Weekly Wrap 265: You want entropy? We got entropy!

The dreadful Sydney winter continues: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 29 June to Sunday 5 July 2015 looks less productive than it actually was. But however you measure it, it was… interesting.

I didn’t publish any new media work this week. The ZDNet feature has been held over. The 9pm Edict podcast has been held over too, because I want to get the crowdfunding campaign locked in first. That campaign has been a little more difficult to conceptualise than I first thought.

And the rest of my time was full of end-of-financial-year tasks, and the stark realisation of how many different things I’m trying to do at once. So the list of media work actually generated this week is… also stark.

But that’s only because it doesn’t include the work I did on the SEKRIT television project.

Actually it’s not that SEKRIT. There have been hints.


None published, but I did complete that ZDNet feature which is expected to appear very soon.




Only one edition of 5at5 was published this week, on Tuesday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Actually, there won’t be any editions of 5at5 in the coming week, because I’ll be doing things that don’t lend themselves to spotting interesting things.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. Just like it tends to dry up at the end of the financial year, it takes a while to start flowing again in the new year. It will indeed start to flow next week.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be hectic. Damn hectic. But at least my mood should be improved by being in Sydney for the duration, rather than freezing to death in the Blue Mountains.

On Monday, I’ll be setting up the crowdfunding campaign, dealing with a pile of urgent administrivia that’s turned up like an unwanted distant relative who just expects to be a houseguest, and doing the laundry.

On Tuesday, I’ll be reviewing scripts for the SEKRIT television project, then popping in to Tanium’s Sydney office for drinks. The SEKRIT project will continue on Wednesday. If all goes well, the crowdfunding campaign will launch on Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Thursday, I’ll probably write something for ZDNet.

Friday is dominated by the SEKRIT television project and very long meeting, after which my brain will collapse. TGIF. And then I’ll have a well-earned break.

[Photo: The dreadful Sydney winter continues , being another view of the Sydney skyline from Rydges Camperdown hotel on 30 June 2015. I can sit and watch this sky for hours.]

Weekly Wrap 264: The endless war on entropy continues

Another dreadful Sydney winter day: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 June 2015 was a disaster area. This Weekly Wrap is appallingly late as a result. And that’s why I chose a pretty picture.

While the cold weather and dreary mood didn’t help, because that meant I was fighting a cold most of the time, the main problem was that my computer is dying. And that leads to…



None published, but a bunch of work was done on a ZDNet feature that will appear very soon.


Only one edition of 5at5 was published this week, on Wednesday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. It tends to dry up at the end of the financial year.

The Week Ahead

Well most of it’s gone, of course. But I’ve been doing all the end-of-financial-year administrivia, planning that crowdfunding campaign, mapping out July, and coming to terms with the many, many things that need to change this financial year.

On Friday I’ll be doing some work on a certain SEKRIT television project. Well, it’s not that SEKRIT, but I’ll make a formal announcement when the time is ripe. On Saturday I’ll be migrating to Sydney for a week or so. And on the weekend I’ll also be finalising the plan for that crowdfunding campaign, and recording an episode of The 9pm Edict. Busy!

[Photo: Another dreadful Sydney winter day, being the view of the Sydney skyline from Rydges Camperdown hotel on 30 June 2015.]

Weekly Wrap 244: Cloudy sky, cloudy mind, kinda

Sydney skyline from Camperdown: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 2 to Sunday 8 February 2015 was exhausting — but as you can see, the productivity levels started returning to something approaching normality. Slowly.


  • “The 9pm Sleepless in Canberra”, being The 9pm Edict episode 35. Yes, a new podcast appeared just one week after the previous one. Amazing. It still took 11 hours to produce, though. I must fix that.



There were three editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all as they’re released. Subscribe. Just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

Monday will have pretty much ended by the time this gets published. It’s likely to have been a day of pottering around after very little sleep, and planning for the rest of the week.

Tuesday and Wednesday both see day trips to Sydney to cover the APIdays conference at Australian Technology Park. “Liberate then Innovate”? I feel sick already. Late Wednesday afternoon I’m also covering a seminar on “Risk-based approach to Privacy” being run by iappANZ, the International Association of Privacy Professionals ANZ. These will be long, exhausting days — in part because I’ll have to do the long commute both days rather than staying in Sydney, thanks to cashflow constraints. Wish me luck.

Thursday and Friday are writing days, I’m guessing, turning those two hectic days into words for money.

The weekend is unplanned.

[Photo: Sydney skyline from Camperdown, photographed from level 6 of Rydges Camperdown Hotel on 5 February 2015.]

Rydges’ daft website contact form

Rydges contact form: click to embiggenThis week’s award for daft user interaction design goes to Rydges, the chain of hotels and resorts, for their incredibly silly website contact form.

Web contact forms can sometimes be useful, I suppose, if a business receives a lot of standard enquiries, because they can capture the structured data and put it straight into the customer relationship management (CRM) system. But most of these forms just dump the form data into an unstructured email, and dump that into some poor soul’s inbox. Why not just publish an email address? Are your spam filters that shoddy?

But when contact forms have badly-worded multiple-choice options, ill-thought-out data validation code, or unworkably small data fields, they make things difficult for everyone — and this one’s got the lot.

According to Rydges, you must have a title, but it can only be “Mr”, “Mrs”, “Ms” or “Miss”, not “Dr” or “Rev” or anything else. Your name must consist of two words. Your phone number cannot start with the “+” that comes before the country code, odd for an international business, nor may it contain spaces. And the “Type of enquiry” drop-down has only two choices, “Business” or “General”.

Is a question about the hotel restaurant’s opening hours, for example, “Business” or “General”, I wonder?

But the pièce de résistance is that the body text is limited to just 200 characters. That’s about 30-odd words of standard English text. Good luck with that.