Episode 169

posted in: Show Notes


Video games a $2bn industry in Australia | The Australian
Video games a $2bn industry in Australia

New sales figures revealed the massive avalanche of cash for the first three weeks to December 20.

Over the Christmas period alone, games-mad consumers spent more than $350 million on everything from first-person shooters to Guitar Hero.

Just days before Christmas, consumers were on track to pass last year’s record $1.96 billion spent on all things games.

Marketing analyst GfK’s Brendan Dowd said the games industry could pass the magic $2 billion sales mark for the first time, pinning his hopes on the post-Christmas sales rush.

Court upholds ruling against Microsoft in patent case | The Australian
Court upholds ruling against Microsoft in patent case

The court also affirmed an injunction that prevents Microsoft from selling versions of its Word program which contain the offending software, set to take effect January 11, 2010. Older versions of Word are not affected.

Microsoft said it is taking steps to remove the feature from Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 put on sale from that date.

The disputed patent feature relates to the use of XML, or extensible markup language, used for manipulating text, in the 2007 versions of Word. Microsoft described it on Tuesday as a “little-used feature”.

The jury slapped more than $US290m in damages on Microsoft and the court granted i4i’s motion for an injunction preventing Microsoft from selling versions of Word that contain the disputed patent technology.

That injunction was stayed while Microsoft appealed the case with the Court of Appeals, but will now go into effect on January 11.

Microsoft rolls out Word patch – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Microsoft has begun offering what appears to be a patch for its popular Word software, allowing it to comply with a recent court ruling

Now it appears that the patch is available on Microsoft’s OEM Partner Center Website, under the heading – “2007 Microsoft Office Supplement Release (October 2009)”.

“After this patch is installed, Word will no longer read the Custom XML elements contained within DOCX, DOCM, or XML files,” read the explanatory notes.

“These files will continue to open, but any Custom XML elements will be removed. The ability to handle custom XML markup is typically used in association with automated server based processing of Word documents. Custom XML is not typically used by most end users of Word.”

Microsoft also notes that the patch is required for all US customers.

Govt announces $196m fund for Aussie innovators – Hardware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Govt announces $196m fund for Aussie innovators

The Federal Government is preparing to launch a $196m program to help Australian innovators bring their ideas to market.

Dubbed ‘Commercialisation Australia’, the merit-based, competitive assistance program offers between $50,000 to $250,000 to test the commercial viability of a new product, process or service.

Detailed information, including eligibility criteria, is available at http://www.commercialisationaustralia.gov.au/

Blue moon to shine on New Year’s Eve – CNN.com
Blue moon to shine on New Year’s Eve

The term “blue moon” simply refers to the second full moon in a calendar month, something that hasn’t happened on a New Year’s Eve for nearly 20 years, NASA says. “December 1990 ended with a blue moon, and many New Year’s Eve parties were themed by the event,

Most months have just one full moon, because the 29.5-day cycle of the moon matches up pretty well with the length of calendar months. Occasionally, there will be two full moons in a month, something that happens about every 2½ years, NASA says.

But a blue moon on December 31 is rare.   said Professor Philip Hiscock of the department of folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in Canada.

Conroy parody site shut down suddenly
Conroy parody site shut down suddenly

domain name stephenconroy.com.au was registered by newly registered company Sapia Pty Ltd.

The registered domain name was flagged by peak body auDA (Australian Domain Name Administrator), which allegedly gave Sapia three hours to explain why it needed the domain name; Sapia’s response was deemed inadequate and the domain remains unregistered.

an alternative site, www.stephen-conroy.com

auDA has said Sapia has 14 days to prove its rights to the domain name, but has kept the domain inactive until such evidence can be provided. In response to that claim, Sapia noted that the auDA office will be closed from today through January 11, and that the ‘pending delete’ status on the domain would expire while the office was closed.

“How do you expect to run an investigation in to our eligibility while your office is closed?” Sapia wrote in its open letter to Disspain.

Telstra, Optus expect Australians to send a record number of New Year text messages | The Australian
Australians to send a record number of New Year text messages

Telstra and Optus are expecting more than 66 million and over 57 million SMS messages, respectively, to be sent over their networks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

To avoid network congestion, Optus said it has boosted capacity in all popular New Year’s Eve celebration locations around the country.

Star Trek tops 2009’s list of most pirated movies
Star Trek tops 2009’s list of most pirated movies

The complete list of 2009’s most downloaded BitTorrent films is:

1    Star Trek – 10,960,000 downloads
2    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – 10,600,000
3     RocknRolla – 9,430,000
4     The Hangover – 9,180,000
5     Twilight – 8,720,000
6     District 9 – 8,280,000
7     Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – 7,930,000
8     State of Play – 7,440,000
9     X-Men Origins: Wolverine – 7,200,000
10   Knowing – 6,930,000

2010 or twenty 10

it has been rumoured the BBC has issued a compliance rule for all programmes to refer to the new year as 20-10.  BBC have denied the rule.

What do we think 20-10 or two thousand and ten?


Hold the phone, we’re online with MP3, USBs and GPS

VIDEO tapes, fax machines and the Encyclopaedia Britannica are among the items to have disappeared from our lives over the past decade.

VIDEO tapes, fax machines and the Encyclopaedia Britannica are among the items to have disappeared from our lives over the past decade.

No corner of our lives has been left untouched by the internet as households across Australia went online.

Since 1998, home internet access has more than quadrupled from 16 per cent to 72 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Renowned reference books such as Encyclopaedia Britannica and World Book seemed to disappear as they were usurped first by Microsoft Encarta and then the far less reliable Wikipedia. Video tapes became a relic in the 2000s, with DVD players outselling video recorders early in the decade. The massive retail video libraries of the past also moved on, selling their old wares for $1 a tape and then filling the shelves with fast-moving DVDs.

Fax machines were made obsolete by scanners and email, and by this year your Filofax fitted in your mobile phone. Many CD collections were condensed on to a tiny MP3 player.

Film cameras have all but disappeared, as did the trip to the chemist to get film developed.

Your camcorder also went digital, and eventually merged into your camera or telephone or both.

Public telephones slowly disappeared as even children are now able to whip out their mobiles.

Nowadays, 31 per cent — or 841,000 — of all children aged between five and 14 have access to their own mobile phones, the ABS estimates.

War of words over cost of ETS to households

A ROW over the impact of Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme has erupted, with Tony Abbott claiming half of middle-income earners will be left worse off by higher electricity and gas prices. In reply, the government has accused the Opposition Leader of being “fraudulent” over his charge the scheme will cost households $1100 a year.

As Mr Abbott challenged the government to release modelling showing the impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on average families, Acting Climate Change Minister Peter Garrett returned fire by accusing Mr Abbott of failing to back up his $1100 figure with “reliable, accurate and relevant” modelling.

The war of words followed the government’s release of figures yesterday showing 2.9 million low-income households would be on average $190 a year better off under its household compensation package.

While the government has not released specific calculations for middle-income households, it has previously said that 97 per cent of middle-income households will receive some compensation for higher prices and 50 per cent will have all of their costs covered.

Apple wins iPod hearing loss lawsuit

A US federal appeals court has rejected a class-action lawsuit seeking to hold Apple responsible for possible hearing loss caused by using its popular iPod music player.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco affirmed a 2008 district court ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show that use of the iPod poses an unreasonable risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

It also found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to allege a violation of California’s unfair competition law.

Jeff Friedman, a Berkeley, California lawyer representing the plaintiffs, did not immediately return a call for comment. David Bernick, who represented Apple, had no immediate comment. An Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Apple has sold more than 220 million iPods since their 2001 launch. It provides a warning with each iPod that urges users to avoid hearing damage by setting the volume at safe levels.

Telstra, Optus expect Australians to send a record number of New Year text messages

AUSTRALIANS are expected to send a record 123 million-plus text messages over the New Year period.

Telstra and Optus are expecting more than 66 million and over 57 million SMS messages, respectively, to be sent over their networks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The final figure will be much higher with Vodafone, 3 Mobile and Virgin taken into account.

Compared with SMSs sent last year, Telstra will have 2 million more while Optus an extra 13 million.

Not to be discounted is the old fashioned voice call — Telstra expects customers to make around 31 million mobile calls, up from 19.5 million last year.

Optus predicts make 67 million mobile phone calls, an increase of 9 million over the same New Year’s period in 2008.

Telstra consumer executive director Jenny Young said more than 850,000 picture messages will be distributed over the New Year’s period.

Nokia accuses Apple of free-riding as patent dispute escalates

NOKIA has fired the latest salvo in a patent-infringement battle with Apple, filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission alleging that the maker of the iPod, iPhone and Mac computers infringes multiple Nokia patents with its products.

Nokia alleges that “Apple infringes Nokia patents in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players and computers”.

Nokia said the seven patents in the complaint relate to user interface as well as camera, antenna and power-management technologies Apple uses in its products.

“While our litigation in Delaware is about Apple’s attempt to free-ride on the back of Nokia investment in wireless standards, the ITC case filed today is about Apple’s practice of building its business on Nokia’s proprietary innovation,” said Paul Melin, in charge of patent licensing at Nokia.

The companies have gone back and forth for the better part of the year, with Nokia demanding in May and then again in September that Apple pay a royalty to license its patents.

Nokia sued for patent infringement in October, and Apple earlier this month denied the charges and said it was countersuing Nokia for allegedly infringing 13 of Apple’s patents.

Since Apple’s launch of the iPhone smartphone, Nokia — the world’s biggest mobile phone maker — and others have struggled to keep pace in the fast-growing smartphone market.

In its fiscal fourth quarter, Apple reported sales of 7.4 million iPhones, up 7 per cent from levels a year ago. In October, Nokia reported its sales volume dropped 8 per cent to 109 million units during the third quarter.

BBC News – Apple tablet computer rumour sends shares up
Apple tablet computer rumour sends shares up

BBC News – 2010 gears up for explosion of 3D
2010 gears up for explosion of 3D

If 2009 was dominated by touch technology then 2010 looks set to be the year of 3D.

3D has been one of the biggest hits of the cinemas this year and it is likely to continue its stride into other mediums during 2010, experts agree.

TV manufacturer LG wants to sell nearly half a million 3D-ready TV sets next year as the World Cup kicks off in the format.

Meanwhile laptops and games consoles are also getting a 3D makeover.

Acer has already released what it is claiming is the world’s first 3D-capable laptop, and most agree it will be the first of many.

One critic likened the screen of the Acer Inspire 5738DZG to that of a 1960’s cinema “but in laptop form”. Others have dismissed the 3D capability as a gimmick, but most agree that it will be the start of a glut of similar machines.

Acer has created its 3D effect by putting a polarising filter over the screen which splits images into separate streams.

When combined with a pair of polarising glasses (and the laptop comes with a free pair) it allows users to view content in 3D.

Some movie trailers come preloaded on the laptop, while software called TriDef 3D can add a third dimension to PC games, DVDs and video footage with varying degrees of success.

Microsoft is watching developments in the field with interest. Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft’s vice president of user experience believes the technology will play a major role over the next decade.

“A 3D spatial camera inside a computer will offer a new way to interact with content. It will allow people to spatially organise things with older things farther away,” she said.

BBC News – Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian
Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian

A Beijing judge has told the Chinese novelist Mian Mian, who is suing Google over its plan to create an online library, to hold settlement talks.

After a two-hour hearing, the court ordered both sides to talk but did not set a deadline for reporting back, according to the author’s lawyer.

She is seeking damages of 61,000 yuan ($8,950; £5,576) and a public apology.

The lawsuit was filed in October after Google scanned one of Mian Mian’s books, Acid House, into its library.

Google said it had removed the book as soon as it learned of the lawsuit, but had no further comment on the case.

Mian Mian writes risque novels – including titles such as Panda Sex and Candy – about China’s underworld of sex, drugs and nightlife. Most of her work is banned in China.

BBC News – US military tracks Santa’s Christmas Eve journey
US military tracks Santa’s Christmas Eve journey

This year children will have a range of hi-tech options when it comes to following the progress of Santa on Christmas Eve.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) has been tracking Santa for over 50 years.

Children can follow his progress via its website or on Twitter, Facebook or via Google Maps or Google Earth.

It is becoming the hi-tech equivalent of reading The Night Before Christmas to excited children on Christmas Eve.

Father Christmas’s journey starts at 1100GMT on 24 December and children can track his progress as he passes 24 “Santa cams” around the world.

This year they can also check out Santa’s village and see how well the elves are getting on with making presents.

Norad volunteers are on hand on Christmas Eve to answer e-mails about Father Christmas’s journey at noradtrackssanta@gmail.com.

Norad is a military organisation that is responsible for the aerospace and maritime defence of the US and Canada.

The tradition of tracking Father Christmas goes back to a misprint in a Colorado newspaper advertisement in 1955.

The hotline to Santa promised by the paper actually connected to what was known then as the Continental Air Defense Command (Conad).

As more phone calls came in, the commander on the other end of the phone started to pretend he was Santa and the tradition continued in 1958 when Conad became Norad.

Last year volunteers received 75,000 phone calls and about 6,000 e-mails from 200 countries.

HumanitarianPeople – Unite for a better world – Community site for humanitarian people


Nintendo Wii Game Project Proposal (Other Platforms will only be able to utilise this game with a WiiMote-like device.


I’ll keep adding to it and posting updates as I think of them.

Below is the Concept.

TITLE: Paparazzi

EXPANSIONS: As with the SIMS series, Paparazzi too would have future Expansion Packs and an online community.


Paparazzi (Main Game)


Paparazzi (Hollywood)

Paparazzi (Private Investigator)

Paparazzi (Visual Artist/Marketing)

Paparazzi (Photo Journalists – Wildlife)

Paparazzi – (Photo Journalists – War Correspondent)

Paparazzi –  (Photo Journalists – Paranormal Activities)

etc, etc. The sky is the limit.


You are a budding photographer, you visit different cities and take photos with your basic camera. These photos are then taken home and placed on the internet. Each photo on the Paparazzi Website would give viewers the ability to rate the photo. The database simply adds the most popular photos, locates the photographer and offers them jobs. Your main goal is build a successful career as a Professional Photographer within the Game’s Universe.


Using the Nintendo WiiMote and Nunchuk, you move around town, visiting interesting landmarks and locations. You simply frame your target and take the shot, obviously the more jobs you get the more money you can make to buy the latest equipment, including video. The buttons on the WiiMote can allow you to zoom in and out, and the trigger snaps the shot. Think of some the most incredible visuals you’ve seen in a game like GTA, sunsets that look the part. Imagine enhancing the graphics a touch more to allow zooming and details of faces etc. You could basically use the GTA 4 Engine or perhaps, the Modern Warefare Engine. All I know is with this game your not out to kill anything, you just want to take photos, that can be judged by an online Gaming Community ala SIMS.

Merry Christmas and a Brilliant New Year to All.

End Song

Artist:  J.E.L.L.i.

Song:  Auld Lang Syne Happy New Year

Music played on this podcast was downloaded from http://music.mevio.com.

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