Weekly Wrap 211: Cold, briefly, with secret television

[This post was actually written on 3 July 2014, but I’ve dated it 22 June 2014 so it appears in the archives in the correct sequence. This post is part of an attempt to clear the backlog of routine posts, hence the lack of photo, detail and finesse. — Stilgherrian.]

My week of Monday 16 to Sunday 22 June 2014 was both unproductive, thanks to what was probably a cold, and over quite some days ago — so let’s keep this brief.

I also spent an entire day being a consultant on a new television series, a political thriller which has hacking and surveillance as key plot elements. I can’t talk about that any further, but it’s fun, and I daresay you’ll find out more soon enough.


Media Appearances



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Corporate Largesse


Talking Facebook audio snooping on The Project

Screenshot of Stilgherrian on The ProjectGiven that Facebook is the biggest social network on the planet, and therefore the biggest data miner of them all, there was naturally plenty of media interest in the privacy implications of their latest feature: audio matching.

As explained in these stories at ZDNet and The Independent, and in Facebook’s own blog post, the new Facebook app can use your smart device’s microphone to identify the music you’re listening to or the TV program you’re watching.

On Thursday I spoke about this on Channel TEN’s The Project. “Look I wouldn’t trust Facebook, personally, as far as I could spit a cow,” I said.

Over the fold you’ll find the video of the entire four-minute segment — starting off with a “package”, as they’re called, featuring Angus Kidman, editor of Lifehacker.com.au, followed by the panel interviewing me. The presenters are Carrie Bickmore, Ray Martin (yes, that Ray Martin), Jo Stanley and Lemo.

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Talking Heartbleed and the hacker on SBS2’s The Feed

Screenshot of Stilgherrian on SBS The FeedSBS The Feed logo 75pxThe Heartbleed saga continued throughout last week. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested a 19-year-old who’d allegedly used the vulnerability to exfiltrate date from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) — and that prompted my first appearance on SBS2’s The Feed.

I ended up meeting the SBS cameraman in the pedestrian laneway behind the ABC in Ultimo — that’s the building in the background — talking to presenter Andy Park via a smartphone held in the cameraman’s hand. This is how such things are done. It’s the magic of television.

Here’s the full three-minute story. There’s no supers, so I need to tell you that the other speaker is David Vaile from the University of New South Wales’ Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre.

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Weekly Wrap 184: TV and radio, but no writing, alas

Here’s the key stuff that happened in my week of Monday 9 to Sunday 15 December 2013.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ll do some sort of more detailed post explaining the state of the world — or at least my little bit of it — once I’ve caught up on these posts.


None. This was the terribly unproductive week that I haven’t told you about yet.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

Talking geoblocking on The Project

Screenshot from The ProjectI am continually intrigued by the choices of stories that I end up talking about on Channel TEN’s The Project — like bouncing off the release of a parliamentary report on IT pricing to discuss how to avoid geoblocking.

It’s nearly two weeks since we recorded some sound bites at the foot of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The story was originally scheduled to air the following night. But on the day there was a far better yarn to tell — the anniversary of MMS, which could lead to some fun sexting jokes — and then the prime minister called the election. I was starting to assume that the story had been spiked.

But no, it went to air on Monday night, and it turned out to be quite a good explanation of the issue and how to get around the geoblocks — as well as the risks.

The video of the three-minute segment, including comments fore and aft by the presenters, is over the fold.

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