Talking Microsoft Surface and Fairfax on ABC Local Radio

I spoke about two things on ABC Local Radio earlier this week: Microsoft’s Surface tablet-cum-laptop and the staff cutbacks at the Fairfax media group.

I’d covered Surface in this week’s Patch Monday podcast, so my comments on air with Dom Knight reflected the feedback I’d received.

And the comments I made about the Fairfax cuts was based heavily on what I wrote four years ago, “Trouble at t’paper”.


The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, archived here because it isn’t being archived anywhere else.

Talking Stuxnet and Flame worms on ABC Local Radio

The Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s uranium enrichment program was indeed launched by the US, according to a major investigative report published by the New York Times shortly before I was due to appear on ABC Local Radio this evening.

So guess what we talked about.

Yes, the Stuxnet worm, as well as the newly-discovered Flame worm that’s been in the news this week — including my Day 1 piece for Crikey and Day 2 for CSO Online.

The host was Dom Knight, and here’s a recording of the whole conversation.


The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As usual, I post the material I’m involved with here as an archive and reference.

Talking AusCERT 2012 and cyberwar on ABC Local Radio

My full output from the AusCERT 2012 information security conference has yet to appear. Stand by. But last night I did a half-hour conference wrap with Dom Knight on ABC Local Radio.

We spoke about the conference atmosphere itself, cybercrime, cyberwar, the risk of Cybergeddon (yes, I know), and the claim by Eugene Kaspersky that Apple is ten years behind Microsoft when it comes to security.

Not that Mr Kaspersky would ever, like, troll the entire planet.


What we didn’t talk about, really, was the two stories that have been published so far:

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but as usual I’m posting it here as an archive.

Talking the Optus TV Now appeal on ABC Local Radio

In February the Federal Court ruled that Optus TV Now, which recorded free-to-air TV on behalf of customers for more convenient playback later, was legitimate personal timeshifting as allowed under section 111 of the Copyright Act 1968. Yesterday the Full Federal Court overturned that decision.

This case has interesting implications. Originally, Justice Steve Rares said, effectively, that someone using a recorder-in-the cloud was still making a personal copy for domestic purposes. The fact that they’re using a recording device that’s provided as a service rather than sitting on the shelf under their television is irrelevant. The Full Court is saying, effectively, that the cloud provider is complicity in the action, which means it’s no longer personal, and in some cases may even be the sole actor.

This interpretation could have massive implications for providers of other cloud services. Could they be found to be copying data that they’re not entitled to? I’m no lawyer, so don’t ask me. But I can at least see that the law is having to deal with situations that are very different from the circumstances imagined when it was written.

Paragraph 100 of the Full Court’s decisions does say:

We should emphasise that our concerns here have been limited to the particular service provider-subscriber relationship of Optus and its subscribers to the TV Now Service and to the nature and operation of the particular technology used to provide the service in question. We accept that different relationships and differing technologies may well yield different conclusions to the “who makes the copy” question.

Will this decision be appealed? You bet.

Last night I spoke about the decision and its implications with Dom Knight on ABC Local Radio nationally — well, except for the analog transmitters that were broadcasting the cricket. I also spoke about the material I presented yesterday at DigitalMe in Perth.


[Update: I just noticed that there’s a couple of little audio gaps. I was recording off the stream, y’see. I’ll fix them later.]

Personally, I stand by what I said in the opinion piece I wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald in February: Sport has to think outside the box.

If you’re in Perth today, the DigitalFamily event starts at 1000 local time at Northbridge Piazza. It’s free.

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but as usual I’m posting it here as an archive.

Talking NBN rollout on ABC Local Radio

NBNCo announced the three-year rollout plan for Australia’s National Broadband Network today, explaining when (roughly) they’ll lay fibre or make fixed wireless available to 3.5 million out of the country’s 10 million premises.

So far there’s really only just been time for straight reportage from the launch and set-piece criticism from the opposition. It’ll take a few days at least, perhaps even a week, before analysts have done real analysis on who’s getting the network when and whether that’s been decided by politics rather than practicalities.

(Of course one way around that would have been far greater transparency from NBNCo, including putting their raw data and the software they used online for all to see and cross-check. But like that’ll ever happen.)

I daresay I’ll end up writing more about this over coming weeks. Meanwhile here’s an interview I just did on ABC 702 Sydney and ABC Regional Radio around NSW with Dom Knight.


The audio is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. But these program items usually aren’t archived on their website so here it is.

Weekly Wrap 87: Rain, unseasonable risk and videos

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 30 January to Sunday 5 February 2012.

It was an odd week. It rained. A lot. And the continual greyness felt like it was threatening to trigger seasonal affective disorder unseasonably. I figured it was best to generally ignore the world. I’m amused that this seemed to cause some distress in certain quarters. Thank you for taking an interest.

Well that, and fucking around in the rain caused me to catch a cold. Sort of. I conquered the cold with massive doses of Vitamin C. I am a hero.

I was less of a hero when it came to tackling certain technical problems with my computer. I’ll whinge about that another time.


  • Patch Monday episode 123, “Skipping security is human nature”. Chris Wood, regional director for Australia and New Zealand at security vendor Sourcefire, explains how V = EC2 explains everything. Or something. I don’t know. Listen to the podcast.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse



Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Rain clears, momentarily. As I said, I was raining almost the entire week, making Bunjaree Cottages a slightly a dreary place. But when the rain did clear, this was the view from Rosella Cottage.]