Weekly Wrap 317: Does the Solstice herald a good new year?

Sydney Harbour at sunset: click to embiggenMy week Monday 20 to Sunday 26 June 2016 saw me emerging from the mysterious illness, and starting to get back into work. Still, I made good progress on most work fronts, even if there’s nothing much to report


This is the final episode of what I’ve called “series 4” of the Edict. There’s a new series and a new schedule from 1 July. I haven’t announced that yet, however, except to say that there’ll be one episode during July. Stay tuned for details.

Media Appearances

Articles and Corporate Largesse

None. For obvious reasons.

The Week Ahead

I’m spending this week in Ashfield, in Sydney’s inner west, but Monday will be a day of travel: errands to Enmore and Lilyfield, then the long commute up to Wentworth Falls and back. Why? To collect some documents I need for my neverending tax compliance catch-up.

Tuesday will see me working with those documents.

On Wednesday, there’s a lunchtime briefing by VMware in the SydneyCBD, after which I’ve got a meeting related to a SEKRIT media project.

On Thursday I’m recording an interview in the morning, then heading to the Sydney CBD to get a haircut, pre-vote for Saturday’s federal election, and get a democracy sausage.

Friday will be a mix of research, writing, and more tax compliance work, depending on my mood at the time.

There’s also geek work scattered through the whole week, but I won’t go into the details here.

Saturday is federal election day in Australia. While I’m not sure what I’ll be doing during the day, the evening will doubtless be spent watching to election specials on TV. It’ll be a close result, by all accounts, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Further Ahead

While the following few weeks are still be be organised, I can say that I’ll be going to theGartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Sydney on 22-23 August, and the AISA National Conference in Sydney on 18-20 October.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour at sunset, photographed on 22 June 2016 while crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.]

Talking John Brennan’s email breach on ABC’s PM

ABC logoOne of the more amusing information security stories last week was the news that CIA director John Brennan’s personal email account at AOL had been taken over by a couple of young hackers.

I ended up providing a few comments on ABC Radio’s PM on Thursday.

It’s a situation that would be deeply embarrassing for any CEO but for the director of the CIA to have his private email account accessed by hackers is beyond humiliating. Leaked emails appear to discuss the use of torture and to contain extensive details of the CIA chief’s private life. The CIA has condemned the hack as a crime, saying the hacked email was a family account. PM has obtained an interview with two people who claim to be the hackers. Sarah Dingle reports.

Here’s the entire 4-minute radio story.

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is being served directly from the program website, where there’s also a transcript.

Announcing 5at5, my new daily email letter

Screenshot of 5at5 website: click to go thereI come across a lot of fascinating stuff in the course of my alleged media work. It’s stuff worth sharing more widely. Back in December, I decided that I’d start sending out a daily email linking to the best. That email launches tomorrow, Monday 3 February.

It’s called 5at5, and it’ll bring you five items every weekday at around 5pm Sydney time.

They’ll be connected to [my] interests in some way — the politics of the internet and how technology is changing power relationships at every level of society, security and surveillance, military technology and history, language, journalism and human nature. And more.

I was amused to see Alexis Madrigal, technology editor at The Atlantic, launch his own daily email recently, 5 Intriguing Things. Five is the magic number, it seems.

I’ve chosen to use the same platform at Madrigal, TinyLetter, which is a subsidiary of email marketing platform MailChimp. Why? Mostly because it’s free. TinyLetter is limited to 3000 subscribers, but I’ll worry about that when it happens.

So now you’re going to click through to subscribe, right? Good puppy. Smart puppy.