Weekly Wrap 310: Repaired computer, repaired(-ish) human

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.]

Weekly Wrap 307: Cockatoos and cybers, more or less

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos at Wentworth Falls: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 April 2016 went pretty much to plan, with productivity when it was needed, and some relaxation when that was needed.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday, I went to a lunchtime briefing by Nuix, and they provided food and drink.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be spending another whole week in Sydney, staying at my usual SEKRIT cave in Lilyfield.

[Update 26 April 2016: I’ve had to rearrange my week, because my decision to eat all the leftovers on Monday was a poor choice, and because I didn’t allow quite enough time for moving my data to the loaner MacBook Pro. Update 27 April 2016: More schedule changes. This is not a low-entropy week.]

Monday is Anzac Day, but instead of enjoying the public holiday, I’ll be catching up on some geek-for-hire work, and finishing the script for an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. I’ll also be collecting a loaner MacBook Pro, for use while mine goes in for repair some time in the following days, and loading it with data.

On Tuesday, I’ll be writing for Crikey, getting a briefing from Verizon on their new Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), probably writing for ZDNet, and recording that podcast catching up on some geek-for-hire work, finishing the script for an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, and at 1900 AEST doing a radio spot for ABC 774 Melbourne.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll be going to some of the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney. On Wednesday evening, I’ll be recording that podcast.

On Wednesday, I’m posting the audio from Tuesday night, working on the much-delayed geek-for-hire projects, and proposing some topics for Thursday night’s videos. I’ll also be battling considerable nausea. The geek-for-hire work continues on Thursday morning.

On Thursday afternoon I’m dealing with the computer repairs repairs (if I haven’t already done so), then in the evening recording some videos for ZDNet.

On Friday, I’ll finally be recording that podcast.

Somewhere in there I’m doing some writing for ZDNet.

Further Ahead

On 3 May, I’m covering the inaugural National Fintech Cyber Security Summit in Sydney. Then on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos at Wentworth Falls. Wentworth Falls is home to a clan of sulphur-crested cockatoos numbering about 50. I managed to capture some of them in flight while waiting for a train on 20 April 2016.]

Talking Cyber Security Strategy on ABC 105.7 Darwin

ABC logoOn Thursday, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull released the government’s Cyber Security Strategy. Apart from writing about it for ZDNet, I ended up doing four radio spots. This is the first.

In this first post, I’ll mention as background reading the official Cyber Security Strategy website, the ZDNet stories Australia to get Cyber Minister as part of AU$240m cyber package and Turnbull calls for more openness surrounding data breaches, and my articles A ‘big science’ approach for Australian cybersecurity research? (published before the strategy was released, based on presentations at the ACSC Conference), and Turnbull sets the scene for a ‘Stop the Bytes’ election.

This first radio spot was on ABC 105.7 Darwin in the early morning, before the strategy was officially released. The presenter is Richard Margetson.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we covered the recent rapid rise in cybercrime, the allegedly Chinese hack of the Bureau of Meteorology, a grab from Dr Tobias Feakin, and Australia’s ability to conduct offensive cyber operations.

Play

This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 292: Perhaps not as ready as I’d like

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.]