As bushfire smoke engulfed the Sydney region, giving the city the worst air quality in the world, my week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 November plodded along in a satisfactory manner.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 495: Bushfire smoke, cybers, and a random magpie”
I also think I’m coming down with a cold, which is hardly surprising. We’ll see.
There’s much I want to talk about, but this very moment I’m at the regularly monthly Poetry in the Pub in Katoomba. I have Sunday Lunch here many weeks. But this month it’s essentially a wake, because one of their number has passed. I’ll admit that I shed a tear as one chap read Henry Lawson’s “The Glass on the Bar”. My whinges can wait for another time.
- Is cybersecurity moving away from all the military language?, ZDNet Australia, 9 June 2015. I’ve written before the militarisation of the language of infosec before, so I was surprised to see this column generate some reaction.
- Spearphishing and how to stop it: Some lessons from AusCERT, ZDNet Australia, 12 June 2015.
There’s also two more ZDNet pieces in the pipeline. They’ll appear in the first half of the coming week, I imagine.
None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict is now scheduled for
Wednesday 17 Saturday 20 June.
There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.
- On Wednesday, I spoke about so-called digital detox on ABC 891 Adelaide.
- On Friday, I spoke about Australia’s proposed new laws for blocking websites that infringe copyright on ABC Riverina and across western NSW,
but there’s no recording.
The Week Ahead
On Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be finishing off those two ZDNet stories.
In theory, I’m also heading in to Sydney on Tuesday for the Optus Business Lunch, to hear the company’s chief executive officer Allen Lew deliver a keynote speech on “how customer behaviours are driving digital transformation” — but with deadlines, that may have to be cancelled. On Wednesday, I’ll be completing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. On Thursday, I’ll be writing a column for ZDNet.
On Friday, I’m definitely doing the long commute to Sydney, to go to a lunchtime briefing by the Wynyard Group on corporate and cyber criminals.
While the weekend has not yet been planned, the Solstice is on Sunday night — well, for me it’s at 0238 AEST on Monday morning — so I’ll be marking the occasion in some way. How? I’m not sure yet. The same applies to the rest of the weekend, I suppose.
Update 15 June 2015: Edited to reflect the schedule change. Second update, 1620 AEST: Edited to add link to ABC Riverina recording. Update 17 June 2015: Edited to reflect further schedule changes.
[Photo: Surveillance, photographed at Wentworth Falls railway station on 13 June 2015.]
Stilgherrian’s links for 22 September 2009 through 26 September 2009, gathered intermittently and posted with a lack of attention to detail:
- How Twitter works in theory | Epeus’ epigone: There is much in this commentary of Twitter which I support, particularly the concepts of flow and the overlapping social networks. Read and learn.
- Industry cooperation looming on filtering? | CommsDay: There have been rumours, from reliable sources, that Senator Conroy is hoping Australia’s Internet industry will come up with its own answer to censorship.
- Dear Associated Press: Come On, Attribution is Not That Hard | Whatever: John Scalzi is annoyed that AP cited him as “another user” on Twitter, when his name is just a click away. This fits with something I hinted at in Crikey this week. More about that another time.
- How journalists and media brands can get the maximum benefit from Twitter | Write, edit, blog: A nice collection of thoughts about… well, what the title says.
- Public Radio Exchange: “An online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming.” Free registration means you can listen to this stuff yourself. Hours and hours of it.
- Programmatic specificity: what is Rudd talking about? | En Passant: An earlier essay, from July, with another take on Ruddspeak.
- Rudd's robust language is not the problem | Woolly Days: A nice analysis of why Prime Minister Kevin Rudd using the f-word really of little consequence, whereas bureaucratic evasiveness like “detailed programmatic specificity” is.
- Caring for Your Introvert | The Atlantic (March 2003): An oldie but a goodie. Kind of. If you’re an introvert, it might be worth showing this to those extroverts who are pissing you off.
- LIFE photo archive hosted by Google: All of the photos from LIFE magazine from 1936 to 1972 are on Google Images. This isn’t new — the archive was created in 2008 — but I was reminded of it this week.
- WP Greet Box WordPress Plugin | OMNINOGGIN: A different message is displayed to blog visitors, depending on how they found you. Do I have a use for this, or it it just another annoyance to maintain?
- Is the Internet melting our brains? | Salon Books: Despite the provocative headline, this interview with linguist Dennis Baron from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a sensible debunking of the fears.
- The Interregnum Revisited | Jon Taplin’ Blog: This essay deserves slow and careful reading. It links the themes of the cyclic nature of right-wing fear-mongering and paranoia with longer-term US political history — with some disturbing conclusions.
- Can Sheepdogs Round Up Magpies? | BitingTheDust: A great story from Robbo, currently in the Gibson Desert. And a great photo.
- MacSpeech Dictate 1.5: I’d been meaning to find decent dictation software for OS X, and John Birmingham mentioned this one. Must check it out.
- Average Web Page Size Triples Since 2003 | WebSiteOptimization.com: Web pages now average more than 300KB and 50 objects per page. I know my own attitude has been that everyone now has broadband. But what about mobile devices and the Third World?
Yesterday ’Pong and I journeyed to Epping in Sydney’s north-west suburbs to photograph this monument to history: John Howard’s campaign office for the 2007 federal election. It’s still empty almost two years later.
Epping seemed strangely bleak. This was far from being the only empty shop on Beecroft Road. Signs were dilapidated. In the alley behind the shops, magpies rummaged through restaurant garbage bins in search of food. The eucalypt smoke enshrouding the suburb — the result of back-burning operation before summer — didn’t help.
Two years ago posts referencing John Howard dominated this website’s tag cloud. It’s been a long time since he was Prime Minister, but he’s still prominent here and in the mainstream media through things like his Menzies Lecture — and that was a strange attempt to stamp his own rhetoric onto Australia’s political history.
I wonder how long it’ll be until we stop hearing about the miserable old toad?
The exact moment of Winter Solstice was 9.59am Sydney time. The week was far too hectic to organise a proper ritual of Sunreturn before dusk last night. Instead, in an impromptu meditation, this crisp Saturday morning sees my tiny pearl of tealight flame battling an irregular, gentle breeze.
I protect it with my cupped hands, and smile. I can always re-light it if it blows out. No-one will notice the ceremonial faux pas but me.
Another reason to love this village: just walking to the post office, I encounter five different species of birds!
OK, the skyrat pigeons can go. But the rest are just wonderful — even the aggressive miners. And add to that the family of pied currawongs that live nearby and several other species and you have a wonderful community in which to live.