Talking Ruxcon, hacking, Dark Web on ABC 774 Melbourne

ABC logoThis evening I did one of my now (ir)regular spots on ABC 774 Melbourne, and since I’d been at Ruxcon over the weekend, that conference was an obvious topic.

Presenter Lindy Burns and I started off talking about the origins of the word “hacker”, and that led into a brief history of cybercrime, before we got into the so-called “dark web” and Silk Road… and even the risks of smart TVs.

Here’s the entire 23-minute conversation exactly as it aired — and as Ms Burns herself freely admits, it strayed well away from our planned topics.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking Smart TV surveillance on ABC 720 Perth

ABC logoAs I mentioned in my previous post, one of the technology stories that crossed over into the mainstream media last week was the news that Samsung’s Smart TV were listening out for conversations — part of its voice recognition features — and transmitting them to an un-named third party.

Now I won’t repeat the reasons why Samsung needs to do this, but I will repeat that Samsung’s big mistake was to have this voice recognition feature turned on by default — which meant that customers were unaware it was happening unless they happened to read the lengthy privacy policy and understand its implications.

This is the second radio spot I did on the topic, for ABC 720 Perth with presenter Jamie Burnett.

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This audio is @2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Bonus link: My ZDNet Australia piece from Smart TVs are dumb, and so are we.

Talking Smart TV surveillance on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide

FIVEaa logoOne of the technology stories that crossed over into the mainstream media last week was the news that Samsung’s Smart TV were listening out for conversations — part of its voice recognition features — and transmitting them to an un-named third party.

Now Samsung needs to do this because the TV itself doesn’t have enough grunt to do the voice recognition. It’s the same reason that Google Translate needs to send your words off to their servers, do the translation there, and send the translated words back.

And there’s a reasonable argument to be made that the TV needs to listen the whole time, so it knows when you’ve started talking to it.

The audio information is sent to a third party because they’re the ones providing the speech recognition technology.

But Samsung’s big mistake was to have this feature turned on by default, so that customers were unaware it was happening — unless they happened to read the lengthy privacy policy and understand its implications. And who does that?

I ended up doing two radio spots on this topic, and this is the first — a chat with Will Goodings on 1395 FIVEaa in Adelaide.

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The audio is ©2015 dmgRadio Australia.

Bonus link: My ZDNet Australia piece from late 2013, Smart TVs are dumb, and so are we.

Talking the Apple Car rumours on 1395 FIVEaa

FIVEaa logoThe fact that Apple is in further talks with electric car manufacturer Tesla has triggered rumours that an Apple Car might be on the way. Orly?

Presenter Will Goodings grabbed hold of Joshua Dowling, motoring editor for the News Limited mastheads, and your truly to talk it through on Adelaide radio station 1395 FIVEaa on Wednesday 19 February.

Dowling’s explanation of global auto industry issues was excellent, so I’ve included his comments in the audio here.

I’ve then skipped over a bunch of adverts before getting to my contribution — which mentioned smart cars, the internet of things, the potential for surveillance, and the risk of hacking all these things.

I also spoke about Gartner’s prediction that by 2020 there’ll be 50 billion objects connected to the internet. Yes, the smart rice cooker got a mention, as did the hacking of the smart TV.

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The audio is ©2014 dmgRadio Australia, but here it is ‘cos it hasn’t been posted on the radio station’s website. Besides, this is a reasonable plug.

Talking Internet of Things on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoThe fact that a bunch of technology journalists had gathered on the Gold Coast to discuss the latest tech trends caught the interest of the local ABC radio station. This conversation from Wednesday 19 February is the result.

Presenter Nicole Dyer and I ended up talking about the Internet of Things — and of course I mentioned the internet refrigerator and the internet rice cooker — smart cars, smart air conditioning, smart TVs and how they can be hacked. It’s a more lighthearted approach to some topics that I’ve discussed more seriously elsewhere.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.