Episode 227

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Google teaches old docs new tricks | The Australian
Google teaches old docs new tricks With the ‘Cloud Connect’ plug-in installed, users of Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can directly share existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents by uploading them to Google Docs.

Other users can then access the shared versions and all can collaboratively edit them in Microsoft Office using real-time technology similar to that showcased in the technically innovative, but commercially unsuccessful Google Wave.

Google demonstrated in Sydney today sentences typed in a Word document by one collaborator becoming immediately visible in the same document co-edited by another.

Google planned to formally introduce the new tool later this week after releasing it to early testers in November.

Brisbane City Council scraps deal with i3 to run broadband through sewers | The Australian
Brisbane City Council scraps deal with i3 to run broadband through sewers
Cr Newman said council was now speaking with other providers.
“We are not happy, in fact, with the progress of the i3 group and we will not be proceeding with them,” Cr Newman told the chamber.


Apple sets date to unveil new iPad | The Australian
Apple sets date to unveil new iPad Apple will hold its much-anticipated event on March 2, where the tech giant seems poised to unveil a new version of its hugely successful iPad, according to multiple sources.

Police empowered to raid net for crime | The Australian
Police empowered to raid net for crime  it will amend the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act to permit the collection of “prospective data” for foreign law enforcement purposes where the nation has made a mutual assistance request and the request has been approved by the attorney-general.

This legislation will make it easier for foreign agencies to request and obtain data collected by domestic enforcement agencies through phone intercepts, network surveillance and covert access to emails and other data stored on computers.
In return, Australian authorities will have access to other nations’ intelligence and collected evidence under reciprocal arrangements.



iiNet wins illegal download appeal – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
iiNet wins illegal download appeal A group of 34 movie studios headed by Village Roadshow has lost its appeal against a Federal Court judgment involving internet service provider iiNet.

In the initial case the studios had tried to prove iiNet not only failed to take steps to stop illegal file-sharing by customers, but breached copyright itself by storing the data and transmitting it through its system.
Other studios to join the legal action included Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Disney and the Seven Network.
But the studios today heard in the Federal Court that the appeal had been lost.
They are now expected to take their case to the High Court.


How to tweak Android: 14 killer customisations
How to tweak Android: 14 killer customisations here are a number of ways you can make Android your own

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is out today, but do you care?
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is out today, but do you care? The standalone SP1 package weighs in at 537MB (x86) or 903MB (x64), but most users won’t need all of this code. Indeed, highlighting how much of SP1 has already been rolled out to users via Windows Update’s incremental ongoing updates, the Windows Update SP1 delivery itself only measures 44MB for x86 or 74MB for x64 (with Windows Server 2008 R2 requiring 96MB).


most people will receive the update simply through Windows Update

WILL’S SHOWNOTES

Gillard’s PCs in schools program on track | The Australian

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a press call at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Gary Ramage Source: Herald Sun
JULIA Gillard’s target to equip every secondary school student with a computer by the end of 2011 is on track.
Over 50 per cent of the 750,000-plus machines for government, independent and Catholic schools have been deployed.
The 1:1 ratio will be achieved by December 31 for students in Years 9 to 12, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations officials told a Senate estimates hearing today.
More than 400,000 computers have been installed at secondary schools eligible for the National Secondary School Computer Fund (NSSCF), part of the $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution program.
DEEWR secretary Lisa Paul confirmed that the year-end rollout deadline would be met.
Ms Paul was responding to Queensland Liberal Senator Brett Mason, who sought a progress report on the DER.
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“By 31 December 2011 all the computers should be delivered and installed … that remains the objective?” asked Senator Mason.
“That is correct,” Ms Paul said.
According to Rhyan Bloor, DEEWR Broadband and Digital Education branch manager, 413,808 computers had been installed to date.
The department’s National Schools and Youth Partnerships general manager Evan Arthur quelled unrealistic expectations by explaining that all students would be equipped with the computers when they began the 2012 school year.
Dr Arthur said it was not pragmatic to have the equipment physically in schools during the December holiday period.
Senator Mason’s question on the number of machines that have been approved, delivered and installed — broken down by federal electorate and by state and school type — was taken on notice.
The DER was proposed during the 2007 election campaign when Ms Gillard was education minister. It comprises several components including the NSSCF, high-speed broadband deployment and ICT training for teachers.


Google serves Ice Cream as Android sweetener | The Australian

Google chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Picture: AP Source: The Australian
GOOGLE is expected to serve up a new Android mobile device operating system this year called Ice Cream and it will be both for mobile phones and Android tablets.
The new version will be designed both for mobile phone and tablet Android devices and is expected to be released later this year.

As with the naming convention of Australian cyclones, Google uses letters of the alphabet to name its next Android operating system. First there was Cupcake, then Donut, Eclair (2.0, 2.1), and Froyo (2.2).

Gingerbread (2.3, 2.4) is expected to offer an improved user interface, integrated internet telephony, and support for hardware such as a gyroscope, barometer sensors,  and near field communication (NFC) for credit card payments, while Honeycomb (3.0) is a dedicated operating system for tablet computers.

Ice Cream will merge what was developing as separate phone and tablet versions of Android as a single OS.
“Today I’ll use the commonly used names. We have OS called gingerbread for phones, we have an OS being previewed now for tablets called Honeycomb,” said Eric Schmidt, Google chairman, addressing the Mobile OS conference in Barcelona.

“The two of them… you can imagine the follow up will start with an I, be named after dessert, and will combine these two.”

Mr Schmidt was speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

He said Google’s Android operating system was running on more than 100 phones and tablets and the operating system was seeing more than 300,000 activations each day.

Google planned to deliver new versions of Android every six months for mobile phones and tablets, while its Chrome operating system would focus on netbooks and PCs.

Google also demonstrated a new Android tablet application that makes movies out of photos, similar to Windows Live Movie Maker.

Mr Schmidt said he considered Microsoft to be Google’s largest rival and said Microsoft’s Bing search engine might be “a little too good”.

He said he expected credit card payments using NFC technology to become standardized this year, as Europe irons out issues around NFC technology, which allowed for the transfer of payment information on mobile phones.

In a veiled gibe at Apple, Schmidt said, “What’s most important about this future is it is a future for the masses, not the elites,” he said in a veiled gibe at Apple.

Mr Schmidt commended tbe Australian Government on its planned rollout of high-speed Internet.
“Australia is leading the world in understanding the importance of fibre,” he said.
“Your new prime minister as part of her campaign and, now, part of her prime ministership, has announced that by roughly 2015 or 2016, 93 percent of Australians – which I guess are all the folks in the cities – will have gigabit or equivalent service using fibre. And the other 7 percent will be handled by wireless services of a nature of LTE.”
” This is leadership which I think is wonderful,”  he said.


Demand for data anytime, anywhere | The Australian

Demand for data anytime, anywhere

AS smartphones, with their promise of computing abilities, lure consumers into mobile data, the rate of information travelling over mobile networks has grown hugely.
Such is the rate of growth that broadband equipment maker Cisco has forecast Australian monthly mobile data traffic will surge 32-fold between 2010 and 2015 to hit 148,705 terabytes, equivalent to 410 million text messages, as consumers flock to the convenience of always-on, anywhere, mobile devices including smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad.
This mobile data growth has reached the point where Australians are consuming 4587TB of data a month on their mobile phones, a 260 per cent increase on the levels recorded in 2009, says Cisco.
This has propelled Australia to the eighth position for wireless broadband penetration in the world, according to the latest broadband rankings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
But with this growth in mobile come questions about the future of broadband service take-up in Australia.
As the government keeps to its pledge to build its $36 billion ubiquitous, high-speed fibre-optic network, concerns about the impact of a more mobile society are casting some uncertainty over the viability of the massive infrastructure project.
To understand the potential hazards for the government’s National Broadband Network posed by a consumer shift to mobile-only broadband, analyst David Kennedy at technology consultancy Ovum says it’s important to understand what’s driving growth in this sector.
The first factor is the convenience of simply being mobile. The ability for consumers and business people alike to access information anywhere, anytime, has led to transformative changes in way people now consume and disseminate information.
This has largely been fuelled by the runaway success of Apple’s iPhone and the rise of the mobile software that ushered in the new era of easy-to-use smartphones, including those that use Google’s Android software.
According to IDC Australia telecommunications analyst Mark Novosel, the second factor is cost. While accessing information from mobile devices on the go is no new phenomenon, the recent rise of the affordable smartphone, which has facilitated this practice in an economically viable manner, is.
“The cost of mobile broadband has been decreasing each year and Australians’ use of fixed line telephony continues to decline, therefore more people are opting to save money on unnecessary line rental and instead take up mobile voice and data services,” Novosel says.
“In some cases this may end up being a more cost-effective option, or alternatively even at comparable costs, it’s a service that travels with people, making it far more convenient than fixed services, particularly for those who are light to moderate internet users.”
The consumer shift to smartphones and other mobile devices has seen the traditional fixed-telephony systems of the past – once Telstra’s rivers of gold – switched off at alarming rates.
This exchange has not only crunched Telstra’s overall revenues but it’s also forced a big rethink in the way telecom companies adapt to a world in which mobile internet devices are no longer the little sibling to fixed-line broadband with its personal computers and laptops, but now its equal.
Such is the growth of mobile broadband that Telstra estimates at least 12 per cent of the domestic market has given up on fixed services and instead opted for a wireless-only household.
Ovum’s Kennedy says this shift could have alarming consequences for the NBN. “The real question is how many people are dumping fixed broadband? From an NBN perspective that is much more interesting,” he says.
According to Ovum about one-third of Australia’s population does not have a fixed broadband connection. Kennedy warns that if this gap were to widen, it could have ominous consequences for the financial forecasts promised by NBN Co.
For Kennedy, the answer is not fixed at the expense of mobile or vice versa but rather a mix of both technologies. But the precise make-up of that mix is difficult to predict, he says.
“This balance between fixed and mobile is one that will be segmented in two groups. We will probably see people predominantly use mobile and wireless broadband for low-bandwidth, high-value applications like social networks, payments and things of that nature,” he says. “Whereas the fixed network will be more slanted towards the high-bandwidth, lower value applications like entertainment and streaming TV and video.” For Optus director of government and corporate affairs Maha Krishnapillai, the growth in mobile broadband is not a threat to the NBN but rather evidence that consumers are craving broadband services regardless of how they are delivered.
“We are strongly of the view that wireless will be a complementary broadband technology to fixed and that the increased use of broadband will be a case of a rising tide lifting both boats,” he says.
IT editor STUART KENNEDY comments: When it comes online late this year, Telstra’s slick new Long Term Evolution technology mobile network will have horsepower figures that challenge fixed-line broadband products such as ADSL, hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC cable) and even match the fibre-based NBN.
Under laboratory conditions with no load on the network, LTE can deliver NBN-like download speeds of 100 Mbps and 10 times that for future versions of LTE.
That sort of performance augurs well for souping up internet access on mobile devices and will tempt some to junk their ADSL or cable fixed-line connection, eschew the coming NBN and go for an LTE-only broadband existence.
But a slow roll-out, real-world performance well below headline speeds and telcos potentially throttling bandwidth-hungry applications such as internet TV may curtail any large-scale cannibalisation of fixed-line internet access by LTE.
The first problem for those wanting LTE will be getting it. Telstra’s initial roll-out of LTE will be modest with just the central business districts of capital cities and some regional centres getting coverage, and then only to a radius of 5km.
The headline speed figures for LTE look juicy, but real-world performance will be much lower than 100 Mbps.
While Telstra has yet to field test its coming LTE network, Anthony Goonan, the telco’s director of network and commercial planning, expects LTE to deliver a speed band roughly in the same ratio as the real-world speeds versus theoretical maximum on present 3G networks.
Telstra’s best 3G product of the moment is rated as giving download speeds anywhere between 1.1 Mbps and 20 Mbps.
Given Telstra’s best 3G headline speed is 42 Mbps, then a 100 Mbps LTE service would be expected to deliver a range of about 2.6 Mbps to 47 Mbps.
“It is not until you get in a real-world environment with interference and noise that you see the true performance,” Goonan says.
Unlike the NBN, which is supposed to deliver fairly precise chunks of bandwidth to a household no matter how many customers in a street are using it, LTE and 3G wireless bandwidth is contested, meaning the more people are on it the slower it goes.
“In general, there’s a greater capability of a fixed system to handle more concurrency than a wireless system,” Goonan says.
Optus is testing LTE and is expected to roll out its own network, although no date has been set.
Andrew Smith, Optus director of mobile core engineering, says LTE customers will notice a big improvement in network latency, more than sheer speed. Latency is a measure of how quickly the network responds at the first reach for a service such as a web page or a YouTube video.
But broadband customers who are only after general browsing, social network activity, email and light video watching should find LTE’s performance rivals present ADSL and cable and the coming NBN. But those who need bandwidth for lots of high-definition video may be better off with a fixed-line product.
Telstra’s Goonan says the LTE network will have features that can discourage bandwidth-sapping applications when network loads get heavy.


Even the kitchen sink goes on web sales site | The Australian

Anna and Mark Pasternak, with sons Ben and Jake, pack up their Vaucluse home as they prepare to sell everything on the online site Gumtree. Picture: Jeremy Piper Source: The Australian
THERE was once a time when the phrase “everything but the kitchen sink” meant just that, but on the online classifieds site Gumtree, anything goes.
Just ask property developer Mark Pasternak, who has decided to use Gumtree to sell the entire contents of his home in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Vaucluse.
“Everything in the house from windows, to timber floorboards, bathroom and kitchen fittings, and even light fixtures must go,” says Pasternak, who plans on demolishing his four-bedroom home and build a new one.
The decision to sell his home’s entire contents — sans furniture — on Gumtree was an easy one for Pasternak.
“It was either this or the kip. The demolishers would come and get rid of it anyway, so we thought we may as well put it on Gumtree,” he says.
“We thought about using the Wentworth Courier to list some stuff, but we’ve used Gumtree before and more people use the internet now than newspapers for classifieds. With Gumtree it’s quick, we get responses straight away and it’s just very easy to use.”
Pasternak’s attraction to Gumtree’s free-classifieds business is one that has caught the imagination of other bargain-hunters throughout the nation since the site launched in Australia only four years ago in 2007.
In that small time it’s grown from a two-man operation to a 10 staff roster that leverages another 10 people from its global network to provide 24-hour support.
Gumtree was the brainchild of Michael Pennington and Simon Crookall — two British bankers who gave up their day-jobs to launch the site in 2000 as a local London classified ads website, with the aim of connecting mostly Australian ex-pats in England.
In those dotcom days it was an early starter in the web-based classified business and quickly differentiated itself from its traditional print-based competitors, who were still hesitant to make the shift to the online world.
It’s commitment to online — where it quickly grew into one of dominant free-classifieds businesses — caught the eye of the global auction house eBay, which promptly acquired it in 2005 for an undisclosed sum.
Since that time Gumtree has gone on to establish presences in eight other countries, including Singapore, New Zealand, Ireland, Poland and Australia.
That growth has continued unabated in Australia where in only four short years it has now been crowned Australia’s No 1 free-classifieds website with 1 million unique visitors per month.
Until now the local arm of Gumtree has grown through word-of-mouth, and it’s the loyalty from its community that managing director of Gumtree International Brian Shanahan says is its biggest asset.
“It’s all about providing a local offering, something that is really relevant to people in their local area,” Shanahan says.
“People come to Gumtree so they can buy and sell stuff from cars to jobs, furniture, rentals, tickets, services, pets, the lists go on. Pretty much any offering you would see in traditional classifieds in newspapers we have on our site.”
But it is not just the ordinary that comes and goes from its site, says Shanahan, some of the quirkier listings have included crocodile farms for sale in Queensland and even UFO parts in Perth.
“That’s the great thing about Gumtree: there’s just such a wide variety of items you can trade, sell or give away,” he says.
Like traditional classifieds, Gumtree encourages transactions between seller and buyer to take place face-to-face, it’s what differentiates the site from its parent eBay Shanahan says.
“Our model is a face-to-face model, so you don’t send money to people you don’t know. You meet first and then pay which means people have a trouble free experience,” he said.
And unlike eBay, listings on Gumtree are free.
“There are no seller fees or success fees. You don’t have to purchase images for your listings. Our other strong point is that we are focused on customer service. We provide a truly local, grassroots service which businesses like the Trading Post don’t,” Shanahan says. Shanahan says Gumtree makes money through two avenues, from sponsored advertisements and from sellers paying small fees to make their ads more prominent on the site.
“We don’t make a lot but what we do make we invest straight back into improving the user experience,” he says.


Apple’s 30pc bite of apps could rebound | The Australian

Apple’s 30pc bite of apps could rebound

APPLE’s new subscription service could draw anti-trust scrutiny, say US law professors who claim it may have an anti-competitive effect on price.
Apple will allow magazines, newspapers and other publishers to sell subscriptions of varying lengths to users of Apple’s popular iPad, iTouch and iPhone products. But there are several catches.
For starters, subscriptions must be sold through Apple’s App Store. For instance, a magazine that wants to publish its content on an iPad cannot include a link in an iPad app that would direct readers to buy subscriptions through the magazine’s website.
Apple earns a 30 per cent share of any subscription sold through its App Store.
One more potential string attached: If publishers sell digital subscriptions outside the Apple orbit they must allow Apple to offer the subscriptions at the same price or less.
“My inclination is to be suspect” about Apple’s new service, said Shubha Ghosh, an anti-trust professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Two key questions in Mr. Ghosh’s mind: Whether Apple owns enough of a dominant position in the market to keep competitors out, and whether it is exerting “anti-competitive pressures on price”.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on any possible antitrust implications of the company’s announcement Tuesday.
A US Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
Experts said that the first step in an antitrust analysis is to determine whether Apple is a dominant player in the market, which, in turn, requires an an assessment of the relevant market at issue.
Publishers, for example, might claim that Apple dominates the market for consumer tablet computers and that it has allegedly used that commanding position to restrict competition.
Apple, in turn, might define the market to include all digital and print media, and counter that any publisher not happy with Apple’s terms is free to still reach its customers through many other print and digital outlets.
“Millions will be spent litigating how broad the market is,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, an anti-trust professor at the University of Iowa College of Law.
Mr Hovenkamp said digital media is the most plausible market. He said he doubted that Apple, currently, has a sufficiently dominant position in that market to warrant anti-trust scrutiny.
But, he said, if Apple gets to a point where it is selling 60 per cent or more of all digital subscriptions through its App Store, “then you might move into territory where an anti-trust challenge would seem feasible”.
Mr Ghosh said courts in anti-trust inquiries may look favorably when a company can articulate a legitimate business justification for behavior alleged to be anticompetitive. For this reason, Apple may “come up with a business justification” for some of its restrictive subscription terms, he said.
“They have invested in a platform so they need to create incentives to use the platform.”


Simon Finn named Qld ICT minister | The Australian

New Queensland ICT minister Simon Finn with Curtis Pitt, Premier Anna Bligh and Jan Jarratt. Picture: Tim Marsden Source: The Australian
SIMON Finn has been named Queensland’s new ICT minister following a major cabinet reshuffle by Premier Anna Bligh.
The MP for Yeerongpilly will also hold the government services and building industry portfolios.
Ms Bligh has promised a “serious shake up” of her government, with no one’s job safe as she reshuffles her team.
The Labor caucus met on Friday to elevate Mr Finn, Whitsunday MP Jan Jarratt and freshman Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt to the ministry.
It follows the portfolio resignation of Mr Schwarten as Public Works and ICT Minister.
Local Government Minister Desley Boyle and Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor also resigned.
Mr Schwarten and Ms Boyle will not recontest the next election, due in early 2012, while Mr Lawlor quit to concentrate on retaining his traditionally conservative Gold Coast seat of Southport.
Ms Bligh entered the caucus meeting Friday morning with the three fresh faces and told reporters afterwards they brought new energy to the task of rebuilding the state following the natural disasters.
The premier also ruled out an early election.
She said it was “her understanding” there would be no more resignations before the election was due in 2012.

Bligh’s new cabinet:
Anna Bligh – Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
Paul Lucas – Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
Andrew Fraser – Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
Geoff Wilson – Health
Neil Roberts – Police, Corrective and Emergency Services
Stephen Robertson – Energy and Water Utilities
Craig Wallace – Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure
Cameron Dick – Education and Industrial Relations
Tim Mulherin – Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies
Stirling Hinchliffe – Employment, Skills and Mining
Rachel Nolan – Finance and Arts
Kate Jones – Environment and Resource Management
Annastacia Palaszczuk – Transport and Multicultural Affairs
Phil Reeves – Child Safety and Sport
Karen Struthers – Community Services, Housing and Women
Jan Jarratt – Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business
Simon Finn – Government Services, Building Industry and ICT
Curtis Pitt – Disabilities, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

Parliamentary Secretaries:
Judy Spence – Parliamentary Reform
Michael Choi – Trade and Multicultural Affairs
Murray Watt – Treasurer and State Development
Julie Attwood – Health
Peta-Kaye Croft – Assisting the Premier on the Gold Coast and Commonwealth Games
Betty Kiernan – Emergency Services
Steve Wettenhall – Assisting the Premier and Economic Development in the Far North


VHA taps Huawei to upgrade mobile network | The Australian

Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief executive officer Nigel Dews. Picture: Lindsay Moller Source: The Daily Telegraph
MONTHS of sustained customer complaints over poor mobile network quality has forced Vodafone Hutchison Australia to rip and replace its entire fleet of mobile towers with new equipment.
The drastic overhaul will see VHA replace 2G radio equipment at all of its 8000 mobile base stations with new 3G equipment supplied by Chinese network vendor Huawei. The sites will be replaced over the next 18 months in a bid to improve mobile coverage and download speeds.
The new network equipment will boost download speeds on VHA’s network to theoretical peaks of up to 42 megabits per second.
Some 300 new technical staff and another 200 subcontractors will be recruited by Huawei to complete the upgrade.
The upgrade follows months of customer complaints about the poor quality of the mobile operator’s network which has struggled to perform under the strain of data-hungry customers.
VHA chief executive Nigel Dews apologised to customers on the telco’s website today, saying the company was too slow to react to technical issues which have plagued its network over the past six months.
“Some of you have experienced dropped calls, delayed SMS and voicemails, slow data speeds, inconsistent coverage and long waiting times when you’ve called us,” Mr Dews said.
The telco said its plans to build additional 3G tower sites and build a new 850MHz network — announced in October — would also be fastracked to meet customer demand for better service.
VHA said that in the next 12 months over 2500 sites will be upgraded or added to the Vodafone 3G network.
The upgrades form part of a $1 billion investment fund that the company set aside since merging in 2008 to improve its network.


Brisbane City Council has scrapped a deal with internet company i3 to run broadband through
BROADBAND provider i3 Asia Pacific’s bid to run broadband through Brisbane’s sewers has been dumped by City Hall.
Lord Mayor Cr Campbell Newman told the Council chamber this afternoon Council had been unhappy with the progress of the deal, and would not be going ahead with i3.
Cr Newman said council was now speaking with other providers.
“We are not happy, in fact, with the progress of the i3 group and we will not be proceeding with them,” Cr Newman told the chamber.
“There are other parties who wish to deal with us and large international parties who, for example, have rolled this out in other cities in Asia, well-known cities and they wish to undertake this project with us.
“The reason I state that we don’t wish to proceed with i3…is because…when we’re doing our due diligence we are not happy with what i3 have put on the table.
“We’re not being kept up-to-date with all the things that we should have.”
Comment is being sought from i3 Asia Pacific.
Cr Newman made the revelation during questioning by Opposition Leader Shayne Sutton about the scheme and its possible impact on the sewerage system.
KENNETH RICHARDS Posted at 8:11 AM February 23, 2011
The subject of Internet through sewers has come up before in Australia.It won’t work ,it has not worked in England amongst other countries but it is one way to take people for as much money as possible. Has anyone thought where the outlet/inlet will come out ? Internet over gas won’t work either .


Apple sets date to unveil new iPad | The Australian
TO those who care intensely about this kind of stuff — which would be pretty much everyone in the tech ecosystem — Apple will hold its much-anticipated event on March 2, where the tech giant seems poised to unveil a new version of its hugely successful iPad, according to multiple sources.
As in, iPad 2! Or, as BoomTown is now officially nicknaming it: iPad Too!
Analysts expect the iPad 2 to be thinner than its predecessor and feature an improved display, as well as front-facing camera and Facetime video chat support. And some reports suggest it will be powered by one of Qualcomm’s multimode chips and will run on both GSM and CDMA-based networks around the world.
In its last earnings calls, Apple said it had sold nearly 15 million iPads, since it went on sale last spring.
This is a very big deal, although Apple will be facing increased competition with the launch of a passel of tablets coming from numerous manufacturers, most of which are using the Honeycomb version of Google’s Android mobile operating system.
According to several sources close to the situation, the Wednesday date in a little more than a week is firm and will take place in San Francisco, the scene of many such Apple events.
In that case, the venue is likely to be the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts.
It’s not clear when Apple will begin sending out its famous invites for the gathering, but I am guessing soon, in order to get the Apple faithful to the proper level of froth.
Now that this date is confirmed – at least by me – the next round of speculation will be around whether Apple CEO Steve Jobs will appear or not.
He is currently on leave to deal with ongoing health issues, although has been sighted all around Silicon Valley at various places. In addition, Jobs sat right next to President Barack Obama at a high-profile meet-the-tech-moguls dinner in the area last week.
In other words: Let the media frenzy begin.


Google teaches old docs new tricks | The Australian


Anil Sabharwal, Google’s Head of Product Management for Apps, says there has been a ‘tectonic’ shift towards cloud computing and businesses see collaborative development as a necessity. Source: The Australian
GOOGLE today has showcased a plug-in that will let Microsoft Office users transfer documents to the cloud, and share and edit them in real-time with other Office users.
With the ‘Cloud Connect’ plug-in installed, users of Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can directly share existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents by uploading them to Google Docs.

Other users can then access the shared versions and all can collaboratively edit them in Microsoft Office using real-time technology similar to that showcased in the technically innovative, but commercially unsuccessful Google Wave.

Google demonstrated in Sydney today sentences typed in a Word document by one collaborator becoming immediately visible in the same document co-edited by another.

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Google planned to formally introduce the new tool later this week after releasing it to early testers in November.
Smart phone users with the Google Docs app installed also can work collaboratively with colleagues using PCs, and chat to each another while co-editing documents.

Google started its media conference today with a PowerPoint presentation of 400 slides which had been collaboratively worked on by 350 people.

In Sydney today, Anil Sabharwal ,Google’s Head of Product Management for Apps in Australia and New Zealand, said the online giant recognised the ‘tectonic shift’ in information technology from the desktop to the “webtop” by consumers, and the increasing demand by enterprises for lower cost, ease of use, speed, scalability and security in computing.

“Ten years ago we probably worked much more in a solo environment, we would work in our computing environments, we would write a document, put together a presentation, we would do a spreadsheet, we might go to a meeting now and then, but then we’d come back and do our own individual work,” Mr Sabharwal said.

“What we’re seeing now .. is that organisations that actually can work in a  more collaborative environment are more productive and get things done better and faster.”

Google’s plug-in directly takes on Microsoft which last year introduced collaboration in the form of SharePoint in Office 2010. Cloud Connect works with older Office versions, but not with Mac OS.

Google Docs now includes built-in optical character recognition (OCR) that can automatically convert uploaded PDF and scanned content into text. Another initiative is in-built document translation of uploaded documents. Currently Google Docs supports Latin-character based languages.

Mr Sabharwal said that next week Google would announce the extension of Google Docs translation to Chinese Simplified, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and other European languages. The development work for this had taken place in Sydney.

As a security measure, Google this month released a mobile device app that provides enterprise users with a real-time security code, similar to that provided by an RSA token. Enterprise users can opt for two-factor authentication before accessing their documents in the cloud.

The offering of collaborative tools in Google Docs is expected to make more commercial sense than collaboration in Wave, which promised to merge social networks, email, messages and wikis into one online stream – but was hit by user nervousness and privacy concerns.

Mr Sabharwal said some of the Sydney-developed technology in Google Wave had been assimilated and adopted in Cloud Connect.

AFACT online copyright appeal against iiNet dismissed | The Australian
AUSTRALIAN ISPs celebrated today after the Federal Court found for a second time that they could not be held liable for internet piracy by their customers.
Justice Dennis Cowdroy’s landmark February 2010 ruling was upheld in which he dismissed allegations by Hollywood studios that Perth ISP iiNet had authorised its customers to infringe copyright online.
Outside the court iiNet chief Michael Malone said AFACT had wasted two years in litigation while internet piracy continued unhindered.
It was time to find another solution, Mr Malone said.
iiNet has been fighting the case since late 2008 when a group of 34 entertainment giants commenced copyright litigation against the ISP.
The case is the first of its kind to reach trial phase and it’s being watched closely by legislators, ISPs and entertainment industry players around the world.
iiNet early today called a trading halt pending the outcome of the appeal.
The group of 34 companies has been attempting to persuade the court that iiNet authorised its customers to breach copyright by refusing to pass its infringement notices to customers.
In his original ruling Justice Cowdroy found that iiNet’s inaction couldn’t amount to an act of authorisation.
However, during the appeal the court’s sentiment appeared to shift in favour of the studios and against iiNet, legal experts and internet industry sources observed.
The matter may not be resolved until late this year or early 2012 if AFACT decides to take the matter to the High Court.
Before today’s outcome it was widely understood that both parties were prepared to take the matter to the High Court.
AFACT has 28 days to apply to the High Court for special leave to appeal the decision. If the High Court allows the appeal to go ahead, a trial would not be expected to commence until late this year with a decision not expected until the end of 2011 at the earliest.

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