Patch Monday: WAN optimisation and the Facebook patent

ZDNet Australia logo: click for Patch Monday episode 33

The perceived speed of your internet connection isn’t just about raw bandwidth. The National Broadband Network won’t automatically speed up everything.

In this week’s Patch Monday podcast, Steve Dixon from Riverbed Technology explains how inefficiencies in TCP/IP network protocols mean that latency can be as much of a problem as bandwidth. “WAN optimisation”, which is something Riverbed and others sell, can help.

And Kimberlee Weatherall provides some perspective on the controversial Facebook “news feed” patent for “Dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network” into perspective. She teaches intellectual property law at the University of Queensland.

You can listen below. But it’s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia — where you’ll see some of the comments already posted — or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.

Besides, you’ll get it faster than waiting for me to post it here.

Please let me know what you think. We accept audio comments too. Either Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

Episode 50 is now online

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 50

Last night’s episode of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure.

After some excellent nominations for “Cnut of the Week” — which I failed to list in full on the program, sorry — I chose the usual shortlist of four.

Poor former NSW Liberals leader Peter Debnam only scored one vote (6%), coming in 4th place. Amazon.com came in 3rd (17%) for their deletion of George Orwell’s books from people’s Kindles. And in 2nd place (33%) were the critics of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who won’t leave the man have his sex life in peace, or something.

But the clear winner of “Cnut of the Week” was the oldest member of Australia’s House of Representatives, Wilson “Ironbar” Tuckey (44%), who throughout the program was represented by a photo of Treasurer Wayne Swan. Don’t ask.

Now, the prize draw…

Mark Pesce was drawn first from the Cocktail Shaker of Integrity, but he’d already gone to bed. Someone summoned him via SMS, but deliberately gave him the wrong codeword. So, Mark dutifully emailed me “pineapple” when I was after “elephant”. They’re so easy to confuse!

DAemon was drawn next, but he wasn’t watching.

The t-shirt from our friends at King Cnut Ethical Clothing went to Woolly Mittens. Enjoy!

Stilgherrian Live will return next Thursday night at 9.30pm Sydney time. Unless I tell you it doesn’t. It’s not the same without the live chat amongst the audience, so watch it live. No, really.

Look, about that damn topless gnome…

“The greatest challenge to implementing social media within any organisation is the willingness for that organisation to accept the cultural change that will ultimately occur. And occur dramatically and at a rapid pace. Social media holds a mirror up to an organization from the external customers/clients/constituents that shows an authentic, and sometimes unexpected, face.”Nick Hodge

“I’d add that that face is almost always unexpected.”Mark Pesce (in private conversation)

Topless gnome Gnaomi, standing near the book The State of Africa by Martin Meredith, from the opening to Stilgherrian Live episode 48

Clearly I’m not going to get anything else written until I respond to The Gnome Situation. I’ve been reading the comments and mulling possible responses for days. It’s getting in the way of actual, productive work. So here we go.

No. I will not be removing Gnaomi from my desk.

Discussing an issue as important as rape through the proxy of an anthropomorphised piece of clay seems, to me, a poor tactic. Nor will I compromise the actual or perceived independence of my media output, no matter how worthy the cause.

There’ll probably be people at ActionAid who won’t like or understand that outcome, so here’s the long explanation…

Continue reading “Look, about that damn topless gnome…”

Wayne Swan’s “Yes Minister” moment

After he’d given the Budget Speech to parliament last night, Treasurer Wayne Swan was interviewed by the ABC’s PM program — where he delivered what I think has to be the best line of the night.

Swan was explaining that unlike his Liberal predecessor Peter Costello’s Future Fund, which was never spent on anything, Labor’s future funds would be spent on “contemporary” infrastructure needs. Journalist Mark Colvin asked how they could still be called future funds.

MARK COLVIN: I mean, if they’re not for the future, what are they for? Why aren’t they just government spending?

WAYNE SWAN: No, no. You’re confusing the name Future Fund with a fund for the future.

Yes, I can see how he’d be confused…

[Update 10.30am: Here’s the relevant piece of audio.]