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© Copyright 2021, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
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Download This Show
Download This Show is your weekly guide to the world of media, culture, and technology. From social media to gadgets, streaming services to privacy issues. Each week Marc Fennell and a team of people far smarter than him (his words, not ours) take a fun deep dive into how technology is reshaping our lives.
October 21, 2021
Are home quarantine apps a step too far?
South Australia is the only jurisdiction in Australia actively trialling home quarantine technology, but human rights groups are already raising concerns. Are there better options? Plus, a UK legal challenge is raising questions about whether politicians should be able to destroy their WhatsApp messages. And recent shutdowns in major online services could be a sign of things to come. Guests: Josh Taylor, Reporter at Guardian Australia & Alice Clarke, freelance journalist and game reviewer
October 14, 2021
What's being done about fake vaccine passports?
We’ll soon be walking around with them and flashing them to wine, dine and travel – but how easy will it be to spot a legitimate vaccine passport compared to a fake one? We discuss what could have prevented a security flaw and what’s being done about fake vaccine passports. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia will be using an artificial intelligence tool to stem abusive messages being sent on electronic payments. Plus, Facebook and Instagram introduce new features in an effort to protect young users from harmful content. And would you wear a smart headband that claims to make you calmer? Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst at ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre & Peter Marks, software developer at Access Informatics
October 7, 2021
Why are we getting so many scam texts?
If you’ve been getting strange calls and text messages asking you to click links or hand over personal information, you’re not alone. Scamwatch has reported a record $211 million in losses to scams so far this year – an 89 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. So where are the scams coming from and what should you do when you're targeted? Plus - YouTube removes all anti-vaccine misinformation, Donald Trump sues to get back on Twitter and the Facebook whistle-blower goes public. Guests: Amanda Yeo, host of the Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Kunal Kalro, Founder and CEO of Eugene
September 30, 2021
Can Europe untangle your wires?
The EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple as the move would impact iPhones more than its rivals. And Facebook under fire again after leaked documents reveal a series of accusations about its internal workings. Plus, would you pay for a streaming service that’s just news? Guests: Natasha Gillezeau, technology journalist, The Australian Financial Review & Peter Wells, freelance technology journalist
September 23, 2021
Can AI prevent crime?
Can artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive technology prevent crime? And what is at stake if it does? This week we look at an AI tool Queensland police are trialling to help predict and prevent domestic violence incidents, and what’s happening around the world with this type of technology more broadly and how transparency can underpin public trust and support of such tools. Guests: Professor Lyria Bennett Moses, Director of the Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney & Associate Professor Michael Cowling, Information and Communication Technology at CQUniversity Australia
September 16, 2021
The Original Conspiracy Viral Video?
This week: How the conspiracy video Loose Change energized the "9/11 truther movement" and sparked an age of disinformation. Meanwhile, Facebook unveils Ray-Ban Stories which are designed for hands-free photos and videos. Plus, foldable phone sales are up and it’s yet to be determined if they’re the future or a fad, and how many mini-subscriptions are too many? Guests: Alice Clarke, Award-winning freelance technology journalist & Cam Wilson, Associate Editor at Crikey
September 9, 2021
Put down that controller, kid
China is banning children from playing online games for more than three hours a week. The measures come in response to growing concerns over gaming addiction, but will it work? Meanwhile, El Salvador becomes the first country in the world to recognise Bitcoin as legal tender and Banksy’s website is reportedly hacked, despite warnings, leaving a fan out of pocket for buying a fake Banksy NFT. Plus, are gadgets that promise to track and improve our sleep just getting in the way of a good night’s rest? Guests: Liam Ridgeway, Co-Founder INDIGITEK and NGNY & Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, National technology editor News Corp
September 2, 2021
If you backflipped any harder, there’d be spinal damage… this week we discuss how the subscription service OnlyFans which is famous for its adult content ended up doing a drastic about-face within days. Plus, what do new national security bills allow and who can be the target of these new powers? And Apple pays millions in a settlement and celebrates 10 years of executive Tim Cook. Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst at ASPI Cyber Policy Centre & Jonno Seidler, Creative Lead at Unyoked
August 26, 2021
Are OnlyFans screwing themselves?
The work of adult entertainers is being disrupted again, after the subscriber-only website OnlyFans announced it will ban adult material. Meanwhile, an office in Bucharest is showing how post-Covid workplace life can look like, with anti-virus innovations. And how concerned should you be about the security of vaccination passports? Plus Mark Zuckerberg has a plan to turn your next work meeting into a weird virtual reality thing. Update: After this episode was published, OnlyFans announced it will scrap its new policy that would have prohibited users from posting any material containing 'sexually explicit conduct'. Guests: Natasha Gillezeau, technology, marketing and media journalist for The Australian Financial Review & Josh Taylor, technology journalist for The Guardian Australia
August 19, 2021
What will win: Your new phone or the planet?
We use our smartphones for hours every day, but do you know what goes into making it? And more importantly, where are those metals going to come from in the future? Plus, Twitter lets go of one of its weirder and more pointless features. And is virtual reality a way forward for a struggling music industry and why is the gambling industry investing so heavily in Artificial Intelligence? Guests: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, National Technology Editor for News Corp & Daniel Van Boom, News Editor for CNET
August 12, 2021
Facebook + The Universe = The Metaverse?
Apple plans to scan devices including iPhones and iPads for child sexual abuse images. It’s commended by child protection groups but has privacy campaigners concerned. So, what’s the fine print for Apple’s new tool, neuralMatch, and could it be a game changer? Meanwhile, why Instagram creatives are angry and what exactly is a metaverse? Mark Zuckerberg has an idea. Plus, calls are growing to ban an artificial intelligence ‘nudification’ tool – the latest in a long line of unethical services. Guests: Meg Coffey, social media strategist & Ben Grubb, Editor of Innovation Aus
August 5, 2021
How to get banned from YouTube
If you want to repair or replace your smartphone or tablet, it can be confusing to know how to go about it or where to go. And the Productivity Commission has found that it should be much easier for consumers to navigate this system and what’s called their ‘right to repair’. So, what is it and should we have the right to repair? Plus, what did Sky News Australia do to get bumped off YouTube for a week? And why is one of the biggest movie stars suing Disney, and which Aussie tech start-up just got bought by the founder of Twitter? Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst at ASPI Cyber Policy Centre & Seamus Byrne, Byteside.com
July 29, 2021
Gaming with a disability
Sixty-eight per cent of Australians play videogames, and 20 per cent of gamers have a disability. The Australian gaming industry is worth $2.43 billion but is it paying enough attention to this market and considering their needs? This week, we speak to gamers and developers living with a disability to hear what’s making gaming more accessible, the barriers yet to be overcome and what the future of gaming holds. Guests: Ellen Jurik, Narrative and Game Director, Blowfish Studios Meredith Hall, Co-Founder of Accessibility Unlocked Humphrey Hanley ‘No Hands No Excuses’, Content Creator / Accessibility Specialist
July 22, 2021
Finger power & Spyware scandals
This week we dive into the biggest spyware scandal of the year, Pegasus, that was sold to authoritarian regimes and is being used to target activists, politicians and journalists. Plus, the power is in our hands – or rather, fingertips – with a new device that can generate small amounts of electricity from finger sweat or pressure. And US President Joe Biden says that social media is killing people, while beyond-the-grave deep fakes get us pondering the moral and ethical limitations of the technology. Guests: Rae Johnston, co-host of the Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Josh Taylor, technology reporter at The Guardian
July 15, 2021
Are Covid breathalysers coming soon?
Breath-based Covid-19 tests are under development around the world, so has the time for disease-detecting breathalysers finally arrived? Meanwhile, Reddit is opening an Australian office, so we want to know why and what’s behind its success. Plus, big news for one of Uber’s biggest competitors and should we shame politicians for being on their phones too much? Guests: Natasha Gillezeau, Technology journalist, Australian Financial Review & Cam Wilson, Associate Editor, Crikey
July 8, 2021
Indigenous start-ups talk country, culture and health
In this episode, our NAIDOC week panel tell us all about how their start-ups are harnessing the power of technology to help users connect with their country, culture and improve health outcomes. Guests: Kayla Cartledge, CEO & Founder, Our Songlines Dr Kyle Turner, CEO & Co-Founder, Pearlii Dr Christopher Lawrence, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering & IT at University of Technology Sydney. Lead investigator in the development of the SWAMSmob app.
July 1, 2021
Two exorbitant tickets to space, please.
The report from the Pentagon’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force has finally landed, so what exactly does it reveal? Plus, Virgin Galactic gets the green light to take passengers into space, or more precisely, to the edge of space. And we look at the legacy of one of the most influential but dangerous people in tech history and how much BuzzFeed is really worth. Guests: Rad Yeo, Technology journalist and co-host of Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Meg Coffey, Social Media strategist
June 24, 2021
It’s a hit. Except when it isn’t.
We think of shows on Netflix, Stan and Amazon as being hit shows because everyone is talking about them but the truth is that no one outside of those companies actually knows how many people are watching. So that hit might not actually be a hit at all. So how can we bring a little transparency to the process? Plus, the women taking on an adult media company, the surgeons conducting surgery in augmented reality and when international travel is happening again do we want to do it at the speed of sound? Guests: Rae Johnston, co-host of Queens of the Drone Age podcast & Jonno Seidler, Creative Lead at Unyoked
June 17, 2021
Is ANOM an anomaly?
How do you arrest more than 800 suspected criminals around the world? Get them to use an app that happens to be controlled by worldwide law enforcement. We dive into the weird world of the ANOM app and the role it played in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest crime stories of the year. Also - dozens of the world’s most popular websites like the New York Times, Twitch and Spotify disappeared offline last week… and it’s all thanks to one company that underpins a huge part of the internet we experience. Plus are you more likely to swipe right on a dating app for someone who’s vaccinated? And why are we wasting our time on Zoom when we should be making holograms of each other? Guests: Ariel Bogle, Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute & Sam Koslowski, Co-founder of The Daily Aus.
June 10, 2021
How long is long enough?
Facebook says it will suspend former US president Donald Trump's accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington DC. But what are the wider ramifications of that decision? Also - what do you get when you sign up for Twitter’s new paid service Twitter Blue? Turns out not a lot. Plus - Apple updates, and would you play videogames on Netflix? Guests: Dr Emily van der Nagel, Social Media Lecturer at Monash University & Peter Marks, freelance software developer and technology commentator
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