Why millennials are spurning Facebook & LinkedIn

Facebook is getting a lot of bad press currently, but for one demographic there’s even more to be unhappy about than privacy breaches and fake news. For young people, Facebook is increasingly irrelevant because it simply doesn’t meet their needs. The biggest reason millennials (and Generation Z as well) are abandoning Facebook is because it’s … Read more

5G is speedy, but also risky

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment recently released a discussion document for 5G, the next generation cellular mobile network. Among the issues raised in the document is how 5G will be rolled out in New Zealand and what the societal impacts will be. In particular, there are health concerns about the increased number of … Read more

Flying taxis showcase New Zealand as a global tech incubator

Silicon Valley is the unquestioned home of technological innovation. Ambitious entrepreneurs from across the world still flock to it, despite a housing crisis even worse than Auckland’s. Just as a successful Silicon Valley product is often copied and pasted overseas (TradeMe was New Zealand’s version of eBay, for example), there have been many attempts to copy … Read more

Blocksplain & column highlights


I’ve been doing a lot of writing recently. While I’m taking a break from the book world, I’ve been full-on with a new blog and my weekly newspaper column. Here are a few quick highlights… My new blog about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Blocksplain, has been making an impact in the emerging “Web 3” ecosystem. As … Read more

New Zealand struggles to regulate cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are proving to be a headache for local and global regulators alike. In New Zealand, no decisions have yet been made on how to apply the law to these new technologies. To help local regulators make those decisions, the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) has written a white paper with its recommendations. The paper was … Read more

Never mind the AI apocalypse, AI can be useful too

When you see Artificial Intelligence in the news, the topic is typically robots taking over our jobs or the dangers of super-intelligent computers. You don’t see Elon Musk or Bill Gates opining on how AI is improving the way we do data analytics, for example. But kiwi startup Thematic is doing exactly that. It’s using … Read more

How much privacy would you give up for a useful app?

Recently I booked a virtual meeting with an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. We were going back and forth on email, trying to find a suitable time. Then in stepped someone called Fin, who said he’d “be happy to find a time that works.” He offered a couple of suggestions and I emailed back the one … Read more

AI manipulation is on the rise

Fake Facebook profiles and automated Twitter bots have been around since the beginnings of social media. One of my siblings once created a fake family member called Fred, who was a madeup character from the Zynga game FishVille. Cousin Fred amused us all for several months, but of course nobody ever took it seriously. Fast … Read more

Building a blockchain version of Twitter

When Twitter was launched in 2007, even the founders had no idea what they had released. Co-founder Evan Williams said several years later that Twitter “was hard to define, because it didn’t replace anything.” In retrospect, we can see now that Twitter had invented a new Internet platform for short-form, public messaging. What’s more, it … Read more

Vagueware takes over the tech world

Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent out a tweet announcing a partnership with Publicis Groupe, a multinational advertising and PR company. Nadella said they were going to build an AI product called Marcel, as some type of collaboration platform to “empower” the 80,000 employees of Publicis Groupe. Nadella’s tweet didn’t offer much detail about … Read more

Is Centrality really worth $110 million?

Earlier this month a New Zealand blockchain company, Centrality, announced that it raised US$80 million (NZ$110m) in cryptocurrency via a “Token Generation Event.” That’s a staggering amount and would rank among the top ten biggest ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) of all time, according to the Coinist website. Although as yet, Centrality does not even appear in Coinist’s directory. I … Read more

CES highlights include smart toilet, VR gym & AI dog

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held every January in Las Vegas. It’s typically an event dominated by state of the art TVs, concept cars, the latest headphones, and cute robots. This year’s CES was no exception, but we also saw developments in three other technology categories: voice assistants, virtual reality, and health tracking. The … Read more

2017 wrapup & 2018 predictions

We’re now a couple of weeks into the new year and it’s an exciting time for several key Internet technologies. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are enjoying an almost Dot Com level of hype right now, while Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality continue to impress. I covered all of this and more in my annual technology wrapup … Read more

The risks of cryptocurrency wallets

Cryptocurrency continues to dominate headlines; and it’s no longer just focused on Bitcoin. Speculators are now flinging their money into hundreds of newer cryptocurrencies, such as Ripple, Litecoin and Doge. These so-called “altcoins” are risky enough, because their prices (at time of writing) are highly inflated. But the risks don’t stop there. Storing your newly … Read more

Best apps of 2017 revealed by Apple

Apple’s App Store editors have identified four breakout trends in app culture this year: augmented reality, real-time competitive gaming, mental health and mindfulness, and apps that transform storytelling. Let’s take a look at each of these four trends and the leading apps in those categories. Augmented Reality (AR) got a big boost in September when Apple … Read more