Demise Of The Fixed-Line Home Phone

The landline is ringing. A saxophone riff from a Men at Work song plays in my head (‘who can it be now?’). Despite my better judgement, I pick up. It goes something like this. (Pause) “This is Nicole from Australian National Broadband. We have been trying to get in touch with you as we are soon going to disconnect your landline, Press 1 now to speak to a technician.” I don’t press 1 and after…

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The return of capital punishment

In February, my attention was caught by a bizarre story about the Sri Lankan government advertising for two public executioners of “strong moral character”. I let it go at the time, as the topic seemed too morbid for FOMM readers. But that was before Donald Trump’s government last month re-introduced capital punishment in the US for Federal offences. People in Trump’s government have been lobbying to reintroduce capital punishment, last used in 2003. The main…

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Friday on My Mind – Technology And Our Private Lives

“Och*, technology – it’s the Deil’s work,” my Scottish Dad said in 1964, when I bought one of the early transistor radios. Dad died in 1991, so he missed the Internet (and Windows 98, the best version). He also missed WIFI, smart phones, internet banking, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Bluetooth, video and music streaming and that nemesis of 21st century parents −  Facetime. I’m not sure what he’d make of hackers, spammers, viruses, malware, or dealing…

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Camel Racing And The World’s Longest Damper

Queensland’s outback towns may still be struggling with the impact of drought, but they are now more than ever engaging communities and outsiders in unique events.  Tourist attractions like Winton’s Vision Splendid film festival, Birdsville’s Big Red Bash, Boulia’s camel races, an outback golf tournament and the national silo art trail are just a few of the initiatives. Attractions and events are primarily organised by locals (and sponsors) as a way of attracting cash-spending visitors…

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