Saturday, March 10, 2018

Women in Design Wikipedia-edit-a-thon at Sydenham Library in Sydney

Greetings from the Hack the Canon: Women in Design Wikipedia-edit-a-thon at Sydenham Library in the Sydney Inner-west. Speakers are Olivia Hyde, Director of Design Excellence, NSW Government Architect; ZoĆ« Sadokierski, senior lecturer, School of Design at the , University of Technology Sydney; and  Cathy Lockhart industrial designer and academic. Thee will be wikipedia editing to follow and the event goes until 4pm, so come along.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Climate mitigation and adaptation in the ACT

Greetings from the Canberra Renewables Innovation Hub, where the ACT Government is holding a workshop on the Climate mitigation and adaptation in the ACT: costs, benefits and implications report (22 February 2018). It is going to be a difficult exercise, as this is a sixty eight page technical economic report, presented to a general audience.

ps: It turned out to go well, but this wasn't really a general audience, but a self selected group of experts and enthusiasts.  

My suggestions were:
  1. Public-private pocket parks: These would be modeled on the private part at the center of the City-edge development at O'Connor. This looks like a public park but is owned by the bodies corporate of the surrounding apartments. 
  2. Pop-up Community Groups: ACT Government would provide a website where a group of residents could register a community group. When enough people had joined, this would be a legally constituted group and receive government support to run a community garden and the like.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Federal Regulation Needed to Stop Financial Institutions Placing Customers at Risk of Scammers

Had a call from someone claiming to be from NIB Health Insurance. They wanted to discuss my policy and asked me for personal details to verify who I was. However, when I asked the caller to verify who they were, they could not. They provided a telephone number and suggested I call. I explained that as they gave me the number, I could not use it for verification. They then gave me a web address to check the number, but again, as they gave me that I could not rely on it being genuine.

The caller did not seem to grasp the fact that because I get so many scam calls, I have to assume anyone calling is a scammer, until they can prove otherwise. Assuming this caller really was from NIB, the company appears to not understand that they should not call customers in this way. By doing so they make it easier for scammers. I suggest a mandatory code of conduct needs to be put in place for insurance companies, and other financial institutions, to stop this practice.

Monday, March 05, 2018

4th Age of War with 3D Printed Pizza Drone Delivered to Battlefield

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where Dr Albert Palazzo, Director of War Studies at the Australian Army Research Centre is speaking on "Transition Point: Embracing the 4th Age of War". He started with 3D printing (additive manufacturing), which is already being used to produce replacement parts on-board US warships at sea. A more amusing example was the US Army experimenting with 3D printed pizza drone delivered to the battlefield.

Dr Palazzo then drew a contrast between a traditional trade route map of the world and a data transmission map. Current main routes are trans-Atlantic and he suggests this is where wealth will be created.

Dr Palazzo suggested that we don't know who makes the rules about trans-national data communications. This clearly is not true. There was a well established international governance framework for telecommunications before the Internet. This was supplemented with new bodies and rules with the advent of the Internet. I helped establish this structure and stumbled into one of the meetings of the people who ran the Internet one day in Stockholm.

Dr Palazzo then claimed that AI can't come up with quirky original actions and may result in predictability on the battlefield. My experience is that AI comes up with anticipated results, as it is not possible for the human, even the one who programmed it, to anticipate how the data will interact.

One area not addressed by Dr Palazzo were information warfare and irregular warfare techniques enhanced by the Internet. Examples of this are the use of sophisticated social media by terrorists, high quality videos by the Russian military in Syria and "Little green men" deployed in the Ukraine. Western military forces have had difficulty in countering these due in part to a lack of suitable training and doctrine.

That these new forms of warfare are now here was brought home to me when ANU started offering a course in "Offensive Cyber Security Operations" (COMP3702).

One point I agreed with Dr Palazzo on was that the barriers to entry with some new technologies is low. This just needs engineers.

ps: My nephew, Sam Worthington, is an engineer and just set up Rapid 3d Printing.