John Birmingham

John Birmingham

John Birmingham is an author and Fairfax columnist.

IBM tells a nice story about Watson and oncology in India. The country has a paucity of oncologists — roughly 2000 in fact — to cover a population of 1.3 billion. Get cancer in India and your chances of receiving specialist care are, in relative terms, almost non-existent. Enter Big

Few industries have been as fundamentally — even ruinously — disrupted by digital technology as the news media. The transition from hard copy to online appeared to promise wondrous opportunities for venerable publishing houses to further increase their power and market reach. The whole world lay open to them. Star columnists

“You should really watch some TV,” he said. “You are paying for it.” And I was, but I didn’t really want to watch TV. Paying for it didn’t bother me much, because I was getting the pay TV package as part of a bundle. Subscribe today: Sign up for  Which-50’s

Podcasting is not the new black. Podcasting is not growing up, nor having its Golden Age. Podcasting is doing just fine, doing what it has always done: serving up tightly focussed content to self-selecting niche audiences. The witless hysteria of recent weeks, mostly inspired by a New York Times article,

The insatiable appetite for data is leading some companies to target school children in broad scale data-mining operations, according to The Washington Post. Citing a report by the National Center for Education Policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, WaPo identifies computer administered testing and the rush to adopt

Once upon a time people grew up and went to work, where they probably grew up some more. One of the strangest inversions of business life in the digital age has been the infantilisation of the workplace. From venerable tech leviathans like Google to the lowliest garage start-ups, the workplace

A crime wave swept over Australia last night as millions of pirates swarmed around Foxtel to download the Game of Thrones season premiere illegally. Securing their gold medal status as the world’s most enthusiastic thieves of intellectual property, local Throners hit BitTorrent more than a million times to grab a

VR was officially born this week, but an older sibling quietly stole its milk and cookies. Virtual Reality has enjoyed a bunch of birthdays this year. Google and Samsung both announced cheap headsets. Sony released an expensive one for the Playstation 4. Even the venerable old kid’s toy ViewMaster released

Subscription services have replaced downloads in the US as the largest revenue source for the music industry. Apple Music hasn’t quite cannibalised iTunes yet, but the trend line is indisputable. The Recording Industry Association of America has just dropped figures for 2015, and the biggest profit centres for music companies

Usually when things go wrong with corporate social media experiments, it’s a disaster for the company. They grab mindshare all right. They corner the attention economy. They win the whole damned Internet, but only because the Internet is laughing at them. Sometimes, though, you can still get it right even