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On the way back from our Christmas holidays we stopped at Cann River for a driving break and some coffee at one of the local Cafes' .  I noticed a man dressed in high visibility clothing walking around a public building obviously taking notes probably on the maintenance and condition of the visitors center he was carefully inspecting.  Every time he noticed something of interest he would put his laptop on the ground, take a closer look, open a rusty door or inspect the flaky paint.  He would then pick up the laptop, rest it on his left hand and using one finger search and destroy data entry technique with his right hand, painstakingly enter his report information.

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When catching a train into the city, you are sure to notice the many billboards and advertising slogans designed to capture the attention of the commuter on his long and often uncomfortable commute to work. On one of my recent trips to the city however, I noticed a billboard that was out of the ordinary. It was a large billboard, easily visible from within the train. It said nothing, it didn’t have any catchy slogans or facts or statistics. It was just an enormous QR code. I couldn’t believe that a company would pay so much to simply have this code printed on a billboard, but it did open my eyes. From there, I started noticing QR codes everywhere. They’re in advertising, on leaflets, on bills and they’ve even been printed on a cupcake and minted on a country’s currency! It seems that the QR code is the next big thing in technology, but what exactly is it and how is it useful?

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Only a week ago I was watching the movie Ironman on television. The billionaire entrepreneur Tony Stark was down in his lab building and modifying his new Ironman suit. As his aides, Tony had a host of machines that he commanded and told what to do using nothing but his voice. As I watched this I thought to myself, this is more Hollywood fantasy, technology hasn’t come this far. However upon thinking about this, I realized we weren’t that far away and that voice technology is something we are embracing more and more. You don’t have to look past your iPhone equipped with Siri or Samsung using S voice to see that speaking to machines is not confined to a Hollywood studio. Upon looking into this more, I discovered that voice technology isn’t just used occasionally in phones to find the nearest restaurant, but instead is incorporated in the running of entire factories and vastly improves productivity through the use of applications such as Wavelink Speakeasy.

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Last month registered adults had to vote for their local council or risk a 75-dollar fine. Having only recently turned the legal age of 18, this was my first time voting and it was something I was looking forward to. Within my ward, it is necessary to visit a polling place in person to register your vote, as the option to vote by mail is not available. The Australian Electoral Commission however does send every registered candidate a letter informing them of their obligation to vote as well as a list of all the candidates who are participating.

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I recently drove the long and fatiguing trip from Melbourne to Sydney in order to visit some family who live there. As my GPS kept constantly reminding me every few hours, breaks are essential on a trip of this length in order to stay fresh and alert on the roads. If you make this trip however, you will notice the plethora of trucks that constantly traverse this road in order to deliver goods from one state capital to the other. To accommodate for these trucks, there are a host of truck stops along the highway. Some of these stops have been adapted so that one can take a break, fill up their vehicle, have a bite to eat and in many countries the option to wash ones truck has become available.

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