Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

22.9.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 61


The days don’t come much bigger than today in the tech world. A triple launch day with the two largest phone manufacturers in the world involved. At 8am today, Samsung launches the Note 8. After the massive failure of the Note 7 and the complete withdrawal of this phone from the market, make no mistake about it, this is significant for Samsung. One mistake can be dismissed as a simple mistake. Two mistakes points to systemic issues. The entire reputation of Samsung can be destroyed if  ..

15.9.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 60


In 1964 Arthur C. Clarke gave his predictions for the world today. He correctly surmised that we would have wireless global communications such that cities as business hubs would no longer be necessary. He predicted that people would no longer commute but instead they would communicate. “Men will only travel for pleasure,” he was quoted as saying. When you look further back, predictions 100 years ago suggested there would be flying taxis and people would travel to the moon ro ..

08.9.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 59


The technology world is typically known for changing at a fast pace and constantly innovating. When anyone learns that I am involved in the tech industry, they must assume that I am somehow related to Nostradamus – they all want to know what is the next big thing in technology or what is the future for some now product. All I can say with any certainty is that what is available today will seem incredibly inadequate when tomorrow comes – but today is the best technology we hav ..

01.9.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 58


I know you have been counting down the days to this Sunday. Quite easily the most important day of the year – Father’s Day. I realise you only have a couple of days left to make those all-important purchases but what Dad wouldn’t want to add some tech to his life. Here, complete with a declaration of a conflict of interest (hint to my children) is my complete Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide. Smartwatches have been gaining momentum in the market and there are more ..

25.8.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 57


Chester Gould was a true visionary. On 4 October 1931, the comic strip, Dick Tracy, made its debut. Tracy’s most recognisable icon, his wrist radio (and later his wrist TV) was introduced on 13 January 1946. Keep in mind that the transistor, so important for modern electronics, was not even invented in 1946. Radios of the day relied on large and power-hungry vacuum tubes so the idea of even a portable radio was completely foreign. Gould could see what the future might bring. Fast f ..

18.8.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 56


I am sure readers of my column are well aware of a range of recent electricity price increases with average increases as of 1 July around the 20 per cent mark. Average household users are currently paying around $400 more for their electricity this year than last year. In a recent CHOICE survey, electricity bills were ranked as the Australian consumer’s number one worry, with 81 per cent surveyed saying that this is the household cost that concerns them the most. We see finger poi ..

11.8.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 55


Devoted readers of my column (Hi Mum!) will remember that last week I wrote the first of two-parts where I spoke in detail about the current conflict we are seeing between NBN Co. and the telcos in relation to the perceived sub-standard performance of some components of the NBN roll out. I discussed in detail Fibre to the Premise (FTTP); Fixed Wireless (FW) and the poor cousin of both of these, Fibre to the Node (FTTN). FTTP and FTTN both involve physical cabling to an individual buildin ..

04.8.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 54


We have seen a huge amount of discussion and some commentary back and forth between NBN and various telcos with accusations of corner cutting and over-charging. As with many debates, there is probably a little bit of truth in all of it but I think the real issue that is being lost along the way here is the technology used to deliver the NBN. With most of the arguments centred around promised speeds versus real-world speeds, the delivery methods have a major bearing on what people experience. ..

28.7.2017 Fairfax Tech Column 53


This whole connected world thing seems to be working out quite well – with apologies to the people who can’t yet take full advantage of the connected world. One of the points I made many years ago when I was fervently arguing for all things NBN for Dubbo was that I had some ideas on how we would use the NBN when it was only talk but once it became reality I was convinced that new, exciting and fun things would be dreamt up by some of the innovative and clever people this world po ..

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 ..