Monthly Archives: April 2013

The week of security madness

In the last week, I spent most of the week at the two primary security shows in the UK – Infosecurity Europe and B-Sides London for my full time job.

Now I could give you a run-through on the week’s events and tell you who I met, or alternatively I can give you the shows from my perspective.

While for most people the shows last 3 days, for me it is about 10 – a previous week of pre-briefs on reports and launches that will take place during the show, a week of back-to-back meetings and sessions where I look for a story, and the week after where you catch up with those you met or didn’t get time to talk to beforehand.

Of course from a journalists’ perspective, the week of the shows is one continuous string of vendor and people meetings, interspersed with sessions and an attempt to write and check email. Not seeking sympathy of course, if I didn’t like it I would go and do something else, and RSA USA/Europe aside, it’s one period a year.

One of the key features, well annoyances of the infosec period (I’ll stop calling it a week) is the PR fest in trying to grab a slice of time. As I said I call it a period as I pretty much fill 3 weeks due to the level of interest in my time!

So I am not one for PR bashing, and among the tons of meeting requests I usually face, the one thing I expect would be interest to PR and marketing people is how people like me work.

I cannot speak for others, but my process isn’t on who comes in first, instead on who comes in with something interesting.

This year, I decided to spend a period day at B-Sides so I was infosec for 2 days. In the weeks before, I selected some speaking sessions I wanted to attend and then approached those people and companies I wanted to attend; this left me with a few slots to do some more meetings and I picked those from the PR and marketing emails I received.

So anyone who says ‘we shouldn’t email the members of the press ahead of a show’ is wrong – I welcome approaches but will probably only accept 10% of what is offered to me, take some pre-briefs for the week before and if time allows, book something for the Monday before too.

What I guess I am saying is if you want to land a journalist meeting at a show, go in with a good point to raise, an announcement (you know we love exclusives) or that person whom is rarely available. Also if it is a no, don’t whine that I never gave you a chance – that’s guaranteed to stop me taking any interest in what you have to offer.

I may sound like I hate the shows, I don’t – a busy junkie like me loves the vibe and access that shows offer and it is better than a day in the office in my view.

Also if the truth be told, when Infosec is over on the Thursday, after all that build-up, I feel a slight disappointment. After all, all that work has been and gone and I’ve got a stack of interview notes to filter through!


“Sh!t ground, no fans!”



This Saturday marks the last day that Barnet football club will ever play at the Underhill stadium.

Due to the demands of the council and the state of the ground, Barnet will be forced to leave Underhill for the last time on Saturday after the game against Wycombe Wanderers in what is likely to be a rare sell-out for the club.

You can read more about the move in my wife Victoria’s excellent blog ( at Strictly442, and as you will see, it is the ground where we first met and a year later, met again.

The sad fact is that another football club in the London borough of Barnet (Hendon FC) now play their games at Wembley FC, and their old ground Claremount Road has been left to nature’s wrath. I swear they will be filming music videos there next.

The options to share were there, but not to fit Barnet’s average attendance of 2-3,000, and inside the Emirates or White Hart Lane, it may resemble the Queen’s Park fans inside Hampden.

Next season will see Barnet playing in front of a smaller crowd at their training ground the Hive, which was recently used by Brazil and was criticised by Everton captain Phil Neville. Whatever the future holds, the sloping spectable of Underhill will be remembered by all who attended.

The Man of Steel

This week saw the main trailer released for what could be the summer blockbuster of 2013 – The Man of Steel.
This latest adaptation of the superman legend does look to lack some of the gentility of the Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve version of 1978, but I guess after the Batman reboots of the last 10 years, this was to be expected.
However as a life long superman fan, we’re talking wallpaper as kid and Superman 2 as that film you watched over and over on days off school and giving the George Reeves version the time of day, the potential of a great Superman film does fill me with delight.
The last release, 2006’s disappointing Superman Returns which was confusing in its timescale (picking up from the 1986 Superman 4 film as some kind of sequel), it lacked a decent villain (Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor showed why Donner coveted Gene Hackman for the 1978 film) and had a Lois Lane who did not have anything especially appealing about her.
Yes Brandon Routh was a good superman I felt, but as for the rest of the film, not impressed.
For this edition there appears to be a strong cast, likely inspired by the recent Batman and Spider-Man reboots, with a new take on Krypton and bringing the legend to the modern day that Smallville tried to do.
Will it satisfy? Who knows. It could be that the trailer contains all the best bits and Henry Cavill does not have maturity to carry off such a screen icon.
Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Playing the part of General Zod is Michael Shannon,  who plays Boardwalk Empire’s mountain of simmering tension Nelson Val Aalden/Robert Mueller. Again he’s unlikely to bring what Terence Stamp did in the way a classic British actor does, but something tells me he won’t disappoint. Maybe it’s to do with the teaser trailer.

I’m not a comic book/graphic novel afficionado, and don’t claim to be an expert on Kal-El, but for the kid who loved the legend as much as Kill Bill’s Bill (see the clip), the concept of a decent Superman film is what will make 2013 a great summer of film.

Firstly – some clarity

So before I begin blogging my thoughts, I suppose it is sensible to detail the point of this blog.


This doesn’t represent my employer or anything to do with my day job. Also, any reference I make to vendors, researchers, analysts etc will intentionally be anonomised. Also if I write anything about people, it will likely be with names changed, always keen to protect the innocents.


So if this isn’t going to reflect what I do for a living, the question is why do it at all? Well maybe there will be some thoughts on security and relevant stories that may not fit with where I write, then again it may be the case there is something I want to get off my chest and my 140 character limit on Twitter is too limiting.


For example, I have been contributing to the football blog Strictly442 this season and will sync some of my content back here, also there will be views on football, music and general life – whatever takes my interest really.


If you want to know about me, here’s my LinkedIn for my employment history; if you want to know what I do personally I’m on Facebook; and if you want to know what I was like in 2008, here’s my Myspace.


Disclaimer over, lets talk me and my thoughts.