Tech hits teen sleeping patterns
Tamara McLean in Sydney | August 31, 2007
THE technology age has robbed young Australians of half an hour of solid sleep a night in the past two decades,
a major survey has found.
A report on the sleeping patterns of 28,000 children and teenagers has confirmed that younger people are sleeping
much less than they used to on school days, and are building up a chronic "debt" that has to be slept off on
The study found showed kids' wake-up time had barely changed – almost all rise within 15 minutes of 7am – but
were going to bed later, mainly thanks to video games, internet and television.
Sleep researcher Professor Timothy Olds, from the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia,
compared two surveys of Adelaide children aged 10-13 to analyse sleep changes between 1985 and 2004.
"The decline was striking," Prof Olds said.
"There was a 30-minute drop in sleep on school days, which is a minute-and-a-half less each year – very, very
He said a drop had been observed in adults over the past hundred years, mainly due to the advent of electric lights,
caffeine and more recent technological advances.
However, only one study, from Switzerland, had ever analysed this in younger people.
They were watching late shows more than ever, as well as live broadcasts of international sport like the US Open
or Tour de France now possible with 24-hour global TV.
The research will be presented at an international sleep conference, worldsleep07, starting in Cairns on Sunday,
which showcases the latest science on snoring, insomnia, sleeping tablets, dreaming and other sleep issues.
Older teenagers seemed to have more homework pressures, more part-time work on weekdays and were socialising
more, Prof Olds said.
And a lack of sleep on weekdays seemed to be fuelling bigger sleep-ins on weekends, creating "lopsided" patterns
which researchers said caused havoc with circadian rhythms, or body clock.
Finally, a revolutionary technology that allows your computer to become a search engine. Search the
internet like never before and find results that you normally would not find. The first of its kind.
- Search the internet live as it is, unlike conventional search engines that may be days, weeks or months
Open the doors for you to search the billions of dynamic pages that are invisible to conventional search
Turbo charge your existing search engine or use it as a powerful stand alone system that will take you
further, faster and deeper into the web.
You become the search engine, so you're in control.
Manhunt 2 set for US release
Manhunt 2, a computer game banned in the UK for its extreme violence, is to be released in modified form in the US in time for Halloween.
The game is set in an asylum for the insane in which the player survives by executing fellow inmates.
In June, it became the first game to be banned in the UK in ten years and its release in the US was delayed.
"We're glad [Manhunt 2] can finally be appreciated as a gaming experience," said the game developers.
Manhunt 2 is made by Rockstar Games, a development division of games publisher Take-Two Interactive. Rockstar Games is responsible for other controversial games such as Grand Theft Auto and Bully.
In June, Take-Two suspended the release of Manhunt 2 after the game was banned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), and rated "Adults Only" by the US Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
David Cooke, director of BBFC told the BBC at the time: "There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game."
On 1 August, Rockstar filed an appeal with the Video Appeals Committee to contest the BBFC decision.
Rockstar was unable to comment on the implications of the latest developments in the US for that appeal.
The game was originally rated "Adults Only" by the ESRB in the US.
An "Adults Only" rating is effectively a US ban because Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft refuse to allow games carrying that rating on their consoles.
But a modified version of Manhunt 2 has now been rated "Mature" by the ESRB. Under that less restrictive rating the game will be released in the US in October.
"Manhunt 2 is an extraordinary game, and we eagerly anticipate its release in North America," said Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two, in a press release.
The first Manhunt game was released in 2003. It caused controversy in the UK when the media linked the game to the murder of Leicester schoolboy Stefan Pakeerah in 2004.
The police rejected the link and instead suggested robbery as a likely motive for the murder.
A US company has developed a personal "flying saucer" which it says can reach speeds of up to 100
miles per hour (161km/h).
BBC News Player
Texan spiders spin 'monster web'
An enormous spider web has been found at Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas, US.
It is not the work of one giant spider – rather, millions of small ones have been spinning away and now it is twice the size of a football field.
Park rangers are not sure why the spiders have joined forces – they describe it as a rare occurrence.
Texas A&M University entomologist Professor John Jackman told Associated Press that there were reports of similar webs every couple of years.
The web covers a 180m stretch of trees and shrubs in the park.
Although it was initiallly described as "fairy-tale" white, it has turned brown from all the mosquitoes caught in its trap.
Experts say the web is either the work of social cobweb spiders that work together, or it has been created by spiders spreading out from a central point.
The park superintendant, Donna Garde, has invited entomologists to the park to study it first-hand.
Rangers said they expected the web to last until the autumn, when the spiders will start dying off.
Fast net on power wire plan
Andrew Colley | August 28, 2007
A CONSORTIUM led by Optus is considering the use of powerlines to deliver broadband to homes,
as it prepares to battle Telstra for rights to build a high-speed broadband network.
A senior Optus executive revealed that the consortium, known as G9, was considering the proposal in its
bid to win regulatory concessions from the federal government to build the network.
Public debate over the new network has been dominated by proposals that rely on using fibre optic cable
to boost broadband speeds.
Optus regulatory economics manager Jason Ockerby said the consortium was "not just confined to copper".
Mr Ockerby was responding to questions raised at a broadband seminar last week on whether Optus had
considered the cost of maintaining Telstra's ageing copper network as part of the consortium's bid.
Optus was testing broadband over powerlines with several utility providers including Integral Energy, Energy
Australia and CitiPower, he said.
An Optus spokeswoman declined to comment on the trials when contacted yesterday.
"Optus regularly conducts technology trials and we rarely comment on them," she said.
Broadband over powerlines would provide the G9 with an alternative to fibre-based broadband technology
that relied on Telstra's copper network.
Telstra has maintained that it would use all legal means at its disposal to block rivals gaining access to its
copper to build the new network.
There are three main proposals to boost broadband speed in Australia and all rely on using Telstra's copper
network for last-mile access to homes and premises.
Tax gets tough on privacy
Ben Woodhead | August 28, 2007
FRAUD detection systems have uncovered a rash of privacy breaches at the Australian Taxation
Office as employees flout tough data protection rules despite ongoing monitoring and training.
Accessing taxpayer records is unauthorised access
The sweeps of data access logs led to three sackings during the 2007 financial year and another nine
staff resigned after the ATO detected unauthorised access to taxpayer records.
The breaches came despite extensive privacy education programs at the agency and closely matched the
24 instances of tax officers inappropriately accessing client information that were uncovered in the 2006
"While no level of unauthorised access is acceptable, in an organisation of about 22,000 people it is inevitable
that a very small number of people will be tempted to do the wrong thing," an ATO spokeswoman said.
"Access to taxpayer records is limited to staff members who have a business need to access that information.
Accessing taxpayer records, including an officer's own records, those of friends, relatives or others,
is unauthorised access."
The latest privacy breaches were detected during systematic checks of access to taxpayer records, which can
trigger probes with powerful data mining tools if instances of inappropriate access are suspected.
The systems used by the ATO, whose fraud awareness training has been taken up by international revenue
collection agencies, are similar to those deployed at other federal agencies and departments including Medicare
Australia and the Child Support Agency.
Last week the agency and Medicare confirmed that they had uncovered dozens of instances of employees spying
on client records after they upgraded computer systems used to monitor information access.
The agency is considering whether to pursue criminal charges against three workers who resigned after they were
found accessing customer records without proper authorisation.
Medicare confirmed 49 instances of inappropriate access during the 2007 financial year and is investigating another
35 possible breaches during the period.
Mirror Mouse where is it when we need it.
DVD prices need to drop to $9.95 for all films, picked up 3 NEW RELEASE DVD's Blood Diamond, The Departed and
The Prestige all for $9.95, if this was the normal price of CD's and DVD's PIRACY WOULD NOT EXIST. It would be
cheaper to buy the movie then download and burn it to disc. Plus you get all the pretty packaging. On the negative
side, the movies need to be purchased and accessible from a main storage area like VIRTUAL CONSOLE on Wii.
You own the games, but if your Wii ever runs out of room on the build HD the old games are deleted by new
games, but you can still access the old games at a later date. Movies should be set up in the same way.
Where is the USB Mixing Desk.
Experts say Human Growth hormone DOES NOT affect Athlete Performance, if this is the case all Athlete's stripped
of their medals in years gone by should have them given back.
.Mac should offer discounts to Apple Customers, if you own a Mac Running a registered copy of OSX Tiger, Panther
or dare I say Leopard, you get the yearly .mac registration fee HALF PRICE. Loyalty deserves incentives, plus it
will entice PC users to come over to MAC, cause let's face it, the future of .MAC is Pretty Bloody Exciting.
Yahoo bets on free SMS
Rachel Konrad in San Francisco | August 27, 2007
YAHOO will introduce new features for its popular web-based email program, including software that
allows users to send messages directly to someone's mobile phone.
The enhancements make it easier to send email, instant messages or text messages from a single website – no
need to launch or toggle between separate applications or devices. It will take up to six weeks for all the new
features to become available to all 254 million Yahoo Mail subscribers in 21 languages worldwide.
The most obvious beneficiaries will be parents, who will be able to use their keyboards to type messages sent to
their children's mobile phones – no thumb-twisting typing on a dial pad, said Yahoo vice-president John Kremer.
"We're giving you the right way to connect at the right time with the right person," Mr Kremer, whose two preteen
sons vastly prefer text and instant messages to email, said.
The changes come amid fierce competition among providers of free, web-based email services. Yahoo and
Microsoft's Hotmail have long dominated the niche, but Google's Gmail has grown quickly since its introduction
in April 2004.
In February, Yahoo announced it would provide unlimited storage space, and earlier this month Redmond,
Washington-based Microsoft said Hotmail would increase free storage from 2 to 5 gigabytes. Time Warner's AOL,
the fourth largest email provider, began offering unlimited storage in the northern summer last year. Google
provides nearly 3 gigabytes.
Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo! bills the changes as the most significant overhaul of Yahoo! Mail since its
launch in 1997. The new version replaces a one-year-old beta program and adds new features, including text
messaging, a more comprehensive email search engine and an easier to read and edit contacts database.
Users who don't want the upgrades – or whose computers are too slow to handle them – can opt to remain with
the current version, which Yahoo! will call Classic.
The new version allows users to click on a contact and then select whether to send that person an email, instant
message or text message. You could send an email or instant message if you know the recipient is at the computer
– or a text message if the recipient is on the road with a mobile phone.
"This gives people the ability to reach anybody in their contact database anytime," Mike McGuire, vice-president
of research at industry analysis firm Gartner said. "For good or evil, it's going to be much easier for anybody to
get a hold of you."
Buyers to look for HD 'tick'
Jane Schulze | August 27, 2007
SIX years after free-to-air digital TV launched, TV manufacturers will finally make it easier for consumers to
buy high-definition TV receivers, with the launch of a new campaign.
The industry group representing TV and set-top box manufacturers, known as AEEMA, has launched a high-definition
(HD) certification 'tick' logo to identify TVs and set-top boxes capable of broadcasting in the cinema quality HD
The campaign aims to direct consumers to digital TVs or digital set-top boxes that comply with Australian standards,
given that it is not mandatory for the TV reception devices to comply.
"What we are trying to do is help consumers clearly identify products that are developed to relevant standards,
while providing greater certainty when connecting with other digital devices," the chair of AEEMA's suppliers industry
forum, Ross Henderson, said.
The new logo was launched last week at Channel Ten, and its chief executive Grant Blackley said most of Ten's
prime-time schedule was already broadcast in HD.
"And we are the only network telecasting premium live sport in HD, which as we've seen in Australia and overseas is
a key driver in the take-up of digital TV generally and HD in particular," he said.
About 30 per cent of Australian homes now have free-to-air digital TV, with the market also buoyed by the popularity
of wide-screen TVs, many of which have built-in HD tuners.
Mr Henderson said the suppliers forum predicted that more than 10 million flat panel HD TVs would be purchased in
Australia by 2012.
Two-in-One TV for your Mac
of one. It delivers free-to-view digital terrestrial television (DTT, or
Freeview) to your Mac in crystal clear digital quality, as well as analog
TV via aerial and standard cable. EyeTV Hybrid also comes with a break-
out cable for composite video and S-Video, enabling you to connect a set-top
box for premium channels, digital cable or satellite.
Watch, record, edit, enjoy
If you live in an area in which the DTT standard has not yet been fully adopted, or simply want
the flexibility of a DTT product together with the features offered by an analog product,
then EyeTV Hybrid is the ideal solution for you.
Requires adequete signal strength for correct reception. Digital reception only available where
* A 1GHz G4 processor or higher is recommended for viewing and recording High Definition
iPhone link to AT&T hacked
Correspondents in San Francisco | August 27, 2007
HACKERS says they have found a way to use Apple iPhone on networks other than AT&T, opening up
he coveted device to rival carriers and overseas customers, according to web reports.
Hackers say software lets the iPhone work on networks belonging to AT&T's rivals
A group called iPhoneSIMfree.com said it had developed a piece of software that, allows the iPhone to use rival
mobile services such as T-Mobile, a widely followed technology blog Engadget.com has reported.
AT&T has an exclusive two-year agreement to provide phone and data services for the iPhone in the US. Apple
is in talks with carriers in several European countries to launch the device there by the end of the year.
Enabling the combination phone, media player and web browser to run on other networks – known as "unlocking" –
has been a stated goal of many hackers since the iPhone hit the market in late June.
"The unlock process took only a couple of minutes. From our end it was totally painless," Engadget said.
Several other methods for unlocking the iPhone have emerged on the internet in the past few weeks, although
involve tinkering with the iPhone hardware or more complicated ways of bypassing the protections for AT&T's
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel declined to comment on the Engadget report and an Apple spokesman could not be
immediately reached. An email sent to iPhoneSIMfree.com was not immediately answered.
The iPhone is based on GSM wireless technology, which is deployed widely throughout Europe but used in the United
States only by AT&T and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile.
"Inside the United States it's not going to be a huge deal, outside the United States it's probably going to be a big
deal until Apple gets agreements in place with partners there," Jeremy Horwitz, editor-in-chief of Apple news-tracking
site iLounge.com said.
The hacker victory could also be fleeting since it may be possible for Apple to render the unlock process useless with
an update to the iPhone software, Mr Horwitz said.
Hard-Drive Transfer Kit for the Xbox 360 Elite System
This kit lets you transfer content from your Xbox 360™ 20GB hard drive to your Xbox 360 Elite 120GB hard drive.
Please be advised that Xbox 360 Elite is intended for new console owners. Users who desire expanded storage are
advised to purchase the 120GB hard-drive accessory rather than Xbox 360 Elite. For those still wishing to transfer
data from an existing Xbox 360 console to Elite, please use the following instructions.
You have the option to perform a one-time transfer of content from a 20GB Xbox 360 hard drive to your Xbox 360
Elite console's 120GB hard drive. Whether you choose to do this or not, understand that both hard drives are fully
compatible with both your Xbox 360 Elite and your original Xbox 360 console, and will be after the transfer, too.
However, content can only ever be moved from the smaller drive to the larger one—and only once.
If you have already saved games or stored content on your Xbox 360 Elite system's 120GB hard drive, those games
and that content will be erased during the content transfer from your 20GB hard drive. (All preloaded content will
remain when the transfer is complete.) Xbox LIVE® Arcade games and other content purchased on Xbox LIVE can be
At the end of the transfer, your 120GB hard drive will contain every file that could be transferred from the 20GB
hard drive. Preloaded content on the 120GB hard drive, such as game demos and videos, may change during migration.
The original preloaded content will be completely erased and replaced with new content during migration.
The contents of the 20GB hard drive will be erased. If you continue to use the smaller hard drive after the transfer,
you'll simply end up with separate game saves or other content on each drive.
Apart from this one-time option to move all content to your new drive, you cannot copy or move files from one hard
drive to another, regardless of drive capacity. Except as detailed in the following procedure, only one hard drive may
be connected to your console at a time. The cable cannot be used to transfer data from more than one hard drive or
to simultaneously connect multiple hard drives to your console.
To avoid erasing existing games saves or your Xbox LIVE membership on your 120GB hard drive, you can move them
to an Xbox 360 Memory Unit (sold separately) for temporary storage. Once the hard-drive-to-hard-drive transfer is
complete, you can then safely add your games saves or membership back to your 120-GB hard drive.
Please keep in mind that licenses for downloaded content like Xbox LIVE Arcade games and TV shows from Video
Marketplace are tied to your console not your hard drive. The hard drive transfer kit will move all data from your
20GB hard drive to your Xbox 360 Elite System's 120 GB hard drive, but due to data security provisions it cannot
move the licenses associated with some content. This means that while all of your Xbox LIVE Arcade games and
Xbox LIVE Marketplace TV shows will transfer, you will have to be connected to Xbox LIVE (to verify your identity)
in order to access that content. This process is permanent—do not transfer your data if you wish to access it
In all cases, movie rentals downloaded from Xbox LIVE will not be available after content transfer. If you have movie
rentals, watch them first!
As with any data-transfer process, there is a risk that some or all of your data may become lost during the transfer
process. If you proceed with the data-transfer process, you do so at your own risk and you agree that Microsoft is
not liable for any loss of data resulting from the transfer process.
To Transfer Content from an Existing Xbox 360 Hard Drive
- Turn off both of your consoles and remove the 120GB hard drive from your Xbox 360 Elite console as described
- in the Xbox 360 Setup manual (Volume 1).
- Attach your 20GB hard drive to your Xbox 360 Elite console, then disconnect all accessories from the console's
- controller ports.
- Connect and turn on a controller, which you'll need during content transfer.
- Connect one end of the transfer cable to your 120GB hard drive.
- Connect the other end of the transfer cable to the rear USB port of your Xbox 360 Elite console.
Be sure to connect the transfer cable to the back port, not a port on the front of the console.
- Insert the included Hard Drive Transfer Disc and follow the on-screen instructions.
To begin using your 120GB hard drive after content transfer is complete, remove your 20GB hard drive from your
Elite console and attach your 120GB hard drive as instructed in the Xbox 360 Setup manual (Volume 1).
The transfer cable connects to the 120GB hard drive in only one orientation. Do not force the connector on.
Connect the cable in the orientation shown.
- Depending on the amount of content to be moved, the transfer process can take more than an hour.
- The Xbox 360 120GB Hard Drive transfer cable is not a PC accessory. It is intended only for connecting the
- Xbox 360 120GB Hard Drive to an Xbox 360 console for data transfer. Damage to your PC or other USB
- device could occur if you connect the transfer cable to such devices. The cable functions only when used with the
- supplied transfer software.
- The transfer cable is intended only for transferring data from your old hard drive to your new hard drive through
- your console. It is not intended for long-term connection to your console, nor is it intended for use with any
- other USB host or device. Dispose of the cable in accordance with the Disposal of Waste Electrical and
- Electronic Equipment guidelines in your Xbox 360 Warranty manual (Volume 2).
- The Xbox Guide is not available during content transfer.
- If the transfer is interrupted for any reason, your content will remain on your existing 20-GB hard drive.
- You can restart the transfer process at any time prior to completion.
- Once you have transferred the contents of your original hard drive to your 120-GB hard drive, you will not
- be able to move files from one hard drive to another.
Experts raise alarm on Sony software
Jim Finkle in Boston | August 29, 2007
SOFTWARE included with high-end memory sticks sold by Sony can make personal computers vulnerable
to attack by computer hackers, according to researchers with two internet security firms.
Sony's MicroVault USB memory stick and fingerprint reader includes software that creates a hidden directory on
the computer's hard drive, researchers with Finnish security software maker F-Secure has reported in its company
Such software that hides itself, which is known as a root kit, leaves room for hackers to secretly infect personal
computers, they said.
Software that is installed on such hidden drives is not only invisible to the human eye; some types of computer
security software are unable to detect viruses and other types of so-called malware, or malicious software,
stored on them.
F-Secure's blog posting said it attempted to contact Sony before alerting the public about the software, but
the company had not replied.
Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa said he could not immediately comment on the situation.
Researchers with McAfee recently said they had confirmed the vulnerability described by F-Secure.
"The apparent intent was to cloak sensitive files related to the fingerprint verification feature included on the
USB drives," McAfee spokesman Dave Marcus said. "However, software creators apparently did not keep the
security implications in mind. The application could be used to hide arbitrary software, including malicious software."
This is not the first time F-Secure has found Sony software installing hidden directories on the drives of its
customers. In 2005 there was a similar situation involving the electronics maker's digital rights management
software, security experts say.
Correspondents in Moscow | August 29, 2007
RUSSIAN music download site www.allofmp3.com has said it will resume business soon, after a Moscow
court ruled its operation is in accordance with Russian law.
No music is currently on sale, but a statement on the web site says business will begin shortly, with enhanced
payment procedures and a larger selection of music.
The statement was dated August 31, but did not make clear whether that was when the site would resume
Earlier this month the Cheryomushki Court in Moscow ruled that Denis Kvasov, allofmp3's former head, was not
guilty of intellectual property theft, and had not violated Russian copyright laws.
Neither Kvasov nor a representative from allofmp3's parent company, Media Services, could be reached for
The US Commerce Department in 2006 called allofmp3 "the world's highest-volume online seller of pirated music,"
and made its closure a key point in bilateral trade negotiations for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.
The site was closed in early July ahead of a summit between the Russian and American presidents, though
internet visitors were directed to a similar web site where allofmp3 credit could be used to purchase music.
Allofmp3 sold digitally encoded music across a wide range of artists and genres at prices significantly lower
than Apple's popular iTunes or the newly legalised version of Napster.
The Russian site also paid no music industry royalties, saying it was in compliance with Russian law by instead
paying 15 per cent of its profit to a non-commercial partnership that traffics in licensing and payment for digital
"We pay royalties to those who sign up with us and ask for them. But none of the majors, among them I mean
labels like EMI and Universal, want their money," Oleg Nezus of the Russian Organization for Multimedia and
Digital Systems said.
"I've been sending them letters since November of 2005, stating there's a dividend. The labels don't respond."
Mr Kvasov and allofmp3 were being sued by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) on
behalf of media companies EMI, NBC Universal and Time Warner for more than one trillion dollars.
"From a Russian law point of view, these sites aren't legal because they go through pseudo-official licensing
agencies and don't have direct agreements with copyright holders," Igor Pozhitkin, regional representative of the
Estimated Ship: within 24 hours
Estimated Ship: within 24 hours
Intel Core 2 Duo processor
Powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the new Mac mini is up to 33 percent faster than the previous
Front Row and Apple Remote
From across the room, you can browse through all the music, photos and movies on both your Mac mini and other
computers across your network.
iLife ’08: Home of your life’s events
Turn special times into photo books and slideshows, Hollywood-style movies, and DVDs. And create stunning web
pages, blogs, and podcasts.
Mac mini makes it easy to upgrade from an older system or set it up side-by-side with another computer.
Just BYODKM — bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse.
- Watch high quality live TV on your Mac at an attractive price.
- Find your favorite TV shows using the built-in Electronic Program Guide. (EPG) from TitanTV in the U.S.,
- and from tvtv in Europe. Includes a free one-year subscription to tvtv valued at 20 euros.
- Create playlists to manage your TV channels.
- Connect game consoles and enjoy zero latency game play.
EyeTV EZ is easy to set up and is an ideal all-in-one TV/computer solution for small spaces such as an office
or dorm room.
Cable => EyeTV EZ => Mac
EyeTV EZ is a 125 channel TV tuner from TerraTec, and it supports all analog TV signals including antenna and standard cable TV. Simply connect your antenna or cable feed to EyeTV EZ, connect EyeTV EZ to your Mac’s USB 2.0 port, and you’re ready to start watching TV.
No external power supply required
| Break-out the set-top boxes
EyeTV EZ can also receive higher frequency channels, scrambled analog cable (premium) channels, digital cable, or satellite via a set-top box. Simply connect your satellite or cable box to EyeTV EZ’s RF plug or Video-in.
| Connect game consoles to your Mac
EyeTV EZ relies on near real-time software encoding, therefore incoming video signals appear on the screen with zero latency, providing an excellent live play experience.