Smashing Security #002: 'Invest in carrier pigeons'

Three security industry veterans, chatting live about whatever is on their mind.


Join me and fellow computer security industry veterans Vanja Svajcer and Carole Theriault as we have another casual video chat about whatever is on our minds. You can either watch the video, or listen to the podcast.

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This week, in Smashing Security #002: "Invest in carrier pigeons", we discuss Donald Trump's views on cybersecurity and his radical explanation of how to keep communications top secret, Ukrainian soldiers being spied upon by Android malware, and an artist who has devised a novel way of avoiding facial recognition technology.

All this, and an unplanned appearance by an invisible dog.

Hope you enjoy the show, and tell us what you think! You can follow the Smashing Security team at @SmashinSecurity on Twitter.

Show notes

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Smashing Security podcast
Check out "Smashing Security", the new weekly audio podcast, with Graham Cluley, Carole Theriault, and special guests from the world of information security.

"Three people having fun in an industry often focused on bad news" • "It's brilliant!" • "The Top Gear of computer security"

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8 Responses

  1. Ken Grayling

    January 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    Carrier Pigeons! Hasn't The Donald heard of drones?

  2. Bob

    January 6, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    I enjoy these videos but the bad audio quality makes them difficult to listen to.

    I assume you're using Google Hangouts and I appreciate that the other two speakers are not in the UK but the echo makes the whole audio track gnarly to the ear. Your voice Graham sounds crystal clear.

    If Skype, FaceTime and other services are equally poor then perhaps if one person waited for the other to finish (I don't know whether delay makes this impracticable) the quality would improve. It seems that when people talk over each other the echo is exacerbated by the audio feedback and compression.

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Bob.

      January 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

      Thanks for bringing that to my attention Bob. I haven't heard from anyone else yet who is having problems with the audio, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved.

      We'll look into different ways that we can make it better, and I know there are plans afoot for an audio-only version for podcast fanatics who don't need to see our ugly mugs.

      BTW, I'm imagining that the reason that I'm crystal clear and the other two are hard to decipher is because I'm the only one without an accent.

      • Melissa in reply to Graham Cluley.

        January 8, 2017 at 12:08 am #

        I too find the audio sketchy at times. The Christmas video was especially bad, it sounded like you were making a transatlantic call on a pre-digital cordless phone :-D

        I don't think there's much that can be done to improve the quality unless all parties have fast, stable connections.

        I had figured the reason Graham's voice was so clear was because he was recording himself and then overlaying the live streams.

        • Graham Cluley in reply to Melissa.

          January 8, 2017 at 12:14 am #

          It was all recorded through Google Hangouts. There was no post-production by us or any overlaying or editing (as if we would attempt anything so slick!). So it’s Google taking our audio streams live via Hangouts and shoving them into a YouTube video.

          Since recording the Christmas episode, Vanja has switched to a better microphone (and a better webcam).

          It’s odd that some people are hearing such poor sound and others don’t seem to be troubled – I think a transatlantic 1980s phone call would sound pretty bad too.

          Anyway, thanks for letting me know and we will explore further. Please don’t let it put you off too much!

          • Bob in reply to Graham Cluley.

            January 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

            I normally listen with my Bose external speakers as I tend to only listen to the audio (i.e. I don't watch the video) whilst I'm getting on with some work.

            Maybe it's because my speakers are good* and highlight the imperfections or it could be that I have good hearing and am more attuned than most.

            * I did stream it to my TV from my computer to test this theory but the result was replicated – probably because the speakers are reasonably good. I also watched it on my phone without headphones and it sounded better because the audio wasn't as crisp.

            I'll watch the next episode and see what that's like. For what it's worth I watched the video in 720p48.

          • Graham Cluley in reply to Bob.

            January 8, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

            Thanks for the additional information. We'll look into it and see what we can do to make things better.

  3. Katie

    January 7, 2017 at 6:26 am #

    Re privacy: I went from Windows 7 to 10 last summer, and was shocked by the super aggressive demands from Microsoft to know all my data, study my writing patterns, etc. Many people are not able to try to protect themselves from the spies and/or marketers (is there a difference???).

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