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Dead macOS screenMy week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 June 2018 wasn’t all that exciting. I’ll list the usual things, but I’ll also keep it brief because my computer just died. Joy.


I also wrote another piece for the Crikey series we’ve been working on. I’m told this series will start appearing in early July.


None, but I really will do these two podcasts soon.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

Monday is supposed to be a writing day, but I may spend it arguing with technology. I’ll also do the shopping in Katoomba.

On Tuesday I’ll trek to Sydney. First, I’ll collect a loaner computer from The Rocks. Then it’s off to Apple Castle Towers — where there isn’t even a castle, let alone towers — to start the process of getting the computer fixed. And then it’s back to Wentworth Falls to make all the things work again.

The shape of the rest of the week will depend on how long it takes the repairs to happen, but it will include writing for the usual suspects.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

Update 25 June 2018: Edited to clarify the week’s plans.

[Photo: What the screen of my MacBook Pro looks like right now.]

Dr Alice Gorman

This is the pilot episode of The 9pm Probe, a long-form interview with an interesting person. Today, space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman aka Dr Space Junk from Flinders University in South Australia.

As some of you may know, I was a bit of an enthusiastic Space Age kid, so this is a very self-indulgent conversation.

We talk about: How the live TV images of the Apollo 11 mission were really quite dull; Vanguard 1, currently the oldest human satellite in space; how civilian and military space programs have always been closely intertwined; citizen science in space; a brief mention of the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL); CORONA and the movie Ice Station Zebra; the International Geophysical Year (IGY); the International Polar Year; why people get angry about the concept of space archaeology; Australia’s early involvement in the Space Age; the Woomera test range; the Zuni rocket; WRESAT; the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO), the forerunner to the European Space Agency (ESA); rocket playgrounds; Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man”; the inevitability of Uranus jokes; the start of the Second Space Age; our shared love of the Soviet technological aesthetic; the cube-sat revolution; the recent launch of rogue satellites; space tourism; Australia’s planned new space agency; SpaceX’s recent work, including firing a Tesla into space; Rocket Lab’s Humanity Star; the live video feed from the International Space Station; the Aboriginal use of bottle glass after European colonisation; and colonial processes in space.

At the end, I also mention the licenses you need to fly a spacecraft.

This episode was recorded on Monday 26 March 2018 at Flinders University.

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.


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Stilgherrian’s links for 15 October 2009 through 19 October 2009, gathered with bile and soaked in vinegar:

  • 50 Years of Space Exploration | Flickr: A brilliant infographic summarising interplanetary exploration. In an excellent demonstration of Chaos, the landing on asteroid 443 Eros is accidentally tagged as “443 Eris”. All hail Discordia!
  • They Shoot Porn Stars Don’t They: Susannah Breslin’s fascinating and somewhat challenging feature article on the recession-hit US porn industry.
  • ISP in file-sharing wi-fi theft | BBC News: UK ISP TalkTalk staged a wireless stunt, illustrating why it thinks Lord Mandelson’s plans to disconnect illegal file sharers is “naive”. It’s easy to blame others just by hacking WiFi connections.
  • Prince Philip tussles with technology | ABC News: This story is a few days old, however I found it curious that a perfectly good story about the design of technology was tagged as “offbeat” and the teaser written to make Prince Phillip look like a silly old man.
  • NPR News Staff Social Media Policy: Another example of a good corporate social media policy. There’s plenty of these policies around now, so there’s no excuse for any big organisation not to have caught up.
  • Federal Court of Australia Judgements: Some judgements have been recorded on video. “The Court is keen to continue to improve public access with the use of live streaming video/audio. Further live and archived broadcasts of judgement summaries are posted on this page as they become available.”
  • Televised Patel trial an Australian first | ABC News: The trial of Dr Jayent Patel for manslaughter to be held in a Brisbane court will be shown in Bundaberg, where the deaths happened, via closed-circuit TV. Given this “local interest”, one wonders why it couldn’t also be available anywhere there were interested parties.
  • Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work: Maier was a Chicago street photographer from the 1950s to 1970s who died earlier this year. Some 40,000 negatives have been found, and they’e now being blogged.
  • 100 years of Big Content fearing technology — in its own words | Ars Technica: Copyright-holders have objected to pretty much every advance in media technology, it seems.
  • Mac Sales Spike When A New Version Of Windows Comes Out | Business Insider: A curious interpretation of the figures, but they reckon that when Microsoft releases a new version of Windows it drives people to buy Macs instead.
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s Coming War on Bloggers | Valleywag: While I normally don’t read Valleyway, I caught someone mentioning this article and was caught by one useful new term: conceptual gerrymandering. If the US FTC wants to give tax breaks to “news organisations” they’ll have to define what they are. Could it be old journalists versus bloggers battle writ large?

Here are the web links I’ve found for 10 August 2009 and some days beforehand, posted automatically, kinda.

Stilgherrian’s links for 19 July 2009 through 23 July 2009, with more than a little apathy:

Stilgherrian’s links for 21 July 2008 through 25 July 2008, gathered by a small, well-trained pig, washed by hand and exposed to cool, dry air:

Stilgherrian’s web links I’ve found for 02 July 2008, created automatically from internets.

My links for 01 June 2008 through 02 June 2008, gathered semi-automatically:

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Stilgherrian’s links for 26 May 2008 through 01 June 2008, gathered semi-automatically and covering a disturbing range of topics:

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