In many ways my week of Monday 17 to Sunday 23 April 2023 represented another calm before a storm. I got plenty of client work done, did a radio spot, and finally locked in a venue for the Public House Forum recording next weekend, but the coming week is the big one.
Fox Update: The trap is in position
On Monday the local Community Pest Coordinator, a curious job title, brought us a fox trap, which we set up and camouflaged in the scrub at the edge of the fox’s regular route. This location is just 10 metres from my desk.
We’re told it may take weeks to months to catch him. First he has to accept being close to the trap. Then we place food near the trap, and on subsequent occasions move it further inside, until he’s comfortable going into the cage and eating off the trigger plate. Then we close off the back and and allow him to become used to this more enclosed food source. Only then do we arm the trap.
And now we wait. So far, six days later, he has not been seen. That photo up the top is from last year. Soon, though. Soon…
I didn’t do a digital developments post this week because there wasn’t a lot of action. However in the last couple of week’s I’ve edited up some material related to my client Lockstep Consulting’s Data Verification Platform project.
- In the first of a two-parter by George Peabody, Digital wallets are components, not systems.
- The second part is Putting government data to full use — and why.
- And finally a handout: How a data protection infostructure can safeguard value chains.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
- On Friday I was interviewed by ABC Radio’s PM for the story Will buying Twitter verification increase misinformation?. Short answer: Yes.
Podcasts, Photos, Videos, Corporate Largesse
None of these things. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
The radio spot linked to above captures just a tiny part of the Musk-Twitter saga this week.
- Why Elon Musk’s cull of Twitter ‘verified’ blue ticks could prove costly.
- “Twitter started giving anyone with a large following, roughly 1 million followers or more, a free checkmark. The only problem? By doing that, Musk has given checkmarks to people who’ve died. And when you click on the blue checkmark on their profiles it not only says they’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue, it says they’ve handed over their phone number.”
- “Twitter has removed the ‘government-funded’ and ‘state-affiliated’ labels that led several news outlets to stop tweeting on the platform. When asked why Twitter has dropped the labels, Elon Musk says it was a “suggestion” from Walter Isaacson, the author of his upcoming biography.”
- Elon Musk says he will launch rival to Microsoft-backed ChatGPT, reports Reuters. Quote: “I’m going to start something which I call ‘TruthGPT’, or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson aired on Monday. He said TruthGPT “might be the best path to safety” that would be “unlikely to annihilate humans”.
- Meanwhile, Twitter made it easier to harass transgender users, reports The Verge.
“The platform quietly removed specific protections against targeted misgendering and deadnaming from its Hateful Conduct Policy.”
- “Elon Musk’s fortune slashed by $17 billion after a horror 24 hours,” reports News.com.au. “In 24 hours, Tesla’s grim earnings were revealed, a SpaceX rocket blew up, Twitter purged legacy blue checkmarks — and Elon Musk paid a pretty penny for it all.”
- “Institutional shareholders in Tesla admonished the company’s board of directors to rein in an ‘over-committed’ CEO Elon Musk in an open letter Friday,” reports CNBC.
- Elon Musk’s Dad Says His Son’s Whole Career Was Funded by That Emerald Mine.
And in other news:
- OMFG a crossover episode! Ukrainian Counteroffensive: Expectations and Realities by Adam Something with LazerPig “in the usual presentation format of our lord and saviour Perun”.
- Australia’s China illiteracy has dangerous consequences, by Yun Jiang, who has been on The 9pm Edict podcast three times.
- Yun is also a co-author of the new Lowy Institute report, 2023 Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Communities.
- Subterranean Sydney: A cross-section of Town Hall Station made with iPhone LiDAR, and there are high-resolution versions you can print. Also, instructions on how to make your own.
- I’m six years late to this, but you should watch Ronny Chieng: International Student wherever you can find it. It’s definitely on Netflix in Australia.
- It’s from two years ago, but I hadn’t heard of this term before, Flygskam: What is the flight-shaming environmental movement that’s sweeping Europe?.
- “During the pandemic, women across China became infatuated with the dashing male characters in a series of viral video games. Now, many are hiring cosplayers to bring their digital beaus to life.”
- An interesting paper: One Man’s Damage: The Consequences of Boris Johnson’s Assault on the British Political System.
- From History Hit, a great documentary on The Secret Nuclear Bunker Built For the British Government, with plenty of background for any of you unfamiliar with the Cold War. It also includes some commentary from Julie McDowall, presenter of podcast Atomic Hobo about how we planned to survive nuclear war, or not. I haven’t listened to
- Well this is horrifying! Meet the ‘elite’ couples breeding to save mankind.
- It’s from a few weeks ago, but Armando Iannucci is right when he says The right have a secret: they are the true snowflakes.
- And finally a reminder that 12ft.io exists and can help you jump most paywalls.
The Week Ahead
I’ve got plenty of client work this week, but my schedule will be built around the lead-up to Saturday afternoon’s podcast recording.
On Monday I’ll be doing some technical tests to make sure I have all the hardware and software working.
Tuesday is the public holiday for Anzac Day, but I have a client meeting in the morning. In the afternoon I’ll be running various errands, including getting hold of any additional equipment I might need.
Update 24 April 2023: On Wednesday I’ll zoom down to Sydney to double-check the layout of the recording venue. I’ll be doing plenty of work en route.
On Thursday evening I’ll run a test livestream with the full hardware and software load. If you check my Twitter and Mastodon feeds that night you might see an invitation to help me see how well it all works.
On Friday afternoon I’ll head down to Sydney for various purposes, including pre-recording a couple of segments for the livestream.
On Saturday afternoon it’s finally time for the The 9pm Public House Forum 7 livestream and recording at the Royal Exhibition Hotel at 86-88 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills. That’s directly opposite the Devonshire Street exit from Sydney Central station.
The recording starts at 1.30pm AEST, but I recommend arriving from 12.30pm so you can have lunch and a drink or three. That said, the pub opens at 9am. We’re using the rooftop terrace bar, which has a canopy and, if needed, heaters. So don’t worry about the weather.
Guests include Sydney Morning Herald cartoonist Cathy Wilcox and satirist Mark Humphries.
Please click through to book a free ticket, or just tell me, so I know how many people might be coming and I can forewarn the venue. Or just turn up, because there’s plenty of room.
The audio livestream will be at stilgherrian.com/live and on Spreaker apps. The video livestream will be on my YouTube channel. Both start at 1.30pm AEST on Saturday, and will be almost immediately available for replay.
- Coronation of Charles III, 6 May 2023, although I have no idea what I’ll actually do about it.
- AusCERT Cyber Security Conference, Gold Coast and online, 9–12 May 2023 (TBA).
- He Huang’s Bad B***h, The Factory Theatre, Marrickville, 17 May 2023.
- Truth, Trust and Hope, “a global dialogue on disinformation and the erosion of public understanding and trust in science”, Nobel Prize Outreach, Washington DC and online, 24-26 May 2023.
- NEW DATE: The 9pm Public House Forum 8 livestream and recording, 27 May 2023 at 12.30pm (TBA).
[Photo: The fox seen at Bunjaree Cottages on 11 April 2022. We believe this is the same fox that we’re seeing this year.]