Articles by Stilgherrian

You are currently browsing Stilgherrian’s articles.

ABC logoFriday’s news that Donald Trump’s Twitter account had been deactivated for 11 minutes swept the world. No wonder it caught the attention of Peter Goers at ABC Adelaide.

Here’s the resulting 14-minute radio spot. It begins with a chat with Rebecca Fraser from the Career Development Association of Australia, and I’m after that.

I shamelessly steal some material from an article at The Clever, 15 Times Fired Employees Got Revenge On Their Company, which I think I forgot to credit. Sorry.

Play

This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoIt’s been a while since I’ve posted the audio from any of my radio spots, but we’re back. Here’s my conversation with Lindy Burns on ABC Melbourne from the evening of 31 October.

Two stories took our fancy.

First was the Australian tour of a supposedly intelligent robot called Sophia. I’m sceptical about how intelligent it actually was, but it gave me an excuse to talk about the uncanny valley, and the early chatbot ELIZA.

Second was the news that Amazon is launching a new service called Amazon Key, which will let couriers open people’s front doors and put deliveries inside. Would you trust strangers to come into your house?

Play

This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Antique Roses at The AlexMy week of Monday 23 to Sunday 29 October 2017 was adequate. I’ve been having a relaxed Sunday, though, and I don’t want to spoil that, so let’s get on with the show.

Articles

Podcasts

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday, I spoke about the targeting of advertising on social media on ABC Canberra.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about encryption policies and, briefly, Nazis for the next episode of the Covert Contact podcast, which will appear very soon. If you haven’t done so, you can still listen to my first appearance, the episode about Australian Cyber Policy.
  • My story about an Australian defence contractor’s data breach from a couple of weeks ago was picked up by a Ukrainian news site, and a site in Italian that I didn’t investigate further.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday will definitely be a jumbled day of editorial planning, research, story pitches, and administrivia. I’m glad I’ve already sketched out the rest of the week.

On Tuesday I’m heading to Sydney for a couple meetings, but I’ve got room for more. I’m also doing a radio spot on ABC Melbourne at 1930 AEDT.

Wednesday will be a day of writing, as will most of the rest of the week.

At some point, I’ll also announce a new crowdfunding campaign. It’s been more than a year since my last concentrated ask-for-money burst, and the gods know my budget needs it. But there’s been some changes in the crowdfunding landscape since then, so I don’t want to rush it. Stay tuned for details.

Further Ahead

At this stage, I haven’t locked in anything specific for the rest of the calendar year. Please feel free to make some suggestions.

[Photo: Antique Roses at The Alex. The back bar of the Alexandra Hotel, Leura, was decorated with a bouquet of antique roses taken from the pub’s own garden. Photographed on 26 October 2017.]

Screenshot from Fox News

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsA random man shares his fear, a fear we all share. Nicholas Fryer makes life more enjoyable. And you know that end of the world thing? Pffft. The Cold War. That all turned out OK, so what’s the worry?

There’s also talk of gamified urination, paranoia, nuclear war, legumes, gelato, and bamboo. And Nicholas Fryer takes a look through The Arch Window.

You can listen to the podcast above or 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 or Spreaker.

Play

Read the rest of this entry »

Ulex europaeusAfter every up, there is a down. That’s how waves work. That’s how tides work. That’s how rollercoasters work. My week of Monday 16 to Sunday 22 October 2017 was less hectic than last week.

Some important background tasks were accomplished, but this is all that was visible to the world.

Media Appearances

Articles, Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None, but coming up…

The Week Ahead

Monday will be a jumbled day of geekery, editorial planning, story pitches, administrivia, and maybe even errands.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded on Tuesday 24 October at 2100 AEST. As has become traditional, it will be streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

I’ll also be announcing a new crowdfunding campaign on Pozible. It’s been more than a year since my last concentrated ask-for-money burst, and the gods know my budget needs it. Stay tuned for details.

On Wednesday, I’ll be recording an interview for the next episode of the Covert Contact podcast. If you haven’t done so, you can listen to my first appearance, the episode about Australian Cyber Policy.

As is so often the case, the rest of the week is unplanned, including the weekend.

Further Ahead

At this stage, I haven’t locked in anything specific for the rest of the calendar year. Please feel free to make some suggestions.

[Photo: Ulex europaeus. A pretty but invasive gorse species (Ulex europaeus) phototographed at Bunjaree Cottages in the Blue Mountains. It’s looking a little the worse for wear after the recent rains. Photographed on 22 October 2017.]

Mountain Life, with FogThe week of Monday 9 to Sunday 15 October 2017 was quite productive, as you’ll see. Read on!

Articles

The first of these articles is the final one related to the launch by foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy. See last week’s wrap for the first two.

On Tuesday, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its 2017 Threat Report. The next day, at the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), an Australian Defence Signals (ASD) officer told us more about an incident in that ACSC report.

Podcasts

None by me, but…

Media Appearances

Sydney Morning Herald front page, 12 Oct 2017Then the world decided to follow up my story on that Australian defence industry data breach.

It began in Australia and expanded from there, with stories in the Sydney Morning Herald (in the front page!); The Australian; ABC News; the Guardian; News.com.au; BuzzFeed; The Express in the UK; Voice of America; RT; Arab Times in Kuwait; via AAP to outlets including Sky News Australia; and via Reuters to others. If I tried to find them all, and link to them all, I’d be here all night.

I saw versions of the story in Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Indonesian. There were doubtless others. They’re just the ones I happened to see.

To quote ZDNet security editor Zack Whittaker in New York, it ran everywhere — and to be honest, that surprised me. I’ve covered cybersecurity, as we call it now, for a few years. This is a pretty ordinary event. It just happened to combine “mystery hacker”, with the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with the authority of an ASD officer.

On Thursday, I did media appearances on ABC News24; ABC Radio’s The World Today; ABC TV’s 7.30; and Channel Ten’s The Project. On Friday, I appeared on BBC World’s Newsday.

I can’t possible list all of the follow-ups, but here’s a few that I’d like to mention:

The story also morphed as it was re-reported, sometimes drastically changing the meaning of the event. One publication, which I won’t name, even reported that the ASD had been hacked, at least until I contacted them. I hope to find the time to write up that evolution, but for now here’s a few tweets.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was food and drink at the AISA National Conference, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney. Hivint offered a beer. I accepted. It was nice. Telstra gave me a t-shirt.

The Week Ahead, and Further Ahead

I’ll play it by ear. At this stage, there’s nothing special through to the end of the year, so now is your chance to fix that.

[Photo: Mountain Life, with Fog, The entry road to the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, photographed through the evening fog on 10 October 2017.]

SkinkThe week of Monday 2 to Sunday 8 October 2017 was short and full of pain, a bit like Woody Allen. Monday was a public holiday, and the rest of the week was packed with media tasks.

Articles

Both articles relate to the launch by foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy on Wednesday. There might be a third story next week.

Podcasts

None by me, but I’m the guest on the next episode of the Covert Contact podcast. It was recorded on Friday, and will appear on Monday — which may be Tuesday Australian time.

Media Appearances

  • This week Australia’s federal and state governments agreed to merge the state-held facial biometric databases for things like drivers licenses into the federal system. I spoke about that on ABC Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon, and ABC South East NSW on Thursday morning. I probably won’t have time to post the audio though.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there were nibbles to be eaten at that cyber policy launch.

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday will be a confused mix of planning, administrivia, story pitches, geekery, shopping, and other errands up here in the Blue Mountains.

Wednesday and Thursday will be spent in Sydney. Mostly it’s to cover the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), but that’s up against the grandly named Everything IoT Global Leadership Summit, so I might pop over to that for a while too.

Friday 13 October is clearly going to be a day of writing. The weekend is unplanned.

Further Ahead

I think I’ll have to drop my plan to cover Ruxcon in Melbourne on 21–22 October, because it’s only two weeks away and there isn’t actually a plan. If I do get the energy for crowdfunding, it should probably go towards other things.

At this stage, there’s nothing special through to the end of the year. Now is your chance to fix that.

[Photo: Skink, being a 25cm-long skink of unknown species photographed at Bunjaree Cottages on 6 October 2017.]

Sydney Harbour, after David MooreThe week of Monday 25 September to Sunday 1 October 2017 was made of Melbourne and back pain. One was good, the other less so.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

Corporate Largesse, Media Appearances

  • On Monday, in the wake of political SMS messages having been sent as part of Australia’s ludicrous same-sex marriage survey, I spoke about the law relating to these matters on ABC Adelaide and ABC Canberra. I probably won’t post these.
  • On Wednesday night, I spoke about the Digital Manipulation of Democracy for the Victorian Fabians in Melbourne. Video recordings of this event will be posted soon. Stay tuned.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, there was of course food and drink at SINET61, held at the Four Seasons Sydney.
  • On Wednesday night, Victorian Fabians bought me dinner at the Captain Meville Hotel. They had of course covered my flights to and from Melbourne, and accommodation at the Jasper Hotel, but I was not paid for the gig.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday, and here I am writing for you. On Tuesday, I’m skipping the iappANZ Summit 2017 because I need to rest my back. I’ll be reading instead.

Wednesday sees a day trip to Sydney, where foreign minister Julie Bishop is launching Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy. I previewed the strategy last week, but will be writing further for ZDNet I’m sure.

Thursday onwards is unplanned, but I know I have some geekery to perform.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour, after David Moore. Sydney Harbour photographed from Virgin Australia flight VA859, a Boeing 737-800 registration VH-VUQ, on 30 September 2017. The style is similar to David Moore’s famous “Sydney Harbour from 16,000 feet” (1966) and related photos, but nowhere near as wonderful.]

Laneway GirlThe week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 September 2017 saw a solid surge into spring. It’s frightening.

Friday 22 September was the hottest September day ever recorded in Sydney and across much of NSW. That night, at least up here in the Blue Mountains, the overnight minimum was so far above average that it was a degree warmer than the average maximum for that day.

The planet is not broken.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm End of the World, But More So”, being The 9pm Edict episode 68, was finally produced on Thursday night. You can also listen to it on SoundCloud and Spreaker. Be warned, the pace of the news cycle means that some of it has already been overtaken by events.

Articles

I’ve also part-written a piece for ZDNet that’ll appear on Monday.

Corporate Largesse, Media Appearances

None, but that changes next week.

The Week Ahead

Monday sees me on a day trip to Sydney for routine back maintenance. Beforehand, I’ll finish a yarn for ZDNet. En route and afterwards, I’ll work on my presentation for Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, I’ll catch an early train to Sydney to cover the first day of SINET61, the second annual joint conference of the Security Innovation Network and Australia’s Data61. I’ll stay in Sydney overnight.

On Wednesday, I’m flying down to Melbourne. That evening I’m speaking at Digital Manipulation of Democracy, part of the Victorian Fabians’ Spring Series of events on “Digitisation and Democracy”.

I’m staying in Melbourne through to Saturday afternoon. On Thursday evening, I’m talking about cybers or tech or something on ABC Melbourne. That’s probably at 1930 AEST, but check Twitter on the day. The rest is unplanned, but I’ll think of something. Or you will.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

Update 28 September: Edited to reflect cancellation of ABC Melbourne spot.

[Photo: Laneway Girl. A mural outside a nightclub on Earl Street in Sydney’s Kings Cross, photographed on 9 September 2017.]

Kim Jong-Un celebrating after the successful launch of the missile.  Reuters/KCNA

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsDo you think we’re close to a nuclear war breaking out? That’s just one of the trivial questions addressed in this podcast.

There’s also talk of gay marriage, racism, British tourists, more racism, and Senator Malcolm Roberts. And of course Nicholas Fryer takes a look through The Arch Window.

You can listen to the podcast above or 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 or Spreaker.

Play

Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries § Newer entries »