Government Vision?

You must wonder what the hell is going on with this current Federal Government, don’t you? Claiming to have a vision for innovation, technology and building a “smart nation” in one breath and then tearing down the infrastructure and institutions that are best placed to drive us towards that vision.

The absolute farce that our NBN has become is being matched by concerted attacks on tertiary education funding and the progressive hobbling of the CSIRO. Through generations of investment, we as a nation have built a world class science and technology research centre. It is called the CSIRO and if we as a nation were serious about innovation, we would be protecting it, nurturing it and increasing funding of it. Not reducing its potential to produce innocvation and knowledge.

There has been some change to the regulations controlling the way businesses can raise money with the introduction new equity crowdfunding legislation, but clearly the commitment doesn’t go far enough.

We need less announcements about giving technology investment a facelift and more action that actually achieves results.

At least there appears to be at least one success story in Government IT policy and investment.

What is security.txt?

I was interested to see that there has been a proposal presented to the Internet Engineering Task Force for standardisation of reporting channels for the disclosure of security risks.

Technical support site, Bleeping Computer reported that a web developer and security researcher by the name of Ed Foudal had presented a draft that would see a security.txt standard introduced similar to the robots.txt protocol.

“When security risks in web services are discovered by independent security researchers who understand the severity of the risk, they often lack the channels to properly disclose them.  As a result, security issues may be left unreported,” Foudal’s submission states. “Security.txt defines a standard to help organizations define the process for security researchers to securely disclose security vulnerabilities.”

The Bleeping Computer article described the distinction between the two as follows: “security.txt will be used to communicate a company's security practices only, and is likely to be read by humans, rather than automated scanners.”

Local tech news site, iTNews also reported on the concept while the Latest Hacking News site, clarified that the difference among security.txt and robots.txt is that security.txt will be used to reach a company’s security practices only, and is expected to be read by humans, preferably than automated scanners.

Data storage revolution

I am always cautious when the words revolution and technology appear in the same thought bubble but this time, I think it extends beyond marketing hype.

One of my favourite sources of latest technology/new products information (across a range of categories, not just IT), New Atlas published this recently about “revolutionary” new data storage technology.

In reality, NASA has been looking into the theoretics of this for quite a long time with a view to the exponential growth in data storage requirements from space exploration in conjunction with minimising weight.

Which is of course just a segue to briefly touch on one of the greatest scientific achievements of our life-time which concluded recently when NASA crashed its Cassini space probe into Saturn, our solar system’s second largest planet.

Some fast facts on the mission are listed here.

Future priorities for customers

I was interested to read in the esteemed local trade news media - ARN - that recent research it was involved in showed that there are some differences between what customers want and what vendors want to sell them.

To quote the article: “Customers are focused on digital transformation, customer experience and leveraging data and analytics to drive better business results, whereas partners are prioritising managed services, security and cloud.”

No great surprises there but while on the subject of recent research, here is a Forbes article from last year which highlights what Gartner surmises to be the strategic technology trends for 2017.

Meanwhile, Accenture’s take on the most disruptive technology trends of 2017 urges that we are entering “the era of the intelligent enterprise”.

Game of Drones

I was being a good Dad last month and took my son to the TGE Melbourne (Technology and Gadget Expo) which was OK but a little too much focused on retail for my liking. I’m a bit more interested in business solutions but that is a personal thing.

There were lots of electric bikes (pretty cool), virtual reality (getting better) and robotics (yikes! Many humans will be obsolete soon).

However, what really caught my eye was the drones. They’ve been around for a long time but they are getting very good and being used for many purposes. This led me to have a look around on Google at what practical applications are now being deployed and there are many with racing, logistics, law enforcement and emergency services, security, and military being just a few.

They also pose a whole host of threats as well.

With the frequency of shark attacks seemingly on the rise, the surf-lover in me appreciates that drones are now being used to patrol beaches looking for Noahs.

They are making a big difference in inventory or asset management, I predict drone racing to be huge in the future, and there is enormous potential for humanitarian applications.

In fact, there is no end of uses for drones and many that haven’t yet been thought of. It is fertile ground for innovation. And, of course, it is not just the skies where drones are proliferating. There are also myriad emerging submarine applications.

One to watch.