IT at NSW SES for SOS :)

ZDNet has an article about the information technology (IT) for the New South Wales (NSW) State Emergency Service (SES), and how it uses technology to handle emergencies, with mainly volunteer staff. Amazing stuff.

The SES is powered by 1200 desktops, laptops and netbook devices; 20 servers; 450 mobile broadband cards from Telstra and Optus; 250 network sites, complete with routers, switches, printers and UPS units; 4000 radios; 2000 fixed phones; 1000 mobile phones; 2000 pagers; and 170 satellite phones.

The service’s busiest day came on 9 June 2007, when the SES was hit by 10,701 website visits and 550 requests for assistance every hour (one every 7.2 seconds), and one web-contact email every 36 minutes.

Read the article for more details of this service, and how they use technology to help the State cope with emergencies. That now includes hosting their website on Amazon cloud services, to enable them to be elastic under varying conditions.

It’s the creative heart that breathes life into technology

An article in the Guardian talks about the importance of creativity in technology:

Don’t misunderstand me; I love new technology and I’m fascinated by the way it continues to transform lumbering industry archetypes like music and publishing, but I think the creativity within and around the technology is often overlooked.

Can you imagine a tech company without a creative and artistic contribution? Myspace without music and pictures, Facebook without faces, Twitter without @kanyewest? Of course, without artists all of these sites would look a bit like MSDOS and Apple would have simply ceased to be.

There seems to be a lack of acknowledgement of the contribution of the arts to the economy in the UK, yet:

According to the Creative Industries Economic Estimates report 2010 produced by DCMS, the creative industries in all their splendour represented 5.14% of the UK’s employment total, 10.6% of exports and 2.89% of GVA (Gross Added Value, like GDP but leaner and meaner). According to Wikipedia, the manufacturing sector accounted for 8.2% of the workforce and 12% of the national output.


The poison of arrogance | Monday Note

Arrogance is the most toxic waste-product of technology companies. Past examples abound: IBM, AT&T, Microsoft… All their hauteur got them were expensive antitrust actions and customer backlash. Last week, we got yet another example of the insufferable behavior still prevailing in the high-tech world — with the to-be-expected response from regulators and markets.

Many American companies suffer from vision impairment: they consider the Rest of the World as an aggregation of second-class people. 

3 must-see videos on the Web 2.0 world

Here’s three Must-See YouTube videos. They each present concepts in a fascinating way. Worth seeing just to get ideas on how to present concepts. But then if you want to get a grip on what’s happening with Web 2.0 and how the world is changing, these are brilliant. You could use these, too, to show to people who “just don’t get” what is happening in the web world and how internet technology is changing how the world does things.

First, “Web 2.0… The web is Us/ing Us”:

And then, “Information R/evolution”:

And this one provides plenty of thought about students today (e.g., what impact does this have on what education methods will work? what impact does this have on what assignments given?):

Google Australia has launched an election 2007 site

Australians can access a bevy of information about the 2007 Election from this page set up by Google Australia:

From there you can:

  • View electorate information on Google Maps
  • See YouTube videos produced by each of the political parties
  • Read news about the election, including news customized for each electorate
  • Review what MPs are saying
  • Review election trends

This election has been a unique one already for Australia with the amount of videos released via YouTube, and web sites being used to disseminate information. This colleciont of information by Google helps expand that.