Weekly Wrap

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets.

The View from Level 16My week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 June 2015 was yet another reasonably productive one, though the cold weather meant that I spent more time than ever before in the warmth of the Blue Mountains City Library in Katoomba.

This week also saw a significant reduction in my stress levels, for a variety of reasons. I’ll write more about that later in the week.

Articles

Podcasts

  • The 9pm Planet of Fascist Delusions, being The 9pm Edict episode 45. I think that podcast production expands to fill the time available for it. This episode soaked up 17 hours, spread over two days.

5at5

There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

My week will begin with the Winter Solstice — sorry, I’m running late — the week began with the Winter Solstice, which happened at 0238 AEST on Monday morning. I celebrated the Solstice as I often do, by reflecting on many things overnight, so Monday is a bit slow. Household chores, administrivia, some research, and the like. In the evening I’ll plan my writing for ZDNet.

Tuesday to Thursday will be writing days, with a couple of stories for ZDNet, as well as that goddam ebook. Friday will be devoted to certain activities related to the end of the financial year. The weekend will see the production of another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, interspersed with a modest social life. That episode will be completed and posted on Monday 29 June.

That seems a bit thin. But my ponderings over the Solstice will trigger further actions, trust me. There is much that I want to change in the coming months.

[Photo: The View from Level 16, being the UBS offices on level 16 of Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, photographed on 19 June 2015.]

Surveillance: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 8 to Sunday 14 June 2015 has been another productive one, despite Monday allegedly being a holiday. Thank you, Your Majesty. I’m exhausted.

I also think I’m coming down with a cold, which is hardly surprising. We’ll see.

There’s much I want to talk about, but this very moment I’m at the regularly monthly Poetry in the Pub in Katoomba. I have Sunday Lunch here many weeks. But this month it’s essentially a wake, because one of their number has passed. I’ll admit that I shed a tear as one chap read Henry Lawson’s “The Glass on the Bar”. My whinges can wait for another time.

Articles

There’s also two more ZDNet pieces in the pipeline. They’ll appear in the first half of the coming week, I imagine.

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict is now scheduled for Wednesday 17 Saturday 20 June.

5at5

There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be finishing off those two ZDNet stories. In theory, I’m also heading in to Sydney on Tuesday for the Optus Business Lunch, to hear the company’s chief executive officer Allen Lew deliver a keynote speech on “how customer behaviours are driving digital transformation” — but with deadlines, that may have to be cancelled. That Sydney trip will definitely be cancelled.

On Wednesday, I’ll be completing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. On Thursday, I’ll be writing a column for ZDNet. Wednesday and Thursday are writing days, completing those two ZDNet items, plus a piece for Crikey, plus starting on an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

On Friday, I’m definitely doing the long commute to Sydney, to go to a lunchtime briefing by the Wynyard Group on corporate and cyber criminals.

On Saturday I’ll be completing the podcast, and perhaps helping with some, um, engineering work at Bunjaree Cottages. While the rest of the weekend has not yet been planned, the Solstice is on Sunday night — well, for me it’s at 0238 AEST on Monday morning — so I’ll be marking the occasion in some way. How? I’m not sure yet. The same applies to the rest of the weekend, I suppose.

Update 15 June 2015: Edited to reflect the schedule change. Second update, 1620 AEST: Edited to add link to ABC Riverina recording. Update 17 June 2015: Edited to reflect further schedule changes.

[Photo: Surveillance, photographed at Wentworth Falls railway station on 13 June 2015.]

Sunset on the Gold Coast: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 1 to Sunday 7 June 2015 has been both productive and exhausting, covering two conferences in two states.

It’s a long time since I’ve written five articles in week. It’s at least six months since I’ve done four, which is as far back as I could be bothered scrolling let alone five. But of course, there’s podcasts and other projects that have generated revenue, including random geekery and technical consultancy, so “number of articles” isn’t a fair measure.

Still, this has been one of my most productive weeks in a while. Excellent.

Articles

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict is scheduled for Monday 15 June, or the day after.

5at5

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

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about Chinese ATMs with face recognition on ABC 891 Adelaide.
  • On Friday, I took part in the AusCERT Speed Debate. The Livestream recording has bad audio, so I’ll link to the YouTube version when it becomes available.
  • Also on Friday, I was interviewed by the University of Melbourne student newspaper Farrago. I’ll link to that story when it goes live.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to the Check Point Cyber Security Symposium in Sydney, or at least part of it. The goodie bag included a signed copy of Brian Krebs’ book Spam Nation, a Check Point branded notebook, a chocolate from A10 Networks, and of course copies of Check Point’s promotional material. Food and drink were supplied.
  • From Tuesday night through to Friday, I was at the AusCERT Information Security Conference as AusCERT’s guest. They provided return flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast, airport transfers, three nights accommodation at RACV Royal Pines Resort, and of course all the conference food and drink — and there was plenty of that. For taking part in the Speed Debate, I was given a bottle of Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2012 from the Clare Valley. And everybody got a copy of Bruce Schneier’s book Data and Goliath, an AusCERT-branded shirt, and a rather well-made courier bag. From CyberArk: A macaron, delivered creepy-like into my hotel room while I wasn’t there. From Firemon: A branded glass-cleaning cloth. From Mimecast: a keyring bottle opener. From NCC Group: a golden bath duck. From the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service: an NCIS cap — yes, from the real NCIS, not the TV show.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday, but nevertheless I’ll be working. I’ll be writing a feature for ZDNet, as well as returning to Wentworth Falls after a week away.

From Tuesday to Thursday, I’ll be working on another feature for ZDNet, as well as my “regular” column, as well as the running so late it’s embarrassing ebook. I see there’s an Apple keynote at 0300 AEST on Tuesday, so that may feed into something. [It didn’t.] And I’ve got an interview to do on Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, I’ll be heading down to Sydney for a media briefing by Cisco. Friday is another writing day.

I’m not sure how the weekend will go, but I see that there’s Poetry in the Pub in Katoomba on Sunday afternoon. I happened to be there last month, and I thought it might be interesting for The 9pm Edict podcast. We’ll see.

Update 11 June 2015: Edited to reflect the abandoning of the Friday trip to Sydney.

[Photo: Sunset on the Gold Coast, Photographed from the 16th floor of the RACV Royal Pines Resort on 3 June 2015.]

Winter in Katoomba: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 25 to Sunday 31 May 2015 did not unfold as planned, but it wasn’t a complete disaster.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Orgy of Confusion”, being The 9pm Edict episode 44. There’s actually a lot more to this episode than this simple entry might suggest. Please listen.

Articles

  • Lessons from a Sydney cryptoparty, ZDNet Australia, 25 May 2015. Quite a few people have said this is a good piece, despite its bland headline, so perhaps you might do me the honour of clicking through and reading it.

5at5

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

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

None. But this will change next week.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be doing various tasks which I am not at liberty to reveal, before heading to Sydney and getting a decent night’s sleep before…

On Tuesday, I’ll be getting up early and heading to the morning sessions of Check Point’s Cyber Security Symposium 2015. In the afternoon I’m flying to the Gold Coast for the AusCERT 2015 Information Security Conference, which runs through to Friday afternoon. I’ll even be taking part in the AusCERT Speed Debatecheck out last year’s — before flying back to Sydney on Friday night.

Then it’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, and I haven’t quite decided what happens with that.

[Photo: Winter in Katoomba, photographed on 31 May 2015.]

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.]

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.]

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.]

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.]

Sunrise over Rozelle Bay, Sydney: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 13 to Sunday 19 April 2015 was rather full, but not as productive as the plan intended. Instead, there were unexpected loose ends to tie up, plus hours and hours of introspection.

Introspection about the fact that Q1 of 2015 was, in revenue terms, my second-worst quarter in more than four years. Introspection about just how I’ll increase revenue. And about the isolation of living at Bunjaree Cottages, which isn’t good for me — and the fact that these accommodation arrangements, only ever intended to be for “a few weeks”, have run for more than four years. All my household possessions, apart from two suitcases of personal items and the like, have been in storage all this time.

Introspection about two events coming up next month, a birthday that ends in a “5” and, on 13 May, the twentieth anniversary of moving from Adelaide to Sydney — a move triggered by taking on a new job during the first dotcom boom. With both work and accommodation issues on the agenda again, is it time for another migration?

Introspection about the “need”, as my doctor put it, to get some exercise, change my diet, and lose 10kg of weight. And introspection about just how I’ll change all those things — and more that I haven’t mentioned yet — without going postal.

I don’t have any answers yet. Heck, I don’t even have most of the questions. But I am starting to get a clearer view of the landscape, like the sun rising through dawn clouds.

All that said, I did get a few things done this week…

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Statement of Regret”, being The 9pm Edict episode 40. It contains quite a bit about Australia’s forthcoming celebrations for Anzac Day and the mythic nature of Gallipoli in those celebrations. I’d like to hear your responses. Your deadline for audio comments is Tuesday 21 April at 1700 AEST.

Articles

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

  • On Friday, I had coffee with an executive from Dyn, an internet performance optimisation company. That coffee was paid for by their PR people.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be in the Blue Mountains all week, as far as I can tell at this stage.

On Monday and Tuesday, I’m finishing a column for ZDNet Australia, producing another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, and setting up some sort of subscription drive for same. Those last two tasks are intertwined. On Tuesday night, I’ll be talking tech news with Dom Knight on ABC 702 Sydney at 2030 AEST.

On Wednesday through Friday, I’ll finally get that ebook sorted, write a column for ZDNet Australia, review the scripts for six episodes of a television drama. Yes, that last one is running late. Also left over from last week is producing and posting the recording of my recent lecture at UTS. There’s no way that’ll fit into the coming week.

The weekend is currently unplanned, but given how much I’ll be doing during the week, I suspect I’ll just be a sloth for two days. Apart, that is, from going to a local Anzac Day Dawn Service somewhere. Maybe. I may also try to have some sort of social life. Possibly.

Further Ahead

The following week, on 29-29 April, I’ll be covering the Disruptocon conference in Sydney, trying not to choke on the name.

Then on Saturday 2 May, I’ll be flying to the US for eight days, primarily to cover NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference once again. I currently plan to return to Australia on Tuesday 12 May. I’ll tell you more about that trip in due course.

Update 24 April 2015: Edited to reflect cancellation of US trip.

[Photo: Sunrise over Roselle Bay, Sydney, photographed on 19 April 2015. Yes, today.]

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