Managing Behaviour & Technology – A Night with NEAL

Managing Technology
Image Credit: IBoomMedia/Flickr CC: by-nc-sa

I’ve just arrived back from an evening session on “Managing Technology and Behaviour @ Home” run by Andrew Cowie, Heather Eccles and Alan Curtis from NEAL (Northern Education Access Loop).

I surprised myself by enjoying the session, it wasn’t that I personally learned anything technical, it was all about the presentation of the material which was simply outstanding.


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Linux for Kids

My best mate dropped over on the weekend and left me an ancient Sony Vaio that he’d acquired for his 7-year-old daughter.

Doudou LinuxAfter shooting the breeze over the beer, we got to talking about his daughters computer use. Essentially he (and she) just wanted “something she can use and have for her own” – he’d already been supplied with a Live CD of Doudou Linux which she’d been booting from, yet due to the failing hard drive in the near fossilized Vaio, the machine was taking far too long to start-up – by which time her attention span was exceeded.

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Expiring Passwords

Image Credit: Louise Docker / Flickr (CC:by)Today there was a question pitched by one of the guys at work as to why we bother having such things as a password expiry / enforced change. My answer (in true Rob fashion), rambled a little (ok, a lot) but I’ve consolidated it below and made it generic to suit anyone facing the same line of questioning…

The reason passwords are set to expire, is it limits the exposure of compromised credentials. Continue reading “Expiring Passwords”

Authenticating Users – The Struggle to Raise the Bar

Photo Credit: Ibrahim Asad / Flickr (CC: by)Interesting quote from an article that I was reading this morning:

“When creating a patient portal that provides access to electronic health records, healthcare organizations must educate patients about the need for authenticating their identities, says Sharp HealthCare CIO Bill Spooner. […] Spooner notes that some patients have complained that the authentication method for its patient portal is cumbersome.”

It’s not the fault of the user, they’ve not been educated as to why the bar should be higher (and they don’t necessarily understand the potential consequence of a low bar). It’s not the fault of the business, after all things have been “good enough so far” so why spend money changing something that doesn’t look like it’s broken?

It’s (almost) nice to know there are others struggling with the balance between usability, user acceptance, funding and the changing landscape of threat.

NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – 21st Century Parenting

21st Century Parenting – Challenges and Solutions

Lee Chisholm, Operations manager, NetSafe

This was an obvious choice as a session for me to attend, and it opened with an attention grabbing quote…

“Three times as many smart phones every minute are activated than there are babies being born” – Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson

This quote sets the stage for the overwhelming influx of technologies into our lives and especially the lives of our children. The problem is, parents are being fed these lines time and again to the point where many throw in the towel and give up trying to stay current with what their children are doing.

Even more worrisome than the parents giving up, is the parents abdicating the responsibility of teaching and modelling these skills to schools. Schools do not have the resources to do this stuff alone

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NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Innovation & Emerging Issues – Privacy Issues

Privacy Issues for business in the new digital age

Marie Shroff (Privacy Commissioner)

This session started with a fizz and a whimper, I think based more on the usual audience for the Privacy Commission than the subject matter itself. I did enjoy the comics though 🙂

  • Customers are starting to take an ACTUAL interest in their privacy (~80-90% are concerned or ‘very concerned’)
  • Media starting to pick up on these stories as the articles drive interest
  • Bigger companies are starting to see the moral and ethical necessity to adopt privacy
  • Expectation of future tweaking suggestions for privacy act
  • “Value your CIO as your would your CFO”
  • Despite the cloud context, people are expecting the same flexibility and control over their data as when it was locally domicilled

The discussion that followed was interesting

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NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Globalisation, the Internet and the Law – The Internet as a Revolutionary Tool

Session Lead by: Brian Calhoun, Independent Consultant and co-chair of NZRise Inc

 “I see a gradual slide toward corporate and government control…by control I mean content”

The session started with a discussion of TOR / BitCoin / BitTorrent – all created specifically to circumvent control systems that were already in existence. The question then posed to the room was:

“How long before our government moves to block/disable these things? […] What is your bottom line? How pissed off do you need to get before you take action?”

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NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – Cyber-Bullying

Digital Citizenship – Combating Cyber-bullying & Harassment

Stream led by: John Fenaughty (NetSafe)

Perhaps the most notable example of standing up against bullying of recent times is that of 16-year old Australian Casey Haynes story (YouTube “Fat Kid takes on Bully”) a video that went viral both online and via traditional prime time media.

When asked, 33.2% of youth surveyed reported they had experienced some form of cyber-bullying in the past year and 52.9% of those had found it distressing.

That’s 17.6% of New Zealand youth surveyed having experienced ‘distressing cyber-bullying’ in the past year – it’s an offensive statistic for anyone wishing to better the environment in which we work, entertain and educate ourselves.
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NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – Cyber-Safety

Digital Citizenship – Cybersafety

Stream led by: Martin Cocker (NetSafe) – NetHui Digital Citizenship Forum

Martin started off the session by outlining there things are in New Zealand, as well as providing a context for the terminology which would follow. In this regard, Digital Citizens were defined as those using technologies to have:

  • Greater productivity (via use of technology)
  • A better education experience
  • Connections with e-government
  • The responsibility to “Balance” the digital society
    • Politically, we can vote out non-performers
    • Commercially, we can only influence via our adoption and usage of technologies.
    • We can’t vote for everyone (politically) but we can influence via usage and adoption

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NetHui 2011 – Day 1

You could tell that you’d arrived at the NetHui because every seat anywhere remotely near a power source was occupied by someone hunched over an electronic device, either furiously tapping away at a keyboard or swiping at a screen.

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