Episode 132

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Apple Store Robina

I took this picture of the Apple Store Robina.  It is located in Stage one of the new Robina Town Centre upgrades.  Staff have been hired and are undergoing Genius Training.  Apple Store when open will compete with Myer and JB Hi Fi for it’s own products.  Bit of a win for the new Town Centre with near by Pacirfic Fair Shopping Centre undergoing $400M upgrade.

Facebook gets face recognition
Facebook gets face recognition

 Face.com is a startup that has just announced a Facebook application called Photo Finder which is capable of identifying the faces of you and your contacts on the wildly popular social networking website, Facebook.

The software, which is currently in alpha testing, operates by analysing photos uploaded by your Facebook friends. It then suggests tags for faces that it recognises based on other faces you’ve already tagged. 

As the software identifies photos and individuals over time (and it apparently does take a while for the Face.com website to go through all your contacts’ photos) you are able to deny or approve the tags it suggests.

“I’m not cool enough to be a Mac person”: Microsoft ad
“I’m not cool enough to be a Mac person”: Microsoft ad

 The new commercial takes a tone that will hit home with people suffering through the current tight economic times, gently ridiculing Apple’s smug “Mac guy” in its Mac vs PC commercials. The commercial goes on a mission with “Lauren” to find a laptop that packs “speed, a comfortable keyboard and a 17-inch screen” for $1,000 or less.

PHONE CON: No, that is not “Microsoft” calling
PHONE CON: No, that is not “Microsoft” calling

 In a typical version of the scam, callers are told that their machine is being monitored either by Microsoft or by their anti-virus provider, and an infection has been detected. The caller then offers to walk the customer through the steps needed to fix the (non-existent) problem. The instructions provided install remote control software on the machine, making it usable as part of a bot network and also potentially allowing it to track personal details such as account numbers or passwords.

Adding insult to injury, in many cases customers are also asked to provide credit card details in order to pay a service fee, with $270 one figure often quoted. Some of Wagga Systems’ customers become suspicious when the instructions for “fixing” the machines in turn triggered legitimate warnings from their security software.

April Fools: Conroy dumped as minister for broadband – Whirlpool Broadband News
April Fools: Conroy dumped as minister for broadband

 APRIL FOOLS | Senator Stephen Conroy has been sacked as Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Conroy up for sale on eBay
Conroy up for sale on eBay

 Ebay member “Krudd53” has put the beleaguered Minister for Internet Censorship, Senator Stephen Conroy, up for auction.

The advertisement for Senator Conroy was posted at 7.59PM today, and notes that the successful bidder will receive the Senator delivered by FedEx. 

Conroy has been publicly ridiculed in recent days for his ISP-based internet filtering plan, with television appearances on ABC’s Q&A and SBS Insight chat shows drawing incredulous laughter from the audience at many of his answers. (Hit the links to watch both online.) 

Google Reader (1000+)
Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 Announced

 The Windows Home Server Team announced today Power Pack 2. The English version of Power Pack 2 was  made available via Windows Update starting March 24th to Windows Home Servers with Power Pack 1 installed. You must have Power Pack 1 installed in order to install Power Pack 2. Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish versions of Power Pack 2 will be made toward the end of April.

Power Pack 2 offers Windows Home Server users the following awesomeness:

  • Improvements to Remote Access
  • Enhanced Functionality for PCs running Windows Media Center (via Windows Media Center Connector)
  • Content Streaming Support for Windows Media Center Extenders

Windows 7 Build 7068 leaks in the wild | Redmond Pie
Windows 7 Build 7068 leaks in the wild

 With Windows 7 Release Candidate still about a month away, some of our readers who wishes to remain anonymous have tipped us about Windows 7 Build 7068 which appears to have leaked on the internet (torrent sites) today. This latest build carries the build string of 7068.winmain.090321-1322 which means that it was compiled on 21st March 2009.

Windows Home Server PP2 recognizes Windows 7 | Redmond Pie
Windows Home Server PP2 recognizes Windows 7

 Starting with Windows Home Server Power Pack 2, Microsoft has finally enabled Windows Home Server to properly recognize machines running Windows 7, the upcoming OS from Microsoft. Windows Home Server Console in Power Pack 2 properly displays Windows 7 name under “Operating System” category



YouTube – Wii Fit Parody
Wii Fit Parody

YouTube – MAG:Massive Action Game[HQ version]
MAG:Massive Action Game[HQ version]

YouTube – SuperCar Challenge ‘Camera Angles’ – HD (720p)
SuperCar Challenge ‘Camera Angles’ – HD (720p)

Facebook partner saves teen from drug suicide
Facebook partner saves teen from drug suicide

A British boy who tried to kill himself was saved when a girl he had been chatting with in the US via the internet raised the alarm, starting a trans-Atlantic police hunt.

The boy, 16, had been in contact with a girl in Maryland on the social networking site Facebook when he told her he was about to kill himself.

The girl alerted her mother, who started a string of emergency messages between Maryland police, the White House, the British embassy in Washington, Scotland Yard and Thames Valley Police.

Despite having only his name, detectives narrowed down his location to eight addresses in Oxfordshire. Teams of police went to each home and found the barely conscious teenager in his bedroom at the fourth property.

He had apparently taken an overdose and was taken to hospital. Three hours after posting the message he was revived.

Chief Superintendent Brendan O’Dowda praised all those involved. “Due to the tenacity and professionalism of a number of people, we managed to pin down a number of addresses.”

The teenager was chatting on Facebook shortly before 11.30pm on Wednesday when he told his American friend: “I’m going away to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while.”

Maryland police were alerted and contacted a White House special agent, who contacted the British embassy in Washington.

Telegraph, London


Thales suspends defence contractor linked to neo-Nazi forum Blood & Honour
Defence contractor linked to neo-Nazi group

One of Australia’s largest Defence Department-linked companies has suspended a contractor over her alleged links to an international neo-Nazi group.

Nicole Hanley, a bid support manager for Thales – which has hundreds of millions of dollars in Department of Defence contracts – is alleged to have been involved as an administrator of the neo-Nazi web forum Blood & Honour.

The claims have been made by whistleblower site Wikileaks, which has published a hacked database containing private messages between the group’s members.

According to the Wikileaks private message trail it is claimed that Hanley has published a detailed online diary of her travels to Europe last year, which included attending several neo-Nazi skinhead gatherings, visiting Adolf Hitler’s birthplace, placing flowers on his parents’ grave and collecting Nazi memorabilia.

“Hearing/joining in with so many hundreds of people chanting Sieg Heil together is something that will stay with me forever,” she allegedly wrote.

The online messages allegedly reveal that Hanley has also hosted international Blood & Honour activists at her house in Canberra and dated several neo-Nazi skinheads.

Blood & Honour, which promotes neo-Nazi music and events, was founded in Britain in 1987 and has been outlawed in Germany and Spain. Its Australian chapter is organising a pro-Hitler gig in Perth for Anzac Day.

In one of her online messages, Hanley is reported as saying that she would like to become “more active in supporting B&H Australia”.

“I think that with my skills and background I would have a lot to offer,” she wrote.

“Nothing would make me happier than to see B&H Australia become stronger and larger. I would also love to see the skinhead scene in Australia return back to the size and strength of the glory days.”

Even though the Department of Defence conducted background checks on all Thales contractors, claims about Hanley’s links with neo-Nazi skinhead groups were unknown to Thales or the department until smh.com.au provided copies of the private messages.

Thales immediately began an investigation and suspended Hanley, who is in her 40s, saying it took security “extremely seriously”.

It said the matter had been referred to “appropriate authorities for further investigation”.

“The person in question was a contractor engaged through an employment agency,” a Thales spokeswoman said.

“The contract has been suspended and all access to Thales IT and equipment removed.”

The Department of Defence said it could not comment on security allegations relating to specific people, but would have concerns about employees known to have links with nationalist extremist or racial organisations. It would not comment on Hanley’s security clearance level.

In another message attributed to her she discussed how she listened to a white supremacist online radio show.

Reached at her home on Friday and this morning, Hanley refused to comment on the allegations and threatened legal action over any future reports based on the material published by Wikileaks.

“I’m under legal advice not to speak to you,” she said, before hanging up.

Thales, which refused to give any further details about the investigations or about Hanley, generates about $1 billion in revenues annually and specialises in high technology defence products such as electronic warfare, munitions and protected mobility vehicles.

Mat Henderson, a volunteer with Australian anti-racism group Fight dem back, said bad economic times were always a fertile recruitment ground for racist groups.


First aid for your computer
First aid for your computer

Does your PC or laptop sometimes run slowly or freeze? Stick this article on the fridge: it could save your machine’s life and your sanity, writes Dan Warne.

If your computer has been running slower lately, no doubt you’ve sought help from friends, family and the IT people at work. Suggestions may range from the merely outdated “have you defragged it?” to the misinformed “there’s too many icons on your desktop . . . they’re clogging it up” or the fatalistic “mate, nothing will fix it except blowing it away and starting again”.

We’ve all heard the lines and none of them are particularly helpful. In fact, the computer industry thrives on people who’ve been given bad advice, throw up their hands in despair and end up buying a new PC.

Here are some ways to clear out your computer and get it back to optimal performance.

Find stuck programs and kill them

This is a technique you need to keep in mind at all times, because you’ll need it frequently. Since modern PCs can run many programs at once, sometimes you won’t notice when one is stuck. Worse, these programs will often consume more and more processing power, slowing down the rest of your computer. Fortunately, they are easy to find.

On Windows XP or Vista, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc, which will bring up the Windows Task Manager. Click on the “processes” tab to see all the software running on your system. Click the “CPU” column heading to sort the column in descending order. This will show apps using the most CPU at the top. Look at the list for 30 seconds or so and if one is consistently using a very high percentage of CPU time, it might be a hung program. You can click on the process name and then the “end process” button to kill the troublesome app (note, this will instantly shut down the app and you won’t have an opportunity to save any files).

On a Mac, you can use the Activity Viewer to see hung apps. This is found in the Applications/Utilities folder. Open it up and click the “CPU” column heading until the applications are listed by their CPU usage, from highest to smallest. If one is consistently using a very high percentage of CPU time, it may be stuck and you can click on the program name then click the “Quit Process” button on the toolbar. Programs listed in red are ones that OS X has detected are hung (though this is not always accurate – sometimes a big app like iPhoto is just taking a long time to save its database and close down).

Find apps that have been causing problems

Most people don’t know this but your computer keeps a log of just about everything you do. A lot of it looks like gobbledegook but it can surrender useful hints about what’s going wrong.

On Windows, to view the system log, go to Control Panel. If it says “switch to classic view” in the left column, click that. Then click “administrative tools” and then “event viewer”. In the event viewer that opens, select “Application” or “System” from the column on the left. You can then scroll down the log and look for warnings (yellow exclamation mark) or errors (red cross). Double-clicking on one of these entries will show you the detail of the error. It might not mean anything to you but you can search for the error wording on Google to find out what other people did to stop it from happening again.

On a Mac, the app you need is called Console. It’s found in the Applications/Utilities directory. In the left column, under the “Log database queries” heading, click “All messages”. This will show all log entries from all software on your computer. Scroll through the log file on the right-hand side. If you see an error message popping up frequently, you can search for the exact message in Google to see if someone else has a suggestion about what the problem is. Continued…




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