Weekly Wrap 130: Storms, sunburn and a two-hour cruise

The week of Monday 26 November to Sunday 2 December 2012 was strange. It started with stormy weather, and the misty conditions continued until Wednesday. But by Thursday I was sunburnt and dehydrated in sweltering heat.

I should not have walked through the heat from Potts Point to the Sydney CBD, even though I could take a photograph of the city along the way.

It was also a stressful week. To the usual month-end cashflow blockage was added a series of strange problems with a client’s marketing email template.

The client had chosen to use an old template, and the line spacing fell apart in modern versions of Microsoft Outlook. Then some of the links to PDF files on their website didn’t work, with the links being somehow scrambled so they delivered a “404 File not found” error instead of the PDF file. Sometimes.

Eventually we discovered that the links broke — sometimes — when URLs containing white-space characters (such as “%20” for a space) were passed from Outlook to an out-of-date version of Adobe Reader.

Thankfully the week ended with some semblance of normality, and the weekend was restful.

Podcasts

Articles

Media Appearances

  • On Sunday morning I was asked, at the last minute, to be the bespoke Twitterer for ABC Radio National’s Sunday Extra. That just means that I had to listen to the program — which I was doing anyway — and tweet about it.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday I attended the Retail Tech Forum at Wildfire Restaurant, Circular Quay, which was organised by Bass PR for various clients: Dassault Systèmes, who do many things but in this case provide 3D modelling and visualisation tools for retail environments; retail software systems vendor Island Pacific Australia; 3Q Holdings, who also do retail tech; Meridian Systems, who make “technology solutions” for the project management of “capital buildings” and the maintenance thereof; and analysts Frost & Sullivan. I daresay an article will come out of this at some point. Meanwhile, here’s the lunch menu and pictures of the beef short rib starter and the corn-fed chicken main course.
  • On Thursday I had lunch at Establishment with the people behind Uber Sydney, a smartphone-based service that provides on-demand ordering of a black town car. An article will come out of this eventually.
  • On Thursday afternoon I went on a two-hour cruise of Sydney Harbour aboard Matilda III, which was the Internet Industry Association’s Harbour Policy Party. The photographs start here.
  • On Thursday evening I dropped into The Indies’ Christmas party at the Burdekin Hotel on Oxford Street, The Indies being the four PR firms Bass PR, Shuna Boyd PR (which doesn’t seem to have a website?), Einsteinz Communications and Espresso Communications. I had just one glass of wine, my only alcohol for the entire day, before exhaustion set in.

The Week Ahead

Starting this week I’ll be based in Hurstville, a southern suburb of Sydney, thanks to a housesitting arrangement with someone who shall remain anonymous. I’ll be there until the end of the first week of January. Unless plans change.

This week is another busy week. I daresay I won’t get around to producing the Patch Monday podcast until Monday morning. I’ve got some writing to do too. Then on Tuesday, Optus is showcasing their 4G smartphones at a lunch in Surry Hills. On Wednesday I’m attending VMware’s Cloud Panel, a lunchtime event at The Star casino.

I’ll try to record next week’s Patch Monday podcast on Thursday, because on Thursday night I’m going to Fuel Communications‘ Christmas party and then on Friday I’m covering a one-day conference Privacy in the 21st Century (PDF), organised by the Communications Law Centre at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Since I’m covering that conference for both Crikey and ZDNet, it’ll be sensible to get that podcast out of the way.

[Photo: The Nepean was crossed. It has been my habit to take a photograph each time I cross the Nepean River en route from Wentworth Falls to Sydney or vice versa, which I then tweet with the caption Crossing the Nepean. Yesterday I missed, and the outbound train was already at Emu Plains before I could take a snapshot.]

Weekly Wrap 128: Cloud, Coffs and Conroy

Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November 2012 was another week dominated by travel — this time returning from Singapore on Monday, spending almost two days in Sydney, then heading to Coffs Harbour on the mid-north coast of NSW through until Saturday.

This is also another week where you just get the facts of the media objects I produced. Heck, if you really want to know what’s happening in my world then follow my Twitter stream.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 163, “The law and technology behind Australia’s internet filtering”. Conversations with David Vaile, director of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales, and high-profile network engineer Mark Newton.

Articles

Two more articles were written as well, but they won’t appear until the coming week.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday I flew back from Singapore, ending my trip there that was covered by Verizon Enterprise Solutions. This was all detailed last week. Related stories have yet to appear.
  • On Tuesday I attended the launch of VMware’s Cloud Index, which was a lunch at Sydney’s new QT Hotel. This is what happened to the old State Theatre and Gowings buildings. They paid, obviously. Again, related stories have yet to appear.
  • Wednesday through Friday I attended Flexibility 2012, the local government IT conference in Coffs Harbour that was organised by the Coffs Harbour City Council. Technically this isn’t largesse, because I spoke at the conference and wasn’t paid an appearance fee. I’ll post the audio of that presentation and an annotated transcript some time in the next few days. Nevertheless I’ll record the fact that they covered flights to and from Sydney, two nights accommodation at the conference venue, Opal Cove Resort, plus food and drink. [Update 20 November 2012: They also gave me some local produce as a gift, a jar of Valley of the Mist macadamia nut chutney.]

The Week Ahead

The week ahead is annoyingly unplanned. I had intended to go to Melbourne on Wednesday for the 5th birthday party of Business Spectator, parent of Technology Spectator, a masthead for which I write. But it’s looking like my cashflows won’t be good for that.

So, I’m going to map out the week in detail tomorrow, Monday. I’ll do a supplementary blog post then.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour from the air, taken from Qantas flight QF2117 yesterday. The image isn’t the sharpest, and neither does it have the best colour grading, because it was shot through both the plane window and the arc of the spinning propeller. But at least it gives a small flavour of the magnificent view.]

Weekly Wrap 120: Symantec, sunlight, servers and a ship

My week Monday 17 to Sunday 23 September 2012 was a bit odd. It wasn’t the steady week of writing I’d envisaged, but something a little less productive.

I think I was just exhausted after the previous few weeks so, with plenty of work ahead, I deliberately pulled back the pace. Mistress Insomnia agreed, alas.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 155, “Windows 8: Rectangles for all the things explained”. A chat about the interface formerly known as Metro with user experience designer Shane Morris from Automatic Studio and developer Nick Randolph from Built to Roam.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday morning I attended the launch of Symantec Managed Security Services’ Security Operations Centre in North Sydney. They provided coffee, but I arrived too late to avail myself of the snacks. They looked nice though.

The Week Ahead

The biggest thing on my mind right now is my session at the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Saturday. It’s one thing to write stuff. It’s another to be a performer on stage at the nation’s best-known venue. Sure, it’s a panel discussion of a subject I’m quite familiar with. Nevertheless…

But apart from that, I’m producing a Patch Monday podcast for tomorrow as well as one for the following Monday because that’s a public holiday, a story each for ZDNet Australia and CSO Online, and in theory I’m working on a couple of stories for Technology Spectator that’ll run next month.

What else is in the schedule? I’m a panellist on this week’s episode of ABC Radio National’s Download This Show, which we’re recording Thursday morning, after which I’m heading to a lunch with some bloke from Alcatel-Lucent. And Friday night is the opening session of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, philosopher Sam Harris on The Delusion of Free Will. I guess I have to go to that one. See what I did there?

I’ll be based in Sydney all this week and next. Unless I change my mind.

[Photo: Stavanger Bliss in Sydney Harbour, a photo taken from Sydney Harbour Bridge as four tugs assist the Norwegian-flagged tanker to execute a turn off Neutral Bay. When I first saw the ship, it was putting out a bit of smoke and appeared to be listing slightly to port. But I soon realised that was all just its engines revving up and a reaction to the tugs’ thrust. Clearly this massive ship needs help maneuvering in such tight quarters.]

Weekly Wrap 116: Porn, planes and presentations

Here’s my week Monday 20 to Sunday 26 August 2012. Once more it’s nothing but the facts, ma’am, because I’m so far behind in these posts.

Podcasts

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday I attended the launch party for the Samsung Experience Store in Sydney, where of course they provided food and drink.
  • On Thursday through Saturday I attended Consilium at the Palmer Coolum Resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The Centre for Independent Studies covered by flight from Sydney to Sunshine Coast, accommodation, food and drink, a limousine from the resort to Brisbane airport, and a flight back to Sydney — but I wasn’t paid for my appearance at the event.
  • On Sunday I flew from Sydney via Los Angeles to San Francisco to attend the VMworld event at VMware’s expense. I’ll list all of the freebies from that event on the next Weekly Wrap.

[Photo: View from Millers Point, taken from my room at The Sebel Pier One Hotel in Sydney. On the left is Pier 2/3, and across Sydney Harbour is Harry Seidler’s controversial Blues Point Tower.]