Episode 176

posted in: Show Notes | 0

GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Gmail – Microsoft Windows 7 RC Upgrade Information – thesecrethub@gmail.com
https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&zx=1gkfnw5gdb6ua&shva=1#inbox/126d56e0bfcd4829
It’s time to upgrade from the Windows 7 Release Candidate

Starting on March 1, 2010 your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Your work will not be saved during the shutdown.

The Windows 7 RC will fully expire on June 1, 2010. Your PC running the Windows 7 RC will continue shutting down every two hours and your files won’t be saved during shutdown

Windows 7 gets tough new anti-piracy checks
http://apcmag.com/windows-7-security-checks-get-tougher.htm
Windows 7 gets tough new anti-piracy checks

Microsoft is introducing a WAT – Windows Activation Technologies – to sneakily check on our PC

The latest raft of Windows 7 patches will bring one that rings home to Microsoft more often to check your copy is legit.

update is currently voluntary

Alienware to hold Modern Warfare tournament in Australia
http://apcmag.com/alienware-to-hold-modern-warfare-tournament-in-australia.htm
Alienware to hold Modern Warfare tournament in Australia

Alienware has announced that it plans to hold an online Australian Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare gaming competition, dubbed the “Clan Challenge”, with the winners to be flown to Sydney for a grand final face-off.

Alienware is calling for Call of Duty gamers to sign up in clans of five members online, although individuals can also use the company’s site to gather a team via its forums. The competition will run from March 5 to April 8 online, with the eight top teams to be flown to Sydney for the final on April 17, with accommodation included.

Vivid falls short in WiMax coverage | The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/vivid-falls-short-in-wimax-coverage/story-e6frgakx-1225830670639
Vivid falls short in WiMax coverage

Kerry Stokes’s Vividwireless, part of his Seven Network group, will next month launch a mobile WiMax network in Perth that pretty well blankets the city. It will be for data only: laptops and netbooks welcome, mobile phones not.

Within 12 months, Vivid plans to launch smaller WiMax networks in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

WiMax seemed a wonderful visionary idea when it was first proposed in 2003. It would work a bit like Wi-Fi hotspots, we were told, but WiMax signals would span up to 50km, compared with Wi-Fi’s 150m or so, and deliver the internet to your laptop at up to 144 megabits per second.

real-life speeds are more likely to be in the 4-10Mbps range: much the same as 3G mobile services offered by the likes of Telstra and Optus

Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, WiMax delivery will be much more limited, at least initially. In these cities, Vivid plans to use just a handful of base stations in areas close to eight universities:

AAPT launches no limit broadband plan | The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/aapt-launches-no-limit-broadband-plan/story-e6frgakx-1225830479094
AAPT launches no limit broadband plan

AAPT, has started offering unlimited ADSL2+ broadband service to customers who are willing to sign-up for two years for around a $99.95 per month.

AAPT has also struck a deal with music label EMI to bundle an online music service with the offer which will include $50 worth of song downloads and unlimited streamed content.

Google launch Buzz to take on Facebook | The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/google-launch-buzz-to-take-on-facebook/story-e6frg6so-1225828610463
Google launch Buzz to take on Facebook

Google Buzz will enable Gmail users to create status updates and read and comment on the updates posted by friends.

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, Gmail users will also be able sharing multimedia and web links to interesting stories.

Gmail’s new functions are a direct response to Facebook’s rapid rise since it started six years ago.

Telstra to offer Windows 7 Phone by Christmas – Hardware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
http://www.itnews.com.au/News/167336,telstra-to-offer-windows-7-phone-by-christmas.aspx
Telstra to offer Windows 7 Phone by Christmas

Telstra has announced it will carry phones based on Microsoft’s new Windows 7 Phone operating system, with Microsoft expecting devices to ship to Australia by Christmas 2010.

Telstra was among several international carriers named as “launch partners” to carry the device.

Telstra doubles the speed of its Next G HSPA+ network | The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/telstra-doubles-the-speed-of-its-next-g-hspa-network/story-e6frgakx-1225830673282
Telstra doubles the speed of its Next G HSPA+ network

The download speed increase, from 21Mbps to 42Mbps, has been made possible by a software upgrade to Telstra’s Next G network using dual carrier technology.

“Dual carrier is a technique where you combine two conventional HSPA+ channels simultaneously to double the peak speed on a data modem,” Telstra executive director of wireless, Mike Wright said.

However, although the network is capable of peak speeds of 42Mbps, real-life speeds are likely to only hit a quarter of the

peak rate. “Today we tell our customers to expect between 550kbps and 8Mbps in the real world, but with this dual carrier technology we can now double that,” Mr Wright said.

Telco analyst Telsyte said there were 2.9 million mobile wireless connections in Australia, but it predicted wireless would leap to 5.9 million connections by 2014.

Oops! Samsung renames ‘Corby’ smartphones for Aussie release
http://apcmag.com/oops-samsung-renames-corby-smartphones-for-aussie-release.htm
Samsung renames ‘Corby’ smartphones for Aussie release

Samsung’s mobile roadmap for 2010 includes two handsets named ‘Corby’, but Samsung Australia has already ruled out using those names.

“For obvious reasons we will not be calling the Corby by that name” McGee told APC.  “If we bring them onto the Australian market we’ll use use their model numbers instead”.

“Intense” interest in Aussie Google datacentre
http://apcmag.com/intense-interest-but-no-aussie-google-datacentre-yet.htm
“Intense” interest in Aussie Google datacentre

Google has refused to rule out constructing an Australian datacentre, amid what analysts and partners say is “intense” interest from large Australian organisations in the search giant’s cloud computing Apps suite.

Industry speculation about Google hosting an Australian datacentre has swirled off and on since the search giant started winning large hosted email deals in Australian educational institutions over the past several years, with the largest being a migration of 1.5 million NSW students to GMail from Microsoft Exchange.

Attacks on Conroy work better than petitions: “Anonymous”
http://apcmag.com/attacks-on-conroy-work-better-than-petitions-anonymous.htm
Attacks on Conroy work better than petitions: “Anonymous”

The group this week knocked the website of the Australian Parliament offline in a distributed denial of service attack that also targeted the website of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Government workers were also sent a flood of email with porn enclosed, prank phone calls and dodgy faxes, in an initiative dubbed “Operation Titstorm”.

“Maybe some people think the attacks are juvenile but it makes more of a message then signing a petition as the attacks can not be ignored,” said an individual claiming to be a spokesperson for the group in an email interview.

Attorney-General steps up fight with gamers – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/16/2820606.htm
Attorney-General steps up fight with gamers

The gamers4croydon group is running a candidate for next month’s SA election, demanding there be a R-18 classification for video games.

“About two o’clock in the morning I had a threatening note from a gamer shoved under my door,” he said.

“I feel that my family and I are more at risk from gamers than we are from the outlaw motorcycle gangs who also hate me and are running a candidate against me.

The outlaw motorcycle gangs haven’t been hanging around my doorstep at 2:00 am, a gamer has.

Frisbee inventor dies aged 90 – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/12/2818587.htm

Frisbee inventor dies aged 90

Walter Frederick Morrison was 90 and had been suffering from cancer.

He conceived and developed his aerodynamic plastic disc in the 1950s, and more than 200 million have been sold worldwide.

 

MARK’S SHOWNOTES

BBC News – Airport body scanners ‘may be unlawful’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8516574.stm
Airport body scanners ‘may be unlawful’

The use of airport body scanners may be unlawful, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned.

Scanners already in place at Heathrow and Manchester Airports may be breaking discrimination law as well as breaching passengers’ rights to privacy, it said.

It has now written a letter to Transport Secretary Lord Adonis.

The government said security concerns meant scanners had been needed immediately, but it was carrying out an equalities impact assessment.

The scanners are being introduced in response to the alleged attempt to blow up an American plane on 25 December.

But the commission said it had “serious doubts” that the decision to roll them out in UK airports was legal.

It said one of its chief concerns was over how people would be selected for the scans.

‘Vulnerable groups’

Its chairman, Trevor Phillips, said: “The right to life is the ultimate human right and we support the government’s review of security policies.

Given the current security threat level, we believe it was essential to start introducing scanners immediately

Department for Transport spokesperson

“State action like border checks, stop-and-search and full body scanning are undertaken for good reasons.

“But, without proper care, such policies can end up being applied in ways which do discriminate against vulnerable groups or harm good community relations.”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne MP agreed.

He said: “The government seems intent on pressing ahead with the use of body scanners without addressing any of the privacy concerns and safeguard issues raised by the Liberal Democrats and others.

“The commission is right to suggest that security measures cannot simply be introduced without due respect for the rule of law.”

Code of practice

The commission has previously said scanners could breach an individual’s right to privacy under the Human Rights Act.

It has also previously written to the home secretary to ask that he set out in detail the justification for bringing in the scanners, and clarify what safeguards will be put in place.

They produce “naked” images of passengers, and the commission then said it was concerned especially for the privacy of certain groups such as disabled people, the elderly, children and the transgendered community.

The Department for Transport said it had published a staff code of practice for the scanners.

A spokesperson said passengers who were randomly selected for screening would not be chosen because of any personal characteristics.

“Given the current security threat level, we believe it was essential to start introducing scanners immediately.

“We are currently carrying out a full equalities impact assessment on the code of practice, which will be published shortly when we begin a public consultation on these issues.”

Samsung, Sony Ericsson sharpen smartphone act | The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/samsung-sony-ericsson-sharpen-smartphone-act/story-e6frgakx-1225830927232?from=public_rss
Samsung, Sony Ericsson sharpen smartphone act

Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson have unveiled new smartphones as the two companies seek to catch up to their rivals in the fast-growing segment of the mobile phone industry.

South Korea’s Samsung and Swedish-Japanese group Sony Ericsson on Sunday showed their new multi-media handsets in Barcelona, Spain, on the eve of the industry’s biggest annual gathering, the Mobile World Congress.

The two companies trail far behind Nokia, iPhone-maker Apple and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) in the market for smartphones, devices with internet, emails, music players and games.

The touch-screen Samsung Wave, to be launched in May, is the first device fitted with company’s new mobile operating system, Bada, which was unveiled late last year.

“This is a new era, the smartphone era,” JK Shin, Samsung Electronics head of mobile communications business, said at a launch party that featured a huge video presentation with splashing waves and a live dance act.

“Samsung is committed to making the smartphone era available for everyone. We are committed to making the smartphone era a true democracy for billions of people on all continents in all corners of the world,” Shin said.
Jean-Philippe Illarine, telecommunications marketing director at Samsung Electronics France, told AFP the Wave would be the crown jewel of about 15 smartphones that Samsung will launch this year. No sale price was released.

The company aims to sell 18 million smartphones this year, tripling last year’s figure, Illarine said.
Samsung, with a 20.1 per cent share of the mobile phone market last year, is the world’s number two mobile phone maker after Finland’s Nokia, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

But it only captured 3.2 per cent of the smartphone market in the third quarter of last year, far behind Nokia, RIM and Apple, according to research firm Gartner.

“Smartphones are sort of our weak point,” Illarine said.

Consumers have shown a big appetite for smartphones.

While global shipments of handsets grew by 10 per cent in the last quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2008, smartphones jumped 30 per cent, according to Strategy Analytics.

And while handset sales are expected to grow by nine per cent this year, smartphones will skyrocket by 46 per cent, according to Gartner.

The Samsung Wave has a 3.3-inch long touch screen with a five-megapixel camera, high-definition video and the all-important applications store, which allows users to download games and news programs.

Shin said the Samsung applications store, which was launched in France, Britain and Italy last year, would be available in more than 50 countries this year.

The Wave is among around five Bada smartphones to be launched this year, Illarine said.

Samsung will also release five or six other smartphones this year powered by internet giant Google’s Android operating system and a few more with Microsoft Windows.

Sony Ericsson, the world’s fifth biggest mobile phone maker and a pioneer of the smartphone segment, has lost ground in recent years.

Its chief, Bert Nordberg, conceded in Barcelona on Sunday that the company had gone through a “turbulent year”.
The company unveiled its first Android smartphone, Xperia X10, in November. On Sunday, it displayed its touch-screen “little brothers”, the X10 Mini and the X10 Pro.

Sony Ericsson will also launch Vivaz Pro, which includes high-definition video and works under Nokia’s Symbian operating system.

The 5 Most Innovative New Online Business Models in 2010 : Marketing :: American Express OPEN Forum
http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/the-5-most-innovative-new-online-business-models-in-2010-rohit-bhargava
The 5 Most Innovative New Online Business Models in 2010

Mobile phone operator Vodafone has launched what it says is the “lowest-cost mobile phone on Earth”.

The Vodafone 150, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will sell for “below $15” (£10) and is aimed at the developing world.

It will initially be launched in India, Turkey and eight African countries including Lesotho, Kenya and Ghana.

The UN predicts that mobile ownership will reach 5bn in 2010, with most growth in the developing world.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said that demand was being driven by people using their phones to access banking and mobile health services.

“Even the simplest, low-end mobile phone can do so much to improve healthcare in the developing world,” said ITU secretary general Dr Hamadoun Toure.

Even the simplest mobile phone can do so much to improve healthcare in the developing world

Dr Hamadoun Toure, ITU

For example, he said, SMS can be used to “deliver instructions on when and how to take complex medication such as anti-retrovirals or vaccines”.

“It’s such a simple thing to do, and yet it saves millions of dollars,” he said.

Mobile phones have also become an increasingly popular way to transfer and save money in the developing world.

For example, a system known as M-Pesa in Kenya, which allows people to transfer money, now has around six million customers.

Vodafone estimates that there are more than 11 million customers using banking services on its networks.

The Vodafone 150 is designed to bring these services to more people, the firm said.

The handset allows voice calls, SMS and has built-in support for mobile payment services. A more expensive version – known as the Vodafone 250 – also has a colour screen and an FM radio, and will sell for $20.

Ken Banks, founder of Frontline SMS and an expert in mobile phone use in the developing world said the $15 price tag “lowers the bar, but not by a huge amount”.

“I bought a HTC mobile in Uganda two years ago for just over $20 equivalent, so depending on how you play exchange rates this isn’t hugely different price wise,” he told BBC News.

“The price has come down but in terms of features [cheap phones have] remained largely static with poor memory, monochrome screens, no browser, and so on.

“The trick is to reduce the price and increase functionality, and few manufacturers have managed to crack this to any real extent,” he told BBC News.

Facebook directs more online users than Google
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/14/BUU51C0AMN.DTL
Facebook directs more online users than Google

According to Web measurement firm Compete Inc., Facebook has passed search-engine giant Google to become the top source for traffic to major portals like Yahoo and MSN, and is among the leaders for other types of sites.

This trend is shifting the way Web site operators approach online marketing, even as Google takes steps to move into the social-media world.

Some experts say social media could become the Internet’s next search engine.

A big part of the Facebook experience is how friends and family share Web links to interesting news stories, photos, videos and Internet sites.

“People are spending less time navigating the Internet on their own and are now navigating the Internet based on their friends’ recommendations or their friends’ activities,” said Dave Yovanno, chief executive of Gigya Inc., a Palo Alto firm that offers social-media services. “That’s one of the big trends we started picking up on probably four or five months ago.”

For years, Web content creators had to worry whether they had the proper level of search-engine optimization to make sure search engines listed them among the top results. Now, they have to consider what companies like Gigya offer – social-media optimization.

“Marketers must focus on social marketing in addition to traditional search, as customers have a multi-pronged way of finding information,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a Web strategist for the Altimeter Group, a San Mateo consulting firm with clients like Gigya. “The clear-cut channels of yesteryear are now an intricate set of connections.”

Using a snapshot of Web traffic from December, Compete’s director of online media and search, Jessica Ong, found that 15 percent of traffic to major Web portals like Yahoo, MSN and AOL came from Facebook and MySpace. The lion’s share of that traffic, 13 percent came from Facebook.

Google, which has profited handsomely from directing Web surfers to their destinations during the past decade, was third with 7 percent, just behind e-commerce site eBay, which had 7.61 percent. MySpace was fourth with just under 2 percent.

TV Networks need to keep up with iTunes. Money is being lost to piracy due to complacent studios not offering latest TV shows to Aussies.
Entourage is an exception, and I buy new episodes every week. MAD MEN is also on the list with their Season 3 First Episode being offered for free. Also I’ve noticed
that some of the movies and TV shows are offering interviews and behind the scenes footage similar to Special Features on DVD’s. Some are available only to customers purchasing the Complete Season. Also pricing on New Series is sometimes cheaper than the DVD counterparts.

Database to help mental health research | Technology | BigPond News
http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Technology/2010/02/16/Database_to_help_mental_health_research_429505.html
Database to help mental health research

Schizophrenia research in Australia has been revolutionised, scientists say, as a new database is launched.

The secure internet-based resource provides researchers with a quick way to store and also search through the files – such as brain scans – provided by 4,000 volunteers who have the condition.

It has replaced what Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank manager Dr Carmel Loughland described as a manual and time-consuming filing system.

‘This database has revolutionised the way our schizophrenia research data is collected, stored and disseminated in Australia,’ Dr Loughland said in a statement on Monday.

‘Now, scientists can easily input data, tag that data with key words so others can easily find it, and download brain images (or) genetic and clinical information that could help them with their research.’

The database was developed by not-for-profit Intersect Australia Ltd, an initiative of NSW-based universities and funded by the NSW government.

The Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank is based at the University of Newcastle.

Chief investigator Professor Rodney Scott said the new database ‘opens up exciting new possibilities for researchers as we strive to learn more about this condition’.

Schizophrenia is a developmental brain condition that typically occurs in one in 100 people.

It is the third leading cause of disability in young people and there is no known cure.

‘Too fat’ actor vents on Twitter | Technology | BigPond News
http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Technology/2010/02/15/Too_fat_actor_vents_on_Twitter_429053.html
Too fat’ actor vents on Twitter

Filmmaker and actor Kevin Smith has launched a furious Twitter attack on a US airline after he was booted off a flight for being too fat.

The director of cult film Clerks and creator of the Silent Bob character was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flights from Oakland to Burbank.

He launched the Twitter attack on the airline to his 1.6 million followers and even posted a picture of himself puffing his cheeks out in his plane seat.

He wrote: ‘I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk’ (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?)’

He added ‘Wanna tell me I’m too wide for the sky? Totally cool. But fair warning, folks: IF YOU LOOK LIKE ME, YOU MAY BE EJECTED FROM @SOUTHWESTAIR.’

As he explained on the site, the plane’s captain had him removed from a plane after he was deemed a ‘safety risk.’

‘I know I’m fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?’ he wrote.

‘Again: I’m way fat… But I’m not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already I.d.ed me as ‘Silent Bob.’

Smith was offered a $100 voucher as an apology, which he refused, and got on another Southwest flight.

Southwest Airlines apologised to the director via Twitter and blogged a longer statement in which it pointed out that Smith usually purchases two seats every time he travels.

BBC News – Vodafone launch ‘world’s cheapest phone’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8516079.stm
Vodafone launch ‘world’s cheapest phone’

Mobile phone operator Vodafone has launched what it says is the “lowest-cost mobile phone on Earth”.

The Vodafone 150, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will sell for “below $15” (£10) and is aimed at the developing world.

It will initially be launched in India, Turkey and eight African countries including Lesotho, Kenya and Ghana.

The UN predicts that mobile ownership will reach 5bn in 2010, with most growth in the developing world.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said that demand was being driven by people using their phones to access banking and mobile health services.

“Even the simplest, low-end mobile phone can do so much to improve healthcare in the developing world,” said ITU secretary general Dr Hamadoun Toure.

Even the simplest mobile phone can do so much to improve healthcare in the developing world

Dr Hamadoun Toure, ITU

For example, he said, SMS can be used to “deliver instructions on when and how to take complex medication such as anti-retrovirals or vaccines”.

“It’s such a simple thing to do, and yet it saves millions of dollars,” he said.

Mobile phones have also become an increasingly popular way to transfer and save money in the developing world.

For example, a system known as M-Pesa in Kenya, which allows people to transfer money, now has around six million customers.

Vodafone estimates that there are more than 11 million customers using banking services on its networks.

The Vodafone 150 is designed to bring these services to more people, the firm said.

The handset allows voice calls, SMS and has built-in support for mobile payment services. A more expensive version – known as the Vodafone 250 – also has a colour screen and an FM radio, and will sell for $20.

Ken Banks, founder of Frontline SMS and an expert in mobile phone use in the developing world said the $15 price tag “lowers the bar, but not by a huge amount”.

“I bought a HTC mobile in Uganda two years ago for just over $20 equivalent, so depending on how you play exchange rates this isn’t hugely different price wise,” he told BBC News.

“The price has come down but in terms of features [cheap phones have] remained largely static with poor memory, monochrome screens, no browser, and so on.

“The trick is to reduce the price and increase functionality, and few manufacturers have managed to crack this to any real extent,” he told BBC News.

Facebook | Mark Saltzer
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=702329324
Australian Constitution for Dummies 1/4

Something all Aussie Tech Head listeners should listen to them.

BBC News – Pirate boss to make the web pay
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8512263.stm
Pirate boss to make the web pay

One of the founders of the Pirate Bay is kicking off a venture that aims to help websites generate cash.

Called Flattr, the micropayments system revolves around members paying a fixed monthly fee.

At the end of each month that cash will be divided among participating sites a Flattr member wants to reward.

Members might want to reward a band that made a track they liked, the author of a story they enjoyed or a site that gave useful advice.

Participating sites will sport a Flattr button in the same way that many have clickable icons that let visitors send information to friends or refer something they find interesting to sites such as Digg and Redditt.

“The money you pay each month will be spread evenly among the buttons you click in a month,” said Mr Sunde.

“We want to encourage people to share money as well as content,” Mr Sunde told the BBC. “It’s a test to see if this might be a working method for real micropayments.”

The minimum Flattr wants people to pay each month is 2 euros (£1.73) but members can pay more if they want to.

“That way you have control over your monthly spending on content, and you can rather help many people than just a few,” he said.

Many micropayment systems had not proved popular, he said, because they were too cumbersome to use regularly.

Mr Sunde said he hoped it proved popular among the vast number of niche sites run by passionate amateurs that have a small, dedicated audience but which struggle to cover their operating costs.

Initially, Flattr plans to take a 10% cut of any cash paid as an administration fee. But, said Mr Sunde, it hopes to push that percentage lower as people sign up.

“We’re not really in this for becoming rich,” he said. “We’re doing it to change things and making people get money they never got before.”

“I know that people are nice enough,” he said. “People love things and they want to pay.”

Flattr is currently in a closed trial but hopes to be ready to launch by the end of March 2010. It is seeking partners looking to generate some cash from their content.

Mr Sunde said the idea for Flattr came to him about five years ago but could not pursue it because of “other things that took massive amounts of time”.

“I wanted to find an one-click way to pay for content,” he said. “I wanted it to be based on the idea that different people have different financial situations,” he told the BBC. “So doing it in a flat rate manner was the only way.”

The “other things” included The Pirate Bay website that pointed people towards copyrighted content such as music tracks and videos. Mr Sunde and three other administrators of the site were pursued in Sweden’s courts by film and video game makers.

In April 2009, the four were found guilty of aiding copyright theft and were sentenced to one year in prison and fined 2.7m euros (£2.35m). Final appeals from both sides of the case are due to be heard in early 2010.

BBC News – Cyber attacks against Australia ‘will continue’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8513073.stm
Cyber attacks against Australia ‘will continue’

An activist group that temporarily blocked access to key Australian government websites plans to continue its cyber attacks, the BBC has learned.

The group, known as Anonymous, was protesting against the Australian government’s proposals to apply filters to the internet in the country.

A man claiming to be a representative of the group said that around 500 people were involved in the attack.

The method they are using is known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).

DDoS is illegal in many countries including the United Kingdom. There is no indication that the attack was carried out from within Britain. DDoS attacks typically call on machines in many different nations, making them hard to trace.

The sites were intermittently blocked on 10 and 11 February. The action has been condemned by various bodies including the Systems Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) and Electronic Frontiers Australia.

“All it takes is a few people to basically send junk traffic to their websites which is causing them to be offline,” the man, calling himself Coldblood, told BBC News.

“The people who are currently attacking (the government websites) are planning to keep doing it. It will probably keep happening until either they get bored or it gets sorted out.”

The sites are currently back online but the domains of individual politicians, including that of Stephen Conroy (minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy), were among those targeted.

BBC News – Flickr co-founder unveils online game Glitch
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8507013.stm

Flickr co-founder unveils online game Glitch

One of the co-founders of popular photo-sharing site Flickr has taken the wraps off his latest web venture, a multiplayer online game called Glitch.

Stewart Butterfield’s creation will launch in autumn 2010 but gamers can register to test the game now.

The 2D platform game is initially set in a surreal, utopian future and allows gamers to collaborate to solve puzzles.

It will be free to play, but the firm intends to make money by selling virtual items and premium accounts.

“We want to reach as large an audience as possible,” Mr Butterfield told BBC News.

“We want to do for online gaming what the Wii did for consoles.”

Bizarre twists

The game is a return to Mr Butterfield’s roots, who started Flickr as an online game – called Game Neverending – with his wife Caterina Fake in the 1990s.

“The game allowed you to drag and drop photos into conversations,” explained Mr Butterfield.

Over time the pair noticed that most players used the platform to share photographs, and it morphed into Flickr.

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