Byteside, the miniature media empire spreading tech, games and digital culture through newsletters, podcasts, socials and the web, is primed and ready to expand its team with new contract editorial positions.

This is a starting small situation. But where other outlets in their early days often lean into offering writers the chance to be published for free in the name of ‘exposure’ or ‘experience’, we want to respect the need to be compensated for a commitment to work.

We’re seeking focused and energetic involvement, but with a highly flexible structure – digital office, digital tools, work from anywhere.

Our target engagement window is two hours per day, Monday to Thursday. The aim is to focus on ‘morning’ publishing as a priority but flexibility will always be maintained. We’re inventing this together. A commitment to making Byteside successful and producing great work is the fundamental goal.

All team members will participate in writing for the web and for social media, with social curation of stories and ideas also forming part of the routine. There will be an expectation of producing 5-7 published articles each week. These will often be short, sharp, and colourful, with deeper work mixed in on longer cycles.

Writing will be coached toward presenting with a clear voice, strong takes and fun perspectives. Variability in writing style will be expected, showing interest in differing aspects of tech, games and culture.

Writing for Byteside must come from a personal place of interest in each subject. But no one story has to be all things to all people. Want to give an industry take on a new game? Or a lust-filled look at a new device? Maybe a critical analysis of a new TV show? All are welcome. Say it like you mean it with a fresh perspective and it will have a home on Byteside.

Typical job advertisements are loath to mention money out loud. We’re trying to be transparent. The role will be a fixed weekly payment based on the Australian Journalists Published Media Award casual rate for an editorial employee at Band 1, Level 2 – rounded up a little. From that benchmark we are offering a flat fee of $256 based on $32/hour for 8 hours of your time. It’s also a nice nerdy base-2 number, so it felt like a good place to start. The initial agreement period will run for three months from early September to early December.

How to apply: Send a pitch letter explaining who you are, how your words will stand out in a wildly saturated nerd content landscape, and why you want to work with Seamus Byrne on Byteside. We are actively seeking voices who are exciting and additive to what we can already do and add diversity to what we hear about these subjects. Show us how you’re different and that will go a long way.

You must include links to two pieces of sample writing. Paid, unpaid, it doesn’t matter. Just demonstrate writing that shows who you are as a writer. Is there a difference between the writing you have to show and the writing you want to do for Byteside? Explain how you want to change and show us in the pitch letter you have the skills to do it!

Don’t tell us you’re passionate about it. Show us.

Send applications attention to Seamus Byrne via

PLEASE include ‘Application’ in the subject line.

PLEASE check your pitch letter for errors of syntax and grammar because that really does count toward proving you know how to write.

PLEASE address any questions to the same email address.

Applications close 5pm, Monday, August 3.

Seamus and Nic the case of the missing SBS OnDemand from consoles, the mystery of what’s gone wrong with the pitch versus the reality of COVIDSafe, and the bizarre realm of a Global Esports Federation that doesn’t seem to do things that actual esports people would understand.

Plus WWDITS and why the BOM app is now the answer to Shay’s weather woes!

Steve and Jony have left the building.

Today’s Apple event, launching iPhone 11, Apple Watch Series 5 and a new iPad, really did feel like the beginning of a new era. It’s been eight years since Steve Jobs passed, and a couple of months since Jony Ive left the building. But today was the first major event where the dulcet tones of Ive were no longer present to explain to us why a device was worthy of our hard earned.

That connection between the voice of Ive and the mind of Jobs was a long and powerful thing. And there was something about Ive’s presence in the design department that made it feel like Steve was somehow still around, especially when the tone of launch events continued to include that warm British voice that was allowed to say the word ‘aluminium’ inside an American company. He had Permission. He oozed Authority.

So today was the first time it felt like we had a truly Tim Cook keynote event. Yes, he’s been calling the shots for a long time. But no more Jony meant we had a full slate of produced videos telling the stories of the latest devices. Not a narrated piece of tech porn that upheld an Apple tradition.

These new videos reflect a style that has started to move further into the foreground in Apple’s new era of brand identity. Videos that aim to tug at the heartstrings around ‘The Power Of Apple Technology’ while also having a healthy dose of whimsy.

Here’s the official Apple summary of the event, for example:

There’s an air of fun. We’ve had skits at other recent events like when Cook tweeted ahead of the event as if something had gone wrong, a lead in to the intro video of someone racing to deliver him something.

We’ve had fun videos at WWDC about the hidden life of code compilation that only developers understand.

And we’ve had energetic ’60s cinema vibes proclaiming the joy of a new Apple announcement.

There’s a clear sense of fun mixed into the polished delivery under Tim and his team. Here’s two more from this year:

A fun take on why privacy matters? It works. No one else is having ‘fun’ with privacy messaging. And two more from today:

Jobs had a sense of humour, but his focus at a launch was on gravity. That whatever was being announced that day was the pinnacle of technological innovation up to that moment.

Today we saw an event that did miss the gravitas of an Ive introduction. And the new devices are evolutionary in a way that might suggest Ive knew the age of consumer tech revolution has run its course (for now). So it was hard to think what his voice would have added to today’s line up of designs.

It does mean the devices must stand a little more on their own. The renowned Reality Distortion Field era is over. It was heavily attached to Jobs but Ive carried that torch a little beyond his direct presence.

What becomes clearer is that Cook adheres to classic Apple secrecy as much as possible but come launch day he likes to show his working. We don’t just get “A13 Bionic is the fastest chip in a smartphone ever”. We get a detailed breakdown of what it does and why it does it, a kind of surface level proof that this chip is the bees knees. A pitch not just to the casual fans but some extra talking points for those who know they’re going to have to justify why an Apple phone is worth the extra bank.

Tim Cook’s Apple feels more personal. It remains high-end – sometimes wildly so – but it has a clear sense of how every person, every pocket, every household, is a little bit different. On stage, Cook doesn’t try to command the audience. He shares the stage with various Apple product leaders and development partners. It’s not all about him, it’s about the people who run things telling you why their thing is a cool thing.

Apple is in the midst of a shift toward being a more and more service driven company. Remember that during Cook’s time macOS has gone from a product we had to pay for at each upgrade to a platform we get for free. The hardware is a gateway to an Apple software and service ecosystem. Privacy itself is becoming a service offered through Apple software and service options (when compared to its advertising-driven rivals).

All this is to say that, with the voice of Ive now removed from the Apple launch process, the last vestige of the old order is gone. Today we truly see the future of Apple.

A little less gravity, a little more personality.

I’ve been running a newsletter for a few months now, so thought it was time to say it loud and proud. If you like someone else to find all the most important nerd news that may have slipped through the cracks, I’m doing it.

So far I’ve tried not to make it too OTT, just around a dozen links to interesting and valuable content from across the tech and digital culture domains.

Check out the latest here:

And while you’re there, it’s easy to sign up. And it’s free!

As the Aussie Women’s cricket team get ready to destroy the English in the Women’s Ashes Tour (after a 2-0 drubbing in the warm up one-day matches), it’s interesting to see they’ve worked with the Australian Institute of Sport to get some custom tech to help hit peak performance.

Apple Watch has been put to use to track training load, sleep, heart rate, and even mood, to ensure every cricketer is training at the right level. This means they can operate to well defined training ‘budgets’, which also tells them what’s too much so they avoid strain and overworking.

“We can analyse player data in real time and put interventions in place to manage player fatigue and mitigate the risk of injury,” says performance coach David Bailey. “Since the team has worn Apple Watch and shared activity, we’ve seen players become more accountable and engaged in the training process, more motivated by the data, and have more fun along the way.”