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ACS Week In Review: 24 January 2014

Friday, 24 Jan 2014

With Australia Day being celebrated on Sunday, ACS offices will be closed on Monday January 27, 2014 – reopening Tuesday January 28. This past week has seen a renewed focus on education as discussions continue around the review of the national curriculum. This week we also feature articles on employee share schemes for startups, privacy and an upcoming birthday.

Also, the New Year is a perfect time to make sure you’re following the ACS on Twitter and Facebook so you can stay up to date with the latest information. You can find us at http://twitter.com/acsnewsfeed and http://www.facebook.com/australiancomputersociety

Britain to teach coding from age 5 – SBS News

The British Government has announced a new digital technology curriculum which will see students undertake compulsory education in coding, digital literacy and design from the age of 5. Culminating in redesigned school leaving qualifications, the British model also involves the British Computer Society being engaged to provide training to teachers who will facilitate the new subjects. Former ACS President and current Vice President Anthony Wong was featured on SBS news in reporting of the matter. You can view the video by clicking the link above and navigating to the 13:20 mark.

Industry in dark on privacy law

HALF of all organisations are not even aware of amendments to the Privacy Act that could see fines of about $1.7 million imposed when it comes into effect next month.

IT vendors and privacy advocates hope the startling low awareness figure will shock corporate Australia and smaller players into action.

"Fifty per cent of organisations in Australia don't even know about the legislative changes," Capgemini Australia testing services director Shane Lonergan said. "It's across the board from tier-one to tier-two organisations ... they're major players (in the dark)."

He said only about 25 per cent of organisations were "doing something about it". Mr Lonergan singled out the finance industry as "doing a lot to be compliant".

The new privacy laws apply to all businesses that turn over more than $3m a year and which collect personal data. This covers online retailers, tech start-ups, large corporations and all federal government departments and agencies. Agencies and companies can be fined $1.7m and individuals $340,000 for serious or repeated invasions of privacy.

The ACS will be providing guidance for members in the next issue of Information Age.

Employee Share Schemes and Startups – Treasury Consultation

The Commonwealth Government has recently called for feedback in relation to the use of employee share schemes by startups. With a great deal of innovation in the ICT profession being driven by startups, this issue is of critical importance to the ACS. The Policy & External Affairs Team is consulting with the ACS membership with a view to making a submission, however interested parties can click on the headline above to discover more on this issue.

Apple Mac turns 30

Look around. Many of the gadgets you see drew inspiration from the original Mac computer.

Computers at the time typically required people to type in commands. Once the Mac came out 30 years ago today, people could instead navigate with a graphical user interface. Available options were organised into menus. People clicked icons to run programs and dragged and dropped files to move them.

The Mac introduced real-world metaphors such as using a trash can to delete files. It brought us fonts and other tools once limited to professional printers. Most importantly, it made computing and publishing easy enough for everyday people to learn and use.

Vic Government pushes plan to boost ICT skills

The Victorian government is seeking public feedback on a draft plan to increase the state's ICT skills base.

"Building a robust and highly-skilled ICT workforce is a challenging task that can only be achieved through joint action of government, industry and education and this collaborative approach flagged in the draft plan will continue to be the basis for ongoing work that will make sure Victoria remains ahead of the pack in ICT," Victoria's technology minister, Gordon Rich-Phillips, said in a statement.

"Cross-sector collaboration is key to developing the ICT sector in Victoria and employers in different industry sectors face recruitment and management challenges when it comes to ICT," the minister said.

"The challenge is that, on current trends, Australia will not meet increasing demand for ICT workers from local sources alone," the draft states.