Science and Technology

Can our smartphones get any smarter?

"We shall be able to witness and hear events: the inauguration of a president, the playing of a world series game, the havoc of an earthquake or the terror of a battle — just as though we were present," said Dr Tesla in 1926.

The device, Dr Tesla said, would be small enough to carry about in one's "vest pocket".

Vests aren't so common these days, but he's spot on with everything else. Smartphones — combining the traditional function of a phone with internet browsing, video and apps — have changed the way we relate to, and communicate with, the world.

VIDEO: Niningi takes over

Minister Niningi called on the department for collaboration to chart a new course for the Ministry.

 

Charmaine Poriambep with more.

Ten tips for raising tech-savvy and tech-safe kids

But fast-forward to 2017 and you're now responsible for raising a child whose life will revolve around digital technology, and who will have to be tech-smart, tech-savvy, and tech-safe to survive out there in the wild.

So what are some tips to help you along the way?

We asked for your experiences, and expert Joanne Orlando — an analyst and researcher in technology and learning who has worked as an advisor for the Government, for Apple, and for the children's television show Play School — for her best pieces of advice.

How to better manage your relationship with your phone

How does it feel for you? What emotions come up in your mind and body?

What about when you realise you've left your mobile device at home, or in a taxi? Are you bereft? Do you crave it?

Last year, 84 per cent of Australians owned a smartphone — and among young people, that figure was 94 per cent.

And our dependence on mobile devices has crept up on us over time, leading to a range of problems, University of Washington Information School's Professor David Levy said.

Think you're right handed? Try this test

No matter where you are in the world, most people use their right hand for most things. More than 85 per cent of us are right-handed — even foetuses at 10 weeks preferentially move their right hand.

And the preference seems to be just a human thing — our close relatives the apes are split right down the middle on the left/right-handedness. Fifty per cent of them are lefties.

Test yourself

VIDEO: Transforming higher education

But with effective strategic plans and reforms it is attainable.
Plans to transfer teachers colleges and secondary schools to fall under the jurisdiction of his Department are underway.

 

More from Carolyn Ure

VIDEO: Czuba takes over

Czuba said the sector will continue the work of former secretary Professor David Kavanamur in a bid to develop and raise the standard of higher education in the country.

 

More from Caroline Ure

 

Australian researchers using silkworms to repair damaged eardrums

Who would have thought silkworms could be used to repair damaged eardrums?

A team with researchers based in Perth and Melbourne is moving towards clinical trials of a device that incorporates silk in an ear implant.

Named "ClearDrum", it looks like a contact lens, but is instead a device on which the patient's cells can grow.

Perth-based surgeon Professor Marcus Atlas said silk was the preferred choice because it was flexible.

Are you an addict? Turns out we're all tech junkies

Chances are you're looking at it right now.

Before you try and deny you're addicted, here are some stats to consider:

Australian men unlock their phones more than anyone in the world - on average 45 to 46 times a day, while for Australian women it is around 42 times.

Those figures have been calculated by AntiSocial, an app developed by Melbourne software company Bugbean, to monitor people's use of social media.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals: Is your home making you sick?

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancer rates are on the rise in humans. While sperm count and fertility is on a downward slide in some populations. What if chemical exposure was partly responsible for these trends?

One hypothesis is that a group of chemicals — known as 'endocrine disrupting chemicals' (EDCSs) — could affect human reproduction, puberty, metabolism and other functions controlled by hormones in our endocrine system.

Many suspected EDCs are already in your home — but how much risk do they really pose? At what exposure level do they become unsafe?