Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

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 ..

20.11.2020 I can smell technology at work - Tech Talk Column 225


My daughter came to me this morning and asked if she could use the milk in the fridge on her porridge. “The expiry date was yesterday,” she said. “Is it safe to use?” I did as any caring parent who wanted to avoid an early morning trip to the supermarket would do, and answered with “they always build in a safety margin so it will be right to drink” hoping that I was correct and wasn’t about to subject my daughter to some horrible illness. The use ..

13.11.2020 What the QR code? Tech Talk Column 224


Back in 2015 I thought I was being very clever. Handing out a 90mm x 55mm card with my details on it seemed a little old-fashioned in a modern digital age…but many people still believed business cards were the single greatest marketing tool available. To try and modernise the concept, I printed a QR (Quick Response) code on the back of my cards (complete with part of our logo embedded). The idea was that I could hand my business card to any person with a smartphone and they could simp ..

06.11.2020 The health professional in the palm of your hand - Tech Talk Column 223


I try not to stand naked in front of strangers. Actually, I try and avoid doing it in front of friends as well! The problem is, that fear of being seen in the nude is impacting our health – particularly with men. Only 40 per cent of men over the age of 35 visit a doctor regularly and one of the primary reasons they state for not visiting a medical professional is embarrassment. Embarrassment about their body, about the state of their health and about the shape and size of various bits  ..

30.10.2020 Autonomous AI robots to make our drive smoother - Tech Talk Column 222


Do you remember the original Pixar/Disney Cars movie? It was launched back in 2006 and was somewhat successful. It grossed $462 million at the box office but also generated $10 billion in merchandise sales in the five years after its release – both figures which I contributed to! In one scene, Doc introduces us to Bessie, the “finest road paving machine ever built!” Bessie was towed behind Lightning McQueen to lay asphalt on a road. The idea that a piece of equipmen ..

23.10.2020 The amenity on the moon - Tech Talk 221


Amenity. The main driver for deciding where to live is that all-encompassing term ‘amenity’ which can really mean what you want it to mean. I looked at a population heat map in Australia from the turn of last century and the country was smattered with many small dots as people lived where they worked. Then two major disruptions occurred. Firstly, in 1908, Henry Ford had the first of fifteen million Model T Fords roll off the production line. Colonel Harley Tarrant assumed ..