Episode 106

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ID cards for foreign nationals unveiled | Home Office

ID cards for foreign nationals unveiled

25 September 2008

 

The Home Office has unveiled identity cards to be issued to foreign residents in the UK.

Example of what a foreign ID card will look like.The plastic wallet cards show the holder’s photograph, name, date of birth, nationality and immigration status. A secure electronic chip holds their biometric details, including fingerprints, and a digital facial image.

First cards roll out in autumn

The first cards are scheduled to be issued 25 November. Within three years all foreign nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK will be required to have a card.

By 2014, 90% of foreign residents in Britain should have identity cards.

The introduction of national identity cards for foreign residents will be followed by the first ID cards for British citizens, targeting workers in sensitive roles – such as airports – from 2009.

Then from 2010 ID cards will be available to young people who want them.

From 2011, cards will be available to the general population.

We didn’t withdraw from PC program: NSW minister | Australian IT
We didn’t withdraw from PC program: NSW minister

 At the heart of the issue is that additional costs tagged onto round one funding has yet to be resolved. NSW was expected to issue expressions of interest for a laptop tender as soon as negotiations with the Commonwealth for the extra funds — to cover installation and maintenance costs — were finalised.

NSW won’t spend a cent of its round one, $56 million allocation until the on-costs issues are resolved.

Tax break for school PC expenses | Australian IT
Tax break for school PC expenses

 

The plan will cover all parents with children at school who are entitled to Family Tax Benefit Part A.

They will be able to claim 50 per cent of eligible education expenses up to $750 a year for each child at primary school and up to $1,500 for secondary school students.

Computers, printers, paper, education software, text books and trade tools will be covered.

So will the cost of setting up and maintaining a home internet connection.

Mr Swan said the tax offset would apply to expenses incurred from July 1 this year and could be claimed in 2008-09 tax returns.

Analog TV on air until 2013 | Australian IT

 
     Analog TV on air until 2013About 40 per cent of Australian homes now have free-to-air digital TV, meaning the Government must still convince people in about 4.2 million homes to upgrade their TV sets to digital.

The bill also gives the Government the option of varying switch-off dates in some markets by three to six months if problems emerge.

PC World – Microsoft, Washington State to Sue ‘scareware’ Pushers
Microsoft, Washington State to Sue ‘scareware’ Pushers

   

Microsoft and Washington state are cracking down on scammers who bombard computer users with fake warning messages in hopes of selling them useless software.

On Monday the state’s attorney general and lawyers from Microsoft’s Internet Safety Enforcement team will announce several lawsuits against so-called “scareware” vendors, who are being charged under Washington state’s Computer Spyware Act.

The most prevalent scareware program in circulation today is software called Antivirus XP 2008, according to Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software. Often installed on a PC without proper notification, the software bombards victims with fake security warnings, trying to convince them to buy worthless programs that sometimes even harm their PCs.

PC World – Secret Controls for the New ITunes 8 Visualizer
Secret Controls for the New ITunes 8 Visualizer

 
-these keys are left over from the days of yore, when the now-in-iTunes visualizer was an independent iTunes plug-in known as Mangetosphere. These hidden keys offer even more control over the behavior of the visualizer:

+ and -: Increase or decrease the intensity (brightness) of the particles; multiple presses further increase or decrease the intensity.

A and S: Add or Subtract particles to the visualizer. You can make the visualizer as complex (or sparse) as you wish.

R: Reset the intensity and particle count to their default values.

E: When in nebula mode (press N), this greatly accentuates the nebula clouds, making them very easy to see. (If you’ve used the M key to change modes, you may find that the nebula clouds aren’t visible; it seems they’re only used in certain modes.)

BigPond launches Twitter support: News – Communications – ZDNet Australia
BigPond launches Twitter support

 The service, being run by BigPond’s email support team, will monitor Twitter posts that mention any potential support issues among BigPond customers. Once it detects an issue, the team will use Twitter to contact the customer and offer assistance.

Microsoft’s Ballmer to come Down Under: News – Software – ZDNet Australia
Microsoft’s Ballmer to come Down Under

 

Ballmer will be speaking at the Four Seasons hotel in George Street, Sydney on 7 November. To hear his speech, CEDA members will need to pay $143 per head, while non-members will be looking at $199.10 a head.

According to CEDA, Ballmer plans to discuss Microsoft’s innovation agenda, and how companies can turn ideas into profitable products and services. He will look into the future, casting a light onto what he calls the “fifth computing revolution” and how the world might look in 2015.

Judge Dismisses iPhone Battery Lawsuit | Gadget Lab from Wired.com
Judge Dismisses iPhone Battery Lawsuit

 A Chicago judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Apple of failing to inform customers of the iPhone’s limited battery life.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly dismissed the lawsuit without a trial, citing a disclaimer on the handset’s box that says the battery has “limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by Apple service provider.”

“Under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that deception occurred,” Kennelly was quoted in a Bloomberg story.

Jose Trujillo filed the lawsuit in 2007 in Illinois state court, accusing the company of consumer fraud for allegedly failing to tell customers that the iPhone’s battery was limited and could only be replaced by technicians for an $86 fee.

Get technical books cheaper
Get technical books cheaper

 

A new Australian book price comparison site will help you find the cheapest technical books and also calculate delivery costs.

Dan Milne has turned into a very useful service for Australians looking to buy technical and other books

Milne’s Booko searches 16 different book sellers and provides pricing results that also include delivery costs. Techies will appreciate the no-frills interface: to search for a book you input the book’s title, author or ISBN into the search field  and get all matches for that book. Select one, and you are shown the prices for the book from up to 16 book sellers.

Milne has also done some clever programming to calculate shipping prices when you’re buying multiple books. As you add products to your Booko cart Booko automatically keeps track of the best shipping deal since many web sellers provide shipping discounts when buying multiple products.

http://www.booko.com.au/

PC World – Secret Controls for the New ITunes 8 Visualizer
The most prevalent scareware program in circulation today is software called Antivirus XP 2008, according to Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software. Often installed on a PC without proper notification, the software bombards victims with fake security warnings, trying to convince them to buy worthless programs that sometimes even harm their PCs.

iTWire – MySpace Music brings unlimited online listening
MySpace Music brings unlimited online listening

      MySpace Music is a joint venture between News Corporation’s MySpace and the big four music companies: EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music. It allows users to stream full-length tracks from a huge catalogue at no charge.

Independent labels have not been given the opportunity to participate on similar terms, although distributors The Orchard and Sony ATV are onboard.

Martin Mills, chairman of the UK’s largest independent distributor Beggars Group, has been quoted as saying “It is both disappointing and astonishing that MySpace, built on the music of independent artists and labels, should, now it has the majors as partners, choose to launch without those that have been at its heart, and whilst treating independents as second class-citizens.”

Major companies will advertise on the player page (McDonald’s is one of the first to support the service, along with Sony Pictures, State Farm and Toyota), and MySpace Music will also take a cut of the concert ticket and merchandise sales that will eventually be offered through the site.

MySpace Music is linked to Amazon’s MP3 store, so users can easily purchase and download songs that are not encumbered by DRM for offline use. This includes devices such as iPods and many mobile phones.

For the first year of operation, Toyota will sponsor ‘Toyota Tuesdays’ offering free MP3 downloads.

the new-look MySpace Music appears to be limited to US users

PDC2008 : Unveiling Windows 7 to the World: Keynote, Sessions and Pre-Beta Bits

         Be one of the first to get a look at Windows 7.  Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, will keynote on Tuesday, October 28. 

Windows 7 is the next major version of the Windows client operating system.  With Windows 7 at PDC2008 you will see advances across the full range of Windows—including the kernel, networking, hardware and devices, and user-interface.  Learn more about opportunities to build on the platform’s commitment to OS fundamentals, while also enabling you to enhance your existing applications and create new applications that use the new technologies and APIs in Windows 7.

At this year’s PDC, keynote attendees will be among the first to receive the pre-beta build of Windows 7.  Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to attend 21 different sessions that drill down into the details of developing for Windows 7.

iTWire – Live NASA station-and-ground audio now available

     Live NASA station-and-ground audio now availableThe NASA announcement was made on September 25, 2008, through the news release “Live Space Talk Now Available 24/7 On NASA Web Site.”

The article states “The streaming audio of space-to-ground communications includes NASA commentary during specific station mission events and regularly scheduled space station commentary on NASA Television Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. Central time. NASA already provides this space-to-ground communication with commentary during space shuttle missions.”

To listen in on these space station and space shuttle audio conversations, go to the NASA website: http://www.nasa.gov.

Under “NASA TV & Video”, click on the tab “NASA TV (Live).”’

Then, click on “Shuttle & Station Audio (may be silent at times).”

Additional information on the International Space Station is found at: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

More info on the NASA Space Shuttle fleet is located at: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle.

The website for NASA television (NASA TV) is: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

iTWire – Nintendo Murder Suspect Arrested
Nintendo gaming argument gets out of hand, moves from web forum to real life, and leaves one man arrested and another stabbed to death it would seem…

               Nintendo gaming argument gets out of hand, moves from web forum to real life, and leaves one man arrested and another stabbed to death it would seem…
There is a whole series of Advance Wars titles for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, and an online version, and the most serious of players take them all very seriously indeed. Take Matt Pyke who was a forum administrator at the popular Wars Central fan site, and regular poster David Heiss for example.

Pyke ended up stabbed to death at his home   

Banned for keeps on Facebook for odd name – BizTech – Technology – theage.com.au
Banned for keeps on Facebook for odd name

 

That reality was made all too clear for Sydneysider Elmo Keep this month when she tried to login to her account and was told she was banned for violating the site’s terms of use.

She is the latest in a string of people to be banned from the site without any prior warning or recourse because Facebook believed they were not using their real names.

 

Facebook says it forces people to give their real name and date of birth on the site to make the web more credible by preventing people from hiding behind pseudonyms or impersonating others. It wants people’s profiles to be a genuine reflection of who they are offline.

Ironically, the rule has meant people with genuinely unusual names are forced to sign up with fake names to avoid being banned.

Facebook has also banned people for having too many friends, joining too many groups, posting too many messages on a wall or in a group, “poking” too many people and using duplicate text in multiple messages

An epidemic in illegal downloading – web – Technology – theage.com.au
An epidemic in illegal downloading

 For years Australia’s copyright enforcers have privately admitted they have no intention of dragging local file-sharers through the courts US-style. The head of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft now publicly admits the group has no interest in prosecuting file- sharers. Executive director Adrianne Pecotic says AFACT has more interest in catching those releasing bootleg movies than those sitting on the couch downloading them for their private consumption.

“Our aim is not to be going in and bashing down people’s doors or suggesting that the police should be taking enforcement action against people who are downloading,” Ms Pecotic says. “It’s not something we should be wasting police resources on. “Police resources … need to be used very appropriately to target people who are stealing copies of movies and then uploading them.”

Spore creators sued over anti-piracy software – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Spore creators sued over anti-piracy software

 

The lawsuit filed this week in a federal court in Northern California contends that players were not warned about tenacious digital rights management (DRM) software that stays in computers even if game programs are removed.

Spore maker Electronic Arts told buyers that there are anti-piracy safeguards but did not advise people the SecuROM program it used “is essentially a virus that installs itself without warning,” the lawsuit alleges.

The DRM software attaches itself to the “command and control centres” of computers and tracks activities, blocks certain operations and even disrupts hardware, according to the suit filed on Monday (local time).

A US woman was named as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, which is seeking class action status to represent all Spore buyers.

The filing demands a jury trial and wants Electronic Arts forced to pay unspecified damages as well as turn over money it has made from Spore, which went on sale in Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States this month.

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