Weekly Wrap 105: Trains, television and Singapore resolved

My week from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 June 2012 was a week of unexpected events.

I didn’t expect to be in Sydney quite as much as I was, and especially not for the purposes of committing television.

I didn’t expect it to be quite so goddam cold.

And I didn’t expect a few other, personal things that I’m not going to be telling you about.


  • Patch Monday episode 141, “Hosing down the Flame worm hype”, primarily a conversation with Trend Micro senior threat researcher Paul Ferguson.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

While Monday is a public holiday, I’ll be putting together the Patch Monday podcast for the Tuesday. Tuesday itself will be a planning day, in theory.

On Wednesday I’m covering a business briefing at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia entitled The Internet — a Bigger Economic Boom Than Mining, Really for Technology Spectator and, I suspect, Business Spectator as well.

On Thursday I’m covering the lunch of IBM’s report “A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050” (not yet promoted on the internet) for ZDNet Australia.

And then on Friday I have a story due for CSO Online and then another Patch Monday podcast.

My week is arranged! So what are the odds of it actually going to plan?


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: Sydney CBD viewed from Harris St, Ultimo, on Friday evening. Yes, another Instagram shot taken with my battered phone camera. This situation will change soon.]

Fine posts for 2011

Since the list of most popular posts for 2011 was pretty disappointing, just like the previous year, here’s my personal selection of seven more timeless posts for this year. Happy reading!

As usual, this does not include the material I wrote elsewhere, for Crikey, ZDNet Australia, ABC The Drum, Technology Spectator, CSO Online and the rest. That’s all listed on my Media Output page.

  1. Right, Google, you stupid cunts, this is simply not on! This was my first critique of the Google+ Real Names Policy, and still the most widely read.
  2. LinkedIn’s inadequate response to privacy stupidity, which was when they opened up people’s profiles for use in third-party advertising without asking first.
  3. Twitter: a guide for busy paranoids, adapted from a piece I wrote for the NSW Local Government Web Network.
  4. Tweeting your way out of Paranoia, a video of the presentation I did for the NSW LGWN conference. Yes, it’s related to the previous item.
  5. 50 to 50 #9: The Space Age, and the companion piece…
  6. 50 to 50 #9A: The Real Space Age. They’re about my personal experience of the Space Age.
  7. Goodbye, Artemis, a very personal experience.

You might also like to check out my personal favourites from 2010, 2009 and 2008.

[Update 27 December 2011: Minor corrections to text and HTML markup.]

Most popular posts of 2011

As has become my wont, at the end of each year I do a series of posts looking back at what I’ve done and how people reacted. This is the first, a list of the most-read posts from 2011.

There’s not a lot to choose from this year. Most of my writing has been elsewhere. But there’s some interesting results nonetheless.

  1. Right, Google, you stupid cunts, this is simply not on! I’m not surprised this is the most-read, but it simply wouldn’t have gotten the attention it did if it weren’t for the c-word. I’ve actually received quite a few compliments about this post.
  2. I just don’t get LinkedIn, do you?
  3. Follow Politics & Technology Forum people on Twitter.
  4. Patch Monday: There are no NBN apps: Turnbull. Given that this is actually just linkage to the podcast site, I’m surprised it got this many views.
  5. On stage for the Microsoft Politics & Technology Forum, being my plug for the event.
  6. Goodbye, Artemis. I’m hardly surprised this one generated so much traffic. There was so much interest in the demise of this much-loved feline.
  7. So LinkedIn is a giant Rolodex, eh?
  8. Twitter: a guide for busy paranoids
  9. And so begins 2011… in fear, being one of my rare personal pieces.
  10. Google+ gives me grief, generally

Continue reading “Most popular posts of 2011”

Weekly Wrap 62: LinkedIn and Hacking edition

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets, one day late and without a picture. I find it hard to get excited about creating these posts, but I suppose they’re useful.


  • Patch Monday episode 100, “Cybersecurity: past, present and future”. A conversation with Dr Paul Nielsen director and CEO of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, parent of CERT.


Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

None. Again.


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

LinkedIn’s inadequate response to privacy stupidity

LinkedIn has responded to criticism over their opting-in of everyone to their “social advertising” program with a self-serving blog post. I’m less than impressed.

I wrote two articles yesterday. For Crikey, Sorry too hard a word for LinkedIn over privacy faux pas, in which I describe LinkedIn’s response as bullshit. And for CSO Online, Five lessons from LinkedIn’s opt-out stupidity, which reminds people to keep an eye on social networking services for unannounced changes to the rules of engagement.

Paul Ducklin from security vendor Sophos gives them an easier time, praising them for a quick response. He’s nicer than I am.

In the cold, clear light of Saturday morning, what depresses me most about this whole episode is not that a supposedly-professional service would pull a trick like this and, when caught out, just smear PR bull over the top. It’s that they’ll probably get away with it, and imagine they handled it well.

Continue reading “LinkedIn’s inadequate response to privacy stupidity”

Crikey: LinkedIn pulls a Facebook-style privacy swifty

“Social advertising”. It sounds so innocuous. But it isn’t. It means that simply by “liking” something on LinkedIn, or if you “take other actions”, they can use your name and photo in third-party advertising. Pricks.

I’ve written about this in Crikey today, LinkedIn pulls a Facebook-like swifty on ‘social advertising’. I called them “exploitative”. I compared them to the “consumer-grade arseholes at Facebook”. I stand by all of that, and more.

I asked how LinkedIn could be so stupid. But it’s more than that.

Just what sort of mindset do LinkedIn’s executives have if they reckon this is an acceptable way to do business with people?

To me it indicates that they have no idea how people might react to discovering their face in someone else’s advertising. Or, if they do realise that, a disturbingly callous disregard for others, putting their business profits before their basic responsibilities as human beings.

Is that antisocial personality disorder? That seems to be what we call being a psychopath these days.

If you’re a LinkedIn user and want to opt out of all this, go to where your name is displayed on the top right of your LinkedIn screen and click on “Settings”. Click on “Account” at the bottom left of screen, then “Manage Social Advertising”.

[Disclosure: I receive a free LinkedIn Pro account as part of their media outreach program.]