The Defence Strategic Review dominated the relevant news from Canberra these last two weeks, but we also saw moves on combating far-right extremism, fighting the scams and spams, and various minor bits and pieces.Continue reading “Digital developments from Canberra 33”
My week of Monday 29 February to Sunday 6 March 2016 was a significant improvement on the previous week — mostly because I was in Melbourne, but also due to the bad influence of that hacker and an evil cyberpixie.
As I write this, it’s still very early on Sunday morning, so technically the week hasn’t ended yet — but details. You’ll cope.
- Who will benefit from Australia’s big new defence spend?, ZDNet Australia, 29 February 2016.
- Let’s quit the blockchain magic talk, ZDNet Australia, 3 March 2016. As with my previous ZDNet articles about Bitcoin, Bitcoin: More ideology than trustworthy currency, and Bitcoin: Itâ€™s not just loopy tulip land, it’s worse, I was “savaged” by people passive-aggressively referring to me as “the author” and telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about — without bothering to read what I’d actually written. So funny.
None, but I do want to wrap up that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast very soon. See below.
- I travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Sixtree. They paid for my flights, plus three nights accommodation at Mantra Southbank. And of course there was plenty of food and drink at the APIdays conference.
The Week Ahead
It’s another rather structured week for me. Monday kicks off with the 1024 train down to Sydney, and at 1335 I’m catching VA648 SYD-CBR. I’m organising a meeting or two for the afternoon and evening.
On Tuesday, I’m covering the Australian Internet Industry Association (AIIA) Navigating Privacy and Security Summit for ZDNet. On Wednesday, I’ll be writing about that before another meeting or two. Then at 1905 it’s VA669 CBR-SYD.
Thursday through Saturday is unplanned as yet, but I’ll be back in Wentworth Falls, and I hope to get that damn podcast done somewhere in there.
On Sunday, I’m heading a few kilometres up the Great Western Highway to Leura for day one of Tech Leaders.
I’ll be in Canberra again 12-14 April for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. And I’ll be on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May for the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference.
Stilgherrian’s links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009, gathered automatically but then left to languish for two weeks before publication.
There’s so many of these links this time that I’ll publish them over the fold. I think I need to get over my fear of the link being published automatically without my checking them first, and my concern that my website won’t look nice if the first post is just a list of links.
Maybe I should just stick these Delicious-generated links in a sidebar? Or do you like having them in the main stream and RSS feed?
Here are the web links I’ve found for 12 September 2009 through 19 September 2009, posted not-quite-automatically.
- Steak House or Gay Bar?: Can you pick the steakhouses from the gay bars, just by their names? It’s harder than you might thing!
- Greenpeace frees ocean life from Pacific longliner | Greenpeace Australia Pacific: Greenpeace’s report on their ship Esperanza “freeing tuna, sharks, marlin and an endangered sea turtle from a Taiwanese longliner”, the Ho Tsai Fa 18. Or, as I prefer to label it, Greenpeace committing piracy and endangering the lives of mariners going about their business.
- Fish Now, Pay Later | Greenpeace Australia Pacific: Darren Smith told me the article on dolphin-safe tuna wasn’t right, that Greenpeace didn’t support any kind of industrialised fishing. Here’s what Greenpeace is currently doing in the Pacific.
- The ecological disaster that is dolphin safe tuna | Southern Fried Science: By promoting “dolphin-safe tuna” — I prefer to spell it with a hyphen thusly — we’ve ended up with a system that’s unsafe for pretty much everything else.
- Meet my hot new stripper wife / Turns out the mid-life crisis is a cruel global phenomenon. Can it be stopped? | Mark Morford: Mark Morford is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers. In this piece from February 2008 he explains a man’s mid-life crisis rather too well. And entertainingly. I’ll never be able to listen to Justin Timberlake in the same way again.
- The Lost Seasons | ABC: More details of the Australian Aboriginal six-season cycle, including a nice explanation of the system used by the Sydney basin’s D’harawal people.
- War 2.0: Political Violence & New Media | ANU Department of International Relations: I’ve been invited to attend this 2-day symposium in Canberra on 7-8 October. Now, to figure out who’s paying for it, which will be the key factor in deciding whether I can go.
- Jimmy Carter says that tea baggers hate President Obama because he's black | The Root: The former president points out a truth so self-evident you wonder how it could possibly be controversial. But controversial it is. Has modern journalism become so timid that it can’t handle the truth?
- Understanding the Telstra d-i-v-o-r-c-e | SearchNetworking.com.au: Richard Chirgwin’s backgrounder explains just how difficult it will be to separate Telstra into separate wholesale and retail divisions.
- The next generation bends over | 37signals: The makers of Basecamp, something I use every day, reckon the sale of online accounting software Mint to Intuit, the makers of Quicken and Quickbooks, is “indicative of a VC-induced cancer that’s infecting our industry and killing off the next generation”.
- Kid Cannabis | Rolling Stone: “How a chubby pizza-delivery boy from Idaho became a drug kingpin.” It’s just another product distribution business, just illegal.
- Rudd & Conroy Gambling On Mandatory Internet Censorship Working | broowery.com: An odd statistical analysis of the likelihood of stumbling across banned material online.
- ACMA Blacklists Iran Protest Video & Boing Boing: Another example of why the ACMA blacklist process is seemingly out of step with what the community might want. That’s not ACMA’s fault, they’re just implementing a dodgy policy.
- Why Sol Trujillo should be sued for stuffing up Telstra: Kohler | SmartCompany: There’s so many historical analyses of Telstra coming out this week, what with the government announcing its break-up and n’all. This one is marvellous.
- 2009 Menzies Lecture by John Howard (full text) | The Australian: “In the Australian context the adoption of a Charter or Bill of rights would represent the final triumph of elitism in Australian politics,” reckons our former Prime Minister. A fascinating read if only for its disingenuous use of political rhetoric and coded messages rather than rational argument.
- Oil Rocks | BLDGBLOG: Imagine a city of 5000 people built on stilts and causeways some 45km out into a lake. Well, it exists, and it’s called Oil Rocks, in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan.
- The Mushroom Tunnel of Mittagong | BLDGBLOG: A fascinating look, with photos, of a mushroom farm inside a disused railway tunnel. The tunnel itself is still government property, with the farm existing on a 5-year lease.
- Death by Information Overload | HBR.org: “New research and novel techniques offer a lifeline to you and your organization,” it says.
- The Economics of Sex Work | Core Economics: Good to see an update of knowledge since I did a little research on the sex industry for ABC Radio all those years ago.
- CHART OF THE DAY: Primetime On Facebook Is Monday To Wednesday | Silicon Valley Insider: “Social media marketers, take note. The best days to spam, erm, publish wall posts on Facebook that you want your ‘fans’ to pay attention to are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.”
Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:
- REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits: I haven’t encountered this audio/music production tool before. It’s perhaps worth a look.
- Experts look to Australia’s Aborigines for weather help: As it happens, the Aboriginal tribes of the Sydney basin recognised six season, not the European four.
- The 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer: This was published back in March, but it’ll show you how trust in various things has changed over time.
- Salvage Techniques for Wet Electronics | Andy Ihnatko’s Celestial Waste of Bandwidth (BETA): The title says what it is. Yes, I have wet electronics. I dropped my phone in a “moist environment” and it’s now sitting with silica gel and probably never working again. Read this guide now so you know the drill for the future.
- For SEC, tech-savvy fans might be biggest threats to media exclusivity | St Petersburg Times: The US Southeastern Conference of college sports is trying to stop fans communicating about the game in the most stringent restrictions ever seem. A pity they can’t possibly work.
- User driven service bingo | Doc Searls Weblog: A checklist of activities to see whether some web service or other is truly “user driven”. Does this apply to organisations too?
- Electronic Warfare: Airborne electronic attack – a new offensive role for the RAAF | ADM: Someone took me to task for suggesting the RAAF buying F/A-18 Super Hornets was a waste. He suggested the electronic warfare capability of the “Growler” model was a worthwhile addition to Australia’s defence capability.
- Stop Using the Word “We” | Ted Dziuba: A plea for more direct communication within the corporation. Yes please.
- Economics is not a Natural Science by Douglas Rushkoff | Edge: “Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be subjected to the scientific method and mathematical scrutiny, it is not a natural science; it is game theory, with a set of underlying assumptions that have little to do with anything resembling genetics, neurology, evolution, or natural systems.”
- Impatient CEOs are all of a Twitter, but it doesn’t work like that | The Observer: John Naughton points out a real dilemma: CEOs have to generate profits to a quarterly cycle, but the business benefits of “social media” (or whatever it’s called next month) will take decades to emerge.
- Draft Open Access and Licensing Framework released | In Development: The New Zealand government’s draft policy recommends that government agencies use the most liberal Creative Commons licensing possible.
- Stark realisation: I no longer depend on Google to find stuff | Alex J Campbell: Alex differentiates between “finding” and “locating”, and along the way observes that the changes in the way we do these things has profound implications for businesses trying to get customers online.
- Words for Webstock – Bruce Sterling: Bruce Sterling sees the Future, and it’s banal. Just like today.
- Last Year’s Model: “It’s totally normal to lust after the hottest new geeky gadgets. It’s also cool to put some thought into what we buy, and what we throw away. So this is a place to show the world that a lot of us are choosing to use Last Year’s Model.” Their slogan is “Saving the planet through sheer laziness”, but it’s also a call for a more informed choice about consuming less.
- OSX Timemachine and Samba/Windows share | Hupio’s Weblog: How to use Apple’s OS X 10.5.2 Time Machine backup software with a Linux server, Windows server or Windows network share. It presumably works just as well with later versions.
- The next 100 years | New Statesman: An extract from Stratfor founder George Friedman’s book of the same name. Can you imagine a war between a Japan-Turkey alliance and US-Poland?
- Depression’s Evolutionary Roots | Scientific American: New research seems to indicate that depression isn’t something “broken”, but rather the brain going into an altered state so that “deep rumination” can be uninterrupted, leading to better analysis of a complex problem. If so, doesn’t that mean anti-depressant medications are preventing the problem being solved?
- John Thompson-Mills: John was the producer of Club Escape, the dance music program I presented with Scott Thompson on Triple J back in 1990 or whenever it was. Happy to have stumbled across this.
- CHART OF THE DAY: Actually, Kids Don’t Hate Twitter Anymore! | Silicon Valley Insider: “While Twitter’s user base historically favored older users, people between ages 12-24 have been Twitter’s fastest growing age group of late. And now that age group is actually disproportionately visiting Twitter, according to comScore.”
Here are the web links I’ve found for 27 July 2009 through 03 August 2009, posted not-quite automatically, and very late.
- Viral Wedding Video’s 10M Views Drive Chris Brown Buzz and Sales | Nielsen Wire: That “viral” (by which they just mean “popular”) video of a wedding party dancing into the church [was it a church?] reminded everyone of Chris Brown’s tedious autotune’d song again, with the result that it ended up in iTunes’ Top 10. Yet another example of how something being given away increases its sales.
- Who needs newspapers when you have Twitter? | Salon News: A massive troll by Wired editor Chris Anderson, seeking attention for his new book Free, which is not free. He starts by saying he doesn’t use the words “media” or “news” or “journalism”, but doesn’t offer any alternatives. Wanker.
- Techfest 2009 | NICTA: On 12 August 2009, NICTA showcases some of the new ICT research and development they’ree working on at this most-of-the-day event in Sydney. Let me know if you’d like to join me.
- Women In Film | YouTube: A morph-montage of some of the most famous female faces in film. Note how the eyes are so similar.
- Men In Film | YouTube: A morph-montage of some of film’s most famous male faces. It’s a challenge to spot all of them. Note how similar most of the noses are.
- Ashes 09: Hughes’ Twitter drop – Gen Y meets the Baggy Green | Crikey: Twitter, Criket Australia style: “We get the Twitter from Phillip and I feed them into our IT guy.” Somehow I don’t think they get this “personal” and “spontaneous” stuff.
- æ ç›®ï¼ˆç›®å½•): China’s PLA Daily offers free downloads of (military) music, plus some cheesy animated GIFs.
- Real Black Hats Hack Security Experts on Eve of Conference | Wired.com: Infosec “expert” Dan Kaminsky has been pwn3d, and his lame choice for passwords exposed.
- Tesla_Downunder: Some amazing photos of electrical effects from an Australian who’s been building large Tesla coils.
- AdViews: A digital archive of thousands of vintage TV commercials from the 1950s to 1980s, created or collected by ad agency Benton & Bowles or its successor, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B).
- Profile: Gary McKinnon | guardian.co.uk: 43yo Gary McKinnon, diagnosed last August with Asperger’s syndrome, admits to hacking US military computers to fuel his UFO obsession.
- Template Twitter strategy for Government Departments | UK Cabinet Office: The UK has developed a standard 20-page template which departments can use for their own Twitter strategy. I can’t help think that it’ll kill spontaneity before it starts. “All other tweets will be cleared by staff at Information Officer grade and above in the digital media team, consulting relevant colleagues in comms and private offices as necessary.” Gawd.
- The Mind Of A US Army Sniper | newmatilda.com: A fine article on what it means for a soldier, particularly a sniper, to kill a person. And then do it again. Not an easy read, but an important read.
- Reconceptualising “time” and “space” in the era of electronic media and communications | Australian Policy Online: “This paper examines to what extent electronic media and communications have contributed to currently changing concepts of time and space and how crucial their role is in experiencing temporality, spatiality and mobility.”
- Cutthroat Capitalism: An Economic Analysis of the Somali Pirate Business Model | Wired: “Like any business, Somali piracy can be explained in purely economic terms. It flourishes by exploiting the incentives that drive international maritime trade. The other parties involved — shippers, insurers, private security contractors, and numerous national navies — stand to gain more (or at least lose less) by tolerating it than by putting up a serious fight. As for the pirates, their escalating demands are a method of price discovery, a way of gauging how much the market will bear.”
- Mark Thomas Info: I first encountered Mark Thomas by reading his book As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandala: underground adventures in the arms & torture trade. The stand-up comedian and activist for human rights is worth paying attention to.
- The Arms Trade | A Stubborn Mule’s Perspective: Sean Carmody turns his data analysis skills to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Arms Transfer Database, which I mentioned the other day. This initial foray generates some nice maps.
- The Coming Upstream Revolution. And We Need It | Gigaom: Just as I thought, increasingly two-way communication on the web leads to increased demand for fast uplinks as well as downlinks.
- Metadata for news | BuzzMachine: Jeff Jarvis’ write-up of Associated Press and the Media Standards Trust proposal for a new standard for metadata for news, plus his own thoughts.
- SIPRI Arms Transfers Database | Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: A searchable database of all international transfers in seven categories of major conventional weapons from 1950 to the most recent full calendar year.