Weekly Wrap 165: Distractions and decisions, of a sort

HMAS Advance (P83): click to embiggenIf there was a unifying theme for my week Monday 29 July to Sunday 4 August 2013, it was Distraction.

I distracted myself with the Nokia Lumia 925 / Windows Phone 8 trial. While I’m getting some useful real-world experience of the two products, it’s probably not going to generate any revenue, and it soaked up a lot of my time. I distracted myself even further by fiddling around with video editing.

I was distracted by delayed trains on Thursday night, sadly due to a death on the railway line at Mt Druitt, which meant I didn’t get back to Wentworth Falls until 0100 the following day.

I was distracted by Telstra’s changes to mobile broadband allowances — apparently they’ve now dropped the maximum data allowance they’ll provision to a mobile phone to a mere 9GB a month, so I was living the scenario I wrote about recently — and I had to trek to Penrith on Saturday to buy another device or risk being sodomised by their 10c/megabyte over-run charges.

And finally, today I was distracted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd finally deciding to call the election for 7 September — which means I’m distracting myself even more.

Articles

  • So you call yourself a geek?, ZDNet Australia, 29 July 2013. There was quite a bit of reaction to this column, possibly for the wrong reasons.

Podcasts

Media Appearances

  • On Thursday, Channel TEN’s The Project recorded some of my comments about geoblocking, but they have not been aired yet.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

[Update Monday 5 August 2013, 2155 AEST: This section has been changed to reflect the unfolding reality.]

On Monday I’ll write a ZDNet Australia column, making up for the one I’d intended to write on Friday, and then rum some errands to Katoomba.

On Tuesday I’ll write for Technology Spectator, work on revenue-generation for The 9pm Election, and complete episode 3 of the Corrupted Nerds: Conversations podcast, amongst other things.

On Wednesday I’ll head to Sydney for some of the Check Point Experience, an event hosted by security vendor Check Point. Thursday will be another Sydney trip for a medical appointment and a few other bits and pieces. And Friday will be a day of podcast production,I hope.

The weekend is currently unplanned.

[Photo: Attack-class patrol boat HMAS Advance (P83) (click to embiggen photo), formerly of the Royal Australian Navy, now with the Australian National Maritime Museum, photographed on Sydney Harbour on 1 August 2013.]

Links for 20 April 2009 through 21 April 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 20 April 2009 through 21 April 2009:

  • A criminally stupid war on drugs in the US | FT.com: Clive Crook pulls no punches, calling the US “War on Drugs” immoral, brainless and, yes, “criminally stupid”.
  • Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets | Wired.com: What's interesting about this is not that a message was generated from a person’s brain via EEG, ‘cos that’s been in use for a while, but that the researchers linked that to a remote messaging system. Using Twitter is a bit of a gimmick IMHO, since any text system would work similarly, but then it did get them the media attention.
  • How the 3Rs empower Telstra staff online — Social Media Guardrails | nowwearetalking: Released this week: Telstra’s 6-page social media policy. Billed as the first by a major Australian company (which I doubt), I daresay it’ll be analysed to death.
  • Blogging from a Corporate Perspective | www.nickhodge.com: Microsoft’s blogging policy, on the other hand, it just nine brief bullet points. If only governments could get to the point so quickly.
  • Circular 2008/8: Interim protocols for online media participation | Australian Public Service Commission: The Australian government’s guidelines for public servants using social media. Of course it’s written in bureaucratic language, but it covers some good territory.
  • World’s Biggest Submarine [with pics] | English Russia: The Typhoon was the biggest submarine in the world, and one of Russian’s deepest Cold War secrets. Now it’s a minor tourist attraction, and very rusty.
  • Five menu items at Silver Spoon Thai that could also be the name of an unsuccessful sex worker | 5ives: What it says.
  • Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable | Clay Shirky: A must-read article. “When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.”
  • NEO Living: The website for a new apartment block to be built on Enmore Road, Newtown. Some wonderfully creative PR bullshit about how wonderful the area is. For some reason, the website completely fails to mention that the development is sited on a busy and rather noisy Enmore Road, and is directly under the flight path leading to Sydney Airport’s runway 16L.
  • Debate: Hugh White and Australian defence policy | The Interpreter: Rory Medcalf kicks of a debate of Hugh White’s paper at the Lowy Institute’s blog.
  • A focused force: Australia’s defence priorities in the Asian Century | Lowy Institute: Professor Hugh White calls for Australia to abandon the “Balanced Force’ concept and refocus its military on managing strategic risks related to the rise of China. Professor White argues that Chinese power will challenge US primacy, undercutting the basic assumptions of Australian defence policy. This paper, with its controversial force-structure recommendations, is a major contribution to the Australian security debate on the eve of the 2009 Defence White Paper.
  • NavyNorthernTrident (navytrident09) on Twitter: An innovative use of Twitter? Tweets from two Royal Australian Navy ships embarking on a 6-month deployment taking them to 13 countries.
  • Ashton Kutcher Punks Twitter: A Giant Million Follower PR Stunt | NowPublic News Coverage: I wasn’t going to write anything about the supposed race to a million Twitter followers, and now I don’t have to because this article says it all: “This is not a story of the ‘little man’ beating out ‘big media’ — this is the story of a major Hollywood celebrity orchestrating a massive, social media publicity campaign that was specifically designed to promote himself, Twitter and, by extension, Ted Turner and CNN.” Once more, this will have triggered thousands into joining Twitter, and once more they’ll imagine its main purpose is for them to passively absorb the message of the “famous”. Such a wasted opportunity. P.S. Who’s Ashton Kutcher?
  • Disturbing Strokes | YouTube: MontyPropps takes the opening credits from the TV series Diff’rent Strokes and, by replacing the original jaunty music, creates something far more sinister. A demonstration of the power of music to set the mood.

8 Random Facts about Stilgherrian

Oh, I get it. Social media “guru” Laurel Papworth has to kill time before her Saudi trip gets sorted out. So what does this visionary of society’s future do? She ropes me into a blogging meme. How modern. How avant garde!

How… 2005.

Laurel was tagged three months ago and is only getting to it now. And they’re not even real ropes!

Is that enough slagging-off? Shall I get on with it now?

Actually this will be fun on a Saturday morning. It’s been ages since I’ve done one of these. Here goes…

Continue reading “8 Random Facts about Stilgherrian”