Talking with Sir Tim Berners-Lee for iiNet

Still from video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee: click for the videoEarly this month I recorded a video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, for internet service provider iiNet as part of their sponsorship of his TBL Down Under tour. That interview was published this week — and here it is.

Joining Berners-Lee and myself are Simon Hackett, founder of ISP Internode and all-round geek, and British actor, writer and comedian Robert Llewellyn, best known for playing the mechanoid Kryten in the TV science fiction comedy Red Dwarf.

We discussed Berners-Lee’s childhood trainspotting hobby, the NeXT computer on which he created the web, the politics of open standards and open data, the semantic web, the future of computer interfaces and why 3D interfaces didn’t take off — amongst many other things.

On a personal note, I found it interesting being involved in a corporate video rather than one for news media. Up front, there was a lot more stress (by others) about what my questions would be. Afterwards the edit, which I wasn’t involved with, had to be approved by Berners-Lee’s agents in London as well as iiNet. That presumably explains the long turnaround. Around 40 minutes of recorded material was trimmed back to a 20-minute interview.

In the news media, especially on a daily news cycle, I’d have prepared the interview questions the day of the interview. Then, once it was recorded, we’d have done a quick edit and it would’ve been online the next day.

Thank you, Pia Waugh, for recommending me for this gig. And, before anyone whinges, I haven’t embedded the video here because the videos on iiNet’s Freezone aren’t embeddable.

Weekly Wrap 7

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets.

Articles

  • ‘Open Government’ declared in Australia for Crikey. Buried in the news just before the Australian election was called last weekend, Lindsay Tanner, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, issued the Declaration of Open Government which had been called for by the Government 2.0 Taskforce. Someone ought to tell the Attorney-General’s Department.
  • Two other articles have been written but are still in the production pipeline, one for Crikey and one for ABC Unleashed. And I’ve been researching a 2000-word feature for ZDNet Australia. So I’ve been very busy, you just haven’t seen the output yet.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 49, “The software patent controversy explained” with guest Kimberlee Weatherall. She teaches intellectual property law at the University of Queensland.
  • A Series of Tubes episode 112, in which I chat with Richard Chirgwin about the Declaration of Open Government, the Privacy Commissioner’s findings on the Google Street View Wi-Fi incident, and how the Pirate Party fell at the first hurdle. Also, Internode’s John Lindsay explains the class action they and iiNet are involved with concerning Testra’s wholesale ADSL2+ pricing, and Steve Chung, consultant at Ruckus Wireless, talks about Wi-Fi privacy.

Media Appearances

[Photo: Paddy Maguire’s Hotel“, at the corner of George and Hay Streets, Haymarket, Sydney, taken from a bus window on 23 July 2010.]

Thank you, corporate supporters

Photo of sponsor-donated equipment: see article for details

This is the hardware I’m taking to Africa for Project TOTO for ActionAid Australia, courtesy of our supporters. While I’ve said before that social media is about the people not the tools, this kind of support is great. So, what’s in the picture?

In the back row there’s a pair of laptops to leave in Tanzania, thanks to Lenovo Australia: a refurbished ThinkPad R61 (left) and a brand new ThinkPad X200 (right). I’ll review the X200 at the end of our mission. Both are running Windows Vista Business.

In the front row, from left to right:

  • My own Nokia N96, to which we can compare the size of everything else. (It’s about the same size as an iPhone, Mark.)
  • A Thuraya SO-2150 satellite phone from Optus, thanks to Internode who are paying the bills. Yes, that tiny little thing is a satellite phone!
  • A Motorola MotoRazr V3xx multimedia phone, and
  • An LG KF700Q multimedia phone, both thanks to Telstra, and both of which stay in Tanzania.
  • A Lenovo IdeaPad S10e netbook running Windows XP, again thanks to Lenovo Australia, which is what I’ll be using instead of my usual MacBook Pro while I’m on the road. I’ll write about that experience as I go. However I’m very nervous about not having my usual computer with all its software loaded, and I still have to transfer my workflows to that system tonight.

So, some questions…

We’ll be able to pair the two phones to the two ThinkPads for ActionAid International Tanzania. Our blogs are running on WordPress. So they can quickly catalog their photos and videos and upload them, what tools would you recommend for the job? Remember, this is running Vista, and while I personally would consider switching to Ubuntu Linux, there isn’t time and Vista is what they already support in their office.

And as for me, running Windows XP and wanting to throw something together quickly tonight, what would you recommend?