Episode 191

posted in: Show Notes


Apple overtakes Microsoft as biggest tech company – Finance – Business – News – iTnews.com.au
Apple overtakes Microsoft as biggest tech company

Apple has shot past Microsoft as the world’s biggest tech company based on market value, the latest milestone in the resurgence of the maker of the iPhone, which nearly went out of business in the 1990s.

market value of about US$222 billion, compared with Microsoft’s US$219 billion, according to Reuters data.

Shares of Apple are worth more than 10 times what they were 10 years ago,

MSI WindPad slates: choose Windows + Intel, or Android + Nvidia
MSI WindPad slates: choose Windows + Intel, or Android + Nvidia

Another two touchscreen tablets join the iPad wanna-be race, with MSI putting a dollar each way on Windows and Android for its 10 inch slates.

Are you quitting Facebook? – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Are you quitting Facebook?

About 25,000 people have already registered as “Committed Facebook Quitters” via the Quit Facebook Today website.

Author and honorary associate in digital cultures at the University of Sydney, Mark Pesce, says he shut down his account on Friday.

“I think the final straw was when the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook had been caught handing over confidential user data to advertisers,” he told Radio National’s Life Matters program this morning.

Brisbane studio behind popular Fruit Ninja app | News.com.au
Brisbane studio behind popular Fruit Ninja app

GAMING guru Luke Muscat, 25, from Morningside in Brisbane’s east, has taken the world by storm.

The Queensland University of Technology graduate headed the small creative team at Kelvin Grove-based company Halfbrick Studios that created Fruit Ninja.

Since its release on April 21, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch application — a game which involves slicing fruit like a ninja — has been downloaded by more than 400,000 people worldwide.

The $1.19 juicy action game is now in the top five paid-for iPhone apps in 13 countries and in the top 10 in 23 countries, and more than one billion pieces of fruit have been sliced with squelchy sound effects.

Apple stores sell out of 3G iPads | News.com.au
Apple stores sell out of 3G iPads

SOME Apple stores had last night sold out of 3G versions of the iPad, with staff telling customers they did not know when new stock would arrive.

Apple’s flagship Sydney store in George Street had hundreds of the iPads with WiFi connectivity but none of the versions that are WiFi and 3G enabled.

The Bondi Junction store, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, had sold out of the 16GB and 32GB iPads with 3G and could only offer the most expensive 64GB version, at $1049, but said stock was fast disappearing.

The Australian’s iPad application was yesterday the most popular local news app in the iTunes store and the third most popular paid app.

For $4.99 a month, iPad subscribers can read The Australian, including real-time news updates. New sections as well as photo galleries and video will be gradually rolled out.


Meet YouTube’s 224 million girl, Natalie Tran | News.com.au
Meet YouTube’s 224 million girl, Natalie Tran

The 23-year-old Sydneysider has made it to the list of the 20 most-watched videos of all time on YouTube, and her site has attracted 224 million hits globally.

Her most popular video is “How to fake a six-pack”, a parody of an ad which demonstrated how women could achieve the look of a six-pack by using make-up products.

She earns thousands of dollars a month from the ads that run beside her videos.

YouTube celebrates its fifth anniversary next month. Its first video – an 18-second clip shot by Yakov Lapitsky at California’s San Diego Zoo – was uploaded on Saturday, April 23, 2005 at 8.27pm.

Today, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it the world’s largest online video-sharing website.


Dell to launch Streak in June – the iPad’s first Google-powered rival | News.com.au
Dell to launch Streak in UK June – the iPad’s first Google-powered rival

DELL will release an iPad rival based on Google’s Android operating system in June.

Called “Streak,” the tablet will have a 5-inch screen, wi-fi, Bluetooth and work on a 3G network.

Users can download music, interact with social networking sites, send email, text and instant messages and make phone calls.

It has turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps, a 5MB camera with flash and a removable battery.

Streak will have 2GB of internal storage.

Memory can be expanded up to 32GB allowing it to store as many as 42 movies or 16,000 songs.

Later in the year, the tablet will support Adobe Flash 10.1

The tablet will be released in June in the United Kingdom through stores of mobile phone company O2 and its Web site O2.co.uk, at the Carphone Warehouse and Dell.co.uk.

Prices and internet data plans will be released before the product launch.

The tablet will be available in the US later in the summer.

Three charged in $US100m bogus software scam | The Australian
Three charged in $US100m bogus software scam

Innovative Marketing, placed ads on legitimate companies’ websites and deceived internet users into thinking their computers were contaminated with malicious software, also called malware, or had other critical errors.

The diagnosis was designed to prompt purchases of their own software to fix the nonexistent problems, even though it had little or no ability to remedy anything, according to the indictment.

The company sold software products under such names as “DriveCleaner” and “ErrorSafe,” ranging in price from approximately $US30 to $70. The department said the scam affected users in more than 60 countries.

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The indictment, returned this week by a federal grand jury in Chicago, charged the men with various counts of wire fraud and computer fraud, and seeks forfeiture of about $100 million and any funds held in a bank account in Kiev.

The Chaser gets past Apple’s app censors in time for Australian iPad launch | Courier Mail
The Chaser gets past Apple’s app censors in time for Australian iPad launch

an app in Apple iTunes stores ready for Australian iPad audiences as soon as the device goes on sale at 8am tomorrow.

CeBIT to address shortage of booth babe attire – Oddware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
CeBIT to address shortage of booth babe attire

Hannover Fairs, organiser of this week’s CeBIT IT trade show in Sydney, is to monitor the attire of “booth babes” in future exhibitions to address concerns that the show floor of the business-focused event has strayed into trashy territory.

In an ICT industry struggling to attract women to its ranks, concerns were raised at this year’s event over a small number of exhibitors that were seen to have taken the booth babe concept too far.

Attendees took to Twitter to express their disappointment (and in other cases, delight).

Skype iPhone app allows 3G calls – Telco/ISP – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Skype iPhone app allows 3G calls

Skype has announced an updated version of its iPhone application that will allow users to make calls over 3G networks.

The Skype 2.0 application for the iPhone will allow users to make and receive free Skype-to-Skype calls for a trial period that runs until the end of this year.

Users will be able to call mobiles and landlines around the world at low rates which Skype will announce in the coming months.

The application is available to download from the App Store and is compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch and the new iPad. Skype requires the iPhone operating system version 3.0 or above

Asustek joins tablet PC race – Hardware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Asustek joins tablet PC race

Asustek Computer has become the latest technology company to jump on the tablet PC bandwagon on Monday, joining cross-town rival Acer in jostling with Apple in the nascent sector.

The tablet PC, to be called the Eee Pad, will run on Intel or ARM Holdings chips, and use Microsoft’s Windows operating system, Chairman Jonney Shih said ahead of the Computex fair, the world’s second-largest PC exhibition.

“The Eee Pad can display Adobe flash for the full web experience, has a USB port and a camera,” Shih said. “We looked at how we could best address the needs of users from all walks of life, and I believe this is the product.”

Asustek was also working with Intel and Microsoft to push out its own version of an app store, Shih said, joining other technology companies such as Nokia in trying to beef up their software offerings to compete with Apple.

Apple has an online offering of more than 200,000 applications while Google’s Android has about 38,000.

TPG chief makes Australia’s rich list – Telco/ISP – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
TPG chief makes Australia’s rich list

Eight entrepreneurs from the technology industry made the cut in Australia’s annual rich list, including the new owners of Pipe Networks, TPG Telecom founders David and Vicky Teoh.

According to BRW, Malaysian-born David Teoh and his wife Vicky’s wealth is estimated to be $615 million. The couple has spent 24 years building up retail Internet service provider, TPG Telecom

Google Maps sued for issuing wrong directions – Oddware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Google Maps sued for issuing wrong directions

A woman in the US is suing Google because its Maps service gave her the wrong walking directions.

Lauren Rosenberg claims the directions caused her to get run over because they led her onto a busy highway.  Rosenberg is demanding US$100,000 from the company.

Google clearly says on the route description that the “walking directions are in beta”.

“Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths,” Google warns users.

said Rosenberg’s complaint filing.

“As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google’s careless, reckless and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle, causing her to suffer sever permanent physical, emotional, and mental injuries, including pain and suffering,” it added.

Internode touts 3G iPad access point – Hardware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Internode touts 3G iPad access point

Dubbed MiFi, the 81-gram unit delivers one 3G connection to up to five devices within 10 metres, including iPads, laptops, PDAs, smartphones and gaming consoles.

Internode boasts that MiFi “pays for itself when you have more than one iPad or other wireless device connected”, since 3G-capable iPad models cost $180 more than WiFi-only units.

It offers MiFi for $299 with a 24-month NodeMobile Data 3G contract.

The device, designed by U.S.-based Novatel Wireless, is also available unlocked and unbundled for $399.

The device contains a lithium ion battery that lasts up to four hours on one charge, and can be recharged via USB or power adapter.

Online fraud victims ’embarrassed’ to contact police – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting
Online fraud victims ’embarrassed’ to contact police

He says more than 3,000 people have been targeted in scams from Nigeria and Ghana since January.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay says many victims are “suffering in silence”.

“What really concerns me is that we have a lot of victims … who go through this extraordinary pain and they can’t talk to anyone about it – they feel ashamed, they’re embarrassed,” he said.

“Give us a call at the fraud and corporate crime group – we will certainly make the time available to you to discuss it.”

Doctor Who victim of high def daleks
Doctor Who victim of high def daleks

ABC TV will begin an awareness campaign ahead of July’s launch of ABC News 24, to promote the 24-hour digital news channel and explain that programs such as Doctor Who will no longer be shown in high definition.

ABC News 24 will be broadcast in high definition, taking the place of ABC HD, which is a national simulcast of standard-definition digital channel ABC1, supplemented with state news bulletins.

HD is a digital TV format that allows for higher resolution than analog or SD digital broadcasts and also offers surround sound for viewers who connect TVs to home audio systems.


Ninth worker death at Taiwan iPhone firm Foxconn

A ninth employee has jumped to his death at Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, China’s state media reports.

Xinhua said 21-year-old Nan Gang leapt from a four-storey factory in China’s Shenzhen in the early hours.

Shortly after, it emerged that the death of a worker at a Foxconn plant in China’s Hebei province earlier this year was also a suicide.

A total of 11 Foxconn employees in China have tried to kill themselves this year – two have survived.

The incidents have raised concerns about worker treatment at the site.

The Associated Press quoted spokesman Arthur Huang as saying the company carried out social responsibility programmes to ensure workers’ welfare.

Earlier this week, Foxconn said it was enlisting counsellors and Buddhist monks to provide emotional support for its workers.


Ten of the employees worked at Foxconn’s campuses in Shenzhen, but on Friday it was revealed that a man who died at a factory in the northern Hebei province had also jumped from a building.

The worker, identified by Xinhua as 19-year old Rong Bo, died in the city of Langtang early this year.

A similar investigation into the death of 16-year old Wang Lingyan – who was found dead in a dormitory at the same site – concluded she died from cardiac arrest, government spokeswoman Wang Qiunu told Xinhua.

First employee who  died last year caught on CCTV Foxconn worker Sun Danyong killed himself last year

Foxconn suicides: ‘Workers feel quite lonely’

A string of suicides at a factory in China owned by Taiwan firm Foxconn has highlighted what some say is a stressful working environment for migrant workers.

Foxconn says it is employing trained counsellors and installing more leisure facilities at the factory in Shenzhen to help its staff, as well as increasing salaries to boost morale.

Here, people who have worked at or visited the plant describe the working atmosphere which many have blamed for the suicides.

Bangladesh ‘blocks Facebook’ over political cartoons

Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after satirical images of the prophet Muhammad and the country’s leaders were uploaded, say reports.

One man has been arrested and charged with “spreading malice and insulting the country’s leaders” with the images, an official told the AFP news agency.

Officials said the ban was temporary and access to the site would be restored once the images were removed.

It comes after Pakistan invoked a similar ban over “blasphemous content”.

A spokesman for the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) told AFP Facebook had “hurt the religious sentiments of the country’s majority Muslim population” by carrying “offensive images” of Mohammed.

“Some links in the site also contained obnoxious images of our leaders including the father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the leader of the opposition,” said the commission’s acting chair, Hasan Mahmud Delwar.

On Saturday, one man was arrested by the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Dhaka and charged with uploading the images.

“Facebook will be re-opened once we erase the pages that contain the obnoxious images,” said Mr Delwar.

China aims to become supercomputer superpower

China is ramping up efforts to become the world’s supercomputing superpower.

Its Nebulae machine at the National Super Computer Center in Shenzhen, was ranked second on the biannual Top 500 supercomputer list.

For the first time, two Chinese supercomputers appear in the list of the top 10 fastest machines.

However, the US still dominates the list with more than half the Top 500, including the world’s fastest, known as Jaguar.

The Cray computer, which is owned by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has a top speed of 1.75 petaflops.

One petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

It is used by scientists conducting research in astrophysics, climate science and nuclear energy.

Porn ban on net and mobiles mulled by South Africa

A South African government official is proposing a complete ban on digitally distributed pornography.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has approached the country’s Law Reform Commission to ask whether a change in the law is possible.

He has also had talks with the Justice Alliance for South Africa (JASA), a respected group which has written its own draft bill on the issue.

Internet security experts have dismissed the idea as “madness”.

“Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts… There is no reason why the internet should be provided without the necessary restrictive mechanisms built into it,” said Mr Gigaba.

‘Wild west’

JASA proposes that the ban, covering TV but also mobile phones and the web, could be implemented in the form of filters set by internet service providers.

Countries such as Australia and China have already developed filters to block access to certain websites.

Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos said previous attempts by other nations to ban pornography had not been successful.

“One wonders how on earth a democracy like South Africa would be able to introduce such a system, as it’s not as though the state has 100% control over telecommunications,” he told BBC News.

“Although their intentions may be honourable, it’s barking mad to think you will be able to completely outlaw pornography from the web which, is after all, the modern equivalent of the wild west.”

Pornography is a subject of ongoing debate in South Africa. A terrestrial television channel called ETV caused a storm of controversy when it began broadcasting adult material after midnight in 2002.

In 2010 a propoosal by satellite broadcaster Multichoice to offer a 24 hour pornography channel was abandoned after a deluge of complaints.

BBC iPlayer integrates Twitter and Facebook

The BBC iPlayer has launched a trial service inviting users to share favourite programmes via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

People can now choose to log-on to the revamped video player, allowing them to personalise the service and see recommendations based on prior viewing.

It will also aggregate content from other broadcasters including Channel 4.

Users will also soon be able to chat using Microsoft’s Messenger service while watching live TV streams.

“We spent more time designing [the new interface] than building it,” said the BBC’s Anthony Rose, chief technology officer for Project Canvas, a new online broadcast initiative currently under development.

“It’s a complete social ecosystem.”

Mr Rose also addressed complaints about dips in the streaming quality sometimes experienced by viewers.

A new “adaptive bit-rate system” will continually adjust video to changes in individual broadband connections, he said.

This means that the quality should adapt more quickly when the connection is slower and improve as it gets faster.

Slow start

The new personalisation features relies on a log-in using the same credentials people already use around the BBC website, including commenting on blog posts, added Mr Rose.

This log-in can be linked with Twitter and Facebook so that friends on those networks can see what they are watching or listening to.

Later in the year the BBC iPlayer will begin to take data feeds from other catch-up services including 4OD, Demand Five, ITV Player and SeeSaw as well as Welsh broadcasters S4C and Clic. However, it will not feature content from the Sky Player, as the broadcaster had not responded to an invitation to take part.

The feature means that if a person searches the service for a non-BBC programme they will be directed to the site where it appears, unless it is only available on Sky.

The trial launch marks its third regeneration since the BBC iPlayer service first launched in December 2007.

“It was unproven content – I used to come in to look at the stats and do a high five when we hit 20 downloads,” recalled Erik Huggers, director of Future, Media and Technology at the BBC.

The service is now available on 25 devices but the majority of users still access it via a computer.

In April this year 88 million page requests came from computers, 20m via Virgin Media, 6m from mobiles, 5m from PlayStation 3 consoles and 4m from the Nintendo Wii channel.

Apple security heavy handed with photographer at Sydney iPad launch

BEING manhandled was definitely not what photographer Alan Pryke expected when he turned up to cover a peaceful consumer product launch in Sydney today.

Like many who share his profession, Mr Pryke, a news photographer with The Australian, arrived at Apple’s George Street store early today to capture the mayhem of the iPad launch.

He and his colleagues from various media outlets huddled tightly in the bitter cold on the footpath alongside legions of iPad buyers waiting for the doors to open.

But a short time before the 8am (AEST) launch, an Apple video crew arrived and took prime position in front of the rest of the media, breaking the established agreement of first in gets the best position.

Mr Pryke and his News Ltd colleague Chris Pavlich sought to retake their positions and security stepped in, grabbing Mr Pryke by the shirt and pushing him backwards.

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