Google Enter Home Security

May 30th, 2014
Google are entering the home security market, in an effort to broaden its presence beyond the virtual world and into the modern household. Having already acquired hardware security firm Nest Labs, Google has recently expressed an interest in cloud-based video monitoring service Dropcam. Web-connected household appliances are a growing market throughout the western world, and Google could be among the first to connect such devices with an online monitoring hub. Earlier this year Google purchased Nest Labs, the maker of high-tech thermostats and smoke detectors, for $3.2 billion. This was Google’s second biggest deal ever, after the $12.5 billion acquisition of mobile phone manufacturer Motorola. While the world of home security does seem a long way from Google’s Internet and mobile concerns, it does provide the company with firm footing in the growing market for web-connected household appliances. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to objects or devices that can be uniquely identified and controlled through radio frequency identification. According to a report by Progressive Policy, IoT is expected to contribute $600 billion to $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy by 2025. Despite this huge potential, however, none of the existing tech giants has developed an integrated system that combines…

Early Birds vs Night Owls

May 23rd, 2014

Everyone wants the best of both worlds, but some things are simply not compatible. Most people have a clear preference for late nights or early mornings, with an individual’s place on the day-night spectrum largely determined by their brain structure. While new research has found evidence of physical differences in the brains of early risers and night owls, academics are […]

The Rise of Brazil

May 19th, 2014

With the FIFA World Cup taking place this year, and the 2016 Olympics just around the corner, the nation of Brazil is front and centre on the global psyche. While these two sporting events are helping to focus international attention, they are indicative of much broader changes taking place with the South American giant. The rise of Brazil is both […]

Homeowners and the Budget

May 16th, 2014

Australian homeowners fared well in this year’s budget, with the housing sector not suffering direct hits like other parts of the economy. While Joe Hockey’s cost cutting measures will be fel t far and wide, the family home will not be included in pension means testing as feared and negative gearing stays intact for now. First-home buyers did suffer a […]

House Price Growth Slows

May 9th, 2014

A little heat has evaporated from the Australian housing market, with house price growth dropping nationwide in April results. While positive growth was still recorded in most capital cities, rates of growth were down substantially on previous months. With auction clearance rates and other key data also slowing in the first quarter of 2014, some analysts are forecasting peak market […]

Preparing Kids for Life

May 2nd, 2014

There is a lot parents can do to help their children become more responsible, both within the home and in the wider world. While the education system plays a big role, parents are in the best position to teach their kids the art of responsibility through household chores, financial education, and other routines that help develop good lifelong habits. There […]

Exercise and the Brain

April 25th, 2014

Physical exercise influences the brain in many ways, increasing neurotransmitter levels, improving oxygen, and enhancing nutrient delivery. Physical activity affects both how we think and how we feel, with people who exercise likely to experience a number of cognitive and psychological benefits. Whether its memory, brain function, or protection from the negative effects of anxiety and depression, studies are increasingly […]

Netflix and the Future of TV

April 18th, 2014

Television culture is changing before our very eyes, as traditional TV networks compete with online downloads and streaming services. Media streaming service, Netflix, continues to lead the way, with the US giant recently announcing record earnings for the first quarter of 2014. While the Internet has long been used for the distribution of existing TV material, Netflix and other providers […]

Free Trade Deal Struck with Japan

April 11th, 2014

After a long period of negotiation, Australia has signed a new free trade deal with Japan. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe have settled on the major points of the bi-lateral agreement, with both leaders promising significant advantages across a range of industries. The Australian agricultural sector is a big winner, with Australian consumers also set […]

Real Estate Sector Leads Business Confidence

April 4th, 2014

According to the March Business Confidence survey by Roy Morgan Research, there has been a modest recovery in business confidence throughout Australia. The real estate sector continues to lead the way with the strongest gains, followed closely by professional services and wholesale trade. While the recovery may only be small at this time, there is also a strong belief that […]

Is 50/50 Parenting a Good Idea?

March 28th, 2014

Shared or 50/50 parenting is an arrangement where each parent spends an equal amount of time with their children, either within a partnership or following a separation. While this ‘equal time’ deal may seem like a win-win for parents and children alike, according to some experts, this new ideal offers up just as many challenges as the paradigm it tries […]