Author The Conversation


Oscars preview: year of the indies?

In January 2004, the third instalment of The Lord of the Rings received 11 Academy Award nominations. From the outset, it was the clear favourite in the Oscars race. Behind it, there was an assortment of studio films such as Mystic River, Seabiscuit and Master and Commander


E-waste creating a ‘geology of media’

The Earth recently entered a new epoch – the Anthropocene. Since the dawn of modern mechanised industry and the use of fossil fuels, the story goes that human beings have become the dominant force for change in our atmosphere, seas and land. It is a


How Microsoft learnt to love open source

Microsoft’s part in a US$70m investment in CyanogenMod has raised many eyebrows: why is Microsoft investing in a popular version of the Android mobile phone operating system when it has its own competing Windows Phone

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Drones help wage war on rhino poachers

In 2014, 1 215 rhinos were killed in South Africa for their horns, which end up in Asia as supposed cures for a variety of ailments. An estimated 30 000 African elephants were slaughtered last year for their tusks to be turned into trinkets. The world loses three rhinos a


When Facebook’s down, so are you

Checking social networks is a morning ritual for many, and when that routine is disrupted — as it was this week when Facebook’s servers went down — its absence can come as a surprise. But what also becomes apparent is that when the world’s most popular social


Still want a BlackBerry? Hell, yes!

BlackBerry, once the must-have device for the sweaty palms of executives and wannabe executives everywhere, has seen its global share of the smartphone market fall to below 1%. So would you still buy this unpopular phone? If you live in parts of Africa, India or Indonesia


Next to get hacked: your car

Theft of vehicles is about as old as the notion of transport – from horse thieves to hijackers. No longer merely putting a brick through a window, vehicle thieves have continually adapted to new technology, as demonstrated by a new method to steal a car without the


Microsoft’s fightback begins

Microsoft, once the dominant force in the software industry, has for a few years been on the back foot. Despite its undeniable clout and the world’s largest installed base of users, it has been slow to move


Drug smugglers deal in drones

It will come as no surprise to anyone that drugs are big business, so when a drone crashed in a car park of a US border town weighed down with several kilos of narcotics, it was just another example of smugglers


Start your upgrade engines for Windows 10

The hype around the next generation of Windows reached a new high this week with the Windows 10 Preview, held at Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters in the US. With the marketing machine revving at the red-line, the event has settled much

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