Weekly Wrap 226: Warm weather, but little productivity

Crossing the Harbour: click to embiggenThese Weekly Wrap posts have fallen into disrepair, haven’t they. Well, they’re back in operation again now. Whether the missing weeks’ posts will ever appear is as yet unknown.

My week of Monday 29 September to Sunday 5 October wasn’t as productive as it could have been. That’s down to a mix of pain and depression, but I won’t belabour the point.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the warm spring weather.

Articles

I wrote my usual column for ZDNet Australia, but it won’t be appearing until Tuesday.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday I spoke about the new social network Ello on ABC Gold Coast.
  • I was one of the panellists on ABC Radio National’s Download This Show this week. We spoke about Ello and Australia’s new national security laws.
  • On Thursday I was interviewed for a student project at the University of Sydney about virtual communities, hacking and hacktivism, amongst other things. I’ll post a link to that when it appears in a few weeks.
  • On Friday I recorded some audio for a SEKRIT project.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

This will be the final week of my sojourn at Hurstville in Sydney’s southern suburbs. I’ve been housesitting a friend’s apartment while she was on holidays overseas. I’m going to miss the place.

Monday is officially a public holiday in New South Wales, but I’ll be starting work on an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

On Tuesday I’ll be planning a couple of feature stories for ZDNet Australia, planning some changes for my other little technology business, resurrecting the 5at5 daily newsletter thing, and finishing off the podcast.

The rest of the week isn’t planned out in any kind of detail yet, but there’s be a ZDNet Australia column to write, and I’ll be returning to Wentworth Falls on Friday.

[Photo: Crossing the Harbour, a not-very-scenic view from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as seen from the lower deck of a train on 3 October 2014.]

Most popular posts of 2013

As we approach the end of 2013, I’m going to do my usual series of blog posts looking back at what actually happened on this little planet. This is the first, being a list of the most-read posts on this website.

There hasn’t been a lot to choose from in the last couple of years, because most of my writing is done elsewhere these days. That means some rather mundane pieces of writing, such as Weekly Wrap posts, end up on the list. That’s possibly an argument for abandoning this little exercise.

  1. Catchup posts within 36 hours was the most popular post of all, which makes no sense whatsoever because it’s routine administrivia. I suspect the visitor count has been artificially inflated somehow, though supposedly the traffic generated by spambots has already been removed.
  2. My tweets from TechEd Australia 2012’s keynote sessions, a post that was linked to from news stories that reported me having been banned from attending Microsoft’s TechEd conference. My own blog post on this issue is coming up at number 5.
  3. Guardian Australia not the droid you’re looking for, being my reaction against all the excitement generated in January 2013 by the announcement that there would soon be an Australian edition of this news masthead.
  4. My fish are dead: the black dog ate them (an explanation?), being my rather idiosyncratic announcement and discussion of the fact that I’d been dealing with a severe depression episode, published in July.
  5. Microsoft has banned me from covering TechEd, which is self-explanatory.
  6. Choosing my next media directions: you’re doing it, OK?, from May.
  7. Vodafone Australia’s new 4G network ain’t bad, being the write-up of my trial of the network which led to that conclusion.
  8. Weekly Wrap 152: LulzSec, Optus, radio and thinking stuff, which I suspect is only in the Top 10 because it mentions LulzSec.
  9. Weekly Wrap 155: Chemtrails, elitism and much thinking, ditto, chemtrails.
  10. Sydney Harbour “giant gambling den” bullshit reportage, from January.

Continue reading “Most popular posts of 2013”

Weekly Wrap 182: Christmas begins on Sydney Harbour

My week Monday 25 November to Sunday 1 December 2013 was ages ago — so to catch up on all the missing Weekly Wrap posts, I’ll just list the basics and skip giving them photos.

Once I’ve posted all four, I’ll do some sort of more detailed post explaining the state of the world — or at least my little bit of it.

Articles

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday I went to the Internet Industry Association (IIA) Nautical Policy event, which is of course code for a couple hours of eating and drinking on Sydney Harbour aboard Matilda III sponsored by Enex Testlab. Afterwards we continued on for more drinks, and I know that at least one bottle of wine was paid for by iiNet.

Target achieved, indulgent food, bushfire pensiveness

Bushfire sunset, as seen from Camperdown, Sydney: click to embiggenI’d scheduled time tonight to write about my crowdfunded journalism project — the initial target was achieved in under 17 hours! — but after a complex day I’m mentally exhausted.

I woke up happy that I’d raised the funds to cover the Breakpoint and Ruxcon hacker conferences in Melbourne next week. I booked my flights.

Then I enjoyed breakfast with a magnificent view of Sydney Harbour while being briefed by executives from data centre provider Equinix. Then a magnificent lunch at Rockpool while being briefed by NEC and analyst firm Telsyte.

And then the smoke rolled over Sydney.

Some of the more serious fires are in the lower Blue Mountains, between where I am in Sydney tonight and where I’m based at Bunjaree Cottages in the upper Blue Mountains.

The magnificent sunset, pictured at the head of this post, is the result of destruction. Towns have been evacuated, dozens of homes have been destroyed. I’m scheduled to return to Wentworth Falls tomorrow evening, but that assumes that transport lines are still open.

My journalism project is ahead of schedule. That’s enough for now. What I’ll need most tomorrow is energy. My thoughts are with the people with real problems to deal with. Goodnight.

[Photo: Bushfire sunset, as seen from Camperdown, Sydney, earlier this evening.]

Sydney Harbour “giant gambling den” bullshit reportage

Map showing "giant gambling den in relation to Sydney Harbour: click to embiggen“Is A Billionaire Former Scientologist Shaping Sydney Harbour Into A Giant Gambling Den?”, asked the headline in an email this morning from The Global Mail. Is he? Let’s see!

The story in TGM, the philanthropic media project of Graeme Wood, also a key investor in The Guardian’s forthcoming Australian edition, is obviously about plans by James Packer to build a casino at Sydney’s Barangaroo development.

The proposal is controversial, certainly. But Sydney Harbour becoming a “giant gambling den”? FFS! If it’s not immediately obvious why this is complete bullshit, I’ve drawn a picture for you. A special kind of picture called a “map”.

The black bit is Sydney Harbour, traced from Google Maps. The red bit is the entire proposed casino complex, assuming this report in the Sydney Morning Herald is still roughly correct. You might have to click through to the full-size map to see the red bit.

Sydney Harbour is clearly not becoming a “giant gambling den”. Sydney Harbour will be changed in a way that will be barely noticeable, at least if your global perspective manages to make it any further west than Glebe Point Road. And I’d have thought that the intelligent, well-educated people at TGM would be able to figure that out for themselves.

We were told that The Global Mail was about “quality journalism”, but apparently it’s just another in a long series of comfortable colour supplements for Sydney’s whining middle class, with bonus points for waving the good ol’ Scientology scare-stick.

The story itself is by Nick Bryant, whose work I like. He’s got a biography of Packer coming out, so I assume the article — which I haven’t read yet — is an extract from that book and somewhat better than the promotion it’s been burdened with suggests. I’ll let you know once I’ve read it.