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The right time for a new era

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
7 min read
The right time for a new era

When is the right time to do ‘the new thing’? Whatever that may be?

I’m a big fan of using the New Year as a launching pad for new ideas, new goals, new efforts. It’s arbitrary, but our brains still really like latching onto milestones as starting or end points.

Something I’ve been talking to with the Byteside team is deleting all the old ideas for stories they’ve had but hadn’t gotten around to yet.

If there’s an idea that’s been sitting there for a few months but you never quite got to it, were you really that excited about doing it?

It can often be more liberating to forgive yourself for the things you didn’t quite get to. Archive those 1,000+ emails in your inbox. Donate that pile of things you keep meaning to eBay. Or just clear out the story ideas slush pile so you get to start over.

Imperfect beginnings are better than chasing the idealised version, too. Did you miss NaNoWriMo this year? What if you just let yourself write 100 words a day for a month starting today instead of trying to chase 1,000 words a day specifically in November?

Start things and see where they take you one step at a time.

So that leads me to the launch of Byteside Membership! No paywalls, no rules, just the ‘soft launch’ of the way for people who like what we’re trying to do to support the site, the podcasts and the newsletter to grow in 2021.

Our one big offer apart from the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting our effort to build a new outlet for Australian fans of tech, games and digital culture? Prizes!

Thanks to SteelSeries we have a pack with some top shelf PC gaming gear. A headset, keyboard, and mouse, plus a hoodie, mosuepad and cap designed in a collab with WA artist Dune Haggar. Really cool stuff.

Every month we’ll have a prize of some kind and everyone who has supported us through the member program will be in the draw. Huge thanks to SteelSeries ANZ for supporting us right out of the gate.

Yes, I’ve got plans for more ways to ensure we give great value to every supporter through this system. But right now it felt like a positive step to just open the door to people who like what we’ve been doing to show us they care.

Already I feel energised by the first wave of supporters we’ve had come on board. I can’t say it covers the bills just yet, but every single person who has joined so far has made my heart sing at the idea that people care enough to get on board.

And with that, I can’t wait to hit the new year with a fresh outlook and a whole lot of new ideas for giving them more and more to show them it was worth their trust in us.

Please, if you can, support Byteside. I’m proud of the work our great team is doing in just the first few months of the new site, and I love that we’re paying everyone for their effort. But that’s only viable in the long run with the support of the community and hopefully a few choice sponsors along the way.

We’re not closing down for the holidays just yet. We have a bunch of gift guides and best lists still to come to close out the year strong, and I’ll keep the newsletters coming too. But after 2020 being Quite A Year, we’re all excited to draw that line in the sand on January 1, 2021, and shoot for fresh new horizons.


Spams, scams and monolithic weirdness
This week we cover all our bases, with technology, games and weird digital culture debates all popping up in the final show for 2020.

Must read

The withering email that got an ethical AI researcher fired at Google
“Stop writing your documents because it doesn’t make a difference”: Timnit Gebru’s final message to her peers
Losing Arecibo’s giant dish leaves humans more vulnerable to space rocks, scientists say
Arecibo was a cornerstone in the campaign to protect Earth from asteroids.
AI Frank Sinatra sings Britney Spears, gets copyright takedown
When a song written by an AI riffing on two separate artists gets a copyright strike, who owns it? Or is it just another case of AI vs AI.

Really cool

The genius evolution of Aunty Donna’s Ellen skit
Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun Netflix series revisits their classic skit hilariously lampooning Ellen DeGeneres and daytime TV.
DeepMind AI claims massive breakthrough in protein folding
New advances in AI are smashing the competition and determining the structure of proteins which has huge implications for scientific research.
Innchanted: how deep Indigenous roots underpin this gorgeous indie inn manager
DragonBear Studios tells Byteside about making a game wonderfully lathered in Aboriginal culture - and the challenges this presents.


New survey results reveal Disney’s unsettling monopoly on pop culture franchises
An entertainment research company found the top 20 entertainment franchises. Unsurprisingly, Disney owns most of them.
Prize-winning AuREUS material turns food waste into renewable energy
Carvey Ehren Maigue has won the James Dyson Sustainability Award 2020 for developing AuREUS, a crop-based material turning UV into energy.
Warner Bros. Smashes Box Office Windows, Will Send Entire 2021 Slate to HBO Max and Theaters
The studio will send 17 films — including ‘The Matrix 4,’ ‘The Suicide Squad’ and ‘Dune’ to its streaming service for 31 days the same day they hit theater…
Find out how expensive an upgrade to NBN’s fibre to the premises is
It turns out that upgrading your NBN connection to FTTP is pretty expensive, but it should’ve been done right in the first place.
Finally the government is trying to do something real to stop spam calls
The Australian Government has a new code to try to tackle spam calls which robbed Australians of approximately $36 million in 2020.


Why I (still) love World of Warcraft
What changes about how you feel about a game when it shifts from being something you play for the gameplay? Is that when it’s truly a hobby?
Why are gaming chairs so actively hostile?
Sure, gaming chairs look cool. But why do they hate our bodies so much? And why do we keep pushing through the pain?


Go to the shops looking like Daft Punk in this face mask
Protect yourself from the outside world with the Blanc Mask while you look like a futuristic French DJ at the same time.
There will be a remote-control car race on the Moon in 2021. Seriously.
An extremely odd project is planning to hold a remote-controlled car race next October ... On the surface of the Moon. What’s more, the two racecars will be partially designed by high school kids, and McLaren P1 designer Frank Stephenson is involved.

Seamus Byrne Twitter

Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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