Episode 116

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

 Laser printers cleared of toner dust hazard | News | TechRadar UK

Laser printers cleared of toner dust hazard

 German scientists have shown that laser printer emit ‘hardly any’ particles of black toner, a potential carcinogen.

A previous study by the Queensland University of Technology found that printers emitted clouds of particles that were five times higher than levels outside, which they assumed could include potentially dangerous toner dust.

However, researchers at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute in Braunschweig looked into exact composition of the emissions.

“Some printers do emit ultra-fine particles made of volatile organic-chemical substances,” says WKI Professor Tunga Salthammer. “But one essential property of these ultra-fine particles is their volatility, which indicates that we are not looking at toner dust.”

 

Ultra-fine particles are produced by many household gadgets that have an electric motor or heating element – such as toasters – but little research has been done into their possible toxicity.

Dr Who made available on iTunes by BBC | News | TechRadar UK
Dr Who made available on iTunes by BBC

 Dr Who fans will be able to download the last four series from iTunes – with a series a week being made available through December.

Nintendo makes $6 on every Wii | News | TechRadar UK
Nintendo makes $6 on every Wii

 

Nintendo makes an operating profit of $6 for every Wii console sold, according to the latest analyst reports, with Microsoft breaking even with the Xbox 360 and Sony still making a loss on each PS3 it sells.

The Forbes report’s figures are based on an industry analysis by David Gibson at Macquarie Securities.

Atari to step up its game in 2009 | News | TechRadar UK
Atari to step up its game in 2009

 dogged with financial problems in recent years can finally start to publish some major games and move back to the forefront of gaming.

Perhaps the biggest announcement today was that the superb-looking Ghostbusters game will launch on all formats in June 2009.

iTWire – Apple peels antivirus advice from its support site
Apple peels antivirus advice from its support site

 Late last month Apple revised its support article number HT2550 which read in part “Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.”

But the URL for that page (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2550) now generates a ‘page not found’ error.

Macworld quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying that the article was “old and inaccurate” – despite it having been updated in the last week or two.

Announcing the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Customer Preview Program (CPP) –
Announcing the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Customer Preview Program (CPP)

 Beginning Thursday Dec. 4th, we will be making the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta available to everyone through a Customer Preview Program (CPP). The CPP will launch on TechNet and be available to anyone interested in trying out this service pack.

our feedback from testing will help us deliver the highest quality release possible. As of today, we are tracking to ship Windows Vista SP2 in the first half of 2009.

New laws to target ID fraud nationwide | Australian IT
New laws to target ID fraud nationwide

 

STEALING someone’s identity will become a criminal offence across the country.

Draft laws aimed at combatting the fraud, which has been exacerbated by social websites such as Facebook, have been introduced to parliament. 

Presently, it is only an offence to steal someone’s identity in Queensland and South Australia. 

Identity theft across the country will be punishable by up to five years jail. 

The crime includes a range of offences including using another person’s credit card details to stealing their personal information to open bank accounts and take out loans.

Internode resumes ADSL2+ sales in Tasmania | Australian IT
Internode resumes ADSL2+ sales in Tasmania

 

INTERNODE has ended a seven-month protest against Telstra and resumed ADSL2+ residential broadband services in Tasmania.

In May Internode suspended sales of its fastest broadband plans to Tasmanian homes in light of the prohibitive wholesale cost of access to Telstra’s broadband network. 

At the time Internode said data transfer between Melbourne and Hobart via Telstra was six times more expensive than it was between Melbourne and the United States.

Microsoft Live Mesh comes to the Mac
Microsoft Live Mesh comes to the Mac

 

So what is Live Mesh? Put simply, it’s a technology, plus a set of applications that Microsoft has developed that let you keep files in sync across multiple different platforms, computers and devices. Microsoft also chose to acknowledge the Mac as a viable platform, and developed a Live Mesh application for Mac OS X too.
In practice, it means that any computer you install Live Mesh on can access a shared set of files and folders. These files are kept up-to-date, depending on which device last accessed and updated them. Microsoft is giving all Live Mesh users 5GB of space, or up to 20,000 files.

Gmail – Aussie Tech Head: Protests against the internet filter – thesecrethub@gmail.com

I’m writing to you on behalf of Australians Against Internet Censorship (AAIC).  We’re a group that was formed to combat the mandatory ISP filter.  Our website is http://stopthecleanfeed.com/

I’m writing to you because we have organised protests across Australia for December the 13th.  If you could let your listeners know about this we’d really appreciate it.  The details are as follows.

Melbourne:
13th of December
12pm-5pm
State Library
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=46838735931

Brisbane:
13th of December
11am-3pm
Brisbane Square
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=42526399601

Sydney:
13th of December
11am-4pm
Town Hall
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=49916537640
Check www.nocensorship.info forums for Sydney updates

Adelaide:
13th of December
12pm – 4pm
Parliament
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39343300875
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=37658542634

Hobart:
13th of December
11am – 1.30pm
Parliament Lawns
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39329861995

Perth:
13th of December
12pm – 2pm
Stirling Gardens
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=45738419714

Our facebook group page is located at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=35119201737

Hope to hear from you soon

 

What is the ‘Clean Feed’?

The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access.

Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is determined to force this filter into your home.

What Can I Do?

Take Action. By letting policymakers know just what we think of the “clean feed” Internet filter, we can bring about a policy change.

You can help by contacting your representatives and spreading the word about this campaign.

MARK’S SHOWNOTES 

 Nuclear, biological attack ‘likely’: US commission – Just In – BigPond News

Nuclear, biological attack ‘likely’: US commission

 A US Congressional commission has warned that terrorists are “likely” to use nuclear or biological weapons in the next five years, and highlights Pakistan as the weakest link in world security.

The bi-partisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism reported that without urgent action, “it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013.”

The ‘World at Risk’ report, based on six months of research, warned the incoming US administration of Barack Obama: “America’s margin of safety is shrinking.”

The main dangers are the rapid spread of atomic technology in countries such as Pakistan and Iran and poor security in biotech industries worldwide.

According to the report, although Pakistan is a close US ally, its inability to control swaths of territory, violent political instability, and a nuclear standoff with neighbouring India make the Islamic nation the most lethal tinderbox of all.

“Were one to map terrorism and weapons of mass destruction today, all roads would intersect in Pakistan,” the report said.

“There is a grave danger it could also be an unwitting source of a terrorist attack on the United States, possibly with weapons of mass destruction,” the report said.

Speaking on CNN television, one of the authors of the report, former senator Bob Graham, called Pakistan the “intersection of the perfect storm.”

The commission said terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain biological than nuclear weapons, with anthrax a particular danger, and warned that threats are “evolving faster than our multi-layered response.”

But despite the message in ‘World at Risk’ that the United States is unprepared, the White House welcomed what it said was proof of President Bush’s strong security record.

“Our WMD preparedness has been transformed,” White House spokesman Joe Stanzel said .

However, Congresswoman Jane Harman, the Democrat heading the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Terrorism Risk Assessment, downplayed the warnings.

“It’s time to retire the fear card,” she said in a statement.

“We need to educate and inform the American people, not terrify them with alarming details about possible threats to the homeland … Congress has in fact done a great deal to minimise and mitigate WMD threats.”

MySpace.com – Xbox 360 Modder_(DE/MD) – 25 – Male – DOVER, Delaware – www.myspace.com/xbox360_modder
Hey was browsing through myspace and came across your profile, Ever think of getting your Xbox 360 Modded to play burned games??? It would save you a lot of $$ on the games. Think about it , Madden 2009 collectors ed. 89 bucks in the store, cost me like 3 bucks (Price of a blank disk) and I had it 2 weeks before it was released. No Kidding. Anyways Heres how it works, I bring My pc to your house, Open up your Xbox 360 Hook a sata cable from my pc to your Xbox 360 Dvd Drive, Then reflash the drive allowing it to read Burned games.. Then I go through with you all the sites for obtaining those games (Same game as if you bought it @ the local Gamestore.Only its been copied to a computer and your reburning it on a blank dual layer dvd) Also show you how to properly burn it. My charge is 100 bucks for all that.You cant beat it so think about it….let me know
-George 

BBC NEWS | Technology | Facebook rolls out site browser

Facebook rolls out site browser

Facebook logo, AP 

Facebook has thrown the switch on a system that lets users browse other sites via the networking portal.

 

Called Connect, the system lets Facebook members use their login credentials to access other websites.

The system also gives feedback about what a Facebooker’s friends have been doing on those partner sites. 

Among the first sites visitable through Connect will be the Discovery Channel, social news site Digg, as well as video site Hulu.

Audience fight

Connect was first announced in May 2008 and is Facebook’s response to the work of rivals, such as MySpace, who have rolled out similar systems.

All the sites are keen to ensure that they do not become a place that members go but are the only place they have to go as they can use their login information to get at content anywhere else.

Behind the initiatives are software projects that open up the basic interfaces for the social sites, so others can understand how they format data about members’ activities.

The built-in socialising tools on sites such as MySpace and Facebook will mean that friends can virtually gather, for instance, to watch a video via Hulu and chat about it all in the same place.

By making a social site an all-encompassing portal, the hope is that they will become more attractive to advertisers.

Facebook said it would vet all those sites that wanted to sign up to Connect and review what they will do with data gathered about members. In this way it hopes to avoid the bad PR it received for a prior programme known as Beacon.

That shared information widely about what Facebookers did with their time and won criticism because it did not seek permission before sharing data which was sometimes very personal.

Hulu – Watch your favorites. Anytime. For free.

Q : Why can’t I watch your videos from outside the U.S.?

For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only. That said, our intention is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide. This requires clearing the rights for each show or film in each specific geography and will take time. We’re encouraged by how many content providers have already been working along these lines so that their programs can be available over the Internet to a much larger, global audience. The Hulu team is committed to making great programming available across the globe.  

BBC NEWS | Technology | Britney more popular than Obama
Britney more popular than Obama 

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple pushes anti-virus for Macs
Apple pushes anti-virus for Macs

 

Apple has urged Mac owners to use anti-virus software.

In a note posted on its support site in late November, Apple said it wanted to “encourage” people to use anti-virus to stay safe online.

The move is widely seen as a response to the growing trend among cyber criminals of booby-trapping webpages that can catch out Mac users.

Before now Mac users have been largely free of the security problems that plague Microsoft’s Windows.

Fresh threat

 

 As Macs win a bigger share of the market, they present a more attractive target 
Rory Cellan-Jones
BBC technology correspondent

The support note recommends that Mac owners install one or more of three anti-virus products.

Advice on the site said: “Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.”

Apple recommended users try McAfee VirusScan, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11, or Intego VirusBarrier X5.

The vast majority of malicious programs circulating online are aimed at Microsoft’s Windows, largely because the software is used by so many people.

A handful of viruses have been written that targets Mac’s OSX, but most have been demonstration versions only and few have had any significant impact on Apple users.

One virus, known as AppleScript.THT, could take control of a Mac and grab screenshots or keystrokes.

However, in recent months, hi-tech criminals have signalled a change in tactics away from e-mail borne viruses. Instead, many are infiltrating popular webpages in a bid to infect the machine of any and every visitor.

Many seek to steal valuable information such as login names, passwords or game accounts instead of trying to install themselves on a machine. 

BBC NEWS | Technology | YouTube seeks classical musicians
YouTube seeks classical musicians

 

Video sharing website You Tube is launching a competition to discover new classical musicians.

Billed as an online orchestra, the site wants users to submit videos showcasing their musical talent.

Users have until 28 January 2009 to submit their entries, with a final public vote taking place two weeks later.

The eventual winners will be flown to New York’s Carnegie Hall, to play at a three day classical music summit.

The contest revolves round a piece – commissioned by You Tube – scored by classical composer Tan Dun, better known for his Grammy and Oscar winning music for the movies Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Hero.

YouTube cracks down on sex – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
YouTube cracks down on sex

YouTube has announced that it is cracking down on “sexually suggestive” videos in a bid to clean up the popular video-sharing website.

In a blog posting, YouTube, which already bans pornography, said it would be enforcing a “stricter standard for mature content” and “tightening the standard for what is considered ‘sexually suggestive'”.

“Videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they’ll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older,” the Google-owned website said.

“Our goal is to help ensure that you’re viewing content that’s relevant to you, and not inadvertently coming across content that isn’t.”

YouTube said videos which contain sexually suggestive content or profanity would no longer appear on its lists of “Most Viewed” or “Top Favorited” videos.

The internet’s top video-sharing site also said it would step up enforcement of rules banning misleading descriptions in the tags and titles of a video.

In addition, thumbnails will be will now be algorithmically (ie randomly) selected in order to cut down users who manipulate frames within their videos in order to get a provocative thumbnail to appear with their video listing.

Some YouTube users have been known to give videos misleading titles such as “sexy” in a bid to increase the view counts of a particular video.

YouTube, which receives 13 hours of video from users every minute, said repeat violaters of the new rules will have their accounts terminated.

 

Finland slammed by Euro rights court on two counts – Breaking News – Technology – Breaking News
Finland slammed by Euro rights court on two counts

 

Finland violated the right to respect for private life by failing to balance Internet privacy needs with child protection laws, the European Court of Human Rights said Tuesday.

In a ruling centred on the case of a then 12-year-old boy advertised without his knowledge in March 1999 to potential paedophiles on a dating website, Finnish authorities were penalised for being too slow to update telecommunications laws.

The court said in its judgment that “the posting of the Internet advertisement… had been a criminal act which had resulted in a minor having been a target for paedophiles.

“It recalled that such conduct called for a criminal-law response and that effective deterrence had to be reinforced through adequate investigation and prosecution,” it said in a statement.

Deeming “the (Internet) confidentiality requirement” to have been “given precedence over his physical and moral welfare,” it ordered that 3,000 euros (3,815 US dollars) compensation be paid.

Apple wins copyright case in China: state media – Breaking News – Technology – Breaking News
Apple wins copyright case in China: state media

 

US electronics giant Apple Inc has won a trademark infringement suit against a Chinese corporation that used a logo similar to the US company’s distinctive symbol, state media reported Tuesday.

New Apple Concept Digital Technology Co Ltd, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, was ordered to pay 400,000 yuan (about 58,000 US dollars) to Apple Inc, Xinhua news agency said.

The case was brought in the northern city of Shenyang, where a court sided with Apple’s contention that the Chinese firm’s logo of an apple with wings was too similar to its own.

The logo was used on the Chinese firm’s products and website, the report said.

Apple Inc registered the trade name “Apple” and the apple logo when it entered China’s market in 1993 and has exclusive trademark rights to 2013, Xinhua said.

Copyright infringement remains widespread in China, despite years of pressure by foreign companies and governments on Beijing to crack down.

Foreign governments say such infringement costs overseas companies billions of US dollars in sales each year.

YouTube – Legendary – Gameplay Trailer – PS3/360
Legendary – Gameplay Trailer – PS3/360 

Shoot! Short Films

Shoot! is a series of exclusive short films on PlayStation®Store, which will be free to download from November 20, 2008. Each week a new film will be made available on PlayStation®Store, allowing PLAYSTATION®3 and PSP owners to watch these cutting-edge films and follow the work of the emerging directors behind them. The films will also be screened on ShortsTV, where the short film television channel is available, from January 2009.

“As well as delivering a world-class entertainment experience for film lovers and the fast-growing PlayStation community, Shoot! is a real example of how PlayStation brings people together and nurtures creativity,” said Mark Hardy, European Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

A short film competition, Shoot! aims to uncover the finest new storytellers, pairing up emerging directors with award-winning film makers.

  • Bitter by Joel Wilson and Jamie Campbell
    Executive Producer: Michael Winterbottom
  • Citizen Hero by Christophe Perie
    Executive Producer: Jan Kounen
  • Prison Food by Uwe Flade
    Executive Producer: Marc Rothemund
  • Hands by Xavi Jose
    Executive Producer: Montxo Armendariz
  • 8.3 Minutes by Klaus Thymann
    Executive Producer: Thomas Vinterberg
  • The Dreaming by Anthony Green
    Executive Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

Each film is based on an open brief, shaped by one word that captures the essence of PlayStation – Play, Create, Share, Connect, Discover and Challenge. Shot in High Definition, the movies will be showcased in Berlin alongside the internationally recognised Film Festival in February 2009.

Accompanying each Shoot! film on PlayStation®Network will be behind-the-scenes footage of the production, interviews with the cast, crew and directors, and the pitches they made to introduce their work.

“PlayStation®Network provides us with a fantastic new way to bring short films to viewers,” said Carter Pilcher, CEO at Shorts International.

From November 20, 2008 download short films from PlayStation®Store for PS3 and PSP. Each week a new film will be screened but which director will eventually triumph in Berlin when their work is judged?

YouTube – Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote
Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote 

 

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