The 9pm Ageing, Death, and Bestiality

A Victorian-era angel stands guard over a gravesite at Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney. Yes, on 5 October 2023 the sky really was that blue. (Photo: Stilgherrian)

Stilgherrian returns after a three-month break to kick off a six-episode spring series of The 9pm Edict podcast. In this solo episode he’s somewhat reflective, but hey he thinks you’ll still like it.

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The 9pm COVIDSafe Global Warming Happy Times with Justin Warren

Justin Warren
Justin Warren, or a reasonable imitation thereof, at work in a back yard in Melbourne (Photo: Kyle Taylor/ABC News)

The winter series of The 9pm Edict continues with the return of Justin Warren, “consultant, freedom of information tragic, hexagon enthusiast, and creator of the CyberRating™ labelling scheme”. He’s also chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia, but I’m sure they’ll disown him.

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Weekly Wrap 553: Lichen, La Niña, and lingering fears as 2020 recedes into the past

Lichen at Wentworth Falls

This time last year it was all about bushfire smoke. But this year my transition week of Monday 28 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021 saw almost continual light rain as La Niña made her presence felt, and continued concerns over that little ol’ global pandemic.

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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.

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.


  • “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.




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


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.]