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Approaching Gold Coast AirportThis Weekly Wrap covers three weeks, Monday 3 to Sunday 23 July 2017, because I just simply didn’t get around to it. Sometimes the pace needs to be pulled back. Especially when you’re in Queensland.

There was plenty of productivity, but it was in the background. You’ll see hints of it in the lists.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but see below.

Media Appearances

  • On Wednesday 5 July, I spoke about the Medicare data breach and the dark web on ABC Adelaide.
  • On the same day, I spoke with journalism students at Macleay College about the tech press, and my thoughts on journalism generally. They’ve published an article and edited video.
  • On Friday 14 July, I spoke about the Australian government’s cryptography plans on ABC Perth.
  • On Thursday 20 July, I spoke about various ways to help secure your email on ABC Gold Coast.

I probably won’t get around to posting audio of those last two.

Corporate Largesse

None, apart from the food and drink provided at the conferences.

The Week Ahead

Monday through Wednesday will be days of writing and editing, for both ZDNet and the SEKRIT project. The latter is very close to completion now.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will finally be recorded this Thursday 27 July at 2100 AEST, and streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

On Friday, I’m heading down to Sydney, and the University of NSW in particular, to help celebrate the 30th birthday of the Australian Privacy Foundation. How time flies.

Further Ahead

At some point between 26 and 28 July, I’m recording the pilot episode of a new podcast. Even though it’s a variant of The 9pm Edict, it won’t be streamed live. It’s a different sort of thing. Details soon.

Later in the year, I’m covering SINET61 on 26 to 27 September; the iappANZ Summit 2017 on 3 October; the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney from 10 to 12 October; and Ruxcon in Melbourne on 21 to 22 October.

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

[Photo: Approaching Gold Coast Airport (OOL/YBCG) from the north, photographed on 16 July 2017 from Virgin Australia flight VA517, served that day by Boeing 737-800 registration VH-YVA.]

ERT 2016: part of the stage for  AusCERT 2016

ABC logoAs careful readers will know, I’ve spent most of the week on Australia’s Gold Coast at the AusCERT 2016 Conference. That piqued the interest of ABC Gold Coast.

On Thursday morning I recorded a chat about various security and cybercrime topics of interest, which was edited down to this 16-minute conversation.

The presenter is Nicole Dyer.

Play

This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: Part of the stage for AusCERT 2016, photographed on 25 May 2016.]

Sunset on the Gold Coast: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 1 to Sunday 7 June 2015 has been both productive and exhausting, covering two conferences in two states.

It’s a long time since I’ve written five articles in week. It’s at least six months since I’ve done four, which is as far back as I could be bothered scrolling let alone five. But of course, there’s podcasts and other projects that have generated revenue, including random geekery and technical consultancy, so “number of articles” isn’t a fair measure.

Still, this has been one of my most productive weeks in a while. Excellent.

Articles

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict is scheduled for Monday 15 June, or the day after.

5at5

There were two editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, and Sunday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about Chinese ATMs with face recognition on ABC 891 Adelaide.
  • On Friday, I took part in the AusCERT Speed Debate. The Livestream recording has bad audio, so I’ll link to the YouTube version when it becomes available.
  • Also on Friday, I was interviewed by the University of Melbourne student newspaper Farrago. I’ll link to that story when it goes live.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to the Check Point Cyber Security Symposium in Sydney, or at least part of it. The goodie bag included a signed copy of Brian Krebs’ book Spam Nation, a Check Point branded notebook, a chocolate from A10 Networks, and of course copies of Check Point’s promotional material. Food and drink were supplied.
  • From Tuesday night through to Friday, I was at the AusCERT Information Security Conference as AusCERT’s guest. They provided return flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast, airport transfers, three nights accommodation at RACV Royal Pines Resort, and of course all the conference food and drink — and there was plenty of that. For taking part in the Speed Debate, I was given a bottle of Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2012 from the Clare Valley. And everybody got a copy of Bruce Schneier’s book Data and Goliath, an AusCERT-branded shirt, and a rather well-made courier bag. From CyberArk: A macaron, delivered creepy-like into my hotel room while I wasn’t there. From Firemon: A branded glass-cleaning cloth. From Mimecast: a keyring bottle opener. From NCC Group: a golden bath duck. From the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service: an NCIS cap — yes, from the real NCIS, not the TV show.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday, but nevertheless I’ll be working. I’ll be writing a feature for ZDNet, as well as returning to Wentworth Falls after a week away.

From Tuesday to Thursday, I’ll be working on another feature for ZDNet, as well as my “regular” column, as well as the running so late it’s embarrassing ebook. I see there’s an Apple keynote at 0300 AEST on Tuesday, so that may feed into something. [It didn’t.] And I’ve got an interview to do on Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, I’ll be heading down to Sydney for a media briefing by Cisco. Friday is another writing day.

I’m not sure how the weekend will go, but I see that there’s Poetry in the Pub in Katoomba on Sunday afternoon. I happened to be there last month, and I thought it might be interesting for The 9pm Edict podcast. We’ll see.

Update 11 June 2015: Edited to reflect the abandoning of the Friday trip to Sydney.

[Photo: Sunset on the Gold Coast, Photographed from the 16th floor of the RACV Royal Pines Resort on 3 June 2015.]

ABC logoNo sooner had I spoken about #optuswrongtime on ABC Radio’s AM than I got a call from ABC Gold Coast to expand upon my comments.

So a little after 0830 AEDT on Wednesday morning, or 0730 AEST in Queensland, I spoke with Trevor Jackson and presented my two theories for what might have happened. One was that some new cell towers were switched on overnight in the 700MHz band, which Optus had recently been given permission to do, and they were set to the wrong time zone. The other was that a security update for the network time protocol (NTP) server had been pushed out, and somehow that was configured incorrectly.

We still don’t know the correct answer.

Also, under the influence of a certain Canadian, I managed to sneak in a mention of the secret code word.

Play

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoToday the iPhone 6 went on sale, and of course the Apple fanchildren went into their usual semi-crazed state waiting for the Apple Stores to open — even on the Gold Coast.

ABC Gold Coast morning presenter Nicole Dyer decided to give me a call to explain the phenomenon, and here’s the recording.

She asked me about Stephen Fry’s review of the iPhone 6 for The Guardian. I was not complimentary. I referred to it as “one of the most embarrassing pieces of technology writing in the history of electricity”.

Play

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoThe government’s discussion paper on online copyright infringement came out just over a month ago, the submissions period closed on Monday, and now the debate is really kicking off — including on the complicated legal issue of geoblocking.

Now I’ve already given my opinion on the political spin in the discussion paper itself. But the specific issue of geoblocking came up on ABC Gold Coast, and this morning I spoke with breakfast presenter Bern Young.

Legally it’s a grey area. By signing up for a Netflix account from Australia, for example, you may be breaking the terms and conditions of their service. But you’re still paying for the content, and money is passed on the the actual producers.

The only people missing out are the local Australian distributors who’ve inserted themselves between the content producers and the audience. What value are they adding, exactly? The whole point of the internet is to enable people to connect globally.

CHOICE sees it as a consumer issue. Doesn’t geoblocking, the restriction of content availability by location, restrict competition? They’ve just launched a TV campaign making that point. Even the government’s own inquiry into IT pricing recommended that geoblocking be outlawed.

Play

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Stilgherrian juggling the invisible things at Tech Leaders Forum: photo by Munin Kotadia: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 17 to Sunday 23 February 2014 began with a busy time on the Gold Coast at the Tech Leaders Forum, but when I returned to Wentworth Falls mid-week I descended into food poisoning and related depths. I shall not be drawing a diagram. You shall be grateful.

Nevertheless I got quite a bit done, and I shall now list some of it. But I won’t say much more, because this week ended almost a week ago and I’m moving on.

Articles

I deliberately cut back on the number of written pieces I produced this month, their place in the budget having been filled by the discussion on digital privacy for Hitachi Data Systems. But I’m happy with what I wrote, including this column.

Media Appearances

This was a ridiculous week for media spots. I did a total of seven radio interviews — and that’s after I’d turned down a couple of others, as well as a TV spot.

5at5

Oh dear. It seems that 5at5, the “email letter” that I started three weeks ago, has started to get a bit wobbly. I only managed three issues this week. Sorry.

Corporate Largesse

  • The Tech Leaders Forum 2014, formerly known as Kickstart Forum, on the Gold Coast ran from Sunday to Tuesday. The organisers, Media Connect, covered my flights from Sydney, airport transfers, and two nights accommodation at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove. Then there were various freebies. Avaya: a 4GB USB key containing media assets. Emerson Network Power: a combination max-min thermometer-hygrometer; and an 8GB USB key containing media assets. NEC: an 8GB USB key; and a little battery-powered Bluetooth audio speaker. Riverbed: a Power Bank model A5 2600mAh external battery with all the connectors; and a 4GB USB key containing media assets, on a bright orange lanyard. Symantec: two bottles of orange juice.

[Photo: Stilgherrian juggling the invisible things at Tech Leaders Forum, 16 February 2014, with freelance journalist Claire Porter on the right. Photograph by Munir Kotadia. This is just crying out for some Photoshop work.]

ABC logoThe fact that a bunch of technology journalists had gathered on the Gold Coast to discuss the latest tech trends caught the interest of the local ABC radio station. This conversation from Wednesday 19 February is the result.

Presenter Nicole Dyer and I ended up talking about the Internet of Things — and of course I mentioned the internet refrigerator and the internet rice cooker — smart cars, smart air conditioning, smart TVs and how they can be hacked. It’s a more lighthearted approach to some topics that I’ve discussed more seriously elsewhere.

Play

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Sydney airport before dawn: click for original imageMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 February 2014 isn’t quite finished, but today is effectively the start of a new working week so… well, here we are. Before breakfast at Sydney Airport. Or right next to it. Call it a wrap of Monday to Saturday.

It seems that I switched from early-month torpor to late-month productivity around mid-week. We’ll see how that pans out over the next few days. But I do think I’m starting to identity a clear pattern here.

Articles

Media Appearances

5at5

I suppose I should give better prominence to 5at5, the “email letter” that I started two weeks ago. I’ve actually managed to stick to the daily routine — albeit with some wobbliness in the “around 5pm Sydney time” part of the deal — and it seems like people are liking it. Enjoy.

Corporate Largesse

  • Today I’m heading to the Gold Coast for the three-day Tech Leaders Forum 2014, formerly known as Kickstart Forum, an event I’ve attended in previous years. The event organisers cover my airfares and accommodation, and there’s usually plenty of food and drink and various freebies from the vendors who pay for it all. I’ll list all of the largesse next week so it’s all in the one place.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be on the Gold Coast through until Tuesday evening, fully occupied with the aforementioned event. I’ll then return to the Blue Mountains for a solid week of writing. There’s nothing locked in for Sydney at this stage, but of course that may change.

[Photo: Sydney airport before dawn, taken shortly before the post was published.]

ABC logoMonday morning brought the news that the board of NBN Co had tendered its resignation — although it later transpired that they’d been asked to resign, and one member had chosen not to tender their resignation. But whatever the fine details, it was certainly the day’s big news.

And so I found myself talking about the National Broadband Network on ABC Gold Coast on Monday afternoon with Matt Webber.

Here’s the full audio. I was surprised to find myself outlining the key differences between the Coalition and Labor broadband policies. I’d have thought these would have been discussed to death during the election campaign that had ended only two weeks earlier. But then I don’t follow the daily news bicycle these days, so perhaps I over-estimate how well our media serves the citizenry.

Play

I should note that the story has moved on since this was broadcast, so check your favourite news source. The audio is of course ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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