Talking Turnbull and startups on Mark Pesce’s TWISTA

Laura McKenzie, Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian in the recording studioWe recorded it on Monday afternoon, and it was posted today. It’s the latest episode of Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA: This Week In Startups Australia.

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Here’s how he introduces it on the web:

A huge pivot toward startups and innovation by Malcolm Turnbull, huge policy outcomes from Wyatt Roy’s Policy Hack event, a huge IPO from Australia’s most-beloved tech startup, Atlassian, a huge new $200M fund from Blackbird ventures, and huge issues with diversity still plague tech. TWISTA’s huge news special pairs SCALE Investors managing director Laura McKenzie and Austrlia’s snarkiest tech journo, Stilgherrian, with the biggest news issues in our biggest news special yet!

There’s rather a lot about Turnbull, actually, including a couiple of disturbing mental images.

For more details, check out the podcast Tumblr.

[Photo: Laura McKenzie, Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian in the recording studio, photographed by Felix Warmuth, who was our sound engineer.]

Talking Google and privacy on The Project

Screenshot from The Project, 13 December 2013On Friday 13 December I recorded some grabs for the Channel TEN program The Project, which were used that night in a story about Google’s idea of putting microphones in your house so that their “digital assistant” software could figure out how it could help you next.

I was amazed that Google would even suggest this idea so soon after they were linked to Edward Snowden’s revelations about the US National Security Agency (NSA). But then again, Google is a many-headed hydra of an organisation. It can walk and chew gum at the same time. Badly.

The Project only ended up using two of the grabs, but over the fold you’ll find the video of the entire four-minute segment — including some guy called Mark Pesce in the studio, talking to the panel.

Continue reading “Talking Google and privacy on The Project”

Weekly Wrap 131: Gentle chaos in suburbia, Mr Dean

The week of Monday 3 to Sunday 9 December 2012 was, by choice, somewhat less hectic than those preceding it. There was much rejoicing.

That said, plans to record the Patch Monday podcast early fell into a heap. There’s something odd about that podcast.



Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

  • Tuesday lunchtime I attended Optus’ 4G Showcase at The Forresters Hotel in Surry Hills. There was food. And wine.

The Week Ahead

On Monday (today), apart from wrapping up the various media projects that need to come together, I’m heading to North Sydney Girls High School to be one of the assessors in a remarkable project. The Year 10 girls have taken five weeks off normal school work to research how the smartphone is changing the world. It strikes me that this 16-year-old view of the subject is likely to be somewhat different from that of the usual middle-aged pundits, so I’ll return on Friday to record some material for a Patch Monday podcast to be published on 24 December.

In between there’ll be various bits of writing, as usual, and we’re recording next week’s Patch Monday podcast on Wednesday morning.

On Thursday night there’s the CBS Interactive Christmas party, and on Friday there’s the Watterson PR Christmas lunch.

[Photo: James Dean branded shortbread, because of his long association with baked products, photographed yesterday at a supermarket in Sydney. What Mr Dean has to do with New Zealand butter shortbread is beyond me.]

Weekly Wrap 115: Four trains and too much food

Today I’m catching up on a fortnight of blog posts, so for now my summary of the week Monday 13 to Sunday 19 August 2012 will consist of nothing but the facts, ma’am.

Personal observations about the last fortnight or so will follow within the next 48 hours or so.



I wrote two articles, one for ABC’s The Drum about media coverage of the Natonal Broadband Network, the other for CSO Online about the hoax “hack” on the Sony PlayStation Network, but neither has been published yet. Stand by.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday I had lunch at Rengaya in North Sydney on Websense’s tab.
  • On Tuesday I attended IBM’s Security Symposium 2012 in Sydney. They provided accommodation at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park hotel the night before so I could make the 0800 start, and plenty of refreshments during the morning.

The Week Ahead

The schedule for the next few days is being shaped by my impending travels, to the Sunshine Coast on Thursday 23 August to present at Consilium, on Sunday 26 August to San Francisco to cover VMworld, and back to Sydney by Wednesday 5 September to present at ACCAN’s national conference.

So between now and Thursday lunchtime I have to write two presentations and finalise two episodes of the Patch Monday podcast, as well as wrap up some other bits and pieces of writing. And get a haircut. And buy some new clothes.

At this stage I plan to be in Wentworth Falls until Wednesday morning, then hit Sydney that afternoon for the opening of the Samsung Experience Store (indeed) and an overnight stay before the real travels begin.

[Photo: The Blue Mountains Hotel, in Lawson, photographed on 13 August 2012 from a passing train.]

Weekly Wrap 109: Cold and wet until it wasn’t

My week from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July 2012 started in the cold and rain of winter, but ended on a brighter note.

That simple sentence suppresses vast amounts of depressing detail that you simply don’t need to know about.


  • Patch Monday episode 144, “Hands off our packets, it’s the law”. Geoff Huston, chief scientist at APNIC and the guy who more or less connected Australia’s universities to the internet, reckons that Telstra handing over web browsing logs to an external organisation is something that should be investigated by law enforcement. I posted the background earlier.


  • Cashing in on Kaching, Technology Spectator, 6 July 2012. All about Commonwealth Bank’s mobile banking strategy, in an article twice the length of anything I’ve written previously for this masthead.

Media Appearances

  • On Thursday I spoke about the Telstra thing and other mobile data privacy issues on the Twisted Wire podcast, Is your phone watching you?

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday the Commonwealth Bank briefed the media about their new Kaching for Android app and their mobile strategy generally, and that happened over food and wine at Sydney’s Flying Fish Restaurant on their tab.

The Week Ahead

So it’s the second week of the school holidays, so Bunjaree Cottages is still booked out, so I’m still lurking in a SEKRIT location in Sydney. Until Sunday lunchtime, probably.

On Tuesday Symantec is holding its Next@Norton media briefing as “an indulgent High Tea” from 0930 to 1200, presumably oblivious to the fact that high tea is an early evening meal for labourers and children. I’ll probably write it up for CSO Online.

On Thursday afternoon I’m interviewing futurist Mark Pesce about the themes being discussed in the blog-cum-book he’s writing with Robert Tercek, The Next Billion Seconds. That’ll be the following week’s Patch Monday podcast, unless some news cycle event bumps it.

There’s other writing tasks to interleave with that, as well as some work on the last remaining web management client on my books.

I might take the afternoon off on Friday.


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, Two-masted City, being a view of Sydney Tower and the mast of an unidentified ship over the roof of Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, on 5 July 2012.]

Hellfire? What a coincidence!

So this is a bit weird. Just as someone on Twitter asked whether I was hanging out at Hellfire Club, the robot @hyper_mpesce mentioned it too. WTF?

I’m not sure who @fivewalls is, but he asked: “You’re not hanging out at hellfire again are you?” That’s the column on the right, people who mention me or direct their conversation towards me.

@hyper_mpesce, which is a robot that repeats things Mark Pesce says, rearranging and making everything hyper, said: “hyper-If hyper-you hyper-even hyper-if hyper-you hyper-read hyper-the hyper-Hellfire hyper-Club. hyper-” hyper-#DISCONNECT.” As one would. That’s the column on the left, which is everyone I follow.

I can think of no explanation for this coincidence.