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The Tech Ashes

England v Australia: the technology battle

By Luke Edwards | 272 days ago

This summer is all about England taking on Australia thanks to the Ashes series. But it’s not all about cricket, there’s another battle that matters these days – the Tech War. So who’s ahead: the Poms or Aussies?

 

Television
England The TV was (part) invented in Scotland. But the BBC – a very English affair – launched in the early days of radio and is now the dominant broadcaster in the world. It’s still bleeding edge with the iPlayer on more gadgets than most other online-only TV content distributors.
Australia Invented the feature film – the meat of the TV sandwich. Without the 1906 feature The Story of the Kelly Gang we’d never have enjoyed other Aussie greats like Mad Max and, erm, Crocodile Dundee. OK maybe being the first at something doesn’t always mean being the best.
England win (Eng 1 Aus 0)

 

Computing
England How many inventions have changed the world? Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web. The world wide web. That’s like inventing electricity, or steam power – but even more important on a global scale.
Australia How many inventions will change the world? Australian scientists made the first quantum bit – the type that have led to a computer that’s 50,000 times more powerful than the world’s fastest supercomputer. Soon it’ll be time to say goodbye to load screens once and for all. Oh and they invented Wi-Fi.
Australia win (Eng 1 Aus 1)

 

Tablets
England The ARM processors that packed serious power into battery friendly silicon came from England. In fact ARM, in 2010, was in over 95 per cent of smartphones worldwide. Thanks to that tablets like the ARM toting iPad had enough power to catch on internationally.
Australia The very first notepad – using real-life paper – arrived in Australia way back in 1902 – before then it was just loose sheets. The same principle a consolidated means to read and create information has led to the tablet that, well, lets you do pretty much anything. Australia may be ahead philosophically but England win for practicality.
England win (Eng 2 Aus 1)

 

Gaming
England The English gaming scene has been great since programmers were making 8-bit classics in their bedroom. With the likes of Worms, GoldenEye 007, and Wipeout on the list it’s no wonder every major studio has a UK base.
Australia Down under they’ve created a headset that reads your thoughts. The Emotive EPOC registers brain waves and movement so when you’re on the virtual field of battle all you need think is ‘blammo’ and your enemy is as good as gone.
Draw (Eng 2.5 Aus 1.5)

 

Phones
England In Rugby in 1926 the first two-way conversation via radio telephone took place. Without that mobiles would not exist. Without that we’d still be living life at a snail’s pace. Imagine no more texting, emails, Facebook chats… Actually that sounds quite peaceful.
Australia Ruslan Kogan – Australia’s richest person under 30 in 2011 – buys components from Asia and ships his newly constructed gadgets directly to Australia and the UK. That means buyers cut out the middleman and get their mobiles for less. Enterprising but world changing?
England win (Eng 3.5 Aus 1.5)

 

Graphene
England British physicist Andre Geim discovered this wonder material and won the Nobel Prize for his efforts. The atom-thick carbon is a break-through substance that should change the face of gadgetry in the near future.
Australia Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation claims to have adapted this uber-carbon for use in high-speed gadgets. It’ll mean thinner, lighter, stronger, and more conductive tech – everything from bendable screens to wafer thin HD TVs. This news comes just as the UK government is committing £21.5m to commercialising graphene. Let the race begin.
To be continued…

 

England lead 3.5 to Australia’s 1.5

 

Luke Edwards is the multimedia journalist for Stuff magazine

 

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