Episode 100

posted in: Show Notes

Suna’s traffic messaging service now in Sydney and Brisbane – News – Cars

  Suna, wed, launched its traffic messaging service for Sydney and Brisbane motorists, which has been available to Melbournians since late 2007.

GPS devices equipped with a TMC (Traffic Message Channel) receiver and a Suna subscription can either inform the user of any delays on their route or automatically route around any significant traffic.

The first car in Australia to work with traffic messaging in Australia will be Ford’s Falcon. Sedan and ute models sold after 1 August and equipped with satellite navigation come pre-subscribed to Suna’s service.

Suna’s service broadcasts digital, encrypted TMC (Traffic Message Channel) data containing traffic information, such as incidents and delays, as well as major events and other factors which may be of interest to motorists. These messages are piggybacked onto an existing FM radio station’s signal — Mix 106.5 in Sydney and Gold FM in Melbourne — and received by GPS devices equipped with a TMC receiver and Suna subscription.

Traffic information is collated by Suna at the company’s Melbourne headquarters before being fed out across its TMC networks in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Sources include roadside assistance providers, emergency management services, road work registries, special event organisers and tow truck dispatch services. However, the major component in Suna’s traffic information jigsaw are the state road authorities, like the RTA in NSW and VicRoads in Victoria. They not only provide Suna with access to their traffic centres, but with live data from the sensor pads built into many roads which regulate traffic light timing. This data is then fed into Suna’s traffic modelling software.

Foxtel expand services in wake of HD+ sales – News – Personal Video Recorders
Pay TV provider Foxtel has announced that nearly 40,000 subscribers have signed up for the HD+ service since its launch in June this year.

the company would examine new distribution platforms such as Foxtel over broadband.

In June, Foxtel signed an agreement with BBC Worldwide to deliver two new channels on the Foxtel platform in 2009 — documentary channel BBC Knowledge and educational children’s channel CBeebies.

StumbleUpon Demo – undefined
Beware hacking of implanted medical devices


LAS VEGAS — Wireless security experts have another area to worry about: embedded medical devices that communicate with the world outside the body via radio waves, speakers at Black Hat warn.

The potential exists for attackers to reset the devices, steal personal data that is stored on them and run down their batteries, forcing patients to have replacement surgery sooner than would otherwise be necessary, say Tadayoshi Kohno, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, and Kevin Fu, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Malicious parties have already randomly attacked people with epilepsy by introducing malware on epilepsy Web sites that flicker at a frequency that can cause seizures, so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine someone randomly attacking the embedded devices, Fu said.

Fu and Kohmo said they have hacked a cardiac defibrillator using a programmable radio and some reverse engineering and can identify other ways hackers might access such devices. They hacked a 2003 model

Apple grows Australian market share – Laptops
Apple grows Australian market share


Apple’s share of the Australian personal computer market has jumped sharply in the last year, according to statistics released this week by Australia’s two largest technology analyst firms.

In the three months making up the second quarter of 2008, Apple’s share of the local PC market was 5.3 per cent, according to Gartner, compared to 3.8 per cent for the same period in 2007.

With the firm estimating that Australians bought 1.2 million desktops or laptops in the period, Apple’s share would have been 64,830 units, or some 20,000 more than in the same period in 2007.

Olympics Opening Ceremony Fireworks ‘Faked’ on TV | Gadget Lab from Wired.com
Olympics Opening Ceremony Fireworks ‘Faked’ on TV

 The Telegraph picked up a story in the Chinese newspaper the Beijing Times which explained that filming the 29 firework “footprints” from the air would have been impossible. So visual effects artists spent a year creating a computer-graphic simulation — inserted precisely at the same time the real fireworks went off — to bedazzle home viewers as if they were at the actual ceremony. The fireworks themselves were real enough, but if you were watching on TV, what you saw was a CG simulation of that reality, happening in real-time. Confused yet?

Mozilla launches Snowl messaging prototype | Tech News on ZDNet
Mozilla launches Snowl messaging prototype

 Mozilla has launched a prototype messaging Firefox extension that it says could eventually enable users to keep track of all of their electronic communications, including email, RSS, social networks and web discussions.

“Snowl” enables users to priorities messages by importance and have a search-based interface for message retrieval, according to Mozilla developer Myk Melez.

‘I Am Rich’ Goes Broke In Apple Store – The Channel Wire – IT Channel News And Views by CRN and
‘I Am Rich’ Goes Broke In Apple Store

 Apple has removed the nearly $1,000 “I Am Rich” application from its App. Store, but not before eight people— either willingly or not—purchased the useless application.

Earlier this week the I Am Rich application went up, commanding a $999.99 price tag, the most a developer can charge through Apple’s App Store. The program essentially loads a screen saver onto the Apple iPhone to remind users and alert others that the user has money to throw around willy-nilly. The “status symbol,” once downloaded, does nothing but load a ruby red icon on the home screen, with the subtext “I Am Rich.” When the user activates the program, a large, glowing red gem appears. That’s all.

When I Am Rich first appeared in the App Store on Tuesday, the applications information page on iTunes read like this: “The red icon on your iPhone or iPod Touch always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were rich enough to afford this. It’s a work of art with no hidden function at all.”

Invisibility cloak within sight (ABC News in Science)
Invisibility cloak within sight


Scientists have created two new types of materials that can bend light the wrong way, creating the first step toward an invisibility cloaking device.

For now the vanishing act takes place on a nanoscale, measured in billionths of a metre.

But there is no fundamental reason why the same principles cannot be scaled up one day to make invisibility cloaks big enough to hide a person, a tank or even a tanker, the scientists say.

House-sized dog poo causes chaos at museum – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
House-sized dog poo causes chaos at museum


A giant inflatable dog poo by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.

The art work, titled Complex Shit, is the size of a house.

The wind carried it 200 metres from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home, museum director Juri Steiner said.

The inflatable poo broke the window at the children’s home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Mr Steiner said.

The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.

Mr Steiner said Mr McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if Complex Shit would be put back on display.

Chinese child singer ‘too ugly’ for opening ceremony – 2008 Beijing Olympic Games – ABC (Australian
Chinese child singer ‘too ugly’ for opening ceremony

 The pretty girl who had the starring role at China’s Olympic opening ceremony was a photogenic front for the real singer, who was rejected appearance-wise in the “national interest”.

But a director of the opening ceremony, Chen Qigang, has told state television Lin was miming to another girl’s voice. That girl was seven-year-old Yang Peiyi who, according to state media reports, has a chubby face and uneven teeth.

She was dropped after a senior member of China’s ruling Communist Party attended a rehearsal and said “there was a problem”.

“Yang Peiyi missed out on selection [to appear at the ceremony] because of her external appearance. It was for the national interest,” Chen was quoted as saying by the government-run China News Service.

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