Weekly Wrap 691: Sun and fauna in the Hunter Valley

While there weren’t a lot of billable hours in my week of Monday 21 to Sunday 27 August 2023, I did have a lovely and productive time in the Hunter Valley. I even saw kangaroos and a couple of very fat pigs.


  • Digital developments from Canberra 50. The big one is the depoliticisation of university research grant funding via the ARC, but there’s also news of ChatGPT use by Defence, password-cracking, and more.

You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.

Corporate Largesse

  • Thanks to Influencing and their sponsors for inviting me to TechLeaders 2023 at Pokolbon NSW. As I write this, a day late, I’ve just returned to Sydney. I was provided with transport from Sydney and return, two nights accommodation at voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley, and all the food and drink. Amazon Web Services sponsored the Saturday night welcome dinner at Twine Restaurant which featured way too much wine. Optus sponsored the Sunday night dinner, but I didn’t go. NetApp‘s swag bag contained a modest collection of branded socks, pen, and playing cards.

I should also add that the event was an excellent opportunity to learn some new things, especially about artificial intelligence, and catch up with people in the tech industry who I otherwise wouldn’t have met. I hate the word “inspiring”, because what do “inspiring” events actually inspire people to do? Let’s just say that it might encourage me in certain ways.

Podcasts, Videos, Photos, Media Appearances

None of these again this week. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.


As you probably know, I’ve been wondering why I feel the urge to pay so much attention to Elon Musk. Well, the first piece listed here explains it better than I could have possibly imagined. He’s important. I recommend reading it.

In other news:

The Week Ahead

It’s already Monday night. I’m staying in Sydney overnight. On Tuesday I’ve got a client meeting, and then it’s errands and shopping before returning to the Blue Mountains. [Update 29 August 2023: The meeting has been postponed. I’m also having lunch with a co-conspirator.]

Then it’s the usual mix of trying to do client work rather than having long naps in the afternoon. [Update 30 August 2023: Wednesday will be relatively lazy, but I’m working through the so-called weekend which will balance it out.]

Further Ahead

  • 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).
  • 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: Two fat pigs lazing in the sun at voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley, photographed on 27 August 2023.]