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2UE logoThis was the week that the Australian media returned from holidays. What caught the eye, or ear, of Justin Smith on Sydney’s radio 2UE on Tuesday afternoon was the series of hacks and planned hacks for political purposes.

Someone had hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts of US Central Command (CENTCOM) — although it probably wasn’t Islamic State. And Anonymous, or at least their French-speaking sections, announced that they were declaring war on the jihadists.

I’m posting the audio stream even though it suffers some dropouts. I’m assuming this was just the stream back to me, rather than the broadcast chain, because we continued on air regardless.

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

ABC logoThe Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas featured in the final “Tech Wreck” segment on ABC 720 Perth, as well as some technology that may well fall out of use in 2015.

CES is a huge thing, with 160,000 attendees and 20,000 product launches, and as we went to air on Tuesday it hadn’t even really kicked off. Monday (US time) was the press preview day, so I was basing my comments on what had been reported so far, mostly from the coverage at CNet. I spoke mostly about 4k television, smart homes, and pointless gadgets.

We also spoke about the decline of six technologies that an article in The Independent had suggested would be on the way out: home landlines, TV remote controls, stand-alone satellite navigation, phone boxes, DVD and Blu-Ray, and the alarm clock.

The presenter is Jamie Burnett.

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoThe Christmas Day attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox and the supposed culprits, Lizard Squad, featured in this week’s “Tech Wreck” segment on ABC 720 Perth. Also, fake fingerprints and Facebook’s end of year review.

Lizard Squad had claimed responsibility for the attacks, and stopped them when Kim Dotcom paid them off. I reckon that was a mistake. Meanwhile, infosec journalist Brian Krebs thinks he’s identified Lizard Squad members, and later reported that at least one has been arrested.

A hacker presenting at the Chaos Computer Club conference in Germany demonstrated how he could recreate a fingerprint just from photographs.

And the Facebook thing? Just read this guy’s story.

The presenter is Jamie Burnett.

I’ve delayed posting this audio because there was a problem. I normally record off the ABC’s internet feed, but the link dropped out part-way. Journalist Will Ockenden was kind enough to pull the audio from the ABC’s archiving system, but that was interrupted by bushfire alerts. What to do?

I decided I’d post it as-is, because this is what Perth listeners would have heard, and it highlights just how serious Australia has to get during our hot, dangerous summers.

The next “Tech Wreck” segment is on ABC 720 Perth this Tuesday 6 January 2015 at 1430 AWST / 173 AEDT.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoThe hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment inspired many of the talking points on today’s “Tech Wreck” segment on ABC 720 Perth.

Did North Korea hack Sony? Or was it hackers-for-hire employed by North Korea? Or was it someone else who hired hackers and paid them to look like they were working for North Korea? At this stage nobody knows. But whoever did the hack, it is not “cyberwar”.

Sony is also trying to take legal action against people publishing links to the stolen material, which is surely going to trigger the Streisand Effect — which I explained.

We spoke about how Sony’s computer networks were shut down, leading to working like it’s an office from ten years ago, but with added paranoia.

And we also spoke about the Pew Research Center report, as described in the Fairfax press, which suggested that living a public life online would be the new default by the year 2025. Privacy will be considered a luxury.

The presenter is Jamie Burnett.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoLast week’s conversation about the future of jobs apparently went so well that it’s become a regular weekly spot over summer. “Tech Wreck” is now on ABC 720 Perth each Tuesday at 1430 AWST / 1730 AEDT.

This week we spoke about:

The presenter is Jamie Burnett. If there’s any topics you’d like us to talk about in coming weeks, please let us know. Or phone in during the program on +61 8 9220 2700.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logo“As many as half a million accountants, supermarket cashiers, secretaries, typists and bank tellers in what are largely white-collar jobs are threatened by automation, Department of Industry modelling shows,” said a report in the Australian Financial Review today.

It’s true. In the first industrial revolution, the physical movement of atoms went from being done by animals, including humans, to being done by machines. In the second industrial revolution, the same thing has been happening for the movement and manipulation of information.

I spoke about some of these things just now with Jamie Burnett on ABC 720 Perth.

If you want some further reading, try The onrushing wave at The Economist.

The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

2UE logo“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” said Stephen Hawking the other day.

“It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Look, I have many feels about this sort of statement, which will have to wait for another time. But I managed to express one of those feels to Justin Smith on Sydney’s radio 2UE on Thursday afternoon. And here it is.

This audio is ©2014 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd.

ABC logoEarlier this week Target Australia announced that it was pulling Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves after an online petition gathered 41,000 signatures protesting the game’s depictions of violence against women. “Targetgate” soon became the label, of course — and it stuck even when Kmart Australia followed suit.

On Thursday I discussed the issue with Louise Saunders on ABC 936 Hobart, covering much the same territory as journalist Alex Kidman did in his opinion piece at Fat Duck Tech.

This is obviously a complex issue, especially in the wake of the continuing Gamergate furore, but because I’d previously discussed Gamergate on Download This Show, I felt reasonably well-prepared. I’m told I skirted around the edge of the rabbit hole without going down it.

I’d be interested to know whether you agree.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoComment on current affairs programs happens in the most random ways. Last Tuesday I did a quick comment on the newly-revealed Regin spyware from a park bench in Sydney — a quick break while dashing between Wynward railway station and lunch.

Now at the time of doing this piece for ABC Radio’s The World Today, I’d read the report in The Intercept, and a couple of mainstream news stories that had bounced off that, but I hadn’t read either of the white papers from Symantec (PDF) or Kaspersky Lab (PDF).

For an initial comment on mainstream radio that was probably enough of an orientation, but with the benefit of hindsight a few days later, well, I might have put things slightly differently.

The journalist is Liv Casben.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s served here directly from the ABC website where you’ll also find a transcript.

I have a Zoom H6 Handy Recorder in as-new condition that’s surplus to requirements. It can be yours for just $360, including shipping anywhere within Australia. [Update: No, it’s been sold.]

Zoom H6 Handy Recorder: click to embiggen

The H6 is essentially a six-channel recording studio in a handy portable form. Check the product page and the full technical specifications for the wonder.

You get everything that’s in the picture:

  • Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
  • X/Y mic capsule
  • Mid-Side mic capsule
  • SD memory card
  • Windscreen
  • USB cable
  • 4 x AA batteries
  • Steinberg Cubase LE software
  • Protective case

This near-new unit has been used for just two location recordings. So the box has been opened, and slightly torn in one spot, but everything is in excellent condition.

The recommended retail price for a new Zoom H6 is $679, but I paid $504 for this one, and I’ve seen street prices as low as $379. This unit also comes with a two-year extended warranty, valid to 1 July 2016, priced at $79.

This Zoom H6 Handy Recorder can be yours for just $360. Email stil@stilgherrian.com or phone +61 407 623 600.

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