Last year we saw many major issues emerge in the technology sector. In 2012 we saw Facebook launch its IPO and surpass one billion users for the first time; Apple became the most valuable public company of all time and launched its iPad mini and iPhone 5.
Microsoft launched Windows 8 and its tablet Surface; the internet went black in protest controversial proposed US online anti-privacy laws, known as Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa); and Google’s operating system for phone, Android, continued its dominance helped with the launch of the Galaxy S3 by Samsung.
All these technological advances have also played a pivotal role in how we transact and engage in commerce. As we come to close to another year, it’s worth pondering some of the big issues in the technology/commerce space for 2013. Here are some of my predictions:
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I’m now the owner of a designer handbag and I’m not sure I want to keep it. The story of how I got it isn’t one I’m proud of - let’s just say the story of how I got it involves a garage sale, a tussle with a Russian septuagenarian and a fistful of notes. (Elbows people, use your elbows).
The point is, I now have a rather nice brown leather bag which, new, would have cost about the same as the GDP of Burundi - and I’ve discovered a whole new world.
I now get admiring nods from strangers and comments from friends about my new purchase. I come across women with similar designer bags slung over their shoulders and they nod and smile at me, like we’re members of a select group who think it’s perfectly reasonable to spend a four- figure sum on what is essentially a very nice calfskin thing to keep your Travel Tens, old Biros and the occasional pair of knickers in.
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They say the best thing about travel is that it gives you a better understanding and appreciation of home. That’s certainly the case for me. A recent trip to Europe, to attend the annual conference of the International Labour Organization, has shown me that while life in Australia is not perfect, we are still a long way ahead of most countries.
You don’t have to look far in Europe to see that the continent is still struggling through an economic crisis.Greece has seen riots as citizens protest the austerity package the government has been forced to implement to pay back its debts.
The move to an austerity package is dragging down the Greek economy by cutting wages and jobs, limiting the country’s ability to grow its economy and pay off its debts. The victims of this are working people and their families, many of whom did not benefit in the good times.
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Put the shopping basket down and step AWAY from the dairy aisle. Admit it. You were about to buy the $1 milk weren’t you?
Why? Well, as the insidious Coles jingo bleats: “Because We All Buy Milk!” You were about to save a whole 75 cents a litre.
But you were also falling for one of the dirtiest tricks in supermarket history – a trick which is possibly threatening the viability of a major Australian industry.
It all started, ironically, on Australia Day, but let’s look at the aftermath.
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WHO’D be a business owner in Australia?
With the way the Federal Government up-ends the apple cart every few months you’d have to have a thick skin, and a thick wallet, to want to have a crack at increasing the nation’s prosperity.
One of my mates runs a solar energy company - an occupation unrivalled in its capacity to guarantee you endless sleepless nights, wondering when the Federal Government will deliver its next windfall, followed by a swift kick in the guts.
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