A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets, once again done fortnightly because I forgot to do it last weekend. Suffer.
- Nile’s porn excuse doesn’t hold water, for Crikey. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph alleged that various NSW politicians had been using their parliamentary computers to access pornography, and that anti-sex-industry campaigner and Christian Democrats leader Reverend Fred Nile was the worst culprit. He denied it, but as the story stood on 2 September 2010 I didn’t believe him.
- NSW Parliament’s flawed porn hunt, for Crikey. By the following day, it was clear that the “audit” of parliamentary web browsing was deeply flawed.
- What the NBN will deliver to Windsor’s mob, for Crikey. Independent MP Tony Windsor said that the National Broadband Network was a major factor in him choosing to support Labor over the Liberal-National Coalition.
- ACMA and Nine demonstrate Australia’s institutionalised racism, for ABC Unleashed. Sam Newman’s continued low-brow bigotry on The AFL Footy Show gets “punished” with a slap on the wrist. Again. It took only six comments before someone accused me of political correctness gone mad and compared Australian with North Korea. And another commenter said that I “looked like a potato that had been boiled too far”. The standard of discussion at ABC Online isn’t all that flash.
- Patch Monday episode 55, “BYO computers: cloud security risk?”.
- Patch Monday episode 56, “Parliament’s poor porn probe exposed”. If ZDNet allowed longer headlines and more robust language in their stories, I’d have entitled this podcast “Pollies’ piss poor Parly porn probe exposed”. Poetry.
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 eventually appear on Flickr.
[Photo: Enmore Village on a Spring evening, taken from one of my favourite afternoon working spots at the Warren View Hotel, corner of Stanmore and Enmore Roads. Compare it with the photo in this post, My village really is home.]
Stilgherrian’s links for 22 October 2009 through 27 October 2009, published after far too long a break. I really, really do need to work out a better way of doing this…
- Nature Child | San Juan Islander: “According to family studies professor, Sandra Hofferth of the University of Maryland, there was a 50% decline between 1997 to 2003 in the proportion of children 9 to 12 who spent time in outdoor activities (hiking, walking, fishing, beach play and gardening).”
- FreeRangeKids: “At Free Range, we believe in safe kids. We believe in helmets, car seats and safety belts. We do NOT believe that every time school age children go outside, they need a security detail.”
- How far did you roam as a child? | Watershed: Educator John Larkin continues the thoughts about wrapping our kids in cotton wool.
- How children lost the right to roam in four generations | Mail Online: In 1919, an 8yo was allowed to walk six miles to go fishing. Today, an 8yo isn’t allowed past the end of the street without parental escort. This article from 2007 triggered many thoughts, and I’ve glad I found it again.
- Forget the young pretenders, Humans 1.0 can lead the way | The Observer: John Naughton riffs off the idea that teenagers don’t know everything and some parts of cyberspace (ugh!) are teenager-free. Although the article then says that “only” 11% of Twitter’s users are under 17 years old. And what proportion of the literate population is under 17yo? 11%? More? Less?
- Podcasting Equipment Guide (2009) | Hivelogic: A nice guide to the tools needed to podcast on a budget. Yes, there’s a reason I’m looking at this. Stay tuned, as they say.
- Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network | Parliament of Australia: Full transcripts of the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network public hearings, which I’m tagging for my own reference later.
- What Information is “Personally Identifiable”? | Electronic Frontier Foundation: Gender, ZIP code and birth date are enough to uniquely identify about 87% of the US population. This has massive implications for publishing data sets, and for privacy policies that claim not to collect “personally identifiable” information.
- Nine News twittered by seagull | TV Tonight: It’s nothing to do with Twitter, but there is a seagull. A very big seagull.
- Apology for singing shop worker | BBC News: Shop assistant Sandra Burt, 56, from Clackmannanshire, was threatened with a fine for singing without a license by the Performing Right Society. However they’ve now apologised and sent flowers.
- Online Ads Not Working for You? Blame the Creative | Advertising Age: A study by Dynamic Logic says that obsession about optimisation and placement is less important.
- We can’t turn back the tide of internet piracy, says TV boss | Herald Scotland: “Internet piracy is merely demand where appropriate supply does not exist,” says the commissioning editor for education at the UK’s Channel 4.
- Court tweets sustained but paper still lurks | ZDNet Australia: Liam Tung, who tweeted from the AFACT v iiNet trial in the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney, reflects on the gaps in courtroom IT.
- Beats and Tweets: Journalistic Guidelines for the Facebook Era | NPR: Yet another exploration of ethics an journalism. One point in here I really do not like, though: “You must not advocate for political or other polarizing issues online. This extends to joining online groups or using social media in any form (including your Facebook page or a personal blog) to express personal views on a political or other controversial issue that you could not write for the air or post on NPR.org.” Sorry? Work for NPR and you lose your right to participate in democracy?
- Poles, Politeness and Politics in the age of Twitter | The New Adventures of Stephen Fry: Another fine if perhaps rambling essay from Mr Fry about the meaning of “influence” and accidentally gaining same. Worth a leisurely read.
- Why journalism's all a-Twitter | The Walkley Foundation: The editorial chief of Sydney’s forthcoming Media140 conference goes beyond the obvious “Is Twitter journalism?” and mechanical how-to issues and explores the ethical issues of journalists using Twitter.
- Twitter in the court: Federal judge gets it | CNET News: Another article about using Twitter in courtrooms, from the US an from March 2009.
- Call For Opinions | Blackbeard Blog: Tom Ewing’s collection of opinions on market research and social media, “quite unsupported by anything other than grumpiness and prejudice”. The first is that “insights” aren’t Zen koans. “If you can express something that briefly, it’s probably banal.”
- The internet doesn’t exist | Business Spectator: Ah, Alan Kohler! I do so love your commentaries! Here’s more of his sensible thoughts on the matter of paying for “content” on the Internet.
- How Safe is the HPV vaccine? | Information Is Beautiful: A brilliantly simple infographic showing the incredibly low risk of associated with the Human Papillomavirus compared with various everyday activities.
- Ultimate Goat Fansite: Do I need to explain? I thought not.
I seem to have some really odd Special Powers. I can walk into a strange pub, buy the last few tickets for the meat raffle, and win — much to the chagrin of the regulars. I can also create inappropriate mental images which then persist.
Like “masturbating to tentacle pr0n”.
Yesterday, I made an offhand comment on Twitter to writer John Birmingham (pictured), who had the misfortune of having to watch the Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special last night.
This morning, his column Hey, it wasn’t that bad, quotes me by name.
It is, as I say, a Special Power.
If there’s a problem with some product which puts you at risk, you’d expect news bulletins to explain your safest options, yeah? But is that possible when the media outlet is a key business partner of the product’s manufacturer?
Yesterday’s zero-day exploit for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is a real risk. But Channel Nine’s story last night didn’t include options like using a non-Microsoft web browser. Was this just the journalist’s ignorance of computers? Or is it because of Nine’s 50/50 business partnership with Microsoft in one of Australia’s busiest websites, NineMSN?
That’s what I ask in Crikey today. The article isn’t behind their paywall, so it’s free for all to read.
Last night Channel Nine screened the crime drama Underbelly everywhere across Australia — except Victoria, where it was banned following a Supreme Court order. But thanks to the joys of BitTorrent, thousands of people have already downloaded it from the Internet. The law cannot cope in this new era.
As the screenshot shows, Underbelly was online within two hours of broadcast. By mid-morning today, 6500+ people had downloaded it from Mininova alone.
As with the Corey Delaney episode before it, this highlights the stupidity of the law in the bold new age of the Internet. I have no complaint with Justice Betty King’s decision. She’s just upholding the law as it stands. The law, alas, is hopelessly inadequate.
Who, I wonder, has this kind of law reform on their agenda. Anyone?