Internet of Things

One of the great laments of watching traditional media struggle to find a sustainable business model in the digital age is the loss of long-form journalism.

It’s an expensive, time-consuming process to properly investigate the facts, talk to all relevant people without fear or favour and find the underlying evidence about what really happened. Then starts the process of checking (and re-checking) all the facts, running it past the legal team and publishing.

Unfortunately, in Australia, today’s media houses don’t have the resources to do these sorts of investigations.

When I read this article on Computerworld Australia’s website about how open source is holding together the Internet of Things (or IoT in TLA terminology), I proceeded to see what else is being published about IoT. Well worth fishing around for IoT stories if you are interested in innovative technology.

That’s when I found that long-form journalism still exists in the US of A. This article on the role IoT played in a utility gas disaster in San Bruno, California is a classic example of thorough, investigative journalism where all of the “I”s are dotted and the “T”s crossed. Well worth a read.

I really look forward to one day reading the journalism of this genre that brings down a current world leader.

Other good articles I found on this subject included this piece about a new “human-centric trust model” framework being proposed to help build transparency and individual choice into IoT security while this article sums up the state of IoT play at the moment pretty well.

If you are into tin-foil hats, Lex Luthor-style oligarchs (read Rupert Murdoch) and Big Brother-type monitoring fears, there are plenty of “good” conspiracy theories out there too about IoT.

Job Losses in IT

We at ITPA are always concerned when we read about job losses in our sector so when one of the biggest “tech” companies in Australia heralds that it is going to cut 1400 jobs, soon after one of its competitors said it was going to cut 320, there are two sentiments that come to mind.

Are they going to hand-ball the work that these people do to  inferior international workers? And, this is such a bummer for the people who will be affected.

There is no shame in being between jobs as an IT worker and many people use such a situation as a great opportunity to undertake some study but tech jobs do appear to be tenuous all over the world.

India in particular has seen massive cuts recently - estimated to be as many as 200,000 in the next three years - for which some are blaming the Trump administration in USA.

If you fear being made redundant and are into a little risk aversion there are plenty of sources of information on how to be prepared, like this.

Meanwhile, in the broader employment debate, as this article from TechCrunch asserts, technology is killing jobs and only technology can save them.

Data Privacy

There’s been some great content on the CSO Australia website recently. For example, there’s trouble brewing for businesses of all sizes when it comes to impending obligations under the federal government’s new Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) regime. Many Australian organisations don’t realise that Europe is also implementing guidelines and that they are different and more demanding than the local ones. Local companies that want to do business in Europe will have to comply and it’s not easy.

I also liked this summary of the 15 worst data breaches of the 21st century. The stakes are high for organisations collecting or holding a lot of data and the potential cost of getting security wrong is frightening.

Realisation that data security is a serious business is causing headaches for Government departments. Many agencies are struggling with constant penny-pinching from politicians that would prefer to funnel national wealth to those who donate to their political parties rather than delivering effective public service. With limited resources at their disposal, they are being dragged kicking and screaming into better data protection practices.

Meanwhile, it comes as no surprise that the greatest risk to personal data is still rogue insiders. Recent breaches in Queensland forced that state’s Crime and Corruption Commission to warn the public service personnel not to "peek" at personal and confidential information on citizens contained within government databases.