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Cricket!This is about Monday 2 to Sunday 8 April 2018, but let’s get on with the details.


  • “The 9pm Probe: Dr Alice Gorman, space archaeologist”, being The 9pm Edict episode 76. You can also listen to it on SoundCloud and Spreaker. This is the pilot episode of what I hope will become a regular addition to The 9pm Edict cycle, a series of long-form interviews with interesting people. Please let me know what you think.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a big one. On Monday morning I’m heading down to Sydney, where I’ll do some important preparations, like getting a haircut. I’ll also be continuing with the research on that SEKRIT editorial project. I’ll be able to tell you about that eventually, but not just yet.

On Tuesday I’m taking the 1201 train to Canberra, doing a bunch of stuff en route. That evening, I’m covering a panel discussion at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Stopping a Cyber Threat on Our Election: US and Australian Experiences. Should be interesting.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I’m covering the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference, so on Friday I reckon I’ll still be writing about that. There’s usually a bunch of stories.

I’ll stay in Canberra until late Saturday afternoon, and have a lazy day in Sydney on Sunday.

[Photo: Cricket! A large and, I think, female cricket found at Bunjaree Cottages near Wentworth Falls on 2 April 2018.]

ABC logoIt’s almost 20 years since Google was founded, and it’s fair to say that at least some of the company’s services have become a part of almost every internet user’s life. But what did we do before Google?

There were other search engines, of course, but what about before the web was a thing?

On Friday I discussed this question with ABC Adelaide presenter Peter Goers, along with librarian Nikki White from the National Library of Australia.


This audio is ©2018 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoThe demonstration launch of SpaceX’s Dragon Heavy launch vehicle was for me the highlight of the week. It got some attention elsewhere too, and not just from space geeks.

By complete coincidence, I’d been booked for ABC Melbourne’s regular Wednesday night “Please Explain” spot, with the task of explaining Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX. Here’s the full conversation with Lindy Burns and Declan Fay.


This audio is ©2018 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoABC Melbourne has a regular spot called “Explain This”. This week I was asked to join them to explain the Cloud.

In this edition of Explain This we delve into the cloud computing: what it is, and how it works.

Privacy and cyber-security journalist Stilgherrian gives you the lowdown on some of the stickier question involved with cloud computing such as can you erase things from it and do you actually even own your files once they are stored there.

Here’s the full 20-minute conversation with Lindy Burns as broadcast on Wednesday night.


This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s being served directly from the ABC website.

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.


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?


This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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 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.]

Taking off for new adventuresMy week of Monday 26 June to Sunday 2 July 2017 was strangely quiet, but also strangely productive. It’s a fine start for the new financial year.

I’m even fixing my broken time-management systems, and that’s just one of the reasons I finally feel like I’m climbing out of a low patch.


I wrote a second piece for ZDNet, which will be posted on Monday.

Media Appearances

On Tuesday night Australian time, the ransomware known variously as Petya or NotPetya amongst other things, spread across the planet. Inevitably, I ended up talking about it in the media on Wednesday. I did radio spots on 3AW Melbourne, ABC Brisbane (where I also spoke briefly about the €2.4 billion fine copped by Google), ABC Melbourne, and various ABC News reports. I also appeared on Channel TEN’s The Project.

And on Friday evening, I spoke about Australia’s new cyber warfare unit (briefly) and other matters with Peter Goers on ABC Adelaide.

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None. Read the rest of this entry »

ABC logoAustralia is opening a new campaign in the seemingly never-ending Cyptowars. This time, the target is end-to-end encryption.

Our favourite attorney-general, Senator George Brandis QC, wants “the cooperation of companies like Apple and Facebook and Google and so on” to help the government break into encrypted communications. That cooperation would presumably extend to messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and so on.

And cooperation would be ensured, thanks to new legal sanctions.

Brandis says he’s not interested in putting mandatory “back door” access into the encryption used by messaging platforms. But how can that be true when he’s asking for the tech companies to be able to provide access to customers’ encrypted messages? That’s exactly what a back door is.

Anyway, this morning I was interviewed on this topic by Fran Kelly on the ABC’s RN Breakfast. We spoke for more than seven minutes.


The audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is being served directly from the ABC website.

For more analysis, try George Brandis’s salvo in cryptowars could blow a hole in architecture of the internet, by the Guardian’s Paul Farrell.

Approaching SingaporeThis Weekly Wrap covers two weeks, Monday 17 to Sunday 30 April 2017, because little happened during this time apart from the continuing throat infection, and grumpiness, and a day off for Anzac Day.

Here’s a list, and a completely unrelated photo.



None, but I’ll be announcing the next date for The 9pm Edict very soon.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday 20 April, I covered the launch of Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and a lovely buffet breakfast was served. This is what generated the article listed above.

The Week Ahead

Monday will be a day of catching up on work and household loose ends as I finally kill this throat infection. And writing this.

On Tuesday, I’m working on the SEKRIT editorial project, then catching a train down to Sydney for The Double Disillusionists podcast recording at Giant Dwarf that evening. I’ll stay in Sydney overnight.

On Wednesday morning, I’ll be covering the half-day conference Cyber Security — the Leadership Imperative 2017, which I daresay I’ll write about before returning to Wentworth Falls.

Thursday through Sunday are as yet unplanned, but I know there’s lots of writing and editing to catch up on. What the daily plans emerge on Twitter.

Further Ahead

I’m covering the AusCERT Information Security Conference on the Gold Coast from 24 to 26 May; the 5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics (ICCCF) on the Gold Coast from 16 to 18 July, or at least I hope; and the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney on 10 to 12 October.

Update 17 May 2016: Edited to reflect schedule changes.

[Photo: Approaching Singapore, photographed on 6 March 2017 when I was en route from Ho Chi Minh City back to Sydney.]

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