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ACS Week in Review: 23 May 2014

Friday, 23 May 2014

Randi Zuckerberg to speak to ACS members in Melbourne

Randi Zuckerberg is Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a New York Times Best-Selling Author and Editor-in-Chief of lifestyle website, formerly the Director of Market Development and official Spokeswoman for Facebook, and in 2010 was ranked among 50 "Digital Power Players" by the Hollywood Reporter.

The topic for Randi’s keynote will be ‘Opportunities for a tech entrepreneur in the age of digital disruption’ and who better to share their own personal story than someone who was there from the start of digital disruption through social media.

After the keynote, a short panel discussion is planned where Ms Zuckerberg will be joined on stage by some influential people in Australian IT.

You can follow the event on Twitter by flowing @acsnewsfeed or #acspresentsrandiz


NSW e-voting shuns perfection for good, practical security

The design and verification of the New South Wales Electoral Commission's electronic voting system, iVote, will help ensure the integrity of the votes at the next election, NSW EC CIO Ian Brightwell has said.

The iVote system was originally implemented ahead of the 2011 state election for vision-impaired voters, and those living in rural areas that have difficulty reaching polling places. Voters are provided a 6-digit PIN in one letter, and an 8-digit iVote number separately via email, SMS, or phone, to enable access to the iVote system.

The votes were stored in central servers in two datacentres and printed at the close of polls for manual counting. Take-up in 2011 was much higher than the 10,000 expected, with 46,864 voters using the iVote system.

Following recommendations from the NSW Parliament, Scytl was awarded an AU$1.9 million contract to support the iVote system's core voting platform ahead of the 2015 state election, where it is expected up to 100,000 people will vote using the system.

ACS Past President Anthony Wong was recently appointed as Chair of the NSW ICT Advisory Panel.


Why would you pay higher uni fees when MOOC’s abound?

University technology courses are caught in a vice with free online courses squeezing from the left and the government’s planned higher education changes from the right.

While the “demand driven” tertiary education model announced in the federal budget means universities can accept unlimited numbers of students and charge what they want, information and communication technology (ICT) courses are in a bind.

The budget’s extension of tuition subsidies to people studying with registered private providers coupled with a growing range of free or inexpensive massive open online courses (MOOCs) by reputable providers means that Australian universities are expecting unprecedented competition and don’t expect to be able to hike ICT course fees.

Professor Leon Sterling, president of the Australian Council of Deans of ICT and pro vice chancellor of digital frontiers at Swinburne University, said MOOCs would mitigate against price rises for IT courses.