Weekly Wrap 442: Dominated by digital health, plus ducks

Ducks escorting a convoyMy week of Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November 2018 was dominated by digital health. Mostly Australia’s controversial My Health Record, as the list of articles will show, but also two events that had digital health as a focus.

I also did some planning for future podcasts, and some advisory work on someone’s proposal for a future media project.


All three are about My Health Record. The politics were moving fast, so maybe hit the last one first. It links back to the others anyway.

Podcasts, Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday the Health And Aged Care Press Lunch was held at the always-excellent Bentley Restaurant & Bar in Sydney. Clients of Bass PR picked up the tab: Telsyte, Osana, CQR Consulting, BOARD, Collard Maxwell Architects, and 8×8.
  • On Tuesday I had lunch at Luke Mangan’s magnificent Glass Brasserie at the Hilton Sydney Hotel, paid for by Aura Information Security.
  • On Tuesday evening, CISO Lens covered most of the drinks bill for a meeting they organised.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a writing day for ZDNet. Update 19 November 1930 AEDT: Monday ended up being a day of sleep, which for the moment I’m putting down to Annoying Side Effects from my medication regime.

On Tuesday I’m recording the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, co-hosted by Nicholas Fryer. It won’t be streamed live, but will be posted the following day.

From Wednesday through Saturday I’ll be back in Sydney for some more cat-sitting. During that time I’ll be writing, starting off with a piece for ZDNet, I hope, and tidying up a bunch of loose ends. Saturday night is likely to include watching the coverage of Victoria’s state election.

Further Ahead

There don’t seem to be any major commitments between now and Christmas, just some single-day or overnight trips to Sydney for media briefings, end-of-year events, and social activities.

There will be at least one episode of The 9pm Edict wth Nicholas Fryer, however, and perhaps one that’s more of a long-form interview.

[Photo: Ducks escorting a convoy. Ducks and other waterfowl at Wentworth Falls Lake, photographed on 18 November 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 359: Will I heed the Ducks of Insight?

ChinatownI don’t quite understand my week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 April 2017. It also contained quite a bit of alcohol. Which has both good and bad points.

Most of the week’s achievements are not ready to be made public, or are personal matters that never will be, which so the list below look silly. I’m not sure that these Weekly Wrap posts even work any more.

Oh well, on with the show…




Media Appearances

  • On Wednesday, I explained why fingerprint readers aren’t as secure as you might think on ABC Adelaide. Once more, I may or may not post this audio. Stay tuned, or something.

Corporate Largesse

None, despite what I’d expected to happen.

The Week Ahead

Monday has been the public holiday for Easter Monday, so I’ve just been doing household things. And writing this.

On Tuesday, I’m working on the SEKRIT editorial project, and sorting out some clients’ loose ends, as well as the shopping and other errands in Katoomba.

Wednesday will see more work on the SEKRIT editorial project, plus some writing for ZDNet, before taking the train down to Sydney. At 1930 AEST I’m doing a spot on ABC Melbourne from the ABC’s Sydney studios. I’ll stay in Sydney overnight.

On Thursday morning I’m covering an event for the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network. I’ll write about that, and do some other things, before heading back up the hill.

Friday through Saturday don’t have anything assigned yet.

Further Ahead

Anzac Day is on 25 April, and this year that’s a Tuesday. As is the custom, the Monday beforehand is likely to become another day in a de facto four-day weekend. I might poke at some work, though.

I’m covering the AusCERT Information Security Conference on the Gold Coast from 23 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.

[Photo: Ducks of Chinatown, photographed in Haymarket, Sydney, on 20 July 2003. I’m sure it’s totally unrelated to anything that happened this week.]

Weekly Wrap 292: Perhaps not as ready as I’d like

Ducks on the Parramatta River: click to embiggenMonday 4 to Sunday 10 January 2016 was a reminder that the world, and especially the humans that infect it, move to their own natural cycles and patterns. It’s easier to move in rhythm with these than try to work against them, for better or for worse.

Australia shuts down between Christmas and New Year, yes. But despite the claims that we now live in a 24/7 ever-on ever-connected cycle, the reality is that much of Australia still operates to its traditional annual cycle. Shut down just before Christmas, operate in summer holiday mode through to Australia Day on 26 January.

You just have to face the fact that nothing substantial can get done in the first week of January, and that you’ll have trouble getting up to speed on any substantial projects right through to the end of the month.

Individual humans have their own patterns and habits as well, and it’s also tough to change them. You can’t teach a duck to dance, they say. But when the duck is smarter and more stubborn than you are, what hope can there be?

So it with those observations that I introduce this week’s humble list of achievements, and note a few of the necessary changes to The Plan.




Media Appearances



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

Corporate Largesse

None. The year has not yet started.

The Week Ahead

It’s another week at Wentworth Falls, and broadly speaking it’ll be much the same as its predecessor — but with achievements rather than distractions. He says boldly.

What’s definite is that the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded on Thursday night 14 January, streamed live through Spreaker from 2100 AEDT.

I’ll also be making a day trip to Sydney for a medical appointment at some point. I won’t know when that will be until Monday. That’ll be on Wednesday. I’ll have plenty of free time during the day, so if we need to catch up then let me know.

Apart from that, I’ll continue to work on designing a website and a matching email template for a client; writing that episode of The 9pm Edict; updating some of the stuff I use to explain what it is that I actually do; typing up the loose ends from my crowdfunding projects; thinking about my future accommodation needs; and bringing my bookkeeping up to date so I can file five years of outstanding tax returns.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 12 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. I’m on a panel on Thursday 11 titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I’ll be staying in Melbourne until Saturday. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

I’ve dumped plans to go to Geelong to cover Linux.conf.au in the first week of February. Sorry, but I need to keep that week flexible and close to Sydney for personal reasons.

For the same reason, my bold intention to record The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum on Saturday 23 January is also dumped. I need a clearer plan for what I’m actually doing with my various podcasts. They can’t just be an indulgent drain on my time, and despite the inexplicable generosity of those who’ve been supporting me, the numbers don’t quite add up yet. Stand by for more thoughts about that in the not-too-distant future.

Some things that remain on The Plan include Tech Leaders in Leura on 13-14 March; the Australian Cyber Security Centre Conference in Canberra on 12-14 April; NetSuite’s SuiteWorld in San Jose on 16-19 May; the AusCERT Conference on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May; the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Sydney on 22-23 August; and the AISA National Conference in Sydney on 18-20 October.

What else should I add to that list?

Apart from anything else, the first thing I notice about it is that nearly everything is in Australia. Have my horizons contracted?

Update 11 January 2016: Edited to reflect minor schedule changes.

[Photo: Ducks on the Parramatta River, photographed on 15 September 2012. I spent quite a lot of time watching these ducks on the banks for Sydney’s Parramatta river that spring afternoon before they’d finally had enough of me, formed convoy, and departed.]

The 9pm Get Some Goddam Perspective

TV screenshot of Julie Bishop, Tony Abbott, George Brandis

For nearly two weeks now, Australians have been more afraid of the fear of the risk of terror that ever before. We’re going to war, and the defence minister is an idiot. But don’t worry about why an event on the other side of the world is suddenly a threat here. We’re going to go butt chugging.

What does any of this mean? Who knows.

But we do hear how terrorism alert rankings serve no purpose beyond encouraging a burst of panic and how we won the war on Thai chilli sauce, as well as the evacuation of the Westfield Burwood shopping centre and how that did not relate to any contemporary issue.

Continue reading “The 9pm Get Some Goddam Perspective”