It was another less than fully productive week from Monday 14 to Sunday 20 August 2023, mostly due to lingering laryngitis and general fatigue. This has been a very average winter for me, despite the mostly fine weather. But really, it could be a lot worse, right?
- Digital developments from Canberra 49. With parliament on break and the Matildas playing football, there wasn’t a lot of Canberra news. But what we do have is dominated by incompetence at both the ATO and Services Australia.
- Written by my client Stephen Wilson but edited by me, The immovable opacity of AI meets the irresistible force of privacy.
- And from the same stable, DVP/Update 02: Pleasing initial responses to the Data Verification Platform model, and the Making Data Better podcast rolls out.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
Podcasts, Videos, Photos, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse
None of these again this week. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
Musk was full of brilliant ideas again this week, while advertisers pull out and more bullshit is revealed.
- Musk said he would remove the ability to block other users from X, except in direct messages. As you can imagine there’s been a backlash. I suspect the problem isn’t so much that people are blocking paying customers like “X Premium” users, but that they’re also blocking paying advertisers. All that said, Mush has since deleted the post where he announced this brainfart.
- From Fortune, “Linda Yaccarino said X has never been safer—but major brands are pulling advertising after posts appeared beside pro-Nazi content.”
- “The site formerly known as Twitter added a five-second delay when a user clicked on a shortened link to the New York Times, Facebook and other sites Musk commonly attacks, a Washington Post analysis found,”at least until the report was published and several hours later things returned to normal.
- “We took a close look at Elon Musk’s more than 150 million followers on X aka Twitter,” reports Mashable. “What we found is…concerning.“
- Zuckerberg says Musk ‘not serious’ about cage fight, and I reckon he’s right.
- Federal judge asks if Elon Musk was trying to ‘cozy up’ to Trump during criminal probe.
- SpaceX’s leaked financials reveal Elon Musk’s appetite for growth.
In other news:
- I regularly watch Rex’s Hangar, a channel on YouTube. Recently I caught the episode America’s Secret WW2 Combat Drone That Bombed The Japanese | The TDR-1, which introduced me to a whole new chapter in WW2 technology, the Interstate TDR drone.
- New from Ze Frank, True Facts: Fish That Suck.
- And while we’re on YouTube the Animagraffs channel has some fascinating 3D visualisations of technology, I’ve recently watched How a World War Two Submarine Works, How an 18th Century Sailing Battleship Works, and How a Diesel-Electric Locomotive Works. I was disappointed when he called a submarine a “ship”, and when he said that a gyrocompass is somehow related to the Earth’s gravity, but apart from those glitches they’re pretty solid.
The Week Ahead
Monday to Thursday will be the usual mix of trying to do client work rather than having long naps in the afternoon. I will try to do a solo podcast episode, though, because it’s been way too long.
On Saturday I’ll be heading to TechLeaders 2023 at Pokolbon NSW, which should be an interesting event. I’m looking forward to catching up again with Toby Walsh, who was on The 9pm Edict podcast in September 2022. It’s also my first time visiting Pokolbin and indeed that part of the Hunter Valley. The event runs through to Monday afternoon.
- APNIC 56, Kyoto and online, 12–14 September 2023. I very much doubt that I’ll be going to Japan, but this is always such a good conference that I’ll be watching some of it online, probably (TBC).
- NEW: The 9pm Hobart Expedition, 22–25 October 2023. Snarky Platypus and I have planned a voyage. I may well be recording a podcast there. We’re definitely going to MONA on the Monday, though, and I’m amused by this review in The Irish Times back in 2014: Mona, the world’s most expensive joke?.
[Photo: A Sydney Light Rail tram in George Street at the corner of Hay Street, photographed on 20 August 2023.]