Explaining the Cloud on ABC Melbourne

ABC logoABC Melbourne has a regular spot called “Explain This”. This week I was asked to join them to explain the Cloud.

In this edition of Explain This we delve into the cloud computing: what it is, and how it works.

Privacy and cyber-security journalist Stilgherrian gives you the lowdown on some of the stickier question involved with cloud computing such as can you erase things from it and do you actually even own your files once they are stored there.

Here’s the full 20-minute conversation with Lindy Burns as broadcast on Wednesday night.

This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s being served directly from the ABC website.

Weekly Wrap 270: Generosity and some deep rabbit holes

Newtown, with mesh fence: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 3 to Sunday 9 August 2015 was remarkable, because I had so many votes of confidence, as it were. I’m pretty chuffed.

The most remarkable of all was that I raised more than $7200 in a crowdfunding campaign to replace and upgrade my core work tools. I won’t go into the details here, because you can check the project updates. But as I explained last week, having a working computer has really helped my mood. Knowing that I’ll soon have the kit to do certain kinds of projects is even more mood-improving.

Also, at the ADMA Global Forum, I met Professor Stephen Pulman, head of computational linguistics at some university called… Oxbloor or Oxfart or something like that. When I showed interest in his session on the sentiment analysis of textual data, including tweets, I was invited to his masterclass the next day. I’m kinda chuffed that I could dive deep into this stuff after so many years.

There’s a few other things too, but that can wait. On with the show…



None. But it’s looking like there’ll be three episodes of The 9pm Edict over the next five weeks. I’m also thinking of resurrecting Corrupted Nerds.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday morning, I spoke about the Wentworth Falls bushfire on ABC 702 Sydney.
  • On Tuesday evening, I spoke about various technology issues on ABC Local Radio across NSW, but there’s no recording. That’s a shame. It was a good segment.


There were editions of 5at5 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones?

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, I covered the ADMA Global Forum, so there was plenty of food and drink to be had at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel.
  • On Wednesday evening, I went to Text100’s (in)famous Xmas in August event at the Bavarian Bier Cafe in Sydney. Bang & Olufsen gave me a rather nice leather keyring, and a USB stick containing their promotional material. Amazon Kindle gave me a promo-filled USB stick too.
  • On Thursday, NetSuite has a lunchtime briefing at Gowings Bar & Grill at Sydney’s QT Hotel. As usual, the food and drink was stunning.

The Week Ahead

Monday will be a long, long day. I’m taking the 0706 train to Sydney. At 0900 I’m meeting someone over coffee. From 1000, I’ll be at Deloitte’s media briefing on their annual Media Consumer Survey. Then it’s a haircut, and lunch, and buying a new shirt. The afternoon is flexible, shall we say, because at 2030 I’ll be live on ABC TV’s Lateline to talk about certain cybers. I think I’ll try to have a nap in there somewhere.

Tuesday is an easier day, and I plan to sleep in. I’m finally getting an eye exam done, and then I’ve got a couple meetings before catching the train back to Wentworth Falls.

On Wednesday, I’ll be running errands and doing my shopping in Katoomba, as well as working on a few stories. On Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet. And on Friday, it’s the next step of The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh. I’ll have the final budget and podcast content selections, so it’ll be time to lock in the shopping list, and send RFQs to my suppliers.

I think I’ll record an episode of The 9pm Edict on the weekend, but we’ll see how that goes. Next weekend is so far away…

[Photo: Newtown, with mesh fence, photographed on 4 August 2015 as my train down from the Blue Mountains sped through Newtown on its wat to Central station for its scheduled 0847 arrival.]

Weekly Wrap 251: Nice weather, shame about productivity

Please stand behind the yellow line: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 23 to Sunday 29 March 2015 is being documented late. Things did not go to plan, and I was annoyed.



None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict did not appear on Tuesday 24 March as previously advised, but it will finally arrive on 7 April.


Only one edition of 5at5 this week, on Monday. You should subscribe, you know.

Media Appearances

None. It’s been a while now.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday I was briefed by Oracle executives on “Cloud, Big Data and platforms” over lunch at the Bentley Restaurant + Bar in Sydney. The food was excellent. I had the pork cheek with garlic and yoghurt purée, raddichio and jamon, and the mulloway with pink turnip and brown butter.

[Photo: Please stand behind the yellow line, being platform markings and adjacent scenery at Leura station in the Blue Mountains, photographed in 28 March 2015.]

Weekly Wrap 235: More scallops, less disruption

Wentworth Falls awaits tonight's storm: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 1 to Sunday 7 December 2014 was reasonably pleasant. Not much output, but I absorbed three “webinars” (ugh!) and one very fine lunch, and tried to de-stress as much as possible.



It was a full week for 5at5, with emails being sent on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — although it appears that Friday’s didn’t get delivered properly. I’ll be chasing up that little problem tomorrow. Either way, you should subscribe so you receive them all.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday, it’s a morning of administrivia and mapping out my work between now and Christmas — well, at least as much as it can ever be planned. In the afternoon and evening I’m producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, including setting up a subscription drive.

On Tuesday, I’m heading down to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing by Symantec, as well as running some errands. While I’m in transit, I’ll be doing research and writing some story pitches. I’ll also finish the podcast and post it on Tuesday evening, to coincide with the subscription drive kicking off.

Wednesday has been set aside for writing, but don’t know what yet, nor for whom. I’m assuming that one of the story pitches will be successful.

On Thursday, I’m writing my column for ZDNet Australia, then heading down to Sydney for VMWare’s end-of-year drinks — and I daresay some further social life after that. Whether I stay in Sydney overnight will depend on whether certain people have decided to pay me or not.

Friday is scheduled to be a day off, because at some point on the weekend I’ll be doing a big chunk of systems administration, and I’m trying to have at least one day a week without work-related thoughts. I’m rarely successful in that, but that’s another story. But when that work will be done, and what personal and social activities will also happen on the weekend, is still to be determined.

Update 1840 AEDT: Edited to reflect a slight change of plans, finishing the podcast on Tuesday rather than Monday.

[Photo: Wentworth Falls awaits tonight’s storm, photographed at Wentworth Falls railway station on 4 December 2014. There have been thunderstorms every day this week. Sydney is becoming a sub-maritime tropical climate.]

Talking family data disaster planning on ABC 702 Sydney

ABC logoOn Tuesday last week, we feared that Wednesday would be a day of disastrous bushfires in NSW — certainly the risk was there — so what should people do to make sure their valuable personal and family data was safe?

I spoke about this with morning presenter Linda Mottram on ABC 702 Sydney, but not before we had a chat about what my impressions of how people were reacting to and preparing for the approaching fires — including my own emotions.

We ended up talking for 15 minutes. Here’s the full audio, minus the break for the news headlines at 1030.

The audio is of course ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, archived here because it’s not archived anywhere else.