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Foggy morning in WerringtonI’m hoping that Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July 2018 will have been the last of a series of less-productive weeks, now that I’ve probably throw out all the intestinal bugs, and that I’ve got my computer back.

I’m very happy to finally present these first few items.

Podcasts

Articles

The first tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series has been released. I was the series editor, and my first two stories are now out there.

Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week. On Monday I need to finish a piece for Crikey, then it’s the start of several weeks in July and August when I’m writing primarily for ZDNet, covering for staff who are taking leave. That’ll keep me busy.

I hope to get a magazine-style episode of The 9pm Edict done some time this week too, but I haven’t set a date yet.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

[Photo: Foggy morning in Werrington. The view south from a train passing through the western Sydney suburb of Werrington on a foggy winter morning, 4 July 2018.]

This Weekly Wrap covers three weeks, from Monday 4 to Sunday 24 December 2017, a varied period.

My work involved, in order, finishing the second instalment of DirectorTech, writing for ZDNet, producing two podcasts, and winding down for the holiday season. Plus laziness about these posts.

Podcasts

Articles

I also did quite a bit of work on the second instalment of DirectorTech, though just editing and production this time, no original writing from me.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Friday 15 December I went to Watterson PR’s Christmas Party at The Deck, Luna Park. To say that there was plenty of food and drink would be an understatement.

Media Appearances

The Week Ahead

Monday is Christmas Day, which I’ll be celebrating in the company of a kitten in Ashfield. I’ve got a few errands to do on the following days, but this year I’m taking it easy through until the New Year. And that’s as far ahead as I’m looking. Happy Holidays.

[Photo: Cockatoo Swoop. A sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) swoops down to investigate my shopping trolley behind the Coles supermarket in Katoomba on 19 December 2017.]

Jill Charker from the Bureau of Statistics explains a census form to traditional dancer Peter Gurruwiwi in northeast Arnhem Land

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsIt’s that special day that comes but once every five years. Australia’s national Census 2016. And so far hasn’t it been a disaster.

“Look we don’t like to call it data mining, it’s more like data fracking,” tweeted by Johannes Jakob on 9 August, and he’s right.

This podcast was recorded as it was livestreamed on Tuesday night. Since then, we’ve discovered that a custard duck of fabulous proportions was unfolding in the background. Some comments herein may therefore seem a little dated.

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 or Spreaker.

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UTS logoThis morning I delivered version six of my now-regular guest lecture to media students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), “Algorithms and the Filter Bubble”. Here are the references and further reading.

The links over the fold start off with some background material that sets out my worldview, and then things are in roughly the same order as presented in the lecture — with the order becoming less coherent further down the page. There’s more material linked here than I mentioned in the lecture itself. Enjoy.

A recording of the lecture will be made available in roughly one week on Wednesday 23 September on Friday 25 September, as the change in Prime Minister has triggered the demand for some of my commentary. This page may be updated with further links at that time.

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2MFM logoHere’s the final of this week’s media spots that was triggered by Privacy Awareness Week, a chat about the privacy issues relating to mobile apps on Sydney’s Muslim community radio station 2MFM.

This interview was recorded on Tuesday 6 May, and this 23-minute edit was broadcast the same day. The presenter is Nadia Zahr.

2MFM has made the audio available on SoundCloud, but has not allowed for the file to be downloaded, so I’ve just embedded the SoundCloud link immediately below.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/148141679″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true&show_playcount=true&show_comments=true” width=”100%” height=”81″ iframe=”false” /]

The audio is of course ©2014 Muslim Community Radio 92.1 FM.

ABC logoA few weeks back, I had a conversation on Twitter with Natasha Mitchell, presenter of ABC Radio National’s Life Matters, about smartphones and just how much data they’re handing on to, well, all manner of organisations. This morning we came back to that conversation live on national radio.

Do you know what data you’re really sharing, and with whom, when you download and use smart phone apps? Companies are collecting as much as they can get away with, says Stilgherrian.

We spoke for 20 minutes and covered a lot of territory.

If you want to know more, then you can listen to my guest lecture at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and then follow the links to more than 30 references.

Play

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s served here directly from the ABC website.

[Update 5 April 2015: There is a more recent version of this lecture, presented in September 2014, but it has not been posted yet.]

Title card for "Algorithms and the Filter Bubble"On Monday 7 April, I delivered an updated version of my guest lecture to media students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), “Algorithms and the Filter Bubble”. And here it is.

What’s it about? It’s about what we now call — this year at least — “big data” and how that’s changing how the media works, just like it’s changing every other part of society.

I cruise through what all this data is, where it’s coming from, who’s collecting it and where it’s going; what advertisers and media companies and others can do with this data; and some speculation about how this might unfold in the future.

There’s links to all the references over the fold, and you can follow along with the slides (PDF). The recording picks up immediately after I was introduced by the course coordinator, Dr Belinda Middleweek. A transcript may or may not follow at some point in the future.

Some people mentioned that last time it was difficult to follow some of the slides, as the PDF file didn’t show how the builds happened, so I may add a video slideshow version at some point too.

The audience was primarily first and second year students at the beginning of their media studies degrees.

Play

[If a transcript ever becomes available, this is where it will appear.]

What was left out at the end

I didn’t keep a close enough eye on the time, which is most unprofessional of me, so I had to drop a couple of things at the end of the lecture. So what did we miss?

My planned closing was to speculate a little more about the implications of all this technology — essentially the material covered in references 26 through 30 below.

When advertisers and newsmakers know all about you, including where you are and what you’re interested in, and when robots become so good that they’re able to tailor news and advertising precisely for your interests and current state of mind — what does that mean for political persuasion, and other kinds of persuasion?

Watch the videos of the robots from the US Naval Research Laboratory responding to everyday human speech. Consider Apple founder Steve Job’s comment that the iTunes Store gives you “freedom from pornography”. Consider than in a world of filter bubbles, some news outlets with a political agenda might want to give you “freedom from confusing thoughts”. After all, Apple has already blocked from their App Store an app that provided information on US military drone strikes.

Just where might this go? As I told the media students at the start of the lecture, they are the ones who will be creating this future for themselves and their descendants, not those of us in the second half of our lives.

Licensing and Re-Use

This work is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. This presentation may be re-used for non-commercial purposes within the terms of the Creative Commons license. The non-commercial and share-alike conditions are required to adhere to the licensing of the imagery used. Please contact me if you require an alternative version. As a minimum, attribution should read: “Source: Stilgherrian.” Online versions must link the word Stilgherrian to the website at stilgherrian.com.

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Title slide for Algorithms and the Filter BubbleAnd here’s the second version of my guest lecture at the University of Technology Sydney from Monday afternoon.

Pretty much everything I said about the morning lecture applies to this one, including the link to the slides

All of the references mentioned in this lecture are listed in the previous post.

Play

[When the transcript becomes available, this is where it will appear.]

This work is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. This presentation may be re-used for non-commercial purposes within the terms of the Creative Commons license. The non-commercial and share-alike conditions are required to adhere to the licensing of the imagery used. Please contact me if you require an alternative version. As a minimum, attribution should read: “Source: Stilgherrian.” Online versions must link the word Stilgherrian to the website at stilgherrian.com.

[Update 29 August 2013: Fixed broken link to the slides.]

Title slide for Algorithms and the Filter BubbleAs foreshadowed, on Monday I delivered an updated version of my guest lecture at the University of Technology Sydney, “Algorithms and the Filter Bubble”. And here it is.

There’s quite a few changes from the lecture I gave in March, because I wanted to update some key examples.

In fact there’s two versions of the lecture, because I presented it twice — once at 0900 and once at 1300 — and some of the content was improvised around my moderately detailed notes. So I’ll bring you both versions. This is the first, with full audio and the slides.

The repeat of the lecture later in the day was slightly different.

There’s links to all the references over the fold.

As previously, the recording picks up immediately after I was introduced by lecturer, Dr Belinda Middleweek. A transcript may or may not follow at some point in the future.

The audience was primarily first and second year students at the beginning of their media studies degrees. Again, it seems that almost all of this material was brand new to them.

Play

[If a transcript ever becomes available, this is where it will appear.]

This work is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. This presentation may be re-used for non-commercial purposes within the terms of the Creative Commons license. The non-commercial and share-alike conditions are required to adhere to the licensing of the imagery used. Please contact me if you require an alternative version. As a minimum, attribution should read: “Source: Stilgherrian.” Online versions must link the word Stilgherrian to the website at stilgherrian.com.

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