The claim that ridesharing is no safer than hitchhiking is not supported by empirical data. Much of the data used by critics of Uber rely on anecdotal data and media reports to support their view ridesharing puts passengers at personal risk.
This whole business model is now under challenge; for newspapers, TV channels and for pay TV. The share prices of media companies are in decline, and in the US in sharp decline.
Last week the Senate Standing Committee on Economics handed down a detailed report following its inquiry into Australia’s emerging digital or crypto-currency sector. The release was hailed as a “watershed” moment for this financial technology — here’s why it matters, in five succinct points.
The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.
Over the past decade, stereotypes that video games were a popular medium intended only for youths have been eroded. It is clear that video games are also a popular medium for adults.
Ensuring access to both physical and digital methods of building block construction where children can move freely from one to another is crucial for their development in the early years.
It is a quarter-century since Australia first connected to the internet, but this technological breakthrough had a long gestation. What is now a global phenomenon was once the property of an exclusive community.
What place do e-readers – and in particular ebooks – hold in the reading behaviour of Australia’s 10 million public library borrowers? There are some 181 million items loaned every year by the nation’s 1,500 public libraries, branches, mobile libraries and other service points but, according to the latest survey-based report from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), for the majority of these libraries, ebook loans represent less than 1% of the total.
Yellow Pages directories have been appearing on doorsteps across Australia in recent weeks. As often as not, they go straight into the recycling bin. In the world of the internet and e-commerce, the very notion of a book the size of two bricks being the source of valuable purchasing information seems plain silly.
AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, the Conversation is asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia now and in the future. Written by luminaries and accompanied by two expert commentaries to ensure a broader perspective, these articles run fortnightly and focus on each of the major scientific areas. This instalment takes a look at ICT’s role.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited a P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early Career High) school in New York last week, hinting it’s a model of education we should consider implementing in Australia. The school, partly funded by IBM and training students to suit the company’s needs, is different to anything we have in Australia. While the P-TECH model would be feasible here, the model risks confusing economic needs with educational ones.
The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have altered the way we think about accountability, transparency and the rule of law with regard to both the activities of security agencies and the value of privacy, according to a detailed report released this week. But this change in thinking has not led to practical reform, according to the report.
Who would run a former government-owned monopoly these days? In the last week, Australia Post’s Ahmed Fahour announced 900 administration jobs were to go from its Melbourne operations, while last week Telstra’s David Thodey recounted discussions from his recent trip to the US, where he was told his “business model is dead”.
Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.
One of the most frustrating and, I think, silliest things I found when working in Australian government agencies was how almost every department, agency and statutory body developed almost all of its own policies, procedures, software and tools.
As the saying goes, when you are in a hole, stop digging. The NBN is looking like a large pit, and at present, everyone is digging in deeper.
In Australia, the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, Parkville Knowledge Precinct in Melbourne, and Kelvin Grove Urban Village in Brisbane are certainly emerging urban knowledge precincts.
I expect more from the biggest screen in my house and, once again, traditional mass media have failed to deliver.
Over the past month, the evidence has become overwhelming that the ABC is actively censoring coverage of the National Broadband Network issue in a way that runs counter to the public interest. The broadcaster must now face the issue squarely and deal with it head-on, or run the risk of losing credibility with its highly informed and vocal audience.
Our productivity problem is a like an epidemic. It affects many businesses and threatens the prosperity of future Australians yet it is poorly understood and goes largely unnoticed, especially in a service economy. If a problem of this size and scale were to affect people’s health, money would be raised for further research to isolate the causes and cures for the malady.
In a global economy it is logical that companies would want to structure their business to take advantage of beneficial rules in different countries. And equally each country will want a competitive corporate tax system to attract and retain economic activity. However, the policies of one country should not undermine the policies of another or cause them economic harm. Organisations such as the G20, EU and OECD must enable cooperation to make sure that countries are in agreement with each other’s policies and to pressure those countries whose policies are disadvantaging their neighbours.
Those opposed to the Coalition's rival broadband policy must not step over the line into offensiveness in their pursuit of NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow over past failures at US utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The better path of valor would be to treat Morrow with the same level of respect and dignity that his predecessor Mike Quigley deserved, but never got.
In a surprising move, a US District Court has charged five members of the Chinese military with hacking six US companies to obtain commercial secrets over the last eight years. The move has been denounced by the Chinese government and the US Ambassador has been called to Beijing as a result.
A better understanding of the realities of entrepreneurial life in Australia will lead to better informed industry policy, and perhaps increased support for an ecosystem that is a key driver of future growth and development for Australia.
The remarkable wave of technological innovation emanating from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is forcing Australians to redefine their fundamental concept of what a bank is, and reimagine what their basic relationship to such an institution should be.
Visions of a cashless society started being portrayed from the 1950’s along with other aspects of a future waiting to be transformed by technology. That future has not yet arrived but it is now possible to exist without using cash on a daily basis. In fact, in a survey released this week, 25% of Australians claim not to use cash in a given month. In the US, 50% of Americans carry less than $20 in cash at any time.
Cutting off the Games Fund demonstrates that the Liberal government has no interest in supporting an existing vibrant and maturing creative industry. Attacking the younger and lower classes of the nation by gutting a wide range of social services demonstrates that the Liberal government has no interest in the creative and cultural future of the nation.
NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow now faces some difficult decisions in deciding how best to allocate resources to meet the objective of providing high-speed broadband across Australia. Since the Coalition’s election in September last year the NBN has been subject to a number of reviews and a wholesale clean out of management. With many reviews, such as the cost-benefit analysis, yet to report, the strategic direction for NBN Co is uncertain making it difficult to comment on future developments with accuracy.
What does it take to deliver on a digital transformation agenda that the National Commission of Audit has explicitly described as “not business as usual”? As we transition from a 60 to 100 year old operating model of government, a fundamental re-imagining of what is meant by “public service” is needed.
The shortage of computing experts in Australian schools has serious implications for our future as a player in the knowledge economy.
The recently released Commission of Audit report recommends that the Australian government needs to become “digital by default”. The continued shift to digital service delivery is intended to reduce costs, improve quality of service and provide greater transparency. But it will also open up new vulnerabilities to cyber attacks that could be used to access secure and confidential data, compromise the integrity of trusted authorities and disrupt critical services.
In the last fortnight, senior executives from cinema operators in Australia, including Village Roadshow and Palace Cinemas, have come out defending their decision to raise movie ticket prices. But do their arguments hold water?
The lack of hard, unbiased research driving this debate on piracy, as well as the privileged access to the Attorney General that entertainment industry lobbyists seem to have, does not bode well for robust, evidence-based policy being adopted in the near future.
The moment we tie short-term political, economic or social goals to science is the moment we ensure we’ll slow down finding those momentous future breakthroughs that science has brought us. It is a paradox, but one that the government needs to understand before cutting big budgets out of long-term fundamental research programs at the CSIRO.
In a move certain to raise the ire of users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system the software giant has announced that next month it will cease support for Windows 8.1. But that operating system is barely eight months old and already an upgraded version of the Windows 8 system that failed to impress many users since its release in 2012.
Opening a venture capital branch seems to be the new “thing” in the corporate world. While Telstra and Westpac are the new big national players, Google is clearly ahead of the curve, with two distinct venture capital firms: the newly launched Google Capital and the five-year-old Google Ventures. But why are so many companies, across a range of sectors, now running to open their own venture capital funds?
The latest review of Australia’s energy-saving appliance scheme has delivered a rare trifecta: a good news story for the economy, the community and the environment. According to my estimates from data in the Department of Industry review, the value of energy saved in Australia last year alone was around A$3.2 billion. Of this, some A$2.7 billion was saved by households.
The local debate over AT&T's plans to deploy gigabit fibre to 100 US cities starkly demonstrates that neither giant telcos nor the politicians regulating them can be trusted to give Australians 100 percent of the truth about how next-generation broadband infrastructure rollouts are being or should be deployed.
The computers for schools program, which involved federal funding for the supply of laptops to high school students, is set to end in June. The program was a central piece of the former government’s “digital revolution” but is being discontinued by the current government. The end of the program is already having consequences for schools and for families.
Virtual currency Bitcoin is not a subject that ever draws neutral reactions. Against those who see the radical possibilities of a frictionless payment system designed for the internet, there is a growing resistance to the currencies that threaten existing business models and the perceived traceability of our current currency systems.
Last week the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that data retention regulations, as they currently stand, are not in accordance with EU law and the European Parliament voted in favour of introducing net neutrality into EU telecoms regulation the week before. As Australia is currently in the midst of a data retention inquiry – the second in three years – what effects will this ruling have on the debate?
The argument by pay television giant Foxtel that the launch of its new Play IPTV streaming video service will cause Australians' objections about the lack of legitimate access to popular shows such as Game of Thrones to "vanish" is nothing short of ridiculous and strongly indicates that the company still has no idea why the nation is so frustrated with it.
Yesterday the National Broadband Network Company revealed it had made its long-time and respected chief technology officer Gary McLaren and several other senior executives redundant. This email was sent by McLaren to staff at NBN Co.
Australia's National Broadband Network project is now in uncharted territory. Beyond a joke, beyond a politicised mess, and even beyond farce, the incredibly inconsistent handling of the project by Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has led it far outside the bounds of rational discourse or intelligent consideration.
This article by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull first appeared on Delimiter in October 2010, shortly after Turnbull was appointed Shadow Communications Minister. Delimiter re-prints this article today for the edification of readers, in light of the news that Turnbull has approved NBN Co to go ahead with the controversial ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ option for its broadband rollout, despite the fact that the cost/benefit analysis being conducted into the project will not be completed until the middle of 2014.
If the Financial System Inquiry is to achieve its aim of helping to promote growth and productivity in the Australian economy it will need to focus strongly on electronic payments.
Australia is in a prime position to address the challenges and develop world-leading applications for ubiquitous wireless connectivity. The pedigree of our wireless laboratories and researchers in all parts of the country is second to none.
The demand this week by academic Michael de Percy for Australia's politicians to cease their chaotic struggle over the nation's telecommunications sector and let it get on with its own business shouldn't be seen as controversial. The best regulation in any sector takes a 'light touch' approach and this troubled industry is no exception to that rule.
The exit of Michael Malone from the company he founded 20 years ago has re-opened long-running speculation that top-tier broadband player iiNet could be acquired, and it's a valid idea. But the telco most suited to buying the powerhouse from Perth is not hostile rival TPG; it's ailing mobile telco Vodafone, which still has plenty of cash up its sleeves.
A long-term industry has been shackled to three-year political terms for far too long. The only way to unshackle NBN from politics is to get government out of the marketplace where it exists. Of course, the legacy of sunk costs will make this difficult. But by the time we stop bickering about the latest lot of reports, it will be time to deal with the next communications technology problem.
"Destructive forces" at work in a "highly polarised political environment" are starting to "unravel" Labor's National Broadband Network project, veteran analyst Paul Budde said yesterday, with the new Coalition Government having boxed itself into a corner on the issue and end users set to suffer from a nightmarish situation akin to a "Pandora's Box" of problems.
What have we learnt from the past decade of "government online"? And what could we learn from the giants of the web? This is an examination of how an understanding of complex systems, risk and common patterns can be applied in an economy-wide effort of breakthrough innovation to drive the digital transformation of government service delivery over the next decade.
The new Coalition Government appears dead set on drastically winding back, modifying, selling off or otherwise destroying Labor's comprehensive National Broadband Network vision. But the party which started the project in the first place appears to have already given up fighting this demolition job, with the exception of dogmatic former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
NBN Co, we hardly knew ye. Make no mistake: Tony Abbott's new Coalition Government does not want to own a national broadband monopoly. The process of selling NBN Co to the private sector has already begun, and will be accelerated over the next several years.
A brief review of the history of Australian safe harbour legislation and recent ISP-related case laws in the US shows the best way to provide legal certainty for online intermediaries would be to introduce “fair use” exceptions alone. More safe harbour rules aren’t needed at this stage.
Almost 13 years after its release in October 2001 to a world still in shock after the 9/11 terror attacks, the sun is finally setting on Microsoft’s Windows XP. The operating system has been the software in many home and work PCs but for die-hard users who continue to use XP, danger that way lies.
Will Australia join Russia, becoming the second nation to withdraw? Or will it simply delay membership - one year, two years or more? Perhaps we'll find out with a government announcement in the next month regarding its OGP commitment. Or perhaps all we can expect is ongoing silence.
In Australia, poking fun at our New Zealand cousins has become more than just a hobby over the years; these days it enjoys the status of a national sport. However, when it becomes to broadband, the situation has been turned on its head: New Zealand is doing everything right that we are doing wrong. Here's five ways the Kiwis are smarter than us in this critical area.
Apple, famous for its innovative products, is equally creative in its tax structure. From 2009 to 2012, it successfully sheltered US$44 billion from being taxed anywhere in the world, including sales generated in Australia.
Is the National Broadband Network sustainable? I do not mean this in a technical sense. While I am wary of the government using taxpayers' money to ‘pick winners’ in technology, there are many people better placed than I am to crystal ball gaze into the best technology for the internet. Rather is the NBN economically sustainable?
The ongoing stoush over how the Coalition's Broadband Network should be deployed in Tasmania shows Australia's broadband tangle at its worst: Construction contractors who don't deliver, overly optimistic promises and estimates, and politicians playing petty power games with a highly important national infrastructure project. No matter which way you look at it, it's a shocking mess.
The only way for Labor's all-fibre National Broadband Network to sensibly function was for it to be a legislated infrastructure monopoly. But the Coalition's watered-down, multi-technology alternative is a very different kettle of fish, and consumers will clearly benefit if rival telcos such as Telstra, Optus and TPG are allowed to overbuild portions of the network.
Australia finally has its first digital technology curriculum which is mandatory for all Australian children from Foundation, the name replacing kindergarten, to Year 8.
Everyone knows there’s a problem with copyright. Artists get paid very little for their work, and legitimate consumers aren’t getting a very fair deal either. Unfortunately, nobody agrees about how we should fix it.
Enterprise IT analyst firm Gartner has warned that large, monolithic and heavily customised in-house enterprise resource planning systems will be relegated to the status of "legacy ERP" over the next several years, as smaller, nimbler and often cloud computing-based alternatives eat the lunch of this old mainstay of the IT application portfolio.
So has Gov 2.0 become boring too fast in Australia? Shouldn't we see more conversation, more voices, more blogs, more tweets, more people packing out events seeking the latest information in what is one of the most rapidly changing environments in history - the internet?
Respected telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has called for a more constructive debate about Australia's future broadband needs, arguing that the current national conversation over the issue of the National Broadband Network is stuck using "yesterday's logic" as it fails to plan for the needs of a future only five to ten years away.
Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has penned an extensive blog post discussing the need for the Coalition's Broadband Network (CBN) to remain on a 'wholesale-only' basis, despite the fact that the network's architecture is set to radically change due to the 'Multi-Technology Mix' model proposed by NBN Co.
Government systems could be redesigned from the ground-up to make it easy to reorganise, merge and demerge departments, so that a person's email system can be rapidly and easily moved from one agency to another, or the HR information of two departments can be consolidated in a merger at low cost.
Respected telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has heavily criticised the Coalition's new preferred broadband deployment model, describing its "Multi-Technology Mix" approach as "a dog's breakfast" of different technologies, which could turn out to be a "logistical nightmare" to deliver in practice.
I am here today to formally apologise. I was wrong to have faith in Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition on this issue. You were all right. Turnbull does indeed appear to be attempting to "demolish" the NBN.
As Stephen Conroy interrogated the incoming NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski in last week’s Senate hearing into the network’s rollout, it became increasingly clear that politics is getting in the way of good policy.
The past decade or so of failed technology policy in Australia sharply demonstrates the need for an independent think tank that would focus on developing viable, sustainable and popular technology policy and feeding it into the political process.
If the foreign music and movie industries are worried about piracy, they can decide to invest in improving their product’s security – like any other business does. It is neither fair nor right they should ask any other industry to pay what should rightly be their own expense.
For the Australian tech company market, the success of Freelancer would be a good thing and could possibly serve to boost the likelihood of other companies receiving investment. But because tech companies listing on the ASX are relatively uncommon, they are often treated as scarce events resulting in a general temptation to attach too much significance to a company that has yet to really prove it is worthy of the attention.
Australian consumers are embracing digital commerce, but Australian retailers are failing to build long-term relationships with their customers online, according to new research.
Unfortunately though in Australia we don't seem to have any comprehensive list of which governments and councils are creating and releasing open source materials. So e-government expert Craig Thomler has created a spreadsheet, which he'll add to over time, of open sourcing going on across the Australian public sector.
Australia wants to foster innovation in a digital economy, but our copyright laws discourage businesses from investing in new technologies and make it harder for individuals to access the knowledge upon which innovation is based. Yesterday’s US decision in the Google Books case shows why US copyright law is much more supportive of innovation than ours.
The uncomfortable reality is that no one really knows how to design or manage large, complex IT projects.
Tasmania’s assertive push to keep up deployment of optical fibre, and make it cost effective by using overhead rollout, makes a lot of sense. In urban areas, no other technology has a feasible lifetime beyond 2025, and many of the existing broadband technologies are already obsolete with no hope of evolution. It will work for the vast majority of urban areas.
In another episode of the ongoing rollercoaster of a story that is Bitcoin, about 4,100 of them have been stolen from an online bitcoin wallet site inputs.io. What makes this particular story more interesting is the fact that the person behind the site inputs.io is allegedly an 18 year old Australian going by the alias “TradeFortress” living in Hornsby, NSW.
IT contracts often obscure objectives through technological jargon, man hours and deadlines. If business objectives and outcomes were better stated in contracts there would be clear and obvious accountability. When there is a common understanding of success the more likely are successful outcomes.
Federal health minister Peter Dutton has commissioned a review of Labor’s troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) project. It’s unclear whether the review committee is to decide whether to scrap the project altogether or to try and fix it. Hopefully it is not the latter because if the past year has taught us anything, it is that this is not a fixable problem. It needs to go.
The loss of the West Australian ballots is a serious breach of electoral integrity, and one that must be thoroughly investigated to identify what went wrong. But amidst all the party-driven hysteria, it’s important to remember that no system is entirely fail-safe, and the risks posed by electronic or internet voting are potentially far more serious than this isolated incident.
Revelations about Australia’s alleged spy network in Asia and listening posts in our embassies across the Pacific might be diplomatically awkward. But it doesn’t mean intelligence agencies have “gone rogue”.
What we should really learn from the Huawei ban is that the biggest threat to Australia’s future development is not Chinese firms such as Huawei, but Australia’s own poverty in high-tech capability, and in understanding China.
If the Coalition orders NBN Co to pursue a heterogenuous National Broadband Network rollout which features different rollout styles from Fibre to the Premises, to the Node and to the Basement, the company will face a fundamentally new challenge: How to fairly set wholesale prices on technologies which are fundamentally different?
Freelancer, the online freelance and labour market site has issued its prospectus ahead of a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
Something that scares me enormously is the house of cards that many (if not most) governments have built with their IT systems.
Amidst the ramping up of the new Australian government, and with reviews of just about everything under the sun underway, we see yet more incorrect statements from incoming federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull in regards to the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Two documents released this week highlight divergent views among the community and politicians.
Earlier this year, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) put together a panel of aviation experts to look at whether personal electronic devices (PEDs) could be used on planes without compromising safety. The results are in: the committee is recommending that electronic devices – such as tablets, e-readers and other PEDs – be allowed during all phases of flight (including take-off and landing).
Military tactics and hardware can make policing more appealing to recruits and generate impressive media spectacles, but they do not prevent or solve crime. The underlying causes of social disorder go unaddressed while public funds are spent instead on expensive but ineffective and potentially dangerous toys.
My frank assessment is that we will probably see a lot more fibre being delivered than we were expecting under the new government. DSL technologies on copper will be exploited where these can deliver a better connection than existing arrangements, even if it means these customers wait longer for their inevitable fibre connection.
New South Wales' outgoing auditor-general has published a brief whitepaper outlining the major causes of project failure in the state government and what can be done to address the issue, specifically calling out IT projects as having a bad track record in the area.
The level of hysteria over the past 24 hours over Malcolm Turnbull's entirely predictable decision to refresh NBN Co's board has been laughably absurd, and starkly demonstrates the lack of understanding the media has about the National Broadband Network in general. Take a chill pill, people: The Coalition is not "trashing" the NBN or "setting it up to fail". The sky is not falling.
Up until this morning the telcos were only offering the pricing structures for the iPhone 5C. Why not the 5S? It turns out that they are playing a strategic game of cat-and-mouse with each other.
When state governments in Australia have changed ruling parties there’s often been a temporary hiatus in Government 2.0 and open data activity, if not a series of backsteps – however in almost every case the trend towards greater digitalisation, engagement and openness has resumes.
Malcolm Turnbull may believe that democracy has spoken; but now is the time for democracy to shout back.
The botched resurrection of Labor's mandatory Internet filtering policy late yesterday afternoon would appear to be more the work of one continually inept Liberal MP than a grand conspiracy by the Coalition to hoodwink the Australian public into generating a false mandate for Internet censorship.
The 20-year time to completion quoted by Tony Abbott seems to be some kind of rough estimate or guess, based on unclear assumptions. It is unlikely to be correct.
Understandably, new governments have an interest in putting their own stamp on policy, particularly in areas as critical to our future as research and innovation, but sometimes continuity and re-badging is preferable to scorched earth.
Research from the University of Melbourne shows that Australians still overwhelmingly support Labor's National Broadband Network project, despite the fact that the same research shows newspapers have been overwhelmingly negative about the project.
At a whopping two-thirds of the cost of the vastly-superior FTTP NBN, the Coalition’s NBN stacks up as waste of money.
If you can’t get a satisfactory mobile signal in Martin Place or Collins Street during peak hour, perhaps you should lobby the Sydney or Melbourne city councils, as well as your mobile phone provider.
With just over two weeks to go in the campaign, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party has experienced some unsettling events that suggest it may be unravelling.
Both major parties are trying to convince voters that their plan is better than their competitor’s. So, is it true that the Coalition’s broadband plan will cost more for regional households and businesses?
The next Atlassian could be started by a pair of Chinese students studying right now in Melbourne, or an Australian-born Vietnamese or Indian entrepreneur who can leverage transnational family connections and build a fast-growing company.
We’ve had #stopthenotes, #suppositories, and #sexappeal to keep us amused, but since the election campaign period began there has been very limited reporting in the mainstream media (MSM) of the electoral relevance of the digital rights issues faced by Australian citizens.
It's time to get away from the Fibre to the Premises/Fibre to the Node debate, writes Progressive Democratic Party director and IT consultant Michael Berry, and acknowledge that Australia's National Broadband Network should include elements of both.
In its arguments against the NBN, it would seem News Corp Australia’s campaign is less than wholly transparent in representing its own interests.
XKeyscore is an online surveillance tool run by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) that allows analysts to search contents of chats, emails and browsing histories without warrants. Australian experts respond in this article to the issue.
It’s official: Australia isn’t the “lucky country” in the IT sector. Consumers, government and industry down under are charged typically 50% more for software and hardware compared to their American counterparts. Why is this the case and, more importantly, what can affected customers do about it?
Bradley Manning’s conviction for espionage marks the closing stages in the US Army private’s personal battle. Yet for Julian Assange, founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks and Australian Senate candidate, Manning is but a casualty in a much grander mission.
The Federal Government has lived through half a dozen major ICT projects over the past decade. Customs had its Cargo Management Re-engineering overhaul, Immigration had Systems for People, Tax had the Change Program, and Defence is still wrangling with its desktop virtualisation and PMKeys undertakings. Now we can add one more to the list: The Department of Human Services' ambitious project to revamp the Child Support Agency's key ERP system, previously known as 'Cuba'.
The Coalition’s broadband policy offers a lower-cost network that will provide customers with modest improvements in broadband services in the shorter term; whereas the Coalition’s network will create a new digital divide and require major upgrades soon after it is completed. Labor promises a more future-proof solution that will cost more at the outset, but will stimulate broadband developments in government, business, and entertainment, and has potential to serve Australia beyond 2050.
So, what can we conclude from the latest developments? There are no real surprises. We know that lawful interception has been a highly valued (if at times shockingly misused) tool of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for decades. Perhaps the most important conclusion we can draw is that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies will not surrender such access easily.
We could question whether there are not better things within the health system that the nearly AUS$1 billion spent so far on PCEHR could have been spent on.
Yesterday it was widely reported that the Federal Government had 'shelved' its data retention plans, walking away from the controversial proposal to monitor all Australians' communications. But the reality is the complete opposite: Data retention is still being actively considered as a policy and will shortly return to plague Australia once again.
Fibre to the node isn't intrinsically a bad solution for Australia's broadband needs. But when you compare it to Labor's more visionary fibre to the premises plan, the differences between the two start to become starkly apparent. Australia deserves a whole lot better than what an incoming Coalition government will serve up to us.
Internet Protocol researcher Geoff Huston analyses the Federal Government's usage of Section 313 notices to block certain websites, with reference to the ongoing issue of how IPv4 addresses are being used on the Internet.
Cloud services break the cycle of agency investment in dedicated ICT solutions that are difficult or impossible to share. In contrast, each procurement of cloud services incrementally develops the capacity of the vendor to offer the same service to other agencies. A policy position of “cloud services first” is a strategic commitment by government to the development of the next generation of shared services.
News of the LivingSocial breach coincides with debate within the privacy and information technology communities about Commonwealth proposals for data-breach legislation.
The release of the Coalition's new National Broadband Network policy had a dramatic effect upon support for Labor's existing policy, analysis of polling data shows, with a large chunk of Coalition voters abandoning their previous long-term support for Labor's existing NBN policy in favour of the new Coalition alternative.
But leading with technology doesn’t mean throwing technology at the problem. You need to do something different with it. That’s the challenge for Woolworths.
The real winner out of the National Broadband Network process is Telstra, writes Gennadi Kazakevitch, Deputy Head, Department of Economics at Monash University.
The federal Coalition’s new A$30 billion plan for “fast, affordable” broadband is a quick-fix strategy, which is likely to cost more and be less reliable long-term, according to experts.
What could a man like Julian Assange achieve within the orthodox structures of parliament?
We know online piracy exists; we know governments want to stop it – but what are the options?
The NBN is emerging as one of the key issues in the lead-up to this year’s federal election. But the project has been fraught with challenges: planning issues and a shortage of skilled labour have delayed the rollout process.Today it was reported that NBN Co is now set to downgrade rollout targets by up to half of those initially forecast.
Most of Australia's younger generation of Internet-focused media consumers probably think Pay TV giant Foxtel is merely a blast from the past; a mouldering old dinosaur with no tricks left up its sleeve. But if revelations by the company last week are any indication, Foxtel 'gets' the Internet and has exactly the right moves planned to tackle it.
The time has come for the music industry to find common ground with consumers, not do business in spite of them.
You’ll have seen the fallout this week regarding a so-called “spearphishing” attack on the Reserve Bank of Australia in 2011. As with most media reports on cyber-attacks, this one appears to have been overhyped. So what really happened?
The case of Aaron Swartz highlights the need for a reconsideration of punitive and excessive intellectual property enforcement provisions in trade agreements.
If you believe what you read over the past week, you'd think that construction delays on the part of contractor Syntheo have significantly derailed the progress of the National Broadband Network. However, as is often the case with the NBN, the truth couldn't be more different. The fact is that network remains squarely on track to meet its June 2013 rollouts targets.
A treasure trove of previously confidential documents pertaining to the Government's data retention policy and released this week under Freedom of Information laws display an astonishing technical ineptitude on the part of the Attorney-General's Department with respect to the controversial project.
Online streaming of radio broadcasts may be a thing of the past after the Full Federal Court yesterday handed down a ruling that will result in radio stations paying higher royalties to the recording industry.
The potential break-up of troubled IT shared services agency CenITex and the opening of the door to government adoption of the new cloud computing paradigm are two of the most important themes written between the lines of the Victorian Government's major new ICT strategy released yesterday.
The High Court has ruled that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct when it published a number of advertisements created by its AdWords program. Does this mean that the advertisements themselves were not misleading and deceptive? No! Everyone agrees that they were. Rather, the decision clarifies the law for publishers, including those using the internet.
Australia's two most recent Attorneys-General distinguished themselves during their tenure by demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the dynamics of the modern Internet; seeking to monitor, control and contain it at all costs. Now they've both announced plans to quit politics. Will our next chief lawmaker do any better?
Free market thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs recently claimed Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network project was drawn up purely as a “media stunt” to drum up publicity for the Government. Unfortunately, this is a factually inaccurate statement, and here’s the evidence to prove it.
There are pros and cons of all forms of roll-outs. Network led geographic roll-outs may offer economies of scale but retailer led roll-outs may allow for more effective targeting of smart meters (for example, large users could get meters first). Whoever rolls out smart meters however, it is the consumer who will pay the costs. Consumers, therefore, should see some benefits.
It's taken four months, but Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally answered a series of key questions regarding his focus on using fibre to the node (FTTN) technology to roll out the NBN. But has the Member for Wentworth provided enough details to answer his critics? Read on to find out.
Estimates are that Google last year received about $1 billion in advertising revenue from Australia. Despite that, it paid little Australian income tax. John Passant looks at what could be done to rectify this situation.
It's finally happened. After years of expressing concern about the privacy risks, regulatory challenges and technical inadequacies of the new clutch of technologies broadly known as “cloud computing”, Australia's financial services sector has embraced the new paradigm wholesale. It's about time.
Don’t read technology blogs? Then a new innovation in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) may be passing you by. Perhaps, like me, such games have never been of much interest to you. Or perhaps they haven’t been able to hold your sustained attention. So why should you care now?
Since Federation, Australian consumers have suffered the indignity and the tragedy of price discrimination. From the time of imperial publishing networks, Australia has been suffered from cultural colonialism.
If you follow Australia’s banking technology scene closely, no doubt you’ve probably become quite confused over the past four or so years about the National Australia Bank’s core banking overhaul strategy and how precisely it is actually put together and progressing; and you wouldn’t be the only one. But if you delve a little under the surface it all becomes clear.
There is now serious evidence emerging that the arrival of high-speed LTE (4G) mobile networks coupled with the smartphone and tablet boom is creating serious problems for fibre to the home operators in some markets such as Japan.
The infrastructure being deployed as part of the National Broadband Network isn’t just for consumers; it will also be used extensively by businesses and non-profit organisations. But the business-focused NBN plans released so far don’t deliver on the network’s promise; being little more than more extensive versions of NBN consumer plans.
With half the worlds population now connected by mobile phone and even short periods of time disconnected from the global network leaving many with withdrawal symptoms, the next stage of human evolution is approaching fast and if you're having trouble keeping up, look to nature.
Like a blade out of the dark, this week ex-ACCC chief Graeme Samuel came from nowhere to drive a stake into the heart of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy, arguing that the FTTN technology it’s based on is “obsolete”. And just as viciously, Malcolm Turnbull fired back. But who is objectively on the side of truth in this storm in a teacup? As is so often in our flawed NBN debate, the answer is: ‘Nobody’.
As we move forward in this era of online transactions and social media, there’s a need for security and privacy legislation to keep pace. Most importantly, there’s a need for Australians to feel confident that their personal information is being kept safe by those we entrust it to.
Telstra’s aggressive moves to wind back competition in Australia’s mobile sector, coupled with the rapid decline of Vodafone and the stagnation of Optus, has re-opened a conversation about whether the telco should be forced to offer wholesale access to its Next G mobile network – including the new 4G components of it.
The big question is whether digital mail is a solution looking for a problem that hasn’t already been solved. Here, I am not convinced. The technology to achieve a digital mailbox using ordinary email with digital signatures and encryption has been around for a very long time.
Today, nine-or-so months after its launch in the US, the Lytro camera will be available to buy in Australia – bringing with it the ability to refocus pictures in incredible detail after the fact.
Taking a “cloud-first” policy has the potential to act as game changer to allow departments and agencies to break out of their current restrictive ICT procurement practices, technology analyst firm Ovum said this week, as discussion continues to swirl about how Australian governments are handling the new cloud computing paradigm.
Will the long tail of the internet be docked by the fastidious imposition of GST to online purchases?
Videogames are already here, are already culturally and politically active, and have been for quite some time. We no longer need to debate if they deserve a spot at the cultural dinner table. We just need to recognise they are already there.
This inquiry, and any proposals that stem from it, should be looked at very closely and any expansion of powers of the state put forward should be fought.
Online retail promises or threatens to greatly change how Australians buy and sell over the next few years. However it works out, I hope that Gerry Harvey is around a fair bit longer, saying things to provoke and amuse us.
New guidelines for the classification of videogames have been released by Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and, despite being a step in the right direction, the revisions are largely disappointing and a missed opportunity.
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” — Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone or computer you’ve probably seen advertisements and offers for 4G-compatible devices. You might even own a 4G-compatible device already. But just what is 4G? How does it compare to existing 3G networks? And what is the current availability of 4G networks in Australia?
A legal decision which forced Optus to shut down its time shifting service TV Now may eventually lead to reform of existing copyright law to cater for cloud technology.
Like history repeating, the Australian Government just keeps on coming up with disturbing new ways it wants to control and censor the Internet. Here's five ways the current controversial data retention proposal is similar to its predecessor in infamy: Senator Conroy's mandatory ISP-based Internet filter, which was shot down in flames in 2010.
Amid the resurgent popularity of zombies in recent years – think The Walking Dead, I Am Legend, Shaun of the Dead and so on – the 2011 publication of Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies showed we might be able to learn something useful from the lumbering horde. In short, Drezner poses the question: how would we deal with a zombie outbreak?
The local launch of a new Apple iPhone supporting 4G mobile speeds will spell disaster for ailing mobile carrier Vodafone -- the only major mobile telco in Australia not to have launched or even started constructing a 4G network to deliver improved speeds to customers.
The Coalition's rival National Broadband Network policy has copped a lot of flak over the past several weeks. Business Spectator commentator Alan Kohler described it as "madness" and analyst Paul Budde described the UK model it's based on as "unconvincing". But there's still a lot of reasons to like the policy -- and here's five.
New laws are not the answer. Rather, we need to look at education, technical mechanisms, licensing solutions and responsibility of ISPs and search engines to find a workable balance between the right to own and creative content and the ability of users (and intermediaries) to access and reuse such content.
Is Whirlpool or the Financial Review more accurate when it comes to reporting on the National Broadband Network? Two Canberra journalism professors analyse the situation.
Australians are constantly finding themselves in trouble overseas and turning to their government for assistance. But there is a limit to what Australia is legally required to do.
Liberal MP and former Optus executive Paul Fletcher's highly critical article about the new corporate plan released last week by the National Broadband Network Company contained a number of generally factually accurate but contextually misleading statements about the project, analysis has shown.
The National Broadband Network Company and the Federal Government should standardise on the "premises passed" statistic to measure the network's progress and stop using the confusing and amorphous "premises commenced or completed" measurement to provide concrete detail on how well it is progressing against its network rollout targets.
Last week the majority of Australia's media reported that the National Broadband Network Company's corporate plan showed it had blown its budget and was running late. But the truth is that the document actually paints a picture of a sensible and mature operation which is hitting almost all of its targets.
Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important NBN-related article by Coalition MP Paul Fletcher. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.
Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important NBN media release by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Finance Minister Penny Wong. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.
There appears to be an assumption within the broader intellectual property industries that members of Pirate Parties are just whiny brats who “want everything for free.” They consider us uneducated idiots who have not really given any thought into what we advocate. I find this odd.
Delimiter has published a curious response to a UK House of Lords report on broadband policy released this week. Strange days indeed. Perhaps Delimiter read a different report to everyone else.
Australians are paying about twice as much as they should for a range of tech products including computers, software and digital downloads. It’s time for the government to act to bring this shameful situation to an end, to stop foreign multinationals from ripping us off. But until then, people should take steps to lower the cost of buying tech products. How? Read on.
We are in a new phase online where the blind are leading the blind, trying to find a path towards a more secure and regulated internet that enshrines our right to privacy.
A consensus is developing amongst National Broadband Network commentators that Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to provide more evidence that Fibre to the Node is the best style of broadband infrastructure rollout for Australia's long-term telecommunications needs.
Bookshelves towering floor to ceiling filled with weighty tomes, or one book-sized device holding hundreds of “books” in electronic form: which one of these options for the voracious reader creates the least damaging environmental footprint?
Contrary to utopians such as Julian Assange, there is a place for secrecy in national security. But we need to be able to trust the spooks and police. Proposals that are vague, extraordinary and unsubstantiated do not induce trust. Neither does an Attorney-General who confuses kite-flying with an own goal.
Vodafone Australia is spending hundreds of millions of dollars re-building its troubled 3G mobile network, boosting its customer service levels and trying to win customers back with attractive marketing offers. But the sad truth is that all of its efforts appear to be having little impact on its dismal future.
Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important and lengthy policy statement by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.
Does the recent announcement by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of a new code of practice to prevent bill shock for “long-suffering telco customers”, and improve product marketing practices, bring Australia up to par with its international cousins? In a word: no.
Let’s hasten slowly in considering calls to free the state from administrative inconveniences such as warrants and rules of evidence.
The NBN is all about people; not about technology. It is about being able to train, inspire and educate students of whatever age to work together as never before. And it is about devising solutions to real challenges in an interdisciplinary way.
Last week Crikey leaked a confidential document which appeared to contain a large number of speaking tips for Coalition politicians to help them discuss policy areas in public, including with respect to the National Broadband Network. But to what extent is the document accurate when it comes to the NBN? Read on to find out.
Will cheaper ISPs provide a degraded level of service on the NBN compared to 'premium' ISPs, through the use of poorer contention ratios? We'll look at both sides of the issue in this follow-up article on the future of retail ISP competition under the NBN.
As it continues its mega-push into what it has described as "social enterprise" technologies, Salesforce.com risks losing its focus on its core CRM products, particularly as its software as a service model has failed to prove itself in several key markets in Australia.
In the critically acclaimed video game Dark Souls, there is a mysterious character known as Solaire of Astora who has developed something of a global cult following which may give us some insight into this human existence.
Yesterday Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey issued an extensive statement attempting to show that comments he had made about 4G mobile broadband having the potential to be "far superior" to the National Broadband Network's fibre had been taken out of context. Unfortunately, he only succeeded in digging himself a bigger hole.
When you think about competition on the National Broadband Network, you normally think about major telcos like Telstra, Optus and iiNet battling it out to win Australia's broadband spend. But the truth is that a large number of very small ISPs have already joined the NBN market and are also competing.
If Australians continue to buy 100Mbps NBN services at the current rate, it is likely that the real-world consumer cost of accessing the NBN will come down substantially over time, as the network will pay for its own construction much faster than the National Broadband Network Company had been anticipating.
We should think carefully about the inevitable alarmist claims regarding FYX and be wary about movie industry calls for new laws that protect their interests at the expense of Australian consumers.
The NBN will provide Australians with a raft of exciting new opportunities. For services providers, it will provide a much-needed chance to improve their customer relations and procedures. And who wouldn’t welcome that?
This morning the Sydney Morning Herald published a series of articles claiming that Australia's technology startup ecosystem is unable to support local entrepreneurs, causing them to increasingly head to the US in search of the financial backing they are unable to attract in Australia. The only problem is, the evidence doesn't support this assertion.
Australian ISPs, regulators and the Government need to take a step back and stop fooling themselves that future telecommunications competition will rest on ISPs' ability to provide bundled video content services to users. The reality is that ISPs aren't good at this task and customers don't want them to do it.
Worried that AFACT will start suing individual users, now that it has lost its High Court case against iiNet? You needn't be. The organisation itself has denied any such plans, and even the legal case to identify Australian Internet pirates is on shaky ground at the moment.
In what is being billed as iiNet versus Hollywood, the Australian internet service provider has come out an apparent winner after the High Court dismissed a copyright infringement case brought by industry movie studios. Nicolas Suzor, lecturer, Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology, explains the decision and what it means.
Calm down, everyone. The fact that the National Broadband Network is rolling out wireless broadband services in your area doesn't mean that your existing ADSL broadband service will be shut down. You won't be left in the lurch with inferior speeds and latency.
Has iiNet's ongoing series of acquisitions harmed or helped the development of market competition in Australia's telecommunications sector? It's a difficult and complex question -- and one which we will attempt to answer in this in-depth analysis of the situation.
Placing barriers to entry in the government space for the building of a network when Huawei operates extensively in the corporate sphere here in Australia seems more than a little political. It mirrors the overtly partisan nature of the debate in the United States, which is mired in assertion rather than evidence and procedures for determining investment occluded rather than transparent. A Coldplay indeed.
Up until last week, many Australians were probably unaware of Chinese telcommunications company Huawei. But the decision by the federal government to ban Huawei from any involvement in the National Broadband Network has shone the spotlight on the company and its remarkable rise to prominence.
The Queensland Police wardriving effort is certainly not the first of its kind. In fact, wardriving has been occurring since the inception of Wi-Fi in the 1990s.
It says an awful lot about the music industry that the key IT companies have dominated legal sales mechanisms in providing affordable digital systems and a decent market share. Spotify will continue to be an interesting experiment in an industry that is still not relaxed and comfortable about the new century.
The Australian Parliament should reject ACTA because of its impact on human rights – particularly taking into account health care, access to medicines, and development.
Huawei Australia’s local company men appear to have little idea of how China’s political economy, the Chinese telecommunications sector, or the Shenzhen-based parent company operates.
While it is impossible for outsiders such as Ovum to assess the merits of national security issues because there is too much we don’t know, it is clear that there has been a lack of consistency and transparency in the way that Huawei has been treated.
Australia cites security concerns as reason for stopping Chinese telecoms supplier from bidding for huge broadband contract
As I have argued for several years now – and Alexander Downer himself has stated in recent weeks – the argument that Huawei is some sort of quasi-intelligence gathering arm of the Beijing government is so ludicrous that it should scarcely be tolerated in serious company.
A key player in Australia’s negotiations to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) revealed itself last Monday and surprisingly it wasn’t News Ltd, the US Embassy in Canberra or even a reigning political party. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade emerged as ACTA’s cheerleader-in-chief in Australia, trumpeting the benefits of the treaty before a rare open federal parliamentary committee.
It’s perhaps understandable that the rightsholders and ISPs don’t want their personal arguments heard in public. But by not allowing the people whose habits they hope to change get involved, it leads away from greater cooperation and understanding and towards suspicion and isolation. Piracy reductions definitely won’t be found at the end of that road.
Popularity has its downside. Reports from around Australia over the past week have made it very clear that Telstra's flagship Next G network is often struggling to function at all in the CBDs of capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne during peak load times, leaving customers in the lurch without any access to wireless broadband.
Two and a half years ago, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced a significant delay to Labor's controversial mandatory Internet filter project, pending a review into the Refused Classification category of content which the filter was to block.The results of that review were published yesterday and contain very little guidance for the Minister. What will Conroy do now?
Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has this week made a number of misleading and factually inaccurate statements in a series of interviews and comments about the Government's National Broadband Network project, on topics ranging from the technology used in the project to its cost and retail broadband prices.
The battle for an R18+ classification for videogames in Australia has been something of an epic, but the journey’s not over yet. There are still plenty more rocks and potholes to navigate before we start seeing R18+ games in local stores.
Perhaps the most common complaint about the ongoing National Broadband Network debate is the extent to which it has become dominated by misleading political spin that may obscure the fundamental ideas being discussed. With this in mind, this article will attempt to fact-check a number of recent NBN-related statements from both sides of politics. Who's telling porkies? We'll find out.
Does the National Broadband Network Company really need to launch two expensive new satellites to provide remote Australia with broadband? Setting the politics aside, from a technical perspective, it appears the answer is a clear: "Yes".
While there are obviously plenty of opportunities to develop a sustainable video game industry in Australia, the key appears to be an ongoing dialogue between industry and policy advisors at a state level, and an association such as the GDAA.
One of Australia's largest but most secretive IT end user organisations has this week given industry observers a tantalising glimpse of its broad IT strategy, including staff restructuring across the board, back-office systems integrations and offshoring moves.
In this post, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull responds to the claim that broadband pricing will not increase under Labor's National Broadband Network plan.
The danger here is that regulators go with a business-friendly commercial fix, rather than regulation in the public interest. At the heart of capitalist property law is the right to exploit: just ask Optus.
In several radio interviews this week, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that the National Broadband Network project would cause consumer broadband prices to rise higher than those currently on the market. However, unfortunately this statement was factually incorrect.
Yesterday’s Federal Court ruling that Optus customers are able to view sporting matches minutes after they are streamed live without breaching copyright is a landmark decision that alters our understanding of copyright law, and has significant implications for the AFL’s broadcasting rights deal.
Yesterday Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stated in a high-profile speech at the National Press Club in Canberra that cutting Labor's National Broadband Network project would free up Federal Government money to be spent in other areas such as transport. It was a nice political soundbite. However, unfortunately, this statement was factually incorrect.
$46 billion in revenue. 64 percent quarter on quarter growth. 37 million iPhones shipped. Apple just stunned the world with some incredible financial growth over the last three months of 2011. But what do these results mean for Australia?
Over the past several weeks, several prominent newspaper commentators have published a number of factual inaccuracies with respect to the Federal Government's National Broadband Network project. With the aim of informing good public policy debate, it seems appropriate to try and correct the record.