Weekly Wrap 238: Cyberwar hype for Christmas

Banksia in shadow: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 December 2014 was a strange beast, what with the Christmas break and certain excesses dumped smack down into the middle of it. And we’re about to do it all over again.

The stress related to having to wrap up everything in the three days before Christmas was compounded by a certain amount of uncertainty as to whether a certain large media company was certain about being able to pay my November invoice before the holidays began. One thing was certain, though: that would have certainly caused a certain amount of pain.

Fortunately that was all sorted out, and I did have enough money to both to celebrate Christmas, in my own small way, and to pay the bills. But the entire process was mentally exhausting.



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Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • Kaspersky Lab sent a Christmas present in the form of a bottle of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz. They’re such terrible people.

The Week Ahead

It will be another busy week punctuated by a public holiday.

Monday’s key tasks are to pitch some column ideas to ZDNet Australia, deal with some administrivia that can’t be done on the weekend, write a couple of standard blog posts, and start work on the chosen ZDNet column.

On Tuesday, I’ll finish that column, and then catch the train to Sydney — not just for the regular spot on ABC 720 Perth, but also to bump in to the Chirgwin residence in Lilyfield, where I’ll be taking up residence through until about 25 January. If you’ve been trying to arrange a meeting in Sydney with me, January represented your chance.

On Wednesday, I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, which simply must be finished and published that day, because it’s New Year’s Eve. That will in turn be followed by New Year’s Day, an event which is bound to be marked by a gap in the official record.

Friday will be a relaxed-pace day of work, pottering around the various tasks that accompany a new year, and reflecting upon the nature of Sin. Then the weekend should provide further opportunities for same. The reflection, I mean, not the sin.

Now overlaid on top of all this may be the much-delayed server migration. That will depend on some details that I won’t be able to confirm until Monday. Stand by. Or sit down with a gin and tonic, whichever you think is more appropriate for summer.

[Photo: Banksia in shadow, photographed at Bunjaree Cottages near Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, 100km west of Sydney, on 22 December 2014. Everywhere around this banksia flower was cast in shadow by a nearby tree — except for the one shaft of sunlight striking the flower itself. Tom Gwynne-Jones and Martin Miles have identified it as a Banksia serrata. If they’re wrong, I daresay some kind person will help us with the correct species soon enough.]

Weekly Wrap 96: Plenty of chaos and a mysterious pump

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 April 2012.

T’was a short week in terms of writing and media production because it was the 4-day work week prior to Easter, I spend about 10 hours judging entries in the Lizzies, the Australian IT journalism awards — the finalists have now been announced, and the awards night is on 20 April — three and a half hours troubleshooting the ADSL connection at Bunjaree Cottages, and two hours restoring a website that a new developer had accidentally taken offline.

There was also a mysterious pump.


  • Patch Monday episode 132, “Cyberwar: don’t believe the hype”. Thomas Rid, reader in war studies at King’s College London, destroys some myths. I found this to be one of the more fascinating podcasts I’ve ever done.


Media Appearances

  • On Thursday I was quoted in Harrison Polites’ story at Technology Spectator, A storm in a postbox, on the Australia Post’s new Digital Mail service and a similar product from Computershare. “I already have a ‘digital mailbox’. It’s called email,” was one of the things I said. “Why on earth would I want yet another information silo to check for so-called ‘important’ mail — by which they seem to mean bills and bank statements?” Plus some stuff about encrypted email.

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

I’m in Sydney all this week, and the main blocks of work are a Patch Monday podcast to be posted on Tuesday and a 2000-word feature for ZDNet Australia. I daresay other stuff will turn up as well, but let’s focus on one stressor at a time.


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up). The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), a daily visitor to Rosella Cottage but a bugger to photograph because they move so fast.]