MasterChef cooks up online storm | Australian IT
MasterChef cooks up online storm
NETWORK Ten claims reality cooking show MasterChef is the best-rating TV show in local broadcast history for online catch-ups, saying 5.2 million full episodes and clips have already been watched on the internet with two weeks still to go in the series.
The claim comes as the amount of long-form content, or catch-up TV, Australians can view online received a big boost last week, with Seven making entire episodes of three local drama hits, Packed to the Rafters, Home and Away and All Saints, available to be streamed.
The next series of Ten’s police drama Rush launched online at the weekend before it goes to air later this month.
Nine, which will launch a new online video site with Ninemsn, will make its new homegrown drama, Rescue Special Ops, available for download from the web.
there is an option there to embed it into your blog – so does this mean that ten’s copyright rights are being relaxed?
Ninemsn unveils video strategy | Australian IT
Ninemsn unveils video strategy
PBL Media will unleash a multi-platform content drive with the launch of a Ninemsn streaming video website that will make more than 1700 hours of video clips and TV shows available on demand.
A key channel on the video site will be Nine’s news and current affairs content, more than 30 hours of which is made available online each week, including entire TV programs such as the Today show and the 6pm Nine News bulletin, which are already streamed live. Nine will create some programs, such as news bulletins, specifically for Ninemsn, to create a more seamless experience for audiences and for advertisers.
Michael Jackson’s ‘ghost’ caught on camera
Michael Jackson’s ‘ghost’ caught on camera
An unexplained shadow filmed inside Neverland has sparked wild speculation among Michael Jackson fans that his ghost is haunting his former home.
These include reports the late pop star will tour the world via hologram and that he will be buried without his brain.
The image was captured by a Larry King Live camera crew, who were being taken on a tour of Neverland
Jackson fans may have one final chance to see their idol in concert amid reports that his family is planning to tour the world with the dead singer’s hologram. Jackson’s father Joe and brothers Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie are keen to resurrect footage of Michael into a 3D concert spectacular
And fellow British tabloid The Mirror claims that Jackson will be buried without his brain.
His family reportedly made the grim decision after being informed it would take up to three weeks to conclude tests on the organ to better understand the exact cause of death.
The examination cannot take place until the brain sufficiently hardens after death, and rather than postpone Jackson’s service, his family decided to bury him without it, the newspaper claims.
Six areas picked to start broadband network | Australian IT
Six areas picked to start broadband network
THE Rudd government has named six broadband-deprived areas as the first recipients of its $250 million cash injection to kickstart the $43 billion national broadband network in rural areas.
The areas — Emerald and Longreach in Queensland, Geraldton in Western Australia, Darwin in the Northern Territory, Broken Hill in NSW, Victor Harbor in South Australia and South West Gippsland in Victoria — were identified as in most need of funding to fast-track the rollout of the government’s fibre-to-the-home network.
Buyers tuning in to digital | Australian IT
Buyers tuning in to digital
ABC and SBS began digital broadcasting earlier this month and commercial radio stations completed their rollout on June 15. Only community stations remain analog-only.
Digital radio signals are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth so far, but regional broadcasters are discussing plans for trials in Canberra, Hobart and Townsville by the end of the year.
MI6 chief’s cover blown on Facebook | Australian IT
MI6 chief’s cover blown on Facebook
The wife of the new head of Britain’s spy agency has posted pictures of her husband, family and friends on internet networking site Facebook, details which could compromise security, a newspaper said on Sunday.
John Sawers is due to take over as head of the Secret Intelligence Service in November. The SIS, popularly known as MI6, is Britain’s global intelligence-gathering organisation.
In what the Mail on Sunday called an “extraordinary lapse,” the new spy chief’s wife, Lady Shelley Sawers, posted family pictures and exposed details of where the couple live and take their holidays and who their friends and relatives are.
The details could be viewed by any of the many millions of Facebook users around the world, but were swiftly removed once authorities were alerted by the newspaper’s enquiries.
“There were fears that the hugely embarrassing blunder could have compromised the safety of Sir John’s family and friends,” the newspaper said.
Publishing the story on its front page and the pictures on a double-page spread, the Mail on Sunday said the information “could potentially be useful to hostile foreign powers or terrorists.”
It was the latest in a string of security blunders, lapses and leaks by British officials that have embarrassed the government of embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
You may have heard the latest news from Vegemite. You see, for the last 85 years we’ve been trying to make Vegemite better and you know what – you can’t! But you can make it different and that’s what we’ve done.
It is a deliciously new Vegemite experience that you can spread or dip with anything, anytime.
The new Vegemite will be available in supermarkets from July 6, 2009.
Did you know that Vegemite was named by the Australian public in 1923? With the launch of the first ever new Vegemite, we felt that it was only fitting that the public be given that opportunity again. Visit vegemite.com.au from June 29th to submit your name ideas.
We know you love the original Vegemite, and so do we. That’s why the original Vegemite is here to stay. It’s the same great taste and still Australia’s favourite spread.
Mobile universal charger soon a reality | Australian IT
Mobile universal charger soon a reality
Ten companies, including Apple, Motorola and Samsung, have pledged to start making phones that can be charged using a single charger from next year. For phones sold in Europe, the manufacturers will adopt the micro USB connector across all their devices, already the standard on handsets such as the BlackBerry.
Aussie firm sells Twitter followers – Strategy – Business – News – iTnews.com.au
Aussie firm sells Twitter followers
According to the firm, a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 a month. It is selling followers in various packages, starting at 1,000 for $87, which is delivered in seven days, and going all the way up to 100,000 followers at a cost of $3,479, delivered over a year.
Firefox 3.5 off to a storming start – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Firefox 3.5 off to a storming start
Firefox 3.5 is the first mainstream browser to offer full HTML5 support and includes a private browsing feature, which was originally popularised by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8.0.
Death threat SMS comes to your phone – Oddware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Death threat SMS comes to your phone
Australians were urged to ignore scam text messages that used death threats to frighten them to give the sender money, credit card details and personal information.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority said it received complaints about the messages from overseas.
They included text such as: “I am about to kill you. If you want to live, contact [email@example.com] to get information on what you will have to do to live. If you ignore this message, you will die!”
Under no circumstances should recipients of the messages reply, disclose personal information or pay money, warned ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.
“Undoubtedly, a member of the public may be distressed to receive such a message but they should not be alarmed,” Chapman said.
“These threats are a particularly nasty type of scam. The messages should simply be ignored. [And] if you receive messages of this type, report them to the [authority].”
Pirate Bay sold to Swedish software firm – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Pirate Bay sold to Swedish software firm
has been bought by Swedish software firm Global Gaming Factory X (GGF), which has promised a new business model in which copyright owners and content providers will be compensated for the use of their intellectual property.
The news comes just a day after the four men involved in running the site lost their appeal to have the recent verdict quashed.
Five things your CPU can do when it’s idle – Networking – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Five things your CPU can do when it’s idle
5. IBM’s World Community Grid
Since November 2004, it has researched anti-HIV drugs, studied cancer and developed solar cells.
Climateprediction.net studies climate models to investigate how they are affected by changes in climate model parameters.
3. Electric Sheep
aims to illustrate that the product of people and computers is greater than what a single contributor could achieve.
It is run by on 62,000 desktops as a screensaver that displays abstract animations. Users vote for their favourites: the most popular become more prominent in the evolving database.
studies protein folding related to Alzheimers, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
Dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI), SETI@Home analyses data from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in hopes of finding transmissions from alien lifeforms.
iTWire – Tax agent offers online check before you lodge
Tax agent offers online check before you lodge
H&R Block – a familiar name thanks to its network of more than 350 offices around Australia – now offers a new online service.
Clients can prepare their tax returns online and have it checked by an H&R Block accountant before it is lodged with the ATO. This service costs a flat $A49.
“The online tax program is occupational-based, which takes people through the work related expenses that are common to their occupation and helps ensure they receive all they are entitled to,” said Frank Brass, regional director at H&R Block.
The company also has an established service involving an online interview (much like consulting an H&R Block tax agent without visiting the office), after which the company handles the preparation and lodgement. Prices start at $A110.
ComputerCorp wins big at QLD DET
ComputerCorp has come out on top in the Queensland Department of Education and Training’s latest round of purchasing laptops for teachers through its $70 million computers for schools program.
The company will supply the department with 9000 Hewlett Packard 6350b laptops, although the potential exists to increase the number to 15,000, a spokesperson for the department told ZDNet.com.au this week.
The state’s program, which started in 2007, will see every permanent state school teacher or TAFE lecturer who works at least two days a week (around 39,000) with access to their own laptop by 2011.
Sony to bring PS2 compatibility back to PS3?
Sony patent hints at Emotion Engine’s (virtual) return
Sony has applied for a series of patents that have sparked speculation that the electronics giant is about to bring back backward compatibility to the PlayStation 3.
The proto-patents all centre on processor emulation, and refer to techniques that could be used to allow the Cell-based PS3 to run software developed for the PS2’s Emotion Engine processor.
If built into the PS3’s system software, such techniques would allow the games console to run titles created for its predecessor.
Sony has done this before. The original PS3s contained the PS2’s Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesiser chips in order to enable the then new console to play old games.
Hackintosh maker rises from the dead
‘When life gives you apples, make applesauce’
Psystar, the Florida-based Hackintosher that’s been giving Apple fits for over a year, refuses to die.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog (better known amongst fanbois as TUAW), published a copy of the upstart clonemaker’s latest newsletter, which announces to its customers that not only is the company preparing to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, but is also offering a new tower based on Intel’s quad-core, 2.66GHz Xeon W3520 at the bargain-basement price of $1,499.99.
ICT companies using more lobbyists
Australian technology and telecommunications companies are making more use of lobbyists to gain influence in Canberra, the Federal Government’s lobbyist register has revealed.
Death of Kodachrome belies technological leap it represented
Digital photography is all the rage these days, so it’s no surprise that Kodachrome film and its complicated processing have finally been laid to rest. But in 1935, Kodachrome was a revolution in color photography.
Kodak last week announced that it was discontinuing its venerable Kodachrome film, sending it gently into that good night after 74 long years. Like Polaroid’s discontinuation last year of all instant films, Kodachrome’s demise makes it the latest victim in the transition from chemical, film-based photography to digital sensors, Photoshop, and archival inkjet printers. Though it may seem like an anachronism that has lived far past its prime, the oldest color film was a mind-blowing revolution when it was first introduced in 1935.
Dell accidentally sells 140,000 monitors for $15 a pop
Taiwan consumer regulators have ordered Dell to honor an online pricing error that offered 19-inch LCD monitors for only NT$500 (US$15, £9).
News of the supposed bargain spread quickly over the internet when it was posted June 25 at 11pm. Within the eight hours before it was removed, more than 26,000 customers placed orders for nearly 140,000 monitors, according to Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Commission.
The agency said in a statement (in Chinese) it received 471 complaints after Dell corrected the listing to the intended price of NT$4,800 (US$148, £90).
Dell has been ordered to make good on the erroneous price for customers who placed an order on one monitor and offer diminishing discounts on additional monitors ordered.
Feds: hospital hacker’s ‘massive’ DDoS averted
The leader of a malicious hacker collective who used his job as a security guard to breach sensitive Texas hospital computers has been arrested just days before his group planned a “massive DDoS” attack for the July 4 Independence Day holiday.
Jesse William McGraw, 25, of Arlington, Texas, was taken into custody late Friday evening after posting screenshots showing he had complete control of computers that administered air-conditioning systems at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas, federal prosecutors said. McGraw also brazenly posted videos showing him installing malware on hospital computers that made them part of a botnet he operated, said a network security expert, whose sleuthing uncovered the breach.
Nokia N97 ships with Aussie apps
Nokia Australia today launched its flagship smartphone for 2009, the Nokia N97, and demonstrated some of the Australian-developed widgets and apps to be pre-installed on the handset.
Representatives from Facebook, Austereo, ABC and News Limited were on hand at the launch to show new applications developed to bring local Australian content, including news tickers, podcasts and social networking tools. Apps from these developers are either pre-installed on the phone, or are available through Nokia’s Ovi Store.
The N97 features a new widgets-focused home screen platform, giving users six positions to add updating web content and shortcuts. Partners, like News Limited, have created widgets for these home screen fragments to display updating data downloaded to the phone. The widgets also act as shortcuts to mobile websites for these services, linking from a Facebook widget, for example, to the mobile version of the site.
This handset is the latest in Nokia’s N-series range of multimedia products, most notable for the N95 released in 2007. The N95 was considered one of the first smartphones to embrace the concept of technology convergence by bringing fast internet browsing, GPS and multimedia into the one device. The N97 builds on this convergence story, offering HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity options for the web, a 5-megapixel camera and 32GB of internal storage plus the option to expand this using microSD memory cards
Insight wins Vic Govt Microsoft deal
in brief Corporate technology supplier Insight Enterprises has won a multi-million contract to sell Microsoft software to the whole of the Victorian Government.
A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Treasury and Finance confirmed the contract, saying it would be utilised by approximately 40 departments and agencies.
The spokesperson did not reveal the value of the deal, however it was expected to be at least in the tens of millions of dollars, given its scale. The previous arrangement was believed to be held by now-disbanded IT services and products company Commander Communications.
“The contract value will be published on th
Report: botnets sent over 80% of all June spam
Spam levels remained high in June of 2009, and botnets are behind a large majority of it. They cover at least 83 percent of all spam and possibly more, since some of the smaller ones send spam through webmail services to make it seem like they are real people
There’s a ton of spam on the Internet—we all are painfully aware of this already. However, what once required an actual person to send is increasingly being taken over by botnets. A new report (PDF) from Symantec’s MessageLabs says that more than 80 percent of all spam sent today comes from botnets, despite several recent shut-downs.
According to MessageLabs’ June report, spam accounted for 90.4 percent of all e-mail sent in the month of June—this was roughly unchanged since May. Botnets, however, sent about 83.2 percent of that spam, with the largest spam-wielding botnet being Cutwail. Cutwail is described as “one of the largest and most active botnets” and has doubled its size and output per bot since March of this year. As a result, it is now responsible for 45 percent of all spam, with others like Mega-D, Xarvester, Donbot, Grum, and Rustock making up much of the difference
Rumor: Zune HD 16GB to cost between $249 and $280
The Zune HD, powered by Nvidia’s Tegra, is being rumored to start at a $249 price point for the 16GB base model. The Zune HD is also rumored to be coming in September.
Rumor: Zune HD 16GB to cost between $249 and $280 – Ars Technica
All the Windows 7 news has inundated an interesting Zune HD rumor that deserves a little coverage. The information reportedly comes from a Software Engineer at Microsoft that has provided good information in the past, according to Neowin. The biggest detail noted is that the base 16GB model will be priced anywhere between $249 and $280 (no details on the 32GB model), and that Microsoft is also apparently considering releasing a 64GB model sometime after the first two arrive. This price range is a good one if you consider that the 16GB iPod Touch, which the Zune HD will likely be competing against, currently goes for $299. Apple still has time to do a price cut or capacity upgrade, however: the source agrees that the Zune HD is coming in early September, a rumor that sprang up last month.
Standardized mobile phone charger coming to EU—iPhone, too
Apple, Nokia, Samsung, and others have agreed to adopt a charging standard for “data-enabled” mobile devices based on USB. The current agreement only applies to the European Union, though it is hoped that the standard may be adopted worldwide.
Conroy calls $250m backhaul tender
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has called for tenders to build the $250 million backhaul links, which initially target six regional centres across Australia.
The Federal Government’s first targets for patching up the nation’s so-called blackspots will be: Emerald and Longreach, Queensland; Geraldton, Western Australia; Darwin, Northern Territory; Broken Hill, New South Wales; Victor Harbor, South Australia; and South West Gippsland, Victoria.
The government plans to attack the telecommunications blackspots by constructing backhaul networks or backbone telecommunications links that connect remote and metropolitan areas together. A tender was released today and is available from the government’s official tender site, AusTender.
It’s not clear yet what other regions will be targeted for backhaul construction, with Conroy today flagging that the government will select more locations throughout the year.
China delays Net filtering; Australia sticks to its guns
Meanwhile, in a little land down under, we’re still continuing with trials of Internet filtering, albeit at a level that the Chinese government already uses on its citizens rather than a pre-installed PC hardware level, as well as the news breaking late last week that games sites — and those that sell games — will fall under the filtering banner if and when it’s finally passed into law. Quite how the government plans to filter flash-based games that can be programmed and online in very short order is unclear, with a spokesperson telling the Sydney Morning Herald that the plan would cover “computer games such as web-based flash games and downloadable games, if a complaint is received and the content is determined by ACMA to be Refused Classification.”
China delays Net filtering; Australia sticks to its guns
As China backs off from controversial PC filtering plans, Australia is looking to expand its censorship net, with plans to ban computer games too.
Apple Claims and Blames – http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/04/apple-blames-hot-iphones-on-the-weather-others-find-oleophobic/
Archos9 Tablet Netbook – http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/07/should-we-be-excited-about-the-archos9-windows-7-tablet-netbook/
App Store + Kiddy Porn = Headaches for Apple – http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/07/apples-nudie-app-headaches-now-involve-underage-girls/
Apple Store Employee Gets Shot – http://cultofmac.com/breaking-news-gunshots-fired-at-virginia-apple-retail-store/12575