Wednesday, December 14, 2011


“Numbers tell the story.” I have used this phrase often to explain things to my barber and to others who appreciate points made when supported by real numbers.

About seven (7) billion people now populate planet Earth.  Since the start of the digital age, there are now about two (2) billion personal computers in use worldwide. Fifteen percent (15%) of these computers carry the Apple brand.

There are now about five (5) billion cell and smart phones used on Earth.

A planet getting digitized, Earth interconnects its inhabitants, phones and computers through a worldwide web or what is commonly called Internet.

Currently, more than two (2) billion earthlings use the Internet worldwide. About 900 million and counting are on Facebook.

Twitter, in a blog published early this year, came up with the following numbers:  it takes 1 week to send 1 billion tweets; 140 million is the average number sent per day; and 460, 000 new accounts are being created daily.

In 2010, 6.1 trillion text messages were sent.

For every computer, cell/smart phone, use of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, there are corresponding operating systems, drivers and thousands of other applications.

The software applications involved would equate to trillions, if not more, as we who populate the Earth assume a complementary and supplementary “digital or cyber life”.

Welcome to the PLANET of the APPS!

As we begin to appreciate and get used to this new cyber way of life, we try to live guided by the Golden Rule of “doing good and avoiding evil”.  As expected, there are those who, for economic, political and other unknown reasons, would wish to disturb our positive cyber ways.

These evildoers are called “hackers”, “cyber attackers”, or what we call in legal parlance, “cyber criminals”.

During the last 3 weeks, I attended 3 conferences at the Washington Convention Center.  They were the Enterprise Architecture Conference, the Government Video Expo, and the Cyber Security Conference and Expo.

I was lucky to have attended them as a member of the Press.  My Press Pass allowed me to join in all the conference sessions, expo, and eventually access any or all the presentations online. Let me express my deepest appreciation to Ms. Andree Diggs who approved my Press Credentials. Her company, 1105 Media, efficiently and effectively managed two of the conferences: the Enterprise Architecture and the Cyber Security.

These conferences are follow-ups to E-GOV (electronic government) gatherings that started in the 1990’s as computers, wireless communications, and the Internet began to engulf our way of life. I used to attend them as the U.S. Government defined its role being E-GOV of, by and for the people.

E-GOV is basically the use of information technology (IT) by the government to provide better service to its citizens, the business community, its employees, organizations, and other governments by providing easy access to government information and public services.

The information technology as developed by both the private and public sector became so sophisticated and complex that IT Architecture has become necessary. Eventually called Enterprise Architecture, it provided better understanding, more efficient and effective electronic governance.

The enemies of E-GOV and the citizens of the world have become very sophisticated as well. According to FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) data cited in a U.S. Senate testimony, “annual cybercrime profits and damages have hit a trillion dollars.”

The tools that are increasingly used by hackers for these cyber crimes are called “botnets”. Symantec estimates that there are about 3.5 million to 5.4 million botnets worldwide.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that companies such as Sony, Google, Lockheed Martin and two of South Korea’s largest banks have been hacked. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Citigroup announced that their computers were breached a few months ago.

In effect, the battleground against terror and crime is no longer limited to Air, Land and Sea. Cyberspace has become a place for warfare. For this reason, the U.S. Military has declared it a military domain.

China, for example, has been accused of hacking Google’s infrastructures. On the other hand, the former accused the United States of being an “information imperialist,” and of using the Internet to overthrow governments.

The Pentagon, despite budgetary problems, “requested US$3.2 billion worth of funding be allocated to “cyber security”.  A U.S. Cyber Command has been established and in fact, has had operational capacity.  Cyber Commands are likewise being established in other countries. It was reported that India is looking to establish a “Cyber Control and Command Authority” while China has established a “Blue Army” to defend the People’s Liberation Army from attacks on its networks.

The Cyber Security Conference was informative, educational and self-reassuring.  I hope to write more on the topics and issues discussed in the very near future as the likes of my barber begin to understand and appreciate them.

The Philippines has been dubbed as the Facebook Capital, Tweeting Capital, Texting Capital and the Call Center Capital of the world.

In the immediate future it could become the Capital of the PLANET of the APPS.  My advice is for the country to seriously focus on Cyber Security.

Tech IT or leave it!

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