Episode 113

posted in: Show Notes



Pirate Bay bigger than all of Scandinavia | News | TechRadar UK
Torrent tracker raises record to 25 million peers

 Just two months after hitting 15 million peers on its file-sharing tracking network, Swedish website The Pirate Bay has gone ten better and raised the record to 25 million.

In a cheeky move that’s guaranteed not to bear fruit, given the legal grey area The Pirate Bay occupies, the site’s founders have asked the Guinness Book of Records to recognise it as the world’s largest torrent tracker.

Adobe explains: Why there’s no Flash on iPhone or BlackBerry
Adobe explains: Why there’s no Flash on iPhone or BlackBerry

 iPhone, the ability for the phone to play YouTube videos in a special YouTube application provides a tantalising hint of Flash Video in the phone — but alas, it’s merely Quicktime Video playback. Apple got YouTube to convert most of its videos into MPEG-4 in order to be compatible with Apple, rather than accommodating Flash Video in the phone.

Adobe is maintaining the party line that there will eventually be an iPhone version of Flash. “We continue to work with Apple on developing that,” Anup Murarka, Director of technical marketing mobile and devices at Adobe

For BlackBerry We are not going to be able to get Flash running under Java,” he said, noting that the multiple layers of code interpretation that would require (Flash converted to Java converted to BlackBerry device code) impose a performance burden that can’t readily be overcome.

Obama faces BlackBerry and Apple laptop ban
Obama faces BlackBerry and Apple laptop ban

 from the date of his inauguration on January 20th 2008, if not beforehand, President-elect Barrack Obama will have to part with his beloved BlackBerry smartphone and Apple laptop.

Concerns over email security and the need for all presidential correspondence to be entered into an official record, and eventually be open to public perusal, are expected to trump Obama’s own enthusiasm for technology.

Google introduces video chat for Gmail
Google introduces video chat for Gmail

 First, you’ll need to go here and download and install the Google Voice and Video plugin.

You can pop out the video and change its size and position, or switch to full screen.  If you don’t have a webcam, you can simply chat by voice.’

Like most other services that Google introduces, the roll-out will be global, and will take a couple of days to completely roll out

Blue Badge hack opens up hidden Windows 7 features
Blue Badge hack opens up hidden Windows 7 features


Features baked into the first public Windows 7 build but hidden from most users can now be unlocked using a simple download.

However, when hacker Rafael Rivera Jr dug into the Windows 7 code, he discovered a protection scheme designed to stop some features incorporated within the build, including the enhanced taskbar, from being accessed by standard users (the options are only available to employees logging on from a recognised Microsoft domain). Rivera has now released a tool dubbed “Blue Badge” which lets you automatically unlock the Microsoft protection scheme, having previously detailed a more complex manual process for achieving the same goal.

Shoppers desert grocery website | Australian IT
Shoppers desert grocery website


SHOPPERS are increasingly ignoring GroceryChoice, the Rudd Government’s $13 million grocery price monitoring website.

After the Government was this week forced to walk away from its other price watch initiative – FuelWatch – when the Senate voted it down, it emerged yesterday that internet traffic to its much-vaunted grocery website had plummeted.

New figures obtained by The Weekend Australian show the number of hits on the GroceryChoice website has dived from 3.3 million a month in August to just 104,000 hits in October.

Major and independent retailers have panned GroceryChoice, saying the information is outdated and too general to provide any meaningful savings.

The site, developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, allows shoppers to compare prices to find the cheapest supermarket chain in their area – as opposed to the cheapest individual store. Prices are updated once a month.

The peak body representing independent grocers, the National Association of Retail Grocers of Australia, said it was time for the Government to take a “reality check”.

Worker down the YouTube | Australian IT
Worker down the YouTube


A FORKLIFT driver who filmed himself performing dangerous burnouts and wheelies and then posted it on YouTube was yesterday convicted of breaching safety laws.

In the first case of its kind in Victoria, Matthew Garry Ward was prosecuted with the help of his own video clips.

His forklift licence will be cancelled.

Seymour Magistrates’ Court heard Ward was sacked after his boss discovered the YouTube footage, filmed on company premises, seven weeks after it was posted.


In that time the YouTube clip, which has since been removed, received 238 hits.

Entitled “How 2 pass you forklift License (sic)” it showed Ward performing dangerous two-wheeled manoeuvres on the five-tonne company forklift, loaded with huge reinforced concrete pipes.

The court was told Ward filmed his antics with his mobile phone, which he placed on a pile of concrete pipes.

In the final clip Ward performs stunts that he advises viewers to avoid when applying for their forklift licences.

In one scene he repeatedly reverses at high speed, rear wheels aloft and the forklift weighed down by the heavy load; it comes crashing down when he suddenly stops.

In another scene, Ward burns rubber until smoke starts to billow from beneath the machine. He also crashes into piles of concrete pipes.

Ward, 20, of Kilmore, yesterday pleaded guilty to one health and safety charge of failing to take reasonable care for his own health and placing himself at serious risk.

WorkSafe prosecutor Karen Argiropoulos said the employer, Australian Profiles and Pre-Cast Pty Ltd, was alerted to the clip by another employee.

She said a WorkSafe inspector who examined the footage found Ward’s deliberate stunts breached occupational health and safety laws and placed not only him but possibly others at risk.

He failed to wear a seatbelt, sped forward while looking sideways at the camera, and had no control over the forklift.

The last 13 years have seen 56 forklift-related deaths.

Defence lawyer Greg George said Ward was not proud of his behaviour and in hindsight realised it was very immature. His client had not thought through his actions and was devastated to lose a job he loved and was skilled at.

“Had he not recorded it, probably nobody would have known about it,” he said.

Magistrate Caitlin English said Ward had engaged in dangerous risk-taking and it was remarkable he had not been seriously injured.

She ordered Ward to perform 50 hours of unpaid community work, undertake an OHS course at his own expense, and pay $1200 in costs to WorkSafe. The maximum penalty was $25,780.

Ward was ushered out of the courthouse through a back entrance used for prisoners.

Police said they wanted to save him the embarrassment of facing waiting media.

iPhone now most popular US phone – Mobile Phones
iPhone now most popular US phone

 Apple’s iPhone 3G topped the US sales charts in the third quarter, according to market research group NPD.

(Credit: CNET.com)

The phone, which went on sale in July, displaced Motorola’s Razr as the most purchased handset among consumers, NPD added. Motorola’s Razr, first introduced in 2004, has been the number one ranked handset for 12 straight quarters.

According to NPD, the Razr V3 fell to second place behind the iPhone 3G. RIM’s BlackBerry Curve was third; LG’s Rumor was fourth; and the LG enV2 came in fifth.


Kevin Rudd joins Twitter – Mobile Phones
Kevin Rudd joins Twitter

 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has started an account on the Twitter micro-blogging service, but it is not know if the politician maintains the account in person.

Kevin Rudd
(Credit: PM’s office)

The PM’s presence on the service comes behind opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, who has maintained a presence on Twitter since October. Turnbull has been verified to post messages on his account personally and interact with the community.

At the time of writing Rudd’s only post was “Looking forward to communicating with you on Twitter”. He had 247 followers and was followed by 80 other people.

The Twitter account provides an addition to the PM’s renewed web presence, which includes a Facebook account, a MySpace page, a YouTube Channel, and a personal website.

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