Episode 192

posted in: Show Notes


NASA Face in Space
Fly Your Face in Space

NASA wants to put a picture of you on one of the two remaining space shuttle missions and launch it into orbit. To launch your face into space and become a part of history


Apple policy switch shuts out Google ads – Oddware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Apple policy switch shuts out Google ads

Apple changed the language of the agreement on Monday. As written, it appears to prohibit certain third-party ad agencies from collecting critical usage data from iPhone applications.

Ugly row over Australia’s Facebook ‘freaks’
Ugly row over Australia’s Facebook ‘freaks’

A deputy mayor’s wife sparked an online controversy after using Facebook to complain about the “ugly … freaks” at a horse-racing day.

Tegan Crisafulli – who confessed to being no “oil painting” herself – upset residents of the Queensland town of Mackay with a scathing assessment of their looks.

“I still can’t believe how many freaks were there,” wrote Crisafulli, who is married to David Crisafulli, deputy mayor of Townsville, 390 kilometres away.

“I’ve never seen so many ugly people in the same place at the same time … I wonder if I’d get into trouble if I posted to FB [Facebook] my ‘I’m the ugliest person to photograph’ pics from the day.”

Computer case recall as screens show cracks
Computer case recall as screens show cracks

Faulty plastic cases for the 60,000 laptops being rolled out to NSW schoolchildren are being recalled after cracking the computers’ screens.

Students are being forced to use plastic zip-lock ”sandwich” bags and vinyl covers as temporary protective measures for the new laptops.

The bags are being issued by some schools after it was found that the hard plastic covers for the Lenovo ThinkPad Mini 10 netbooks were damaging their screens.

The Education Department, which is overseeing the program rollout in NSW, has instructed schools to stop distributing the plastic covers with the computer. The laptops are being funded as part of the federal government’s $2 billion digital education revolution.

Lenovo has promised to cover all damage costs and pay for replacement covers for an undisclosed cost.

The spokesman said the faulty cases affected only the laptops being rolled out this year.

He said the 2010 laptop has a different sized plastic case as the device was a different shape from last year’s model.

A Lenovo spokesman said its investigation related to less than 1 per cent of more than 60,000 laptops rolled out this year.

Police investigate Google
Police investigate Google

A police investigation has begun into Google and some of the internet giant’s employees for collecting private information about Australians while they photographed streets.

The investigation relates to whether or not Google workers acted illegally in securing private information from people’s wireless internet connections while taking photographs for its Google Maps website.

Last month Communications Minister Stephen Conroy attacked Google over the claims, accusing it of being responsible for the ‘‘single greatest breach in the history of privacy’’.

The company and the federal government are already arguing over Senator Conroy’s proposed mandatory internet filter, which Google says amounts to censorship.

Oh dear: The top ten funniest Conroy YouTube videos
The top ten funniest Conroy YouTube videos

top 10 funniest videos of him making a fool of himself, and other people making a fool of him!

apcmag.com have compiled a list and links to their top ten.

Govt: all your mobile spam belong to us
Govt: all your mobile spam belong to us

The Australian Communications and Media Authority launched what it dubbed “Spam SMS” — a spam reporting service where users can forward SMS spam to a certain phone number to report it to the regulator

“Spam SMS is a simple and convenient way to tell us about spam,” ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said. “All you need to do is forward the message to 0429 999 888 as soon as you receive it.”

spam reporters do not need to register their details to use the service, however, ACMA does recommend that you do register in case they require more information to assist with investigations.http://www.acma.gov.au/interforms/smsRegister_form.asp

More information about SMS Spam can be located here below the registration form and information on SMS scams can be located here.

Google revamps search index with ‘Cafffeine’
Google revamps search index with ‘Cafffeine’

New Web indexing system provides faster and more accurate results from a richer spread of sources, but will reshuffle search rankings for many sites…

Codenamed Caffeine, the revamp of Google’s index technology is touted as providing “50 percent fresher results for Web searches” based on the former Google engine, as well as serving up a much larger and more timely collection of content.

Google senior vice-president Alan Eustace recalled that “when I was working on the Alta Vista search engine the expectation was that the information was always old, (as much as) 30 days.”

“Now the expectation is that the information is less than a minute old, it’s immediate” he told APC. “It’s gotta be fast, it’s gotta be timely. And if the right piece of information is on YouTube or Google News you shouldn’t have to search those (specific) sources”.

Our old index had several layers, some of which were refreshed at a faster rate than others; the main layer would update every couple of weeks. To refresh a layer of the old index, we would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when we found a page and made it available to you.”

“With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before—no matter when or where it was published.”

Telstra now streaming ABC, SBS to Next G mobiles
Telstra now streaming ABC, SBS to Next G mobiles

Telstra today made the ABC1 and SBS ONE TV channels available for viewing by mobile customers who have signed up for its Mobile Foxtel packs — which start from $12 per month or $4 per day on its Next G mobile phone network.

The extra services will be available at no additional cost, and the data downloaded as part of the stream is included in the price of the packs and not counted towards a customers’ monthly download quota on their phone.

“This means Next G™ network customers can tune into ABC favourites such as ‘Spicks and Specks’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sesame Street’ or popular SBS shows such as ‘World News Australia’ and ‘The World Game’ while they’re out of the house,” said Telstra in a statement, noting that the total number of channels available on Mobile Foxtel was now 33.

Conroy’s “tubes” moment: “scams through the portal”
Conroy’s “tubes” moment: “scams through the portal”

At the launch of National Cyber Security Awareness Week Communications Minister Stephen Conroy plainly wasn’t having a good day.

“There’s a staggering number of Australians being in having their computers infected at the moment, up to 20,000 — uh — can regularly be getting infected by these spams or scams, that come through the portal,”



Apple’s Steve Jobs tries to steal march with thinner iPhone 4

APPLE chief executive Steve Jobs has unveiled a thinner version of the company’s popular smartphone, dubbed the iPhone 4, as he looks to extend the company’s momentum in the competitive mobile market.

The new device features a sharper exterior made of glass and stainless steel and features a front-facing camera that allows for video calls when connected to a Wi-Fi network. The device is 24 per cent thinner than its predecessor, the 3GS, and has a stronger battery.

The iPhone 4 will come in two models. A version with 16 gigabytes of storage will cost $US199 and a version with 32 gigabytes of storage will cost $US299. The device will be released in the US, Germany, France, Japan and the UK on June 24.

The phone will be available in Australia and 17 other countries by the end of  July. Local pricing is not yet known.

It will come with an upgraded operating system known as iOS4 that adds multitasking so the phone can run more than one app at a time, and other features such as folders for grouping apps and support for Apple’s new iAd advertising platform. IOS4 will also work with the iPhone 3GS and G models although the G won’t be able to multitask. The upgrade will be available for download through iTunes from June 21.

“When you hold this in your hands, it’s unbelievable,” said Mr. Jobs, wearing his trademark black mock turtleneck and jeans.

The introduction of the device was marred by a glitch with Mr Jobs initially having difficulty getting web pages to load and causing the largely enthusiastic crowd to go silent.

“I’m afraid we have a problem and I’m not going to be able to show you much today,” said Mr. Jobs, who tried switching devices and also asked the audience to disconnect from the Wi-Fi network, before managing to connect.

Mr. Jobs showed the device at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference held in San Francisco. The iPhone has become the primary driver of Apple’s profit growth since its launch in June 2007.

The CEO said Apple is adding Microsoft’s Bing search engine to the iPhone, although Google will remain the default option.

The newest generation of the iPhone has been the subject of intense speculation, particularly since technology blog Gizmodo purchased a prototype that was apparently lost by an Apple employee. Apple has pursued the case tirelessly, calling in authorities and demanding – and getting – the phone back.

Mr Jobs joked about the incident, telling the audience “some of you may have already seen this” when he displayed the iPhone 4 for the first time.

Mr Jobs also said the App Store, which sells downloadable programs that run on the machine, now features 225,000 apps. He added that 15,000 apps are submitted each week and that 95 per cent of them are approved in seven days, responding to criticism that the app approval process can be cumbersome. He said developers had made more than $1 billion selling Apple apps.

As for the iPad, Mr Jobs said the company has sold more than 2 million iPad tablets world-wide since its launch, making it the company’s fastest-selling new product and a potential leg of new growth for the consumer electronics giant.

Mr Jobs said more than 5 million books have been downloaded in the device’s first 65 days. “We’ve seen tremendous interest from publishers,” he said.

iPhone’s motto will soon be “Don’t Leave Home Without It”, and then a little time after that, it will no longer be a motto, but instead, it will become an order, publicly broadcast on the radio… daily. Instead of where are your papers it will become where is your iPhone.

Google accused of criminal intent over StreetView data

Google is “almost certain” to face prosecution for collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI).

The search giant has been under scrutiny for collecting wi-fi data as part of its StreetView project.

Google has released an independent audit of the rogue code, which it has claimed was included in the StreetView software by mistake.

But PI is convinced the audit proves “criminal intent”.

“The independent audit of the Google system shows that the system used for the wi-fi collection intentionally separated out unencrypted content (payload data) of communications and systematically wrote this data to hard drives. This is equivalent to placing a hard tap and a digital recorder onto a phone wire without consent or authorisation,” said PI in a statement.

This would put Google at odds with the interception laws of the 30 countries that the system was used in, it added.

Scotland Yard

“The Germans are almost certain to prosecute. Because there was intent, they have no choice but to prosecute,” said Simon Davies, head of PI.

In the UK the ICO has said it is reviewing the audit but that for the time being it had no plans to pursue the matter.

PI however does intend to take the case to the police.

The idea that this was a work of a lone engineer doesn’t add up

Simon Davies Privacy International

“I don’t see any alternative but for us to go to Scotland Yard,” said Mr Davies.

The revelation that Google had collected such data led the German Information Commissioner to demand it handed over a hard-disk so it could examine exactly what it had collected.

It has not yet received the data and has extended the original deadline for it to be handed over.

The Australian police have also been ordered to investigate Google for possible breach of privacy.

‘Systematic failure’

According to Google, the code which allowed data to be collected was part of an experimental wi-fi project undertaken by an unnamed engineer to improve location-based services and was never intended to be incorporated in the software for StreetView.

“As we have said before, this was a mistake. The report today confirms that Google did indeed collect and store payload data from unencrypted wi-fi networks, but not from networks that were encrypted. We are continuing to work with the relevant authorities to respond to their questions and concerns,” said a Google spokesman.

“This was a failure of communication between and within teams,” he added.

But PI disputes this explanation.

“The idea that this was a work of a lone engineer doesn’t add up. This is complex code and it must have been given a budget and been overseen. Google has asserted that all its projects are rigorously checked,” said Mr Davies.

“It goes to the heart of a systematic failure of management and of duty of care,” he added.

Report shows Google collected Wi-Fi data

A REPORT has confirmed that Google Street View cars collected and stored payload data only from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

Privacy International said the review showed that Google had, beyond reasonable doubt, intent to systematically intercept and record the content of communications.

The 23-page report, prepared by security consulting firm Stroz Friedberg for international law firm Perkins Coie, on behalf of Google, has been forwarded to relevant data protection authorities, the internet giant said in a blog post.

“When we announced three weeks ago that we had mistakenly included code in our software that collected samples of payload data from Wi-Fi networks, we said we would ask a third party to review the software at issue, how it worked, and what data it gathered,” Google engineering and research senior vice-president Alan Eustace wrote.

“That report is now complete and was sent to the interested data protection authorities today. In short, it confirms that Google did indeed collect and store payload data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, but not from networks that were encrypted.”

That piece of code is known as gslite.

Google last month admitted that its Street View cars in over 30 countries had inadvertently gathered personal information over unsecure wireless networks. In New Zealand the Privacy Commission has asked police to consider whether Google committed a criminal offence.

The incident is under investigation by the Australian Federal Police and Privacy Commissioner.

Google has repeatedly described the data collection as a “mistake” and was “profoundly sorry” it occurred.

Privacy International said the alleged privacy breach placed Google at risk of criminal prosecution in almost all the countries in which Street View operated.

“The independent audit of the Google system shows that the system used for the Wi-Fi collection intentionally separated out unencrypted content (payload data) of communications and systematically wrote this data to hard drives.

“This is equivalent to placing a hard tap and a digital recorder onto a phone wire without consent or authorisation,” Privacy International said.

It referred to a critical section in the Stroz Friedberg report, which said: “While running in memory, gslite permanently drops the bodies of all data traffic transmitted over encrypted wireless networks. The gslite program does write to a hard drive the bodies of wireless data packets from unencrypted networks.”

Privacy International said that meant gslite was written in such a way that encrypted data was separated out and dumped, leaving vulnerable unencrypted data to be stored on the Google hard drives.

“This action goes well beyond the ‘mistake’ promoted by Google. It is a criminal act commissioned with intent to breach the privacy of communications. The communications law of nearly all countries permits the interception and recording of content of communications only if a police or judicial warrant is issued. All other interception is deemed unlawful.”

The London-based human rights group said some jurisdictions provide leeway for accidental interception but warned that where intent to intercept was established, a violation of criminal law is inevitably created.

“This action by Google cannot be blamed on the alleged ‘single engineer’ who wrote the code. It goes to the heart of a systematic failure of management and of duty of care,” Privacy International said.

Meanwhile, Google Australia continues to cooperate with relevant authorities but contrary to media reports, the company has not handed over a hard drive to the federal police or Privacy Commissioner.

A report on ABC TV on Monday specifically stated that Google Australia had given up possession of a hard disk that purportedly contained personal information inadvertently gathered by its Street View cars.

Google has only agreed to release information in Germany, France and Spain to comply with requests by data protection authorities in those countries.

“Following requests from the Irish, Danish and Austrian data protection authorities we can confirm that we have deleted payload data identified as coming from those countries.

“We can also confirm that, as requested, we are keeping data from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

“Given that there is some uncertainty about deletion generally, for example, one data protection authority changed its instruction from delete to retain, we think it makes sense to keep the remaining country data while we work through these issues,” the local spokeswoman said.

She declined to reveal the number of people that were affected by its snooping activities.

However, the spokeswoman said that globally, a total of 600GB of data — roughly the size of a single consumer PC hard drive — was collected.

Late last month, the Australian Privacy Foundation, a non-government advocacy group, said there are strong grounds for class-action lawsuits as Google, in its view, has breached the Telecommunications Interception Act and the Privacy Act.

Google Street View cars may have obtained bank details

BANK details and other private information of Australians may have been illegally obtained by Google, the federal government says.

Employees of the internet giant are under police investigation for collecting personal information about Australians while they photographed streets for the Google Maps website.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland revealed on Sunday that he had referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told a Senate hearing in May that if proven, it would amount to the “single greatest breach in the history of privacy”.

”(If) you were doing a banking transaction, or transmitting personal information, they could have hoover-ed it up, sucked it up into their machine,” he told ABC Television on Monday.

“What we want to ensure now is that we get access to the information that’s been collected.

“We want to know where it’s stored, we want to know what the information is, and importantly we want to ensure that Google don’t destroy this information.”

It was a reminder that Australians should always be alert to online security, Senator Conroy said, while spruiking Cyber Security Awareness Week.

Up to one third of Australians don’t always tap into their wireless connections with passwords, making them vulnerable to security attacks, he said.

Senator Conroy said it was up to police to accept Google’s claim that the collection of personal information was a mistake.

Driverless cars are coming from GM

Driverless cars are coming, we have heard this before but now the technology is in place and General Motors is on track to offer driverless cars within a decade.

Lexus already offers a car that will parallel-park itself and in 2007, an American university created a car that changed lanes, merged, parked and negotiated busy intersections on its own.

By the mid-’90s, ‘hands off’ cars had driven across the United States and Europe, over 98 percent of the time requiring no interference from the driver.

General Motors is apparently still on track to begin offering driverless cars by 2020.

The appeal of a driverless system is that it will allow motorists to do all the things they do now – text, talk on the cell, fool with a laptop, eat, watch videos – free from the distraction of driving the car.

Britney sexually harassed bodyguard

Britney Spears’ lead bodyguard has quit, claiming she sexually harassed him by parading around naked in front of him and inviting him into her bedroom.

Fernando Flores is considering filing a multi-million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit against the singer, The Sun newspaper reports.

It says Flores, a former cop, has confided in friends that he feared losing his job if he didn’t respond to her unwelcome sexual advances.

He says the 28-year-old singer often traipsed around nude and harassed him with a series of odd invitations into her bedroom, the paper says.

‘She was always giving him the come on and he felt if he didn’t reciprocate he could lose his job. He finally handed in his notice last week and is considering legal action,’ the paper quoted a friend of Flores as saying.

‘Working for Britney is tough. She’s a nightmare to deal with, her emotions are out of control, she runs round the house naked and yelling at staff.’

The last straw for Flores came when Spears’ dad and legal guardian Jamie became upset when Britney left the home without underwear.

He ordered her security staff to ensure she never leaves the house without a bra.

‘Jamie went mental when he saw the pictures and Fernando was made the fall guy. He was not fired but told he was to blame. He had had enough.’

Media Blackout and Arrests taking place at the Gulf 1/2


iTunes Queen’s Birthday Comedy Sale. BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN.

Foxconn protesters target Apple Store

PROTESTERS picketed the Hong Kong Apple Store after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories which build Apple devices in mainland China.

They targeted Apple Inc., waving a cardboard cutout of Chief Executive Steve Jobs with devil’s horns and another placard featuring the company logo and the words “Bloody Apple.”

The 30 demonstrators also held signs saying, “Workers are not machines. They have self-esteem,” outside a hotel function room where shareholders of Apple’s supplier, Hong Kong-listed Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., were meeting.

Eleven workers have killed themselves and three attempted suicide at Foxconn’s operations in China this year, mainly by jumping from buildings.

Protesters laid white flowers at an Apple shop in a tribute to the dead workers. Organizer Debby Chan accused Foxconn of poor management, urging the Taiwanese manufacturer of iPhones and iPads to raise wages and let workers set up an independent union.

Chan said Apple should do a better job of monitoring labor and safety standards at their suppliers.

“They should strengthen their sense of corporate social responsibility,” Chan said in a phone interview.

Calls to Apple and Foxconn went unanswered, and there was no immediate response to e-mails seeking comment.

Foxconn – the world’s largest contract maker of electronics – announced two pay raises for their Chinese workers after the recent suicides. Company officials are also installing safety nets in buildings and hiring more counselors.

Labor activists accuse the company of having a rigid management style, an excessively fast assembly line and forced overwork, but Foxconn denies the allegations.

Violent videogames harmless for most kids

Violent videogames can increase aggression and hostility in some players but they can also benefit others by honing their visual/spatial skills and improving social networking ability, scientists said.


In a special issue of the journal Review of General Psychology published by the American Psychological Association, researchers said the games can also help to control diabetes and pain and work as a tool to complement psychotherapy.

“Violent video games are like peanut butter,” said Christopher J. Ferguson, of Texas A&M International University. “They are harmless for the vast majority of kids but are harmful to a small minority with pre-existing personality or mental health problems.”

He added that studies have revealed that violent games have not created a generation of problem youngsters.

“Recent research has shown that as video games have become more popular, children in the United States and Europe are having fewer behavior problems, are less violent and score better on standardized tests,” Ferguson, a guest editor for the journal, explained.

Patrick Markey, of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, found in a study of 118 teenagers that certain personality traits can predict which children will be negatively influenced by videogame.

If someone is easily upset, depressed and emotional or is indifferent to the feelings of other people, breaks rules and fails to keep promises, they may be more likely to be hostile after playing violent videogames.

“These results suggest that it is the simultaneous combination of these personality traits which yield a more powerful predictor of violent video games,” Markey said. “Those who are negatively affected have pre-existing dispositions, which make them susceptible to such violent media.”

But on a more positive note Pamela Kato, of University Medical Center in Utrecht in the Netherlands, showed in her research that specially tailored games can help to prevent asthma attacks, and ease pain management and diabetes treatment.

T. Atilla Ceranoglu, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, discovered in a research review that videogames can also be used in psychological assessment of children and teenagers.

Hackers nab email IDs of Apple iPad 3G owners

A SHADOWY hacking group obtained the email addresses of over 114,000 owners of Apple iPads by exploiting a vulnerability at US telecom giant AT&T.

AT&T confirmed the incident, first reported by Valleywag, a property of Gawker Media.

The report said the hackers turned over the email list and it contained the email addresses of a number of high-profile iPad users including US business leaders, politicians and military officials.

Valleywag published the names of some on the list but not their full email addresses. They included New York Times Co chief executive Janet Robinson, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

The iPad owners whose email addresses were compromised were subscribers to AT&T’s 3G plan which provides cellular connectivity to the touchscreen tablet computer from Apple.

Valleywag said the hackers, who go by the name of Goatse Security, obtained the numbers used to identify a subscriber on AT&T’s network known as the ICC IDS, which stands for integrated circuit card identifier.

AT&T acknowledged there had been a data breach and issued an apology to customers who had been affected.

“AT&T was informed by a business customer on Monday of the potential exposure of their iPad ICC IDS,” AT&T said.

“The only information that can be derived from the ICC IDS is the email address attached to that device,” it said.

“This issue was escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by Tuesday; and we have essentially turned off the feature that provided the email addresses,” AT&T said.

“We are continuing to investigate and will inform all customers whose email addresses and ICC IDS may have been obtained,” AT&T said. “At this point, there is no evidence that any other customer information was shared.”

Valleywag said Goatse Security has previously revealed vulnerabilities in the Firefox and Safari web browsers.

It said the AT&T breach revealed the email addresses of iPad owners in companies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley and staffers in the Pentagon, Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Justice, NASA and Department of Homeland Security.

Valleywag owner Gawker Media also runs the popular technology blog Gizmodo, which obtained a secret prototype of an Apple iPhone in April after it was lost in a California bar and published details and pictures of the device.

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