Weekly Wrap 437: Cybering for two weeks in two countries

The White HouseMy fortnight of Monday 1 to Sunday 14 October 2018 was spent in The America and then in the Melbourne. I’m exhausted. But it was all quite productive.

Articles

Podcasts

None published. But as well as the long conversation with Nicholas Fryer that we recorded in Adelaide two weeks ago, in DC I recorded a long interview with the remarkable Mike Godwin, creator of Godwin’s Law amongst many other things. Both of those podcasts will be posted some time in the coming week.

Media Appearances

None, which is unusual.

Corporate Largesse

  • My flights to the US and the related accommodation were covered by FireEye.
  • At the Australian Cyber Conference on 10–11 October there was plenty of food and drink, courtesy of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) and their sponsors. AusCERT: A branded SyncStop “USB Condom” to protect my devices while charging from random USB ports; Tenable: a copy of Cyber Exposure for Dummies; ThreatQuotient: A stress rhinoceros, leading Benno Rice to coin the euphemism “Squeezing the rhino”; Tripwire: Three t-shirts bearing the slogan “I didn’t start the fire”; Yubico: A YubiKey NEO authentication device.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’m back in Sydney, where I’ll be dealing with a couple of medical things, sorting through my notes and pitching some stories, and ending the day with some social life, before taking the train back to Wentworth Falls.

Tuesday through Thursday will be about writing for ZDNet and editing podcasts. I’ll plan that out as I go.

Friday is another Sydney day, with the usual mix of medical and work appointments, plus whatever remains to be done. I’m looking forward to having a lazy weekend.

Further Ahead

The following week I’m spending a bunch of time in Sydney covering the Sibos global financial services conference on 22–25 October. That’ll keep me pretty busy, so Friday through Sunday will be more laid-back.

Beyond that:

[Photo: The White House. You know what this is. Photographed on the foggy Sunday morning of 7 October 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 430: Winter illnesses, but interesting words

Sydney Central StationWhat an “interesting” fortnight. I was ill for most of Monday 13 to Sunday 26 August 2018, though some articles did emerge before the lurgi struck. At least I had an excuse for taking the week off to watch the downfall of prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Articles

Media Appearances

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, but I will finally have the next podcast done in the next ten days. Promise.

The Week Ahead

The first half of the week will be spent in Sydney. Monday is about writing, with one or possibly even two columns emerging for ZDNet. On Tuesday I’m covering CLOUDSEC Australia 2018. And on Wednesday I’ve got a mix of writing and meetings.

Thursday is a take-it-easy day. Friday should be about writing again, though I want to spend a day in Cronulla for podcast-related reasons.

Further Ahead

I’ve pencilled in:

Update 2120 AEST: Edited to add tonight’s article on Australia’s cabinet reshuffle.

[Photo: Sydney Central station, as seen from the Veriu Sydney Central Hotel on 6 August 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 412: Cyber in Canberra, then SEKRIT things

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.]

Announcing “The 9pm One Nation Policy Reading”

[This literary tour de force will be streamed live from stilgherrian.com/edict/live4/, at Spreaker, and via Spreaker apps.]

Pauline Hanson on Channel Nine's Today, 3 July 2016

On Saturday night, I’m recording and streaming live a special edition of The 9pm Edict podcast the likes of which you’ve never heard before. The voters of Australia are to blame. I need your help to undo some of the damage.

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixels

The results of Australia’s federal election held last Saturday are not yet clear. One of the few certainties, however, is that Queensland’s voters have propelled the red-headed figurehead of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation into the Senate.

Senator Pauline Hanson. Get used to it, Australia.

One Nation’s full policy agenda isn’t just racist and anti-Islamic. Sure, it includes banning the burqa and niquab in public, banning halal certification, and a Royal Commission into Islam, but there’s much more.

How about scrapping all international treaties? Introducing Citizens Initiated Referenda, compensation for wind turbine syndrome, and euthanasia? Re-introducing trade tariffs? The list goes on.

Hanson is assertive. Treating her as just an amusing sideshow would be a mistake. She’ll push her party’s agenda in the Senate, so we’ll need to push back.

We need to understand.

We need to take a closer look.

We need to go inside the mind or Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

Play

One Nation’s Policies Presented As They Should Be

This Saturday 9 July at 2000 AEST, I will start drinking Queensland’s own Bundaberg Rum and read to you, verbatim, the entire One Nation policy agenda. Every word.

This literary tour de force will be streamed live from stilgherrian.com/edict/live4/, and via Spreaker.

Continue reading “Announcing “The 9pm One Nation Policy Reading””

“Corrupted Nerds” covers electronic voting

Cover art for Corrupted Nerds episode 8: click for podcast pageI’ve just posted the first full-length podcast of material recorded on my Melbourne trip, this one being a chat with Dr Vanessa Teague about electronic voting.

Now I’ve always thought that the whole idea of electronic voting is a bit dodgy. You get a little bit of convenience, sure, but you get a whole lot more attack surface for the bad guys to hit — especially if you open up that whole can of worms of internet voting — and you make it almost impossible for anyone but a specialist digital forensics team to confirm that everything was legitimate.

I was willing to have my mind changed, but in fact the opposite happened. I now think more than ever that electronic voting opens up all manner of avenues for attack that would never have been possible before, with little benefit for most people. And it’d cost a squillion.

“There isn’t a secure solution for voting over the internet. There isn’t a good way of authenticating voters, that is, making sure that the person at the other end of the connection is the eligible voter they say they are. There isn’t an easy, usable way of helping voters to make sure that the vote they send is the vote they wanted, even if their PC is infected with malware or administered by somebody who wants to vote differently,” Teague said.

“And although there are some techniques for providing evidence that encrypted votes have been properly decrypted and tallied, it’s hard to scale those techniques to large Australian elections.”

As I said in September, give me my trusty pencil of democracy.

This was also my first podcast with a specific commercial sponsor.

Corrupted Nerds is available via iTunes and now SoundCloud.