It's war out there in cyberspace with hackers, activists and criminals running rampant, stealing, subverting and often just destroying stuff for the sake of it.

That's actually not such an exaggeration because a) the internet was never designed with security in mind and b) poking at the security holes often doesn't require much skills.

Accidentally or intentionally, it can be pretty easy to wreak havoc on the internet.

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Other countries have recognised this and set up Computer Emergency Response Teams or CERTs that monitor, inform and study internet security incidents, and share important information around these.

The internet does not recognise distances or national borders, and being connected to the global network means New Zealand gets the good with the bad. It's great to see that our local Internet Task Force is now seeking to set up "an Internet fire brigade" to help small to medium-sized businesses and not for profit organisations deal with network-borne threats.

A public funding campaign has been launched by the ITF to set up the Computer Security Incident Response Team for New Zealand (CSIRTnz) and that's an initiative everyone should support.

Already, TradeMe and ASB are onboard as silver and platinum CSIRTnz partners respectively, and I hope other New Zealand organisations will join them soon.

The recent "KFC delivery" that saw Kiwis being ripped off by scammers who had set up fake sites for people wanting to order fast food was the trigger for setting up CSIRTnz. Here's hoping it will help prevent other such scams in the future.

Read more about the CSIRTnz project on its website.

Next, the ITF needs to urgently train up an Internet Cable Protection Service force with multiple armed submarines to patrol the Southern Cross Cable System, and repair the all-important communications link if some dastardly enemies of New Zealand (or careless fishing boats) damage it.

Russian naval forces are apparently menacing United States and European internet cables sparking speculation that the circuits could be cut to stop crucial data flows between Western countries.

There are absolutely heaps of undersea cables between the US and Europe, so the Russians would be very busy indeed if they wanted to cause real damage to the internet in that part of the world.

It's a different story for New Zealand however.

We have just the one link that runs across a vast distance under the Pacific Ocean. If something were to happen to it, it would hurt our economy that's increasingly dependent on digital and internet-delivered services.

The SCC works well, but it can't be the only link to the US and Australia for New Zealand.

We need to build more cables that connect us to more parts of the world. It's a basic security requirement in 2015, in fact.

Building more cables should've started ten years ago as we're now at risk of being held to ransom over our vulnerable internet connectivity.

Plummy smartphones

If you were wondering what the actual point of Apple's buzzy 3D Touch (or Force Touch as it used to be called) screen is on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is, wonder no more.

The ever so clever Simon "FlexMonkey" Gladman has the answer: 3D Touch can be used to weigh plums. See for yourself:

Plum-o-Meter is coded with Apple's new Swift programming language of course, and while it won't ever pass muster with trading standards authorities, it's a fun example of what you can do with the new tech.

Source code for Plum-o-Meter can be found on Github.

If you are curious about what 3D Touch can do, have a look at the other projects Gladman has put together https://plus.google.com/+simongladman/posts - there are some very cool things indeed for dev heads.