Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

21.7.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 52


When is the last time you read the Terms of Conditions of an app or a Web site or even your Internet or mobile phone contract? For most people the answer is so long ago it may as well be never. And there is a good reason for that. Time. As one extreme example, if you want to use an Amazon Kindle, the 73,198-word agreement that you are offered before clicking “I Accept” would take an average reader up to nine hours to read (not allowing for toilet or coffee breaks). Oh and there i ..

14.7.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 51


At a personal level I don’t really have an issue in buying and using technology for the sake of technology. I love the innovation and the thought processes and creativity that is involved in creating a product from an idea. I am the first to admit though that some of the original ideas are not great – hence the product at the end of the process is not necessarily that practical. One of the hottest areas of new technology on the market at the moment is the Smart Speaker catego ..

07.7.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 50


Today is a tricky day for me. My wife’s birthday – 29 again! Of course for me, I can’t think of anything better as a present than some technology. Over the years my wife has received some fantastic birthday presents. Home automation external access to control the home via a smartphone; a robotic lawnmower; a virtual reality headset; an automated carpet cleaner; wireless phone chargers; latest home theatre upgrades; the list goes on. My wife is very good at controlling her e ..

30.6.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 49


Now it is serious. I sat down with my family during the week, turned on our streaming device and prepared to binge-watch a few episodes of the latest series that we have become addicted to. Accompanying this addiction was the other addiction in my life. Cadbury chocolate. A few pieces carefully distributed to the various family members – in perfectly measured even proportions complete with kitchen scales involved – to be slowly sucked on and consumed during the viewing. I am sure ..

23.6.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 48


I am sure she wasn’t the first but she was the one that sticks in my mind. Over the years I am sure there have been other examples of the phenomenon but Paris Hilton epitomises the concept. Famous for being famous. Most ‘famous’ people have achieved something of note – or notoriety – and become famous as a result of that. Think of household names such as Elon Musk (Tesla and PayPal); Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook); Bill Gates (Microsoft); Larry Page (Google) and th ..

16.6.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 47


I know that many of you have had a restless week trying to keep up to date with all of the major announcements from E3 2017. This was the 23rd hosting of the Electronic Entertainment Expo and, as expected, hardware manufacturers and software developers from the video game industry have been showcasing new and upcoming products to the attendees. I am sure many people that would have liked to attend the Los Angeles Convention Center this week couldn’t make it so I will give you a sum ..

09.6.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 46


Regardless of what you think of Apple as a company, it is hard to argue one point. They know how to market. For the exposure and product recognition they have, they spend significantly less on advertising than their competitors or other major organisations. Their marketing spend last year was less than half of the Microsoft budget and only a third of the Samsung budget. Outside of technology companies, Coca-Cola is one of the big spenders with a budget three times that of Apple. Putting it a ..

02.6.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 45


I remember being a naïve eighteen-year-old and walking into a Sydney pub with some of my newly minted University friends. We had ended up in Redfern before Redfern was a trendy place to live and I couldn’t work out why there was a guy at a table with a VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) sitting in front of him. My much worldlier companion explained to me that this device was likely stolen and he was at the pub trying to sell it. I couldn’t believe that someone could be so brazen  ..

26.5.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 44


On 27 June 1973 the eighth movie was released in a franchise that was becoming increasingly popular with a total of 24 movies in the series now. This movie was the first to feature the actor that played the lead role for seven movies – more than any other individual actor. With the passing of Roger Moore this week, the most British of all the Bonds, I thought I would reflect on the technology used in Moore’s seven movies. I have always had an interest in Bond movies for the t ..

19.5.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 43


Earlier this year we saw the announcement that Amazon will launch in Australia with local warehousing. In the Internet connected world we live in, you can, of course, already buy a huge number of products from Amazon but there is then a delay from the time you order to when you receive the product. Local warehousing reduces that timeframe dramatically. Amazon Now, one of the many additional services, promises to deliver certain products, such as groceries, in under an hour! Good luck deliver ..