Weekly Wrap 314: Cold and wet and more wet, and wet

Crossing Anzac Bridge: click to embiggenMy week Monday 30 May to Sunday 5 June 2016 was disrupted by a cold or somesuch — perhaps caught at AusCERT 2016, perhaps just the change-of-season illness that seems to have spread down the entire east coast of Australia — and then by Sydney’s massive rainstorms of 4–5 June.

I’m therefore well behind schedule, so I’ll keep this brief.


  • “The 9pm Edict Public House Forum 3” was recorded on Saturday, and the final version will be produced and posted on Wednesday 8 June.


None. I’ve got tons of recorded interviews, however, so I’ll be sorting them out soon enough.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

I should be in Sydney for the whole week once again. With few specific appointments locked in so far, I’ll be working at my own pace through the neverending tax bookkeeping, the geek-for-hire projects which are way behind schedule, and some writing for ZDNet. In roughly that order.

There are three fixed commitments, however.

  • On Monday through Wednesday, I’ll edit, mix and post The 9pm Edict Public House Forum 3.
  • On Wednesday afternoon, I’m recording a radio spot which will be broadcast on ABC Radio’s digital streams on Saturday afternoon. Check my Twitter feed on the day for the exact time.
  • On Wednesday evening, I’m doing a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1930 AEST.

The weekend is unplanned, and it’s the long weekend for the Queen’s Birthday.

[Update 8 June 2016: Edited to reflect some schedule changes. Update 11 June 2016: Edited to add the Tweet of the Day item.]

[Photo: Crossing Anzac Bridge, photographed on 4 June 2016 during Sydney’s massive two-day rainstorm.]

Weekly Wrap 255: A new dawn occluded by storms

The storm approaches: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 20 to Sunday 26 April 2015 was rather dismal, and not just because of the severe storms that hit New South Wales.

The storms were big. A month’s worth of rain fell on the first day, and then there was more rain. Ausgrid had to deal with more than 6000 power line failures, most of them because of trees. The State Emergency Service had more than 11,000 jobs to deal with, and again most of them were because of trees. People were killed. Houses were washed away.

Fortunately, I was at the periphery of all that. It was more the weather’s side effect, the fact that I was trapped indoors for the latter part of the week, which led to further introspection along the lines that I explained last week.

That new dawn was occluded by a stormy week, which culminated in the Anzac Day weekend and the personal reflections that brings. It’s all a lot to deal with, really.




There were only two editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday and Tuesday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None. A planned spot on Tuesday to talk about tech news on ABC 702 Sydney was cancelled because they needed to focus on their storm coverage.

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

Well it’s almost over now. Today, or was we call it, Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet Australia, doing some blog posts including this one, running errands, and returning to Wentworth Falls after a couple days in Sydney. On Friday, I’ll be focusing on my legacy IT business, Prussia.Net, which now bears little relationship to how the website describes it, and which much change. The weekend will include whatever things I feel like at the time, because it’s the weekend.

[Photo: The storm approaches. The first of several days of heavy rainstorms hit New South Wales on Monday 20 April 2015. This shot was taken from a taxi driving down the Great Western Highway, somewhere between Leura and Wentworth Falls.]

Talking Netflix for Australia on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoToday the US-based video streaming service announced that will launch in Australia in March 2015. I spoke about the implications earlier this evening on ABC 891 Adelaide.

While Netflix already has 200,000-odd customers in Australia, using various methods to get around the geoblocking. Will they move across when the Australian service, given that the selection won’t be the same? Will Australia’s broadband cope?

The presenter is Michael Smyth.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Tone-Deaf Abbott no statesman, never will be [blogjune02]

Screenshot from Tony Abbott D-Day video 600px: click to embiggen“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we are open for business,” tweeted @bernieb last night, adding, “As I stand here on Anzac Cove, I’m reminded of just how terrible a place Australia was before I became Prime Minister.” An utterly crass scenario, no?

@bernieb’s scenario is fictional, but it precisely mirrors the tone-deaf pollution of a D-Day Commemoration message with grubby day-to-day politics committed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday.

My reaction was to groan rather than laugh. but there was plenty of laughter to be had watching the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) go into damage control.

Continue reading “Tone-Deaf Abbott no statesman, never will be [blogjune02]”

Talking Facebook audio snooping on The Project

Screenshot of Stilgherrian on The ProjectGiven that Facebook is the biggest social network on the planet, and therefore the biggest data miner of them all, there was naturally plenty of media interest in the privacy implications of their latest feature: audio matching.

As explained in these stories at ZDNet and The Independent, and in Facebook’s own blog post, the new Facebook app can use your smart device’s microphone to identify the music you’re listening to or the TV program you’re watching.

On Thursday I spoke about this on Channel TEN’s The Project. “Look I wouldn’t trust Facebook, personally, as far as I could spit a cow,” I said.

Over the fold you’ll find the video of the entire four-minute segment — starting off with a “package”, as they’re called, featuring Angus Kidman, editor of Lifehacker.com.au, followed by the panel interviewing me. The presenters are Carrie Bickmore, Ray Martin (yes, that Ray Martin), Jo Stanley and Lemo.

Continue reading “Talking Facebook audio snooping on The Project”