2UE logoThis is the third of four radio spots I did on Thursday to discuss Australia’s new Cyber Security Strategy.

For background on strategy itself, see the first post in this series.

This spot was on Sydney commercial station 2UE. The presenter was Bill Woods.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we discussed the importance of cyber security and its history, the Bureau of Meteorology hack and its timing, the assumption that our spooks do what other country’s spooks do, the difficulty of attribution, the difficulty of cyber security, the cost of cybercrime, China’s hack of US fighter aircraft programs, and Australia’s ability to cash in on the cyber skills shortage.

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This audio is ©2016 Fairfax Media.

ABC logoThis is the second of four radio spots I did on Thursday to discuss Australia’s new Cyber Security Strategy.

For background on strategy itself, see the first post in this series.

This spot was on ABC 936 Hobart. The presenter is Louise Saunders.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we discussed why Turnbull spent so much time talking about the internet, why Australia needs such a strategy, Australia’s lack of awareness of cybercrime and our lack of data breach notification laws, the ASD’s role in protecting government networks, the cyber skills shortage, and the Cyber Security Growth Centre.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoOn Thursday, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull released the government’s Cyber Security Strategy. Apart from writing about it for ZDNet, I ended up doing four radio spots. This is the first.

In this first post, I’ll mention as background reading the official Cyber Security Strategy website, the ZDNet stories Australia to get Cyber Minister as part of AU$240m cyber package and Turnbull calls for more openness surrounding data breaches, and my articles A ‘big science’ approach for Australian cybersecurity research? (published before the strategy was released, based on presentations at the ACSC Conference), and Turnbull sets the scene for a ‘Stop the Bytes’ election.

This first radio spot was on ABC 105.7 Darwin in the early morning, before the strategy was officially released. The presenter is Richard Margetson.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we covered the recent rapid rise in cybercrime, the allegedly Chinese hack of the Bureau of Meteorology, a grab from Dr Tobias Feakin, and Australia’s ability to conduct offensive cyber operations.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Waiting at Bundanoon: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 April 2016 began in chaos, but ended with a few wins — with most of it being spent in Canberra.

I was well impressed with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. I learned a lot, met some people that were handy to meet, and gathered plenty of material for future stories. And the train journeys there and back were delightful.

Articles

Both of these articles came from the ACSC Conference. Another will appear at ZDNet on Monday. More material from the conference will doubtless emerge in coming weeks.

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

There’s nothing that involved me directly. But my name cropped up incidentally in a story at The Independent, Australia has a new $5 dollar note and people think it looks like ‘vomit’. And one of my tweets ended up becoming part of the headline in a New Matilda story, Tiger Airways’ “Modern Theory Of Gender”.

I’ve also just discovered that one of my photos was used to illustrate a Mother Nature Network story, Take up the cause to help bees and butterflies pollinate, back on 25 March.

Corporate Largesse

  • While I made my own way to Canberra this week, there was plenty of sponsored food and drink and swag. This is not a full list of what was on offer, just what I happened to grab, or that was included in the conference satchel. BT had sunglasses. Cisco was giving away mints. f5 Networks had a crank-recharging LED torch. Fortinet sponsored the excellent conference backpack, a Crumpler that normally retails for more than $100. Juniper Networks sponsored the conference dinner at the Australian Institute of Sport, and were giving away Smarties. LogRhythm gave away Cylon Bluetooth Headphones. Nuix had playing cards. ObserveIt had one of those handy USB-to-everything charging cables. RSA had a notebook and pen, as well as the much-appreciated post-dinner Berocca. And Thales had more of those pens with the secret screwdrivers inside.

The Week Ahead

It turns out that I’ll probably be spending the whole week in Sydney, staying at my usual SEKRIT cave in Lilyfield.

On Monday, I’m writing a thing or two for ZDNet. I’m also going to a lunchtime briefing by Nuix on cybercrime — which should be interesting, because it’s co-sponsored by the Walkley Foundation and chaired by legendary Australian investigative journalist Kate McClymont.

On Tuesday, I’m writing for Crikey for the first time in ages, then working on my much-delayed geek-for-hire projects.

On Wednesday, I’m doing the long commute in reverse, catching the train to Wentworth Falls to collect my recording equipment, and returning to Sydney the same day. Research and writing will be done en route.

Thursday is a combination medical and writing day. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is releasing the government’s much-delayed Cyber Security Strategy. Thanks to iTnews journalist Allie Coyne, well already know what’s in it, but I’m almost certain to have more to say once we we have the full text. In between all that, I’ll have two medical appointments.

On Friday, I’ll start work on a new episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That may or may not have an Anzac Day theme, given that it’s then going to be the long weekend with Anzac Day on Monday. But we’ll see.

Friday will also see the release of an episode of Steve Molk’s podcast Humans of Twitter consisting of the interview we recorded last week.

Further Ahead

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April. And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: Waiting at Bundanoon. An older couple waits, watching the Canberra-to-Sydney Xplorer pass through Bundanoon railway station, 150km south-west of Sydney, on 15 April 2016.]

Australian Landscape: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 4 to Sunday 10 April 2016 was distinctly unproductive. This Weekly Wrap is running late. I’ll stick to the essential points.

I’ll mention one thing though. I returned to Wentworth Falls on Sunday, after more than three weeks in Sydney. Time flies.

Articles and Podcasts

None. Stand by for more details to be announced on the weekend, however.

Media Appearances

  • On Friday, I was interviewed by Steve Molk for his delightful podcast Humans of Twitter. That episode is expected to appear on Friday 22 April. If you don’t already subscribe to this podcast then you should — at least if you’re Australian, because he’s been concentrating on Australians so far.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday has already been a write-off, spent organising things which had become disorganised, and stressing about them. We shall speak of it no more.

On Tuesday — that is, today — I’m catching a morning train to Sydney, and then the 1212 train to Canberra, scheduled to arrive in the nation’s capital at 1629. I thought it might be an interesting change from flying, even though it takes longer.

On Tuesday evening, it’s drinks before spending Wednesday and Thursday covering the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference at the rather drab National Convention Centre. This has become one of the must-attend information security conferences in Australia, and I’m looking forward to meeting and hearing from law enforcement and national security people who we usually don’t hear from.

On Friday, I return to Sydney on the 1153 train, arriving back in the nation’s largest city at around 1600. From there until the end of the weekend, things are unplanned.

Further Ahead

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April. And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

Update 16 April 2016: Date for Humans of Twitter posting added.

[Photo: Australian Landscape. This photograph was taken while approaching Canberra airport on 7 March 2016, but it could have been taken almost anywhere across south-eastern Australia.]

1984 in 2016, with Wyatt Roy: click to embiggenMonday 28 March to Sunday 3 April 2016 was another short week, thanks to Easter. But it also seemed to be more productive than the previous week, which was drenched in fatigue.

I’m almost two months into the slow transition to a new medication regime. The fatigue, the “general feeling of tiredness or weakness”, is slowly fading. So too are the headaches, body aches, random muscle tics in my legs, nausea, constipation, and trouble with sleeping.

Also fading are the intense, vivid dreams that woke me towards the end of the night. That’s good, because the confused muddle of reality and dream-thoughts that continued into wakefulness was accompanied by dizziness and loss of coordination. Exiting the bed in an ill-managed stumble-crash into furniture and walls led to slightly more bruises than I’d planned for.

I’m frustrated that things aren’t magically better straight away. I’m embarrassed by having to constantly reschedule things because I’ve fallen asleep after breakfast, or whatever. But I can see gradual progress, or at least the illusion of progress, which is almost as good.

On to the visible achievements…

Articles

Podcasts

None, but I’ll be pondering the future of my podcasts over the next couple of weeks.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was plenty of free food and drink at D61+ LIVE.
  • On Wednesday night, PR princess Shuna Boyd paid for the drinks at her own retirement party.
  • On Thursday, law firm Gilbert+Tobin provided snacks and wine at the seminar by the International Association of Privacy Professionals Australia and New Zealand (iappANZ).

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one. No fixed appointments, but plenty to do on my current geek-for-hire projects, and on my tax compliance backlog. I’ll also write a column or two for ZDNet. Order of play TBA.

On Saturday, I’ll tidy up the Lilyfield house, before returning to Wentworth Falls on Sunday afternoon.

Further Ahead

On Tuesday 12 April, I’ll take a train from Sydney to Canberra — it should be an interesting change from the airlines — to cover the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. The event runs through to Thursday 14 April, and I’ll return to Sydney on the Friday, writing for ZDNet en route.

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April.

And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: 1984 in 2016, with Wyatt Roy. A video message from Australia’s Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy is played to attendees of Data61’s D61+ LIVE event at Australian Technology Park in Sydney on 30 March 2016.]

ABC logoI seem to have settled into semi-regular radio spots on ABC 774 Melbourne, talking about technology news roughly once a month. I did one of these on Thursday.

The main item was the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino shootings of December 2015. While there’s plenty of coverage of this case, I will mention that the FBI’s hack may never reach Apple, and the only winners are the shareholders of cybersecurity companies, because more people will see security as important.

The other item was the announcement on Thursday of the IOT Group’s new product, the ROAM-e drone for taking flying selfies. Yes, that’s what I said.

Heres the full 22-minute conversation with presenter Casey Bennetto, who was filling in for Lindy Burns.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoJust before before Easter, Microsoft let their youth-targeted chatbot named Tay loose on Twitter and other social networks — and it was a disaster.

Tay was meant to hold conversations with Americans aged 18 to 24, which is why it’s named after Taylor Swift. But the project was terminated after just 16 hours, because the bot started tweeting abuse at people, and even went full neo-Nazi, declaring that “Hitler was right I hate the jews.”

Art Technica reported some analysis of what went wrong. Davi Ottenheimer summarised the problem as “weak intelligence weakened by weakness”, and pointed me to more detailed research by Russell Cameron Thomas.

I spoke about this disaster with Robbie Buck on ABC 702 Sydney, debunking some aspects of the mainstream news stories along the way.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Old and New: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 21 to Sunday 28 March 2016 was a mixed bag. I finally got a podcast done, but not some other tasks. C’est la vie.

As we ramp up the medication to deal with the dog of a different colour, my sleep patterns are much disrupted. I’m hit with random waves of fatigue. That means I’m operating at roughly half capacity. In theory, that’ll stop happening after a couple more weeks, but for now I must pace myself.

But enough of that…

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Let the Fun Begin”, being The 9pm Edict episode 56, was recorded and posted on Sunday night. It’s also on Spreaker.

Articles

None, though I have a few columns for ZDNet in the pipeline.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

The short work week after Easter starts in Lilyfield, in Sydney’s inner west, but ends back in Wentworth Falls. The date of migration back to the Blue Mountains is yet to be confirmed.

Easter Monday has just begun, but apart from this blog post I won’t be doing anything too hectic.

On Wednesday, I’m going to D61+ Live 2016, an event by Data61 (“Data61 = CSIRO Digital Productivity + NICTA = the world’s leading data-focused innovation powerhouse,” they describe themselves) at Australian Technology Park. I’m particularly interested in a panel on cybersecurity. On Wednesday evening, I’ll be having a farewell drink or two with the wonderful Shuna Boyd, who’s retiring from her media relations career.

On Thursday evening, I’m covering a discussion sponsored by the International Association of Privacy Professionals Australia and New Zealand (iappANZ) on Australia’s proposed mandatory data breach notification laws. After that, I’m doing a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1900 AEDT.

In between, I’ll be working steadily through three geek-for-hire projects, catching up a big chunk of that bookkeeping for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and writing a ZDNet column or two.

Further Ahead

The following week will be an extension of the plan just described.

After that, I should be in Canberra on 12-14 April for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. A plan is slowly evolving.

I’ll definitely be in Sydney on 27-28 April for the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney, then on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May for the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference.

[Photo: Old and New. A new Meriton apartment development under construction in Lewisham in Sydney’s inner west, with the old flour mill in the background. Photographed on 22 March 2016.]

Tony Abbott on the campaign trail

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull becomes the conduit, no, the tunnel of love. We revisit the economic wisdom of Joe Hockey. Euroterrorism sprouts from Brussels. And guess who’s back?

In this episode, there’s talk of lizards and leeches, homeless people and hapless riflemen, Nicholas Fryer takes us through The Arch Window, and much more.

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.

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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.

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