Interesting developments in the connectivity world…

Photo Credit: Gloria Garcia / Flickr (CC: by-nc-nd)The Australian Government has just dropped the ban hammer on Chinese Telecommunications equipment company Huawei and it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out across the Tasman here in New Zealand…

Given the traditional “copy our West Island cousins” approach versus the “but they’re part of a free trade agreement” view of China (as of 30 minutes ago, the Prime Minister was still comfortable) – Government backed Kordia has an agreement with Huawei Marine for additional cable connectivity to the intertubes  however, that cable touches down in Sydney so is the connectivity now off the table?

Huawei already has a foot in the door through agreements with Enable Networks in Christchurch and the middle of the North Island

/popcorn

Going Dark…

You may have noticed that I took the main page of this site offline yesterday and replaced it with this one as part of the Anti-SOPA protest… this post is not related to that action.

Going DarkFollowing a conversation yesterday, the social networks, communities and “non-standard” contact channels that I am active in will now see me “going dark” during working hours (NZDST – currently GMT +13).

This means I will be missing many of the conversations I would otherwise have been able to engage in, commentary directed at me will no longer be addressed in a timely manner, and, essentially, I will become a lot quieter on the subjects that I have previously been active on.

It doesn’t mean I’m dead, it doesn’t mean that I no longer care, it doesn’t mean I’ll be dropping the activities that I believe I can make a difference in – it simply means I won’t be ‘available’ from 08:00 – 19:00, Monday – Friday NZ Time and I will no longer be available for assistance or to be involved in conversations during this time period.

The reasons for this action are purely for perception management and to not disadvantage those with whom I work.

Essentially, there are folk in boxes higher up on our corporate HR chart who have set particular measurements by which my team, and I as an individual, are judged. It has been suggested therefore, that I stick solely to areas of work that the group to which our team now reports is responsible for, rather than continue to be involved across the business as I have previously been engaged. While my day to day responsibilities have never suffered through my extra-curricular involvements, I have a moral responsibility to my team. I need to do what I can to ensure that the handful of measures by which we are judged are addressed as effectively as possible, and any perceptions of ‘distraction’ are eliminated.
While I am more than happy to discuss what I do with anyone who believes I’m operating outside of my mandate, I cannot put the team in a position where they may be affected by my wider activities.

Can you help me manage the transition? Absolutely you can, please make sure you tag me in conversations where I’ve previously waded in, or on subjects that you know I have a particular soapbox.
I’m going to do my best to catch-up with the wider world after the kids are in bed and while I’m in transit to and from work – and we’ll review the whole thing at the end of February.

This is NZRob – not over, and not out.

The sky is NOT falling (is it?)

The Summary Version:

The impending Android Malware Apocalypse is overrated, over-hyped and overused to sell more apps and extend control onto mobile devices. That said, it is a perception widely pushed by the media who copy and paste vendor news releases thus the public are beginning to accept the threat as being real. My opinion is that the available attack vectors are currently quite limited and nowhere near as bad as the industry press and mobile vendors are making out. You can’t blame them for pushing the stories though, one group makes its money getting eyeballs to articles, the other by selling cures to the risks…

What we can do as an industry is limited by the overall reluctance for users to double check what they are doing, coupled with the difficult situation created when differentiating device/product or service in a low-margin, rapidly evolving market.

Continue reading “The sky is NOT falling (is it?)”

Ubuntu Upgrade Day: 11.04 – 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’

Yay! My favorite Linux distro gets a facelift today with Ubuntu 11.04 making way for the newly released version 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’. From past history lessons, I do tend to stray on the side of caution, so only one of my machines will be getting the upgrade treatment this week and I’ll hold off with the others until any post update issues shake out.

For those who haven’t given Linux a try yet – I’d strongly suggest giving Ubuntu a go – it has a nice interface and can be skinned to look and feel quite similar to some of the other major operating systems you may already be familiar with. Follow this download link and grab the file.

If you just want to kick the tyres and have a quick look, there are some easy to follow instructions on the download page for making a ‘Live CD’ or a bootable USB stick that you can drop into your current machine and check out.

For those already running Ubuntu, upgrading is as easy as following the instructions on this page, or by entering the command:

update-manager -d

from a terminal window (or from a command via <Alt> + <F2> ). At the time of writing, the update files hadn’t made it to the New Zealand servers so you may want to hold off a little, or change your region under the ‘Settings’ option.

Good luck, enjoy (and don’t forget to make a backup of your data files BEFORE you start…)

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

Continue reading “NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – 21st Century Parenting”

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

Continue reading “NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Innovation & Emerging Issues – Privacy Issues”

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?”

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

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

Continue reading “NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – Cyber-Safety”

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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