Newsletter Volume 29 Issue 10, Oct 2017
From The Editor
Could new technology get the NBN train wreck back on the rails? Maybe new receiver technology could help. UK research that shows this “enables dedicated data rates at more than 10,000 megabits-per-second (Mb/s) for a truly super-fast, yet low-cost, broadband connection to every UK home”. See below, “Slow Internet? New technology to speed up home broadband dramatically.”
Our September issue reported Security cameras vulnerable to attacks using infrared light.This month wi-fi is the main culprit. A 17 October 2017 article in The Conversation, reports on findings by security researcher, Mathy Vanhoef from the University of Leuven, which reveal “serious flaws in the way that most contemporary Wi-Fi networks are secured.…Because this security can be cracked, it’s possible for someone to read what is transmitted on the network, allowing them to intercept passwords or credit card details, or to inject malicious code when users visit websites.” Although almost every device that uses Wi-Fi is vulnerable, the UWA article outlines “some simple steps you can take to help keep your internet traffic safe”. See below, Wi-Fi can be KRACK-ed. Here’s what to do next. (Interestingly, The Register reported YouTube sin-bins account of KRACK WPA2 researcher Only to be mysteriously restored hours later. Possibly because a four-minute YouTube video uploaded by Mathy Vanhoef demonstrated the wireless security weakness in Linux and Android devices.)
Another article gives some tips, this time on how to avoid, or even benefit from, marketing algorithms. This comes from a Swinburne University of Technology study which looks at how big data and predictive algorithms are used. The article also looks at the predictive algorithms used to make recommendations on websites like Amazon and Netflix, noting that “Analysts estimate that 35% of what people buy on Amazon, and 75% of what they watch on Netflix, is driven by these algorithms.” The article explains how these algorithms work and notes “For the curious, part of Amazon’s famous recommendation algorithm was recently released as an open source project for others to build upon”. See below, How marketers use algorithms to (try to) read your mind.
Talking about mind reading, a 23 October 2017 ScienceDaily article from Purdue University reports that “Researchers have demonstrated how to decode what the human brain is seeing by using artificial intelligence to interpret fMRI scans from people watching videos, representing a sort of mind-reading technology.” See below, ‘Mind-reading’ brain-decoding tech. A YouTube video is also available.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
“Simplification was achieved by adopting a coding technique to fibre access networks that was originally designed to prevent signal fading in wireless communications. This approach has the additional cost-saving benefit of using the same optical fibre for both upstream and downstream data”
“ The vulnerability affects the protocol “Wi-Fi Protected Access 2”. Otherwise known as WPA2, this encrypts the connection between a computer or mobile phone and a Wi-Fi access point to keep your browsing safe”
“While these predictive algorithms undoubtedly provide benefits, there are also serious issues about privacy. In the past there have been claims that companies have predicted consumers are pregnant before they know themselves.”
“ Critical to the research is a type of algorithm called a convolutional neural network, which has been instrumental in enabling computers and smartphones to recognize faces and objects.”
If you liked the film Hidden Figures or The Bletchley Circle TV series, check out The female code-breakers who were left out of history books. This is a 10 October 2017 BBC story by Chris Baraniuk which looks at female code-breakers from Ada Lovelace onwards but with a focus on the past 100 years, i.e. from 1917, when the United States is just entering World War One. See the blog for more details and a link to the story. see The female code-breakers who were left out of history books.
Consensus (www.consensus.com.au) 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 on the evening of Friday 20th October. See The World’s Most Successful Awards Program.
Quote of the Day
My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart. – Elon Musk
Quote from Yesteryear
“[I am] opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today.” ? Isambard Kingdom Brunel