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If it’s broke, don’t fix it?

The Bangladesh Bank heist in March 2016 netted USD81 million when fake transfer requests were wired to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (the Fed) which is where the Bangladesh central bank keeps much of its cash…...

Upsetting the Applecart

Donald Trump called for a boycott, although only after he had “just thought of it.”[1] Bill Gates, initially at least, thought it was fully justified. Edward Snowden called it “the most important tech issue in a...

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Marvin Minsky died in January 2016. He was the outstanding forerunner of research and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in machines. After studying mathematics at Harvard, he did his post-graduate studies at...

Ringing in the New Year

Here’s the thing about payphones: if by error you have left your mobile phone at home, making a call will be difficult unless you borrow someone else’s phone. That’s the trade-off as mobile phones replace payphones...

Cyber Santa

Families who celebrate Christmas have long got use to Santa Claus arriving with his sack full of toys for the children the Matrix-way, through broadband cables. But this year the man-in-the-red-cloak sporting a white...

Is Cybersecurity an Oxymoron?

Many years ago I lived in one of the less secure, less affluent parts of London. It was a neighbourhood where everyone knew someone who knew someone who had spent some time “at Her Majesty’s Pleasure”. Sure enough, one...

Migration: A Digital Road Ahead

“One Facebook group called ‘Stations of the forced wanderers’, which has more than 100,000 members, is essentially a vast knowledge exchange community providing advice for those caught between smugglers seeking to...

Brave New World of Data?

“Octopus sold personal data of customers for HK$44”’ was the headline in the South China Morning Post, 27th July 2010. Octopus is the name of the extraordinarily successful stored-value chip-based card in Hong Kong that...

RoboShop

Welcome to Pepper. Pepper will be your close companion, enjoying your jokes, sympathizing when you are sad, keeping quiet when you are tired, and serving you tea when you need refreshment. Not sure yet if Pepper can run...

Technology and a Shrinking Middle Class?

No-one doubts that the rise of the middle class globally has fuelled the demand for consumer goods of all kinds; that is certainly true for electronics and all-things digital. Nothing illustrates this better over recent...

Droning On, and On

From the postal stage coach to the telegraph, to the telephone, to the Internet it’s been a long haul, and each step of the way has required changes to laws and regulations. Today the main challenge arises over...

False Alarms

When in the 1990s I was researching the impact of technological change on the Hong Kong Telephone Company (HKTC) over the period to the late 1980s, I came across a lesson from history that seems to require continual...

A return to Marxist economics?

Dear Sirs Martin Wolf (‘An economic future that may never brighten’ FT 15th April) rarely fails to hit a nail on its head, but maybe misses just how far capitalism is screwed. The principal cause he cites for the...

Everyone Going Bananas in April?

This is not the usual, slightly sceptical blog that sees the hype but not the reality. This time, for a change, its real, virtually no hype involved but a big reality. That’s what makes the understated announcement by...

Sex, Lies and Videotape

Sex is not just reproductive, is also productive which is why in some countries, such as the UK, its service revenues will be added to the GDP data. One of its contributions to economic stability is it’s counter...

Artificial Intelligence

It’s a perennial topic, Artificial Intelligence (AI). Concerns about where science and technology are leading society are never ending. The earliest debates leading up to the Age of Science were mostly about how to do...

Christmas Cake Anyone?

By any standards, Bill Gates is the epitome of the superrich. It took 7 years to construct Bill Gates’ mansion overlooking Lake Washington and cost him USD63 million, according to Urban Splutter which takes special note...

Net Neutrality Revisited

Telecom broadband networks that provide fast lane access to the Internet need to be managed, and even more so than the plain old telephone service circuit-switched networks that provided dial-up. The underlying reason...

Theoretical Pragmatism

And this year the Nobel Prize for economics goes to: Jean Tirole, Professor of Economics at the University of Toulouse in France. The award of a Nobel Prize is a bit of a junket, which is not to say Jean Tirole doesn’t...

Let Me Say That Again

Apple has finally joined the NFC bandwagon. Let me say that again. Apple is redefining mobile payments. Better? I cannot wait to use my expensive new wrist watch or smartphone to replace my miserably cheap and...

Partners in Development

“Telenor cracks down on Myanmar suppliers to weed out child labour” was a headline in the Financial Times 20 August 2014. Many international companies have run into reputational problems over this issue, some maybe...

Move Uber Please

In a benign Internet world, the emergence of a “caring, sharing” economy would be something to look forward to. For example, a taxi driver on the streets of London or Brussels or Paris would happily check their monitor...

KingCanute.com

Like most children I learned from my school days that the Philistines were, well Philistines, which they were not; that the nineteenth century machine-wrecking Luddites in England were against technological progress...

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