Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

20.7.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 104


When I was growing up and I sat around and watched TV I used to complain to my Dad about the ads. Back when I was a boy growing up in regional Australia, we had two TV stations. The clumsily named CBN8/CWN6 station was the commercial station and we had ABC. ABC was good for the Test cricket so we had one station for everything else. My Dad took a different approach. He said I should watch the ads and be thankful that we had ads running because they allowed us to watch TV for free. Ads g ..

13.7.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 103


We had a frustrating incident this week. Our good business name was used by someone, somewhere in the world to try and fleece 45,000 people across the world of their hard-earned money. It is a common scenario that scamsters use – try and impersonate a reputable company and ask people for details or money. There are many examples we are seeing of this at the moment. I am sure most people have had a phone call from a ‘Telstra technician’ telling them they have a virus and the ..

06.7.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 102


It was the early eighties. The corner store at Boundary Road a few blocks from where I lived had Pinball machines – which I wasn’t very good at! We used to watch and marvel at the kids from other schools who were always winning free games with their incredible high scores. Then one day I walked in and there was a shiny new machine sitting in the corner. I had a few coins in my pocket from the fledgling screen printing business I had started. With some trepidation I walked ove ..

29.6.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 101


It was back in 2013 that ‘selfie’ was named the 2013 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. The first use of the term was credited to an Aussie who was describing a photograph he took of himself after falling over drunk after a twenty first birthday celebration. That photograph was taken in 2002 so it only took eleven years from its first recorded use to being such a part of everyday language that it was acknowledged as the word of the year. If being included in the Oxford Dict ..

22.6.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 100


As a true blue Aussie, I am very proud to be doing something today that our cricketers have struggled to do recently. Chalk up a century. Today marks a century of columns in my current series for Fairfax. For my one hundredth column, I thought of looking back at the changes we have seen over the last 99 columns. My first five columns discussed radiation from mobiles; international roaming; the changing face of TV; autonomous cars and Wi-Fi on planes. All items that are still relevant to ..

15.6.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 99


Buskers. School canteens. Tips. Coffees. These are the reasons people often give me to support the argument that we will never be a cashless society. I accept the fact that it may well be a long time before we are cashless but never is a very long time indeed. It reminds me of the arguments put forward many ears ago when offices started installing document scanners. The talk in technology circles was that we would be paperless within a few years. My logic was that we would not be paperle ..

08.6.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 98


State of Origin time again and what a fascinating contest in Melbourne on Wednesday night. Not fascinating because NSW actually won a game but fascinating for the technology inherent in the modern broadcast. Since 2014 we have seen the NFL (National Football League) in America use player tracking devices to deliver information to coaches and fans about every move a player is making on the field. The technology was first introduced into State of Origin broadcasts last year and it has evo ..

01.6.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 97


The alarm goes off. The hand reaches for the button to stop the noise before bounding out of bed to engage in some gaming before the reality of the real-world sets in. Breakfast, chores and the trip to school. Sounds like a typical morning for a teenage male in our modern computer focused world. Actually, the latest research shows this is more the typical morning for a female aged over 55. What? Surely all those movies showing stereotypical socially awkward overweight teenage boys i ..

25.5.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 96


It was way back in April 2009 that I had finished talking at a seminar in Copenhagen and was due to fly out to my next stop in Amsterdam but I took a slight detour. While at the conference I was told by a local about a fascinating piece of infrastructure called the Öresund Bridge. To demonstrate that people the world over are not terribly creative at naming things, this ‘bridge’ connects Sweden and Denmark across the Øresund strait. The reason I found it fascinating w ..

18.5.2018 Fairfax Tech Column 95


Despite the variety of NBN access methods I have previously written about in this column (FTTP; FTTN; FTTB; FTTC; FW; HFC…you get the picture) and the relative merits of the different technologies, all of these are significantly better than the runt of the NBN family. In fact, the last connection method is so poor I don’t believe it should even come under the umbrella of the NBN. I have met with three of our last four Federal Communications Ministers and implored them to leave t ..