Episode 060

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Crazy John's founder dies | Australian IT
Crazy John's founder dies

which he started in 1991 after he quit his job and walked across the road in suburban Brunswick to open his first mobile phone shop. The company now has more than 120 stores across Australia and more than 600 staff.

As Mr Ilhan grew the business, he quickly established a reputation as a generous benefactor to numerous charities and small sporting clubs – most of the time without seeking public acknowledgment. Only last year, discovering his daughter had an allergy – he kissed her good night after eating peanuts that caused her cheek to flare up – he founded the John Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation with a grant of $1million.

22 little ways to go green – CNN.com
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iTWire – Aussies score early Leopard delivery
Aussies score early Leopard delivery

Due to time zone differences, Leopard officially goes on sale at 6pm this evening. But people who ordered from the Apple Store began receiving their copies this morning.

Reports are coming in from Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Freight companies tend to prioritise deliveries to city centres and other areas with a significant concentration of businesses, while mainly residential suburbs are not serviced until late morning or early afternoon.

Some but not all early-ordering customers have received notification that Leopard has been dispatched to them for delivery today to metro addresses.

Some Apple retailers are holding Leopard launch parties this evening, while others are just staying open late to allow keen customers to buy their copies of Mac OS X 10.5.

U.K. kids get RFID chips in school uniforms – Mobility – www.itnews.com.au
U.K. kids get RFID chips in school uniforms

Ten schoolchildren in the United Kingdom are being tracked by RFID chips in their school uniforms as part of a pilot program..

If the program proves successful as a way to hasten registration, simplify data entry for the school's behavioral reporting system, and ensure attendance,

Video surveillance is already commonplace in the United Kingdom, and a growing number of schoolchildren are fingerprinted for administrative and security reasons. Since 2001, nearly 6,000 pupils have been fingerprinted in the United Kingdom, the Daily Mail reported earlier this month, with 20 new schools embracing the practice every week.

Xbox drops its bundle – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
Xbox drops its bundle

he gloves are off in the games console wars as Microsoft hopes to reel in Christmas shoppers with new Xbox 360 bundles and free games.

Microsoft announced today it would phase out its trimmed-down Xbox 360 Core version in favour of a new bundle pitched at casual gamers, the Xbox 360 Arcade, which will go on sale from November 15.

Additionally, the Xbox 360 Pro, which recently had its price cut to $579.95, will be sold from November 1 as a package with two free games – Forza Motorsport 2 and Viva Pinata.

The Arcade is identical to the Core version it replaces but adds five family-oriented arcade games (UNO, Pac-Man, Luxor, Boom Boom Rocket and Feeding Frenzy), a 256MB memory card (for storing game saves) and a wireless controller instead of the wired model that comes with the Core model.

Xbox Australia director David McLean said the Pro bundle targeted hardcore gamers but the Arcade model, with its $399.95 price tag and selection of simple arcade-style games, would appeal to casual gamers.

The Arcade will go head-to-head with Nintendo's Wii, which sells for the same price, while the Pro is Microsoft's answer to the Playstation 3, which this month had its price tag cut to $699.95.

"Our strategy now is the same strategy that we've always had – we've secured the hardcore gamer we think and we really want to now move away through the holiday period and expand the market," he said.

According to third-quarter sales figures from market-watcher GfK, the Xbox 360 is still selling strongly over a year after its launch, shifting 40,467 units in Australia.

The Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii sold 27,533 and 61,027 units during the quarter, respectively.

Microsoft heads into Christmas in a solid position after the record-breaking worldwide launch of Halo 3 last month. The software giant says Halo 3 alone helped drive Xbox 360 sales in the weeks following its debut.

Mr McLean said there would be around 300 games on the Xbox 360 platform by Christmas.

Tech Wired – www.techwiredau.com

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YouTube launches Australian website | Australian IT
YouTube launches Australian website

VIDEO website YouTube has launched an Australian portal.

The video-sharing platform announced content partnerships with Australian media organisations Network Ten, ABC, Seven, Sky News, Southern Cross's Comet TV and Fairfax Media.

But au.youtube.com is only a small bet for the global behemoth, with just one staffer currently moderating content and no financial consideration passing between YouTube and its strategic partners.

Among the tweaks on the Australian version of the website will be the pushing of Australian-made clips listed in the "featured videos" and "promoted videos" sections on the youtube.com.au front page
The networks will not show whole episodes of their shows on YouTube but will use the site to showcase highlights or clips to draw viewers back to their own websites or free-to-air broadcasts.

The ABC has already had success with excerpts of comedies such as The Chaser's War On Everything and Summer Heights High on YouTube.

Music giants sue mum over downloads | The Courier-Mail
Music giants sue mum over downloads

N the first US trial to challenge the illegal downloading of music on the internet, a single mother from Minnesota was ordered today to pay $US220,000 ($248,040) for sharing 24 songs online. Jammie Thomas, 30, was the first among more than 26,000 people sued by the world's most powerful recording companies to refuse a settlement after being slapped with a lawsuit by the Recording Industry of America and seven major music labels.

She turned down an offer to pay a few thousands dollars in fines, and instead took the case to court.

Unlike some who insist on the right to share files over the internet, Thomas says she was wrongfully targeted by SafeNet, a contractor employed by the recording industry to patrol the internet for copyrighted material.

Her lawyer said earlier this week that she had racked up some $US60,000 ($67,650) in legal fees because she refused to be bullied.

And while Thomas insisted on the courthouse steps that she had never downloaded or uploaded music, her lawyer tried to convince jurors there was no way to prove who had uploaded songs on the Kazaa file-sharing network.

A jury took just five hours to decide that evidence provided by the music labels showed otherwise, and found Thomas guilty of copyright infringement, court records showed.

Thomas, an employee of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, an Indian tribe, was ordered to pay a $US9250 fine for each of 24 shared songs cited in the case, including Godsmack's Spiral, Destiny's Child's Bills, Bills, Bills and Sara McLachlan's Building a Mystery.

It could have been a lot worse.

The fine could have reached $US150,000 a song if the jury had found "willful" copyright infringement.

Had the record companies sued her for all 1702 songs found in the online folder the fine could have run in the millions.

Microsoft – The It’s Not Cheating Promotion

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  1. 25 application launches (each launch of an individual Microsoft Office Ultimate application is counted as one launch), before the software goes into reduced functionality mode (at which time your software behaves similarly to a viewer, you cannot save modifications to documents or create any new documents, and additional functionality might be reduced); and
  2. the opportunity to purchase the following licence durations for the Microsoft® Office Ultimate 2007 software:
    1. Microsoft® Office Ultimate 2007 (AUD$75.00): Perpetual licence, which includes the following applications:
      • Access™ 2007
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      • OneNote® 2007
      • Outlook® 2007 with Business Contact Manager*(see Obtaining Software below)
      • PowerPoint® 2007
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      • Word 2007

 

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GPS gadgets about to get smarter | Australian IT
GPS gadgets about to get smarter

Now they're about to get even better by warning users about traffic problems lying in wait, such as a bad accident or roadworks blocking a lane and suggesting alternative routes that will save time.

Welcome to the new Suna traffic information system, developed by Intelematics Australia, a subsidiary of the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria.

It is already broadcasting detailed information on accidents, traffic congestion, detours and other road conditions to GPS navigation systems in Melbourne. It will be extended to Sydney and Brisbane by mid-2008 and Perth and Adelaide a few months later.

broadcasting information directly to GPS gadgets via FM radio.

The information is partly gathered from tens of thousands of sensors and cameras built into traffic light control systems.

More comes from probe vehicles deployed in congested areas and from live observation by traffic experts.

Go wireless, and get a laptop, too | Australian IT
COMPUTER makers will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of a bumper Christmas, as at least one mobile phone company, Optus, plans to bundle laptops with wireless broadband plans.

The move, which replicates the way "free" or cheap handsets were used to drive mobile voice traffic

Vodafone is offering $250 off HP laptops for punters who will sign up to a two-year plan for 1GB of data a month at $60.

State to deploy Vista in schools | Australian IT
State to deploy Vista in schools

THE Victorian Department of Education has decided to introduce Microsoft's Vista operating system to 1600 schools and offices in what is likely to be the largest local deal for the software to date.

awarding of a $23 million contract to Commander Communications that covers the supply of Microsoft software licences to the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The contract covers about 164,000 devices and a number of Microsoft's most recent software releases, including Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Server 2008.

Telstra warns on CDMA | Australian IT
TELSTRA customers using the CDMA mobile network are being reminded that less than 100 days remain before its closure.

The telco is urging its CDMA customers to make the switch to the Next G network soon, as it does not want any of its customers stranded.

By migrating now, customers can avoid any last-minute rush, be sure that they keep their mobile number and, if they are using prepaid, transfer remaining credit."

Optus is currently rolling out its 3G network, which should reach 96 per cent of the population by 2010

 

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Unleash The Fury

'Crazy John' refused life cover | Australian IT

'Crazy John' refused life cover

Michael Davis | October 25, 2007

MOBILE phone king John Ilhan recently had an application for life insurance rejected by one of the nation's biggest companies.

A memorial service for John Ilhan will be held in Melbourne on November 12

An insurance industry source said last night he did not know if another company wrote a policy on the life of Mr Ilhan, who collapsed and died in a park near his Melbourne home in suburban Brighton on Tuesday. But the source confirmed that one firm had knocked him back.

Aged just 42, Mr Ilhan is understood to have been a heavy smoker who was in the process of quitting over the past 12 months.

Crazy John's managing director Brendan Fleiter denied Mr Ilhan was a fitness fanatic. Although there was a gymnasium in the $17 million mansion the family built five years ago, Mr Ilhan did not make daily use of it.

"He was working on his fitness and getting there, but with 20-20 hindsight we can all do better," Mr Fleiter said.

"He certainly looked good on the outside, and he was a top-class soccer player in his youth, so to that extent he was fit and healthy."

A memorial service for Mr Ilhan will be held in Melbourne on November 12, while the traditional Muslim funeral will be held at the Broadmeadows mosque at midday tomorrow.

Members of the Turkish community – where Mr Ilhan was still known by his traditional name of Mustafa – are expected to be joined by business leaders and sportsmen at the mosque where Mr Ilhan's father was a founding president.

Telstra's Trujillo to face court | Australian IT

Telstra's Trujillo to face court

Susannah Moran | October 25, 2007

TELSTRA chief executive Sol Trujillo will appear in court next month to defend a $300 million shareholder class action. But he has distanced himself from the controversial briefing document given to the Government that is at the heart of the court case.

Sol Trujillo will front the Federal Court in November

Telstra chief financial officer John Stanhope would also appear as a witness, Federal Court judge Peter Jacobsen was told yesterday.

After hearing the extent of Telstra's planned witnesses – four Telstra executives and five expert witnesses – Justice Jacobsen warned barrister Peter Brereton that he did not want Telstra putting on irrelevant evidence and said the company should reconsider the number of expert witnesses it was planning to call.

The court case is being run by law firm Slater & Gordon on behalf of a group of shareholders who claim Mr Trujillo told a top-level government briefing – at which Prime Minister John Howard was present – that he believed Telstra had underspent on its infrastructure by $2-3 billion.

Mr Trujillo is also said to have told the meeting that Telstra had projected a decline in revenue of $1.2 billion for its fixed-line phone business from 2005 to 2008.

BBC NEWS | Business | Wii helps Nintendo double profits

Wii helps Nintendo double profits

Gamers are snapping up Wii consoles

The success of the Wii has helped Nintendo to double its profit in the six months to the end of September.

Demand for the console has outstripped that for Sony's Playstation 3 and Microsoft's XBox 360 – selling about 7.3 million units.

The Japanese firm made a net profit of 132.4bn yen ($1.16bn; £506m) from 54.4bn yen a year earlier.

Popularity of the handheld DS also helped, with Nintendo selling about 13.4 million of the consoles.

The DS console, which allows users to control play with a stylus, has proved popular with women and older users.

Meanwhile the motion sensitive Wii has proved popular after introducing a new way of playing computer games.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Wii Sports dominates Bafta awards

Wii Sports dominates Bafta awards

Bioshock players assume the role of a plane crash survivor

Nintendo's Wii Sports has swept the board at the 2007 British Academy Video Games Awards in London.

The energetic title took home awards in categories such as gameplay, strategy and simulation, innovation and sports.

The game allows players to compete in onscreen sporting events using the Wii's controller as a tennis racquet, golf club or even bowling ball.

However, the title did not manage to take the coveted best game award which went to Xbox title Bioshock.

The first-person shooter, released in August, is set in an underwater world populated by mutants and mechanical drones. It received acclaim from gamers and the Bafta judges.

The evening ended with Will Wright, creator of The Sims, being awarded a Bafta fellowship in recognition of more than 20 years' work in the industry.

Mr Wright is currently working on the hugely-anticipated life simulation game Spore.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Anti file-sharing laws considered

Anti file-sharing laws considered

The government cannot tolerate stealing, said Lord Triesman

The UK government could legislate to crack down on illegal file-sharers, a senior politician has told the BBC's iPM programme.

Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said intellectual property theft would not be tolerated.

"If we can't get voluntary arrangements we will legislate," he said.

The comments could prove controversial with privacy advocates and internet service providers.

Lord Triesman called on internet service providers to take a "more activist role" in the problem of illegal file-sharing.

 

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Tees | Huge pirate music site shut down

Huge pirate music site shut down

Police also raided the home of the IT worker's father

British and Dutch police have shut down a "widely-used" source of illegally-downloaded music.

A flat on Teesside and several properties in Amsterdam were raided as part of an Interpol investigation into the members-only website OiNK.

The UK-run site has leaked 60 major pre-release albums this year alone, said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

A 24-year-old man from Middlesbrough was arrested on Tuesday morning.

'Extremely lucrative'

The IT worker was led from his home in the town's Grange Road and is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.

At the same time his employer – a large multi-national company – and his father's home were also raided.

Skype evades ACMA triple zero net | Australian IT

Skype evades ACMA triple zero net

Mahesh Sharma | October 25, 2007

AUSTRALIAN VoIP providers will soon be faced with regulation requiring them to provide access to emergency services numbers, but operators such as Skype will slip under the radar.

Australian VoIP providers will soon be faced with regulation requiring them to provide access to emergency services numbers

Last week the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said that some VoIP providers still don't provide access to emergency call services, and it sent out a letter to over 40 Voice over IP firms asking what technologies could be used to ensure their customers had access to the triple zero emergency services number.

ACMA is using the feedback to finalise the details of the Emergency Call Service Determination, which is due by the end of the year, but as these regulations only apply to carriers that own their own infrastructure, users of VoIP software such as Skype will be exempt.

ACMA spokesman Donald Robertson said the measures being considered included interconnection with PSTN, quality of service, provision of location information and prevention of denial of service attacks.

While he said ACMA was still considering the timeframe for providers to become compliant, the letter said the process could take at least a year based on the advice it received.

BBC NEWS | Business | Microsoft buys stake in Facebook

Microsoft buys stake in Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook less than four years ago.

Microsoft has paid $240m for a 1.6% stake in Facebook that values the hugely popular social networking site at $15bn.

Facebook spurned an offer from Microsoft's rival Google, which was also keen to invest the site.

Microsoft will also sell internet ads for Facebook outside the United States as part of the deal that took several weeks of negotiating.

Microsoft already provides banner advertising and links on the US site.

Mark Zuckerberg started the online social networking site in his Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago.

Mr Zuckerberg, 23, has indicated he would like to hold off on an initial public offering for at least two more years.

He rebuffed a $1bn takeover offer from Yahoo last year.

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