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