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Warning from the 7 Billionth Person Print
January 2012

The 7 billionth person was born in 2011 into a world that is wealthier, safer, and happier than a century ago.  This type of statement was widely read in newspapers, magazines, and public media.  Do we agree that the world today is wealthier, safer and happier?  

We agree that the world today is wealthier, but it is not necessarily safer and it is unlikely to be happier based on observations of the world around us.  So what are the lessons given by the year passed?  Do not trust any publicity unreservedly and think a bit deeper including the notes that follow. 

We have observed that the power of wealth has become more polarized (segregated, concentrated) and this is not a good sign for the harmony of the world.  Cloud computing was the most talked about topic last year and it will stay hot this year.  Who are in control of cloud computing?  They are the few vendors of American origin.  Who are the users?  They are the entire world population of 7 billion.  When vendors told us that we can use our tablets and mobile phones to get connected anywhere, anytime, and anyhow with the cloud, we are under the auspices of one single economic power.  Do we enjoy this relationship?  If not, what shall we do?  Let us see one example.  Taiwan is one of the top hardware technology leaders in the world.  Its administration has recently initiated the construction of a technology park near Taipei to venture into cloud computing data centre for Taiwan and the nearby regions.  This is a positive regional response to the global domination of clouds.

What does New Zealand do?  Middle New Zealand has behaved like a consumer so far as far as computing is concerned.   People enjoy consuming data and do not give emphasis to producing. We do not have the technology infrastructure as existent in Taiwan.  These are not good signs for the country.  We shall be aware of this situation and think if we can regain our own turf in the near future.  The most fundamental issue, as the author has observed, is that people do not have access to reliable information as far as computing is concerned.  There is a role for Compucon channel members to remove myths and reinforce certainties.  Let us make more efforts in 2012.