Episode 056

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Computerworld – Microsoft's stealth updates stymie XP repairs
Microsoft's stealth updates stymie XP repairs

Windows Updates' silent upgrade blocks patches needed after restoring XP

users who reinstall Windows XP with the repair option cannot retrieve the full set of updates from Windows
 Update (WU). The problem, he said, has been traced to the so-called "stealth update" to WU which Microsoft
 has acknowledged sending to users beginning in July.

Two weeks ago,  the story of the background updates, which were sent to most non-corporate Windows XP and
Vista users. The updates were delivered and installed without prior notification, even when the PC's owner had
 told the operating system not to download or install updates without notification and permission.

BigPond scores big with footy | Australian IT
BigPond scores big with footy

TELSTRA has claimed success in the first year of its $90 million online sports video push.

Users and the number of video streams for its Australian rules and rugby league football websites is up at least
 100 per cent on a year ago.

Last month the telco's internet division BigPond had 2.46 million unique browsers and 1.76 million video downloads
 from its afl.com.au website, BigPond chief executive Justin Milne told Media.

This growth was about 100per cent over 12 months but even faster growth had been gained on the nrl.com.au site,
 Mr Milne said.

Unique users for the NRL site in August were 1.08 million and they downloaded 1.09 million video streams.

if a BigPond user has a 20 gigabyte monthly limit, none of BigPond's content including football, movies and music
downloads will count towards the 20GB.

Sharp to offer 1TB Blu-ray recorder | Australian IT
Sharp to offer 1TB Blu-ray recorder

SHARP said it would launch a Blu-ray high-definition DVD recorder with a 1 terabyte hard disk drive (HDD),
the world's largest storage capacity on any Blu-ray recorder, as it competes with the HD DVD camp.

The 1-terabyte model, capable of recording 127 hours of digital high-definition programs, will go on sale on December 1
in Japan for about 300,000 yen ($3,000).

Sharp also plans to offer eight other new Blu-ray recorder models by the end of the year in Japan in a bid to replace
 video cassette recorders and conventional DVD machines.

PC World – iMac, Mac Pro, and MacBook Get Firmware Updates

iMac, Mac Pro, and MacBook Get Firmware Updates

Apple released firmware updates for many of its Mac hardware systems today.

Apple released firmware updates for many of its Mac hardware systems on Thursday. The iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook,

MacBook Pro and Xserve all received updates.

According to Apple, iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.2 improves the performance and reliability of Intel Core 2 Duo

processors and fixes issues with Boot Camp for iMac computers. Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.2 fixes several

fan behavior and Boot Camp issues on Mac Pro computers.

Microsoft Excel quirk means spreadsheet program can't multiply 5.1 by 12,850 – Breaking News –
Microsoft Excel quirk means spreadsheet program can't multiply 5.1 by 12,850

Microsoft Corp.'s Excel 2007 spreadsheet program is going to have to relearn part of its multiplication table.

In a blog post, Microsoft employee David Gainer said that when computer users tried to get Excel 2007 to multiply

some pairs of numbers and the result was 65,535, Excel would incorrectly display 100,000 as the answer.

Gainer said Excel makes mistakes multiplying 77.1 by 850, 10.2 by 6,425 and 20.4 by 3,212.5, but the program

appears to be able to handle 16,383.75 times 4.

'Halo 3' makes record smashing 170 million dollar debut – Breaking News – Technology – Breaking News
Halo 3' makes record smashing 170 million dollar debut

Sales of exclusive Xbox 360 video game "Halo 3" rocketed to 170 million US dollars on opening day, marking an

historic debut that outdid the final Harry Potter novel and the film "Spiderman 3."

Microsoft confirmed on Thursday that the third installment in the "Halo" game trilogy had the highest grossing

launch day in entertainment history after going on sale in the United States at midnight on Monday.

Online message from beyond the grave – web – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
Online message from beyond the grave

YouDeparted.com, a personal organiser with a spooky twist, lets users store even the most granular day-to-day

mechanics of their life in an online safety deposit box, to be delivered to designated friends and family in the

event of their death.

The details could include everything from online account passwords to bills that need to be paid and instructions

on how to access a personal safe. Posthumous video, text and picture messages can also be left in case there is

no time to say goodbye.

The theory is that any of the people you nominate to have access to your details once you pass away would send

a notice of your death to YouDeparted.com, which would then email you a confirmation message.

If neither you nor any of the other beneficiaries raises an objection within five days, the site classifies you as being

dead and forwards your account details to designated friends and family.

Apple coughs up G4 refunds to dissatisfied Danes | The Register
Apple coughs up G4 refunds to dissatisfied Danes

Apple will admit no wrongdoing, but has agreed to return money to Danish customers with allegedly defective iBook

G4s. The concession comes after months of fighting a report from the Consumer Complaints Board (CCB) in Denmark

that claims evidence of an original design flaw in the laptops.

A number of iBook G4 customers worldwide say that after only one year's use, the computers lose power and the

screen goes blank.

The CCB investigation showed solder between two components loosen slightly each time the computer is turned on
or off. With regular use, the joints break and no longer allow a current to pass through them.

Apple submitted its own technical report, which said the flaw did not occur through cycling the power. Earlier this

month, the CCB ruled against Apple, dismissing the vendor's findings. The CCB reiterated that Apple must return

money to customers for the faulty computers.

Apple was given 14 days to accept the decision or face public exposure on the board's list of "unwilling companies".

reports the Danish tech pub, Comon.dk.

On Tuesday, the CCB announced Apple has agreed to their unhappy customers' kroner without admitting to the defect.

Apple iPod Touch hits Australia: News – Hardware – ZDNet Australia
Apple iPod Touch hits Australia

Apple's iPod Touch, which is basically a phone-less iPhone, has started shipping in Australia a few days before
the "expected" ship date of 28 September.

The new iPod comes in two configurations, an 8GB version that costs AU$419 and a 16GB model that costs AU$549.
The battery in each can handle 22 hours of audio playback or five hours of video, according to Jobs.

 

 

RED / Index

Emotiv Home

Project Epoc

Project Epoc

Based on the latest developments in neuro-technology, Emotiv has developed a new interface for human

computer interaction.

Project Epoc is a headset that uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals naturally produced by the

brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expression. It connects wirelessly with all game platforms

from consoles to PCs. Project Epoc now makes it possible for games to be controlled and influenced by

the player's mind.

Engaging, immersive, and nuanced, Emotiv-inspired game-play will be like nothing ever seen before.

Telstra unveils new wireless broadband | Australian IT

Telstra unveils new wireless broadband

Darren Osborne in Sydney | September 25, 2007

ALMOST a year after launching its Next G network, Telstra has bolstered its wireless broadband service,

promising download speeds comparable to most wired home services.

"Today there is now very little to distinguish between the speed of a wireless and a wired broadband service,
'' Telstra BigPond group managing director Justin Milne said.

The new range of Next G wireless internet cards are promising to deliver download speeds of up to 6Mbps and
 upload of speeds of 1.3Mbps.

This will allow users within the network to download a standard MP3 song in as little as 30 seconds.

The Telstra Mobile Turbocard and Bigpond Wireless Broadband 7.2 cards will be available in ExpressCard and
USB format, and will work on Windows 2000, XP and Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4.

Existing Telstra customers with Turbo 3 Series cards can upgrade their card over the internet to make use of
the faster download speeds, but uploads will remain unchanged at 384Kbps.

Telstra has also announced a further upgrade of its Next G network to include remote regions of Western
Australia and Tasmania, including The Spirit of Tasmania ferry.

Jamie – My Strategyinformer.com
Electronic Arts announced this morning that their Redwood Shores Studio is currently developing an original
intellectual property that will introduce a new experience to the sci-fi horror genre. In the brilliant, bold and
often-bloody Dead Space gamers will step into a third-person sci-fi survival horror experience that promises
to deliver the ultimate in psychological thrills and gruesome action.

Set in the cold blackness of deep space, the atmosphere is soaked with a feeling of tension, dread and sheer
 terror. In Dead Space, players step into the role of engineer Isaac Clarke – an ordinary man on a seemingly
routine mission to fix the communications systems aboard a deep space mining ship. It is not long before
Isaac awakes to a living nightmare when he learns that the ship’s crew has been ravaged by a vicious alien
infestation. He must fight through the dead silence and darkness of deep space to stay alive.

Executive Producer Glen Schofield commented, “This team has worked on some tremendous properties but we
 have always wanted to work on something that was darker and creepier. We are all such huge fans of the
horror and sci-fi genres; we wanted to create the most terrifying game we could, and keep the player on the
edge of his seat the entire time.”

Dead Space is expected to ship in Fall 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

WTF? on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

WTF?

To take full advantage of Flickr, you should use a JavaScript-enabled browser and
install the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player.

TG Daily
Redmond (WA) – Microsoft has reportedly begun offering a downgrade option to PC makers who
want to allow their customers to have the option of using XP over the pre-installed Vista software.

Computer manufacturers including Fujitsu, Lenovo, and HP now mainly offer PCs exclusively with Vista
pre-installed.  Customers who would prefer to have XP can request a downgrade disc for computers that come
 with Vista Business and Vista Ultimate.  These two versions allow downgrading as part of the software
 licensing, but the process is difficult without a specifically coded disc.

Several big PC makers never stopped offering XP as an option for custom-built computers.  However, the
 standalone operating system software has nearly vanished from all retail outlets.

The new policy dates back to June, when Microsoft caved in to allow the manufacturers to include a special
 XP downgrade CD with systems that come pre-loaded with one of the two high-end Vista packages.  Per
 Microsoft's licensing terms, it is not obligated to supply earlier versions of its operating system to
 consumers or manufacturers.

AppleInsider | Unofficial Mac tablet draws record crowd at Macworld (high-res photos)

Axiotron, Inc., together with distribution partner Other World Computing, is drawing huge crowds

at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco this week, as attendees flock to take its new Mac OS X-based

"ModBook" tablet computer for a test run.

Unveiled on Tuesday, the $2,279 device is an after-market hardware modification to Apple's MacBook
notebook line. The companies claim it's the "first ever Mac OS X tablet computer solution."

Each ModBook starts off as a MacBook Core 2 Duo but undergoes a surgical operation where its original
display and keyboard are severed, then replaced with a new 13.3-inch Wacom pen enabled widescreen
display set in a chrome-plated magnesium top shell.

The device runs the current version of Mac OS X and utilizes that software's built-in Inkwell handwriting
recognition. Meanwhile, the tablet retains all of the hardware features of the current Apple MacBook line,
 such as a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, an integrated camera and CD/DVD combo drive.

While the ModBook utilizes the original MacBook iSight camera, it has been slightly tilted downwards to
allow video conference applications like iChat to better frame the face of the user.

Axiotron says the ModBook features the same Wacom Penabled hardware technology that has made
Wacom pen tablets and interactive pen displays the preferred choice amongst professional artists and
photographers. The technology requires no batteries and allows the Mac OS X cursor to be controlled in
a mouse-like interface, even if the user's hand is resting on the screen.

Critics slam net block plan | Australian IT

Critics slam net block plan

Karen Dearne | September 25, 2007

INTERNET industry experts say the federal Government's bill requiring service providers to block

access to overseas sites blacklisted by the federal police commissioner could inadvertently block

access to popular sites such as Facebook and slow internet speeds to a snail's pace.

Service providers fear internet blacklisting will prove difficult and expensive

The proposed legislation, introduced without notice into Parliament last week, also gives the

commissioner powers to order take-downs of Australian sites related to terrorism and cyber-crime.

The amendment allows federal police to notify the Australian Communications and Media Authority of

banned websites, and the authority must then notify service providers. It anticipates ISPs will block access

to offshore sites with filters and other technical means.

Industry insiders say the only way a service provider could prevent users accessing banned material is by

blocking the internet protocol address on the host server.

"Australia is only one tiny fraction of the global internet and there are numerous places where constitutional

protections ensuring free speech mean all sorts of objectional stuff can be hosted, and at present there's no

regime here actually requiring ISPs to block access to such sites," Internode carriage manager John Lindsay said.

"If such a request were made, the most fine-grained way we could actually do it would be to block access to

the IP address. That's the Chinese approach. They basically block by IP address.

"Now, if that IP address happened to be MySpace, or Facebook, that would have the effect of blocking

everything from those sites."

According to an Ovum report to the communications department, many hosting services carry thousands of

domains on a single published IP address.

"Filtering based on IP address may result in overblocking of content that is not prohibited, but is located on

the same address," Ovum said.

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