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.


  • 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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