Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

29.3.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 88


Eighteen years ago, our country introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that, despite a few minor complications with certain exemptions, is relatively simple. When a supplier sells a product, the supplier needs to add ten per cent to the cost of that product and remit that ten per cent collected to the Australian Government. Or to put it another way, one eleventh of the final sale price of all products is the tax that needs to be paid to the Government. Accountants were incredibly b ..

23.3.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 87


It is one of life’s great ironies. A person with a certain trait will unwittingly look for – or see – that trait in other people before any other trait. For example, take the situation when you don’t know where your phone is. Someone who is prone to stealing will immediately jump to the conclusion that your phone has been stolen. Someone who is forgetful will think that you have misplaced it. Someone who is clumsy will assume you have dropped and broken it. Someone wh ..

16.3.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 86


If you think about the biggest single sales day on the mobile phone calendar you might think about Christmas Eve or 30 June or maybe even the beginning of the school year. What about Valentine’s Day? All incorrect. Undoubtedly the biggest single sales day for the year is the first day of sales for the annual iPhone launch day which usually happens around the middle of September. Next on the calendar is the same day for Samsung – which this year happens to be today. The newest ..

09.3.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 85


The internal combustion engine has some history. Patents can be traced back as far as 1791 and various improvements were made through the 1800s. In 1826 a patent was issued for an engine that included a carburettor. In 1856 a 5HP engine replaced steam engines in Florence. In 1862 a patent was given for a four-stroke engine. In 1879 through to 1886, Karl Benz received several patents for engines and automobiles. A supercharger was patented in 1885. In 1893, a Rudolf Diesel received his patent ..

02.3.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 84


Breaking news. 4G is being rolled out on a barren sparse landscape to allow HD video to be uploaded. Sounds like a scenario that would make many people in regional Australia very happy. And as much as it would be fantastic to be reporting on that situation, this story is about something altogether different. This is about a 4G network on the Moon! Why you say? Why not is the resounding response. Berlin based PTScientists is set to achieve the first ever privately funded Moon landing  ..

23.2.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 83


With a little help from the McKinsey Global Institute, today I want to jump forward to the year 2025 and look at what technologies we know about today that I think will be having a larger impact on our world by 2025, a time when the world population is predicted to hit 8 Billion! Start with Mobile Internet. No big surprise here. As you walk down the streets we see lots of Millennials with their eyes glued to the screen. Already Mobile Internet has surpassed fixed line Internet usage (not ..

16.2.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 82


US Patent number 634,042 was issued in October 1899 for something called the pneumatic carpet renovator. Something like an early vacuum cleaner. It was shortly after this that the United States Commissioner of Patents was purported to say, “Everything that can be invented has been invented” and thus recommended the closure of the US Patents Office. This quote has since proven to be a apocryphal but it does raise an interesting question. At this time it would have been easy to ref ..

09.2.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 81


It was way back in 1989 that I had finished with the fun of living at a University College and moved into a flat with some friends. The first analogue cellular mobile phone call was made in Australia on 23 February 1987 so very few people actually had a mobile – and certainly not millennials struggling to pay the rent in Newtown. The four of us living in a flat had an old-fashioned landline (only one outlet) and when we made phone calls, we wrote down in a little book beside the phone  ..

02.2.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 80


I was out riding my bike early one morn with a small group of riders that ride together semi-regularly. It was a popular route amongst cyclists around the city with different groups using it most mornings. On this particular morning, there was a rider that I didn’t recognise but I assumed he was friends with someone else in the group. As the peloton rotated and we chatted away, we finally realised that everyone in the peloton thought the same thing – that the new rider was friend ..

26.1.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 79


Australia Day. A day of celebrations around the country as we mark the 230th anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson. Technology will be used extensively across the country as we take photos and videos and edit, post and share them to our family and friends via a variety of social media tools. We might settle down in the afternoon to watch the cricket from Adelaide Oval and then in the evening flick over to see Federer playing against the surprise packe ..