Category Archives: Technology news

GovHack, four questions answered

Computer Power Institute Software Development Diploma

This weekend, Computer Power Institute are sponsoring the GovHack (Hackathon) events in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland.

What is a Hackathon?
At Hackathons teams comprising of general IT enthusiasts, programmers, designers and project managers come together to solve a problem. Teams develop a viable solution within a set time-frame. Often mentors, materials and prizes are provided.

What is GovHack?
GovHack is an Australian Hackathon. GovHack runs for 48 hours, from Friday July 11 at 7:30pm until Sunday 5:30pm. The event is designed to draw people together from government, industry, academia and the general public. Teams compete for prizes by building computer applications, creating mashups, data visualisations and apps, using data provided by government agencies. Over the weekend the 12,000+ people registered will have the opportunity to interact with peers, be mentored by experts and show off their skills to the community.

GovHack is about finding new ways to do great things and encouraging open government and open data.

GovHack should be an awesome experience for everyone.

Why do people participate in Hackathons?

  • Solve real problems
  • Meet new people
  • Work in team
  • Learn
  • Enjoy the atmosphere

How can I participate?
Even if you don’t have a team, an idea for an application, or any knowledge of computer programming, it is worth going to a GovHack to watch and perhaps participate.
If you would like to attend this weekend’s event, please let us know and we will help you get involved.

Check out #govhack on Twitter to follow the action!


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Is the music industry the guide post for the future of education?

When did you last buy music on a CD?beach

It’s quite confronting when you suddenly realise it was ten years ago.

Before the iPod and iTunes revolution, we purchased the latest hits by heading down to our local music store.

To purchase our songs of choice we would often buy 11 other songs we didn’t really care for and too bad if the store was closed or out of stock – we would just have to wait – and we did.

Not anymore. Do you know where your nearest music store is today?

Today we expect music anywhere, anytime and with immediate access.

Record companies said it could never happen.

Today’s music lover is also today’s student and the transformation in the way we access music I believe is a guide post to the way we will also access learning in the future.

Recently, Laureate International Universities, the World’s largest largest Higher Education provider  commissioned Zogby Analytics (see document below) to undertake the University of the Future Survey where more than 20,800 students across 21 countries provided their view.

The conclusion – ‘it will be accessible, flexible, innovative and job-focussed’.

Most educators believe this will never happen.


Written by Andrew Horton. Group Managing Director, Didasko Group

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Giving girls the code to a life in computing and engineering

shutterstock_3729817An organisation encouraging young girls to develop an interest in computer science and engineering aims to bridge the gap in the number of women and men employed in computing fields, whether as engineers or developers.

Girls Who Code is a New York-based non-profit with the aim of providing an education in computer science to 1 million young women by 2020.

That target is driven by figures suggesting just 0.8 per cent of women graduating from American colleges received a degree in computer science and another claim that even fewer girls of high school age in the US are interested in studying computer science in college.

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What’s stopping young women from taking up a career in IT?

shutterstock_79978408A male-dominated IT industry is problematic to a workforce that faces skills shortages in technology. Women are crucial to keeping up with the demand in an ICT workforce that DEEWR predicts will grow by 33,200 workers or 7.1 per cent from 2012 to 2017.

The problem is there’s not nearly enough women entering the industry as there should be. The Australian Computer Society’s Statistical Compendium 2012 found women only make up 19.73 per cent of the total ICT-related occupation workforce, declining from 24.10 per cent in 2011.

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You can bet on IT

Keeping core systems online is vital when you’re processing transactions for one of Australia’s largest sporting events.


When you’re helping to run a multi-billion dollar enterprise and close to 10 per cent of revenue comes in on one day of the year, then you know there are serious pressures to keep the lights on. That day is Melbourne Cup day, and the enterprise is Tabcorp.

Kim Wenn, Tabcorp’s CIO, says Melbourne Cup day is decidedly the biggest betting day of the year for the company, with punters betting more than $180 million on the day of the “race that stops a nation.” This means 50 million transactions are processed all day, and up to 2000 bets per second at peak times.

“Our systems just have to work seamlessly,” says Wenn.

Appropriately for a position with that sort of pressure, Wenn reports directly to the CEO and attends all board meetings, as well as working with all of her peers within the company.


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Google backs project to slash Internet costs worldwide

A new coalition wants to ensure broadband access costs less than 5 percent of monthly incomes.

Internet access can be expensive, especially in developing countries. Google is backing a new project that aims to change that.

The search giant said Monday it has helped found the Alliance for Affordable Internet, or A4AI, a global coalition backed by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee that hopes to dramatically cut the cost of Internet access.

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