Newsletter Volume 28 Issue 10, Oct 2016
From The Editor
Are we being manipulated by algorithms? Our March 2014 article on the Google Flu bug warned about inaccurate big data analysis. Now we have new evidence of how social media is misleading us, sometimes deliberately. See below, Is Dumb AI making Us Dumber?
“Not only were our IT, business processes and management information systems found lacking, but so was our focus and culture.”
The above quote is from an October 7, 2016 article in The Mandarin, reporting on a speech by Martin Parkinson, secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. There are lessons here for both public and private sector. See below, Parkinson: implementation is harder than policy, don’t undervalue it
“”The bad guys are using the cloud to deliver malware and other nefarious things while remaining undetected.”
This quote is from an 18 October 2016 Science Daily article provided by Georgia Institute of Technology, reporting on a study of 20 major cloud hosting services, which found that as many as 10 percent of the repositories hosted by them had been compromised. See below, ‘Lurking malice’ in cloud hosting services, study finds.
“Tech companies are repeatedly embroiled in scandals over social justice issues, from the lack of employee diversity at Facebook and Google to recent revelations of racism on platforms like Airbnb and Nextdoor.“
The above quote is from an October 03, 2016 Quartz (qz.com) contribution by Sara Harrison, freelance writer and editor, who gives an interesting take on the gap between what the Silicon Valley Tech start-ups say and what they do. See below Silicon Valley tech bros want to trick us into thinking capitalism is revolutionary.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
“we move towards a reality constructed by imperfect machine learning systems which try to understand us through other people’s expectations and sets of “rules”.”
“We found problems in every last one of the hosting services we studied. We believe this is a significant problem for the cloud hosting industry.”
Our May 2016 Newsletter gave a link to the Datamation blog 100 Open Source Replacements for Expensive Applications by Cynthia Harvey. This popular list has now been updated to reflect “a changing relationship between proprietary and open source software, due to cloud computing’s influence.” See 77 Open Source Replacements for Expensive Applications.
A further joint QESP/ ACS NSW evening networking event is now being planned, see http://qesp.org/progalore.
Quote of the Day
The difference between stupid and intelligent people – and this is true whether or not they are well-educated – is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations – in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward. — Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer
Quote from Yesteryear
It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that some portion of the neglect of science in England, may be attributed to the system of education we pursue. — Charles Babbage, Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, and on Some of its Causes (1830)