Thursday, May 24, 2018

How one computer salesman contributed to the digital revolution

Last night I sat down next to someone who looked familiar at a university talk. This being a university, they turned out to have a PhD, be an author of a book and pioneer in the computer industry. Dr Christopher B. Yardley, is author of "ALSO INNOVATORS: How one computer salesman contributed to the digital revolution" (2016). The full text is available free online from ANU Press. The technology mentioned will sound like ancient history to computer professionals today. But the problems of introducing new technology are still current.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Making Canberra a Mobile Place

Dickson LibraryGreetings from the Canberra Wine House, where I am taking part in the "Ideas and Actions for Dickson: Community Workshop". This is hosted by a team of planners contracted to the ACT Government. I booked for this event, thinking it was about master-planning for the Dickson shopping center and surround, as it is developed in conjunction with the new light rail and bus hub. However,  it was instead about how to get more sense  of community in the area.

In the late 1990s I chaired the Dickson Precinct Community Group, to provide advice to the ACT Government on planning the area. The Draft Master Plan, and Community Consultation and Cultural Profile Report from 1998, may be of interest.I was a little disappointed that the 2018 activity did not seem as organized as that twenty years ago.

We were asked to come up with ideas which could be implemented relatively quickly. My serious one was to issue planter boxes to the local primary schools and kindergartens and then place these around the library. A less serious one was an "uber-park": build a shallow planter box on Eclipse Engineering's Container Roll-Out Warehousing System (CROWS™), and stack these in a shipping container to create a relocatable pocket park.

The container would be transported by truck to a location, the pallets slid out and arranged to form a grassed area. The empty container would then be used as a kiosk. I was surprised when one of the other participants also suggested a relocatable "pop-up" park, so perhaps it is not such a silly idea.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Data Driving the Smart City in Canberra

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where Future of the Web: Data drives the Smart City, just started. This is in conjunction with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This will be repeated Thursday 10 May in Sydney. I consider the "Smart City" to be like the smart home: mostly marketing hype. It will be interesting to see if today's speakers can change my view.

The first speaker was Dr Ole Nielsen, Deputy Chief Digital Officer and Director of Digital Transformation, ACT Government. I asked Dr Nielsen if the ACT Government was securing system sufficiently against cyber attack. He replied that data should not be stored on drives connected to people's email and data stored in the basement of offices is no more secure than on Amazon Web Services.
 

9.35am Industry Keynote  Dr Mukesh Mohania (IBM Distinguished Engineer in IBM Research)

 10.05am

 Ubiquitous sensing, located Dr Kerry Taylor (Chair, W3C Spatial Data on the Web)
 10.35am  Break
 10.50am  Smart Grid Dr Lachlan Blackhall (Head of the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program, ANU)
Dr Armin Haller (W3C Office Manager, ANU)
 11.30am Power to the People:
Privacy in the smart city

(in Melbourne) Dr David Hyland-Wood (Blockchain Protocol Architect, Consensys)
(in Canberra) Dr Peter Christen (Professor, Data Mining and Matching, ANU)
(in Sydney) Christine Cowper (Principal Consultant, Information Integrity Solutions)
12.00pm Panel:
“How do we best enable smart cities?”
round-up of W3C activities and value proposition
capacity building – what skills do we need?
what issues should we consider? How do we solve them?
Discussion with all earlier speakers

chaired by  J. Alan Bird (W3C Global Business Development Lead)
All above speakers as participants
Interactive audience