Weekly Wrap 442: Dominated by digital health, plus ducks

Ducks escorting a convoyMy week of Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November 2018 was dominated by digital health. Mostly Australia’s controversial My Health Record, as the list of articles will show, but also two events that had digital health as a focus.

I also did some planning for future podcasts, and some advisory work on someone’s proposal for a future media project.


All three are about My Health Record. The politics were moving fast, so maybe hit the last one first. It links back to the others anyway.

Podcasts, Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday the Health And Aged Care Press Lunch was held at the always-excellent Bentley Restaurant & Bar in Sydney. Clients of Bass PR picked up the tab: Telsyte, Osana, CQR Consulting, BOARD, Collard Maxwell Architects, and 8×8.
  • On Tuesday I had lunch at Luke Mangan’s magnificent Glass Brasserie at the Hilton Sydney Hotel, paid for by Aura Information Security.
  • On Tuesday evening, CISO Lens covered most of the drinks bill for a meeting they organised.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a writing day for ZDNet. Update 19 November 1930 AEDT: Monday ended up being a day of sleep, which for the moment I’m putting down to Annoying Side Effects from my medication regime.

On Tuesday I’m recording the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, co-hosted by Nicholas Fryer. It won’t be streamed live, but will be posted the following day.

From Wednesday through Saturday I’ll be back in Sydney for some more cat-sitting. During that time I’ll be writing, starting off with a piece for ZDNet, I hope, and tidying up a bunch of loose ends. Saturday night is likely to include watching the coverage of Victoria’s state election.

Further Ahead

There don’t seem to be any major commitments between now and Christmas, just some single-day or overnight trips to Sydney for media briefings, end-of-year events, and social activities.

There will be at least one episode of The 9pm Edict wth Nicholas Fryer, however, and perhaps one that’s more of a long-form interview.

[Photo: Ducks escorting a convoy. Ducks and other waterfowl at Wentworth Falls Lake, photographed on 18 November 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 441: The joy of a calm spring week

Suburban JoyMy week of Monday 5 to Sunday 11 November 2018 went as planned. I’ll tell you more about that another time. Maybe.

It was very much the calm before another couple of very busy weeks.


Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None. As I said last week, these categories tend to come in waves. But there’ll be new podcasts soon, as detailed below.

The Week Ahead

On Monday I return to Sydney, writing for ZDNet en route, then heading to a lunchtime briefing on technology in health and aged care, then getting some back repairs.

I’ll remain in Sydney to cover a Tuesday morning session on the Future of Health, at an event sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank, then lunch meeting, then an evening meeting. There should also be more My Health Record action in the Senate, so I’ll be writing about that.

I return to the Mountains on Wednesday evening, after a day of writing. Thursday is likely to be about writing and the shopping. On Friday there’s another Senate hearing on the Assistance and Access Bill, the anti-encryption legislation, so I’ll be keeping an ear on that.

After all that I’ll want a quiet weekend.

Further Ahead

The following week will begin with more writing, then from Wednesday through Saturday I’ll be back in Sydney for some cat-sitting.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 November. It won’t be streamed live, but it will be posted the following day.

[Photo: Suburban Joy, being a rather bleak playground in Ashfield, Sydney, photographed on 11 November 2018.]

The 9pm Probe: Mike Godwin, attorney and author

Washington Monument at dusk

While I was in Washington DC recently, I recorded an interview with attorney and author Mike Godwin, he of Godwin’s Law fame.

We spoke about Godwin’s Law, of course, as well as nationalism, concentration camps, human rights, privacy, the fragility of democracy, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, libertarianism, Australia’s My Health Record, and more.

Continue reading “The 9pm Probe: Mike Godwin, attorney and author”

Weekly Wrap 438: Digging into the legislation, mostly

Waratah at Bunjaree CottagesAfter two weeks of travel, my week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 October 2018 was less hectic. My main focus for writing was legislation making its way through the Australian parliament.

Oh, and finally getting to the podcast production. That’s a good thing, right?


  • “The 9pm Arch Window into the Soul”, being The 9pm Edict episode 79. It’s also on Spreaker and SoundCloud. This one’s a bit different, with Nicholas Fryer asking the questions. Let me know what you think.


Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

I’m spending the week in Sydney covering SWIFT’s Sibos global financial services conference on Monday to Thursday, then doing some writing and dealing with a medical appointment on Friday.

On the weekend I’ll post another podcast, based on the long interview I recorded with the remarkable Mike Godwin in Washington DC. And then I’ll collapse.

Further Ahead

The following week I’m covering the McAfee MPOWER Cyber Security Summit in Sydney on Tuesday, as well as a little more podcast production.

There’s nothing specific pencilled in right through to the end of the year, so I should probably do something about that. Suggestions are more than welcome.

[Photo: Waratah at Bunjaree Cottages. Despite the heavy rain, this Waratah at Bunjaree Cottages is flowering again this year. I am pleased. Photographed on 21 October 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 437: Cybering for two weeks in two countries

The White HouseMy fortnight of Monday 1 to Sunday 14 October 2018 was spent in The America and then in the Melbourne. I’m exhausted. But it was all quite productive.



None published. But as well as the long conversation with Nicholas Fryer that we recorded in Adelaide two weeks ago, in DC I recorded a long interview with the remarkable Mike Godwin, creator of Godwin’s Law amongst many other things. Both of those podcasts will be posted some time in the coming week.

Media Appearances

None, which is unusual.

Corporate Largesse

  • My flights to the US and the related accommodation were covered by FireEye.
  • At the Australian Cyber Conference on 10–11 October there was plenty of food and drink, courtesy of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) and their sponsors. AusCERT: A branded SyncStop “USB Condom” to protect my devices while charging from random USB ports; Tenable: a copy of Cyber Exposure for Dummies; ThreatQuotient: A stress rhinoceros, leading Benno Rice to coin the euphemism “Squeezing the rhino”; Tripwire: Three t-shirts bearing the slogan “I didn’t start the fire”; Yubico: A YubiKey NEO authentication device.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’m back in Sydney, where I’ll be dealing with a couple of medical things, sorting through my notes and pitching some stories, and ending the day with some social life, before taking the train back to Wentworth Falls.

Tuesday through Thursday will be about writing for ZDNet and editing podcasts. I’ll plan that out as I go.

Friday is another Sydney day, with the usual mix of medical and work appointments, plus whatever remains to be done. I’m looking forward to having a lazy weekend.

Further Ahead

The following week I’m spending a bunch of time in Sydney covering the Sibos global financial services conference on 22–25 October. That’ll keep me pretty busy, so Friday through Sunday will be more laid-back.

Beyond that:

[Photo: The White House. You know what this is. Photographed on the foggy Sunday morning of 7 October 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 434: Spring, with quoll and crowdfunding

Tiger QuollThe highlights of my week of Monday 17 to Sunday 23 September 2018 included seeing a tiger quoll at very close range as it ambled part the house. That’s it in the photo.

I also managed — finally! — to extrude a podcast. And I launched a Pozible crowdfunding campaign to record some podcast segments in Adelaide, Washington DC, and Melbourne over the coming weeks. I’m visiting those cities for work.

Please consider pledging your support to The 9pm Flying Visits.



Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, but this will change a lot in the next few weeks, at least as far as Corporate Largesse goes.

The Week Ahead

I’m kicking off a few weeks that have already been mapped out. Monday is about planning, logistics, story pitches, some geekery, and shopping. Tuesday and Wednesday are about writing and data wrangling, ideally.

On Thursday, I’m heading down to Sydney for an interview at 1100, plus a few other bits and pieces, before wrapping up The 9pm Flying Visits at 2100 AEST. You have until then to pledge your support. Please consider.

On Friday, I’m flying from Sydney’s Bankstown airport to Wagga Wagga to Swan Hill to Goolwa in a Vans RV-6 light aircraft registration VH-SOL piloted by Mark Newton. We hope to start the engine at 0830 AEST. En route I’ll record things for a subsequent podcast and tweet some observations. So far the weather forecast looks reasonable, but there’s always the chance of delays.

Saturday and Sunday will be spent in Adelaide, and I’ll record a podcast bit or two. I fly out at 1805 ACST on Sunday, travelling via Melbourne and Abu Dhabi to Washington DC.

Further Ahead

I’m spending the week in DC covering the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit on 1–4 October, then enjoying my first visit to the city and recording more podcasts bits before flying out Sunday night to Abu Dhabi and Melbourne.

The following week I’m in Melbourne, arriving on Tuesday local time to cover the Australian Cyber Conference, formerly the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) National Conference, on 9–11 October. I’m staying in Melbourne to write, and record yet more podcast bits, before flying up to Sydney on Sunday night.

Beyond that:

  • The Sibos global financial services conference, Sydney, 22–25 October.
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals ANZ (iappANZ) Annual Summit, Privacy: Handling the Seismic Shift, Melbourne, 1 November. (TBC)

[Photo: Tiger Quoll. A tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), also known as the spotted-tail quoll, the spotted quoll, the spotted-tail dasyure, or the tiger cat, spotted at Bunjaree Cottages near Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains on 19 September 2018.]