Weekly Wrap 295: Clearing the fog, another attempt

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.]

Weekly Wrap 289: Storm, podcast, change, and more

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.]

Weekly Wrap 269: Winning, mostly, with three kinds of fire

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.]

Talking the ACSC cyber threat report on 1395 FIVEaa

FIVEaa logoThe (relatively) new Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its first-ever unclassified threat report yesterday, but as I wrote at ZDNet, I was disappointed.

The report (PDF) has dropped, and indeed it contains few surprises. It tells the now-familiar story of serious and organised criminals, foreign state-sponsored actors, and other “cyber adversaries”, all of whom are getting better at what they do.

“The cyber threat to Australian organisations is undeniable, unrelenting and continues to grow. If an organisation is connected to the internet, it is vulnerable. The incidents in the public eye are just the tip of the iceberg,” begins the report’s foreword.

“Cyber adversaries are aggressive and persistent in their efforts to compromise Australian networks and information. They are constantly improving their tradecraft in an attempt to defeat our network defences and exploit new technologies,” it says later.

“Australia is an innovative country with a globally important resources sector. We are a regional leader with global interests and important partnerships. This makes Australia a target-rich environment for cyber adversaries.”

All of which is true, of course, but all of which has been said so many times before.

I spoke about the report today with Will Goodings on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide — with somewhat less disappointment in my voice.

Play

The audio is ©2015 Nova Entertainment.

Weekly Wrap 244: Cloudy sky, cloudy mind, kinda

Sydney skyline from Camperdown: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 2 to Sunday 8 February 2015 was exhausting — but as you can see, the productivity levels started returning to something approaching normality. Slowly.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Sleepless in Canberra”, being The 9pm Edict episode 35. Yes, a new podcast appeared just one week after the previous one. Amazing. It still took 11 hours to produce, though. I must fix that.

Articles

5at5

There were three editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all as they’re released. Subscribe. Just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

Monday will have pretty much ended by the time this gets published. It’s likely to have been a day of pottering around after very little sleep, and planning for the rest of the week.

Tuesday and Wednesday both see day trips to Sydney to cover the APIdays conference at Australian Technology Park. “Liberate then Innovate”? I feel sick already. Late Wednesday afternoon I’m also covering a seminar on “Risk-based approach to Privacy” being run by iappANZ, the International Association of Privacy Professionals ANZ. These will be long, exhausting days — in part because I’ll have to do the long commute both days rather than staying in Sydney, thanks to cashflow constraints. Wish me luck.

Thursday and Friday are writing days, I’m guessing, turning those two hectic days into words for money.

The weekend is unplanned.

[Photo: Sydney skyline from Camperdown, photographed from level 6 of Rydges Camperdown Hotel on 5 February 2015.]