Stop, ag­glom­er­ate and lis­ten

Idealog - - CONTENT -

Hi, I’m the Idea Log, Idea­log's spirit 'an­i­mal'. Did you know wood prod­ucts are New Zealand’s third big­gest ex­port earner? You did? Well, given your sur­pris­ing knowl­edge of our in­dus­try sec­tors, you’ll also know that it is a low-value com­mod­ity. And speak­ing as a log, it’s also mur­der­ous and bar­baric. So I’m here to pro­pose a few so­lu­tions to help get our coun­try’s A into GDP. We have Sil­i­con Val­ley, Sil­i­con Al­ley, Sil­i­con Wadi, Sil­i­con Slopes, Sil­i­con Round­about, Sil­i­con Glen, Sil­i­con Cape, Sil­i­con Sa­van­nah, Sil­i­con Is­land, Sil­i­con Sen­tier, Sil­i­con Woods, Sil­i­con Docks, Sil­i­con Welly and many other Sil­i­con-based nick­names that aim to show off the tech-cre­den­tials of a par­tic­u­lar city or town. Not only is it fully try­hard, it’s also too broad. We all know about the ben­e­fits of spe­cialised in­no­va­tion precincts, where skilled prac­ti­tion­ers fo­cused on sim­i­lar dis­ci­plines and tech­nolo­gies come to­gether to play foos­ball, lever­age syn­er­gies, em­brace dis­rup­tion, cre­ate mul­ti­plat­form, cross­func­tional, cloud-based plat­forms and gen­er­ally ‘make the world a bet­ter place’.

New Zealand needs to spe­cialise; to spit on the graves of our gen­er­al­ist fore­bears and their use­less no. 8 wire. And to do that, we need some cool names for our re­gional tech hubs to show off the spe­cific ar­eas of ex­per­tise.

I nverCHARGEill

With plen­ti­ful rain­fall, hy­dro dams as far as the eye can see, straight, wide Parisian-style boule­vards and a rich bo­ganic her­itage full of en­gine lovers, what bet­ter place to fo­cus on the bur­geon­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cle in­dus­try. When this in­dus­try gets crank­ing, the only rea­son you’ll need diesel down south is to tip some on the round­about when you’re do­ing a few e-donuts af­ter a fight at Mac­cas.


The in­ter­net of things is here. Your toaster wants to talk to your fridge. You car wants to talk to your ther­mo­stat. Your smoke de­tec­tor wants to talk to your sex toy. Your se­cu­rity cam­era wants to talk to your socks. But these con­nected de­vices are not made to be se­cure. So if the sum­mer hotspot fo­cused on learn­ing how to gain con­trol of all these toast­ers, fridges, cars, ther­mostats, smoke de­tec­tors, sex toys, se­cu­rity cam­eras and socks with a dis­trib­uted net­work of com­pro­mised hosts, Botueka would boom. The Botuekan bot­net will ex­tort busi­nesses through de­nial of ser­vice at­tacks, evade Spam fil­ters, rent it­self out to crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions and, most prof­itably, tap into the riches avail­able through some good old-fash­ioned ad fraud (there’s no more pow­er­ful form of FOMO than a mar­keter who thinks they’re miss­ing a trend and, with global on­line ad­ver­tis­ing spend to hit US$200 bil­lion this year, that’s a golden goose worth pluck­ing).


In an age of global cy­bert­er­ror, where the in­for­ma­tion high­way is ba­si­cally grid­locked and full of on­line win­dow wash­ers knock­ing on your win­dow and try­ing to make you pay, there’s money in hack­ing. And those coasties need jobs. If the Mace­do­nian teenagers can do it, so can we. Spamil­ton (see Botueka).


As ne­far­i­ous forces at­tempt to steal our iden­ti­ties at ev­ery dig­i­tal turn, gov­ern­ment forces at­tempt to weed out dis­sent, and global tech be­he­moths farm our data to har­vest tar­geted ads, we need a re­gional cen­tre ded­i­cated to the cre­ation of world-lead­ing en­cryp­tion tools that can pro­tect our pri­vacy. Or, given John Key was prob­a­bly right when he said New Zealan­ders were more wor­ried about the Snap­per quota than spy­ing or pri­vacy, per­haps it’s best to fo­cus on har­ness­ing the eco­nomic power of the dark­web. What bet­ter place for para­noid con­spir­acy the­o­rists and/or the lib­er­tar­ian fringe to gain anonymity than among the hordes of tourists at the Great Lake.


New Zealand is renowned for its pro­gres­sive civil avi­a­tion rules around drones. And Dunedin is al­ready renowned for dan­ger­ous fly­ing ob­jects, mak­ing the cen­tral stu­dent area the per­fect test­ing ground for the drone econ­omy – whether it’s pho­tograph­ing leaky roofs, drop­ping free Speight’s t-shirts, de­liv­er­ing piz­zas, or spray­ing the rowdy mobs with calm­ing agents.

DargAR/ VRville

With its well-es­tab­lished film scene, Welling­ton claims to have the keys to the AR/VR cas­tle. But the beau­ti­ful light of the win­ter­less north means Dar­gav­ille also has a claim. Techetahuna Techa­puna is sooooooo 2014.

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