OSCON 2015

No, I didn’t attend :(

But I had a look though the list of talks and read a tonne of slides. Here are found some interesting ones which I hope to watch when the videos go up.

See also:

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Gather 2015 – Afternoon Sessions

Panel: “How we work” featuring Lance Wiggs, Dale Clareburt, Robyn Kamira, Amie Holman – Moderated by Nat Torkington

  • Flipside of Startups given by Nat
  • Amie – UX and Services Designer for the Govt, thinks her job is pretty cool. Puts services online.
  • Lance – Works for NZTE better by capital programme. Also runs an early stage fund. Multiple starts and fails
  • Dale – Founded of Weirdly. Worked her way up to top of recruitment company (small to big). Decided to found something for herself.
  • Robyn – Started business 25 years ago. IT consultant, musician, writer.
  • Nat – Look at what you are getting from the new job. Transition to new phase in life. Want ot be positive.
  • Types of jobs: Working for someone else, work for yourself, hire other people, investor. Each has own perks, rewards and downsides.
  • Self employed
    • Big risk around income, peaks and troughs. Robyn always lived at the bottom of the trough level of income. Some people have big fear where next job is coming from.
    • Robyn – Charged Govt as much as possible. Later on charged just below what the really big boys charged. Also has lower rates for community orgs. Sniffed around to find out the rates. Sometimes asked the client. Often RFPs don’t explicityly say so you have to ask.
    • Pricing – You should be embarrassed about how much you charge for services.
    • Robyn – Self promotion is really hard. Found that contracts came out of Wellington. Book meetings in cafes back to back. Chat to people, don’t sell directly.
  • Working for others
    • Amie – Working in a new area of government. But it an area that is growing. Fairly permissive area, lots of gaps that they can fill.
    • Dale – Great experience as an employee. In environment with lot of autonomy in a fast growing company.
    • Lance – Worked from Mobile – Lots of training courses, overseas 6 months after hired. 4 years 4 different cities, steep learning curve, subsidized housing etc. “Learning curve stopped after 4 years and then I left”.
    • Big companies downside: Multiple stakeholders, Lots of rules
    • Big company upside: Can do startup on the side, eg a Family . Secure income. Get to play with big money and big toys.
  • Startup
    • Everything on steroids
    • Really exciting
    • Starting all parts of a company at once
    • Responsibility for business and people in it
    • Crazy ups and downs. Brutal emotional roller-coaster
    • Lance lists 5 businesses off the top of his head that failed that he was at. 3 of which he was the founder
    • Worst that can happen is that you can lose your house
    • Is this life for everyone? – Dale “yes it can be, need to go in with your eyes open”.  “Starting a business can be for everyone. I’m the poorest I’ve ever been now but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been”
    • At a startup you are not working for yourself, you are working for everybody else. Dale says she trys to avoid that.
    • Robyn – “If you life is gone when you are in a business then you are doing it wrong.”
    • If you are working from home you can get isolated, get some peer support and have a drink, coffee with some others.
  • Robyn – Recomends “How to make friends and influence People”
  • Dale
    • Jobhunters – Look for companies 1st and specific job 2nd
    • Startup – Meet everyone that you know and ask their opinion on your pitch
    • Young People going to Uni – You have to get work experience, as a recruiter she looks at experience 1st and pure academic history second.
  • Lance
    • Balance between creating income, creating wealth, learning
    • Know what you are passionate about and good at
    • It is part of our jobs to support everyone around us. Promote other people
  • Amie
    • Find the thing that is your passion
    • When you are deliverying your passion then you are delivering sometime relevant

 Pick and Mix

  • Random Flag generator – @polemic
    • See Wikipedia page for parts of a flag
    • 3 hex numbers are palet
    • 4 numbers represent the pattern
    • Next number will be the location
    • next number which color will be assigned
    • Last number will be a tweak number
    • Up to 8 or 9 of the above
    • Took python pyevolve and run evolution on them.
  • Alex @4lexNZ , @overtime
    • E-sports corporate gaming league
    • untested in NZ
    • Someone suggested cold calling CEOs or writing them letter
  • Simon @slyall (yes me)
    • Low volume site for announcements
  •  Mutate testing
    • Tweak test values of code, to reverse fuzzing
  • Landway learning  – @kiwimrdee
    • Looking for computers to borrow for class
    • They teach lots of stuff
  • Poetry for computers – @kiwimrdee
    • Hire somebody english/arts background who understand language rather than somebody from a CS background who understand machines
  • the.dosprompt.com
    • Lossless image compression for the web
    • Tools vary across the platform
  • Glen – Make computers learn to play Starcraft 1
    • Takes replays of humans playing starcraft
    • Getting computer to learn to play from that DB
    • It is struggling
  • Emergent political structures in tabletops games

Never check in a bag – How to pack

  • 48 hour bag
    • Laptop and power
    • Always – Zip up pouch, tissues , hand sanitizer, universal phone charger, breath mints, the littlest power plug (check will work in multiple voltages), Food bar, chocolate.
    • If more than 48 hours – notebook, miso soup, headphones, pen, laptop charger, apple plugs ( See “world travel kit” on apple site)
    • Get smallest power plug that will charge your laptop
    • Bag 3 – Every video adapter in the world, universal power adapter, airport express.
    • TP-link battery powered wifi adapters
    • If going away just moves laptop etc to this bag
    • Packing Cell
      • Enough clothes to get me through 48 hours
      • 2 * rolled tshirts (ranger rolling)
      • 2 pairs of underwear
      • 2 pairs of socks
      • Toileties. Ziplock back that complies with TSA rules for gels etc.
      • Other toiletries in different bag
      • Rip off stuff from hotels, also Kmart and local stores.
      • Put toiletries ziplock near door to other bag so easy to get out for security.
      • Leave packing cell in Hotel when you go out
    • Learn to Ranger roll socks and shirts etc.
  • 6 weeks worth of stuff
    • In the US you can have huge carry-on
    • Packs 2 weeks worth of clothes
    • Minaal Bag (expensive but cool).
    • Schnozzel bag – Vacuum pack clothing bag
  • Airlines allow 1 carryon bag up to 7 kgs + 1 bag for other items (heavy stuff can go into that)
  • Pick multi-color packing sell so you can color-code them.
  • Elizabeth Holmes and Matilda Kahl and Steve Jobs all wear same stuff every day.
  • Wear Ballet Heals on the plane
  • Woman no more than 2 pairs of shoes every, One of which must be good for walking long distances
  • Always be charging

 Show us your stack

  • I was running this session so didn’t take any notes.
  • We had people from about 5 compnies give a quick overview of some stuff they are running.
  • A bit of chat beforehand
  • Next year if I do this I probably need to do 5 minutes time limits for everyone

Close from Rochelle

  • Thanks to Sponsors
  • Thanks to Panellists
  • Thanks to catering and volunteer teams
  • Will be back in 2016

 

Gather 2015 – Morning Sessions

Today I’m at the Gather 2015 conference. This was originally “Barcamp Auckland” before they got their own brand and went off to do random stuff. This is about my 5th year or so here (I missed one or two).

Website is gathergather.co.nz . They do random stuff as well as the conference.

Welcome

  • Welcome and intro to conference history from Ludwig
  • Rochelle thanks the sponsors
  • Where to go for dinner, no smoking, watch out for non-lanyard people., fire alarms, etc
  • Quiet room etc

Lessions learnt from growing a small team from 5-15

  • Around 30 people. Run by Ben, works at sitehost, previously worked at Pitch
  • Really hard work. Takes  a lot of time and real effort to build a great team
  • Need dedicate time and resources to growing team, Need someone who is focussed on growing the team and keeping the current team working
  • Cringe when people say “HR” but you need some in the sort of role and early on.
    • At around 16 people and doesn’t have full HR person yet. Before FT have someone with scheduled time to focus on team or company culture. In ideal world that person might not be in a manager role but be a bit senior (so they hear what the lower level employees say.
  • Variety and inclusion are keep to happy team
    • Once you are at 10+ members team will be diverse so “one size fits all” won’t work anymore. Need to vary team activities, need to vary rewards. Even have team lunches at different places.
  • Hire for culture and fit
    • From the first person
    • Easier to teach someone skills than to be a good team member
    • Anecdote: Hired somebody who didn’t fit culture, was abrasive, good worker but lost productivity from others.
    • Give people a short term trial to see if they fit in.
  • You will need to change the way communicate as a team as it grows
    • A passing comment is not enough to keep everybody in the loop
    • Nobody wants to feel alienated
    • Maybe chat software, noticeboard, shared calendar.
  • Balance the team work the members do
    • Everybody needs to enjoy the work.
    • Give people interesting rewarding work, new tech, customer interaction
    • Share the no-fun stuff too. Even roster if you have to. Even if somebody volunteers don’t make them always do it.
  • Appreciate you team members
    • Praise them if they have put a lot of work into something
    • Praise them before you point out the problems
    • Listen to ideas no matter who they come from.
    • 5 Questions/Minutes rule
  • If someone is working not well, wonder if problem is elsewhere in their life. Maybe talk to them. Job of everyone in the team
  • Appreciate your teams work, reward them for it
  • Do what feels right for your team. What works for some teams might not work for all. No “one size fits all”
  • Building great teams isn’t science it is an art. Experiment a bit.
  • Taking the time to listen to 10 people instead of just 5 takes longer. Maybe this can be naturally taken on by others in the team, no just the “boss”.
  • Have a buddy for each new hire. But make sure the buddys don’t get overloaded my constantly doing this with each new hire.
  • Going from 10 to 100 ppl. They same thing doesn’t work at each company size.
  • The point where you can get everybody in a room till when you can’t. At that point you have multiple teams and tribalism.
  • If you have a project across multiple teams then try and put everybody in that project together in a room.
  • Have people go to each others standups
  • Hire people who can handle change
  • Problem if you you buy a small company, they small company may want to keep their culture.
  • Company that does welcome dinners not farewell dinners
  • Make sure people can get working when they arrive, have an email address etc, find out if they have preferences like nice keyboard.
  • Don’t hire when you are extremely busy that you can’t properly get them onboard (or you may pick the wrong person). Never hire impulsively. Hire ahead of time.
  • Don’t expect them to be fully productive straight away. Give them something small to start on, no too complicated, no to crazy dependant on your internal crazy systems. But make sure it is within their skill level in case they struggle.
  • Maybe summer student projects. Find good people without being stuck with someone. Give them a project that isn’t high enough priority for the FT people.
  • Create training material

 Writing for fun and profit

  • Run by Peter Ravlich
  • Scrivener – IDE for writing
  • Writing full time (with support from partner), currently doing 4 projects simitaniously
  • Less community for Fantasy Writers than for literary writers. Bias in NZ against Genre fiction
  • Community – SpecficNZ – For speculative fiction. SciFi con each year and have a stand at Armageddon each year. $30 per year
  • If you write roleplaying games look at selling via rpgnow.com
  • Remember if publishing with Amazon then remember to be non-exclusive
  • For feature writing you need to know editors who like you and like your work.
  • “Just keep writing” , only way you’ll ever get better
  • Writing a weekly column:
    • The Best way: Write articles week ahead of time, edited by his wife, sent to the editor well in advance.
    • Leaving to last minute, not pre-editing quality varies, speakers column got dropped
  • Find the type of writing that you like and are good at.
  • Run everything past a reading group. “Am I on the right track?”
  • Treated writing as a jobs. Scheduled “Write for an hour, edit for 30 minutes, lunch, then repeat”. Make yourself.
  • Lots of sites that that push you to write a set number of words. Give you badges, pictures of kittens or punishment to keep you to a wordcount
  • Join a online writing group and post regular updates and get a bit of feedback
  • Daily Routines Blog or spinoff book for some ideas
  • Developmental editor or Structural editor
    • Developmental editor – Go to early, guidelines of what you should be doing, what direction you should be going. What is missing. Focused at plot level.
    • Structural Editor – Goes though line-by-line
  • Need to find editor who suits your style of writing, knows genre is important. Looks for those who have edited books/authors in your area.
  • Self editing – set aside novel, change font, new device, read though again. Change context so looking at it with new eyes.
  • Get contract with editor reviewed by Lawyer with experience in the industry (and on your side)
  • Most traditional publishers expect to see an edited novel
  • Talk to agents, query those who work with authors in similar areas to you.
  • Society of Authors
    • Have some legal experts, give you a reference
  • Kindle K-boards, a bit romance orientated but very good for technical stuff.
  • Go to poetry or reading/writing group. Get stuff out to other people. Once you have got it out to some, even just a small group then small jump to send it out to billions.
  • Have a stretegy on how to handle reviews, probably don’t engage with them.
  • Anne Friedman – Disapproval Matrix
  • You are your own toughest reviewer
  • Often people who went to journalism school, although not many actual journalists
  • Starling Literary Journal
  • Lists of Competitions and festivals in various places
  • Hackathon ( Step it up 2015 ) coming up, one group they want is for journalists who want to get more money into the job

The World of Vexillology – Flag Design

  • Dan Newman
  • flagdesign.nz + flagtest.nz
  • NZ Flag design cutoff this coming Thursday (the 16th of July)
  • People interesting in how the flag design originates, eg how Navel custom influences designs
  • 6000 odd submissions -> 60 shortlist -> 4 voted in referendum -> 1 vs current
  • 60 people at meeting in Wellington, less in other places.
  • Government Website
  • first time a country changed a flag by referendium not at the time of signifcant event (eg independence)
  • A lot of politicians are openly republican, but less push and thought in rest of population
  • Concern that silver flag looks like corporate logo
  • Easier to pretend you are an Australian and ask them “What would the NZ flag look like?” . Eg “Green Kangaroo on yellow” , “While silver fern or Kiwi on Black background”
  • Also lots of other countries use the Southern Cross
  • most countries the National team colors are close to that of the flag
  • Feeling if even flag changes now, then after “full independence” will change again
  • What will happen if Celebs come out if favour of a specific design
  • Different colours have different associations ( in different places )
  • All sorts of reasons why different colours are on a flag
  • The Silver fan looks like a fish to some
  • Needs to look good scaled down to emoji size

Bootstrapping your way to freedom

  • From Mark Zeman – Speedcurve
  • Previous gather sessions have been orientated toward VC and similar funding
  • There is an alternative where you self-fund
  • Design teacher – all students wanted to work on LOTR cause it was where all the publicity was.
  • Boostrapping – Doing it your way, self funded, self sustaining, usually smaller
  • Might take Capital later down the track
  • 3Bs seen as derogatory
  • Lots of podcasts, conferences and books etc
  • See Jason Cohen, many bits in present taken from him
  • The “ideal” bootstrapped business. Look at it from your own constraints
  • Low money, low time, self funded, try to create a cash machine
  • SAAS business lower end is very low. Very small amount per year
  • Low time if working on the side
  • Trying to get to maybe $10k/month to go fulltime
  • Reoccurring revenue. 150 customers at $66/month. Not many customers, not huge value product but has to be a reasonable amount.
  • Maybe not one-off product
  • Enterprise vs consumer space
  • Hard to get there with $0.99 one-offs in App store
  • Annual plans create cashflow
  • Option Boutique product. Be honest about who you are, how big you really are, don’t pretend to be a big company
  • B2B is a good space to be in. You can call 150 business and engage with them.
  • Not critical, Not real time (unless you want to be up at 3am)
  • Pick something that has “naturally reoccurring pain”. eg “Not a wedding planner” , probably multiple times per month
  • Aftermarkets. eg “Plugins for wordpress. Something small, put 20 hours into it, put it up for $5″. See also Xero, Salesforce.
  • Pick Big Markets, lots of potential customers
  • “Few NZ clients great for GST since I just get refunds”
  • Better By design. Existing apps mean there is already a market. Took an existing Open source product (webpagetest.org) and put a nice wrapper on it
  • Number of companies have published their numbers. Look at the early days of them while it took them to get to $10k/month (eg many took a year or two to get there).
  • Option to do consultancy on the side if you go “full time”. Cover the gap between you new business and your old wage. Had a 1 year contract that let him go half time on new biz but cover old expenses.
  • Don’t have false expectations on how quickly it will happen
  • Hard when it was a second job. Good because it was different from the day-job, but a lot of work.
  • Prototype and then validate. In most cases you should go the other way around.
  • If you want to talk to someone have something to offer. Have a pay it forward.
  • Big enterprises have people too. Connect to one guy inside and they can buy your product out of his monthly credit card bill.
  • Not everybody is doing all the cool techniques. Even if you are a “B” then you are ahead of a lot of the “C”s . eg creating sites with responsive design.
  • 1/3 each – Building Business, Building Audience, Building Product
  • Loves doing his GST etc
  • In his case he did did each in turn. Product , then Audience then Business
  • Have a goal. Do you want to be a CEO? Or just a little company?
  • His Success measures – Fun, time with kids, travel, money, flexability, learning, holidays, adventures, ideas, sharing
  • Resources: Startups for the Rest of us. A Smart Bear Blog, Amy Hoy – Unicorn Free, GrowthHacker TV, Microconf Videos

NetHui 2015 – Friday afternoon

Safety and security in SMEs

  • Biggest challenge for one SME IT person very bad password practises
  • PABX issues, default passwords on voicemail resulting in calls getting forwarded overseas, racking up a big bill
    • Disable countries you don’t need
    • Credit Limits on your account
    • Good firewall practice
    • Good pin/password practice
  • SMEs wanted problem to go away since they had a business to run.
  • No standards for IT in small business, everywhere is setup different
  • 9 times out of 10 IT stifles business and makes things worse.
  • Small businesses recognise value, don’t want to spend on stuff that doesn’t return value
  • So many attack directions very hard to secure.
  • If you let other people using your business devices its a huge risk. Do you let your kids play with your work phone/laptop?
  • Biometrics don’t seem to be there yet
  • Maybe cloud-based software is a solution.

Disaster recovery

  • Pictures of before/after of satellite downlink and comms centre in Vanuatu after Cyclone
  • Cellular network survived, Datacentre survived, Fibre network survived
  • One month after disaster 80% of comms were restored
  • NZ team just sent over material via Govt CIO
  • Various other groups on the ground
  • Lots of other people doing stuff. Some were uncoordinated with main efforts
  • NZ people (Dean, Andy) Spent 90% of time on logistics and 10% of time on IT stuff
  • Vanuatu people very busy. eg offshore people had own mailing list to discuss things and then filter them through to people on the ground
  • Lots of offers from people.
  • Plan not in place in Vanuata, they now have one though
  • What people wanted was Generators and Satellite phones. Both of them are hard to ship via air due to Petrol/Lithium.
  • Very hard for non-regular (not the top 5 NGOs) to get access to shipping in military planes etc
  • Echo from people who had similar problems in Christchurch working with the regular agencies
  • Guy from vodafone said their company (globally) has a cellphone site that can be split between normal plane luggage
  • Twitter accounts for Wellington suburbs had a meeting with council
  • Some community outreach from the councils to coordinate with others. community resilience. Paying for street BBQs etc. “Neighbours day”
  • Vital infrastructure needs to have capacity in disaster.
  • Orgs need to have plans in place beforehand
  • Good co-operation between telcos in Christchurch Earthquake
  • Mobile app for 111 currently being looked at
  • Some parts of the privacy act can be loosened when disasters are declared to enable information sharing with agencies
  • Options for UPS on UFB “modems”

Panel: Digital inclusion – Internet for everybody

  • Panelists: Vanisa Dhiru (2020 Communications Trust), Bob Hinden (Internet Society), Professor Charles Crother (Auckland University of Technology), Robyn Kamira (Mitimiti on the Grid Project).
  • Charles
    • Cure-all quick technical fix
    • attitude to non-users
    • Recognise the dark-side of the Internet
    • What sorts of uses do we want to see?
    • Facilitating active vs passive users
    • Various stats on users. At around 80%. Elderly catching up with other groups
  • Vanisa
    • Digital inclusion projects, best know is “computers in homes”, In 1500 homes per year
    • Does digital disadvantaged just mean poor or other groups?
  • Tim
    • Network for Learning ( N4L)
    • Connecting up schools to managed network, many over RBI
    • School gets: router with firewall, some services on top of that
    • Means teachers don’t have to worry about the technical issues
    • map.n4l.co.nz is website with map of connected schools
    • Target 90% by end of the year. Getting down to smaller and more remote schools
    • Not just about having fibre connections and handing out tablets to every student
    • Raspberry Pi at each site they can to remote in to test network
  • Robyn
    • Issues 10 years ago about theft of data and concepts
    • Today we still see instances where models will have [Maori Chin Tattoo] and similar
    • Wellbeeding – health, education
    • Cultural preservation: creation too, not a museum piece
    • Economic development: how to we participate in dev of NZ
    • Mitimiti on the Grid. Very small school in Hokianga Harbour
  • I was tweeting a bit too much rather than typing here.
  • What is “inclusion”
  • Where the leadership be coming from
    • “everyone” . We live in a country small enough for everyone to do that.

 

General NetHui Feedback, some minor nagatives..

  • Need filtering of questions. Too many in all sessions turned into long statements. Val Aurora outlines a good method to prevent this.
  • I went to the “Quiet Room” once and there were people holding a noisy conversation
  • Heard there was a bit of an agressive questionare during the e-Mental health session

NetHui 2015 – Friday Morning

Panel: Adapt or die? News media, new media, transmedia

  • Panelists: Megan Whelan (Radio New Zealand), Alex Lee (Documentary Edge Festival), Walid Al-Saqaf (Internet Society), Tim Watkin (Executive Producer of The Nation and blogger), Carrie Stoddart-Smith (blogger).
  • Panel moderator: Paul Brislen.
  • Intro Megan
    • Been at Radio NZ for 10 years. Website back then just frequencies and fax number
    • Good at Radio, not doing Internet very well
    • New Job as community engagement editor
    • Internet completely changed how the job is done.
    • Sacrifice accuracy and context sometimes to get the story out fast
    • Because people can now get their first and publish. They are no longer the gatekeepers of information. Getting used to others knowing more thna we do
  • Alex
    • Sees himself as creative entrepreneur
    • Content a few years ago seeing documentaries play in the cinema
    • Storytelling being distributed. Communities already telling their own stories.
    • 2 types of people in Audience. Skimmers and people wanting to do a deep dive
    • Story tellers only know who to tell the story, sometimes not so much on the technology
    • Developing collaboration between technologists and creatives together
  • Carrie
    • Blogging and social media provided new spaces for stories
    • Maori TV. Maori people in the “Ngati blogosphere”
    • Telling our own stories not just having others telling them
    • Media still highlights negative rather than positive stories about Maori
    • “Social media & blogging and facilitate stories and getting to know each other online”
    • But Internet allows Maori to bypass media to get positive stories out to to National/International audience
  • Walid
    • Internet should be empowering tool
    • Problem with Internet are people on it not the Internet themselves
    • Characteristics of traditionalist media is that there is a gatekeeper
    • New media is that everybody is responsible for their own actions
    • 60% of what is on social media is fake.
  • Tim
    • Every newsroom in NZ is running digital-first
    • No sustainable profit model for media orgs online
    • Digital tools give media a lot more tools and ability to create to stories
    • Speed comes a loss of quality, loss of subeditors
    • Internet has sucks a lot of money out of journalism (especially loss of classifieds)
    • Nostalgia has forgotten how bad journalism has used to be.
    • So much pressure on resources but less money
    • Example of real-time fact checking during interviews
  • Question for Alex.
    • You want people to Interaction with docus, but past has shown people don’t really?
    • Alex says that people have in the past
    • Refers to national Film board of Canada websites and interaction with their documentaries
    • These days all need docs are required by broadcasters and funders to have interaction and social media strategy
  • Mixing of Advertising and journalism undermine content?
    • A bit but it is a source of money that helps keep the rest afloat.
  • Is mainstream media actually verified compared to Social media
    • Yes it is
    • Use varified accounts on twitter to at least ensure the person is real
  • Opinion on tools such as “data miner” which takes news across internet and aggregates it?
    • Newsrooms have a lot of expertise
    • But less now as newsrooms get hallowed out
    • 8 feature editors at NZ Herald 10 years ago. Just 1.5 now
  • People can some fact-check journalism instantly
    • Good in one way
    • But diversity of knowledge means fact checking harder
  • What the Economic side of this? Where do you see economic support for high-quality contact coming from?
    • Sugar Daddy. Eg Washington Post supported by Jeff Bezos
    • Some kind of paywall seems be an main option
  • Responsibility to highlight stories and come back to old/ongoing stories
    • Yes they are revisited by media
  • How far though a digital day could somebody go and only experience Maori?
    • Some people only tweet in Maori
    • Work at places where people primary work in Maori
  • If money is tight and media companies consolidate does media have the room to push against the “powers that be”
    • Pretty much has always been the case
    • Getting harder but not astronomically harder than it used to be.

NZ culture online

  • Facilitators: Amber Craig, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Dan Shannan
  • Amber
    • How does NZ tell our story online with youtube etc
    • How to compete with other countries
  • Dan
    • Documentary NZ Trust
    • Looking into content and presentation of content
    • Lots of new platforms. Hard to negotiate with each of them
    • Have to reach people outside the main centres and people not able to attend festival events
    • Funding bodies want to be about NZ only. Won’t fund NZers telling stories about other places on non-NZ stuff. Told for Nz point of view
  • Brownwyn
    • Artist
    • People using various media

I switched to a different session after 10 minutes

Slowing the fast lane – Net Neutrality

  • Theresa legacy pervades in NZ Internet “Marketing by Confusion”
  • Incumbents offer inferior products to smaller ISP and exploit consumer ignorance
  • Almost all NZ ISPs do “not net neutral” stuff to save costs and improve user experience. eg they cache Google.
  • Netflix effect driving up demand across network ( 40% growth in 3 months) . Need to find a way of pricing that. Why shouldn’t we look at options to manage the network and push pricing signals back up the line
  • Why does Spark not have Netflix caches? Why does Spark not peer? Spark guy refuses to answer.
  • Spark gets away since it is the legacy incumbent Telco, the default ISP to get away with a lot of stuff.
  • Spark expect at manipulating the outcome
  • UFB levels the playing field. Market Failure will come from small ISPs not getting the scale to compete.
  • Datacaps now high enough that Zero-rating are now longer a thing. However packet prioritisation is still a thing that ISPs can hang over providers.
  • Alternative IXs being created to dis-satisfaction regarding port costs at the current ISPs
  • Prediction is that if NZ goes down net neutrality path it will fail, cause it won’t moderate unfair use of market power. Legislation will be narrow and based on the technology of the day, will be left behind too quickly.
  • Vote with feet away from Spark and Vodafone. Why they have the share they will keep abusing it.
  • Spark customer: Spark works okay, don’t care about the random polities, they work okay.
  • Peering can go via the Telecom Commissioner, doesn’t need politician
  • The Peering policy is damaging the NZ Internet.
  • ISPs that do not peer are less robust than those who do (especially in emergencies)

Copyright on the Internet

  • Facilitators: Hadyn Green, Matthew Jackson, Trish Hepworth
  • Trish
    • The Internet makes it easy to copy things and violate copyright
    • From the Internet point of view copying is the core function, resptricting that directly impacts the internet
    • Website blocking – Providers get sites blocked by copyright holders. Collatoral damage problem, other sites and other services
    • Track people and sending warning notices. To what extent should monitoring be allowed “just” to prevent copyright infringment
    • Should technologies like VPNs be allowed if they are copyright-circumvention applications
    • Should TPM/DRM be put on everything?
    • Can you copyright an API? Can you restrict people for using it everywhere. How important is interoperability without explicit permission
    • Copyright/Patents over software
    • How do you regulate a digital single market across multiple countries and multiple jurisdictions and cultures?
    • Should data be predicted by copyright? text mining allowed?
  • Paula Browning
    • From the “We create” , creative sector
    • Instead of thinking copyright is broekn cause you cannot want GoT at 1pm. The Internet is a massive opportunity for NZ. Copyright is needed for the industry to make money.
    • Games industry will generate $500 million this year
  • Paddy Buckley – Quickflicks
    • Problem is the current licensing model of content. Licensed by territory
    • Challenge people to name 5 TV series you cannot watch via NZ services
    • Need to keep territory-specific licensing. Cause else services are not going to have any local focus
    • Also content creators make the rules and they want territory licensing
  • You gotta respect their rules cause it is their content.. Maybe not cause random rules sometimes don’t make sense anymore
  • 28% of people use VPNs or some other place changing technology
  • Should we take things to count to get judicial clarity
  • Copyright had originally to do with regulation of printing press (eg “technology” ) not the regulation of content.
  • Copyright originally and up to now always orientation towards large-many distribution. New systems are many-many that involves “copying” for all interactions.
  • Why are VPNs a problem since money is still going to creators? – That is not how the model works, you have to pay for something first before creating it. The selling to different territories is how stuff is funded. Future business models are still not developed enough for everyone.
  • Worry about the amount of effort that goes into enforcing the current business models rather than looking at new ones. Especially what is this happening in NZ which is not solved by the current model.
  • TPP criminalise breaking DRM even when you legally have access to the resulting content
  • Vertical integration like with Disney allows resell of content across songs, TV, parks, re-releases, e over a period of 50+ years
  • Regional Licensing allows a single provider to pay for something and allow the content creator to get a lump-sum of money. They local provider can also prote the show locally.
  • Content providers already do the sums of global vs regional deals
  • Physical good already restricted to different places via exclusive import agreements.
  • Same with software, Example of NZ version of software was 10x more expensive and 2 versions behind.
  • “It seems clumsy attempts to secure copyright are still driving users to piracy. Cost and complexity are not being addressed”
  • Copyright laws should not be written solely by the content industry since they will solely reflect the interest of that industry.
  • Is there are shortage of Music, Movies, TV shows right now? Is copyright rally killing the industry.
  • Bollywood movie industry often legitimately released on Youtube after a few years of standard release.
  • Only reason that publishers have control of copyright (of books) is market failure. You have to go via intermediaries because you can’t do it yourself.
  • VPNs have lots of other uses beyond copyright evasion. Shouldn’t be banned just to prevent that.
  • Getting rid of “Work for hire” would seem to be a problem when something like a film has 5,000 people worked on a Movie.
  • Suggestion that there are should be a license like APRA to allow people to download what they want for a fixed license each year.
  • Need to sort out the problem with lengthening copyright period and orphan works.

 

NetHui 2015 – Thursday Afternoon

Domains: growth, change, transition

  • Transition of .nz to second level domains
  • Some stuff re moving root zone control away from the US
  • Problem with non-ascii domains (IDNs). They work okay, but not 3rd party apps or apps in Organisations. Eg can’t register on Facebook or other websites.
  • 60% of Government Depts don’t accept IDNs as email addresses, lots of other orgs
  • 1/3 of all new .nz domains created at second level
  • Around 95k or 600k .nz domains now at second level (about 2/3s of these from rights are 3LD holder)
  • Some people when you give them your address.nz change it into address.co.nz
  • 1st principles of .nz whois public policy.
  • People are in danger if they address is published
  • But what the ability to contact the real owner of a domain
  • 4 people in room with signed domains
  • 300 signed .nz domains. 150 with DS record
  • Around 3 people in room with new TLDs. See ntldstats.com for current stats

Internet of Things

  • Where does the data from your house appliances go?
  • Forwarded to other companies
  • Issues need to be understandable by ordinary citizens especially terms and conditions
  • Choose the data that you choose to share with the company rather than company choosing what it shares with you (and others)
  • In health care area people worried about sharing data if it will affect their insurance premiums or coverage
  • Many people don’t understand what their data is, they don’t understand that if every time they do something (on a device) it is stored and can be used later. How to educate people without sounding paranoid?
  • “IoT is connecting things whose primary purpose is not connecting to the Internet”
  • “The cost of sharing is bearable, because the sharing is valuable.”
  • More granularities of trust. No current standards or experience or feeling for this since such a new area and rapidly evolving
  • NZ law should override overly aggressive agreements (by overseas companies)
  • Some discussion about standards, lots of them, full stack, piecemeal, rapidly changing
  • Will the IoT make everything useless after the zombie apocalypse?
  • “Denial of Service attack on your IoT pill bottle would be bad!”
  • Concern that something like a pill bottle failing can put life in danger. Very high level of reliability needed which is rare and hard in software

Panel: Parliamentary Internet Forum

  •  With Gareth Hughes (Green Party), Clare Curran (Labour Party), Brett Hudson (National Party), Ria Bond (NZ First), Karen Melhuish Spencer (Core Education), Nigel Robertson (University of Waikato)
  • What roles does the Education system play in the Internet
    • National guy mostly talked about UFB and RBI programmes, computers in homes
    • Gareth Hughes adopts the “I went out to XYZ School” story. Pushes Teachers not trained and 1 in 4 homes don’t have Internet access.
    • Claire – Got distracted about discussion re her pants. But she said 40% of jobs at risk over next 10-15 years due to impact of technology
    • Karen – I got distracted about another clothing related discussion on twitter
    • Nigel – 1. Use the Internet to do what we already do better. Help people to use the Internet better (digital literacy)
  • Lots of discussion about retraining older people to handle jobs in the future as their present jobs go away
  • How much should government be leading vs getting out of the way and just funding it?
    • Nigel – Government should provide direction. Different in tertiary and other sectors
    • Karen – Collaborative and connected but not mandating
  • “We need to prepare people not just for the jobs of the future, but also to create the companies of the future” – Martin Danner
  • Lots of other stuff but I got distracted.

NetHui 2015 – Thursday Morning

Ministerial address: Hon. Amy Adams, Minister for Communications

  • Mentions she was at community group meeting where people were “shocked” when it was suggested that minutes be sent via email
  • Talk up of the UFB rollout. Various stats about how it is going
  • Also mentioned that Mobile build is part of UFB, better cellular connectivity in rural regions
  • Notes that this will never be 100% complete. The bar keeps moving
  • Very different takeup in different regions. 2% in some 19% in others. Local organisations pushing
  • Good Internet is especially important for remote countries like New Zealand
  • Talk about getting better access in common areas (eg shared driveways) for network builds
  • Notes how Broadcasting and Communications as well as other areas are converging. Previously they were separate silos. Similar for other areas.
  • Harmful Digital Communications Act.
    • Says new framework, adjustment may be needed and bedding down the courts.
    • Says that majority of cases will go to mediation
    • Similar Act in Australia very few things going to courts
    • Gave similar silly literal readings of others acts ( RMA requires a permit to sneeze )
  • 5 “Questions” to minister. 2 on TPP, 1 on Captions, 1 pushing some project and one actual question that she got to answer.
  • Maybe they should look at this idea for the Questions

Keynote: Kathy Brown, ISOC CEO

  • GDP of a National is highly correlated with the growth of the Internet
  • 75% of the benefit of the Internet goes to existing businesses
  • ISOC Global Internet Report 2015
  • Huge growth in Mobile Internet
  • “94% of the global population is covered by mobile networks. Mobile broadband covers 48% of global population”
  • Huge gap between developed and developing counties
  • Report is Online and “Interactional”
  • Challenges
    • Openness of the Internet means information is out there, exposed and gettable by the wrong people sometimes
    • Generational divide in attitude to privacy
  • Privacy is a matter of personal choice. The tools should be available should you wish to use them

Govt 2.0: Digital by default

  • Rachel Prosser and David Farrar facilitating.
  • Room full
  • Result 10 programme background
  • NZ Government Web toolkit
  • 50,000 registered with NZ Realme site
  • Shared rules between local governments, problems with same rules everywhere. Some limitations,. Perhaps at least similar technical standards
  • People don’t care about governments structure, they just want a service, don’t care how depts are arranged.

NetHui 2015 – InTac afternoon

Building an access network for demand and scale – new challengesKurt Rogers, Chorus

  • Over 1 million broadband connections on access network
  • 70-80% of BB connections
  • Average connection sped now near 20Mb/s due to VDSL and Fibre
  • Busiest 15 minute period (around 9pm Thursday) of week averaging 0.5Mb/s per user ( up from 100kb/s just 3 years ago )
  • Jump in mid-2013 when Netflix and Lightbox launched
  • Average bandwidth per user growing 50%/year. Grown that much in 1st half of 2015
  • Quite a few people still on ADSL1 modems when ADSL2 would work
  • Same a lot of people can get VDSL that don’t realize
  • Lots of people on 30Meg fibre plan at the start, now most going for 100Mb/s
  • Rural broadband (RBI)
    • 85k lines upgraded to FTTN
    • Average speed jumped 5.6Mb/s to 15Mb/s after a single rural cabinet upgraded cause everybody could now use ADSL2 and faster uplink. One fibre guy got 48Mb/s on VDSL, other 37Mb/s
    • More speed out there than some people realize
  • VDSL bandplan moving from 997 to 998. Trail average speed increases were from 32 to 46Mb/s for downstream. Minimal change on upstream speed.
  • Capacity
    • Aggregation link bandwidth. Alert threshold at 70%, Max threshold at 90%
  • Technology down the road to speed up aggregation links with Next Generation PON technology

The new smart ISPColin Brown, GM of Networks at Spark

  • Working on caching infrastructure, bigger and closer to their edge
  • Big traffic growth this year
  • Big growth in mobile traffic especially upload
  • 60% of phones in stores are 4G capable
  • Providers investing a lot of money , profits lower. Less like banks, more like airlines
  • Technology refresh every 5 years rather than every 10

NetHui 2015 – InTac morning

IntroductionDean Pemberton, InternetNZ

Dean was going to do an intro but got cock-blocked by some guy in a High-Vis vest.

The People Factor: what users wantPaul Brislen, ex-CEO of TUANZ

  • Working from home since 1999, 30kb/s at first. Made it work
  • Currently has 10Mb/s shared with busy family, often congested, not using much TV yet
  • Television driving demand.
  • Some infrastructure showing the strain
  • Southern cross replacement will be via Sydney. A couple of thousand km in the wrong direction when going to the US
  • Rural broadband still to deliver on the promise, no uptake stats, not great service level
  • Internet access critical path for economic development. lack of political will
  • Dean got to do his intro talk now.
  • Will Internet be priced on peak usage? A: Already offpeak discounts, some ISPs manage home/biz customer ratio to keep traffic balanced
  • Average usage per customer is 5Mb/s for ISP with streaming orientated ISP (acct sold with device).
  • 60% of International traffic going to Aus (to CDNS)
  • Consumers don’t accept buffering, high quality video (bitrate and production quality). Want TV to just-work.
  • NZ doesn’t want to be a “rural” level of internet access, equiv to a farm in more connected countries
  • Could multicast work for live events like sport?
  • Hard to get overage to work to work when people leave TV on all day
  • Plenty of people in Auckland not getting UFB till 2017 (or later)

The connected home and the Internet of ThingsAmber Craig, ANZ

  • At top of Hype cycle
  • Has home Switches on Wemo (have to get upgraded)
  • Lots of devices generating a lot of data
  • Video Blogging – 10GB of raw data, 1GB of finished for just 5 minutes. Uploading to shared drives, sending back and forth through multiple edits
  • Network capacity if probably not much for IoT compared to video, but home will be a source of a lot more uploads
  • With IPv6 maybe less NAT, harder to manage (since people are not used to it).
  • Whose responsibility is it to ensure that Internet works in every room
  • Building standards, what are customers, government, ISP each prepared to pay for?
  • What about medical dependency people who need Internet. A lot of this goes over GSM since that is more “reliable”

Lightbox – content delivery in New ZealandKym Nyblock, Chief Executive of Lightbox

  • Lightbox is part of Spark ventures, morepork, skinny, bigpipe
  • Lighbox – On line TV service, $12.99/month thousands of hours of online content
  • 40% of US household have SVOD, but pay-TV only down 25%
  • Many providers around the world, multiple providers in many countries. Youtube also bit player in the corner
  • SVOD have some impact on piracy, especially those who only pirate cause they want content same day as programme airs in the US
  • Lots of screens now in the house, TV not only viewed on TVs
  • Lightbox challenges
    • Rights issues, lots of competition with other providers, some with fuzzy launch dates
    • NZ Internet not too bad
    • Had to work within an existing company
  • Existing providers
    • Sky – 850k homes, announced own product, has most sports
    • Netflix – approx 30k homes, coming to NZ soon
  • From Biz plan to launch in 12 months
  • Marketing job to be very simple – “Grandma Rule” ( can be explained to Grandma, used by her)
  • Express service delivers content right after views in the US. Lots of views for the episodes that are brand new. One new episode can be 10% of days total views
  • Very agile company, plans changed a lot.
  • Future
    • Customers will have several providers and change often
    • Multiple providers in the market, more to come
    • Premium and exclusive content will drive, simple interface will keep it
    • Rights issues are a problem but locked into the studio system
    • Try to “grow the category”, majority on consumers still using linear, scheduled TV
    • Try to address local rights ownership. This is the bit where they dug at US based providers and people using them.
    • Working on a Sports offering
    • and then she showed a Lightbox ad :(
    • Question costs of other ISPs of getting good lightbox due to charges from Spark-Wholesale for bandwidth exchanged. Not really answered

Quickflix – another view of content delivery in New ZealandPaddy Buckley, MD of Quickflix NZ

  • 1st service to launch in March 2012
  • Subscription service for movies and TV shows and Standalone pay-per-view service for new-release movies and some TV shows
  • Across lots of devices, Smart TVs, phones, computers, games consoles, tablets, tivo, chromecast. No Linux Client :(
  • Just 15% of views via the website now
  • Content: New release movies, subscriptions content movies, TV shows
  • Uses Akamai for delivery. Hosting Centers in Sydney and Perth. AWS/Azure
  • Unwritten 5 second rule. Content should play within 5 seconds of pressing play
  • The future
    • Multiple Models, Not just SVOD, eg TVOD, AVOD, EVOD, EST
    • More fibre, fast home wifi and better hardware
    • VOD content getting nearer to the viewer. HbbTV combines broadcast and on-demand being done by freeview
    • Android TV
    • Viewing levels to increase (volume and frequency), people will pick and mix between providers
    • Aiming at 50% of households, 1 million is quite a lots for any scale.
  • Coming soon
    • 1080p/4K , 5.1 surround sound
    • Fewer device limits. All services and all devices
    • More streams
    • Changing release windows
    • Live streaming
    • PPV options to compliment
    • Download now, view later
  • What we need from ISPs
    • Significant bandwidth
    • Mooorrreee bandwidth
    • People will change ISPs if the ISP can’t provide the level of service
    • Netflix is naming and shaming. Netflix best/worst list
  • Prediction that NZ could hit 50% SVOD within a couple of years
  • Asked if they will be going broke in next few months. Says he’s done deal with Presto in Aus and will ease funding problems but business as normal in the NZ
  • SVOD has evolved from back-catalog TV shows a few years ago to first-run now. Will probably keep going forward with individual shows being provider-exclusive for now, especially since services are fairly low cost per month
  • A few questions about subtitles. Usually available (although can cost extra) but not good support with end devices to turn on/off .

Feeds I follow: Citylab, Commitstrip, MKBHD, Offsetting Bahaviour

I thought I’d list of the feeds/blogs/sites I currently follow. Mostly I do this via RSS using Newsblur.