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Sunrise at Bronte Beach: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 1 to Sunday 7 February 2016 has been very different. Not merely different from a typical Australian’s experience, like last week, but different from even my own smorgasbord of experiences.

It began on Monday with the stress of negotiating certain timelines with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). That was successful, and I was much relieved — although I still have to meet those deadlines in the coming months.

Then Wednesday provided another emotional journey, I’ll call it, with my visit to the Black Dog Institute and the resulting diagnosis.

After all that, I was exhausted.

So even though I achieved two significant milestones right there, when it came to producing the kinds of things I usually list here…

Articles / Podcasts / Media Appearances / 5at5

… there were none.

I did kick off another new geek-for-hire project on Thursday, however, so there’s that. I’ll tell you more about that, and the other projects, in due course.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Friday, I received a package of American snack food — Chex Mix, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Caramel Corn, and the like — from networking vendor Brocade to consume during this weekend’s Super Bowl. Why? Because Brocade did the data networks in Levi’s Stadium.

It’s still only Saturday as I post this, but Sunday 7 February will be a lazy day, so let’s get straight into…

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, boys and girls. No, this time it really will be.

On Monday, I’ll be doing the long commute to Sydney for a medical appointment, and to get a haircut. I’ll be dealing with tax documentation and project management en route.

Tuesday will be a quiet one, pottering around the house, and dealing with all manner of loose ends.

The rest of the week is shaped around the Pause Fest in Melbourne.

On Wednesday, I’m catching the 0543 train down to Sydney and then Sydney Airport. At 0900, it’s flight VA824 to Melbourne. Once I’ve checked in to my hotel, I’ll be having lunch with someone. The afternoon is as yet unplanned. The Pause Fest opening party is in the evening, but I need to have an early night. So instead, I’ meeting a friend for drinks, with a break to do a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1930 AEDT.

On Thursday, I’m up early to do a spot on ABC TV’s News Breakfast. I think it’s at 0810 AEDT. I’m then spending the rest of the day at Pause Fest’s Tech Day, presumably covering it for ZDNet. I’m on the panel at 1730 AEDT, titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”, after which I’m having drinks with some people, and then dinner with someone else.

On Friday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, then at 1300 it’s lunch in the Melbourne CBD or thereabouts with Andy Nicholson and anyone else who wants in. The afternoon is as yet unplanned. At 2000 it’s Pause Fest’s Speakers Dinner, for speakers only, so you can’t come.

On Saturday, well, I’m open to suggestions for how to spend the morning, and where to have lunch. I’ll then leave for the airport at 1430, and catch my 1600 flight VA859 to Sydney. I’ll probably then catch the train to Wentworth Falls that night, but we’ll see.

Either way, Sunday will be a day of sloth. A very big sloth.

Further Ahead

I suspect that the much-delayed episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will eventually be recorded on Tuesday 16 February, or the day after.

Plans are being hatched for me to return to Melbourne two weeks after that, to cover the APIdays conference on 1-2 March. We shall see. Either way, it’s more than likely that I’ll be in Melbourne 8-11 March for Cisco LIVE!, assuming they’ll have me again.

[Photo: Sunrise at Bronte Beach. For several years, it was my habit to photograph the first sunrise of each new year. Here, the sun rises out of the Pacific Ocean at Bronte Beach, Sydney, on 1 January 2005.]

[This is one of my more personal posts. If they’re not your thing, and you’d rather wait until there’s a podcast or a whinge about the Attorney-General or something, then skip this one, and come back on Monday.]

Black Dog Trot“Arriving at @blackdoginst. I hope mine is a kelpie,” I tweeted as I arrived at the Black Dog Institute on Wednesday morning. Well, I didn’t get a kelpie. But I didn’t get what I’d expected either.

Australia’s Black Dog Institute is a “world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders,” and they’ve developed their own model of depression. So science, yes, but no dog for me at all, kelpie or otherwise.

Read the rest of this entry »

[As will have been obvious on the night, this recording session didn’t happen, for personal reasons which I’ll tell you about on Saturday. — Stilgherrian, 5 February 2016.]

Screenshot of The 9pm Edict being recordedThe next episode of The 9pm Edict will now be recorded — while simultaneously streaming it to the internet — this coming Tuesday 2 Wednesday 3 February 2016 at 2100 AEDT.

As before, I’ll be using Spreaker, a streaming audio platform.

You’ll be able to listen right here on this web page using the widget immediately below (which shows all the episodes of the Edict uploaded to Spreaker so far). A “Live” button will appear when the broadcast starts.

You can also use any of the various Spreaker apps (the listening apps, not the studio/production apps), or presumably listen on the The 9pm Edict’s show page at Spreaker.

You’ll be able to tweet along using the Twitter hashtag #9pmlive.

I’ll have some sort of test transmission running from 2030 AEDT, so half an hour before the program proper starts at 2100 AEDT.

[Update 31 January 2016: Updated after the original 31 January recording was abandoned due to software failures. If you’re wondering, the culprit was Ambrosia Software’s Soundboard, the app in the foreground of the image above, which I use to play the audio clips and themes. It hasn’t been updated for a couple of years.] Update 1 February 2016: Edited to reflect a further change of plans. Update 5 February 2016: Edited to reflect further postponements.]

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stilgherrian/19191057743/in/photostream/My week of Monday 25 to Sunday 31 January 2016 was very different from the one experienced by most Australians.

For most Australians, it was a short week, because they’d taken Monday, joined it up with the public holiday for Australia Day on Tuesday, and made themselves an unofficial four-day long weekend.

Whether they chose to do that by requesting annual leave, or through the rather more patriotic tradition of “chucking a sickie”, would have been a matter between them and those persistent little nagging voices in the back of their heads.

Mine was arranged a little differently, for reasons described in the immediately preceding post. It was busy, and here’s what emerged.

Articles

Podcasts

None, because the planned Sunday night recording of The 9pm Edict was abandoned due to repeated software crashes. It has been re-scheduled for Tuesday night.

At one point during the week, I also announced a bold plan to record a Corrupted Nerds podcast with Leslie Nassar as well. That plan was abandoned when sanity returned.

Both podcasts are now on an official one-month hiatus while I consider their future. I’ll post my thoughts in the coming week.

Media Appearances

5at5

None. But should 5at5 ever reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

None, but it begins in earnest in the coming week.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, boys and girls…

On Monday, I’ll be up early to finalise some tax documentation, then at 1030 I’ll be phoning in to Deloitte for a cybersecurity briefing. The afternoon will see me negotiating certain timelines with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), updating the clients for my various geek-for-hire projects, and having an early night.

On Tuesday, I really must do that cleaning and shopping.

On Wednesday, I’ll be catching an early train to Sydney for an appointment at the Black Dog Institute. I’ll post more about that on Tuesday morning. I’ll then return to the Blue Mountains mid-afternoon, because at 2100 AEDT I’ll be recording The 9pm Edict and streaming it live.

On Thursday, I’m writing for ZDNet, then heading back to Sydney in the afternoo for a meeting at 1745 to kick off a new geek-for-hire project. I plan to stay in Sydney overnight, should Sydney’s nosebleed accommodation prices permit.

Worked on the aforementioned geek-for-for hire projects, and everything else, will be woven around those appointments as need be.

The weekend is as yet unplanned.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 13 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. Wednesday night I’m doing a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne, at 1930 AEDT. I’m then on a panel on Thursday 11 at 1730 AEDT, titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I plan to stay in Melbourne until Saturday afternoon. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

I hope to return to Melbourne to cover the APIdays conference on 1-2 March, but that’ll depend on me finding someone to cover my flights and accommodation. Would you like to be my sponsor?

[Update 2145 AEDT: Edited to reflect the new podcast recording time. Update 1 February 2016: Minor edits to the schedule.]

[Photo: To boldly go…. There’s a story behind this photograph.]

To boldly go...: click to embiggenThere’s something symbolic and, indeed, deeply personal about the image illustrating this week’s Weekly Wrap, my five-year old photograph titled To boldly go….

A small boat heads out into the fog of San Francisco Bay on 10 December 2010. Even though it’s probably just crossing the bay to Marin County, or stopping near Alcatraz Island for a spot of fishing, it looks like there’s a vast and dangerous journey ahead.

It continues to be one of my personal favourites.

I’ve used this photo before, to illustrate Weekly Wrap 267: Chaos, then embracing the change, on 19 July 2015.

But I also used it four years earlier, on 24 January 2011, to illustrate Accommodation: into the unknown. I’d had to leave Enmore with no clear plan. I was worried. The image reflected my mood.

Less than a fortnight after that post, three strong men and a truck took away all my household possessions and office furniture, and put it into storage.

I took just two suitcases of clothing and my most important tools and documents, and headed to the Blue Mountains to stay at Bunjaree Cottages for “a few weeks”. I had a month of work-related travel coming up, I said, and I’d sort out my accommodation when I got back.

Five years later, I’m still at Bunjaree Cottages.

And it’s still temporary.

Read the rest of this entry »

ABC logoEven though it’s a year old, the website that crashes an iPhone is back in the news this week — presumably because knowledge of the trick “went viral”, as they say.

This story piqued the interest of Fiona Willey, presenter of ABC Radio’s Statewide Drive in NSW, and we spoke on-air earlier this evening.

This is the full nine-minute interview, including a bit about the story from September 2015 when malware-infected apps made their way into the offical Apple App Store in China.

Play

The audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Torpedo tube hatch controls on USS PampanitoYou may have noticed that I wrote nothing about my week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 January 2016. That shall continue to be the case for some time. That was a terrible week. But this week, Monday 18 to Sunday 24 January 2016, has been much better. So far. And about that…

The key word, ladies and gentlemen, is “compartmentalisation”. And you’re in the wrong compartment. Move on. There’s nothing to see here.

Some of you will be wondering why I haven’t been paying attention to Twitter for a couple of weeks. Well, I’m busy dealing with a great many things, and it’s a lot to process. I don’t need the additional cognitive load of Twitter just now — neither the processing of a fast-moving information stream, nor the performance aspects.

Twitter will probably be added back into the mix a few days from now, once certain things have been dealt with.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but see below.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

None. But should 5at5 ever reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

On Monday morning, I’ll spend a couple of hours on my tax accounting, the first of many such sessions in the coming weeks I’ve got a production meeting at 1000, and then I’ll be writing for ZDNet. In the afternoon, I’ll make the long commute down to Sydney and back, because errands. En route, I’ll update various client projects.

Tuesday is Australia Day. But despite the public holiday, I plan to spend the afternoon on pre-production for the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

On Wednesday, I’ll spend a couple of hours on my tax accounting, the first of many such sessions in the coming weeks, and then write for ZDNet.

The 9pm Edict will be recorded on Thursday night 28 January, streamed live through Spreaker from 2100 AEDT.

On Thursday, I’ll finally finish a column for ZDNet, and then spend a couple of hours on my tax accounting, the first of many such sessions in the coming weeks. After that, I’ll sort out some loose ends on my geek-for-hire projects. Well, it might not be in precisely that order.

On Friday, I’ll head down to Sydney again, for a meeting with my accountant, and to record a Corrupted Nerds podcast with Leslie Nassar, and perhaps some social activities.

The weekend is as yet unplanned.

On Saturday, I’ll be dealing with whatever critical loose ends remain from the working week.

The 9pm Edict will be recorded on Sunday night 31 January, streamed live through Spreaker from 2100 AEDT.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 12 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. I’m on a panel on Thursday 11 titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I’ll be staying in Melbourne until Saturday afternoon. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

Update 25 January 2016: Edited to reflect schedule changes. Update 27 January 2016: Edited to reflect further schedule changes. Update 28 January 2016: Edited yet again to reflect even more schedule changes.

[Photo: The controls which operate the external torpedo tube hatches in the forward torpedo room of USS Pampanito, San Francisco, photographed on 10 December 2010.]

There is no Weekly Wrap as such for the week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 January 2016.

17 January 2016 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Ducks on the Parramatta River: click to embiggenMonday 4 to Sunday 10 January 2016 was a reminder that the world, and especially the humans that infect it, move to their own natural cycles and patterns. It’s easier to move in rhythm with these than try to work against them, for better or for worse.

Australia shuts down between Christmas and New Year, yes. But despite the claims that we now live in a 24/7 ever-on ever-connected cycle, the reality is that much of Australia still operates to its traditional annual cycle. Shut down just before Christmas, operate in summer holiday mode through to Australia Day on 26 January.

You just have to face the fact that nothing substantial can get done in the first week of January, and that you’ll have trouble getting up to speed on any substantial projects right through to the end of the month.

Individual humans have their own patterns and habits as well, and it’s also tough to change them. You can’t teach a duck to dance, they say. But when the duck is smarter and more stubborn than you are, what hope can there be?

So it with those observations that I introduce this week’s humble list of achievements, and note a few of the necessary changes to The Plan.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

None. But should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

None. The year has not yet started.

The Week Ahead

It’s another week at Wentworth Falls, and broadly speaking it’ll be much the same as its predecessor — but with achievements rather than distractions. He says boldly.

What’s definite is that the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded on Thursday night 14 January, streamed live through Spreaker from 2100 AEDT.

I’ll also be making a day trip to Sydney for a medical appointment at some point. I won’t know when that will be until Monday. That’ll be on Wednesday. I’ll have plenty of free time during the day, so if we need to catch up then let me know.

Apart from that, I’ll continue to work on designing a website and a matching email template for a client; writing that episode of The 9pm Edict; updating some of the stuff I use to explain what it is that I actually do; typing up the loose ends from my crowdfunding projects; thinking about my future accommodation needs; and bringing my bookkeeping up to date so I can file five years of outstanding tax returns.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 12 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. I’m on a panel on Thursday 11 titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I’ll be staying in Melbourne until Saturday. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

I’ve dumped plans to go to Geelong to cover Linux.conf.au in the first week of February. Sorry, but I need to keep that week flexible and close to Sydney for personal reasons.

For the same reason, my bold intention to record The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum on Saturday 23 January is also dumped. I need a clearer plan for what I’m actually doing with my various podcasts. They can’t just be an indulgent drain on my time, and despite the inexplicable generosity of those who’ve been supporting me, the numbers don’t quite add up yet. Stand by for more thoughts about that in the not-too-distant future.

Some things that remain on The Plan include Tech Leaders in Leura on 13-14 March; the Australian Cyber Security Centre Conference in Canberra on 12-14 April; NetSuite’s SuiteWorld in San Jose on 16-19 May; the AusCERT Conference on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May; the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Sydney on 22-23 August; and the AISA National Conference in Sydney on 18-20 October.

What else should I add to that list?

Apart from anything else, the first thing I notice about it is that nearly everything is in Australia. Have my horizons contracted?

Update 11 January 2016: Edited to reflect minor schedule changes.

[Photo: Ducks on the Parramatta River, photographed on 15 September 2012. I spent quite a lot of time watching these ducks on the banks for Sydney’s Parramatta river that spring afternoon before they’d finally had enough of me, formed convoy, and departed.]

Sydney Sunrise from Lilyfield: click to embiggenMonday 28 December 2015 to Sunday 3 January 2016 was spent in the Sydney suburbs of Ashfield and Lilyfield, where the quiet week following Christmas heralded a new year that should see many, many changes.

I hope so, anyway, because I’ve got plenty of things to sort out. I’ll tell you more in due course.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Topsy Turnbull Land”, being the rather brief The 9pm Edict episode 55, was recorded and posted on New Year’s Eve. It’s also on SoundCloud and Spreaker.

Articles

None.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

  • I arrived back at Bunjaree Cottages tonight to find a Christmas gift from Kaspersky Lab: a bottle of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2013.

The Week Ahead

I’ve got plenty to do in the coming week, but I won’t be able to schedule everything until I make some calls on Monday. I do know that most of it will be spent at Wentworth Falls, however.

That said, the week’s tasks include designing a website and a matching email template for a client; booking some medical appointments in Sydney; writing for ZDNet; scriptwriting for the next episode of The 9pm Edict; planning my coverage of Linux.conf.au; updating some of the stuff I use to explain what it is that I actually do; starting to tie up the loose ends from my crowdfunding projects; thinking about my future accommodation needs; and starting to bring my bookkeeping up to date so I can file five years of outstanding tax returns.

Further Ahead

The next episode of The 9pm Edict will be recorded on Thursday 14 January 2015, streamed live starting at 2100 AEDT.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum is likely to be recorded on the afternoon of Saturday 23 January. I’m thinking this should be a monthly thing.

In theory, in the first week of February I’ll be in Geelong to cover Linux.conf.au. And then on 10 to 12 February, I’ll be in Melbourne to speak at the Pause Fest.

Update 2000 AEDT: Edited to add the wine. Update 6 January 2015: Edited to reflect dropping plans to go to Linux.conf.au.

[Photo: Sydney Sunrise from Lilyfield, photographed on 2 January 2016.]

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