iTWire – Jajah does for eBay what Skype was supposed to do
Jajah does for eBay what Skype was supposed to do
Jajah, the provider of 'web-activated telephony' has launched Jajah Buttons customised for eBay to enable buyers and sellers to speak to each other.
For eBay, users can now place a Jajah button into their eBay marketplace, eBay Stores and eBay Motors auction and allow bidders to call them before they buy and pay, whilst keeping contact details completely private. The service connects both parties phone-to-phone and does not require any special hardware or software
eBay has just reduced its valuation of Skye by $US1.3 billion , by reducing earn-out payments to Skype shareholders set up as part of the acquisition agreement.
iTWire – Better Googling for Go Daddy web sites
Better Googling for Go Daddy web sites
GoDaddy.com, the world's largest domain name registrar, is integrating Google Webmaster Tools into customers' web hosting accounts so they can diagnose problems in how Google sees their site, share information with Google and improve their site's visibility in Google search results.
Go Daddy claims to have more than 24 million domain names under management and says that, during 2006, it registered approximately one-third of all domain names registered in the top six generic top-level domains, including com, .net, .org, .biz, .info.
According to Go Daddy, this service, combined with its Sitemap Editor, provides a free and easy way for Web site owners to manage and improve traffic to their site. "Go Daddy hosting customers are now able to easily add and verify their Web sites for use with Google Webmaster Tools," it said. Once set up, Go Daddy will automatically submit sitemaps to Google on behalf of its customers. Sitemaps inform Google about new Web pages or updates to a customer's site and help to increase their coverage in Google's index.
iTWire – Search Yahoo! and Google simultaneously
Search Yahoo! and Google simultaneously
iTWire – HD DVD player prices tumble to sub-US $100 prices
HD DVD player prices tumble to sub-US $100 prices
Sadly the sub-US$ 100 price seems to be more the result of a stock clearance special sale, but even though newer models are on the way, at least the price point has been officially released, giving hope that true and affordable mass market high-dev movie players become much more widespread.
iTWire – Skype 3.6 leaves beta, now available for all (on Windows)
Skype 3.6 leaves beta, now available for all (on Windows)
You’ll need Skype 3.6, which today is out of beta,
a broadband connection with at least 384Kbps upload speeds and
one of three Logitech 2 megapixel webcams (certified for high quality Skype video),
along with a PC recommended to have a dual core processor.
With this combination – at both ends of each video call – video quality is boosted from 320×240 to the ‘standard definition TV quality’ of 640×480 resolution at a smooth 30 frames per second, even in ‘full screen’ mode
Virtual vouchers make it safer to buy online – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Virtual vouchers make it safer to buy online
Online shopping holdouts can now buy virtual Visa vouchers to pay for internet purchases without the need for plastic cards or even a bank account.
The move is expected to assuage fears of thousands of Australians who avoid shopping over the internet or telephone for fear of credit card fraud.
Customers can buy "VCard" credit from retail stores in the same way they buy pre-paid mobile phone credit.
The credit – up to $1000 per VCard – can then be used in place of a credit card anywhere in the world that accepts Visa. A once-off fee of $5.50 applies for each voucher and you can't spend more than the amount you put on.
Singapore bans Xbox game over lesbian scene – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Singapore bans Xbox game over lesbian scene
SINGAPORE – Singapore has banned the sale of an Xbox video game that features an intimate scene between two female characters.
The Mass Effect game, a futuristic space adventure, contains "a scene of lesbian intimacy … as such the game has been disallowed," the deputy director of the Board of Film Censors said in the statement.
The board is part of the Media Development Authority (MDA), Singapore's media watchdog.
Under local guidelines, video games sold in Singapore cannot "feature exploitative or gratuitous sex and violence, or denigrate any race or religion," the official said.
Dymocks to sell ebooks in-store – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
Dymocks to sell ebooks in-store
One of Australia's largest book retailers, Dymocks, has leapt into the 21st century with a move to sell digital books in text and audio formats.
The Dymocks website now stocks about 120,000 electronic books – ebooks – that can be downloaded and read on a computer, mobile phone or other handheld device. Another 13,000 audio books can be listened to on computers or MP3 players.
Dymocks chief executive Don Grover, conscious of the fact the move could be seen as Dymocks competing with its bricks and mortar franchisees, rejected suggestions it signalled the beginning of the end for regular books.
YouTube – UFO Haiti
| Wind UP Mobile Phone Charger
Honestly…it's not a windup
Dell's Latitude XT and XPS ONE make first public appearance
Dell fans, we've got some juicy meat for you to sink your teeth into. During Michael Dell's keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld today, the company unleashed (or at least demoed) its forthcoming all-in-one PC, creatively named the XPS One. Of course, we've been hearing rumblings about the One for some time now, but Dell also whipped out its sparkly new Latitude XT tablet, which should please all the Gatesian types out there who think TPCs are the future. But wait — there's more! The new Latitude isn't just some plain-jane scratchpad. Besides being the thinnest in its 12.1-inch, convertible category, and having a screen which is 25-percent brighter than the competition… it's multi-touch. At the keynote, the Dell folks demonstrated a multiple-finger paint program, which lets you draw five simultaneous lines, and also showcased a Surface-like photo viewer which allows you to scramble, resize, and generally get physical with your fond memories. Check the pictures of the tablet in action after the break and feel its magical vibes.
Flash Time Lapse Video
Sony makes most of Wii shortages
| Sony is taking advantage of Nintendo Wii shortages and a recent price cut of the PlayStation 3 to double weekly sales of the console in the US.
Sony boss Howard Stringer told the Associated Press news agency: "It's a little fortuitous that the Wii is running out of hardware."
Two weeks after the price cut Sony sold 100,000 PS3s in seven days.
Mr Stringer said the increase in sales of the console was "the breakthrough we have been anticipating."
He added: "Obviously, we've taken so much heat over the year on PS3. Finally, the turning point has been passed."
Nintendo has become a victim of its own success, with many shops in the US and UK struggling to meet demand.
A spokesman for Nintendo UK denied that the company was witholding supply to boost interest.
"The video games market is a fiercely competitive one and it is not in our interest to withhold stock from anyone," he said.
Microsoft and Nintendo have not released weekly sales figures for their consoles.
Maria Hawthorne in Brisbane | November 15, 2007
FEDERAL Education Minister Julie Bishop has dismissed Labor leader Kevin Rudd's $1 billion plan to create digital classrooms, saying schools across Australia are well-equipped with computers.
Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop says there's nothing remotely revolutionary about Labor's digital schools plan. Picture: David Geraghty
"What Kevin Rudd has done is raise expectations through the roof all year promising he'd come up with innovative and original thinking but when the time came to deliver he failed," Ms Bishop told ABC Radio today.
"He's clearly vacated the field of new ideas and there was nothing remotely revolutionary in anything he had to say."
Yesterday, Mr Rudd pledged to deliver a computer for every Australian student in years 9 to 12, amongst a raft of initiatives to ensure students had world-class internet access.
Ms Bishop said schools already had an adequate number of PCs in place.
"I visit schools all across Australia I'm yet to see a school that is not well served with computers."
A 2003 Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report found Australian students had "universal access" to computers, she said.
Samantha Maiden | November 15, 2007
KEVIN Rudd has pledged to double the number of scholarships for undergraduates and students undertaking a doctorate.
The plan announced yesterday will create two new categories of scholarships to tackle the skills crisis and to help students relocating interstate to study a specialist course not available at home.
The Opposition Leader will also tackle the brain drain with a plan to stop researchers from being poached by overseas universities through a scheme of generous fellowships. "Universities are critical to the education revolution that Australia so urgently needs," Mr Rudd said at the Labor launch. "Australia is the only country in the OECD to have disinvested in our universities in the past decade. This has got to stop. It has got to stop now.
"Undoing the damage which this Government has done to our universities will not be easy. But this challenge begins today."
Vice-chancellors welcomed the plan last night, but said Mr Rudd must detail his compensation plan to abolish full-fee degrees.
Selina Mitchell | November 15, 2007
COMPUTER experts are confident $1 billion would be plenty of money to supply one million secondary students with computers at school.
But they warned some of the money on offer from Labor's computer fund would need to be quarantined to ensure the technology was properly maintained.
Experts also warned the scheme – and Labor's plan to connect 9000 schools across the country to a national broadband network – would need continuous funding to ensure the technology kept up with the improvements in computing power.
Labor will tie a rollout of broadband infrastructure for schools, costed at $100 million, to its $4.7 billion national broadband network announced earlier this year. Tenders for the work, for which Telstra and the G9 consortium have already said they are interested in bidding, are likely to be issued within the first six months of a Labor government.
It plans to have the network completed by 2013, with fibre optics used in cities and towns (supplying speeds of up to 100 megabits per second) and a combination of fixed-line, satellite and wireless technologies for more remote areas.
Different technologies will provide different speeds and qualities of access, Australian National University senior lecturer Sigi Goode said.
Dr Goode said schools in more remote areas might get a lesser service. Satellite doesn't usually mean lower speeds, but there can be delays with the supply of the data in real time, he said.
Many city schools have some computers linked to the internet, but access speeds as well as the numbers of computers vary considerably.
Andrew Colley | November 15, 2007
TELSTRA is on a collision course with the competition regulator after the third largest internet service provider launched a broadband ADSL service that sidesteps part of the carrier's copper network charging regime.
iiNet managing director Michael Malone has unveiled a national broadband and internet telephony service that allows consumers to bypass fees for voice services from Telstra and Optus landlines
Perth-based iiNet has launched a national broadband and internet telephony service that allows consumers to bypass fees for voice services currently built into rentals for Telstra and Optus copper phone lines.
However, about 500,000 consumers who now receive ADSL service under line-sharing arrangements with Optus and Telstra could be struggling to make the switch.
The service has been made possible by a series of interim pricing decisions for unbundled local loop (ULL) services published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in mid-2006.
The iiNet service is the first of its kind to take advantage of new rules that require Telstra and Optus to make their copper lines available without standard voice services attached.
Iinet managing director Michael Malone said, however, that Telstra was yet to put procedures in place for migrating customers to unbundled lines. "The only way now for one of our customers to get that is to disconnect the current line and connect a new one. That's expensive and it also involves a couple of weeks of downtime.
"In the draft determination they've included pricing for migration but as yet Telstra hasn't implemented the process," Mr Malone said.
Optus declined to comment on the new service.
Nintendo warns of Wii shortages
A chronic shortage of Nintendo's popular Wii console could mean disappointment for those putting it at the top of their Christmas list.
The BBC has learned that high street retailers are struggling to keep up with demand for the console, which has been in short supply for months.
Websites such as Wii-consoles.co.uk have been set up to help shoppers find out when stock becomes available.
Nintendo said it was "doing everything possible" to keep up with demand.
Its push to fill the shelves in time for Christmas will see it ship an extra 3.5 million consoles globally. It is not known how many extra consoles will make it to UK shelves.
Stars back for Ghostbusters game
The original cast of Ghostbusters have signed up to lend their faces and voices to a new game based on the hit film series, reports say.
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson have all agreed to take part, says trade paper Variety.
Aykroyd and Ramis, who wrote the original films, will also pen the story for the game – which will be set in New York City during a new ghoul invasion.
The game will be released on all major consoles in late 2008.
It comes on the heels of several other classic movies that have recently been adapted into successful video games, including The Godfather and Scarface.
"We noticed we did well on Scarface and were alert for new opportunities to turn iconic film products into games in a way that is a new manifestation of the franchise," Vivendi Games chief executive Bruce Hack said.
"Ghostbusters is unquestionably among the small number of movies in that class."
The new game will be set in the early 1990s after the events of Ghostbusters II.
Some supporting cast members have even signed up to participate, including Annie Potts who played the ghost-busting team's receptionist, Janine.