Healthtech

Meet Edna: the chatbot that helps patients make a difficult medical decision

- January 4, 2021 4 MIN READ

Allow us to introduce Edna — Australia’s first “genomics chatbot”. The opening dialogue of Edna the chatbot. Edna (short for “electronic-DNA”) helps patients make informed decisions about seeking “additional findings” testing. Additional findings testing looks for variants in patients’ genes that aren’t relevant to their current health, but may be later on. For example, it… Read more »

Cyber security

Turns out many cybercriminals are just poorly paid workers stuck in a dead-end job

- December 7, 2020 4 MIN READ

New research is questioning the popular notion that cybercriminals can make millions of dollars from the comfort of home — and without much effort. Our paper, published in the journal Trends in Organised Crime, suggests offenders who illegally sell cybercrime tools to other groups aren’t promised automatic success. Indeed, the “crimeware-as-a-service” market is a highly… Read more »

Global tech

Rents fell and property supply increased during Covid-19 as investors cut back on their Airbnb listings

- December 2, 2020 4 MIN READ

COVID-related travel restrictions and the sudden drop in tourism provided an ideal natural experiment to examine the impact of shifts in the supply of short-term rental accommodation. Our research, released today, found even modest reductions in Airbnb listings, as owners switched to longer-term rentals, increased supply of these properties. The result was lower local rents.… Read more »

News & Analysis

Why taxing electric vehicles is an important next step in government policy

- November 30, 2020 4 MIN READ

The South Australian and Victorian governments have announced, and New South Wales is considering, road user charges on electric vehicles. This policy has drawn scorn from environmental advocates and motor vehicle lobbyists who fear it will slow the uptake of less-polluting vehicles. But, from a longer-term transport policy perspective, a distance-based road user charge on… Read more »

Insights

How Australia can reap the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of the Internet of Things

- November 10, 2020 4 MIN READ

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already all around us. Online devices have become essential in industries from manufacturing and healthcare to agriculture and environmental management, not to mention our own homes. Digital consulting firm Ovum estimates that by 2022 Australian homes will host more than 47 million IoT devices, and the value of the… Read more »

Global tech

Is releasing the new iPhone 12 without a charger really a smart waste-reduction move, or clever cash grab by Apple?

- October 19, 2020 4 MIN READ

Apple has released its new smartphone, the iPhone 12, without an accompanying charger or earbuds. Users have harshly criticised the company for this move and will have to purchase these accessories separately, if needed. While some see it as cost-cutting, or a way for Apple to profit further by forcing customers to buy the products… Read more »

Global tech

Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo, has launched its autonomous taxi in the US

- October 15, 2020 3 MIN READ

The age of the driverless taxi has arrived – at least in parts of Phoenix, Arizona. Self-driving car company Waymo, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced its autonomous vehicles are now available to the general public (or at least paying customers). The service is only available in a limited area for now, both because… Read more »

News & Analysis

The 6 tech sectors the CSIRO thinks will drive Australia’s economic recovery

- October 5, 2020 3 MIN READ

Over the next few years, science and technology will have a vital role in supporting Australia’s economy as it strives to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. At Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, we’ve identified opportunities that can help businesses drive economic recovery. We examined how the pandemic has created or intensified opportunities for economic growth… Read more »

Global tech

That TikTok video: it’s time social media stepped up to collaborate on removing harmful content

- September 9, 2020 4 MIN READ

A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material. According to media reports, the video first showed up on Facebook in late August but has been re-uploaded and shared… Read more »

News & Analysis

The ‘roadmap’ to lifting lockdown restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria by December

- September 6, 2020 < 1 MIN READ

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Sunday announced steps to slowly ease COVID-19 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. There are four steps before Victoria totally opens up – a goal Andrews refers to as “COVID-normal”. Melburnians will have to wait a bit longer than regional Victorians before an… Read more »

News & Analysis

CHRISTMAS PRESENCE: Victoria aims to relax lockdown restrictions slowly with a festive season goal of stage 1

- September 6, 2020 4 MIN READ

The Victorian government today announced the eagerly anticipated roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown. It features several steps that reflect a much slower relaxing of restrictions than last time around. While the government has provided a provisional time frame for the various steps, it is data, not dates, that will determine when restrictions are actually eased.… Read more »

Global tech

PODCAST: Google and Facebook could cop a global digital tax in the fight against Australian laws on paying for news

- August 28, 2020 4 MIN READ

Have you used Google lately and been greeted by a yellow warning saying that the way Australians search on Google is under threat? To understand why these messages are appearing, Media Files interviewed former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Professor Allan Fels, and CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI),… Read more »

Opinion

What should happen to our digital life after we die?

- August 26, 2020 3 MIN READ

Throughout our lifetimes we consume, collate, curate, host and produce a staggering quantity of data – some by our own hand, some by others on our behalf, and some without our knowledge or consent. Collectively, our “digital footprints” represent who we are and who we were. Our digital legacies are immortal and can impact those… Read more »