Talking Smart TV surveillance on ABC 720 Perth

ABC logoAs I mentioned in my previous post, one of the technology stories that crossed over into the mainstream media last week was the news that Samsung’s Smart TV were listening out for conversations — part of its voice recognition features — and transmitting them to an un-named third party.

Now I won’t repeat the reasons why Samsung needs to do this, but I will repeat that Samsung’s big mistake was to have this voice recognition feature turned on by default — which meant that customers were unaware it was happening unless they happened to read the lengthy privacy policy and understand its implications.

This is the second radio spot I did on the topic, for ABC 720 Perth with presenter Jamie Burnett.

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This audio is @2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Bonus link: My ZDNet Australia piece from Smart TVs are dumb, and so are we.

Talking Heartbleed on ABC 774 Melbourne, ABC 720 Perth

ABC logoAnother day, another Heartbleed-related radio spot. This one was on ABC Radio 774 Melbourne, 720 Perth, and local stations throughout Victoria and Western Australia.

This conversation with presenter Prue Bentley was a straightforward explainer. It contains the current state of play in terms of what we believe, so if you only want to listen to one then make it this one. Unless there’s a more recent one on the site somewhere.

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The audio is of course ©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.

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The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 99: Perth, privacy and poor photographs

My week from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 April 2012 covered the entire continent from Sydney to Perth and (at least later today) back again.

That’s Perth in the photo, with the Swan River just visible between the apartment buildings of East Perth. The photo was taken with my bashed-up HTC Desire phone and processed through Instagram.

Heck, if Zuckerberg reckons it’s worth a billion dollars I might as well have a look, right?

I’ll comment on Instagram itself later, and figure out a better way to integrate the photos into this website. Meanwhile, here’s a gallery of my Instagram photos, updated automatically.

And now on with the show…

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 135, “iiNet wards off AFACT, but what next?” A summary of the High Court’s decision in Roadshow Films and others versus iiNet Limited, the initial reactions, and a wide-ranging discussion with Dr Rebecca Giblin, a copyright academic and geek from Monash University’s law school, who literally wrote the book on this subject: Code Wars: 10 Years of P2P Software Litigation. Keywords for the other things we mention are SOPA/PIPA, peer-to-peer production,

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • I wasn’t paid to present at DigitalMe, they did cover travel from Sydney to Perth and one night’s accommodation at Aarons Hotel including breakfast. Wine by Brad provided booze for the welcome drinks, as well as a bottle to take home. Food was supplied by Sorrento Restaurant, Northbridge.

The Week Ahead

A busy week of writing lies ahead, including a story for CSO Online and my presentation for the Saasu Cloud Conference the following week. I’ll also continue work on the feature story I’m writing for ZDNet Australia

I believe I’ll be back in Wentworth Falls for most of the week, but this could change at short notice. The Dopplr widget on the left-hand side of every page of my website is usually updated within an hour of plans changing, so always check there first — but bear in mind it has odd ideas of what day it is.

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 (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up). The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

Talking the Optus TV Now appeal on ABC Local Radio

In February the Federal Court ruled that Optus TV Now, which recorded free-to-air TV on behalf of customers for more convenient playback later, was legitimate personal timeshifting as allowed under section 111 of the Copyright Act 1968. Yesterday the Full Federal Court overturned that decision.

This case has interesting implications. Originally, Justice Steve Rares said, effectively, that someone using a recorder-in-the cloud was still making a personal copy for domestic purposes. The fact that they’re using a recording device that’s provided as a service rather than sitting on the shelf under their television is irrelevant. The Full Court is saying, effectively, that the cloud provider is complicity in the action, which means it’s no longer personal, and in some cases may even be the sole actor.

This interpretation could have massive implications for providers of other cloud services. Could they be found to be copying data that they’re not entitled to? I’m no lawyer, so don’t ask me. But I can at least see that the law is having to deal with situations that are very different from the circumstances imagined when it was written.

Paragraph 100 of the Full Court’s decisions does say:

We should emphasise that our concerns here have been limited to the particular service provider-subscriber relationship of Optus and its subscribers to the TV Now Service and to the nature and operation of the particular technology used to provide the service in question. We accept that different relationships and differing technologies may well yield different conclusions to the “who makes the copy” question.

Will this decision be appealed? You bet.

Last night I spoke about the decision and its implications with Dom Knight on ABC Local Radio nationally — well, except for the analog transmitters that were broadcasting the cricket. I also spoke about the material I presented yesterday at DigitalMe in Perth.

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[Update: I just noticed that there’s a couple of little audio gaps. I was recording off the stream, y’see. I’ll fix them later.]

Personally, I stand by what I said in the opinion piece I wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald in February: Sport has to think outside the box.

If you’re in Perth today, the DigitalFamily event starts at 1000 local time at Northbridge Piazza. It’s free.

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but as usual I’m posting it here as an archive.

Visiting Perth for DigitalMe (and other diversions)

I’ll be in Perth on Friday 27 April to present at DigitalMe, one of a series of media140 events, the other two being DigitalBusiness on Thursday 26 and DigitalFamily on Saturday 28 April.

(These events are part of the City of Perth’s Innovation Month. It looks like there’s some good stuff happening, including the screening of some classic futuristic films.)

DigitalMe is a full day of activities that “takes the individual on a journey through the digital landscape of blogging, video, personal privacy, personal reputation, mobile web and social media helping to demystify the digital world and understand more about your personal digital footprint.”

My half-hour session at 2pm is “Destroying your world, tweet by tweet, like by like”:

Facebook, Twitter and social mobile applications encourage you to share your life. But what happens when you share too much? Every time you share, tweet, email or browse a website you leave a digital footprint that reveals far more than you may realise — or want. Find out what Facebook, Twitter and the secretive online advertising companies know about you and take control.

I covered some related themes in a piece for the Sydney Morning Herald a few weeks back.

DigitalMe is being held at Northbridge Piazza. It’s free, but you’ll need to register online.

I’m flying into Perth on Thursday 26 April around lunchtime and leaving on Sunday 29 April in the mid-afternoon. My schedule is fairly open so far, so other diversions are welcome.