Creating Generational Legacies

Sunday, November 17, 2019

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, 
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, 
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, 
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, 
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...
Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cites" (1859)

Our world is witnessing internet and mobile  use and ubiquity, and there is a wave of change, both good and bad.

The Internet, 4G and 5G  is enabling People and Organisations to  transcend national borders and span the planet. 

These Organisatons are challenging  Nation-States as a way in which we humans are organising ourselves into global tribes.

Global company are negotiating with Cities and Countries for the equivalent of 'diplomatic immunity' in return for providing jobs and revenue from the incomes that their locally-based employees spend?

But is the power base still based on Countries and Ideologies?

As former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has written, “The battle is about whose economy will drive the technology of the future and set the standards for it.”

Why is USA banning  telecom-equipment giant Huawei saying the company is state-directed and could sabotage 5G infrastructure or use it to steal data?

China has set explicit goals of dominating such fields as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. Huawei is leading the 5G race as a clear winner... which is going to lay the foundation of the future of Internet of Things and the Digital Highway. 

Is there going to be a choice to back “China Technology” or “American Technology” or are people going to focus on backing the Organisation with the best product or customer service?

Chinese companies’ revenues now  account for only 25.6% of the Global 500 total, behind America's 28.8%. China is growing !!

President Xi Jinping has said that by 2049, the communist revolution’s centennial, China will be “fully developed, rich, and powerful,” a goal that China expert Graham Allison of Harvard says includes being “unambiguously No. 1,” with a military “that can take on and defeat all adversaries.”

Fortune’s founder, Henry Luce, famously declared in 1941 that the 20th century was the American Century.

Will the 21st century becomes the Chinese Century in the full sense—with China dominating culture, ideals, and concepts of human rights and human nature?

Or the Century of Global Corporations? 

Will we in fact have a full 21st Century and be able to combat Climate Change? 

This international power play reminds me of  a few ants fighting each other for the power of their colony, and so focussed on each other, that they don't see the boot above them that will stamp them into oblivion?? 


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, 
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, 
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, 
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, 
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...
Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cites" (1859)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bill Gates: Paranoia on China is a 'crazy approach' to innovation

Microsoft founder suggests 'objective test' of security claims against Huawei

MARRIAN ZHOU, Nikkei staff writer

NOVEMBER 08, 2019 04:39 JST

Microsoft founder Bill Gates says an objective test should be used to determine whether companies such as Huawei pose a security risk.  ©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

NEW YORK -- Microsoft founder Bill Gates decried the "paranoid" view fueling the current high-tech rivalry between the U.S. and China, telling an audience here Wednesday that trying to stop Beijing from developing innovative technologies is "beyond realistic."

President Donald Trump and many American lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, have voiced national security concerns over major Chinese companies such as Huawei Technologies. The global telecom equipment supplier was placed on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List in May, a blacklisting that restricts its purchases of American technologies.

"Huawei, like all goods and services, should be subject to an objective test," Gates said at The New York Times DealBook Conference. "The rule that everything that comes from China is bad ... that is one crazy approach to trying to take advantage of innovation."

The DealBook Conference is an event for innovative thinkers and business leaders to engage in discussions with Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. 

The billionaire philanthropist said the U.S. and China should take advantage of each other's innovations, rather than turn against one another.

Microsoft has provided Windows source code to governments in the past, Gates said, and those officials became comfortable with the American company's products after examining the system. Huawei could adopt the same approach, he said.

When the event moderator said the Trump administration is unlikely to consider that approach as sufficient to solve security concerns, Gates replied: "Anyone with tech expertise would think so."

Ajit Pai, who chairs the Federal Communications Commission, said Tuesday that the U.S. must source equipment for new fifth-generation wireless networks from trusted vendors -- and that Huawei is not trusted. He outlined arguments to consider the Chinese company a security threat and urged American wireless carriers to avoid buying Huawei products.

But trust goes both ways, Gates said. If Washington does not trust Chinese tech equipment, why would Beijing trust American products such as a jet engine, which theoretically could be shut off remotely.

The mistrust extends to the crackdown on Chinese-born engineers as well. In May, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers banned researchers from its peer review process if they are "interacting with" Huawei, though the professional association reversed the decision days later. In June, the U.S. State Department cut the length of visas from five years to one for Chinese students of aviation, robotics and advanced manufacturing.

"If you are so paranoid, what about the codes that are being written by somebody whose grandmother or great-grandmother was Chinese?" Gates said. "Is there any piece of software in the world that you are willing to trust?"

The FCC in May voted to ban telecom provider China Mobile from offering service in the U.S. over security concerns as well. The agency intends to vote this month on removing and replacing Chinese equipment from rural American wireless carriers, which currently use equipment from Huawei or compatriot ZTE in their networks.

"You should use objective measures," Gates continued, throwing up his hands. "There are people born in foreign countries who write software, honest to God."

Sunday, November 3, 2019

$1 Billion Clean Energy Investment


I received an email from our MP of Wentworth, David Sharma on Friday, who shared with me the Governments plan to invest $1 Billion into new capital investment into Renewables.
I am encouraged by this initiative to embrace the technology available and market forces and work together with Industry, Universities and Research Institutions such as the CSIRO to making the transition to a lower carbon future, possible.

Human-induced climate change is clearly a major issue

"More Renewables in the grid requires more investment  — to keep reliability high and prices steady given the intermittent nature of solar and wind." said David Sharma - MP of Wentworth.

As part of the Government's plan to make energy more affordable, reliable and clean, they are providing  the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) with $1 billion in new capital to invest in reliable energy via generation energy storage, grid capacity, and network infrastructure.

The fund will invest in the following  eligible projects:

  • energy storage projects including pumped hydro and batteries
  • transmission and distribution networks
  • grid stabilising technologies, and
  • eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

Australia's deployment of Solar and Wind 

It is a remarkable fact that Australia’s deployment of solar and wind energy is happening at ten times faster than the world average. In the first weeks of 2020, Australia will tick past 25 gigawatts of wind and solar generation, meaning we will have joined the "kilowatt per capita" club. Only two other countries have made it thus far: Denmark and Germany. 

New technology, market forces and human behaviour are shifting our emissions curve in the right direction, as a report last week from the Australian National University makes clear. The ANU report found that “Australia’s world-leading per-capita rate of deployment of solar and wind energy is displacing fossil fuel combustion”, and that “continued deployment of solar and wind at current rates allows Australia to meet its Paris emissions target at low or zero net cost”.
As the ANU report outlines, the main challenge for government is to “facilitate construction of adequate electricity transmission and storage to allow continued rapid deployment of solar and wind”.

The Government is supporting the following initiatives in Energy Transmission and Storage :- 

  • Investment in Snowy 2.0, a pumped hydro storage project that will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and which will store 350,000 MW hours of energy.
  • Investment in the building of  a second interconnecter between Victoria and Tasmania, better connecting Tasmania to the mainland grid and giving us access to its considerable pumped hydro capacity.
  • Earlier this week the Prime Minister and NSW Premier announced a joint underwriting of the New South Wales - Queensland interconnector, another vital piece of network infrastructure which will strengthen the backbone of the national energy market.
  • The Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, is working on a hydrogen strategy and advising us on how we can become a major exporter of hydrogen produced from renewable sources. 

Down the track, they will be looking at options for further electrification of the economy, particularly in the transport sector, to take greater advantage of low-emissions energy.

Our energy system is  in transition towards a lower carbon future, driven by technology, the continued decline in price for Renewables, and market forces. This is an exciting time to be living on this planet! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Excited about NSW focussing it’s energy on Innovation and R&D

We are delighted that Government is putting innovation and R and D squarely back on the agenda 

David Gonski: The UNSW chancellor is  leading a state push to better leverage R&D

The New South Wales government aims to sharpen its focus on the deep tech end of the research and development spectrum with the appointment of a senior advisory council to help accelerate R&D investment and commercialisation in the state.

Led by ANZ Bank chairman and University of NSW chancellor David Gonski, the advisory council met for the first time yesterday, and called for public submissions for a body of research that would direct policy aimed at fostering R&D and its commercialisation in NSW.

The state is seeking input to answer two primary questions;

  1.  how we get the most out of the NSW government’s R&D activity,
  1. how can the government support and improve the R&D and commercialisation more generally.

The program is being driven directly from the Premier’s department by the parliamentary secretary to the Premier Gabrielle Upton.

The new council is a blend of academic, research and business experience, perhaps with an emphasis on grey hair and connections over youth. 

(IK / I think youth and millennials need to be included in this endeavour)

In addition to Mr Gonski as chair, the council includes:

  • UTS chancellor and CommBank chair Catherine Livingstone
  • University of Wollongong chancellor Jillian Broadbent
  • Western Sydney University vice-chancellor and president Barry Glover
  • University of New England vice-chancellor Brigid Heywood
  • Sydney University professor and former NICTA chief executive Hugh Durrant-Whyte
  • Former NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane 
  • UNSW quantum scientist Michelle Simmonds
  • Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott 
  • Origin Energy and Qantas director Maxine Brenner
  • SCA Property Group chair Phil Marcus Clark
  • AirTree Ventures partner and former Innovation and Science Australia board member Daniel Petre

The creation of the council comes at an interesting time for NSW investment in the tech ecosystem as the state government considers a massive infrastructure investment in creating a Technology and Innovation Precinct in the Central to Eveleigh and surrounding area.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said R&D was an important driver for economic growth and job creation.

“R&D in NSW already has strengths in a range of fields, supported by NSW's world-class universities and industry, for instance, in advanced manufacturing and in agri-business,” Ms Berejiklian said. Now is the time to step up our efforts and to lead the nation.”

Mr Gonski, in his capacity as the Chair of the Council, said: “the first meeting was highly productive, with insightful and engaging discussions and contributions from the Council members.”

According to the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council’s 2019 Scorecard, around $11 billion was invested in R&D in NSW in 2018, equivalent to 1.9 per cent of the gross state product.

Ms Upton said the Advisory Council will next year deliver a Plan of Action for making NSW the R&D leader within Australia.

“I look forward to hearing from all sectors and the community on how R&D can help solve our big challenges that will make a difference for everyone in NSW,” Ms Upton said.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Taking Action against Climate Change

There are many ways to make a statement against climate change

“ “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ❤️🌱” Mike Cannon Brookes 

or Positive Action

“Millennials finding and sharing solutions “

Take the survey - what do you think? 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Why Governments are scared of Libra and virtual currencies

Why has Facebooks plan to launch its currency Libra in 2020 and is being condemned  by the governments across the board? (See what they are saying

He/She/It  who controls communication, the virtual world and the economy (the money)- controls the world. 

Does the USA Government feels  that if they don’t have control of the airwaves, currency and communication in virtual space, it will marginalise their power?

When a company controls the economy and knows more about every citizen than their government does, government will sooner or later want access and control over that information.

This may lead to breaking up the company and the Government(s) taking control of the business.

It’s can be likened to a punter “beating the bank” at a casino. He/She/It  will be kicked out. It’s sort of like “right of admission reserved” 

Bill Davidow talks about the power of virtual space, currency and what the threat to physical governments are. 

“The Big IT companies are companies but they are also the ruling governments in virtual space. 

Virtual space is as real as physical space.  They are autocratic regimes.  In virtual space, they will do the equivalent of what autocratic regimes do in physical space.  

Now one solution to the problem is to tell the governments of virtual space to act nicely and respect the rights of others.  That would work about as well as asking Vladimir Putin to act nicely and respect the rights of Ukrainians.  

The governments in virtual space are a very real threat to the governments in physical space.  

The real threat of the Libra in my opinion has nothing to do with many laundering.  

The real threat is that a well designed virtual currency will be better than the dollar or Euro.  

If that happens the USA could lose its power to issue debt in its own currency. US citizens might prefer the Libra to the dollar just as citizens of third world countries prefer Bitcoin to local currency. If that happened the government would be out of the dollar business”

So what is Libra ?

What is the difference between libra and bitcoin

Most people’s understanding of “crypto-currencies” is based on the original concept of the Bitcoin4: “a decentralised, peer-to-peer virtual currency, based on open-source code where ledgers comprising the inventory of coins, and their transaction history (the blockchain), are distributed to thousands of independent nodes which are, in turn, reconciled, automatically, continuously and without human interference, by a mathematics-based reconciliation (consensus) mechanism.”

Libra is not a crypto-currency like Bitcoin: its coin is not created through a mathematical computation process (“mining”) but through the exchange of official (fiat) currency against a digital payment token created by a number of authorised servers, which are operated by the Libra Association. It is not a peer- to-peer system and not, strictly speaking, a distributed system either: Libra uses a closed (‘permissioned’) blockchain where its ledgers are held only on Libra Association’s authorised servers. 

(Those that control the servers - control the money)

Consider instead a gift token, issued by your favourite shop, which can be redeemed only where it has been issued.