Episode 089

posted in: Show Notes


New Microsoft operating system to have touch-screen feature; Ballmer says Yahoo talks continue –
New Microsoft operating system to have touch-screen feature; Ballmer says Yahoo talks continue

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that its next operating system will be made for touch-screen applications, an alternative to the computer mouse.

A Microsoft employee showed possible applications like enlarging and shrinking photos and navigating a map of San Diego by stroking the screen.

McDonald's Tries Out New RFID-enabled Pay-By-Phone Coupons | Gadget Lab from Wired.com
McDonald's Tries Out New RFID-enabled Pay-By-Phone Coupons

 a new e-coupon system that it is currently testing in Japan. Called the Kasazu coupon (or contactless) it is a payment application that is downloaded into your phone and is then placed on top of an RFID reader by the user for instant payments and coupon redemption

According to the press release, McDonald's will begin using the tech in 175 stores and eventually expand it to the other 3,800 stores in that country. There’s no word on when they expect to move this option to U.S. stores. 

Many phones in Japan include RFID tech, so it's a good place to set-up highly concentrated trials of a transaction technology that will likely go completely mainstream in the next few years.

Schools to study Wikipedia – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
Schools to study Wikipedia

In an Australian first, NSW high school students will from next year be able to take a course in studying Wikipedia, the online collaborative encyclopedia.

Wikipedia, which ranks among the world's top-10 most visited sites, has been listed by the NSW Board of Studies as prescribed text for an elective course in the English syllabus for 2009-2012.

Don Carter, the English inspector at the Board of Studies, said the course was intended to teach students skills of analysis to enable them to be more discerning about content they found on the web.

"It was felt that Wikipedia reflected notions of the global village; that fluidity, of being up to date and changing in a way that other websites don't do," he said in explaining the reasons behind the choice.

Apple says 'drop in soon' to Sydney store – BizTech – Technology
Apple says 'drop in soon' to Sydney store

 That is expected to happen at 6pm on Thursday, June 19

Apple has leased the first three levels of the building at 77 King Street and, according to the development application, each of the levels will have a floor space of about 445 square metres.

tech wired video interview with construction workers

iTWire – Prostitute animation missing from Au GTA IV
Prostitute animation missing from Au GTA IV

when players pick up a prostitute in the Australian version, there is no way to select a 'service' from the prostitute. The sexual intercourse sex animation has also been completely removed, so players will only see the car bounce from a locked rear-view. In the uncut version, after selecting a service from the prostitute, players can rotate the camera to see the prostitute's actions.”

iTWire – AVG Anti-Virus Free 8.0.100 – it’s worth upgrading, now!
AVG Anti-Virus Free 8.0.100 – it’s worth upgrading, now!

 get the new version with free anti-spyware protection, as well as search protection, showing you a real-time rating of sites you search for so you know if it’s safe to click

Besides a new anti-spyware component within AVG 8.0 Free, there’s also a new LinkScanner. In the free edition of AVG 8.0, only half of the LinkScanner benefit is available, clearly as an enticement to upgrade to a paid AVG product

video interview on tech wiredau site from cebit

Apple may develop solar-powered iPhones, iPods | Australian IT
Apple may develop solar-powered iPhones, iPods

The story about Apple's patent for solar-powered devices originally appeared on the MacRumors website

 iPods and iPhones may soon be able to charge them up by leaving them out in the sun.

Apple has filed a patent for a technology which would enable a layer of solar cells to be inserted under a touch-sensitive screen of the sort used in the iPhone.

The patent, should it be awarded, has the potential to make the iPhone a truly portable device, dispensing with the need for it to be connected to a power supply by wires.

stacking the solar cells underneath both the touch-sensitive screen and the LCD, according to The New York Times. That would potentially allow the full 2.4 by 4.5 inch glass face of the iPhone to operate as a solar panel.

PC World – Business Center: Court Finds Dell Guilty of Fraud
Court Finds Dell Guilty of Fraud

 Dell was found guilty on Tuesday of fraud, false advertising, deceptive business practices and abusive debt collection practices in a case brought by the New York attorney general.

The Albany County Supreme Court found that Dell deprived customers of technical support that they bought or were eligible for under warranty in several ways, including by requiring people to wait for very long times on the phone, repeatedly transferring their calls and frequently disconnecting their calls.

Dell also often failed to provide onsite repairs for customers who bought contracts for such support and often blamed software when hardware was actually the problem, the court found. The company also sometimes refused to offer support when a support contract ended, even though the user had first complained about a problem before the end of the contract. Subscribers to a "next-day" repair service sometimes waited as long as a year for support, the court found.

Dell and affiliate Dell Financial Services also advertised special no-interest financing, but denied almost everyone those terms. It often sold customers products without informing them that they didn't qualify for the special financing terms and then charged them interest rates as high as 30 percent, the court said.

Dell and DFS also often incorrectly billed people for cancelled orders and for accounts they didn't authorize. The companies then harassed the people for payment, using illegal billing and collection practices, the court said.

The court will determine how much Dell will have to pay in restitution to affected customers and will also require Dell to pay the state of New York the profits it made on these deceptive practices. In addition, the ruling prohibits Dell and DFS from continuing to engage in the fraudulent activities.

iPrimus super-sizes ADSL2+ plans – Telecommunications – iTnews Australia
iPrimus super-sizes ADSL2+ plans

Dubbed the Big Kahuna, the plan offers 200 GB of data for $79.95 per month. However, the 200 GB data capacity does not come as a flat quota.

During peak hours (12pm to 12am) customers will be limited to 40 GB of data capacity while off peak hours (12am to 12pm) will see the remainder 160 GB in use.

Once customers exceed the allocated data quota, download speeds will be shaped to 64 kbps.


Current – Australia claims world first with Blu-ray recorder arrival
Australia claims world first with Blu-ray recorder arrival

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Australia has leapfrogged other markets and become the first country outside Japan to sell Panasonic’s Blu-ray recorders, with the launch of the new DMR-BW500.

The Blu-ray/HDD recorder’s early arrival, compared to other global markets, is due to Australia’s relatively advanced HD broadcast content, according to Panasonic Video Equipment Business director, Takuya Sugita.

“[The introduction] was down to the Australian introduction of a high definition broadcasting service,” he said.

However, while a world leader, Australia still lags behind Japan, a fact Sugita put down to Japan’s early adoption of terrestrial HD broadcasting.

“Japan already started HD broadcasting from 2003, so HD is very popular there,” he said.

Current – Apple's Sydney store to open 19 June?
Apple's Sydney store to open 19 June?

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Apple has refused to confirm that 19 June is the opening date for their new Sydney store. Some are convinced, though, with fans already making travel plans.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting 19 June 2008 as the official opening date of Apple’s first Southern Hemisphere store. A cerulean blue banner is now stretched over the three storey high building at the corner of George and King Streets – it reads: “Drop in soon. Apple Store, Sydney” (sic).


BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft demos 'touch Windows'
Microsoft demos 'touch Windows'


Microsoft's next operating system (OS) will come with multi-touch features as an alternative to the mouse.

It is hoped the successor will have a better reception than the much-maligned Vista OS, released last year.

Scheduled for release in 2009 the new fingertip interface lets users enlarge and shrink photos, trace routes on maps, paint pictures or play the piano.

"The way you interact with the system will change dramatically," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Nokia responds to gamers' anger
Nokia responds to gamers' anger


Nokia has said it is "working on a solution" to allow people to transfer N-Gage games between handsets.

The announcement was made following anger by gamers who found out that titles bought for a handset were locked to the device forever.

Nokia said it had made the decision to lock down the system to prevent piracy and guarantee revenue for games makers.

The mobile phone maker said it was now working on an intermediate solution until a final one could be deployed.

"We acknowledge our customers' concerns and have been working on a solution that would allow people to transfer purchased N-Gage games to a new Nokia device," it said.

BBC NEWS | Technology | YouTube law fight 'threatens net'
YouTube law fight 'threatens net'

It said it had identified more than 150,000 such abuses which included clips from shows such as South Park, SpongeBob SquarePants and MTV Unplugged.

The company says the infringement also included the documentary An Inconvenient Truth which had been viewed "an astounding 1.5 billion times".

Current – TDK predicts Blu-ray take up to be slower than expected
TDK predicts Blu-ray take up to be slower than expected

By Matthew Henry and Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: A spokesperson from TDK has suggested that the uptake of Blu-ray in the Australian market will be slower than many had hoped, despite the recent demise of its rival format HD DVD.

TDK has been involved in the development of blue laser technology since 1998 and was one of the founding members of the Blu-ray Disc Association.

With the HD disc format war won in favour of Blu-ray, and HD DVD quickly becoming a distant memory, TDK marketing and communications manager, Bree McKenzie, said Blu-ray is becoming popular overseas.

“There is no longer any doubt that Blu-ray is well on its way to replacing conventional DVD in lounge rooms globally, and nowhere is the new format growing faster than in Japan where it is now said to represent an 18.2 per cent share of the home media market,” McKenzie said.



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