Episode 151

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

For sale: eternity on top of Marilyn Monroe – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
For sale: eternity on top of Marilyn Monroe

Want to spend eternity near Marilyn Monroe? Now you can, because the burial spot located just above the ill-fated star is going on sale for a cool $US500,000 ($602,000) on eBay.

The tomb in the Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles is currently occupied by Richard Poncher, who died 23 years ago aged 81, The Los Angeles Times says.

But his widow is having his body moved over one spot and auctioning the site above Monroe’s, hoping to earn enough to pay off her $US1.6 million Beverly Hills home.

“Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Monroe,” the sales pitch on eBay reads.

her husband bought the crypt from baseball player Joe DiMaggio, Monroe’s ex-husband, in 1954.

Being buried close to Monroe has already proved a draw for some, with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner purchasing a spot to the side of the sex symbol for $US75,000 in 1992.

Opera House struggling to make tweet music – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Opera House struggling to make tweet music

Britain’s prestigious Royal Opera House has launched a new bid to take high culture to the masses – by getting Twitter users to write the lyrics to a new work, line-by-line.

But the experiment – which it plans to stage with music next month – is proving a challenge, with some distinctly oddball contributions and confusion over how exactly to put them together.

The Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden district launched the attempt last week, inviting users of the micro-blogging website to take the story forward in 140 characters or less.

Organisers also admit they have been struggling to keep the narrative train on track.

 

Then there was this candid admission: “So people, this is chaos! Please include youropera in all tweet contributions and I’ll carry on pulling it together…”

When the work is finished, the plan is to set excerpts from it to music for performance in Covent Garden as part of a special event in September.

Turn down your iPod, experts warn – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Turn down your iPod, experts warn

“The message for parents is if you’re talking to your son and daughter and they’ve got the iPod on and they can’t hear you, then it’s probably too loud.

“If they can have the iPod on but you can still get their attention then that’s probably the right level to have it on at.

“If you have it on for a significant amount of time during the week and you have it on so loud that you can’t have a conversation with someone else in the same room, then there is a real risk that later on in life your hearing will suffer.”

 

Australian Hearing’s research division director, Harvey Dillon, says once hearing is damaged it cannot be restored.

“Too much noise for too long – whether it’s noise or whether it’s sound you want to listen to like music – too much for too long you get a hearing loss, and it’s irreversible and you can’t do anything about it,” he said.

Telstra pays $100k fine for privacy abuse – Telco/ISP – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Telstra pays $100k fine for privacy abuse

Australia’s competition watchdog has found that Telstra-contracted call centres made unsolicited telemarketing calls to telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register.

The investigation found that “inadequate compliance systems, procedures and supervision” all contributed to calls being made to numbers on the Do Not Call Register.

Telstra has paid $101,200 in fines.

 

To date, more than 3.5 million phone numbers have been entered into the Do Not Call Register.

ACMA has revealed evidence that the register has been a success. From May 2008 to May 2009 the ACMA received 12,057 complaints, a 60 percent drop on the prior twelve months.

Apple-Psystar legal battle hots up – Hardware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Apple-Psystar legal battle hots up

Psystar has also gone to the unusual step of asking anyone with an interest in the case to send in suggested questions for it to ask the Apple executives.

In a blog posting, entitled “A taste of their own medicine”, the firm declared: “After numerous depositions of Psystar employees and associates the shoe is finally on the other foot, oh the joy!”

“Feel free to post your questions as comments or email them directly to press@psystar.com if you feel that the question would be better unleashed via surprise attack,” the post continued.

Calls answered based on your worth – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Calls answered based on your worth

The Big Four banks were putting their high-value customers in shorter phone queues than those whose portfolios were worth less.

“If you call your bank and identify yourself, you’re immediately going to be considered in different segments that have different values to the bank,” said Nicolas De Kouchkovsky, president of Genesys, a call centre software maker.

“Depending on which segment of customer you are, you’re either going to get the top-notch guy or a more junior person. You don’t necessarily know how they classify you but all banks are doing it.”

Kouchkovsky said the analysis went beyond customers’ immediate value to the bank: their future value was also considered.

 

 

Yahoo pitches paid mail to slow spam – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Yahoo pitches paid mail to slow spam

The company is trying out a new service known as CentMail. The site allows users to purchase packs of 500 virtual stamps at a cost of US$5 ($5.93).

Proceeds from the sales are then given to a participating charity selected by the user, and each of the email stamps carries the logo of the charity.

In addition to benefitting charitable groups, Yahoo is also hoping that the program cuts down on spam. By adding the unique stamp to each message, the program is designed to breeze through spam filters.

sign up for info when relased http://centmail.net/index.phpe

Bandit.fm Subscription Music Service – $10 Per Month | Streaming Music
Full stream ahead for music at $10 a month

From October, families will be able to pay about $10 a month to access thousands of favourite tunes via the internet.

Australia’s major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Music banding together to create a subscription service. Instead of paying for a single song or downloading an album, consumers will have legal access to a full database of songs – for one monthly payment.

All the songs will be streamed via the internet, rather than downloaded to keep.

Sony Music will operate the $9.99-a-month subscription site on www.bandit.fm on behalf of the four major labels, which means customers will have access to potentially hundreds of thousands of tunes.

 

 

iTWire – Two UK residents imprisoned for password offenses
Two UK residents imprisoned for password offenses

two people were sent to gaol for refusing to reveal a password or encryption key, which MIGHT have covered evidence of child indecency or terrorism.

This gaoling was based on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 which provides for sentences of up to five years for refusal, upon authorised request, to provide passwords or encryption keys.

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Pirate Party launches UK poll bid
Pirate Party launches UK poll bid

It became an officially registered party in the UK on 30 June and now aims to recruit members and raise funds with a view to contesting seats at the next general election, which must take place before June next year.

UK party treasurer Eric Priezkalns told Sky News: “We think there are a lot of people out there who share our concerns.

“The reason for launching a party is to give those people an opportunity to express their concerns about piracy, about privacy, and about how the mainstream parties aren’t responding to that agenda.”

Microsoft launches Zune HD | News | News.com.au
Microsoft launches Zune HD

THE Zune HD, Microsoft’s rival to Apple’s iPod, will hit US stores in September and cost $US220 ($263.90) for the 16-gigabyte model and $US290 ($347.87) for the 32GB version, the company has announced.

The Zune HD is the first model to feature a touch screen. It also has a web browser, wi-fi connectivity and a built-in high-definition (HD) radio receiver.

In addition, the device has HD video output capability allowing it to play HD quality video on HD televisions using a docking station.

Zune HD will eventually be available in five different colours.

The Zune HD is powered by NVidia’s powerful Tegra chip, which provides higher performance at lower power consumption levels, meaning batteries can last much longer before needing to be recharged.

Australian charged over computer banking virus | News | News.com.au
Australian charged over computer banking virus

The 20-year-old is also suspected of having developed software capable of launching virus attacks on 74,000 computers worldwide.

Police believe the arrest of the man, from Adelaide’s west, has given them intelligence likely to lead to further offenders.

“It will be alleged that the arrested man unlawfully compromised over 3000 computers throughout Australia and worldwide by infecting those computers with malicious software,” SA Police said in a statement.

The software was designed to “capture banking credentials and credit card information from compromised machines”, the statement said.

“Additionally, it is suspected that this offender had developed capabilities to launch distributed denial of service attacks with up to 74,000 worldwide.”

Microsoft to appeal court ban on Word sales | News | News.com.au
Microsoft to appeal court ban on Word sales

MICROSOFT plans to appeal a ruling by a Texas judge that would ban the software giant from selling its popular Word program in the US.

US District Court judge Leonard Davis ruled this week that Word violates an XML patent held by a Canadian company, Toronto-based i4i, and ordered Microsoft to pay more than $US290 million ($A349.8 million) in damages and interest.

He also issued an injunction, which takes effect in 60 days, which would bar Microsoft from selling Word products that include the patented technology.

Microsoft was accused by i4i of infringing on a 1998 XML patent in its Word 2003 and Word 2007 programs.

Word uses the XML language to open .XML, .DOCX, and .DOCM files.

 

Bogan behaviour rife among young people | News | News.com.au
Bogan behaviour rife among young people

Experts say contemporary phenomena such as social networking and the adoration of badly behaving stars is causing a breakdown of some long-established laws of etiquette.

Public drunkenness, foul language and excessive imprudence on social networking websites such as Facebook are examples of this increasing bad behaviour.

young girls were also displaying “bogan behaviour”

Kingston unveils new speedy SSD line
Kingston unveils new speedy SSD line

Kingston has announced a new series of SSDs for computers called the SSDNow V+ line that is available in up to 256GB capacities. The SSDs can also be had in 64GB and 128GB capacities as well. The 256GB capacity SSD sells for $US992 ($AUD1205), the 128GB SSD sells for $US500 ($AUD607), and the 64GB sells for $US254 ($AUD308).

Sony bans hi-def porn in Aussie factory
Sony bans hi-def porn in Aussie factory

While Sony declined to elaborate on the specific reasons for the ban, it’s likely to be because of what is often referred to as “the Disney effect”. Disney’s digitally restored versions of its classic animated features are one of the biggest sellers in the Blu-ray market

However, the company imposes strict conditions on sites that reproduce its titles, including that no X-rated material can be manufactured on the same premises.

That in turn dates back to a 1999 controversy where it emerged that the home video version of The Rescuers included two frames where a topless woman could clearly be seen in the background. The source of the image remains shrouded in mystery and speculation, but it swiftly withdrew all copies of the movie.

Apple faces antitrust scrutiny | Australian IT
Apple faces antitrust scrutiny

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has written to Apple, Google and AT&T, Apple’s exclusive carrier in the United States for the iPhone, after Apple refused to allow an application for the iPhone from Google.

The FCC has also demanded details of which other applications have been refused by Apple for the iPhone, and why. At the heart of the problem is Apple’s App Store, an online shop for hundreds of thousands of software applications that run on the iPhone.

last month Apple refused to allow the Google Voice mobile app, which allows users to send and receive text messages via a single Google Voice phone number. It is available for other phones.

David Coursey, an analyst who has been following Apple for 20 years, said: “Apple has never been looked at seriously by regulators before. Apple was always the underdog.

Julius Genachowski, the FCC chairman, said that the commission had “a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment”.

Apple, AT&T and Google are due to respond formally to the FCC this week. Apple declined to comment on its decision to ban the Google Voice application.

Government calls for web 2.0 feedback | Australian IT
Government calls for web 2.0 feedback

“The taskforce wants to hear observations – both good and bad – on how we manage information and engage citizens, and the perspectives and possibilities for how to improve.”

Labor Senator Kate Lundy recently hosted a second Public Sphere event in Canberra which looked at the ways public servants could use social networking tools to support interactions between government agencies, service providers and members of the public. 

The new blog is already off to a good start, with a range of issues under discussion.

http://gov2.net.au/consultation/

Hope they didn’t spend too much on that web page – its puss

REG’S SHOWNOTES

HP paddles through Q3 slump on EDS lifeboat

The economy is still rough waters for tech companies, but Hewlett-Packard has again kept afloat by latching on services while tossing employees overboard.

Despite sharply declining sales of PCs, printers and software, HP’s third quarter ended July 31, 2009 still arrived above most Wall Street expectations. The company’s profit was $1.64bn, down 19 per cent from the same period last year. Excluding one-time items related to restructuring and acquisitions, the company would have earned $2.2bn.

Net revenue was $27.5bn, down two per cent compared to the same period last year. Of all HP’s major businesses, only services had revenue growth year-over-year – largely due to the company’s acquisition of EDS last year

Mozilla tries to shunt Firefox 3.0 users over to 3.5

Mozilla is coaxing users off Firefox 3.0 by prompting them to shift over to version 3.5 of its popular open source browser.

The outfit has begun sending out messages to users of Firefox 3.0.13 encouraging them to upgrade to Firefox 3.5.2.

As an added incentive, it’s telling stick-in-the-mud types to update their browser to the latest version because it’s “twice as fast” and comes loaded with “Private browsing” mode.

Users who ignore the offer to upgrade can select to return to it later, and Mozilla will then give them another nudge within 24 hours.

They can also select the option to never upgrade, but this will in fact only remove the upgrade prompt for “several weeks or months” – effectively, the org is keen to get everyone off the old browser.

Mozilla added that 90 per cent of Firefox add-ons have been updated for version 3.5, but some will be incompatible in the latest iteration of the browser.

Woman charged with cyberbullying teen on Craigslist

A Missouri woman has become the first person to be charged with felony cyberbullying in that state after she allegedly posted photos and personal information of a teenage girl to the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist.

Prosecutors said Elizabeth A. Thrasher, 40, posted the 17-year-old’s picture, cell phone number, email address, and employer to the Craigslist section, which is frequented by adults looking for anonymous, no-strings-attached sex. The girl received lewd emails and calls in response, including pornographic pictures from men she didn’t know.

The incident began after Thrasher had an extended argument with the girl’s mother, according to authorities. Eventually, the girl sent Thrasher a message over MySpace. Thrasher responded by posting the racy ad on Craigslist and making it appear as if it came from the girl.

Thrasher was charged under a law the Missouri legislature passed in response to an unrelated cyberbullying incident that ended with the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier. In that case, Lori Drew and several accomplices created a fake MySpace account belonging to a boy named Josh and used it to send Meier messages that were friendly at first.

Ericsson Australia job cuts flow through

Ericsson Australia has confirmed it let go of around 10 staff last week, but the industry is abuzz with speculation that hundreds more may follow as its biggest customer, Telstra, announced a $1 billion cut back in capital expenditure for the coming financial year.

An Ericsson Australia spokesperson said the cuts made last week were part of the 300 roles it announced last December. Back then the company said 100 full-time positions and 200 contractor roles would be cut over the following six months.

The spokesperson yesterday repeated last year’s statement that the cuts were due to a number of projects winding down, adding that last week’s cuts were from Sydney and not from Melbourne where it has retained large numbers thanks to the $1 billion Next G network deal inked with Telstra in 2006.

Researchers forge secure kernel from maths proofs

Aussie boffins have developed an operating system micro-kernel mathematically established as free of many types of errors. The development points the road toward “safety-critical software of unprecedented levels of reliability” for applications such as aircraft and cars.

The software – called the secure embedded L4 (seL4) microkernel – was developed by Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Centre of Excellence (Nicta). Computer scientists involved in the project say it’s the first “formal machine-checked proof of a general-purpose operating system kernel”.

Allphones faces ACCC-led class action

Mobile retailer Allphones faces a class action lawsuit from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which will argue on behalf of 74 franchisees that the retailer engaged in unconscionable conduct.

Allphones has been accused by the ACCC of taking a decision not to forward payments from mobile phone manufacturers and network operators due to its franchisees as was agreed to under their commercial contracts.

“Under the class action, the ACCC is seeking damages for losses sustained by the represented franchisees which the ACCC alleges flowed from this alleged unconscionable conduct,” the competition watchdog said in a statement today.

The latest legal suit adds to the pressure already applied to the company’s director and chief executive officer, Matthew Donnellan; director and chief operating officer, Tony Baker; and former national franchising manager, Ian Harkin. The ACCC has previously claimed in separate legal action that they had discriminated against, threatened and withheld financial information from franchisees. A hearing date of 23 March 2010 has been set for ACCC’s action on this matter that was launched in March last year.

Alphones has also given interim undertakings not to engage in negotiations with existing franchisees which contravenes the Trade Practices Act.

Proceedings for the class action have been set for directions hearing on 8 September 2009 before Justice Foster, the ACCC said

Vista may have been a groaning, hefty beast needing fast hardware, but Windows 7’s snappy performance on older computers has the computer industry worried.

Windows 7’s ability to run relatively well on older systems is potentially bad news for the PC industry — manufacturers are going to have a hard time convincing users to upgrade their hardware, especially in the cash-strapped business market.

“There’s a lot of interest in terms of Windows 7 performance,” said Ross Gangemi, technical consultant for Dimension Data. “In the testing we’ve done, Windows 7 has been outperforming XP on a 4 or 5 year old piece of hardware.”

That raises the likelihood that companies might consider upgrading their OS while keeping older hardware, rather than updating the two in parallel. “One of the big questions from customers is whether a Windows 7 deployment will save them from having to upgrade their platforms for another 12 months,” Gangemi told APC.

“That’s not something that the OEMs are going to be pleased about, but we’re seeing a lot of people having a look to see if the performance gains from 7 without the hardware add up. People are doing a lot of testing to see what the performance increase is.”

The performance improvements are dramatic enough that users aren’t likely to complain about not getting a machine upgrade, Gangemi suggested. “They’re going from a XP environment tha

Pirate Party “overwhelmed” by file sharing response

Pirate Party “overwhelmed” by file sharing response

About 100 people signing up every hour to support the pro-file sharing agenda of the Pirate Party.

New political party the Pirate Party UK said today it has been overwhelmed by the response to its formation, as the public gets behind its pro-file sharing agenda.

The organisation was registered as an official political party on 11 August by the Electoral Commission and has three core policies: the reform of copyright and patent law; the end of excessive surveillance by government and business; and to ensure freedom of speech.

Reports from various quarters have suggested that around 100 new members are signing up every hour to the party, but Eric Priezkalns, party treasurer, said he still needed to validate the figures about memberships received to date.

Quadriplegic man tells court he wants to die in WA

A QUADRIPLEGIC man has told a Perth court that he wants to die in Western Australia and wants his nursing home to stop feeding him.

Christian Rossiter, 49, aided by a nurse, has appeared in the WA Supreme Court in a specially fitted reclining wheelchair.

He told the court he was of sound mind and that he wanted to die in WA.

The Brightwater Care Group, which owns the Perth nursing home where he resides, has asked the court to rule on whether it could legally feed Mr Rossiter despite his express wishes for it to stop.

In a statement read to the court by lawyer Linda Black, Mr Rossiter said: “I am unable to undertake any basic human functions.

“I am unable to blow my nose. I’m unable to wipe the tears from my eyes.”

Ms Black asked Mr Rossiter if he wanted to die in WA, to which he replied: “Yes”.

Speaking through a tracheotomy tube, he said he would be prepared to go to Switzerland to die but he understood the Swiss government could slow down his quest with lengthy procedures.

A lawyer for the Brightwater group said it did not have a particular view on the matter but did not want to break the law by denying him food.

Related Coverage

Mr Rossiter said his last wish would be for painkillers to make him drowsy and to be watching Foxtel “to make the time pass” before he died.

“I want to say that the painkillers make me drowsy and I would like to be made drowsy in my final moments so the time would pass more quickly,” he said.

“And I would like to watch Foxtel on the television to pass the time.”

The hearing continues before WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin.

Adelaide youth arrested for virus attack

A 20-year-old Adelaide man has been charged with infecting 3,000 computers worldwide with viruses designed to capture banking details.

The 20-year-old is also suspected of having developed software capable of launching virus attacks on 74,000 computers worldwide. Police believe the arrest of the man, from Adelaide’s west, has given them intelligence likely to lead to further offenders.

The man was arrested after a three-month investigation by electronic crime sections of South Australian Police and the Australian Federal Police.

“It will be alleged that the arrested man unlawfully compromised over 3,000 computers throughout Australia and worldwide by infecting those computers with malicious software,” SA Police said in a statement today.

The software was designed to “capture banking credentials and credit card information from compromised machines”, the statement said. “Additionally, it is suspected that this offender had developed capabilities to launch distributed denial of service attacks with up to 74,000 worldwide.”

The man has been charged with offences including unauthorised modification of computer data, supply and possession of a computer virus with intent to commit a serious computer offence, unlawful operation of a computer system and theft.

He will appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court next month.

Microsoft revs up Zune HD

Redmond takes second shot at iPod killer with pre-orders and pricing revealed for the new Zune HD media player..

The company said that the device will officially be available in stores on September 15 in a pair of configurations. A 16GB black version of the player will cost US$219.99 while the 32GB Platinum version will sell for US$289.99.

The new player will be the second from Microsoft to enter the portable media player market. The original incarnation of the Zune hit the market in 2006 to a less than glowing reception and slow sales.

The company hopes that the new Zune players, which stack up with the iPod Touch, will fare better in the market and break the iPod’s stranglehold.

Among the features on the Zune HD are a touch screen interface, WiFi and an HD Radio receiver. Additionally, the new Zunes sport a web browser and HD video output support.

AMD rolls out overclockable ‘Intel beater’

Often faster, always cheaper than arch-rival’s CPUs, firm claims

Claiming performance to beat or at least match equivalent chippery from Intel yet at a lower price, AMD today pitched its latest Black Edition processor at gamers and enthusiasts.

The Phenom II X4 965 is clocked at 3.4GHz, the highest speed at which any current desktop processor is set to run, AMD claimed, though historically CPUs have been clocked to greater frequencies as standard.

If that’s not enough, though, the chip comes unlocked for easy overclocking.

The Socket AM3 quad-core CPU contain eight megabytes of cache, four cores and two gigahertz of HyperTransport clock speed. It’s on-board memory controller can address “high speed” DDR 3 memory, though AMD reckons most folk will still be using DDR 2, which the chip can also handle.

if you want to make the most of the bundled OverDrive performance utility, you will need to upgrade to DDR 3, however.

Compared with a Core i7-920, the 965 yielded a performance advantage of up to 12 per cent, according to benchmark data supplied by AMD. The 965 is $35 (£21/€25) cheaper, it claimed.

Over here, you’re looking at paying between £180 and £214 for the chip. ®

Apple’s Snow Leopard: What to expect

(Credit: Apple)

According to rumours, the release of Mac OS X 10.6, Apple’s operating system also known as Snow Leopard, might arrive a bit early. Though Apple announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June that Snow Leopard would hit stores in September, tech blogs became overly excited when it was whispered that it might be ready to debut on or about 28 August.

How much does it matter that it could arrive five whole days before September officially begins? It doesn’t. Regardless of when the operating system ships, here’s what to expect from Snow Leopard, and why it might matter to you.

What’s the difference between Snow Leopard and Leopard?

First thing to know: this is not a complete overhaul of Mac OS X. Rather, it’s a series of small- to medium-sized improvements, what Apple calls “refinements”. Much of the new shine to OS X 10.6 comes from changes that are under the surface, possibly not obvious to the unobservant. But Apple does say that the improvements make the overall OS much faster, including a 45 per cent faster installation than the previous version of the operating system, OS X 10.5, or Leopard. Apple is also promising faster boot times, quicker shut down, a speedier process when joining wireless networks, and faster backups to Time Machine. And it’s not just quicker, Apple says, it’s lighter: upon install it frees up 6GB of space.

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