Yesterday I found myself sat in a hotel lobby all day, speaking to London’s finest IT journalists about the threats we have seen during 2008 and some of our predictions about computer security in 2009.
It’s quite a trawl getting to the One Aldwych hotel from my place in Oxford. The alarm clock rings out at 5:30am. Yes, that is quite early – especially if you were up talking to a Californian company about how it may be unwittingly helping phishers only three and a half hours before.
You then have to shower, get dressed, scrape the ice off the windscreen of the car, trundle down to Oxford railway station, buy a ticket (£48 is absolute daylight robbery for a return to Paddington – not that it was daylight yet), forget to pay for parking (that fine is going to cost me another 30 quid), leap on the tube, get off near Trafalgar Square and walk up the Strand to the lobby of the rather swanky One Aldwych hotel.
The deal is that I hang out on a sofa in a lobby, and every hour a journalist is wheeled in front of me. We then talk about the Sophos Security Threat Report 2009 and anything else which takes their fancy. A friendly PR person makes discreet notes, orders drinks, and generally keeps the wheels oiled.
I talk and talk and talk. In fact I talk all day. And by the afternoon I’ve said some things so often (for instance, the fact that web-based malware is found three times more often than in 2007, or that there is five times more email attachment malware now than at the beginning of 2008) that I’m confused if I’m repeating myself to the journalist.
It doesn’t help that I’ve only had three and a half hours sleep the night before. And I’ve got the drag of the journey back, crammed like cattle in the train back to Oxford. British public transport is not only ridiculously expensive, it’s appallingly crowded and uncivilised.
Of course, it’s quite fun to get out of the office and to be asked some probing questions, but I wonder how people cope with commuting to London every day.