Episode 136

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

 

Twitter users not sticking around: Nielsen | Australian IT
Twitter users not sticking around

 According to his estimate, just 2 per cent of the 1.9 million small businesses in Australia use paid search advertising. A key reason is that many businesses still do not have a website.

Viewers slow on digital uptake | Australian IT
Viewers slow on digital uptake

Pipe cable hits sea bed | Australian IT
Pipe cable hits sea bed

 

PIPE Networks has started unrolling Australia¿s first international undersea cable link to be owned wholly independently from large local telcos such as Telstra and Optus.

Pipe’s international cable supplier Tyco Telecom has anchored the first stretch of the $200 million cable at an unnamed beach in Guam and is currently headed for a destination just north of Madang in Papua New Guinea.

A second ship is on its way to Collaroy in Sydney’s northern beaches to start laying a second cable which will meet the first in Madang to complete the 6,900 kilometre link. It will connect into Unity South cable hubs in Guam to supply links to the US.

The cable laying operation is scheduled to be completed in August and operational by September after network testing is complete.

Telstra is also building a new 9000 kilometre cable to the US via Hawaii at an estimated cost of $300 million.

The capacity of the new link will be 1.92 terrabits per second, and Pipe plans to branch additional links along the cable’s main route to collect traffic from New Zealand and Brisbane.

Google named Australia’s best place to work | Australian IT
Google named Australia’s best place to work

 Google Australia has claimed the No.1 spot in a similar Australian poll.

BRW, which conducted the study, said Google had created a legendary corporate culture of perks, fun, appreciation and reward for its staff.

The facilities and conditions that make Google Australia the nation’s best place to work include beanbag-filled meeting rooms, ping-pong tables and a free cafeteria
The company, whose name has achieved such status that “to Google” has passed into the vernacular, is part of what is apparently the most popular industry sector for employees, information technology.

BRW’s Top 50 Great Places to Work list was based on research conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute, Australia which surveyed more than 15,000 employees.

The top 10 great places to work: (By rank, company, number of employees, industry sector, location of head office)

1 Google Australia (312 / Internet Services / Sydney)
2 NetApp Australia (146 / Information Technology / Sydney)
3 Russell Investments (241 / Financial Services / Sydney)
4 Diageo (553 / Manufacturing (food, beverages) / Sydney)
5 Dynamic Property Services (41 / Business services (property management) / Sydney)
6 ETM Group (73 (55 full-time) / Business services (Travel, events management) / Melbourne)
7 BMD Group (1194 / Construction / Brisbane)
8 MRWED Training & Assessment (20 (11 fulltime) / Education services / Sunshine Coast)
9 Red Balloon (46 (38 full-time) / Retail, speciality / Sydney)
10 OBS (102 (98 full-time) / Information technology / Melbourne)

Compression system puts Wikipedia on the phone | Australian IT
Compression system puts Wikipedia on the phone

 

A PORTABLE version of popular online collaborative web encyclopedia Wikipedia will soon be available for the iPhone.

Australia’s leading technology incubator, Nicta, is planning to launch the reference tool as an application on Apple’s iTunes App Store in coming weeks.

Terry Percival, director of Nicta’s Neville Roach IT development lab, said the application would be unveiled at CeBIT Sydney, which starts on May 12.

It was expected to be priced at about $5 for the application, which would be updated monthly, he said.

In digital age, can movie piracy be stopped? – CNN.com
In digital age, can movie piracy be stopped?

 

The online leak of a pirated, unfinished version of the 20th Century Fox film a month ago sent federal authorities springing into action and stoked a heated conversation within the entertainment industry about digital piracy.

Piracy of upcoming films is not new, but the theft of “Wolverine” is especially troubling for an industry concerned with a stalled economy and the financial bottom line.

It’s rare for high-quality copies of a big-budget blockbuster to appear on the Internet more than a month before the film’s release, experts say.

Within a week of “Wolverine’s” March 31 leak, more than a million people had downloaded the movie, according to TorrentFreak, a blog devoted to the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol.

Vodafone goes prepaid with mobile broadband – Telecommunications – iTnews Australia
Vodafone goes prepaid with mobile broadband

 

Vodafone has launched a prepaid version of its mobile broadband service that enables users to roll up to 5GB of data into the next month if they recharge within 30 days.

The carrier announced the prepaid product with a $149 launch offer, which includes the USB modem and 2GB of data.

After June, the data allowance that comes with the starter pack will drop back to 500MB.

Recharges start at $19 for 500MB. Options for 1GB ($29) and 3GB ($49) are also available.

Users who recharge online with a credit card get 10 per cent more data, the carrier said

Apple pegged for price cuts – Hardware – iTnews Australia
Apple pegged for price cuts

 

Apple is reportedly mulling a new round of price cuts for two of its flagship Macintosh computer models.

According to Mac news site Apple Insider, the company is looking to cut prices for both notebooks and desktop.

The site credits unnamed but ‘extremely reliable’ sources in reporting that the company would drop the price of both the 13 inch MacBook consumer notebook along with certain iMac desktop models

Google sued over Android name – Operating Systems – iTnews Australia
Google sued over Android name

 Erich Specht, who trades in the US as the Android Data Corp and the Android’s Dungeon was given trademark rights to Android five years ago by the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and has since developed software and applications under the name.

Google attempted to achieve similar rights in October 2007, a month prior to the launch of its operating system, but this was rejected by the PTO in February 2008.

The name of Google’s platform dates back to when Google acquired a small start-up company called Android that made software for mobile phones.

This week Specht filed a complaint to a Chicago federal court, arguing that Google’s use of the word would deceive and confuse customers.

He requested the court ban Google from using the name and sought US$2 million (A$2.74 million) in damages.

iPhone takes customer satisfaction crown – Mobility – iTnews Australia
iPhone takes customer satisfaction crown

 A recent survey from J.D. Power and Associates ranked the iPhone as the top smartphone handset in customer satisfaction.

The firm polled handset owners in a number of categories such as operation, battery life, design and features. The results were then compiled into a 1,000 point system and ranked by vendor.

Apple claimed the top spot with a score of 791 out of 1,000. LG came in second with a score of 772, followed by Samsung with 759. LG also fared well in the traditional handset category, claiming the top spot with a score of 733.

Acer says Windows 7 to ship 23 Oct – Operating Systems – iTnews Australia
Acer says Windows 7 to ship 23 Oct

 UK managing director Bobby Watkins said that the company will start offering systems sporting the new Microsoft OS on 23 Oct, confirming earlier reports that Windows 7 would ship ahead of Microsoft’s original target of early 2010.

Microsoft unveils Windows 7 Release Candidate – Operating Systems – iTnews Australia
Microsoft unveils Windows 7 Release Candidate

 

Microsoft has made available the Release Candidate (RC) of Windows 7, marking another milestone on the way to the final availability of its latest operating system.

Also available is a beta of Windows XP Mode, a compatibility tool to help users migrating from XP to Windows 7.

Windows 7 RC was made available to download at 2pm UK time on 30 April for IT professionals with a subscription to Microsoft’s MSDN or Technet sites.

The code will be generally available on 5 May from Microsoft’s Windows site.

Windows XP Mode, disclosed earlier this week, will enable consumers and small business customers to run any software not compatible with Windows 7.

It is available only for the Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.

XP Mode is based on a forthcoming version of Virtual PC for Windows 7, but has been customised to hide the fact that applications are running in a virtual machine.

“From the start menu [in Windows 7] users will see an XP Mode program group, and will be able to click application icons to launch them just like any other program,” said Curran.

Windows XP Mode ships with a pre-packaged Windows XP Professional environment, so that users do not have to install XP or acquire an extra licence.

Regulator puts .org.au domains under microscope – Internet – iTnews Australia
Regulator puts .org.au domains under microscope

 

An audit of two years of .org.au registrations by domain regulator auDA will lead to a further scrutiny for almost 4,000 domains and their owners.

auDA said it had audited domain names registered between 1 January 2007 and 28 February 2009.

Of the total 18,103 org.au domain names audited, auDA found that 4,113 – some 23 per cent – do not comply with the eligibility criteria.

The most common reasons for non-compliance included that it appeared to be registered to a commercial or apparently non-existent entity or individual person, or that the domain name registration details were “incomplete or unclear”.

Swedish ISPs to stop logging IP addresses – Internet – iTnews Australia
Swedish ISPs to stop logging IP addresses

 The move comes in the wake of new antipiracy directives which allow copyright owners to request that service providers hand over IP addresses of user while investigating possible software piracy and copyright infringement cases.

Following enaction of the law, web traffic in Sweden plummeted

Microsoft to switch off AutoPlay in Windows 7 – Operating Systems – iTnews Australia
Microsoft to switch off AutoPlay in Windows 7

 

Microsoft has announced that it will close off a component in Windows which is notorious for allowing covert malware attacks.

The company will modify the AutoPlay feature in Windows 7 to prevent external components such as USB drives automatically executing code when plugged into a PC.

The new operating system will no longer present the option to install or run programs installed on the drive, instead allowing the user to open them within Windows Explorer.

 

The AutoPlay change will only apply to removable drives.

Optical media, such as CDs and DVDs, will still be able to access the feature for operations such as launching game files.

IT administrator faces five years for network extortion – Hardware – iTnews Australia
IT administrator faces five years for network extortion

 

Viktor Savtyrev, 29, pleaded guilty to extortion after he threatened his former employers with computer crashes. He also threatened to enlist Eastern European hackers to launch attacks against his former employer, New York investment firm Third Avenue Management.

“My comrades for a small fee are able to help me out with bridging the firewall security and carry out data destruction and virus outbreak,” Savtyrev wrote in an e-mail to the company, according to the complaint.

General Electric promises 500GB holographic disc – Storage – iTnews Australia
General Electric promises 500GB holographic disc

 

General Electric (GE) has unveiled a new storage method which it claims will allow for 500GB of storage space on a single compact disc.

The “micro-holographic storage” technology squeezes far more space into standard DVD-sized discs by making use of 3D patterns to utilise a much larger area of the disc material.

GE estimates that the holographic discs will be able to hold as much data as 20 Blu-ray discs or 100 standard DVDs.

The company hopes that it can eventually squeeze a full terabyte onto a single disc.

While no release date has been given, GE hopes to bring the technology into enterprise storage systems and eventually consumer devices

iTWire – Vodafone turns on 3G & wireless broadband in regional Australia – UPDATED
Vodafone turns on 3G & wireless broadband in regional Australia

 Vodafone will turn on 3G services in a number of regional centres on 1 May taking its 3G voice and data coverage to around 80 percent of the population ahead of a scheduled provision of 3G services to 94 percent by the end of August.

iTWire – Vodafone turns on 3G & wireless broadband in regional Australia – UPDATED
Areas getting 3G coverage include Albury-Wodonga, Ballarat, Ballina, Bunbury, Byron Bay, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Kiama, Lismore, Mackay, Newcastle, Toowoomba, Townsville, Wollongong, Bowral, Nowra and Wagga Wagga. The full extent of 3G/HSPA coverage can be found at www.vodafone.com.au/coverage .

This network expansion will operate at 2100MHz, the same as Vodafone’s current 3G coverage, but Andy Reeves, Vodafone Australia CTO, told iTWire that the next tranche of the expansion would operate at 900MHz and would involve installation or upgrade from 2G operation of some 570 Vodafone base stations. He said details on the locations to receive upgraded services would be provided nearer to the launch date.

Global warming to sink .tv and .to domain names?
Global warming to sink .tv and .to domain names?

 The Pacific island nations of Tuvalu and Tonga, which own the .tv and .to domain names, are both slowly sinking, and once gone their Web identities might follow.

Tracking studies suggest that Tuvalu – a collection of four reef islands and five atolls, the highest point of which is just 4.5 metres above sea level – could be completely below water within 30-50 years.

Look up a .tv domain name on GoDaddy and a pop-up box appears to warn that “the island of Tuvalu is sinking” and recommends .com, .net and .info as alternatives.

Download Windows 7 RC and keep it for a year, free
Download Windows 7 RC and keep it for a year, free

 

Microsoft will let users run the fresh-baked Windows 7 Release Candidate for a full year – through to June 2010, to be precise!

In the meantime grab your copy of Windows 7 RC1 from this Wednesday (and be sure to stash a spare copy away for safekeeping) load it up on your desktop, notebook or netbook and take it for spin around the block.

Facebook hiring 10 in Australia | Australian IT
Facebook hiring 10 in Australia

 

SOCIAL networking website Facebook is rumoured to be hiring as many as 10 staff for its new Australian office.

The office will be headed by regional vice-president Paul Borrud.

Mr Borrud won’t confirm how many staff he’ll be hiring, or how many of them will be Australian. Apparently, that’s classified.

Neither will he be drawn on how important a market Facebook thinks Australia is — although he’s prepared to put it in the top 10.

According to his estimate, just 2 per cent of the 1.9 million small businesses in Australia use paid search advertising. A key reason is that many businesses still do not have a website.

Ad costs to rise at Yahoo, Google | Australian IT
Ad costs to rise at Yahoo, Google

 Google and Yahoo is set to rise after both companies announced they would give away inventory worth as much as $160 million in free ads to new customers.

paid search market, worth just over $800 million last year.

With an estimated 1.5 million small businesses in Australia not using paid search, if a significant proportion take up the offer, the cost of key word terms such as local suburbs and trades or professions — for example, “Bondi hairdresser” or “Fitzroy florist” — will rise significantly.

Advertisers enter a bidding auction to use particular key words in their sponsored text ads, to ensure internet users who search for those terms see their ads in a prominent position. But paying customers will be bidding for search terms alongside those trialling the medium.

 MARK’S SHOWNOTES

 

Twitter users not sticking around: Nielsen | Australian IT
Twitter users not sticking around: Nielsen

MORE than 60 per cent of Twitter users have stopped using the micro-blogging service a month after joining, according to Nielsen Online research released overnight.

Twitter users not sticking around: Nielsen

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is still a fan of Twitter although his ‘tweets’ can sometimes be more than a day old

“Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty,” said David Martin, Nielsen Online’s vice president for primary research.

Mr Martin, in a post on the company blog, said that more than 60 per cent of Twitter users fail to return the following month.

“Or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 per cent,” he said.

“Let there be no doubt: Twitter has grown exponentially in the past few months with no small thanks to celebrity exposure,” he said in a reference to new users such as US talk show host Oprah Winfrey and promoters such as actor Ashton Kutcher

“People are signing up in droves, and Twitter’s unique audience is up over 100 per cent in March,” Mr Martin said.

“But despite the hockey-stick growth chart, Twitter faces an uphill battle in making sure these flocks of new users are enticed to return to the nest,” he said.

“A retention rate of 40 per cent will limit a site’s growth to about a 10 per cent reach figure,” he said in a reference to the number of potential users.

Mr Martin said that when Facebook and MySpace were emerging networks like Twitter their retention rates were twice as high and they now have retention rates of nearly 70 per cent.

Mr Martin did say that Twitter’s current 40 per cent retention rate was better than the 30 per cent it enjoyed pre-Oprah. 

BBC NEWS | Technology | YouTube helps man deliver baby
YouTube helps man deliver baby

An engineer in Cornwall delivered his baby son after watching an instructional video on YouTube.

Marc Stephens watched the videos as a precaution when his wife Jo started to feel some discomfort.

Four hours later, his wife went into labour and started giving birth before an ambulance could arrive at their home in Redruth.

“I Googled how to deliver a baby, watched a few videos and basically swotted up,” Mr Stephens told the BBC.

Jo Stephens said they had planned a home birth, but not quite in this manner.

“I woke up and realised I was having contractions every five minutes,” Mrs Stephens said.

“I woke Marc up and we phoned the midwife, but they were all so busy they couldn’t come round to our house and told us to call an ambulance. But before it arrived, it all started.”

 

Mobile phone: 19 00 00 subscriptions. – Industry – Telecomms
Mobile phone: 19 00 00 subscriptions.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Demo Impressions | PS3 Vault – Playstation 3 News Site PS3 Games
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Demo Impressions

 

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