BBC World Service

Science & Medicine

Technological and digital news from around the world.


What’s Behind #CensusFail in Australia?

August 23rd, 2016

Episode 104 of 152 episodes

When Australia’s national census website crashed on its launch day, as millions of people tried to enter their details, it was labelled #CensusFail by many people Government officials described the events of 9th August as a “confluence of events” – but others have coined less polite names for Australia’s first attempt to conduct its census online. The site is now back up and running and there is an option to fill in the census on paper. A journalist on the website Crikey!, Josh Taylor, explains the complex reasons behind Australia’s negative reaction to the census. In a statement the company behind the online census, IBM, said they genuinely regretted any inconvenience and that “continuing to maintain the privacy and security of personal information is paramount.” Wire-Wire Cybercrime In the United States the FBI says that cybercrime where hackers divert money from legitimate business deals to their own bank accounts has cost businesses $1 billion since 2013. The so-called wire-wire cybercrime involves intercepting computers across the internet and changing the payment details. Tracking down these cybercriminals is the job of Joe Stewart, Director of Malware Research at information security firm SecureWorks in the United States. He explains how one of these criminals based in Nigeria, had so little understanding of cybersecurity, he actually infected his own computer leaving himself open to detection. Machine Learning Systems Can Help Match Jobseekers to Jobs Artificial intelligence computing is being used to help women find jobs in Afghanistan. Although there are jobs there, matching them with the “unstructured data” in the CVs of women seeking work is a laborious and time-consuming job. And those details may be in one of three different languages – Pashtu, Dari or English. John DeRiggi is Senior Geospatial Products Developer for DAI – a global development company which works with USAID, the US Agency for International Development. He says that machine learning systems can help match jobseekers to jobs. Purps the Penguin’s 3D-printed Boot 3D printing has been rebooted - to help create bespoke footwear for a penguin in the United States. Purps the Penguin lives in the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. She injured a tendon in her ankle, fighting with another bird. The plastic boot which has helped her to walk up until now was heavy and bulky. So some children from Mystic Middle School, who had recently acquired a 3D printer to help with their studies, designed and printed a new, better fitting, more comfortable boot for Purps – with the help and guidance of Nicholas Gondek, the Director of Additive Manufacturing at ACT group, a firm specialising in 3D printing services. (Photo caption: The web page of the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that it is unavailable, in Sydney, Wednesday, August 10, 2016 AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) Producer: Paula McGrath

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