Links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009:

See what happens when you don’t curate your links for ten days, during which time there’s a conference which generates a bazillion things to link to? Sigh.

This is such a huge batch of links that I’ll start them over the fold. They’re not all about Media140 Sydney, trust me.

Continue reading “Links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009”

Links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009, gathered automatically but then left to languish for two weeks before publication.

There’s so many of these links this time that I’ll publish them over the fold. I think I need to get over my fear of the link being published automatically without my checking them first, and my concern that my website won’t look nice if the first post is just a list of links.

Maybe I should just stick these Delicious-generated links in a sidebar? Or do you like having them in the main stream and RSS feed?

Continue reading “Links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009”

The Shocking True Truth…

It’s D-7 for Project TOTO, and I’m stressed beyond all belief. It’s now less than a week until I leave for Africa, and my Farewell Party is tomorrow. Meanwhile, the astoundingly clever First Dog on the Moon at Crikey has contributed a morale-building cartoon.

First Dog on the Moon cartoon for Project TOTO

Click through for the full-sized image.

Yes, I still have thousands of things to do. But it’s Friday night and I’m exhausted, so I’ll tell you all about it in the morning. Probably.

Meanwhile, I’d live to know what you’re thinking about Project TOTO, so have a look at the previous posts and say stuff and ask questions and things.

And if you’re wondering who the people quoted are, try @mpesce, @snarkyplatypus, @kcarruthers and @apostrophepong. And also click through to ActionAid Australia for The Good Cause.

Links for 11 June 2009 through 13 June 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 11 June 2009 through 13 June 2009, gathered with tenderness and love. Especially love.

  • The Poll Cruncher | Pollytics: How trustworthy is the result of an opinion poll? This handy little tool allows you to enter the sample size and the result, and it gives you the margin of error. Assuming, of course, that the poll was conducted randomly and ethically in the first place.
  • What’s Your Professional Reputation? | Pollytics: Possum interprets the latest results from the Roy Morgan poll of public perceptions of ethics and honesty for various professions. As usual, newspaper journalists and car salesmen are down the bottom. Possum creates a nice little interactive graph showing how the result have changed each year since 1979.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four turns sixty | Inside Story: Brian McFarlane’s take on the 60th anniversary of the publication of Orwell’s classic. Somehow, while talking about film adaptations and connections to Phillip K Dick, he completely fails to mention Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
  • Dear Global Service Direct, where is my Snuggie? | Crikey: Crikey‘s coverage of their interactions with the Snuggie has the potential to become quite obsessive. In a good way. However this silly exchange of emails with Snuggie’s sellers contain one of the best customer service responses ever: “I wish I could do more but I am just a pawn.” Also, a graph.
  • From little things… | RN Future Tense: This episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense included an interview with ActionAid Australia’s Archie Law about Project TOTO, as well as some great stuff about innovative uses of telecommunications technology in Kenya and India. Internet via bus, anyone?
  • William Langewiesche on Somali pirates | vanityfair.com: Feature article on the incident where French luxury cruise ship Le Ponant was targeted by Somali pirates.
  • louder than swahili: The blog of Pernille, a 37yo Scandinavian woman who’s been living in Tanzania since 2007, and most recently before that spent 26 months among Sudanese refugees along and across the Ugandan border to Southern Sudan.
  • A Never Ending Race | absolutelybangkok.com: Bangkok in 2015 is a paranoid short yarn from Yan Monchatre, a French cartoonist and illustrator who’s resident in Bangkok.
  • The First Few Milliseconds of an HTTPS Connection | Moserware: A deep, deep explanation of what happens when your web browser creates an encrypted connection to a website.
  • mHITs: An Australian company providing the technology to pay by mobile phone. Currently seems to be limited to food and drink, and to a handful of venues in Canberra and Sydney.
  • The United Republic Consulate of Tanzania Consulate: This is, I hope, the official website of the Consulate for Tanzania in Melbourne. It’s not particularly reassuring when the home page’s title bar reads: “::Welcom to Company Name::”.
  • Rise of online mercenaries | Australian IT: Steven Bellovin, professor of computing science at Columbia University, predicts the rise of online mercenaries using techniques going back 200 years to letters of marque and reprisal, where governments commission somebody to attack another government’s assets with perfect immunity under law. The story’s a couple weeks old but still relevant.

NBN: Of course there are no applications yet!

Photograph of Jerry Watkins

The guy in the photo is Jerry Watkins, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne — and I want to slap him.

This morning he was a guest on ABC Radio National’s FutureTense, where he talked about some fantastic third-world technology projects, like India’s DakNet.

A Wi-Fi transmitter and receiver is fitted to the local bus. So the bus drives along its normal route, goes through a number of villages, and what it’s doing while it’s stopping at the bus stop in each village, is simply picking up and delivering information via Wi-Fi from publicly-accessible computers in each village… Once it gets back into town, it simply uploads all its stored data onto the Internet… So in this way, the rural community is getting access to a very affordable internet connection, it’s just simply not always on…

It’s services like e-shopping which are proving increasingly popular with these users. So e-shopping is using the bus internet system, and it allows villagers to order essential items and luxury items, which just aren’t available at the village market. And what’s more, the items are often delivered to the village on the very same bus with the Wi-Fi transmitter.

Awesome. But that’s not why I want to slap him.

I want to slap Jerry Watkins because he said daft things about Australia’s proposed National Broadband Network.

Continue reading “NBN: Of course there are no applications yet!”

This ain’t no holiday!

Screenshot from Project TOTO video diary, with Gnaomi the topless gnome and Apollo the cat

People have been asking whether I’m excited about my trip to Africa. To be perfectly honest, I’m not.

Or at least not yet.

Project TOTO is still too abstract. There’s no firm dates, there’s no clear itinerary and, from a project management point of view, no clearly defined goals. Not because the project isn’t happening or doesn’t have support or isn’t being planned properly, but simply because that detailed conversation with ActionAid Australia about priorities has yet to take place.

That conversation is scheduled for this coming Friday 12 June.

Meanwhile, I’ve had many, many things on my mind. Most of them are completely unrelated to Project TOTO. But all of them have conspired to make the last three weeks extremely stressful indeed.

That’s one reason why my last video diary was back on 21 May. That’s a screenshot at the top of this post. I’m looking tired, eh? And I’ve been even more stressed since.

It’s time to catch up. So, even though this is the Queen’s Birthday holiday, here’s a rambling update. With some pictures.

Continue reading “This ain’t no holiday!”