Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

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  ..

05.4.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 140


One of my greatest disappointments in society is a syndrome I call LOMS. Look Over My Shoulder. Some people struggle with someone else, that they see when they look ‘over their shoulder’, gaining some perceived advantage or accessing something they want. It is an idea not limited to individuals. Businesses do it as well. Even large businesses. Very large businesses. Take Google (or its now parent company Alphabet Inc.). Current market capitalisation is $818 billion. For the l ..

29.3.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 139


Have you ever had that feeling of extreme excitement when you have some wonderful news to tell everyone – but it just doesn’t seem to register above zero on the excitement scale for anyone else? I suspect that Samsung are feeling that way right now. In my Tech Column 124 I wrote in detail about the limits of the human eye related to resolutions of TV screens. The summarised conclusion was that a 4K TV at 75” in size would require a human at closer than two metres t ..

15.3.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 138


How are those Russian election conspiracy theories going? First, in the middle of a NSW State election, the Electoral Commission computers go down which almost brought pre-polling to a shuddering halt. This computer network has some additional complexity due to the nature of building a huge network across the State for a short period once every couple of years but they know about the next election years in advance so there is really little excuse for not having it working and tested and read ..

08.3.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 137


The most exciting technological aspect of the 2007 election was the promise of a ‘super fast’ national broadband network (NBN). The initial proposal was to see 98 per cent of Australian households connected to the new technology. Over the last twelve years a lot has happened. One significant change in government saw a disappointing change in direction for the NBN with a hybrid model that was designed to save money. While we can argue the merits of this change, the latest repo ..

01.3.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 136


When I first started selling mobiles phones in 1990, there was no doubt about the number one brand. Motorola. If you wanted to sell mobiles but didn’t stock Motorola, then you weren’t serious. Motorola had a proud heritage in mobiles with the first ever mobile call made from a Motorola phone back in 1973 and the terms ‘brick phone’ and ‘bag phone’ referred specifically to two Motorola models. But the problem with being the incumbent leader is that market l ..

22.2.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 135


Back in my days of running my Managed Service IT business where we managed hundreds of computer networks for clients across the nation, I used to tell a story of the importance of holistic security. We would setup servers and routers behind firewalls and keep the systems updated and patched and as secure as possible within the budget of the client. All of this was to protect client networks from attacks via the Internet or internally or with spoofed Wi-Fi. But then I read about an incid ..

15.2.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 134


In my youth growing up in Dubbo, one of my favourite pursuits was motocross racing at Morris Park – and other venues around the State. I remember one particular rider who was an exceptional racer. The story around the track was that he honed his skills during the week doing his day job. He was a postie. He had his faithful Honda CT90 that he would ride up gutters and weave in and out of trees and the occasional traffic. At the time I thought it sounded like a great job. Ride a motorbik ..