Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cybersecurity Conference in Canberra

The conference "Securing our Future in Cyberspace", is being hosted by the Australian National University in Canberra, 15-19 February 2016. There are also free public talks during the conference (registration for each required):
  1. Towards a political ecology of cyberspace, Research symposium, 8:30am-12pm, Tuesday 16 February 2016, Chair: Professor Roger Bradbury, Director, Strategy and Statecraft in Cyberspace research program, ANU National Security College
  2. Quantum sovereignty: the Westphalian principle and the global governance of cyberspace, Public seminar, 6-7pm, Tuesday 16 February 2016, Speaker: Professor Paul Cornish, Research Group Director for Defence, Security and Infrastructure at RAND Europe, Cambridge
  3. Taming cyberspace: Applying international law in a new domain, Public seminar, 6-7pm, Wednesday 17 February 2016, Speaker: Professor Fred Cate, Vice President for Research at Indiana University, Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law 
  4. The role of cybersecurity in Chinese foreign policy, Public seminar, 12:30-1:30pm, Thursday 18 February 2016, Speaker: Assistant Professor Jon Lindsay, Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs 
  5. Securing our future in cyberspace: Next steps, Closing plenary, 12:30-2pm, Friday 19 February 2016, Speakers: Dr Herb Lin, Senior Research Scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and others.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rearming Australia for Cyber Warfare

In "AUSTRALIA REARMED! Future Needs for Cyber-Enabled Warfare" Professor Greg Austin, from the Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACCS) states "Australia’s defence forces need to maintain distinct capabilities for cyber warfare at the strategic level ... for mobilization of the country in very short time to fight a medium intensity, cyber-enabled hot war ...". The ADF has made a significant step towards this already by including cyber-security in the curriculum of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), where the ACCS is located.

In an accompanying paper, Group Captain (ret.) Dr. Keith Joiner discussed "Integrating Cyber-survivability into Australian Defence Force Platform Development". He points out that the ADF's taks is not only protect its systems in peacetime, "... but includes preventing its systems and platforms from being crippled or subverted by the offensive cyber operations of an enemy in combat...".

Australia has recently invested billions of dollars in advanced aircraft and ships. In any hostilities these can be expected to come under intensive and sustained cyber-attack, before during and after any conventional warfare. These attacks will not just be directly against the weapons systems, but also through their logistics and support systems, the personnel and their families and friends. It would be unfortunate if these platforms were disabled even before they could be deployed, because the ADF has not spent a few hundred million dollars to to conduct cyber- survivability trials and train personnel to protect the systems.

Monday, January 18, 2016

How to Write a Drama/Comedy Screenplay

SBS have resealed  a resource guide students on "How to Write a Dramedy Screenplay" (11 January 2016) by Moneth Montemayor, Benjamin Law. This is associated with the TV show "Family Law" and there is also a competition for students. This is the second of the SBS educational packages, after the launch of their education website late last year. Unfortunately SBS seems unable to clearly communicate what they are doing with education.

In this case SBS are promoting a screen-writing completion for students, almost to the exclusion of the educational aspects. Reading the website, and the promotion for it, it is hard to work out there is a serious educational resource provided, rather than just a competition to promote a TV show.

Using the term "Dramedy" makes the material much harder to understand. Perhaps this will appeal to the 15-20 year-old audience, but I suspect very few, outside the media business will be able to make sense of this.

Review of Australian Fire Alert System

In "Analysis: Fire alert system overhaul could boost awareness" Andrew O'Connor\ (ABC, 16 January 2016), wrote that current Australian bushfire alerts  "... make the task of quickly building accurate situational awareness difficult and vulnerable to misperception and misunderstanding". There is a very large body of research on communication of emergency public warnings (with about 7,000 papers in 2015). The advent of the Internet and the web has aided this, not only by providing another method of communicating warnings, but providing a new avenue for understanding how people understand messages.

Monday, January 11, 2016

IEEE Collabratec: Online Professional Collaboration System

The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have a new system called "IEEE Collabratec" for on-line professional collaboration. I have been a member of IEEE for years, but rarely do more than read the publications, as they do not have many meetings nearby. I was skeptical of the idea of an on-line collaboration platform, but decided to try it. I entered the email address and password which I use for the IEEE website (I only use this once a year to renew my subscription).

The system asked me to search for topics of interest, so I entered a few (it did not seem to have those already entered against my membership). The system then invited me to select from a long lists of groups. This was a little confusing as geographically based groups seemed to be mixed in with topic based ones (and there was no pre-selection based on the interest areas I had already input). I then got an error message, perhaps became I had entered too many.

The system offered to help find me a job so I filled this out (apart from the desired salary). The system asked if I had published any papers and I was able to search the IEEE Digital Library and find four.

The result is a public profile of

The process was not too onerous. It was useful that some fields were pre-filled from the existing IEEE membership system. It would be helpful if other information, such as employment record and qualifications could be imported from LinkedIn.

What was disappointing was the apparent lack of any actual "collaboration" facilities.  At one point I was offered a Google Docs account, but I already have several of those from various projects and did not really want another. If this is all the collaboration facilities IEEE is offering, then the result is disappointing.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Computer Education Conference on Way to Koyoto?

I was planning to attend the 11th International Conference on Computer Science and Education (ICCSE2016), 23-25 August 2016 at Nagoya University, Japan (Satellite site, 23 August 2016, University of Fukui, Koyoto City). If anyone knows of any start-up, higher education or IT conferences in Japan or nearby I could attend at the same time (or anyone who would like a seminar or workshop), that would be good. Last year I attended ICOFE 2015 in Hong Kong on the way to ICCSE 2015, but this year ICOFE 2016 is earlier and ICCSE later. Flights from Sydney to Osaka (ITM), Kansai (KIX) and Central Japan (NGO) go via Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Cairns, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Brisbane, Nouméa and Shanghai.

It is very frustrating to go though the many lists of conferences looking for suitable dates and locations. as an example,  the  International Conference on E-Learning and E-Technologies in Education (ICEEE), in Kuala Lumpur, September 6-8, 2016 looks interesting, but what are the flights like from Japan?