Talking data retention (again) on Balls Radio

My regular spot on Phil Dobbie’s Balls Radio this week was a conversation (yes, another one) about the Australian government’s data retention proposals.

Here’s the audio of my segment. As you’ll hear, it’s much the same argument as in my last post about the Patch Monday podcast, with random asides about the meaning of misogyny and what should be done with real estate agents.

Yes, there’s a few audio dropouts. Welcome to the joys of using Skype over Telstra Next G mobile broadband while 1.5 kilometres into the eucalypt scrubland.

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If you’d like more Balls Radio, have a listen to the full episode. You can subscribe over at the website.

Talking about names on ABC Radio’s “Life Matters”

I had the very great pleasure last week of joining ABC Radio National’s Life Matters for a talkback about names, nicknames and pseudonyms — live via Skype from my hotel room in San Francisco.

“What’s in a name?” We have heard these famous words of Shakespeare’s many times, but have you ever considered just how much of our identities are wrapped up in our names?

It’s often the first thing we’re asked. It’s how we identify ourselves to others. But do you like the name you’ve been given? Are your parents to blame, do you think?

You have the ability to change it — would you? Have you? Have you taken your partner’s surname? Is your name hard to pronounce? Do you constantly correct people on how to say or spell it?

Maybe you have a nickname which has basically become your ‘real’ name? How did you get it? Do you use it to go online to chat or date anonymously? Or on social media?

I smile at the title of the session, because that was also used as the headline for my story for ABC’s The Drum last year.

Here’s the full hour of the program, embedded from the ABC website.

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Obviously the audio is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: Live from San Francisco: me at my desk at the Omni San Francisco Hotel connecting to ABC Radio National in Australia via Skype.]

Links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009:

See what happens when you don’t curate your links for ten days, during which time there’s a conference which generates a bazillion things to link to? Sigh.

This is such a huge batch of links that I’ll start them over the fold. They’re not all about Media140 Sydney, trust me.

Continue reading “Links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009”

NBN: Of course there are no applications yet!

Photograph of Jerry Watkins

The guy in the photo is Jerry Watkins, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne — and I want to slap him.

This morning he was a guest on ABC Radio National’s FutureTense, where he talked about some fantastic third-world technology projects, like India’s DakNet.

A Wi-Fi transmitter and receiver is fitted to the local bus. So the bus drives along its normal route, goes through a number of villages, and what it’s doing while it’s stopping at the bus stop in each village, is simply picking up and delivering information via Wi-Fi from publicly-accessible computers in each village… Once it gets back into town, it simply uploads all its stored data onto the Internet… So in this way, the rural community is getting access to a very affordable internet connection, it’s just simply not always on…

It’s services like e-shopping which are proving increasingly popular with these users. So e-shopping is using the bus internet system, and it allows villagers to order essential items and luxury items, which just aren’t available at the village market. And what’s more, the items are often delivered to the village on the very same bus with the Wi-Fi transmitter.

Awesome. But that’s not why I want to slap him.

I want to slap Jerry Watkins because he said daft things about Australia’s proposed National Broadband Network.

Continue reading “NBN: Of course there are no applications yet!”

Whither “Stilgherrian Live”?

Title graphic for Stilgherrian Live Alpha episode 8

With Thursday’s night’s episode the Alpha series of Stilgherrian Live came to an end. What next?

Across eight “proper” episodes, plus a couple of impromptu programs from a local pub and a hotel room in Canberra, I achieved my main aim. I proved that it’s possible to do a live video program on the Internet using equipment I can carry in a backpack.

I got a feel for how much pre-production is needed. I got inbound talkback calls working via Skype. And I was very pleased to sustain a regular live audience of 30-odd people. Thank you.

Recently, thanks to Qik, I was able to broadcast live video feeds from my Nokia N80 phone. They’re still viewable at qik.com/stilgherrian. However the “standard” 3G available in Australia meant the technical quality was pretty average. It really does need HSDPA, i.e. a new phone.

So, given that “we have the technology”, what sort of programs should I create?

Continue reading “Whither “Stilgherrian Live”?”

2 Web Crew at CeBIT with Jason Calacanis

Did people really think I’d end up brawling with Jason Calacanis at CeBIT last week? Sure, I called him a prick and wrote about the evil cult of the Internet start-up. But he does actually have good points.

I met Mr Calacanis when I found myself recording the 2 Web Crew podcast on my borrowed video camera. Since I was concentrating on getting good audio, the vision’s a bit shaky, but at least you’ll see what it was like during those hectic 16 minutes.

I may disagree with Calacanis’ priorities in life, but that’s hardly unique to him. He does do business transparently, however. He makes sense and calls a spade a spade. And he’s certainly been a successful entrepreneur.

He’s also a tireless promoter — of himself. Now that’s not a bad thing when you’re trying to build hype around a new business. But it’s a character trait that Australians reckon is bad — which is perhaps why we so often fail to market our own innovations.

I was also amused to see the swarm of Calacanis fan-boys and girls buzzing around him “like flies to a dead sheep”, as I said on Twitter. Guys, a little less cult of personality and a little more independent thought will work wonders in your lives. Success is not achieved through frottage with the successful. Unless you’re a hooker.

So, Jason, here is the promised blog post saying that you’re not as much of a prick as I thought you were.