Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Prediction Number 1 for 2009

A major company will suffer losses due to stolen intellectual property.

(I've been trying to come up with all my predictions but I think I will just post them 1 at a time as I think of them. Here is the first.)

If you have been fortunate to attend any of my recent presentations, have read my blog or have gotten caught in a lift (elevator) with me then you'll know all about my Perfect Storm prediction.

I have no idea if it will happen in 2009 or 2010 but it is coming. It may have happened already and we just don't know about it. Briefly - there is a major underground economy happening right now. They are focused on payment card information (PCi) and personal information (PPI) that can be used for identity theft. There is a glut in the availability of this information and it is not worth so much. Either the underground economy will collapse in on itself or (more likely) it will start to trade intellectual property (IP).

IP is worth a lot more than either PCi and PPI but it is harder to find a buyer who can use it and the information is less standardised. But tough times call for tough measures and these are tough times.

I'd like to think that companies would reject offers of stolen information but this is very naive.

The reason that it may happen and we will not find out about it is that companies tend not to report these things to the media or anyone else. And since the information stolen does not belong to anyone else then they don't really have to report it.

The only time they'll have to report it is if it has the potential to make a massive change in their earnings. They'd still be able to fudge the numbers.

So, my prediction is that there will be a growing trend of theft of IP in amounts too small for companies to report until one company is rocked by atheft so big that it can't hide it.

This will happen - the question is whether it will happen 2009 or 2010.

Monday, January 5, 2009

[OT] Helen Suzman (1917-2009)

The times has a moving picture of Helen Suzman being laid to rest in the typical Jewish way, in a plain, ugly, boxy coffin. Everyone is equal in death - it is how we live our lives that defines us. And Ms Suzman certainly lived hers as a shining light to all.

I would say "Rest In Peace" but something tells me that Helen Suzman would not find that very easy. The Jewish nation in South Africa have always had an uneasy relationship with the Government, cordial but uneasy. The Nationalist Apartheid government tolerated Jews as they were "Whites" and were afforded the benefits that Whites were given. Most Jews were appalled at the treatment of Blacks and other race groups under apartheid but were too afraid to rock the boat.

Not so Ms Suzman. She will always be remembered as someone who spoke up.

More than that - she was never a loose cannon - she knew she was right and she had an amazing way of upsetting anyone who was doing wrong but in such a way that she gained their respect.

I have a lot of respect for the likes of Nelson Mandela and the other great leaders of the anti-apartheid revolution. But I have more respect for those that had not much to gain and lots to lose by their support. The ones who just saw what was good and what was not and decided to do something about it. It brings to mind the Edmund Burke quote about evil triumphing because of good men doing nothing. We are lucky in this world to have people such as Helen Suzman who see the evil around them and do something. Well, the world has lost one of those people, hopefully there will be others to take her place.

Finally, two quotes -

"I stand for simple justice, equal opportunity and human rights. The indispensable elements in a democratic society - and well worth fighting for." [Helen Suzman]

"...I don't pull my punches"
[Helen Suzman]