Episode 143

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Woman fined to tune of $1.9 million for illegal downloads – CNN.com
Woman fined to tune of $1.9 million for illegal downloads

 A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each — a total of $1.9 million — for 24 songs.

  • Federal jury finds Jammie Thomas-Rasset guilty of illegally downloading 24 songs
  • Minnesota wife, mom slapped with fine of $80,000 per song, for total of $1.9 million
  • Attorney says client shocked at fine, noting the songs costs 99 cents each
  • Spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America lauds jury’s finding

Voice-ID challenges PINs at NAB | Australian IT
Voice-ID challenges PINs at NAB

 Once callers have registered their unique voiceprint, they speak their individual account number and the system will verify their identity, according to NAB direct channels speech program manager, Sam Jackel.

Last month, Centrelink introduced a biometric voice authentication system to identify and manage certain clients, replacing the agency’s old PIN and password-based service and freeing up call centre staff.

Clients who routinely access self-service functions to lodge payment forms or update income information are among the first invited to sign up for the voice system.

Australia beats US for broadband access | Australian IT
Australia beats US for broadband access


SOUTH Korea, where 95 per cent of homes have broadband, has topped a world survey on access to the high-speed internet.

Among other Asia-Pacific nations, Australia ranked 11th with 72 per cent, Japan ranked 16th with 64 per cent, New Zealand ranked 25th with 57 per cent and China ranked 43rd with 21 per cent.

The United States, where just 60 per cent of households had broadband as of last year, ranked 20th in the survey of 58 countries by Boston-based Strategy Analytics, released on Thursday.

Nine signs $500m Warner deal | Australian IT
Nine signs $500m Warner deal

 THE Nine Network has struck the largest US output deal in local broadcast history and will use it to confront rival Ten’s long-standing stranglehold on the young TV audience with a new youth-focused digital channel later this year.

Nine has renewed its output deal with Warner Bros, held since 1992, in a deal that starts when the current contract expires in 2011 and could be worth up to $500million over its five-year term. 

Apple boss Steve Jobs gets liver transplant | Australian IT

Apple boss Steve Jobs gets liver transplant

 Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January to take care of an undisclosed medical condition, has received a liver transplant in Tennessee, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The newspaper said the transplant took place about two months ago, and Jobs has been recovering well and was expected to return to work on schedule later this month.

However, the Apple CEO may initially work part-time.

Microsoft to release free anti-virus | Australian IT
Microsoft to release free anti-virus

 MICROSOFT will soon release free anti-virus software so people on tight budgets won’t skimp on protecting their computers from hackers.

The US software giant described MSE as “a no-cost anti-malware solution that provides consumers with quality protection from threats including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans”.

Paying to buy and routinely update computer security software “does not meet the needs of many consumers”, including those in emerging markets where money and resources are scarce, according to Microsoft.

The Redmond, Washington-based company said it will automatically update MSE for users.

Optus reveals iPhone tethering pricing | Australian IT
Optus reveals iPhone tethering pricing


OPTUS has confirmed it will charge customers who wish to use Apple’s iPhone as a tethered modem to access the internet.

From next Monday, Optus post-paid customers will be able to use the iPhone as a modem to connect a laptop to the internet, but will be charged a monthly access fee of $9.99.

3 jumps on iPhone bandwagon | Australian IT
3 jumps on iPhone bandwagon

 3 will start selling Apple’s latest incarnation of its popular handheld device, the iPhone 3G S, from July; pricing is yet to be announced.

Hutchison had been trying to secure rights to sell the iPhone since its Australian launch a year ago, but the telco’s efforts proved fruitless.

Virgin chases iPhone hotline glitch | Australian IT

VIRGIN Mobile has been left mystified by a glitch that has prompted its call handling system to falsely notify customers that one of its call centres has been closed.

Late today Virgin Mobile customers who contacted the company’s iPhone customer service line were notified that its call centre had been closed due to a “significant outage”.

On attempting to reach the call centre customers are usually connected to the iPhone hotline based in Australia. However customers who tried to connect to the call centre received the following message from Virgin’s mechanical answering service:

“Due to a significant technical outage we’ve had to close our contact centre. We are working to resolve this issue in the next few hours.”

Google helps catch ‘muggers’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Google helps catch ‘muggers’


Two Dutch men have been arrested after a boy they allegedly mugged spotted them using an application on the Google website.

The 14-year-old boy was pulled off his bicycle in the town of Groningen in September and robbed of his mobile phone and about 250 dollars.

In March, he discovered the incident had been recorded on Google’s StreetView application.

Under Google’s rules, his attackers’ faces were blurred, but the men were identified after the company gave investigators the original unobscured picture.

Police then identified the men – twin brothers – and made an arrest.

inthemix | International News | MySpace lays off one third of its ‘bloated’ staff

CEO Owen Van Natta, describing the former staffing level as “bloated”. “Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company,” Van Natta explained in a company press release. “I understand that these changes are painful for many. They are also necessary for the long-term health and culture of MySpace. Our intent is to return to an environment of innovation that is centered on our user and our product.”

MySpace’s new restructuring plan will cross all U.S. divisions of the company, lowering the total staff to around 1000 members. Whilst there’s no word on whether such changes will effect MySpace’s global arms, local marketing website mUmBRELLA reports that the MySpace Australia’s structure is likewise “under review”.


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