Weekly Wrap 425: A winter of health records and privacy

Skyscraper SunsetMonday 16 to Sunday 22 July 2018 was another very productive week. So much of it seems to depend on the weather.


The third and final tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had one story this week, my series wrap, which I’m quite pleased with.

Plus I wrote four stories about My Health Record, Australia’s “new” centralised digital health record system, for ZDNet.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about My Health Record on ABC Adelaide, and on ABC Darwin. I won’t be posting recordings, because I’ve pretty much said it all in the articles.
  • On Thursday, I spoke about Google’s €4.3 billion fine for anti-competitive behaviour on ABC Radio’s The World Today.

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, because there will be at least two more stories on My Health Record for ZDNet. One will be written on Monday, before I definitely watch the first episode of the Australian edition of Pointless starting at 1800 on TEN.

On Tuesday, it’s the long commute to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing on the cybersecurity of the energy industry and other utilities. As usual, I’ll probably add some appointments around that.

On Thursday, I’ll be talking about the Crikey Prying Eyes series on Melbourne radio 3CR’s Communication Mixdown at 1800 AEDT.

Further Ahead

The following week I’ll be in Melbourne, from 30 July to 5 August. Primarily it’s for the SINET 61 conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, though, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Beyond that, I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Skyscraper Sunset. Sunset lighting strikes the side of an office tower near Central Station in Sydney on 25 June 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 424: The writing plods through winter, hurrah!

Sunrise at Wentworth FallsMonday 9 to Sunday 15 July 2018 was a productive week for me, party because I had my computer back, and partly because I’d dealt with certain stresses. Joy.

I’ve kinda fallen out of the habit of discussing the week in more detail. Long gone are actual blog posts like, say, this update on the internet filtering debate from a decade ago, or art reviews, or even collections of tweets. Certainly none of the essays like I came for the gin, I stayed for the social revolution (30 April 2008), or It’s the little details which matter… (27 May 2007), or so many others which were much better than those.

I blame Twitter.


The second tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had two stories this week.

Plus I wrote a couple of stories about the Australian Signals Directorate for ZDNet.

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week, primarily for ZDNet because I’m kinda covering some staff leave.

On Monday I’m talking about the Prying Eyes series on radio Triple R in Melbourne. That’s at 0945 AEST. I’ll keep the rest of the day free, because the opt-out period starts for Australia’s new My Health Record. There’s plenty of privacy concerns, and I’m half expecting the opt-out process to fall over. If so, I’ll be ready to write about it.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne for the week of 30 July to 5 August, primarily for the SINET 61 conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday that week. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Sunrise at Wentworth Falls. Not from this year, but from last year, 5 July 2017.]

Talking life pre-Google on ABC Adelaide

ABC logoIt’s almost 20 years since Google was founded, and it’s fair to say that at least some of the company’s services have become a part of almost every internet user’s life. But what did we do before Google?

There were other search engines, of course, but what about before the web was a thing?

On Friday I discussed this question with ABC Adelaide presenter Peter Goers, along with librarian Nikki White from the National Library of Australia.

This audio is ©2018 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking Facebook’s Project Aquila on ABC Radio National

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.

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)]