There’s a reason the list of most popular posts for 2015 was so disappointing. Take out the posts related to podcasts and crowdfunding, or were audio or video grabs from my media appearances, or were a Weekly Wrap, are you’re left with just two.

  1. It’s time to turn around the Revenue Ship, and fast, 5 April. This was a reflection on the need to get some revenue happening. I probably should have paid more attention.
  2. Algorithms and the Filter Bubble references for 2015, 11 September. These were the notes for my lecture at University of Technology Sydney.

Obviously all my interesting writing is now elsewhere, at the mastheads that pay for it. But this fact has gotten me thinking. More on these thoughts soon.

It has been my custom at the end of each year to list the most-read posts on my website. But this list for 2015 is most disappointing. Perhaps this list might be the last. Or at least the last in this form.

Chart of website traffic 2015

This website doesn’t get much traffic. Once you take out the home page, the about page, and the media page, most pages are only viewed few hundred times.

And in terms of popularity, you have to get past some ancient stuff that just happens to have plenty of Google juice — including all the pre-2015 items listed over the fold — before you get to something actually written in 2015. In 26th spot.

Even then, all ten items are posts related to The 9pm Edict podcast, and I’m pretty sure they only got traffic because I tweeted them repeatedly.

  1. Announcing “The 9pm Live Animal Experiments 1”, 3 November. Even this supposedly “most popular” post only scored 179 pageviews.
  2. The 9pm Sleepless in Canberra, 8 February.
  3. Coming Soon: The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh, 24 June.
  4. Live Blog: The 9pm Dirty, Dirty Chasm, which was published in May but taken down when I changed my mind.
  5. The 9pm Orgy of Confusion, 31 May.
  6. The 9pm Planet of Fascist Delusions, 21 June.
  7. The 9pm I can’t believe it’s not January, 1 February.
  8. The 9pm Public House Forum 1, 13 September.
  9. The 9pm Malcolmgasm, 20 September.
  10. The 9pm Statement of Regret, 15 April.

The first text article is down at the the 56th spot, It’s time to turn around the Revenue Ship, and fast. It was published on 5 April, and scored just 103 pageviews.

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PM responds to trade union royal commission s final report

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the savour of the trade union movement, apparently. Indeed, it looks like Turnbull is laying out the groundwork and strategy for an early election in the new year.

In this abbreviated New Year’s Eve episode of The 9pm Edict, there’s talk of Soapy’s bookshelves, alcohol, and not a lot else, really.

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 subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

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Sydney Harbour BridgeMy week of Monday 21 Sunday 27 December 2015 started badly. At 0823 I received an SMS message from my bank, asking about a suspect transaction. Within minutes, the card number was cancelled, and a new card organised — but not before hundreds of dollars had been siphoned out in a series of transactions to PlayStation Network GBR.

What impressed me was the speed at which Westpac detected and dealt with this. The total elapsed time, from receiving the SMS, to identifying the dodgy transactions, to organising a replacement card and so on, was just 25 minutes. This is why stolen credit card details are now worth so little on the black market.

What didn’t impress me was the inability of the broader logistics chain to solve the immediate problem of giving me access to my money. The bank cites seven to ten working days to deliver a new card. So not before Christmas.

The bank can arrange cardless cash withdrawals from ATMs, sending single-use authorisation codes via the smartphone app, but for some reason that can’t be done with the specific kind of account I have. Sorry, but I wasn’t about to rush into signing up for a new bank account.

So I withdrew a bunch of cash from a bank branch, and then rearranged an “everything in cash” week. A little less productive, a little more walk-aroundey. Overall, a low-impact cybercrime, but still a pain in the arse.

Articles

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2”, being The 9pm Edict episode 54, was recorded last Saturday and posted on Wednesday night. It’s also on SoundCloud and Spreaker.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to Huawei’s end of year drinks for the media at ECQ Bar, Circular Quay. We were all given a Huawei P8lite smartphone and a $30 Telstra pre-paid SIM.

The Week Ahead

For most Australians, the week between Christmas and New Year is a holiday. But not for me. Despite many services only operating Tuesday through Thursday this week, if they’re running at all, I still have quite a lot to get done. Whether it can all happen is another question.

On Monday, I’ll bring all my geekery-for-money projects up to date, and schedule the next few weeks in more detail. Laundry shall also be done.

On Tuesday, I’ll bump out of the Ashfield residence where I’ve been cat-sitting, and run some errands to Enmore, Newtown, and perhaps elsewhere, and then start scripting the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

Whether Tuesday evening sees me settle into Lilyfield, or whether I return to Wentworth Falls that afternoon, will only be decided on Monday. This post will be updated accordingly on Monday evening.

On Wednesday, I’ll write for ZDNet, I think, and finish the pre-production for The 9pm Edict. The podcast will be recorded and streamed live at 2100 AEDT.

On Thursday, I’ll do a bunch of bookkeeping, and prepare my budgets for January, before doing something that can best be described as celebrating New Year’s Eve. Details TBA.

Friday is New Year’s Day, and I’ll do something significant to mark the start of 2016. Friday will also kick off a long weekend that includes, amongst other things, lunch in Katoomba on Saturday.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge, photographed from Circular Quay on 22 December 2015.]

The 9pm Edict's Public House Forum #2 being recorded: see text for caption

Do you wink at powerful men? Apparently winking at powerful men is a thing, and we hear more about this and other tips for success in this rather odd episode of The 9pm Edict.

The panellists are, in order of introduction:

  • Kate Carruthers, UNSW übergeek and revolutionary cat;
  • Nicole Williamson, Carbon and biotech consultant, or, as her Twitter profile puts it, “Science, Tech, Cleantech, Rugby Tragic, Aircraft Fleet Geek, Women as Leaders/Founders/Investors, all things Startup. Half Canadian, half Australian, half German”; and
  • Jazz Twemlow, comedian, columnist for The Guardian, and writer

It was recorded in front of a live audience at the Salisbury Hotel in Stanmore on Saturday 19 December 2015.

In this podcast, there’s talk of coal, cannibalism, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, penises, the guillotine, power, destiny, and much more.

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 subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

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Sydney Storm: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 14 Sunday 20 December 2015 was full of many things, few of which are listed here. I’ve been doing random geekery rather than media stuff this week.

While I would like to blame my relative lack of productivity solely on my ratty sleep patterns this week — and they have been a thing, for various health-related reasons — I would also like to blame Certain People for plying me with alcohol. You know who you are.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2 was recorded on Saturday, and will be edited and posted online early in the coming week. It was immense fun, and you may well find it amusing.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about the security risks of Wi-Fi Hello Barbie on Sydney radio 2UE, but I did not record it. I’ve spoken about it previously on ABC Radio’s PM.

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, I went to a lunchtime briefing by Hitachi Data Systems at the ever-wonderful Gowings Bar and Grill in Sydney. Apart from the usual fine food and wine, we all got a goodie pouch containing a HDS-branded 2600mAh Power Bank, and an 8GB memory stick with the presentation.

The Week Ahead

Since the silly season has begun in Australia, and this coming week is the short week before Christmas, I won’t even bother trying to schedule it too closely. Besides, I’m cat-sitting in Ashfield again, in Sydney’s inner west, and some key items that I’ll need in the next couple of weeks are still in Wentworth Falls.

Nevertheless, between now and Thursday night, which is Christmas Eve, I know I have to design a simple website, write at least one thing for ZDNet, and edit and publish that pub podcast. I’d also like to do that yearly wrap episode of Corrupted Nerds, but I’m not so sure that will happen now.

There’s only two fixed appointments so far, Huawei’s Christmas Drinks on Tuesday evening, and a medical appointment late on Wednesday afternoon. As for the rest of it, I’ll be making it up as I go along.

As you should know by now, my Twitter feed is the most up-to-date data source for these things.

Friday is Christmas Day, so I’m likely to be offline then, as well as through the following weekend.

[Photo: Sydney Storm. The Sydney CBD seen from Lilyfield just before Wednesday’s storm hit. While the CBD itself suffered little harm, around 50 houses were damaged by severe winds at Kurnell.]

Tea tree flowers: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 7 Sunday 13 December 2015 went more or less according to plan, with plenty of geek-for-hire work in addition to the media stuff listed here.

I even managed to have an actual weekend.

There’s also been some progress in my plans to tackle the black dog of depression with more vigour than in the past: I’ve been accepted into the Depression Clinic at the highly-respected Black Dog Institute. I’m looking forward to having some up-to-date science being brought to bear, but the clinic is so heavily subscribed that my appointment isn’t until February.

Articles

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Garden of Hate”, being The 9pm Edict episode 53, was recorded live on Thursday night. You can also listen to it on SoundCloud and Spreaker. It includes a more reflective look at Malcolm Turnbull’s Innovation Statement.

Media Appearances

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

The week begins with an amorphous but busy couple of days. Between now and Wednesday morning, I’ll need to organise some podcast-related things for the remainder of December, write for ZDNet, design a logo, and do various geek-for-hire work. And to add to the need for flexibility, I’m still not sure which days I’ll be in Sydney, and which in Wentworth Falls.

On Wednesday, I’ll be going to a lunchtime briefing by Hitachi Data Systems, and then a medical appointment. On Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, I think. And on Friday, I’ll be migrating to Ashfield for ten days, amongst other things.

Somehere in there, I want to record a “2015 Wrap” episode of Corrupted Nerds, though it may have to slide into next week.

On Saturday, I’m recording The 9pm Public House Forum #2, similar to the first one. I’ll post it onto the internets on Sunday, I think.

Further Ahead

I’ll produce “2015 Wrap” episode of the Edict some time between Christmas and New Year.

[Photo: Tea tree flowers. Flowers of some Leptospermum species, photographed at Bunjaree Cottages, near Wentworth Falls, 100km west of Sydney, on 8 December 2015.]

ABC logoIt was a week for extended radio conversations about the darker side of the internet, it seems.

Not only did I speak about Anonymous on ABC 774 Melbourne, on Friday night I spoke about that ill-defined phenomenon known as the “dark web” on ABC 891 Adelaide with evening presenter Deb Tribe. And here is that conversation.

Play

This audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoAnonymous was back in the news last week following their declaration of war against Islamic State, and the declaration of last Friday as a day of trolling against IS.

On Tuesday night, I spoke about the “organisation” and its history with ABC 774 Melbourne evening presenter Lindy Burns.

Play

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The 9pm Edict recording setup

Planet Earth is dissolving into a replay of the Middle Ages. Crusader Rabbit is off his leash, with more mouth foam than a rabid dog full of dishwashing liquid.

In this podcast, there’s talk of cybercrime, civilisation, sodomy, and probing up the jaxie. Nicholas Fryer ponders the strange days of Australian politics. And there’s just a little too much information about teapots.

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 subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

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