Stilgherrian is joined by Snarky Platypus, who’s recently returned to the socials after a two-year break, for a long conversation about everything from food to conspiracy theories to stupid names for Sydney suburbs. Quite a lot about food, actually.Continue reading “The 9pm Bad Nasi Goreng Makes the Merlion Sad with Snarky Platypus”
In my week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2020 I shed a tear when I saw how some of our international students are having to be supported by ad hoc community charities. Our governments have failed.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 521: The true grind of the Quarantimes”
While I would like to blame my relative lack of productivity solely on my ratty sleep patterns this week — and they have been a thing, for various health-related reasons — I would also like to blame Certain People for plying me with alcohol. You know who you are.
- Hey Australian businesses, if you fear it, do something about it, ZDNet Australia, 15 December 2015. This is a response to the release of a joint report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and CERT Australia, 2015 Cyber Security Survey: Major Australian Businesses (PDF).
None, but The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2 was recorded on Saturday, and will be edited and posted online early in the coming week. It was immense fun, and you may well find it amusing.
- On Monday, I spoke about the security risks of Wi-Fi Hello Barbie on Sydney radio 2UE, but I did not record it. I’ve spoken about it previously on ABC Radio’s PM.
Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.
- On Wednesday, I went to a lunchtime briefing by Hitachi Data Systems at the ever-wonderful Gowings Bar and Grill in Sydney. Apart from the usual fine food and wine, we all got a goodie pouch containing a HDS-branded 2600mAh Power Bank, and an 8GB memory stick with the presentation.
The Week Ahead
Since the silly season has begun in Australia, and this coming week is the short week before Christmas, I won’t even bother trying to schedule it too closely. Besides, I’m cat-sitting in Ashfield again, in Sydney’s inner west, and some key items that I’ll need in the next couple of weeks are still in Wentworth Falls.
Nevertheless, between now and Thursday night, which is Christmas Eve, I know I have to design a simple website, write at least one thing for ZDNet, and edit and publish that pub podcast. I’d also like to do that yearly wrap episode of Corrupted Nerds, but I’m not so sure that will happen now.
There’s only two fixed appointments so far, Huawei’s Christmas Drinks on Tuesday evening, and a medical appointment late on Wednesday afternoon. As for the rest of it, I’ll be making it up as I go along.
As you should know by now, my Twitter feed is the most up-to-date data source for these things.
Friday is Christmas Day, so I’m likely to be offline then, as well as through the following weekend.
[Photo: Sydney Storm. The Sydney CBD seen from Lilyfield just before Wednesday’s storm hit. While the CBD itself suffered little harm, around 50 houses were damaged by severe winds at Kurnell.]
There’s something rather cool about being introduced with the Mission: Impossible theme, and that’s precisely what happened when I did a spot for ABC 702 Sydney on Friday morning.
The Heartbleed security bug was one topic, obviously, but I also spoke with breakfast presenter Robbie Buck about another story in the news that morning, about radio presenter and activist Vanessa Powell, who’d complained that Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) had been, as she put it, spying on her social media activities.
Or, as I put it, that they’d been reading what she published on the internet — just as, presumably, she’d been reading what they published on the internet. That they’d gathered her comments with some semi-automated process — and, presumably, she hadn’t gathered theirs the same way — to me says “naivety” rather than “victim of sinister conspiracy”.
The audio is of course Â©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Earlier this morning I spoke about Facebook’s disturbing new “Big Cat” technology on ABC 702 Sydney, and here’s the audio.
Big Cat is the codename for an algorithm that can apparently detect with a high reliability whether your partner is having an extramarital affair, by analysing such things as their pattern of friend formation and communication, comparing their smartphone location with what they’ve said in posts — such as whether they’re really shopping or at the gym or on a work trip — as well as language cues, such as a tendency to avoid answering direct questions.
In a way, it’s a natural extension of MIT research from 2009, which showed that a young man’s pattern of friend formation could reveal whether he was gay — often before he even knew himself. Or Target (US) being able to determine when a woman had become pregnant from her shopping list — at least with 87% accuracy.
It’s the kind of stuff I talk about in my guest lecture to UTS students — which, as it happens, I’ll be updating and presenting this coming Monday 7 April.
As I discuss with breakfast presenter Robbie Buck, however, this is a little more serious than sending someone some discount coupons on a likely hunch. Facebook had better get this right, given that confronting a partner about an alleged affair is a serious issue.
I’m hearing that the Australia test locations will be the Brisbane / Gold Coast nexus or, more likely, Adelaide, for reasons that I explain.
One thing we forgot to mention in the interview is the reason for Facebook’s codename: “Big Cat” is for catching cheaters. Oh dear.
The audio is of course Â©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Apart from the media objects listed here, I did quite a bit of background work on a SEKRIT project that I’ll announce on Tuesday. The only hint for now is that it’s something that quite a few people have been wanting for a while now.
- NSAâ€™s malware and spying ops far more powerful than you think, Crikey, 18 March 2014.
- It’s time that ‘metadata’ met an end, ZDNet Australia, 20 March 2014. I’m talking about the way that metadata is being downplayed as merely “billing data” by proponents of a mandatory data retention scheme for internet service providers.
- On Wednesday I was interviewed about Tor and related matters on ABC Radio’s The World Today.
We’re back up to four out of five days being published. Excellent.
- 5at5 number 18, 17 March 2013.
- 5at5 number 19, 18 March 2013.
- 5at5 number 20, 19 March 2013.
- 5at5 number 21, 20 March 2013.
- On Monday I went to an event with a delightful name: Dell Australia’s Steak, Storage & Solutions Media & Analyst Lunch at Kingsley’s Steak & Crabhouse in Woolloomooloo. Obviously they paid for the food and wine.
- On Tuesday I went to a media briefing by Imperva at Wolfies Restaurant, Circular Quay, where of course they paid for the food and wine. Imperva also gave us: A rather nice branded notebook; a branded pen; and a well-made carry bag to put them in. M.Tech, one of Imperva’s channel partners, gave us: A branded water bottle, carry bag, and business card holder.
- On Tuesday I finally got around to checking my postbox, where I discovered that Sourcefire had sent me a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a branded bottle opened / key ring to open them with. Thanks for that.
The Week Ahead
It’ll be a busy week. Indeed, it’s the first week of a challenging three months ahead. I’ll tell you more about that later, but one key issue is that I need to decide how I’ll ramp up my revenue in the coming quarter. I have plenty of ideas, I just have to choose — and choose wisely.
On Monday I’ll be doing the final planning for the SEKRIT thing to be announced on Tuesday, as well as speaking with my editors about their needs for the next month or so.
On Wednesday I’m heading into Sydney for a few things, including the SANS Australia Community Night presentation Why Do Organisations Get Compromised? I’ll then stay in Sydney overnight, and on Thursday I’ll write my ZDNet Australia column before heading back up the hill.
Friday has been kept clear for work on my legacy business Prussia.Net, although that may change. The weekend is currently unplanned.
[Photo: Sydney skyline, with frigate, 17 March 2014, being a photograph taken from the steps leading from Potts Point down to Woolloomoloo. In the background is the Sydney CBD. In the foreground, mostly hidden behind trees, is a Royal Australian Navy frigate docked at Fleet Base East.]