Government told to start again with facial recognition database plan
Kmart wants to train almost all its non-store staff in the ways of Amazon Web Services
Mr. PIPE is laying new cables between Perth & Oman
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Some good news regarding the government and computers - they've actually pushed back on plans for a national facial recognition system. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) handed down its report on the proposed Identity-Matching Services (IMS) Bill and Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-Matching Services) Bill yesterday and for the first time in nearly 20 years said the law sucks so much that it needs to be re-written, not just amended. Basically, the proposed law was so vague, that it was pretty much a blank cheque for the government to create a real-time facial recognition mass surveillance system akin to the best China has to offer. The EFA is pretty happy about this law getting kicked to the curb too.
Kmart and Target want 100% of its IT workforce and 80% of its non-technical head office employees to get AWS training. 1,400 employees all up will take part in the AWS Skills Guild program. Kmart Group's CTO said that "we are equipping our staff with the skills needed for the future. Our significant investment in training employees to innovate will be a game-changer as Kmart Group is set to become one of the world's first major retailers to have all IT staff certified in cloud technologies". Meanwhile, a review of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) published recently has found that "digital literacy and ethical decision making are skills that should be treated as core general capability skills required for work, much like literacy and numeracy skills". Software is eating the world, etc etc etc.
Bevan Slattery is back doing what he does best - convincing people to give him money to build very long internet cables. His latest venture is SUB.CO, which will build a fibre optic cable from Perth to Muscat in Oman. This 9700km cable will link Australia directly to the Middle East region for the first time and provide a pretty direct route into Europe. Avoiding the Sunda Straight and South China Sea also means there's less political risk (*cough* China *cough*) and lower chances of damage due to typhoons or container ships. It'll start construction in a few weeks and be ready for customer data December 2021.
A list of interesting things clogging up my bookmarks that are cool, but not cool enough to justify a full 100-120 word description:
Edward Snowden was on the Joe Rogan podcast a few days ago.
Mark Zuckerberg has fans. Yeah, fans. People that like him.
An AirPods case that looks like a classic Mac with "hello" on the screen.
A man dressed as a fluorescent cat explains DNS to you.
The Vatican has released rosary beads that can track your prayers and connects to a smartphone app.
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