A brief reminder: I’m about to head to Canberra for a couple of days. This morning I’ll be at the University of Canberra for the seminar Privacy and security in a connected world: anonymity, data loss, tracking and the social web, being organised by their new Centre for Internet Safety. And then tomorrow morning I’ll be at Parliament House for the Microsoft Politics & Technology Forum. I do have some free time in the afternoons if you want to catch up.
And in the lead-up and especially on the day, you’ll be able to follow everyone’s tweets using the hashtag #poltech.
I’ve attended the previous two Microsoft Politics & Technology Forums in Canberra as their guest, but this year there’s a difference. I’ll be on stage. The date is 1 June 2011. The venue is the Parliament House Theatrette. And it’s free.
The theme is Do we trust the internet? That’s all about openness and transparency in politics.
Technology and politics is more interwoven than ever before.
We’ve seen sensitive government information being revealed on Wikileaks, and mobilisation of communities across the Middle East using social media resulting in regime change in Tunisia, Egypt and unrest in Libya and Bahrain.
The first social media election in the UK saw an incoming Conservative Coalition government, overturning 13 years of Labor rule. David Cameron’s Conservative party trumped other parties in social media campaigning.
The Australian Government has its own Declaration of Open Government, a central recommendation of the Government 2.0 Taskforce. The declaration promotes “greater participation in Australia’s democracy, and is committed to open government based on a culture of engagement, built on better access to and use of government held information, and sustained by the innovative use of technology.”
This and much more will be discussed when UK’s leading political blogger Iain Dale (pictured) will be addressing Microsoft’s 3rd Politics and Technology Forum: Openness and Transparency in Politics. The Forum is supported by Open Forum.
Iain Dale will then participate in a panel discussion of distinguished speakers including Senator Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Joe Hockey MP, Shadow Treasurer; Stilgherrian; and Microsoft’s Gianpaolo Carraro. The event MC is Mark Pesce.
I’m particularly amused by the facts that I’m “distinguished” and that I’m not explained by any job title or description. I am self-explanatory. Or possibly indescribable.
It’ll cost you nothing to register for this free event, but you’ll need to use the SEKRIT ticket code. Which is “dale”.
Previous Microsoft Politics & Technology Forums
The first Forum was in 2008. Thanks to Microsoft’s Nick Hodge, you can view videos of Matt Bai’s keynote address, Panel 1 on Blogging, social networks, political movements and the media with Annabel Crabb, Peter Black and Mark Textor, and Panel 2 on Politics 2.0: information technology and the future of political campaigning with Joe Hockey, Senator Andrew Bartlett, Senator Kate Lundy and Antony Green.
During this first event, I provided commentary via Twitter and was, um, generally helpful to the discussion from the audience. My most important outburst is during the first panel discussion, though I can be heard but not seen. I have yet to dig the tweets out of Twitter’s archive.
I daresay there are videos somewhere, but I couldn’t be arsed looking for them just now.
Here are the web links I’ve found for 22 May 2009 to 27 May 2009, posted automatically.
- The Age of the Essay | Paul Graham: This essay dates from 2004, but it’s still valid. The essay, the kind that’s about exploring an issue, is a natural form of writing online. Plus I like his comments about disobedience and creativity.
- GLAM | Wikimedia Australia: One for your diaries! A little conference called “Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia: Finding the common ground” at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 6-7 August 2009. Hosted by Wikimedia Australia, with discussions on four themes: Education, Technology, Business, Law. To be opened by Senator Kate Lundy, Senator for the ACT.
- That 180ms is the bane of my life: Network engineer Glen Turner explains why the 180 milliseconds it takes for Internet data to cross the Pacific causes problems. “You’ve got to realise that Australia is almost unique in being a long way from the centre of gravity of its language. Broadly, almost all German-speakers live in Germany, whereas a tiny proportion of English-speakers live in Australia. That has an effect on Internet traffic. Most Internet traffic in Germany stays within Germany. Most Internet traffic in Australia goes offshore.”
- One thing PC users can do that Mac users can’t…: Crude but effective.
- Media and Brand Supremacy: Why the New Media Brand Could Be Nike | The Huffington Post: Heidi Sinclair notes that individual journalists and commentators are sometimes bigger news brands than the outlets they work for. There’s plenty here which meshes with my complains that some folks don’t separate the content (“news”) from the container (“newspapers”).
- texts from last night: A scarily funny collection of people’s (allegedly) drunken text messages. Don’t click through unless you’ve got plenty of time to spare.
- Death in Birth – Where Life’s Start Is a Deadly Risk | NYTimes.com: The first of three articles on efforts to lower the death rate in Tanzania. Excellent timing, given Project TOTO. Challenging to read, however
- The Angelina Factor | Bitchy Jones’ Diary: A ranty article which, in language which may be confronting for some, explores the social and psycho-sexual issues around the idea that Angelina Jolie is universally sexually attractive. Just for the record, I do not find her the least bit attractive.
- Rethinking the Global Money Supply: Scientific American: China has proposed that the world move to a more symmetrical monetary system, in which nations peg their currencies to a representative basket of others rather than to the US dollar alone. The article includes a little history, too.
- “We did not know that child abuse was a crime,”says retired Catholic archbishop | the freethinker: The retired Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert G Weakland, says “We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature… [I] Accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it’.” WTF?
- Comedy Thrives in Times of Despair | Spiegel Online: Monty Python’s Michael Palin on what the financial crisis is a boon for comics, and the perils of political correctness.
- Hello Africa | Vimeo: A 42-minute documentary about mobile phone culture in Africa.
- Shell On Trial | newmatilda.com: Next week, Shell will appear before a US federal court on charges of torture, extra-judicial killing and crimes against humanity for incidents which took place in the Niger Delta. Will it be the first multinational found guilty of human rights abuses?
- Genital warts take Shoaib out of Twenty20 World Cup | ABC News: There was a time when someone’s medical history was considered private, even if they played sports professionally. Personally, I reckon the specific of Shoaib’s medical problem are none of anyone else’s business.
- PlugComputer Community: The developer community for Marvell’s Plug Computer.
- Plugging In $40 Computers | NYTimes.com: Marvell Technology Group has created a “plug computer”. A tiny plastic box you plug into an electric outlet. No display, but Gigabit Ethernet and a USB. Inside is a 1.2GHz processor running Linux, 512MB RAM and 512MB Flash memory. US$99 today, probably under US$40 in two years.
- Misguided middle-class moaners | BusinessDay: Ross Gittins explodes a few myths about Australia, class, taxation and social welfare.
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.
Yes, it’s today! In under an hour we’ll be leaving Sydney on our Stilgherrian Live Road Trip to Yass!
For background information, read yesterday’s preview.
There’s a video feed and chat via Ustream.tv, and a liveblog. You can watch all of the elements on one page, rendered in glorious HTML 4.01 with tables. (Oh shut up, you CSS zealots!) Or you can watch the video and chat on Ustream.tv and the liveblog below the fold.