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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.

Podcasts

Articles

5at5

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

None.

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.]

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.

Play

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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.

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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.

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Marc Fennell, Claire Reilly and Stilgherrian on Download This Show

ABC logoJust like last time, one segment of this week’s Download This Show was also turned into a video segment, the one where Claire Reilly and I were talking about what we’d like to see Apple’s iOS adopt from Google’s Android, and vice versa.

Yes we spoke about Windows Phone too.

In the great battle between Apple and Android phones — what if they stopped making war and started reproducing? We’re asking what iPhone features you would like in an Android, and what Android features you would like in an iPhone.

The video is over the fold, immediately below.

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Screenshots from The 9 O'Clock Resurrection progress videos: click for YouTube playlistMy project to resurrect The 9pm Edict reached the initial target on Saturday — thank you — but there’s a few minutes left, so I’m hoping that we might get something up beyond that.

Here’s how things looked as we started the day today.

Chart of progress in The 9 O'Clock Resurrection

The upper line shows the total commitments so far, and where that line ends up at 0847 AEST today will determine what happens in May.

The lower line shows just the cumulative subscriptions, and where that ends up will provide the starting-point for crowdfunding June’s budget.

I’ll run another Pozible campaign around the third week of May, probably ending around 21 May. That will set the production pool for June — that is, the subscriptions continuing from this campaign, plus any new subscriptions, plus any one-off pledges. However I’ll also be investigating other ways to organise the subscriptions and perhaps some commercial sponsorship.

I’ll post a brief update once the Pozible campaign finishes this morning, and a longer explainer tonight.

Meanwhile you can watch my daily progress videos, which ceased on the weekend because I was distracted by a computer rebuild.

[Update 1110 AEST: The final total raised for the May production pool was $1082, so that’s two episodes confirmed for the month. We “only” have $304 in ongoing subscriptions, which isn’t quite enough to fund podcasts in June — yet. There will be further fundraising before then, so stay tuned. I’m currently feeling quite confident that I can build on this base — but I’ll have more on that tonight.]

Screenshots from The 9 O'Clock Resurrection progress videos 2 and 3: click for YouTube playlistMy project to resurrect The 9pm Edict has reached the halfway mark on its way to the initial target — but comments from some supporters have led me to believe that I need to better explain the funding model.

I’m establishing a monthly funding, planning and production cycle for the podcast.

The current Pozible project is the first of what will be continuing monthly fundraising campaigns. When it ends on 29 April, I’ll know how much money is in the production pool for May — that’s all the one-off contributions plus the first month of the subscriptions. I’ll then be able to lock in the production schedule for that month.

Here’s how things looked as we started the day today.

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Salmon heads on special at $1.99 per kilogram: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 14 to Sunday 20 April 2014 was a solid performer in the first half, and suitably balanced in the second half — not a time-off Easter, but at least one that wasn’t about over-work.

My own media production moved away from covering the Heartbleed bug, producing just one item — an opinion piece looking back at the way the crisis was handled, as opposed to the straight news stories produced during the previous week. But the story had moved into the mainstream, and that provided the background for a couple of media appearances.

More importantly, at least from my point of view, was that on Easter Sunday I launched “The 9 O’Clock Resurrection”, a Pozible crowdfunding project to re-establish my podcast The 9pm Edict as a regular part of my media production schedule.

I’ve already posted two progress videos onto a YouTube playlist, and we’re already nearly halfway to the initial target. I’m posting plenty of updates elsewhere, so I won’t bang on about that here.

Articles

Media Appearances

5at5

There was one for every working day, so that went to plan. Why don’t you subscribe to 5at5, and then I don’t need to keep telling you about it.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday I had a meeting with someone from Lewis PR to exchange notes on what we each had coming up. They paid for coffee and cake.

The Week Ahead

It’s a short working week here in Australia, which is partially why this Weekly Wrap is appearing on Tuesday. Monday was mostly an excursion with two friends to Dulwich Hill, Summer Hill and Ashfield. Dumplings were involved.

Today, Tuesday, is about email and planning and many minor tasks that need to be gotten out of the way, so that I can concentrate on promoting the Pozible project and plan out the next few weeks.

Wednesday and Thursday are writing days, with at least one thing to write for ZDNet Australia, plus some work to be done on sorting out my cashflows. Friday is Anzac Day. I will mark it in some way, personally, but I’m not sure how yet. The weekend is unplanned as yet.

I’m in Sydney all week, and currently plan to return to the Blue Mountains on Sunday.

[Photo: Salmon heads on special at $1.99 per kilogram, photographed at Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west on Saturday 19 April 2014.]

Screenshot from The 9 O'Clock Resurrection video for Day 1I’ve decided that my podcast The 9pm Edict should be a thing again, and so yesterday morning I launched a Pozible crowdfunding campaign entitled The 9 O’Clock Resurrection to make it happen.

This post is “belatedly” because it’s already more than a day since I launched the campaign, and already people’s commitments are more than a third of the way to the initial target, which is to fund two episodes in May. Thank you.

I’d really like to do the podcast weekly, however, and beyond May. So that’ll mean more funding than the initial target, and more of the supporters to commit to a monthly subscription. It’s much the same model as that used by community broadcasters here in Australia, or public broadcasters in the US, as I said when I spoke about my first Pozible campaign on ABC Radio National’s Media Report.

This new Pozible campaign runs until 29 April. I’ll be making a video each day to report progress. The first is watchable on YouTube, and the rest will appear in the YouTube playlist, and I’ll figure out some other methods tomorrow.

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Stilgherrian in bunny hat from Download This Show

ABC logoCareful and sighted readers will have noticed that in the photo accompanying the audio for this week’s Download This Show I was wearing a bunny hat for Easter. That’s because this radio program now appears on video as well as part of the new RN TV.

Not all of it, but one segment at least, and you’ll see that video over the fold.

In light of the software bug Heartbleed, we examine password managers and ask are they the safest way to manage your security online?

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