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Six Pigeons for Jeffrey: click to embiggenI was saddened to hear that Australian artist Jeffrey Smart died two days ago, on 20 June 2013, aged 91. I liked his work. This image is my tribute.

The original photograph was taken in San Francisco, at the corner of Broadway and Mason Street, on 12 May 2013.

I’m thinking of making a few prints of this image for sale. What do you think? And if it’s a good idea, how does one go about such things these days?

How they make chemtrails: click to embiggenMy week Monday 20 to Sunday 26 May 2013 was spent returning from The America, and then reading, writing, planning and generally trying to focus on the future.

If that sounds vague, it’s because it was vague. And it felt vague. It was all very, very vague. But the next week will be less vague. By at least fifteen percent.

Articles

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

None, which I suppose counterbalances last week.

The Week Ahead

On Monday I’m doing the day trip to Sydney to catch up with Peter Coffee, Salesforce.com VP and head of platform research, for a chat about The Future. This is, I think, our fourth attempt at meeting up since we met at the Dreamforce event two years ago, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Tuesday is mostly a day of writing and research back at Wentworth Falls, although it kicks off with at spot on Radio Adelaide talking about the differences between the broadband policies of Labor and the Coalition. That’s at 0745 ACST / 0815 AEST.

Wednesday sees me heading into Sydney again, for interviews with Eugene Kaspersky of Kaspersky Lab and Chris Wood from Sourcefire, and then in the evening a long dinner and drinks event with Mr Kaspersky. I suspect I’ll be staying overnight in Sydney that night. If I survive the experience at all.

And then the rest of the week is about writing and podcast production. Probably. You known how my weeks go. Disorganisedly.

[Photo: How they make chemtrails, photographed at dusk over San Francisco International Airport. They're just so blatant about it these days. While this photograph was taken on the evening of Sunday 19 May 2013 local time, it was already Monday 20 May Australian time, so I'm allowing myself to use this photo this week.]

Vesuvio's $8 Bloody Mark: click to embiggenMy week Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2013 was spent in San Francisco and San Jose which, I am reliably informed, are cities in The America.

It also finished nearly a week ago, so I’ll just list the things for now. Should I be in the mood, I’ll reflect upon the week tomorrow.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • I travelled to the US as a guest of NetSuite Inc. Their largesse consisted of: return flights Sydney to San Francisco with United Airlines; limousine airport transfers (well, one way at least, ‘cos the return journey was buggered up); two nights accommodation at the St Regis Hotel, San Francisco, plus USD 100 in American Express gift cards to cover meals; dinner and drinks at Colibri Mexican Bistro; private bus to San Jose; three nights accommodation at the Hilton San Jose; dinner and drinks at ARCADIA by Michael Mina, San Jose; dinner and drinks at Testarossa Winery, Los Gatos, followed by moar drinks at ARCADIA; an iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi, engraved with the NetSuite logo; a 3.5-ounce tin of Wine Lover’s Chocolate by Bridge Brands Chocolate; a NetSuite-branded HydroFlask thermos; a NetSuite-branded North End Sport windbreaker (that is, a kind of polyester jacket); a NetSuite-branded ball-point pen and notebook; a re-usable shopping back by RuMe; the usual conference satchel full of never-to-be-read pieces of paper and cardboard, and endless food and drink in the press lounge.

The Week Ahead

Since it’s already Saturday afternoon, there’s not really much point, is there? There’ll be a new Weekly Wrap tomorrow.

[Photo: Vesuvio's $8 Bloody Mary. At Vesuvio in San Francisco, the bar where Jack Kerouac used to drink, you can get one of these fine Bloody Marys for just $8. Plenty of vodka, spiced as you require, with a huge stuffed Spanish olive, white pickled onion, lemon and lime.]

San Francisco sunrise: click to embiggenMy week Monday 6 to Sunday 12 May 2013 is technically still continuing, because as I write this it’s the start of a beautiful Sunday morning in San Francisco — and I’ve got the day to myself.

But it’s already well after midnight Sunday night in Australia, so here we are.

Articles

  • You’ll love the ‘How Fast is the NBN?’ site … until you read this, Crikey, 9 May 2013. The reaction to this article, in the comments and on Twitter, astounded me. By simply pointing out some subtleties in a propaganda website and trying to present Malcolm Turnbull’s arguments fairly — which is all basic parts of a journalist’s job — I was branded a Liberal Party shill, and worse. For anyone familiar with what I personally think and believe, and for Turnbull himself, this must have come as quite a surprise. I hope to write about this soon, because I found the whole experience hilariously funny.
  • Mobile broadband’s false promise, ZDNet Australia, 10 May 2013.

Media Appearances

It’s such a variable thing, this being a media whore. Four spots last week, none at all this week.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday we head to San Jose for SuiteWorld, which runs through to Thursday. I’ll then return to San Francisco for some time to myself before flying back to Sydney on Sunday night. Obviously I’ll have to do some writing in there, but I’ll work that out as I go along.

[Photo: San Francisco sunrise, photographed a short time ago through a slightly dusty 17th floor window at the luxurious St Regis Hotel.]

NetSuite Suiteworld logoI’m heading to San Francisco and San Jose next Saturday 11 May 2013 for NetSuite’s SuiteWorld 2013 conference. Yes, as their guest.

I was at their first SuiteWorld event two years ago, where we had dinner at Larry Ellison’s house overlooking San Francisco Bay and came to the conclusion that not every business has to “go social”.

I’ve had lunch and other events with NetSuite’s people a few time since, and written a couple of articles:

NetSuite is an interesting company. They just seem to get on with the job of making good software and expanding into new markets. So I’m looking forward to catching up with them again — particularly as I’ve been writing a lot more about security that this sort of enterprise software lately.

I’ll arrive in San Francisco on Saturday 11 May, and then on Monday we head to San Jose for the conference proper. That kicks off Monday night with a welcome reception and NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson’s opening keynote first thing Tuesday morning, and runs until Thursday 16.

I’ll be hanging around in the Bay area until Sunday night — which is a hint, yes — and then I arrive back in Sydney very early on Tuesday 21 May local time. Unless someone decides to extend my stay in the US, of course — and that’s also a hint.

My week Monday 27 August to Sunday 2 September 2012 was spent in San Francisco, and as I write this on their Labor Day holiday Monday I’m still there. Here. Whatever.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 152, “Geo-engineering: fixing climate for just US$6 billion?” A conversation with Dr Caspar Hewett, visiting researcher at the University of Newcastle in the UK, and Danish author and political scientist Dr Bjørn Lomberg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre in Washington.

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Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

VMware’s VMworld was such a large bunch of stuff that it deserves its own section.

  • VMware covered the travel and accommodation, including flights Sydney to Los Angeles to San Francisco, and back again San Jose to Los Angeles to Sydney. A car is being provided for today’s drive from downtown San Francisco to San Jose airport. Four nights accommodation was provided at InterContinental San Francisco.
  • Food ranged from the truly frightening breakfasts in the conference’s media rooms Monday through Wednesday to gorgeous canapés and cheese platters like the one pictured above at the evening cocktail parties. The latter were held at the InterContinental on the Sunday before this week commenced, the St Regis Hotel on Monday, and the Temple Club on Tuesday.
  • On Tuesday night I also went to the Sourcefire cocktail party at the Marriott San Francisco. That’s their cheese platter pictured above.
  • The big VMworld party was Wednesday night and featured Jon Bon Jovi, but I didn’t go because I was exhausted and the last thing I needed was to be in a room with 15,000 drunk nerds. Sorry.
  • The conference backpack contained a VMworld-branded t-shirt, hardcover notebook and ballpoint pen, along with a sheaf of sponsor-related crap on paper. Pretty much all of the latter was thrown out.

I think I gained about 20kg in weight, 75% of which was my liver.

Also this week:

The Week Ahead

I leave San Francisco on Monday evening. That’s tonight. The limousine is scheduled collect me at 1745 PDT to take me to San Jose airport for a 1945 flight to Los Angeles, from where I take the 2250 Qantas flight to Sydney. I arrive in Sydney at 0740 AEST on Wednesday morning and will be heading straight to my hotel to collapse.

Wednesday night is the conference dinner for the ACCAN National Conference. I’m speaking at that event on Thursday afternoon.

Symantec is launching the Norton Cybercrime Report at Sydney’s Justice and Police Museum at 1100 Thursday morning, and I plan to be heading to that.

The rest of the latter part of the week will be full of an awful lot of writing, I imagine.

[Photo: Cheese platter at the Marriott San Francisco, courtesy of Sourcefire.]

I had the very great pleasure last week of joining ABC Radio National’s Life Matters for a talkback about names, nicknames and pseudonyms — live via Skype from my hotel room in San Francisco.

“What’s in a name?” We have heard these famous words of Shakespeare’s many times, but have you ever considered just how much of our identities are wrapped up in our names?

It’s often the first thing we’re asked. It’s how we identify ourselves to others. But do you like the name you’ve been given? Are your parents to blame, do you think?

You have the ability to change it — would you? Have you? Have you taken your partner’s surname? Is your name hard to pronounce? Do you constantly correct people on how to say or spell it?

Maybe you have a nickname which has basically become your ‘real’ name? How did you get it? Do you use it to go online to chat or date anonymously? Or on social media?

I smile at the title of the session, because that was also used as the headline for my story for ABC’s The Drum last year.

Here’s the full hour of the program, embedded from the ABC website.

Play

Obviously the audio is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: Live from San Francisco: me at my desk at the Omni San Francisco Hotel connecting to ABC Radio National in Australia via Skype.]

What with the end of last week occupied by Consilium and then travel to San Francisco before covering VMware’s VMworld from today, there will continue to be a few days of radio silence before I post new material here.

But if you want the most current details about what I’m doing you’re already following my Twitter feed, right?

28 August 2012 by Stilgherrian | No comments

I’m heading to San Francisco for VMware’s VMworld 2012 event starting on Sunday 26 August and staying on for the rest of the week.

I see that the logo features the words “Right here right now”. If they play that effing Fat Boy Slim song, I will truly go postal!

This will be my fifth visit to San Francisco in the last two years, and I must admit the place really is growing on me. Apart from the fact that it’s in that collapsing empire called the US. It does depress me to see the disabled veterans begging on the streets.

I mentioned this trip on Twitter about half an hour ago and already I’ve been told to visit a “beer mecca” called Toronado. What else, do you think?

And yes, I’m travelling as VMware Inc’s guest.

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This week was all about San Francisco — but I arrived back in Sydney this morning and now I’m on the Gold Coast for the AusCERT Conference on information security.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 87, “P2P production transforming business”, an interview with Belgian theorist Michael Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation.
  • The 9pm Edict episode 13, which is something some people seem to glad to see again. Well there you go. I’ll see what I can do about making it a bit more frequent.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • I was a guest of NetSuite for their SuiteWorld event in San Francisco. Their largesse included a return flight to San Francisco; a limousine to and from San Francisco airport; four nights of accommodation at the Marriott Marquis; a cocktail party one night, dinner at Larry Ellison’s house the next catered by celebrity chef and top US restaurateur for 2011 Michael Mina, and then the gala dinner at City View at the Metreon followed by more cocktails at the Marriott; breakfast and lunch each day; a Flip Video camera 4GB, which I’m giving to a friend; the books Engage! by Brian Solis and CRM at the Speed of Light by Paul Greenberg; NOD32 Antivirus 4 software from ESET; chocolates by Romanicos Chocolate and TCHO; $40 of Starbucks vouchers; energy drink mixes from EnergyFirst; a beverage shaker container thing; mints and a notepad by Ecoswag; a 40%-off discount voucher for Mountain Khakis; and a t-shirt. Some of these items were probably provided by NetSuite’s customers. This amount of stuff is fairly typical for events like this.
  • While as a journalist I have free entry to the AusCERT Conference and will doubtless be fed and watered most adequately, my air fares and accommodation are being covered by CBS Interactive, ZDNet Australia’s parent company.

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: The view from Larry Ellison's house in San Francisco overlooking what I think is the Presidio district and out across the bay to Alcatraz. Ellison founded Oracle, and he's now the fifth richest person in the world,with a personal wealth of $39.5 billion.]

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