Episode 207

posted in: Show Notes


Netbooks finally get their own app store – no more Apple and Android envy
Netbooks finally get their own app store – no more Apple and Android envy


Intel has launched an app store with free and commercial applications tailored for netbooks. Although there’s very few apps in the
AppUp Center
at this early stage, it gives netbook owners the same kind of centralised software catalogue that’s behind Apple’s App Store or Android’s Market. And just like its competitors, the AppUp Center makes software downloading and installation a cinch – just hit the Get” or “Buy” buttons and the app is automatically downloaded and installed on your machine.

The store is backed by a developer program that encourages developers to create software for Intel Atom-based devices. Known as the
AppUp program
, it provides software development support, application validation, and, of course, the distribution channel for applications and application components. To join, a developer can download the
Intel AppUp developer program SDK
. Being early days in the program, a registration fee is currently being waived.
According to Intel, developers are able to set the price for their applications, and receive up to 70% of the revenue from every app sold in the store. They can also swap some of the revenue for in-store promotion, should they decide to heavily market their apps.

Aussie teen Pearce Delphin admits sparking worldwide Twitter chaos | The Australian
Aussie teen Pearce Delphin admits sparking worldwide Twitter chaos
A 17-YEAR-old Australian schoolboy said he unwittingly caused a massive hacker attack on Twitter that sent users to Japanese porn sites and took out the White House press secretary’s feed.Pearce Delphin, whose Twitter name is @zzap, admitted exposing a security flaw which was then pounced upon by hackers, affecting thousands of users and causing havoc on the microblogging site for about five hours.Delphin, who lives with his parents in Melbourne, said he tweeted a piece of “mouseover” JavaScript code which brings up a pop-up window when the user hovers their cursor over the message.But the idea was soon taken up by hackers who tweaked the code to redirect users to pornographic sites and create “worm” tweets that replicated every time they were read.”I did it merely to see if it could be done … that JavaScript really could be executed within a tweet,” Delphin told AFP via email.

Google turns 12, gets virtual cake – CNN.com
Google turns 12, gets virtual cake
Google celebrated its 12 years Monday with a birthday cake doodle created by Wayne Thiebaud, an American artist famous for his paintings of cakes and pastries.

Google filed for incorporation in California on September 4, 1998. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up in a Silicon Valley garage and hired their first employee, fellow Stanford grad Craig Silverstein, on September 21 of that year. Since then, Google has grown rapidly from a search engine into a tech giant that offers a variety of web-based services, from e-mail to calendars to internet phone calling to TV. An increasing number of smartphones run its popular Android operating system.

Domain names surpass 196 million mark – Telco/ISP – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Domain names surpass 196 million mark
There are now more than 196 million top level domain names on the internet thanks to a boost of over three million additions in the second quarter of 2010.
This represented an increase of two per cent over the first quarter of this year and compared to the second quarter of 2009, registrations grew seven per cent, a report from VeriSign has shown.
Overall, the base of .com and .net domain names surpassed the 100 million mark as new registrations totalled 7.9 million over the second quarter.


NZ company gets funding from Google
Global internet giant Google has given a Rotorua company a $NZ1.36 million ($A1.05 million) funding boost to develop a human-powered transport system it hopes to take to the world.
Shweeb is one of only five organisations worldwide to receive funding after the search giant launched a project to find ideas to change the world.
The company was chosen for its innovative sustainable transport system – a pedal-powered aerodynamic pod under an overhead monorail – which met Google’s criteria of driving innovation in public transportation.
Riders lie back in a reclining position to power the seven-geared cycle monorail to speeds of up to 40km/h.
Shweeb managing director Peter Cossey said the company would spend the $US1 million ($A1.05 million) on research and development to build a showcase transit system in the northern hemisphere.
“The northern hemisphere became the natural choice for us due to the sheer number of people that require transport and also the opportunity to achieve a higher global profile for the future growth of the company,” Mr Cossey said.
The funding was a “massive opportunity”, he said.

What ‘Numa Numa Guy’ Gary Brolsma did next | News.com.au

What ‘Numa Numa Guy’ Gary Brolsma did next

  • By Meaghan Murphy
  • From: NewsCore
  • September 23, 2010 3:01PM

“NUMA Numa Guy” became an internet star by lip-syncing to an obscure Romanian dance song.
But since that magic moment, the bespectacled 24-year-old has parlayed his notoriety into a fledgling career.
“I was kind of shy,” Gary Brolsma said of his life before he flailed his arms and raised an eyebrow to Dragostea din tei by Moldovan pop group O-Zone.
“But because of the video, I’ve opened up a little bit since then.”
Brolsma’s video, originally posted to newgrounds.com, has been viewed over a billion times according to his agent, Chris Pierdomenico.
It has 38 million views on YouTube alone.
“I was having fun with it,” said Brolsma.
“My facial expressions and the song is really catchy — the whole combination of that I think is what made it successful.”
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Since the video first went viral in 2004 Brolsma has capitalised on his unique post-millennial fame by appearing in a series of commercials and videos.
In 2008 he appeared in the music clip for pop band Weezer’s single Pork and Beans featuring an all-star viral video cast.
“It was a really fun experience for me,” Brolsma said.
“We all got to hang out at the end of the shoot. The band members signed my Numa shirt — I still have that! Weezer was really cool with all of us.”
At the shoot, Brolsma bonded with a fellow viral video star, “Chocolate Rain Guy”, aka Tay Zonday.
The pair hung out in New York City recently while promoting YouTube’s Trivial Pursuit game — but sadly they didn’t get a chance to tear up the town.
“Tay flew in late from Cali, so he was tired. We just ended up staying at the hotel,” Brolsma said.
Watch the Numa Numa video below:
The various opportunities related to his viral video fame allow Brolsma to live at least relatively comfortably, but they don’t make for a full-time gig.
“(Numa Numa) is not a full-time career,” he said.
“I still have a part-time job where I do car delivery… I’m doing pretty good with both of those things.”
The New Jersey resident is also is the lead singer of an alternative rock band, The Nonetheless.
“We have our own original sound,” he said.
“We’ve done some cover shows, some early ‘90s rock.”
All of Brolsma’s various projects keep him busy, so there’s not much time for dating.
“I’m still single at the moment,” he said.
“I’ve got a full-time job taking care of family here. I was seeing someone on and off, but she moved to Florida.”
But that doesn’t mean that he’s not looking.
“Megan Fox is cute, but she’s probably out of my league!” he said.

super computers set to transform the way we live.
Quantum computers technically are still years away, but a group of researchers working in Australia have notched up an important win after 10 years of toil.
For the first time, they’ve been able to read the “spin” of an individual electron in silicon – basically the way quantum computers are powered – using a single electron reader.
It’s being done in silicon, which is what most normal computers are made of, meaning it will be much easier and simpler to mass-produce.
David Jamieson, a professor of physics at the University of Melbourne who was responsible for ensuring single atoms were in place during tests, said it was an exciting breakthrough.
“This opens the world of quantum technologies and allows us to do things that are either very difficult or impossible to do on a classical computer,” Professor Jamieson told AAP.
“It will potentially be a new type of internet – quantum internet – where information is transmitted and stored in fundamentally new ways.”
Quantum computers will be able to crack big mathematical quandaries, suggesting big improvements in internet security, while database searching and scientific research are destined to get a boost.
Prof Jamieson said quantum computing was more important than ever given there was a limit to how small or how fast normal computers would be able to go.
Quantum computers, flagged about 40 years ago, signal a new shift in the industry.
“There’s a world-wide race at the moment,” Prof Jamieson said, while noting the idea was still very much in its infancy.
While searching long lists of information or finding prime factors of large numbers to leading applications, Prof Jamieson was most inspired by its potential use on a “quantum level”.
“Because we are big, we human beings live in a classical world because we’re low energy; but in the world of atoms and molecules and electrons this is a quantum mechanical world,” he said.
It means one day studying a biological molecule – “important for many reasons” – could be via computer rather than through the test tube.
At best classical computers can only examine 30 electrons, while quantum computers could do much more.
The results of the finding, led by Professor Andrew Dzurak at the University of NSW, have been published in the journal Nature

Robot to help patients with dementia

Scientists in Japan have developed a robot that can aid people with mild dementia by giving verbal reminders about things such as appointments and taking medicine.

The robot was developed by the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, officials said on Friday. They plan to have it ready for use in five years. The machine is based on a cylindrical-shaped robot about 40 centimetres tall and weighing five kilograms that was produced by NEC Corp. The team adapted the robot to serve dementia patients by installing a new conversation program. The robot can recognise its “master’s” face and voice, and speaks according to a specified schedule. It calls its master by saying his or her name and gives reminders such as, “Today is the day you go to the day-service centre, isn’t it?” or, “The person coming to pick you up will be here soon. Why don’t you use the bathroom?” If the robot hears the doorbell, it is able to alert its master. If there is no response, the robot repeats the phrase and tries to get its master’s attention by saying, “Did you understand?” The team asked five women living in a nursing home to use the robot for a five-day trial. They responded well to the device, according to the developer.

Doctors figure out how to make titanium bones | News.com.au

Doctors figure out how to make titanium bones

  • By staff writers
  • From: news.com.au
  • September 24, 2010 1:10PM

Detailed picture of the “titanium foam” developed by Dr Peter Quadbeck’s team in Dresden, Germany. Picture: Fraunhofer IFAM Source: Supplied

Hugh Jackman in a scene from the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Picture: 20th Century Fox Source: Supplied

IT worked for Wolverine, but that was in comic books and movies.
Now a team from Germany say they really have found a way to infuse bones with titanium and create a metal skeleton.
Peter Quadbeck of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials Research in Dresden, Germany, says bones can be replaced with titanium implants.
That in itself isn’t entirely new. Titanium implants are regularly used to strengthen bones.
But the problem with those implants is that the bone eventually starts to rely on the titanium to bear the load, and deteriorates as a result.
The implants can also loosen and require maintenance, or damage the bone they’re strapped to.
The answer, says Dr Quadbeck, is replacing bad bones altogether. He says the secret to doing it is in his team’s development of a “titanium foam”.
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The foam is made from polyurethane foam which is infused with titanium powder and binding agents.
When the polyurethane foam is dissolved, a titanium matrix remains, which is then hardened by heat.
The resulting titanium matrix can then — theoretically — replace a damaged bone. Remaining bone cells can be encouraged to grow in and around it.
While that might be great for deflecting blows from mutant adversaries, it’s also good news for anyone who’s struggled with bone disease or broken bones that fail to heal properly.
“The mechanical properties of titanium foams made this way closely approach those of the human bone,” said Dr Quadbeck.
“This applies foremost to the balance between extreme durability and minimal rigidity.”
The invention is yet to be approved for use in humans.

Slashdot Your Rights Online Story | Pentagon Makes Good On Plan To Destroy Critical Book

our Rights Online: Pentagon Makes Good On Plan To Destroy Critical Book on Sunday September 26, @09:18AM

Posted by timothy on Sunday September 26, @09:18AM  from the in-soviet-union-books-burn-you dept.
mykos writes “Remember when the Pentagon said they were arranging a taxpayer-funded, government-sponsored book burning a couple weeks ago? Well, they made good on that threat, purchasing 9,500 copies of the book to be destroyed. The publisher, St. Martin’s Press, has redacted anything the Pentagon told them to redact in the upcoming second run of the book. They Department of Defense has not yet paid for the burned books, but says they are ‘in the process.’ Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham gave this statement: ‘DoD decided to purchase copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security.’ Whew, looks like we’re safe now.”

Your Rights Online: Pentagon Aims To Buy Up Book

Posted by samzenpus on Saturday September 11, @04:49PM from the sorry-we’re-all-out dept.






jamie writes”Operation Dark Heart, a book about the adventures and frustrations of an Army officer who served in Afghanistan, has ruffled some feathers at the Pentagon. From the article: ‘The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing — 10,000 copies — of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.”

Queenslanders stung by Microsoft scam – Security – News
Queensland Police has warned of a surge in fake Microsoft phone scams targeting home computer users in the state.

(Force Respect image by
Glen Johannes, CC2.0)

The scam occurs via a phone call from a person claiming to represent a well-known computer company, commonly associated with Microsoft, who claims the victim’s computer is infected by a virus and offers a fix.
The victim is then directed to a website that enables the scammer to control the victim’s computer and cause fake problems to appear, which can be rectified for a fee, or with a software purchase.
Fraud and corporate crime group detective superintendent Brian Hay said attackers will also load malware or trojans onto the victim’s computer.
“This is all just a scam. Microsoft has confirmed they are not cold-calling members of the community regarding viruses, computer problems or any other issue,” Hay said.
“Quite simply, these offenders are just looking to trick you into giving them money.”
“Giving someone you don’t know remote access to your computer is basically the same as handing your credit card details over to them,” Hay said, adding that scammers could easily steal banking and personal details from a victim’s computer.

TPG one-ups itself in broadband battle – Business – News
n brief Internet service provider TPG has one-upped itself in the ongoing battle for bandwidth supremacy by releasing a new unlimited plan for a minuscule $29.99 per month.
At a cursory glance, the new plan is not too dissimilar from its current unlimited offering. The difference lies in that the plan needs to be bundled separately with TPG home phone line rental at an extra cost of $30 per month, bringing the full cost of the new unlimited offering to $59.99 — a full $20 cheaper than its current unlimited plan.
The new unlimited plan still includes unlimited, unmetered uploads and downloads and free IPTV on a six- or 18-month contract offering.
TPG’s plan is the latest shot to sound out in the bandwidth battle after cut-price internet service provider, Dodo, launched a 3-terabyte plan earlier this month.

Optus still undecided on NBN Tasmania – Communications – News
The nation’s second-largest telco Optus has again stated it is still considering whether to provide retail fibre-to-the-home services over the Tasmanian leg of the fledgling National Broadband Network (NBN), despite its biggest rival Telstra joining the party.
Yesterday, Telstra revealed plans to hold a three-month free trial of fibre services in Tasmania. The telco will sign up to 100 customers and won’t charge them for the duration of the trial, which will last from October to the end of the year.
Telstra’s participation brings the number of broadband providers using the Tasmanian NBN to five, with most of Australia’s other major ISPs — iiNet, Primus, Internode and Exetel — also involved. But Optus has not yet gotten its feet wet.
“We’re continuing to evaluate offering retail services over the Tasmanian NBN,” a spokesperson for the SingTel subsidiary said via email yesterday. “We remain very supportive of the NBN and it is our intention to be a major customer of the network as it is rolled out in the future.”
Another major ISP not to have yet signed up to the NBN in Tasmania is TPG Telecom.
Optus did, however, provide a hint of where its intentions regarding the NBN may lie in a financial results presentation yesterday, noting that it saw opportunity for growth in regional areas, where the NBN will be rolled out first following Labor’s deal with independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.
NBN Co has not yet outlined what the consequences of the regional roll-out will be for its schedule, although some sections of the industry, notably, NBN critic and Pipe Networks co-founder Bevan Slattery, expect the regional focus to change NBN Co’s focus to wireless solutions in the near term.
So far, NBN Tasmania has laid more than 200km of optic fibre around Tasmania, employing over 200 people during the project to do so. Hundreds of service orders have been received by local customers to date, and over half of residents in the target towns of Midway Point, Smithton and Scottsdale have signed up for the NBN.

Smart roads set to get smarter? – Business – News
update Queensland Motorways plans to lead the charge towards building smarter networks, with chairman David Gray saying that collaboration between stakeholders is crucial.
Queensland Motorways owns and operates 67 kilometres of toll, bridge and motorway road, with over 250,000 vehicle transactions processed a day.

IBM Smarter Cities Roundtable with chairman of Queensland Motorways David Gray, (front), IBM’s public sector expert Catherine Caruana-McManus (centre) and director of Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Professor Stuart White (right). (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

At an IBM roundtable event yesterday, Gray recounted the three-year, $2 billion free-flow tolling upgrade: an intelligent system that has replaced manual toll collection which, according to Gray, is set to get smarter in the coming years.
“The investment in this free-flow tolling is part of a journey. It’s got video tagging and laser designation of vehicles. We can use three or four different forms of recognising a vehicle. Our system … can just as easily recognise your number plate [via laser reading] as a[n e-tag] could designate a vehicle,” Gray said.
Queensland Motorways is looking to implement a “system of systems” to better manage these new technological advances, said Gray.
“My perception of the reason why stakeholders don’t get engaged in a system-of-systems way of doing things, is the idea that there’s going to be a winner and a loser [in the deal] — that’s not true,” he said.
“Take our network, for example, there are a number of feeder roads run by Brisbane City Council and the motorways themselves are run by Queensland Motorways. If there’s an issue on the Brisbane City network, there will be an issue on our network and vice versa.”
“The mindset of a win-win is absolutely critical to system-of-systems thinking.”
Gray wants to move in a direction where the Queensland road network can be interconnected to automate and better manage traffic lights, signposts, public announcements, speed zones and the gathering of traffic information and statistics.
Queensland Motorways is now looking to address the challenges that come with stakeholder collaboration, including maintaining the privacy of intellectual property, recognising where an interdependency would benefit networks and systems, and overcoming the win-lose mentality.
The principal of interconnectedness, however, is data sharing.
“It’s vital when looking at a system-of-systems approach. Data underpins where the solutions are,” Gray said.
In that spirit, Queensland Motorways is currently working with other key stakeholders in the sunshine state to build a new Smart Transport Centre.
“We’ve worked with a number of stakeholders to put together a Smart Transport Centre. It’s based from three universities: Queensland University of Technology, the University of Queensland and Griffith University,” he said.
“The importance of it being the universities is that it is independent of industry and independent in a way that other stakeholders feel comfortable about putting their data into that centre.”
The Smart Transport Centre’s stakeholders include Brisbane City Council, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Brisbane Airport, RACQ, TransLink, Transmax, Queensland Rail Passenger, Queensland Motorways, as well as IBM and French company, Thales.
“We want to go from the visionary stuff, recognise the need for interaction between stakeholders, and engage with world-leading industry partners.”
“I’m not a fan of hot air and no action. We want to get stuff done so we can demonstrate what we can do in other industries,” he added.
Gray pointed towards an official launch of the centre in November, and the possible addition of several other universities to the project in the near future.
Updated at 5:26pm, 22 September 2010: it was originally reported that Talos was a Smart Transport Centre stakeholder. The stakeholder is in fact Thales, a French transportation systems business.

Virgin Blue flights delayed due to glitch – Business – News

Qld schools to trial 50 iPads – Hardware – News
Queensland’s Department of Education and Training has confirmed that trials of 50 iPad devices in two state schools will begin in October, adding that some schools were already independently trialling Apple’s tablet device, as well as the smaller form factor iPod Touch.
“The department has commenced testing the suitability and compatibility of the iPad on the department’s network,” said David O’Hagan, the organisation’s assistant director-general of Information and Technologies. “Further classroom trials of up to 50 iPads will commence in primary and secondary schools in October.”
An official department trial of 20 iPod Touch devices is also currently in progress across several Queensland schools. The iPods are used in various ways in the classroom, such as a reward device for students. For example, a student who performs well gets 10 minutes with the device to play games. O’Hare said the department would consider both Android- and Windows-based tablets once they were released in Australia to determine feasibility of their use within the network.
A crest of Android tablets is about to break on Australia. The Samsung Galaxy S Tab is due for launch in November, available across all carriers. Early this morning Dell revealed its smaller Streak tablet would be available to Australians via Optus in November. Other major manufacturers are also rumoured to be bringing Android tablets to Australia before the end of the year.
“They have potential to allow some great things to happen in the classroom but are not a replacement for a full-sized device when it comes to creativity and content creation,” said O’Hagan in relation to handheld computers. “These products are supplementary devices to complement existing ICT in schools.”
O’Hagan acknowledged that some schools across the state had already purchased handheld devices to review their place within the educational bodies.
“Some schools have purchased handheld devices to assess usability and fit with teaching and learning in individual schools,” he said. “School principals, in consultation with the school community, are responsible for selecting and purchasing ICT products for their individual school.”
When the iPad was first released in Australia back in May, Victoria’s education department announced a trial of 500 iPads in seven Victorian public schools. Not to be left out, the University of Adelaide heralded last week that students who enrol in science degrees will receive an Apple tablet device for free.
Western Australia’s Department of Education and Training confirmed last week that iPads were being purchased by schools, independently of the state’s core technology purchasing programs.
“The department does not have a policy on the use of iPads or Android-based technology at this stage; however, some schools have bought tablet devices to trial in various settings,” said departmental chief information officer Bevan Doyle. “There appears to be a level of interest in this technology for educational use.”
A few Australian State Education departments have refused so far to officially get on the handheld computer bandwagon. Tasmania says that the technology is too new to determine the feasibility of use in public schools and NSW is waiting until it replaces CIO Stephen Wilson, who departed to join the technology ranks at Qantas.

Centrelink issues massive storage tender – Business – News
Centrelink has kicked off a major technology purchasing initiative worth between $30 million and $40 million, as the national welfare agency continues to shift its storage architecture to being used as a service.

Centrelink has issued a tender for the establishment of an enterprise storage panel worth between $30 million and $40 million.(Too much or too little image by Kenny Louie, CC2.0)

“In summary, Centrelink is seeking to establish a panel for the provision of enterprise storage,” the agency said in tender documents issued last week, as first reported by iTnews.
“Centrelink is moving towards delivery of storage as a service, enabling the Infrastructure Service Branch to provide a capacity-on-demand model for enterprise storage,” Centrelink added. “To ready the organisation to deliver against this vision, Centrelink has initiated an enterprise storage management project.”
The welfare agency’s new tender comes as organisations around Australia are increasingly moving to procure technology goods and services through an on-demand model, which sees them pay only for what they use, rather than a bulk rate for a certain discrete amount of capacity. The shift has been associated with cloud computing, or various technologies “as a service” for example, storage as a service.
Centrelink’s documents didn’t state which vendors currently supply it with its storage needs, but a 2006 analysis of the welfare giant’s balance sheet concluded that the company was spending a significant amount of money with Hitachi Data Systems, although Centrelink also at the time held contracts with other storage giants, such as IBM and Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle).
EMC and NetApp are also major storage players in Australia, for example. Centrelink’s current storage arrangements are due to expire by June 2011.
In its documents, Centrelink said it wanted to put together a storage panel consisting of nine sub-panels, inferring that it would be able to purchase solutions from more than one provider. The welfare agency is looking for a variety of different types of storage solutions, ranging from hardware, including solid state and flash drives, fibre channel, SATA, DASD, SAS and tape-based systems, email and unstructured data archiving solutions, and a stack of other technologies.
The agency has given storage players just one month to respond to its procurement initiative.
This is the first time Centrelink has gone to market with a major technology procurement initiative since the Federal Government announced it would consolidate a number of agencies. The agencis that will form one mega-department include Centrelink, Medicare, the Child Support Agency, Australian Hearing, CRS Australia and the existing Department of Human Services, with its technology support operations to be led by long-time Centrelink chief information officer John Wadeson, who received a bump in title to deputy secretary of ICT Infrastructure.
In its tender documents released last week, the agency noted any contracts signed must also be able to cover other agencies under the Department of Human Services portfolio, and indeed, that it must be able to purchase services on behalf of agencies across the wider public sector.

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