Episode 103

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about – Software Freedom Day Wiki
What is Software Freedom Day?

Saturday September 20th
Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Our goal in this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about of the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business — in short, everywhere! The non-profit company Software Freedom International coordinates SFD at a global level, providing support, giveaways and a point of collaboration, but volunteer teams around the world organize the local SFD events to impact their own communities.


Our vision is to empower all people to freely connect, create and share in a digital world that is participatory, transparent, and sustainable.

Teams in Australia


iTWire – Face recognition comes to Google’s Picasa
Face recognition comes to Google’s Picasa

 For many of us, a high proportion of photos in our albums include people, and it would be really handy to be able to quickly identify all the shots that include both Uncle Jim and Cousin Paul (or whatever).

Manually tagging the photos is too much like hard work, and face recognition seems to be a problem that the IT industry has pretty much solved.

iTWire – Chrome grabs “phenomenal” one percent of browser market on day one
Chrome grabs “phenomenal” one percent of browser market on day one

 According to Internet monitoring company, StatCounter, Google’s new browser, Chrome, took one percent of the global browser market within a day of launch.

Its release comes a few days after Google renewed its partnership deal with the [Mozilla] foundation, effectively funding it for another three years until November 2011. Mozilla’s main challenge (to grow independent from Google’s funding) remains unchanged. The foundation now has more time to get its act together in a market that, owing to Chrome, could become not just more competitive but also more open source browser friendly.”

Lachal suggests that, eventually, Chrome and Firefox could converge. “But at the moment two strong players (Chrome with Google’s mindshare as well as marketing and financial muscle, and Firefox with its market share lead and ecosystem) have more chance against Microsoft than one.”

Chrome — www.google.com.au/chrome — will only run on Windows. Mac and Linux users will have to wait for a few months, Google says.

Available in 40 languages, Google is touting Chrome as a new approach to browsing, based on ease of use.

“We think of the browser as the window to the web — it’s a tool for users to interact with the websites and applications they care about, and it’s important that we don’t get in the way of that experience,” Sundar Pichai, Google product management vice president, said.

“Just like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome has a simple user interface with a sophisticated core to enable the modern web,” Mr Pichai said.

Chrome has a combined search and address bar which gives users one location to find items online and also access websites.

Google yesterday in the US said it planned to develop an add-ons system for its new Chrome browser, similar to the functionality that can be found in rival Mozilla Firefox.

“We don’t have that in the beta today, but we definitely plan an extension API,” or application programming interface, Sundar Pichai, a Google vice president of product management, said at a Chrome launch event. “It is one of the things we will get to next.”

Computerworld – Note to Seinfeld: beware, Microsoft’s made some bad TV ads
Note to Seinfeld: beware, Microsoft’s made some bad TV ads

 Seinfeld struck a deal to become the face of Microsoft’s most expensive ad campaign ever. The goal, of course, is to undo the damage done by the bad rap Vista’s gotten — both from word-of-mouth and from that pesky Apple campaign portraying Windows as the outdated dork.

Rest assured, then, these new ads won’t be about nothing. The $300 million campaign will center on the slogan “Windows, Not Walls.” Seinfeld will appear with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in the spots, securing a cool $10 million for his time — and, Microsoft hopes, giving its struggling software a new start.

iTunes 8 coming at next week’s Apple event? – News – Music Software
iTunes 8 coming at next week’s Apple event?


Add another possibility to the list of possible announcements at Apple’s iPod event next week: a new version of iTunes.

Digg’s Kevin Rose, fresh off his prediction that Apple has a new iPod Nano design in store for next week, shares word from an unnamed source on Wednesday that Apple plans to introduce iTunes 8 at the same event. “iTunes 8 includes Genius, which makes playlists from songs in your library that go great together. Genius also includes Genius sidebar, which recommends music from the iTunes Store that you don’t already have,” Rose’s tipster wrote.

15 second boot times in Windows 7: Microsoft
15 second boot times in Windows 7: Microsoft


Microsoft wants to dramatically improve boot times in Windows 7 after admitting that Vista has failed to meet its goal of providing high-speed booting for the majority of PCs.

For Microsoft, getting improved boot times is becoming a major competitive issue. Super-cheap systems such as the Xandros-based Eee PC consistently boot in less than 30 seconds, and Dell’s ‘Blacktop’ project is essentially a way of booting a Windows PC quickly by not using Windows at all. With Windows 7 not expected until 2010, such alternative solutions will have plenty of time to gain market share.

Google on Chrome EULA controversy: our bad, we’ll change it
Google on Chrome EULA controversy: our bad, we’ll change it

 Chrome is fast, shiny, and requires users to sign their very lives over to Google before they can use it. Today’s Internet outrage du jour has been Chrome’s EULA, which appears to give Google a nonexclusive right to display and distribute every bit of content transmitted through the browser. Now, Google tells Ars that it’s a mistake, the EULA will be corrected, and the correction will be retroactive.

As noted by an attorney at Tap the Hive and various and sundry other sites, the Chrome EULA reads like a lot of Google’s other EULAs. It requires users to “give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

“Services” seems like an odd way to describe a web browser, but the EULA makes clear that “Services” refers to “Google’s products, software, services and web sites.” The EULA’s indication that Google could republish anything even “displayed” in the browser sounded a tiny bit evil, even if Google might just be looking to stave off lawsuits.

It’s worth noting that the EULA is largely unenforceable because the source code of Chrome is distributed under an open license. Users could simply download the source code, compile it themselves, and use it without having to agree to Google’s EULA. The terms of the BSD license under which the source code is distributed are highly permissive and impose virtually no conditions or requirements on end users.

Nestle ad bets on social network | Australian IT
Nestle ad bets on social network


NESTLE has created Australia’s biggest internet-based social-media advertising campaign to promote its new Kit Kat Chunky product, targeting teenage boys.

The company will spend about $1 million, more than 70 per cent of which will go to social media websites such as MySpace, to promote the face of Kit Kat Chunky: a character called Hans Fagerlund.

The campaign, which includes a multi-player online game, online videos and mockumentaries (mock documentaries) featuring Fagerlund, interactive banner ads, a website (Chungacham pionship.com.au) and a mobile component, aims to tap into the propensity of teenage boys to play and share games online.

John Broome, Nestle’s confectionery head of marketing, said that five years ago the money would have gone to television, radio and outdoor, but the internet and social media were now better for generating word-of-mouth among teens.

New music site rewards fans for buying songs – CNN.com
New music site rewards fans for buying songs


Berkeley, California-based Popcuts, which publicly launched its Web site in early August, charges users 99 cents per song. Thereafter, whenever someone else buys the same song, those who have already bought it get paid in credit that can be redeemed for more Popcuts music. The earlier you buy a song, the larger your cut of future sales.

And while credit is currently the payment option, the site’s founders hope to eventually pay users in cash, too.

it includes around 700 songs from about 200 artists — but Popcuts is adding musicians through a deal it recently made with music distributor DashGo Inc. and is looking to connect with more distributors and with record labels.

Anyone making music can sell their tunes through the site, while maintaining full rights to their work. The agreement between artists and Popcuts is not exclusive, Hesse said, so music makers can sell songs through services like Apple Inc.’s online iTunes Store as well.

Popcuts takes 10 to 20 percent of song sales. Artists can determine what cut they get, and the rest goes to fans.


Sony’s portable game machine gets a makeover – CNN.com
Sony’s portable game machine gets a makeover

The revamped PlayStation Portable will go on sale next month in Japan
The PSP-3000 is also being promised for the U.S. and European markets

Sony has sold about 41 million PSP machines globally — 10 million in Japan. Nintendo has sold 77.5 million Nintendo DS handheld devices worldwide, nearly 23 million in Japan.

On top of that, Nintendo has scored success with its predecessor GameBoy series, selling more than a 100 million GameBoys cumulative worldwide.

SBS seeks $70m for digital expansion – web – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
SBS seeks $70m for digital expansion


SBS will ask the Federal Government for a 37 per cent increase in funding, with the extra $70 million a year to go towards a network offering four digital television stations, another 100 hours of original Australian programs, and nine new digital radio channels.

The proposal would allow the multicultural broadcaster to offer foreign children’s programs for the first time, as well as more English-language tuition and wider coverage of the Asia-Pacific region.

SBS plans to have four TV channels by 2013. Its main channel would be complemented by overhauling the digital world news channel into a rebadged SBS World. The two other channels will be called SBS3 and SBS4.

SBS and the ABC have three-year funding deals that expire at the budget in May. SBS will receive $188 million this year. Mr Brown said the extra $70 million “may sound a lot, but … SBS has had no real increase in funds for many years” and received a fifth of what was given to the ABC.

Blogger arrested over Guns N’ Roses leak – web – Technology
Blogger arrested over Guns N’ Roses leak

 A blogger suspected of streaming songs from the unreleased Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy on his website was arrested and appeared in court, where his bail was set at $US10,000.

Motorists wrongly billed for using Lane Cove Tunnel | Australian IT
Motorists wrongly billed for using Lane Cove Tunnel


THE operator of Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel says it has mistakenly issued toll demands to 650 motorists.

Connector Motorways says its computers misread number plates on vehicles travelling in the tunnel and the nearby Falcon Street Gateway for five months, from March to August this year.

Number plates were only photographed when a vehicle did not have a valid electronic tag, the company said in a statement today.

Motorists who have any concerns about toll notices for the Lane Cove Tunnel and Falcon Street Gateway are asked to contact Connector Motorways on 133-111 or on the website www.connectormotorways.com.au.

Microsoft patents ‘Page Up’ and ‘Page Down’ | Tech News on ZDNet

 The software giant applied for the patent in 2005, and was granted it on August 19, 2008. US patent number 7,415,666 describes “a method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed”.

The company received its 5,000th patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office in March 2006, and is currently approaching the 10,000 mark.

Primus launches shaped mobile broadband – Wireless

  Primus launches shaped mobile broadbandPrimus Telecom has launched a mobile broadband service which will be speed-shaped once the data quota has been reached, instead of charging excess.

When a customer reached the monthly data allowance, the connection would be rate shaped for the remainder of the monthly billing period to 64Kbps.

According to the Primus speedster site, practical speeds for the service will be 384Kbps to 3.6Mbps for HSDPA devices, 200Kbps to 384Kbps for 3G and 20Kbps to 40Kbps for 2G. Primus is offering 6GB for $39.95 per month with a free modem on a 24-month contract as a special offer for September.

“In our experience, 6GB of data allowance per month is more than sufficient for an average internet user,” Andrew Sims, general manager products and marketing said in a statement.

The other prices, which will be going up live on the site this afternoon were $29.95 for 1GB, or $19.95 bundled with a mobile and $79.95 for 12GB, or $69.95 with a mobile.

iTWire – Steve Jobs not dead, despite Bloomberg slip
Steve Jobs not dead, despite Bloomberg slip

 I can’t pass up the opportunity to mention that Bloomberg accidentally sent a draft version of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ obituary across the wire.

So if you want to read the full text of Bloomberg’s Steve Jobs obituary, along with the retraction, you can find it at Gawker.

Viruses to power batteries of the future (ABC News in Science)
Viruses to power batteries of the future

 The energy for tomorrow’s miniature electronic devices could come from tiny microbatteries about half the size of a human cell and built with viruses.

By pouring a mixture of the harmless, genetically engineered M13 virus and the metal cobalt over stamped silicon film, Professor Angela Belcher and her colleagues have created a flexible, microscopic battery that could be cheaply mass produced.

In theory, it could turn virtually any surface – from large computers to tiny implanted detectors for cancer or heart disease – into an energy-storing device. Gram for gram, the virus-based batteries are roughly twice as powerful as traditional chemical batteries



Microsoft not bothered by Chrome’s shine | Australian IT

Microsoft not bothered by Chrome’s shine

Click here to find out more!

Fran Foo and Mitchell Bingemann | September 04, 2008

WHAT doesn’t kill us (yet) makes us stronger.

This is the mantra Microsoft is adopting despite early predictions of Internet Explorer’s market share being plundered by the newly launched Google Chrome browser

Some analysts believe IE could be the biggest loser with Chrome’s birth, while others feel it could spell the end for Mozilla’s Firefox.

IE has a stranglehold on the enterprise and government markets mainly due to the high penetration rate granted from organisations that run Microsoft’s Windows operating platform.

It’s no wonder then that Microsoft Australia managing director Tracey Fellows is unperturbed by Chrome’s entry.

“I can’t forecast what the market share shift is going to be (with Chrome) having just been announced,” Ms Fellows said.

“But whenever there’s competition in any part of our industry you get better performance by all the players,” she said from the sidelines of Microsoft’s Tech.Ed conference in Sydney.

But for now Microsoft could have nothing to worry about — Google says the enterprise and government markets are not on its radar for Chrome.

“The question of compatibility with corporate and government environments that are deliberately restrictive is very low on my list — it’s not something that is keeping me awake at night,” Sundar Pichai, Google product management vice president, told Australian reporters yesterday via video link from California.

Workers will have a tough time trying to download Chrome as most do not have administrator rights — a key reason why Firefox lacks high usage rates in enterprises. The other, which goes hand in hand, is the standard operating environment a company runs on.

Another feature in Chrome which won’t win brownie points in enterprise is its auto-update feature.

Businesses usually follow strict protocols that force them to approve newer versions of browsers before they can be rolled out to the whole organisation. However, with Chrome, the updates are done in the “background” and Google isn’t about to change tack, not even for business users.

“You will not see a dialogue box from Google Chrome. Our philosophy is to get rid of them. We don’t believe in interrupting the users ever.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Nokia launches music phone in UK

Nokia launches music phone in UK

Nokia's 5310 handset

Nokia hopes the phone will be a best-seller over Christmas

Nokia has launched a service that gives people free access to a store that holds two million music tracks.

The Comes with Music handset will be available only from the UK’s Carphone Warehouse on a pre-paid basis.

Although the music catalogue available will be far less than that offered by Apple’s iTunes, analysts forecast it could become a serious rival.

The bundled phone goes on sale in October and Carphone Warehouse is currently taking pre-orders.

The service gives people a year of unlimited access to the Nokia Music Store catalogue.

Users can transfer downloaded music to their PCs and will be able to keep all downloaded tracks after the year is over.

“We believe that Comes With Music will transform the way people enjoy music,” said Tero Ojanpera, head of Nokia’s entertainment and communities business said in a statement “With unlimited music access for a year, you can enjoy your favorite artists or delve into new genres without having to worry about individual track or album purchases.”

First download of 102 was 47 minutes. Second gave me the full 1hr and 14 minutes.

Learning To Fly – Fly Coaster Experience

Loading Loading Loading PS3. Good Game Segment on Gaming in Society PHD Student Brigid Costello said Any physical feeling you might get from the game is called a twitching bundle of nerves as there character experiences on the screen. Well for the loading screen of MGS4 it simply makes you want to smoke a cigarette. Wonder how many Tobacco Companies pumped money into the game.

Games will bigger than Motion Pictures in the next 2 years.

Good online and free Raced and Crashed.

The Hurricane, Oil Companies cause the weather problems then cash up on the exodus

Pre Order Pre Order Got some more Loading Loading Loading PS3 games.

SPORE street date broken SOLD OUT IN 24 HOURS. 2am for some players who had to work the next morning. Got through to civilisation mode.

A GAME IDEA – Once again ATH gives away the GOLD – To beat the Nintendo Wii and the Wii Fit, 360 and PS3 developers can create a game with an ATH idea. Simply include a Wi Fi or BlueTooth Pedometer/Heart Meter to download into the game at key points during the game. In order to progress to the next level you need to have walked X KM or sped your heartbeat up to a healthy fitness rate.


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