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Brislen on Tech: The year ahead

Paul Brislen, Editor. 17 January 2020, 4:00 pm

The year ahead

I'm writing this from my secret lair in the Coromandel, thinking I might have to either sit in the hammock later or pack up the car for the trip home. I am as yet undecided.

But Happy New Year to you all and welcome back to the future. The year is 2020 and while the world is in turmoil we have at last seen off the Skywalkers, so it's not all bad.

I've had a week of mostly not being online wherever possible but that sadly is coming to an end. Much as I do enjoy the internet I also enjoy the real world and unplugging is a key part of that, lest I waste prime beach ambling time staring at my screens.

Two things have struck me this week. First, there are signs up all over the place announcing fibre is now available and I saw a couple of hardworking chaps digging trenches and laying conduits to more than one bach.

This intrigues me. Fibre to the home is great but fibre to the bach opens up a world of possibilities. Do I actually have to come back to the city to work? Could I not cash in my outrageous Auckland mortgage and get a slightly less grand one here in my tiny slice of heaven and carry on regardless? It seems to work for all those folks in Wellington with holiday homes dotted around the coast, so why not up here?

And if I'm thinking about this, I'm sure plenty of others are too. I'm delighted to see a release in my inbox from Hi-Tech Hawke's Bay announcing plans to "attract, retain and develop talent to meet the needs of business, build hi-tech innovation and knowledge to help businesses start-up, scale-up or tech-up for future growth foster connection and collaboration, sharing knowledge across sectors and with employers and educators in Hawke's Bay, nationally and internationally" which is both a noble goal and something that will keep you all busy for years to come.

New Zealand's regions have a huge amount to offer in terms of quality of life, in terms of capability, in terms of opportunity and with the move to fibre speeds surely now is the time to take advantage of this.

The second thing I noticed is the complete lack of anti-5G posters or bumper stickers, beyond one copy of Uncensored magazine in the local shop. 

I expected to find dozens of angry meetings being organised, posters all over the place and all the rest but instead the nearest thing I found to objection was a flyer thanking the locals and Spark for agreeing to revisit the location of a tower yet to be built. I think it was from the 3G roll out.

Maybe the world has moved on? Maybe we might just be able to deploy network technology and then figure out the important bit: what to actually do with it.

To Do list

If you're a systems administrator with Windows users then you're into the busy season. The number of bug fixes, patches and zero day updates are quite remarkable to behold. 

I tried installing a couple of upgrades on a client laptop I'm using but it wouldn't let me because I don't have admin rights.

This has often struck me as odd because surely I should upgrade as soon as possible, but of course that may break something else peculiar to that particular system so it all has to be centrally controlled.

Either way, it's welcome back to work but with a thud.

The Register - Yo, sysadmins! Thought Patch Tuesday was big? Oracle says 'hold my Java' with huge 334 security flaw fix bundle

ZDNet - Proof-of-concept exploits published for the Microsoft-NSA crypto bug


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David Lane 17 January 2020, 6:04 pm

Hmm - perhaps this'll be the "year of the Linux desktop" after all... because everybody else will be trying to figure out how to unencrypt their data (Recent backup? Who needs backups?!) or will be desperate enough to try to figure out how to get bitcoin to pay their ransoms. There's always a chance that a few who get the "adapt or die" mantra will have removed their Windows dependency before it's too late... My optimism is boundless (but sadly, not generally supported by historical evidence).

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