I made a presentation this afternoon for Sun Microsystems' Education Executive Forum, a small-group gathering of IT executives from education institutions in Hong Kong. It is always a special pleasure for me to do such for Sun, because I worked for SunSoft (one of the then “planets” of Sun) in 1993-1994.
The topic of my presentation was “Eco Computing – Public Sector Perspective.” Here is the presentation:
Mark Stanton, Sun's AP Director of Eco Computing, also made a presentation about developing eco-datacenters. Today, for each 1 watt of power spent on computing, possibly about 2 watts of power would be spent on cooling and other related supporting needs. On average, no more than 30% of electricity consumed would be actually spent on computing itself. Some estimates point out that for most corporate users, the cost of power will exceed hardware cost between 2010 and 2015.
On the scale of environmental concerns by businesses, most are probably still stuck at the bottom of the ladder -- the pragmatic level where the only concerns are about merely running out of space, power or other forms of facilities. Some at a higher level would be “eco-aware,” where the user would attempt to reduce the power bill. But becoming “eco-responsible” would be where one needs to strive at, where the user would try to reduce its actual carbon consumption.
It is disappointing that in Hong Kong, our Government has no published statistics or knowledge and its own carbon footprint. This is unacceptable, as we should expect that having such measurements ready is imperative for Hong Kong, as one would expect that some sort of global deal will be expected in the not-too-distant future, and we better be prepared!
It was a rare and precious occasion for me to have the opportunity to meet with Mr Reed Hundt, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under the Clinton Administration in the US, over lunch today. He was on a semi-business visit through Hong Kong, with his whole family – wife and sons and daughter. It was an informal gathering with Harvard and Yale alumni groups, and I was privileged to be invited to tag along with Rebecca Mackinnon, who had the connection of being part of Harvard's Berkman Center. In his short remarks, Reed proudly told us he is an “Obama people.” He told of how he became such. Years ago when Barack Obama was still a state senator from Illinois, and he came to Washington, D.C. looking for donations and met with Reed. Reed asked him if Obama were a US Senator, would he vote for sending troops into Iraq? Obama said, “no,” because it would be the wrong thing to do. Reed was impressed that Obama would take up such a stance which was unpopular at the time, and he wrote out a cheque right there.
Reed also talked about how Obama's campaign told advantage of the Internet, and it was started by one volunteer working on a card table from home from scratch. Obama knew it was the only way for him to have a chance to compete with the then perceived front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton – gaining mass support, and the Internet was the only way to do it. For those who haven't yet, you really need to take a look at what Obama has been doing with his website.
Then, Reed turned to talk about his views the role of China and Asia in the tech market. (He is a board member of a number of technology firms in the US, in addition to being a consultant at McKinsey.) He believes between 2008 and 2012, China will top all segments of the technology market as a producer or provider, with a 5-10% lead over the US and other countries. Needless to say, the importance of China will grow, and the US technology community would like to see more Asian-friendly policies.
And, whoever gets to the White House in the end of this year (of course he hopes it would be Obama), Reed believes trade negotiation will resume between China and the US, the two biggest markets in the world. This is something that has been basically halted for the eight years under Bush. Intellectual property will be a key part of the discussion. Reed referred to the massive number of patents filed by Chinese entities in recent years, and from the technology community (US, assumed) point of view, Reed believes their position would want to see the number of these patents granted lowered, not increased. Also, Reed also believes there must be changes in how the US deals with cross-border ownership – like the rejection of the 3Com deal by US authorities.
Reed is also upbeat about a global trade deal on carbon emission, with a possible “Kyoto 2” deal in 2009, that will involve the US and China coming to some terms under some bilateral trade agreement. Once again, this is like the US coming back out of a recess of eight years under Bush.
It is a true privilege for me to meet someone of such stature, intellectual capacity and world view, and make a new friend.
The recent incidences on data breaches stirred up public concerns on data security. USB and other portable devices are useful and convenient but they are also source of data leakages if not handled properly. What are Dos and Don’ts of data protections? Are public and private organisations doing the right thing? PISA organised the Data Protection Public Forum and invited industry professional to discuss this topics.
Data Protection Public Forum
2:30pm - 5:00pm 2:15pm - 2:30pm (Registration)
Lecture Theatre LT-14, Academic Building, City University, Kowloon Tong
Open to Members of Organisers,Supporting Organisations and CityU Computer Division Students
Mrs Bonnie Y.L. Smith, Deputy Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Mr. Vincent Chan, Chairman of ISACA-HK Mr. Charles Mok (ISOC-HK) Mr. Anthony Lai (PISA)
2:15-2:30pm Registration 2:30-2:50pm Personal Data Protection Framework in Hong Kong (Representative from Privacy Commissioner Office ) 2:50-3:10pm Technical challenges to effective data privacy protection (Mr. Anthony Lai (PISA)) 3:10-3:30pm Management challenges to effective data privacy protection (Representative from ISACA) 3:30-3:50pm Lesson learned from data breach incidences 3:50-4:50pm Open floor Discussion
今早為香港理工大學電腦系學生的Final Year Project做評判，本科生的創意和能力都令人印象深刻，老實說，廿年前我大學畢業時，真的做不到，這也令人感嘆IT技術變化之快。怎樣也好，今天香港學生的水平其實不錯，近年工也易，但收生情況卻危機重重，令人擔憂。今天與教授們的討論清楚給我證明，急切需要處理人力資源斷層問題，但這是長期競爭，也需要業界、學界與政府的同力合作。這問題複雜，將是我的工作關注重點。
Call for volunteers and donations: IT people for disaster relief
Dear IT friends and colleagues,
Call for volunteers and donations: IT people for disaster relief IT Saving Lives: Delivering Efficiency and Connection Where It Matters!
I write to appeal for your contribution and support to the relief effort for the recent natural disasters in Asia, the Sichuan Earthquake and Myanmar Cyclone. IT can save lives! We seek your contribution not only in donation but also your expertise to help ongoing relief and rebuild efforts as an IT volunteer.
Relief.Asia is an online platform which was developed in the wake of the Myanmar Cyclone and Sichuan Earthquake Disaster that tore through the region in May, 2008. The website was deployed as a tool and platform to drive awareness and community contribution towards the rebuilding of nature-savaged regions such as Myanmar (also known as Burma) and Sichuan, through the application of Information Technology.
"Engineers in Society" -- A talk for HKUST undergraduate engineering students
Today, I gave a talk to the undergraduate engineering class of HKUST's engineering students. The topic I chose was "Engineers in Society" -- which I think is particularly timely because of the recent natural disasters in Sichuan and Myanmar. What is the role of the engineers in society?