In my day job I sell security products, including Lookout Mobile Security, to Telstra customers.

Here’s a post I wrote about the Ad Network Detector Lookout have just released to help users be certain software on their Android devices isn’t doing anything with their personal information they’d prefer it not to do.


Apple Software Update Issues


Before I hit the hay (instead of Making Hay) tonight I decided to respond to the Software Update Prompts on a couple of my Mac’s tonight.

I was kind of Surprised to see two versions of the same Safari offered

Two identical Safari Options

So I deselected one and ran the upgrade. It seemed to complete okay and as usual ran another check. At which point I was presented with something odd

itunes producer shows up

I never heard of iTunes Producer before, and judging by the description, it seems like something only content owners get access to, so I was surprised to see it in the standard Lion Software Update

iTunes Producer Description.png

Needless to say I installed it. Which seemed to go well. Upon launch however, I got this:

iTunes Producer Login

What’s iTunes Connect? Off to DuckDuckGo I went

Search itunes Connect

And eventually ended up at the Apple Site for Content Providers

Which (as did any site under kept refreshing and eventually gave me this

Safari Fail

And a lovely crash report from Safari Web Content:

Process:         WebProcess [20467]Path:            /System/Library/StagedFrameworks/Safari/WebKit2.framework/         7534.54 (7534.54.16)Build Info:      WebKit2-7534054016000000~1Code Type:       X86-64 (Native)Parent Process:  Safari [20044]
Date/Time:       2012-03-21 00:52:25.935 +1100OS Version:      Mac OS X 10.7.3 (11D50b)Report Version:  9
Interval Since Last Report:          1014 secCrashes Since Last Report:           16Per-App Interval Since Last Report:  1033 secPer-App Crashes Since Last Report:   16Anonymous UUID:                      1B08278B-0FAA-4437-8C46-60A82E82BD19
Crashed Thread:  0  Dispatch queue:
Exception Type:  EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x0000000000000008
VM Regions Near 0x8:-->     __TEXT                 0000000109ee4000-0000000109ee5000 [    4K] r-x/rwx SM=COW  /System/Library/StagedFrameworks/Safari/WebKit2.framework/
Application Specific Information:objc[20467]: garbage collection is OFF
Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue:

Because this crash also happens when I tried to edit a post here at, I decided to disable all my extensions, which has fixed the problem. Once I identify the culprit, I’ll update this post.

UPDATE: The culprit appears to be the extension Disconnect.

Disconnect Extension

I say appears, because after resetting and turning on all Extensions, all the previously affected sites (, Feedly and the Edit Post page in worked initially. However after some additional testing, I could consistently get Safari WebContent to crash when Disconnect was turned on and I went to edit a post here.

So the questions are:

Has someone at Apple inadvertently released incorrect builds of Safari to Software Update?

Safari Version 5.1.4

Why did iTunes Producer appear in my Software Update – and is anyone else seeing it?

Reducing deaths in Sydney, Taser style


This week we’ve again seen the great State of New South Wales uphold its claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of its order.

With the newest technology, it’s part-trained minions are able to prevent the peace being breached, swiftly and without a drop of Roberto Laudisio’s blood being spilled.

Max Weber would be proud of their proof of his dictate, even being able to achieve the ultimate effects of their legitimacy without the use of lethal force.

Here are some more examples of the benefits to society from modern technology as it helps police officers remove any chance their use of legitimate force will be lethal:

Cole said that he used the taser because he “felt she was more susceptible to being injured if he attempted to tackle her.”
(The officer) is obviously taking this pretty hard. It was an unexpected and unhappy outcome
The last two jolts, delivered as police pulled Pikes from a patrol car at the police station, elicited no physical reaction because the suspect was unconscious
“We’re looking after the police and their welfare and at this point the police are very comfortable with the circumstances surrounding this incident”
Taking off his shirt was a sign of aggressive bravado

Meanwhile the manufacturer of these safe ECD’s continue to spruik the thousands of lives they’ve saved with nary a mention of the numbers they’ve killed, 90 percent of whom were unarmed.

Aren’t you glad you live in such a safe society, where, thanks to Taser, only the bad guys get executed?


Excellent article from Glenn Fleishman at TidBITS Safe Computing on how Elcomsoft Criticism of iOS Password Apps is Overblown.

The core point I took from the article is that there is a four factor authentication process before you can get to individual passwords:

  • Get the Device (or the data file)
  • Get the Security code on the Device
  • Get the Security code or password for the app
  • Get the Master Password

Which doesn’t preclude a user of an application like 1Password from;

Disclaimer: I user 1Password on my Mac and on iOS and have done since I originally got a free install  about 3 years ago. I have since then purchased both the Mac software (currently 3.8.17) and 1Password Pro for the iPhone. Both of which I use daily on both devices.


“It was completely wrong for me to have it on your show,” Daisey tells Glass on the program, “and that’s something I deeply regret.” He also expressed his regret to “the people who are listening, the audience of This American Life, who know that it is a journalism enterprise, if they feel betrayed.”

via Retracting “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” | This American Life.

It’s hard to think of this as anything other than a massive failure by This American Life. UPDATE: especially considering Daisey’s prior admissions of fabrications and embellishments.

However, if there are a few things which can be learnt from this whole episode it’s that:


Microsoft’s videos to help us get started with Windows 8 Consumer Preview are pretty slick and clearly illustrate the fantastic benefits of the Metro UI.

I can’t help but thinking though that Mouse and keyboard interaction in what appears to clearly be a touch screen UI is odd. And the file system user experience seems to be just Windows 7 with a fancy wrapper.

I can’t wait to get time to try it out though, a rethinking of desktop UI’s is long over due in my book.


The summary of AV Test’s March 2012 Malware Protection for Android Tests includes the following:

Close to two thirds of these scanners are not yet suitable for use as reliable products and identify less than 65% of the 618 types of malware tested”

Though I think the most damning quote was about one of the large number of “free” – mainly ad supported – services:

“…showed no detections in our tests and crashed several times. The advertisements worked properly”

Disclaimer: In my current role I promote Lookout Mobile Security which was in the top 7 tested applications

“An intrusion of cockroaches”. Perfect

Grammar Party

I learned yesterday from a twitter friend that one of the collective nouns for jellyfish is fluther. Isn’t that a wonderful word? That got me thinking about all of the interesting group names for animals. A wake of buzzards. A murder of crows.  And at the opposite end of the spectrum is a charm of finches and a gaze of raccoons. Whether spooky or beautiful, animals have neat names.

To learn more, I tracked down a list of collective nouns for animals on the San Diego Zoo’s website.  Below are some of my favorites. Enjoy.

alligators: congregation

beavers: family

boars: sounder

buffalo: gang

buzzards: wake

camels: train

cats: clowder, cluster, glaring, pounce

chickens: brood, peep

cockroaches: intrusion

crocodiles: bask, float

crows: murder

doves: flight

emus: mob

ferrets: business

finches: charm

geese: gaggle

goldfish: troubling

hawks: boil, cast, kettle

hippos: bloat

hyenas: cackle

jellyfish: smack

lions: pride

leopards: leap

View original post 21 more words


The report from the inquiry into the Australian Media landed yesterday. A summary by Alan Knight told me:

  • Of the existing self-regulation measures, only one or two newspapers have appointed an ombudsman or readers’ representative.
  • Online news publications are not covered.
  • The Australian Press Council has neither the necessary powers nor the required funds to carry out its designated functions.
  • Publishers can withdraw from the Australian Press Council when they wish and alter their funding as they see fit.
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority’s processes are cumbersome and slow.
  • If legal proceedings against the media are called for, they are protracted, expensive and adversarial, and offer redress only for legal wrongs, not for the more frequent complaints about inaccuracy or unfairness.

One of the proposals in the reports was that online news media sites as well as more traditional publishers would be covered by a News Media Council. But that a minimum of 15,000 “hits” per annum would be used to decide if a site was worthy of the interest of the News Media Council.

This blog sometimes touches on Australian news, politics and the media, and may at some time have more than 15,000 hits per annum. But most of my commentary here isn’t about those topics.

Because I’ve hardly the time to read the report, perhaps someone can answer these questions for me;

  • will such a regulated environment dissect the content of posts before allocating the 15,000 limit?
  • would it include “hits” from crawlers or robots?
  • does it exclude the loading of images?
  • what it, as with this site, it is hosted outside of Australia?

Assuming the Government accepts and implements even one recommendation from the report, these and more questions need to be answered so I and others like me can more clearly understand any changes to the environment we operate in.