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Hanging SwampThis Weekly Wrap covers two weeks, Monday 4 to Sunday 17 September 2017. Thank the gods, spring is rolling on, and I’ll be back to weekly posting soon.

The fortnight’s achievements included wrapping up work on that SEKRIT editorial project — I’ll post separately about that on Monday — and the news that I probably don’t have skin cancer.

“Say what?”

So yeah, a spot on my leg that’s been there for years had recently started growing. I did what all of you should do. Rather than ignoring it, I showed it to my GP. He was fairly sure it was nothing to worry about, but to be sure, we sought specialist advice.

A lovely dermatologist chappie quickly identified it as a traumatised angioma, as shown in figures 16 and 17. Mine isn’t as visually prominent as that one, and only half the length.

My GP’s response was dismissive. “Oh, so it’s a scratch,” he said.

He’s been my GP for more than 20 years. He takes liberties. Like eating sandwiches during consultations.

Anyway, on with the show… such that it is.

Articles, Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None, but see below.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday 5 September, I spoke about the fragility of the internet on ABC Adelaide. As has been usual lately, I probably won’t post the audio.
  • On Thursday 14 September, Tim Burrowes and I spoke about Facebooks’s new advertising policies on ABC Radio’s The World Today.

The Week Ahead

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will finally be recorded this Thursday 21 September at 2100 AEST. No really. As has become traditional, it’ll be streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

Apart from that, I’ll be doing the usual mix of writing and complaining and stuff.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Hanging Swamp. The view down into a valley at the terrain known locally as a hanging swamp. This example is at the side of the main track at Bunjaree Cottages, near Wentworth Falls. Photographed on 13 September 2017.]

Facebook's Project Aquila

ABC logoOn Wednesday I spoke with ABC Radio National about Facebook’s Project Aquila. I’ll let their introduction explain it.

Facebook’s ‘Aquila’ drone has the wingspan of a 737 airliner. But it’s powered by the equivalent of three blow-dryers, and it will stay aloft for months at a time.

It’s a technological feat, built with the idea of extending internet connectivity to more of the developing world.

But the net commentator Stilgherrian explains that Facebook’s offering comes with certain limits.

Here’s the full conversation with presenter Michael Mackenzie, which also included a few words about Google’s Project Loon and net neutrality.

Play

This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation and is being served directly from the ABC website.

[Photo: Facebook’s ‘Aquila’ aerial internet platform has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737 airliner. (supplied)]

Barangaroo from Pyrmont: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 August 2015 was just as remarkable as the previous week, in that I got plenty of interesting things done.

Given that this Weekly Wrap is so dreadfully late, however, I won’t go into any details.

Articles

Podcasts

None. But there’ll be a new episode of The 9pm Edict on Sunday 23 August. See Update 11 of The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh for details of the plan from there on.

Media Appearances

5at5

There were three editions of 5at5, on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones?

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Most of it’s gone already, thanks to a nasty cold. Many people in and around Sydney seem to have been hit by this one. However, there’s a good two and a half days left, so…

On Friday (today), I’ll be re-planning everything post-cold, and writing a column for ZDNet.

On Saturday, I’ll be heading to Penrith to sort out a recording location for The 9pm Edict Public House Forum, as well as running a few errands. En route, I’ll be working on the script for the first of the three special podcast episodes for The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh. And on Sunday, I’ll be recording and posting that episode.

Further Ahead

The week beginning Monday 24 August will be the first of two weeks I’ll be spending in Ashfield in Sydney’s inner west, catsitting. I’m looking forward to it, though visiting Ashfield is always a bittersweet experience for me, for reasons that some of you may be aware of.

On Monday and Tuesday, I’m covering the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Sydney. In the past, I’ve gotten good value out of this event. I daresay that I’ll spend a big chunk of Wednesday writing about things from that event. Thursday too, maybe.

In the latter part of the week, I’ll finally be able to buy all the hardware that you good people have paid for in The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh. In between some meetings in the city, I’ll be designing and testing my new recording set-up, and posting a description once I’ve gotten it all working to my satisfaction. The weekend sees a Full Moon, so I shall take the necessary precautions.

Looking even further ahead, I’ll be at the ACCAN National Conference on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 September, and indeed taking part in a panel discussion on the Wednesday afternoon. The weekend of 5 and 6 September will see another special episode of The 9pm Edict.

And further ahead still, on Friday 9 September, I’ll be presenting my regular guest lecture at UTS. And then on Saturday 10 September, I should be recording The 9pm Edict Public House Forum — though I’ll officially confirm that date tomorrow afternoon.

[Photo: Barangaroo from Pyrmont, photographed on 11 August 2015 as I was waiting for a coffee companion. The Barangaroo development is certainly dominating the western side of the Sydney CBD now.]

ABC logoIt would be unfair to say that Randi Zuckerberg is only important because her brother is Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. She already had her own media career. Nevertheless…

Ms Zuckerberg spoke at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Brisbane on Wednesday, and if The Australian‘s report on Thursday is an accurate rendition, it must’ve been a disjointed jumble of ideas.

Chief amongst them was the idea of a “digital detox”, something which I’ve spoken about before. That topic caught the eye of the team at ABC 891 Adelaide, and I ended up speaking about it with Peter Goers. He normally presents the evening program, but this week he was filling in on mornings.

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The audio is of course ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoOn Tuesday night I spoke about the state of the art of targeted advertising on ABC Local Radio across NSW.

Presenter Dom Knight ended up talking with me for 25 minutes, covering the issues I wrote about for Crikey in Every step you take: how advertisers are monitoring your every move, plus The Atlantic’s story on how Facebook tracks the spread of political symbols.

I neglected to record the segment off the live steam, but I’ve obtained a recording made off-air. So rather than the full studio sound, you’ll hear the glory that is AM radio, with hiss and crackle and all that stuff. If a better-quality recording turns up, I’ll update this page.

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The audio is of course ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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.]

ABC logoOn Friday I was interviewed about Twitter’s latest quarterly results by ABC Radio’s lunchtime national current affairs program, The World Today — and in particular the potential future impact of bullying and trolling. And here’s the result.

“Twitter CEO admits cyber bullying poses threat to revenue growth,” was the story’s headline, and this is how presenter Peter Lloyd introduced it:

“The social media giant Twitter is being been forced to confront a serious threat to its profitability – cyber bullying. In internal emails leaked to a news website, the Twitter’s CEO says he ashamed of his company’s handling of bullies. Dick Costolo says harassed users are abandoning the service and as part of the quarterly financial results announcement overnight, Twitter reported disappointing user growth in the final three months of last year.”

The reporter was Pat McGrath.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The audio is being served directly from the ABC website, where you can also read a transcript.

ABC logoThe Christmas Day attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox and the supposed culprits, Lizard Squad, featured in this week’s “Tech Wreck” segment on ABC 720 Perth. Also, fake fingerprints and Facebook’s end of year review.

Lizard Squad had claimed responsibility for the attacks, and stopped them when Kim Dotcom paid them off. I reckon that was a mistake. Meanwhile, infosec journalist Brian Krebs thinks he’s identified Lizard Squad members, and later reported that at least one has been arrested.

A hacker presenting at the Chaos Computer Club conference in Germany demonstrated how he could recreate a fingerprint just from photographs.

And the Facebook thing? Just read this guy’s story.

The presenter is Jamie Burnett.

I’ve delayed posting this audio because there was a problem. I normally record off the ABC’s internet feed, but the link dropped out part-way. Journalist Will Ockenden was kind enough to pull the audio from the ABC’s archiving system, but that was interrupted by bushfire alerts. What to do?

I decided I’d post it as-is, because this is what Perth listeners would have heard, and it highlights just how serious Australia has to get during our hot, dangerous summers.

Play

The next “Tech Wreck” segment is on ABC 720 Perth this Tuesday 6 January 2015 at 1430 AWST / 173 AEDT.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoThis new social network Ello has been getting so much attention it’s… annoying. I was originally going to ignore it, but I got roped into this spot for ABC Gold Coast, and then Download This Show, so I decided to write about it for ZDNet Australia — that piece will appear on Tuesday.

But… This recording is the ABC radio spot, which aired on Tuesday morning with presenter Rebecca McLaren. I think I was in a bit of a cynical mood.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoEvery Tuesday night after 8pm, Dom Knight talks tech on ABC Local Radio around NSW — and I joined him on 1 July 2014.

Also joining us was Belinda Smith, deputy science and technology editor at The Conversation. We spoke about the notorious Facebook experiment, amongst other things.

Play

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, archived here because it isn’t being archived anywhere else.

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