Fry Up: On the road

Amanda Palmer, dead tuna, rooting Androids

Not quite in the spirit of Jack Kerouac, your Fry Up correspondents left the office this week.


DJ Peter McLennan, who occasionally stops by to design Computerworld , reports in fragments from the Webstock event in Wellington:

Fave quote of Webstock

“You don’t need to listen to every feature request... product design is not a democracy,” Marco Arment told the audience.

“Well, have you seen Microsoft Word?”

Arment is the creator of Instapaper (a web service and iPhone app to save web articles) and cofounder of Tumblr. He lives in New York.

Amanda F**king Palmer

US indie music star and prolific blogger Amanda Palmer made her entrance to Webstock by busking outside the Town Hall, playing on the screen inside via video link from an iPhone. She walked inside the town hall, belting out Radiohead’s Creep while playing ukulele. The video link cut out half way through. Don’t know if the phone was connected to Vodafone or XT.

Whenever one of the Webstock speakers swear, all eyes shoot to the sign language interpreter to see how they sign it. The best example was Webstock’s Mike Brown introducing Palmer, as her full performing name, Amanda F**king Palmer, and turning to the sign guy and saying I want to see how you do this, and sign guy looks at Mike and says “is that a noun or a verb?”. Cue laughter.

Palmer is a huge fan of New Zealand musician Peter Jefferies. Largely unknown in his homeland, he is well respected on the US college music scene. Palmer has been trying to track him down to invite him to her Auckland show with no success. Until yesterday when it came up via Twitter, and someone at Webstock mentioned they had his contact details and offered to pass them on. So, all going well, she might get to meet one of her musical heroes.

Here’s Palmer covering Peter Jefferies’s song “An Unknown Beach”

Marco Arment

Webstock waveadept conference notes

Amanda Palmer's blog: When Texas met New Zealand on an unknown beach

** Fry Up is still a family show.


Journalist Sarah Putt, who occasionally stops by to edit Computerworld , reports on being at the fish markets in Tokyo at 5am:

The rows of dead tuna lying on the clean concrete made me think of Telecom back home.The day before ICT Minister Steven Joyce announced a paper outlining proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act which included provisions for the structural separation of Telecom, and inviting submissions on how the telco's assets could be divvied up.

As I watched the tuna buyers hack little bits off the dismembered fish and pop it in their mouths to check for freshness, I imagined that infront of me was the contents of Telecom spewed across the floor – celltowers, cabinets, the collection of unsold Okta Touch mobile devices – while bureaucrats, regulators, competitors and lobby groups picked over each gutted carcass.

Meanwhile, back in New Zealand – at about the same time but in a different time zone – Joyce released a statement that Vector has joined Telecom in prioritised negotiations with Crown Fibre Holdings, to partner with the government in the Auckland region.

If Telecom loses it is unlikely the company will separate. Will this be good or bad for the company's shareholders? Either way its too late for these fish.

Telecom reiterates CFH talks as order paper released

Vector in talks on Auckland UFB rollout


This week Computerworld ran series of articles about the Christchurch IT scene in preparation for the next fabulous Fry Up debate, with the moot: “South Islanders will be the most innovative when it comes to fast fibre networks.”

Among the highlights was learning about rooting androids from open source advocate Dave Lane. Mostly because it is a funny term, but Lane, who hails from the US, says that in his country the term doesn’t raise a snigger. “In America the word root doesn’t have the connotations elsewhere in the English speaking world. No one could see it as being offensive to say that I rooted a phone in America, they wouldn’t know that meaning."

Fry Up has been told off.

Christchurch IT scene: Free and open source

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