One of the things I get to do as an occasional contributor to Gizmodo is write up notable comments from geek celebrities when they make public appearances in Australia. I did that for Stephen Fry a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday I performed the same task for Joss Whedon, who is nipping through Australia on a brief speaking tour.
I’m a properly tragic Stephen Fry fan boy, while my acquaintance with Whedon is much more casual. But while the two articles use a similar format, the Whedon piece is much longer. I’m not sure whether that’s because my detachment made it easier to write, or whether he’s just a more natural Gizmodo subject. Guess I’ll go with the latter.
Lifehacker’s big post on Friday was the Planhacker column looking at how much you pay per megabyte for wireless broadband. Boy, that was some Excel work. And here’s the rest of the Lifehacker stuff to round out the week:
Apologies for not updating for a week, but I’ve been at a lot of events. When we last met, I was at G-Force, which turned on the usual OTT entertainment at the Gala Dinner on the first day:
This week, I’ve been on the Gold Coast for Microsoft’s annual Tech-Ed conference, which has been the source of quite a few stories. On the strictly enterprise front, there were a couple of interesting stories for iTnews:
On the consumer front, there have been a couple of pieces looking at Windows Phone 7 for Lifehacker and Gizmodo, the latter of which includes an obviously unwarranted reference to ejaculation:
- Hands On With Windows Phone 7 Down Under(which also got cross-posted at Gizmodo)
- Telstra Previews Windows Phone 7 Apps
- Windows Phone 7′s Pubic Hair And iPhone Ban
And of course if a week has gone by, there will have been a bunch of regular columns for Lifehacker:
- Loaded: Don’t Get Caught By Home Loan Exit Fees
- Lifehacker 101: How To Manage Disposable Email Addresses With Gmail
- Streaming: Why We Can’t Easily Get Uncapped Online TV
- Road Worrier: Road Worrier Tries Out Swype
- Planhacker: Planhacker: Call, Text, Voicemail And MMS Charges
- Loaded: How Your Wages Changed This Year
And now (brace yourselves) the short posts:
- Lunchtime Wrap: Disposable Google & Windows Phone 7
- Ten Announces Plans For Channel Eleven
- Ask Lifehacker: How Can We Organise The Office Coffee Run?
- DIY Cheese Grater Lamp
- Use A Keyboard Shortcut To Wrap Text In Excel
- Book Christmas Travel Soon To Avoid Paying Too Much
- Lunchtime Wrap: Lifehacker Pack For Android & TV Streams
- Foxtel TV Guide Gadget Lists Foxtel Programs
- Ask Lifehacker: What Are The Best Family iPad Games?
- Deconstructing Dodo’s ‘Unlimited’ Broadband Plan
- Lunchtime Wrap: Swype Tested & Weight Lifted
- Dick Smith Selling $50 iTunes Card For $40
- Kotaku Australia Is Seeking An Editor
- BlackBerry Curve 3G Hits Australia In September
- Tomizone Offering Free Wi-Fi Via Skype Access This Week
- Jane Kennedy Explains Why The Boombah Comes Back
- PowerPoint CD Save Doesn’t Include Viewer
- Lunchtime Wrap: Torrent Tips & Phone Charges
- BlackBerry App World Now Offering Paid Apps In Australia
- Tax Office Says 75% Of Refunds Issued Within 14 Days
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- Ask Lifehacker: What Should I Use My ExpressCard Slot For?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Free Education & Digital TV Mania
- The Technology You Need For Election Day
- Mazuma Mobile Buys Old Mobile Phones
- TPG Joins The Terabyte Brigade
- Creative Commons Roadshow Coming To A City Near You
- Home Price History Adds Private Data Feature
- Set File Properties To Make Searching Easier In Windows
- Lunchtime Wrap: Word Tricks & Twitter Support
- Are There Too Many Digital Channels On The Horizon?
- iPrimus Offers A 1.1TB Broadband Plan
The above picture (of me asking a question at last week’s TechLines event) is included for no other reason than to prove yet again I am not photogenic.
Today: Lunch may have led to me spraying the word clusterfuck across Twitter a tad liberally, but G-Force did deliver the goods story-wise. For iTnews, I wrote up how Telstra will use remote workers for its planned 24-hour call centres, along with some of the technology challenges those centres will face. The emphasis this year on using social networking tools as part of the customer response mix also informed a long-ish piece I did for Lifehacker on the rights and wrongs of using Twitter for customer service.
The regular Lifehacker 101 column looked at lesser-known tricks for getting more from Word. And then (as ever) we have the shorter posts:
I’m in Melbourne for the next couple of days for the G-Force 2010 conference, which means lots of call centres and IVR and social media and executives rocking out to Aussie classics. The Twitter experience is bound to be better than last year, when the hamster movie was stealing focus.
Today’s Streaming column for Lifehacker looked at how time-shift ratings are calculated and why the process is a tad dodgy. Other hints on hacking your life from my virtual pen:
One of the many sections hiding in the text-based archives of Gusworld is Gusworld Records. The idea of this “fantasy reissues record label” was to come up with theoretical CD reissues for material I thought needed to come out in a digital format. It seems a quaint idea in this download-driven age, and my usual over-reaching means that there’s only two artists featured on that section (though I did prep work for at least three or four more, which I really should upload one day).
Anyway, the most developed compilation on the site was They Don’t Know, a complete archive of everything Tracey Ullman released during her relatively brief musical career. Oddly enough, in early September there’ll be an actual compilation, Move Over Darling: The Complete Stiff Recordings, which aims to fulfil exactly the same charter. It even includes a previously unreleased track, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, which is the kind of detail I wasn’t likely to know about.
But is it complete? It took me a while to work this out. I heard about the reissue through Remember The Eighties, but that didn’t offer a track listing. Neither did the Amazon entry. Eventually, a pointer on Popjustice led me to a Play.com listing that revealed all 36 tracks.
The compilation does indeed include every single number Tracey released (even the spoken-word ‘The B-Side’, which is often ignored), and the aforementioned newbie. However, it doesn’t cover all the extended mixes, particularly from her first album. There’s no 12″ versions of ‘Breakaway’, ‘They Don’t Know’, ‘Bobby’s Girl’ or ‘My Guy’, though such tracks exist. When I was “compiling” my version, I spread it across three discs to make sure there was space; that may have been a factor here, but I still think the compilation could squeeze in a couple more long versions. Of course, I’ll still have to buy it, if only for the remastering.
I don’t like conference calls — the sound quality is often poor, there’s not always an obvious system for chiming in and asking questions, and they never start on time. But I sat through iiNet’s results announcements call yesterday, and ended up writing a story about them for iTnews. iTnews also featured a piece from me about the challenges Human Services faces in finding IT graduates, largely because there’s not enough people taking tertiary IT courses. This feast-or-famine scenario has been going on as long as I’ve been a journalist.
At Gizmodo, I had a brief piece noting that Apple’s attempts to block jailbreaking of in-store phones don’t seem to have fully extended to Australia, though the comments suggest it’s an even bigger issue in various JB Hi-Fi branches. As ever, Monday’s main Lifehacker column was Road Worrier, critically examining a survey ranking how easy it is to actually get seats on various frequent flyer programs. Elsewhere on Lifehacker:
Clearly I’m too slack/busy to do this in mega-detail. So apart from noting that I’ve finally recorded an appearance for Letters & Numbers, I’ll need to be brief. Let’s make some lists of what I’ve had published online since the last entry.
- Victoria’s Sheriffs served mobile access to mainframe
- Sydney staff survive Google’s Wave cutback
- BlackBerry network push to extend battery life
- Business leaders unimpressed by Coalition broadband plans
- KISS-Branded Flip HD Will Rock Your World, Wallet
- Researchers: No-One Knows Where Torrent Porn Comes From
- Stephen Fry On Amazon, Star Trek And Platypuses
- Family First Has An Even Dumber Filter Policy Than Labor
Lifehacker: The rest of Mastercheap
- Mastercheap: The Big Lessons Learned
- Mastercheap Day 7: Finishing On A High
- Mastercheap Day 6: Eye On The Pie
- Mastercheap: Why House Brands Matter So Much
- Mastercheap Day 5: Keeping It Simple
- Mastercheap Day 4: Psychology & Plating
Lifehacker: Road Worrier
- Why Is Airport 3G Coverage So Bad?
- The Future Of Road Tolling Technology
- Road Worrier Tests Out The Livescribe Echo
- When Mobile Devices Play Games With Power
- Letters And Numbers Embraces A Low-Tech Vision
- How TV Networks Bend To The Local Content Rules
- How Fibre Networks Can Increase Speed Really Quickly (also cross-posted at Gizmodo)
- Best Google Search Tricks And Easter Eggs
- Back Up Your Email Account By Forwarding To Gmail
- Planhacker: Complete Australian Android Postpaid Deals
- Planhacker: Netbook And 3G Broadband Bundles Guide
- Planhacker: Updated Australian iPhone 4 Plan Guide
- Planhacker: Complete Australian BYO Prepaid Cap Guide
- Google Talks About The Future Of Android
- TechLines: Making Email Work Better For Work
- Facebook’s Security Slackness: A Cautionary Tale
Lifehacker: Everything else
- ATO Has Processed One Million Tax Returns This Week
- Photograph Your Local Bus Stop For An Accurate Timetable
- ACCC Busts Panasonic Over Wii TV Promotion
- Lunchtime Wrap: TechLines & Android Phones
- Ask Lifehacker: Which Programming Language Should I Learn?
- Foxtel Promises Internet Services For iQ
- TechLines: Five Ways To Improve Email At Work
- Does Broadband Matter To The Electorate At Large?
- Lunchtime Wrap: iPad Sales & YouTube Ads
- Parents And Childless Both Have A Role To Play
- Telstra Signing Up 50,000 Next G Broadband Users A Month
- Don’t Miss TechLines At Midday Today
- ABC Launches Election Apps For iPhone, Android
- Make Your Own Window Cleaning Pole
- Use Excel To Find First And Last Occurrences
- Lunchtime Wrap: Lifehacker Pack For iPhone & Broadband Policy
- Most Early Tax Return Submitters Get Refunds
- Internode Alters Broadband Prices, Discounts 240GB Plans
- What Do You Think Of Coalition Broadband Policy?
- Ask Lifehacker: What Should Be On My Wedding List?
- Telstra Offers Android HTC Wildfire On Prepaid
- Lunchtime Wrap: Mobile Fitness & Airport 3G
- Snap Send Solve Sends Reports To Local Councils From Your iPhone
- Watch And Read The ICT Debate Live
- Vodafone Drops Price On Prepaid Broadband Starter Kit
- TechLines: What One Question Would You Ask The Panel?
- JumpOnIt.com Offers Daily Deals To Groups Of People
- Lunchtime Wrap: Media Downloads & Netbook Bundles
- ATO Updates Again On Refund Processing
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- Bing Adds Australian Movie Times To Search
- Android LG Optimus Now On Optus And Vodafone
- Play Missile Command And Tower Defense Inside Excel 2010
- Almost Three-Quarters Of Australians Now Have Digital TV
- Lunchtime Wrap: Android Future & Google Migration
- eBay Images May Be Shared With Others From September 4
- Still No Obvious Tech Policy Winners In Election
- This Aldi Discount Hard Drive Has Half The Capacity
- DIY IKEA Rock Band Guitar Stand
- Five Easy Ways To Avoid Any Internet Filter
- Lunchtime Wrap: Android Tasker & Road Tolling
- Lonely Planet Compass Guides Offer Android Augmented Reality
- TV Parental Locks To Be Compulsory From 2011
- Bag Your Touchscreen Phone For Ski Field Toughness
- Optus Mobile Broadband Plans Distinguish Peak And Off-Peak Usage
- Lunchtime Wrap: Usenet & Cable Upgrades
- BlackBerry Torch Coming To Australia, But No Date Set
- Remember To Give Us Your TechLines Ideas
- Below The Line Lets You Plan Your Senate Vote
- ABC Revamps TV Site With Direct iView Links
- Optus Music Store Selling MP3s For 99 Cents
- Norton Safe Web For Facebook Checks For Dodgy Links
- Lunchtime Wrap: Project Management & Google Tricks
- Who2Call Tracks Phone Contacts On 3 And Vodafone
- Optus Cable Network Offers Quadruple Speed For More Money
- Google Docs Adds Automatic Translation, Tweaks Drawing Tools
- Woolworths Selling Vodafone 3G Prepaid Modem For $49
- TechLines: Blog Your Way To Fame And A Ticket
- Lunchtime Wrap: iOS 4 Woes & Livescribe Echo
- 2010 Tax Refunds On Track So Far
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- iPhone 4 Finally On Apple Store Site, But You’ll Wait 3 Weeks
- Try Deleting Texts For Better iOS4 Performance On iPhone 3G
- Mobile Services Legal, But Not Imminent, On Australia Flights
- Lunchtime Wrap: iPhone 4 Plans & Facebook Security
- TechLines: How Would You Improve Communications In Your Office?
- Customise Your Outlook Calendar View
- iPhone 4 On Sale Around Australia
- Brick Up A Window For More Home Entertainment Space
- Lunchtime Wrap: iPhone 4 Plans & TechLines
- How Stephen Fry Used Audio Books To Lose Weight
- What’s The Deal With Free iPhone 4 Cases In Australia?
- TechLines: Email Is Dead: The Speaker List
- Bargain Tech Offers At Coles And Aldi Tomorrow
- TechLines: Email Is Dead: A Special Lifehacker Event
- Why Telstra’s $18 Million Fine Is An Election Issue
- Lunchtime Wrap: iPhone Pricing & Local TV
- Google Election 2010 Site Lets You Drill The Data
- What Makes Me Lets You Collate Your Favourite Art Experiences
- Vodafone And 3 Announce Australian iPhone 4 Pricing
- Adjust Start And Stop Times In iTunes
- Lunchtime Wrap: Mastercheap & Book Recommendations
- National Library Wants 2010 Election Pamphlets
- Optus iPhone 4 Plans No Longer Punish Tethering
- Mozo Rewards Revealer Analyses Credit Card Rewards Plans
- Telstra Announces Raft Of iPhone 4 Deals
- Apple Sets Australian Price For iPhone 4
- Google Makes Finding Definitions Easier
- ABC News 24 Is A No-Go Overseas
- Lunchtime Wrap: Media Centres & Mastercheap
- Optus iPhone 4 Midnight Openings Still Lack Crucial Price Details
- Telstra Drops Prices For BigPond ADSL
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- Lunchtime Wrap: House Brands & Lifehacker Pack For Linux
- Vodafone Offering Bonus Data With Xperia X10 Mini Pro
- ABC News 24 Streaming Service Is Not Unmetered On iView
- Which Email Subject Lines Get Your Back Up?
- Flatshare Index Tracks Accommodation Costs In Australian Cities
- Lunchtime Wrap: Email Backup & Laptop Cooling
- Lunchtime Wrap: Email Backup & Laptop Cooling
- ElectionLeaflets.org.au Tracks Leaflets For Every Electorate
- 2-In-1 iPhone 4 SIMs Could Be A Risky Prospect
- Target and Big W Have Two $20 iTunes Cards For $30
- No-One Seems To Have Stopped Shopping At Woolworths
- Lunchtime Wrap: ABC News 24 & Passion Projects
- Telstra Drops Dongle Price On Next G Prepaid Turbo
- Rent Reviews Lets You Rate Rental Properties
So far, Mastercheap is going pretty well. I’m not going to repeat myself, so you can find all the relevant details in the diary posts for day 2 and day 3:
I’ve also put together a Mastercheap FAQ, covering off the details for people who haven’t read the original posts. Ahem.
For iTnews, I covered off SAP’s “World Tour” event, where the software giant revealed its plans for cloud computing and working with Microsoft.
Monday’s Road Worrier column drew on my recent trip to Perth, looking at how well the Next G network work’s across the city’s rail system. Streaming on Tuesday looked at the pros and cons of ABC News 24. And in amongst the more compact posts:
I promise you, it’s still not my intention to only update this blog once a week with a summary of what I’ve written, even if that’s how it might be coming across right now.
Mind you, for the next week or so, you’ll be able to get a closer-than-normal look at my daily life, since the Mastercheap project has begun on Lifehacker. This is an idea I’ve had for quite a while (indeed, it first occurred to me in Britain more than a decade ago): seeing just how well you can eat on a minimal budget. In this case, the budget is $25. There’s already been four instalments so far on Lifehacker, and the daily posts will continue throughout this week:
That hasn’t been all the work I’ve done, of course, though it has been one of those weeks where Lifehacker was in the ascendancy in online terms. However, for iTnews I did look at Google’s expansion into the government advertising space. At Gizmodo, I wrote up Optus’ LTE trial launch and looked at why FetchTV won’t be offering porn.
Amongst the Lifehacker columns, Road Worrier examined how to get the best from in-seat power on planes. Streaming took a geeky turn with a look at how Python is used to make movies, while Lifehacker 101 examined the less obvious ways social networking can reveal information. Planhacker looked at BlackBerry contract plans, which made depressing reading for someone who does want to buy a BlackBerry. One post about setting USB drive volume names with your mobile number also got a run on the US Lifehacker site.
And in the long stream of standard posts for Lifehacker: