Newsletter Volume 31 Issue 3, Mar 2019
From The Editor
A 21 March 2019 ScienceDaily article from the University of Luxembourg describes a breakthrough in blockchain security. “One of the main advantages of blockchain-based systems, such as Bitcoin, is that the whole network sees and approves changes to data through democratic consensus.” However, when “one miner controls over 50% of the system’s computational power s/he also controls the voting power; the system effectively ceases to be decentralised.” The researchers believe they have “an elegant solution to a problem that many thought was insoluble” See below, First reputation-based blockchain guarantees security against 51 percent attacks
“Some will say that the rate of insecure or non-permanent work has remained fairly constant over the past two decades. This belies the lived experience of workers. They have repeatedly been found to perceive their connections to the workplace and labour market as precarious and laden with personal risk.” This quote is from a February 27, 2019 article in The Conversation, which describes how “The ascendance of global monoliths – such as Walmart, Amazon, Apple and Uber (and the big retailers and e-tailers in Australia) – has resulted in organisations that wield enormous economic and cultural power. “ See below, The workplace challenge facing Australia (spoiler alert – it’s not technology).
“What happens when an organisation stops tip-toeing around innovation and hits the afterburners? Air Marshal Leo Davies says this will mean shifting from being an organisation that uses humans to operate machines and cooperate with other humans, to one in which humans and machines operate together.” The above quote is from a 26/02/2019 article by Harley Dennett, editor at The Mandarin, discussing a restructure of “Plan Jericho, Air Force’s “sense-making” innovation lab that has embodied agility so completely that it is already in its third refocus since it was formed just four years ago.” The new approach will open up “Jericho Labs, sharing space and people with civilian research bodies in universities and industry; Jericho Analytics, which will facilitate the rapid and rigorous discovery and testing of ideas and insight through net assessments, wargaming and red teaming; Jericho Edge, reaching out across the Air Force and its partners to identify, and make sense of, opportunities.” See below, Machine-speed, human-inspired: the innovation pitch that rejects all the stereotypes of government.
“The Australian Public Service Review has published four new “priorities” for change ahead of its main findings later this year. Common pay and moving to a professional stream model are some of their ideas.’ This quote is from a 19/03/2019 article in The Mandarin, which summarises the initial APS Review suggestions. The initial report includes a video from David Thodey, Chair of the APS Review asking for feedback on their initial thoughts. What changes are needed and how should those changes be implemented? Australian Public Service Commission Comments can be made on the APS Review website until May 2. See below, APS Review sets out four priorities for change.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
“The system, RepuCoin, introduces the concept of “reputation” to blockchain, effectively making it thousands of times more expensive to attack than Bitcoin.”
“A more centralised system could allow employers and employees to combine their power to counter competitive pressures from mega-corporations that want to reduce labour standards. They have facilitated toxic workplace practices, including intensive surveillance, unrealistic performance expectations, avoidance of entitlements and exploitation of workers further down supply chains.”..
“ Other government agencies, industry and academia have been invited to join as partners in this work, although no specific benefits for partners were discussed at the launch beyond the growing of Australian industry.
“Proposed changes include common pay and conditions across the APS, professionalisation of roles through a move to a “professions model” with senior staff appointed to head up each professional stream, and a “stable spine” of common digital platforms and policy frameworks across the service.”
A clever analogy on the Brexit indecision, though not original (the American Medical Association used it for Trump’s health care package to replace Obama-Care. )
2019 Consensus Awards
Come and see the latest innovative technology at the 2019 Consensus Awards on the evening of Thursday 9th May. The ticket price includes two-course buffet dinner and drinks. The Awards Presentations are kindly hosted by PwC at their prestigious offices in Barangaroo, Sydney. Ticket price: $80. To book, go to https://www.trybooking.com/489732
Quote of the Day
“The real question is, when will we draft an artificial intelligence bill of rights? What will that consist of? And who will get to decide that?” —Gray Scott
Quote from Yesteryear
Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. Steve Jobs