In hindsight, many good ideas can seem obvious. Putting wheels on a suitcase. Adding a camera to a phone. Realising such things before they happen, and developing a market for them, can be the difference between not only realising a good idea but making it a great idea. The rise of the sharing economy, in many regards, now seems obvious in hindsight. Frequently it combines technologies both high and low. Taking things, which in the past were perhaps provided by individuals each operating as small businesses, and then using the power of technology to simultaneously meet the needs of people and provide a readily discoverable and searchable marketplace for this. Platforms such as Uber and other ridesharing apps have enabled people to realise that they can use or provide a service with regular cars. In conjunction with the realisation that a car can be put to use earning money rather ...Read More »
Tag Archives: Analysis
Is it Time to Change from Voting on Paper to Voting Online?
Voting in the Australian federal election in 2016 came and went, without a definitive result delivered either way, because vote counting continued well beyond the Saturday night. Then it stopped, before resuming again later. By the own admission of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), it could take up to a month to fully count all of the votes. Which, in this day and age, tends to beg the question: Isn’t it about time voting occurred electronically and online? Naturally there are objections to this, including: Not everyone has internet access or access to such devices; where this is often particularly true amongst some demographics, such as the elderly, those living in remote areas, and amongst the impoverished. Online voting opens up concerns about privacy and the risks of hacking. Unless people are formally required to physically attend a designated venue such as polling places to vote, voter numbers may dwindle. ...Read More »
Australian Federal Election 2016: Electorate Seats Forecasts
Near one week remains until the outcome of Australian federal election 2016 is officially decided. With voting set for Saturday, 2 July 2016, Australia will make a collective decision by numbering boxes on a number of ballot papers by voting for the House of Representatives and voting in the Senate. Down but Not Out As at the time of writing, 25 June 2016, market-based probabilities imply an 85.8 percent chance of the Coalition (collectively the Liberal Party and the National Party plus a few variations on these) winning the 2016 federal election, placing a corresponding 14.2 percent chance of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) winning. Further analysis, the results of which are shown in the table below, forecasts that in the House of Representatives, the Coalition is likely to win 86 seats, and Labor is likely to win 60 seats, with the minor parties and independents collectively expected to win ...Read More »
Bicycle Riders Over 18 Require Photo ID by Law in NSW in 2016
As of 1 March 2016 adult bicycle riders in the state of New South Wales, Australia, will be required by law to carry photo identification with them. It will not be a requirement that minors, those under the age of 18 years, will also have to carry photo ID with them if riding a bike. For bicyclists’ not carrying photo identification, it’s anticipated that warnings will be in place initially for one year, with $106 fines expected to be imposed from 1 March 2017. Within the NSW legislation of the Road Rules 2014 (which are subject to be changed), the following definition within the Dictionary is given: “bicycle means a vehicle with 2 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor)”. Which rules out arguing the legality of an adult not carrying ...Read More »
Spielberg Takes Aim at Superhero Movies – They’ll Die like Westerns
Steven Spielberg has a little something to say about superhero movies. When one of The Bearded Trio talks, people listen. Particularly when Steven Spielberg is also known as The Bearded One, and he’s talking about movies. In an interview with AP, Spielberg said: “We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. It doesn’t mean there won’t be another occasion where the Western comes back and the superhero movie someday returns. Of course, right now the superhero movie is alive and thriving. I’m only saying that these cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us.” While some are interpreting this as Steven Spielberg predicting the end of ...Read More »
Are the New Levels of Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Advisory System Seriously Flawed?
Level of Discussion The Council of Australian Governments (COAG), held its 40th meeting in Sydney, 23 July 2015. Amongst the topics of discussion, was the proposed changes to Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert System in an effort to ensure that the threat levels “provide more precision, and provide better information to the public on changes to the national terrorism threat level”. Under the existing National Terrorism Public Alert System as used to “communicate an assessed risk of terrorist threat to Australia” there are four alert levels: Low: Terrorist attack is not expected. Medium: Terrorist attack could occur. High: Terrorist attack is likely. Extreme: Terrorist attack is imminent or has occurred. As stated within the levels, the current system is conveying the expectation of a terrorist attack. In addition to being a source of public awareness, the system also aims to guide preparation and planning, inclusive of precaution and vigilance undertaken ...Read More »
Germanwings: Reassessing Risks
In the wake of the Germanwings tragedy, much focus has been placed on the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. Looking for signs, clues; and more generally questioning mental health issues and screenings associated with airline pilots. This is understandable. There is the sense of the need to do something, so that such an occurrence on an airline is not allowed to happen again. It’s also putting humanity into what was the senseless loss of human lives. Which, those suggesting better psychological screening methods, argue could be used to prevent in the future. Although there is undeniably merit to the psychological screenings in understanding and helping to ensure pilots’ mental health, from a risk management perspective other approaches are likely to be more effective. The Germanwings disaster which killed 150 people when the plane crashed into the French Alps, reportedly occurred when the pilot left the cockpit to go to the toilet. Then ...Read More »
The Wisdom of March Madness?
Sporting Chance It builds like a fever. Sweating. Excitement. Slight discomfort. The prospect of Spring. Things are thawing, heating up. It may begin with the NCAA college basketball tournament. Where 68 teams play sudden death matches. The loser leaves hopefully a good sport; the winner progresses to the next round of elimination. Filtering through to the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and into the Final Four teams. Semi-finals, then the final match with the winner found. Unlike the NBA tournaments where the basketball teams play the best of seven games, in the March Madness games, after the initial play-ins remove four of the lowest ranked teams, for those remaining 64 teams a single match is all that stands between climbing the ladder or being benched for the rest of the tournament. Skill and luck both have their roles to play. A minor mistake may end it all. There’s no best of ...Read More »
NSW State Election 2015: District Seats Forecasts
With approximately one week remaining until the NSW state election day on Saturday 28 March 2015, current polling data at the time of writing is favouring a return to power for the Liberal Party with Mike Baird as the leader. Following a similar method used to forecast the 2013 Australian federal election, forecasts were made on a two party preferred (TPP) basis for the 2015 NSW state election. Based on statistically updating past district seats data (including any by-elections) for the Legislative Assembly with polling data current as at 20 March 2015. As shown in the table below, of the 93 district seats, the Australian Labor Party is expected to win 17 seats (including both the Australian Labor Party and the Country Labor Party), the Coalition 70 seats (including both the Liberal Party and the National Party), and the other minor parties and independents collectively six seats. Implying that the Coalition is likely to win ...Read More »
Closing the Gender Pay Gap, Not So Fast?
Pushing Against the Glass Ceiling With the 8th March marking International Women’s Day, it’s a time to consider and celebrate all that women have done for the world. Names, but some amongst many, are called to the fore. From science with Marie Curie. To matters of state with Angela Merkel, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Janet Yellen, Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, and Queen Elizabeth II. To business and industry with Sara Blakely and Gina Rinehart. To those who’ve done their best to make the word a better place, such as Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa. To those that entertain us, such as Oprah, Ellen, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore. The list of women who have achieved both greatness and public recognition in their respective fields is not a small one by any means. And any such listing must ultimately be incomplete. Equally though, we should also acknowledge those whose stories ...Read More »