Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

24.1.2020 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 182


Put your hand up if you would like information on your mobile phone to be secure. Photos of your kids that you have taken on your phone to be kept private. E-mails from work about new product launches to remain just with employees. Posting information on social media to be limited to you. That type of thing. I would be surprised if your hand is not currently in the air. There aren’t too many people who would be happy if everything they have on their phone – their bank account ..

17.1.2020 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 181


Henry Ellsworth, former Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, delivered his annual report to congress. In that report he stated: “The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.” The year? 1843. In the previous year, a record 490 patents had been approved. It is hard to say when human improvement will end but in 2019, 311,000 patents were approved by that same office. One of ..

10.1.2020 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 180


One of the traits I most admire about the human race is the ability to be creative and innovative in solving problems. Go back to circa 3500 B.C. when the Mesopotamians invented the wheel or the Egyptians invented the nail as a fastener then jump to 1439 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press or consider more modern inventions such as light bulbs and telephones and vaccines and…well, name your favourite invention or discovery. The list is extensive. It is obvious to a ..

03.1.2020 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 179


Data shows that 92 per cent of all resolutions made in the heady euphoria of 1 January are unsuccessful so I thought I may as well start the New Year by breaking my recurring resolution. Every year I tell my readers it is simply too hard to make one-year technology predictions so I promise that each year will be my last…yet here I am again making predictions that I know are going to make me look silly in 12 months. Ripping that band-aid right off… Electric vehicles: Gl ..

27.12.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 178


This Christmas, I promised myself, I definitely wouldn’t overindulge and then collapse in front of the TV and start pumping out zeds. But with a beautiful meal prepared and family gathered, the inevitable happened and before I knew it, I looked like Homer Simpson on the couch complete with dribble running from the corner of my mouth. In much the same way I promised myself this year that I wouldn’t do a ‘Year in Review’ column but the inexorable draw of the end of ..

20.12.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 177


As our family gathers together during the holidays, it is inevitable there will be a point in time when we start reminiscing about our lives together. We pull out funny stories from our past with maybe a little embellishment on each retelling. One chestnut that always features in our ruminating is the time when one of our teenage children snuck out to a party late at night. When my wife and myself were woken by our dog, a quick inspection of the house found no intruder, but a decision to ..

13.12.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 176


A friend of mine once told me that a phone call is a demand for a meeting without an appointment. Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with the attitude from a customer service perspective, I do understand the sentiment. Until 1876, our society existed on the basis of physical interactions or the laborious method of communication that seems non-existent today – letters. Once the telephone became entrenched in our society, communication became so much quicker. When we think of our ..

06.12.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 175


What would your answer be if I asked you for the most commonly used data service in the world? Just a subtle hint - I have used exactly 160 characters thus far. It was twenty-seven years ago that the first text message was sent. Now text messaging – or more accurately Short Message Service messaging – is the most popular data service in the world. With good reason. Text messages have an open rate of 98 per cent and a response rate of 45 per cent. By way of comparison, e-m ..

29.11.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 174


Most people see the name of my column, ‘Tech Talk’, and assume I talk about technology. Correct assumption. Where it starts to become more complicated is in the definition of technology. For most people the modern assumption of technology – in some part confirmed by the topics I discuss – would be that technology needs to have some component of electronics associated with it. Computers; mobile phones; electric cars; renewable power; the Internet; etc. These are all to ..

22.11.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 173


I had a trip down to Bega and Eden on the picturesque Sapphire Coast this week – and apart from a variety of beautiful views I came across an incredibly unusual sight. I saw a person taking photos…with a camera! Sure - people still do use cameras to take photos but I admit to being a little surprised when I see something other than a smartphone used for photography. And with good reason. Of the estimated one trillion photos taken across the wo ..