Category Archives: Hi-tech developments

In-House Developer Outsources Job, Surfs the Net Instead

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In the process of conducting a security check on the systems of an American company, Verizon found a software developer who had outsourced his job to China, leaving him free to surf the internet all day.

The developer (Verizon called him ‘Bob‘) sent one fifth of his six-figure salary to a company in Shenyang to do all his work for him. He had, months earlier, sent his security token to China, allowing a third-party contractor to log in under his credentials during the day. He came in from nine to five every day.

Bob, described by Verizon’s Andrew Valentine as an “a family man, inoffensive but quiet”, gained a reputation as a top programmer, skilled in multiple languages.

“Investigators had the opportunity to read through his performance reviews,” Valentine wrote. “For the last several years in a row he received excellent remarks. His code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.”

Bob told Verizon his typical workday consisted of surfing Reddit and watching cat videos on YouTube from 9am to 11.30am, then taking an hour and a half for lunch, followed by an hour on eBay, two and a half hours of social networking, before an end of the day update to management detailing his accomplishments for the day.

All good things must come to an end: Bob isn’t working at the firm anymore.

 Ref: Security Blog, Verizon RISK Team.  Myriam Robin, Leading Company

Myriam Robin

Protect your invention

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Protection of an invention

The core of an invention may be protected in primarily one of two ways; registration of a patent or through confidentiality. These two methods are the antithesis of each other. The patent process involves disclosing the invention to the world (via the local intellectual property office) in return for a statute-backed monopoly in the invention. Conversely confidentiality means not disclosing it at all, or only under carefully crafted agreements, and relying on the hope that no-one else will stumble upon the same invention.

There are pros and cons with each approach, for instance a patent only lasts for a set period of time whereas confidentiality can last forever. Patents also guard against a third party having the same idea at some time later, whereas confidentiality does not offer any protection against a third party having the same idea.

To read the full article in the NZ Herald click here.  Jason Rudkin-Binks, Partner,Hudson Gavin Martin, a law firm which helps entrepreneurs with intellectual property concerns.

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Advanced Technology Institute

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Structure of Advanced Technology Institute announced

The Government’s new Advanced Technology Institute has been established to support firms of all sizes to innovate in response to market needs and opportunities. It will do this by providing a range of value-adding services, including product testing and analysis, R&D, and commercialisation advice.

It will also broker access to specialised equipment, facilities and knowledge networks by working collaboratively with existing players in the innovation system.  These include Crown Research Institutes, universities, polytechs, and independent research organisations, as well as industry bodies and economic development agencies.

More detail, including the Cabinet paper and supporting documents, can be found here.

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