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Adelaide Railway Station

This podcast returns to my hometown of Adelaide and turns thing inside out, with The Arch Window’s Nicholas Fryer asking me questions. Some of them dig into my past.

We talk about internet influencers, internet advertising, the role of the ABC as Australia’s national broadcaster, the shift in focus of The Australian and other Rupert Murdoch media outlets, Malcolm Turnbull, Korean boy band BTS, The Veronicas, Bipolar II Disorder, the nature of being a writer, Sky News Australia, bourbon, repressed memories, getting older, and the importance of fear.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or go to SoundCloud or Spreaker.

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This podcast was recorded on Sunday 30 October 2018 in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Retired TerminalsMy week of Monday 19 to Sunday 25 June 2017 was delightfully unproductive, for various reasons that I won’t go into today. I can see again, however.

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None of these things happened.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be working on the SEKRIT editorial project, and completing it. Stay tuned. I also hope to write something for ZDNet. It’s also the last week of the financial year, however, so certain administrivia needs to be done. We’ll see.

Further Ahead

On Wednesday 5 July, I’m presenting to the journalism students at Macleay College in Sydney. I’m not sure whether you’ll be able to hear any more about that.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded and streamed live on Thursday 6 July from stilgherrian.com/edict/live/, starting at 2100 AEST. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

On Tuesday 11 July, I’m recording the pilot episode of a new podcast idea. More about that very soon.

On Wednesday 12 July, I’m covering the Data + Privacy Asia Pacific conference in Sydney.

I then hope to cover the 5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics (ICCCF) on the Gold Coast from 16 to 18 July, but I still have to organise the funding.

I’m then covering the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney from 10 to 12 October; and Ruxcon in Melbourne on 21 to 22 October.

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Retired Terminals. The corroded terminals on some of the 15-year-old lead-acid batteries retired from use at Bunjaree Cottages, photographed on 25 June 2017.]

ABC logo“How relevant is handwriting in 2015, when people are increasingly communicating via text messages, via email, via tweets, Facebook updates, those sort things?”, asked ABC 891 Adelaide presenter Michael Smyth on Monday afternoon.

There are schools in Finland and the US reportedly phasing out the teaching of handwriting.

Here’s what I think is an interesting 12-minute discussion that includes a vox pop of people in Adelaide, talkback calls, and Pam Kent, president of the South Australian Primary Principals Association, as well as myself.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Bonus link: By a happy coincidence, this week’s episode of ABC Radio’s Future Tense asks Does handwriting have a future?

Despite my early enthusiasm for Blogjune, saying I’d join various others in writing a blog post ever day this month, I’ve decided to give it a miss.

While I do want to be writing more of the essays I used to write, I’ve got plenty to be getting on with — including The 9pm Edict podcast, figuring out what to do with Corrupted Nerds, and of course generating more paying work.

Once I’d fallen a couple of days behind, the “commitment” to this arbitrary project was really only causing stress, without generating much in the way of benefits. So I’m quite happy to have dropped it.

The five Blogjune posts I did write are all tagged blogjune.

Buddha Brian on a log: click to embiggenI’ve never been much of a joiner. I don’t play nice with other children. Well, more them with me, the vicious little bastards. But I’ve joined Constance Wiebrands’s Blogjune project this year anyway. I suspect it was a stupid decision.

“What the fuck did you sign up to that for,” screams my alleged professional side.

“You’ve got leads for paying work you could follow up. But no, you’re pissing away time on things like 5at5. You did an episode of Corrupted Nerds this week, which doesn’t have any income yet, when you’d already been paid to do another episode of The 9pm Edict in May and you only just managed to sneak that in before midnight last night. What’s wrong with you?”

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How they make journalism (at TechEd): click for copy at FlickrTechEd is Microsoft’s annual developer conference, and TechEd Australia 2013 kicks off this coming Tuesday 3 September. ZDNet Australia had commissioned me to cover it, from a room much like the one pictured — just like I did last year — but now it’s all off. Because Microsoft has banned me.

On 1 August, I emailed ZDNet Australia editor Chris Duckett to accept his commission. But on 6 August, he phoned me, pissing himself laughing, to say that the message from Microsoft — I don’t know from who or how it was delivered — was a no-go. I’m banned from TechEd for “being aggressive to speakers”.

Now I, too, was pissing myself laughing. I was nearly in tears!

“Aggressive to speakers”? Let’s be clear. Any problems were about one speaker, singular. And this alleged aggression — which I’d characterise more as ridicule, mockery and outrageously hyperbolic violent imagery, as is my well-worn shtick — happened solely via Twitter.

Now I’ve thought long and hard about whether to tell this story. Personally, I don’t really care. I’m happy to avoid spending most of next week in that hell-hole called the Gold Coast, and I’ve got plenty of other things to get on with. And Microsoft does have the right to decide who they will and won’t allow into their event — especially when they’re paying.

But I’ve decided to go public because I’m a big fan of transparency — as reflected in my blog posts from 2007, Releasing the Black Hawk crash video was A Good Thing, Scaring the shit out of clients and Being Real: more notes on radical transparency.

I think you should know about this ban, because it potentially affects the quality of my coverage and analysis of Microsoft as it faces some interesting challenges — more about that another time. I’d like you to be informed consumers of my work, which is why I list all the corporate largesse I receive in my Weekly Wrap posts.

I was also under the impression that any problems which may have arisen were all sorted out at the time. Certainly no-one at Microsoft has ever mentioned any problem to me since then.

Quite frankly, to bad-mouth me to one of my commissioning editors — in an undocumented phone call, no less! — strikes me as a tad defamatory.

And without any communication with me? From an organisation that wants customers to trust it with our most intimate and confidential data? Does this not represent a glaring absence of due process?

So, in the tradition of another 2007 post, “Let’s just write that down…”, I’m just going to write it all down, and put my name to it. That’s what honest people do, right?

Come with me, boys and girls, as I tell you about TechEd Australia 2012’s keynote speaker, Jason Silva, “futurist, filmmaker, epiphany addict [WTF?], ecstatic truth lover [WTFF?], techno optimist”. Check his Wikipedia entry and personal website.

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Old Man Yells At Cloud screenshot from "The Simpsons"Discussions with editors about what I’ll be doing in 2013 continue. One discussion is about the title of a new column that the editor in question has described as me shouting at the sky. I need your help.

“Shouting at the sky,” you ask?

We mean the analysis and opinion pieces that result from me cutting loose about something that’s pissing me off, or that quote people who are in the same frame of mind.

Here’s half a dozen near-random examples, chosen from a variety of mastheads so I don’t reveal where this column will appear.

I should also mention that this is for a technology-related masthead, and the topics will include that key focus that I’ve identified in my work: changing power relationships.

Yesterday I asked for suggestions on Twitter. Here’s what you’ve come up with so far.

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I must admit, this one threw me a bit. Last Sunday ABC Radio presenter James O’Loghlin wanted to know whether he should start using Twitter because “having to tweet” might help him generate ideas.

I thought he was looking at Twitter from the wrong angle. If he used Twitter it’s not that he had to tweet something but that he wanted to tweet it.

Nevertheless, it turned into an interesting chat, kicking off with ABC political writer Annabel Crabb before I joined the conversation around the 9 min 20 sec mark. I even managed to get Mr O’Loghlin’s sex life into the conversation.

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The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and was recorded on 20 May 2012. I’ve included the audio right up to the 7pm news because there’s some Twitter-related comments at the end.

I’ve just read an article which used “problematised” as a verb. Apart from causing me to stumble and have to re-read the whole sentence, this uncommon word illustrates perfectly the problem with so much “educated” writing. And with journalism.

Discussing this on Twitter earlier this afternoon, I said I’d save the writer from further embarrassment. And the editor. But I’ve changed my mind, because I’m going to pull them into this conversation.

The author is Jeff Sparrow. The editing is by newmatilda.com. And the article is certainly something I’m interested in understanding: The Golden Age Of Publishing is an essay on the challenges facing publishers as we move into the digital era.

Here’s the whole paragraph:

That’s why the glory days of the press coincided with the long boom after the Second World War, a time of relative economic and social stability, in which Keynesianism explicitly validated public works and the public sphere. Since then, however, the turn back to marketisation that reached its zenith with neo-liberalism has problematised, more and more explicitly, the very notion of a public. In the idealised free market, there is, as Margaret Thatcher famously explained, no such thing as society — there’s simply an aggregation of competing individuals. In the midst of that fragmentation, the old newspaper model no longer makes sense.

“Problematised”? I’d never seen the word before! I thought it might mean “position as a problem” or something like “assert it’s a problem rather than a benefit”. But no.

So what the hell is this about?

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Stilgherrian’s links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009, gathered automatically but then left to languish for two weeks before publication.

There’s so many of these links this time that I’ll publish them over the fold. I think I need to get over my fear of the link being published automatically without my checking them first, and my concern that my website won’t look nice if the first post is just a list of links.

Maybe I should just stick these Delicious-generated links in a sidebar? Or do you like having them in the main stream and RSS feed?

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