Articles by Stilgherrian

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Skyscraper SunsetMonday 16 to Sunday 22 July 2018 was another very productive week. So much of it seems to depend on the weather.

Articles

The third and final tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had one story this week, my series wrap, which I’m quite pleased with.

Plus I wrote four stories about My Health Record, Australia’s “new” centralised digital health record system, for ZDNet.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about My Health Record on ABC Adelaide, and on ABC Darwin. I won’t be posting recordings, because I’ve pretty much said it all in the articles.
  • On Thursday, I spoke about Google’s €4.3 billion fine for anti-competitive behaviour on ABC Radio’s The World Today.

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, because there will be at least two more stories on My Health Record for ZDNet. One will be written on Monday, before I definitely watch the first episode of the Australian edition of Pointless starting at 1800 on TEN.

On Tuesday, it’s the long commute to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing on the cybersecurity of the energy industry and other utilities. As usual, I’ll probably add some appointments around that.

On Thursday, I’ll be talking about the Crikey Prying Eyes series on Melbourne radio 3CR’s Communication Mixdown at 1800 AEDT.

Further Ahead

The following week I’ll be in Melbourne, from 30 July to 5 August. Primarily it’s for the SINET 61 conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, though, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Beyond that, I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Skyscraper Sunset. Sunset lighting strikes the side of an office tower near Central Station in Sydney on 25 June 2018.]

Sunrise at Wentworth FallsMonday 9 to Sunday 15 July 2018 was a productive week for me, party because I had my computer back, and partly because I’d dealt with certain stresses. Joy.

I’ve kinda fallen out of the habit of discussing the week in more detail. Long gone are actual blog posts like, say, this update on the internet filtering debate from a decade ago, or art reviews, or even collections of tweets. Certainly none of the essays like I came for the gin, I stayed for the social revolution (30 April 2008), or It’s the little details which matter… (27 May 2007), or so many others which were much better than those.

I blame Twitter.

Articles

The second tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had two stories this week.

Plus I wrote a couple of stories about the Australian Signals Directorate for ZDNet.

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week, primarily for ZDNet because I’m kinda covering some staff leave.

On Monday I’m talking about the Prying Eyes series on radio Triple R in Melbourne. That’s at 0945 AEST. I’ll keep the rest of the day free, because the opt-out period starts for Australia’s new My Health Record. There’s plenty of privacy concerns, and I’m half expecting the opt-out process to fall over. If so, I’ll be ready to write about it.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne for the week of 30 July to 5 August, primarily for the SINET 61 conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday that week. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Sunrise at Wentworth Falls. Not from this year, but from last year, 5 July 2017.]

Foggy morning in WerringtonI’m hoping that Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July 2018 will have been the last of a series of less-productive weeks, now that I’ve probably throw out all the intestinal bugs, and that I’ve got my computer back.

I’m very happy to finally present these first few items.

Podcasts

Articles

The first tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series has been released. I was the series editor, and my first two stories are now out there.

Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week. On Monday I need to finish a piece for Crikey, then it’s the start of several weeks in July and August when I’m writing primarily for ZDNet, covering for staff who are taking leave. That’ll keep me busy.

I hope to get a magazine-style episode of The 9pm Edict done some time this week too, but I haven’t set a date yet.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

[Photo: Foggy morning in Werrington. The view south from a train passing through the western Sydney suburb of Werrington on a foggy winter morning, 4 July 2018.]

John Birmingham

Today we insert the Probe into author and columnist John Birmingham, most famous for the novel He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, which was made into a film, but also the Axis of Time trilogy and a whole bunch of airport novels — mostly techno thrillers — as well as the Dave versus the Monsters series.

A few weeks ago I found myself in John Birmingham’s secret writing bunker, where we talked about everything from the culture wars to the end of civilisation, and from the mythology of the Anzacs to why he likes fan fiction.

We also mention his blog “The Burger” at cheeseburgergothic.com.

This episode was recorded on Monday 4 June 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.

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 go to SoundCloud or Spreaker.

Play

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NSW TrainLink V-SetMy week of Monday 25 June to Sunday 1 July 2018 was less productive than hoped, thanks to being a computer down. It looks even less productive than it actually was, because the main work products haven’t been published yet.

Winter has finally arrived in the Blue Mountains too, so the colder weather has reduced my productivity. Yes, I am whinging and having a big sook. But on with the show…

Articles

I wrote three more stories for the Crikey project. The total is now four, and the first is scheduled to appear on Monday, as I understand it. Watch my Twitter stream for the details.

Podcasts

None, but there will definitely be at least one episode of The 9pm Edict in the coming week. Whether it’s the interview I recorded recently with John Birmingham, or a magazine-style series of rants, remains to be seen.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about Facebook’s new Subscription Groups on ABC Darwin. As you may have surmised by now, I’ve pretty much given up posting the audio here.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday are writing days, primarily, producing a fifth story for the Crikey series.

Wednesday is full of travelling. I’ll take the train down to Sydney to return a loaner computer and deal with a couple of medical appointments, a bus to Castle Hill to collect my repaired computer, a bus to Parramatta for an early dinner, probably, and a train back to Wentworth Falls.

There’s no clear plans yet for Thursday onwards, but it’s likely to include an afternoon off in Katoomba, and some preparation for the weeks ahead. I’ll also knock off some podcast editing.

Further Ahead

For a few weeks in July and August, I’ll be writing more than usual for ZDNet, covering for staff who will be taking leave. That’ll keep me busy.

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

Update 2 July 2018: Edited to reflect schedule changes.

[Photo: A NSW TrainLink V-Set train at Sydney Central station, photographed on 27 June 2018.]

Dead macOS screenMy week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 June 2018 wasn’t all that exciting. I’ll list the usual things, but I’ll also keep it brief because my computer just died. Joy.

Articles

I also wrote another piece for the Crikey series we’ve been working on. I’m told this series will start appearing in early July.

Podcasts

None, but I really will do these two podcasts soon.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday is supposed to be a writing day, but I may spend it arguing with technology. I’ll also do the shopping in Katoomba.

On Tuesday I’ll trek to Sydney. First, I’ll collect a loaner computer from The Rocks. Then it’s off to Apple Castle Towers — where there isn’t even a castle, let alone towers — to start the process of getting the computer fixed. And then it’s back to Wentworth Falls to make all the things work again.

The shape of the rest of the week will depend on how long it takes the repairs to happen, but it will include writing for the usual suspects.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

Update 25 June 2018: Edited to clarify the week’s plans.

[Photo: What the screen of my MacBook Pro looks like right now.]

Canberra BungalowWithout going into too many details, here is my week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 June 2018. Much of it was spent in Canberra, where it was cold and windy.

Articles

I’ve also part-written an analysis of this week’s conference “Building Australia’s Strategy for Space” put on by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). That should be up at ZDNet late on Tuesday afternoon.

Podcasts

None, but there will be two podcasts quite soon. Promise.

Media Appearances

  • Anthony Caruana reviewed my performance in AusCERT 2018 — The (not so) great debate. As far as I can tell, the video of the debate has not been posted. That’s probably for the best.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about net neutrality on ABC Hobart. As you may have noticed, I’ve almost completely dropped my habit of posting the audio recordings.

Corporate Largesse

  • There was much good food and drink at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) conference “Building Australia’s Strategy for Space”. The dinner at the National Gallery of Australia was sponsored by Northrop Grumman. We were all given Northrop Grumman fidget spinners too. They must have tons of those stupid things to get rid of.

The Week Ahead

The week will be spent in Sydney, at least until the weekend. It’ll be all about writing for ZDNet and Crikey, but I’m also hoping to sneak in one of the two podcasts I owe you. Plus I hope to finally kick this goddam cold. I won’t set specific dates for any of these things, though, because that causes a bit too much stress.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

[Photo: Canberra Bungalow. Canberra was established in 1913, and the now-Old Parliament House was opened in 1927, so the city is quite new. The inner suburbs have lots of these inter-War bungalows. This one is in Braddon. Photographed on 18 June 2018.]

Approaching Gold Coast from the southI pulled back the pace for my week of Monday 4 to Sunday 10 June 2018. Brisbane’s sunny weather contributed to that at the start of the week. Fatigue sorted out the rest.

I did record a wonderful interview with John Birmingham, however, so watch out for that to appear soon in podcast form.

Articles

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, but there will be two podcasts quite soon.

The Week Ahead

Despite it being the Queen’s Birthday holiday, Monday will join Tuesday in being a work day. Writing, that’s the plan, mostly for the Crikey project. Unless some news breaks, and I have a feeling in my waters that it will.

On Wednesday I’m off to Canberra for the conference Building Australia’s Strategy for Space being run by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

I’ll stay in Canberra for the weekend.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Approaching Gold Coast from the south. The view from Virgin Australia flight VA523 SYD-OOL as it approached Gold Coast airport on 30 May 2018.]

Nested bridges on the Brisbane RiverMy week of Monday 28 May to Sunday 3 June 2018 began in the Blue Mountains, passed through the Gold Coast, and ended up in Brisbane. But I told you that last week.

Articles

Podcasts

None. But there will be two episodes quite soon. Trust me on this.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday morning, I spoke about the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on ABC Darwin.
  • On Monday evening, I spoke about the risks of leaving data un-wiped on things like printers and photocopiers on ABC Melbourne.
  • On Tuesday morning, I spoke about the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on ABC Alice Springs.
  • On Thursday, the inimitable wine writer Philip White cited one of my tweets, kinda, in his InDaily column, The art of ranking alcohol.

Corporate Largesse

  • Wednesday through Friday, there was plenty of food and drink to be had at the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference. I also scored an AusCERT backpack and polo shirt, and from Enex Carbon a couple of branded pens. I didn’t really run amok in the vendors’ stalls this year.

The Week Ahead

I’m staying on in Brisbane for a couple more days. On Monday, after a morning of writing, I’m having lunch with an infosec person, then recording an episode of The 9pm Probe with author and columnist John Birmingham. Tuesday includes more writing, as well as my afternoon flight back to Sydney.

Wednesday is a Sydney day, with a couple of medical appointments interrupting my scheduled writing. I’ll also be recording a review of a chicken and avocado pie — don’t ask — and eventually getting the train back up to Wentworth Falls.

The rest of the week is full of writing for Crikey and ZDNet, arranged as the mood takes me. Then there’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, but so far I haven’t planned anything for that.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Nested bridges on the Brisbane River. SA view from a CityCat ferry as it makes its way down the Brisbane River towards the CBD, photographed on 3 June 2018.]

Laneway NostalgiaAnother fortnight passes. Half of my time from Monday 14 to Sunday 27 May 2018 was spent on my sick bed. I don’t have much to show for it, apart from a better understanding of intestinal parasites and how to kill them. Probably. That’s still in progress.

The coming week will be hectic. Let’s focus on that, eh?

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None. I’m particularly irritated that I didn’t manage an episode of The 9pm Edict as planned, but I’ll address that in the coming days. Stand by for details.

The Week Ahead

The week begins in Wentworth Falls, continues through Sydney to the Gold Coast, and ends up in Brisbane.

Monday and Tuesday are about writing, mostly for the not-SEKRIT project with Crikey. But I’m also doing two radio spots on Monday. I’m on ABC Darwin at 0915 ACST / 0945 AEST talking about Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And I’m on ABC Melbourne after 2100 AEST talking about the legacy data you might be leaving lying around.

On Wednesday afternoon I fly to the Gold Coast to cover the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference. Expect stories at ZDNet.

I’m spending the weekend in Brisbane. While there won’t be a Public House Forum episode of the Edict, I hope to record some bits and pieces.

Further Ahead

I’m staying on in Brisbane for a couple more days, during which I’ll be recoding an episode of The 9pm Probe with author and columnist John Birmingham.

Things I’ve pencilled in after that:

[Photo: Laneway Nostalgia. Someone has been doing paste-ups of old family photos in Froma Lane, Katoomba. Here’s a sample, photographed on 24 May 2018.]

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