Your local propatainment media outlet may not have talked about this story, but I thought I would, because there's one line in this story as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald that caught my eye, and I hope it catches yours. In fact, there's some irony here, because as I'm wont to do, I very often listen to a local talk radio station as I'm sorting through emails and selecting articles for the week's blogs. Well, as I focus on this article shared by C.V. (thank you!), the radio show has on a guest talking about the wonders of Bitcoin and digital crypto-currencies in general.
So, here's the story: there was a rather large banking outage in Australia recently, as reported in the following article by the Sydney newspaper:
Note that the article is unusually ambiguous as to the nature of what it's calling an "outage" (as opposed to the favored American term, "glitch"):
Millions of Australians were unable to access internet banking services after a major outage at a little-known technology company hit a number of large Australian companies, causing websites to crash and digital services to be cut.
Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ services were all disrupted for over an hour on Thursday afternoon, as were smaller lenders, including Macquarie Bank and ME Bank. However, NAB was unaffected by the outage, which prevented customers from access online banking accounts.
Later in the article, we're given more "specificity", if you want to call it that. The "outage" was due to a "tech outage"...
About one hour later, CBA said services were starting to “return to normal following a tech outage that had widespread impact across businesses”.
... and even later the "outage" has been transformed into "an incident"...
An ANZ spokesman confirmed the bank was hit by an “incident related to an external provider” that affected its core services, including its app and internet banking but said it was able to restore connectivity quickly. “Our teams are continuing to investigate and monitor the situation.”
... which quickly morphs into "an internal fault"...
Telco and banking industry sources said an internal fault at Cambridge-headquartered web services company Akamai, which occurred about 3pm AEST on Thursday, was the source of the problem.
... and just as quickly is tied to "an internal outage" of yet another incident:
Last week an internal outage at Fastly, another leading CDN, took down global news sites and retailers for almost an hour.
The article then ends by noting that since the covid planscamdemic broke, cyber attacks have been on the increase, referencing the JPS meat packing and Colonial Pipeline hacking-and-ransom attacks, making it possible that the "outage" was really a hack of some sort.
None of this, however, is what caught my eye. What caught my eye was the "outage" itself, which for a couple of hours, inhibited transactions in one of the world's major economies. What caught my eye, in other words, was this line from the article:
“Still unable to buy my groceries because I can’t access my money,” one customer said.
Still think a cashless digital currency society is a good idea?
What's even more interesting is the article's recommendations:
Daniel D’Alessandro, co-founder of Australian CDN Peakhour.io, said that the occurrence of two outages in as many weeks showed that major organisations needed to invest in redundancies.
“Akamai is a venerable company and well respected globally, but outages can happen to anyone,” he said.
“Companies routing their traffic through a third party, whether it’s a CDN or otherwise, all need a Plan B, just like with any other critical piece of their IT infrastructure.
In other words, build in even more "redundancy" into the "IT infrastructure", i.e., build more digital systems, have a "backup."
But notice the utter lack of mention of analogue solutions. Indeed, the article references the Colonial Pipeline hack. What it fails to mention is Colonial's admission that they had no one who knew how to operate the pipeline manually. In the case of the poor dear who was unable to buy his or her groceries "because I can't access my money," we're dealing with someone who apparently had none of that old-fashioned stuff called "cash-on-hand".
The analogue solution to "outages" and "glitches" and other hazards of the digital utopia is simply to have a reserve of cold hard cash on hand and accessible.
It's significant that this common sense solution isn't even mentioned in the article.
And that, I submit, is the problem with the digital utopia: its utter lack of common sense, and willingness to play a fool's game.
See you on the flip side...