Talking #optuswrongtime on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoApparently South Australia had an #optuswrongtime incident today, when some customers’ devices showed the wrong time, causing chaos for them.

The same sort of thing happened in Queensland in January — that’s when the hashtag was invented — and just like then, the official explanation was less than forthcoming.

An overnight maintenance upgrade of our 4G Plus mobile network caused some Optus customers’ devices in South Australia and the Northern Territory to switch to a different time zone earlier this morning. The Optus 3G network was unaffected.

Optus technicians resolved the issue with a fix that set clocks to the correct time zone.

Customers were also able to resolve the issue in a number of ways, including:

  • Turning flight mode on and off
  • Turning automatic clock settings off and on
  • Turning their device off and on.

We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience.

I spoke about the incident this afternoon on ABC 891 Adelaide with Sonya Feldhoff.

Play

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 258: Many thoughts, reminiscences, questions

En route from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma: click to embiggen, and for the back storyMy week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 May 2015 was a strange beast. It followed a most unproductive week, and on the surface it looks equally unproductive. But it wasn’t. It seemed to herald a change. Or something.

I didn’t squeeze any articles out of the word-nozzle, but I did produce a solid podcast, and I did a big, big chunk of work on the SEKRIT project. This pleases me, because the work is both enjoyable and well-paid. I’ll have to find out whether I can tell you anything about it.

In between all that, I’ve been both stressed and in pain. The stress was just the confluence of the many things that need to be changed, from work to accommodation to financial matters to health to some personal issues. The pain was my old neck and shoulder injury flaring up. All these things are being dealt with slowly.

During this time, I’ve been ignoring Twitter. That’s simply part of a “strategy” to reduce the extraneous noise, and giving myself some thinking space. I shall resume Twitter activity on Monday, at the time of the New Moon, 1413 AEST. You have been warned.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Inadequate Sense of Occasion”, being The 9pm Edict episode 42. Posted on Wednesday, it contains trains, bombs, terrorism, conspiracies, more bombs, and more trains. Plus Attorney-General the Honourable Senator George “Soapy the Ankle” Brandis QC. It runs for more than an hour.
  • “The 9pm Supplementary Sense of Occasion”, being The 9pm Edict episode 43. Posted on Thursday, it runs for just a little more than three minutes, because it’s mostly just a fix for production errors in the episode proper.

Articles

None.

5at5

There were actually five editions of 5at5 this week, the proper amount, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to a media briefing on research by Telsyte, which was sponsored by Epicor. It was held at Gowings Bar and Grill at the QT Sydney Hotel, and the food and wine was lovely — although I didn’t photograph it this time. Epicor gave us each a rather nice leather compendium, which I’ve passed on to someone with a greater need.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be sorting out my writing and media production plan for the next three weeks. It’s also a day of shopping and pain killers.

On Tuesday, it’s a morning of writing, and then the journey to Sydney for some errands, and then a radio spot with Dom Knight on ABC 702 Sydney at 2045 AEST. I’ll probably stay in Sydney overnight because…

On Wednesday, I’ve got meetings at Circular Quay at 1000 and 1130, and then at 1230 it’s a media lunch with Doron Kempel, founder and global CEO of SimpliVity, at a nearby restaurant. He’ll be giving us his worldview on the evolution of this technology stuff. And then I head back to Wentworth Falls.

Thursday is a day of writing, with a break at lunchtime for RSA’s webcast, “Endpoint Malware: Finding the Evil in the Haystack”. Cute title. Friday is a day of writing too. I’m thinking of coming into Sydney on Friday evening to see what goes down at Cryptoparty Sydney. That could be an interesting thing to observe for the next episode of The 9pm Edict, but this will all depend on my levels of pain, fatigue and give-a-fuck.

The weekend will be spent well away from you people.

Further Ahead

There’s a few busy weeks ahead. The first will start off with podcast production. On Tuesday night 26 May I’ll be in Sydney again for a SANS Institute gathering, at which I should be learning about how those evil hacker people exfiltrate data out of the target organisations. And on Wednesday it’s Optus Vision 2015, an event that I always get plenty of value from. The rest of the week will be full of writing.

The following week, on Tuesday 2 June, I’ll be in Sydney yet again for Check Point’s Cyber Security Symposium 2015, and then flying to the Gold Coast for the AusCERT 2015 Information Security Conference, which runs through to Friday 5 June. Then it’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, and I haven’t quite decided what happens with that. Whew!

Update 18 May 2015: Edited to reflect changing plans regarding a potential overnight stay in Sydney on Tuesday.

[Photo: En route from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma , photographed at the side of Tanzania’s central highway on 30 June 2009. Click through for the back story.]

Weekly Wrap 257

Sydney Central station: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 4 to Sunday 10 May 2015 saw precisely zero media objects being extruded. But let’s not dwell upon that. No, let’s thrill to the possibilities of a glorious future!

Yeah, right.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a day of research and pondering, both for a ZDNet feature I’ve been commissioned to write — and I’ll start referring to that masthead simply as ZDNet from this week rather than ZDNet Australia, finally acknowledging the many months-old fact of the globalisation of their newsroom — as well as a SEKRIT project. Some of this will be done in the warmth of the Blue Mountains City Library, to avoid yet another day of freezing, depressing winds.

On Tuesday, I’m doing the long commute to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing titled “ERP Deployment in Australia: Uncovering Missed Opportunities”, presented jointly by analyst firm Telsyte and sponsor Epicor. I’ll also be doing some location audio recording before taking a late train back to the Mountains.

On Wednesday, there’s more work on the ZDNet feature, plus the completion of the Edict. Thursday will see the emergence of a ZDNet column, I hope, as well as more work on the feature. And Friday is blocked out for work on the SEKRIT project — probably in Sydney, because I’ll need access to internet bandwidth that isn’t billed at the self-sodomising rates of Telstra’s 4G network — but there’ll be writing in between. If that looks jumbled, you’re right. The exact order of play will depend on how things unfold — which I accept is a tautology.

Further Ahead

On Wednesday 20 May, I’ll be doing the long commute to Sydney for a whole series of meetings and briefings. Details in the next Weekly Wrap.

On Wednesday 27 May, I’ll be in Sydney again for Optus Vision 2015, an event that I always get plenty of value from.

From 2 to 5 June, I’ll be covering the AusCERT 2015 Information Security Conference on the Gold Coast — and, at one point, participating in it.

Update 11 May 2015: Edited to add plans for 20 May.

[Photo: Sydney Central station, photographed in the late afternoon of 9 May 2015, in between recording some audio for… a future project.]

Announcing “The 9pm Intermission”

Recording "Announcing 'The 9pm Intermission'": click to embiggen

Ah yeah, hello. Careful listeners will have noticed that there hasn’t been an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast since early March. And it’s now early April. Sorry about that.

I had most of the pre-production done for an episode on 24 March, and then I got a cold, and then five days later much of what I’d written had become… obsolete as time passed.

So fuck time, basically. In fact, fuck most of physics, because physics does nothing but get in the way of doing anything truly interesting in this world. And fuck science generally.

Continue reading “Announcing “The 9pm Intermission””

Talking #optuswrongtime on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoNo sooner had I spoken about #optuswrongtime on ABC Radio’s AM than I got a call from ABC Gold Coast to expand upon my comments.

So a little after 0830 AEDT on Wednesday morning, or 0730 AEST in Queensland, I spoke with Trevor Jackson and presented my two theories for what might have happened. One was that some new cell towers were switched on overnight in the 700MHz band, which Optus had recently been given permission to do, and they were set to the wrong time zone. The other was that a security update for the network time protocol (NTP) server had been pushed out, and somehow that was configured incorrectly.

We still don’t know the correct answer.

Also, under the influence of a certain Canadian, I managed to sneak in a mention of the secret code word.

Play

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking #optuswrongtime on ABC Radio’s “AM”

ABC logoOn Wednesday morning, smartphone users on the Optus network in Queensland were running an hour early. Why? The ABC’s Will Ockenden decided to find out for the national current affairs program AM, and apparently that involved taking to me.

Presenter Ashley Hall introduced the story like this:

Queenslanders have long resisted embracing daylight saving time, leading to split time zones down Australia’s east coast for large chunks of the year.

But this morning many from the Sunshine State were given a taste of what it would be like after the Optus mobile phone network automatically updated phones to Sydney time.

Here’s the story as broadcast.

Play

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The audio is being served directly from the ABC website, where you can also read a transcript.

Update 1300 AEDT: I just noticed that my comments were quoted by Yahoo!7 News and the Sunshine Coast Daily, and even translated into Chinese for Radio Australia and translated into Dutch for Metronieuws. It all connects up.