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Minimum wage freeze good for business?

The Fair Pay Commission froze the minimum wage yesterday for the first time since the 1982 recession, citing economic pressures on employers. Unions had sought...

Wacky Websites: Wonder what you'd look like thinner? Just upload your photo. doesn't promise to deliver you six-pack abs while you munch crisps on the couch watching trashy telly. It doesn't even promise to get you off the couch and into a gym. It invites you to upload a photo of your current self, then digital artists shave off the amount of kilos you wish to shed (2-50kgs) and you are sent the altered image - the thinner view of you - to pin on the wall and remind you of how much better you could look (fatty).

World’s most litigious man sues Guinness Book of World Records

Jonathan Lee Riches is unhappy about being labeled the world's most litigious person. So much so that he is suing the Guinness Book of World Records.

Six tips to boost employee engagement

With one in five Australian workers admittedly unhappy at work, those companies that can keep their employees engaged have all sorts of advantages. Here are some tips to help your staff get the most out of themselves.

Will the future ever deliver?

Are you sick of waiting for the future to deliver on its promises? We let the boffins get away with announcing stuff, taking our money and then hiding. Our generation X and Y attention spans mean we forget to hold them accountable. Oh look over there, something shiny...

Are you ready for people to see your business stark naked?

Do you know where your favourite coffee shop sources its beans? What about the fat and sugar content of your breakfast cereal? Or how about the environmental standards of the paper you use in the office? Well duh, of course you do. And no, I'm not setting out here to judge your choices, but rather to point out that you probably wouldn’t have had that information 20 years ago. Times have changed and your business is about to be exposed.

Data blindness: Just ’cause it’s in a spreadsheet doesn’t mean it adds up

Why are we so swayed by system-produced data even though there is a fair probability that it contains some degree of garbage? Data – and more particularly, spreadsheet data – gives an undeniable sense of authority. Take a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation, key it into Excel and suddenly there is an authority to the numbers that belies its origin. Why?

Despite recovery, more companies are at risk (D&B)

Close to 38,000 Australian firms are a high risk of distress this financial year, despite signs the Australian economy is on the mend. New data from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) shows that the number of firms at risk has continued to rise over the past fifteen months, from around 34,000 in Q2 2008 to almost 38,000 in the June quarter of 2009.

Freaky 'Face Bank' teaches children frugality and fear

Take this "Face Bank", which gobbles down each coin with ghoulish realism. The original model had eyes, but (perhaps moved by reports that it was inspiring night terrors in children) the makers updated it last year, removing the eyes and adding a nose, Easter Island style.

What do the PM and The Fonz have in common?

The AFR's Peter Ruel contributed a great piece to today's news cycle, bound to delight anyone who watched the PM's exhausting attempt on the ABC's Lateline earlier this week to avoid sharing his thoughts on 'what level the public debt is likely to go'.

How to trump cunning linguistics and seize competitive advantage

The Commonwealth Bank is currently running an advertisement that irks me. Beyond all the arty-farty advertiser speak and debate over the campaign’s merits in the industry media, it contains a terminology flaw that sticks out like dogs balls. When the kid says, “Can’t we just promise to fix it?” my hackles go up.

Do Annual Performance Reviews do more harm than good?

For thousands of corporations and businesses across Australia, it’s that time of year again. Managers are gearing up for a task which often provokes feelings of dread. Employees are preparing themselves for something frequently described as “loathsome”.

Forget pay-walls, the future of media is hyperdistribution

Jarvis points to one particularly interesting example of how media companies can encourage increased distribution and readership for their online content: The embeddable paper.

Website of the Week: We Are Hunted charts the music people are really listening...

There are lots of smart online tools for new music discovery (Pandora,, jango and imeem come to mind - most of which have become quite familiar with legal representatives of the music labels). But the idea of comprehensively aggregating the online listening and networking behaviour of users is a breakthrough.

Break up? Yes, BREAK UP! The chance for banks to do something right

Across the globe, banks are challenged to lower the interchange fees they charge on debit cards, which give consumers convenient and inexpensive access to their money. In Canada and New Zealand, the debit card interchange fee is zero. Why has EFTPOS Payments Australia Limited (EPAL), which represents the banks and big retailers and processes two billion transactions per year, announced an increase of the interchange fee? Why raise the cost of EFTPOS transactions by 10 cents for all acquirers and merchants except Woolworths and Coles?

Addressing the commercialisation gaps (CCI ‘Call for comment’)

Yesterday, I posted an article calling on members of the private sector to join me in responding to the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research's Opportunity for Comment to "help inform the development and operation of the Commonwealth Commercialisation Institute." Naturally, I invite you to join me and post your own responses to each section, as a way to encourage open dialogue and the sharing of opinions. This way, when you do formerly submit your thoughts, you will do so informed by the views of many.

CSIRO-developed hybrid battery secures US$32.5M, but who profits?

So while this $US32.5 million US Government funding for UltraBattery is certainly a tremendous validation for the technology and the CSIRO researchers who developed it, the international licensing option pursued means that Australia will, in all likelihood, only receive couch change from what stands to be an extremely lucrative venture for the foreign companies (Furukawa Battery Company and East Penn) that are actually doing the commercialisation.

100 words that stop your emails getting opened (They include “friend”, “your family” and...

This is a list that came to our attention by way of an email. It's headline featured none of the words below. That's because this...

Words don’t do this mobile technology justice. Just watch.

Imagine that you are walking down the street with your mobile phone in hand and you'd like to know what is going on in your neck of the woods. You can now hold up your phone and, using your mobile phone's camera, see "tags" overlaid onto whatever you’re looking at. For example, you might observe a "Two for one coffer offer - Joe's Coffee." Or "Art Gallery Opening Today."

The History of Social Media: As Seen by Geekstorians

People who say social media is a fad have a profound misunderstanding of the internet and the reasons why people love it so, writes Leela Cosgrove.
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Instagram for Business… in 12 steps [FREE INFOGRAPHIC]

This FREE INFOGRAPHIC will teach you how to effectively work through these restrictions to maximize the benefits of your business usage of Instagram.


New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...