Talking iPhone-crashing malware on ABC Statewide NSW

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.

The audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking the cult of Apple on ABC Gold Coast

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”.

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking Apple iPhone 5 on Balls Radio

Yes, OK, we fell for it. Shut up. We have to make a living, you know. Apple’s new iPhone 5 was the topic for my spot on Phil Dobbie’s Balls Radio this week.

Oh wait. We don’t get paid for this. Well that’s just wrong.

While the conversation bounced off the piece I wrote for Crikey, somehow I also managed to compare Windows Phone 7 to Judaism. You should probably listen before you complain.

Here’s the audio of my segment. If you’d like more, Mr Dobbie has posted the full episode.

This week’s episode wasn’t on Sydney’s FM 99.3 Northside Radio. There’s things happening the background. But if you want to keep listening then keep track of it all at

Weekly Wrap 119: Ducks, ducks, sheep and bull

The bulk of the business end of my week Monday 10 to Sunday 16 September 2012 was spent at Microsoft’s TechEd 2012 event on the Gold Coast, and the weekend at Parramatta.

Microsoft’s event, like all major vendor conferences, began with an intense burst of frustration thanks to the inevitable series of overly-long overly-staged buzzword-saturated propaganda events — “keynotes”, the industry has decided to call them — designed to hammer the new technology’s marketecture into your head while preventing the opportunity for critical thinking.

And, like nearly all others, it eventually settled down into something sensible once all the vice-presidents and managing directors and pointlessly-animated PowerPoint presentations and bass-heavy music had been stage-managed out of the room and actual engineers and designers and other geeks started talking through specific details.

I’ll have more to say about that in due course.

Parramatta, by comparison, delivered a delightful spring weekend full of ducklings and food and wine and almost no pretension whatsoever.

I’ll have more to say about that in due course also.


  • Patch Monday episode 154, “Good-guy hackers and other infosec anomalies”. A conversation with Michael Montecillo, a threat research and intelligence principal with IBM Security Services, covering good-guy hackers (well der!), click fraud, his views on the profile of hacktivism following the arrest of key Anonymous and LulzSec members, and more.


Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday I did a spot on ABC 105.7 Darwin, but it wasn’t recorded my end so I can’t bring it to you today. That’s a remarkable similar statement to last week, except that one was a pre-record with Richard Margetson and this one was live with Kate O’Toole. I’m annoyed that the recording didn’t happen, ‘cos I managed to give a coherent exposition of my thoughts about online bullying.
  • On Tuesday I did another regular Balls Radio spot with Phil Dobbie, talking about the High Court rejecting an appeal in the Optus TV Now case.
  • On Friday I spoke about the new iPhone 5 and the utility of smartphones for journalism on ABC Radio National’s Media Report.

Corporate Largesse

I attended Microsoft’s TechEd 2012 on the Gold Coast as their guest.

  • Microsoft covered my airfares from Sydney to the Gold Coast and return, airport transfers, three nights accommodation at Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino on Broadbeach Island, and all the food and drinks.
  • The conference backpack was a high-quality Targus job, containing marketing material from sponsors and other vendors. The former I’ve kept, because my The North Face backpack is starting to wear out. All the latter I’ve thrown into the recycling bin, unread.


  • On Monday evening I attended the SANS Sydney Community Event “Your Security Monitoring — An Attacker’s Perspective”, where the food and (soft)drinks were sponsored by Shearwater Solutions. An article about this will appear in due course.

The Week Ahead

It’s a busy week of (mostly) writing for me, with around five articles already committed to various mastheads, as well as my presentation at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. I think my original plan to win the first annual Orkney Short Crime Fiction Prize will have to be dropped. I has disappoint.

I’ll be heading from Sydney to Wentworth Falls this afternoon (Monday) and will return to Sydney for the school holiday period on the coming weekend. I also plan to be in Sydney on Wednesday morning for Symantec’s announcement of their Australian expansion plans. How will that turn into an accommodation schedule? I’ll figure that out this evening.

[Photo: Ducks at Parramatta, a delightfully pastoral scene photographed on the banks of the Parramatta River on Saturday afternoon. I managed to get quite close to this family of ducks before they raised the alarm and took to the water.]

Talking journalism and iPhone 5 on ABC Media Report

Yes, Apple released a new iPhone 5 this week. I wrote about it for Crikey. And I spoke about it on ABC Radio National’s Media Report yesterday, in the context of using smartphones for journalism.

Will the new iPhone improve citizen journalism? More broadly, can we use modern Android phones to produce quality journalism?

The tools I mentioned were:

  • CoveritLive for liveblogging.
  • WordPress for blogging more generally, though of course there are others.
  • Any number of tools for posting photos and other images, but I mentioned Flickr and Twitpic.
  • YouTube is the gorilla in the room for posting video, but there’s also services for live video streaming such as Ustream and Livestream. The latter even works as a video switching service in the cloud.

“You’re going to get phone calls after this, Richard, from plenty of people who say ‘No, no, no, use something else. You can get into kind of religious wars about this sort of thing, and it’ll all be out of date by November,” I said. Which is true, but I still might write an article talking about this in more detail some time.

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and over at their website you can listen to the entire episode.

Talking Apple versus Samsung on 2SER’s “The Wire”

I ended up talking about Apple versus Samsung on Radio 2SER’s current affairs program The Wire as well, syndicated via community radio stations around Australia.

The journalist was Tawar Razaghi, and their website introduces the story like this:

Apple wants Samsung to take eight mobile models off the market after it won a landmark patent case against Samsung over the design of its mobile phones. Apple was awarded $1.5 billion in damages and now has the exclusive rights to pinch-and-zoom gestures on their touch-screen technologies.

Patent law is intended to reward innovation but with companies engaged in patent turf wars this case highlights how patents may inhibit innovation instead.

The audio is ©2012 2SER-FM 107.3, and you can download a podcast of the entire episode once that section of their website is back up after the current maintenance work.