Episode 241

posted in: Show Notes


SMH on iPad out tomorrow, Android coming soon

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age apps  from the iTunes App Store. For a limited time (hinted to be a “considerable” length of time, as Fairfax is hoping to build its audience) both will be on offer at no cost. Regular pricing will be $8.99 per month, sold in six or twelve-month subscriptions.

And Android users aren’t missing out either. A version for Android tablets is in development now and is expected to be available within approximately three months’ time.

In the APP store seach FAIRFAX

Facebook founder only eating animals he kills

took on the dietary regimen as the latest in a series of personal challenges that he pursues in what little time he spends not working on Facebook, according to Fortune magazine.

Mr Zuckerberg says he is undertaking the challenge in order to appreciate what he has and that a living creature had to die so that he can live.

His first kill was a lobster, which he executed by boiling.

Mr Zuckerberg said he takes on a personal challenge each year, with prior goals including wearing a tie every day of the year and learning Chinese.
“So far, this has been a good experience,” Mr Zuckerberg said of his new diet.
Larger animals that he kills are sent to a butcher, who sends the cut meat back to Mr Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Priscilla to be cooked as they wish.
**Maybe team up Bob Parsons Go Daddy and go get some elephant

Microsoft demos new Windows 8 OS for PCs, tablets

Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division, demonstrated some of the features of the operating system code-named “Windows 8” at the D9 technology conference in California hosted by All Things Digital.
“Laptops, slates, desktops – all can run one operating system,” Sinofsky said.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p92QfWOw88I

Remote anti-theft tracking software has helped return a laptop to its rightful owner

images began arriving in Joshua Kaufman’s inbox
a man curled up on a couch, sound asleep; the same man propped up against pillows on a bed, shirtless.
Who was this stranger sitting with Mr Kaufman’s stolen laptop?
The Oakland, San Francisco resident collected the images and took them to police, who did not help him.
So he went online, publishing the pictures on Twitter and in a blog titled “This Guy Has My MacBook.”
People who followed me on Twitter retweeted it. It got picked up by social media and the press. It went super viral,” he said. On the same day that he posted his website on Twitter, police came calling.
Police on Tuesday arrested a 27-year-old cab driver, Muthanna Aldebashi. Yesterday, Mr Kaufman picked up his laptop from the police.

Canberra kicks off “tell us once” pilot

The technical pilot for the personal details change system is set to be completed in October and will form the basis of a business case to develop a full system.

Peter Alexander who manages the online services branch for the Australian Government Information Management Office says “What we are modelling at the moment is where you authenticate and validate a message that will be translated in such a way that each agency will be able to consume it and have their appropriate validation and authentication needs met and then send back a confirmation. A person using the system will have an excellent experience in this tell-us-once world.”

Mobile phones report a wake-up call: brain surgeon Charles Teo

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said heavy usage could lead to a possible increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said heavy usage could lead to a possible increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer.

Dr Teo, who has in the past spoken out publicly about the dangers of mobile use, said that although no new evidence had been published,

celebrities and companies are keeping their secrets safe from Google

Online “reputation management” agencies promise to suppress negative search results by driving them down the rankings.

They typically use thousands of social networking profiles – set up using false names and operated using computer software to simulate the behaviour of a real person – to talk about and link to more positive results, pushing them above the negative stories.

two actors and a prominent sportsman – have paid up to $30,000 a fortnight to use the services in the past six months.

Reputation management agencies work to improve the popularity of positive or irrelevant results, pushing them above those that are negative. As more than 90 per cent of users look only at the first Google results page, and only a tiny fraction go beyond the third page, well-hidden results are seldom read.

Labor pumps $70m in NBN, digital economy

The key components of the package include $23.8m to develop digital communities, $12.4m over three years to promote business use of the internet, $27.2m over four years to address regional skills shortages and a $3.5m for an e-health trial Townsville.

Most of the spending appears to be focused on the first release communities for the NBN.

NSW Police accused of breaching software copyright

Similar accusations have been levelled against the Police Integrity Commission and NSW Ombudsman.
Mainframe software provider Micro Focus has launched proceedings against the trio in the Federal Court in Sydney, claiming the unauthorised use and distribution of its mainframe software, ViewNow.
The primary claim in the breach of copyright civil suit is against NSW Police, which Micro Focus claims, copied its software and handed it out to third party agencies without its approval.
It had licences to install ViewNow on up to 6500 computers across its organisation but Micro Focus claims that 16,000 copies in total were in use.
The NSW Ombudsman said it was not in a position to comment, as the matter was in court. “This office has acted at all times in good faith and is committed to resolving this issue,” a spokeswoman said.
A first directions hearing is set for June 14.

Shoppers face chaos from credit card cancellations following a security breach

The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and St George Bank said they had cancelled credit cards to protect customers. An ANZ spokesman said the bank was monitoring events closely but had not blocked credit cards yet.
The cancellations will impact immediately as customers this weekend discover they cannot make credit card purchases, and in the longer term as periodic payments made by credit card fail, if payment details are not updated.
The banks said customers would be compensated if funds were stolen because of the fraud.
“The bank continuously monitors all credit card transactions to protect our customers from fraud and during this process we became aware of a potential credit card compromise through an Australian merchant acquired by another bank,” the CBA said in a statement.

NIB toes the line after website protest

the plans for the whitecoat.com.au website, revealed yesterday we would be able to search for allied health workers including dentists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and 14 other professions, with results sorted according to the providers’ fees and the proportion of NIB members who would recommend them.
The plans have provoked a storm of protest from allied health provider organisations, who fear privacy breaches from the publication of home addresses.
But last night NIB said although the government’s intervention meant it had to abandon plans to obtain the providers’ details from Medicare data, the website would launch as planned, using a list of professionals put together from other sources.
NIB chief marketing officer Rhod McKensey said the shift in approach “may delay the launch” by some weeks, but all of the website’s aims and elements remained in place.
The Consumers Health Forum strongly backed the website, saying it would provide “legitimate and useful information” on picking the right provider.
many young practitioners might feel insecure if their home addresses were made publicand objected to the patient rating element of the website.

Skype hit by global service crash

An investigation showed that a software bug and overloaded servers were responsible for that incident.

Skype said the problem predominantly affected Windows users, but it also posted advice for OS X and Linux users. All the solutions revolved around the deletion of a file called “shared.xml”.

The problem did not seem confined to one group, with users on machines running Windows, OS X and Linux all reporting trouble.
Skype issued advice about how to get its service going, while it worked on a permanent fix.

Age of Empires Online release date announced

The new title, Age of Empires Online, will launch on 16th August, 2011.

Age of Empires Online is primarily a free-to-play game, with players promised an average of 40 hours play before they need to start buying in-game items and downloadable content. A retail package has been announced however, which will cost $19.99 USD

Telstra eyes 2012 copper switch-off in South Brisbane

Telstra has revealed plans to switch off copper services in South Brisbane by the end of 2012 as it begins rolling out a replacement fibre network in the area

The carrier’s migration of some 18,000 homes and businesses off the copper network came about as a result of the closure of the existing South Brisbane exchange, which was being bulldozed to make way for the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Rollout in the south Brisbane area would likely coincide with the NBN rollout in the city’s northern suburbs scheduled to start next month.


Erik’s Notebook

Published: Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011, 21:00 IST
Place: Washington, DC | Agency: ANI

3G phones used by iPhones, BlackBerries and other smart phones give a much lower dose of radiowaves to the brain than earlier models, a health expert has claimed.
However, professor Bruce Armstrong from the University of Sydney, says that their frequent use could still cause cancer, reports the Sydney Morning Herald
Armstrong who worked on the report with 30 other experts said researchers studied radiowave activity on those who used phones the heaviest and for the longest period, and health risks for average users was “really quite small”.
The 3G technology also appeared to emit less harmful radiowaves, he said. But research on these new technologies was still in its infancy.
“A very important observation, really, just based on the technology, is that the 3G phones in fact give a much lower dose to the brain than the previous generations,” professor Armstrong said.
He added that while health agencies tended to err on the side of caution it was still important people avoided heavy mobile-phone use. “I think that’s a very common principal of public health, that in the face of uncertainty … it’s good to take precautions,” he said. “I would say that the main message out of this study is to avoid exposing your brain to radiowaves from mobile phones,” he added.


Claims digital media will be worth $3.9 billion by end of 2014 – surpassing TV for the first time

The online marketing space is drifting from traditional form to digital and the Internet is driving that switch, according to Google head of technology A/NZ, Tony Keusgen.
Keusgen made his comments during a keynote session detailing the trends and techniques in the online marketing space at CeBIT 2011 in Sydney.
The aim of the session was to analyse the opportunities and risk associated with evolving technology and ways to maximise its benefits.
Keusgen stated that digital media will grow from $2.5 billion to $2.9 billion, up nearly 20 per cent this year. By the end of 2014, it will be worth more than $3.9 billion – surpassing television for the first time.
He said, “We’re adopting mobile technologies at a faster rate than anyone predicted. Half of all new Internet connections come from mobile device, smartphones will overtake feature phones this year and data usage is already passed voice usage on phones.”
However, with media consumption growing at a large rate online, it is still the last line in the media plans of many businesses.
“We need to consider should we turn the Internet off, how will that impact business? It’s really the fundamental underlying infrastructure and foundation of the growth of economies today,” he said.
By 2015, Google is expecting five main trends to arise:

  1. The small screen will become bigger – 80 per cent of all screen time will be digital
  2. Mass mobile growth with 10 million mobile subscribers and 300 million Internet-enabled television users – who will spend half their screen time on social networks, user-generated content, citizen journalism and blogs.
  3. All retailers will go mobile with consumers trusting and adopting peer recommendations and social branding over advertising, which eventually blurs the lines between online and offline consumer purchasing patterns
  4. The demand for more real-time information capabilities will increase along with the desire for improved advertising efficiencies
  5. Display advertising will rise with growing usage of sites such as YouTubeand it will play a key role in selling and customer service.
    But, according to Keusgen, the fundamentals of marketing remain the same. As Google adopts a philosophy of ‘mobile first’, he suggested businesses should embrace the mobile environment to deal with the trends.
    “This is not something that’s coming this is something that’s already here,” he said.

SYDNEY, NSW: One week after the celebrated launches of the HTC Desire S and Wildfire S, and the Samsung Galaxy S II, LG has very quietly announced the availability of the its Optimus Black handset.
Running of Android 2.2 (Froyo), with an upgrade to 2.3 (Gingerbread) due sometime in the uncertain future, the Optimus Black has apparently attracted 2 million pre-orders worldwide since its unveiling at CES in January 2011.
In Australia, the handset will be available for RRP $599 this month (no exact release date is given) from Optus, Vodafone and retailers. Telstra will begin selling the device in “early July”.
If Apple was upset with Samsung for supposedly ripping off their mobile devices, the Californian’s ire will surely be raised again, with this handset looking more like an iPhone than any other device espied by Current.com.au.
Its shiny black bezel surrounds a 4-inch Novo LCD display, with hidden speaker and microphone adding to the sleek and smooth aesthetic ideal LG is aspiring to.
Very few specifications were included in this morning’s release (the only one was that the front facing camera is 2MP), so we’re using LG’s UK website to provide details.
In addition to the front camera, there’s also a 5MP rear camera, Wi-Fi, Micro USB, 2GB internal memory (expandable to 32GB via MicroSD) and DLNA.


By Michelle Hammond

Thursday, 02 June 2011

New moves designed to protect consumers from suspect telco companies have the potential to transform the industry, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.

As part of a major industry overhaul, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has released a report recommending that misleading advertising terms, such as “cap” and “unlimited”, be banned to avoid massive bill blowouts.

It also recommends the introduction of monthly spending limits and simpler plans. Other recommendations include:

  • Improved advertising practices, including supermarket-style pricing to allow for comparisons.
  • Budgets tools for consumers to manage their costs, particularly by being able to monitor the accumulation of charges during a billing period.
  • The introduction of transparent customer care performance reporting.
  • Improved internal complaints handling.

The report was part of a year-long inquiry, prompted by a surge in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, which reached 210,000 last year.

According to ACMA chairman Chris Chapman, telco customers are “long suffering and very frustrated” due to confusing contracts and shock bills.

Under the changes, consumers could set their own limits for phone bills, with telcos forced to alert consumers when they are approaching their limit.

Telcos will have an opportunity to implement the requirements of the draft report. If they do not, they will face new standards and regulations.

ACCAN chief executive Teresa Corbin says the report marks the end of self-regulation for the industry, hailing it as a victory for consumers.

“The current self-regulatory regime and the market has failed… Telco customers have had enough and the ACMA, in recognising this, has signalled a major shift in their approach to regulation,” Corbin says.

“If the proposed recommendations are implemented, we might finally have a telco market that is fair for consumers. This gives consumers hope that bill shock will be a thing of the past.”

Earlier this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rejected a proposal by electricity retailers to introduce self-regulatory mechanisms into the industry.

The ACCC was asked for its approval to set up an independent body to accredit doorknockers, field complaints and administer a code of conduct.

The move came after Victoria’s Energy and Water Ombudsman Fiona McLeod revealed that complaints about marketing-related issues rose 33% in the previous financial year, describing the issue as a “mounting concern for consumers”.

But the ACCC issued a draft decision knocking back the proposed code of practice, saying it was “unlikely to produce material benefit for consumers”.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said in a statement that while the regulator supports efforts by the energy industry to improve outcomes for customers, it believes the proposed code is “unlikely to deliver on this objective”.




Windows 8 looks a lot like Windows Phone 7. And that is meant as a compliment.
Microsoft demonstrated the next version of its operating system at the All Things D conference on a prototype touch-screen tablet as well as laptops with a keyboard and mouse.
Early headline: The new Windows is a lot prettier than its familiar predecessor.The touch interface is based on customizable live tiles similar to whatMicrosoft has on its smartphones. The new start screen replaces the start button, tiles and taskbar every Windows user has lived with. That more familiar-looking Windows apparently isn’t gone for good however—tap a desktop icon for an Office app such as Excel, for example, and Windows looks, well, like Windows.
Under the hood, Windows 8 will include a new set of tools and services developers can take advantage of. But the new operating system (whatever it ends up being called) can run all regular Windows 7 applications, says Steven Sinofsky, the president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at the company.
Sinofsky won’t spill the beans on when the new Windows is coming but it won’t be as early as this fall. “Right now we’re focusing on getting a release done,” he says. Microsoft is planning to reveal more at his developer’s conference in the fall.

Of course, Microsoft just gave off a flavor of the new Windows. There are lingering questions having to do with boot up times, distribution and pricing and the type of annoying “craplet” software that might be preloaded by computer manufacturers, an issue raised by conference questioner Walt Mossberg. And asked by Mossberg about security on Windows 8, Sinofsky says “I think it always will be a good idea to run security software.”

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BILL GATES Sharing the helm of the largest private foundation in history, Bill and Melinda Gates make decisions that influence millions of lives.
But they approach problems very differently. While her husband reaches for data and statistics, Melinda Gates said, she looks at the human condition.
“I think one of Bill’s enormous gifts is that he can read a book on statistics … and move to the human condition and say this is something perhaps the foundation could tackle,” she said in a recent interview. “For me, I see the human condition on the ground, and I build up to the statistics.”
Advertisement: Story continues below
As the foundation moves into its new Seattle headquarters, Melinda Gates is also defining her leadership in more distinct ways.
Born Melinda French, she has an MBA and degrees in computer science and business from Duke University. She met Bill Gates shortly after going to work at Microsoft. By the time they married in 1994, she had already helped persuade him to become active in philanthropy.
“When we were engaged, we talked about how this wealth will go back to society,” she said. “That seems like the right thing to do if you’re a wealthy person.”
The two now share responsibility for high-level strategic and financial decisions at their foundation. They have adjacent offices and meet in a conference room in between to compare notes. “We’re constantly in learning mode, but learning from different directions and nudging each other,” she said.
In one case, they agreed that too many children die needlessly from diarrhoea. But when it came to how to prevent it, their opinions diverged.
While her husband read up on vaccines, Melinda Gates had been travelling and visited slums in India.
“Is what I’m seeing happening in lots of slums around the world?” She wondered. “That issue that mother and child are facing about sanitation … what does that look like in Nairobi now that I’m seeing it in India?”
She returned to Seattle convinced that vaccines were not enough. They needed to look for the roots of the problem, she said.
“I certainly came back early and said, ‘I don’t know what it is, but there’s something in clean water and sanitation’,” she said. “And Bill was willing to say, ‘OK, Melinda, I don’t even have time to hardly read in that space. Tell me what you know.’
“That’s one where I definitely came back and said I’m not just interested in tackling diarrhoea from a vaccine.”
That conversation led to a new focus on water, sanitation and hygiene. Since 2006, they have made more than $US200 million ($A189.64 million) in grants toward those efforts.
Of all the work they do, “the hardest thing we work on is the US education system,” she said. “All of our money may or may not make a difference in the end.”
But that is what she believes made a difference for her.
“My parents always said you can go anywhere with a great education, and it was not easy to put me through college.”
The Gateses both consider technology a particular strength of their foundation and favour solutions where it can play a key role. But Melinda Gates also pointed out its limitations.
Bill “will be deeply into the science of a vaccine”, she said. “And I am deeply into when we get that piece of technology, how are we going to get the mother to accept it and put it in her child’s arm or mouth? Because we can do all the great science in the rich world … (but) if we can’t get a mother and child to accept it, it’s no good.”
They divide some of the key program areas by necessity. While Bill Gates spends more time on malaria, she leads the effort to improve the health of mothers and children, through better nutrition and reproductive health.
“That is the piece I hugely drive, inside global health,” she said.
On a coffee table in her office is a large wooden sculpture of an infant cradled in a pair of hands.
The foundation’s work is a constant part of her family’s life, even on holiday.
This year, over spring break, they took their three children to the Amazon in Brazil. In that remote setting, she raved about the potential of a service to allow people to send money by mobile phone, after seeing the success of such a program in Kenya.
“I said, my gosh, if there is any place that would have been ripe to transfer savings from Manaus, the only big city in the Amazon, to all these remote villages, to the wife that still lives in a canoe 200 miles [321.8 km] up the river, it would be perfect. That’s the kind of thing that we are constantly talking about.”
Gates, 46, comes across as confident, optimistic and down to earth. Yet she began taking on a more public role somewhat reluctantly, describing herself as by nature a very private person.
“If you’re going to give voice to the work we do, it is important to speak out,” she said.
She’s also out in Seattle on a regular basis, walking or running, going out to dinner with her husband or making stops at Starbucks.
She volunteers with two of her children at a local food bank and shelter – “on an anonymous basis”, she said.
It’s a way to help her children “know what goes on in their backyard so they understand what it’s like for kids who don’t have the economic means to do what they do”.
Asked if her philanthropy has any moral, ethical or religious motivation, she pointed to her upbringing. Both she and her husband came from families who encouraged community service.
Later, as she travelled around the world, she saw more clearly the good fortune that being born in the US had bestowed.
“I was a lucky girl,” she said. “To say I ended up in this place and not a woman I met in Bangladesh or the Kibera slum, you can’t explain that.”
Follow ExecutiveStyle on Twitter

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/management/a-day-in-the-life-of-bill-gates-20110526-1f5mr.html#ixzz1NxoR2YTZ

APPLE TO UNVEIL NEXT GENERATION SOFTWARE AT KEYNOTE ADDRESS ON MONDAY, JUNE 6 CUPERTINO, California—May 31, 2011—Apple® CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.
WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. Mac® developers will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities. Mobile developers will be able to explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS and learn how to greatly enhance the functionality, performance and design of their apps. All developers can bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers.
For more details, visit the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 website at developer.apple.com/wwdc.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.
Press Contacts:
Jennifer Bowcock
(408) 974-9758
Trudy Muller
(408) 862-7426
NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple’s PR website, or call Apple’s Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042.
Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


As Foxtel works out how to get a return from their multimillion AFL investment, a bitter fight is set to break out between Optus and Telstra in an effort to lure the 70 percent of Australians who don’t have a content subscription provider.

Key elements of the fight will be content and the quality of set top boxes that are to be used, claims Scott Lorson the CEO of Fetch TV who is partnering with several ISPs, including Optus and iiNet in an effort to take on Foxtel and Telstra.
Lorson does not believe that the current generation of Smart TVs have the hardware or the functionality to deliver “high quality” content services.
He claims that a set top box is still needed to deliver Full HD content especially when a provider needs to deliver multiple tuners, state of the art content chipsets, middleware software and up to a terabyte of storage.
Yesterday Foxtel announced a deal with Telstra that will allow downloaded video content on the Xbox 360 to be unmetered for BigPond broadband customers, who will also get six new BigPond TV channels added to their Xbox Live service.
Meanwhile Optus is set to deliver a brand new media centre box to up to 500,000 Australians in an effort to take on Telstra’s T Box service, which has, in 8 months attracted over 175,000 users. What is not known is how Optus will get so many boxes to market.
Some analysts are speculating that the company will move to a low cost Apple TV type device with the Fetch TV service delivered as part of a low cost subscription service.
Scott Lorson, the CEO of Fetch TV, won’t talk about his recent deal with Optus in detail but what he does claim is that  Australia is a perfect market to mount a content fight as up to 70 percent of Australians are undecided when it comes to using a subscription content service Vs 14 percent in the USA.
Several analysts have told SmartHouse that as the incumbent in the content market, Foxtel has the most to lose in any upcoming content battle.
Their services are seen as expensive; with the subscription TV company recently admitting that they are struggling to sign up new customers.
With a churn rate of 14 percent Foxtel is now banking on AFL to attract new customers, after forking out $85 Million to secure the rights to nine AFL games.
Telstra, a 50 percent shareholder in Foxtel, stumped up another $155 Million with analysts now questioning whether there is actually a market for approximately 125,000 new Foxtel customers who will be expected to pay over $85 a month to get access to the AFL coverage which will also be shown on free to air TV.
Scott Lorson believes that a monthly subscription sweet spot is around $29.95. For that subscribers will get a high end Fetch TV set top box complete with 1 TB of storage, 3 tuners and access to movie content.
Lorson said: “There are four things that Australians want from a content subscription provider, access to free to air TV, time shift and recording capability, access to movies and the ability to download them as well as access to the Internet. These are essential going forward”.
“We know that 25 percent of Australians will pay for sport so the real issue is what does the other 75 percent of Australians want from a provider? We know that with 1.25 million people, English is not their first language, we know that people want more lifestyle content and we know that they want movies, because Australia has the highest consumption of rental movies in the world. So this is where we are starting from”.
Lorson claims that TV content delivered by iView and the new YouTube TV service which is set to be launched shortly is important for a subscription provider he said.
He added: “Smart TVs are not really smart yet, and won’t be pre the roll-out of the NBN. They lack a lot of features like pausing content and some lack unmetered broadband which makes content expensive via a Smart TV”.
Lorson also said that there problems with delivery of content to gaming consoles. He cited a recent article by Adam Turner in the SMH when Turner said: “One hassle with the Xbox 360 service is that you need to fire up the games console, mess around with the controller and log into the Foxtel service whenever you want to watch something – which is a lot of hassle when you just want to flop down on the couch. It’s a shame it won’t stay logged into Foxtel. To me the biggest difference compared to the full service is that you can’t pause, rewind or record the Xbox 360 service”.
Lorson said that he believes that multicast and a high quality set top box is the way to go for subscription TV as it allows providers like Fetch TV to deliver high quality content.
And like Kim Williams, the CEO of Foxtel, Lorson has questioned the value of Netflix in an Australian market as rumours swirl that Telstra is talking to them with a view to delivering their content in Australia.


Telstra turns on Brisbane fibre – Communications – News
The nation’s largest telco Telstra yesterday began switching on the new fibre broadband services it recently installed in the South Brisbane exchange area as part of its project to replace a small portion of its copper network.
Telstra has chosen to replace the copper connections to about 18,000 premises in the region, because its South Brisbane telephone exchange — where the copper cables terminate — is being closed in order to make way for the new Queensland Children’s Hospital in the area. The region is one of the first in Australia to receive fibre services to the home, but is not part of the Federal Government’s flagship National Broadband Network project.
“After much planning, designing, consultation and construction, the first connections to the new fibre optic network in the South Brisbane exchange area begins today,” the company’s executive director of integrated network planning, David Piltz, wrote on Telstra’s Exchange blog yesterday.
The “phased approach” to rolling out the network would take place over the next 18 months, the executive added, with residents and businesses to be progressively migrated onto the new network over that period. “As construction is completed and areas are ready to be moved on to the new fibre network, residents and businesses will be contacted by their service provider to arrange their installation.”
The complete migration is expected to be finished by December 2012, at which point Telstra’s exchange building will be removed and the site will be handed to the Queensland Government.
Telstra is offering residents and businesses in the area an upgrade process that is believed to be fairly similar to what will be achieved under the wider NBN roll-out. First, customers’ premises will be connected to the fibre network via a “lead-in” cable. Then, a technician will install an Optical Termination Unit inside customers’ premises, so that they can connect their telephones and broadband services. In addition, Telstra is offering customers a no-cost battery backup power supply unit, which will keep services running for a number of hours in the event of a power outage.
Broadband speeds on the network will be up to 100Mbps, and Telstra expects pricing over the network to be similar to that seen with existing plans, although this may vary depending on what retail internet service provider is actually providing services on top of Telstra’s network.
The news comes as construction on the NBN is also expected to ramp up fairly shortly in some states, following the signing of an agreement yesterday between NBN Co and construction firm Silcar. The deal covers NSW, Queensland and the ACT, with NBN Co currently negotiating with other companies to cover the other states.

Laptop program hailed | The Australian
THE lives of 5000 students in remote Australia have been turned around during the past 12 months, courtesy of a small green and white laptop.
Over the next three years that story will be writ large across the country, with the One Laptop Per Child scheme aiming to provide the computers to 400,000 children aged 4-15 in remote and regional Australia by 2014.
The OLPC program is a global scheme established in the US in 2005. To date, the non-profit organisation has given laptops to almost 2 million children worldwide, true to its charter of using technology to help bridge the gap between children in remote communities and their city cousins.
Yesterday, the local arm of the charity – of which The Australian is a sponsor – celebrated its two-year anniversary.
The executive director of the program in Australia, Rangan Srikhanta, said educators in the field had reported that the laptop roll-out had “literally changed children’s lives”
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
“If we can provide an XO to each of the 400,000 remote Australian children by 2014, we will have made a marked contribution to educational reform,” Mr Srikhanta said.

Remote anti-theft tracking software has helped return a laptop to its rightful owner | The
THE images began arriving in Joshua Kaufman’s inbox. The grainy photos are low-lit and intimate: a man curled up on a couch, sound asleep; the same man propped up against pillows on a bed, shirtless.
Who was this stranger sitting with Mr Kaufman’s stolen laptop?
The Oakland, San Francisco resident collected the images and took them to police, who did not help him.
So he went online, publishing the pictures on Twitter and in a blog titled “This Guy Has My MacBook.”
“People who followed me on Twitter retweeted it. It got picked up by social media and the press. It went super viral,” he said. On the same day that he posted his website on Twitter, police came calling.
Police on Tuesday arrested a 27-year-old cab driver, Muthanna Aldebashi. Yesterday, Mr Kaufman picked up his laptop from the police.
Mr Kaufman said he was “surprised and amazed” when he began receiving images of the man using his laptop.
Mr Kaufman’s case is the latest example of people, not police, using technological tools to help find their own stolen property such as cars, mobile phones and digital cameras.
Mr Kaufman had just moved to a new apartment in Oakland when a burglar broke in, taking the laptop, a bag, an electronic book reader, and a bottle of gin on March 21.
He activated theft-tracking software he had installed, which began sending photos taken by the computer’s built-in camera of the unauthorised user three days later.
“I wasn’t sure if it would work because I never tested it before,” he said. Most of the images “were honestly really boring photos – people staring into the screen. But some were definitely more humorous.”
Among them was a screenshot of the man logging onto his Gmail account, which showed an email that appeared to include the name of a business, Mr Kaufman said.
A quick internet search revealed it was a cab company in nearby Berkeley, which Kaufman assumed was the man’s workplace.
Mr Kaufman submitted the information to police, but said they were unwilling to help and didn’t respond to numerous follow-up emails.
“I know a stolen computer is small in the larger scheme but it would be nice to feel like you actually cared,” he tweeted three days after the break-in.
Mr Kaufman said he turned to the internet because he became “frustrated and thought I should try and get some attention from the media”.
He posted some of the photos, including captions such as “I really don’t want to know what this guy is doing with my MacBook” for the image of the shirtless man in bed.
Mr Aldebashi will appear in court tomorrow. San Francisco police say they get thousands of reports of stolen laptops each month.

Best retro apps for Apple’s iPad, iPhone | The Australian
DO you clamour for the golden days of vinyl, tape drives, slide rules and etch-a-sketch? The days when you took over the loungeroom TV to play games on your Commodore 64?
The days when BASIC was a dominant computer programming language and the complexities of object-oriented programming was thankfully confined to the likes of Lisp?
Fear not, you can retrofit your iPad and/or iPhone and return to the technological past.
You can start by morphing your device into that wonder of the early 1980s, the Commodore 64 computer. At $5.99, the app is a steal. You not only get a working computer including a BASIC emulator to play with, where you can LIST and RUN programs to your heart’s content, but free C64 games such as Arctic Shipwreck and Jupiter Landing. It’s an iPhone app, so select 2x magnification on the iPad.
Unfortunately the C64 BASIC emulator doesn’t remember your code once you close the app — you have to enter it again. Fortunately there’s the free cbmHand Basic app, a fully fledged BASIC emulator that synchronises your programs with iTunes.
Thankfully, ExecTech still has his BASIC programming manual from the 1970s, and after a quick refresher, bashed out code that printed the squares and cubes of all numbers from 1 to 1000, a guess-the-number classic, and regurgitated a Melbourne Cup sweep program that was actually useful.
They say slide rules helped man to travel to the moon. Slide rules were big before calculators, and all teenage baby boomers studying high school science in the 1960s had them. Virtual Slide Rule ($5.99) and Slide Rule ($1.19) are on offer in the app store. Virtual Slide Rule includes a swag of scales but is inaccurate — using the C and D scales, 2 x 2 gave 4.4. If you don’t trust slide rules, download the abacus app instead ($1.19).
Stereolizer ($2.49) offers a wonderful emulation of a 1980s stereo including an animated cassette tape deck. You populate the tuner by selecting from hundreds of digital internet stations, you load a virtual cassette and record at will. The animation is very well done. Retro Recorder ($1.19) is a simpler iPhone app for recording to an old cassette deck.
Vinyl Love ($2.49) lets you play your iTunes music on a simulated player. You get to virtually pick up and drop the stylus on your track. Your collection is organised into albums held in big plastic trays, just as in the old days. Unfortunately there’s no vinyl smell for added realism.
Retro TV Classic ($2.49) and Retro TV Horror Premium ($1.19) display an old 60s TV set with a selection of old favourite shows and old advertisements. Retro Classic includes episodes of Mister Ed, The Perry Como Show, Petticoat Junction, Ozzie and Harriet and old feature films. The Horror Premium collection includes totally forgettable and often disturbing horror films.
I was never an Etch A Sketch fan, but it’s in the app store ($3.99), as is Space Invaders ($5.99). The movement controls on Space Invaders weren’t as easy to use as on the consoles in the good old days, and my guns were continually shot to pieces.
The 8mm Vintage Camera ($2.49) is an iPhone app that offers old-style filming, complete with dust and scratches on the film, if you want to recreate your life history anew.

Nokia dismisses Microsoft takeover report | The Australian
NOKIA chief executive Stephen Elop has dismissed as “baseless” a report that Microsoft had agreed to purchase the Finnish company’s mobile business.
“There are absolutely no discussions,” Elop said at the D9 technology conference here hosted by All Things Digital. “The rumours are baseless.”
The website Boy Genius, or BGR.com, reported that according to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft has struck a deal to buy Nokia’s mobile phone business for $US19 billion ($17.89bn).
Nokia hired Elop, a former Microsoft executive, to be its chief executive in September and in February the Finnish company announced that it was abandoning its smartphone platform to adopt Microsoft’s mobile operating system.
Elop said the first Nokia smartphone using the Windows Phone 7 software would be released in the fourth quarter of the year.
He briefly took a prototype out of his pocket but quickly put it back without providing so much as a glimpse of the screen.

Former chief Eric Schmidt admits Google didn’t take Facebook seriously | The Australian
IF he had another chance, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt would have pressed the internet search leader to focus more on mounting a challenge to Facebook while he was still running the company.
“I screwed up,” Schmidt said during a 75-minute question-and-answer session at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The Associated Press watched a webcast of the conference.
Schmidt’s admission comes nearly two months after he ended his decade-long stint as Google’s CEO and became the company’s executive chairman. He was replaced by Google co-founder Larry Page, who is pushing the company’s employees to develop more ways to connect people with their friends and family like Facebook already does.
That was a priority that Schmidt said he started addressing in internal memos written about four years ago when Facebook had about 20 million active users.
But he acknowledged he and other executives didn’t take Facebook seriously enough. Now, Facebook has more than 500 million users who shares billions of links, posts and photos each month.
Facebook’s growing popularity is becoming more nettlesome for Google.
As Facebook’s audience grows, it is attracting more online advertising and stunting Google’s financial growth. Perhaps even more troubling to Google, much of the information on Facebook’s website can’t be indexed by Google’s search engine. That restriction threatens to make Google’s less useful as more people form social circles online and could make it more difficult to get a handle on personal preferences so it can do a better job selling ads.
Schmidt said the company has been working hard to solve this “identity” problem. “I think the industry as a whole would benefit from an alternative” to Facebook’s network, Schmidt said.
Google has tried to negotiate partnerships with Facebook, Schmidt said, only to be repeatedly rebuffed. He said Facebook has preferred teaming up with another Google rival, Microsoft, which owns a 1.6 per cent stake in Facebook. Google also has ties to Facebook; one of its former executives, Sheryl Sandberg, is Facebook’s chief operating officer.
Just before Page became CEO, Google introduced its version of Facebook’s ubiquitous “Like” button to enable web surfers to endorse search results and ads. Google’s recommendation button, called “+1,” is expected to be expanded to other websites, according to the Techcrunch blog and industry newsletter Search Engine Land. Schmidt didn’t mention a timetable for expanding Google’s +1 button.
Google used the conference to announce the launch of another networking service that will offer discounts from restaurants and other merchants if enough people agree to buy the coupons. The service, called “Google Offers,” is based on the daily deals offered by Groupon, which Google unsuccessfully tried to buy last year. Google’s offers initially will be available only in Portland, Oregon, before expanding to New York and the San Francisco Bay area later this year. The offers are part of a new mobile payment service Google unveiled last week.
Schmidt views Google and Facebook as part of a powerful “gang of four” that’s building influential platforms for selling a variety of products and services to consumers. The others, according to Schmidt, are iPhone and iPad maker Apple and the web’s biggest retailer, Amazon.com.
Apple once had a close relationship with Google, but Schmidt said things have gotten “rough” between the companies since Google introduced its Android software for mobile phones in 2008. The intensifying competition prompted Schmidt to resign from Apple’s board of directors in 2009.
Although he no longer is involved in day-to-operations, Schmidt said he remains a close adviser to Page and is consulted on all key decisions. He spends most of his time traveling to meet with customers, scouting potential acquisitions and meeting government regulators who have been scrutinizing the company’s business practices and privacy policies
It’s a role that Schmidt, 56, indicated he expects to fill for the rest of his career. He even joked he would like to still be working at Google after he dies if the company could develop the technology to make that possible.
By serving as Google’s public ambassador, Schmidt said Page can concentrate on Facebook and other internal issues
“Larry is pretty busy sitting in his office from 9am to 10pm going through product reviews,” Schmidt said.

Microsoft demos new Windows 8 OS for PCs, tablets | The Australian
MICROSOFT has given a sneak preview of the successor to Windows 7, a next-generation operating system designed to work on both personal computers and touchscreen tablets.
Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division, demonstrated some of the features of the operating system code-named “Windows 8” at the D9 technology conference in California hosted by All Things Digital.
“Laptops, slates, desktops – all can run one operating system,” Sinofsky said.
“Things that people see work… on an iPad, I think we can do that and then bring with it all of the benefits that you have with Windows,” he said.
“We have an approach that is different but builds on the value of an operating system that sells 400 million or so units a year,” he said.
“Windows 8” builds upon many of the features in Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system for smartphones, Windows Phone 7, including the use of touch “tiles” instead of icons to launch and navigate between applications.
In a blog post, Julie Larson-Green, corporate vice president of Windows Experience, said Windows 8 is a “reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface.
“A Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse,” Larson-Green said.
“Although the new user interface is designed and optimised for touch, it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard,” she added.
Larson-Green said Microsoft would reveal more features of Windows 8, which uses Internet Explorer 10 as a web browser, at its developers conference in Anaheim, California, opening on September 13.
Windows powers most of the world’s personal computers but the Redmond, Washington-based software giant has been slow to enter a fast-growing tablet market dominated for the moment by Apple’s iPad.
Many other tablet makers have opted to use Google’s Android software and Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said a “well-formed Windows 8 will pose serious problems to Android.”
The iPad was expected to remain the tablet market leader but “Microsoft will be a contender,” she said. “What’s more, they’ll have a product that can compete across devices, and a foothold in the post-PC future.”
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p92QfWOw88I

Leave a Reply