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Brislen on Tech this week

Paul Brislen, Editor. 22 July 2016, 4:41 pm

Hi [[prefname]],

Welcome to Brislen on Tech, the weekly roundup of news and views from IITP and around the traps collated and commented on by Newsline Editor Paul Brislen.

ITx 2016

Three days, 150 sessions, 4036 tweets, 12 organisations, one heck of a party and a lot of full brains by the end of the week.

That's ITx 2016 and thanks to the 700-800 odd (some very odd) folk who came along for three days of brain stimulation but without the electrodes.

I got to float about between sessions with no real agenda other than finding people I wanted to hear or joining some sessions because I was already in the room when they started (scientific, I know) and so the conference I attended ended up looking only vaguely like the conference I mapped out on the handy app.

Full credit to the IITP team for their hard work bringing together 12 different organisations under one roof and making it all work well.

We are still chasing some folk who have agreed to write blog posts about their sessions or experiences (you know who you are) so check out the Techblog site next week for more - there are already some fantastic summaries up. I'll post more as they come in.

Every conference I ever went to needed more coffee carts in more locations (someone sponsor that, OK?) and more power points but the two biggest bugbears of conference goers everywhere (wifi and food) were superb although I suspect I've put on about two kilos in weight. Those ice creams were a smash hit.

And speaking of smash hits, the Excellence in IT Awards was tremendous fun. Too much for one party-goer who danced so hard they ended up dislocated their knee (OUCH) but mostly a great night out. Not too many awards but really good ones, some genuinely shocked winners (always a treat) and Raybon Kan to keep us all on track and entertained.

Thanks to the sponsors who made it all possible. ITx wouldn't be possible without our sponsors and we have had great support our Platinum Sponsors, Axios Systems and Wellington City Council and also from our Gold Sponsors Orion Health, MBIE, Alemba, Designer Tech, and ServiceNow and a heap of others.

So thanks again to everyone for making it a great three days. The next one is slated for 2018 so diary ahead and we'll see you all there next time.

Techblog: Education is Key

Techblog: Everything you know is wrong

Techblog: Winners of the IITP Excellence in IT Awards

Techblog: Finding your venture capital partner

Techblog: It's too late to hide - the doubling curve is already here

Techblog: The farmer's market - how to disrupt your company

Techblog: ITX - What does the future hold?


Awards photos are up!

While some fantastic photos from the 2016 NZ Excellence in IT Awards have been floating around on social media since the night, the official photographer's photos are now up!

So much energy, so much buzz, so much excellence in the room. The awards were a massive celebration.

Here's a few, with the full set available on the IITP Facebook page:


You can check out all the photos here. Also, check out all the winners on TechBlog.


Brand refresh for IITP coming

For those who weren't at ITx for the sneak peek from IITP President Ian Taylor, look out next week for some big news from IITP, or should that be ITP? There's a significant brand refresh coming shortly...


Microsoft wins landmark case

This one has been brewing for quite some time and has far reaching implications.

In 2013, Microsoft was ordered by a US district court judge to hand over emails pertaining to a US legal case but which were held in Ireland. Microsoft provided account information kept on its US servers but refused to turn the emails over, arguing that a US judge has no authority to issue a warrant for information stored abroad. 

Today the Court of Appeals agreed with Microsoft and rebuffed the US government's case.

No doubt there will be more back and forth and more appeals from both sides before we're done but if this holds it will mark a turning point in the war on government intrusion.

Which leads to the idea of building a data haven and ensuring New Zealand takes advantage of its opportunities.

At this week's ITX 2016 conference, Asia Cloud Computing Association's executive director Mary-Ann Lim described New Zealand's place in terms of readiness for cloud access.

"New Zealand is in third place overall but is addressing some of the issues which have caused it to slip from the number two spot."

Domestic broadband, which appears not to take into account the rollout of the UFB and RBI projects, is listed as one of the areas where New Zealand can do better, but in terms of political stability, green electrical production, cybersecurity and privacy, New Zealand scores highly.

One potential fly in the "New Zealand as data haven" story is our role in the Five Eyes global spy network. But that aside, we could become home to the world's data without too much effort.

The Register - Microsoft wins landmark Irish email slurp warrant case against the US

Wikipedia - Microsoft Corporation v. United States of America

The Irish Times - Microsoft wins appeal over US government access to Irish emails

Asia Cloud Computing Assn - 2016 Cloud Readiness Index

NZ Herald - Rio exit could have a silver lining


NZ Tech sector 'fastest growing' in New Zealand

NZTech's outgoing chair Bennett Medary says the tech sector is now the third largest export earner for the country and is the fastest growing sector.

Medary has stepped down as chair at the tech organisation's AGM and CEO Graeme Muller says  New Zealand ICT's contributions to GDP growth has been "higher than any other OECD country from 2001 to 2013".

Muller says NZTech is working with the Institute of IT Professionals, the Ministry of Education and others to help accelerate the introduction of computational thinking throughout New Zealand schools. This is critical as most jobs in most sectors will have an enormous tech component. Children at school now will need skills of computational thinking, managing data, complex problem solving and being able to get computer systems to do what they need.

"Without these skills not only will our fast paced tech sector suffer, but so will our agri-sector which relies more and more on agri-tech, transport, construction, healthcare, and finance. They are all becoming tech sectors."

"The tech sector creating almost 100,000 jobs and growth throughout New Zealand making up eight percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and contributing over $6.3 billion in exports," says Muller.

NZTech - Tech reaches important milestone for NZ's fastest growing sector

Computerworld - NZTech wants New Zealand to be 'world's most tech savvy nation'


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