Archive September 2015
Not everyone was thrilled with the record breaking 13 million new Apple iPhones 6 and 6s’s sold in its first 3 days, Hong Kong’s annual iPhone re-sellers, those that stand outside Apple store’s selling the new iPhone at anywhere between 120% and 200% markup, traditionally do brisk business in launch week, but this year are struggling to make sales.
In a twist on the usual the re-sellers are blaming Apple for a combination of having too many units available for sale and not enough innovation to entice the demand frenzy .
In my regular weekly catch up with Hong Kong Radio 3’s Phil Whelan we took a look at this strange complaint and on the back of a 15 hour global Skype outage earlier this week chatted about what life might be like and how we might survive without today’s technologies.
Have a listen now (16 minutes 58 seconds) and then let me know your thoughts on how well you’d survive without today’s technology.
On the back of an Australia.com article, Travel Weekly also featured my 2016 food and wine trends and came up with this:
From naked wines to savoury desserts, we unravel the food and wine trends that will grace our travel landscape in 2016.
Aussies love food. They also love booze. Put the two together and you’ve got a recipe for tourism success.
And while the current trends hover around fresh produce, pulled meats, cronuts and kale, 2016 is a different year.
And with Tourism Australia knuckling down on its food and wine offerings to lure in visitors, they’ve predicted what’s next on the menu.
Business futurist Morris Miselowski says although the fashion for foams has dissipated in Australia, food “trends” such as foraging, farm-to-fork eating and fermenting are now mainstream.
The industry guru predicts that, in 2016, we will be drinking more naked wines, embracing desserts that are more savoury than sweet, cooking over charcoal and continuing to crave comfort food such as burgers.
Here’s what food-and-wine loving travellers can expect in Australia in 2016.
The nation’s obsession for barbecuing has moved from the back verandah to prime position in restaurant kitchens around the country.
Author of Food + Beer, Ross Dobson, believes the parilla (Argentine) and robata (Japanese) methods of cooking are particularly popular in Australia because “barbecuing is being recognised as part of the national identity no matter where you’re from”.
“There is something magical about the hiss of food on the grill and the aromas that accompany this ritual,” Dobson said.
Writer Barbara Sweeney is the curator of Food & Words, an annual food writers’ festival and member of the TEDxSydney Food team.
And Sweeney says she has noticed a definite trend in Australia toward talkfests and food festivals that bring together everyone from bakers to makers who want to establish meaningful connections.
“There is nothing more human than getting together to talk about food,” she said.
“It’s the antithesis of our online lives and it’s the intimacy of these events that the community seems to be craving.”
Trust your gut… it’s saying ‘fermented foods’
Once the secret ingredient of the beloved home cook, the cult of the cultured vegetable has spilled over into markets and restaurants, and Aussies are lapping it up.
The age-old art of preserving food is back in the picture thanks to a “cottage-based resurgence” Ferment It production manager Belinda Smith said, who sells everything from kimchi to sauerkraut at market stalls around Sydney.
“Traditional preservation methods were a lost art form,” she added.
“They are popular again because of the health benefits: they help the gut replenish its flora.”
When it comes to natural winemaking, sommelier Byron Woolfrey has noticed an upward spike in demand for wines made with minimal intervention.
Woolfrey, who also runs Trolley’d, a mobile bar business, said what he loves about natural wines is they capture the true terroir of the region.
“Consumers are more conscious of having a completely expressive and natural wine so you can taste the flavours of the land,” Woolfrey told Tourism Australia. “It’s also about knowing where your product comes from.”
While sweet treats such as the Nutella doughnut milkshake have their own cult following, the menu does not necessarily need to end in a tooth ache and a nasty trip to the dentist.
In 2015, ingredients such as bacon and sea salt helped bridge the gap between savoury and sweet, business futurist Morris Miselowski said.
“Australian palates are now more refined,” he explained.
“We are also happy to experiment and finish a meal on a savoury note using everything from dark chocolate to chilli and salt.”
I am honored to have my 2016 food and wine trends featured in Australia.com and for it to form the basis of an international campaign promoting Australia’s great food and wine, so have a read at some of the mouth watering foods and wine we can look forward to in the next 12 months, and of course all made with wonderful Australian produce:
From naked wines to savoury desserts, here are the food and wine trends that will define what travellers can expect in Australia in 2016.
It’s no secret that Australia has fresh produce. What’s less well-known is that the country’s foodies are exceptionally innovative and creative so the food scene is dynamic and ever-changing.
Here’s what food-and-wine loving travellers can expect in Australia in 2016.
Australia loves a good taste trend. In 2015, our food and drink obsessions included everything from craft beer and cronuts to kale and salted caramel. While we will remain infatuated with all of the above into 2016, we also have our eyes fixed on the future. Business futurist Morris Miselowski says although the fashion for foams has dissipated in Australia, food “trends” such as foraging, farm-to-fork eating and fermenting are now mainstream. The industry guru predicts that, in 2016, we will be drinking more naked wines, embracing desserts that are more savoury than sweet, cooking over charcoal and continuing to crave comfort food such as burgers.
Barbecuing … it’s on fire
The nation’s obsession for barbecuing has moved from the back verandah to prime position in restaurant kitchens around the country. Author of Food + Beer, Ross Dobson, believes the parilla (Argentine) and robata (Japanese) methods of cooking are particularly popular in Australia because “barbecuing is being recognised as part of the national identity no matter where you’re from”. “There is something magical about the hiss of food on the grill and the aromas that accompany this ritual,” says Dobson.
Margaret River Gourmet Escape, The Forager Saturday Dinner Event, Margaret River, WA
Food … it’s on everybody’s lips
Writer Barbara Sweeney is the curator of Food & Words, an annual food writers’ festival and member of the TEDxSydney Food team. Sweeney says she has noticed a definite trend in Australia toward talkfests and food festivals that bring together everyone from bakers to makers who want to establish meaningful connections. “There is nothing more human than getting together to talk about food,” says Sweeney “It’s the antithesis of our online lives and it’s the intimacy of these events that the community seems to be craving.”
Fermented foods … going with the gut
Once the preserve of the home cook, the cult of the cultured vegetable has spilled over into markets and restaurants. The age-old art of preserving food is back in the picture thanks to a “cottage-based resurgence” says Ferment It production manager Belinda Smith, who sells everything from kimchi to sauerkraut at market stalls around Sydney. “Traditional preservation methods were a lost art form,” says Smith. “They are popular again because of the health benefits: they help the gut replenish its flora.”
Naked wines … it’s only natural
When it comes to natural winemaking, sommelier Byron Woolfrey has noticed an upward spike in demand for wines made with minimal intervention. Woolfrey, who also runs Trolley’d, a mobile bar business, says what he loves about natural wines is they capture the true terroir of the region. “Consumers are more conscious of having a completely expressive and natural wine so you can taste the flavours of the land,” says Woolfrey. “It’s also about knowing where your product comes from.”
mandarin, cocoa nib brittle, almond and rosemary ice-cream at Monster Kitchen and Bar, Hotel-Hotel, Canberra, ACT
While sweet treats such as the Nutella doughnut milkshake have their own cult following, the menu does not necessarily need to end in tooth-achingly sweet “afters”. In 2015, ingredients such as bacon and sea salt helped bridge the gap between savoury and sweet, says business futurist Morris Miselowski. “Australian palates are now more refined,” he says. “We are also happy to experiment and finish a meal on a savoury note using everything from dark chocolate to chilli and salt.”
Try … the brioche filled with warm blue cheese custard and honey at EXP. Restaurant in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley or the mandarin, cocoa nib brittle, almond and rosemary ice-cream at Monster Kitchen and Bar at Hotel-Hotel in Canberra.
Chris Isley of 6PR Perth radio and I chatted about these trends and what trend tracking is, have a listen now (recorded 12 October 2015 – 9 mins 48 secs)
On the eve of an announcement to introduce smart parking in Canberra, Phil Clark of ABC Local Canberra and I caught up for a quick chat about smart parking and its benefits.
Smart Parking, although not yet confirmed in Canberra, is likely to be rolled out in Manuka later this year or early next year and will work most likely work through a myriad of in-ground sensors, sending signals to overhead gantries and signs, and possibly even a user app, notifying the driver where an empty car parking spot is and depending on which system they go with may even beginning the tolling and count down processes once the car is parked.
Smart Parking is a $1.5 billion global industry helping to claw back some of 106 days that drivers waste looking for car spots.
The technology, although not that revolutionary now, still has a window of use as its successor is already on the horizon with most cars over the next few years set to have this tech built into their on-board systems and just a little further down the track for many cars to go one step further and park themselves without a driver on board.
The introduction of this technology is often heralded as improving road convenience and removing car congestion caused by drivers car park spotting, but in Canberra the minister has gone one step further and admitted something many of us have long-held as being one of the major reasons for its introduction and has said that the technology will also reduce the cost of municipal parking enforcement and increasing the issuing of fines – so Canberrians consider yourself warned.
Have a listen now (3 minutes 2 seconds)…
There is a growing belief that robots are set to live up to their Hollywood hype and take over the world and that human jobs are doomed and that we’re all doomed to be unemployed, penniless and useless, but the truth doesn’t match the hysteria.
We are definitely seeing more machines, robots, androids, drones and bots around us performing jobs that were once done by human hands and minds and yes some people are losing their livelihood and sometimes their careers and nothing good can be said of that and there is a figure banding around that 500,000 Australian jobs will disappear in the next decade as we move to greater automation, but all of this can’t be put down to an anthropomorphic robot uprising instead its blame lies squarely with the collective human preference to want to pay for the cheaper and faster end results of a machine over the slower and often more expensive output of a human.
But even with an ever-increasing automated and robotic workforce we will still have a net increase in jobs and employment over the next decade and beyond. We will still have more people move out of a 9-5 work status and join a work when and when is appropriate work model which will include a huge rise in casualised jobs as industry reshape themselves and new jobs and tasks are born.
We are definitely going through a pimply teenage-like period, where all things seem dramatic and the future uncertain, but we know from past experience that tomorrow will bring with it new challenges, but also many opportunities, some of which will include robots, but many of which will not.
In this weeks on-air segments with 4BC’s Kim Mothershaw and ABC radio Far North’s Phil Staley, we explored robots in the workforce, explained the difference between robots, drones and androids and took a look at a near world where humans and robots live side by side.
Kim Mothershaw – 4BC – (19 minutes 26 seconds) – with special guest Dr Jonathan Roberts, Professor in Robotics, QUT – 22 September 2015
Phil Staley – ABC Far North – (16 minutes 23 seconds) – 21 September 2015
With current global sales of $110 billion rising to $335 billion in 2025 there’s obviously a growing online marketplace, but referring to is the sharing economy does it no service, in fact it only confuses the debate.
The sharing economy / collaborative economy / peer-to-peer or whatever other title you give it, to many people has connotations of hippies, communists, people allowing others to use their things for free or for barter and belies the trends that underpins this new online movement, but very old human activity.
The core notion is that I have something that I’m not using right now, so I’m happy for you to borrow it, but this is where it gets murky because as pure as the desire for people to share their “toys” the reality is that the vast majority of offerings are real businesses wanting to make real money profits.
Behind the scenes the past decade has bought a perfect storm for this old movement to resurrect itself as many of us increasingly feel we don’t have the money to own something, but would still like to use it or do it; where we feel that we don’t all need to own one and cause more environmental harm when we could just take turns and a growing group of people who have detached themselves from the need to own something to prove their self-worth and importance and instead would rather just do it or borrow it now.
What’s behind all of this is simple digital connectivity, you can now let lots and lots of people know that you have something that they can use or borrow and they can now easily find and connect with you to organise it and on the other side of the equation, if you need something you can look further afield to find it or borrow it.
So, lets drop the term sharing economy and just stick with the real game. There’s stuff that some people own and the stuff that some people want and there;s now a really easy way to connect the two.
This was the thread for my chat with of ABC Perth as we unraveled and made sense of the new online marketplace aka the sharing economy and looked at some great examples and uses.
So have a listen now (15 minutes 46 seconds)…
“A few weeks ago, Smithink conducted an interesting workshop in Melbourne on “Outsourcing”.
Kane Munro of Deloitte delivered the key-note address “A real world experience of utilising outsourcing”.
In his presentation, Munro referred to an article in the Charter Magazine in 2012 by Morris Miselowski, a futurist: “By 2020, relationships between organisations, people and service providers will be far more intimate. Accountants will be part of an individual’s advisory group, and statutory requirements will be outsourced to some other country or person – that’s a fundamental shift.”
Kane also indicated that accountants are facing increased competition from a number of sources, including accountants who have already embarked on outsourcing, as they now have cheaper operating costs. In some instances, accountants who are outsourcing are utilising their cheaper operating costs to successfully market their services to clients of accountancy businesses which are not offering services at a lower rate”. reprinted from foraccountants.com.au
Moral of the story: Don’t be too eager to say “never”, instead try using “not yet”.
A reluctant Apple has been forced by the sheer weight of consumer demand to sell a laptop-tablet hybrid, sounding the death knell of the PC and perhaps the demise of the laptop.
Early on Thursday morning (AEST), CEO Tim Cook unveiled the giant new iPad Pro, measuring 33cm, with its own detachable keyboard and, shockingly, a stylus (a pen-shaped device to control the screen).
The huge tablet would offer “desktop-class performance” and was “the biggest news in iPad since the iPad”, Mr Cook said – a sign it may be marketed as a computer-killer.
The inclusion of the stylus contradicted Apple’s forefather Steve Jobs, who famously said in 2010 that “if you see a stylus, they blew it”.
Apple relented for a very simple reason – consumers wanted them, a leading tech futurist told The New Daily. They have flocked to its main rival, the Microsoft Surface, and to other two-in-one products.
“The marketplace has spoken,” futurist Morris Miselowski said. “That’s where people want to go.”
A clear trend
The trend is clearly away from desktop PCs and laptops towards even greater “portability”. In years to come, souped-up tablets may become even more popular, Mr Miselowski predicted.
“Most are for carrying our tech with us. We want to transport it around, so we’ve gone to laptops. But it seems laptops have become a bit naff as well. Even the laptops now have got these bendable, movable, disposable, pull-apart things that turn them into a tablet.
“We’re going towards portability, absolutely, and this is clear evidence of it.”
The hybrid will operate faster than 80 per cent of portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months, Apple senior vice-president Phil Schiller claimed on Thursday. It will be available in Australia in November starting at $US799 ($A1137), with a keyboard option at $US169.
In April, a tech consultancy firm predicted rising demand for hybrids, but noted it was being driven by Microsoft, not Apple.
A Telsyte spokesman told Appliance Retailer that its research showed that convertible and hybrid products, such as touch screen laptops and tablets with detachable keyboards, would improve sales this year.
We are. But should we?
Another tech expert told The New Daily she was opposed to the ‘dumbed down’ trend, but acknowledged it was popular.
“I don’t think an iPad should ever be used instead of a computer because I think computers have so much more to offer,” Queensland University of Technology tech researcher Dr Christine Satchell said.
“In a way it dumbs down the interaction. It would be a shame for future generations to move away from full computational systems altogether just by iPad-ing it up, but who knows.
“There are a lot of people who are using their iPads in lieu of a computer anyway, so perhaps this is a really good, smart move.
“I understand why they’d do it, but I lament it in a way.”
On the eve of Apple’s annual announcement of all things new and shiny, Phil Whelan of Radio HK3 and I caught up to chat about what might be, why it might be and what won’t be but gee it would be nice if it was.
The first safe bet is that the newest iPhone will be 6S and not 7. Apple has set up a pattern of alternate year naming devices this being the year of the “s” and next year being the upgrade to a new number (so in 2016 we’ll get the iPhone 7).
This new device will more than likely be slightly thicker than the current one to accommodate some new features, but except for this and possibly a new Rose Gold colour, the phone will be almost identical.
Inside though we should see the launch of “Force Touch”, or perhaps a new name for it, allowing you to apply different levels of finger pressure to the screen in order to get it to different things or access different levels of information or actions.
There also should be an upgraded 12 megapixel rear camera (up from 8) and an ability to shoot 4K video.
In addition to the 6S one of the other major announcements is likely to be the introduction of the iPad Pro a larger form iPad Air that is set to take on Microsoft’s Surface and fill in the gap for those that don’t want a laptop, but do want a larger tablet screen to work on.
The other major announcement should be a revamped Apple TV a plug-in device Apple has had for many years but it has never taken the market by storm. The imperative here is that this is last screen that Apple has to conquer, it has the mobile, the tablet, the computer, the laptop and the watch and needs to plant a firm flag here as well to allow its ecosystem to fully integrate between all devices.
The thought is here that this device, which plugs in to the back of any existing TV, will give you an Apple type experience on your TV full of apps, iTunes type downloads and other Applesque features.
All these are great and necessary for Apple, but two questions remain do we really need a new iPhone? – most probably not for existing users whose phones are still working well, but definitely yes for those that have to have the newest and shiniest Apple toy, but for me the thing that is missing is the “next big things”.
Apple will have to one day take itself into Augmented and Virtual Reality land. It will one day likely push further into the car with on board connectivity and entertainment and maybe even one day by partnering with or building its own motor vehicles.
It also should push more into retail and beef up iBeacon and other in-store opportunities and look at becoming a greater force in the Internet of Things.
Far be it for me to tell Apple, the worlds biggest brand and seller of 6 iPhones every second, but I would love to see them take up their old mantle and WOW us with their ingenuity and offerings, instead of just bringing out the expected.
I don’t for a minute think they are going to become irrelevant or unnecessary, but 9 years ago Nokia was the default global mobile phone and we were still being wowed and lining up to buy Microsoft’s’ newest, and always flawed, Windows which we bought for $300 plus, installed and immediately began to complain about, but use.
Come on Apple, as much as we love what you’ve done for us, bring it on – let’s go big and bring is some really new wicked cool fully sick tech toys.
Have a listen now and then share your thoughts on what you’d love to Apple to bring to market.
Update 10 September 2016: All’s good, announcement made and no real surprise – yeah/yawn!
An on stage conversation about #Education2030, with the Hon. James Merlino MP / Sholem Aleichem Business Breakfast
I was privileged to be asked back again this year to Sholem Aleichem Primary School’s Business Breakfast, this time to chat on stage with Victoria’s Minister for Education James Merlino about the Future of Education.
My ambition was to take him to 2030, the year in which his youngest child would finish school, and talk about the world of then and how we might educate towards it.
It’s always a tough gig trying to get a politician off their high political horse and “yes minister” responses and from the outset I must say I don’t know if I achieved it.
My first question was framed around a world of trying to educate today’s kids for a world of uncertainty, where in 2030 60% of the tasks that they will be doing are today unknown, in industries that haven’t yet been created, with a projection of 500,000 of today’s routine blue and white-collar jobs having disappeared.
His answer was encouraging, but not revolutionary.
He spoke, as do many, of better resourcing classrooms and teachers, of new technologies, of doing more and of having a curriculum that embraces the 3 C’s of communication, collaboration and creativity, but he did not speak of revolution.
We then took up the discussion of what role parents, industry and others should have in future education and the response was again one of acknowledgment that we need to form deeper relationships with each, in order to progress education, but it did not speak to the notion of it takes a village to educate tomorrow’s child.
This is not a criticism of the Minister. It is obvious he is passionate and is trying. It is a criticism of what we have done to our politicians.
The short natured approach that we have forced on them, our growing communal desire to solve complex problems with simple solutions and the need to have it all wrapped in one short succinct irrefutable statement has taken us down a road of short-term glib strategies that mask rather than resolve issues.
Education, like most other big issues, does not have a short-term solution, it is complex, long and forever changing.
Why don’t we value long-term anymore? Why don’t we allow our politicians and our decision makers to take exponential leaps? Why can’t we have another audacious Snowy Mountain type scheme that catapults us into the Future of Education?
Instead we prefer to sling motherhood statements at each other, of children being our future, education being tomorrow’s most important natural resource and innovation being central to Australia’s becoming the smart country.
I do rally hard against we adults scoring points to the detriment of today’s children.
They don’t vote. Their voices are not particularly loud and older generations have a tendency to pillory them for not knowing enough or being too obsessed with the fad of the day and believing that we know what is best for them – but these statements have been made of every older generation about the previous.
The big difference is that today’s generation needs us to make significant changes to our education system if they have any hope of making it in tomorrow’s world.
Our current education system is built on teaching known facts towards known outcomes and measuring our ability to understand them by a pass and fail test, but yet today we preach the need for creativity, state the world of tomorrow is based on uncertainty and speak of failure as a positive thing – these two worlds are incongruous and therefore so is much of our education system.
This is not a go at teachers, or politicians, but rather a go at we who hold too firmly to our old ideals.
We claim to wish the best for our children, but in reality we are smothering them with motherhood statements and outdated systems, curricula and pedagogues and drowning them in our fears of uncertainty and inadequacies.
We cannot and will not give our children what we claim to want to give them, if we continue to do what we’re doing now and merely tinker around the edges.
When parents are asked whether they would be willing to sacrifice themselves for their children’s invariably the majority answer yes, so let’s start sacrificing
Let’s be brave and demand of ourselves and our politicians a long-term commitment to education, where the short-term needs of today’s adults to keep their jobs doesn’t prejudice the brave and uncomfortable decisions we have to make if we are going to educate our children and give them the tools and abilities to create their world in 2030 and beyond.
So listen in to our on stage chat (14 minutes 52 seconds) about Education 2030 and then join us on the road to an Education revolution.