from the desk

Qatar Today - - FROM THE DESK -

It is a sad re­al­ity that even in this era of ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion two mis­for­tunes in a month and a half have put the fo­cus on the lim­its of hu­man skills, stress­ing the un­pre­dictabil­ity of ma­chines at cru­cial mo­ments while re­in­forc­ing the ir­re­vo­ca­bil­ity of an unseen force. How else could one ex­plain the still miss­ing tons of steel and valu­able lives of the 239 pas­sen­gers of Flight MH370?

What rea­son­ing do the au­thor­i­ties share with griev­ing par­ents of the school chil­dren aboard the doomed cruiser in South Korea? That the wis­dom of de­cid­ing to rely on the ma­chine (which is sup­posed to be the safest place un­til the mo­ment when it com­pletely sinks) was but a hu­man er­ror, since evac­u­a­tion was next to im­pos­si­ble on the stormy night? There might be var­i­ous ver­sions of the truth and even more heart-wrench­ing ac­counts of young chil­dren call­ing helplines be­fore sink­ing to their deaths, but there is re­ally only one truth, that of a tragedy which took the lives of the next gen­er­a­tion. The plight of the fam­i­lies still wait­ing for news of their loved ones aboard MH370 is no less tragic, maybe more so due to the ab­sence of bod­ies .

We will all pray a mo­ment longer when­ever we put our­selves at the mercy of ma­chines ma­neou­vered by ex­perts in the avi­a­tion sec­tor.

It is a dif­fer­ent kind of vul­ner­a­bil­ity we ex­pose our­selves to as we make our on­line pres­ence de­tailed and easy to de­ci­pher. As we pose for pho­to­graphs with fam­ily and then post it on so­cial me­dia, some­where in an­other part of the world, re­lent­less at­tacks on our per­sonal com­put­ers and pri­vate in­for­ma­tion con­tinue. It's on this is­sue, of the most so­phis­ti­cated and ad­vanced com­puter viruses in hu­man his­tory, all of which has hap­pened here in the Mid­dle East within the last few years, that Qatar To­day has fo­cused. While it is en­cour­ag­ing to know that the Supreme Coun­cil of In­for­ma­tion and Tech­nol­ogy (ic­tQATAR) is tak­ing steps to pre­vent such at­tacks, it is al­ways para­mount to have our per­sonal code of safety and to keep in­for­ma­tion and our chil­dren safe from on­line preda­tors. An­other im­por­tant tech­no­log­i­cal on­slaught that Qatar To­day has fo­cused on is that of mo­bile en­ter­prise, which is more a busi­ness so­lu­tion than a tech so­lu­tion.

Qatar To­day puts the fo­cus on the Nether­lands in its coun­try re­port, a coun­try that has mul­ti­tude of col­lab­o­ra­tions from con­struc­tion and ar­chi­tec­tural ex­per­tise shar­ing with Qatar. Most in­ter­est­ing of all is a fun fact that the Am­bas­sador of the Nether­lands to Qatar, HE Yvette van Ee­choud, has a twit­ter ac­count, which she uses ex­ten­sively to con­nect with peo­ple.

Is it an irony that as we de­vise meth­ods to pro­tect and iso­late in­for­ma­tion, the need to con­nect for pos­i­tive col­lab­o­ra­tions be­comes even more ap­par­ent?

AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

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