Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

18.10.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 168


Not only does the world we live in change around us but our knowledge of that world also changes. It took until 1543 when Copernicus published his planetary model with the sun at the centre for people to start viewing the planets differently. JJ Thomson proposed a plum pudding model of the atom in 1904. As a physics student, I chuckled at the silly idea as we knew so much better that atoms consisted of protons, neutrons and electrons. A modern physics student would chuckle at that descriptio ..

11.10.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 167


Since 1768, a small group of people had a very prestigious job. They held a University degree – sometimes plural - and were regarded as the wisest in the land. Parents were filled with pride when they told their friends that one of their children had this particular job. As with so many careers that change over time, this role in this format has all but vanished, replaced by a technical solution that would have been nigh on impossible to predict in 1768. The last print edition ..

04.10.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 166


For the sake of the technical discussion, assume for a moment that I particularly dislike the CEO of a fictional company, Blue Widgets Galore (BWG), and also assume I have a very nasty vindictive streak (this is hypothetical remember!). If I have some time and a little money on my hands, I could quite easily type a letter purporting to be from the CEO. I could create a fake letterhead with all the correct details. On the outside of the envelope, I can print the ‘from’ address and ..

27.9.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 165


Do I need to remove the head? What about sunlight or a cross? No, sorry, that is for the Count. These need a different technique. No stake through the heart but definitely a shotgun aimed at the head. Bludgeoning of the cranium seems like hard work and risky but could also be effective. What? Whoops. When I was asked to write about killing zombies, I thought it was a strange topic for a tech article but started my research on Google Scholar (not a lot of peer-reviewed literature I admit).  ..

20.9.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 164


As I ride my e-scooter through Warsaw and past the bronze statue of Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, I start to wonder what he would make of one of our modern conveniences. As Alistair Crombie, the Australian science historian, once noted, Copernicus was “the supreme example of a man who revolutionised science by looking at the old facts in a new way.” Copernicus, born 546 years ago, is best remembered for the publication of his book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ..

13.9.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 163


What do the names Beam; Bird; Bolt; Circ; Dott; Jump; Lime; Poppi; Scoot; Skip and Trotti have in common? With less than seven years of history in this market, not many of these are household names…yet. This is despite the fact that some of these companies are worth over US$2 billion. One of the aspects of technology that I have always enjoyed is that one plus one often equals much more than two. Many products are developed with a specific purpose in mind and, in seemingly the bli ..

06.9.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 162


I was browsing my social media accounts earlier in the week. I saw a post from a friend and something didn’t seem quite right. People do put some crazy stuff on their social media accounts but this seemed particularly bizarre. In this case a friend of mine was boldly professing his love of the Manly Sea Eagles and claiming to be their number one fan. I am the only person I know that is brave enough to admit they support Manly. I contacted my friend – who had no idea what I was ta ..

30.8.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 161


2G, or not 2G: that is the question: Whether ‘tis worthier to the mind or to suffer through 5G. Unlike poor Hamlet, I have not lost my mind but there is a lot of confusion with the various levels of ‘G’ that are quoted by telecommunication providers, and to confuse us all further, Huawei has announced they are researching 6G! I thought it worthwhile to give a very brief overview of the various generations of mobile phone technology to better understand how 5G fits into  ..

23.8.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 160


I had the pleasure of being the MC at a tech conference recently. During one particular panel session, the discussion centred around the advantages of high-speed connectivity and what we are now doing differently because of this paradigm shift. Not surprisingly the issue of Climate Change was raised and everyone felt quite good about themselves with the tech sector making a positive contribution with such items as video conferencing to reduce the amount of travel needed, particularly air tra ..

16.8.2019 Fairfax Tech Talk Column 159


Paraphrasing the former US Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, we are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet. One of the greatest aspects of the launch of the iPhone on 29 June 2007 was that Apple was solving a problem that consumers across the world didn’t know existed. Here we are, only twelve years later, and smartphone market penetration sits at  ..