Of all the technology I read about, blockchain most feels like a solution people are trying to apply to the wrong problems. The application of blockchain as a platform for crytopcurrencies is the most well-known use, but governments and private businesses are looking to use it in other areas, notably identity. Dr Mark Staples, from Data61 is an expert in blockchain and a number of other technologies. I spoke with him at the recent Data61+LIVE event in Melbourne.
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A year ago, the federal government seemingly gutted science and technology research in this country, to the great consternation of many. But from the ashes of NICTA and CSIRO's Digital Productivity group came Data61. The agency's purpose is to bring together federal and state government departments, industry, university partners and CSIRO-wide capability to foster an ecosystem of innovation and collaboration. And while that sounds like it comes from a marketing brochure, the agency has made great strides in a number of fields and engaged with the public in ways that were rarely seen just a year ago.
Last night, the Federal government unveiled their budget for the coming year. The old days of "smokes are up, beer is up" are well behind us with the government's economic centrepiece now a collection of promises and wishes that are meant somehow to make us feel better about today and have confidence in tomorrow. This year, there were plenty of tech angles in the budget. Here are my five highlights.