Episode 209

posted in: Show Notes


$198!! Is this the cheapest ASUS netbook ever?
$198!! Is this the cheapest ASUS netbook ever?

An ASUS 900AX 9in netbook, with previous generation specs, is selling for $198 at Harvey Norman.

Singapore Airlines to introduce in-flight phone connections and internet access
Singapore Airlines to introduce in-flight phone connections and internet access
While many airlines let you make phone calls and send SMS messages via onboard handsets, none flying in and out of Australia let you use your own phone or connect your laptop to the net in-flight. This will change next year when Singapore Airlines becomes the first carrier to roll out an in-flight Wi-Fi hotspot and mini cellular phone network on selected aircraft.

To access the net, passengers will need to sign up to the onboard Wi-Fi hotspot with a credit card. They will be able to connect their laptops or handhelds either via wireless or ethernet ports in the seat armrest or seatback screen. According to OnAir, passengers will be able to use phones and access the net during most of the flight, or at least, when the aircraft is above 4,000 feet. Below that height, access will be turned off.

Telstra dominates Windows Phone 7 launch | The Australian
Telstra dominates Windows Phone 7 launch
formally released its new Windows Phone 7 operating system, which it spent two years developing.
Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7 would be embedded in handsets supplied by LG, HTC and Samsung. Launch phones include the HTC 7 Mozart and HTC 7 Trophy, LG Optimus 7Q and LG Optimus 7 and the Samsung OMNIA 7.
The first handsets go on sale on October 21.
Telstra has already indicated it wants to drastically ramp up its smartphone sales. The telco’s marketing chief Kate McKenzie said about one third of Telstra’s customers had smartphones and she expects that to lift to 50 per cent by the end of the financial year.

Microsoft plans biggest Patch Tuesday ever – Security – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Microsoft plans biggest Patch Tuesday ever

Almost 50 vulnerabilities get fixes.

Microsoft has planned its biggest ever Patch Tuesday for October, with a total of 49 vulnerabilities set to be fixed.
This Patch Tuesday announcement also marked the first time Microsoft Word 2010 had been included in an advisory.
The vulnerabilities are due to be patched on 12 October.

Ballmer: Patent laws need changing – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Ballmer: Patent laws need changing

Giving a lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science today, Ballmer said, by and large, patent laws were crafted in the days preceding the dawn of modern IT.
“Is the patent system perfect? The answer is of course not,” Ballmer said.
Just this week it emerged Microsoft had filed a complaint against Motorola for nine alleged patent infringements in the latter’s Android phones.
US law permitted the Redmond giant to sue the phone manufacturer rather than the OS developer Google.
Ballmer told attendees that the tech community is better off with a patent system in place, even if it does need altering.
“On balance, I think the patent system today helps and yet I think patent reform should be taken up. Two of the biggest generators of patents – the pharmaceutical business and the IT business – neither industry existed when modern patent law was written,” the Microsoft chief said.
When it comes to talking about reform, large enterprises such as Microsoft, small businesses and inventors should all be involved, Ballmer added.

Skype 3G comes to Android 2.1 – Software – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
Skype 3G comes to Android 2.1

Patchy support?

Skype on Tuesday made its internet telephony client available to users of Android 2.1 and later.
Android devices should be able to use Skype’s free calls via WiFi or 3G, EDGE and GPRS networks.
But Skype warned that data charges would depend on each carrier.
It also noted that there were problems with Skype on Samsung’s Galaxy S Android device; however it had tested the application successfully on HTC Desire, HTC Legend, and Google Nexus One devices.

BBC News – Virgin’s commercial spaceship takes maiden flight
Virgin’s commercial spaceship takes maiden flight

Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, VSS Enterprise, has made its first solo test flight in California.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, says his company will be “pushing to the final frontier of space” over the next year.
Virgin Galactic is hoping to become the first commercial “spaceline” with hundreds of customers pre-booking short trips above the atmosphere.

Coast Cabs launches GPS SMS service Local Gold Coast News | goldcoast.com.au | Gold Coast,
Coast Cabs launches GPS SMS service

Gold Coast Cabs this morning launched ‘Text on Approach’, a free service to all customers with a mobile phone.
Company CEO Martin O’Riordan said GPS technology allowed an automated text be sent to the customer’s phone when the taxi was within 500m of their location.
”This is going to be the safest form of transport. You won’t be outside on a dark street, you can be inside waiting safely,” he said.
Gold Coast Cabs in not the first to take up the technology, with Yellow Cabs in Brisbane and several Sydney companies also using a similar program.
Text on Approach is active from today.


HTC 7 Mozart – Mobiles and PDAs – Hardware – Reviews


First impressions

HTC has approached Windows Phone 7 (WP7) with all guns blazing. It’s launched five new phones today, with different models going to different telcos and subtle differences to tell these handsets apart.

The Mozart is headed for Telstra in Australia, and on paper this is as close as we’ve seen HTC come to creating a camera phone. On the back of the device you’ll find an 8-megapixel camera with auto-focus and a Xenon flash, and mixed with the excellent WP7 camera and gallery features, this should make quite an impressive shooter.

In the hand, the Mozart reminds us most of the Touch Pro2 without its slide-out keyboard. Its rounded, stainless steel edges hark back to the earlier Windows Mobile products from HTC, more so than any of the recent Android releases.

Avid camera-phone photographers will be able to store their photos on the 8GB of internal memory, though this won’t be expandable with a memory card slot due to restrictions outlined by Microsoft. You can also record video in HD (720p), if that’s what you’re into.


We’re not sure if it’s the lack of external navigation buttons or the rounded corners, but something about the Mozart didn’t grab us when we saw it first-hand at the Windows Phone launch. That said, it’s not all about good looks when it comes to smartphones and this handset has more than enough features and grunt to leave others in its dust. The Mozart will launch on the Next G network in October and will be followed shortly by the QWERTY-packing LG Optimus 7 in November.


Telstra attacks terabyte fad – Communications – News


Telstra attacks terabyte fad

By Suzanne Tindal, ZDNet.com.au on October 11th, 2010 (1 day ago)

One of Telstra’s competitor intelligence specialists has attacked the rationality of terabyte plans, saying that they’re more about grabbing headlines than serving customers.

Heath Gibson, competitor intelligence specialist for Telstra’s Enterprise and Government division, questioned the need for the plans on Telstra’s Exchange blog.

“While my inner geek is salivating at the possibilities, the analyst in me is questioning just how many people currently need, or could even use, a terabyte of data each and every month,” he said.

Multiple internet service providers (ISPs) recently brought out plans allowing customers over a terabyte in downloads a month, including iiNet,Primus and Internode.

Heath quoted recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures which showed that broadband users averaged under 10 gigabytes a month.

“A one terabyte plan is therefore about a hundred times bigger than what a typical fixed-line user currently consumes,” he said.

Heath said the plans are used mostly to attract attention.

“For now my advice to most people would be to look past the attention-grabbing headline, check how big a plan you really need and keep in mind all the other things that go in to making a great ISP,” he said.

Dodo has also lashed out at the terabyte mentality, offering a 3 terabyte plan for a mere five cents less than its unlimited plan.

iOS 4.1 jailbreak not so simple – The Take


iOS 4.1 jailbreak not so simple

By Josh Taylor on October 12th, 2010 (7 hours ago)

iOS 4.1 has another jailbreak doing the rounds. Again this is not as simple as the browser-based jailbreak for 4.0, and you will need a Windows machine to carry it out. Given the difficulty, is it still worth jailbreaking your iPhone?

Aussie carriers jump on Windows Phone 7 – Hardware – News


Aussie carriers jump on Windows Phone 7

Three major handset manufacturers this morning revealed plans to release new devices based on Microsoft’s next-generation Windows Phone 7 handsets into the Australian market over the next few months through partnerships with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

LG Optimus 7 (Credit: LG)

Overnight, Microsoft supremo Steve Ballmer fully revealed the new Microsoft mobile platform for the first time. However, Australian consumers had to wait until an event in Sydney this morning to find out what exactly they could buy and when.

At the event, HTC announced it would launch its HTC 7 Mozart device with a 3.7-inch display, 8-megapixel camera and 8GB internal memory on Telstra’s Next G network from 21 October for zero dollars upfront on a 24-month plan running at AU$49 a month. HTC also announced that another handset will be launched in January next year — the HTC HD 7.

The HTC 7 Trophy will be available through Vodafone on 21 October. The telco has not released pricing or plan information as yet.

Samsung announced its Omnia 7 handset, which features a 4-inch super AMOLED touchscreen and a 1GHz CPU. Omnia 7 will be available through Optus in late October, for zero dollars upfront on the AU$79 Optus Cap plan for consumers and zero dollars upfront on the AU$79 Business Complete Ultimate plan for business. Both plans are on a 24-month contract with a minimum spend of AU$1896.

The LG Optimus 7, which has a 3.8-inch display, will be available exclusively on the Optus network in late October for nothing upfront on an AU$79 cap plan for consumers and nothing upfront on an AU$79 Business Complete Ultimate plan for business customers. Both plans are on 24-month contract with a minimum spend of AU$1896.

LG also announced a second handset on Telstra’s network — the LG Optimus 7Q. The device comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and will launch in November on a $0 upfront AU$129 cap plan with unlimited national calls, SMS and MMS with 3GB data per month on a 24-month contract.

The Optimus 7Q handset is available for business customers on the AU$79 Business Mobile Cap plan, which includes AU$750 worth of standard voice, video, text and MMS “to any Australian network” and 500MB of data per month. Customers will receive a bonus 500MB per month if signed before 30 November. A range of Telstra Enterprise and Government plans are also available for the 7Q.

Telstra confirmed that the handsets will be available to buy outright and unlocked; however, further information could not be provided at the time.

“With Windows Phone 7 we have redesigned the smartphone. The focus is on people and what we do everyday — the friends we connect with, the games we play and the way we interact with each other — making everyday tasks easier and faster,” said Tracey Fellows, managing director, Microsoft Australia, who appeared to place a focus on Telstra’s partnership with Microsoft on the new handsets.

“We are delighted to have Telstra as our major launch partner for Windows Phone 7,” she said at the launch. “Telstra’s market reach and leading Next G network will be key ingredients for Windows Phone 7’s success in Australia.”

The filter is right: Gillard – Communications – News


The filter is right: Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard isn’t budging on dropping the unpopular internet filter, saying it is a moral judgment the government needs to make.

The Coalition and the Greens are unlikely to support proposed new laws that will mandate an internet service provider level web content filter.

But, Gillard remains defiant, saying that “the internet filter is appropriate”.

“It is unlawful for me to go to the cinema and watch some certain sorts of content. That’s unlawful; We believe it to be wrong,” she told the Queensland Media Club in Brisbane on Tuesday.

“Content that is child abuse, incredibly violent pornography, we say that is wrong and we don’t show it in Australian cinemas.

“If we accept that, then it seems to me the moral question is not changed by the medium that the image has come through.”

She said that the government is working through how the internet filter could be introduced without slowing down connection speed or accidentally banning content that is appropriate.

Under the plan, all internet service providers (ISP) in Australia would be required to use a filter to block sites that are judged to be refused classification by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, including child sexual abuse imagery, bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act.

Energy-efficiency weather data 30 years old | The Australian


Energy-efficiency weather data 30 years old

THE weather data used by the federal government to determine how billions of dollars are spent to make buildings more energy-efficient is 30 years out of date.

The old data seriously undermines policy objectives to limit climate change, experts have declared.

The problems are acknowledged internally by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency but its senior officers have not released up-to-date weather data, despite repeated pleas over several years from the industry.

The failure to release updated data means that any change in climate affecting Australia’s cities, towns and regions since the 1970s was not influencing the development of environmentally friendlier buildings.

The weather data, a sophisticated package of climate measurements done by Australia’s meteorological networks, is used to determine how buildings should be constructed to achieve optimum energy efficiency. The requirements to improve energy efficiency are widening and becoming more stringent.

One of the latest measures from the Department of Climate Change requires sellers or lessors of office space of more than 2000sq m to obtain and disclose “an up-to-date energy-efficiency rating” from November 1.

In order to meet the requirements, computer simulations are used to make decisions about appropriate heating, cooling and lighting systems, insulation, glazing and other elements in the building fabric.

The impact of using old weather data extends to the design of solar hot water systems, rooftop solar energy systems, solar-powered cars and wind turbines.

Anything that needs to be engineered based on precise climate data will be potentially affected, according to experts.

Murray Mason, a mechanical engineer and industry leader in building services software for calculating energy consumption, said yesterday: “It is an absurd situation. The climate has changed, but we cannot properly address it in terms of our energy use because we do not have the accurate weather data that would depict how it has changed. The objectives are good in trying to save energy but it has become a lot of window-dressing because the data is so out of date – it is 30 years old. Decisions about making buildings more energy efficient and the ratings they achieve are being made on inaccurate information.”

The Department of Climate Change was severely criticised by the Australian National Audit Office for a litany of breaches, poor planning, budget blow-outs, questionable environmental outcomes and poor briefings to the then minister Peter Garrett.

His successor, Greg Combet, declined to address concerns about the data yesterday. Mr Combet’s spokesman said: “The minister has asked the department for advice on this matter.”

Newer weather data has been developed since 2004 by the former Australian Greenhouse Office but this was found to be faulty in key areas during testing by the US Department of Energy. The newer data is also still in use.

Associate Professor Terry Williamson, a University of Adelaide-based expert in thermal performance, said it was a serious failure of policy with widespread repercussions that the climate data is not up to date. “Climate data is a fundamental building block in the evaluation of of energy efficiency, but we have a situation where we cannot rely on the data because it is irrelevant in addressing a changing climate,” he said. “We have a Department of Climate Change that is ignoring any climate change that may be happening in Australia. Without up-to-date weather data, we do not know whether design and investment decisions involving billions of dollars are being made correctly.”

Government plans incentives to push NBN | The Australian


Government plans incentives to push NBN

THE federal government appears set to offer mainland retail internet companies discounts to move their customers on to its $43billion NBN.

A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday dropped strong hints that the government was looking favourably on migration incentives set out in its $25 million implementation study. When asked whether the government would provide consumers with incentives to allow NBN Co to replace copper lines into their homes, a spokeswoman for the minister said: “The implementation study included analysis of potential migration incentives that NBN Co could offer retail service providers to migrate their customers to the NBN.

“The government will respond to the study shortly.”

It’s not clear whether this would lead to additional costs.

The incentive scheme could mimic the strategy it has taken with the NBN’s national test bed, Tasmania, where retail ISPs are given discount wholesale access pricing to keep broadband costs on par with current ADSL pricing.

Worryingly for NBN Co, fibre take up rates in Tasmania have stayed sluggish at around 50 per cent.

Achieving high rates of take-up is critical to the commercial viability of the NBN and last week Telstra chief executive David Thodey upped the pressure with a warning that the carrier wouldn’t tolerate being forced to keep its copper network alive for transition delays or fibre laggards.

“The commercial terms must be such that we are not left to maintain the copper in that period is why it’s the government’s prerogative to incent people to move across,” Mr Thodey said.

Telstra dominates Windows Phone 7 launch | The Australian


Telstra dominates Windows Phone 7 launch

Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, powers Samsung’s smartphone. Source: AFP

IT may have been Microsoft’s valiant march back into the international smartphone market but it was as much Telstra’s victory at the Australian Windows Phone 7 launch today.

Telstra’s carrier rivals barely rated a mention at the launch and local Microsoft marketing boss Tony Wilkinson revealed that Telstra would receive exclusive acknowledgement in the expensive TV advertising blitz for the new operating system.

In the US, Microsoft plans to spend more than $US100 million ($101.6m) on an advertising campaign for Windows Phone 7.

As the company’s main launch partner Telstra was also to be given a special place on the handsets with a media centre application focused on the carrier’s online services.

The launch of Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s bid to restore its credibility in the lucrative worldwide smartphone market.

After years watching Apple and Research In Motion lap the field, Microsoft has finally given its smartphone strategy a much needed overhaul and re-launched it under the name Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft Australia chief Tracey Fellows conceded that the company, which once dominated the market, had been relegated back to the position of challenger.

“We really took a fresh start and a new approach to Windows Phone 7. So rather than looking back at some of the missteps we made along the way now we’re going to take stock and ask what to change,” Ms Fellows said.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft does not build its own handsets for the operating system and relies on third parties.

Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7 would be embedded in handsets supplied by LG, HTC and Samsung. Launch phones include the HTC 7 Mozart and HTC 7 Trophy, LG Optimus 7Q and LG Optimus 7 and the Samsung OMNIA 7.

The first handsets go on sale on October 21.

Telstra has already indicated it wants to drastically ramp up its smartphone sales. The telco’s marketing chief Kate McKenzie said about one third of Telstra’s customers had smartphones and she expects that to lift to 50 per cent by the end of the financial year.

Is Microsoft in a race it can’t win with new mobile phone? | The Australian


Is Microsoft in a race it can’t win with new mobile phone?

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore unveils the Windows Phone 7 during a presentation at the MobileWorld Congress in Barcelona in February this year.Source: AFP

MICROSOFT aims to storm past rivals Apple and Research In Motion with Windows Phone 7, but is the new mobile system doomed?

Last month zombies took over Microsoft’s Redmond campus in Washington. Led by a Michael Jackson impersonator, the living dead danced to Thriller as techies in fancy dress followed a funeral procession through the sprawling campus carrying the “corpses” of Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry.

The pre-Halloween celebration marked a milestone for Microsoft – the release to mobile manufacturers of Windows Phone 7, arguably its most important product launch in decades. Microsoft is rolling out the big guns.

It was even being linked to a mega deal – taking over Adobe – ahead of the consumer launch tomorrow (Monday). At the same time, critics are placing bets on who will get buried. Galen Gruman of Info World, the analysis firm, called Windows Phone 7 a “big pig” and said it was doomed to fail. Andy Rubin, chief of Google’s Android mobile phone system, got his dig in early when he said: “The world doesn’t need another platform.”

Mobile is everything in technology. “You can’t look at six billion phones in the world and not want to be part of that,” said Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner, the research firm. And what consumers expect has been redefined by the iPhone. Microsoft, which dominated the PC, has been left looking a bit flatfooted.

The software giant has not inspired confidence, with some duff launches in recent years, including Zune, its music player, and Kin, its last disastrous foray into mobile phones. Even its flagship Windows franchise suffered setbacks. But the company is now back on a roll.

Bing, its search engine, is emerging as a real alternative to Google, overtaking Yahoo to become America’s second- most-used search engine. Windows 7, the latest version of its dominant operating system, has been a huge hit, becoming Amazon’s highest-grossing pre-order item. By the end of July it had sold 175m copies.

But Microsoft must get mobile right, said Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst at Caris & Company in San Francisco. “It’s a very big deal.” Microsoft is looking increasingly sidelined in mobile by Apple and RIM and now also by Google, whose Android software had a rocky start but is now a close third behind Apple and RIM and growing fast.

A huge advertising campaign is planned for Microsoft’s new phone software and it will need to be memorable. The company has deep pockets and has shown with Bing that it can punch its considerable weight. Aggarwal has seen various mobiles running the new Windows software and been impressed by them, but he warned that “with three players in the market, you have to bring something more”.

Last week rumours emerged that Microsoft did indeed have something more in mind. The deep-pocketed giant is reportedly eyeing Adobe, the software firm behind the Flash software that animates an estimated 75 of web pages. Both have a beef with Apple.

Apple boss Steve Jobs has called Flash an unreliable, poorly secured battery killer. Neither the iPhone nor the iPad runs Flash and it doesn’t seem to have affected sales. “So far, people seem to be liking iPads. We’ve sold one every three seconds since we launched it,” Jobs said this summer.

According to reports, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer met Adobe’s chief, Shantanu Narayen, to discuss how the two firms could take the fight to Apple. A full merger looks unlikely but an alliance is almost guaranteed. Google has also thrown its weight behind Adobe, putting Flash in its Chrome browser and more recently in Google TV. Both Microsoft and Google have had their rows with Adobe but the enemy of my enemy is my friend. For all three firms, Apple presents a bigger threat.

The mobile war reaches beyond today’s handheld devices. Up next is a battle over tablet computers, a market that Apple has single-handedly created with the success of the iPad. Mobile devices will act as a gateway for computer and tablet buyers of the future, said Aggarwal. Once you get used to Apple on a phone, why buy a

PC running Windows? RIM is working on its own tablet device and Google is lining up manufacturers for Android-powered iPad rivals. But they are entering new markets. Microsoft has the most to lose.

The problem is that Rubin at Android may be right when he said that there is no need for another platform. Gartner’s Dulaney said Windows Phone 7 had a lot of “interesting ideas” but Apple has had such a headstart that it would be hard for Microsoft to catch up.

Apple says there are 50,000 apps available for the iPhone, ranging from a spirit level to make sure the picture is straight, to flight trackers, restaurant guides and games.

A whole eco-system of developers has sprung up to feed the iPhone universe and now the iPad. Google has been trying to catch up but is way behind. Microsoft has been courting developers but starts at a big disadvantage. “People don’t know what they want but they do know they want to be where the action is,” said Dulaney.

But Microsoft is fully aware of all this, he added. “They are in this for the long run. They can’t afford not to be.”



Hydroelectric power ‘may not be green’


Scientists have found that some reservoirs formed by hydroelectric dams emit more greenhouse gases than expected, potentially upsetting the climate-friendly balance of hydroelectric power.

A scientific study of Lake Wohlen in central Switzerland found ‘unexpectedly high’ emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, the Swiss Federal Institute of Acquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) said on Monday.

The 150,000 tonnes of methane bubbling up from sediment in the retention lake on the river Aare over a year are the equivalent of emissions from 2,000 cows, or 25 million kilometres travelled by cars, EAWAG added in a statement.

‘So hydropower isn’t quite as climate-neutral as people have assumed in the past,’ said one of the scientists involved, Tonya Del Sontro.

‘In the summer, the water in Lake Wohlen sometimes looks like champagne with masses of gas bubbles rising to the surface,’ she added.

The peer-reviewed research by scientists at Swiss, German and Israeli institutes was published in the US journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Joint author Bernhard Wehrli, a professor of aquatic sciences at Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), said the study mirrored initial findings in research on tropical reservoirs, notably at the Kariba dam in Zambia.

Preliminary studies there had found ‘very high’ inflows of carbon-rich material, forming sediment in the reservoir that released greenhouse gases, Wehrli told AFP.

However, he underlined that the complex process was highly dependent on temperature, depth and the amount of carbon rich organic material – such as vegetation – that accumulated in the sediment on the reservoir floor.

‘We have done a study of high Alpine reservoirs that are in a better state in terms of methane emissions,’ he added. High altitude mountain reservoirs are generally in colder, more rocky and sparsely vegetated surroundings.

In the shallow Lake Wohlen, on the populated 500-metre high plateau near the Swiss capital Berne, the reservoir captures large amounts of organic material that would flow along the rive Aare.

‘It’s not the fault of the reservoir builders that there are emissions but because the flow of the river is slowed down,’ Wehrli explained.

That allows the organic material to ferment and produce gas that bubbles up to the surface.




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Military faces huge cyber threat


Australia’s top electronic spy unit says the country’s military networks are under siege from soaring levels of cyber strikes by foreign intelligence agencies.

In a rare glimpse at the threat the military faces from cyber espionage, figures from the Defence Signals Directorate show the military has experienced 700 attempts a month this year, up from 200 a month last year, Fairfax newspapers say.

And while Defence will not specify who is behind the intrusions – given the anonymity of the web it is often impossible – there has been a wealth of evidence to indicate dozens of countries are prying.

It is only the second time DSD has released figures on military network intrusions. These have been gathered by an elite unit within the directorate, the Cyber Security Operations Centre.

It is staffed by defence officers and staff from the federal police, the Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

At the centre’s opening in January, the then defence minister, John Faulkner, revealed there had been 2400 ‘electronic security incidents’ on Defence networks last year.

In the new information, obtained by Fairfax, DSD reveals 5551 incidents between January and August – a 250 per cent rise.

While Defence says no ‘operations’ have been disrupted by the intrusions, it would not comment on whether information has been stolen.

‘The very nature of the Internet makes it difficult to attribute malicious activity to particular sources,’ a spokesman said.

‘(But) it is reasonable to assume that intelligence services of foreign governments would seek to exploit the ubiquity of Internet connectivity.’

Numerous countries have used the web for espionage, and China, Russia and North Korea have become particularly adept.

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