Patents are a source of much amusement and occasionally some horror, particularly in the tech world.
While some are truly innovative, and can lead to huge improvements in technology and the lives of those who use them, some patents are clearly rather odd, pie in the sky, hopeful attempts to cash in on the work of others or even of half-baked dreams that seemingly occur during a fever.
And then there are others that really are quite alarming.
Checking in on virtual reality
Virtual reality has always seemed like one of those technologies that ought to be more prevalent than it actually is. The last Gartner Hype Cycle that I sighted had it well ahead of the pack of other 'emerging technologies', trundling up the 'slope of enlightenment' well on its way to the 'plateau of productivity'.
So what is the reality of VR, what kind of applications are being created? A couple of recent dispatches from New Zealand universities provide an insight.
2Degrees seeks new CEO
Five years on from the terrible news that 2Degrees' CEO Eric Hertz and his wife had been killed in a plane crash, "acting" CEO Stewart Sheriff is to retire from the role later this year.
Brislen on Tech
In which we discuss free speech, the need to protect it and what is and isn't considered 'free speech'; why online elections create such a ruckus; and a new government marketplace to replace the panel…
Examining the benefits of participating in IT
Ngāi Tahu Research Scholar at the University of Canterbury, Mark Van der klei, whose PhD thesis is examining the IT occupation's attractiveness to Māori, asked the question at ITx about whether it i…
Fitness tracking watches now surplus to requirements
Following revelations that US troops on deployment around the world were publishing their location data courtesy of their fitness trackers, the US Department of Defense (sic) has called time on the pr…
Māori participation in IT - research participants sought
At the recent ITx conference I was fortunate to attend a session taken by Ngāi Tahu Research Scholar at the University of Canterbury, Mark Van der klei, who spoke about his PhD thesis, which has the …
Facebook lambasted by UK parliamentary inquiry
The UK parliamentary committee looking into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica's manipulation of the news media around the world has released a damning report that says Facebook failed in its duty to …
Brislen on Tech
Pop quiz: You open up your laptop and discover all your files are encrypted and a mysterious message says you're not getting your data back unless you give someone $5000 via an anonymised service. You…
Schools doubling down on data
The nation's schools are proving voracious data users, consuming more than 12 petabytes in the first two school terms of this year. That's according to crown company Network for Learning (N4L), which …
Aussie govt backs down over privacy concerns
The Australian government has backed down over the launch of its controversial online health records project, MyHealth and a new clause will be added to legislation ensuring a higher level of privacy.