Saturday, May 24, 2008

IPCC Head on ICT and Climate Change

Dr Rajendra Kumar PachauriOne part of WCIT 2008 I missed was Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri Chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I had heard him talk at the ANU in Canberra in 2007). One of the other delegates mentioned that the IPCC Chair discussed the role of ICT in climate change, both the need to reduce computer energy use, but also the way computers could be used to make systems more efficient and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At WCIT 2008 I only met two Australians: one at the Dutch pavilion where there was free beer (thus confirming an Australian stereotype) and one in the hotel how happens to work a few dozen metres from my office in Canberra.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Venture Capital Perspective on the Mobile Industry

In the afternoon I took a break from the MobileMonday Global Summit, and toured the exhibition halls of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. One computer exhibition looks much like another, but this one had some features different to Australia. There were real estate promotions for high technology developments, most notably Cyberjaya. Malaysian state governments were prominent in the displays.

Also prominent was the national government, with its "MyKad" Government Multipurpose Card (GMPC). This is a compulsory identity smart card which also offers some consumer ePayment functions. Apparently the non-compulsory functions are not widely used, which supports the Australian Government's decision to scrap a similar project.

There were large displays from Microsoft and Intel, but a curiously tiny display from IBM. There also large display by Asian region government and one from Holland.

There were also some devices from companies which did not make a lot of sense to me, such as a special touch screen computer for farmers. This device was not rugged and I couldn't see the point.

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Wireless and Mobile Media in Asia for Disasters

Greeting from the official opening of the MobileMonday Global Summit. As with the Malaysian Corporate Governance Conference the opening was far more formal than in Australia, with Malaysian dignitaries as well as an the ambassador to Finland.

Also Madanmohan Rao from Bangalore introduced himself to me, as he was speaking next on the day on emergency us of mobiles. He has edited several books on mobiles and Internet in Asia. He started his talk on the "mobile mandate". He talked about how mobile can be used in disasters. He argued that mobiles are the most important communications devices. He talked about SMS warnings, RFID tagging of relief supplies, Mesh networks and WiMax in a box used in Hurricane Katrina. One example was using SMS to send funds from Malaysia, the SMH asking for SMS about friends in the disaster, Chinese text messages to reassure about aftershocks to avoid panic, China mobile subscribers sending donations. In the case of recent terrorist attacks the phones on the victims were used to contact relatives.

Madanmohan Rao then talked about the "Wireless Ecosystem". He argued that nations need to ensure that they cultivate the mobile industry. He categorized countries into categories, such as restrictive (Myanmar), to Negotiating (China), to "Mature" (Australia) and "Advanced" (Japan and Korea).

Encik Badlisham Ghazali , CEO of the Malaysian government's Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC, previously MDC) gave his formal talk (he must be having a busy day at the conferences). He said that the government aimed to move from 15% to 50% broadband penetration by 2010. He pointed out that mobile devices had a role to play. He also said that this opens up a new area for reaching out to the population, for political as well as commercial use.

I was not previously familiar with the MobileMonday organization. Normally, the name would be enough to put me off looking further, but in this case they seem to be an interesting blend of mobile business people and some researchers. There is a Sydney Chapter.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

World Congress on Information Technology 2008

The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2008) starts here in Kuala Lumpur at the Convention Centre on May 18 to 22, 2008. This is being held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre , which I can see out of my hotel window, near the Petronas Twin Towers. Along with the congress, there is the MobileMonday Global Summit, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID), and the IKOM Software and Services Showcase 2008 (PSĀ³ 2008) computer exhibition and the PC Fair International 2008.

The PC fair is free and opens10 am Sunday so I thought I would go along. The other events sound a little daunting. I have met Vinton Cerf, when I talked at the 11th Annual Internet Society Conference but have not met Mr. Gates (he is appearing as a hologram). But if someone involved in the event would like me to come along and blog, I would be happy to do so.
There is a three-day congress, a Link Program for business matching that includes a series of structured business-to-business (B2B), business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-industry (B2I) meetings, an ICT exhibition, a debate on current ICT issues and ancillary activities like tours, golf tournament, F1 experience and a spouse program.

WCIT 2008 is jointly organized by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and the Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia (PIKOM), with the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia.

WCIT is the flagship event of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), a consortium of 73 international ICT organizations whose members comprise more than 90% of the global IT market.

WCIT 2008 is tipped to be the starting point of many successful collaborations between nations and organizations, made possible only by a congress of such significance.

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