Weekly Wrap 107: Tribalism and the Gold Coast

So here’s my week from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 June 2012, which turned out to be much as planned. Thank you, Fate.


  • Patch Monday episode 143, “Microsoft? Is that still a thing?” I took a sickie on Monday, so this was another Patch Monday (on Tuesday) edition. And that meant we could talk about Microsoft’s new Surface device that was announced early Tuesday morning Australian time. But Kate Carruthers, Paul Wallbank and Benno Rice all suggested this probably wasn’t going to fix Microsoft’s flatline share price and that chief executive officer Steve Ballmer should go. That didn’t go down to well with, um, certain communities of interest.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday I visited IBM’s Australia Development Laboratory on the Gold Coast for a briefing about the security stuff that happens there. The Maginot Line story mentioned above was the first resulting media object from this. IBM covered a night at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel in Sydney en route, flights to and from Gold Coast, and a rather lovely seafood lunch.

The Week Ahead

At this stage I plan to return to Wentworth Falls on Monday afternoon and stay at Bunjaree Cottages for the week. Where I live from Friday onwards depends on how we arrange things to deal with the fact that the school holidays start on the weekend.

I don’t have any specific work locked in yet. That said, I do have a lingering feature story to start writing, and other stuff always turns up. And given that that it’s the end of the financial year, I’ll be reflecting on the work I’m currently doing and decide which parts of the mix get expanded and which cut back.

I’ve had a few thoughts already about certain media projects…


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: Shadow of my former self, a rather pointless self-portrait I took Friday afternoon because I saw my own shadow on the wall.]

Weekly Wrap 34

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. It’s a bit thin this week, thanks to the Australia Day holiday, clearing junk out of the house before moving, and the ridiculous heat Sydney is experiencing at the moment.



  • Patch Monday episode 73, “Inside Intel’s second-generation core”. My guest is systems architect Benno Rice.

Media Appearances

  • On Sunday I was a guest on the Parity Bit video podcast. At least the recording was on Sunday afternoon. It’s likely to be the early hours of Monday before the episode appears online. I will update this post to link directly to the podcast once it’s online. And here it is.


Corporate Largesse


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Assange’s Truth is Out There, a paste-up on the old post office on Enmore Road, Enmore in Sydney, featuring WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and the old X-Files slogan, photographed 28 January 2011.]

[Updated 8.40pm to link to the Parity Bit podcast.]

[Updated 31 January 2011 to link to the Parity Bit podcast on the program website rather than YouTube.]

Live Blog: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer in Sydney

Steve Ballmer poster image

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is doing his Power to Developers shtick in Sydney today. I’ll be live-blogging it right here.

The Big Deal is that he’s talking about Microsoft’s strategy for cloud computing or “software as a service” (SaaS) — which I notice Microsoft is calling “software-plus-services”. Is there a difference? I think an essay could be written on that point alone!

Now I must admit I’m fairly sceptical about this whole “cloud computing” thing. Not that it’s a Bad Idea, just that it’s nothing new.

Unless your computer isn’t connected to the global grid we call the Internet, then it’s always been about having a service running on a remote computer (“the server”) and some software on your own computer the mediate your access to same (“the client”).

It seems to me, though, that every few years someone wants to make some big song-and-dance about the idea that they’ve put stuff in their data centre for you to access… and this year’s buzzterm is “cloud computing”. Wow.

Still, it’ll be interesting to hear what Mr Ballmer has to say. And probably more amusingly, how he says it.

Continue reading “Live Blog: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer in Sydney”

No Stilgherrian Live, but some live blogs today

I won’t be doing Stilgherrian Live tonight. Instead, I’m covering two presentations via “live blogging”.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of some tin-pot outfit called Microsoft, is doing his Power to Developers presentation at 3.30pm Sydney time. It’s being promoted as a “Liberation Day” and a “live web rally”. Wankers.

Peel away the pseudo-revolutionary bullshit, though, and there’s something worth hearing about: “Microsoft’s vision around Cloud Computing for the software-plus-services world, followed by demo-packed sessions on the new technologies just announced at the Professional Developers Conference — including the much anticipated Azure Services Platform.”

Using “around” as an all-purpose preposition and failing to hyphenate “much-anticipated” confirms Microsoft’s illiteracy, and The Register‘s negative review of Azure has already poisoned my view. We’ll see.

Then tonight from 6.30pm consulting firm Gartner has “Gartner meets you in the blogosphere”. They’re previewing material to be presented at next week’s Gartner Symposium: “emerging trends and technologies… and what to expect in 2009”.

I’ll be live-blogging both events at special pages on this website. The links will be posted soon. Stand by.