Weekly Wrap 231: A purple flower, and the events pile up

Purple flag, a flower of some Patersonia species: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 3 to Sunday 9 November 2014 was remarkably productive, despite the temptations of then grains and the gentle ministrations of Mistress Insomnia.



My 5at5 daily email newsletter reappeared, and I managed to produce all five editions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Why not subscribe so you receive them all?

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday, I went to the launch of the Microsoft Nokia Lumia 830 smartphone at Paramount House in Surry Hills, where I was of course given good canapés and wine. I also got a Lumia-branded tote bag containing a packet of Microsoft-branded jelly babies; a 2GB USB stick containing media information; and a loaner unit of the Lumia 830 itself. I’ll be using it over the next two weeks, and will report back at the end of that time.
  • Also on Thursday, I went to the Indies Party, the annual not-quite-Christmas party held jointly by the PR agencies Bass PR, Shuna Boyd PR, Einsteinz Communications, and Espresso Communications. There was food and drink aplenty.

The Week Ahead

The coming week is both busy and more structure than usual. That said, my schedule is always subject to last-minute changes — whether that’s down to the news cycle, cashflow glitches, or simply not caring any more. As usual, the daily plan tweets my be found on my voluminous Twitter feed.

Monday should see the completion of an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

Tuesday is a Sydney day. I plan to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Martin Place, though that will depend on me getting a decent sleep the night before. Then there’s a lunch briefing with the Australian government’s CTO, John Sheridan, then coffee with a PR agency, then two events in the evening. Audible is launching something or other with the hashtag #ListenUp, and Chinese tech giant Huawei is launching their new smart device. That looks like rather a long day, so I plan to stay overnight in Sydney.

Wednesday should see a morning of writing, then a meeting with executives from Slovakian information security company ESET, and some time at AVAR, the 17th annual conference of the Association of Anti-Virus Asia Researchers, which ESET is organising this year.

That conference runs through to Friday, but I’m not sure how much of it I’ll be able to catch. I still have my usual column for ZDNet Australia to write on Thursday, and some administrivia to deal with on Friday, and I hope to get some other bits and pieces of writing done too.

The weekend is yet again unplanned, as seems to be the usual way lately. At least at this stage.

Update 10 November 2014: Edited to add a section for 5at5, which I’d forgotten.

[Photo: Purple, being a flower of some Patersonia species, photographed at Bunjaree Cottages on 5 November 2014. It’s a Patersonia serica, according to Flower Checker.]

Talking WireLurker, Google, Peta Credlin on 1395 FIVEaa

FIVEaa logoThe WireLurker malware that affects Apple’s iOS and OS X devices has been in the technical news this week. That caught Will Goodings’ eye, as did the Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful people. We chatted about both on Friday afternoon.

I wrote about WireLurker at Crikey, so I won’t repeat that here. Our conversation on 1395 FIVEaa fleshes out some of the issues. If you want to get into the technicals, you can always read the original report from Palo Alto Networks or the independent analysis by Jonathan Zdziarski.

As for the Forbes list, Goodings was wanting to chat about Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page jointly holding the number nine spot. Which we did. But he also was interested in my suggestions.

For the most powerful Australian, I nominated the prime minister’s chief of staff Peta Credlin. “Nothing goes into the prime minister’s ear without her say-so, and nothing comes out of the government onto the media without her say-so,” I said.

Goodings then added his own comments, based on having see Credlin at work. It’s worth listening to. It starts at 15 minutes 27 seconds. I’ll also extract them for the next episode of The 9pm Edict.

The audio is ©2014 dmgRadio Australia.

Links for 15 October 2009 through 19 October 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 15 October 2009 through 19 October 2009, gathered with bile and soaked in vinegar:

  • 50 Years of Space Exploration | Flickr: A brilliant infographic summarising interplanetary exploration. In an excellent demonstration of Chaos, the landing on asteroid 443 Eros is accidentally tagged as “443 Eris”. All hail Discordia!
  • They Shoot Porn Stars Don’t They: Susannah Breslin’s fascinating and somewhat challenging feature article on the recession-hit US porn industry.
  • ISP in file-sharing wi-fi theft | BBC News: UK ISP TalkTalk staged a wireless stunt, illustrating why it thinks Lord Mandelson’s plans to disconnect illegal file sharers is “naive”. It’s easy to blame others just by hacking WiFi connections.
  • Prince Philip tussles with technology | ABC News: This story is a few days old, however I found it curious that a perfectly good story about the design of technology was tagged as “offbeat” and the teaser written to make Prince Phillip look like a silly old man.
  • NPR News Staff Social Media Policy: Another example of a good corporate social media policy. There’s plenty of these policies around now, so there’s no excuse for any big organisation not to have caught up.
  • Federal Court of Australia Judgements: Some judgements have been recorded on video. “The Court is keen to continue to improve public access with the use of live streaming video/audio. Further live and archived broadcasts of judgement summaries are posted on this page as they become available.”
  • Televised Patel trial an Australian first | ABC News: The trial of Dr Jayent Patel for manslaughter to be held in a Brisbane court will be shown in Bundaberg, where the deaths happened, via closed-circuit TV. Given this “local interest”, one wonders why it couldn’t also be available anywhere there were interested parties.
  • Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work: Maier was a Chicago street photographer from the 1950s to 1970s who died earlier this year. Some 40,000 negatives have been found, and they’e now being blogged.
  • 100 years of Big Content fearing technology — in its own words | Ars Technica: Copyright-holders have objected to pretty much every advance in media technology, it seems.
  • Mac Sales Spike When A New Version Of Windows Comes Out | Business Insider: A curious interpretation of the figures, but they reckon that when Microsoft releases a new version of Windows it drives people to buy Macs instead.
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s Coming War on Bloggers | Valleywag: While I normally don’t read Valleyway, I caught someone mentioning this article and was caught by one useful new term: conceptual gerrymandering. If the US FTC wants to give tax breaks to “news organisations” they’ll have to define what they are. Could it be old journalists versus bloggers battle writ large?

Links for 22 September 2009 through 26 September 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 22 September 2009 through 26 September 2009, gathered intermittently and posted with a lack of attention to detail:

Links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:

Links for 16 June 2009 through 20 June 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 16 June 2009 through 20 June 2009, posted with a distinct sense of “better late than never”:

  • Tether me!: How to tether your iPhone (that is, use it as a broadband modem for your laptop) when when your carrier doesn’t officially support it. (I haven’t tried this. I don’t have an iPhone.)
  • Hobby Horses | Blackbeard Blog: Tom Ewing observes that it might be better to stop trying to think about the “usefulness” of social media and instead consider it as a hobby. He draws some excellent parallels to hobbies and sport.
  • Optimizing Rural E-service Engagement | Information Technology in Developing Countries: A paper comparing development-driven and entrepreneurial models of Internet services in rural third-world locations. On of the examples is India’s DakNet which I mentioned the other day.
  • First Dog on the Moon | Crikey: The entire First Dog on the Moon back catalog is now online. 300+ images. Enjoy.
  • Letter Opener | restoroot.com: A plug-in for OS X’s Mail.app to handle those pesky winmail.dat attachments that sometimes, even today, still infect some emails from people with Exchange servers (which have been poorly configured).