Talking greatest inventions on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide

[I’m finally tackling the backlog of media spots that need posting, some of them going back weeks. This is the first, from late June. — Stilgherrian.]

FIVEaa logoIt’s now 25 years since Australia got the internet, at least in terms of a permanent link. Will Goodings thinks the internet is humanity’s greatest invention, and I tend to agree. But what’s your choice?

We ended up speaking about this stuff on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide on 26 June 2014, along with studio guest Ben Lewis, programs coordinator at RiAus, a science hub in Adelaide that emphasises the role of science and technology as being “as much a part of our cultural fabric as art, music, theatre and literature”.

Here’s the full conversation, as well as the first part of the talkback. The rather rough edit in the middle is to remove the ad break.

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The audio is ©2014 dmgRadio Australia.

Hillary’s mangoes, no NSA involved

[I was in a bit of a mood on Thursday, so when The Guardian broke the news that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of American citizens, my tolerance for political arsehattery was nonexistent. Calls for street protests? Bah! My countermove was to tweet a bunch of nonsense, which is posted here as prose.]

Mangoes by umstwitMaybe if we all run around like headless chooks, Mr Obama will say “Oh, sorry” and disband the NSA. And then Mr Obama will mount his trusty cyberpig and fly to the Moon, leaving behind a chemtrail of glitter and Bitcoins.

But look, headless chooks are the important bit. The more rushing around and screeching you can manage, the sooner the cyberpig lifts off. And quite frankly, Obama’s first term was a big disappointment as far as glitter showers go.

By comparison, I imagine that on weekends Hillary Clinton pumps out a steady stream of glitter. Like a Queen Ant, kinda.

Nyan Cat was DARPA’s prototype for that. DARPA’s main challenge was making it come out as glitter. When Hillary gets steam up, there’s no telling what it’ll be. Hummus, sometimes. Whipped cream.

One day it was just mangoes. Whole mangoes. Three a second, hour after hour. Secret Service guys took the whole weekend to clear the mess.

Then they had to figure out a cover story. Why were there mangoes smeared all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue? Eventually they decided just to tell everyone it was Madeleine Albright’s fault, so the press corps obviously bought that.

There’s a reason trams never took off in Washington.

[Photo: Mangoes by Flickr user umstwit, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.]

Talking YouTube’s eighth birthday on ABC 105.7 Darwin

ABC logoToday is YouTube’s eighth birthday, according to the internet. On 23 April 2005, co-founder Jawed Karim uloaded the 19-second masterpiece Me at the zoo, and the rest is history.

I ended up having a light-hearted chat about it this afternoon with Richard Margetson on ABC 105.7 Darwin, and here’s the full audio of our conversation.

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The audio is ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but it isn’t published anywhere else and I don’t get paid so here it is.

Twitter avatars for Empire Day

On Monday I discovered by accident — well, by a 5am media release from the Prime Minister — that it was Commonwealth Day. Which used to be called Empire Day. Or even British Empire Day. I thought I’d celebrate by using a selection of avatars on Twitter. These are their stories.

From left to right, a slightly retro illustration of Britannia stolen from the Daily Mail; a model showing off the Fever Rule Britannia Sequin Dress, which you can hire from Bryony Theatrical; some random British military beefcake; Angus Stewart’s photo of Rule Britannia Pete; the DeviantArt profile picture of Britannia–Angel, a male of unstated age from the UK; and some random picture from Sodahead that you can trace back if you can be bothered.

Should court hearings be streamed live?

ZDNet Australia logo: click for story

I don’t know whether it’s the first time an Australian legal trial has been covered live via Twitter, but the Twitter coverage of the AFACT v iiNet hearing in the Federal Court is breathing new life into court reporting. So, why don’t we just stream everything live to the Internet, audio and video?

That’s the question I ask in my first opinion piece for ZDNet Australia, Twitter in court: Why not streaming video?, which was posted on Friday afternoon after I’d spent half the week watching ZDNet.com.au‘s Liam Tung and The Australian‘s Andrew Colley bring us their observations as the case unfolded.

As it happens, the ban on live broadcast coverage from courtrooms dates back to the 1930s. Although there have been experiments with TV coverage, it’s still rare. But apart from the obvious cases where you’d want to keep it banned, why shouldn’t we allow it? That’s what I explore over at ZDNet.com.au. Have a read and let me know what you think.

If you want to follow the hearing, which is expected to last until mid-November, monitor the Twitter hashtag #iitrial.