Feeds

Bondi shark alert systems beams warning to nobody on Google Plus

Who's a clever buoy? Not the folks targeting an audience smaller than MySpace

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An Australian company called Shark Mitigation Systems has come up with something interesting: a sonar-equipped buoy that can spot sharks and then beam information about their presence to lifeguards over Optus' mobile telephony network.

The idea is that the buoys will be tethered off Australia beaches, for two purposes.

The first is to learn more about shark behaviour, which is undoubtedly worthy.

The second is to offer real-time information about lurking piscatorial predators to lifeguards and swimmers. To help those beyond the beach, the alerts will also be sent out over Google Plus.

Before we analyse this, let's acknowledge the nice integration job: building this rig would have required plenty of smarts. Let's also acknowledge that it's a fine idea to prevent any injury or death.

But let's not let this PR exercise – for this is at the core of the project – escape closer examination, not least because the project is solving the wrong problem. As we've previously noted, an Australian “... has a 1 in 3,362 chance of drowning at the beach and a 1 in 292,525 chance of being killed by a shark in one's entire lifetime.”

Australians are understandably paranoid about sharks. But technology to help prevent drowning would save more lives.

Secondly, Google Plus has a small active population in Australia. The Yellow Pages Social Media Report (PDF) suggests only 15 per cent of social media users are on the network, fewer in the beachgoing demographic of 14-29 year olds. The report has Facebook in the high 90 per cents. Socialmedianews.com.au estimates that Facebook has 13.2m users in Australia. Twitter has 2.5m and even MySpace still has 180,000. Google Plus can muster just 65,000.

Choosing Google Plus makes it hard to see this project as purely a public safety exercise. From Vulture South's eyrie it looks hard not to to see it as a more cynical effort to get people to pay attention to Google Plus and feel nice about Optus. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.