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Glenbrook Gorge: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2015 wasn’t overly productive — as the lack of published articles and podcasts listed below suggests — but it was the calm before the storm rather than a disaster.

Mostly.

Shut up. This is my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Podcasts

None.

Articles

None.

5at5

There were four editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

It’s the first of several busy weeks, made more busy by the fact that I’ve fallen behind in my writing.

On Monday, I’ll be filing a column for ZDNet, then working on a feature story. That’s likely to continue into Tuesday and Wednesday, wiping out previous plans to head to Sydney for a SANS Institute gathering and Optus Vision 2015.

On Thursday I’ll be watching a SANS Institute webcast on “Continuous Monitoring, Real World Analysis and Strategies to Mitigate Targeted Attacks”, and then writing it up as a column for ZDNet.

On Friday, I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, I reckon. And then it’s the weekend.

Further Ahead

On Tuesday 2 June, I’ll be in Sydney yet again for Check Point’s Cyber Security Symposium 2015, and then flying to the Gold Coast for the AusCERT 2015 Information Security Conference, which runs through to Friday 5 June. Then it’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, and I haven’t quite decided what happens with that.

[Photo: Glenbrook Gorge, which is my favourite part of the train journey from the Blue Mountains down to Sydney, photographed on 20 May 2015.]

2UE logoIs it possible to hack into a commercial airliner’s flight control systems by first hacking into its inflight entertainment system?

That’s the worry, certainly. But now the FBI has said that security researcher Chris Roberts told them he’d done exactly that hack 15 or 20 times, and on one occasion even managed to compromise the Thrust Management Computer, getting it to issue a “climb” command to one engine — with the result that the burst of increased thrust caused “lateral movement” of the aircraft.

Except Wired reports that Roberts told them that he claimed no such thing. He’d had many hours of conversations with the FBI, and in condensing that down to a few sentences they’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

This whole story caught the attention of 2UE morning presenter Stuart Hocking, we spoke about it for about seven minutes earlier today, and here’s the recording.

Play

This audio is ©2015 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd.

En route from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma: click to embiggen, and for the back storyMy week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 May 2015 was a strange beast. It followed a most unproductive week, and on the surface it looks equally unproductive. But it wasn’t. It seemed to herald a change. Or something.

I didn’t squeeze any articles out of the word-nozzle, but I did produce a solid podcast, and I did a big, big chunk of work on the SEKRIT project. This pleases me, because the work is both enjoyable and well-paid. I’ll have to find out whether I can tell you anything about it.

In between all that, I’ve been both stressed and in pain. The stress was just the confluence of the many things that need to be changed, from work to accommodation to financial matters to health to some personal issues. The pain was my old neck and shoulder injury flaring up. All these things are being dealt with slowly.

During this time, I’ve been ignoring Twitter. That’s simply part of a “strategy” to reduce the extraneous noise, and giving myself some thinking space. I shall resume Twitter activity on Monday, at the time of the New Moon, 1413 AEST. You have been warned.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Inadequate Sense of Occasion”, being The 9pm Edict episode 42. Posted on Wednesday, it contains trains, bombs, terrorism, conspiracies, more bombs, and more trains. Plus Attorney-General the Honourable Senator George “Soapy the Ankle” Brandis QC. It runs for more than an hour.
  • “The 9pm Supplementary Sense of Occasion”, being The 9pm Edict episode 43. Posted on Thursday, it runs for just a little more than three minutes, because it’s mostly just a fix for production errors in the episode proper.

Articles

None.

5at5

There were actually five editions of 5at5 this week, the proper amount, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to a media briefing on research by Telsyte, which was sponsored by Epicor. It was held at Gowings Bar and Grill at the QT Sydney Hotel, and the food and wine was lovely — although I didn’t photograph it this time. Epicor gave us each a rather nice leather compendium, which I’ve passed on to someone with a greater need.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be sorting out my writing and media production plan for the next three weeks. It’s also a day of shopping and pain killers.

On Tuesday, it’s a morning of writing, and then the journey to Sydney for some errands, and then a radio spot with Dom Knight on ABC 702 Sydney at 2045 AEST. I’ll probably stay in Sydney overnight because…

On Wednesday, I’ve got meetings at Circular Quay at 1000 and 1130, and then at 1230 it’s a media lunch with Doron Kempel, founder and global CEO of SimpliVity, at a nearby restaurant. He’ll be giving us his worldview on the evolution of this technology stuff. And then I head back to Wentworth Falls.

Thursday is a day of writing, with a break at lunchtime for RSA’s webcast, “Endpoint Malware: Finding the Evil in the Haystack”. Cute title. Friday is a day of writing too. I’m thinking of coming into Sydney on Friday evening to see what goes down at Cryptoparty Sydney. That could be an interesting thing to observe for the next episode of The 9pm Edict, but this will all depend on my levels of pain, fatigue and give-a-fuck.

The weekend will be spent well away from you people.

Further Ahead

There’s a few busy weeks ahead. The first will start off with podcast production. On Tuesday night 26 May I’ll be in Sydney again for a SANS Institute gathering, at which I should be learning about how those evil hacker people exfiltrate data out of the target organisations. And on Wednesday it’s Optus Vision 2015, an event that I always get plenty of value from. The rest of the week will be full of writing.

The following week, on Tuesday 2 June, I’ll be in Sydney yet again for Check Point’s Cyber Security Symposium 2015, and then flying to the Gold Coast for the AusCERT 2015 Information Security Conference, which runs through to Friday 5 June. Then it’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, and I haven’t quite decided what happens with that. Whew!

Update 18 May 2015: Edited to reflect changing plans regarding a potential overnight stay in Sydney on Tuesday.

[Photo: En route from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma , photographed at the side of Tanzania’s central highway on 30 June 2009. Click through for the back story.]

Photograph of someone constructing a bolt bombThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsIn last night’s episode, titled The 9pm Inadequate Sense of Occasion, there were three things which may not have been entirely clear. Let’s deal with those issues right now.

One, I failed to identify a commentator I quoted, someone who’d given their opinion of America’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two, my description of a bolt bomb was misleading. Three, I may not have been entirely clear in expressing my opinion of Australia’s Attorney-General.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

Thank You

If you enjoyed this podcast, please throw a few coins into the tip jar or, even better, subscribe to make an ongoing contribution.

[Photo: Photograph of someone constructing a bolt bomb, pinched from the internet. You can search for it yoursef.]

Royal Visit 1954 -- Central Station: click to embiggenThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsThere’s terror in Australia’s suburbs. But fear not. Attorney-General the Honourable Senator George “Soapy the Ankle” Brandis QC is on the case. And Bob Garfield speaks true wisdom.

In this podcast, there’s talk of trains, bombs, terrorism, conspiracies, more bombs, and more trains.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

NOTE: Make sure you also listen to The 9pm Supplementary Sense of Occasion.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

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Sydney Central station: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 4 to Sunday 10 May 2015 saw precisely zero media objects being extruded. But let’s not dwell upon that. No, let’s thrill to the possibilities of a glorious future!

Yeah, right.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a day of research and pondering, both for a ZDNet feature I’ve been commissioned to write — and I’ll start referring to that masthead simply as ZDNet from this week rather than ZDNet Australia, finally acknowledging the many months-old fact of the globalisation of their newsroom — as well as a SEKRIT project. Some of this will be done in the warmth of the Blue Mountains City Library, to avoid yet another day of freezing, depressing winds.

On Tuesday, I’m doing the long commute to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing titled “ERP Deployment in Australia: Uncovering Missed Opportunities”, presented jointly by analyst firm Telsyte and sponsor Epicor. I’ll also be doing some location audio recording before taking a late train back to the Mountains.

On Wednesday, there’s more work on the ZDNet feature, plus the completion of the Edict. Thursday will see the emergence of a ZDNet column, I hope, as well as more work on the feature. And Friday is blocked out for work on the SEKRIT project — probably in Sydney, because I’ll need access to internet bandwidth that isn’t billed at the self-sodomising rates of Telstra’s 4G network — but there’ll be writing in between. If that looks jumbled, you’re right. The exact order of play will depend on how things unfold — which I accept is a tautology.

Further Ahead

On Wednesday 20 May, I’ll be doing the long commute to Sydney for a whole series of meetings and briefings. Details in the next Weekly Wrap.

On Wednesday 27 May, I’ll be in Sydney again for Optus Vision 2015, an event that I always get plenty of value from.

From 2 to 5 June, I’ll be covering the AusCERT 2015 Information Security Conference on the Gold Coast — and, at one point, participating in it.

Update 11 May 2015: Edited to add plans for 20 May.

[Photo: Sydney Central station, photographed in the late afternoon of 9 May 2015, in between recording some audio for… a future project.]

Waratah Cottage: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 27 April to Sunday 3 May 2015 was… a week ago now, so I’ll just document what was done.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

5at5

There were only two editions of 5at5 again this week, on Thursday and Friday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to the DisruptoCon conference in Sydney, held at the Sydney Harbour Marriott hotel on Pitt Street. Lunch was provided, and conference sponsor MYOB gave me a novelty 8GB USB key, which contained their promotional material.

[Photo: Waratah Cottage, one of the Bunjaree Cottages, photographed at dusk on 2 May 2015.]

In Friday’s edition of 5at5, I said that there’d be a new short video appearing here on Friday night. My errands ran later than expected. That video will now be posted on Saturday afternoon. Update 4 May 2015: This project has been cancelled.

04 May 2015 by Stilgherrian | No comments

The storm approaches: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 20 to Sunday 26 April 2015 was rather dismal, and not just because of the severe storms that hit New South Wales.

The storms were big. A month’s worth of rain fell on the first day, and then there was more rain. Ausgrid had to deal with more than 6000 power line failures, most of them because of trees. The State Emergency Service had more than 11,000 jobs to deal with, and again most of them were because of trees. People were killed. Houses were washed away.

Fortunately, I was at the periphery of all that. It was more the weather’s side effect, the fact that I was trapped indoors for the latter part of the week, which led to further introspection along the lines that I explained last week.

That new dawn was occluded by a stormy week, which culminated in the Anzac Day weekend and the personal reflections that brings. It’s all a lot to deal with, really.

Podcasts

Articles

5at5

There were only two editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday and Tuesday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None. A planned spot on Tuesday to talk about tech news on ABC 702 Sydney was cancelled because they needed to focus on their storm coverage.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Well it’s almost over now. Today, or was we call it, Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet Australia, doing some blog posts including this one, running errands, and returning to Wentworth Falls after a couple days in Sydney. On Friday, I’ll be focusing on my legacy IT business, Prussia.Net, which now bears little relationship to how the website describes it, and which much change. The weekend will include whatever things I feel like at the time, because it’s the weekend.

[Photo: The storm approaches. The first of several days of heavy rainstorms hit New South Wales on Monday 20 April 2015. This shot was taken from a taxi driving down the Great Western Highway, somewhere between Leura and Wentworth Falls.]

Photograph of Austin Hatfield of Wimauma, Florida, courtesy of Fox 13 Tampa BayThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsThe Anzac Day centenary is just three days away, and Australians are getting the irrits. Tony Abbott demonstrates his usual empathy. And Nicholas Fryer delivers a heartfelt ode to Scott Morrison.

In this podcast, there’s talk of storms, ships, terrorism and theology. And yes, Florida gets a look-in.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733. I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on Anzac Day. The deadline is 1700 AEST on Tuesday 21 April.

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