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ACS Week in Review: 26 July 2013

Friday, 26 Jul 2013

The ACS is seeking feedback to the Australian Cloud Protocol discussion paper available here : http://acs.org.au/information-resources/public-policy/2013-australian-cloud-protocol

Submissions close on August 19.

Recently the ACS surveyed our membership with regards to the proposed cap of $2,000 on deductible work related self-education expenses. In a previous Week in Review we outlined the overwhelming opposition of our membership to these proposed changes. In today’s edition, you can read a short statement around this issue, which has been released in response to the increasing public debate on the matter.

The ACS will soon be releasing our 5 election priorities for 2013. These have been developed in consultation with our members, and the ICT sector . Without revealing too much, these priorities are key to the continuing growth of the digital economy and keeping ICT at the forefront of policy and government in Australia.

ACS supports calls to Scrap The Cap

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has joined with Engineers Australia, The Australian Medical Association and CPA Australia in welcoming the statement made by the Shadow Minister for Education, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, in opposing the proposed CAP on self-education expenses.

In a comprehensive survey of the ACS membership, ICT professionals at the heart of Australia’s Digital Economy said they did not support the cap, and felt that it would adversely affect their ability to continue skills development and build their careers.

Head to www.scrapthecap.com.au to find out more.

AGL counters smart with agile

Energy retailer, AGL is one of the first utilities to adopt a new technology called in-memory computing to help it cope with the deluge of data coming from its transition to smart meters.

Smart meters measure energy usage at regular intervals, for example every 30 minutes, and can tell how much electricity is consumed during on and off-peak periods. Instead of one simple reading at the end of the month or quarter, the meters now provide 4400 times more data. The challenge is compounded by the mandated rollout of smart meters in Victoria to be completed this year and progressive rollout in other states.

In the latter parts of 2011, AGL decided to look at in-memory computing to speed up its ability to analyse these growing data volumes. The technology uses main memory (similar to the random access memory – RAM – in a PC) to host a database that can perform big data analytics tasks at much higher speeds than conventional disk-based databases.

Supercomputing heads for the cloud

AUSTRALIA'S National Computational Infrastructure outfit is building a compute cloud to put grunt on tap for researchers trying to crack the big problems in areas such as climate change and "earth system" science.

The NCI is based at the Australian National University and plans to switch on the cloud-based resource in October. It will cost about $2.3 million, according to NCI cloud services manager Joseph Antony.

Once online, it will help researchers tackle scientific big-data analysis problems such as rapidly sifting through reams of historical weather information or viewing the changes in decades of satellite imagery in real time.

Apple Developer Centre making a slow comeback

Apple is slowly bringing its developer systems back online following a massive hack last week.

The company said that intrusion "may have" compromised users' sensitive information, and left Apple's popular developer centre fully offline until now.

Apple has posted a new status page listing the various functions of its developer site, used by developers to help build apps for Macs and iDevices.

NSW IT head wants accountability refocus

The man leading the NSW Government’s ICT Strategy is looking forward to a future where small-scale failures in government IT are acceptable.

William Murphy, the NSW executive director of strategic policy at the Department of Finance and Services, told delegates at last week’s IPAA State Conference he hoped smaller failures could eventually be seen as "a normal part of the innovation process". 

“As we go down the path of making more data and service delivery channels available and engaging more on social media, I hope we will start to create an environment where government can have some failures without that being seen as an embarrassment for us."

For more information on ACS Statements in the Week in Review, please contact

Thomas Shanahan

ACS Communications Executive

0449 902 130