We really enjoyed Alice and Greg's wedding. It had lots of things going for it: the people, the place and the beautiful autumn weather. Beautiful light where even a mediocre photographer with an average camera managed to make some memorable pictures:

Tim Jackson.jpg

I just watched a challenging presentation about the dilemma posed by elements of economic growth by Tim Jackson as part of the 2010 Alfred Deakin Lectures.

"Is there any evidence that we can de-link consumption and economic growth from emissions growth? Must we re-think the very notion of growth and what it means to be genuinely prosperous?"

A fascinating set of ideas with a strong logic - I'll be buying the book.

[By the way, I discovered this lecture through my SlowTV podcast subscription]

SlowTV-TimFlannery Have a look/listen to “After Copenhagen” a SlowTV recording of Tim Flannery in conversation with Robert Manne.  It’s wonderful to hear Tim’s realistic optimism in the wake of 6 months of bad news for the world’s climate future. It is also interesting to see how well this format works.

We’re blessed with a new medium – recordings of public meetings where interesting people speak, enabled by the new economics of low cost video recording and the Internet. It gives speakers the time to expand on their views without relying on the quick grabs demanded by impatient “Old Media”. Credit to The Monthly for using this new medium, showing that it’s possible for the old media (magazines) to reinvent themselves

Mind you, I still think it is better suited to Radio (Podcast) rather than Television (YouTube, etc). So I was relieved to discover that a podcast version is available. A small criticism: the audio is unnecessarily split into three sections. It manages to reverse the order in which it ends up on my iPod. It would be good to have the podcast as a single file or alternatively reverse the order in which the podcast sections are syndicated.

After Copenhagen Conversation with Tim Flannery on SlowTV.
The Monthly

jc.jpgThis morning I listened to the podcast version of Andrew Ford's Music Show. Andrew is a great interviewer, not just a personable guy, but a real musician (a composer, actually) and has a knack of making his guests comfortable. Of course that's made easier with certain guests!

So, have a listen to this repeat performance of his interview with Jon Cleary, the English/New Orleans pianist. Andy just gets out of the way and Jon takes charge.  Great radio, great music...

Listen (MP3)
The Music Show (ABC Radio National)

Regulars know that I’m a fan of podcasts, particularly of NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. However, the cynic in me always checks for commercial “agendas” in radio programs/podcasts. We all know that many interviewees present themselves in order to sell their books, movies and CDs. So often the interviewer isn’t really interested and the interviewee tired of answering the same old questions. That’s rarely the case with Fresh Air but, like I said, I’m a cynic…


The last Pixar movie (Wall-E) didn’t score highly with me, so I wasn’t really looking forward to hearing about another movie promotion in the recent edition of Fresh Air. Have a listen and see if you can spot whether Terry Gross really saw/liked the movie and whether Pete Doctor is just selling the movie. Oh, and I’m going to see Up as soon as I have the opportunity….

andrew I've been catching up with podcasts. Something tells me that I've subscribed to more than I can consume. This morning I listened to one of Jon Udell's Innovator interviews with Andrew Rasiej, who calls himself a Social Entrepreneur.

The interview hit home on a number of levels. One point which was particularly painful: If you have an opportunity to work with a 20 year old or a 50 year old in a project - work with the 20 year old. Sigh... That's a problem at two levels, first because I'm about to turn 62, and second because the network I'm trying to build has no one below 50. Supposedly if you're lifelong learner, you're an exception and you should look for others. Jon...

The discussion touched on a few positives for me as well, how the abundance social networking contrasts with the scarcity of email communications. I won't bother explaining - just listen.

OpenID irony

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I’ve been following OpenID and the efforts to simplify our username/password hell and build a common "Digital Identity” system. Thankfully, it appears that we’re getting close to finding agreement amongst the major industry players on how to move forward with OpenID, OAuth and other related solutions.

I use gmail and respect Google’s efforts to build a practical range of defenses against phishing as well as spam and viruses. Here is a screen capture of an email to one of the OpenId mailing lists by a Google Engineer.


Was that the Google’s OpenID April Fools Day operation at work? Or just another case of showing how we really need a digital identity system?

From Rachel Slattery's newsletter:

"OzGirl recently announced a global distribution agreement with Koldcast to broadcast the OzGirl series over the Internet, via iTunes and TiVo. Brand integration agency InShot is to help attract brands to OzGirl, which is syndicated to major sites including Bebo and YouTube, allowing advertisers to reach an international youth market."

Is the end game of social networking that everyone returns to their comfort zones, "Consumers" to Big Brands, "Producers" to Distribution Deals? 

Or have film makers not woken up that on the internet, they can go directly to their audience without gatekeepers? Or perhaps they are too lazy to do so?


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Trying out Springpad embedding:

Mmmm... that's not what I call embedding...

Long Time Olden Time

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Cover of Long Time Olden Time CD-ROM A friend "innocently" pointed me to this Ars Technica article on e-books, in the full knowledge that it would destroy the rest of my day. He knew that I could not leave some article, which seemed to pretend that the e-book started when the writer joined Palm Media in 2002, alone without reply. The article is more a 5 page rant from a frustrated e-book publisher, rather than a balanced perspective on the history (and challenges) of the e-book.

The Voyager Company  developed an e-book format (called Expanded Books) in the early 1990's. I read Jurasic Park by Michael Crichton on my Powerbook in 1991. It had no DRM and a superb user interface which did not get in the way of the reader. It came compressed on a floppy disk, which installed on a Macintosh and ran on top of Apple's Hypercard.

Usage Instructions of Long Time Olden Time CD-ROMFirmware Design (our company) published an oral history project on CD in 1993 using the Voyager Expanded Book Toolkit. Long Time Olden Time was an oral history of Aboriginal experiences in the Northern Territory, collected by Peter and Jay Read. Originally published as a book and separate audiotapes, it could be read on screen with its synchronised audio track.

Bob Stein, co-founder of the Voyager Company, is a professional maniac, who deserves (but probably isn't interested in) a lot credit for the first practical e-book. His connections with the Book Publishing Industry convinced Publishers to experiment. He is now the founder and a director of The Institute for the Future of the Book.