Dealing with ‘neighbours from hell’

Engagement with neighbours in apartment buildings can be a tricky, fraught business, and while it can be tempting to keep to yourself, diplomatic and respectful engagement is generally better than no engagement at all. That’s why after purchasing my first apartment in 2014 – a 1920s’ art deco block in St Kilda – I wanted to let my neighbours know personally…

Amazon’s checkout-free move sounds warning on jobs

In a prescient indicator of the future of retail, Amazon this week opened its first Amazon Go store in its home town of Seattle, an 167-square-metre grocery store that requires no checkout lines – not even self-checkout. Instead, customers can just grab whatever items they want and leave the store – the order gets logged through…

Hey Apple, hands off Fed Square

The news that Federation Square will be the likely new home for an Apple megastore should be a wake-up call to Melburnians to protect one of our city’s most loved and frequented public squares and cultural precincts before its character is irrevocably changed. Apple is believed to be in the final stages of lengthy and secretive negotiations with…

App employment not an easy gig

Every night around dinner time they come – rain, hail or shine – an army of bicycle-riding food couriers taking orders from online apps including Deliveroo and its Australian competitor Foodora. Along with Uber drivers, Airbnb hosts, Airtasker tradespeople and a multitude of others – they have become the face of the brave new online…

Eric Abetz’s unyielding opposition to gay law reform

Even as the Labor Party appears to have blunted the chances of the proposed plebiscite into gay marriage this week, the most vociferous opponents of gay marriage have been hitting the airwaves casting doubt and weaving mischief. Fronting the push from within Parliament is Tasmanian arch-conservative Eric Abetz, whose opposition to gay law reform has deep…