Laura McKenzie, Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian in the recording studioWe recorded it on Monday afternoon, and it was posted today. It’s the latest episode of Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA: This Week In Startups Australia.

Here’s how he introduces it on the web:

A huge pivot toward startups and innovation by Malcolm Turnbull, huge policy outcomes from Wyatt Roy’s Policy Hack event, a huge IPO from Australia’s most-beloved tech startup, Atlassian, a huge new $200M fund from Blackbird ventures, and huge issues with diversity still plague tech. TWISTA’s huge news special pairs SCALE Investors managing director Laura McKenzie and Austrlia’s snarkiest tech journo, Stilgherrian, with the biggest news issues in our biggest news special yet!

There’s rather a lot about Turnbull, actually, including a couiple of disturbing mental images.

For more details, check out the podcast Tumblr.

[Photo: Laura McKenzie, Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian in the recording studio, photographed by Felix Warmuth, who was our sound engineer.]

ABC logoApparently South Australia had an #optuswrongtime incident today, when some customers’ devices showed the wrong time, causing chaos for them.

The same sort of thing happened in Queensland in January — that’s when the hashtag was invented — and just like then, the official explanation was less than forthcoming.

An overnight maintenance upgrade of our 4G Plus mobile network caused some Optus customers’ devices in South Australia and the Northern Territory to switch to a different time zone earlier this morning. The Optus 3G network was unaffected.

Optus technicians resolved the issue with a fix that set clocks to the correct time zone.

Customers were also able to resolve the issue in a number of ways, including:

  • Turning flight mode on and off
  • Turning automatic clock settings off and on
  • Turning their device off and on.

We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience.

I spoke about the incident this afternoon on ABC 891 Adelaide with Sonya Feldhoff.


The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Lumpy Weather: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 12 to Sunday 18 October 2015 was a marked return to productivity — despite a severe lack of sleep along the way.

Apart from generating three quite adequate articles, and recording plenty of audio for future projects, I also made some excellent contacts at the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) National Conference and elsewhere, and certain geekery went pretty much to plan.

I was especially pleased that the Pozible campaign Send Stilgherrian To Ruxcon 2015 was fully funded. I’ll have more to say about that on Monday.


I also recorded an interview with Joe Franzi, Assistant Secretary Cyber Security with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Australia’s equivalent to the US National Security Agency (NSA). It’s the first recorded interview he’s ever done in that role, and it’ll turn into an article for ZDNet on Monday. The full audio will appear in due course. Stand by.


None, but a new episode of The 9pm Edict will appear on Tuesday.

I’ve also been commissioned to produce an episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense, which will appear in late November.

Media Appearances

  • On Friday, I was interviewed for a story looking at the future of technology for ABC Online, which will appear some time in the coming week.


There’s still nothing from 5at5, and that continues to be terrible. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones when they eventually appear?

Corporate Largesse

  • The AISA conference obviously included plenty of free food and drink.
  • My travel and accommodation for that Melbourne trip was covered by Tanium.
  • Michael McKinnon, social media and security awareness director with AVG Technologies AU Pty Ltd, was generous with the hospitality too.

The Week Ahead

It’s another busy week ahead. On Monday, I’m dealing with administrative loose ends, and at 1600 AEDT being a guest for the recording of Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA – This Week in Startups Australia, before finally returning to the Blue Mountains some time on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Wednesday, I’m doing the shopping in Katoomba, and wrapping up starting on another episode of The 9pm Edict. But mostly, it’ll be spent writing for ZDNet.

Wednesday is a day off.

On Thursday, I’m writing for ZDNet, before heading into Sydney for the evening. Once there, I’ll complete the podcast, I’ll waste much of the day tying up idioti lcoose ends.

Friday starts extremely early, waking at 0230 to pack and catch the 0358 train to Sydney in time for my 0715 AEDT flight to Melbourne. The rest of the day will be spent catching up with various people, and doing some location scouting in a stupor of tiredness, before some sort of drinks and dinner thing with a few people.

Saturday and Sunday will be spent covering Ruxcon, another of Australia’s key information security conferences. This will include recording material for Corrupted Nerds as well as Future Tense.

Further Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday 26-27 October, I’ll still be in Melbourne doing various things. That includes a Monday night radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1930 AEDT.

Update 19 October 2015: Edited to reflect a change of plans. Update 20 October 2015: Edited to reflect further change to the plan. Update 25 October 2015: Edited once more to reflect continuing change.

[Photo: Lumpy Weather, photographed from seat 29A of VA830 on 13 October 2015.]

The Pozible crowdfunding campaign “Send Stilgherrian to Ruxcon 2015” has been successfully funded. See you in Melbourne next weekend.

16 October 2015 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Crossing the Nepean, with boats: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 5 to Sunday 11 October 2015 was a strange pause, a transition between weeks of pain and discomfort, and what appear to be some very busy weeks indeed.

I shall let the facts speak for themselves…


  • “The 9pm We Are Above All That Stuff”, being The 9pm Edict episode 51, 11 October 2015. The first half-hour of this was actually recorded a week ago.


None, but research is under way for a ZDNet column to be published early on Monday.

Media Appearances


There were no editions of 5at5 at all this week either, and that’s terrible. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones?

Corporate Largesse

  • On Friday, I went to a briefing by Alcatel-Lucent over lunch at Gowings Bar and Grill.
  • The travel and accommodation you’ll see listed for next week is being covered by Tanium.

The Week Ahead

The last few weeks have been rather unstructured. Not so the week ahead. It’s both busy and tightly scheduled.

On Monday, I’ll finish a column for ZDNet, deal with an errand to Penrith, conduct some audio equipment tests, and prepare myself for the rest of the week.

On Tuesday, I catch the 0636 train to Sydney, and then VA830 to Melbourne, sneaking in a quick work session at Meanjin in the afternoon, before a reception kicks off the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) National Conference. I’m covering that event for ZDNet, as well as recording material for my own Corrupted Nerds podcast, through until Thursday.

On Thursday evening, I’ll be wrapping up the Pozible campaign Send Stilgherrian To Ruxcon 2015, which closes at 2230 AEDT. As I write this, it stands at 34% funded.

On Friday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet before flying back to Sydney on VA879 that evening. Whether I continue through to the Blue Mountains, or stay in Sydney overnight, has yet to be decided.

Further Ahead

On Monday 19 October, I’m wrapping up another episode of The 9pm Edict, as well as appearing on Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA – This Week in Startups Australia. The middle part of the week has yet to be mapped out, but if things go to plan, on Friday I’ll be heading back to Melbourne for Ruxcon.

[Photo: Crossing the Nepean, with boats, photographed on 9 October 2015.]

ABC logoAs the working week came to a close on Friday, news was spreading that Australia’s new PM Malcolm Turnbull has been using a “private” email address for some of his official communications — a situation, it was said, was similar to that of Hillary Clinton when she was US Secretary of State.

It’s not quite the same. Clinton’s people had rolled their own email service, whereas Turnbull had used a commercially-available service — it looks like it was Microsoft’s as resold by NetRegistry. But the concerns were the same. Was it secure? And was it being properly archived as required by law?

Don’t assume government email is more secure than private email, Turnbull said. But the archive question never seemed to get as much traction.

I spoke about some of these issues on ABC 720 Perth with Jamie Burnett.


This audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Malcolm Turnbull screenshot from ABC TV's 7.30

Australia’s new PM Lord Wentworth has some tips for interpersonal success. Nicholas Fryer has some tips for frustrated parents. And there’s nothing — absolutely nothing — about last weekend’s football finals, or this weekend’s motor racing.

In this podcast, there’s talk of resilience, hallucinating goldfish, electric eels, economics, and squid jism.

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.


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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Waratah in bloom at Bunjaree Cottages: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 28 September to Sunday 4 October 2015 was another pain-ridden ocean of chaos, but nevertheless there were a few solid achievements.

I launched Send Stilgherrian to Ruxcon 2015, a Pozible crowdfunding campaign with an obvious aim. As I write this, it’s already reached 29% of its initial target, which is promising.

On the health front, the broken tooth was repaired again. As for my shoulder, the X-rays and ultrasound imagery taken last week showed no permanent damage or signs of specific problems. It’s “just” strained muscles and tendons, and all that’s needed is rest. It does seem to be getting better, albeit very slowly.



I got most of an episode of The 9pm Edict recorded, but was too tired to complete it on Sunday night. Stand by.

Media Appearances

  • On Wednesday, I spoke about Facebook hoaxes on ABC 105.7 Darwin, but I didn’t record it.
  • Also on Wednesday, I spoke about Bitcoin and tractor square dancing on ABC 774 Melbourne and stations around Victoria, but I didn’t record that either.
  • On Thursday, I spoke about my crowdfunding efforts on ABC Radio National’s Media Report.


There were no editions of 5at5 at all, and that’s terrible. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones?


Having migrated the final batch of a long-standing client’s websites to new virtualised infrastructure, I finally shut down my remaining hard-iron Linux server, a leased machine somewhere in a rack in San Francisco. Typing halt for the last time also ended my business relationship with ServePath, which later became GoGrid, and which was recently acquired by and absorbed into Datapipe. I’ll miss the excellent support their engineers have provided over the years.

Meanwhile, I’ve picked up a quick little job: building what is in essence a paywall for the website of the literary magazine Meanjin, so they can start selling digital subscriptions.

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

Once more, most of this week is over. It’s already the end of Thursday! But there’s still plenty of things to do…

On Friday, it’s the long train commute to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing on smart cities and the Internet of Things with Alcatel-Lucent’s expert on such things, Marc Jadoul. I’ll knock off some errands while I’m down there, and certain SEKRIT planning on the train.

On the weekend — note that I’m not predicting a specific day for each item — I’ll finish that episode of The 9pm Edict, finish the video of my UTS lecture, do some audio equipment tests, and do the preparatory work for Meanjin.

Further Ahead

The week beginning Monday 12 October will be a hectic one. Monday is the calm before the storm, when I’ll collect my thoughts and prepare myself.

On Tuesday, I fly to Melbourne, sneaking in a quick work session at Meanjin in the afternoon, before a reception kicks off the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) National Conference. I’m covering that for ZDNet, as well as recording material for my own Corrupted Nerds podcast. My thanks got to security vendor Tanium for covering my costs.

On Friday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet before flying back to Sydney. Some time on the weekend, I’ll produce another episode of The 9pm Edict.

The week starting… no, I’ll tell you about that next time.

[Photo: Waratah in bloom at Bunjaree Cottages, photographed on 8 October 2015. This waratah flower is slightly past its peak, but the intensity of its colour still manages to dominate the camera’s sensors.]

The 9pm Edict's Public House Forum panel: click for podcast web pageABC logoIf you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I’ve used crowdfunding, as we must call it these days, to help finance my personal media projects. This has once more come to the attention of ABC Radio National’s Media Report — probably because I emailed them.

Here’s how the website introduces the item Crowdfunding journalism, an interview with me which was first broadcast on Thursday evening.

Stilgherrian, a freelance journalist and commentator on internet issues, has crowdfunded his own podcast.

The 9pm Edict is made with the help of donations from what amounts to his fan base.

Richard Aedy asked him about the sustainability of fan-funded journalism.


The audio is of course ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s being served here directly from the ABC website.

I’m amused to see The 9pm Edict referred to as “journalism”, but perhaps Aedy is also thinking back to my first crowdfunding project, when I used the Pozible campaign Stilgherrian > Breakpoint+Ruxcon to fund journalism. That was two years ago, and that scored a Media Report story too.

But since then two Pozible campaigns, The 9 O’Clock Resurrection of April 2014 and The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh just two months ago, have been about The 9pm Edict. The first raised just over $1000 to kick off the return of the Edict, and as I wrote recently, that’s now settled down to generating a base revenue of around $700 per month. The second raised more than $7200 to replace a dying computer and upgrade my audio recording equipment.

I always enjoy being interviewed by Aedy, because he has such a broad view of the media landscape in Australia, indeed worldwide, and he’s such a gentleman. They’re always thoughtful questions, and I find myself revisiting some of my own thoughts about what I do.

This post cannot end without reminding you that I have a fourth Pozible campaign running right now, Send Stilgherrian to Ruxcon 2015. You have until 2230 AEDT on 15 October to make a contribution.

[Photo: Recording The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum using equipment financed through crowdfunding. Photo by James Turner.]

I’m re-launching Corrupted Nerds, my podcast about “information, power, security and all the cybers in a global internet revolution that’s changing… everything.”

And to kick things off, today I launched a crowdfunding campaign to take the podcast to Ruxcon 2015, one of Australia’s key information security conferences, which is being held in Melbourne on 24–25 October 2015.

[Update 16 October 2015: The campaign closed last night, and was successfully funded. Thank you.]

Screenshot of completed Pozible campaign: click for campaign web page

There’s plenty of information on the Pozible campaign page. I should mention, though, that the initial $2000 target just gets me to Melbourne and puts a roof over my head. We need to go beyond that to fund some production.

If there’s something you think should be explained better, or if you have a suggestion, please let me know.

Bonus link: Today, ABC Radio National’s Media Report broadcast an interview with me about my crowdfunding work, Crowdfunding journalism.

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