The AI failures of Facebook & YouTube

The big social media companies have rightfully come under immense pressure over the past week, in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.  But one question continues to bother me: why were Facebook and YouTube so ineffective when it came to shutting down the terrorist’s live stream and the dispersal of the video after? Over … Read more

Time to stamp out hate content on social media

After the tragedy in Christchurch last Friday, serious questions are being asked of the world’s largest social media companies. Why was the killer able to live stream this appalling act on Facebook for 17 minutes? Why couldn’t YouTube and Twitter prevent copies of the video from being propagated on their global networks? Why did Reddit … Read more

How to cope with the gig economy

The “gig economy” has its drawbacks, as highlighted recently by Newsroom Pro managing editor Bernard Hickey, but it’s also an unavoidable part of today’s employment landscape. Especially for millennials and Generation Z, two generations that grew up in the internet era – and now have to earn a living in it. I’ve questioned aspects of … Read more

Can UBCO electric bikes take on Lime scooters?

Electric scooters have been all the rage in parts of New Zealand over the past six months, with Lime scooters clogging up both footpaths and media headlines. But we could soon be seeing more electric moped bikes on our streets too, if kiwi startup UBCO has its way. UBCO is a rapidly expanding business, and … Read more

Government report on digital economy ignores NZ tech

A recent Government report into the digital economy has been criticized for focusing too much on global giants like Google and Uber, and barely mentioning New Zealand’s leading tech companies.  The report, co-written by the NZ and Australian Productivity Commissions, claims that both NZ and Australia are minor players in the global innovation market. “The … Read more

Digital billboards will save media (yeah right)

Digital billboards are now an unlikely arm of the media business, if New Zealand’s own MediaWorks is any indication. Late last year, MediaWorks – which runs the Three tv network and popular radio brands like The Edge and More FM – acquired the New Zealand arm of Australian out-of-home advertising business, QMS Media. It was … Read more

Why Spotify wants to be the Netflix of audio

Podcasting is a version of radio optimized for the internet era, but it’s still a relatively small market. The US podcasting industry earned $314 million in revenue in 2017, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC. But that pales in comparison to the US radio industry, which earned $22.1 billion … Read more

The hidden dangers of better DNA profiling laws

The NZ Law Commission has just released a DNA Issues Paper, to determine whether our DNA profiling laws need updating. The paper, and accompanying website, is focused on the use of DNA in criminal investigations. But it also raises intriguing questions about consumer safety for kiwis who use – or have used in the past … Read more

Why NZ should take a moral stance on global e-commerce

Tensions between the US and China are at an all-time high. That’s mostly because of the ongoing trade war between the two powerhouse countries, but it wasn’t helped last week when the US laid criminal charges against Chinese telco Huawei. As a result of the unease and accompanying paranoia over possible cyber-espionage, there’s been growing … Read more

Huawei wants to tear down the 5G wall

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” President Ronald Reagan famously proclaimed in a June 1987 speech near the Berlin Wall. Chinese telco Huawei is currently trying to tear down a wall of a different kind: one preventing it from building 5G networks all around the world, including here in New Zealand. The Berlin Wall did, … Read more

Why is Facebook pushing Snapchat-style stories?

Perhaps the most popular social media format in 2019 is “stories.” These are ephemeral video and photo posts that disappear from your profile after a day. The stories post format is incredibly popular with the younger demographic, thanks to Snapchat and Instagram. But now Instagram’s uncool dad, Facebook, is trying to prompt the rest of … Read more

Giant TVs and rollable screens at CES

At the start of every year in Las Vegas, the world’s biggest and gaudiest technology trade show takes place. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is where tech and electronics companies like Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and Samsung show off their latest phones, drones, headphones, robots and whatever else their R&D departments have dreamed up. But if … Read more

2019 tech predictions

A new year is just around the corner, so in my final column of 2018 I will look at what we can expect from the technology sector in 2019. The first question that springs to mind is: can it get any worse? 2018 was an especially grim year in tech, as I outlined in my … Read more

Australia’s new encryption law threatens NZ cloud data

Earlier this month, the Australian government rushed through a controversial anti-encryption bill that could have ramifications for tech companies all over the world. The legislation, dubbed the Assistance and Access bill, makes it mandatory for any organisation whose website or data is hosted in Australia to give authorities access to their IT system if requested.  … Read more

Top 5 Technology Trends of 2018


Every December going back to 2004, I’ve done an end-of-year review of the top Internet technology trends. As a source for this year’s review, I’m using the nearly fifty weekly columns I’ve written over the course of 2018. They’re a good indicator of what I’ve focused on during the year, and what has defined this year in terms … Read more