Episode 152

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES
Adelaide gets an internet-enabled bus – Telco/ISP – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Adelaide gets an internet-enabled bus

The i-Commute system utilises a 3G USB dongle plugged into a Wi-Fi router and allows for any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled device to connect to the internet whilst in transit.

It also allows for live news and travel information to be displayed on two 19-inch screens.

General Manager, Allan Aitchison, told iTnews the kit had cost the multiple companies around $500,000 to develop and said that further buses could be deployed with the technology for approximately $10,000 each.

Bob Dylan ‘to record sat nav hit’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Bob Dylan ‘to record sat nav hit’

68-year-old says he has been talking to car companies about becoming the voice of their GPS systems.

ABC iView TV on demand coming to PlayStation3
ABC iView TV on demand coming to PlayStation3

people located in Australia with a PS3 will be able to watch ABC iView formatted ideally for their TV through the PS3 via the PlayStationNetwork

Why:  People without PVR’s or computer hooked in to TV
When: Not known

The agreement between ABC TV and Sony is non-exclusive – maybe for the Wii??  Non exclusive – good to see ABC not selling their soul to one company

Future Fund flogs Telstra | Australian IT
Future Fund flogs Telstra

THE Future Fund sold $2.4 billion worth of Telstra shares

excluding dividends, its paper loss on the investment was $115 million

T3 float three years ago when the institutional sale price was $3.70
selling the 684 million shares at $3.47

China jails four for pirating Windows XP – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
China jails four for pirating Windows XP

dubbed Tomato Garden which distributed the code, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined US$146,000, with an accomplice getting the same sentence

Normally not known for tough stances on Copyright Infringement, but lately has been cracking down

Under-fives’ internet use booming: survey – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Under-fives’ internet use booming: survey

The Sensis e-business report has been looking at how Australians use the internet for the past 14 years.

“Seventy-two per cent of households with children under the age of 18 reported that their children did use the internet,” she said.

“We’re seeing almost a quarter – 24 per cent – of people who are under the age of five using the internet.

The report also shows that the use of mobile internet is highest among young people, with almost 50 per cent of those in their 20s using their phones to access the web.

 

 

REG’S STORIES

Three-way fight for Real’s iPhone-Rhapsody application

Apple has another embarrassment brewing, as its secretive App Store guardians ponder whether to allow an app from RealNeworks onto the Store’s virtual shelves.

As we reported earlier today, RealNetworks has submitted an iPhone/iPod touch application to Apple that will allow users of those devices to access Rhapsody’s eight-million-plus song collection.

The company said on its blog: “There is nothing quite as satisfying as needing to hear a certain song RIGHT NOW and being able to scratch that itch.”

But that scratching can commence only if Apple allows Rhapsody subscribers access to the RealNetworks application. But no one outside of Cupertino knows whether or not Apple will grant the application a place in the iTunes App Store.

If Apple’s acceptance guidelines were clearer, and if Cupertino’s record on which applications it takes and which it doesn’t were more predictable, we could make an educated guess. But they’re not and it isn’t.

Take the Google Voice controversy, for example. Apple over the weekend provided a lengthy explanation to the US Federal Communications Commission about not having approved the application, denying that it had rejected it. Apple said: “Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it.”

What concerned Apple was that the Google interface “appears to alter the iPhone’s

Pipe fires up Sydney-Guam cable

In brief On Sunday, Pipe Networks claimed “first light” on its Sydney to Guam PPC-1 cable, but it is still some months away from being launched.

The Sydney to Guam PPC-1 submarine cable will now move into the testing phase, Pipe Networks’ chief executive, Bevan Slattery said today in a statement. “We now have staff in Sydney, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Tokyo and San Jose establishing PoPs (points of presence) and preparing for the testing of the greater network,” he said.

Slattery has called 8 October as the launch date for the PPC-1 cable, which will compete for international transmission with Southern Cross Cable Networks and others. Southern Cross earlier this month announced a further 15 per cent reduction for its prices on international transmission.

Intel’s consumer-friendly Nehalem chips arrive early?

 

Intel’s long-awaited consumer-level Nehalem-based processors and motherboards are already available in Asia in “small volumes”, ahead of their expected launch early next month.

That is, if a report by the Taiwanese market-watchers at DigiTimes is to be believed.

DigiTimes reports that unnamed “market sources” have told them that the socket-1156 processors – the Core i5-750, Core i7-860, and Core i7-870 – are available in “some retail channels in Taiwan and China,” along with motherboards based on the new P-55 chipset.

The sources report that the chips are priced at about $207 for the Core i5-750, $303 for the Core i7-860, and $576 for the Core i7-870, and that that all three chips have an 8MB L3 Cache, a TDP of 95 watts, and support dual-channel DDR3 memory. Reg sources also report a variety of TDPs and other details of future i5s and i3s, set to appear in early 2010.

Eee Keyboard prepped for October launch?

 

Asus’ famous Eee PC Keyboard may finally launch within months, a mole has claimed.

The Eee – which incorporates a PC, a 5in touchscreen and a full-size Qwerty deck into a keyboard-sized case – will be available as early as October, the source told DigiTimes. It will be priced somewhere between $400 and $500 (£242-302/€279-349).

You should take the launch date and price rumour with a pinch of salt, though, as Asus’ Keyboard has already been connected with several possible launch dates.

For example, Asus said at CeBit in March that the gadget would launch during Q2 and be priced between $400 and $600.

It has already been confirmed that the Eee PC Keyboard will feature a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of DDR 2 memory, and the option of a 16GB or 32GB solid-state drive.

The gadget will also connect to the web over 802.11n, and include one HDMI and two USB ports. ®

GAMING   Dead or Alive 4 is one of the must-have games for new Xbox 360 owners. Not only does this title feature stunning eye candy that’ll make you feel like the AU$649 you just spent on the console was money well spent, but it’s also a kick-ass fighting game that features compelling offline and online content.

DOA4 is by no means perfect. The lack of a comprehensive training mode makes it extremely difficult for newbies to pick up and play, there’s no real persistent offline versus mode, and the game’s visuals only really shine for those with HD televisions. Plus, if you’re the politically correct type, DOA4’s physical portrayal of its female characters, while true to the series, isn’t exactly progressive. But for many, the good in this game will outshine the bad, and that’s mainly thanks to its tight and honed gameplay which features plenty of variety.

Dead or Alive veterans will feel right at home with DOA4 — many of the series’ characters make a return in this latest instalment, sporting many of the same moves. There are four new characters thrown in to mix with the veterans — Kokoro, a female fighter specialising in open palm fighting; Eliot, a student of series veteran Gen Fu; and La Mariposa, a female luchadora wrestler. The fourth addition is probably the one Xbox fans are most eager to see – Spartan 458 is essentially a female Master Chief and hails from the Halo world. Halo fans will geek out at seeing a fully-fledged Spartan in action well before the release of Halo 3.

The Beatles: Rock Band price and launch date announced

(Credit: Harmonix)

You can’t buy me love (maybe), but you will be able to buy The Beatles: Rock Band in Australia come 9 September, according to game developer Harmonix.

Like previous Rock Band releases, the game will be sold in a number of differing bundles across the range of current-generation game consoles, and each will attract a different price. The full game kit including a replica bass guitar and drum kit, plus a microphone and stand will retail for AU$369.99 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

Game-only packs will also be released, priced at AU$89.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and AU$79.99 for the Wii.

Future Fund sells big Telstra stake

The Federal Government’s Future Fund board has sold more than one-third of its massive stake in Telstra.

The fund announced, in a statement late on Thursday that the board had sold 684.4 million shares in the Australian telco at $3.47 a share, for gross proceeds of $2.37 billion, through an underwritten sale to institutional investors. The sale is in line with the board’s announced plans to reduce its holdings steadily over the medium term and diversify its investments, the fund’s statement said.

It leaves the Future Fund with a 10.9 per cent total holding in Telstra, down from 16.4 per cent. “The board took the view that current market conditions were conducive to a partial sell-down of the holding,” the statement said. “The proceeds of the sale will be integrated into the broader portfolio in line with the long term investment allocation currently being implemented.”

The Telstra shares were transferred by the government into the Future Fund in February 2007 following the sale of the government’s remaining holding in Telstra and were under escrow until 20 November 2008, the statement said.

The escrow conditions permitted disposal of shares as part of Telstras Dividend Reinvestment Plan and some 126 million shares were disposed of during this period under an agreement between the Board and Telstra.

Earlier this year, Future Fund chairman David Murray criticised Telstra’s management for the telco’s falling share price. “We are disappointed and concerned by the loss of value in recent months, and the board of guardians has raised its concerns with the company,” Murray said in May.

Telstra should plan for separation

commentary If Telstra is serious about engaging with the Federal Government over the National Broadband Network it should immediately start the work needed to break itself in two.

Breaking Telstra into a core network company and a media/comms company has plenty of merit. In fact, Telstra directors would have a fiduciary responsibility to investigate it. Based on recent sum-of-the-parts valuations, the exercise could unleash about $9 billion in value or about 70 cents a share. Telstra shareholders would also end up with shares in two companies.

Breaking Telstra into a core network company and a media/comms company has plenty of merit

They would own a utility-style stock with predictable cash flows and a growth stock with enormous opportunities for expansion in multimedia on the back of the NBN.

There are several successful precedents in the energy sector that prove shareholder value can be unlocked from separating utility-style businesses from customer service businesses. AGL is a prime example of a company that split its core infrastructure assets from its retail businesses. AGL’s infrastructure assets were merged with Alinta.

Sydney movie, music pirate earns jail time

The Australian arms of the music and film industry have won a victory against piracy with the news that Sydney man Yong Hong Lin has been handed a three-month jail term for selling illegal imported discs from his Eastwood music and movie store.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) this morning issued a statement noting that Lin was convicted on Friday of 15 indictable copyright offences. The trial followed a police raid that netted more than 16,000 discs for sale, including discs imported from China and produced locally.

“I do not think that a fine or a community service order is appropriate in terms of being a deterrent sentence … the proper penalty … is one of a period of imprisonment,” said the presiding judge, according to MIPI and AFACT.

“The movie and TV industries make a significant contribution to Australian jobs and our economy and need the protection of strong laws, effective enforcement and deterrent sentencing,” said Neil Gane, executive director of AFACT. “We are at a tipping point and jail terms are without doubt the only way the courts can provide the strong deterrence needed to stop such profitable and damaging crimes.”

However, Lin was originally charged with 31 offences relating to copyright theft; he was acquitted on 16.

US state bars sex offenders from ‘social networking sites’

The state of Illinois has barred known sex offenders from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and just about any other website that gives you a digital account for communicating with others.

As reported by The Chicago Tribune, Illinois governor Pat Quinn has signed a new law that makes it a felony for registered sex offenders to “access or use a social networking website.”

The statute defines a social networking site as “an Internet website containing profile web pages of the members of the website that include the names or nicknames of such members, photographs placed on the profile web pages by such members, or any other personal or personally identifying information about such members and links to other profile web pages on social networking websites of friends or associates of such members that can be accessed by other members or visitors to the website.”

Nokia ‘actively looking’ at own netbook

Nokia could follow service providers into netbook territory, by offering a machine of its own.

President and chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is reported to have said in India: “We at Nokia is [sic] actively looking at this converged market… We are looking at the netbook market to see what kind of opportunity is there.”

If Nokia does deliver a device then it would join a trickle of other handset manufacturers also becoming netbook makers. So far, it’s been OEMs like Asus and Dell, solidly versed in the build and delivery of PCs, who’ve made most of the running, building and selling netbooks.

A Nokia netbook would also mean the company enters a market that’s being tested by the very service providers that typically sell its handsets.

AT&T and Verizon in the US and Orange and O2 in the UK have begun offering netbooks with data plans. These netbooks are from PC markers and consumer electronics companies like Samsung that make PCs and mobile phon

PS3 backwards compatibility gone for good

 

It’s official: Sony has confirmed that backwards compatibility definitely isn’t returning to the PlayStation 3.

During a recent interview, John Koller, Sony’s Director of hardware marketing, said: “It’s not coming back.”

The PS3 did feature support for PS2 games when it launched back in 2006. North American and Japanese models achieved this using embedded hardware, while European machines got the same result through software emulation.

But – for reasons which still aren’t 100 per cent clear – Sony subsequently removed backwards compatibility from later PS3 models.

Koller’s statement backtracks slightly on commens made by Eric Lempell, Sony’s PlayStation network director, back in 2008. Lempell hinted that backwards compatibility may return.

Why the change of heart? The option just isn’t as big a “purchase intent driver” as you would think, he told Ars Technica.

The Sony exec is confident that because the console has a “substantial” line-up of gaming titles and Blu-ray support, no one wants to play old PS2 games. ®

ABC iView TV on demand coming to PlayStation3

PlayStation3 owners will soon be able to view ABC TV on demand via their TV, in a joint announcement from ABC and Sony.

ABC iView is ABC’s free website that offers a range of ABC programs streamed in high resolution (though not high definition).

When the trial launches later this year, people located in Australia with a PS3 will be able to watch ABC iView formatted ideally for their TV through the PS3 via the PlayStationNetwork (PSN), Sony’s online content and service platform.

ABC’s Director of Television, Kim Dalton, says the trial is the first in a series of developments to extend ABC iView to a wider audience. “We want to make our content as accessible as possible to our audience. Increasingly, that means extending our online reach so Australians can watch what they want, when they want it. Today’s gaming consoles, televisions and dvd players all have internet capability and we’re excited to be able to team up with Sony Playstation, as the first step in integrating ABC TV content into new online platforms and technologies.”

Samsung squeezes 500GB per platter

Samsung has announced a new series of hard drives that will find their way into our computers and external hard drives before you know it. The new series is called the Spinpoint F3. The big claim to fame for the new drives is the fact that they only use two platters with 500GB of storage each. That means that your average 1TB HDD using these platters needs only two compared to the three 333GB platters used in most drives.

What does it matter in the world of storage you ask? A terabyte is a terabyte right? Well the big improvement in using fewer platters on a hard drive is that there are less moving parts, which means less power is needed and the drive has a longer lifespan.

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