Going Postal, Going Dark and Going Running: Week In Review July 26 2015

writing Another week has passed — I just couldn’t stop it — and I’ve been a busy little scribe. Here’s a sample of my favourite bits of writing throughout the last week.
Lead image: Manoj Vasanth

I Believe The (Techno) Kids Are The Future

Image: Brad Flickinger
There’s a lot of bitching and whining about kids spending too much time with technology. I love me some technology, but I love my kids more, and that’s why I use this (as they say on the Internet) one simple trick to keep them under control.


Taking printing to the MAX

Canon’s Canon Maxify MB5360 is like, totally grody, dude. To the EXTREME!
OK, it’s a multifunction printer which I reviewed this week. I have to do something to sex it up, somehow.

Running All Over Town (For Science!)

Image: Johan Sonin
Fitness trackers have done weird things to me — made me interested in my own fitness, for a start — but they’re still not always well understood technology.
So I wrote an introductory guide to Fitness Trackers, looking over how well they track movement, sleep and whether you should buy just a tracker or a full blown smartwatch which led into…

All you do is talk talk

Image: Andréanne Germain
…an interview on ABC Radio Adelaide, talking Fitness Trackers as part of the Drive program on Thursday. You can listen in here (my bit starts around 1:45 or so), but they’re apparently only “live” for a week, so don’t delay.

Droning On

Parrot launched its Minidrone range in Australia this week. They’re neat little drones, but the event was an odd one. Here’s a tip for PR folks everywhere: If you’re launching a device that is in effect a boat, be ready to answer questions about what happens to it when it gets wet. Refuse to answer questions, and I’m going to worry about how good your products actually are. I think that’s reasonable enough, don’t you?

Australia Post Just Wants Your Money; Delivery Is Quite Secondary

Image: Les Haines
I get sent things from time to time. Physical things, which means I’m either dealing with couriers — an interesting set of woes all by itself — or Australia Post. A “priority” letter which somehow took six days to arrive despite being sent from the same city it was received in and the frankly rather apathetic response of Australia Post’s social media team set me on an investigative path over at Lifehacker, examining what “Regular”, “Priority” and “Express Post” really mean.

Stories Are Like Onions

Image:Scott Soerries
Over at alexkidman.com, the 52 week short story experiment continues (as does, unsubtle hint, the patreon to help fund it all). This week’s story is all about contraband, with a few layers…

Driving School Before Kid’s School, Methinks

Image: Paul L Dineen
The road rules aren’t that hard to understand… are they? It seems like they might be, as one too many near-missed led me to writing up the six things you shouldn’t do when dropping your kids off at school. This one seemed to hit a nerve with a lot of people.

There’s Illegal, And Then There’s “Right”

Image: Project 365 #67: 070312 Sneakernet
Piracy isn’t a great option, but most people would think that once they bought a DVD, CD, Book or Game that it’s theirs to do with as they wish. They’ve paid money, right?
Not according to the law, which has some weirdly contradictory stances depending on the medium you bought it on, and what it is. It’s confusing, but I covered off the basics of format shifting to make it clear what you’re legally entitled to do.

Trigger Warning

The hardest bit of writing all week was this one, and it’s unlike anything else I write. It’s about depression.
It’s something I’ve been avoiding facing for some time now, but the feedback has suggested that other folk have found it equal parts challenging and reassuring. I’m a little better than when it was written, but it’s a day by day kind of thing (and, honestly, hitting publish on this one was a battle all on its own).

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