cos there’s a very important question about the photo.

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The lack of posts since 15 January — including still not posting last week’s Weekly Wrap — is the direct result of me spending the entire week covering the Linux.conf.au 2012 conference in Ballarat. I’m exhausted. And today there’s still the War on the Internet forum to cover in Melbourne.

I’m exhausted. So it might be another day or two before I catch up with everything here. As usual, the best way to stay in touch with what I’m doing is my high-volume Twitter stream.

Back in May 2011, Twitter bought TweetDeck for $40 million. Now they’ve taken the power users’ Twitter client of choice and, well, fucked it up.

OK, the fact that the new TweetDeck doesn’t run under Adobe AIR but directly as an OS X program will improve the battery life of my MacBook Pro. Eventually. When the program catches up to what we’d all been used to.

Whenever the heck that’s likely to be.

I’m not holding my breath.

Until then, here’s TweetDeck version 0.38.2 for OS X [2.4MB .zip], the final Adobe AIR version. Enjoy.

[Update 0840: You can download the equivalent TweetDeck version 0.38.2 for Windows from OldApps.com. It'll do you for Windows XP, Vista, or 7.]

[Update 0850: Can we trust that website? I'd better mirror it here. Here's TweetDeck version 0.38.2 for Windows [2.4MB .zip]]

[Update 0900: And now we also have a Linux installer! For your enjoyment, TweetDeck version 0.38.2 for Linux. Thank you, sylmobile.]

[Update 17 March 2012: As Wade points out in his comment today, the same Adobe AIR file should work across all platforms. That's the point of AIR. In my response I explain how the post ended up this way. I'll fix it in due course.]

I’m heading to Ballarat, Victoria, on 16 January 2012 to cover Linux.conf.au for TechRepublic and ZDNet Australia.

While in many ways it’s a standard conference coverage gig, it’ll be particularly interesting for a few reasons.

  • I’ll get to interview some developers with unusual experiences such as Jacob Appelbaum, developer of The TOR Project, to name just one. Indeed, I’m hoping he’ll be a guest for the Patch Monday podcast.
  • We’re toying with the idea of doing a daily podcast. That’d be a fun challenge, if exhausting.
  • I’ll end up giving myself a crash updater course on Linux. While I’ve been a Linux systems administrator for years, and even did some less-common stuff such as custom installer CDs, I haven’t really done any hands-on work for two or three years. Geekery shall ensue.
  • I haven’t been to Ballarat in ages, and it’s a lovely little town.

I’ll post further details of my plans for the trip and our plans for the coverage as we get closer to the date.

At this stage it looks like I’ll arrive in Ballarat on Monday 16 January and depart on Saturday 21 January. My intention is to bracket the event with other things in Melbourne. If you know of anything that you think I should know about, please tell me!

I’m off to America! Some tin-pot little IT start-up called Microsoft has invited me to visit their headquarters in Redmond, Washington (pictured) to find out what they’re doing about security, and in particular their Trustworthy Computing initiatives.

Now if you’re a crusty old network administrator like me, you may think that “Microsoft” and “security” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. A decade ago I was building Linux-based firewalls and, like so many people doing the same, I referred to Windows-based computers as “the targets”. And certainly the vast majority of the world’s malware is targeted at Windows.

But I’ve always though that the simplistic “Windows is bad, m’kay” was a bit, well, simplistic. Information security isn’t just about the technology, it’s also about people. Human factors are also the weakest link. And over the years I’ve found that people who throw around those tired platform-wars slogans usually aren’t up to date when it comes to the things they love to hate.

So, I’m off to Redmond later this month to spend three days with some of Microsoft’s engineers and developers, including briefing sessions with senior executives from Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group.

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Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:

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