Episode 090

posted in: Show Notes
ImportGenius: The Disruptive Shipping Database
ImportGenius: The Disruptive Shipping Database

 Every shipping vessel that enters and leaves the United States is required to submit shipping records that document its cargo. Most of these documents are a matter of public record – you could look up the information yourself if you wanted to.

For a monthly fee ($99 for standard access, $250 for premium) users can search through the data, allowing them to identify criteria including the class of cargo, the company involved, and the point of origin.

Two of Apple’s long-time manufacturing partners for desktop computers —Hon Hai Precision Corp. and Quanta Computer—have been rumored to be working on the newest generation of the popular cell phone.

On March 19 Quanta delivered 20 ocean containers of merchandise, described on the Bills of Lading as “electric computers,” to Apple, Inc. Neither Apple, Quanta, nor any other company has ever used this product description for any shipments to the U.S.

The advanced features of the iPhone make it perfectly legitimate for Apple to declare the products as computers, rather than telephones. By doing this, the company may hope to avoid the attention that a massive influx of phones may bring about, while simultaneously maintaining secrecy as to the true identify of the phone’s manufacturers.

Over the last few months shipments of “desktop computers” and other devices did not fall off, indicating that these “electric computers” represent a new product for the company rather than a simple renaming for their Customs declarations.

ING leads in online banking security | Australian IT
ING leads in online banking security

 NG Direct has taken advantage of new AML legislation that allows financial institutions to replace the traditional 100 point security check, which uses physical documents such as passports, with electronic AML (anti money laundering) compliance checks.

Other banks are expected to follow ING Direct's lead, which uses an almost instant online identity verification process instead of the traditional 100-point security check to allow customers to open savings and term deposit accounts.

The bank's online process requires applicants to be Australian citizens resident here, with an Australian residential address and phone number.

Customers fill out an online application form and their identity is checked by FCS Online, a third-party identify verification service.

FCS Online cross-checks identity information with public databases such as telephone directories and electoral rolls and also checks AML/CTF warning lists held by the Australian and US governments. As a privacy measure, the information is then discarded, according to FCS Online.

Five top executives abandon internet publisher Ninemsn | The Australian
Five top executives abandon internet publisher Ninemsn

 AUSTRALIA'S biggest internet publisher, Ninemsn, appears on the brink of collapse following the resignations of chief executive Tony Faure and mobile head Chris Noone this week.

In a report released last year, research firm Frost & Sullivan estimated Ninemsn's share of online advertising fell from 10.9 per cent to 9.7 per cent, pushing it from third place, behind Google and Telstra's Sensis division, to fifth.

ABN AMRO published a report last year estimating Ninemsn had a leading 24 per cent of the online display market, but other players, including News Digital Media (owned by News Limited, publisher of The Australian) and rival advertising networks are understood to be gaining share.

Sources close to the business claimed the portal would miss its current financial year advertising target by between 20 per cent and 25 per cent as advertising continued to migrate to special interest websites at the expense of the big players.

Slept through your lecture? Download it off iTunes – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Slept through your lecture? Download it off iTunes


A Queensland university has become one of the first in Australia to make available its lectures through Apple's iTunes store.

Griffith University today launched Griffith on iTunes U, where users can access podcasts of the university's lectures, research work or samples of campus life for free.

Cyber bandit sabotages top cop – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
Cyber bandit sabotages top cop

 Wikipedia has been forced to lock its profile page on Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty after a cyber vandal portrayed him as a deranged conspiracy theorist

The unidentified hacker mockingly quoted Mr Keelty warning: "The Americans should stop looking for Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. I have particularly sensitive intelligence from aliens – he's living in an outside dunny in Dubbo.

"At this time he is training terrorist pixies and raising an airforce of stealth budgies to strike at the heart of the infidels, Allahu Akbar."

The top cop's often quoted contentious remarks about airport baggage handlers during the Schapelle Corby drug smuggling case were amended to include: "I have very little intelligence. I'm a little teapot."

Small devices cost big dollars – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Small devices cost big dollars

 Some, such as a Sony PlayStation 3, cost five times as much to run as an average-sized refrigerator. That translates to about $250 a year, said Christopher Zinn, spokesman for the consumer group Choice,

A combination of desktop computer, LCD monitor, wireless router, plasma TV and DVD player on continuous active standby could add $450 a year to the power bill.

Choice says the absence of a star-rating labelling system means consumers are unable to make informed decisions when buying electronic goods. It also means manufacturers have little incentive to improve energy efficiency.

Peter Gabriel offering 'little friend' for music fans – CNN.com
Peter Gabriel offering 'little friend' for music fans

 Peter Gabriel thinks he's found a way to help with his site, appropriately titled The Filter, debuting on Tuesday.

"The Internet, which I think is an amazing creation, provides access to an ocean of limitless information, but without filtering it's easy to drown," Gabriel, 58, told The Associated Press recently by phone from England. "But if you have this little friend on your shoulder, that can pick out music to listen to and films to look it, it's something I would use provided I could steer it a little."

The site, which will provide users with daily recommendations, was founded by Gabriel and Martin Hopkins, a huge jazz fan. Hopkins first came up with the notion of filtering content to discover new or forgotten music according to one's individual mood.

Users who visit The Filter will initially be asked to fill out basic information and rate different genres of music and film, and also different acts and movies as well. The filter uses that information to figure out what kind of suggestions to make, and the more a fan uses the site, the more accurate the recommendations, according to the site's developers.

iTWire – The horror! the horror! Per gigabyte broadband charging provokes outrage in the US
The horror! the horror! Per gigabyte broadband charging provokes outrage in the US

 Associated Press reported on 2 June that new Time Warner's cable Internet subscribers in Beaumont, Texas would have monthly allowances for the amount of data they upload and download and that those exceeding the limit would be charged $US1 per Gbyte.

The report quoted Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president of advanced technology saying that the move was an attempt to deal fairly with Internet usage, which is very uneven among Time Warner Cable's subscribers with just five percent taking up half of the capacity on local cable lines. "We think it's the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure," Leddy said.

Time Warner had announced plans for the trial in January, but did not give any details. These have now been announced and range from $US29.95 a month for a 768kbps service with a and a 5Gbyte monthly cap to $US54.90 for a 15Mbps service and a 40Gbyte cap, which puts them in the same ballpark as services in Australia.

iTWire – New look QuickBooks goes Web Services
New look QuickBooks goes Web Services

 Integration of Web services and a new SQL database engine has made Quickbooks 2008/09 the most significant upgrade to the small business accounting package this century. Will Reckon start selling its popular system as a service?

"Anything you can do in QuickBooks" is accessible via Web Services, explains Gavin Dixon, CEO of Reckon's business division. (Reckon customises and distributes Intuit's Quicken and QuickBooks software in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.)

For example, this could be used to integrate an e-commerce web site with QuickBooks so that orders are entered into the accounting software without human intervention, or the web site can display up-to-the-minute inventory figures.

This capability is available in all versions including the entry level package.

Another major change is the adoption of Sybase's SQL database as the back end for improved performance, reliability and scalability.

iTWire – Chatty operator picks up auctioneer
Chatty operator picks up auctioneer

  OZtion claims one million unique visitors per month and over 275,000 registered accounts.

"With over 670,000 items for sale, OZtion is the clear challenger to become the biggest online auction website in Australia," said Adrian Risch, CEO of Jumbuck.

Auction sites such as OZtion have reportedly benefited from eBay's recent decision to require sellers to use PayPal as their payment processor. Although the company claims it will improve security, a vocal group of sellers are objecting because of the fees charged and by what they view as unacceptable business practices by PayPal.

Site that searches all auction sites for you input? thats what we need – ideas for free on ATH

Itching to take a bite – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
Itching to take a bite


The Mac community believes that new 3G, wireless broadband iPhones will be announced by company founder, chief executive and all-round visionary Steve Jobs in San Francisco at the opening of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on June 9.

This will coincide (June 10 Australian time) with the opening of Apple's first Australian company store on the corner of King and George streets in Sydney.

Industry estimates suggest there are between 50,000 and 60,000 iPhones already in use here, bootlegged from vendors in Hong Kong and openly sold in computer shops in Melbourne and other Australian cities, or bought from US and Asian sellers trading on eBay.

It is relatively simple to "hack" an iPhone so that it can be used on an Australian mobile phone network, and nobody seems to mind that doing it voids the warranty.

iTWire – Two million Australians give telemarketers the flick
Two million Australians give telemarketers the flick

 More than two million telephone numbers have been listed on the on the Do-Not-Call Register since its launch one year ago but the expected impact on outbound telemarketing does not appear to have occurred.

Fifty four Australian contact centres were surveyed for the report, including some of Australia's largest organisations in banking, government, insurance, retail, telecommunications and transport. When asked 'What has the impact of the Do Not Call Register been on your overall outbound calling volumes?' 91.7 percent said that it had either had no impact or no change on volumes.

British website reveals Australia's settler history – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
British website reveals Australia's settler history


Details of millions of Britons who travelled to Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in search of economic success have been released online as part of a social history collection.

British website ancestry.co.uk has compiled the details of 8.9 million so-called "free settlers", or economic migrants to Australia, which the website says gives the average Briton a 25 per cent chance of having a free settler ancestor.

Online database shows Britain-Australia links – Breaking News – Technology – Breaking News


Website Ancestry.co.uk has compiled the names of 8.9 million so-called "free settlers", or economic migrants to Australia, including around 2.2 million British free settlers.

According to the website, around 16 million Britons have an ancestor who was a free settler, meaning that the average Briton has approximately a one-in-four chance of descending from an economic migrant to Australia.

The website's collection shows that Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Sydney in 1893, a year before he died, and that actress Nicole Kidman is a descendant of Irish settlers Bridget and James Callacher.


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