Are we ready with our own techonology

I wanted to write about this topic back in July 2018, when FBI director issued a warning not to use Chinese phones. Somehow, I forgot about it and my notes were just sitting in a corner of my drive. In light of latest development around Huawei, I was reminded and this time I intend to finish my article / note.

I’m sure you guys have heard about the recent Huawei incident. Long story short, USA intelligence believes Huawei is spying on behalf of China and therefore should be banned. Which President Trump eventually did this week. From the other perspective it could be argued that USA is just afraid that Huawei equipments will take over the global market since they are so good. We could go on forever. Let’s not talk about what has already been covered.

The lesson I want to take away from all of this is TECHNOLOGICAL DEPENDENCY. Not that is bad thing. We are a social being and we will continue to keep depending on others. Be it Silicon technology or toothpaste. What I take issue with is MONOPOLY. Having one company or and individual being so big and dominant you have nowhere to go. But we are left out of option. (Confession: I actually wrote this on Google Docs, which actually goes against my ideals)

Imagine If one of these companies goes down. Will we be able to sustain our life? What if Google drive goes down for good someday? I don’t know about you, but I’ll lose a portion[1] of my academic documents, few photos and lots of notes. If Gmail goes down, I’ll lose all emails.[2] When Flickr was acquired by SmugMug, I lost couple of Gigabyte worth of online photos.[3]

Are we really prepared with our Plan B?? Do we have alternate source for our ingredients? Do we have alternate channel for trade? Do we have alternate method of communication when disaster strikes?[4]

I want to take this opportunity to remind all of us that we need in-house technology development. Yes, there might be better product out there in the market (and we will continue to use them) but we need our own technology, no matter how weak it is.[5] Yes, we should still invest money on Silicon fabrication and learn to do it ourselves. Yes, we should set up tent[6] and try to build our autonomous car.

Yes, we should keep on tinkering.

[1] Last six months. Probably.

[2] I do have a personal mail server that no one uses!

[3] I did have offline backup. I received a warning mail from the company. I just didn’t have money to pay for the storage.

[4] Yes. HAM.

[5] I always faced comments that building satellite in Bangladesh is never gonna work. I see their point. We still don’t have the infrastructure. But if we never start, we will never improve. I understand if we start making CubeSats at home, they won’t have all the standards met. Unless we nurture the technology, it’ll never grow.

[6] Probably a workshop. Tent is a little fragile.