Episode 099

posted in: Show Notes
Piracy could put film industry out of business, warns group

  Piracy could put film industry out of business, warns groupIllegal downloads of popular films are nearly as numerous as box office visits, a French antipiracy association claims. The Association Against Audiovisual Piracy (ALPA) analyzed P2P traffic in France between November 2007 and June 2008 and concluded that a number of popular films had been downloaded so many times that the phenomenon could endanger the entire film industry.

Google Street View told: keep off, private – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Google Street View told: keep off, private


Street View, which contains detailed street-level photographs of much of Australia, has taken the country by storm since it was unveiled on Tuesday.

Some see it as a great way to explore the country from the comfort of an armchair but others have dismissed it as a gross invasion of privacy, since Australians were not given the choice of whether their houses were to appear on the site.

To quell privacy fears before Street View’s launch, Google said it would blur number plates and faces and instruct its drivers only to photograph public roads.

Despite this, a number of private roads and unblurred faces and number plates appeared on the Google Maps feature.

Google has already removed some, including three roads in Coffs Harbour that were clearly marked “no trespassing”.

Trees die as first iPhone bills released – Technology – BrisbaneTimes

  Trees die as first iPhone bills releasedThe high page count stems from Optus and Telstra unnecessarily itemising each individual piece of web data downloaded using the phone, instead of having a single usage figure for each day.

Sydneysider Tom Piotrowski recently received his first iPhone bill from Optus and, although he used only 150MB of his 850MB monthly data allowance, his bill came to 16 double-sided pages.

If he used the full 850MB his bill would have been more than 80 pages. Some iPhone plans offer multiple gigabytes of data a month, which would result in bills that are more than 100 pages.

Virgin Mobile already provides a summary showing the total data usage for each day rather than itemising the bill. A spokesman said the data usage section of Virgin bills never exceeded one page and the telco had been offering e-billing since April.

Bob Buiaroski, director of services at Vodafone Australia, said the telco would phase out paper bills for customers who are able to access the internet by October 1 this year.

Customers could receive their bill via email or check their account information on Vodafone’s website.

“Vodafone will save up to 60 million sheets of paper a year by introducing paperless billing,” Buiaroski said.

Turn your iPhone into a mobile 3G modem!

 Turn your iPhone into a mobile 3G modem!US software firm and iPhone app developer NullRiver thought it was onto a good thing yesterday when it released its NetShare software onto Apple’s iPhone App Store.

The program was designed to overcome a major limitation of the iPhone: the inability to share its 3G Internet connection with a laptop by acting as an ad hoc or ‘tethered modem’.

This mode is a standard inclusion on most serious smartphones, including the BlackBerry Bold, and is popular with mobile professionals and power users who want to briefly tap into a full Internet experience on their notebook when there’s no Wi-Fi within reach.

NetShare didn’t even do that much, alas – it was limited to running Apple’s Safari desktop browser by turning the iPhone into a SOCKS5 proxy server. Yet NullRiver fell foul of Apple, which allegedly chose not to implement a ‘tethered mode’ on the iPhone 3G to appease US carrier and premium iPhone partner AT&T. The telco considers tethering as a cost-extra service for which it charges customers US$30 per month.

Unfortunately, the program remains unavailable to Australian customers: clicking on an iPhone App Store link sourced from a US-based iTunes account returns the message that  “the item you’ve requested is currently not available in the Australian store”.

And there’s no other way to get the program: iPhone programs can be downloaded and installed only via Apple’s online store, while commercial offerings like NetShare (which sells for US$9.99) are protected from copying by the same FairPlay DRM shield as music purchased through iTunes.

We’re hopeful NetShare will pop up locally, as it provides a simple solution for the mobile digerati – and would be especially effective when partnered with one of Virgin’s super-generous iPhone plans, which serve up 1GB of data on a $70 cap or 5GB for $100. Tutorials, tweaks and add-ons which extend NetShare’s capabilities to other browsers and applications have already started to appear.

Rudd signals GroceryChoice changes – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Rudd signals GroceryChoice changes”The intention from the competition watchdog is to provide consumers with that choice or information over time about one supermarket chain versus another, or one supermarket in their area versus another against a basket of goods,” he said.


Optus apologises for another outage – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Optus apologises for another outage

Optus has apologised for yet another round of disruptions to its mobile telephone and internet services in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

It is the third time it is happened in as many weeks.

The network went down this morning, was restored temporarily but crashed again this afternoon.

Optus Spokesman Maha Krifhnapillai says the company is doing everything possible to resolve the issue.

“We’ve had a re-occurrence of a software bug that we thought we had patched and repaired with Nokia this morning, so we had an outage this morning on 3G data that affected some voice services in Brisbane this morning that has now re-emerged,” he said.

Six degrees of separation a possibility: researchers – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting

Researchers at Microsoft say the popular belief that everyone on the planet can be linked by a string of six acquaintances is statistically almost exactly right.

The company analysed the senders and recipients of 30 billion instant messages over a month.

They established that any two strangers could be linked by an average string of 6.6 relationships.

Social networking site goes to the dogs – CNN.com
Social networking site goes to the dogs


  • Doggyspace.com allows dog owners to create profiles, share photos/videos
  • Site is part of growing trend of content-focused social networking sites
  • Doggyspace has 700 registered users, 73 percent female
  • User says talking in dog voice is a “goofy thing to do at the end of the day”




Current – Asus ships its latest Eee PC spin off – the Eee Box
Asus ships its latest Eee PC spin off – the Eee Box

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: The Eee Box mini-desktop PC is the latest addition to the rapidly growing Eee PC family. It is shipping now to Australian dealers and will be available through retailers in four to five weeks at RRP$429.

Measuring just 22 cm x 18 cm x 2.5 cm (approximately one litre of space), it has a very small footprint. It will also come with a mounting kit to mount it behind the monitor to save even more desk space.

Current – Sony and TropFest no longer a film couple
Sony and TropFest no longer a film couple

By Patrick Avenell

Sony has issued a statement announcing that its sponsorship of the TropFest short film competition has ended. The partnership had existed since November 2003, and spokespeople for both the electronics brand and the film festival have released positive quotations about the association.

“Since Sony began its sponsorship…the film festival has gone from strength to strength,” said Sony Australia head of strategy and brand development, Toby Barbour. “The association was a natural fit due to Sony’s expertise in film-making and showcasing technologies, such as our Handycam camcorders and Bravia LCD TVs.

Current – New projector is the “world’s smallest”
New projector is the “world’s smallest”

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Mint Trading has announced the release of the Aiptek V10 pocket projector, which the company claims is small enough to fit into the pocket of a pair of jeans.

The projector measures 125 x 55 x 23 millimetres, around the size of an iPhone, and is capable of projecting movies, photos and games up to 50 inches in size from 1.8 metres. Additionally, Mint boasts the pocket-sized projector does not need to warm up before starting, switches off immediately, and has a bulb life of 20,000 hours.

Whilst Mint concedes that the pocket projector could not possibly replace a traditional projector in the corporate sphere, the company claims it is sufficient for smaller commercial settings and is ideal for the general consumer.

The key features of the Aiptek V10 pocket projector are:

-3-in-1 AV jack with AV cable.
-1 gigabyte of in-built memory.
-SD/MMC card slot to expand memory to 32 gigabytes.
-Stereo speakers with 1-watt output.
-Rechargable lithium-ion battery with over 60 minutes running time.
-Plays MP4, AVI and ASF files, MP3 and JPEG.

The Aiptek V10 pocket projector will be available locally from September at RRP $649.

ChannelChooser 2.0 – Watch online live TV-channels, Movies & Videos

Jango – Free Music – Internet Radio that Plays What You Want! Listen to Music Online Radio Stations

Privacy advocates say Google’s gone too far | Australian IT

Privacy advocates say Google’s gone too far

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Andrew Colley | August 05, 2008

GOOGLE is back in the privacy firing line over its latest internet mapping blitz, which will make Australian streets some of the most scrutinised in the world.

From today, Australian consumers will be able to go beyond having a bird’s eye view of their neighbourhood through the Google Earth service and zoom in to street level for a 360-degree view.

The service, Google Street View Australia, is the result of a massive six-month photographic project covering hundreds of thousands of kilometres of roads.

Google has won support for the service from teachers, as well as the property and tourism industries. But privacy advocates are concerned the company is, again, steam-rolling privacy rights to reach its commercial goals.

In this case, opponents are concerned that Street View may identify individuals as being present in places, which could compromise their privacy.

Australian Privacy Foundation board member Dr Dan Svantesson said Google’s privacy record was viewed dimly on the international stage.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Robots learn to move themselves

Researchers in Leipzig have demonstrated software designed for robots that allows them to “learn” to move through trial and error.

The software mimics the interconnected sensing and processing of a brain in a so-called “neural network”.

Armed with such a network, the simulated creatures start to explore.

In video demonstrations, a simulated dog learns to jump over a fence, and a humanoid learns how to get upright, as well as do back flips


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