Episode 088

posted in: Show Notes


. Dollar steps closer to US parity – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Dollar steps closer to US parity


The Australian dollar, for the first time, has broken above the high point recorded just after it was floated in 1983.

A weakening US dollar has taken the Australian dollar another step closer to parity.

The local currency was floated in December 1983 and in the following March quarter touched a peak of 96.48 US cents.

Overnight, it reached 96.55, a 25-year high.

Broadband users dump TV – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
Broadband users dump TV

 People with broadband internet access spend more time on the net than they do watching television, a survey has found.

The survey by international research consultancy Illuminas found that 59 per cent of internet users watched or downloaded media content from the internet.

Short video clips or music videos were most commonly viewed (by 38 per cent of respondents), followed by news programming (25 per cent).

Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they watched video online because it was free and 37 per cent said convenience was an important reason.

The survey also found consumers in Australia and New Zealand own an average of seven electronic devices, with almost everyone owning a mobile phone (96 per cent), a desktop PC (88 per cent) and a digital camera (86 per cent).

Thirty-nine per cent of those who owned a mobile phone said they used it for playing games.

Big Brother's vault for all net use, calls and emails – Technology
Big Brother's vault for all net use, calls and emails

 A DIGITAL vault containing information about every email, internet visit and phone call made in Britain is to be created in a European bid to battle terrorism.

An estimated 3 billion emails and close to 60 billion text messages are sent throughout Britain every day, raising fears that the British Government will not be able to manage such a large store of information. A single database is also believed to be a far easier target for attack.

Apple cops Mighty Mouse suit – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
Apple cops Mighty Mouse suit


Apple and broadcaster CBS are being sued for trademark infringement over the use of the name “Mighty Mouse”.

The company behind the legal action, Man & Machines, contends that it began selling waterproof and chemical-resistant computer mice under the Mighty Mouse brand name in 2004.

This is the year before Apple launched its Mighty Mouse, the company’s first multi-button computer mouse.

CBS owns the trademark rights to yet another Mighty Mouse – this one a 1940s cartoon character.

The Man & Machines suit argues that CBS did not have the rights to license “Mighty Mouse'' to Apple for computer devices because its trademark did not extend to that class of goods.

Animated map brings global climate crisis to life – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Animated map brings global climate crisis to life

 Based on Google Earth which uses NASA satellite images, viewers can run a time lapse series to watch the earth warm under medium case scenarios up to 2100 either from a planetary perspective or zeroing in on countries and even cities.

The new animated map at http://earth.google.com/outreach/kml_entry.html#tClimate Change In Our World brings that message vividly alive.

Other little demo's onthe google earth site – requires google earth to view. free download

3 ditches the dongle – Broadband
3 ditches the dongle


3 Mobile has released a new model of USB HSDPA broadband modem, replacing the current "soap-on-a-rope" style USB dongles. While these new models are smaller and without a connecting cable, there's no suggestion by 3 in its announcement that the new modems are designed to provide better range or performance on its network. 3 is advertising that a range-extending antenna is available to use with the new modem to assist customers struggling to achieve decent reception.

The HSDPA modems are designed to take advantage of 3's 3.6Mbps HSDPA network speeds, though these modems will be capable of receiving data up to 7.2Mbps once 3 has finished upgrading its network.

iTWire – Telstra’s $0 laptop with mobile broadband: ho-hum or yee-hah?
Telstra’s $0 laptop with mobile broadband:

 Anyone with an ABN (Australian Business Number), i.e. a business owner, can now go to selected retailers to take advantage of a “$0 upfront” laptop with 1GB of Next G mobile broadband per month, for AUD $99 per month.

Telstra’s latest press release is promoting the fact you can now get an ‘up to’ AUD $700 laptop with a Next G broadband modem (Telstra Turbo Series 3) and 1GB of download for $0 upfront and AUD $99 per month over 36 months.

This $0 laptop offer is not on offer to consumers – you must be a business owner with an ABN, and the offer is only available until June 30 through Australian retailers Harvey Norman,

minimum cost of the 36 month (3-year) deal set at AUD $3,564 plus excess usage charges, with any unused data expiring each month.

If you want something better than a $700 laptop, a Telstra spokesperson has advised me that you can simply pay the difference to the retailer and still qualify for the deal.

DO THE MATH – if your gunna rent one (flexirent) anyhow could be good for you

iTWire – Phishers target iTunes users
Phishers target iTunes users

 This week has seen the arrival of spammed emails asking people to correct problems with their iTunes accounts, according to email security provider Proofpoint.

A link in the messages takes them to a fake iTunes page that requests credit card details and other personal information useful to identity thieves and other fraudsters.

no serious attempt has been made to mask the domain name used by the bogus site (kurvemageren.com).

Computerworld – US online ad revenue hit $21.2B in 2007
US online ad revenue hit $21.2B in 2007


US online ad spending increased 26 percent in 2007 over 2006, as the Google-dominated search format not only remained the market's largest, but also increased its share of the overall pie.

Online ad spending in the US reached US$21.2 billion last year. Search advertising accounted for 41 percent of the spending, one percentage point more than in 2006

Display advertising, which includes formats like banners, sponsorships and video, accounted for 34 percent of the spending, according to the IAB. This is a category in which, according to IDC, Yahoo leads and Google has a minor position. The third-largest format was classifieds, with 16 percent.

SMS scammers target would-be quake donors – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
SMS scammers target would-be quake donors


China has warned people wanting to donate to China's earthquake victims to guard against high-tech scams.

"My family was in the earthquake. Dad and mum urgently need money. Send whatever money you can. Deposit it in our friend's account," read one phone text in the southern province of Guangdong proven to be fake by local reporters.


Aussies lose millions to Nigerian scams | Australian IT

Aussies lose millions to Nigerian scams

Karen Dearne | May 22, 2008

NIGERIAN authorities are presently prosecuting nine "advance fee" fraudsters who conned unsuspecting Queenslanders, but millions of dollars continue to flow out to African scammers, Queensland Police warns.

"Unfortunately, we see more more money leaving our shores every day," Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, operations commander of the Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, said.

"Just last week, I was on the phone to a person who had sent $585,000 believing he was involved with a pipeline business venture with Nigerian government officials.

"This was an intelligent, articulate man who was successfully self-employed, yet I had difficulty persuading him not to send any more money."

Det Supt Hay said Queenslanders – and other Australians – continued to be conned as scammers varied their modes of operation. "Queensland represents around one fifth of all fraud victims so it's a huge problem for all states."

"Offenders are focusing more on higher volume but lower value transactions, they've become more technical in their processes and are using black market web portals to obtain data, and they're working closely with organised groups such as Russian gangs," he said.

"But romance scams are the big new threat – we're seeing a great deal of energy being put into victimising people through online dating websites."

BBC NEWS | Technology | Napster launches MP3 music store

Napster launches MP3 music store

Napster boss Chris Gorog launches the service

Napster has launched the world's largest online music store without digital rights management (DRM).

More than six million tracks will be sold as MP3 files, from all of the major record labels and independents.

The songs will play on any MP3 player, including iPods, and can be burnt to CD and transferred to other devices.

Napster boss Chris Gorog said the service, which offers songs for 99 cents (79p), moved online music "from under the DRM cloud".

BBC NEWS | Technology | Gamer anger at Nokia's 'lock in'

Gamer anger at Nokia's 'lock in'

Nokia relaunched the N-Gage service last month

Gamers have hit out at Nokia after learning that N-Gage titles bought for their handsets are locked to that specific device forever.

If a gamer changes or upgrades to a different Nokia handset they have to purchase the games again if they want to continue playing.

The issue was uncovered by website All About N-Gage.

"It's a bad idea for everyone… the N-Gage platform, gamers and third party publishers," the site said.

Nokia relaunched its N-Gage mobile gaming platform last month.

About 30 games are available on a limited range of Nokia handsets, which are bought and downloaded direct to the phone.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Design revamp for '$100 laptop'

Design revamp for '$100 laptop'

The XO2 looks and acts like an electronic book

The wraps have been taken off the new version of the XO laptop designed for schoolchildren in developing countries.

The revamped machine created by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project looks like an e-book and has had its price slashed to $75 per device.

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte gave a glimpse of the "book like" device at an unveiling event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The first XO2 machines should be ready to deliver to children in 2010.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Criticism for 'UK database' plan

Criticism for 'UK database' plan

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter, BBC News

The government has made headlines for data failures

Plans for a super-database containing the details of all phone calls and e-mails sent in the UK have been heavily criticised by experts.

The government is considering the changes as part of its ongoing fight against serious crime and terrorism.


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