The Ticker: Modern business life

Our live blog features rolling snippets of analysis, data and insight, all around the theme of modern business in Australia.

On today's blog:

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3.30pm - Busted: This infographic that debunks the world’s most common misconceptions

Time for some afternoon myth-busting. You can’t see the Great Wall of China from space, humans have more than five senses and alcohol does not kill brain cells.

These are just a few of the commonly accepted factoids that have been debunked by this great graphic from UK outlet Information is Beautiful. We’ve included a few below -- view the full infographic here

2.40pm - The G20: Dominating the headlines, but not dominating social media

The G20 summit is just days away and coverage is ramping up. How is the topic faring on social media?

According to media monitoring firm Meltwater, it’s really only being talked about in Australia.

And it’s much more popular on Twitter than Facebook. 

The sentiment around the tweets is neutral, possibly indicating that the majority of the tweets about the event are to promote media outlets’ news stories. 

But let’s keep it in perspective. The G20 may be dominating the headlines, but it isn’t dominating the Twittersphere. 

2pm - Two graphs that explain why accounting was dropped from the skilled migration list

1. Along with cooks, accountants have led the skills migration intake for the better part of the past decade. Below is a graph showing skilled migration intake for the past five years. 

2. As The Australian Financial Review detailed earlier this year, graduate positions for accountants have hit 20 year low. Wages have also been pushed down. According to data from Graduates Australia, median graduate wages in accounting positions are also around $10,000 lower than business studies graduates. 

12.50pm - Cities of the future: The best examples of urban tech innovation

Sydney ranked 19th out of 40 in Ericsson’s latest networked society city index. According to the report, the city faltered as a result of its level of broadband connectivity and carbon dioxide pollution.

The report also contained some fascinating examples of how some cities are going about digital change. Sydney’s key tech milestone involved the digitisation of the State Library; here's a sample of some of the other initiatives taking place around the world.

  • New York has introduced solar-powered device charging power cells that allow residents to keep their devices charged during an emergency.
  • Cairo is running a tweet translation service that converts English tweets into Arabic.
  • Mumbai has introduced smart water meters across its pipe network, which have reduced leaks and saved up to 700 million litres of waste water.
  • Delhi has used Facebook to enhance and crowd sourced its traffic police service. Oddly enough, it has worked. The page has helped in the prosecution of 22,000 infringements since it was set up in July 2012. 
  • Paris has created a smartphone app that uses past data to predict the crowds on its regional rail network, allowing users to plan their travel to avoid crowded trains. 

11.10am - 30,000 NAB customers to win unfair fees payout after class action

By Chris Kohler, BusinessNow

One of the nation’s biggest banks is preparing to settle a class action over unfair fees, which could see up to 30,000 customers share in up to $40 million compensation.

National Australia Bank boss Andrew Thorburn has flagged to those advising NAB on corporate responsibility that he wants to resolve a long-running case over excessive credit card late fees and other charges.

The NAB’s surprise move towards a settlement will put pressure on rival banks, fending off similar legal actions, to do likewise.

Andrew Thorburn said the move was a “first but significant step towards reaching a potential settlement”.

If the Federal Court approves the court action, NAB customers who are not already part of the class action will be allowed to join. 

That registration process would be managed by Financial Redress, a subsidiary of IMF, the company funding the Bank Fees Class Actions against all of the major Australian banks.

Read the full story on The Herald Sun

11am - The biggest winner of an India-Australia FTA?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently said that coal is the "foundation of prosperity" for Australia’s foreseeable future -- and given this latest prospective FTA with India, he may have a point. Here is a list of Australia’s major exports to India. 

And what will we potentially get a discount on in return? Cars.

9am - Interesting reads from around the web

House prices are finally off the boil. Why the RBA should now focus its attention on other pressing economic issues.

In praise of Australia’s mandatory voting system. Despite claims it would favour left-wing parties, research suggests that compulsory voting wouldn’t sway the outcome of the US election.

A slippery slope for oil prices. The price of crude appears to be breaking a new price milestone each month.

The TV advertising debate we should be having. Free falling advertising revenue has triggered a ‘blame-game’ style discourse in the US, but at least their networks are admitting there is a problem.

It’s not all smiles and shuttlecocks. Why badminton is one of the world’s most corrupt sports.

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