Weekly Wrap 145: Crimefighting and a currawong

Skulking currawong: click to embiggenThe week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 March 2013 was nearly a week ago, so I’ll just list the media things and show you a photograph of a currawong.

Articles

  • Reserve Bank hacking raises questions — and false alarm, Crikey, 12 March 2013. Note that further information has emerged since this story was written, though I have yet to write a follow-up.
  • Backwards attitude to online identity erodes our power, ZDNet Australia, 15 March 2013. I argue that most internet companies have got it backwards. In the physical world, anonymity is the norm. We only identify ourselves by our so-called “real name” in certain circumstances. Yet many internet companies, notable Google and Facebook, are insisting on real names as the norm.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday morning, Trend Micro held a media briefing at the O Bar, formerly the Summit Restaurant, at the top of Australia Square. Refreshments were served, and the view was magnificent. We then went to Steerson’s Steakhouse for lunch, where I had a grain-fed rib-eye steak and a couple glasses of Wirra Wirra Church Block 2010 Cabernet Shiraz Merlot. Yes, of course they paid.
  • On Wednesday morning, I attended the Australian launch of LG’s Optimus G smartphone at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Refreshements were served, and I was given an evaluation unit of the phone itself, plus a Telstra Next G SIM card with a 20GB per month data pack — then I forgot the SIM unlock PIN, and now I’m waiting on a PUK code to unlock the damn thing.

[Photo: Skulking currawong, photographed on 11 March 2013 at Bunjaree Cottages.]

Hungry currawong

Photograph of pied currawong eating spare cat food

I know we shouldn’t feed the pied currawongs, but they actually came looking for food today. There wasn’t any. But when I put some out, this chap returned a few minutes later — scoffing a few while keeping a wary eye for the cats dozing only a few metres away, then taking a few spare nuggets back for the juveniles in their tree.

Meeting the currawongs

Photograph of juvenile currawong

A family of pied currawongs lives next door. Beautiful, smart birds. Recently we’ve been leaving food out for them, and they’re happy to steal a few bites while keeping a wary eye for the cats.

Today one of the parents brought two of the juveniles with it. While I didn’t get the camera in time to snap the family portrait, I did sneak this picture of one of the juveniles on the neighbour’s fence.

Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown

Twitter bird cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

I’ve always thought that my essays are my best work, even if I say so myself. I’ve done observationals before, like Saturday Night at The Duke and Burnt out sofa, burnt out life. But this one’s different.

As I walked home through Newtown last Saturday evening, I started sending little observational comments to my Twitter stream:

Actually still on Darlington Rd, a long-haired woman plays melancholy guitar on the terrace-house balcony as a currawong flops past.

As I moved into King Street, I kept going. As I went to Kelly’s On King for a beer, I kept going. I discovered that a rapt audience was watching my comments — although not everyone liked the volume of material. I suggested they use Twittersnooze to unfollow me for a while.

The 140-character limit imposes a certain staccato style which I quite like. I was chuffed to be compared with Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw and (especially) Hunter S Thompson!

Here, then, is my first attempt at Live Gonzo Twittering — as others decided to call it, though I’m not sure the label is quite right myself — across about 90 minutes last Saturday night. the only changes I’ve made have been to fix some typos. Is this the best way to present it after the fact? Enjoy!

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Thoughts on “Earth Hour”

I haven’t seen the “official” writings about last night’s Earth Hour yet. I thought I’d record my personal reactions before absorbing the Sydney Morning Herald party line.

Photo of Pong on William Street during Earth Hour

’Pong was booked for a photo shoot on William Street for stock agency Gekko Images. Apparently it’s the first time ever that the illuminated Coca-Cola sign in Kings Cross is being turned off. “Magnanimous gesture for humanity,” I think the headline should read. ‘World’s largest caffeine pusher ceases visually polluting one tiny bit of the planet for 3600 seconds.” Their share price plummets as we speak. The moment must be recorded for posterity.

So at sunset I find myself on a train, city-bound…

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