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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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Hitachi Data Systems privacy law graphic: click for whitepaperAustralia’s new privacy laws come into force on 12 March. On 12 February, four weeks before the new laws come into force, I hosted a panel discussion on dealing with these new law for Hitachi Data Systems.

The panelists were lawyer Alec Christie, a partner in the intellectual property and technology practice of global law firm DLA Piper; Jodie Sangster, chief executive officer of ADMA, the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (which used to be called the Australian Direct Marketing Association); and Adrian De Luca, chief technology officer for Hitachi Data Systems in the Asia-Pacific region.

Over the fold is the full 58-minute video. This was done as a Google Hangout, and since there were some internet glitches the video is a bit glitchy too, but the content itself is great.

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En route, a frame from Strathfield to Central: click to embiggenI’ve finally wrapped up my Nokia Lumia 925 / Windows Phone 8 trial. I’m impressed with both the phone and the operating system, but is it too little too late for both Nokia and Microsoft? Who knows? I’ve made a video! You can scroll down for that.

That possible problem with Wi-Fi dropouts that I detailed last time? I couldn’t reproduce it with the replacement handset — or at least not in a way that couldn’t also be explained by the swirling electromagnetic soup in the vicinity of my desk and all the wireless devices thereupon — so let’s just write that off as a false alarm.

So where does that leave us?

Well, to reiterate, the Nokia Lumia 925 is a nice piece of kit, in keeping with the best traditions of the brand. Windows Phone 8 is also a solid forward-looking operating system. I’d been told about Windows 8’s design heritage at TechEd on the Gold Coast last year. Now, having used it for a month, I can see where it’s heading. App developers should be able to do good things with it.

But with both Nokia smartphones and Windows Phone 8 having such a tiny market share, will it all have been in vain? Has the flood of iOS and Android mobile devices taught the business world that, no, they’re not actually shackled to Microsoft’s products after all? That there are other ways of doing things? And that “producing documents” isn’t actually the purpose of business?

Sometimes when I look at Microsoft’s strategy with Nokia, or the previous one when they inserted Yahoo! into Bing, that the two potentially troubled companies are clutching to each other in terror as they plunge, each hoping the other brought a parachute. And maybe they have. But all the talk I’ve heard so far is your common or garden variety corporate waffle. Good luck, guys.

The only other loose end is to post the video I shot. And here it is. Over the fold is the full 16-minute video Strathfield to Central, shot on the Nokia Lumia 925 at full 1080p resolution, and all other video settings on their defaults.

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Approaching Sydney Central, a frame from "Strathfield to Central": click to embiggenOn Thursday I decided to check out the Nokia Lumia 925’s video capabilities. That’s a frame grab above I continue to be impressed with this phone’s image quality.

Indeed the video, which I’ve entitled Strathfield to Central for obvious reasons, is the highlight not only of Day 3 of my Nokia Lumia 925 / Windows Phone 8 trial but of the entire trial so far.

I had hoped to embed the full video here. But I’m on mobile bandwidth today, and unless I upload a gigabyte or two of data, it simply won’t do it justice. So it’ll have to wait a while. Stand by.

Meanwhile, here’s the rest of my bullet-point observations from Day 3.

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ABC logoToday is YouTube’s eighth birthday, according to the internet. On 23 April 2005, co-founder Jawed Karim uloaded the 19-second masterpiece Me at the zoo, and the rest is history.

I ended up having a light-hearted chat about it this afternoon with Richard Margetson on ABC 105.7 Darwin, and here’s the full audio of our conversation.


The audio is ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but it isn’t published anywhere else and I don’t get paid so here it is.

Still from video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee: click for the videoEarly this month I recorded a video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, for internet service provider iiNet as part of their sponsorship of his TBL Down Under tour. That interview was published this week — and here it is.

Joining Berners-Lee and myself are Simon Hackett, founder of ISP Internode and all-round geek, and British actor, writer and comedian Robert Llewellyn, best known for playing the mechanoid Kryten in the TV science fiction comedy Red Dwarf.

We discussed Berners-Lee’s childhood trainspotting hobby, the NeXT computer on which he created the web, the politics of open standards and open data, the semantic web, the future of computer interfaces and why 3D interfaces didn’t take off — amongst many other things.

On a personal note, I found it interesting being involved in a corporate video rather than one for news media. Up front, there was a lot more stress (by others) about what my questions would be. Afterwards the edit, which I wasn’t involved with, had to be approved by Berners-Lee’s agents in London as well as iiNet. That presumably explains the long turnaround. Around 40 minutes of recorded material was trimmed back to a 20-minute interview.

In the news media, especially on a daily news cycle, I’d have prepared the interview questions the day of the interview. Then, once it was recorded, we’d have done a quick edit and it would’ve been online the next day.

Thank you, Pia Waugh, for recommending me for this gig. And, before anyone whinges, I haven’t embedded the video here because the videos on iiNet’s Freezone aren’t embeddable.

Here’s a brief video of this morning’s delegation of Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans) at Banksia Cottage, one of the Bunjaree Cottages, which is where I’ve been living for the last week.

If the embedded video isn’t working for you, you can watch it on YouTube.

On the way back from the AusCERT 2012 information security conference this afternoon I found myself stranded at Gold Coast airport for a couple hours, exhausted. What better, then, than an impromptu video explaining how public relations operatives can improve the way they interact with journalists at these events.

This video was shot with a Nikon Coolpix S8100 compact digital camera, using the in-camera stereo microphone for the audio. The only post-production was to top and tail it, and compress it to a YouTube-optimised MP4 using iSkysoft Video Converter. Otherwise it’s exactly as it came out of the camera.

Should I list the tips themselves, here, in text form? Perhaps later. I simply couldn’t be arsed right now.

Thursday’s ZDNet Live panel discussion went rather well — even if it was another goddam thing about the cloud — and the video is posted below.

The topic was “Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth”, and the panellists were (left to right after me) Greg Stone, chief technology officer at Microsoft Australia; Zack Levy, chief commercial officer of Bluefire; Vito Forte, chief information officer at great big evil mining company Fortescue Metals Group; and moderator Brian Haverty, editorial director, ZDNet Australia.

If the embedded video isn’t working properly, or if you’d like a slightly bigger version, click through to ZDNet Australia.

More comments will doubtless appear over there too. With luck some of them will be a little bit more insightful than the childish “Microsoft bad, Linux good” platform zealotry of the first one, from jonalinux.

Cloud computing using Microsoft… you’re joking right. I guess it might be reliable if they double the amount of machines compared to Linux.

I recall when Microsoft bought Hotmail and switched over. It crashed immediately and in order to cope with the load, Microsoft had to double the amount of machines.

“When Microsoft bought Hotmail”? That was 1997. I reckon that if you’re going to have a go at someone’s technology in a grown-up conversation then your example should be just that little more recent than 14 years ago.

And was that even true?

Sure, as Microsoft initially replaced FreeBSD and Solaris (not Linux, note, so we have further evidence of jonalinux being an arsehat), Windows servers proved unable to handle the same level of traffic so the plan was delayed. But “switched over” and “crashed immediately” strikes me as complete bullshit — if for no other reason than that’s not how you manage a large-scale transition.

Yes, reliability problems plagued Hotmail a decade ago. When it had 30 or 50 million users and ran on Windows 2000. Today it has ten times the user base and technology ten years down the track. Decade-old misinformation from a zealot is such a waste of space. I’m sorry I even copy-and-pasted it in now.

[Update 0945: Added text of jonalinux’s comment and my response.]

The following important and highly-educational video was shot on Saturday 26 November 2011 on King Street, Newtown, in Sydney.

If the video isn’t working here for you, click through to YouTube.

May I also recommend Excellence in European Linguistics, Kingsgrove and Multiply Function Pot?

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