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They came in like a wrecking ball… online firms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple have fundamentally changed the way we consume. But whose rights are protected? AAP Image/Julian Smith

Shift to online music underscores power of a handful of tech giants

The sheer market power concentrated in the hands of such few online companies represents a formidable hurdle to fair competition.
Until machines become truly intelligent, they’re going to make a lot of mistakes when they try to help us. Steve Rainwater/Flickr

The hazards of presumptive computing

Computers try to predict our behaviour and anticipate our needs, but sadly they often get things dreadfully wrong.
‘If I’m honest I just don’t think this is Windows 10-compatible.’ (with apols to Ritchie & Thompson) Peter Hamer

To upgrade or not upgrade? That is the all-too-frequent question

The question of whether or not to go for the upgrade or stick with the devil you know is an increasingly common contemporary dilemma; the lure of new features against the threat of potentially disabling…
Facebook knows what you’re doing. What you’re watching. How you’re feeling. Khakimullin Aleksandr/Shutterstock/Wired

Privacy is fast becoming the real disruptive force in digital technology

Did you recently buy a Samsung smart TV? If you are worried about privacy, you may be wondering how smart that decision was following the manufacturer’s warnings that its voice-activated televisions may…
The first incarnation of the now-gone mining tax focused on economic rent. Is targeting powerful rent seekers too hard? AAP/Kim Christian

How’s this for fundamental tax reform? Target the rentseekers

Tax is back in the spotlight with coalition MPs and the Australia Institute talking about getting rid of some of the exemptions to the GST. There has also been a lot of talk about whether or not corporate…
There’s a balance between service providers' responsiveness and responsibility when it comes to online abuse. Stefan/Flickr

Facebook and Google have a moral duty to stop online abuse

It’s the stuff of nightmares: your intimate images are leaked and posted online by somebody you thought you could trust. But in Australia, victims often have no real legal remedy for this kind of abuse…
Time for an unbundling? Mark Knol

Google and Europe come to blows, but will they break up?

Google’s operations in Europe have come under fire recently, with the UK proposing new corporate tax reforms that are being dubbed a “Google tax” for targeting the multi-national. And this follows hot…
Talk of a tax crackdown has Joe Hockey smiling. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australia eyes missing billions with very own ‘Google tax’

Joe Hockey has hinted he may introduce a “Google tax” as a new weapon to tackle profit shifting by multinational enterprises. The Treasurer’s suggestion is not only political as a counter to aggressive…
News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch has been given plenty of opportunities to air his agenda ahead of the G20 summit. Jason Reed/Reuters Pool/AAP

Murdoch discovers inequality, but he’s not on ‘Team Australia’

Rupert Murdoch’s special address to an exclusive meeting of the world’s most powerful finance ministers got a second airing this week. In a breathless front-page “exclusive” in The Australian, Paul Kelly…

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