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Sunday 1 January 2023


VizDynamics is still a trading entity, but VizLab 2.0 is now closed. The lack of attention to cybersecurity by state actors, big tech and cloud operators globally made it impossibly difficult to continue operating an advanced computer science lab with 6 of Melbourne's best computer scientists supporting corporate Australia. We could have continued, but we saw this perfect storm of cyber security coming and decided to dial down VizLab starting in 2017. Given recent cyber disasters, it is clear we made the right decision.

State actors, cloud operators and big tech need to be careful with “vendor backdoor” legislation such as key escrow of encryption, because this form of 'friendly fire' hides the initial attack vector and the intial point of network contact when trying to forensically analyse and close down real attacks. Whilst that sort of legislation is in place without apporpriate access controls, audit controls, detective controls, cross-border controls, kill switches and transparency reporting, it is not commercially viable for us to operate a high powered CS lab, because all the use cases corporate Australia want us to solve involve cloud-based PII, for example, ‘Prediction Lakes’.

A CS Lab designed for paired programming

Part MIT Media lab, part CMU Autonlab, part vizualistion lab, part paired-programming heaven: this was VizLab 2.0.

VizLab doorway with ingress & egress Sipher readers, Inner Range high frequency monitoring & enterprise class CCTV.
A secure site in a secure site.

A BSOD in The Lab: The struggles of WebGL and 3D everywhere.
Note the 3-screen 4k workstation in the foreground designed
for paired local + remote programming.

The Lab - Part vizualisation, part data immersion. VizLab 2.0.
Note the Eames at the end of the centre aisle.

Each workstation was setup for paired programming. 6 workstations, where you could plug in 2 keyboards, 2 mice, 2 chairs side-by-side and enough room so that you weren't breathing on eachother with returns either side big enough for a plethora of academic texts, client specs and all the notes you could want. With 2 HDMI cables hung from the roof linking to projectors on opposing walls that could reach any workstation at any moment, this was an environment for working on hard things; collaboratively, together.

Note the lack of client seating. They would have to perch on the edge of a desk and see everything, or an Eames lounge at the end of the room and try to see everything, or a White real leather Space Furniture couch next to a Tom Dixon and see nothing - we took host to management teams from a plurality of ASX200s, and the first thing that struck them — we didn't have seating for them, because the next few hours they were going to be moving around and staring at walls, computers, the ceiling — there simply was nowhere to sit, when a team of computer scientists, trained in computer graphics and very deft with data science were taking them on a journey into Data.

The now: VizLab 3.0 – The future: VizLab 4.0

AP is still around and is spending the most part of 2023 writing a textbook on secure software engineering, and we've setup a smaller two-man VizLab 3.0 for cyber defence research mainly around GRC assessment and computer science education both at a secondary and a tertiary level. AP is currently doing research in that field so we can hopefully reduce cyber-risk down to a level that is acceptable to coprorate Australia by increasing the mathematical and cyber-security awareness and literacy of computer science students as they enter into university and then industry.

If we can help to create that environment, then VizLab 4.0 may materialise and will be bigger and better, but because we dialed back our insurances (it's not practical to be paying $25K pa while we're doing research), we aren't in a position to provide direct consultation services at the moment. VizDynamics is still a trading entity, and a new visualisation based Information Security brand might be launched somewhere in 2024 based on the “Humanizing Data” vizualisation thesis (perhaps through academia or government – we’re not sure yet). Fixes are happening to WebGL rendering engines, and slowly cyber security awareness is rising to the top of the agenda, so our work is slowly shifting the needing and we’re moving in the right direction.

If you want to keep track of what AP's up to, vizit

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