It's National Cyber Security Awareness Week, but it's hard to get excited when the government's entire awareness strategy is to spend less than 10 cents per Australian per year to repeat the obvious.
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
AusCERT, Australia's largest information security conference, dominates an extended Patch Monday podcast this week, with the latest on Stuxnet, the insecurities of internet routing and the drama that started with a Facebook hack and ended with a journalist being arrested.
NetSuite's partnership with Yammer "adds social" to business software, just like Salesforce.com's Chatter. But is the social buzzword really a business revolution?
From Android outselling Apple's iPhone to the success of Linux and Wikipedia, all are examples of peer-to-peer (P2P) production. According to Belgian theorist Michel Bauwens these new internet-enabled models will transform society, leading to what he calls a P2P political economy.
When O'Reilly reported that iOS devices are logging location data, the world's media went wild.
Pia Waugh, a well-respected geek who now works as a "geek liaison" in the office of Labor Senator Kate Lundy, tweeted once that she finds herself amused at people who talk professionally about social media and online communications with enthusiasm, but miss the role that geek culture plays in the space. I agree.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) has hit a couple of speed bumps. NBN Co reckons that vendors over-priced their bids to construct the network, and earlier this month the entire tender process was suspended. Then, the head of construction resigned. Critics pounced. But Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy reckons we shouldn't get caught up in the "hysteria", but should wait and see what the "Plan B" tender process delivers.
New tools make it cheaper and easier to get a business online. It's no longer about building a hand-crafted website from scratch so ensure it does everything your business needs. It's now about creating your business' presence in the various online services it needs, and making use of higher-level programming tools
Australia's National Broadband Network will provide more speed, yes, but what will come of that? Out of all the technologies and services and ways of doing things that broadband enables, which ones are the trends to watch? How will they change the way business is done?
Work on the social-messaging service Twitter began exactly five years ago today. Now it has some 200 million registered user accounts, but that's only about 10 per cent of internet users, and even less if you take out the spam bots and inactive accounts. Will Twitter ever become a universal service?
Apple is being sued for copyright infringement by Jigsaw Entertainment, an Australian TV production company. The iPhone app, Chopper Soundboard, contained material lifted without permission from one of Jigsaw's shows, The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, and the company reckons that Apple should have done more to prevent its sale.
If Australia joins the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, police and intelligence agencies will get new powers to monitor your internet usage. Is it, as law enforcement officials claim, merely bringing the internet into line with traditional communications channels? Or is there a real risk to our civil liberties?
The National Broadband Network's connection speeds of 100 megabits per second and more are essential for new health and education applications, according to Dr Terry Percival, director of NICTA's Neville Roach Laboratory.
Stuxnet, the first malware capable of causing physical damage, represents a strategic shift in cyberwar, something on everyone's mind at the RSA Conference on information security this year. While it's still hard to sort facts from fiction, there were calls for further cooperation between government and the private sector.
"I think the age of the deeply competitive internet is over," says author and telecommunications lawyer, Tim Wu. "The next five years is going to be a story of the big four or big five."