Talking the cult of Apple on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoToday the iPhone 6 went on sale, and of course the Apple fanchildren went into their usual semi-crazed state waiting for the Apple Stores to open — even on the Gold Coast.

ABC Gold Coast morning presenter Nicole Dyer decided to give me a call to explain the phenomenon, and here’s the recording.

She asked me about Stephen Fry’s review of the iPhone 6 for The Guardian. I was not complimentary. I referred to it as “one of the most embarrassing pieces of technology writing in the history of electricity”.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking geoblocking and copyright on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoThe government’s discussion paper on online copyright infringement came out just over a month ago, the submissions period closed on Monday, and now the debate is really kicking off — including on the complicated legal issue of geoblocking.

Now I’ve already given my opinion on the political spin in the discussion paper itself. But the specific issue of geoblocking came up on ABC Gold Coast, and this morning I spoke with breakfast presenter Bern Young.

Legally it’s a grey area. By signing up for a Netflix account from Australia, for example, you may be breaking the terms and conditions of their service. But you’re still paying for the content, and money is passed on the the actual producers.

The only people missing out are the local Australian distributors who’ve inserted themselves between the content producers and the audience. What value are they adding, exactly? The whole point of the internet is to enable people to connect globally.

CHOICE sees it as a consumer issue. Doesn’t geoblocking, the restriction of content availability by location, restrict competition? They’ve just launched a TV campaign making that point. Even the government’s own inquiry into IT pricing recommended that geoblocking be outlawed.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 194: Brandis, Bitcoin and many medias

Stilgherrian juggling the invisible things at Tech Leaders Forum: photo by Munin Kotadia: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 17 to Sunday 23 February 2014 began with a busy time on the Gold Coast at the Tech Leaders Forum, but when I returned to Wentworth Falls mid-week I descended into food poisoning and related depths. I shall not be drawing a diagram. You shall be grateful.

Nevertheless I got quite a bit done, and I shall now list some of it. But I won’t say much more, because this week ended almost a week ago and I’m moving on.

Articles

I deliberately cut back on the number of written pieces I produced this month, their place in the budget having been filled by the discussion on digital privacy for Hitachi Data Systems. But I’m happy with what I wrote, including this column.

Media Appearances

This was a ridiculous week for media spots. I did a total of seven radio interviews — and that’s after I’d turned down a couple of others, as well as a TV spot.

5at5

Oh dear. It seems that 5at5, the “email letter” that I started three weeks ago, has started to get a bit wobbly. I only managed three issues this week. Sorry.

Corporate Largesse

  • The Tech Leaders Forum 2014, formerly known as Kickstart Forum, on the Gold Coast ran from Sunday to Tuesday. The organisers, Media Connect, covered my flights from Sydney, airport transfers, and two nights accommodation at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove. Then there were various freebies. Avaya: a 4GB USB key containing media assets. Emerson Network Power: a combination max-min thermometer-hygrometer; and an 8GB USB key containing media assets. NEC: an 8GB USB key; and a little battery-powered Bluetooth audio speaker. Riverbed: a Power Bank model A5 2600mAh external battery with all the connectors; and a 4GB USB key containing media assets, on a bright orange lanyard. Symantec: two bottles of orange juice.

[Photo: Stilgherrian juggling the invisible things at Tech Leaders Forum, 16 February 2014, with freelance journalist Claire Porter on the right. Photograph by Munir Kotadia. This is just crying out for some Photoshop work.]

Talking Internet of Things on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoThe fact that a bunch of technology journalists had gathered on the Gold Coast to discuss the latest tech trends caught the interest of the local ABC radio station. This conversation from Wednesday 19 February is the result.

Presenter Nicole Dyer and I ended up talking about the Internet of Things — and of course I mentioned the internet refrigerator and the internet rice cooker — smart cars, smart air conditioning, smart TVs and how they can be hacked. It’s a more lighthearted approach to some topics that I’ve discussed more seriously elsewhere.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 193: Mid-month surge, then rain and planes

Sydney airport before dawn: click for original imageMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 February 2014 isn’t quite finished, but today is effectively the start of a new working week so… well, here we are. Before breakfast at Sydney Airport. Or right next to it. Call it a wrap of Monday to Saturday.

It seems that I switched from early-month torpor to late-month productivity around mid-week. We’ll see how that pans out over the next few days. But I do think I’m starting to identity a clear pattern here.

Articles

Media Appearances

5at5

I suppose I should give better prominence to 5at5, the “email letter” that I started two weeks ago. I’ve actually managed to stick to the daily routine — albeit with some wobbliness in the “around 5pm Sydney time” part of the deal — and it seems like people are liking it. Enjoy.

Corporate Largesse

  • Today I’m heading to the Gold Coast for the three-day Tech Leaders Forum 2014, formerly known as Kickstart Forum, an event I’ve attended in previous years. The event organisers cover my airfares and accommodation, and there’s usually plenty of food and drink and various freebies from the vendors who pay for it all. I’ll list all of the largesse next week so it’s all in the one place.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be on the Gold Coast through until Tuesday evening, fully occupied with the aforementioned event. I’ll then return to the Blue Mountains for a solid week of writing. There’s nothing locked in for Sydney at this stage, but of course that may change.

[Photo: Sydney airport before dawn, taken shortly before the post was published.]

Talking NBN board sacking on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoMonday morning brought the news that the board of NBN Co had tendered its resignation — although it later transpired that they’d been asked to resign, and one member had chosen not to tender their resignation. But whatever the fine details, it was certainly the day’s big news.

And so I found myself talking about the National Broadband Network on ABC Gold Coast on Monday afternoon with Matt Webber.

Here’s the full audio. I was surprised to find myself outlining the key differences between the Coalition and Labor broadband policies. I’d have thought these would have been discussed to death during the election campaign that had ended only two weeks earlier. But then I don’t follow the daily news bicycle these days, so perhaps I over-estimate how well our media serves the citizenry.

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I should note that the story has moved on since this was broadcast, so check your favourite news source. The audio is of course ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.