Stories by Liz Tay

Free wireless broadband in Canberra and Gold Coast

While the New South Wales state government embarks on a drawn out process to tech up its capital city, a privately-run initiative is already providing free wireless broadband to Canberra and the Gold Coast.

Txt 'fun' for a successful mobile service

Social interaction, rather than function, is the force behind young adults' burgeoning use of text messaging, claims a new study conducted by the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Canada.

Australian job market gets flexible

Flexibility is the theme of the current job market, Hays Information Technology's January Quarterly Forecast reports. With IT professionals each embarking on their own new directions for the new year and the usual influx of overseas staff to our summery shores, the recruitment agency expects there to be a rich and diverse pool of job seekers available to employers on the hunt.

IT professionals take on consulting skills

There is more to successfully delivering an IT service than just technical expertise, proposes consulting manager Graeme Simsion, who believes that soft skills play an equally important role in IT businesses.

Dunc-Tank: Success or failure?

The Dunc-Tank project has been the topic of much debate in the Debian community since it was launched in September last year. Aimed at overcoming Debian's notorious delays in meeting its scheduled releases, Dunc-Tank collected donations to test the effect of funding on open-source software development.

A good year for the IT professional's salary

Last year was certainly a good year for Australian IT job hunters, with reports of 'skills shortages' peppering headlines across the country. Sadly for recruiters, the situation will not change much in 2007, according to this month's Biannual Labour Market Update from APESMA (Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia).

The gender-code divide

A stranger walks into a bar. All of a sudden, everything stops; conversations are put on hold as patrons turn to appraise the newcomer, and the sound of glasses being set down on their coasters seem almost deafening in the silence.

School turns to open source to cut cost, foster student thinking

When existing computing facilities were not meeting the growing need of students and teachers at the Lorien Novalis school in Dural, NSW, students suggested that the school investigate open source software as a cost effective way of improving its computing power.

A betting man

Reluctantly, he awakes to a stray beam of sunlight peeking through the heavy curtains of his bedroom. It must be late morning - or is it early afternoon? Michael Wilczynska runs a pale hand through his dark, floppy hair as he wanders to the kitchen for breakfast. Then it's time to get to work. Still dressed in the clothes he went to bed in, Wilczynska rouses his business partner, a state-of-the-art computer sporting dual 20.1" LCD monitors, and another day begins.

Robotic crawler performs check-up of power lines

U.S. researchers have developed an autonomous robotic crawler that scans power lines for weak points in an electrical grid. By monitoring and precisely locating problematic sections of cable, the robot is expected to improve the efficiency and reduce the costs involved in power line maintenance.

Rasterman on the path to Enlightenment

Carsten Haitzler, who is perhaps better known by his alias, Rasterman, has been the lead developer for the open source desktop shell Enlightenment for the past 10 years. Since attaining a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of New South Wales in 1997, Haitzler has built a career around his interest in graphics software, and has worked as a core developer at Red Hat and an engineer at VA Linux Systems in the U.S. and Japan.

Study finds reality in virtual environments

Ethical issues to do with psychological experimentation may be avoided by conducting experiments in a virtual environment, claims a study by psychologists at the University College London (UCL). The finding opens doors to further research into human behaviour under extreme social situations.

Ubuntu guru on power management hacks

It was while watching fellow Linux users having to shutdown their laptops in between talks at open source conferences some years ago that Matthew Garrett, now head of the Ubuntu laptop team, was initially alerted to power management issues in Linux systems.

Sierra: A brain that thinks about thinking

Game developer turned author Kathy Sierra is the brain behind best-sellers "Head First Java" and "Head First EJB". During her 17 years in the IT industry, Sierra has worked as a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, founded javaranch.com, and now specialises in metacognition, which is the science of thinking about thinking.