Visiting Melbourne for IBM’s Pulse 11

I’m heading to Melbourne this week to cover IBM’s Pulse 11 for ZDNet Australia. The event runs 27 to 28 July at the Crown Promenade, although I’ll be flying down late Tuesday afternoon and returning on Friday.

“Pulse is your premier event for accessing the solutions and expertise that can help your organisation transform the way it designs, delivers and manages business services,” says the promo material in a sentence remarkably free of concrete nouns. About eight pars in you’ll discover that it’s about things like managing cloud services and making sure your IT systems are secure and compliant with regulations.

I simply do not understand this corporate aversion to being specific.

It’s my first trip to Melbourne in about five years, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll have a little free time on Thursday afternoon and evening, so do feel free to make suggestions.

I’m attending Pulse 11 as a guest of IBM.

TechLines: Email is dead, what next?

Has email reached its use-by date as a business tool? If so, what next? That topic was explored in the combined ZDNet Australia / Lifehacker Australia TechLines webcast last week. Here’s the 66-minute end product.

If the embedded video doesn’t work, try over here.

Panellists were anthropologist Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow at Intel Labs; Alistair Rennie, general manager of Lotus Software and WebSphere Portal at IBM’s Software Group; futurist Mark Pesce; and Adele Beachley, who is RIM’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand i.e. from BlackBerry Land. It was hosted by the ABC’s James O’Loghlin.

I was in the audience, invited specifically so I could ask a question. Indeed, I get one in at the end. You’ll see me in the front row with a silver MacBook Pro in my lap.

I found the whole thing fascinating. O’Loghin worked well as a host too, I reckon. But I was wondering why for a webcast we needed the full six-camera broadcast production style. Freemantle Media did a good job, don’t get me wrong. But it’s an expensive way of doing things. Oh well, it wasn’t my money…

Anyway, have a squizz and let me know what you think.

Links for 12 September 2008 through 14 September 2008

Stilgherrian’s links for 12 September 2008 through 14 September 2008, arranged thanks to a raspberry muffin:

  • Beecher v Devine: The threat to public trust journalism | Crikey: Crikey publisher Eric Beecher’s response to Frank Devine’s attack. Today’s class exercise: compare and contrast the two styles of argument, with particular reference to the “straw man” argument and other logical fallacies.
  • Keep Beecher from the hack lagoon | The Australian: Estimable columnist Frank Devine attacks Crikey publisher Eric Beecher. Today’s class exercise: identify and describe all of the logical fallacies and rhetorical techniques he uses.
  • The Future Of Journalism | TPN :: GDay World: One take on yesterday’s Future of Journalism conference in Brisbane. Here Cameron Reilly makes the point that the industry is changing mnot because of a technological revolution but an economic revolution.
  • 2008 NSW Local Council Elections | ABC: Full raw results for the NSW local government elections held yesterday. Enough votes counted so far to indicate trends, but thanks to proportional representation preferential voting most councils’ results won’t be known officially or a week or two.
  • Semi Automatic Ground Environment | Wikipedia: Wikipedia’s artice on SAGE, the first computer-assisted nuclear defence system.
  • On Guard! The Story of SAGE | Internet Archive: A lovely 15-minute promotional film about SAGE, the Semi Automatic Ground Environment, the first computer-assisted nuclear defence system. Be astounded by the technological breakthrough of the Visual Display Unit!

Wednesday, in which I fail to learn about Web 2.0

Well if you were following my Twitter feed just now, you’d know that I abandoned the “Web 2.0” presentation put on for the ACS Web Technology SIG. 15 minutes in, I hadn’t heard anything I didn’t already know, and there was no sign that would change. Disappointed.

It unfolded like this:

  • I arrive just after Mr IBM started. Room of cubicle droids are astounded by a YouTube video of “Does it blend?” Much polite lolz. Apparently you can upload your own videos to YouTube.
  • We’re told there’s a trend away from the desktop. Gosh. Does that explains how I can Twitter from my phone? I notice there’s no pizza left. I don’t want pizza anyway.
  • Mr IBM introduces Runescape as an example of a virtual world, and then shows a static screenshot of IBM’s tennis presence in Second Life from the Australian Open. Why not actually demo SL?
  • Audience member asks what the most popular site is. Mr IBM says it’s hard to say, probably BigPond in Australia and hard to say globally. Audience member asks if he means “the web or Second Life”. SL, he says. Sheesh, if you don’t know for sure, just tell ’em it’s the furrysex dungeon and go for lolz, yeah?
  • I decide there’s no way I can raid the chocolate biscuits without drawing attention to myself, and I’m not learning anything new.
  • Pub.

The guy from IBM would be wrapping up and chatting with the crowd about now. I’ve already gone to the pub, had a beer and a “Thai” chicken salad, and posted this. That’s Web 2.0.

Reminder: ACS Web 2.0 presentation tonight

A reminder: I’m going to the Australian Computer Society’s Web Technology SIG’s presentation on Web 2.0, in Sydney from 1800 tonight. Apparently the redoubtable Laurel Papworth will be there too, so the presenter from IBM ain’t gonna have an easy time.

I’ll be Twittering it at and writing something afterwards. You don’t need a Twitter account to follow what I’ll say. My Twitterings also appear in the sidebar of my website, but only refreshed every 15 minutes or so.