infosec

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Malcolm Turnbull announces the federal electionMy week of Monday 2 to Sunday 8 May 2016 was essentially a continuation of the previous week, although the illnesses both physical and digital have ended.

Well, the short-term medical conditions anyway. The long-term conditions are both being addressed more or less according to plan. Ish.

I’ll tell you about the key events another time, however. For now, just the essentials.

Podcasts

I’m quite pleased with this episode, and what little feedback I’ve had about the potential future of this podcast suggests that this magazine format is the way to go — although the Public House Forum episodes also seem popular.

Meanwhile…

Jobs and growth, jobs and growth, jobs and growth. Australia’s federal election has finally been confirmed for Saturday 2 July. We have an eight-week campaign, which means there should be at least two episodes of the Edict.

The mediascape will be filled with the usual commentary and mainstream punditry based on each day’s action. So for my own efforts, in podcasts or elsewhere, I intend to slow down and get outside that bubble.

What will this mean in practice? I don’t know yet. Watch this space.

Articles

Media Appearances

  • Mark Newton decided to preserve my rant about Senator James Paterson from Thursday night. I was angry that he’d asked a question in Senate Estimates about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) spending $50,000 on a custom typeface, the answer to which he could have found by reading any news story on the topic. I’ll have more to say about that another time.
  • On Sunday, I was quoted in an article, My innovation is bigger than your innovation, by Ken Wolff at The Political Sword. It’s an interesting read, in which I play a tiny, tiny part.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be based at Wentworth Falls for most of the week, I believe, and it begins with a day off on Monday.

Remarkably, the rest of the week has no fixed appointments, but I’ve got plenty to do. There’s the usual writing for ZDNet and perhaps Crikey, the geek-for-hire work, and the neverending work to bring my tax affairs up to date. I’ll also have to lock in my podcast and election campaign plans. But I’ll be able to work on these things in the most comfortable order. This pleases me.

The weekend is similarly unplanned. Joy.

Further Ahead

On 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast. Apart from my usual conference coverage, once more I’ll be on the panel for the event’s closing Speed Debate.

[Photo: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces the federal election on 8 May 2016. Screenshot from ABC News24.]

Waiting at Bundanoon: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 April 2016 began in chaos, but ended with a few wins — with most of it being spent in Canberra.

I was well impressed with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. I learned a lot, met some people that were handy to meet, and gathered plenty of material for future stories. And the train journeys there and back were delightful.

Articles

Both of these articles came from the ACSC Conference. Another will appear at ZDNet on Monday. More material from the conference will doubtless emerge in coming weeks.

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

There’s nothing that involved me directly. But my name cropped up incidentally in a story at The Independent, Australia has a new $5 dollar note and people think it looks like ‘vomit’. And one of my tweets ended up becoming part of the headline in a New Matilda story, Tiger Airways’ “Modern Theory Of Gender”.

I’ve also just discovered that one of my photos was used to illustrate a Mother Nature Network story, Take up the cause to help bees and butterflies pollinate, back on 25 March.

Corporate Largesse

  • While I made my own way to Canberra this week, there was plenty of sponsored food and drink and swag. This is not a full list of what was on offer, just what I happened to grab, or that was included in the conference satchel. BT had sunglasses. Cisco was giving away mints. f5 Networks had a crank-recharging LED torch. Fortinet sponsored the excellent conference backpack, a Crumpler that normally retails for more than $100. Juniper Networks sponsored the conference dinner at the Australian Institute of Sport, and were giving away Smarties. LogRhythm gave away Cylon Bluetooth Headphones. Nuix had playing cards. ObserveIt had one of those handy USB-to-everything charging cables. RSA had a notebook and pen, as well as the much-appreciated post-dinner Berocca. And Thales had more of those pens with the secret screwdrivers inside.

The Week Ahead

It turns out that I’ll probably be spending the whole week in Sydney, staying at my usual SEKRIT cave in Lilyfield.

On Monday, I’m writing a thing or two for ZDNet. I’m also going to a lunchtime briefing by Nuix on cybercrime — which should be interesting, because it’s co-sponsored by the Walkley Foundation and chaired by legendary Australian investigative journalist Kate McClymont.

On Tuesday, I’m writing for Crikey for the first time in ages, then working on my much-delayed geek-for-hire projects.

On Wednesday, I’m doing the long commute in reverse, catching the train to Wentworth Falls to collect my recording equipment, and returning to Sydney the same day. Research and writing will be done en route.

Thursday is a combination medical and writing day. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is releasing the government’s much-delayed Cyber Security Strategy. Thanks to iTnews journalist Allie Coyne, well already know what’s in it, but I’m almost certain to have more to say once we we have the full text. In between all that, I’ll have two medical appointments.

On Friday, I’ll start work on a new episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That may or may not have an Anzac Day theme, given that it’s then going to be the long weekend with Anzac Day on Monday. But we’ll see.

Friday will also see the release of an episode of Steve Molk’s podcast Humans of Twitter consisting of the interview we recorded last week.

Further Ahead

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April. And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: Waiting at Bundanoon. An older couple waits, watching the Canberra-to-Sydney Xplorer pass through Bundanoon railway station, 150km south-west of Sydney, on 15 April 2016.]

1984 in 2016, with Wyatt Roy: click to embiggenMonday 28 March to Sunday 3 April 2016 was another short week, thanks to Easter. But it also seemed to be more productive than the previous week, which was drenched in fatigue.

I’m almost two months into the slow transition to a new medication regime. The fatigue, the “general feeling of tiredness or weakness”, is slowly fading. So too are the headaches, body aches, random muscle tics in my legs, nausea, constipation, and trouble with sleeping.

Also fading are the intense, vivid dreams that woke me towards the end of the night. That’s good, because the confused muddle of reality and dream-thoughts that continued into wakefulness was accompanied by dizziness and loss of coordination. Exiting the bed in an ill-managed stumble-crash into furniture and walls led to slightly more bruises than I’d planned for.

I’m frustrated that things aren’t magically better straight away. I’m embarrassed by having to constantly reschedule things because I’ve fallen asleep after breakfast, or whatever. But I can see gradual progress, or at least the illusion of progress, which is almost as good.

On to the visible achievements…

Articles

Podcasts

None, but I’ll be pondering the future of my podcasts over the next couple of weeks.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was plenty of free food and drink at D61+ LIVE.
  • On Wednesday night, PR princess Shuna Boyd paid for the drinks at her own retirement party.
  • On Thursday, law firm Gilbert+Tobin provided snacks and wine at the seminar by the International Association of Privacy Professionals Australia and New Zealand (iappANZ).

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one. No fixed appointments, but plenty to do on my current geek-for-hire projects, and on my tax compliance backlog. I’ll also write a column or two for ZDNet. Order of play TBA.

On Saturday, I’ll tidy up the Lilyfield house, before returning to Wentworth Falls on Sunday afternoon.

Further Ahead

On Tuesday 12 April, I’ll take a train from Sydney to Canberra — it should be an interesting change from the airlines — to cover the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. The event runs through to Thursday 14 April, and I’ll return to Sydney on the Friday, writing for ZDNet en route.

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April.

And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: 1984 in 2016, with Wyatt Roy. A video message from Australia’s Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy is played to attendees of Data61’s D61+ LIVE event at Australian Technology Park in Sydney on 30 March 2016.]

Old Target: click to embiggen My week of Monday 14 to Sunday 20 March 2016 was pretty much as planned, though slightly more tiring than I’d hoped.

Right now I’m more in the mood to listen to the rain outside than write, so I’ll leave it there.

Articles

Podcasts

None. But scroll down for details of a new episode of The 9pm Edict in just a few days.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday morning, I dropped into Tech Leaders Forum, and had a coffee on their tab. Nothing newsworthy was said, however.

The Week Ahead

I’m spending the short work week before Easter in Lilyfield, in Sydney’s inner west, as well as Easter itself. I’ll be working steadily through three geek-for-hire projects, catching up a big chunk of that bookkeeping for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and writing a ZDNet column.

On Wednesday night, I’m finally recording and streaming that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That’s at 2100 AEDT on this website. Details will be posted on Monday.

That much-delayed episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be produced and posted over the weekend. The recording won’t be streamed live, for a number of reasons, though I might stream the finished podcast at a specific time so you can enjoy it together.

Further Ahead

The short week after Easter will be an extension of the plan just described. So will the following week, at least at this stage.

After that, I should be in Canberra on 12-14 April for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. A plan is slowly evolving.

I’ll definitely be on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May for the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference.

Update 23 March 2016: Edited to reflect changed plans.

[Photo: Old Target. Today I found one of the National Rifle Association regulation practice targets that I used when I went to American Shooters, a firearms range in Las Vegas, in 2011. I think I need some more practice.]

The End of Summer: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 7 to Sunday 13 March 2016 was another moderately steady improvement, in both productivity and mood. I am moderately pleased.

The Canberra trip went well, as you’ll see immediately below, but it was also exhausting. The rest of the week was therefore relatively quiet.

If you follow my Twitter stream, you already know all of this, and more.

Articles

Both of these articles are derived from material presented at the Australian Internet Industry Association (AIIA) Navigating Privacy and Security Summit on Tuesday.

Podcasts

None. I know you’ve heard this before, but I do want to wrap up that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast very soon. See below.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’m heading a few kilometres up the Great Western Highway to Leura for part of Tech Leaders, namely a keynote by Labor’s communications spokesperson Jason Clare, and then reporting on same for ZDNet. I’ll probably have lunch in Katoomba after that.

I then plan to spend the rest of the week working on three geek-for-hire projects that have fallen behind schedule, and catching up a big chunk of that bookkeeping for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

That said, I hope to make the day trip to Sydney one day for a medical appointment and various errands. I’m also looking at doing that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast one evening. And I should probably write a ZDNet column in there somewhere too.

I can’t make final arrangements until Monday afternoon, however, and I need to keep the pace reasonable, so stay tuned for details.

Further Ahead

The following two weeks are the two short weeks either side of the Easter long weekend, and will mostly be an extension of the plan just described.

I then plan to be in Canberra on 12-14 April for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. The trick will be organising travel and accommodation.

I’ll definitely be on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May for the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference.

[Photo: The End of Summer. These are the colours of an Australian summer, as you can also see from last week’s photo — and we’ve had a long one this year. Photographed from VA654 on final approach to Canberra airport (CBR) on 7 March 2016.]

Beer Bubbles: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 February 2016 was another relative unproductive one, for reasons explained last time, but it was an improvement. Improvement is good.

A personal update will be posted in the next few days. For now, on with the show…

Podcasts

None, but I do want to wrap up that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast very soon. See below.

Articles

None, but I have a ZDNet column being published on Monday.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

This will be the first is a series of quite structured weeks for me, which will be a challenge. I daresay I may have to change a few things as I go along. But with that said, here’s the plan…

On Monday, I’ll catch the 0734 train to Sydney, completing my ZDNet column en route. At 1100, I’ll catch VA834 SYD-MEL. Once I’ve checked in to my hotel, I’ll bring my various geek-for-hire projects up to date.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ll be covering the APIdays conference for ZDNet, and catching up with friends in the evenings. On Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, and having a couple of work-related meetings, before catching VA859 MEL-SYD at 1600. I’ll probably return to Wentworth Falls that night.

Friday through Saturday? Well, that depends on my energy levels. But I hope to get that podcast done somewhere in there.

Further Ahead

The following week, I’ll be in Canberra from Monday 7 March for the Australian Internet Industry Association (AIIA) Navigating Privacy and Security Summit on Tuesday. I’ll probably stay in Canberra on Wednesday. Then on Sunday, I’ll be back in the Blue Mountains for Tech Leaders.

I’ll be in Canberra again 12-14 April for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. And I’ll be on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May for the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference.

[Photo: Beer Bubbles, specifically the Katoomba Brewing Company Great Western Golden Ale, photographed on 22 February 2016.]

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stilgherrian/19191057743/in/photostream/My week of Monday 25 to Sunday 31 January 2016 was very different from the one experienced by most Australians.

For most Australians, it was a short week, because they’d taken Monday, joined it up with the public holiday for Australia Day on Tuesday, and made themselves an unofficial four-day long weekend.

Whether they chose to do that by requesting annual leave, or through the rather more patriotic tradition of “chucking a sickie”, would have been a matter between them and those persistent little nagging voices in the back of their heads.

Mine was arranged a little differently, for reasons described in the immediately preceding post. It was busy, and here’s what emerged.

Articles

Podcasts

None, because the planned Sunday night recording of The 9pm Edict was abandoned due to repeated software crashes. It has been re-scheduled for Tuesday night.

At one point during the week, I also announced a bold plan to record a Corrupted Nerds podcast with Leslie Nassar as well. That plan was abandoned when sanity returned.

Both podcasts are now on an official one-month hiatus while I consider their future. I’ll post my thoughts in the coming week.

Media Appearances

5at5

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

Corporate Largesse

None, but it begins in earnest in the coming week.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one, boys and girls…

On Monday, I’ll be up early to finalise some tax documentation, then at 1030 I’ll be phoning in to Deloitte for a cybersecurity briefing. The afternoon will see me negotiating certain timelines with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), updating the clients for my various geek-for-hire projects, and having an early night.

On Tuesday, I really must do that cleaning and shopping.

On Wednesday, I’ll be catching an early train to Sydney for an appointment at the Black Dog Institute. I’ll post more about that on Tuesday morning. I’ll then return to the Blue Mountains mid-afternoon, because at 2100 AEDT I’ll be recording The 9pm Edict and streaming it live.

On Thursday, I’m writing for ZDNet, then heading back to Sydney in the afternoo for a meeting at 1745 to kick off a new geek-for-hire project. I plan to stay in Sydney overnight, should Sydney’s nosebleed accommodation prices permit.

Worked on the aforementioned geek-for-for hire projects, and everything else, will be woven around those appointments as need be.

The weekend is as yet unplanned.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 13 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. Wednesday night I’m doing a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne, at 1930 AEDT. I’m then on a panel on Thursday 11 at 1730 AEDT, titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I plan to stay in Melbourne until Saturday afternoon. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

I hope to return to Melbourne to cover the APIdays conference on 1-2 March, but that’ll depend on me finding someone to cover my flights and accommodation. Would you like to be my sponsor?

[Update 2145 AEDT: Edited to reflect the new podcast recording time. Update 1 February 2016: Minor edits to the schedule.]

[Photo: To boldly go…. There’s a story behind this photograph.]

ABC logoEven though it’s a year old, the website that crashes an iPhone is back in the news this week — presumably because knowledge of the trick “went viral”, as they say.

This story piqued the interest of Fiona Willey, presenter of ABC Radio’s Statewide Drive in NSW, and we spoke on-air earlier this evening.

This is the full nine-minute interview, including a bit about the story from September 2015 when malware-infected apps made their way into the offical Apple App Store in China.

Play

The audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

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.]

Sydney Storm: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 14 Sunday 20 December 2015 was full of many things, few of which are listed here. I’ve been doing random geekery rather than media stuff this week.

While I would like to blame my relative lack of productivity solely on my ratty sleep patterns this week — and they have been a thing, for various health-related reasons — I would also like to blame Certain People for plying me with alcohol. You know who you are.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2 was recorded on Saturday, and will be edited and posted online early in the coming week. It was immense fun, and you may well find it amusing.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday, I spoke about the security risks of Wi-Fi Hello Barbie on Sydney radio 2UE, but I did not record it. I’ve spoken about it previously on ABC Radio’s PM.

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, I went to a lunchtime briefing by Hitachi Data Systems at the ever-wonderful Gowings Bar and Grill in Sydney. Apart from the usual fine food and wine, we all got a goodie pouch containing a HDS-branded 2600mAh Power Bank, and an 8GB memory stick with the presentation.

The Week Ahead

Since the silly season has begun in Australia, and this coming week is the short week before Christmas, I won’t even bother trying to schedule it too closely. Besides, I’m cat-sitting in Ashfield again, in Sydney’s inner west, and some key items that I’ll need in the next couple of weeks are still in Wentworth Falls.

Nevertheless, between now and Thursday night, which is Christmas Eve, I know I have to design a simple website, write at least one thing for ZDNet, and edit and publish that pub podcast. I’d also like to do that yearly wrap episode of Corrupted Nerds, but I’m not so sure that will happen now.

There’s only two fixed appointments so far, Huawei’s Christmas Drinks on Tuesday evening, and a medical appointment late on Wednesday afternoon. As for the rest of it, I’ll be making it up as I go along.

As you should know by now, my Twitter feed is the most up-to-date data source for these things.

Friday is Christmas Day, so I’m likely to be offline then, as well as through the following weekend.

[Photo: Sydney Storm. The Sydney CBD seen from Lilyfield just before Wednesday’s storm hit. While the CBD itself suffered little harm, around 50 houses were damaged by severe winds at Kurnell.]

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