Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

22.1.2021 Technology goes down the toilet - Fairfax Tech Talk Column 234


Over the holidays I have been introducing my kids to some classic TV shows, including Gilligan’s Island. I still haven’t worked out why five passengers took so many bags of luggage on a ‘three hour tour’ and surely Thurston Howell III, with a net wealth of over US$2 billion (according to the Forbes Fictional Rich List), would not take his wife on a cheap tour on a small boat with three strangers. He would have just bought a boat! As for the three others, I don’t ..

15.1.2021 Technology has gone to the dogs - Fairfax Tech Talk Column 233


It is a familiar scene in our household. Early each morning our Maltese Poodle and Toy Poodle scratch at the front door to alert the humans in the house that they are ready to go outside. Very obligingly, a human slides out of bed and lets the two dogs out to play. With impeccably perfect timing, just as said human is back in bed and about to doze off again, the dogs decide that they have had enough of the outside world and alert their servants inside the house that they are now ready to ret ..

08.1.2021 The year that the EV revolutions starts - Tech Talk Column 232


This will be the year that…how many times do we hear a prediction that finally, after a few false starts or stalled attempts, the BIG change is about to happen. It might be about the performance of an individual in sport or in relation to an election result. Technology has a history of making overly ambitious promises and then working hard to deliver. It was 1878 when Thomas Edison promised to light up a square mile of Manhattan “any day now.” Edison’s team did manag ..

04.1.2021 Tech Talk Predictions for 2021


As a technology futurist, I perform my research and gather my data and use my experience to predict what medium and long-term trends we will see in the technology space. But somewhat like a Climate Change scientist can tell you the long-term effects of global warming, but can’t tell you if it is going to rain tomorrow, short term technology predictions are much harder. I am a sucker for punishment though. Each year I can’t help myself. I will make some estimations of how the tech ..

01.1.2021 Technology highlights from 2020 - Tech Talk Column 231


Throughout the year I have talked technology across the airwaves with over three hundred radio segments and written over fifty technology columns. What were my technology highlights from talking and writing about technology throughout the year? My overall highlight? Adaptability. The world as we knew it changed dramatically over a very short time frame. Technology had to be adapted to a new world. And, by association, people had to adapt. If ever we doubted the resilience and flexibility ..

25.12.2020 Wait...Let me Google that! Tech Talk Column 230


Significant dollars are spent on market research and statistical services across this nation. With over 14,000 people employed in the sector it is worth over $3 Billion (US$50 Billion worldwide). While I don’t propose that we should shut down this industry, we can gain a small insight into what is happening in every home and business across the nation by looking at one piece of information. Google search data. With the notable exception of the Census, most market research takes a sampl ..

18.12.2020 Technology Gifts anyone? Tech Talk Column 229


My kids have one major issue at Christmas time. You would think it would be a time of excitement and presents and family gatherings but the pressure on my kids to get a good present for their dad is immense. When you have an individual that has technology as their only passion then buying a tech gift would seem like the obvious solution. Unfortunately for my kids they know I already have the latest cool gadgets so it makes it a bit tough. I am not Robinson Crusoe though so I thought a Te ..

11.12.2020 Digital Vaccine Passport anyone? - Tech Talk Column 228


I was very excited this week. Back in the old days (pre-pandemic) I used to visit six different aged care facilities on a monthly basis and perform poetry and talk to the residents about technology. COVID-19 put a stop to that but with the easing of restrictions this week, I was allowed to start visiting residents again. The only requirement the facilities asked for was proof of my flu vaccination for this year. I had a few options. I could look through my paper records to try and f ..

04.12.2020 Pick-A-Ton Robotics - Tech Talk Column 227


Australia is a popular place to visit for backpackers of the world. For those of us that live here, that makes perfect sense. Australians are welcoming and generous and relaxed. Just as importantly, it is relatively easy for backpackers to secure some work, particularly as part of harvest crews on farms across the nation. At any given point in time, we typically see over 200,000 backpackers in our country. As with so many aspects of our society at the moment, this year is a little differ ..

27.11.2020 Diffusion of Electric Vehicles - Tech Talk Column 226


When we purchase products, we should be thankful for the Innovators. Everett Rogers released his Diffusion of Innovations book in 1962 but his hypothesis is still used today for the methodology of adoption of any new idea, in particular technology. Rogers postulated that only 2.5 per cent of society can be classified as Innovators in the sense of how new ideas are adopted. Innovators are willing to take risks, rely on scientific information, are very social and are willing to adopt te ..