• Security

    Water is a national security priority


    James Mortensen |  February 27, 2021


    It’s time for water management to receive scrutiny and oversight befitting our most pressing national security challenges. We need to catch the moment while the rain is falling, rather than face a hangover when our taps run dry.


  • Space

    Successful engine test brings Australian space launch capability a step closer


    Open Forum |  February 27, 2021


    An Australian research consortium has successfully tested a next generation propulsion system that could enable high-speed flight and space launch services. The team’s rotating detonation engine, or RDE, is a major technical achievement and an Australian first.


  • Politics and Policy

    Nurturing the deep roots of democracy


    Hilary Gopnik |  February 27, 2021


    The widely accepted story that democracy was a brilliant, even miraculous, invention of 5th-century BCE Athens, and that the West is the heir to that moment in time, has obscured the universal hard work that’s required to make democracy work well.


Latest Story

  • Uncategorised

    Something is rotten in the state of … news-reporting

    tamaraplakalo     |      January 17, 2008

     

    So, let’s see … in the last seven days the Australian share-market lost ground on each consecutive day with no recovery in sight … the Australian Embassy in Kabul was attacked by the Taliban in a guerrilla-style attack … one child has died from malnutrition while you were reading this sentence … someone, somwhere has made an amazing discovery … Yet, the “buzz-iest” news item in the Australian mediascape over the last week was the story of the Victorian party-boy Corey ‘I don’t take my sunglasses off indoors or outdoors’ Delaney, whose contribution to the newsworhiness-starved staple of the mainstream media has been … well, what exactly?

     

  • Swallows flying by: the small flock grows

    Malcolm Crompton     |      January 14, 2008

    And now Ernst & Young have released their swallow, after the earlier ones seen in Privacy gains attention over the Christmas New Year break. Does a swallow or two make a Spring?, then Another swallow flew by, but who was looking?

  • The curse of the rule maker. But there’s a lesson in it.

    Malcolm Crompton     |      January 13, 2008

    Stephen Wilson made an excellent point in his comment "Privacy movement deja vu" on my blog on "Another swallow flew by, but who was looking?"

  • Another swallow flew by, but who was looking ?

    Malcolm Crompton     |      January 12, 2008

    Since posting "Privacy gains attention over the Christmas New Year break. Does a swallow or two make a Spring?", there has been another swallow of sorts.

    But not everybody has been watching or maybe it is typical Spring weather.

  • Privacy gains attention over the Christmas New Year break. Does a swallow or two make a Spring?

    Malcolm Crompton     |      January 3, 2008

    We are in an interesting period of leadership change.  In Australia, we elected a new federal government at the end of 2007.  The UK has a new PM & the USA will have a new president by the end of 2008.

    Is the privacy debate changing too, reflecting a new mood?

  • Uncategorised

    Some things never change

    alison gordon     |      December 19, 2007

    In an odd way it’s comforting to know that despite the “effort” to break down the social and cultural stereotypes and unflattering tags that have attached themselves to various geographic areas of Sydney, at the end of the day many of them live on with vengeance.

  • Uncategorised

    A Modest Proposal

    Open Forum     |      December 18, 2007

    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." – P.J. O'Rourke

     

  • “Government 2.0” – is it Safe to Play for the citizen?

    Malcolm Crompton     |      December 14, 2007

    How can government make it 'Safe to Play' for citizens when they are offered wiki or blog or social networking styles of interaction with government?

  • Uncategorised

    The electronic grapevine and the great information noise

    tamaraplakalo     |      December 11, 2007

     

    Social media is changing the nature of information exchange, but it is information itself that is suffering an identity crisis.

     

    If Marshall McLuhan’s global village is to be understood as a toponym for a digitally connected world, then social media have to be seen as a cross between a village meeting point and its informal information (ie gossip) network. 

  • Uncategorised

    A mandate from “the Australian people”?

    editor     |      December 5, 2007

    Philip ArgyBy Philip Argy

    Without detracting from the new Government's victory, the media really does a poor job in reporting facts.  With a 5% to 6% swing from the Coalition to Labor, it means that 94% to 95% of voters voted exactly the same as they did in 2004.  Out of about 13.5 million voters, that means around 800,000 people changed their vote.  But of those, some were in electorates where a swing of that magnitude didn't change the result becuase the incumbent had a greater margin, and in others most of the swing was 'absorbed' by the margin, so that the no. of votes that actually determined the outcome of the election were probably less than 100,000 across the country, and perhaps even as few as 20,000.  Ultimately you have to wait for the results to be formally declared and then see by how many votes the ALP candidate won in the aggregate across the seats that changed hands to change the majority in the House of Reps.

    In an average electorate of 80,000 voters a 5% swing is 4,000 votes.  Very few seats were wrested with a margin of that magnitude, so at the end of the day, what are we to make of it all?  In Bennelong, for example, it has been suggested that there is a large enough Chinese community that if they all found appealing the idea of having a Prime Minister who could speak mandarin, and they voted for Labor as a consequence, that was enough to unseat the PM.  We may never know, but language like landslide and overwhelming mandate and suggestions that the Howard government was despised don't seem apt to me given the facts.

  • Uncategorised

    The changing focus of innovation

    proberts     |      December 4, 2007

    The focus of innovation changes, but how many of our businesses have moved on?

    It comes as a surprise the first time you are driving along in a new car and the dashboard lights come on by themselves, or the windscreen wipers start up, or the car helps you turn that tricky corner. But the greater level of intelligence of our cars shown in these autonomous systems is just the outward manifestation of the latest model of innovation.

     

    When the Model T ruled, the average car was a marvel of the era of mechanical engineering. Japanese cars first got traction when they offered the goodies of the electronics era in the form of the push button radio and two speed wipers.

     

    Today we take for granted the engineering and the electronics and are deep into the era where software is the key to the customer experience and value adding.

     

    Software accounts for a greater and greater proportion of value in today’s products. In a car it works with us when we apply the brakes, helps us maintain the right line and stay level when driving through a corner, and controls myriad systems from air conditioning to valve timing.

  • Losses of personal information, trust and privacy: This is going to change your life

    Malcolm Crompton     |      December 1, 2007

    We are watching a very rapid change in community attitudes on privacy.  One of the strongest contributors is the repeated and significant loss of control of personal information by private and public sector organisations around the world.