Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

14.6.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 150


Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…my taxi! We haven’t noticed any people from Krypton flying around our skies but we are certainly closer to the world depicted in The Jetsons, the animated sitcom that originally aired in 1962. This cartoon was remarkably good at predicting the world of the future. We now communicate via video calls; we watch flat screen televisions; electronic sliding doors are commonplace; we have vending machines for f ..

07.6.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 149


iTunes is dead! Long live iTunes. Apple recently made the announcement that they are killing off iTunes. Oh no! What will happen to all my downloaded music? What about the songs I copied from CDs onto iTunes? My playlists!!! Firstly, we should look at the history of iTunes. Many people think that the iPod changed the way we listened to music forever. Well, that is only partly true. The iPod is just a nicely packaged MP3 player. The first iPod was released on 23 October 2001. It had a ..

31.5.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 148


On 9 April 2013, then Federal opposition leader and eventual Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, made a broad statement referencing the NBN. “[We] are absolutely confident that 25 megs is going to be enough, more than enough, for the average household.” Further, “Do we really want to invest $50 billion of hard earned taxpayers money in what is essentially a video entertainment system?” We know that our NBN is not keeping pace (early pun this week) with the rest of the wo ..

24.5.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 147


I have seen a total of approximately one minute of comedian Rick Mercer’s TV show and it was thirteen years ago – but that video clip has stuck with me since then. Wind the clock back to 2006. The world was yet to see the iPhone. 4G was still a couple of years away and some locations still didn’t have 3G. Users did not complain about slow download speeds though because the price of data was so incredibly high that you could go broke downloading a photo! And the king ..

17.5.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 146


I recently wrote a poem called ‘Tomorrow’s Smartphone User’ and it focused on the fact that a modern smartphone has so many wonderful features that it may be easy for a smartphone user of the future to forget that it is still capable of actually making voice phone calls. In the 18-29 age bracket, 52 per cent of smartphone users make a phone call less often than weekly. That same age bracket has average usage of over four hours per day. There is no doubt that younger generat ..

10.5.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 145


In my formative years, I learned that a true test of character is how someone behaves when no one is watching them. It would appear that lesson was not widely distributed because the latest data on dashcams is quite interesting. More on that in minute. As so often happens with technology, there was an appetite for dashcams well before the technology could support it. We first started seeing the concept of a dashcam during car races. The world famous Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Mount Panora ..

03.5.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 144


Well I have good news and bad news. In the lead-up to the 2007 Federal Election, we heard the vision to commence construction of a super-fast National Broadband Network (NBN) as Australia was lagging behind the rest of the world in Internet connectivity. The original plan was to have fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology for 98 per cent of Australian households. Finally some recognition that we need alternatives in this nation when we run out of metals and minerals to dig up. T ..

26.4.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 143


Now we tend to think of our big four banks as, well, big. CBA; Westpac; ANZ and the NAB sit at numbers one; three; five and six respectively on our ASX200 by market capitalisation. And then there is Apple. To give you some idea of size, their market capitalisation is currently 3.4 times the combined market cap of our big four banks combined. Or to put it another way, Apple alone is the equivalent size of the combined largest 56 companies on the Australian ASX200. OK – we ..

19.4.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 142


One of the greatest challenges for lawmakers across the world is keeping up with changes in technology. Nowhere in the job description of a tech innovator does it mention that they should hold back on new ideas until legislation can be put in place. In the highly competitive tech world, new features and devices are brought to market as quickly as possible. Then it is just a matter of waiting for the law to catch up. This isn’t a new scenario. When Karl Benz received his motorca ..

12.4.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 141


Time for me to do my best impression of Adam Savage. I want to bust a few myths today. There seems to be so much discussion around the technology associated with electric cars at the moment – and I struggle to find data and facts in amongst the spin. I feel well qualified to add some common-sense to this debate. Apart from my thirty years in the technology industry and having studied Science at the University of Sydney instilling a discipline of utilising research and data rather than  ..