Author The Conversation


Your life is Facebook’s business model

Facebook’s recent apology for its Year in Review feature, which had displayed to a grieving father images of his dead daughter, highlights again the tricky relationship between the social media behemoth and its users’ data. The free service Facebook offers to its


These are the jobs of the future

It’s a sobering thought that in 10 years, around 65% of the jobs that people will be doing have not even been thought of yet, according to the US department of labour. In some markets like Australia, there are reports that up to half a million existing jobs could be taken over


2014: a golden year for cybercrime

Looking back, 2014 was not a good year for keeping things safe under digital lock and key. If a score was being kept, it might seem that the cybercriminals are in the lead, despite the valiant efforts — and own goals — from the cybersecurity profession worldwide. Cast your mind back

Editor's pick

SA should scrap pass-or-fail exam results

In South Africa, as in many countries, the release of senior secondary school exam results, referred to locally as “the matric”, causes a media furore every year. At 18 years old, students either pass or fail and their results are published in


Technology resolutions for 2015

People of the western world have been making resolutions for the new year for over 4 000 years. The Babylonians, along with the Romans who later developed the idea further, made resolutions in the hope of favourable returns from the gods. In the current day, self-interest has


And now for 4D printing

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it’s found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1 000. Knowing you can print almost anything, not just marks on paper, opens up unlimited opportunities for us to


Videogames have cultural cachet

UK videogames industry body Tiga has called for the products to be treated like other creative industries such as television or film, rather than mere “software”. There is a good argument for this. Games have been part of human civilisation for thousands of years. Egyptians played the board game


Could AI be mankind’s undoing?

The famous theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, has revived the debate on whether our search for improved artificial intelligence will one day lead to thinking machines that will take over from us. The British scientist made the claim during a wide-ranging interview with the BBC. Hawking has the motor neurone

Editor's pick

New Bond raises spectre of Ian Fleming

The next James Bond film — the 24th in the series that began with Dr No in 1962 — is to be called Spectre. Although the plot remains a closely guarded secret, the name reveals more than it lets on. Spectre has an important place in the

Editor's pick

Thinking deeply in the digital age

Two people walk into a seminar: one takes photos, video and an audio recording of the presentation, while the other takes hand-written notes. Which person do you think will better recall the information? The former can use their digital notes to create something new that builds on the topic, the latter

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