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Associate Professor David Glance is director of the UWA Centre for Software Practice, a UWA research and development centre

Android customisation about to go mainstream

The practice of installing modified versions of the Google Android operating system on other smartphones is about to become mainstream. CyanogenMod, the people behind one of the custom ROMs (as these versions of the phone firmware are called), have just announced that they have received $7 million in funding to establish a new company Cyanogen […] … learn more→

With teens “over” Facebook, how Social Networks will have to change to survive

It seems that Facebook is coming to terms with the fact that teenagers are fickle and are unlikely to stay interested in anything for long – even Facebook. In their annual report, Facebook admitted that“some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, […] … learn more→

Can Facebook ever make advertising on its social network work?

It has been estimated that the average person living in a city today will be exposed to about 5000 ads a day. Of course, we are oblivious to the majority of these, but like SPAM, a small percentage of ads will be seen, and an even smaller percentage will result in a consumer taking some […] … learn more→

The Gumtree PayPal Scam: Spotting Internet scammers is harder than you think

In the UK, the Office of Fair Trading estimated that in 2006, 3.2 million adults fell prey to mass marketed scams and lost 3.5 billion GBP. In Australia, consumers are estimated to have lost $1b in 2008. It is easy to believe that society is becoming more sophisticated in identifying the ways of Internet scammers […] … learn more→

Sick of paying for textbooks? Get them now, free and online

In the same way that free open online courseware is threatening to disrupt traditional universities, open textbook initiatives such as OpenStax College from Rice University threaten to do the same to the traditional textbook market. OpenStax College has taken five of the most popular topics taught in American universities and produced high quality peer-reviewed textbooks […] … learn more→

Viral video, gone bad: Kony 2012 and the perils of social media

There have been enough social media disasters of late to make one thing clear: manipulating sentiment through social networks is next to impossible. The McDonald’s #McDStories campaign in January was supposed to allow the public to share fond memories of eating at McDonald’s. Instead, responses quickly became abusive and negative. Qantas famously made the same […] … learn more→

A tale of ‘betrayal’ – what Anonymous can teach us about online relationships

Whenever the press covers a story about hackers, a great deal of the discussion concerns the nature of online identity, the cohesiveness of hacking groups, and the individuals that identify with these groups. This is particularly the case with discussion of hackers that consider themselves part of the hacktivist group Anonymous. This is due, in […] … learn more→

Teaching with tech: could iBooks Author spark an education revolution?

Late last week, Apple announced the launch of a new piece of software, iBooks Author, and a new version of its eBook reader, iBooks 2. It’s a development that promises to accelerate the move to interactive eBooks, by radically simplifying their development. iBooks Author does to eBooks what Apple’s GarageBand does to producing music – […] … learn more→

Google search just got way more personal … and that’s a problem

In what has been labelled a “bad day for the internet”, Google last week changed its search engine to include personalised results from Google+. The introduction of Google Search plus Your World has led some commentators to claim the search giant has “changed the way search works”, in favouring posts from Google+ over relevancy. But […] … learn more→

Something about Siri: has the iPhone virtual assistant become the Apple of our eye?

In less than two months, Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, has insinuated herself into western culture. This has been less because of Apple’s marketing and more due to the public’s general interest in the concept and Siri’s potential. Of course, the fact Siri refused to advise people of locations of abortion clinics helped increase her notoriety. […] … learn more→