• Science and Technology

    What’s the big deal about digital identity?

    Fergus Hanson |  October 19, 2018

    New steps towards developing secure digital identities have a lot of potential to make our lives easier, but privacy and security concerns means it must be done right.

  • Environment

    The climate threat to cities past and present

    Open Forum |  October 19, 2018

    The fall of Angkor has long puzzled historians, archaeologists and scientists, but now a University of Sydney research team is one step closer to discovering what led to the city’s demise — and it comes with a warning for modern urban communities.

  • Society

    Sydney may leave the CBD model behind

    Open Forum |  October 19, 2018

    Sydney may soon undergo a transition from a monocentric city with sprawling suburbs radiating from one CBD, to a polycentric model – one marked by several sub-centres – according to a recent study led by a multidisciplinary team at the University of Sydney.

Latest Story

  • Women on the March

    Hani Montan     |      March 13, 2009

    There should always be an equal place for women in all aspects of social and economic life, because their participation is essential for the spiritual and economic prosperity of every civilised nation.

  • The Four C’s

    Danny.Almagor     |      March 12, 2009

    When international aid deploys innappropriate technology, there can be unwanted, or even disastrous consequences.

    No, this is not a guide to buying an engagement ring.

    When I read this article recounting the story of a premature baby dying in a bed amidst a ward crowded with empty incubators, I was appalled but couldn’t share in the journalist’s dismay. Sadly, I recognised it as yet another example of inappropriate technology being deployed to useless or even damaging effect. 

    Maybe the user manuals weren’t provided, or they were written in a language nobody at the hospital understood. Maybe the specialist heat generating light bulbs had all blown and couldn’t be replaced?

    At Engineers Without Borders (EWB) we talk about the Four C’s to Development; consciousness, concern, comprehension and challenge.

  • Individual Health Identifiers and Privacy

    StephenWilson     |      March 11, 2009

    What’s to be done to ward off healthcare identity theft?

    Last week, Australian Health Ministers met in Melbourne; a comminique has been released by the Department of Health and Ageing. A range of matters were discussed, including the planned Individual Health Identifier (IHI).  The communique says:

  • Building Resilient Cities

    Scott Ludlam     |      March 11, 2009

    Somewhere within the featureless expanse of brick and tile sprawl relentlessly consuming the Swan coastal plain, someone has taken the time to build a sustainable home.  

    "The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet" ~ William Gibson

    Take a drive an hour south through the rapidly expanding growth corridor fusing Perth to Mandurah, and you’ll fly past a road sign at once hopeful and heartbreaking.

    ‘Sustainable Mandurah Home’ it points cheerfully. Somewhere within the featureless expanse of brick and tile sprawl relentlessly consuming the Swan coastal plain, someone has taken the time to build a sustainable home.

    I have no issue with the house itself; it’s an intelligent blend of the state of the art and the bleeding obvious, it didn’t cost a fortune to build and it gives visitors a sense that energy and water-efficient homes are comfortable, practical and inexpensive to live in.

  • Where are the Exciting Careers in IT?

    David.Talamelli     |      March 10, 2009

    If you think recruitment is the problem, then it may be time to re-evaluate how you're interacting with recruiters.  

  • Women’s Day, blink and you miss it

    sally.rose     |      March 9, 2009

    If you think International Women's Day is an irrelevance, then you probably have the most cause for celebration.

    International Women's Day seems to have lost its nerve. It was Sunday, but you might have missed it.

    This year I didn't see a single woman out and about donning the green and purple and spied only the most cursory mention of it in the weekend papers, as an aside in a report of an alleged sexual assault; hardly inspiring stuff.

    Perhaps it is because younger women no longer feel the day is relevant to them or maybe it has just slipped so far off the radar of social consciousness that they aren't even aware of the day's significance. 

  • Corporate greed and bringing these disgraceful companies to their knees

    JohnC55     |      March 8, 2009

    The current financial crisis has been brought about by corporate greed and the insatiable quest these aloof corporate leaders have to service their already large egos.

    Their goal of corporate profits beyond the level of fair and appropriate, which then drives these gouls to sacking workers, or transferring our jobs offshore, are beyond belief and absolutely disgraceful.  What is more infuriating is that they then pat themselves on the back for a job well done and reward themselves with large, excessive pay rises.  Not through creating a sustainable and value adding company, but through the misery of the poor people who used to work for the company.

  • Should uninsured bushfire victims receive donated or government money to rebuild their homes?

    MikeM     |      March 5, 2009

    Is it fair for government or donated money to rebuild uninsured homes, given that it leaves little incentive for homeowners to insure their homes in future?

    Close to 2000 homes have been destroyed by the Victorian bushfires, and fires are still burning. It is suspected that while many of these homes were insured against fire, a large minority were not. Is it fair for government or donated money to rebuild uninsured homes, given that it leaves little incentive for homeowners to insure their homes in future? And when it comes to that, why is property insurance in Victoria so darned expensive anyway?

  • How old is old enough to … get pocket money ?

    Catherine Fritz-Kalish     |      March 5, 2009

    Does getting pocket money teach children the value of money and from what age can this lesson be taught with confidence that the message is getting through?

    My 6 year old son has a tuck shop at his school and now and then he asks me for money to buy a treat at lunch time. Once in a while I oblige. On the days that I don’t think it is necessary, he tells me that his friends all get pocket money and that they don’t have to ask their parents for money to buy things at the tuck shop, they just use their pocket money when they want for what they want.

    So, how old is old enough to get pocket money?

  • What is privacy really all about?

    StephenWilson     |      March 4, 2009

    You can expect national security advisers to have some disdain for privacy, but they cannot simply re-define it.

  • Open Source and SMEs

    Leo Silver     |      March 3, 2009

    A few years ago you did have to be a techy to run on Open Source, now it's relatively easy. SMEs should make the most of it.

  • When it comes to online safety – it’s not just kids who need education

    Julie Inman Grant     |      March 3, 2009

    There is a clear need for a program to help educate parents, teachers and carers on how to help children stay safe online.

    My last Open Forum blog was on the subject of cyberbullying and some of the surprising findings about the extent of the problem in Australia. A Microsoft-sponsored survey, performed by Galaxy Research, found that even though a quarter of children surveyed reported they had been cyberbullied, a startling 83% of parents did not know what to do in response to the problem.