crikey

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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…

Articles

Podcasts

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.

5at5

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.]

The View from Level 16My week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 June 2015 was yet another reasonably productive one, though the cold weather meant that I spent more time than ever before in the warmth of the Blue Mountains City Library in Katoomba.

This week also saw a significant reduction in my stress levels, for a variety of reasons. I’ll write more about that later in the week.

Articles

Podcasts

  • The 9pm Planet of Fascist Delusions, being The 9pm Edict episode 45. I think that podcast production expands to fill the time available for it. This episode soaked up 17 hours, spread over two days.

5at5

There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

My week will begin with the Winter Solstice — sorry, I’m running late — the week began with the Winter Solstice, which happened at 0238 AEST on Monday morning. I celebrated the Solstice as I often do, by reflecting on many things overnight, so Monday is a bit slow. Household chores, administrivia, some research, and the like. In the evening I’ll plan my writing for ZDNet.

Tuesday to Thursday will be writing days, with a couple of stories for ZDNet, as well as that goddam ebook. Friday will be devoted to certain activities related to the end of the financial year. The weekend will see the production of another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, interspersed with a modest social life. That episode will be completed and posted on Monday 29 June.

That seems a bit thin. But my ponderings over the Solstice will trigger further actions, trust me. There is much that I want to change in the coming months.

[Photo: The View from Level 16, being the UBS offices on level 16 of Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, photographed on 19 June 2015.]

Sunset on the Gold Coast: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 1 to Sunday 7 June 2015 has been both productive and exhausting, covering two conferences in two states.

It’s a long time since I’ve written five articles in week. It’s at least six months since I’ve done four, which is as far back as I could be bothered scrolling let alone five. But of course, there’s podcasts and other projects that have generated revenue, including random geekery and technical consultancy, so “number of articles” isn’t a fair measure.

Still, this has been one of my most productive weeks in a while. Excellent.

Articles

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict is scheduled for Monday 15 June, or the day after.

5at5

There were two editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, and Sunday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about Chinese ATMs with face recognition on ABC 891 Adelaide.
  • On Friday, I took part in the AusCERT Speed Debate. The Livestream recording has bad audio, so I’ll link to the YouTube version when it becomes available.
  • Also on Friday, I was interviewed by the University of Melbourne student newspaper Farrago. I’ll link to that story when it goes live.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to the Check Point Cyber Security Symposium in Sydney, or at least part of it. The goodie bag included a signed copy of Brian Krebs’ book Spam Nation, a Check Point branded notebook, a chocolate from A10 Networks, and of course copies of Check Point’s promotional material. Food and drink were supplied.
  • From Tuesday night through to Friday, I was at the AusCERT Information Security Conference as AusCERT’s guest. They provided return flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast, airport transfers, three nights accommodation at RACV Royal Pines Resort, and of course all the conference food and drink — and there was plenty of that. For taking part in the Speed Debate, I was given a bottle of Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2012 from the Clare Valley. And everybody got a copy of Bruce Schneier’s book Data and Goliath, an AusCERT-branded shirt, and a rather well-made courier bag. From CyberArk: A macaron, delivered creepy-like into my hotel room while I wasn’t there. From Firemon: A branded glass-cleaning cloth. From Mimecast: a keyring bottle opener. From NCC Group: a golden bath duck. From the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service: an NCIS cap — yes, from the real NCIS, not the TV show.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday, but nevertheless I’ll be working. I’ll be writing a feature for ZDNet, as well as returning to Wentworth Falls after a week away.

From Tuesday to Thursday, I’ll be working on another feature for ZDNet, as well as my “regular” column, as well as the running so late it’s embarrassing ebook. I see there’s an Apple keynote at 0300 AEST on Tuesday, so that may feed into something. [It didn’t.] And I’ve got an interview to do on Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, I’ll be heading down to Sydney for a media briefing by Cisco. Friday is another writing day.

I’m not sure how the weekend will go, but I see that there’s Poetry in the Pub in Katoomba on Sunday afternoon. I happened to be there last month, and I thought it might be interesting for The 9pm Edict podcast. We’ll see.

Update 11 June 2015: Edited to reflect the abandoning of the Friday trip to Sydney.

[Photo: Sunset on the Gold Coast, Photographed from the 16th floor of the RACV Royal Pines Resort on 3 June 2015.]

Waratah Cottage: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 27 April to Sunday 3 May 2015 was… a week ago now, so I’ll just document what was done.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

5at5

There were only two editions of 5at5 again this week, on Thursday and Friday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to the DisruptoCon conference in Sydney, held at the Sydney Harbour Marriott hotel on Pitt Street. Lunch was provided, and conference sponsor MYOB gave me a novelty 8GB USB key, which contained their promotional material.

[Photo: Waratah Cottage, one of the Bunjaree Cottages, photographed at dusk on 2 May 2015.]

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.]

I knew the first three months of 2015 had been bad for business — or at least my little patch of business — but I hadn’t realised it was this bad. Turns out it was my second-worst quarter in more than four years! Drastic action and ruthless decisions are required.

Yes, this is another of my occasional thinking-aloud reflections on my personal circumstances. If you don’t like this sort of thing, then stop reading now. Read this instead.

Still with me? Lovely.

Yesterday I updated my “media objects” chart, which counts how many things I’ve created for each media outlet, regardless of relative complexity or what income was generated. It serves as a handy proxy for revenue — because certain revenue figures are confidential.

Media objects produced monthly, 2011-2015: click to embiggen

It’s a depressing image. At best, Q1 of 2015 was no worse than Q1 of the previous year, but overall it’s still a picture of decline. Literally depressing, in fact, because I’ve left in a couple of health-related markers that I was using to analyse something else.

Back at the end of 2012, I’d tried to inject a little more strategy into the way I ran the business side of making media. This and other charts were some of the tools I created, last updated in February 2014. It’s fair to say that I haven’t really developed any kind of strategy out of the information in those charts, and this new chart illustrates the results from doing that nothing. Go me.

This chart doesn’t reflect certain positives, however. There’s now crowdsourced funding for The 9pm Edict podcast. I also do some minor work for the University of Technology Sydney, and I consult on some other media projects too. There’s also fragmentary revenue from the legacy clients of my IT business.

But I do need to raise my income levels back to something more like they were a few years ago. The next step is to do something about it. And that has been the nature of my ponderings across this Easter long weekend.

Log: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 16 to Sunday 22 February 2015 has been busy, productive and exhausting. And it’s still going. If only my life lately were about more than just trying to be busy and productive. Sigh.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Malcolm and the Cnuts”, being The 9pm Edict episode 37. I hadn’t planned to do an episode of the Edict this week, but on Friday I had an encounter with Malcolm Turnbull, and one thing led to another… But I am getting more efficient. This episode only took six hours to produce, although it did omit a couple of regular segments.
  • Corrupted Nerds Extra: Malcolm Turnbull opens NICTA Techfest 2015, being the full audio of Turnbull’s speech and subsequent doorstop press conference.

Articles

5at5

There were four editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and an off-schedule 7at7 on Sunday morning. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all as they’re released. Subscribe. Just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Friday, I went to NICTA’s Techfest at Australian Technology Park, where I was fed and watered.
  • Sunday is the first day of the Tech Leaders Forum, formerly known as Kickstart, at the Fairmont Resort. The event continues on Monday, so I’ll post the full list of largesse next week.

The Week Ahead

Monday is the second and final day of the Tech Leaders Forum, after which I shall collapse and have an early night.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m writing a feature for ZDNet Australia.

On Thursday, I’m heading to Sydney for the next step in my treatment program for sleep apnoea — which I have yet to blog about in any detail — as well as some errands and then, at 1615 AEDT, a television spot on ABC News24.

On Friday, I’ll probably be writing my usual column for ZDNet Australia.

Saturday is unplanned. Place your bids now.

On Sunday, I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. Because I am an idiot.

[Photo: Log. Termites had eaten out the core of this tree at Bunjaree Cottages, and it had filled with water — much to the surprise of the chain-saw wielding chap who felled it. A shame I wasn’t there to see it. Photographed on 20 February 2015.]

Wires: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 December 2014 was more stressful than I thought it might be, for reasons which may be alluded to in a future edition. However I will say that Mistress Insomnia was a persistent guest in my life. I hate her.

But on with the show…

Articles

5at5

Another full week for 5at5, with emails going out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

This is barely even a tentative plan, because it’s based on the assumption that a certain large media organisation will pay their goddam bills. If that doesn’t happen on Monday, then a lot of this will have to change. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere, right?

Monday sees the Solstice, which happens at 1003 AEDT, followed by the New Moon at 1236. I’ll conduct a small ritual centred around those times. Before that, though, certain urgent organisational tasks need to be dealt with. And after that, I’ll start work on the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, which has the working title “The 9pm Christmas Nazis”.

On Tuesday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet Australia in the morning, I think, before heading to Sydney for some errands and the ABC at Ultimo to do the 720 Perth spot. I may stay in Sydney overnight, or I may not.

On Wednesday, I’ll be completing The 9pm Edict, as well as tying up several billion loose ends before the holidays descend.

Thursday is Christmas Day, which will be spent quietly because family is small and distant. I’m not sure whether I’ll be in Wentworth Falls or Sydney or somewhere else at this stage.

While Friday is a public holiday, I’d originally scheduled a server migration to start that day. However that’s now looking like that’ll have to change too. The weekend is unplanned, at least at this stage.

Update 1750 AEDT: Edited to add the New Moon time and to clarify some of the exposition.

[Photo: Wires, a view from Katoomba railway station in the Blue Mountains, photographed on 15 December 2014.]

The Central Points: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 17 to Sunday 23 November 2014 was pleasingly productive, and struck a better balance between work and leisure time than the previous week. This pleases me.

I also suspect that Saturday night’s New Moon heralded the start of a new cycle of something or other, because so far Sunday has felt very different. We shall see.

Articles

5at5

There were editions of the 5at5 email newsletter on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Why not subscribe so you receive them all?

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday, I covered the iappANZ conference, so there was food and drink on offer, and so I consumed same. I also had too many drinks with certain ISOC-AU people afterwards.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be writing a column for ZDNet Australia, and planning some technical work that’ll unfold in December.

On Tuesday, I’m heading in to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing by AVG Technologies. On the train, I’ll be working on a feature article for ZDNet Australia that’s due at the end of the month. I’ll complete that feature on Wednesday.

On Thursday, I’m writing another column for ZDNet Australia, and heading to Sydney for the annual internet industry boat party on Sydney Harbour, followed by further drinks in the evening. I’ll be staying in Sydney overnight.

On Friday, I’m writing a piece for Crikey, and starting work on another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That podcast will be finished on the weekend — although what else that weekend may hold is still to be determined.

[Photo: The Central Points, being part of a set of railway track points — what Americans would call “railroad switches” — photographed on 17 November 2014.]

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