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Paul Wallis

Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia. Joined on May 27, 2007
Expertise in Stocks & trading, Real estate & construction, General business news & info, Health, Government,   see all» Personal finance, Food, dining & restaurants, Holistic health, Technology, Internet, Careers & workplace, Politics, Pharmaceuticals, Jobs, Education, Music, Fashion, Men's health, Books, Science & space, Food, recipes, Social media, Environment & green living, Small business

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Op-Ed: Digital ads tanking? What a surprise.

The underperformance and non-performance of digital ads has been legendary for years. Now, apparently there’s a “crisis of confidence’, even in Google ads. What a surprise. Maybe the wheel will be invented someday, too?

Op-Ed: Suddenly, Kaspersky is banned? Global game changer in play

Washington - The banning of the very popular Kaspersky Internet security software from U.S. government agencies is odder than it looks. The reason for the ban is links to the Kremlin and Russian spy agencies, but think about that for a minute.

Op-Ed: A deadly digital transformation? Cryptocurrencies on the rampage

Sydney - Since Bitcoin started, everyone, meaning absolutely everyone, has been trying to get in on the action. Speculators are plowing money in to cryptocurrency startups, and the monster is getting bigger.

Op-Ed: Microsoft trying to fix Win 10 gamer problems, BUT?

Sydney - Windows 10 has been getting flak for various reasons since it came out. When it comes to the Sin of Sins for Gamers, lag, however, the fixes have been slow. Microsoft is now trying to redeem itself, and succeeding, to a point.

Op-Ed: Bank rewrites call centers with chatbot ‘virtual bankers’

Sydney - The National Australia Bank (NAB) has sent shudders through the call center sector with a new move. “Virtual bankers” will replace call center staff to a large extent for routine enquiries, with more to come.

Op-Ed: A.I. writes Yelp! reviews, complete with OMGs, etc.

Chicago - Artificial intelligence (A.I.) writing has come a long way in the last few years, from “impossible” to industry standard (not much better) and now, useful Yelp! reviews. The reviews certainly do look authentic.

Op-Ed: What if Amazon, Google and Facebook enter financial services?

Sydney - It’s not as weird an idea as it might look at first glance. These are high capital, high cashflow companies. They can muscle their way in to the financial services sector with ease. The question is, what would it do to the market?

Op-Ed: Is the VT 5 tank the sign of the end of the old arms market?

Beijing - In a move which is likely to rattle the trillion dollar/any number global arms market, China is pushing its wares, pretty hard. China is building a new profile, and aiming at selling to the world. They might rewrite the arms market, too.

Op-Ed: Digital surveillance — Australia's Pine Gap and US vs War Crimes?

Sydney - The U.S. Pine Gap base in Australia has been controversial since it was built, during the later Cold War. The question is whether Australia is participating in a system which may qualify as war crimes when civilian casualties are incurred.

Op-Ed: Big Oil goes green? It’s happening, but in tiny doses

OK, given that oil is sacred to the cows of the financial world, never to be questioned or to provide a rational statement on any subject – Why is Big Oil investing in green energy? It looks almost like sanity, so there must be something wrong with it.

Op-Ed: Robots and economics; the next trade war and real war?

Sydney - The theory goes that the U.S. must be able to manufacture everything required by the military for a future war. That means robots, and a reworked economy.

Op-Ed: The Great DNA Ripoff? Donate your DNA swab to corporations

Sydney - The theory is that your DNA swab can be used for “counselling” of whatever standard of usefulness. The practice is that you pay companies $80 for your DNA swab to be used for god knows what.

Op-Ed: Making augmented reality commercially viable? Sort of

Sydney - Augmented reality is the subject of a lot of ongoing market babble, which hasn’t helped much. The question is whether AR is useful. Developers are sending very mixed signals about the viability of a potential fourth wave of digital transformation.

Op-Ed: Middle management — Time to go, forever

Sydney - Middle management has long been one of the longest four letter words in any language. It’s a mix of bureaucracy, trivia, and obstructive practices which has stymied real change for years, and it’s getting worse.

Op-Ed: Robo-burgers to go? The very mixed message robot burgermeister

San Francisco - A fully functional commercial burger making robot will trash fast food industry employment. Particularly if you have a robot that can do 400 burgers an hour.

Op-Ed: End of the road for petrol engines? World going electric, fast

Sydney - Whatever the fossil fuel sector says, the ancient technologies which are killing the world are themselves dying out. Petrol engines are on the way out, in no uncertain terms.

Op-Ed: How many people does it take to upgrade PHP? Way too many.

Sydney - I got a notification from WordPress today which stated that my PHP was out of date, and I should upgrade immediately. That began a saga of epic proportions, with a payoff even Alfred Hitchcock would have liked.

Op-Ed: Is Elon Musk's Mars colony viable? Yes, if seriously addressed

Sydney - Elon Musk has gone against prevailing wisdom with a statement that a working Mars colony with large numbers of colonists. The current thinking is that the technical difficulties have to be solved first. That thinking is also pretty turgid and negative.

Op-Ed: New study — Billions at risk from heatwaves

Sydney - Inhabitants of the tropics, Middle East and most Western nations are in for progressive murderous heatwaves. New studies by the University of Hawaii indicate a rolling incremental increase in severity of heatwaves worldwide.

Op-Ed: The new face of financing? Crowdfunding grows up, adds scope

Sydney - Crowdfunding was universally acclaimed a decade or so ago, after everyone said it was a fad. Now, it’s turning in to a “due diligence” financial operation, and even developing political legs.
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