My week of Monday 29 January to Sunday 4 February 2024 wasn’t all that productive, but I did find a huge spider on my computer screen first thing one morning. It was an idiot and took quite some persuasion to move on.
- The Weekly Cybers #3. As the work year starts, AI and digital ID loom large, Wyatt Roy goes Saudi, and cabinet archiving fails are simply incompetence not politics. Plus 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. That will include a link to The Weekly Cybers if you don’t mind clicking through.
Podcasts, Videos, Media Appearances, Photos, Corporate Largesse
None of these. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear and when livestreams are scheduled.
There will be three more special-guest episodes of The 9pm Edict before the end of February — the first of these is listed below — and probably a solo episode, or an episode with Snarky Platypus.
It wasn’t Mr Musk’s happiest week. Losing US$56 billion would probably put you in a mood,
- Elon Musk asserted that Neuralink had implanted its brain chip into its first human subject — although as Joan Westenberg points out, Elon Musk lies and he provided no evidence.
- Denied! Elon Musk’s US$56 billion Tesla ‘bonus’ cancelled by judge amusingly in a Delaware courtroom.
- Elon Musk acts to move Tesla legal base to Texas after pay package ruling
- Winning lawyers in Elon Musk pay dispute may make billions in fees.
- X blocks searches for Taylor Swift after explicit AI images of her go viral.
- Tesla cars to be banned from Chinese government buildings amid security fears — report.
- Tesla’s latest screwup involves making the font size of its braking system too small, which is really about the on-screen warnings for the power braking system being smaller than safety standards allow.
- Perhaps more seriously, or at least less humorous, U.S. safety agency deepens probe of Tesla power steering loss.
- An interesting analysis by auto industry commentator E W Niedermeyer on “the sheer impunity that has turned Musk from a garden variety Silicon Valley asshole into a runaway ego of Trumpian proportions”.
- And finally, Elon Musk’s company directors feel an ‘expectation’ to use drugs with him to avoid upsetting the billionaire, report says.
In other news:
- Canadian photographer Richard Johnson, who died in 2021, produced an amazing series of photos of ice-fishing huts.
- Baby shark! Researchers may have captured first image of newborn great white.
- It’s alway fun when Ze Frank releases another of his quirky nature videos, and this one is no exception. True Facts: The Crazy Defenses of Butterflies and Moths.
- If you’ve been wondering about all the Taylor Swift references this week, US rightwing conspiracy theory touts Taylor Swift as ‘Pentagon asset’.
- John Birmingham’s take on that silliness was What if they had a Culture War and Tay Tay didn’t turn up?.
- It’s from two weeks back, but still handy. The United States Studies Centre’s A guide to the 2024 presidential election: from primaries to president.
- And to finish, a musical video from May 2023: Arnold Schwarzenegger Sings About Rainbows.
The Week Ahead
On Tuesday evening I’ll try to catch the livestream of 2024 Democracy Primer from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Friday sees a day trip to Sydney for health-related appointments and then lunch and drinks with a co-conspirator, although The Weekly Cybers will still appear on schedule late in the afternoon. [Update 8 February 2024: The Sydney trip has been moved to Monday.] [Update 11 February 2024: And now it’s been abandoned entirely.]
I’ll also be keeping half an ear on the fun of another public hearing as part of the Senate inquiry into the Optus network outage. However at this stage the program (PDF) doesn’t show anyone from Optus appearing this time.
Obviously between all that attempts will be made to do some actual work. Parliament is back for 2024 from Tuesday so there’s bound to be some fun. Plus I really must get the rest of the month’s podcasts locked in.
- NEW: The 9pm Edict recording with Justin Warren, “consultant, freedom of information tragic, hexagon enthusiast, and creator of the CyberRating™ labelling scheme”, 15 February 2024. If you’re a supporter with TRIGGER WORDS or a CONVERSATION TOPIC for this episode, please get them to me by 6pm AEDT on Wednesday 14 February.
- Lunar Comedy Gala 2024, Chatswood NSW, 17 February 2024. I’ll be staying in Sydney overnight because…
- Mardi Gras Fair Day, Sydney, 18 February 2023. Yes, I have been persuaded to go to Fair Day for the first time since 2002. I am guessing that very little has changed.
- Aaron Chen’s Funny Garden, Sydney, 27 April 2024. He’s now so mainstream that he’s doing four nights at the State Theatre. Good for him.
- He Huang Tiger Daughter versus the World, Chatswood NSW, 5 May 2024.
- Nina Oyama is Coming, Marrickville NSW, 12 May 2024.
[Photo: A male huntsman spider, probably a grey huntsman (Isopeda villosa), caught in the golden side-light of a desk lamp while sitting on a computer monitor, 31 January 2014. Update less than an hour later: Yes, confirmed as Isopeda villosa.]