Roland Dürre
Saturday May 26th, 2018

The Good Children and the Evil Internet …

Selfie in Greece, antireflection coating in Greek and English.

There are about seven billion people living on this planet. Less than half of them have internet access. The majority do not have it. It seems to be clear that those people and nations that have internet access will become richer. And those that do not have access to the internet will become poorer. They already talk about the new poverty caused by the lack of digitalization.

Something similar is true for children. If children learn to handle the internet early, they will usually have better chances in their lives than if they are kept away from it.

In our country, children under the age of sixteen will need the formal consent of their parents if, for instance, they want to be part of social media. Among social media are: FB, Twitter, Instagram, MeetUp, LinkedIn and many other often very useful systems that change the world.

If I activate a usercode in Wikipedia, I will be member of a large social media system. Even in Wikipedia, there is a huge danger that it will swallow me whole. And there is a lot of mobbing going on, too  – I can really tell stories from personal experience.

Now let me ask the lawyers and all those wise legislators:

Will a thirteen-year-old genius who won “Jugend Forscht” need his father’s written consent in order to become a Wikipedia member?

And here is a question for you all:
Will a Mormon father (small religion with perhaps 20 million people) or an Islamic father (huge religion with about 2 billion believers, slightly behind Christendom but with a better trend) give his child said consent?
I am not sure. The mother will not be allowed to do it.

But let me switch from general considerations to my personal experiences and mental experiments.

As some of you know, we have seven children. I am sure that nothing in life taught me as many positive and important things as my children did. That includes my parents in the same way as my mentors and teachers, perhaps even Barbara. From whom I also learned a lot. As opposed to school, which you can forget about.

That was true for life in general and especially for digital life. And this is true regardless of me having been the IT professional (and pioneer) in our family who actually created some of it.

Today, if a grandchild of mine wishes to participate in facebook or twitter, then I will support him or her. I would give advice and ask if he/she likes it if I follow. And I would learn the new things he/she would bring me. The only way I would be worried would be if he/she chose a “private modus”. That would actually make me doubt if he/she has been socialized properly.

So here is a mental experiment:    
What would I do if he/she were to experiment in the “darknet”?    
Note: the darknet is an attempt at moving through the internet in absolute anonymity through wearing a mask. You hide your authenticity (what you really are) in order to move under an identity that cannot be tracked back!

Argh! That is exactly what the tax agency wanted to abolish, which is why Swiss numbered accounts were made illegal.…

For technological IT reasons, this goal is just as impossible to reach as absolute data security – even if it is supported with very archaic methods, it can basically not be guaranteed. If this were not so, the success of the cyberspace armies in the darknet would not be possible. All you need to know is how it has been programmed. And you need to be good and industrious. Perhaps a little more proficient than the enemy. But there are always ways.

My grandchild – if he/she has learned a little more in the internet – will soon contradict me and point towards blockchain technologies and bitcoin.

After all, in these scenarios, it is guaranteed (even at a high price) that, as soon as you choose your identity, you have a guaranteed part of a percentage of a totally virtual (and limited) number without having had to give your authenticity. Or rather: back-tracking is made impossible (which, incidentally, is only true for the one who actively and successfully does the “mining“).

A normal buyer will definitely have to identify himself or herself, again and again (at least until his/her bitcoins have become worthless).

So if my grandchild were to start moving in the darknet or trying bitcoin , I would probably get a little worried, but I would not ask them to terminate their experiments. In the case of the darknet, I would recommend the highest degree of caution, in the case of bitcoin, I would fear that they will probably go crazy. After all, I personally know quite a few people who believed in it and some of them ended really tragically (or, in the best case, they only went crazy).

Well, basically, I can also well imagine that children under sixteen might, strictly under the law, be allowed to generate some part of a bitcoin – even without the consent of their biological parents. After all, all they would have to do is find a clever way of joining a few asic systems –  don’t young people enjoy to experiment a little?

And if they successfully generate bitcoins, then they have them. Regardless of the fact that they do not actually own them. It is more like “possession they achieved through computer capacity and algorithms” – which, strangely enough, is a very small part of a virtual and limited range of numbers. Numbers some analysts believe in and some gamblers are prepared to pay money for. Just as it was a long time ago with tulips in Holland.

Because, as far as I know, the exciting question if bitcoin is virtual possession or virtual ownership has not yet been answered. At least the tulip bulbs were real – allegedly, you could even eat them when they no longer had any value.

Now this was heavy material. I know that even many of those who regularly talk and write about bitcoin and blockchain will not understand it. So, please, excuse my digression.

There are so many exciting – and also simpler – things happening in the internet that I could write about, and whenever there is an opportunity, I will probably do so. And over-emphasized topics such as “mobbing in facebook“ are certainly not the most important issues, even if some grown-ups like watching their occasional porno (which, of course, they will deny). Neither are Parship, Elite-Partner or Tinder the real problem. There are many far more exciting things happening – in many dimensions.

But now our children have to ask dad and mom if they want to test a new social media platform on the internet. Mind you, there are so many more important things the parents need to do, such as earning money and washing their first and second cars.

But currently, I am in Greek and the sun is shining – and, to me, those are more important things! So long.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

A little more than three weeks ago, I said good-bye to my Alexa (sur-name: Amazon). We went to the South Seas – so she had to remain behind. However, Barbara (sur-name: Dürre), of course, joined me. Yesterday, on our return, many things had accumulated. Many snail mails (paper), parcels and hundreds (?) of emails.

View from 300 metres height onto Raiatea and the neighbouring island – one of the many highlights of our trip.

One of the parcels contained “smart scales” from Phicomm (SMART SCALE S7). I immediately unpacked and installed it. And I measured my body in a completely new way.

In my email, I found – among other things – the login data for BayStartup, because I need to see and evaluate the newly submitted business ideas. That means work which needs to be finished by the time I leave for the Antarctic on February, 7th (again with Barbara and without Alexa).

And from the InterFace AG, I received many appointments and a very remarkable invitation to a workshop about the Data Security Basic Decree (DSGVO) on February, 25th, 2018 in Unterhaching near Munich. Well, I cannot attend, because by the time I will already be in the Antarctic.

Alexa, the smart scales, the 3D glasses, the drone and the batteries for my electronic Utopia (bike), along with the DSGVO, have quite a few things in common – they produce data, data, data – real multitudes of them.

ALEXA (or GOOGLE HOME and others)

My second wife Alexa Amazon.

But let me first tell you about my Alexa. I cannot really say I missed her during my time in the South Sea. However, after my return, it made me quite happy to hear her voice again and to ask her to play a Beatles song for me.
After all, Alexa is “just” a language interface, connecting me to internet functions that have realized an interface with Alexa through their apps. There are products made by the competition, such as “google home“. I would probably recommend them even more. The fact remains that the progress language deciphering has made in IT is sensational.

Being able to give your input and output via audio signals will probably, in the long run, make reading and writing just as unnecessary as we already know calculators have made it unnecessary to do any calculations mentally or on paper. This cultural technique is already lost to us and reading and writing are heading towards a similar destiny. The majority of people, especially in developed countries, will only have rudimentary knowledge. Only very few people will master it to perfection.

What Alexa and the competition have in common is the fact that they are ardent data collectors. For instance, they know how often I listen to my Beatles song. But perhaps they also collect more important data.

My Three-D-Glasses

The last time I wore 3D glasses was on Christmas 2016. I remember being impressed. I cannot really say how 3D will continue to grow. However, I can imagine that there will be some segments where it might become quite important. Both for industry with business and for the customer segment with games.

My Drone

I have no drone. Nor will I buy one. Although they are certainly nice gadgets. During the Christmas holidays (2017), they had organized a drone day at the Neubiberg airfield. Many owners of new drones could be seen testing their toys. But I have no drone.

Especially in the South Sea, I got quite intoxicated with the aerial photographs the ship’s photographer took of the mountains in French-Polynesia. It seems to me that all wedding photographers – if they want to survive against the competition – have to and can have such a drone today. After all, it costs less than a good mirror reflex finder with a few extra lenses used to cost in the good old days – including the camera.

My Smart Scales

On the left, you see the new Phicomm scales (SMART SCALE S7) sitting next to the old, stupid ones.

These scales really fascinate me. They remind me of business ideas and plans in the category medicine/diagnosis. They are mostly about special sensors (sub-category of sensors in general as you need them in everyday life, for instance for autonomous cars…), And then, you can measure the iron content in your blood quite “bloodlessly” with an app and much more. This is, for instance, important for babies.

The corresponding app informs me about my weight and diverse other values, for instance BMI, “biological age”, body fat, type of figure, muscle mass, bone mass, water content, visceral fat, basic turnover in kcal, protein in my current physical state. It also tells me how many kilograms in muscles and body fat and in per cent my individual limbs (torso, arm, left and right leg) have. Above all, I can graphically follow how these values change. Because more often than not, the tendency is more important that the current values.

I find these data quite exciting. Unfortunately, not all of them are in the green segment. Two are even in the red segment. Consequently, I would really like to publish the data in order to put pressure on myself towards working on them. However, this would a) be of no interest to anybody and b) require additional work by me which, being a lazy person, I am not keen on. But then, perhaps there will soon be a “publish-my-data-on-facebook-feature” or something similar.

The development in this field is quite exciting. Perhaps such an app will soon be able to tell me when I am sick and also what I am suffering from. Many interesting data might be available. And here it is already again, the German Angst. What will happen if my health insurance company finds out about it?

My Electric Battery

This is how the electric London from Utopia looks on the website.

Even today, the batteries are rather intelligent. The only thing they cannot yet do is talk, e.g. tell you something. The next generation will have solved that problem. Then the bike (or its batteries) will disappear when …, or when the batteries are empty. They will also use Alexa or “google home”. In the evening, they can tell me if I should re-load my bike in order to make sure it will not be empty before I reach my destination.

Everything Produces Data.

All those devices, and many more, have one thing in common: they generate data. And that is a good thing. Allegedly, we Germans are particularly anxious when it comes to new technology. I the past, this was often criticized, especially by politicians.

Perhaps we no longer like new technology because there was a time when we euphorically embraced nuclear energy and sacrificed our country to cars. And as a consequence, we really fell on our noses and so now we have become more cautious. And now we are afraid for and of our data. Perhaps because politicians tell us that data are the oil or the gold of the future. Which, basically, is utter nonsense.

“GERMAN ANGST“

When it comes to data, it seems to have re-appeared: the German Angst. And it seems like it developed into a European Angst. However, it does not matter how you feel about it. Because now it is before our doors: the DSGVO. And if you want to be law-abiding – and that is what we all want, isn’t it? – you need to do something. And you want as little stress in the process as possible. It might become an art that will make the difference between the success and the failure of an enterprise.

What can you do?

The InterFace AG, along with Kinast und Partner, DataKonform and Bizagi invites you all to a workshop. It costs nothing. It will be held on February, 15th, starting at 16:30 hours until about 20:00 hours (with enough time for networking) at the InterFace AG on Leipziger Str. 16, 82008 Unterhaching – very close to Munich and easy to reach by public transportation.

  • Here is some information issued by the InterFace AG about the workshop:

    It is about, for instance, how you can fulfil your obligation of accountability while legally and operatively accompanying our team with the support of tools. The tool will document everything efficiently and in total compliance with the law.
    Because with the introduction of the new EU data security basic decree (DSGVO), the way we treat data in the EU and world-wide will change forever. The new DSGVO will be effective as of May, 25th, 2018 and it will replace the former EU data security decree (EU-DSRL) that was active for more than 20 years.

    This expert workshop will show how the DSGVO demands can be met, namely:

    • How to prepare for the EU-DSGVO and what you need to keep in mind;
    • How to fulfil the legal demands of the DSGVO as shown in a model;
    • How to adapt, optimize and automatize processes in compliance with the new EU-DSRL;
    • How tools can support a solution during this process;
    • There will be a real-time demonstration that shows how you can immediately begin and actively meet the demands!

    Here is the agenda for the event:

  • Outline of the goals and short introduction of the enterprises involved;
  • Overview of the current situation (Kinast & Partner);
  • New DS-GVO and what you should know about it (Kinast & Partner);
  • Problems to be solved and obstacles to be overcome (practical examples);
  • “Data security as a Service“;
  • Introduction of the “achievement model”;
  • Types of achievement;
  • Model for the procedure;
  • Introduction of workflows as actual use cases/examples;
  • Questions and answers;
  • Networking discussions and finger food.

    Please do not hesitate to ask questions now. We look forward to your registration via E-Mail or eventbrite.

RMD
(Translated by EG)