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My week of Monday 19 to Sunday 23 December 2018 was surprisingly busy. Instead of winding down as it approached Christmas, it wound back up with new things happening.

The weather was also wetter and, in the Blue Mountains at least, cooler than one might expect in the second half of December. I think we’ve broken something.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Arch Window of the Prostate Exam”, being The 9pm Edict episode 82, was posted on Thursday night.  It’s also on Spreaker and SoundCloud. Once more my guest co-host was Nicholas Fryer. Please let me know what you think of this format. 

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday is Christmas Eve. I’ll be finishing the first draft of a policy paper I’m writing for an American organisation, as well as heading down to Sydney in the afternoon for a week of cat-sitting in Ashfield.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day will actually be public holidays for me this year. I plan to be extremely lazy.

On Thursday and Friday I’ll take advantage of the quiet period to restructure how I plan and organise my work. It’s all about migrating to new software, data wrangling, and setting up new processes. I’m determined to start 2019 with better personal organisation.

At this stage I’m due to return to the Blue Mountains on Saturday. I intend to have a relatively lazy weekend, but I suspect I’ll end up doing household chores.

Further Ahead

The following week begins with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I haven’t decided how to spend them yet.

The rest of the week will be an attempt to start planning for 2019. Wish me luck, because I have nothing scheduled in yet.

[Photo: Naked Building. The AMP Centre at 50 Bridge Street near Sydney’s Circular Quay is being redeveloped as part of the Quay Quarter Sydney precinct As this view from Young Street shows, it’s being stripped right back. Photographed on 17 December 2018.]

Parliament House, CanberraI was a busy possum during the two weeks from Monday 9 to Sunday 22 April 2018. The first week was spent in Canberra covering some cyber events, and the second was spent writing, and working on the SEKRIT editorial project which I’ll tell you a tiny amount about… now!

I’m the series editor on a project for Crikey, one that they’ve crowdfunded via a Pozible project called Crikey Digs. Some of you may have seen me tweet that part of it is about businesses that misuse Australians’ personal data, or trade it in a dodgy way. More will be revealed in the coming week.

Meanwhile, all these things…

Articles

Media Appearances

I’ve fallen out of the habit of posting the audio from my radio spots. Would you like me to return to that habit?

Podcasts

None. However see below for a bit of a plan.

Corporate Largesse

  • There was plenty of food and drink at the ACSC Conference in Canberra, though I skipped most of the functions.

The Week Ahead

The next few weeks see me based in Ashfield, Sydney, working through the SEKRIT editorial project, and writing for ZDNet much as usual. I’m hoping to get some walking in, however, and I might post some stuff about the places I visit, including photos.

On Tuesday night I’m doing a radio spot for ABC Melbourne, some time between 1900 and 2200 AEST. We haven’t locked in the time yet.

Wednesday is Anzac Day. It’s a public holiday, so I may take it easy. But I also might get up early for the Dawn Service. Undecided.

Further Ahead

The next episode of The 9pm Edict, will be recorded and streamed live on Tuesday 8 May at 2100 AEST.

Other things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Parliament House, Canberra, photographed on 13 April 2018.]

Mountain Life, with FogThe week of Monday 9 to Sunday 15 October 2017 was quite productive, as you’ll see. Read on!

Articles

The first of these articles is the final one related to the launch by foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy. See last week’s wrap for the first two.

On Tuesday, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its 2017 Threat Report. The next day, at the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), an Australian Defence Signals (ASD) officer told us more about an incident in that ACSC report.

Podcasts

None by me, but…

Media Appearances

Sydney Morning Herald front page, 12 Oct 2017Then the world decided to follow up my story on that Australian defence industry data breach.

It began in Australia and expanded from there, with stories in the Sydney Morning Herald (in the front page!); The Australian; ABC News; the Guardian; News.com.au; BuzzFeed; The Express in the UK; Voice of America; RT; Arab Times in Kuwait; via AAP to outlets including Sky News Australia; and via Reuters to others. If I tried to find them all, and link to them all, I’d be here all night.

I saw versions of the story in Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Indonesian. There were doubtless others. They’re just the ones I happened to see.

To quote ZDNet security editor Zack Whittaker in New York, it ran everywhere — and to be honest, that surprised me. I’ve covered cybersecurity, as we call it now, for a few years. This is a pretty ordinary event. It just happened to combine “mystery hacker”, with the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with the authority of an ASD officer.

On Thursday, I did media appearances on ABC News24; ABC Radio’s The World Today; ABC TV’s 7.30; and Channel Ten’s The Project. On Friday, I appeared on BBC World’s Newsday.

I can’t possible list all of the follow-ups, but here’s a few that I’d like to mention:

The story also morphed as it was re-reported, sometimes drastically changing the meaning of the event. One publication, which I won’t name, even reported that the ASD had been hacked, at least until I contacted them. I hope to find the time to write up that evolution, but for now here’s a few tweets.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was food and drink at the AISA National Conference, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney. Hivint offered a beer. I accepted. It was nice. Telstra gave me a t-shirt.

The Week Ahead, and Further Ahead

I’ll play it by ear. At this stage, there’s nothing special through to the end of the year, so now is your chance to fix that.

[Photo: Mountain Life, with Fog, The entry road to the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, photographed through the evening fog on 10 October 2017.]

Sunset over Ho Chi Minh CityThis Weekly Wrap is actually eight Weekly Wraps in one, covering Monday 6 February to Sunday 2 April 2017, numbers 350 to 357. Eight times the value!

Of these four weeks, I’ve spent roughly a week each in San Francisco, Ho Chi Minh City, and Canberra. I also visited a Cold War relic near San Francisco, namely Nike Missile Site SF-88L at Fort Barry. Other stuff happened too.

There’s so much in this Eight-Week Wrap, the bulk of it is over the fold. I won’t be able to list all the highlights, but I will mention two of the lowlights. I caught a conference plague, which slowed me down a bit. And my stress and anxiety levels, which had not been declining, went through the roof. And they’re still there.

This health issue is being addressed, so no sympathy is needed. (Instead, perhaps send me a tip to help with the revenue shortfall, especially with the low-reveue holiday periods of Easter and Anzac Day coming up.) But it does mean that my alleged plans for the next few weeks should be taken with an even bigger grain of salt than usual.

Read the rest of this entry »

The dragon is sleeping: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 31 October to Sunday 6 November 2016 was quieter than the previous two, deliberately, and I’m grateful for that.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but check out the week ahead. There’ll be three!

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s a busy one, punctuated by travel from Sydney up to Bunjaree Cottages in the Blue Mountains on Tuesday afternoon, and travel back down on Thursday.

I’m finishing an op-ed for SBS TV. I’m finishing the production of three podcasts, namely The 9pm Edict Public House Forum 4, and two episodes of Corrupted Nerds from the Ruxcon information security conference. And I’m writing at least one piece for ZDNet.

On top of that, there’s work on the various geek-for-hire projects.

None of this work has been allocated to specific days. There’s still some uncertainty, including a chance the travel might be cancelled.

Further Ahead

This information is now on the new calendar page, Stilgherrian in Public.

Update 7 November 2016: Edited to reflect schedule changes.

[Photo: The dragon is sleeping, being a decaying roof in Lilyfield in Sydney’s inner west, photographed on 6 November 2016.]

Sydney Harbour Bridge and its southern approaches: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 October 2016 was another one full of snuffles, but that’s not all. I’m not telling you the rest, though.

Articles

Media Appearances

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None. But in the coming week…

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday are about planning, research, and errands. Monday’s errand is to Parramatta, Tuesday’s to Hornsby. There’s a slight chance I’ll get that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast recorded, but don’t hold your breath.

And then it’s all the cybers…

On Wednesday and Thursday I’m covering the AISA National Conference in Sydney. On Friday it’s a medical appointment before flying to Melbourne. Then on Saturday and Sunday I’m covering the Ruxcon Security Conference, where I’m also on the closing panel.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne through to 30 October. One important event is on the evening of Wednesday 29 October, when I’m MCing a panel for La Trobe University, Big Data and Cybersecurity: Are We Ready?.

And the rest? I’ve created a new calendar page, Stilgherrian in Public, updated automatically from the calendar on my laptop.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge and its southern approaches , photographed on 30 October 2012.]

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.]

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stilgherrian/19191057743/in/photostream/My week of Monday 25 to Sunday 31 January 2016 was very different from the one experienced by most Australians.

For most Australians, it was a short week, because they’d taken Monday, joined it up with the public holiday for Australia Day on Tuesday, and made themselves an unofficial four-day long weekend.

Whether they chose to do that by requesting annual leave, or through the rather more patriotic tradition of “chucking a sickie”, would have been a matter between them and those persistent little nagging voices in the back of their heads.

Mine was arranged a little differently, for reasons described in the immediately preceding post. It was busy, and here’s what emerged.

Articles

Podcasts

None, because the planned Sunday night recording of The 9pm Edict was abandoned due to repeated software crashes. It has been re-scheduled for Tuesday night.

At one point during the week, I also announced a bold plan to record a Corrupted Nerds podcast with Leslie Nassar as well. That plan was abandoned when sanity returned.

Both podcasts are now on an official one-month hiatus while I consider their future. I’ll post my thoughts in the coming week.

Media Appearances

5at5

None. But should 5at5 ever reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

None, but it begins in earnest in the coming week.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, boys and girls…

On Monday, I’ll be up early to finalise some tax documentation, then at 1030 I’ll be phoning in to Deloitte for a cybersecurity briefing. The afternoon will see me negotiating certain timelines with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), updating the clients for my various geek-for-hire projects, and having an early night.

On Tuesday, I really must do that cleaning and shopping.

On Wednesday, I’ll be catching an early train to Sydney for an appointment at the Black Dog Institute. I’ll post more about that on Tuesday morning. I’ll then return to the Blue Mountains mid-afternoon, because at 2100 AEDT I’ll be recording The 9pm Edict and streaming it live.

On Thursday, I’m writing for ZDNet, then heading back to Sydney in the afternoo for a meeting at 1745 to kick off a new geek-for-hire project. I plan to stay in Sydney overnight, should Sydney’s nosebleed accommodation prices permit.

Worked on the aforementioned geek-for-for hire projects, and everything else, will be woven around those appointments as need be.

The weekend is as yet unplanned.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 13 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. Wednesday night I’m doing a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne, at 1930 AEDT. I’m then on a panel on Thursday 11 at 1730 AEDT, titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I plan to stay in Melbourne until Saturday afternoon. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

I hope to return to Melbourne to cover the APIdays conference on 1-2 March, but that’ll depend on me finding someone to cover my flights and accommodation. Would you like to be my sponsor?

[Update 2145 AEDT: Edited to reflect the new podcast recording time. Update 1 February 2016: Minor edits to the schedule.]

[Photo: To boldly go…. There’s a story behind this photograph.]

Sydney Storm: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 14 Sunday 20 December 2015 was full of many things, few of which are listed here. I’ve been doing random geekery rather than media stuff this week.

While I would like to blame my relative lack of productivity solely on my ratty sleep patterns this week — and they have been a thing, for various health-related reasons — I would also like to blame Certain People for plying me with alcohol. You know who you are.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2 was recorded on Saturday, and will be edited and posted online early in the coming week. It was immense fun, and you may well find it amusing.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about the security risks of Wi-Fi Hello Barbie on Sydney radio 2UE, but I did not record it. I’ve spoken about it previously on ABC Radio’s PM.

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, I went to a lunchtime briefing by Hitachi Data Systems at the ever-wonderful Gowings Bar and Grill in Sydney. Apart from the usual fine food and wine, we all got a goodie pouch containing a HDS-branded 2600mAh Power Bank, and an 8GB memory stick with the presentation.

The Week Ahead

Since the silly season has begun in Australia, and this coming week is the short week before Christmas, I won’t even bother trying to schedule it too closely. Besides, I’m cat-sitting in Ashfield again, in Sydney’s inner west, and some key items that I’ll need in the next couple of weeks are still in Wentworth Falls.

Nevertheless, between now and Thursday night, which is Christmas Eve, I know I have to design a simple website, write at least one thing for ZDNet, and edit and publish that pub podcast. I’d also like to do that yearly wrap episode of Corrupted Nerds, but I’m not so sure that will happen now.

There’s only two fixed appointments so far, Huawei’s Christmas Drinks on Tuesday evening, and a medical appointment late on Wednesday afternoon. As for the rest of it, I’ll be making it up as I go along.

As you should know by now, my Twitter feed is the most up-to-date data source for these things.

Friday is Christmas Day, so I’m likely to be offline then, as well as through the following weekend.

[Photo: Sydney Storm. The Sydney CBD seen from Lilyfield just before Wednesday’s storm hit. While the CBD itself suffered little harm, around 50 houses were damaged by severe winds at Kurnell.]

The Final Redoubt: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 27 July to Sunday 2 August 2015 represented a remarkable turnaround — perhaps the turnaround that I’d been detecting in the winds since June. And then there’s the bushfire. It’s all so complicated!

Why? It was a full week with a properly-working computer — a week spent in a house with a properly-working kitchen, heating, and inspiring view — and that brought back some of the clarity of thought which I’ve been sorely lacking. I got plenty done, the most important in many ways being the launch — finally! — of The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh.

I was very pleased when people started contributing to this crowdfunding campaign just as soon as it was launched. I’m even more pleased to report that as I write this, roughly half-way through the campaign period, we’ve reached 54% of the initial target. That means we’re likely to succeed.

The stress of not having a working computer is subsiding, but I’m not counting my chickens before they’re hatched.

People who write or perform for a living will also understand the importance of the kind of reassurance that comes with people supporting the plan which, until then, had existed solely in your own head.

That has helped. Thank you. If you haven’t done so already, please check out The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh

Thanks also to the many people who asked whether I was in any danger from this weekend’s bushfire at Wentworth Falls. No, I’m not.

The fire is only 3km from Bunjaree Cottages, but between it and me there’s some significantly challenging terrain, and the wind has been taking the fire in a different direction. More than 100 volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service have been keeping us safe.

I’m certainly paying attention to what’s happening, though, and I see that there’s a wind change forecast for Monday. Depending on how the RFS people go with their plans for the rest of today and overnight, well, my risk assessment may change.

Just as I write this, the alert for the fire area has been raised from WATCH AND ACT to EMERGENCY WARNING — the latter being described thusly:

You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.

I must stress again, though, that I am not in the alert area, and I currently face no risk.

Articles

Podcasts

  • On Friday, I posted “The 9pm I Can’t Believe It’s Not a Planet”, being The 9pm Edict episode 46. I turned out better than its convoluted production process led me to imagine. I may tell you about that during the week.

Media Appearances

5at5

The hiatus has ended. There were two editions, on Thursday and Friday. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones?

Corporate Largesse

None. But there’s quite a bit scheduled for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

This is going to be a better-structured one, folks.

Monday will be a media production day — but I’ll decide the exact details on the day, depending on the bushfire threat level.

On Tuesday, I’ll be catching the 0706 train to Sydney, because on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be covering the ADMA Global Forum, presented by the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising. Also, at 2030 AEST on Tuesday night, I’ll be a guest on ABC Local Radio around NSW. And on Wednesday night, I’ll be going to Text100’s (in)famous Christmas in August event, a preview of their clients’ consumer technology for Christmas.

On Thursday, I’ll be going to a lunchtime briefing by NetSuite, and writing something for ZDNet, before taking the train back to the Blue Mountains. Thursday is also the last day of The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh, with the campaign ending at 2100 AEST that evening.

On Friday, I’ll be confirming what’ll happen with the funds so raised.

[Photo: The Final Redoubt, photographed on 2 August 2015. Should I ever need a final hiding place from a severe bushfire — and everything has happened so quickly that we skipped straight past three levels of warning, the fire jumped the road and railway, and all escape routes were blocked — then this cutting on Railway Parade near Wentworth Falls is where I’d wrap myself in wet woollen items and hope for the best.]

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