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Sydney Central station, with faunaMy week of Monday 6 to Sunday 12 August 2018 looks strangely empty. I’m not sure why, because it felt quite busy. As this brief Weekly Wrap reveals.

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None of any of these things appeared, which is odd. And yes, I must get those podcasts sorted.

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday are Sydney days, with a medical appointment, writing for ZDNet, and some geekery for clients, before returning to Wentworth Falls on Tuesday evening.

The rest of the week is a mix of writing for ZDNet, looking at this dire podcast situation, and maybe some more geekery.

Further Ahead

I’ve pencilled in:

Update 1255 AEST: Edited to reflect schedule change.

[Photo: Sydney Central station, with fauna. Two seagulls and a bin chicken in the usual places, photographed on 10 August 2018.]

Kill me now broIt was a busy fortnight from Monday 23 July to Sunday 5 August 2018, and this pleases me. So much written, across two cities. And I had a lovely time in Melbourne.

Articles

Media Appearances

Podcasts

None. I really must catch up on the podcast production.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday 24 July, the lunchtime briefing held at the excellent Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Sydney was paid for by Frost & Sullivan, CQR Consulting, Indra Australia, and Zscaler.
  • There was plenty of good food and drink at the SINET 61 cybersecurity innovation conference, held at The Langham, Melbourne on 31 July and 1 August. Note that I paid for my own flights and accommodation.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be back in New South Wales this week, starting off with the errands and medical appointments in Sydney on Monday before taking the train back to Wentworth Falls. I may well do some writing as well. The writing continues Tuesday through Thursday.

On Friday I’m back in Sydney for another medical appointment, a lunchtime meeting in Pyrmont, and a visit to the National Archives of Australia’s premises at Chester Hill. I hope that last errand will produce a fascinating document for you.

Further Ahead

I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Kill me now bro. Graffiti on a concrete anti-terrorist block at Melbourne’s Southern Cross station, photographed on 5 August 2018.]

Skyscraper SunsetMonday 16 to Sunday 22 July 2018 was another very productive week. So much of it seems to depend on the weather.

Articles

The third and final tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had one story this week, my series wrap, which I’m quite pleased with.

Plus I wrote four stories about My Health Record, Australia’s “new” centralised digital health record system, for ZDNet.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about My Health Record on ABC Adelaide, and on ABC Darwin. I won’t be posting recordings, because I’ve pretty much said it all in the articles.
  • On Thursday, I spoke about Google’s €4.3 billion fine for anti-competitive behaviour on ABC Radio’s The World Today.

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, because there will be at least two more stories on My Health Record for ZDNet. One will be written on Monday, before I definitely watch the first episode of the Australian edition of Pointless starting at 1800 on TEN.

On Tuesday, it’s the long commute to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing on the cybersecurity of the energy industry and other utilities. As usual, I’ll probably add some appointments around that.

On Thursday, I’ll be talking about the Crikey Prying Eyes series on Melbourne radio 3CR’s Communication Mixdown at 1800 AEDT.

Further Ahead

The following week I’ll be in Melbourne, from 30 July to 5 August. Primarily it’s for the SINET 61 conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, though, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Beyond that, I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Skyscraper Sunset. Sunset lighting strikes the side of an office tower near Central Station in Sydney on 25 June 2018.]

Sunrise at Wentworth FallsMonday 9 to Sunday 15 July 2018 was a productive week for me, party because I had my computer back, and partly because I’d dealt with certain stresses. Joy.

I’ve kinda fallen out of the habit of discussing the week in more detail. Long gone are actual blog posts like, say, this update on the internet filtering debate from a decade ago, or art reviews, or even collections of tweets. Certainly none of the essays like I came for the gin, I stayed for the social revolution (30 April 2008), or It’s the little details which matter… (27 May 2007), or so many others which were much better than those.

I blame Twitter.

Articles

The second tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had two stories this week.

Plus I wrote a couple of stories about the Australian Signals Directorate for ZDNet.

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week, primarily for ZDNet because I’m kinda covering some staff leave.

On Monday I’m talking about the Prying Eyes series on radio Triple R in Melbourne. That’s at 0945 AEST. I’ll keep the rest of the day free, because the opt-out period starts for Australia’s new My Health Record. There’s plenty of privacy concerns, and I’m half expecting the opt-out process to fall over. If so, I’ll be ready to write about it.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne for the week of 30 July to 5 August, primarily for the SINET 61 conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday that week. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Sunrise at Wentworth Falls. Not from this year, but from last year, 5 July 2017.]

Foggy morning in WerringtonI’m hoping that Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July 2018 will have been the last of a series of less-productive weeks, now that I’ve probably throw out all the intestinal bugs, and that I’ve got my computer back.

I’m very happy to finally present these first few items.

Podcasts

Articles

The first tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series has been released. I was the series editor, and my first two stories are now out there.

Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week. On Monday I need to finish a piece for Crikey, then it’s the start of several weeks in July and August when I’m writing primarily for ZDNet, covering for staff who are taking leave. That’ll keep me busy.

I hope to get a magazine-style episode of The 9pm Edict done some time this week too, but I haven’t set a date yet.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

[Photo: Foggy morning in Werrington. The view south from a train passing through the western Sydney suburb of Werrington on a foggy winter morning, 4 July 2018.]

John Birmingham

Today we insert the Probe into author and columnist John Birmingham, most famous for the novel He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, which was made into a film, but also the Axis of Time trilogy and a whole bunch of airport novels — mostly techno thrillers — as well as the Dave versus the Monsters series.

A few weeks ago I found myself in John Birmingham’s secret writing bunker, where we talked about everything from the culture wars to the end of civilisation, and from the mythology of the Anzacs to why he likes fan fiction.

We also mention his blog “The Burger” at cheeseburgergothic.com.

This episode was recorded on Monday 4 June 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or go to SoundCloud or Spreaker.

Play

Read the rest of this entry »

NSW TrainLink V-SetMy week of Monday 25 June to Sunday 1 July 2018 was less productive than hoped, thanks to being a computer down. It looks even less productive than it actually was, because the main work products haven’t been published yet.

Winter has finally arrived in the Blue Mountains too, so the colder weather has reduced my productivity. Yes, I am whinging and having a big sook. But on with the show…

Articles

I wrote three more stories for the Crikey project. The total is now four, and the first is scheduled to appear on Monday, as I understand it. Watch my Twitter stream for the details.

Podcasts

None, but there will definitely be at least one episode of The 9pm Edict in the coming week. Whether it’s the interview I recorded recently with John Birmingham, or a magazine-style series of rants, remains to be seen.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about Facebook’s new Subscription Groups on ABC Darwin. As you may have surmised by now, I’ve pretty much given up posting the audio here.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday are writing days, primarily, producing a fifth story for the Crikey series.

Wednesday is full of travelling. I’ll take the train down to Sydney to return a loaner computer and deal with a couple of medical appointments, a bus to Castle Hill to collect my repaired computer, a bus to Parramatta for an early dinner, probably, and a train back to Wentworth Falls.

There’s no clear plans yet for Thursday onwards, but it’s likely to include an afternoon off in Katoomba, and some preparation for the weeks ahead. I’ll also knock off some podcast editing.

Further Ahead

For a few weeks in July and August, I’ll be writing more than usual for ZDNet, covering for staff who will be taking leave. That’ll keep me busy.

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

Update 2 July 2018: Edited to reflect schedule changes.

[Photo: A NSW TrainLink V-Set train at Sydney Central station, photographed on 27 June 2018.]

Dead macOS screenMy week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 June 2018 wasn’t all that exciting. I’ll list the usual things, but I’ll also keep it brief because my computer just died. Joy.

Articles

I also wrote another piece for the Crikey series we’ve been working on. I’m told this series will start appearing in early July.

Podcasts

None, but I really will do these two podcasts soon.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday is supposed to be a writing day, but I may spend it arguing with technology. I’ll also do the shopping in Katoomba.

On Tuesday I’ll trek to Sydney. First, I’ll collect a loaner computer from The Rocks. Then it’s off to Apple Castle Towers — where there isn’t even a castle, let alone towers — to start the process of getting the computer fixed. And then it’s back to Wentworth Falls to make all the things work again.

The shape of the rest of the week will depend on how long it takes the repairs to happen, but it will include writing for the usual suspects.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

Update 25 June 2018: Edited to clarify the week’s plans.

[Photo: What the screen of my MacBook Pro looks like right now.]

Canberra BungalowWithout going into too many details, here is my week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 June 2018. Much of it was spent in Canberra, where it was cold and windy.

Articles

I’ve also part-written an analysis of this week’s conference “Building Australia’s Strategy for Space” put on by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). That should be up at ZDNet late on Tuesday afternoon.

Podcasts

None, but there will be two podcasts quite soon. Promise.

Media Appearances

  • Anthony Caruana reviewed my performance in AusCERT 2018 — The (not so) great debate. As far as I can tell, the video of the debate has not been posted. That’s probably for the best.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about net neutrality on ABC Hobart. As you may have noticed, I’ve almost completely dropped my habit of posting the audio recordings.

Corporate Largesse

  • There was much good food and drink at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) conference “Building Australia’s Strategy for Space”. The dinner at the National Gallery of Australia was sponsored by Northrop Grumman. We were all given Northrop Grumman fidget spinners too. They must have tons of those stupid things to get rid of.

The Week Ahead

The week will be spent in Sydney, at least until the weekend. It’ll be all about writing for ZDNet and Crikey, but I’m also hoping to sneak in one of the two podcasts I owe you. Plus I hope to finally kick this goddam cold. I won’t set specific dates for any of these things, though, because that causes a bit too much stress.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

[Photo: Canberra Bungalow. Canberra was established in 1913, and the now-Old Parliament House was opened in 1927, so the city is quite new. The inner suburbs have lots of these inter-War bungalows. This one is in Braddon. Photographed on 18 June 2018.]

Approaching Gold Coast from the southI pulled back the pace for my week of Monday 4 to Sunday 10 June 2018. Brisbane’s sunny weather contributed to that at the start of the week. Fatigue sorted out the rest.

I did record a wonderful interview with John Birmingham, however, so watch out for that to appear soon in podcast form.

Articles

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, but there will be two podcasts quite soon.

The Week Ahead

Despite it being the Queen’s Birthday holiday, Monday will join Tuesday in being a work day. Writing, that’s the plan, mostly for the Crikey project. Unless some news breaks, and I have a feeling in my waters that it will.

On Wednesday I’m off to Canberra for the conference Building Australia’s Strategy for Space being run by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

I’ll stay in Canberra for the weekend.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Approaching Gold Coast from the south. The view from Virgin Australia flight VA523 SYD-OOL as it approached Gold Coast airport on 30 May 2018.]

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