In This Issue


NSW hooks up with Vault Cloud for a home grown alternative to US cloud providers

The NSW government has signed a multi-year deal with Vault Cloud (Australian based cloud services similar to Azure or AWS) to offer "specially negotiated terms and pricing design to make procurement and management of cloud services easier for the NSW government". With more and more government departments using the cloud, there is a growing amount of sensitive Australian data generated by our governments on foreign servers that is theoretically accessible by people without Australian security clearances, so to have a platform that's a fully Australian owned business, with security cleared Australian employees, hosted on Australian soil, handling this data (e.g: the stuff collected by COVIDSafe) is nice.

ANU to kick off study of EVs as mobile batteries to support the grid

The Australian National University is going to study 50 Nissan LEAFs owned by the ACT government and will use them to test the viability of electric cars as mobile batteries to support the grid. The trial will "look at the ability of EVs to provide frequency and ancillary services to the grid" plus how they can be used as "well as household batteries as part of virtual power plants". These cars are not in use 70% of the time, so when plugged in they could be a great buffer for the grid to handle excess renewables for use later or even to boost the grid when renewable energy is low and fossil power plants haven't ramped up. First time someone's done this in Australia - but it's been tested overseas for years.

Facebook meets with ad boycott leaders but refuses to implement any of their demands

Brands like "PlayStation, Lego, Canadian banks like Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, BMO, and National Bank, Target, Microsoft, Unilever, Verizon, Pfizer, Patagonia, North Face, Levi's, Puma, Madewell, Hershey, and hundreds more" have been part of a campaign called #StopHateForProfit, which aims to hit Facebook where it hurts (their big scrotum of advertisers) to affect change (stop turning a blind eye to the nasty shit on their platform). The campaign must be hitting a nerve, as Zuck and Sandberg met with #StopHateForProfit organisers on Zoom but none of their 10 demands were met with firm commitments. I wonder what the dollar value Zuck and co would need to see lost before they realise their Frankenstein is doing more harm than good in the world?

Not News

COVIDSafe is a big steaming turd, sadly typical of Australian government IT projects

The Saturday Paper has a solid article about how damn useless the COVIDSafe app is. It sums up all the findings of local security and computer experts into a single "ah shit, we did it again" article regarding the government and technology. When laid out in one article like this, it's amazing how inept COVIDSafe is. New stuff I learned in this article is that the Android version can't update itself because it's constantly running in the background, the original Singaporean app COVIDSafe is based off was "never been built to run on iOS, because Singapore has few Apple users". There's still shitloads of outstanding bugs and the government is refusing to use the Google & Apple method in COVIDSafe.


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