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View from the top: Steve Gold, technology journalist and freelancer for 25 years

July 30, 2009

This week we interviewed Steve Gold, a business journalist and tech writer for over 25 years. Here are the notes from our conversation with this IT & journalism expert.

Q- About you:  Tell me about yourself

I’m a former NHS employee who got involved with computers early 80s, and there’s been no looking back ever since. I freelanced in the early 1980s, and in 1986 I got the option of a day job working with Microscope. Later I landed a job at PC Dealer and worked my way up to editor. I then went on to found Newsbytes, an ICT press distribution service which I sold to Washington Post eight years ago. Since then it’s been back to freelancing. Selling a company gives you a bit of freedom. It’s great to be able to write about whatever interests me without worrying about money or prestige.

Q – Tell us a little bit about the titles you write for and their interest in security:

I write for titles concerned with next-generation IT security problems, threats and solutions. Infosecurity, Computer Fraud & Security, and Network Computing are three that come to mind. Generally the titles I write for are interested in Web 2.0, cloud computing, and extensible application problems (Java—extending the security envelope to cope with the 3d environment).

Q – What’s hot in IT security this year?

Cloud computing, biometrix & voice, and networking—company intranet networking, public networking, and all the points in between.

Q – How many Infosecuritys have you been to?

I attended the first Infosecurity 15 years ago. In terms of history, it wasn’t too long ago, but in technological history it was a very long time ago.

Q – This year was Infosecurity better than ever or was it like some shows in decline?

Better than ever. There was great turnout this year, and in the current environment that was amazing.

Q – What types of stories or companies attracted your attention at this Infosecurity?

I looked for companies covering areas of security which hadn’t really been covered before. I spoke with Peter Wood of First Base Technologies, Spam House (an international not-for-profit anti-spam organisation), Solera Networks, Palo Alto and Panda Labs, among others.

Q. How many interviews did you do?

26

Q- When do you start planning your diary for Infosecurity?

About a month beforehand

Q– Based on this year’s Infosecurity, do you think next year will be better than ever or like some shows in decline?

Better!

Q- Who is worth listening to?

We won’t be sure until about a month before the show

Q- What’s your favourite blog?

I don’t have any! I use a customised agentware application that I wrote myself. It scans various sources and searches for selected keywords. Each morning I have to sift through about 2mg worth of online comment culled from over 2,000 sources.

Q- What is your favourite piece of technology?

Slingbox. It allows me to watch TV on my own terms, wherever I am. For example, I’m going on a trip to Paris in a few weeks, and I will take a device called a SlingCatcher with me. When I get to my hotel room I will plug it into my Paris TV, and I can watch Sky TV in Paris over the internet.

Q-What do you think is the most important development in IT security to date?

Heuristic analysis. We can take a multi-layer approach to analysing threats and then develop security accordingly. Many vendors are only scratching the surface of this, but we’re getting there.

Q- What is the best piece of advice for exhibitors at Infosecurity?

Listen. And ask good questions.

**Thanks, Steve!

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