Thursday, 17 December 2009

the techno illiterate

I was just reading this article about IRAQ insurgents being able to intercept transmissions from US military "Drones" with $25 software.

Bloody funny stuff ... reminds me of a story I heard back in the 90's that the US Navy was using Microsoft Mail in plain text as the data transfer protocol between battle ships.

This just highlights the problems created in our highly technical world with people who barely have a clue being responsible for the purchasing (and probably the evaluation of) technical systems. They brandy about brochure words and play games of "buzz word quotation" in an attempt to bluff those who don't know what that buzz word may be.

For instance its the reason we've been saddled with a White Elephant such as the Desalination plant on the Gold Coast costing tax payers in excess of 1000 million dollars and sucks up enormous amounts of energy.

PS: White Elephant:

A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth.

1 comment:

Noons said...

When I started working at RAAF HQAC back in 2000, I was nearly kicked out for doing a ping from a workstation to the db server: all abnormal, unscheduled pings were immediately investigated by security.

This was on a totally dedicated intranet: the Milnet.

A coupla years later, I was very surprised to find the "geniuses" handling strategic software purchases at the AF had decided to replace all Unix with Windows XP systems, and all Sun workstations with Windows desktops.

The argument was that these were much cheaper to maintain and security was ensured by "proper firewall installation".

Shortly after this I was asked to investigate replicating Oracle tables on a highly sensitive system through a remote vpn connection via modem comms using totally unprotected Windows laptops.

I refused, for obvious reasons.

Shortly after that I was moved to a different area, nothing to do with the RAAF.

I must have been deemed a "security liability"...