From The Editor

Our October issue  reported “serious flaws in the way that most contemporary Wi-Fi networks are secured “ in the article Wi-Fi can be KRACK-ed. Here’s what to do next.

This month brings a more serious warning. “Australia is vulnerable to emerging methods of interference by foreign states such as economic blackmail and the type of cyber attacks Russia has used against other countries, warns a new paper published by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia.” This quote is from a November 13, 2017 article by David Donaldson in The Mandarin. However, the news may not be all bad. The paper also notes that “The Australian Defence Force is on the cusp of a revolution as it prepares to reorganise for cyber-enabled warfare; and the Australian cyber security industry is set for significant growth.” See below, Australia vulnerable to cyber attack and economic blackmail, report argues.

On a brighter note, a 30 October 2017 ScienceDaily article from Georgia Institute of Technology tells of new research which will help to thwart cyber attacks. “Until now, assessing the extent and impact of network or computer system attacks has been largely a time-consuming manual process. A new software system being developed by cybersecurity researchers will largely automate that process, allowing investigators to quickly and accurately pinpoint how intruders entered the network, what data they took and which computer systems were compromised” See below, ‘Instant replay’ for computer systems shows cyber attack details.

Another interesting piece of research comes in a 25 October 2017 ScienceDaily article from University of Illinois College of Engineering. “Designing apps for maximum utility is mostly a hit or miss process, according to researchers. There are only limited guides to what works and what doesn’t. Scientists would like to change that, and they believe it is possible with the recent release of Rico, a huge database of mobile app designs.”  See below, Can good design be cost-effective? Building a massive database of mobile-app designs.

Our August 2017 issue featured an article in The Mandarin by NSW Department of Education, titled  AI, automation & 21st century skills needs: what do they mean for education? That article gains support from a November 14, 2017 CSIRO article in The Conversation, Demand for people skills is growing faster than demand for STEM skills. The CSIRO article quotes from two recent reports, “The VET Era” and “Growing Opportunities in the Fraser Coast” which challenge the rhetoric around the importance of STEM skills in the digital economy, by revealing how demand for skills has changed over time.  See below, People Skills vs STEM Skills.



Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover: 

Australia vulnerable to cyber attack and economic blackmail, report argues

“It is not unreasonable to assume that Australia may well be already a prime target for non-violent rivalry among the great powers; however, its political and economic regulatory settings remain designed for a world of uncontested western primacy. This is arguably Australia’s most serious vulnerability in the years to come.” 

‘Instant replay’ for computer systems shows cyber attack details

“This could be the first product that actually logs the necessary information to reconstruct, or replay, and analyze events that have happened on a computer system, for the first time enabling automated forensics.”

Can good design be cost-effective? Building a massive database of mobile-app designs

“The other part that’s really exciting is, once you have all of this data you can start to build machine-learning models that can go beyond simple search interactions” 

People Skills vs STEM Skills

“The analyses reveal that, despite all the hype about STEM skills, occupations requiring communication skills are actually growing fastest.”



Talk about acquiring new skills and becoming an entrepreneur? A 12 year old boy in Tasmania is showing the way. Watch the short video, Sewing Hope, to the end to learn about his motivation. See Sewing Hope.



The World’s Most Successful Awards Program

Consensus ( runs a series of Awards Programs that identify the most innovative technology designed and developed in Australia (and some in New Zealand). Over 450 evaluations of innovation have been conducted by the 130 independent Judges since the Awards were started in 2000. Recent independent analysis of the Winners of the Awards (approx 150) shows that 9 out of 10 (90%) of the Winners of Consensus Awards have gone on to perform exceptionally well internationally. The same research showed that across the board, the companies have enjoyed over 1300% increase in sales or value since they have won Awards.

Based upon these achievements, Consensus can truly claim to be the World’s Most Successful Awards Program. The Hon Craig Laundy MP, Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science  will present the 2017 Consensus Awards at a Gala Dinner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the evening of Monday 18th December. See The World’s Most Successful Awards Program.



Quote of the Day

Plot idea: 97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies. – Scott Westerfeld

Quote from Yesteryear

“The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” William Gibson


Ted Smillie

QESP Chair