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ACS Week In Review: 14 March 2014

Friday, 14 Mar 2014

As mentioned on the President’s new Blog for members The ACS – as a trusted and credible advisor to government - will be shortly meeting with representatives of the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection as part of the Independent Review of Integrity in the Subclass 457 Programme announced on 5 March. Importantly, we will also be preparing a formal submission to that Review where we will again seek ACS member involvement. Next week we will communicate with members about this Review and ways in which they can contribute and help. 

Will I get fibre, cable or satellite under NBN? You’ll know later this year says Malcolm Turnbull

Australians will know what type of technology will be used to connect their homes to the Coalition's national broadband network no later than December, following the release of the revised NBN Co corporate plan in July, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says.

''There will be a forward plan agreed to after the next iteration of the corporate plan is done, which will be around the middle of the year," Mr Turnbull told journalists following the launch of a Sydney technology start-up investment fund on Thursday evening.

Asked if people would know post-July and before December what type of technology would be used to connect them, Mr Turnbull replied: ''I hope so ...''

The strategic review into several options for the network's construction was delivered in December. Scenario 6 of that review concerned the use of a mix of technologies for the network construction, including rolling out fibre to street cabinets and to multi-dwelling building basements, using existing pay-TV cables, and existing copper. Mr Turnbull has said that was his favourite model.

Web founder Berners-Lee calls for online bill of rights

The man many credit with inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, last night called for a bill of rights to protect freedom of speech and users' rights on the internet following leaks about government surveillance of online activity.

On the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the internet, Berners-Lee said there was a need for a charter like England's historic Magna Carta to help guarantee fundamental principles online.

Web privacy and freedom have come under scrutiny since former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last year leaked a raft of secret documents revealing a vast US government system for monitoring phone and Internet data.

Accusations that the NSA was mining personal data of users of Google, Facebook, Skype and other US companies prompted President Barack Obama to announce reforms in January to scale back the NSA program and ban eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies of the United States.

Facebook engineering team explains magic behind 10th anniversary videos

When Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary in February, the social network treated its user base of more than a billion worldwide to special "Look Back" videos, one-minute long compilations of each user's posts and photos dotted out his or hers Facebook history.

But given that the Menlo Park, California headquartered business supports more than a billion users worldwide and steadily counting, not everyone was going to be satisfied -- no matter how much Facebook engineers worked to ensure each and every video was personalized at some level.

Naturally, there were going to be some hits and misses, and post-viewing gripes and sentimental tears alike were shared on Facebook feeds for the following few days.

Left to our own devices

DROPBOX, iCloud, Quickoffice, Pages, Skype, Evernote: these are among the personal apps that we typically use for work purposes.

And they are the tip of the iceberg. With the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution in full swing, the question is whether we should bring our own personal smartphone and tablet apps to work along with our devices.

The upside is that we know how to use our personal apps and are clever and comfortable with them. They can be newer and slicker than work programs developed many years ago.

But there's the risk of spreading malware and viruses acquired at home into the work environment. Businesses, too, worry that staff could steal confidential work data stored in, say, a personal Dropbox folder.

These problems existed with desktop PCs, but in the BYOD era, the Bring Your Own App (BYOA) phenomenon poses these problems afresh.