Weekly Wrap 132: Schoolgirls and technological failures

Occluded House: click to embiggenI’d expected things to start winding down before Christmas, which is the traditional thing, but the week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 December 2012 was actually pretty busy.

I visited North Sydney Girls High School twice. On Monday, to help assess the projects the Year 10 students had done on the smartphone. And on Friday, to record some material for the Patch Monday podcast and to provide some feedback to the students who are making a documentary on the whole thing.

More about all that coming soon — particularly the podcast to be posted on 24 December. [Update 29 December: Here’s that podcast.]

In between, the writing and… oh fuck it, just look at the list.


  • Patch Monday episode 167, “2012 in review: IT vendors prepare for cloudy big-data future”. The first of our year-end conversations is with broadcaster, columnist, and author Paul Wallbank; Kate Carruthers; strategy consultant and founder of Social Innovation; and Jeff Waugh, open-source developer, strategist, and advocate.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

So, I mentioned that things are refusing to quieten down before Christmas? Yeah well this is what the week is going to look like unless I force the chloroform-soaked handkerchief into its face…

Monday includes finishing this week’s episode of Patch Monday and recording material for the next.

The remainder of the week is as yet unplanned, because certain things need to be confirmed. But it includes writing two articles for CSO Online and two or three for Crikey, plus more of the client website work that’s been taking up much more time than expected recently. Stay tuned.

[Photo: Occluded House, a view of the Sydney Opera House from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, made all the more special thanks to the advertising laid over the bus window.]

Weekly Wrap 107: Tribalism and the Gold Coast

So here’s my week from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 June 2012, which turned out to be much as planned. Thank you, Fate.


  • Patch Monday episode 143, “Microsoft? Is that still a thing?” I took a sickie on Monday, so this was another Patch Monday (on Tuesday) edition. And that meant we could talk about Microsoft’s new Surface device that was announced early Tuesday morning Australian time. But Kate Carruthers, Paul Wallbank and Benno Rice all suggested this probably wasn’t going to fix Microsoft’s flatline share price and that chief executive officer Steve Ballmer should go. That didn’t go down to well with, um, certain communities of interest.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday I visited IBM’s Australia Development Laboratory on the Gold Coast for a briefing about the security stuff that happens there. The Maginot Line story mentioned above was the first resulting media object from this. IBM covered a night at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel in Sydney en route, flights to and from Gold Coast, and a rather lovely seafood lunch.

The Week Ahead

At this stage I plan to return to Wentworth Falls on Monday afternoon and stay at Bunjaree Cottages for the week. Where I live from Friday onwards depends on how we arrange things to deal with the fact that the school holidays start on the weekend.

I don’t have any specific work locked in yet. That said, I do have a lingering feature story to start writing, and other stuff always turns up. And given that that it’s the end of the financial year, I’ll be reflecting on the work I’m currently doing and decide which parts of the mix get expanded and which cut back.

I’ve had a few thoughts already about certain media projects…


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: Shadow of my former self, a rather pointless self-portrait I took Friday afternoon because I saw my own shadow on the wall.]

Talking Instagram and Facebook on ABC Media Report

The biggest media story last week was the billion-dollar purchase of photo-sharing service Instagram by Facebook — and I ended up talking about it on ABC Radio National’s Media Report on Friday.

If you’d like to explore further than my comments to presenter Richard Aedy, you might like the Wired analysis of the numbers compared with other internet startup buyouts, Paul Wallbank’s refutation of that analysis, and a witty piece in NYMag — as well as my own piece for Crikey.

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and there’s a version at the ABC website.

Talking internet scams on Sydney radio 2UE

Well, this is a roundabout thing. On Saturday afternoons Trevor Long does a regular radio spot on 2UE 954 with presenter Tim Webster. This week Paul Wallbank was going to fill in but then it turned out that he couldn’t. So I ended up doing it.

The topics we discussed included the online extortion attempt against Sydney businessmen Sulieman Ravell and his firm Funds Focus; scams relating to London 2012 Olympics tickets, and other scams that Paul Wallbank had identified, as well as his tips for avoiding scams.

We also mentioned the new top-level internet domains.

Trevor Long, meanwhile, talked about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and what caught his eye there.

Here’s the audio, including the far-too-many mobile phone dropouts — which Tim Webster handled with aplomb — and a little bleep every time I skip over other segments like the sport and traffic reports. In fact I’ve left in Mr Webster’s handling of these glitches precisely because it shows his professionalism.

The audio is ©2012 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd, of course, but as usual I’m posting it here in case they don’t post it at their own website. The little beep sound is by junggle via Freesound.org, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.