Food and Drink

A professor of chemistry explains why ‘structured water’ is complete and utter BS

- August 5, 2022 4 MIN READ

Is there a “fourth phase of water”? From time to time you might see people talking up the health benefits of so-called hexagonal water, or structured water, or exclusion-zone (EZ) water. A few weeks ago Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh website was spruiking a US$2,500 “structured water filter”. Last weekend even Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald got in… Read more »

Other tech

Climate change, going digital and autonomous: the 7 megatrends CSIRO says are shaping the world

- July 28, 2022 4 MIN READ

Around 3.7 million Australians have been unintentionally caught in an ocean rip. For the unprepared it can be a harrowing experience – but for experienced surfers, rips are a handy way to ride through the whitewash and out to the break. We’re not surfers, but we work at Australia’s national science agency in “strategic foresight”,… Read more »

Global tech

Book publishers v the Internet Archive: why the world’s biggest online library is in a legal fight over digital lending

- July 21, 2022 4 MIN READ

Earlier this month, the Internet Archive asked a US court to end a lawsuit filed against it by four large book publishers. The Internet Archive is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1996 that lends digital copies of books, music, movies and other digitised content to the public. It aims to support people with print disabilities,… Read more »

Future of work

‘A weird dinging sound that everyone dreads’: the impact of the rapid delivery groceries boom on supermarket workers

- July 19, 2022 4 MIN READ

Online grocery shopping has boomed since the pandemic began in 2020, with Woolworths and Coles steadily expanding their home-delivery offerings. Rapid delivery is the latest frontier. Woolworths and Coles Express have been offering on-demand deliveries through UberEats and Doordash since last year. Woolworths recently launched the Metro60 app which promises home delivery within an hour… Read more »

food delivery courier
Global tech

Guilt, shame, dissatisfaction: a 5-year study of the gig economy reveals a broken business model

- July 13, 2022 4 MIN READ

The gig economy is in trouble. Rideshare drivers are cancelling in droves. Wait times for food delivery are ballooning out and driver shortages are leading to food waste. So, what’s going on? To find out more, I interviewed 30 Melbourne gig workers who worked as rideshare drivers, food deliverers or for task-based platforms such as… Read more »

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Steve Martin & MIchael Caine
Cyber security

Crypto is among 5 big trends in Australians getting scammed

- July 7, 2022 4 MIN READ

Greed, desire, wishful thinking and naivety are lucrative markets for scam artists – and their age-old hustles are increasingly being supplemented by digital chicanery. In 2021 Australians lost an estimated $2 billion to fraudsters, more than double that of 2020, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The consumer watchdog’s latest scam report details… Read more »

bitcoin
Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are great for gambling – but doesn’t achieve much when it comes to DeFi and freeing us from central banks

- July 4, 2022 4 MIN READ

The dream that decentralised finance – or “DeFi” – can free the monetary system from the clutches of governments and banks has helped launch 20,000 cryptocurrencies. But with 2022 proving to be more of a crypto-nightmare – including for the vaunted “stablecoins” that held the most promise as rivals to central bank-issued currencies – questions… Read more »

Global tech

Why Uber signed a gig economy deal with the Transport Workers’ Union

- June 30, 2022 3 MIN READ

Uber Australia has struck a historic agreement with the Transport Workers’ Union – a statement of principles that re-regulate work in the Australian rideshare and food delivery industry. This is a major shift to industrial relations in the gig economy. Uber and its rival platforms have largely treated their workforce as independent contractors, not employees… Read more »