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Caltrain at San Jose Diridon Station: click to embiggenThe sharing economy explained in just two minutes. A Florida meth lab is a threat to dolphins. And the failure of hashtag diplomacy.

This episode of The 9pm Edict heads to the United States, at least in some strange warped sense.

There’s a story of a meth lab in a Florida hotel room, and we encounter both an episode of Hannity on Fox News and a “sharing economy guru” on the BBC.

There’s also mention of Glassholes harassing a New York restaurant, a bread line in San Jose. and a plan to reverse the California Aqueduct.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.


If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733. Not that anyone ever does.

Read the rest of this entry »

Caltrain locomotive 925 Jackie Spieir: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 12 to Sunday 18 May 2014 was spent in San Jose and San Francisco, covering NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference and more. And as I write this, I’m still in America.


I am very pleased to say that The 9pm Edict has, finally, returned with The 9pm Shire, an episode that includes a visit to Cronulla, shellfish, and a little Joe Hockey.

I am rather less pleased at the phenomenal amount of time it took to produce — at least 27 hours, once travel and the re-recording journey is taken into account, rather than the eight hours a “normal” episode would have taken. That was the cause of the delay. Once the podcast had overflowed its original spot in my schedule, it had to wait until a sufficiently large gap had opened up again. With travel booked, that was always going to be tricky.

In fact, the 11.5 hours I spent in writing and recording the links and post-production on Thursday really should have been spent on writing, or at least reflecting on SuiteWorld. Which is why in this next section…


… there are none. I did start doing some analysis of Australia’s Budget, because I may have had a piece to write for Crikey, but in the end that didn’t happen. Too many other, bigger Budget issues to be discussed.

Media Appearances

None. Thank the gods.


Only one this week. But why don’t you subscribe to 5at5, and then I don’t need to keep telling you about it.

Corporate Largesse

  • NetSuite paid for my trip to the US to cover their SuiteWorld conference. That included economy flights from Sydney to San Francisco and return; airport transfers; two nights accommodation at Hotel Vitali; a Sonoma Valley winery tour, with tastings at Cline and Gloria Ferrer wineries and a bottle of wine from each (a Cline 2011 Live Oak Zinfandel and a Gloria Ferrer 2005 Royal Cuvée Brut), pre-dinner drinks and antipasto at Tosca Cafe in North Beach, and dinner at the Americano Restaurant at the Hotel Vitale; coach transport to San Jose; four nights accommodation at the Marriott San Jose; dinner and drinks at ARCADIA by Michael Mina; breakfast and lunch in the press work room throughout the conference; dinner at Thomas Fogarty Winery (although I didn’t go, deciding to have an early night instead); and the conference party at the City National Civic Theatre. NetSuite also gave us all a goodie bag, which contained a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet (Wi-Fi 8GB model); toiletries by Burt’s Bees; gourmet popcorn from Garret Popcorn; a chocolate sampler from TCHO; and a NetSuite branded hoodie from Alternative Earth, t-shirt and spiral-bound notebook. From the trade show floor: Jitterbit-branded earbuds. I could have taken advantage of much more alcohol and much more stuff from the other vendors, but I am not a bowerbird.

The Week Ahead

As I write this, it’s still Saturday in the US, and I’m spending the rest of the weekend here in San Francisco — wandering around and, in between drinks and occasional food, pondering all manner of things about the world and my life. I believe that’s called having a weekend. But that said, I’ll also be recording some bits and pieces for The 9pm Edict.

I fly out of San Francisco on Sunday night, which means I arrive back in Sydney early on Tuesday morning. I’ll be spending Tuesday and Wednesday in Sydney, taking care of various meetings, interviews and errands, before returning to Wentworth Falls on Wednesday night.

The rest of the week, including the weekend, is unplanned. Please feel free to make suggestions.

[Photo: Caltrain locomotive 925 Jackie Spieir , photographed at San Jose Diridon Station on Friday 16 May 2014, just before it was to power the 1310 to San Francisco..]

Touchdown San Francisco: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 5 to Sunday 11 May 2014 was another productive one again, which is a pleasant happenstance.



The resurrection of The 9pm Edict has continued to be delayed by the continuing self-satire of the Australian government and my own busy schedule. Once it had overflowed its original allocated slot in my work plan, it’s had to wait until everything more time-critical is out of the way. We’ve nearly reached that point.

Media Appearances


Only two this week. But why don’t you subscribe to 5at5, and then I don’t need to keep telling you about it.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

As I write this, it’s already Monday in Australia, but it’s still Sunday morning here in San Francisco. This afternoon NetSuite is taking us on a tour of the Sonoma Valley, visiting the Cline and Gloria Ferrer wineries, then returning to San Francisco for pre-dinner drinks and “a special surprise guest” at Cafe Tosca in North Beach and dinner at the Americano Restaurant.

On Monday we make the journey to San Jose, with a meet-and-and-greet cocktail party in the evening. SuiteWorld proper then runs Tuesday to Thursday, with the evening events including dinner at the Thomas Fogarty Winery on Tuesday and the conference party on Wednesday.

On Friday I plan to catch the Caltrain back to San Francisco, recording part of the next episode of The 9pm Edict en route. My schedule is then open through to Sunday night, when I catch a late evening flight back to Sydney.

[Photo: Touchdown San Francisco, the view from United Airlines flight UA870 as it was about to touch down at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Saturday 10 May 2014.]

Screenshots from The 9 O'Clock Resurrection progress videos: click for YouTube playlistMy crowdfunding project, The 9 O’Clock Resurrection, has been successful. We have resurrected the finest goat-oriented political and social commentary podcast in the galaxy, The 9pm Edict. Haha. What have we done?

What we’ve done is fund two episodes for May.

First up, “The 9pm Shire”, by which I mean Sutherland Shire in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Our Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, said last month:

“I get so much encouragement when I walk through Cronulla mall, go down the beach, or up to Miranda Fair… On Australia Day we were at the fireworks at Cronulla and I was walking through the crowd and people were coming up to me to say ‘g’day’ and encourage me and congratulate me on what we had done so far, and basically saying ‘keep giving it to ’em and don’t back down’.”

He said residents weren’t against immigration or asylum-seekers but wanted a process that was done “the right way”.

That episode is being recorded this Saturday 3 May, and should be posted on Sunday 4 May.

And because I’m in San Francisco and San Jose later this month, the following episode will be “The 9pm Caltrain” — the Caltrain being the train that runs through that part of the world. That episode should be posted on Tuesday 20 May.

I’ve recorded an announcement, which you can listen to below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or on SoundCloud.


If you’d like to comment on this (non-)episode — or suggest people, places or things that I should check out — please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

You can also check out the progress videos I made on the YouTube playlist.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

Six Pigeons for Jeffrey: click to embiggenI was saddened to hear that Australian artist Jeffrey Smart died two days ago, on 20 June 2013, aged 91. I liked his work. This image is my tribute.

The original photograph was taken in San Francisco, at the corner of Broadway and Mason Street, on 12 May 2013.

I’m thinking of making a few prints of this image for sale. What do you think? And if it’s a good idea, how does one go about such things these days?

How they make chemtrails: click to embiggenMy week Monday 20 to Sunday 26 May 2013 was spent returning from The America, and then reading, writing, planning and generally trying to focus on the future.

If that sounds vague, it’s because it was vague. And it felt vague. It was all very, very vague. But the next week will be less vague. By at least fifteen percent.


Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

None, which I suppose counterbalances last week.

The Week Ahead

On Monday I’m doing the day trip to Sydney to catch up with Peter Coffee, VP and head of platform research, for a chat about The Future. This is, I think, our fourth attempt at meeting up since we met at the Dreamforce event two years ago, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Tuesday is mostly a day of writing and research back at Wentworth Falls, although it kicks off with at spot on Radio Adelaide talking about the differences between the broadband policies of Labor and the Coalition. That’s at 0745 ACST / 0815 AEST.

Wednesday sees me heading into Sydney again, for interviews with Eugene Kaspersky of Kaspersky Lab and Chris Wood from Sourcefire, and then in the evening a long dinner and drinks event with Mr Kaspersky. I suspect I’ll be staying overnight in Sydney that night. If I survive the experience at all.

And then the rest of the week is about writing and podcast production. Probably. You known how my weeks go. Disorganisedly.

[Photo: How they make chemtrails, photographed at dusk over San Francisco International Airport. They’re just so blatant about it these days. While this photograph was taken on the evening of Sunday 19 May 2013 local time, it was already Monday 20 May Australian time, so I’m allowing myself to use this photo this week.]

Vesuvio's $8 Bloody Mark: click to embiggenMy week Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2013 was spent in San Francisco and San Jose which, I am reliably informed, are cities in The America.

It also finished nearly a week ago, so I’ll just list the things for now. Should I be in the mood, I’ll reflect upon the week tomorrow.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • I travelled to the US as a guest of NetSuite Inc. Their largesse consisted of: return flights Sydney to San Francisco with United Airlines; limousine airport transfers (well, one way at least, ‘cos the return journey was buggered up); two nights accommodation at the St Regis Hotel, San Francisco, plus USD 100 in American Express gift cards to cover meals; dinner and drinks at Colibri Mexican Bistro; private bus to San Jose; three nights accommodation at the Hilton San Jose; dinner and drinks at ARCADIA by Michael Mina, San Jose; dinner and drinks at Testarossa Winery, Los Gatos, followed by moar drinks at ARCADIA; an iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi, engraved with the NetSuite logo; a 3.5-ounce tin of Wine Lover’s Chocolate by Bridge Brands Chocolate; a NetSuite-branded HydroFlask thermos; a NetSuite-branded North End Sport windbreaker (that is, a kind of polyester jacket); a NetSuite-branded ball-point pen and notebook; a re-usable shopping back by RuMe; the usual conference satchel full of never-to-be-read pieces of paper and cardboard, and endless food and drink in the press lounge.

The Week Ahead

Since it’s already Saturday afternoon, there’s not really much point, is there? There’ll be a new Weekly Wrap tomorrow.

[Photo: Vesuvio’s $8 Bloody Mary. At Vesuvio in San Francisco, the bar where Jack Kerouac used to drink, you can get one of these fine Bloody Marys for just $8. Plenty of vodka, spiced as you require, with a huge stuffed Spanish olive, white pickled onion, lemon and lime.]

San Francisco sunrise: click to embiggenMy week Monday 6 to Sunday 12 May 2013 is technically still continuing, because as I write this it’s the start of a beautiful Sunday morning in San Francisco — and I’ve got the day to myself.

But it’s already well after midnight Sunday night in Australia, so here we are.


  • You’ll love the ‘How Fast is the NBN?’ site … until you read this, Crikey, 9 May 2013. The reaction to this article, in the comments and on Twitter, astounded me. By simply pointing out some subtleties in a propaganda website and trying to present Malcolm Turnbull’s arguments fairly — which is all basic parts of a journalist’s job — I was branded a Liberal Party shill, and worse. For anyone familiar with what I personally think and believe, and for Turnbull himself, this must have come as quite a surprise. I hope to write about this soon, because I found the whole experience hilariously funny.
  • Mobile broadband’s false promise, ZDNet Australia, 10 May 2013.

Media Appearances

It’s such a variable thing, this being a media whore. Four spots last week, none at all this week.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday we head to San Jose for SuiteWorld, which runs through to Thursday. I’ll then return to San Francisco for some time to myself before flying back to Sydney on Sunday night. Obviously I’ll have to do some writing in there, but I’ll work that out as I go along.

[Photo: San Francisco sunrise, photographed a short time ago through a slightly dusty 17th floor window at the luxurious St Regis Hotel.]

NetSuite Suiteworld logoI’m heading to San Francisco and San Jose next Saturday 11 May 2013 for NetSuite’s SuiteWorld 2013 conference. Yes, as their guest.

I was at their first SuiteWorld event two years ago, where we had dinner at Larry Ellison’s house overlooking San Francisco Bay and came to the conclusion that not every business has to “go social”.

I’ve had lunch and other events with NetSuite’s people a few time since, and written a couple of articles:

NetSuite is an interesting company. They just seem to get on with the job of making good software and expanding into new markets. So I’m looking forward to catching up with them again — particularly as I’ve been writing a lot more about security that this sort of enterprise software lately.

I’ll arrive in San Francisco on Saturday 11 May, and then on Monday we head to San Jose for the conference proper. That kicks off Monday night with a welcome reception and NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson’s opening keynote first thing Tuesday morning, and runs until Thursday 16.

I’ll be hanging around in the Bay area until Sunday night — which is a hint, yes — and then I arrive back in Sydney very early on Tuesday 21 May local time. Unless someone decides to extend my stay in the US, of course — and that’s also a hint.

My week Monday 27 August to Sunday 2 September 2012 was spent in San Francisco, and as I write this on their Labor Day holiday Monday I’m still there. Here. Whatever.


  • Patch Monday episode 152, “Geo-engineering: fixing climate for just US$6 billion?” A conversation with Dr Caspar Hewett, visiting researcher at the University of Newcastle in the UK, and Danish author and political scientist Dr Bjørn Lomberg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre in Washington.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

VMware’s VMworld was such a large bunch of stuff that it deserves its own section.

  • VMware covered the travel and accommodation, including flights Sydney to Los Angeles to San Francisco, and back again San Jose to Los Angeles to Sydney. A car is being provided for today’s drive from downtown San Francisco to San Jose airport. Four nights accommodation was provided at InterContinental San Francisco.
  • Food ranged from the truly frightening breakfasts in the conference’s media rooms Monday through Wednesday to gorgeous canapés and cheese platters like the one pictured above at the evening cocktail parties. The latter were held at the InterContinental on the Sunday before this week commenced, the St Regis Hotel on Monday, and the Temple Club on Tuesday.
  • On Tuesday night I also went to the Sourcefire cocktail party at the Marriott San Francisco. That’s their cheese platter pictured above.
  • The big VMworld party was Wednesday night and featured Jon Bon Jovi, but I didn’t go because I was exhausted and the last thing I needed was to be in a room with 15,000 drunk nerds. Sorry.
  • The conference backpack contained a VMworld-branded t-shirt, hardcover notebook and ballpoint pen, along with a sheaf of sponsor-related crap on paper. Pretty much all of the latter was thrown out.

I think I gained about 20kg in weight, 75% of which was my liver.

Also this week:

The Week Ahead

I leave San Francisco on Monday evening. That’s tonight. The limousine is scheduled collect me at 1745 PDT to take me to San Jose airport for a 1945 flight to Los Angeles, from where I take the 2250 Qantas flight to Sydney. I arrive in Sydney at 0740 AEST on Wednesday morning and will be heading straight to my hotel to collapse.

Wednesday night is the conference dinner for the ACCAN National Conference. I’m speaking at that event on Thursday afternoon.

Symantec is launching the Norton Cybercrime Report at Sydney’s Justice and Police Museum at 1100 Thursday morning, and I plan to be heading to that.

The rest of the latter part of the week will be full of an awful lot of writing, I imagine.

[Photo: Cheese platter at the Marriott San Francisco, courtesy of Sourcefire.]

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