PUCC CREATE networking event

I recently spoke at the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce’s annual networking event called CREATE. I spoke briefly about ending trends in tech and media, and about what it takes to work with companies like ours or to compete with us in this new media world.

The networking event itself was very interesting to watch. It was run like speed dating, only each person left a business card with each other date. Speaking to participants after,they generally agreed that the value was more social than practical but unanimously thought it was fun, and worth participating in. It’s one to try again with my entire team at work, I think

One week on Android

It’s been a week or so since I sold my iPhone 5 and bought myself the Samsung S4, and I’m loving it. I have Apple to thank really, for cutting me free by making me write off my “investments” in terms of docks, chargers and cables and so on and rounding that off with a device whose battery life was bad enough to cause me more stress than any phone is worth.

Here are my initial observations and tips as a long time iOS device user who is getting to know Android. Continue reading “One week on Android”

Samsung Android issue: Unfortunately CloudService has stopped

Unfortunately CloudService has stopped

I grew increasingly frustrated with the poor battery life that my iPhone5 offered, to the point where I eventually decided to switch phones.  After searching I settled on a Samsung Galaxy S4.  Since I first turned it on, it’s thrown errors periodically saying “Unfortunately CloudService has stopped”.  There’s very little help available for this issue online, but all occurrences link to Samsung handsets or tablets.  After a lot of searching, factory resetting, and head scratching, I found it comes down to something related to Samsung’s cloud services and possibly dropbox.  I did a factory reset again (probably not necessary) and never signed in to anything.  Using the camera, then going to image galleries used to show the issue, now nothing.  I added dropbox, and importantly, enabled image sync (one forum post in this thread said this).  Still working perfectly.  The one key thing I haven’t done is logged in to any Samsung services on the device.

So, if you’re unlucky like me and googleing away to find a fix to this issue, just clear anything Samsung from your accounts.  The CloudService is named using android’s namespace so it looks like it is part of Android but some forum posts indicate it is safe to remove.  I haven’t gone there, but if there’s ever a way of rooting it and loading the Nexus flavour of Android on, that may be a good way to go.

In summary: factory-reset, do not sign in to anything Samsung.

DIY: Table Restoration

We have a “thing” in Australia.  Twice a year, your neighbourhood has a council cleanup day.  You put all the things you don’t want on the pavement on a Sunday, and some time that week the council trucks come around and take the no-longer-loved items away.  They take their time coming round though, as an entire ecosystem, or economy, has emerged around this tradition.

Every so often I drive past something I can’t believe is being dumped.  Last time this happened, it was a spectacular cast iron table base, with a piece of cheap and nasty laminated chipboard in place of the original table top… I couldn’t help myself.  I stopped and picked it up: Continue reading “DIY: Table Restoration”

How to Not Hate Your Job

How to not hate your job

I signed up to present at Ignite Sydney (@ignitesydney) – the tenth Ignite Sydney so far – as a bit of a challenge to myself.  Timing was kind to me when I was looking for a topic, and I came up with the idea to talk about factors that drive or destroy engagement at work.  Here’s my talk:


And here’s my slide deck:


The Frog in The Bromeliad

Golden dart-poison frog by MadMack

There is a fantastic book trilogy called The Bromeliad (Amazon) by Terry Pratchett. The story keeps flipping between it’s main story and a frog living his entire life inside of his bromeliad, oblivious to the entire universe that exists beyond the lip of his little world.Don’t be the frog. There’s a whole world outside your bromeliad. Make sure you see it.

Our Headlands

I read that Peter Garrett was coming to the neighbourhood to answer community questions about the headlands, which is a long running political issue.  Garrett was at the shops here, with his minders and quite a crew of Labor folk.

Peter Garrett on Saturday, note the ladies in riding gear
Peter Garrett at Malabar on Saturday, note the ladies in riding gear

From my simple perspective, it seems this is the history:  The headlands currently belong to the federal govt.  They want to hand the land over to the state, as nature reserve and open community space.  To do this they first have to clean it up because it’s been mistreated for years and is heavily contaminated with asbestos presence and has big issues with leachate from Sydney Water.  When Garrett tried to clear the land for decontamination / remediation work to commence he evicted the horse riding school and bulldozed their facilities.  He then also served notice to the NSW Rifle Association based on a technicality and gave them a very short time for remediation.  They got themselves a good lawyer and took the govt to the supreme court – where they won.  What this means now is we still have a shooting range, and we’ve lost the stables.  And until the mess with the NSWRA is untangled the remediation work cannot be done because much of the asbestos is actually in the rifle range.



Michael Fenely, setting Garrett straight on some of the facts about the Headland
Michael Fenely, setting Garrett straight on some of the facts about the Headland

When things got really interesting is when Michael Fenely – Garett’s opposition showed up to keep him honest.  The conversations were really interesting, but when the rain arrived after and I found myself on the pavement with a coffee and talking one on one with Michael Fenely it occurred to me that his ideas on how to deal with the headland issues are way more viable – and better still, the Liberals are not scared to put timelines around their commitments – for example, Fenely told a group of about fifteen people that the Libs will have the horse riding school back on their land in six months should he be elected.

I loved having horses in the neighbourhood and even though I’m not a rider I seriously hope they get to return.  The rifle range on the other hand – well this is a recording from my back garden when the gun slingers had a tournament on:

As you may have guessed, I believe that the city and this area have both evolved and grown enough to warrant the removal of the rifle club, it’s just a matter of time.  Certainly this won’t happen until the federal government honour the lease agreement which says they have to give them enough notice and find them an alternative location.  The NSWRA probably won’t ever talk to Labor outside of a court room, so I suspect it will come down to a pragmatic person to get them back to the table, find them another venue, get them to accept the termination of their lease, and help them relocate.  This may mean we’re stuck with the shooters.

RIP Posterous


A while ago, twitter acquired Posterous in a talent acquisition.They’ve left the platform alone since then but have recently announced that they will be shutting Posterous down at the end of April. I found a couple of good ways to move Posterous content over to WordPress, let me know if you’ve found anything better – I found these methods work to preserve the content but not everything works so smoothly.


Pressing the Reset Button

New year, new blog.  I’m resetting my blogging self and starting over on a nice, clean slate.  Some things just don’t fit in 140 characters and I’m not that engaging or engaged on Facebook.  I’m hoping to use this blog as a place to put my professional and maybe also personal thoughts, and hopefully this blog goes the way of the experiment with seeds my son and I have been doing – and doesn’t turn out to be a false start.

We’ve planted some bauhinia seeds and e have some baby trees coming up.  We have to check them every day, and discuss how much each seed has grown.  This raw enthusiasm is admirable and beautiful and inspirational.  It inspired me to plant this little seed of my own and see if I can care for it and see it grow

Here’s to taking advantage of new beginnings


CIO Roundtable – The move to mobile

Back in March 2012 I was invited to present to a roundtable breakfast at Michael Page as part of their CIO Thought Leadership series.  I presented on the then-rapid move towards a mobile future, and on how we in Fairfax Marketplaces were dealing with this move.  We had a discussion after, which is presented in this video – the discussion focused on how we ran our tech team in Marketplaces, how we were shifting to more lean and agile processes, and how we ran the broader business.