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I’m off to Canberra again on 22 November for Trend Micro’s half-day Canberra Cloud Security Conference on 23 November, which I’m covering for CSO Online.

I’m actually a bit skeptical about the worth of this event. Some of the language on Trend Micro’s promotional materioal does not fill me with confidence.

This C-level gathering will bring together stakeholders across government, while offering a dedicated platform that weighs the pros and cons of the journey to the cloud… This event will offer a unique format for leading security specialists and business leaders in Federal Government to exchange ideas, gain valuable knowledge, and share their real-world risk management experiences.

What’s so goddam “dedicated” and “unique” about a bunch of people listening to a few blokes talking, followed by a panel discussion? Arsehats.

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Stilgherrian’s links for 16 August 2009 through 26 August 2009:

  • Academic Earth: “Video lectures from the world’s top scholars”, it says. Provided they’re American. The universities included so far are Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA and Yale.
  • [Air-L] Trivial tweeting: Another viewpoint on the “Twitter is pointless babble” rubbish, this time from Cornelius Puschmann, PhD, in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Düsseldorf.
  • Power of Information | UK Cabinet Office: The February 2009 report from the UK government’s taskforce on Government 2.0.
  • My #blogpostfriday post | Scripting News: Dave Winer is worried about the cloud. “We pour so much passion into dynamic web apps hosted by companies we know very little about. We do it without retaining a copy of our data. We have no idea how much it costs them to keep hosting what we create, so even if they’re public companies, it’s very hard to form an opinion of how likely they are to continue hosting our work.”
  • 8129.0 – Business Use of Information Technology, 2007-08 | Australian Bureau of Statistics: Detailed indicators on the incidence of use of information technology in Australian business, as collected by the 2007-08 Business Characteristics Survey (BCS).
  • The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction | Wikipedia: Someone — I forget who — told me to read this 1935 essay by German cultural critic Walter Benjamin. It’s been influential in the fields of cultural studies and media theory. It was produced, Benjamin wrote, in the effort to describe a theory of art that would be “useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art&”. “In the absence of any traditional, ritualistic value, art in the age of mechanical reproduction would inherently be based on the practice of politics. It is the most frequently cited of Benjamin’s essays”, says Wikipedia. Sounds like I should indeed read it.
  • How Tim O’Reilly Aims to Change Government | ReadWriteWeb: Tim O’Reilly posits “government as platform”, where the government would supply raw digital data and other forms of support for private sector innovators to build on top of. That’s the writer’s version. Does this fit with the Rudd government’s idea of the government as an enabler, as outlined in their Digital Economy Future Directions paper?
  • CHART OF THE DAY: Smartphone Sales To Beat PC Sales By 2011 | Silican Valley Insider: This is based on worldwide sales figures, and it makes sense. The Third World could really use a low-power, rugged smartphone at a sensible price, rather than a laptop or even a netbook to lug around.
  • News Corp pushing to create an online news consortium | By “consortium” they mean “cartel”, right? “Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller has positioned News Corp as a logical leader in the effort to start collecting fees from online readers because of its success with the Wall Street Journal Online, which boasts more than 1 million paying subscribers. He is believed to have met with major news publishers including New York Times Co, Washington Post Co, Hearst Corp and Tribune Co, publisher of the Los Angeles Times.”
  • Us Now : watch the film: “In a world in which information is like air, what happens to power?” This entire film can be watched online.
  • Morons with mobiles sour the tweet life | Jacqui Bunting writes some of the dumbest words about Twitter which have ever been written. Note to editors: Anyone who starts from the premise that Twitter is meant to be a “commentary on life” needs to be taken out the back and slapped around a bit. It’s 2009. Please catch up.
  • The Conversation | Now That I Have Your Attention: The creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd, Graham Linehan, also has a few words on Pear Analytics’ cod research on Twitter. He makes the point that for the first time we’re truly having a global conversation.
  • Pointless babble | The New Adventures of Stephen Fry: The redoubtable Stephen Fry rips into that Pear Analytics research on Twitter, with more brevity and wit than I did the other day. Well said, Sir!
  • Top 100 Aussie Web Startups – August 09 | TechNation Australia: The latest league table of Australian web businesses, for those who like to have winners and losers in clearly-defined categories.
  • Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule | Flickr: Proof that you don’t need the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology to be boringly anal-retentive about your scheduling.
  • Bruce Schneier: Facebook should compete on privacy, not hide it away | The Guardian: Another thought-provoking essay by Bruce Schneier.
  • Hype Cycle Book | Gartner: Mastering the Hype Cycle is the book explaining Gartner’s regular Hype Cycle reports.
  • How It All Ends | YouTube: A follow-up to the video The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See, which presented a risk analysis showing that we cannot afford to ignore the potential risk of climate change, even if it all turns out to be wrong. This version skips over the main argument and addresses the potential objections.
  • Climate change cage match | Crikey: A delightful comment from a Crikey reader, Stephen Morris, who likens the tactics of climate change denialist Tamas Calderwood to the mating habits of the Satin Bowerbird, which is totally obsessed by the colour blue. “It will actively search through a wide variety of brightly coloured objects that might suitably decorate its bower, but the only colour that interests it and it wants to collect are those coloured blue. Tamas in his scientific objectivity (and unfortunately often his logic) is very Satin bowerbird like. It doesn’t matter what large amounts of available data says about global warming, the only titbits of data of interest to Tamas, are those that can be seen to indicate cooling. Once a data set loses its blueness (or coolness), it seems interest in it is lost and other blue data sets are sought.”
  • Senator Lundy describes her Public Sphere initiative | Net Traveller: A ten minute video in which Senator Kate Lundy describes her Public Sphere initiative, made for students at ANU studying Information Technology in Electronic Commerce COMP3410.
  • AP contradiction: Move forward but restore | Pursuing the Complete Community Connection: Steve Buttry points out the problem with Associated Press’ content protection plan: How can you “move forward” and “restore the past” at the same time?

Crikey logo

I’m in Crikey today, writing about yesterday’s Public Sphere forum Government 2.0: Policy and Practice and the launch of the Rudd government’s new Government 2.0 Taskforce. My article, free for all to read, is Government 2.0 Taskforce: first a logo design contest.

23 June 2009 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Here are the web links I’ve found for 29 April 2009, posted with postalness.

  • Australia 2020: Government Response: A year after the event which seemed so important at the time, we finally have the government’s response.
  • Developments in internet filtering technologies and other measures for promoting online safety | ACMA: The second of ACMA’s three annual reports on “developments in internet filtering technologies and other safety initiatives to protect consumers, including minors, who access content on the internet”.
  • The Full Story: “The Full Story is a media and information release portal where individuals and organisations can post breaking news, publicity, information or their side of the story on issues of local or national importance — free, as it happens, unedited and in full.”
  • Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview | McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: “Course Description: As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era focuses on the creation of short-form prose that is not intended to be reproduced on pulp fibers.”
  • NBN Luddites will be proven wrong | BuddeBlog: Analyst Paul Budde with another thoughtful piece.
  • RedR Australia: This organisation provides training for people working in overseas aid and disaster relief, covering everything from logistics to personal protection. Yes, there is a reason this is being bookmarked, but it’s secret.
  • Swine flu: Twitter’s power to misinform | Net Effect: Once more, the usual human trait of passing on information which may or may not be true is blamed on Twitter, not on the humans. Fail.

Stilgherrian’s links for 20 April 2009 through 21 April 2009:

  • A criminally stupid war on drugs in the US | Clive Crook pulls no punches, calling the US “War on Drugs” immoral, brainless and, yes, “criminally stupid”.
  • Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets | What's interesting about this is not that a message was generated from a person’s brain via EEG, ‘cos that’s been in use for a while, but that the researchers linked that to a remote messaging system. Using Twitter is a bit of a gimmick IMHO, since any text system would work similarly, but then it did get them the media attention.
  • How the 3Rs empower Telstra staff online — Social Media Guardrails | nowwearetalking: Released this week: Telstra’s 6-page social media policy. Billed as the first by a major Australian company (which I doubt), I daresay it’ll be analysed to death.
  • Blogging from a Corporate Perspective | Microsoft’s blogging policy, on the other hand, it just nine brief bullet points. If only governments could get to the point so quickly.
  • Circular 2008/8: Interim protocols for online media participation | Australian Public Service Commission: The Australian government’s guidelines for public servants using social media. Of course it’s written in bureaucratic language, but it covers some good territory.
  • World’s Biggest Submarine [with pics] | English Russia: The Typhoon was the biggest submarine in the world, and one of Russian’s deepest Cold War secrets. Now it’s a minor tourist attraction, and very rusty.
  • Five menu items at Silver Spoon Thai that could also be the name of an unsuccessful sex worker | 5ives: What it says.
  • Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable | Clay Shirky: A must-read article. “When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.”
  • NEO Living: The website for a new apartment block to be built on Enmore Road, Newtown. Some wonderfully creative PR bullshit about how wonderful the area is. For some reason, the website completely fails to mention that the development is sited on a busy and rather noisy Enmore Road, and is directly under the flight path leading to Sydney Airport’s runway 16L.
  • Debate: Hugh White and Australian defence policy | The Interpreter: Rory Medcalf kicks of a debate of Hugh White’s paper at the Lowy Institute’s blog.
  • A focused force: Australia’s defence priorities in the Asian Century | Lowy Institute: Professor Hugh White calls for Australia to abandon the “Balanced Force’ concept and refocus its military on managing strategic risks related to the rise of China. Professor White argues that Chinese power will challenge US primacy, undercutting the basic assumptions of Australian defence policy. This paper, with its controversial force-structure recommendations, is a major contribution to the Australian security debate on the eve of the 2009 Defence White Paper.
  • NavyNorthernTrident (navytrident09) on Twitter: An innovative use of Twitter? Tweets from two Royal Australian Navy ships embarking on a 6-month deployment taking them to 13 countries.
  • Ashton Kutcher Punks Twitter: A Giant Million Follower PR Stunt | NowPublic News Coverage: I wasn’t going to write anything about the supposed race to a million Twitter followers, and now I don’t have to because this article says it all: “This is not a story of the ‘little man’ beating out ‘big media’ — this is the story of a major Hollywood celebrity orchestrating a massive, social media publicity campaign that was specifically designed to promote himself, Twitter and, by extension, Ted Turner and CNN.” Once more, this will have triggered thousands into joining Twitter, and once more they’ll imagine its main purpose is for them to passively absorb the message of the “famous”. Such a wasted opportunity. P.S. Who’s Ashton Kutcher?
  • Disturbing Strokes | YouTube: MontyPropps takes the opening credits from the TV series Diff’rent Strokes and, by replacing the original jaunty music, creates something far more sinister. A demonstration of the power of music to set the mood.