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Glimpse of Sydney Central: click to embiggenMy week Monday 22 to Sunday 28 July 2013 was initially as unproductive as the previous two, but Thursday marked a turning-point. Thank the gods. No details.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but I did plenty of behind-the-scenes work on the Corrupted Nerds website, including settling on Cryout Creations’ Mantra theme for WordPress as the design framework.

This fixed a very, very annoying bug that I’d encountered in some other themes that broke the RSS feeds in Blubrry’s PowerPress Podcasting Plugin for WordPress, and that in turn meant that I couldn’t add the podcasts to Apple’s iTunes store.

Having removed that roadblock, I’ll be able to add more material to Corrupted Nerds very soon — including two new episodes in the coming week.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday I’ll complete a catch-up edition of my ZDNet Australia column, The Full Tilt, with something that’ll probably annoy quite a few people who call themselves geeks, and then spending the afternoon in Katoomba. Somewhere in there I’ll fire up that Nokia Lumia 925.

On Tuesday I’ll write a piece for Technology Spectator, one that’s been on the back burner for a while, and completing a new episode of Corrupted Nerds: Conversations podcast. The forecast is for a rainy day, so that’s perfect.

On Wednesday morning I’ll head into Sydney to attend a media event with Vodafone Australia at 1030, then the rest of the week becomes some what flexible — although I know it include a medical appointment in Sydney, another column for ZDNet Australia and some planning.

The weekend is currently unplanned.

[Photo: Glimpse of Sydney Central, being a view of the clock tower at Sydney's Central station, taken early one winter morning from the Metro Sydney Central hotel.]

Danger, at Sydney's Central station: click to embiggenMy week Monday 15 to Sunday 21 April 2013 was demolished by illness, one involving plenty of trips to the bathroom and the need to keep up my fluid intake. I will not be providing photographs.

So a solid week of writing was turned into a week not noted for solidity (sorry), and just one article emerged. I’m told it’s not all that good.

Articles

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday I had lunch at Wildfire Restaurant at Circular Quay, Sydney, which was a media briefing by Adaptive Planning. So I assume they paid. I know I didn’t. I can’t afford to eat at places like that. I took a photograph of the menu.
  • Later on Monday I had coffee with some folks from Bitdefender. They also gave me a gift pack containing a t-shirt, a novelty USB stick and a hip flask containing something that I suspect has alcohol in it. Very practical. I approve.

The Week Ahead

I’ll figure it out on Monday morning. I know I have lots of writing to catch up on, and there’s a bunch of email asking me to do things I’m sure. But it’s also a public holiday on Thursday for Anzac Day, and I feel quite strongly that public holidays are there for a reason — especially given that Easter failed to be a long weekend for me.

[Photo: Danger, at Sydney's Central railway station, photographed on 15 April 2013. I asked the workers, and there wasn't really any danger.]

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.

Sure, the Sydney dust storm was ages ago. But I’m setting up a Posterous account and playing with its ability to post automatically to Flickr, Twitter and my WordPress website.

This photo was taken on Enmore Road, Enmore at about 7.30am on 23 September 2009. It’s a frame grab from my HD video camera.

I hate doing live experiments like this, because I care about how material is presented on my website. Perhaps that’s old-fashioned, but I don’t like things turning ugly. Presentation counts. OK, you’ve seen my dress sense? Sorry.

Posted via email from Stilgherrian’s Stream

[Update: I'll leave the formatting of this post as-is. If you look at the code, you'll see that Posterous has its own somewhat shitty ideas about HTML. It also scaled the photo to Posterous' 500-pixel width rather than my layout's 600-pixel width. Bother. I have, however, changed the category from "Uncategorised" (ugh!) to stuff that fits my taxonomy. I've also added tags. The tags I'd added for Posterous didn't make it through to WordPress.]

Stilgherrian’s links for 02 November 2009 through 05 November 2009:

Stilgherrian’s links for 22 September 2009 through 26 September 2009, gathered intermittently and posted with a lack of attention to detail:

Due to popular demand (yeah right!) I’ve just added the WordPress plug-in which allows you to be notified by email when anyone posts a comment on a post you’ve commented on. See below the “Reply” form, where it says “Notify me of any further comments via email”? Good.

26 July 2009 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Screenshot of Archie@ActionAid, the first ActionAid blog: click to go there

Before Project TOTO takes me to Tanzania — in just 20 hours — I had to get ActionAid Australia‘s blogs online. Done! With, oh, hours to spare!

Stressed much? Oh yes!

Archie@ActionAid is the new personal blog of CEO Archie Law. His first post, From Melbourne to New York, Phnom Penh, Johannesburg and back, reveals his not-very-secret musical background and why he’s dedicated a good chunk of his life to the international humanitarian and development sector.

It’s Archie’s first entrance into the blogosphere so, please, have a read and let him know what you’d like to hear about. You can also follow Archie on Twitter.

If you’re interested in the technical details, read on…

Read the rest of this entry »

Kenya Airways Boeing 737, photo by Melanie Kotsopoulos

It’s D-9 for Project TOTO. My international itinerary has been set and, thanks to some clueful bookings, we’ve squeezed in an extra day for preparation. I leave Sydney next Friday afternoon 26 June.

It seems today I’ll also finally finish the stressful non-TOTO tasks that have interfered with pretty much everything in my life. Provided no-one tosses any more hand grenades in my direction, I’ll therefore have more writing and a clearer plan later today — both for the preparation and for my time in Tanzania.

OK, the timetable and the plan as it stands…

There’s three main ways to fly from Sydney to Dar es Salaam. One goes through Perth and Johannesburg. Another goes via Dubai and Nairobi. But the plan which best suits our needs goes via Bangkok in three flights.

  1. Depart Sydney on Friday 26 June at 1530 via Thai Airways, arriving in Bangkok at 2155 local time. My last trip to Bangkok was the same flight, TG996, but the old Boeing 747 has been replaced by a Boeing 777. If we get phonecasting working I’ll try posting a podcast while flying across outback Australia using the aircraft’s satellite link.
  2. Depart Bangkok at 0035 via Kenya Airways, arriving in Nairobi on Saturday 27 June at 0605. I’ll sleep across the Indian Ocean, and wake up to the sight of dawn over Kenya from 10km up.
  3. Depart Nairobi at 0805 via Kenya Airways to touch down in Dar es Salaam at 0920 local time. What a great time to arrive!

From there, the schedule is still as in the project briefing: Saturday to orient myself; Sunday to Zanzibar; Monday and Tuesday in Dar es Salaam working with the ActionAid Tanzania guys; and then Wednesday through Saturday looking at the field projects. I’ve got Sunday 5 July to myself in Dar es Salaam before flying home the way I came.

But I’ve still got lots to do before that…

Read the rest of this entry »

While chatting with Jeff Waugh, we worked out a great way of blogging from remote Tanzania: podcasting by telephone! Here’s how.

Even if we’re not in one of the 70% of Tanzanian villages with mobile phone coverage, we’ll still have a satellite phone. We call into a voicemail service like mBox and just start talking. It then emails us the MP3 file of the recording.

WordPress already lets you blog by email, checking a standard POP3 mailbox and turning whatever it finds there into a blog post. Email subject becomes post title, email body becomes content. But it doesn’t support attachments. Yet.

Jeff reckons it’d be easy enough to see if the email contains an MP3 file and extract it. It could then be handed to, say, the PodPress plug-in, which in turn makes sure the MP3 file is properly connected to the blog post to work as a podcast. PodPress then automatically updates your podcast listing in iTunes and other directories.

As an added bonus, WordPress can automatically send a message to Twitter when a new episode goes online.

How do we avoid spam? Well, mBox uses Caller ID to make sure the email has a subject like:

mBox Voice message from NNNNNNNNNNN to MMMMMMMMMM

We can check the email headers to ensure they’re legitimately from mBox or whoever we use. And we can use the sender’s phone number to correctly assign the author, and the receiving phone number to, well, post into different categories or whatever.

So, to run through it again… I’m standing on the ferry to Zanzibar. I make a satellite phone call to describe the magnificent view. Five minutes later, that’s a podcast. And everybody gets notified via Twitter.

Of course there’s bound to be some potential for screwing this up, but whaddyareckon?

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