Ep 49 of 2010
December 6, 2010
For this final edition of Tech Talk Radio for 2010, we’ll take a look back at the events, and gadgets that changed our lives in 2010. Federal politics has certainly been high on the agenda this year with the incumbent Labor government returned by doing deals with the independents, predominantly over the proposed National Broadband Network. Most Australians, even if they don’t quite understand the technology behind the NBN, will hopefully be able to thank today’s independents for their belief in future proofing Australia’s aging copper network with fibre optics.
Back 150 or so odd years ago, I wonder what the opposition government of the time thought about rolling out copper to every part of Australia. I bet they didn’t realize the longevity and broad range of services which are now provided over the forlorn twisted pair.
Also, 2010 has seen our global village become even smaller thanks to the world’s online connectivity. Never before have we all be so connected, which has only spurred Australia’s Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, on to protect our vulnerable netizens, by trying to roll out the great internet wall of Australia. His efforts have so far been in vein, with objections from civil libertarian groups and freedom of speech groups, and political hurdles and blocks being put up by many members of the Australian Parliament.
In the consumer world, the delivery of new and exciting gadgets to make our world just that little bit easier, along with new technology has been quite relentless in 2010. Probably the coolest and the biggest “must have’ gadget for the year is Apple’s iPad. The device, which hit the US stores on April 3 this year, sold over 2 million units in the first two months.
The device pushed the Apple brand to new heights but only for a short time until Cupertino released the iPhone 4. The now infamous death grip, for all its beat up, was really only an American phenomenon, which only really reflected the poor state of the US mobile phone network. Here in Australia, you had to be several floors down in an underground car park at a suburban shopping Centre on substandard network before the death grip dropped your call as tested by our very own Adam Turner.
As for broadband in Australia, mobile broadband speeds became faster, and coverage better, especially if you we with Telstra. The NBN was switched on in Tasmania, and ADSL speeds and coverage didn’t change very much at all. The only thing that did fall, and in some cases by large amounts, was the price to access broadband. Competition was definitely a winner in 2010 but it wasn’t all plane sailing. Telstra bit the bullet and became incredibly competitive, thanks to the probable split of retail and wholesale services. Optus became the king of misleading advertising, 3 and Vodafone began rolling out the VHA brand.
Microsoft launched Phone 7 as well as it’s latest incarnation of Office and IE9, Facebook the movie hit our cinema screens around the same time as social networking site launched it’s new mail system. Apple changed the look and feel of it’s range of iMusic Gadgets, Blockbuster Video went belly up in the US, and Google said goodbye to Wave and it’s creator Lars Rasmussen who jumped ship and went to Facebook.
It was also the year that digital TV began to be switched off in Australia. Not only did the analogue shutdown commence, but sadly High Definition channels paid the price and were relegated as second grade citizens, no longer fit to carry their respective broadcasters primary content. ABC TV turned channel 20 to 24 so we could see news footage from smart phones in HD, 7’s HD became a mate, and 9’s became a Gem. In Andy Warhol’s terminology 3D TV had it’s 15 minutes of fame, iiNet had a win in common sense in its pitched battle with the movie houses, and according to Australia’s Prime Minister, the opposition is just a bunch of Luddites.
Finally, Collingwood needed two goes to win the AFL Grand Final but technology lost interest in the second bout, only to be seen in Standard Definition on free to air TV. So that was 2010, and now it’s time to sit back and relax as we look forward to putting our feet up for the festive season, which is what we’re about to do, live from Sophia’s family restaurant in Burwood Highway East Burwood.
This week on Tech Talk Radio
- We take a look at the year that was, it’s highs and lows, the good and the bad.
- Adam Turner brings his couch to the people
- Lidija Davis joins us live from the United States
- We’ll mix and mingle with Tech Talk listeners from near and far and
- we’ll have some last minute tech suggestions and ideas to get you through this holiday season