Episode 213

posted in: Show Notes | 0

GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Optus onboard for tablet newspapers | The Australian
Optus onboard for tablet newspapers
deal will see Optus provide a subscription to The Australian’s paid newspaper app to customers who buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab from the telco on a 12- or 24-month plan.

For The Australian, the deal represents the beginnings of a new distribution channel for apps that have mainly been sold through tablet manufacturers’ app stores, and a significant potential source of new subscribers: Samsung is reportedly expecting to sell a million Galaxy Tabs worldwide this year.

news apps on mobile phones are also gaining traction with consumers, with Fairfax Digital revealing it has sold more than 10,000 paid apps for its smh.com.au, theage.com.au, WAtoday.com.au, and brisbanetimes.com.au websites at $2.49 a month or $12.99 for six months.


Sony, Microsoft make a play for retailers | The Australian
Sony, Microsoft make a play for retailers
SONY and Microsoft have been securing secure vital retail space to show off motion controllers as the gaming console market hots up.

millions of dollars are expected to be spent on in-store and media marketing over the next six weeks.

This week Xbox launches with the availability of Foxtel through the system which will allow viewers to purchase separate Foxtel shows on demand and will follow with the launch of its widely anticipated motion control system, Kinect,

Both Microsoft and Sony have been running national roadshows to demonstrate the new offers to staff in stores and consumers with hundreds of events around the country.


DMG puts up Radio Free for Virgin Mobile | The Australian
DMG puts up Radio Free for Virgin Mobile
DMG Radio has created a stand-alone streaming radio station for Virgin Mobile.
This is the first of its type in the country, which will run separately from DMG’s other brands under the Virgin name and select playlists from listener votes.
The station, Radio Free, named in honour of Richard Branson’s original internet radio station in Britain a decade ago, will be produced by DMG radio, but hosted outside the confines of the radio network on the Virgin Members’ Lounge website.
Virgin has launched the application — available through Apple’s iTunes store — with a playlist of 1200 songs and will continue to add to the list.
Along with the Virgin Members’ Lounge, the station will also be streamed through FixPlay on Ninemsn.
DMG built the application from the ground up rather than licensing a third-party app.
Virgin has signed a deal to run the station for 12 months and will include ads promoting its members’ lounge and products within the broadcasts and will not open the platform to other advertisers.
working on apps for Android and Windows phones that could ultimately be pre-loaded on phones bought from Virgin stores.




Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer sells shares worth $1.3bn | The Australian
Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer sells shares worth $1.3bn
MICROSOFT chief executive Steve Ballmer has sold 49.3 million shares in the company worth about $US1.33 billion.

He stressed that the move should not be seen as a lack of confidence in the software giant and he remained “fully committed” to the company.
Microsoft said Ballmer held about 408 million shares in Microsoft before the latest sale and plans to sell up to 75 million shares by the end of the year.
According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Ballmer sold 21.87 million shares, 14.35 million shares and 13.12 million shares between Wednesday and Friday last week.

He currently holds 358.91 million shares in Microsoft worth about $US9.64 billion ($A9.52 billion), or 4.2 per cent of the company.
Ballmer is the second-largest Microsoft shareholder after founder Bill Gates, who sold three million shares of his own this week worth about $US54.5 million ($A53.85 million).



Google breached data laws in Britain | The Australian
Google breached data laws in Britain
BRITISH authorities said Google broke the law by collecting data from personal wireless networks.
The decision reverses preliminary findings that had effectively given the US company a pass.
The move came a week after the US Federal Trade Commission said it had ended its investigation into the matter, saying Google had taken sufficient steps to ensure such an incident wouldn’t reoccur. France, Germany and other countries continue to investigate Google’s data grab, as are a group of US state attorneys general.
Google initially said the data collected was fragmentary — and therefore not personal or sensitive. But Canadian regulators last month said that their investigation found that Google had captured highly sensitive information, including complete emails, user names, passwords and other sensitive data.
Google confirmed the Canadian regulator’s findings, setting off a new round of investigations around the globe. In Britain, the Information Commissioner’s Office had essentially exonerated the company in a preliminary investigation in May, concluding that Google hadn’t collected meaningful personal data so hadn’t broken the law.
Google could face a fine of up to €150,000 ($210,000) in France, and a separate criminal enquiry could be opened depending on the findings.



Publishers fume at Apple iBookstore launch | The Australian
Publishers fume at Apple iBookstore launch
AUSTRALIA’S peak publishing body has been flooded with complaints from members frustrated at being left out of Apple’s local iBookstore launch.
Nearly five months after the Australian launch of the iPad, six publishers have announced that they will have titles available for purchase from Apple’s digital bookshop from today.
Six local publishers have announced that they will make their titles available on Apple iBooks from today.

The mix includes Macmillan Publishers Australia, Hatchette Book Group, Hardie Grant, HarperCollins Publishers, Wiley and Murdoch Books.

There were some notable exceptions including Penguin Australia, Pearson and Mills & Boon books publisher, Harlequin.

Until today, Australian iPad owners have only been able to use iBooks to access free out-of-copyright titles. Their only alternative to access commercial titles has been to use rival book store applications such as the Borders online service.



BBC News – Google turns off GMail data feed to sites like Facebook
Google turns off GMail data feed to sites like Facebook
GMail contacts will no longer be automatically handed over to other websites and services, says Google

Like many other web firms, Google lets others get at the data it holds on users of its many services via what is known as an Application Programming Interface (API).
Before the policy switch sites such as Facebook used Google’s API to let their users automatically import GMail contacts so they could rapidly fill out their profile and find others that use the service.
Now Google will only give automatic access to GMail contacts to those sites and services that let others mine the data they hold.
In a statement shared with the Reuters newswire, Google singled out Facebook for criticism.



Mother refuses to pay $1.47 million for pirating music online
Mother refuses to pay $1.47 million for pirating music online

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother of four, was found liable by a jury on Wednesday of copyright infringement for using KaZaA peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download the songs over the internet.
She was ordered to pay $US62,500 for each of the 24 songs, a total of $US1.5 million.
Thomas-Rasset, however, has consistently refused to settle the case.
In December 2008, the RIAA said it will stop suing people who download music illegally and focus instead on getting ISPs to take action.
The move away from litigation represented a major shift in strategy for the music industry group, which had filed lawsuits against some 35,000 people for online music piracy since 2003.
Despite being ordered by three separate juries to pay a substancial amount of money, one of her attorneys, Kiwi Camara, said Thursday that she won’t pay, and he plans to argue that the statute allowing such high damages for copyright violations is unconstitutional.
Digital strife – The list of 24 songs from the trial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset:
– Guns N Roses Welcome to the Jungle; November Rain
– Vanessa Williams Save the Best for Last
– Janet Jackson Let’s Wait Awhile
– Gloria Estefan Here We Are; Coming Out of the Dark; Rhythm is Gonna Get You
– Goo Goo Dolls Iris
– Journey Faithfully; Don’t Stop Believing
– Sara McLachlan Possession;  Building a Mystery
– Aerosmith Cryin’
– Linkin Park One Step Closer
– Def Leppard Pour Some Sugar on Me
– Reba McEntire One Honest Heart
– Bryan Adams Somebody
– No Doubt Bathwater; Hella Good; Different People
– Sheryl Crow Run Baby Run
– Richard Marx Now and Forever
– Destiny’s Child Bills, Bills, Bills
– Green Day Basket Case



Joel Monaghan dog sex act | Twitter leaker breaks cover
Twitter leaker breaks cover
Monaghan, who will now be immortalised as the man who engaged in a simulated sex act with a teammate’s dog, learnt the hard way that social media can be a dangerous place and indiscretions that traditionally may have remained secret can now be broadcast around the world within seconds.

WILL’S SHOWNOTES

India, U.S. to cooperate on clean energy | Green Tech – CNET News

India, U.S. to cooperate on clean energy

India and the United States have agreed to cooperate on energy projects, including shale gas and clean energy, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama told a press conference today.
The two countries will set up a research and development center for clean energy in India and will provide annual funding of $5 million each for five years, with matching investment from the private sector, they said in a joint statement made in India during Obama’s three-day visit there.



“We agreed to deepen our cooperation in pursuit of clean energy technologies, including the creation of a new clean energy research center here in India, and continuing our joint research into solar, biofuels, shale gas and building efficiency,” Obama said.
The statement said initial priority areas for the research center would be “solar energy, second-generation biofuels and building efficiency.” The agreement initially runs for 10 years.
India, which has one of the world’s lowest power-consumption rates per capita, has set a power generation target of 62,000 megawatts by March 2012. It now has around 165 gigawatts of installed generation capacity.
Around two-thirds of the country’s electricity is generated from thermal power now, using coal, gas, and liquid fuel.
India is looking at alternative sources of energy to plug gaps in its supply and demand for electricity that lead to frequent power cuts.
Nuclear and hydro electricity generation account for less than a quarter of India’s total output currently.
Its crude oil needs are met largely through imports, with make up around four-fifths, as near double-digit economic growth gobbles up energy. So far, its own oil exploration has provided insufficient flows.
The agreement on shale gas calls for the United States to carry out studies on resources and for cooperation on identifying areas with shale gas potential. Indian personnel will be trained in assessing resources.



GM envisions refreshing EV batteries | Green Tech – CNET News

GM envisions refreshing EV batteries

A General Motors patent application addresses one of the downsides of electric vehicles–battery degradation–with a system that would let technicians refurbish a lithium ion car battery.
The patent application, submitted a year ago and spotted by GM-Volt.com, would be something like the electric auto equivalent of scheduled maintenance.

(Credit: Martin LaMonica/CNET )
After several years of driving, the lithium ion batteries would either be refurbished on site or the battery pack would be swapped out. Even if a fresh battery pack is installed, GM’s patent application argues that refreshing used batteries without totally dismantling them can save on costs significantly.
“The lithium ion battery may be removed from the vehicle and replaced with a new or rejuvenated lithium ion battery, while the removed lithium ion battery may be restored for subsequent use, thus saving vehicle owners and manufactures substantial costs normally associated with replacement and/or warranties,” according to the patent application summary.
Like all rechargeable batteries, the lithium ion batteries used in the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and other electric vehicles coming to market degrade over time. These cars will continue to run but the range they can travel on a charge is expected to be impacted over time. Auto industry executives say to expect a 20 percent to 30 percent drop in range over 8 to 10 years.
GM’s patent application calls for replacing the active material within batteries with a multistep process of inserting and removing existing chemicals. It describes a manifold and tubes that connect to “pouch-type” lithium ion batteries.
The idea is to insert a solvent to remove contaminants, such as manganese, from cells and to replace the liquid electrolyte in the battery. Then valves connected to the tubes would push fresh electrolyte into the pouches. The patent application said the operation, which would require heating solvents, can be done in minutes rather the several hours.
GM apparently does not expect such a process would fully restore batteries, though. “The power and capacity loss associated with the SEI (solid electrode interphase) layer, as well as the decomposition of the liquid electrolyte, are thought to be at least partially reversible, and it has been found that a low power and capacity battery may be able to recover at least a portion of its power and capacity for further use,” according to the patent application.
Even though there are few vehicles with lithium ion batteries on the road at this point, people in the auto and utility industries have been thinking about how to get the most of out these batteries, which are the most expensive component in electric vehicles. Electric car service company Better Place, for example, has structured its business around owning batteries and stations where they can be automatically swapped out.
Utilities and energy storage companies, meanwhile, expect that they can use used vehicle batteries for grid storage. Even with the degradation after years of driving, the batteries can be linked together to provide energy and power for certain applications.


The queen: On Facebook, but not your friend | Technically Incorrect – CNET News

The queen: On Facebook, but not your friend

Ever since Helen Mirren played her in a movie, Queen Elizabeth II has enjoyed something of an image makeover.
When I grew up over there, it was tempting to believe that her majesty enjoyed such a royal highness that she wasn’t always attuned to those who endured a less than regal lowness.
However, in recent times, she has used many of the technological tools at her disposal to make herself more accessible to the small world at large.
The bells at Westminster Abbey should, therefore, be ringing to welcome the queen to Facebook.
Yes, a lively little royal Facebook page has appeared and, at the time of writing, more than 77,000 people have already declared just how much they like it.

(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
Lest you should imagine that you will be able, in some fit of drunken giggles, to make personal contact with her majesty, via, say, an invitation to be your friend, may I be the first to disabuse you?
This Facebook page is more of a corporate affair. It exists merely to offer the technological equivalent of what is called, in posh English newspapers, the Court Circular.
You will be able to discover what the queen’s engagements are and what ceremonies she might be performing. You will not be able to discover that the queen has just enjoyed some fine bacon, eggs and mushrooms, topped off with a little HP brown sauce.
The queen already enjoys a presence on Twitter and YouTube. She is also extremely iPod-friendly.
I fancy, though, that the queen’s advisers ought to loosen her reins just a little. The queen’s deep fondness for horses and other farm animals surely makes her a prime candidate for FarmVille. Please imagine the astonishment among the populace to discover that Britain’s queen is looking after her donkeys just as well as you are.


Trailer thief spotted on Google Street View? | Technically Incorrect – CNET News

Trailer thief spotted on Google Street View?

Some people in Europe haven’t really taken to the slight snoopiness of Google Street View.
And yet, as with so many technological inventions, it occasionally might bring truth and justice to all. At least police in South Derbyshire, England hope so.
For they have released a Google Street View image of a man who appears to be doing his trousers up in someone else’s driveway in Linton, Derbyshire. Why anyone should choose to do their trousers up in the middle of someone else’s driveway in what appears to be the middle of the day on a sweet, suburban street, is slightly beyond my deduction.
However, what is clear is that the caravan behind the gentleman and his trousers was allegedly stolen at a very similar time to the one at which the Google car wandered by on June 5, 2009.

What raised the suspicions of the trailer-less family is that the SUV next to which Trouser Man is standing is unknown to them. Perhaps, they surmised, it was large enough to tow away their beloved trailer.
On Derbyshire Police’s Web site, Police Constable Adrian Mason is amazed at this potential Google-centric breakthrough: “It is amazing that we have such a clear image of a man who we think will be able to give us information that would help the police inquiry. It was an amazing co-incidence that the Google Earth car was passing at that time.”
You might wonder how it is that a theft that happened in 2009 remains unsolved. The Daily Mail reports that it is still unclear whether Google can find the original image with the license plate of the SUV. Yes, in a stirring irony, it is Google’s blurring that might have unintentionally obfuscated potential progress in this case.
A Google spokesperson told the Mail that Street View images are only kept for 12 months before they are permanently left in an indecipherable state. It seems that the company may not possess an “Undo” button.
Still, someone will, perhaps, recognize Trouser Man. Then, police might at least be able to ask him what on earth he was doing adjusting himself in foreign parts.


STD scare? Just take your phone to the loo… | Health Tech – CNET News

TD scare? Just take your phone to the loo…


Self-testing for STDs may soon be possible with just a cell phone, computer chip, and full bladder.
(Credit: CarbonNYC/Flickr)
A friend of mine has a pre-teen daughter who recently asked if her mom had to wait for high school to get her first iPhone. Apparently the girl has no memories pre-2007.
Add to the “that is soo last year” list the ritual of going to a clinic to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Testing may soon require little more than a computer chip and a place to pee on one.
In an attempt to cut the UK’s rising rates of herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, British health officials say that sexually-transmitted infections will soon be able to be diagnosed by placing urine or saliva on a computer chip, plugging it into their cell phones or computers, and getting results within minutes. Followed, presumably, by a desultory update on Facebook that may or may not be of interest to previous partners.
Seven sources, including the Medical Research Council, have pumped more than $6 million into the UK Clinical Research Collaboration to fund the project, according to The Guardian.
“Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor,” said Dr. Tariq Sadiq, a physician in sexual health and HIV at Saint George’s University of London, who is leading the project. “It diagnoses whether you’ve got one of a range of STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, and tells you where to go next to get treatment.”
No word on when exactly this tech will hit the streets, but I can see it already: the steamy first date at the club, sneaking off to the bathroom together and exchanging bodily fluids–first, of course, on computer chips, you know, just in case.
In the meantime, kids, a little tip: condoms can fit in your pockets, too, and they don’t involve a monthly payment plan.


Amazon to boost publishers’ Kindle Store revenue | Digital Media – CNET News

Amazon to boost publishers’ Kindle Store revenue


Amazon plans to increase the amount of sales revenue it shares with the publishers of newspapers and magazines.
(Credit: Amazon)

Amazon announced today it plans to give newspaper and magazine publishers a greater share of the revenue it collects for periodicals sold through its Kindle Store.
Beginning December 1, publishers will be able to earn 70 percent of the retail price for each newspaper or magazine sold, Amazon said, a substantial increase over the 30 percent publishers reportedly previously received. To qualify for the greater piece of the pie, publishers must make their periodicals available for reading on all Kindle devices and applications in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.
The move is likely to persuade publishers to increase the amount of content available on Amazon’s Kindle Store, perhaps at a price more attractive to consumers, and along the way help to make the store a more popular destination for content than its competitors’ offerings.
“We are constantly working at improving the Kindle magazine and newspaper experience for both customers and publishers,” Peter Larsen, director of Kindle Periodicals said in the statement. “Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle Apps, we’re pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers.”
Amazon hinted at the move last month when it announced in a forum post that it was “making Kindle newspapers and magazines readable on our free Kindle apps, so you can always read Kindle periodicals even if you don’t have your Kindle with you or don’t yet own a Kindle. In the coming weeks, many newspapers and magazines will be available on our Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and then we’ll be adding this functionality to Kindle for Android and our other apps down the road.”
Amazon also announced the beta release of a tool designed to help publishers add their newspaper or magazine to the Kindle Store. The Kindle Publishing for Periodicals tool allows publishers to create an account, add content, and preview its formatting before publishing it to Kindle customers.


China’s rare earth embargo triggers price hikes | Nanotech – The Circuits Blog – CNET News

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGM-wSKFBpo&feature=related

China’s rare earth embargo triggers price hikes

A Chinese embargo on rare earth elements is causing a dramatic spike in the price of materials, which is expected to lead to a jump in high-tech product prices before settling back down in a few years, according to report released today.
Prices will increase rapidly until “non-Chinese rare earth mines are up and running, increasing product availability and thereby decreasing prices,” wrote Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network, in a research note today. (See: Pay dirt: Why rare earth metals matter to tech (FAQ).)
But for the time being, Castellano points to some alarming statistics. In semiconductor manufacturing, where rare earth materials are used as high-k dielectric films and as polishing materials in chemical mechanical polishing, prices of ceria for certain applications have increased more than 1,000 percent in the past year. Ceria is also used in the polishing of glass disks for hard disk drives, LCD panels, and high brightness LEDs.
And price hikes of 170 percent in the past year for Europium are now reaching manufacturers of end products, Castellano wrote. Europium is a rare earth used as a phosphor in cold cathode fluorescent lamps in laptop backlights and plasma display panel TVs. Neodymium is also in short supply with price increases of 420 percent in the past 12 months. This rare earth element is used in magnets for hard disk drives, wind turbines, and hybrid electric vehicles.
“During the past 20 years there has been an explosion in demand for many items that require rare earth metals. China capitalized on its rich rare earth deposits and cheap labor to drive down prices to a point that nearly every mine outside China was forced to shut down because they couldn’t compete on price,” according to Castellano.
“We estimate that the Chinese held 90.0 percent of capacity of rare earth oxides with 103,300 tons, but its share will drop to 67.2 percent in 2014 based on output of new mines coming on stream,” said Castellano. “China’s capacity will only increase 10.4 percent to 114,000 tons between 2010 and 2014, whereas non-Chinese capacity will increase nearly 5 fold, from 11,500 to 55,800 tons,” he wrote.


Telstra error leads to wrong address | The Australian
TELSTRA has incorrectly sent around 220,000 letters containing account information belonging to other customers.
his included 23,500 letters involving customers with silent lines.
The telco has moved swiftly to acknowledge the mistake, which occurred due to a mail-merge error, and inform the Privacy Commissioner, regulatory authorities and consumer groups.
The Privacy Commissioner and Australian Communications and Media Authority are investigating the matter.
Telstra said the letters contained the customer name, their telephone plan, phone number and, if applicable, reference to their pensioner discount.
It stressed that no billing or call record information was contained in the letters, which were meant to explain changes to fixed-line pricing.
“The error concerns nearly 10 per cent of more than 2.3 million letters sent to customers in the past week,” the company said in a statement.
“Telstra is taking this issue very seriously. An urgent and thorough investigation is underway to examine how this occurred and to stop it happening again.”
It would contact affected customers directly to apologise, and has urged customers to securely destroy the letters or return them to Telstra.
Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim welcomed the company’s swift response but expressed concern over the breach.

“While I welcome Telstra’s prompt advice that this incident occurred and that it has taken steps to contact affected customers, I am concerned about the amount of personal information that has been disclosed which includes potentially sensitive information such as silent numbers,” Mr Pilgrim said in a statement.

“Customers expect their personal data to be protected by organisations and incidents such as this are very serious. For this reason my office will be opening an investigation into the matter today.”


Publishers fume at Apple iBookstore launch | The Australian

Publishers fume at Apple iBookstore launch



The e-book reading function in Apple’s iPad tablet computer Source: news.com.au
AUSTRALIA’S peak publishing body has been flooded with complaints from members frustrated at being left out of Apple’s local iBookstore launch.
Nearly five months after the Australian launch of the iPad, six publishers have announced that they will have titles available for purchase from Apple’s digital bookshop from today.

However, the Australian Publishers Association (APA) chief Maree McCaskill said the announcements prompted a flood of complaints from members that have been unsuccessful securing distribution deals with Apple.

“Heaps of them are coming back and saying they had no idea so it’s obviously selectively negotiated,” Ms McCaskill said.

As she spoke to The Australian earlier today Ms McCaskill read from an email that described the frustrations of some publishers.

“Here you go I’ve just had an email from one of our independent publishers. They (wrote) ‘I’ve been in contact with Apple’s iTunes manager for months and had been previously assured by her that we’d be informed when there were any developments such as the appointment of the local iBook store manager, and frustratingly, I’ve heard nothing’,” Ms MsCaskill said.

Apple had so far not responded to questions surrounding the complaints made by publishers.

As previously reported, Apple had not employed an iBook store manager until shortly before the launch of the iPad.

In the days after the story was published, Apple sent The Australian an email containing a link to an online job notice for the position.

Six local publishers have announced that they will make their titles available on Apple iBooks from today.

The mix includes Macmillan Publishers Australia, Hatchette Book Group, Hardie Grant, HarperCollins Publishers, Wiley and Murdoch Books.

There were some notable exceptions including Penguin Australia, Pearson and Mills & Boon books publisher, Harlequin.

Until today, Australian iPad owners have only been able to use iBooks to access free out-of-copyright titles. Their only alternative to access commercial titles has been to use rival book store applications such as the Borders online service.

It’s not clear how many commercial titles iBooks will make available in the Australian market from launch. It appears that some publishers are still processing titles into the store.

Victoria Nash, head of digital with Macmillan Publishers Australia, said the firm received confirmation from Apple of the launch 10 days ago.

Since then it has processed around 250 titles from a catalogue of around 500 eligible books.

“Once we got confirmation from Apple that they were actually launching we’ve spent the last 10 days or so making sure they’ve got our titles. There is a bit of a backlog but they’re working on it. I think most of our new 2010 titles are all there,” Ms Nash said.


Tech glitch hits London stock exchange | The Australian

Tech glitch hits London stock exchange

THE London Stock Exchange is delaying the adoption of new faster trading technology after human error, possibly in “suspicious” circumstances, shut down a high-profile dealing platform this week for two hours.
The FTSE-100 benchmark index closed down 0.3 per cent at 5,734.9 on Wednesday after the LSE said it was pushing back the introduction of the new trading system — planned for this month — until next year.
The bourse declined to comment further about Tuesday’s outage on its Turquoise platform before its internal investigation is completed, but a source said the probe wasn’t focused on cyberterrorism, with rival sabotage the more likely culprit if the error was found to be deliberate.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that this human error may have occurred in suspicious circumstances,” the LSE said in a statement. It had no immediate estimate of the money lost during the outage.
The exchange has referred the incident to the Financial Services Authority.
The delay is a setback for the LSE as it struggles to compete with newer rivals such as Chi-X Europe and Bats Europe, which have been eating away at its market share. Moving to the faster technology is viewed by analysts as critical for the survival of the LSE, Europe’s oldest independent exchange.
Turquoise, the exchange’s pan-European equities platform, switched over to the new MillenniumIT trading system last month.
The LSE said there was no underlying issue with the new technology and it would work with customers to migrate the markets as soon as possible in 2011.
It’s not the first time the LSE has suffered an embarrassing systems crash. In November 2009, the main bourse was forced to halt trading for three-and-a-half hours after a technical glitch prevented some customers from connecting to its systems. In September 2008, it was offline for almost a day – again for technical reasons – when overloaded after the $US200 billion bailout of US housing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Britain’s government has identified terrorism and cyber warfare as the two most serious threats facing Britain, and a higher priority than preparing for another international military conflict.


Telstra staff invited to embark on a “culture journey” into the future | The Australian

Telstra staff invited to embark on a “culture journey” into the future

A week after almost 1000 jobs were announced, Telstra angered staff by the “culture” questionnaire.
The organisation emailed its employees around Australia on Wednesday asking them to complete a culture survey questionnaire designed to help it “get our culture right”.
It calls for a co-operative effort to fundamentally change the way Telstra operates “to achieve a truly customer-centric culture”.
Judging from the initial reaction as reported to The Australian by some employees swept up in the restructuring, which will predominantly affect executives and middle management staff, Telstra is likely to be told in no uncertain terms where to put its culture.
“People don’t know whether they have a future with Telstra or not.
“Many are being told that they may have to take a pay cut because their current roles are being downgraded,” one Telstra employee told The Australian.
“Others are being told to reapply for their present positions with no guarantee that there will be a role for them.
“Everyone is up in arms and in the middle of all this we receive this culture survey email.”
Addressed to “colleagues”, the email from the human resources group managing director Andrea Grant stated that the organisation-wide survey was an important step in Telstra’s culture journey and ” we want to hear from you”.
“To really create a customer-driven and collaborative culture, we must start with basics,” the email said.
“Our culture is the way we do things at Telstra, including behaviours, actions and attitudes and our culture survey will give us a clear message of our current culture which, in turn, will help us understand what needs to be done to get our culture right.”
Ms Grant encouraged staff to be frank in their responses.
There seems little doubt about achieving this from those affected by the latest round of cutbacks, which follows the retrenching of 330 senior managers in July.
As if anticipating a less-than-welcome response to the survey, Telstra urged staff to avoid mentioning specific situations and said personal names and profanities would be removed.

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