canberra

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Years ago, a bloke got frustrated at the end of a long day, and swore a bit. And suddenly the entire fucking media in this country is buzzing around this one pissy little story like blowflies to the corpse of a dead horse.

Yes, less than two days since I posted episode 18, today’s bullshit reportage on a video in which former prime minister Kevin Rudd swears a few times — shock horror! — and a bunch of unsubstantiated rumours from Canberra have triggered this episode.

Just look at this crap, from ninemsn. Even the ABC, which is supposed to be a credible, non-sensationalist news outlet, covers the swearing but then has two “related stories” about the speculation about a leadership challenge, that the cabinet is supposed repeatedly testing support for Julia Gillard and that attorney-general Nicola Roxon had declared her support for her.

The Australian has at least six stories linked from its home page, including some irrelevant commentary from opposition leader Tony Abbott and even Rudd saying he’d do it differently now.

Seven is reporting that independent MP Andrew Wilkie reckons Rudd will launch a challenge, describing the video as “explosive”.

This entire episode is an embarrassment. It’s this sort of Canberra pseudo-insider bullshit that’s precisely the reason I don’t read newspapers or their websites and don’t watch TV news. It’s all a sideshow, the so-called journalists who perpetuate this bullshit know it, and yet they continue to do it.

Why?

Well I think I know why this fucktardery happens, and I have a modest proposal for fixing it.

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 even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

Um, except… no… oh fuck no, not this!

News has just come through — well, Dennis Shanahan says — that Rudd’s leadership challenge is on. Really. May God have mercy upon our souls.

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. Not that anyone ever does.

[Credits: Audio grabs from ABC News24 and, of course, the video in question. The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. Given that this is being posted so late, suffice it to say that I went to Canberra again and I was too tired for much of anything by the end of the week.

Podcasts

Articles

Only two articles this week — well, that were published. There’s more to come, articles that were written but not published. Both of these, though, are from the Trend Micro Canberra Cloud Security Conference.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, breakfast was provided at the Trend Micro Canberra Cloud Security Conference. That was the historic Hyatt Hotel Canberra, though not their full and rather wonderful buffet.
  • Also on Wednesday, I had lunch at The Chairman and Yip, Canberra, courtesy of Datacom.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: As I walked from Bunjaree Cottages to Wentworth Falls today, most of Railway Parade was lined with yellow flowers. The bees seemed quite interested. I’m also very impressed with the detail on the bee, given this was shot on a sub-$300 camera.]

I’m off to Canberra again on 22 November for Trend Micro’s half-day Canberra Cloud Security Conference on 23 November, which I’m covering for CSO Online.

I’m actually a bit skeptical about the worth of this event. Some of the language on Trend Micro’s promotional materioal does not fill me with confidence.

This C-level gathering will bring together stakeholders across government, while offering a dedicated platform that weighs the pros and cons of the journey to the cloud… This event will offer a unique format for leading security specialists and business leaders in Federal Government to exchange ideas, gain valuable knowledge, and share their real-world risk management experiences.

What’s so goddam “dedicated” and “unique” about a bunch of people listening to a few blokes talking, followed by a panel discussion? Arsehats.

I’m off to Canberra for a few days next week to cover the 3rd Annual eCrime Symposium, which this year is a two-day event at the University of Canberra.

This event has been steadily growing since it was kicked off by former Australian Federal Police chaps Alastair MacGibbon and Nigel Phair two years ago. On that occasion I filed a story for Crikey, eCrime: the bad guys pwn the internet.

Last year I don’t seem to have filed a written story — I was writing abut the National Broadband Network instead — but I did chat with the FBI’s Will Blevins for a podcast, Cybercrime: the FBI’s worldview.

Those first two events were run under the rubric of the Surete Group, but now Messrs MacGibbon and Phair have formed the Centre for Internet Safety, part of the law school at the University of Canberra, and it’s all rather more special.

This year I’ll be filing for CSO Online. I’m arriving in Canberra on Monday evening 7 November, and will stay in town until just before lunchtime on Thursday 10 November.

[Update 12 November 2011: The articles I wrote about this conference are listed at Weekly Wrap 75: eCrime, Canberra and a dead computer.]

My final radio spot on the death of Steve Jobs was this chat with Louise Maher on ABC 666 Canberra late Friday afternoon.

I know these spots are starting to sound the same, but they were all on different radio stations and so reached different audiences. I’m posting them here for reference as much as anything else. You don’t have to listen to them all.

Play

The audio is ©2011 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, presented here as always because the ABC doesn’t generally post these live interviews and it’s a decent plug for them. Broadcast 7 October 2011.

Today on I’m a Goddam Expert it’s Facebook, the recent round of changes, and what it means for users and the world of social networking generally. It began with Friday’s piece for Crikey, Hey Facebook, we want to share, but this is ridiculous, and so far I’ve been booked to do four radio spots. And counting.

I did two spots on Friday afternoon, one with Lindy Burns ABC 774 Melbourne the other with Melanie Tait on ABC 666 Canberra. Here’s the audio for the Canberra conversation.

Play

The Melbourne conversation (2.1MB MP3) covered similar territory, but the recording dropped out near the end so I haven’t bothered posting it as a proper podcast.

This material is ©2011 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but they generally don’t put these interviews online — and hey, it’s a good plug for them. Well, a minor but useful plug.

I’m doing two more this morning, also for ABC local radio stations. The Gold Coast at 0940 AEST and North Coast NSW at 1010.

As it happens, I didn’t end up going to the 2nd National Cyber Warfare Conference in Canberra this week. The conference sessions weren’t open to the media, and I decided that it wasn’t worth the trip if we’d have to rely on second-hand information.

That said, we did manage to get a recording of the over-dinner speech by David Irvine, the director-general of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, which Liam Tung turned into the story “Insidious” cyber chaos too fast for ASIO. It also served as part of the inspiration for my story Yet another free pass for Aussie spooks.

Who wants to go to Canberra anyway?

However SC Magazine did send Darren Pauli and John Hilvert, and their stories were:

As soon as I arrive back from my trip to Kuala Lumpur on 13 September, I’m off to Canberra for the 2nd National Cyber Warfare Conference on 14 and 15 September. No I won’t be. See the comments.

I’m covering it for CSO Online, and for the moment I’m assuming that’ll be in the form of written material. I’d also like to cover it for the Patch Monday podcast, but I don’t think that’ll be possible due to the contractual arrangements.

The event itself runs for a day and a half. An afternoon of presentations followed by a day of roundtable discussions. I’m looking forward to it.

If there’s anything else happening in Canberra either side of this event, please let me know so I can plan to attend,

Some months back the photos at the start of my 50 to 50 series of blog posts triggered a conversation with Verity Chambers, photo editor at the Sydney Morning Herald.

That fed into her conversations with photographer Mike Bowers. And that in turn has resulted in the project Everyday Photographs, Extraordinary Journeys at ABC 666 Canberra.

Because it’s so easy to take photos now, most of us have more than we know what to do with.

We snap images on our digital cameras or smart phones, email them to friends, post them on Facebook, share them on Flickr and tweet them to the universe.

But do these digital images have the same power or meaning as a photo carefully preserved in an album, framed on the wall or carried around in a wallet?

Photographer Mike Bowers has come up with the idea of asking 666 listeners to share a particular photo you’ve treasured over the years.

On Tuesday, Mike and I spoke on the wireless with the ABC’s Louise Maher, and here’s a recording. Mike tells the story of his photos, and me mine.

Play

My childhood photos are over at Flickr. I’m about to upload one to the ABC website. It’d be great if you added yours, because so far the contributions are a bit sparse.

[Photo: That’s me (embiggen) sitting on my father’s lap, aged six weeks. For the background, please read 50 to 50 #1: Born in Gawler. Audio: Obviously that’s ©2011 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but since they don’t archive all their live interviews we’ll have to do their job for them.]

I should have posted this a few days back, but the videos from the Microsoft Politics and Technology Forum 2011 in Canberra have been posted at GovTech, the Microsoft Australia Government Affairs Blog.

For some reason the audio quality on these recordings is rubbish. I’ll let you know if better versions are ever posted.

The keynote was given by leading UK political blogger Iain Dale. The other panellists were Senator Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Joe Hockey MP, Shadow Treasurer; Dr Eric Clemons, Professor of Operations and Information Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Microsoft’s Gianpaolo Carraro; and yours truly. The moderator was Mark Pesce.

You can also listen to my interview with Iain Dale, should you be so inclined.

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