Weekly Wrap 174: Newcastle, new events, new venues

Newcastle City Hall: click to embiggenMy week Monday 30 September to Sunday 6 October 2013 was dominated by my trip to Newcastle for the inaugural DiG Festival and Conference. Both the city and the event were well worth it.

I’ll be writing about the DiG Festival for Crikey today, so watch out for that, but I’m sure I’ll have more to say later.[Update 2000 AEDT: And here it is.] I’ll also be writing about Newcastle, because I have many thoughts.


I also wrote a 1000-word piece that’ll appear in a printed magazine that CSO will be handing out at some events between now and the end of the year.


None, but there’ll be a new Corrupted Nerds in the coming few days.

Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday in NSW, but not in Victoria, so I’ll be writing my story on the DiG Festival and Conference for Crikey and, perhaps, a piece that I’ve kept on the back burner for Technology Spectator.

I’m keeping Tuesday empty for some personal reasons.

On Wednesday I’ll head to Sydney for a lunchtime media briefing by Unisys, and I may stay overnight because on Thursday there’s the annual conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA). [Update 8 October 2013: Confirmed, I’ll be attending the AISA Conference and staying in Sydney until Friday.]

Friday and the weekend are currently unplanned.

[Photo: Newcastle City Hall, photographed at around 0730 AEST on 3 October 2013.]

Visiting Newcastle for DiG Festival

DiG Festival logo: click for official websiteThis coming Wednesday I’m catching the Shitkansen north from Sydney to Newcastle for the inaugural DiG Festival and Conference: digital plus interactive plus green technology.

I won’t repeat the event’s own website. You can read that for yourself. The key days are this coming Thursday 3 and Friday 4 October 2013.

But I will say that apart from the conference program itself, I’m interested in catching a few glimpses of the city. It’s been three years since I visited Newcastle to speak at the National Young Writers Festival, and four years since I looked around properly and wrote my Letter from Newcastle. So of nothing else, there’ll be an observational essay about that.

There’s a strong-looking conference thread about the future of online payments — could the fact that Commonwealth Bank is a major sponsor have something to do with that? — and I’ll be writing about that for Technology Spectator. It’ll be a nice follow-up to my recent piece about Westpac’s $2 billion invisible bank. And I’m sure I’ll be writing about other things for other outlets.

If you’re in Newcastle at the time, don’t forget to say hi. I plan to stick around until Saturday afternoon.

Weekly Wrap 111: Banking and the decline of civilisation

The less said about my week Monday 16 to Sunday 22 July 2012 the better. I’ll just list the stuff I did in the media, and be done with it.


  • Patch Monday episode 146, “Banking’s future is Facebook? Really?” Commonwealth Bank’s general manager of online banking Drew Unsworth explains the reasoning behind their moves to roll out banking on Facebook, and that’s put into context by Charis Palmer, editor of Online Banking Review.



Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday I had lunch at Wildfire Restaurant, Circular Quay, courtesy of Bass PR and a number of clients at Mobility Press Lunch Forum. At least one article will come out of this little discussion.

The Week Ahead

I dare not say a word. I’ll jinx it.

[Photo: A screenshot of the Patch Monday podcast being mixed in Reaper, which is something that has been working. Mind you, I took the picture well after production was finished, and it’s last Monday’s episode not the one due to be published today. You just can’t be too careful with these things.]

Talking Facebook banking on Balls Radio, FM 99.3

For my sins, I’ve agree to do a regular spot on Phil Dobbie’s Balls Radio, originally a podcast and now also a program on FM 99.3 Northside Radio in Sydney every Tuesday night at 7pm.

The first broadcast edition was this week, Tuesday 17 July. Since it was fresh in my mind, I spoke about the Commonwealth Bank’s plans for us to do our banking on Facebook — which I also covered on this week’s Patch Monday podcast.

We also spoke briefly about Microsoft’s plans for Windows 8 and Office 2013 and how they fit into the company’s strategy.

Here’s the audio of my segment. If you’d like more, Mr Dobbie has posted the full episode.

I’m fairly sure that copyright remains with Mr Dobbie rather than being transferred to Northside Radio, but I’ll figure that out later.

Weekly Wrap 109: Cold and wet until it wasn’t

My week from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July 2012 started in the cold and rain of winter, but ended on a brighter note.

That simple sentence suppresses vast amounts of depressing detail that you simply don’t need to know about.


  • Patch Monday episode 144, “Hands off our packets, it’s the law”. Geoff Huston, chief scientist at APNIC and the guy who more or less connected Australia’s universities to the internet, reckons that Telstra handing over web browsing logs to an external organisation is something that should be investigated by law enforcement. I posted the background earlier.


  • Cashing in on Kaching, Technology Spectator, 6 July 2012. All about Commonwealth Bank’s mobile banking strategy, in an article twice the length of anything I’ve written previously for this masthead.

Media Appearances

  • On Thursday I spoke about the Telstra thing and other mobile data privacy issues on the Twisted Wire podcast, Is your phone watching you?

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday the Commonwealth Bank briefed the media about their new Kaching for Android app and their mobile strategy generally, and that happened over food and wine at Sydney’s Flying Fish Restaurant on their tab.

The Week Ahead

So it’s the second week of the school holidays, so Bunjaree Cottages is still booked out, so I’m still lurking in a SEKRIT location in Sydney. Until Sunday lunchtime, probably.

On Tuesday Symantec is holding its Next@Norton media briefing as “an indulgent High Tea” from 0930 to 1200, presumably oblivious to the fact that high tea is an early evening meal for labourers and children. I’ll probably write it up for CSO Online.

On Thursday afternoon I’m interviewing futurist Mark Pesce about the themes being discussed in the blog-cum-book he’s writing with Robert Tercek, The Next Billion Seconds. That’ll be the following week’s Patch Monday podcast, unless some news cycle event bumps it.

There’s other writing tasks to interleave with that, as well as some work on the last remaining web management client on my books.

I might take the afternoon off on Friday.


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 (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: Sydney, Two-masted City, being a view of Sydney Tower and the mast of an unidentified ship over the roof of Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, on 5 July 2012.]