Monday 21 to Sunday 27 December 2020 was a suitably lazy Christmas week, even quieter than usual thanks to the ’rona fears. But I did record plenty of stuff for next week’s end-of-year podcast, and I made a video.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 552: A Christmas gift, rain, and a pointless video”
That’s Perth in the photo, with the Swan River just visible between the apartment buildings of East Perth. The photo was taken with my bashed-up HTC Desire phone and processed through Instagram.
Heck, if Zuckerberg reckons it’s worth a billion dollars I might as well have a look, right?
I’ll comment on Instagram itself later, and figure out a better way to integrate the photos into this website. Meanwhile, here’s a gallery of my Instagram photos, updated automatically.
And now on with the show…
- Patch Monday episode 135, “iiNet wards off AFACT, but what next?” A summary of the High Court’s decision in Roadshow Films and others versus iiNet Limited, the initial reactions, and a wide-ranging discussion with Dr Rebecca Giblin, a copyright academic and geek from Monash University’s law school, who literally wrote the book on this subject: Code Wars: 10 Years of P2P Software Litigation. Keywords for the other things we mention are SOPA/PIPA, peer-to-peer production,
- Blockbuster trial for a movie and TV industry in decline, ABC Drum Opinion, 23 April 2012.
- Security concerns over Australia’s e-health records, CSO Online, 23 April 2012.
- On Wednesday I was interviewed about the cash for tweets demi-scandal by Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser and their website AdelaideNow. The cash for what? Well, ABC TV’s Media Watch covered it on Monday night. Basically the South Australian Department of Tourism paid “celebrities” $750 to tweet about Kangaroo Island — but the tweets weren’t disclosed as advertising.
- On Thursday I was interviewed by SBS News for the story Wi-Fi networks ‘too hackable’. Quotes from this article appeared in Your WiFi Used In Their Crimes at smarthouse.com.au, where I was billed as a “tech blogger”.
- On Friday I presented at the DigitalMe event in Perth. I’ll link to the video as soon as that’s posted. Meanwhile here’s Sara Culverhouse’s summary.
- Also on Friday I was interviewed on ABC 720 Perth about that DigitalMe presentation. Thanks to Perth’s endemic taxi shortage I ended up walking briskly to the ABC studios — but not briskly enough. I did the interview via phone from the street. That meant I couldn’t record it.
- And still on Friday I spoke about the Optus TV Now appeal on ABC Local Radio sort-of-nationally with Dom Knight, as well as some of the stuff I covered at DigitalMe.
- I wasn’t paid to present at DigitalMe, they did cover travel from Sydney to Perth and one night’s accommodation at Aarons Hotel including breakfast. Wine by Brad provided booze for the welcome drinks, as well as a bottle to take home. Food was supplied by Sorrento Restaurant, Northbridge.
The Week Ahead
A busy week of writing lies ahead, including a story for CSO Online and my presentation for the Saasu Cloud Conference the following week. I’ll also continue work on the feature story I’m writing for ZDNet Australia
I believe I’ll be back in Wentworth Falls for most of the week, but this could change at short notice. The Dopplr widget on the left-hand side of every page of my website is usually updated within an hour of plans changing, so always check there first — but bear in mind it has odd ideas of what day it is.
Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up). The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.
The big internet-related story in Australia today was the High Court’s decision in the so-called #iiTrial. I wrote the lead story in Crikey — read that now for the facts and my analysis — and just spoke about it on ABC 702 Sydney.
The High Court decided, as outlined in its summary [PDF], that internet service provider iiNet was not responsible for the copyright-infringing acts of its customers. But as explained in their full decision, that decision was based on “all the facts of the case”. That is, things might have turned out differently had the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) or iiNet handled things differently. We’ll never know.
Since I wrote for Crikey, my ZDNet Australia colleague Josh Taylor has been tracking the reactions. I daresay there’ll be more to come across the weekend.
Now when I spoke to the ABC’s Richard Glover just after the 4pm news this afternoon — that’s the audio you’ll hear here — the scene was set first by Glover’s slightly-misleading introduction involving pubs and then AFACT’s managing director Neil Gane. So I was working within that framing. I’m not sure how well I did.
Obviously time was limited. Had I had more time to speak, I would have said:
- We do keep talking about the experience of the music industry, but that’s because they’re further down the path of replacing traditional distribution mechanisms with the internet. It might be worth the film and TV industries having a look at that and seeing what they can learn, rather than just being in denial.
- Yes, the economics of making a big blockbuster movie are very different from making a music album. But the film industry decided to take the blockbuster path with all the expensive hangers-on that that business model entails. No-one is forcing them to do it that way.
- With distribution costs tending to zero, those who run the traditional distribution models need one heck of a lot better argument to justify the amount of money they charge than “Oh no, it’s all different now”.
- They talk about the industry being in decline, but that’s because they only count themselves. As a totality, people probably spend more on entertainment than they ever have done. It’s like the Myer and David Jones and Harvey Norman stores whinging about the decline of retail. No, retail overall is doing just fine. The bit that’s failing is them — the people doing things the same old way and not adapting to the change.
- No business model has a right to exist. Maybe the age of big movies and big TV productions is over. It wouldn’t be the first time a form of entertainment had died because it was no longer viable, and it wouldn’t be the last.
The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but as usual I’m posting it here as an archive.
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.
- 栏目（目录): 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.
Stilgherrian’s links for 11 March 2009 through 18 March 2009, posted after considerable delay in some cases:
- Conroy’s clean feed | Background Briefing: ABC Radio’s 45-minute exploration. “In the name of protecting children, the government will decree we’ll be forbidden to see ‘unwanted’ and ‘inappropriate’ things on the web. But exactly what that means is a secret, and the thin end of the censorship wedge. Reporter, Wendy Carlisle.”
- The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time | What’s My Pass?: Humans are remarkably predictable. Even when they think they’re being obscure.
- One Laptop per Child trial | Centre for Learning Innovation: ’Pong’s video about the first Australian trial of the OLPC, showing kids using the XOs in a primary school in rural New South Wales. Interviews with Pia Waugh and the educators involved. For soem reason, DET have cut the credits off the end, which seems a bit rude.
- The real facts about Telstra and the Fake Stephen Conroy | nowwearetalking: Telstra’s first official response comes via their blog.
- Telstra man behind Fake Stephen Conroy | smh.com.au: Leslia Nassar has revealed himself as the man behind Fake Stephen Conroy. And now the shitfight begins…
- Social networking & social norms | Aide-Memoire: My friend Kate Carruthers links to some interesting discussions about how we’re creating and negotiating new social norms for online social networks. A good a starting point as any.
- File Sharing Has Become the “New Normal” for Most Online Canadians | Daily Exchange: New Canadian research on attitudes to “file sharing”. 45% say people who use peer-to-peer file sharing services to download music and movies are regular Internet users doing what people should be able to do on the Internet. Only 3% believe file-sharers are criminals who should be punished by law.
- Banned hyperlinks could cost you $11,000 a day | smh.com.au: Websites linking to Wikipedia and an anti-abortion website have been threatened with fines.
- ABC Mobile Web Site Failed Accessibility Test | Link: “Currently I am teaching mobile and accessible web design to second year and postgraduate students at The Australian National University in the course ‘Networked Information Systems’ (COMP2410). The ABC
[Mobile] home page would not be of an acceptable standard for student work on this course.”
- You can’t spell Lowest Common Denominator without “ABC Mobile” | Department of Internets: A less-than-complimentary review of the ABC Mobile website.
- ABC Mobile: The new supposedly-mobile-friendly website from Australia’s ABC. But…
- We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!!: Just like “Sexy People” but… with lasers! Lasers improve everything, right?
- Sexy People: Billed as “a celebration of the perfect portrait”, this collection of over-produced and overly-sentimental portrait photography reminds us just how bad the 1970s and 1980s really were.
- A gentle introduction to video encoding | dive into mark: A set of six articles providing an orientation to to issues involved in video encoding, written with a suitably cynical tone given the dog’s breakfast of formats available.
- Happy 20th Birthday WWW | Link: 13 March 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the CERN paper outlining what would become the World Wide Web.
- Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment (Search Powers) Bill 2009 | NSW Parliament: This Bill proposes giving far more extensive search powers to NSW Police, including the ability to secretly enter premises next to the suspect without notifying the owner or tenant, and to secretly install monitoring software on third-party computers.
- Unicorns and Cupcakes: Two of the worst styles of kitsch collide in an explosion of… kitsch.
- An interview with an anonymous blog commenter | Joanna Geary: A regular commenter on the Birmingham Post‘s website, “Clifford” chats about his experience.
- australian screen: Australia’s audiovisual heritage online. “Explore over 1,000 Australian film and television titles produced over the last 100 years, with clips, curator notes and other information.”
- Gary Hayes Emerging Media Diagrams | Flickr: “A range of charts created by Gary Hayes across games, social networks, cross-media, broadband services, virtual worlds. Used in various presentations already and all marked as creative commons – attribution, non-derivative, non-commercial.”
Given that mere popularity doesn’t reflect quality, here’s my personal selection of my best, timeless posts for 2008. Happy reading!
- Kruddiversary: The internet thanks you for 12 months of achieving nothing, my Crikey article looking at the first year of the Rudd government from an Internet geek’s perspective.
- Thailand’s political crisis: an introduction, though later pieces in The Economist are better than my amateur efforts.
- Journalism in a hyperconnected world.
- @KevinRuddPM stumbles into the Twitterverse, a Crikey article which includes links to the previous three essays I’d written about the PM’s entrance into modern social media.
- Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown, my experiment in live-tweeting a descriptive essay and still one of the best things I’ve written all year.
- How Dell fixed my monitor order, which is being used by clever consultants as an example of how to use social media for quality customer service.
- Sunday Thoughts about Journalism, a rather lengthy essay with many links to background on the Death of Newspapers this year.
- Finally, The Shave, a rather wonderful film we made.
- The Great Firewall of China: how it works, how to bypass it.
- Note to “old media” journalists: adapt, or stfu! This piece triggered an entire wave of discussion and was quoted globally.
- Winter Solstice Meditation.
- Anzac Day Rememberings.
- ABC Playback: so this is the future of television…? Nope! A review of what’s now called ABC iView.
- There ain’t no shortcuts to professionally-managed IT.
- Remembering the Space Age: Arthur C Clarke dead at 90.
- Super Hornets are Go.
- Jason Calacanis and the Evil Cult of the Internet Start-up. I don’t really think Jason is evil, but I do worry about the self-centred anti-human attitude of many people connected with Internet start-ups.
- New national anthem: I am So an Aussie, when the Snarky Platypus and I created, yes, a new national anthem. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!
- Is it really so wrong to mix business and politics (and religion)?
- Leaving room for elephants: a chat with David Attenborough, a personal fave since it harks back to an interesting time in my life. This is still one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done. Ever.
- Angry geeks: “Don’t waste money on internet filters”, one of many articles I posted about censorship, but which outlined the key issues way back in January.
- Post 801: Kill the Hallucinating Goldfish.