Weekly Wrap 233: From privacy around and back to privacy

The Central Points: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 17 to Sunday 23 November 2014 was pleasingly productive, and struck a better balance between work and leisure time than the previous week. This pleases me.

I also suspect that Saturday night’s New Moon heralded the start of a new cycle of something or other, because so far Sunday has felt very different. We shall see.



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Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday, I covered the iappANZ conference, so there was food and drink on offer, and so I consumed same. I also had too many drinks with certain ISOC-AU people afterwards.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be writing a column for ZDNet Australia, and planning some technical work that’ll unfold in December.

On Tuesday, I’m heading in to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing by AVG Technologies. On the train, I’ll be working on a feature article for ZDNet Australia that’s due at the end of the month. I’ll complete that feature on Wednesday.

On Thursday, I’m writing another column for ZDNet Australia, and heading to Sydney for the annual internet industry boat party on Sydney Harbour, followed by further drinks in the evening. I’ll be staying in Sydney overnight.

On Friday, I’m writing a piece for Crikey, and starting work on another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That podcast will be finished on the weekend — although what else that weekend may hold is still to be determined.

[Photo: The Central Points, being part of a set of railway track points — what Americans would call “railroad switches” — photographed on 17 November 2014.]

Talking Netflix for Australia on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoToday the US-based video streaming service announced that will launch in Australia in March 2015. I spoke about the implications earlier this evening on ABC 891 Adelaide.

While Netflix already has 200,000-odd customers in Australia, using various methods to get around the geoblocking. Will they move across when the Australian service, given that the selection won’t be the same? Will Australia’s broadband cope?

The presenter is Michael Smyth.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking geoblocking and copyright on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoThe government’s discussion paper on online copyright infringement came out just over a month ago, the submissions period closed on Monday, and now the debate is really kicking off — including on the complicated legal issue of geoblocking.

Now I’ve already given my opinion on the political spin in the discussion paper itself. But the specific issue of geoblocking came up on ABC Gold Coast, and this morning I spoke with breakfast presenter Bern Young.

Legally it’s a grey area. By signing up for a Netflix account from Australia, for example, you may be breaking the terms and conditions of their service. But you’re still paying for the content, and money is passed on the the actual producers.

The only people missing out are the local Australian distributors who’ve inserted themselves between the content producers and the audience. What value are they adding, exactly? The whole point of the internet is to enable people to connect globally.

CHOICE sees it as a consumer issue. Doesn’t geoblocking, the restriction of content availability by location, restrict competition? They’ve just launched a TV campaign making that point. Even the government’s own inquiry into IT pricing recommended that geoblocking be outlawed.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking copyright infringement on ABC 720 Perth

ABC logoAnother series of Game of Thrones is released, which means another series of radio spots talking about Australia’s reputation for (allegedly) massive levels of illegal downloads.

This spot is from Tuesday 8 April, a chat with ABC 720 Perth afternoon presenter Gillian O’Shaughnessy, triggered by the news that the first episode of Game of Thrones series four had seen record levels of illegal downloads, with Perth topping the list — although Angus Kidman at Lifehacker disagrees.

One highlight of this conversation is when I suggest that the entire Australian content distribution industry should just get out of the way, retire and go play on their yachts.

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.