Weekly Wrap 190: Wattle you know, some productivity!

Australia Day in the eucalypt forest: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 20 to Sunday 26 January 2014 saw the return of something approaching productivity, as well as a stabilisation of the chaos. Excellent.

I’ve also started to get a clearer idea of where I want to take my media work in 2014, but more about that another time.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday one of the police sergeants at Katoomba gave me two packets of blue jelly beans. This is not a euphemism. They were part of the community outreach they were doing at the Katoomba Village shops. They were yummy.

There was nothing more substantial, surprisingly. But the coming week has some, and I’m looking forward to it.

The Week Ahead

I’ve finally caught up with these posts, so it’s now worth writing about my plans again. I wonder how long this will last?

As I write this on a holiday Monday afternoon, I’m still in the Blue Mountains. However I plan to be in Sydney overnight on Tuesday and Thursday, in both cases because there’s a good chance that certain business-social events in the evening could run a bit late. Or a bit messy. Or both. I’ll be in Sydney Tuesday through to Friday.

As always, the plan could change at short notice, so either pay attention to my Twitter stream or look at the calendar.

Tuesday will primarily be about mapping out the next few weeks — something that needs re-doing after the unproductive weeks disrupted my previous version of the plan. I won’t jinx it now by proposing when I do what, however. Let’s just watch it unfold.

[Update 28 January 2014, 1055 AEDT: Deleted references to being in Sydney on Tuesday. Plans changed.]

[Update 29 January 2014, 1610 AEDT: Changed references to when I’d be in Sydney again. Because plans changed again.]

[Photo: Australia Day in the eucalypt forest, being a lovely rendition of a wattle of some description on a quiet, drizzly day. Now bad for a photo taken on a bashed-up smartphone.]

Weekly Wrap 189: Net Neutrality, damage and drugs

I'm sure it isn't meant to look like this: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 13 to Sunday 19 January 2014 was a little less productive than planned, but I did knock off a couple of items about Net Neutrality.

The productivity plunge was largely down to me changing medication for depression. It’s always a bit of a roller coaster ride as you change from one drug to another, lasting a week or more, and this was no exception. Looking ahead in time to the present, though, I’m thinking we may have gotten it right this time. Fingers crossed.

But my mood was also hit by a potential technical disaster. I knocked my MacBook Pro off the table once too often, and instead of the MagSafe plug popping out of the power socked as it should have, it jammed — and the plug itself was torn in half.

I stressed and stressed and stressed — until I realised I had access to a spare power adapter and, using that, discovered that the computer still worked as it should. Big sigh of relief.


I also wrote an op-ed on Sunday afternoon, but since it wasn’t published until Monday it’ll appear in next week’s wrap.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. But it’ll definitely start flowing again soon.

[Photo: I’m sure it isn’t meant to look like this, showing the accumulated damage to my MacBook Pro on 13 January 2014.]

Fine posts for 2013, such that they are

As in previous years, the list of most popular posts for 2013 was disappointing, so I’ve hand-curated this list of seven stories for you to consider instead.

As usual, this does not include the material I wrote elsewhere, for ZDNet Australia, Technology Spectator, CSO Online, Crikey, ABC The Drum and the rest. That’s all listed on my Media Output page, although I’ll probably highlight a few articles of enduring interest some time in the next few days.

  1. See this, folks? It’s a picture of democracy, being my defence of the Daily Telegraph’s right to conduct whatever party-political campaigning they like. Even if you don’t like it, the newspaper does still have freedom of political speech.
  2. Microsoft has banned me from covering TechEd, which I still consider to have been an ill-thought move on their part.
  3. My guest lecture in March to first-year journalism and media studies students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on Algorithms and the Filter Bubble, plus the updated versions from August, Take 2A and Take 2B. All three are available as audio files, plus the accompanying slides.
  4. Why people who say “train station” sound stupid, being my first foray into computational linguistics.
  5. My fish are dead: the black dog ate them (an explanation?), being an announcement and discussion about my encounter with severe depression this year — something which still has a significant impact on my life.
  6. Six Pigeons for Jeffrey, being my personal photographic tribute to this fascinating Australian artist.
  7. Hillary’s mangoes, no NSA involved, which is more about the daft reactions to Edward Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s surveillance operations.

If you’d like to compare this with previous years, try these:

Weekly Wrap 168: False spring, false summer, false dawn?

The smell of summer: click to embiggenMy week Monday 19 to Sunday 25 August 2013 started strong, but ended weak. It began with two solid days at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit. But instead of that being followed by solid days of writing, a lack of sleep and a walk without a jacket in sub-zero temperatures were the final straws for my slowly-recovering health.

The second half of the week saw me come down with a bad cold, and the media objects I planned to produce were delayed. One day I’ll learn to pace myself, possibly before retiring age.


None, though I wrote up most of the crowdfunding proposal for Corrupted Nerds.


None. That’s embarrassing.

Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday and Tuesday I covered the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit in Sydney. While there, obviously I was fed and watered at Gartner’s expense. And coffeed, orange-juiced and wined. Additional food and alcoholic beverages were provided by Sourcefire, Symantec and TrustSphere. Netbox Blue gave me a USB power socket that fits into a car’s cigarette lighter socket and, when I pointed out that I don’t have a car or even drive one, a combination 2GB USB memory stick, keyring and bottle opener. I explained that the latter would be perfect for carrying the Emergency Porn. They seemed surprised. Sourcefire bought me a light lunch.

The Week Ahead

Monday sees the repeat performance of my guest lecture at the University of Technology Sydney, at 0900 and 1300. There’s a meeting in the afternoon, and then the program launch for the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas in the evening.

(I was on the program for that event last year, on a panel discussion entitled I Share Therefore I Am.)

I’ll stay in Sydney for some meetings on Tuesday, and the rest of the week is mainly about catching up on the writing I’ve got in the pipeline. The current count is one for CSO Online, one for Technology Spectator, two for ZDNet Australia. I’ll also kick off that crowdfunding for Corrupted Nerds.

Also on Thursday night is Text100’s (in)famous Christmas in August event, where they preview their clients’ goodies for the holiday buying season.

The exact order of play is still to be arranged.

[Photo: The smell of summer, taken from the train on Sunday 25 August 2013 as it sped between, I think, St Marys and Mt Druitt, as the smell of burning eucalypt from the pre-summer back-burning permeated the carriage.]

Weekly Wrap 167: Productivity returns, in many forms

Winter in Sydney, dreadful: a photograph of Sydney Central station on a bright sunny day: click to embiggenMy week Monday 12 to Sunday 18 August 2013 was quite productive, for a change. As you’ll see below, I produced more media objects this week than in quite a while.

This is as good a time as any to mention that climbing out of the current — or should I say recent — black dog episode is proving remarkably straightforward this time. I think that’s down to a combination of factors. I’ve got a good medical team. I’ve been down that rabbit-hole before, so it’s a familiar landscape and a familiar route home — and indeed that initial blog post was really me starting that process. I’ve had a few professional compliments lately. And the weather has been lovely, which makes a big difference when there’s a seasonal component to one’s moods.


  • Corrupted Nerds: Conversations 4, being a chat with Dr Kerry Hinton from the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) about how the internet uses electricity — and how we might well run into a power crisis.

I still haven’t kicked off The 9pm Election podcast. I really do think I was biting off more than I can chew with that little addition to my planned workload.


Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about geoblocks and how to avoid them, briefly, as part of a package on Channel TEN’s The Project. This was the footage shot two weeks ago.
  • On Tuesday, ITJourno wrote about me, Stilgherrian launches Corrupted Nerds podcast, but you won’t be able to read it unless you’re a member.
  • On Sunday I spoke about future politics on ABC Radio National’s Sunday Extra with host Jonathan Green and John McTernan, formerly Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s head of communications.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday night, I dropped in to a little soirée to launch Malcolm Turnbull’s new website. Beer and sushi was to be had.
  • On Friday night, I popped in to the launch of Dom Knight’s new book, Man vs Child, and there was an open bar for a while. I had one beer. Because I’m responsible.

The Week Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday I’ll be in Sydney to cover the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit for CSO Online and Technology Spectator, each in their own way. That’ll keep me busy with writing through Wednesday.

The rest of the week is full of more writing, for ZDNet Australia and my now-regular guest lecture at UTS at a bare minimum.

Somewhere in there I need to start working on some income-generation for Corrupted Nerds.

The weekend is likely to be a quiet one.

[Photo: Winter in Sydney, dreadful, being a photograph of Sydney Central station taken on 16 August 2013, an exceptionally lovely blue-sky day. As I said last week, spring has come early this year.]

Weekly Wrap 164: A turn-around, with Finnish jelly beans

Glimpse of Sydney Central: click to embiggenMy week Monday 22 to Sunday 28 July 2013 was initially as unproductive as the previous two, but Thursday marked a turning-point. Thank the gods. No details.



None, but I did plenty of behind-the-scenes work on the Corrupted Nerds website, including settling on Cryout Creations’ Mantra theme for WordPress as the design framework.

This fixed a very, very annoying bug that I’d encountered in some other themes that broke the RSS feeds in Blubrry’s PowerPress Podcasting Plugin for WordPress, and that in turn meant that I couldn’t add the podcasts to Apple’s iTunes store.

Having removed that roadblock, I’ll be able to add more material to Corrupted Nerds very soon — including two new episodes in the coming week.

Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday I’ll complete a catch-up edition of my ZDNet Australia column, The Full Tilt, with something that’ll probably annoy quite a few people who call themselves geeks, and then spending the afternoon in Katoomba. Somewhere in there I’ll fire up that Nokia Lumia 925.

On Tuesday I’ll write a piece for Technology Spectator, one that’s been on the back burner for a while, and completing a new episode of Corrupted Nerds: Conversations podcast. The forecast is for a rainy day, so that’s perfect.

On Wednesday morning I’ll head into Sydney to attend a media event with Vodafone Australia at 1030, then the rest of the week becomes some what flexible — although I know it include a medical appointment in Sydney, another column for ZDNet Australia and some planning.

The weekend is currently unplanned.

[Photo: Glimpse of Sydney Central, being a view of the clock tower at Sydney’s Central station, taken early one winter morning from the Metro Sydney Central hotel.]