Author The Conversation

In-depth

Is it time to terminate e-mail?

This year saw the 43rd anniversary of e-mail. Compared to a human working life, e-mail has after more than four decades on the job now reached retirement age. Is it time for e-mail to step aside to allow us to embrace the alternative? Every minute in 2012 saw 168m e-mails sent around the world

Editor's pick

How mankind landed a robot on a comet

Imagine launching a robotic spacecraft on a 10-year mission to land on a comet 600m kilometres from Earth knowing that you will not be able to make any physical repairs to the craft during the journey. This daunting engineering challenge has been the ultimate goal of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta

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Interstellar’s spectacular view of hard science

In Interstellar’s near-ish future, our climate has failed catastrophically, crops die in vast blights and America is a barely-habitable dustbowl. Little education beyond farming methods is tolerated and students are taught that the Apollo landings were Cold War propaganda hoaxes. Against this unpromising

World

Let everyone benefit from the Internet

In the developed world, Internet access is getting close to saturation point, with the proportion of those online in many countries in the West approaching 80% for fixed broadband access and 30% on mobile phones. On the other hand, in the

World

Web alone won’t solve world’s problems

A prime driver of human progress has been trade, in both goods and ideas. Isolation, in contrast, leads to stasis, suspicion, even regression. As Matt Ridley described in The Rational Optimist, when the land bridge connecting

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Buyer beware, e-retail prices vary by user

People have a mental model of shopping that is based on experiences from brick-and-mortar stores. We intuitively understand how this process works: all available products are displayed around the store and the prices are clearly marked. Many stores

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How tech is transforming sport

In sport, we don’t just want to know who won. We now want to know how to replicate success and then improve on it. And to do this, we’re using data — and lots of it. The field of “big data” analytics has come to sport and athletics, with massive implications for sport as we know it. The Women’s Tennis Association

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The guide to creating a truly secure password

In 2004, Bill Gates pronounced usernames and passwords dead. Gates, a man consistently thinking ahead of the crowd, was right. Most of us — including our employers and the online services we rely on — just haven’t caught up yet. Gates’s statement came at a time when the devastatingly simple consumer-focused

In-depth

Mobile payments: what’s taken so long?

Apple Pay has been launched to much fanfare. People with the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are now able to make credit card payments at certain shops and restaurants in the US. But Apple Pay isn’t the first of its kind and the technology it uses has actually been around for the past 15 years. So why has

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