The 9pm Nine Years of Nemesis and Chocolate Cake with Snarky Platypus

Promo image for ABC TV’s Nemesis showing Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, and Malcolm Turnbull. (Photo: Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Inset: A platypus, but not that one. (Taronga Conservation Society Australia / Chris Wheeler)

It’s a marathon episode for serious political tragics! I’m joined by Snarky Platypus to discuss the ABC TV documentary series Nemesis about the three recent Liberal Party prime ministers of Australia. But we also find time to discuss other matters.

Continue reading “The 9pm Nine Years of Nemesis and Chocolate Cake with Snarky Platypus”

Weekly Wrap 304: The ill-managed stumble-crash of progress

1984 in 2016, with Wyatt Roy: click to embiggenMonday 28 March to Sunday 3 April 2016 was another short week, thanks to Easter. But it also seemed to be more productive than the previous week, which was drenched in fatigue.

I’m almost two months into the slow transition to a new medication regime. The fatigue, the “general feeling of tiredness or weakness”, is slowly fading. So too are the headaches, body aches, random muscle tics in my legs, nausea, constipation, and trouble with sleeping.

Also fading are the intense, vivid dreams that woke me towards the end of the night. That’s good, because the confused muddle of reality and dream-thoughts that continued into wakefulness was accompanied by dizziness and loss of coordination. Exiting the bed in an ill-managed stumble-crash into furniture and walls led to slightly more bruises than I’d planned for.

I’m frustrated that things aren’t magically better straight away. I’m embarrassed by having to constantly reschedule things because I’ve fallen asleep after breakfast, or whatever. But I can see gradual progress, or at least the illusion of progress, which is almost as good.

On to the visible achievements…



None, but I’ll be pondering the future of my podcasts over the next couple of weeks.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was plenty of free food and drink at D61+ LIVE.
  • On Wednesday night, PR princess Shuna Boyd paid for the drinks at her own retirement party.
  • On Thursday, law firm Gilbert+Tobin provided snacks and wine at the seminar by the International Association of Privacy Professionals Australia and New Zealand (iappANZ).

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a busy one. No fixed appointments, but plenty to do on my current geek-for-hire projects, and on my tax compliance backlog. I’ll also write a column or two for ZDNet. Order of play TBA.

On Saturday, I’ll tidy up the Lilyfield house, before returning to Wentworth Falls on Sunday afternoon.

Further Ahead

On Tuesday 12 April, I’ll take a train from Sydney to Canberra — it should be an interesting change from the airlines — to cover the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. The event runs through to Thursday 14 April, and I’ll return to Sydney on the Friday, writing for ZDNet en route.

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April.

And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: 1984 in 2016, with Wyatt Roy. A video message from Australia’s Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy is played to attendees of Data61’s D61+ LIVE event at Australian Technology Park in Sydney on 30 March 2016.]

Talking Turnbull and startups on Mark Pesce’s TWISTA

Laura McKenzie, Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian in the recording studioWe recorded it on Monday afternoon, and it was posted today. It’s the latest episode of Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA: This Week In Startups Australia.

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Here’s how he introduces it on the web:

A huge pivot toward startups and innovation by Malcolm Turnbull, huge policy outcomes from Wyatt Roy’s Policy Hack event, a huge IPO from Australia’s most-beloved tech startup, Atlassian, a huge new $200M fund from Blackbird ventures, and huge issues with diversity still plague tech. TWISTA’s huge news special pairs SCALE Investors managing director Laura McKenzie and Austrlia’s snarkiest tech journo, Stilgherrian, with the biggest news issues in our biggest news special yet!

There’s rather a lot about Turnbull, actually, including a couiple of disturbing mental images.

For more details, check out the podcast Tumblr.

[Photo: Laura McKenzie, Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian in the recording studio, photographed by Felix Warmuth, who was our sound engineer.]

Weekly Wrap 280: Hacking, Melbourne, productivity returns

Lumpy Weather: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 12 to Sunday 18 October 2015 was a marked return to productivity — despite a severe lack of sleep along the way.

Apart from generating three quite adequate articles, and recording plenty of audio for future projects, I also made some excellent contacts at the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) National Conference and elsewhere, and certain geekery went pretty much to plan.

I was especially pleased that the Pozible campaign Send Stilgherrian To Ruxcon 2015 was fully funded. I’ll have more to say about that on Monday.


I also recorded an interview with Joe Franzi, Assistant Secretary Cyber Security with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Australia’s equivalent to the US National Security Agency (NSA). It’s the first recorded interview he’s ever done in that role, and it’ll turn into an article for ZDNet on Monday. The full audio will appear in due course. Stand by.


None, but a new episode of The 9pm Edict will appear on Tuesday.

I’ve also been commissioned to produce an episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense, which will appear in late November.

Media Appearances

  • On Friday, I was interviewed for a story looking at the future of technology for ABC Online, which will appear some time in the coming week.


There’s still nothing from 5at5, and that continues to be terrible. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones when they eventually appear?

Corporate Largesse

  • The AISA conference obviously included plenty of free food and drink.
  • My travel and accommodation for that Melbourne trip was covered by Tanium.
  • Michael McKinnon, social media and security awareness director with AVG Technologies AU Pty Ltd, was generous with the hospitality too.

The Week Ahead

It’s another busy week ahead. On Monday, I’m dealing with administrative loose ends, and at 1600 AEDT being a guest for the recording of Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA – This Week in Startups Australia, before finally returning to the Blue Mountains some time on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Wednesday, I’m doing the shopping in Katoomba, and wrapping up starting on another episode of The 9pm Edict. But mostly, it’ll be spent writing for ZDNet.

Wednesday is a day off.

On Thursday, I’m writing for ZDNet, before heading into Sydney for the evening. Once there, I’ll complete the podcast, I’ll waste much of the day tying up idioti lcoose ends.

Friday starts extremely early, waking at 0230 to pack and catch the 0358 train to Sydney in time for my 0715 AEDT flight to Melbourne. The rest of the day will be spent catching up with various people, and doing some location scouting in a stupor of tiredness, before some sort of drinks and dinner thing with a few people.

Saturday and Sunday will be spent covering Ruxcon, another of Australia’s key information security conferences. This will include recording material for Corrupted Nerds as well as Future Tense.

Further Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday 26-27 October, I’ll still be in Melbourne doing various things. That includes a Monday night radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1930 AEDT.

Update 19 October 2015: Edited to reflect a change of plans. Update 20 October 2015: Edited to reflect further change to the plan. Update 25 October 2015: Edited once more to reflect continuing change.

[Photo: Lumpy Weather, photographed from seat 29A of VA830 on 13 October 2015.]