Column

NewsroomI write a weekly column for Newsroom about emerging technologies and their impact on society.

July 2018

17/7/18: NZ’s Mighty Ape takes on global gorilla; local online retailers are doing surprisingly well against global gorillas such as Amazon.
10/3/18: A cashless society in 10 years?; If we do go cashless, I argue that crypto will have to be involved – despite the current skepticism of central banks around the world.
3/7/18: The hidden dangers of facial recognition; There are real bias and privacy dangers that shouldn’t be ignored as facial analysis software becomes prevalent.

June 2018

26/6/18: A cow-whispering fitbit; I take a close-up look at New Zealand’s thriving agritech sector.
19/6/18: Kiwi tech’s big China hope; A look at the opportunities in China for New Zealand technology companies.
12/6/18: NZ game studios winning on world stage; Interactive gaming is one of NZ’s hottest startup segments and is attracting significant interest from overseas.
5/6/18: Tech firms must be transparent about AI; Transparency is almost nonexistent with Internet companies. Instead, the likes of Google and Facebook default to opacity.

May 2018

29/5/18: Blockchain vs Netflix; I look at one example of how blockchain could revolutionise the creative industries and remove a key intermediary.
22/5/18: How we help Google train its robots; What Google does with our personal data should give us cause for concern, after seeing its new Duplex AI in action.
15/5/18: Is NZ’s new Privacy Bill a match for the EU’s GDPR?; The EU isn’t the only territory addressing ever-increasing privacy concerns.
8/5/18: NZ firm aims to be Nielsen of streaming TV; Netflix and Amazon don’t release their streaming data, but this company has a special algorithm.
1/5/18: Why NZ needs a cyber security refresh; NZ should invest more in cyber security, to keep up with our Five Eyes partners.

April 2018

24/4/18: Spark must up its game for Rugby World Cup; Spark needs to develop a streaming app that is markedly better than previous kiwi attempts.
17/4/18: The case for a paid version of Facebook; What if Facebook embraced a paid version of its product and did more than simply remove the ads?
10/4/18: What’s missing in the IRD’s crypto guidance; uncertainty remains over how to tax the tools used by currency miners, traders and hoarders.

 

Stuff.co.nzFrom July 2017-April 2018, I wrote a weekly technology column at New Zealand’s largest news website Stuff.

April 2018

3/4/18: Why millennials are spurning Facebook and LinkedIn; Young people are turning off Facebook, in part because it’s the platform their parents use.

March 2018

26/3/18: 5G is speedy, but also risky; There are contentious issues that must be addressed before 5G is approved.
19/3/18: Flying taxis showcase New Zealand as a global tech incubator; Silicon Valley companies are using New Zealand as a test bed for innovation.
12/3/18: New Zealand struggles to regulate cryptocurrency; Regulators from around the world are struggling to manage the rise of cryptocurrencies.
5/3/18: Never mind the AI apocalypse, AI can be useful too; I check out an AI startup providing real business utility.

February 2018

26/2/18: How much privacy would you give up for a useful app?; Sometimes the price of a highly useful app is your privacy.
19/2/18: AI manipulation is on the rise; With today’s AI technology, it’s possible to create a believable imitation of you.
12/2/18: Building a blockchain version of Twitter; It’s possible to create a fully open and decentralised web platform using blockchain and the token business model.
5/2/18: Vagueware takes over the tech world; Includes such sparsely defined products as Microsoft’s Marcel AI, Magic Leap, KodakCoin & Long Blockchain Corp.

January 2018

29/1/18: Is Centrality really worth $110 million?; When I looked closely at this blockchain company’s ICO, I didn’t find much there.
22/1/18: CES highlights include smart toilet, VR gym & AI dog; The tech show saw developments in voice assistants, virtual reality, and health tracking.
15/1/18: The risks of cryptocurrency wallets; Storing your newly acquired cryptocurrency isn’t a straight forward process and is potentially insecure.
8/1/18: Five technology trends for 2018; Features: cryptocurrency, blockchain, social media, Augmented Reality, Virtual Assistants.

December 2017

18/11/17: How CryptoKitties became a blockchain sensation; Often a new technology doesn’t truly break through until someone makes a game of it.
11/12/17: Should you invest in cryptocurrency and ICOs?; Depending on your appetite for risk, it could be a worthy investment.
4/12/17: Spam is everywhere now; Spam has migrated to places where it’s more effective, such as phone calls and texts.

November 2017

27/11/17: How the streaming era is changing music; The music industry is enjoying a renaissance.
20/11/17: Curbing your social media addiction; Before you hit the nuclear button and quit social media, here are measures you can take.
13/11/17: AI assistants are the next computing revolution; Smartphones have dominated the last 10 years, but we’re on the cusp of the next big platform.
6/11/17: 23andMe and the problem with genetic testing; I check in on 23andMe, ten years after its launch.

October 2017

30/10/17: How New Zealand can thrive in the age of AI; Attracting talent to NZ is one way to make us a global leader in AI.
23/10/17: Twitter is an essential barometer of our times; For all its faults, Twitter gives oppressed people a voice.
16/10/17: How Twitter went from banal to brutal; How Twitter has changed over the last ten years, not always for the better.
9/10/17: Kiwis embrace blockchain, despite bitcoin bottleneck; There are promising blockchain projects under development in New Zealand.
2/10/17: Bitcoin bottleneck continues to frustrate kiwis; Bitcoin is rapidly appreciating in value, but ordinary New Zealanders are missing out.

September 2017

25/9/17: Gremlins in your gadgets; Cruft and bad design choices lead to glitches and bugs in your favourite Internet services.
18/9/17: Let’s tech this: Labour takes on National in ICT; There is a clear choice between National and Labour in ICT policy.
11/9/17: This election will decide our digital future; With the NZ election upcoming, I look at the tech policies of the main parties.
4/9/17: We’ve created an online dystopia; Filter bubbles, uncivil behaviour and online egoism contribute to the poor state of the Internet.

August 2017

28/8/17: Solving climate change with technology, not taxes; I outline three technological solutions to climate change.
21/8/17: What to do when AI takes your job; I ask whether we’re doing enough to prepare for the inevitable AI jobs purge.
14/8/17: The future of entertainment media; Why it won’t be long before internet programming is the primary form of entertainment media.
7/8/17: Social media likes won’t translate into votes; I look at whether social media makes a meaningful difference in politics.

July 2017

31/7/17: Get ready for the Apple AR revolution; I’m betting AR will lead to the biggest expansion of apps in the App Store since the iPad in 2010.
25/7/17: Sky’s streaming apps are a viewing nightmare; Cable tv apps and how global rugby rights might play out in the streaming era.

 

NewsroomFrom March-July 2017 I wrote a weekly column at Newsoom, a news website from New Zealand.

July 2017

10/7/17: Holding algorithms accountable; Algorithms are increasingly being used – sometimes unfairly – by the government and our employers.
3/7/17: Why smartwatches haven’t taken off; why smartwatches have failed to attract sales, and what Apple and others are doing about it.

June 2017

26/6/17: A boom time for blockchain; the technology behind bitcoin has a high upside for the global economy.
19/6/17: Bitcoin startups stalled by banks; business is booming for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, yet local banks aren’t interested.
12/6/17: Your brain: the next frontier for startups; Brain-computer interfaces aren’t science fiction anymore. Elon Musk and Facebook are building them now.
6/6/17: Life after Moore’s Law; 3D chips, Quantum Computing, maybe even moving on from silicon chips. Just some of the ways computers might evolve.

May 2017

29/5/17: Transport as a service: are we there yet?; Autonomous cars and car sharing, two tech trends that will converge as soon as 2020.
22/5/17: After Techweek, it’s not all kumbaya; my report from New Zealand’s second annual Techweek, and the first to go nationwide.
15/5/17: Virtual reality, actual problem; Virtual reality was supposed to revolutionise movies and transform our home entertainment systems, but so far Hollywood is unimpressed.
8/5/17: Smart cities encounter roadblocks; I speak with an ex-IBM Smart Cities exec and a passionate (but frustrated) tech advocate in the Christchurch rebuild.
1/5/17: Why our banks are friending FinTech startups; I check in with Kiwibank and its startup accelerator to find out where our FinTech revolution is.

April 2017

24/4/17: How the West can be won over by m-payments; why we are so reluctant to use Apple Pay and similar mobile payment apps.
18/4/17: 3D printing: More than parts and props; is 3D printing this generation’s BASIC computing? I found out from two 3D printing entrepreneurs.
10/4/17: NZ should invest in startups, not houses; I talk to Xero CEO Rod Drury about how to compete in an increasingly protectionist world.
3/4/17: NZ could miss out on gene-editing revolution; Featuring interviews with the Environmental Protection Authority’s chief scientist, and a conservation geneticist.

March 2017

27/3/17: Mixed reality set to soar while VR stays grounded; 2016 was supposed to be the year Virtual Reality made it big; instead, Mixed Reality burst onto the scene.
20/3/17: A dangerous new era in social engineering; examines how Facebook & Twitter are influencing political results. #trump #brexit
13/3/17: Why Google puts AI first; Google’s original motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” will be severely tested in the coming years.