Blogging

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Since we’re approaching the end of 2014, here’s my usual list of the most-read posts on this website.

This represents only the material published right here, not things I write for money elsewhere and which have a far higher readership. It doesn’t include traffic to the home page, the about page, or anything else on the site that isn’t an actual blog post.

  1. Updated: Christopher Pyne clearly says the C-word? Nope. Did Christopher Pyne drop the c-bomb in Parliament or not? I first thought yes, then changed my mind. But I’m wondering now whether I want to change it back.
  2. May Reza Berati be the last, Mr Abbott. I was in a mood that night, but I think the writing stands up.
  3. Operation Sovereign Borders, sinister and banal. My reaction to Mick Kinley, acting chief executive officer of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) shrugging off concerns that Australia removes safety equipment from the lifeboats we put asylum seekers on before telling them to go home.
  4. Adventures in Identity: Still struggling with Google+, from January.
  5. Guilty of being a teenager in a public place, in which I kick off about the actions of the police in Mosman.
  6. Algorithms and the Filter Bubble, Take 3, being the recording of my guest lecture at UTS in April. This reminds me that I haven’t posted the updated version from the second half of the year. Oops.
  7. Tone-Deaf Abbott no statesman, never will be, my comment on the Prime Minister’s message on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
  8. Announcing 5at5, my new daily email letter, which explains itself.
  9. The 9pm Shire, one of my favourite episodes of The 9pm Edict podcast.
  10. A loving profile of Tony Abbott, which simply embeds the video of American TV host John Oliver’s roasting of Abbott.

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I have a Zoom H6 Handy Recorder in as-new condition that’s surplus to requirements. It can be yours for just $360, including shipping anywhere within Australia. [Update: No, it’s been sold.]

Zoom H6 Handy Recorder: click to embiggen

The H6 is essentially a six-channel recording studio in a handy portable form. Check the product page and the full technical specifications for the wonder.

You get everything that’s in the picture:

  • Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
  • X/Y mic capsule
  • Mid-Side mic capsule
  • SD memory card
  • Windscreen
  • USB cable
  • 4 x AA batteries
  • Steinberg Cubase LE software
  • Protective case

This near-new unit has been used for just two location recordings. So the box has been opened, and slightly torn in one spot, but everything is in excellent condition.

The recommended retail price for a new Zoom H6 is $679, but I paid $504 for this one, and I’ve seen street prices as low as $379. This unit also comes with a two-year extended warranty, valid to 1 July 2016, priced at $79.

This Zoom H6 Handy Recorder can be yours for just $360. Email stil@stilgherrian.com or phone +61 407 623 600.

Despite my early enthusiasm for Blogjune, saying I’d join various others in writing a blog post ever day this month, I’ve decided to give it a miss.

While I do want to be writing more of the essays I used to write, I’ve got plenty to be getting on with — including The 9pm Edict podcast, figuring out what to do with Corrupted Nerds, and of course generating more paying work.

Once I’d fallen a couple of days behind, the “commitment” to this arbitrary project was really only causing stress, without generating much in the way of benefits. So I’m quite happy to have dropped it.

The five Blogjune posts I did write are all tagged blogjune.

A complete archive of my tweets is now online at stilgherrian.com/twitter. It’s browseable. It’s searchable. It’s updated every hour at one minute past the hour. And it’s made possible by Twitter Nest by Andy Graulund @graulund and, for importing the archive, @tralafiti. Enjoy.

08 June 2014 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Following my comments about Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday, this video profile of Abbott by American TV host John Oliver on Last Week Tonight seems a suitable counterpoint.


Tony Abbott – Last Week Tonight by Syd07

Besides, I’ve written enough today, namely two pieces related to Apple’s announcements, one for Crikey and one for ZDNet Australia.

[This is one of 30 daily posts I’m writing during Blogjune. See them all under the tag blogjune, or subscribe to the RSS feed.]

Screenshot from Tony Abbott D-Day video 600px: click to embiggen“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we are open for business,” tweeted @bernieb last night, adding, “As I stand here on Anzac Cove, I’m reminded of just how terrible a place Australia was before I became Prime Minister.” An utterly crass scenario, no?

@bernieb’s scenario is fictional, but it precisely mirrors the tone-deaf pollution of a D-Day Commemoration message with grubby day-to-day politics committed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday.

My reaction was to groan rather than laugh. but there was plenty of laughter to be had watching the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) go into damage control.

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Buddha Brian on a log: click to embiggenI’ve never been much of a joiner. I don’t play nice with other children. Well, more them with me, the vicious little bastards. But I’ve joined Constance Wiebrands’s Blogjune project this year anyway. I suspect it was a stupid decision.

“What the fuck did you sign up to that for,” screams my alleged professional side.

“You’ve got leads for paying work you could follow up. But no, you’re pissing away time on things like 5at5. You did an episode of Corrupted Nerds this week, which doesn’t have any income yet, when you’d already been paid to do another episode of The 9pm Edict in May and you only just managed to sneak that in before midnight last night. What’s wrong with you?”

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Stripe logoNow that I’ve run two successful crowdfunding campaigns through Pozible, I’m starting to set up systems to accept direct payments for my various projects. The first, a page to accept one-off donations was mostly straightforward.

I chose to use Stripe as the card payment service because I already had a Stripe account for my second Pozible project, The 9pm Resurrection.

While Stripe is still in beta in Australia, Pozible already uses it to handle recurring subscription payments, and I’d already received an invitation into the beta program. I figured it made sense to keep all my payments in one place.

Plus I’ll eventually be using Memberful to process subscriptions, and that also uses Stripe.

To integrate Stripe into this WordPress site, I used the free plugin WP Stripe from Human Made Limited. This provided me with one payment form per website, which is all I needed for this task. I also installed the WP Stripe Email Receipts plugin by Philip Newcomer.

All that went smoothly. I installed the plugins, activated them, entered my Stripe account keys and a template for the email receipts — and they just worked.

The only difficulties came with configuring Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) on the web server, and that was down to a bug I encountered in the WHM/cPanel hosting management software while I was installing the SSL certificate. That’s nothing to do with Stripe or WordPress or the plugins, of course, just my dodgy web server.

I’ll document that bug over the fold. Meanwhile, why not try out the system and give me a tip? Was that too blatant?

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I hate these little “sorry I’m late with everything” notes, but I am late with everything — because I ended up in software upgrade hell over the weekend, and that took away two days of my life. But I’m back, and most of those problems have been dealt with.

What I can tell you quickly is that my Pozible campaign has been successful, and The 9pm Edict podcast will be returning. There’s funding committed for at least two episodes in May, but there’s still just under 11 hours left in the crowdfunding campaign so there may be more.

There will definitely be an update before lunchtime tomorrow, Tuesday.

28 April 2014 by Stilgherrian | No comments

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