We are too quick with technology!

When it comes to technology we tend to want things now, at this very moment in time. By thinking like this we do not always think of the consequences. This post touches on a few (of the many) reasons why we are too quick with technology, as well as system failure.

US PreCheck system

On Thursday, 25th Oct 2012 a BBC News article identified how frequent fliers could have posed a risk to airlines: frequent fliers could by-pass certain security procedures because technology thought they were always going to stay ‘safe’ travellers.

Furthermore, by using technology too quickly, domestic airlines learnt that their digital barcodes were unencrypted. Unencrypted barcodes are very vulnerable to unauthorised users because they are easier to hack. Unencryption basically opens up a whole program up to the internet because anyone with the skills and access to the site can potentially access the system.

Unencrypted data is basically an open invitation to intruders. It’s a bit like having a house but leaving the front door unlocked — almost anyone can break in.

Boeing and WiFi

A UK newspaper also highlighted in an article one of the most concerning system failures, in my view, because they embraced technology too quickly — boeing.

A few years ago Boeing thought they could give WiFi to their customers flying on Boeing 787. Yes, this would have been ground-breaking at the time by allowing people (a few years ago) to get internet on the move and in the sky, literally! But they soon discovered that having one single on-board network (i.e. a single system would carry the navigation, control, the internet…) could allow a passenger to hi-jack the plane from the passenger deck because they shared the same system. This meant that if someone was granted access to the internet on the 787, they could gain unauthorised access to other areas of the same network — including the navigation system.

This is a bit like allowing a stranger to use your kitchen, it wouldn’t be impossible for this same stranger to use your bathroom: they’re already in! If a passenger had the technical skill set they could gain entry to other systems, even if they were unauthorised — why didn’t they allow passengers to simply fly the plane from the cockpit!

Okay, this was caught on-time but it shows just how quick companies (and us!) are embracing technology.

Terms and conditions apply

We do it all the time, you and I. When was the last time you hit the “I Accept” button at the end of that long contract? Or do you just hit the button and use the service, hoping that you can do everything, such as authorised printing, for example. Are you really allowed to do what you do? Or is it clearly written in the terms and conditions? You know, the ones that few people, you and I (us!) actually read.

Browse safely. Think safely. Think smartly — use technology wisely. It is easy to embrace it too quickly. Doing this can harm you and I. Remember that the balance is important, right?

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Possible movie?

Keep the original words

I was reading an incredible BBC news article about a boy who got lost at the tender age of five. He got adopted, and moved to Austrila were he later used technology to find his old home, and eventually his own family. If you have five minutes, give it the BBC News article a read.

Technology opens the world

It seems that as the IT sector grows, so can people’s lives! That includes those who work within the sector, to those who use it – the user of technology. It also seems that this article (and other content on the web) connects people to other people and places. Who knows if this will be transformed in to a film, as the BBC journalist suggests at the end of the article.

Post 75, over and out

Anonymous

News story, twisted on purpose

Yesterday, I was reading a BBC news story online, and I got thinking around it’s content. So, briefly, what was the news story about so you can get what I meant about thinking around the content?

  • the internet group Anonymous attacked (500) websites in China
  • most of the web sites were government based, or related agencies
  • Anonymous used their message to promote Chinese citizens to rebel against the ‘controlled’ society

political & social view

For some people reading this post (and linked article) the thoughts of cyber war might be running through their mind. For others, the thoughts of how Chinese citizens are ‘locked away’ from the ‘real world’ might come to the fore. For others, the Great China Firewall, or for the techie people the thoughts of a well controlled (DoS) attack was successfully accomplished in the ‘tailored,’ often unknown and limited, infrastructure of the Chinese internet was avoided and bypassed by effective use of computer skills.

Chinese firewall for computers within China

self and spotlight

Whatever your view is on the actual content of this article, doesn’t really matter for this post. Why? Well, I want to tease out one keyword from the article – anonymous! Not the actual group Anonymous, but what the word actually means.

being different

I am in no way praising Anonymous for their activities, or trying to establish why they have done something and how it might be the right or wrong thing to do. Who am I to judge and condemn? But what I am saying is that, us human’s need to realise that being out of the limelight, often working away anonymously isn’t always a bad thing.

dare to be different

Text: "dare to be different"

Perhaps not being at the forefront of a crowded room isn’t always a good thing. Perhaps not letting people know what great work you are doing is always a good thing. Perhaps being anonymous allows us to be content with ourselves rather than that of others – perhaps, this is a really good thing.

the power of you

So the power of producing good quality work and combining it with less self praise is very powerful. In an earlier post on education, I pointed out that we need to reward ourselves, but I also pointed out that some people reward themeselves too much. But hopefully this post shows that you can do things without being fully recognised. That is, Anonymous (perhaps not all good) do work without recognising individuals, yet they make the headlines, they make a huge impact on our lives by using ICT’s.

So next time…

  • …you produce a good quality report, don’t run around too much saying what you did. The cover sheet with your name is enough
  • …you complete a presentation successfully, sit down and reflect to yourself, how well it went without ranting about your wonderful qualities

Why? Well self praise is no praise. And if you deserve praise you will get it eventually. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for allowing me to share what might seem to be a wacky thought behind an important piece of news.

Post 73, over and out