Talking the death of voicemail on ABC 1233 Newcastle

ABC logoOn Thursday, Mornings on ABC 1233 Newcastle noticed that some big businesses in the US had turned off voicemail, using text messaging instead. They also noted that many people had stopped using voicemail personally too.

That led to a conversation on the radio with Rosemarie Milsom, and here’s a recording.


The audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 240: Technology, little sleep, a belated possum

"Come at me, bro!": click to embiggenMy week of Monday 4 to Sunday 11 January 2015 was very, very, very annoying. Not only did the server migration take up far too much of my time and ruined my sleep patterns, I ended up with a nasty intestinal problem for a few days. Not happy, Jan.

As I mentioned last week, I may or may not write up the server migration problems. I’m not sure that any real lessons were learned. I’m just thankful that it’s something that only has to be done every few years, because it took about 47 hours all up.

But it did screw up my productivity. No articles written. No podcasts produced. Sigh.


There was only one 5at5 this week, on Tuesday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all in the future. Subscribe. Just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one. Monday through Wednesday I’ll be sorting out my work for the new year — including getting the subscription for The 9pm Edict podcast back on track, reviewing some interview recordings, preparing an ebook, and sending story pitches to editors.

On Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet Australia, and then at 1615 AEDT doing a spot on ABC News24. On Friday, there’s a “webinar” [ugh!] at 0600 AEDT, and then I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

I daresay I’ll have a social life in there somewhere too, perhaps on the weekend, which is as yet unplanned.

[Photo: “Come at me, bro!”. A brush-tailed possum invades the Chirgwin residence at Lilyfield on 3 January 2015. Rather than being persuaded to leave, he decided to take me on. Technically this image belongs to last week’s Weekly Wrap, but I’m not too worried about consistency.]

Talking technology on ABC 720 Perth, episode the fourth

ABC logoThe Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas featured in the final “Tech Wreck” segment on ABC 720 Perth, as well as some technology that may well fall out of use in 2015.

CES is a huge thing, with 160,000 attendees and 20,000 product launches, and as we went to air on Tuesday it hadn’t even really kicked off. Monday (US time) was the press preview day, so I was basing my comments on what had been reported so far, mostly from the coverage at CNet. I spoke mostly about 4k television, smart homes, and pointless gadgets.

We also spoke about the decline of six technologies that an article in The Independent had suggested would be on the way out: home landlines, TV remote controls, stand-alone satellite navigation, phone boxes, DVD and Blu-Ray, and the alarm clock.

The presenter is Jamie Burnett.


The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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.



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.]

Weekly Wrap 48

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This week was very much a calm — sort of — before the storm.


  • Patch Monday episode 86, “Apple: Big Brother or just misunderstood?”. When news broke that Apple’s iOS-based devices were logging location-based information, the media went wild. I speak with information security engineer Alex Levinson from Katana Forensics and Professor Roger Clarke, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation.


  • APF urges criminal penalties for smartphone privacy breaches, for ZDNet Australia, based on Professor Clarke’s comments on Patch Monday.
  • Gamification: Hot, new, unethical? for the new site Technology Spectator. I’ll say it straight up: the mindset behind the gamification trend disgusts me. And, despite what the first two commenters on that op-ed imagine, it’s not because I haven’t heard or read enough about it. The more I hear and read from gamification’s buzzword-addled cheer squad the more disgusted I become.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday I spoke with Perth radio RTRfm about the Sony PlayStation Network hack.
  • On Friday I spoke with Kate O’Toole on ABC 105.7 Darwin about the surge of spam and malware following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

I haven’t posted the audio files of those radio interviews, even though I have them. Should I? Part of me says I should do so, because it helps create a proper archive of what I do. But another part of me reckons that radio in particular is ephemeral, and that my conversations about these issues really haven’t added much new to the vast global pool of media on these subjects. What do you think?

Corporate Largesse

None. But that will seriously change next week. Stand by.


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: Victory is mine! The view from the dining table at Wattle Cottage, one of the Bunjaree Cottages where I’ve been living off and on for the last three months. The title is because this was the last in a sequence of photos documenting my battle with the forces of natural gas. I guess you had to be there…]

Links for 15 October 2009 through 19 October 2009

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?