Weekly Wrap 427: Cybers, and Melbourne in winter

Kill me now broIt was a busy fortnight from Monday 23 July to Sunday 5 August 2018, and this pleases me. So much written, across two cities. And I had a lovely time in Melbourne.


Media Appearances


None. I really must catch up on the podcast production.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday 24 July, the lunchtime briefing held at the excellent Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Sydney was paid for by Frost & Sullivan, CQR Consulting, Indra Australia, and Zscaler.
  • There was plenty of good food and drink at the SINET 61 cybersecurity innovation conference, held at The Langham, Melbourne on 31 July and 1 August. Note that I paid for my own flights and accommodation.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be back in New South Wales this week, starting off with the errands and medical appointments in Sydney on Monday before taking the train back to Wentworth Falls. I may well do some writing as well. The writing continues Tuesday through Thursday.

On Friday I’m back in Sydney for another medical appointment, a lunchtime meeting in Pyrmont, and a visit to the National Archives of Australia’s premises at Chester Hill. I hope that last errand will produce a fascinating document for you.

Further Ahead

I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Kill me now bro. Graffiti on a concrete anti-terrorist block at Melbourne’s Southern Cross station, photographed on 5 August 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 424: The writing plods through winter, hurrah!

Sunrise at Wentworth FallsMonday 9 to Sunday 15 July 2018 was a productive week for me, party because I had my computer back, and partly because I’d dealt with certain stresses. Joy.

I’ve kinda fallen out of the habit of discussing the week in more detail. Long gone are actual blog posts like, say, this update on the internet filtering debate from a decade ago, or art reviews, or even collections of tweets. Certainly none of the essays like I came for the gin, I stayed for the social revolution (30 April 2008), or It’s the little details which matter… (27 May 2007), or so many others which were much better than those.

I blame Twitter.


The second tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series was released, that thing with me as series editor. I had two stories this week.

Plus I wrote a couple of stories about the Australian Signals Directorate for ZDNet.

Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week, primarily for ZDNet because I’m kinda covering some staff leave.

On Monday I’m talking about the Prying Eyes series on radio Triple R in Melbourne. That’s at 0945 AEST. I’ll keep the rest of the day free, because the opt-out period starts for Australia’s new My Health Record. There’s plenty of privacy concerns, and I’m half expecting the opt-out process to fall over. If so, I’ll be ready to write about it.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne for the week of 30 July to 5 August, primarily for the SINET 61 conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday that week. I’ll certainly be doing other things while I’m there, perhaps even recording a podcast or two.

Things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Sunrise at Wentworth Falls. Not from this year, but from last year, 5 July 2017.]

Weekly Wrap 423: Beyond the winter fog

Foggy morning in WerringtonI’m hoping that Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July 2018 will have been the last of a series of less-productive weeks, now that I’ve probably throw out all the intestinal bugs, and that I’ve got my computer back.

I’m very happy to finally present these first few items.



The first tranche of the Crikey Prying Eyes series has been released. I was the series editor, and my first two stories are now out there.

Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s all about writing this week. On Monday I need to finish a piece for Crikey, then it’s the start of several weeks in July and August when I’m writing primarily for ZDNet, covering for staff who are taking leave. That’ll keep me busy.

I hope to get a magazine-style episode of The 9pm Edict done some time this week too, but I haven’t set a date yet.

Further Ahead

Things I’ve pencilled in, none of which have been confirmed yet:

[Photo: Foggy morning in Werrington. The view south from a train passing through the western Sydney suburb of Werrington on a foggy winter morning, 4 July 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 410: Unexpected crickets before Canberra

Cricket!This is about Monday 2 to Sunday 8 April 2018, but let’s get on with the details.


  • “The 9pm Probe: Dr Alice Gorman, space archaeologist”, being The 9pm Edict episode 76. You can also listen to it on SoundCloud and Spreaker. This is the pilot episode of what I hope will become a regular addition to The 9pm Edict cycle, a series of long-form interviews with interesting people. Please let me know what you think.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a big one. On Monday morning I’m heading down to Sydney, where I’ll do some important preparations, like getting a haircut. I’ll also be continuing with the research on that SEKRIT editorial project. I’ll be able to tell you about that eventually, but not just yet.

On Tuesday I’m taking the 1201 train to Canberra, doing a bunch of stuff en route. That evening, I’m covering a panel discussion at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Stopping a Cyber Threat on Our Election: US and Australian Experiences. Should be interesting.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I’m covering the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference, so on Friday I reckon I’ll still be writing about that. There’s usually a bunch of stories.

I’ll stay in Canberra until late Saturday afternoon, and have a lazy day in Sydney on Sunday.

[Photo: Cricket! A large and, I think, female cricket found at Bunjaree Cottages near Wentworth Falls on 2 April 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 381: Hasn’t everything been lovely! No?

Hanging SwampThis Weekly Wrap covers two weeks, Monday 4 to Sunday 17 September 2017. Thank the gods, spring is rolling on, and I’ll be back to weekly posting soon.

The fortnight’s achievements included wrapping up work on that SEKRIT editorial project — I’ll post separately about that on Monday — and the news that I probably don’t have skin cancer.

“Say what?”

So yeah, a spot on my leg that’s been there for years had recently started growing. I did what all of you should do. Rather than ignoring it, I showed it to my GP. He was fairly sure it was nothing to worry about, but to be sure, we sought specialist advice.

A lovely dermatologist chappie quickly identified it as a traumatised angioma, as shown in figures 16 and 17. Mine isn’t as visually prominent as that one, and only half the length.

My GP’s response was dismissive. “Oh, so it’s a scratch,” he said.

He’s been my GP for more than 20 years. He takes liberties. Like eating sandwiches during consultations.

Anyway, on with the show… such that it is.

Articles, Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None, but see below.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday 5 September, I spoke about the fragility of the internet on ABC Adelaide. As has been usual lately, I probably won’t post the audio.
  • On Thursday 14 September, Tim Burrowes and I spoke about Facebooks’s new advertising policies on ABC Radio’s The World Today.

The Week Ahead

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will finally be recorded this Thursday 21 September at 2100 AEST. No really. As has become traditional, it’ll be streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

Apart from that, I’ll be doing the usual mix of writing and complaining and stuff.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Hanging Swamp. The view down into a valley at the terrain known locally as a hanging swamp. This example is at the side of the main track at Bunjaree Cottages, near Wentworth Falls. Photographed on 13 September 2017.]

Talking Facebook’s Project Aquila on ABC Radio National

Facebook's Project Aquila

ABC logoOn Wednesday I spoke with ABC Radio National about Facebook’s Project Aquila. I’ll let their introduction explain it.

Facebook’s ‘Aquila’ drone has the wingspan of a 737 airliner. But it’s powered by the equivalent of three blow-dryers, and it will stay aloft for months at a time.

It’s a technological feat, built with the idea of extending internet connectivity to more of the developing world.

But the net commentator Stilgherrian explains that Facebook’s offering comes with certain limits.

Here’s the full conversation with presenter Michael Mackenzie, which also included a few words about Google’s Project Loon and net neutrality.


This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation and is being served directly from the ABC website.

[Photo: Facebook’s ‘Aquila’ aerial internet platform has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737 airliner. (supplied)]