Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

30.9.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 10


Modern technology should be like a motor car. You get in the car, push the start button, and drive away. You don’t typically think about the processes involved with the storage of electricity and the coils of copper turning inside the stator – or for those with an old-fashioned ICE you don’t think about the injection of petrol and a spark plug lighting up the air/fuel mixture. I am not sure that IT has made it to this level yet. Many people are vaguely aware of some of ..

23.9.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 9


For those of us old enough to remember, cast your minds back to the eighties when we made our first visits to a video rental store to hire a VHS movie or even had the video store visit us in a mini-van. Being able to choose a movie rather than watch the limited selection on TV or visit an expensive cinema seemed like a revolution. Probably because it was a revolution. For the streaming services that we see in use today, the idea of an old-fashioned video cassette that would wear out and was  ..

16.9.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 8


Whilst the region is excited about the advent of super-fast broadband, it is interesting to note what is happening behind the scenes to ensure the experience is what we expect it to be. Whilst the sound of downloading at speeds of 100Mbps is very exciting to anyone who uses the Internet at all, the connection speeds able to be achieved rely on the rest of the Internet having the ability to deliver data at the required speeds. When organisations are investing in server farms and connectio ..

09.9.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 7


The rise and fall of technology can happen incredibly quickly. What was the latest tech or ‘must have’ device yesterday can quickly become a footnote in history today. The latest announcement by BlackBerry is a classic example of this process. BlackBerry took the world by storm back in the nineties. It was 18 September 1996 when the first two-way pager was introduced by Research in Motion (RIM). More importantly, on 19 January 1999 the world we live in was changed forever whe ..

02.9.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 6


Here we are, days after a Federal election, and we still don’t know the result. The Australian Electoral Commission says that it could be a month before a result is known. Some seats that have candidates winning by a large margin have been declared but other seats that are tight will continue to be counted until the last vote before the inevitable recount is requested. With the modern world of technology we live in, I can’t help but wonder why it has to be like this. Surely e ..

26.8.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 5


One of my great frustrations when travelling on commercial aircraft is the amount of drama that is seemingly created by the mobile phones and electronic equipment on-board. The situation hit the ridiculous level a couple of years ago when I was travelling home from the US. Fog at Sydney airport meant that the plane couldn’t land at Kingsford Smith and we were diverted to Brisbane. The plane landed and the captain announced that we would sit on the tarmac for approximately an hour after ..

19.8.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 4


Google recently hit the 2.4 million milestone. That is not a milestone in searches per second or revenue per hour but in how many kilometres their driverless cars have driven in fully autonomous mode. On 29 June 2011, Nevada was the first US State to pass a law to allow autonomous vehicles and now, with a total of nine areas in the US that allow these vehicles, Google’s 23 vehicles have clocked up 2.4 million kilometres in driverless mode. Google is not the first nor are they the only  ..

12.8.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 3


I am often asked for my opinion on the biggest changes we have seen in the world around us in relation to technology. One of the areas that people will look back and laugh at in technological history is in relation to television. In the mid to late eighties my favourite TV Show was MacGyver. It had a good mixture of science (which I was studying at the time) and a hero saving the world on a weekly basis. I would plan other activities around the time that the show aired so I didn’t ..

05.8.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 2


One of the more common first-world problems that I encounter in the world of technology is the issue of travelling internationally and using a mobile phone. Last year there were 9.2 million Australians who left our shores for a short stay overseas. With almost 1.4 active services per person in Australia, that gives close to 13 million devices that potentially travelled overseas. In the early days of mobile phones, international roaming was either limited or simply not available and there ..

29.7.2016 Fairfax Tech Column 1


I sold Dubbo’s first ever mobile phone on 26 July 1990 and, as you can imagine, phones have changed somewhat since then. Regardless of whether the phone was one of the handbag-style bag-phones or a car-phone or a super-sleek handheld phone (initially the size of a brick) there is one question that has endured through all the years. Does using a mobile phone cause cancer? The first mobile phone call in Australia was made on 9 August 1981 (with the 007 network) and the first hand ..