Newsletter Volume 29 Issue 2, Feb 2017
From The Editor
“The man brought to Australia by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to digitally transform government services has blamed a public sector hostile to change and short on tech competence for IT disasters at the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.”
The above quote is from a Feb 6 2017 Australian Financial Review interview with Paul Shetler, former head of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), who delivers some interestin parting advice. See below, Turnbull’s ex-tech guy Paul Shetler slams ‘predictable’ government IT disasters.
“According to CEO Alexander Nix, the company holds detailed psycho-demographic profiles of more than 220 million US citizens and used over 175,000 different ad messages to meet the unique motivations of their recipients.”
This quote is from a February 13, 2017 article in The Conversation by Louise Crabtree, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. The article describes a model of psychological profiling which maps “to the level of the individual, identifiable voter, who can then be manipulated by exploiting beliefs, preferences and biases that they might not even be aware of.” See below, Why big data may be having a big effect on how our politics plays out.
Talking about big data, some mind-boggling research from the University of Sydney shows that, at quantum level, big data can see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happens. On the other hand, some different research from Vanderbilt University shows that devices like mobile phones are being damaged by subatomic particles which result from cosmic rays, “Millions of these particles strike your body each second. Despite their numbers, this subatomic torrent is imperceptible and has no known harmful effects on living organisms. However, a fraction of these particles carry enough energy to interfere with the operation of microelectronic circuitry.” How will that impact on the big data quantum crystal ball? See below, Big Data vs Alien Particles.
“The argument in this paper, in a very rough sense, is that people who expect to be in the minority deserve some extra attention,”.”
The above quote is from a 6 February 2017 ScienceDaily article from Princeton University.
The “surprisingly popular” (SP) algorithm was reported in the journal Nature on Jan. 26. “On the 50 test questions related to state capitals — such as the Harrisburg-Philadelphia question — the SP method reduced incorrect decisions by 48 percent compared to the majority vote.” See below In crowd wisdom, the ‘surprisingly popular’ answer can trump ignorance of the masses.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
“”Infrastructure failures like the ATO or the Census were easily preventable. The idea you’re building data centres in 2016 is insane and anyone who tells you otherwise should be fired.”
“ The company behind the technology claims to have fielded enquiries from Australia, so we may already be being played.”
“ When they interact with integrated circuits, they may alter individual bits of data stored in memory. This is called a single-event upset or SEU.”
“ In situations where there is enough information in the crowd to determine the correct answer to a question, that answer will be the one [that] most outperforms expectations.”
Two short (under 2 minutes) videos give a new slant on modern vs traditional teaching methods, see Modern vs Traditional Teaching Methods.
Creating New Jobs in ICT, Thursday 6th April 2017, 6 to 7.30 pm
This event aims to raise awareness of the ICT skills shortage and show how new jobs can be created. It is a joint ACS NSW/QESP event, representing the ACS Startups & Small Business (NSW) SIG, the Business Systems Architecture & Design and ACS Women. See QESP Events.
Quote of the Day
The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they’re authentic. – Abraham Lincoln
Quote from Yesteryear
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. – Aldous Huxley