Talking the death of handwriting on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logo“How relevant is handwriting in 2015, when people are increasingly communicating via text messages, via email, via tweets, Facebook updates, those sort things?”, asked ABC 891 Adelaide presenter Michael Smyth on Monday afternoon.

There are schools in Finland and the US reportedly phasing out the teaching of handwriting.

Here’s what I think is an interesting 12-minute discussion that includes a vox pop of people in Adelaide, talkback calls, and Pam Kent, president of the South Australian Primary Principals Association, as well as myself.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Bonus link: By a happy coincidence, this week’s episode of ABC Radio’s Future Tense asks Does handwriting have a future?

Talking digital detox on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoDo you think you need a “digital detox”? You know, something to break your “addiction” to digital devices? That’s what I just spoke about on ABC 891 Adelaide.

Drive presenter Michael Smyth and his team had heard about the Digital Detox and Camp Grounded holiday camps in the US, based on the summer camp concept…

Trade in your computer, cell phone, email, Instagrams, clocks, schedules, work-jargon, networking events and conferences for an off-the-grid weekend of pure unadulterated fun in the redwoods.

… so I was invited to give my opinion. Before I spoke, though, they played CNet’s report of a visit to Camp Grounded, as well as a vox pop of people recorded earlier today in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.

Here’s the full 11-minute extravaganza.

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The book I mentioned was Robin Dunbar’s Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. And something I meant to refer to, but didn’t manage to fit in, was We don’t need digital detox, but there is a need to rethink our relationship with technology by Natasha Mauthner, Personal Chair at the University of Aberdeen.

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking ATMs with face recognition on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoEngineers at Beijing’s Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based security company Tzekwan Technology have unveiled an ATM with face-recognition — and I discussed the implications on ABC 891 Adelaide on Monday.

I spoke with drive presenter Michael Smyth about why China might want to do this, including making more of their technology domestically, and linking ATM authentication with their growing national database of facial biometrics for… other purposes.

Here’s the full seven-minute conversation, which was broadcast live.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking Netflix for Australia on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoToday the US-based video streaming service announced that will launch in Australia in March 2015. I spoke about the implications earlier this evening on ABC 891 Adelaide.

While Netflix already has 200,000-odd customers in Australia, using various methods to get around the geoblocking. Will they move across when the Australian service, given that the selection won’t be the same? Will Australia’s broadband cope?

The presenter is Michael Smyth.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking digital privacy on ABC 891 Adelaide

ABC logoThis is Privacy Awareness Week in Australia, so most of the media I’ve been involved in making is focused on privacy — although of course that’s a common topic for me in any event.

First cab off the rank — or do these days we day “first Uber off the app”? — was ABC 891 Adelaide, a radio station I worked at 1985-91, and which I still have links to.

This quick interview with drive presenter Michael Smyth took place on Monday 5 May 2014.

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The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.