Talking Facebook’s Project Aquila on ABC Radio National

Facebook's Project Aquila

ABC logoOn Wednesday I spoke with ABC Radio National about Facebook’s Project Aquila. I’ll let their introduction explain it.

Facebook’s ‘Aquila’ drone has the wingspan of a 737 airliner. But it’s powered by the equivalent of three blow-dryers, and it will stay aloft for months at a time.

It’s a technological feat, built with the idea of extending internet connectivity to more of the developing world.

But the net commentator Stilgherrian explains that Facebook’s offering comes with certain limits.

Here’s the full conversation with presenter Michael Mackenzie, which also included a few words about Google’s Project Loon and net neutrality.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation and is being served directly from the ABC website.

[Photo: Facebook’s ‘Aquila’ aerial internet platform has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737 airliner. (supplied)]

Weekly Wrap 189: Net Neutrality, damage and drugs

I'm sure it isn't meant to look like this: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 13 to Sunday 19 January 2014 was a little less productive than planned, but I did knock off a couple of items about Net Neutrality.

The productivity plunge was largely down to me changing medication for depression. It’s always a bit of a roller coaster ride as you change from one drug to another, lasting a week or more, and this was no exception. Looking ahead in time to the present, though, I’m thinking we may have gotten it right this time. Fingers crossed.

But my mood was also hit by a potential technical disaster. I knocked my MacBook Pro off the table once too often, and instead of the MagSafe plug popping out of the power socked as it should have, it jammed — and the plug itself was torn in half.

I stressed and stressed and stressed — until I realised I had access to a spare power adapter and, using that, discovered that the computer still worked as it should. Big sigh of relief.

Articles

I also wrote an op-ed on Sunday afternoon, but since it wasn’t published until Monday it’ll appear in next week’s wrap.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. But it’ll definitely start flowing again soon.

[Photo: I’m sure it isn’t meant to look like this, showing the accumulated damage to my MacBook Pro on 13 January 2014.]

Talking Net Neutrality on ABC Radio National Breakfast

ABC logoThe concept of Net Neutrality was in the news earlier this month: a US federal court struck down the Net Neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had introduced in 2010.

On 16 January I spoke about the issue on ABC Radio National Breakfast with Jonathan Green, and here’s the audio.

A US Court of Appeals ruling in Washington DC is being seen as a major blow to proponents of an open internet.

In ruling described as “even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected”, the court found internet service providers had every right to play favourites with their clients.

That could mean slowing speeds for services in competition with their own services and potentially charging higher fees to allow access to premium speeds.

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I must admit, I feel like I rambled a bit. As we started the conversation, my mobile phone link went dodgy, and the producer had to phone me back. We started the interview after a break — that’s been edited out of this version — but it threw me a bit. I’m not sure that I recovered.

Still, I think we got through the key points, and later in the morning I wrote something more coherent for Crikey, Net neutrality and why the internet might have just changed forever.

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is served here directly from their website.

Talking Net Neutrality on ABC RN Drive

ABC logoThe topic of Net Neutrality was in the news again this week, because major US telco Verizon was challenging the US Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 ruling on various grounds, including that it was unconstitutional.

It’s a complex and subtle topic, but the Wikipedia entry linked to in the first paragraph, this InfoWorld article and Verizon’s legal claim [PDF] should bring you up to speed — as, perhaps, might my chat with Jonathan Green on ABC Radio National’s Drive program from Thursday night.

Here’s the full audio, running for nearly eight minutes.

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The audio is ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s served here directly from the ABC website.

Weekly Wrap 29

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets — which was another slow week again this week, since it’s the lead-up to Christmas.

Articles

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 70, “2010: IT’s year of domination”. An extended panel discussion reviewing 2010 and making a few predictions for 2011. My guests are: Mick Liubinskas, co-founder of Australian start-up incubator Pollenizer and, back in the day, head of marketing and business development for infamous music sharing site Kazaa; columnist and author Paul Wallbank; and Jeff Waugh, open-source developer, strategist and advocate, and political tragic.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. It all seemed to wrap up last week. It’s going to be a bleak holiday season. Please send packages of food and drink.

Elsewhere

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.

[Photo: My Christmas card from 2007, recycled because I didn’t get around to doing anything new this year. I made the tinsel antlers for my good friend the Snarky Platypus, who continues to use them to this day. Photograph by Trinn (’Pong) Suwannapha.]