Stilgherrian returns after a three-month break to kick off a six-episode spring series of The 9pm Edict podcast. In this solo episode he’s somewhat reflective, but hey he thinks you’ll still like it.Continue reading “The 9pm Ageing, Death, and Bestiality”
Not deep, existential shark bites. More like bee stings, or perhaps spider bites. Plus a couple of dog bites, like the one I got from that goddam collie back in the mid-1980s. The damn thing infected my hand and it took a cocktail of three heavy-duty antibiotics to be rid of it. To this day, my left hand is significantly weaker.
Yes, your past can bite you, and you are then weakened.
The lesson there is to never entrust the proper training of a dog to rent boys, no matter how good their drugs are.
Yeah I think the rest of this story can probably wait until another time.
During my two weeks in (mostly) Singapore and Coffs Harbour, I was too exhausted to mentally process Certain Events. I flew to Singapore before I’d completely killed a throat infection, and I didn’t realise that the antibiotic I was taking was increasing the severity of my insomnia. I arrived on Shopping Mall Container Terminal Island in a run-down state.
Exhaustion goes well with Endless Free Alcohol, does it not?
Fortunately I’d almost-planned this week to contain a little less work. My intention was to start pondering my plans for 2013 and beyond, both professionally and personally. For various reasons I won’t go into today, both are at turning-points. Clarity of thought must be obtained, because decisions must be made.
The Certain Events provided much food for this thought. Two of the more significant Certain Events were re-establishing contact with two people — quite unconnected with each other — who I hadn’t seen in something like 14 or 16 years.
One was a reminder of… well, let’s just say it was a reminder that our lives are full of choices, many of them unconscious. Had our choices been different, then our lives would have unfolded very differently also.
In Singapore I discovered that 16 years ago there was a choice I could have made. Had I been consciously aware of it, I might well have said yes. But that door has long since been closed. My life unfolds as it does. As does his.
The other was a reminder that… well, that 14 or 16 years is a long time, and I’m getting older. That in turn triggered some very deep reflections indeed about many other choices made, large and small, wise and less so. So many of the last.
On Friday a very different piece of the past came back to haunt me. A client decided to dredge out an HTML email template that I’d written for them some time in the Early Neolithic Era, and use it in a campaign that very day. Needless to say, this ancient code didn’t render properly in recent versions of Microsoft Outlook.
Friday suddenly became hectic. But thanks to excellent technical support from Sydney-based email marketing platform Campaign Monitor, and in particular from Stig Morten Myre in Norway, I could skip the whole “re-learn email-client HTML rendering because time plus arseholes equals frustration” bit and just focus on implementing tricks that would, in fact, work. Thank you Stig.
This extra work meant that Saturday became a long working day too. But everything was smooth, if time-consuming. And now here I sit, in the quiet of the eucalypt scrubland near Wentworth Falls. A quiet that is likely to be the calm before a literal storm this evening. Pondering.
- Patch Monday episode 164, “InfoSec in flux, facing fads with FUD”. A conversation with Sourcefire founder and CTO Martin Roesch.
- Ryde your way to disaster-recovery success, TechRepublic, 18 November 2012.
- Password exposed in Click Frenzy security slip, ZDNet Australia, 21 November 2012.
- On Wednesday I spoke about the Click Frenzy debacle on ABC 702 Sydney.
- On Tuesday night I attended Nokia’s Lumia Lounge event at Kaya Sydney, where we were all provided with rather pleasant food and drink.
The Week Ahead
The week ahead is apparently the start of the Christmas party season. Jesus wept. Added to that, technology companies look like they’re blowing their remaining PR budgets for the quarter on media briefings. So there’ll be plenty of corporate largesse to report next time.
As far as media production goes, I’ve got the Patch Monday podcast to finalise first thing Monday morning, then a story each for CSO Online and Technology Spectator before the end of the week. I want to lock in some more, and I think I’ll be able to pitch something both to ZDNet and Crikey.
Logistically, I plan to head to Sydney on Wednesday morning and stay a few days attending various events.
On Wednesday there’s a Retail Tech Forum lunch organised by Bass PR for some of their clients, and in the evening there’s a party with Securus Global.
On Thursday there’s the lunchtime Sydney media launch for Uber (which is essentially the on-demand ordering of a black town car via smartphone apps, so screw you taxi industry oligopolists!), followed by the Internet Industry Association’s Nautical Policy Party on Sydney Harbour (don’t ask), and then an evening party held jointly by the four boutique PR firms known as “The Indies”.
How the end of the week will play out has yet to be decided, but on Sunday I’ll be transferring myself to Hurstville to house-sit for a friend through until early January.
At least that’s the plan as of now. Stay tuned. Eris is a fickle bitch.
[Photo: Japanese-inspired toilet door signage, at Kaya Sydney. These cartoon characters are all well and good, but when I’m in a hurry to take a slash I don’t need the extra puzzle time of reading highly-stylised gender markers in a dimly-lit corridor.]
Stilgherrian’s links for 09 May 2009 through 17 May 2009, gathered intermittently and jumbled together at random:
- Frame grabbing: The art of drawing great photography from video | Nieman Journalism Lab: As the boundary between video and still camera blurs, photojournalists and other people we’d normally consider “photographers” are using video stills in mainstream media.
- How to kill five hours in Parliament House | Crikey Team: The wond’rously snarky Ruth Brown reports on a day in Australia’s Palace of Democracy. Great fun.
- Internet Meme Database | Know Your Meme: I haven’t explored it properly, but it does seem someone has decided to catalog all the stupid “memes” that proliferate online. Also, I hate this degradation of Richard Dawkin’s concept of memetics to mean “a joke we pass on”. Fuckwits.
- Computing in Melbourne: A Historical Tour: The next one’s on Sunday 31 May 2009, running 9.30am to 5pm, with plenty of tram travel and cafÃ©-snacking along the way.
- Google outage lesson: Don’t get stuck in a cloud | Macworld: When I see stories like this, warning of the peril of relying on an external party for your IT needs, I often react by asking whether such an outage would be more or less likely on your own systems, given your own current contingency plans. But this piece also points out the interdependency of so many systems.
- Critical Mass, The Road, and a new wave of graphic nuke porn | Slate Magazine: Apparently our thrillers are no longer looking at the “before” and “after” of nuclear war, but more directly at what happens when the bomb drops.
- EWN – The Early Warning Network: The Australian Early Warning Network provides free emergency alerts covering everything from tsunamis through to severe weather, via SMS, pagers, phone (text to voice), web, email and their Desktop ALERTâ„¢. (I’m not sure how legit it is to trademark something as obvious as “Desktop ALERT” though.)
- Older Australians less likely to participate in the digital economy | ACMA: Nearly three out of four Australians (73%) have a home Internet connection and 87% of the population have used the Internet. In contrast, only 48% of people aged 65 and over have the Internet at home and 44% have never used the internet
- Anal Bleachingâ€” NOT just for women | best of craigslist: When I posted this to Twitter, a disturbingly large number of people didn’t seem to realise that it was satire.
- 1952: London fog clears after days of chaos | BBC ON THIS DAY: Well, the “on this day” bit is for 9 December. Nevertheless, this has the echo of Kevin Rudd’s further delays in actually starting Australia’s response to global warming. In 1952, London's "Great Fog" killed 4000 people. Drastic action was called for. The Clean Air Act was rushed through… in 1956.
- 25 things about twitter that are pissing me off | The Bloggess: I couldn’t agree with her more. Also, she writes the best blog on the planet.
- China's Commercialization of Censorship | Far Eastern Economic Review: China’s government doesn’t have to do all the hard work of censorship itself, it just bullies commercial operators into doing it for them.
Another day, another lobbyist for one specific community sector fails to understand what the Australia 2020 Summit means. This time it’s Professor Warren Hogan whingeing that “the ageing population” isn’t mentioned enough.
As reported in that august journal Australian Ageing Agenda, Hogan reckons the “omission” of aged care from the Summit agenda is “inexplicable”.
“An immediate worry with the new Government comes from the failure to address any issues in aged care for the 2020 summit,” he said.
No, Professor Hogan, what’s really “inexplicable” are:
- Why you haven’t bothered looking at the list of topics at the Summit website, which clearly says: “Health — a long-term national health strategy — including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population.” [my emphasis]
- How you reckon the Summit fails to address this issue when it hasn’t even happened yet.
I’m getting pretty goddam sick of the narrow-mindedness and short-term thinking shown by so many of the commentators so far.