Archive, 13 October1965: computer lessons for politicians: | Politics

On Monday some 75 MPs, peers, and party officials will begin a three day course on computer appreciation and introductory programming.

This snatching after technological literacy is being organised by Elliott Automation, which, with the blessing of the three whips, the late speaker, and the serjeant-at-arms in the House of Commons.

The three day course looks rather like escalation in reverse. Is not Mr Marples, as Opposition spokesman on technology, now completing a sabbatical year’s study of automation and computers in this country, the United States, and Japan? Is not Mr Cousins, the minister of technology, now spending eight days reviewing American developments in technology and automation?

Programming
At least Mr Marples and Mr Cousins will not have it all their own way in future debates on automation in the House, nor can they expect a silent and subservient audience.

During the three day course the 75 politicians, split into groups of six under a tutor, will be told what computers do and will be taught programming. On Monday they will write a programme on the cost of buying and running a car, hire purchase expenses included. On Tuesday they will write a programme from statistics on wages. The last day they will work out the percentage poll from figures for 50 constituencies and place the percentages in ascending order.

A National-Elliot 803 computer being loaded onto a customised Austin 32 cwt van at the Boreham Wood factory of Elliott-Automation, bound for Moscow.



A National-Elliot 803 computer being loaded onto a customised Austin 32 cwt van at the Boreham Wood factory of Elliott-Automation, bound for Moscow. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

Second generation
No one at Elliott Automation pretends that the politicians will become experts, but they should gain an understanding of computers, which, as Mr RE Giles, head of the company’s education department, says, “are at the heart of automation.”

Their instructors, all aged between 18 and 30, are members of the booming

StanChart Tech Boss Heeds Bank’s Post-Wuhan Stress Lessons: Q&A

Michael Gorriz

Courtesy of Standard Chartered

From sourcing 2,000 laptops for computer-less staff to boosting remote working capacity 20-fold, Michael Gorriz spent the year at the center of a global bank’s scramble to cope with an office-emptying pandemic.

Standard Chartered Plc’s chief information officer had a ringside seat for the start of the crisis. While his bank is headquartered in London, the German-born Gorriz works from Singapore — a five-hour flight to Wuhan, the Chinese epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. StanChart’s branch in Wuhan was locked down, giving an early inkling of what life under Covid-19 might be like.

The pandemic drove thousands of older customers online for the first time, stress-testing technology for a company that’s bet heavily on digital banking. The Wuhan outbreak also gave Gorriz a unique perspective on enabling working from home at a time when the crisis still seemed remote in global banks’ western bases.

“My management team and I speculated this might not be the end, so we just kept on pushing,” said Gorriz, who spearheaded a drive to increase the number of remote login channels for employees from 5,000 at the start of the year to more than 100,000 six weeks after the first Chinese lockdown.

With the worst of the pandemic seemingly over in StanChart’s Asian markets, Gorriz, who has been in his role in 2015, is turning his attention to the lessons he learned as the chief technologist.

His comments have been edited and condensed.

How has banking changed?

The pandemic was a good proving point for digital capabilities, both our internal operations and also in our customer interactions. In institutional banking, where there was still a high willingness to see customers physically, obviously all the customers were concerned and scared about contracting the virus. They were

Lessons From From Fintech Revolutions Of The Past And Winning Post-COVID

Matt Harris, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, and Michael Tae, corporate vice president and head of strategy at Broadridge, look back on two recent crises for lessons on how disruption can lead to rapid change, opportunity and a new status quo, with an eye towards what might be post-Covid.

The suggestion that every crisis also brings an opportunity has been attributed to everyone from Einstein to Churchill to JFK. But perhaps nobody understands this phenomenon better than Mother Nature.

Take the 140-year-old tiny aquatic invertebrate, the bryozoan, which remained exactly the same for 40 million years and then suddenly experienced a vast diversification – perhaps a result of an abrupt change in sea levels or atmospheric temperature – followed by millions more years in stasis. The bryozoan illustrates the scientific principle of punctuated equilibrium, proposed by natural historians Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould to describe how a long-standing, static biological order can change abruptly, ushering in new species in a sudden period of revolutionary disruption.

What’s happening today in the financial services industry could also be described as a period of punctuated equilibrium.

Companies that dominate in periods of relative stability have frequently emerged victorious from a preceding crisis. They maintain their status by incrementally refining the infrastructure that aided their success, holding back sweeping change. Events such as the 2003 SARS pandemic, the 2008 global financial crisis, and now the cataclysmic COVID-19 pandemic cause rapid changes in customer needs, regulations, and technology adoption seemingly overnight, breaking the status quo and forcing financial services companies – and indeed all companies – to adapt. Suddenly, standing still becomes untenable. The result is a fintech revolution.

Fintech revolution I: The expansion of online commerce and digital payments

That was the case in 2003 when the SARS virus spread in China.

Thank you for posting: Smoking’s lessons for regulating social media

Day by day, the evidence is mounting that Facebook is bad for society. Last week Channel 4 News in London tracked down Black Americans in Wisconsin who were targeted by President Trump’s 2016 campaign with negative advertising about Hillary Clinton—“deterrence” operations to suppress their vote.

A few weeks ago, meanwhile, I was included in a discussion organized by the Computer History Museum, called Decoding the Election. A fellow panelist, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook, described how Facebook worked closely with the Trump campaign. Mook refused to have Facebook staff embedded inside Clinton’s campaign because it did not seem ethical, while Trump’s team welcomed the opportunity to have an insider turn the knobs on the social network’s targeted advertising. 

Taken together, these two pieces of information are damning for the future of American democracy; Trump’s team openly marked 3.5 million Black Americans for deterrence in their data set, while Facebook’s own staff aided voter suppression efforts. As Siva Vaidhyanathan, the author of Anti-Social Media, has said for years: “The problem with Facebook is Facebook.”

While research and reports from academics, civil society, and the media have long made these claims, regulation has not yet come to pass. But at the end of September, Facebook’s former director of monetization, Tim Kendall, gave testimony before Congress that suggested a new way to look at the site’s deleterious effects on democracy. He outlined Facebook’s twin objectives: making itself profitable and trying to control a growing mess of misinformation and conspiracy. Kendall compared social media to the tobacco industry. Both have focused on increasing the capacity for addiction. “Allowing for misinformation, conspiracy theories, and fake news to flourish were like Big Tobacco’s bronchodilators, which allowed the cigarette smoke to cover more surface area of the lungs,” he said. 

The comparison is more

Lessons Learned From The Internet’s First Domain Names

Jeffrey is the Co-Founder of Saw.com, focusing on domain sales and acquisitions. Visit Saw.com if you want to purchase a domain.

I love the internet. I love domain names, and I also love history. Being at the age I am, I had the opportunity to see the internet start as the wild west when it was thousands of message boards, chatrooms and loads of pirated music. The good old days were back when one of the most well-known taglines was “You’ve got mail,” Netscape was your browser, Clippy was crashing computers everywhere, Napster/Limewire was pumping music through Winamp, and Minesweeper was the staple game on every Windows Operating system.

This was a place where large corporations didn’t know what to do about the internet or perhaps even attempt to understand it. Some of these companies saw the internet as a fad and did not capitalize on the opportunity that many of the established internet brands did that lead the market today. Like me, the internet has grown up, and it is a totally different place than it was more than 25 years ago when many of us think it started.

It didn’t start in the mid to late ’90s or early 2000s. It happened even earlier — much earlier. Try more than 15 years earlier. On March 15, 1985, the first domain ever was registered: Symbolics.com. If you go to the domain today, the owners of it have turned it into an online museum of the internet focusing on the innovation, technology and science that got us where we are today.

The next nine domains took just under a year to get registered:

1. April 14, 1985: BBN.com

2. May 24, 1985: Think.com

3. July 11, 1985: MCC.com

4. Sept. 30, 1985: DEC.com

5. Nov. 7, 1985: Northrop.com

6.