My week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 January 2021 finally started seeing me gear up for the working year with a video stream, a solid article, and more. I even snuck in a conference and experienced a great big rainstorm on Sunday afternoon.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 556: Magpies, writing, and some geekery”
- How Australia’s government-by-parrot is flying backward on drones, ZDNet Australia, 19 January 2018.
- Meltdown and Spectre response hampered by ‘exclusive club’ secrecy, ZDNet Australia, 25 January 2018. This is the first in a series of articles to come out of my coverage of the Linux.conf.au open-source software conference that took place in Sydney this week.
None. Announcements soon.
- There was plenty of food and drink at Linux.conf.au, but I can’t remember who all the sponsors were. IBM was one, though, sponsoring a professional networking event on Thursday night. And Wargaming.net paid for the conference’s coffee.
- On Tue 9 Jan, I spoke about planned obsolescence on ABC Gold Coast. I didn’t record it.
- On Tue 23 Jan, I was interviewed for the story Electoral Commission on defensive after damning report on ABC Radio’s AM
- My 2015 story Telstra CISO blasts cyber ‘attribution distraction’ was cited in the paper Digital Forensic Analysis of Amazon Linux EC2 Instances (PDF) by Kenneth G Hartman.
The Week Ahead
I won’t plan ahead in too much detail. This is the week when Australia returns from its long summer slumber. I know I’ll have errands in Katoomba on Monday. But I’ll also be doing a bunch of writing during the first part of the week, and perhaps right through to the end.
I’ll also sketch out the first few months of the year, especially the podcasts and such. Expect announcements via Twitter.
Monday 28 December 2015 to Sunday 3 January 2016 was spent in the Sydney suburbs of Ashfield and Lilyfield, where the quiet week following Christmas heralded a new year that should see many, many changes.
I hope so, anyway, because I’ve got plenty of things to sort out. I’ll tell you more in due course.
- “The 9pm Topsy Turnbull Land”, being the rather brief The 9pm Edict episode 55, was recorded and posted on New Year’s Eve. It’s also on SoundCloud and Spreaker.
Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.
- I arrived back at Bunjaree Cottages tonight to find a Christmas gift from Kaspersky Lab: a bottle of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2013.
The Week Ahead
I’ve got plenty to do in the coming week, but I won’t be able to schedule everything until I make some calls on Monday. I do know that most of it will be spent at Wentworth Falls, however.
That said, the week’s tasks include designing a website and a matching email template for a client; booking some medical appointments in Sydney; writing for ZDNet; scriptwriting for the next episode of The 9pm Edict;
planning my coverage of Linux.conf.au; updating some of the stuff I use to explain what it is that I actually do; starting to tie up the loose ends from my crowdfunding projects; thinking about my future accommodation needs; and starting to bring my bookkeeping up to date so I can file five years of outstanding tax returns.
The next episode of The 9pm Edict will be recorded on Thursday 14 January 2015, streamed live starting at 2100 AEDT.
The next episode of The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum is likely to be recorded on the afternoon of Saturday 23 January. I’m thinking this should be a monthly thing.
Update 2000 AEDT: Edited to add the wine. Update 6 January 2015: Edited to reflect dropping plans to go to Linux.conf.au.
[Photo: Sydney Sunrise from Lilyfield, photographed on 2 January 2016.]
The difficulties hinted at last week were more about continuing gastro-intestinal problems rather than stress and depression — though obviously such things interact — and I’m fairly sure that the third anti-depressant I’ve been trying has very much not been helping in this regard. But I won’t tangle that thread of thought into this Wrap.
While there might not seem to be that much more this week, that’s because I don’t include the various geek-for-hire things I still do from time to time for some legacy clients. A couple hours of relatively straightforward systems administration pays more than writing a typical column, which can reduce the stress remarkably. Such a thing happened this week.
- Want secure software? Listen to Marge Simpson, ZDNet Australia, 13 March 2014. In a way, this is a continuation of my column Apple’s goto fail needs a massive culture change to fix from 26 February, riffing off the news that a similar bug had been found in some Linux software, but drawing in some other threads as well.
By the time today (Sunday) ends, I should also have finished a piece for Crikey that’ll probably be published on Monday — though given the fascinating political news following the state elections in Tasmania and South Australia yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were held over until later in the week.
We seem to have gotten back on track from Wednesday, and the coming week is looking good.
The Week Ahead
On Monday and Tuesday I’ve got lunchtime briefings in Sydney, with Dell Australia and infosec company Imperva respectively, so that means I’ll almost certainly be in Sydney overnight too.
I haven’t locked in the exact order of play after that. It’ll depend on when payments arrive and when I feel in the mood for work, but obviously you can follow my Twitter stream to stay up to date.
[Photo: Study in purple and grey, Leura,14 March 2014, being a picture of the typical pre-storm cloudscapes we see up here in the Blue Mountains.]
Wow, a lot has happened both personally and professionally in the last ten days — including writing another The Full Tilt column and getting to some of Linux.conf.au 2013 in Canberra, the city in which I write this — and none of it has yet made it to blog posts. That will be fixed before the end of the weekend.
It’s exactly one week until I’m meant to be in Canberra for Linux.conf.au 2013, but ZDNet Australia and TechRepublic don’t have the budget to send me. So who wants to pay for it?
Last year I wrote six articles and produced four daily podcasts. I don’t think it’s too immodest of me to say that they were well-received, and that I should cover this year’s event as well.
So, who’s going to cough up the dosh? I’ll need to have the air fares and accommodation covered, along with various minor expenses, and of course I’ll need to be paid as well. Much as I support and respect the free and open source software (FOSS) community, this media stuff is what I do to pay my bills.
I reckon there’s three ways we can do this.
- Another media company pays me to cover the event as a freelancer in the traditional way.
- I cover the event independently. I could perhaps create the Corrupted Nerds masthead for this (I wrote about that on Friday), though that seems better as the title for a security-related thing. I’d need to arrange advertisers and sponsors in the usual way, and time is short.
- I cover the event independently, but crowdsource the funding through Pozible or someone. This is supposed to be the future, so perhaps we could try it?
How much are we looking at? About $5000.
A flight from Sydney to Canberra on Sunday and back a few days after the conference ends — because I need to finish making media objects first, then fly, and if I’m in Canberra I’d do some other things while I was there (about $240). Transport to and from the airports (about $150) and to and from the conference venues ($250). Accommodation for the duration of the conference, ‘cos I’d cover the rest out of my own budget (between $1100 and $1400). Call it $2000.
As for what I’m paid, well, that’s flexible. Last year the podcasts and articles came to just under $3000 including GST. While that may sound relative high for one week of work, bear in mind that I was up at 5am and working until after midnight most days, and working into the weekend. I think I pulled an all-nighter in there somewhere. So you’re pretty much rooted for days afterwards. And freelancers provide their own equipment, and in theory things like paying for future holidays (what?), insurance (come again?) and so on.
Obviously we’d have to decide the exact format of the media objects — whether they’re written stories or live blogs or podcasts or photographs or whatever, or of course a mix thereof. The conference organisers will presumably post the raw recordings of the presentations, but the journalistic approach is to seek out the newsworthy stuff, to analyse and comment upon whats being presented and how it’s being received.
So all up, it’s about $5000. My task for Monday morning is to decide which method to focus on. Which do you think might be best?