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En route to Sydney: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 6 to Sunday 12 April 2015 was a little busier than it should have been, given that the Easter long weekend was in there. Mind you, I did plenty of work-related things in there.

I won’t list them all, because some of them were background things that you’re not allowed to know about yet. And some of them were thoughtful, long-term things that will be discussed soon enough. So it’s just the list for now.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Government by Fools”, being The 9pm Edict episode 39. It contains a brief rant about pies, amongst other things.

Articles

5at5

Three editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

I’m in Sydney all this week, and have a bunch of things to do, but in no particular order. I’ve got to plan the next month, produce an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast by Tuesday night, plan out a subscription drive for that podcast, review six TV scripts, write a column for ZDNet Australia, produce and post the recording of last week’s UTS lecture, coordinate some medical treatment, and finally assemble that ebook that’s been lurking in the back of the to-do list for far, far too long.

[Photo: En route to Sydney, being the view from a Blue Mountains line train as it travelled down to Sydney in the early morning light on Thursday 9 April 2015. It was a very different mood from last week’s view.]

ABC logoThe government’s discussion paper on online copyright infringement came out just over a month ago, the submissions period closed on Monday, and now the debate is really kicking off — including on the complicated legal issue of geoblocking.

Now I’ve already given my opinion on the political spin in the discussion paper itself. But the specific issue of geoblocking came up on ABC Gold Coast, and this morning I spoke with breakfast presenter Bern Young.

Legally it’s a grey area. By signing up for a Netflix account from Australia, for example, you may be breaking the terms and conditions of their service. But you’re still paying for the content, and money is passed on the the actual producers.

The only people missing out are the local Australian distributors who’ve inserted themselves between the content producers and the audience. What value are they adding, exactly? The whole point of the internet is to enable people to connect globally.

CHOICE sees it as a consumer issue. Doesn’t geoblocking, the restriction of content availability by location, restrict competition? They’ve just launched a TV campaign making that point. Even the government’s own inquiry into IT pricing recommended that geoblocking be outlawed.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Internet of Trees: click to embiggenThis episode of The 9pm Edict heads into a eucalypt forest in search of the internet, and encounters a dog.

You’ll hear about the National Broadband Network’s fibre-to-the-node trial, Russell Brand, Bertrand Russell, the 20th anniversary of a sarin nerve gas attack in Japan, the 25th birthday of the internet in Australia, the 60th birthday of nuclear power stations, Hillary Clinton and the mangoes, Google co-funder Larry Page’s threat to kill 100,000 people, and the arsehattery of Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke.

And there’s the dog, of course.

And a cat. Sort of.

But don’t forget the dog.

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 subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

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.

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ABC logoAnother series of Game of Thrones is released, which means another series of radio spots talking about Australia’s reputation for (allegedly) massive levels of illegal downloads.

This spot is from Tuesday 8 April, a chat with ABC 720 Perth afternoon presenter Gillian O’Shaughnessy, triggered by the news that the first episode of Game of Thrones series four had seen record levels of illegal downloads, with Perth topping the list — although Angus Kidman at Lifehacker disagrees.

One highlight of this conversation is when I suggest that the entire Australian content distribution industry should just get out of the way, retire and go play on their yachts.

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoThe third radio spot I did about Attorney-General George Brandis’ comments on digital copyright was with ABC 105.7 Darwin on Wednesday 19 February. Here it is.

(“Third” you ask? There’s only been one other posted so far. That’s true. The second spot was with Dom Knight on ABC 702 Sydney on Tuesday 18 February. But I don’t have a recording for you. Sorry.)

This is roughly the same discussion I had on Spoke on Tuesday, but with presenter Kate O’Toole and after I’d drank a bottle of Sangiovese Barbera after I got angrier about the issues. So the concept of graduated response is a thing again, I allude to the iiTrial and so on. And yes I mentioned Rebecca Giblin’s research.

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

3555 logoMy recent critique of Attorney-General George Brandis’ comments about copyright reform in the digital age attracted plenty of positive comments — and also some media attention.

That critique was my ZDNet Australia column on the day of Brandis’ speech, Friday 14 February, What the Dickens will Brandis do to copyright in the digital realm?

The first piece of media interest was from Michelle Bennett, presenter of Spoke, the weekly social issues program on Melbourne community radio station 3RRR. The interview was recorded on Sunday 16 February and broadcast in the Spoke episode of Tuesday 18 February.

The conversation wasn’t just about Brandis’ comments, but also some of the background — including the so-called iiTrial between the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and internet service provider iiNet, the graduated response or “three strikes” rules for tackling copyright infringement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, and the idea that internet access can be considered a basic human right.

I also mentioned Dr Rebecca Giblin’s research paper, Evaluating Graduated Response, which looked at those three strikes rules. The conclusion was that “there is little to no evidence that that graduated responses are either ‘successful’ or ‘effective’.”

The interview is ©2014 Triple R Broadcasters Ltd. Over at their website you can listen to the full program.

Sydney airport before dawn: click for original imageMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 February 2014 isn’t quite finished, but today is effectively the start of a new working week so… well, here we are. Before breakfast at Sydney Airport. Or right next to it. Call it a wrap of Monday to Saturday.

It seems that I switched from early-month torpor to late-month productivity around mid-week. We’ll see how that pans out over the next few days. But I do think I’m starting to identity a clear pattern here.

Articles

Media Appearances

5at5

I suppose I should give better prominence to 5at5, the “email letter” that I started two weeks ago. I’ve actually managed to stick to the daily routine — albeit with some wobbliness in the “around 5pm Sydney time” part of the deal — and it seems like people are liking it. Enjoy.

Corporate Largesse

  • Today I’m heading to the Gold Coast for the three-day Tech Leaders Forum 2014, formerly known as Kickstart Forum, an event I’ve attended in previous years. The event organisers cover my airfares and accommodation, and there’s usually plenty of food and drink and various freebies from the vendors who pay for it all. I’ll list all of the largesse next week so it’s all in the one place.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be on the Gold Coast through until Tuesday evening, fully occupied with the aforementioned event. I’ll then return to the Blue Mountains for a solid week of writing. There’s nothing locked in for Sydney at this stage, but of course that may change.

[Photo: Sydney airport before dawn, taken shortly before the post was published.]

ABC logoThe new series of Game of Thrones was released in the US last week, and even though it was broadcast in Australia on pay TV network Foxtel just two hours later, it was still torrented to buggery. Just how entitled are we?

I ended up discussing this very issue with Kate O’Toole on ABC 105.7 Darwin, and here’s the full audio of our conversation from 4 April 2013. Since I’m way behind schedule, I’ll leave this stand without further comment.

The audio is ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but it isn’t published anywhere else and I don’t get paid so here it is.

Modern economics explained: click to embiggenThe week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 February 2013 was a strange one, beginning in Wentworth Falls and ending in Queensland, with a brief sojourn in Parramatta.

It was in Parramatta that I met my new friend (pictured), whose name is Taiga. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen a lot of him over the weekend. You’ll see more today and tomorrow, I’m sure.

Articles

Podcasts

None. But wait, I told you! Be patient!

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

Kickstart Forum on Monday and Tuesday, returning to Sydney on Tuesday night. On Wednesday VMWare is launching the new end-user computing platform in Sydney at Altitude Restaurant in The Rocks. I haven’t locked in my plans beyond that. Please place your bids.

[Photo: Modern economics explained, being a photograph of Taiga looking eastwards from the Parkroyal Parramatta.]

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