Episode 242

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GLENN’S NOTEBOOK

Apple unveils bargain-priced Mac OS X Lion as $31.99 download-only app

Lion, will be available next month as a download from the Mac App Store, priced at $31.99. Lion, also known as Mac OS X 10.7, is the eighth version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system and includes more than 250 new features.

To upgrade to Lion from 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac users running Intel CPUs can simply download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store on the day it becomes available. Controversially, it seems that the software will not be available to purchase separately on disc (which means the user must have an internet connection), and nor will the upgrade path be available to users running Mac OS X 10.5 or earlier (which means those users will need to upgrade to Snow Leopard in order to upgrade to Lion).

Apple also unveiled updates to its software for iPhones and iPads. It will present notifications of new emails, missed calls and other events in a more intelligent fashion, reminiscent of the way Google’s Android smartphone software already does.

The software will present all pending notifications in a list, accessible with the swipe of a finger.

The new mobile software, iOS 5, will have a newsstand for newspapers and magazines that you subscribe to on iPad. New issues are automatically downloaded and placed there.

Apple also announced greater integration with Twitter, so that you can tweet photos, for instance, directly from a photo app.

The software would be available to consumers in the fall. iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches will now be able to get operating system updates directly from the internet, without having to connect to a PC running iTunes. It’s something Android phones can now do.

Lion, will be available next month as a download from the Mac App Store, priced at $31.99. Lion, also known as Mac OS X 10.7, is the eighth version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system and includes more than 250 new features.


Apple unveils iCloud service for easier sharing of data between multiple devices

APPLE CEO Steve Jobs has briefly emerged from medical leave to unveil a free service that lets customers share calendar entries, songs and other files among their computer devices more easily.

In the first hour, he appeared on stage for only a few minutes  Mr Jobs left many of the specific announcements to top executives.

Mr Jobs returned to stage about 80 minutes into the presentation to announce a service called iCloud.

Apple’s iCloud will also allow customers to store their music online. Buy a song on iTunes once, and it will be available on up to 10 devices.

The basic service will be free for now and replaces a $US99-a-year ($92.20) Apple service called MobileMe, which Jobs said “was not our finest hour”.

For $US25 ($23.30) a year, iTunes will be able to scan a computer’s hard drive for music files that have been converted from CDs.

The basic service will be free for now and replaces a $US99-a-year ($92.20) Apple service called MobileMe, which Jobs said “was not our finest hour”.

For $US25 ($23.30) a year, iTunes will be able to scan a computer’s hard drive for music files that have been converted from CDs.

If the same songs are available in the iTunes store, they’ll be added to the iCloud locker. That means there’s no need to purchase the songs again or upload them.

The service, known as iTunes Match, will upload any songs to iCloud if it’s not already available through iTunes.



Apple surpasses HP as largest buyer of chips

Apple bought $US17.5 billion ($16.53bn) worth of chips last year, surpassing computer maker Hewlett-Packard as the largest consumer, IHS iSuppli said. That was an increase of 80 per cent from the year before, reflecting Apple’s continuing sales surge.

Samsung Electronics, which makes a wide variety of electronics, and PC maker Dell were the No. 3 and 4 chip buyers. No. 5 is Nokia, the world’s largest maker of phones.Apple bought $US17.5 billion ($16.53bn) worth of chips last year, surpassing computer maker Hewlett-Packard as the largest consumer, IHS iSuppli said. That was an increase of 80 per cent from the year before, reflecting Apple’s continuing sales surge.


Next-generation IPv6 addresses tested


Hundreds of companies, organisations and institutions around the world are taking part in “World IPv6 Day,” including internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

IPv6 provides more than four billion times more addresses than IPv4 — more addresses, for example, than there are grains of sand on Earth.

The number of available IPv4 addresses will run out later this year and the transition to IPv6 is needed to keep pace with the explosive growth in internet use.

Google, which is enabling IPv6 on Google Search, Gmail, YouTube and other services, said “the vast majority (99.95 per cent) of people will be able to access services without interruption” during the IPv6 test, which began at 0000 GMT Wednesday and is to last for 24 hours.

“Either they’ll connect over IPv6, or their systems will successfully fall back to IPv4,” Google network engineer Lorenzo Colitti said in a blog post.

Colitti estimated that 0.05 per cent of systems may fail to fall back to IPv4, making Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and other participating websites “slow or unresponsive.”

Hundreds of companies, organisations and institutions around the world are taking part in “World IPv6 Day,” including internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.




Skype outage hits users worldwide

SKYPE suffered a second major outage in a fortnight last night,

Users in Australia, Britain, US, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, Malaysia, Croatia, Belarus, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, India, Turkey, Bulgaria, Belgium, Russia and Romania were among those airing their frustration on blogs and Twitter.

A week ago a Russian hacker posted some of Skype’s code on the Internet, saying he had reverse-engineered Skype’s protocol.

Now you’re talking: say-TV is on the way

Microsoft has mashed together its Bing search engine, Xbox 360 games console and Kinect motion-sensing games controller, which includes a microphone, to produce a voice-activated media finder.

“You say it, Xbox finds it,” said Marc Whitten, corporate vice-president of Xbox Live. To watch live TV, you just say the words “Xbox live TV”.

Microsoft demonstrated voice control for its Xbox Live at the big E3 electronic entertainment trade show in Los Angeles this week



Facebook sorry over face tagging launch

Facebook said that the system was intended to speed up the process of assigning a name to a picture, known as tagging.
It was introduced in the US in December 2010 but has only now been launched globally.
The social network said that it should have done more to notify members about the global launch.
Its Tag Suggestions feature scans photos and automatically picks out existing friends.
Although users have the option to switch it off, some complained that they were not explicitly asked if they wanted it activated.


Wimbledon finals to be first 3D broadcasts on BBC

The BBC will broadcast the men’s and women’s singles finals at this year’s Wimbledon Championships live in 3D.

The free-to-air broadcast will be available to anyone who has access to a 3D TV set and HD Channels

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13683880

British Library launch classic book reading app

more than 60,000 19th Century books is being made available by the British Library in a new iPad application.
The paid-for app will be launched in full this summer, but until then a thousand titles can be browsed for free.
All titles are in the public domain, and include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
Unlike e-books, the app uses scanned copies of original editions.
Its creators say this gives readers the best way to experience old books the way the classic authors intended – including additions like pull-out maps and original illustrations.
not available in Aus store but im sure you can work it out…

China: Teenager ‘sells kidney for iPad

The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, told a local TV station he had arranged the sale of the kidney over the internet.
The story only came to light after the teenager’s mother became suspicious.
Illegal agents organised a trip to the hospital and paid him $3,392

With the cash the student bought an iPad 2, as well as a laptop.
When his mother noticed the computers and the deep red scar on his body, which was caused by the surgery, Little Zheng confessed.



Steve Jobs’ iSpaceship to land in Cupertino

The circular structure will be made from huge sheets of curved architectural glass similar to Apple’s retail outlets.
“It’s a circle and curved all the way around. This is not the cheapest way to build something. There’s not a straight piece of glass in this building,” he explained.
“I think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world.”
Apple had purchased the land which formerly was home to HP’s computer systems division. Jobs recounted that it was where he had landed his first summer job at age 13 after contacting Bill Hewlett for spare parts to build a frequency counter.
provide a central workplace for 12,000 staff. Apple’s staff were currently scattered around Cupertino at “not very good” rental properties, said Jobs.
Four levels of parking will be built beneath the four story circular structure, which Jobs argued would enhance the landscape by removing 90 per cent of the existing parking space.
“As you know, we’re the largest taxpayer in Cupertino, so we’d like to stay here. If we can’t, we’d have to go to some place like Mountain View and we’d take our current people with us,” he said.
“The largest tax base would go away. That wouldn’t be good for Cupertino and that wouldn’t be good for us either.”
One member on the council panel asked if Apple would provide Wi-Fi to the city, but Jobs lobbed the question back to the city.
“I’m a simpleton. I’ve always had this view that we pay taxes and the city should do these things. That’s why we pay taxes. Now if we can get out of paying taxes, I’d be glad to put up Wi-Fi.”

 

Erik’s Notebook

RUMOR: MICROSOFT-BRANDED WINDOWS 8 TABLET IN THE WORKS


Microsoft gave us an early preview of Windows 8
Microsoft to date still hasn’t delivered a response to Apple’s iPad tablet, and the software leviathan might be taking matters into its own hands.
Sources at DigiTimes claim that Microsoft has talked with Texas Instruments and Taiwanese OEMS about possibly distributing a Microsoft-branded Windows 8 tablet by 2013.
According to the source, “Microsoft plans to copy its branding strategy from product lines such as Xbox 360, Zune, Kin smartphone and TV, to compete in the tablet PC segment.”
To date, the Microsoft-branded Xbox 360 line has been one of the company’s rare hardware success stories. Microsoft’s other hardware products haven’t had much luck: The Kin smartphone, Zune PMP, and Microsoft-branded televisions have, for lack of a better word, flopped. Microsoft revealed the core functionality of Windows 8 earlier this month at the D9 conference.
Microsoft didn’t return our request for comment. But company representative Frank Shaw did tweet this morning: “Nothing like starting the day with a hot steaming cup of speculation.”
The move seems unlikely from a business standpoint. Developing a Microsoft-branded tablet could sour its relationship with other Windows 7 and Windows 8 hardware suppliers, something that Microsoft can’t afford to lose. However, computer manufacturer Acer has already expressed discomfort about some of Microsoft’s tablet plans: The company’s CEO J.T. Wang claimed that Microsoft is imposing “troublesome” restrictions on makers of processors who are making Windows 8 tablets.
Wang didn’t elaborate on what those restrictions are. But it’s possible that Microsoft’s strategy with Windows 8 will be similar to its approach with Windows Phone 7, in which the company issues a strict list of criteria to phone manufacturers, requiring their handsets to contain specific hardware in order to run Microsoft’s operating system.
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/06/microsoft-branded-tablet-rumor/




TENSION RISING BETWEEN TELSTRA AND NBN CO IN BROADBAND TALKS
John Durie From:The Australian

IT’S almost a year since Telstra and NBN signed the heads of agreement to their landmark deal and tension is rising, raising some doubts it will ever happen.
To even contemplate that is extraordinary, but both sides are fatigued and blaming each other for the delay in getting a deal on the 2000-page agreement.
Last Friday, one was expected by the close of business yesterday. But this week there have been no formal talks — instead, NBN’s team has reportedly been reviewing some points.
NBN chief Mike Quigley is still on vacation, and not due to return until some time before he is due to front the Senate estimates committee on June 17.
That doesn’t help.
NBN blames the infamous Telstra middle management bureaucracy for slowing things down, when by all accounts chair Catherine Livingstone and chief David Thodey are anxious to get the deal signed up.
NBN’s exasperation is matched by claims NBN is arrogant and — given it has a lousy business model — keen to screw down every cost.
Suffice it to say Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who has been in Paris at an OECD broadband conference this week, is equally keen to get the deal done, given it is one of the few known vote-winners the government has right now.
NBN chair Harrison Young told an AICD luncheon in Melbourne yesterday he expected a deal to be concluded within “about a week”.
Asked about Telstra’s negotiation skills, he said they were “diligent”, which would suggest too much so.
All of which is truly extraordinary given the obvious benefits for the government and Telstra in getting a deal done. Young expressed absolute confidence that the project would be “very commercial” over the long term, but said that like any major infrastructure program, it required some support in its early years.
He also calmed some nerves about the way NBN was conducting its deal, saying while the headline figures may be big, the actual dollars being handed across to private contractors in the early years were small.
A $1 billion contract meant gradual payments which would be relatively easy for a new government to halt, should it so desire.
The more customers on the network, the harder it will be to unscramble the egg, and after 2012 it will be very difficult.
Some contracts contain penalty clauses, but not all.
On June 21 last year, when Telstra told the market it had signed the heads of agreement, its stock hit a 52-week high of $3.34 but it fell to $2.60 on March 16 before climbing to $3.08 yesterday.
After hitting its recent lows the stock has outperformed the market, partly on hopes of progress in the NBN deal, positive returns from its $1bn drive for mobile growth and broadband sales.
The government deal will see after-tax payments of $9bn to the company over nearly two decades as it transfers customers to the new fibre network and makes its trenches available.
NBN needs Telstra to make the network work and make the construction easier, while Telstra will benefit from a further $2bn in government subsidies and close to $20bn in actual cash as it ditches its ageing copper network and gets an armchair ride on to the NBN. The Telstra ditches are important to the construction in part because it is Telstra which must guarantee their delivery in fibre-ready form, not the NBN.
Once Telstra and NBN actually reach an agreement, it goes to cabinet along with a review by investment bank Lazard, and then once cabinet approves, it will go back to the Telstra board for final approval.
The hope was for cabinet to review the document next week but that is looking less likely, as is the chance that Telstra shareholders will signal their approval at the mid-October annual meeting.
Sometimes when deals are negotiated for a long time with no outcome, someone walks, and that now looks like an outside chance.
Foster’s cuts jobs
FOSTER’S boss John Pollaers has quietly cut about 100 head office jobs — about 25 per cent — and a further 50 at its Abbotsford plant as part of his push to convert the office from a bureaucracy into an operating centre with the focus on brand support.
Savings from the staff cuts will be reinvested into the brands.
The cuts were by redundancies and closing unfilled positions.
In a note to staff, Pollaers said: “An important part of turning this business around is building and defining our new identity as well as ensuring that our ways of working align with what we should be as a standalone company focused on beer and cider. We need to set the foundations for our future success and there is much to be done in order to for us to get there.”
Stock shockers
THE attached table shows a select group of stocks that have underperformed the market by more than 25 per cent this year.
Arguably, they are oversold, but after four years of negative industrial company earnings, the impact is obvious.
Flying high
VIRGIN Australia’s John Borghetti’s gradual reconstruction of the airline is starting to threaten Qantas just as some doubt the latter’s strategy.
The airline business is a nightmare to run, but the perception now is that Qantas is cutting offshore routes and sometimes replacing them with Jetstar but in the process making it harder for the mainline airline to gear up on the next upturn.
Alan Joyce’s proposed Singapore-based airline is due to go to the board shortly.
Ironically enough, arch-rival Singapore Airlines suffers from the same problems as Qantas, being hit from all sides by government-funded flag-carriers and start-ups.
Qantas has the extra problem of being the last stop on the train line, which makes it hard to counterattack.
Borghetti has ignored the woeful operating conditions and set about attacking the market. By the end of this year he should have codesharing deals with Singapore, Etihad, Air New Zealand and Delta. Every base is covered and the soon to be relaunched frequent flyer scheme will be boosted big time by having all of the above on the same ticket.
Virgin has about 29 per cent domestic market share, struggling Pacific routes and about 12 per cent of the business market.
The move to rebrand Virgin Australia, complete with airport lounges and business-class seating, has put the airline into a new market — and arguably was the key to attracting Singapore’s support.
For its part, Singapore is probably happy to have Australia covered with the Virgin deal rather than throw more of its capital at this market.
Borghetti will now be able to market a full-service international airline to corporates as he tries to win 20 per cent of the business market in two years.
For now, the revamp is hitting all the right notes.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/tension-rising-between-telstra-and-nbn-co-in-broadband-talks/story-e6frg9io-1226071260711


APPLE SURPASSES HP AS LARGEST BUYER OF CHIPS
AP June 09, 2011 4:14PM


Apple’s popular iPad tablet computer
Source: AFP
DRIVEN by the success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple has become the world’s largest buyer of chips for computers and phones, a research firm said.
Apple bought $US17.5 billion ($16.53bn) worth of chips last year, surpassing computer maker Hewlett-Packard as the largest consumer, IHS iSuppli said. That was an increase of 80 per cent from the year before, reflecting Apple’s continuing sales surge.
An iPhone contains about $US80 worth of chips, according to iSuppli. The chips include the central processor that acts as the brains of the device, radio chips that let it talk to cell towers and the audio chip that converts the owner’s voice into a stream of data.
The finding that Apple is the No. 1 buyer cements its standing as a company that has the clout, and the cash, to buy chips and other crucial components such as touchscreens when other companies struggle because of supply constraints.
As an example, Apple said in January that it had spent $US3.9bn on long-term contracts to secure supplies for the next two years of a “very strategic” component it wouldn’t name. Few other companies are able to commit that much money.
Last year, high-tech manufacturers were scrambling to buy chips as sales started reviving after the recession and chip-makers had yet to ramp production back up. But Apple reported no chip supply problems; it blamed shortages of iPhones and iPads instead on limited assembly-line capacity.
IPhones and iPads use large amounts of expensive flash memory, accounting for much of Apple’s chip consumption. Apple sold 48 million iPhones last year, up 89 per cent from the previous year. Meanwhile, PC industry sales grew 14 per cent, iSuppli said. iPads went on sale for the first time last year.
Samsung, Micron Technology and Intel are leading makers of flash memory.
The $US17.5bn figure means more than a third of Apple’s “cost of revenue” — expenditures excluding corporate overhead — went toward chip purchases last year.
Samsung Electronics, which makes a wide variety of electronics, and PC maker Dell were the No. 3 and 4 chip buyers. No. 5 is Nokia, the world’s largest maker of phones. However, its output is dominated by cheap phones that don’t use as many or as pricey chips as the iPhone.
iSuppli expects Apple to extend its lead this year by buying chips for $US22.4bn, compared with $US14.8bn at HP.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/apple-surpasses-hp-as-largest-buyer-of-chips/story-e6frgakx-1226072490671




APPLE’S IOS 5 COULD BE AS GOOD AS A NEW IPHONE
Apple’s iOS 5 is a major update that shouldn’t be overlooked in the midst of excitement about iCloud, writes Shane Richmond.

By Shane Richmond, Head of Technology (Editorial) in San Francisco
7:30AM BST 09 Jun 2011
7,038 followers


1 Comment

We don’t know for certain whether Apple will release a new iPhone this year. There might be a souped-up iPhone 4 – the iPhone 4S – or even an iPhone 5. Then again, there might be neither. One thing is for sure, iOS 5, the updated iPhone operating system, will make it feel like you have a new iPhone – or iPad or iPod touch.
Due for release in the autumn, iOS 5 was unveiled in San Francisco on Monday by Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, and some of the company’s senior executives. The headline-grabbing announcement was iCloud – the service that stores your documents, emails and even music on Apple’s servers, keeping all of your devices in sync – but the significance of iOS 5 should not be overlooked. This is an update that pulls Apple ahead of its rivals once again in some areas and catches up with them in others. Furthermore, it poses challenges to app developers and mobile phone networks alike.
There are features that Apple’s critics will sniffily point out were already being done elsewhere. Android, Google’s rival to the iPhone, has for some time now handled notifications better than Apple. The new iPhone notifications system is merely catching up, they will tell you. That underestimates Apple’s genius for seeing what someone else has done and making its own version, usually in a way that is simpler and more elegant than the original.
The third-party developers who build apps for Apple’s products aren’t immune from that treatment either. Several of the new features in iOS 5 are a threat to existing, successful apps. There’s Reminders, the to do list that manages your tasks and will even notify you based on your location. Pull into the supermarket car park and Reminders will send you a note about your grocery list. It’s a powerful tool and a direct threat to apps such as Things and Remember the Milk.
The new version of Safari, Apple’s web browser, comes with a feature called Reading List, which saves interesting web pages so that you can read them later and will perhaps draw customers away from Instapaper and Read It Later. Marco Ament, who built Instapaper, says that he hopes Reading List will give Apple users a taste for saving articles and that they will then be tempted to try the more powerful features in his product.
The lesson for developers is clear: be careful if you write an app that plugs a hole in Apple’s operating system. If Apple decides later to plug that gap itself, your app is finished unless you can offer more depth or that fits a niche interest group.
iOS 5 also makes Apple’s devices ‘PC free’ – there’s no longer any need to plug your new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a computer before you can use it. It will now work out of the box.
Possibly the boldest of the new features is iMessage, which will replace text messaging for many iPhone users and offers a tempting alternative to the BlackBerry Messenger, which has long been a key selling point of BlackBerry handsets, particularly for younger users, who don’t want to pay for texts. How will mobile network operators take the news that iPhone users will no longer need to send texts? We’ll see.
They will be comforted by the fact that iMessage works only between iOS users. That’s another feature of Apple’s announcements on Monday: the company has added more reasons for its customers to stay warm and cosy within the closed world it has created for them. That’s unlikely to please Apple’s critics but then Apple has seldom been interested in what its critics think.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8564502/Apples-iOS-5-could-be-as-good-as-a-new-iPhone.html


UPCOMING STEVE JOBS BIOGRAPHY AN AMAZON BESTSELLER June 8, 2011


A biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has hit the bestseller charts on Amazon even though it won’t be released until March of next year.
iSteve: The Book of Jobs was number 26 on the Amazon bestseller list this week on the strength of pre-orders of the book, which is being written by former Time magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson.
Amazon is offering a hardcover edition of the book for $US18, down from the list price of $US30.
The book, the first authorised biography of the technology visionary behind the Macintosh computer, the iPod, the iPhone and iPad, is to be released on March 6, 2012.
Isaacson, chief executive of the Aspen Institute think-tank, has also penned biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger.
AFP

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/upcoming-steve-jobs-biography-an-amazon-bestseller-20110608-1fro4.html#ixzz1Ol7wnmvP


APPLE’S JOBS SHOWS OFF ‘SPACESHIP’ HEADQUARTERS PLAN June 9, 2011 – 1:19PM

Apple plans to build a circular “spaceship” building in the company’s home town, Cupertino, that will hold 12,000 employees – and be the best office building in the world, chief executive Steve Jobs said.
The ailing chief of Apple, formally on leave from the company, made his second public appearance in two days late on Tuesday in the US to show off plans to the city council of Cupertino, which is in California.
There was a rush on the $US616 sweater that Jobs was wearing at the meeting after the clothing manufacturer announced the Apple founder was wearing its brand.
Advertisement: Story continues below

Apple’s planned new headquarters.
According to reports there were so many orders from Apple fans that the online store stopped taking orders.
“It’s a little like a spaceship landed,” said Jobs, showing off a four-storey, circular building with a massive interior courtyard on a 150-acre piece of landscaped land.
“There is not a straight piece of glass in the building,” he said. “We know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use.”

Looking to the future … Steve Jobs Photo: AP
Apple has grown “like a weed”, Jobs said, and needs a place to put roughly 12,000 people. The massive new structure would be in addition to the main campus at 1 Infinite Loop.
“That’s rather odd: 12,000 people in a building, in one building. But we’ve seen these office parks with lots of buildings, and they get pretty boring pretty fast, so we’d like to do something better than that,” he said.
“I do think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world,” he added, showing off sketches.
He quickly shot down questions from city council members, avoiding a request to give free Wi-Fi to the city and arguing that the increase in workers at the site would not be significant enough to require any traffic mitigation efforts.
Landscaping will include trees, native plants and apricot orchards, a throwback to the agricultural heritage of Silicon Valley when Jobs was growing up.
Apple bought most of the land from Hewlett Packard, where Jobs got one of his first summer jobs after calling up his idol and HP founder Bill Hewlett, to ask for spare parts. Hewlett and Packard bought the main parcel, he said.

Reuters and smh.com.au
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/apples-jobs-shows-off-spaceship-headquarters-plan-20110609-1ftlu.html#ixzz1Ol7K7Gqh


JOBS UNVEILS ICLOUD, NEW MAC SOFTWARE June 7, 2011 – 5:32AM

Apple CEO Steve Jobs briefly emerged from a medical leave to unveil a free service that lets customers share calendar entries, songs and other files among their devices more easily.
“iCloud stores your content in the [internet] cloud and automatically pushes it to all your devices,” Jobs told software developers at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
“Some people think the cloud is just a hard disk in the sky. We think it’s way more than that and we call it iCloud. We’re going to move the digital hub to the cloud.”

The company also announced new software to make Mac computers behave more like mobile devices and Apple’s mobile devices more like rival smartphones.
Jobs received a standing ovation as he made his second major public appearance since he went on medical leave in January for unspecified reasons and duration.
Jobs left many of the specific announcements to top executives. In the first hour, he appeared on stage for only a few minutes. Typically, he’s on stage longer at major public launches.

Apple’s stock was down $US4.38, or 1.3 per cent, at $US339 in afternoon trading. The stock was up in the morning, but fell soon after Jobs left the stage.

James Brown’s “I Feel Good” played over the loudspeakers just before Jobs walked on stage, looking thin, in his signature outfit of mock turtleneck and blue jeans.

One audience member shouted out, “we love you.”

Jobs returned to stage about 80 minutes into the presentation to announce a service called iCloud.

An iCloud account will store user information from several devices, including iPhones and iPads, and make sure the same contacts, calendar events and files are available on all of them. It also backs up the data on Apple’s servers. It mimics Google’s Docs system for online files, and products from smaller online-storage companies like Dropbox.

ICloud will also allow customers to store their music online. Buy a song on iTunes once, and it will be available on up to 10 devices.

The basic service will be free for now and replaces a $US99-a-year Apple service called MobileMe, which Jobs said “was not our finest hour.”

For $US25 a year, iTunes will be able to scan a computer’s hard drive for music files that have been converted from CDs. If the same songs are available in the iTunes store, they’ll be added to the iCloud locker. That means there’s no need to purchase the songs again or upload them. The service, known as iTunes Match, will upload any songs to iCloud if it’s not already available through iTunes.

The company has been in talks with the major recording companies to make the service possible.

ICloud could give users a wide array of music for their iPhones, iPads and Wi-Fi-capable iPods, without having to connect them to their home PCs to transfer songs. Google and Amazon.com have launched similar services.

The music portion of iCloud is available right away, with remaining features coming in the in the third quarter of this year.

Jobs seemed animated as he unveiled iCloud, walking back and forth on stage and making many gestures during the presentation. He walked off stage briefly to let an executive demonstrate an iCloud feature. After about five minutes, he walked slowly back up the steps to the stage to continue.

Earlier, Apple unveiled an operating system update for Mac computers called Lion. With it, Apple is expanding the ways finger-touches can be used to control the software. For instance, with the swipe of the fingers over the Mac trackpad, the user can switch from one program to another.

In another nod to bringing the computer closer to the iPhone and iPad, Apple is adapting more of its programs to run in a special full-screen mode, in addition to the traditional “window” mode.

Lion will be available to consumers next month for $31.99. A preview version was made available Monday to software developers.
Apple also unveiled updates to its software for iPhones and iPads. It will present notifications of new emails, missed calls and other events in a more intelligent fashion, reminiscent of the way Google’s Android smartphone software already does. The software will present all pending notifications in a list, accessible with the swipe of a finger.

The new mobile software, iOS 5, will have a newsstand for newspapers and magazines that you subscribe to on iPad. New issues are automatically downloaded and placed there.
Apple also announced greater integration with Twitter, so that you can tweet photos, for instance, directly from a photo app.

The software would be available to consumers in Australia this Spring. IPhones, iPads and iPod Touches will now able to get operating system updates directly from the internet, without having to connect to a PC running iTunes. It’s something Android phones can now do.

Apple didn’t announce a new iPhone model. In recent years, it has revealed one in at the developer’s conference in early June, then launched it a few weeks later. This year, a new iPhone model isn’t expected to reach stores until the fall.
Jobs made a public appearance in March to announce a new iPad. On Monday, Apple said it has sold more than 25 million iPads since they went on sale 14 months ago.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/we-love-you-thin-jobs-unveils-icloud-new-mac-software-20110607-1fpnk.html#ixzz1OXs30Ksn

WILL’S NOTEBOOK

Looxcie 2 wearable camcorder slims down, adds some accessories — Engadget

The original Looxcie may not have quite made wearable camcorders as ubiquitous as Blueooth headsets, but the company’s not giving on that dream, and it’s now back with its all new Looxcie 2. As you can see above, things have slimmed down considerably this time around — the new Looxcie is about half the size and 20 percent lighter than the original — but the camera still packs all the same “lifecasting” capabilities you’d expect, including support for Looxcie’s iOS and Android companion apps. You’ll also get the same Bluetooth hands-free support as before, plus 480p video recording, a promised four hours of battery life, and support for some new accessories that will let you attach the camera to a cap or helmet. Look for this one to set you back $179 for the basic five-hour model, or $199 if you want enough space for ten hours of video.

Hyperkin SupaBoy portable SNES console hands-on (video) — Engadget

Hyperkin SupaBoy portable SNES console hands-on (video)

By Tim Stevens
Hands-On




Sure, all the morning’s news may have been surrounding a vowel-augmented console from Nintendo, the Wii U, but a certain other Nintendo console that has fewer vowels is also seeing some well-deserved love here at E3 2011. It’s the classic SNES, and its been reborn as the SupaBoy, courtesy of Hyperkin. It’s a handheld version of the console that’s basically intended to fulfill a gamers’ desire for portable classic gaming but without having to ask for advice in the Ben Heck Forums. Click on through for some impressions of this handheld wunderconsole.
Hyperkin SupaBoy Hands-On






The device we were given access to is an early unit that represents where the current prototypes are, but won’t represent final hardware. For one thing, the 3.5-inch screen isn’t the final unit, so we’re not able to quote any vitals about resolution or brightness. Likewise the battery pack also is subject to change — it’s 1,500mAh right now, but Hyperkin hopes to get it up to 1,800 before release. You know, for better longevity when untethered.

Right now this early version feels a bit flimsy, but in terms of features and functionality it hits all the right marks. On the back of course is the full console slot for accepting proper SNES titles, including a cartridge lock to hold in finicky ones. Naturally the full complement of SNES controls are here — four face buttons, start, select, D-pad, and shoulder buttons — and there are dual controller inputs as well if you brought your own.


We played a little F-Zero and TMNT on the system and everything played just as we remembered it, though in the case of the former the Mode 7 graphics haven’t exactly aged well. Currently Hyperkin is hoping to get the system shipped by the end of the year and has an estimated price of $79.99. We’ll find out in about six months whether it manages to hit its marks.


Steve Jobs reveals Apple’s new spaceship campus, calls it the ‘best office building in the world’

Shortly after taking the stage at WWDC, Steve Jobs made an appearance before the Cupertino City Council to pitch the local governing body on Apple’s ambition to build a new campus. The site for the curvaceous, four-story, “human-scale” building to house 13,000 employees is the original home of HP’s computer systems division, land that was recently sold to Apple. The property is currently covered by a series of big asphalt parking lots. Apple’s plan would increase the landscape coverage from 20 to 80 percent with the help of a senior arborist from Stanford who will help restore some of the indigenous plant life to the property, including the apricot orchards. Apple plans to make the campus’ energy center the facility’s primary power generator using natural gas and other “clean energy” sources — the city would simply provide backup power when needed. Of course, what would a Jobs presentation be without a few choice superlatives? In this case, Jobs claims that the new curved-glass facility will be the “best office building in the world,” luring in students of architecture anxious for a peek. Apple plans to break ground in 2012 with a 2015 move-in date.

As an aside, it’s fascinating (and yes, troubling) to observe Gilbert Wong, Mayor of Cupertino, guffaw at Steve’s “jokes” like a smitten schoolgirl, going so far as to fawn over his own iPad 2 in front of the assembly. For his part, Jobs seems to bite his tongue during several exchanges particularly when one city council member tries to extort free WiFi from Apple in an apparent quid pro quo. Click through to see what we mean.

Google Maps Navigation to get offline mode? Garmin and TomTom on notice — Engadget

Dutch tech site All About Phones claims that Google Maps Navigation will get a true offline mode later this summer. In December the Android app received an update that cached routes and the surrounding areas, but without a data connection you still couldn’t enter a new destination. A source inside the Dutch telco industry said that Goog would removing the requirement for coverage — an obvious next step for the nav tool, especially with Ovi Maps bringing its turn-by-turn prowess to WP7. The move is also bound to be another thorn in the side of standalone GPS makers like Garmin and TomTom. After all, it’s tough to compete with free.

Star Wars: The Old Republic scores Razer promotional peripherals (update: eyes-on) — Engadget
A long time ago, in a boardroom far, far away… a designer (flanked by marketing execs) pitched an idea for a set of Star Wars: The Old Republic branded peripherals, and the CEO of Razer told his troopers to “make it so.” Or, at least that’s how we imagine it happened. In addition to mixing up his sci-fi references, whoever approved this gaming keyboard, mouse, and headset also abandoned any notion of subtlety. All three are slathered in interchangeable Sith or Jedi insignias, bright LEDs, and a texture not unlike the exterior of a Star Destroyer. The most ostentatious is easily the keyboard, which sports both a multitouch screen and two rows of adaptive buttons over an LCD (à la the Switchblade handheld). The keyboard will run you $200, while the mouse or headset will cost $130 when they launch alongside The Old Republic later this year. Check out the gallery below and the PR after the break.

Update: We just got our first glimpse of the new peripherals, and it sounds like Razer actually put some thought into the keyboard and headphones here — while the mouse is just a jagged, Imperial-flavored wireless Naga MMO rodent, the headsets look fairly sweet, and Razer tells us their garish LED lighting apparently syncs with The Old Republic to throw signals on your shoulders to warn you of approaching enemies. Razer also has grand plans for that LCD-equipped keyboard, telling us those adaptive keys will automatically switch function based on signals from the game itself, and that multitouch LCD trackpad can display a variety of things and be used to program macros. Last but not least, you’ll get some serious geek cred when you switch the keyboard’s backlight off, because the only thing physically printed on each key are the letters of Star Wars’ Aurebesh alphabet.

Google rolls out ‘safer and snazzier’ Chrome 12 web browser — Engadget

The latest version of a Chrome browser may not be quite the event it once was since Google switched to a six-week release schedule, but the company seems to be plenty pleased with the just-released Chrome 12 nonetheless, which it’s dubbed “safer and snazzier.” That’s because the browser now boasts a number of new measures to prevent malware and phishing attempts (and give you more control over data stored on your computer), as well as support for hardware accelerated 3D CSS, which will let you try out things like Aardman Studio’s “Shaun the Sheep” HTML5 experiment pictured above (and linked below). And if you’re reading this in Chrome, chances are your browser has already updated itself.

Wii U – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
On April 25, 2011, Nintendo released a statement officially announcing a system to succeed the Wii. They simultaneously announced that it would be released during 2012, and that playable console units would be present at E3 2011 (June 7–9).[32] Speaking at an investor’s conference, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata stated the Wii successor “will offer something new for home game systems.”[33] Iwata also confirmed that the successor to Wii will not launch in FY2012, meaning that it will release after April 2012.[34]
A prototype version of Wii U was showcased at the E3 2011. The design of the console and controller were not definitive versions.[35] Nintendo-published games that were confirmed are LEGO City Stories[36], a new Super Smash Bros. game,[37] and a new Pikmin title.[38] A list of third party titles was announced to be available at release, and were on show with video clips taken from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.[39][40]

Technical specifications

* This section requires expansion.

Nintendo released technical specifications of the Wii U hardware, noting that aspects are subject to change.[41]
Processors:

Size

  • Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long

Storage:

  • Internal flash memory expandable via SD memory card slot and USB slots (4) using a USB hard disk drive[1]
  • Slot-loading disc drive compatible with 12-cm 25 GB capacity[42] “proprietary high-density optical discs” and 12-cm Wii optical discs

Controller:

  • Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, speakers, front-facing camera, microphone and a 6.2 inch touchscreen
  • Two Circle Pads and one Digital Pad
  • Select, Start, Home and Power Buttons
  • A/B/X/Y front buttons, L/R bumper buttons and ZL/ZR trigger buttons

Video:

  • 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i output
  • Compatible with HDMI, component, D-Terminal (Japan only), RGB-SCART (EU only), S-video and composite cables

Audio

  • AV Multi Out port. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI




Terabyte plans viable on NBN, says NBN Co – Communications – News – ZDNet Australia
High downloading internet users should not expect to pay more on the National Broadband Network (NBN), as the retail service providers (RSP) will offset costs with customers who don’t use as much, according to NBN Co’s head of product development Jim Hassell.

NBN Co’s Jim Hassell
(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

RSPs such as Internode have previously flagged that providers would not be able to offer the 1TB plans available today on the NBN due to the NBN Co’s composite pricing model, which charges for bandwidth usage as well as for basic wholesale access.
However, speaking to ZDNet Australia after his presentation at CeBIT Australia in Sydney this afternoon, Hassell said that it should be no different for RSPs to manage these costs as they do today.
“The service providers will contend it and manage it with the NBN exactly as they do today,” he said. “I think service providers have given us feedback and are worrying about things in the future that they’re guessing on because they’re not laid out at the moment.”
Hassell said it was unlikely the pricing model would change in the near future, but that it would be tweaked if circumstances became different.
“It’s not a static thing. We built the corporate plan on … a robust set of assumptions, but as things change you do change things,” he said. “If we find that take-up and usage is way in excess of our expectations … that will just bring the price down more quickly. It’s a straight-forward relationship.”
He said that the NBN pricing was determined to be as low as possible to get as many customers on board.
“You’re trying to encourage them onto it and you’re trying to encourage them to use the speed that it gives, which is quite significant. You want people to get onto it but not at the [12Mbps/1Mbps] level, you want to get them using 25/5 or 50/20 service.”
He said he understood Internode founder Simon Hackett’s concerns about pricing, but noted that Hackett was also keen to be at every release site for the NBN.

Armidale’s seven customers

Hassell addressed criticism from the Federal Opposition that just seven customers had been trialling the service at the launch of the NBN in Armidale earlier this month, saying the launch was specifically a trial to test the network, and that NBN Co needed customers who were prepared to be guinea pigs.
“We’re really testing the network. The quality of service, the reliability, that we’re able to recover in the event of an issue, and we’ll make some of those issues happen so we can recover,” he said. “That’s why I say it is a pilot because you need to get some people who are quite OK while you run through that pilot.
“It’s a pilot, it’s deliberately designed to be low numbers while we complete that.”


Car-to-car communication trialled in SA – Hardware – News – ZDNet Australia
New smart technology that allows cars to talk to each other and avoid crashes will be trialled in South Australia.
Cohda Wireless, which manufactures the dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology, said a small wireless box provided vehicles with 360-degree awareness.
“Essentially, it [DSRC] allows cars to talk to each and exchange information about their position and speed they are heading,” chief executive Paul Gray told reporters in Adelaide last week.
“It then allows on-board systems to access the threat of other vehicles and bubble up warnings to the drivers.”
SA Road Safety Minister Tom Kenyon said the device, which combines GPS and wireless technology, was revolutionary.
“This is a potential silver bullet in the fight against road deaths in this country,” he told reporters.
Kenyon said it may help prevent tragedies such as the February death of an Adelaide mother of five killed by an Italian tourist who crashed into her while driving on the wrong side of the road.
Gabriele Cimadomo, who this week received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, called for rental cars to be fitted with reminders for foreigners to drive on the left.
Kenyon said he would eventually like to see the device installed in all cars, including rentals.
Still, he said the human element remained critical.
“The best thing a tourist can do when driving is to pay attention,” he said.
“Roads don’t kill people … people’s inattention causes accidents.”
During the three-month trial, 100 DSRC-fitted vehicles will be tested in different conditions.
“The key part of the trial is to make sure false alarms are minimised,” Gray said.
The technology was also being trialled in Germany and the US. If successful, the device could be released and retro-fitted in cars by 2015.
The company has previously demonstrated intersection collision warning, electronic brake lights and rear collision warning using DSRC. Other uses include car-to-car communication for lane change assistance and congestion reduction, and car-to-infrastructure communication for in-vehicle signage and toll collection.


Apple takes baby steps with iOS 5 | iPhone Atlas – CNET Reviews
Just as promised, Apple unveiled iOS 5 today at the keynote address of the company’s 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. CEO Steve Jobs opened the event, but he turned to Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS, to show off 10 of the promised 200 new features for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, and iPod Touch. Developers will get their version of iOS 5 today, with customers receiving the update this fall.
Though not every predicted feature came to pass, the update includes long-rumored additions like a better notifications system and wireless software updates. Some of the new features are cool, and a few were a long time in coming, but the update remains incremental when compared with previous iOS updates. That’s not to say that the additions aren’t useful, but most are relatively small.
Notifications
Forstall started by announcing this update, which drew a lot of applause from the audience. Instead of the current system of pop-up menus that interrupt your work, a new Notification Center will combine messages, missed calls, app updates, a stock ticker, and the current weather in a single place. You can access it by swiping your finger downward from the top of the screen (sound familiar?) and notifications will appear on the lock screen as well. You then can jump directly to the related feature for each notification and delete items by tapping the small X next to each line.

A look at iOS 5 (photos)


Though not exactly original–the pull-down menu has long been a hallmark feature of Android–the ability to see all notifications in one place is nonetheless welcome. Since the first iPhone’s debut four years ago, the iOS notification system has remained largely unchanged. It’s simple, yes, but the current application is unusable until you dismiss the message, and several messages in a row quickly became annoying. So it’s about time we got this change.
Newsstand
This app will bring together magazine subscriptions in a central place. The concept is similar to iBooks, even down to an icon that looks like the periodicals shelf at your local library. As you subscribe to a publication through a new channel in the App Store, new issues will be delivered in the background, eliminating the need to manually grab them when they publish.
Twitter
Thankfully, users now will be able to post photos to the social networking service without leaving the image gallery or camera application. It’s a nice change given that it will end the need to take a photo, switch to the iPhone Twitter app, and then post the photo. You’ll be able to add a location, sync Twitter with your contacts list, and tweet directly from YouTube, Safari, and Maps.
Safari
The mobile version of Apple’s Web browser will get the Reader option that was announced at the 2010 WWDC. As you’d expect, it will streamline multipage articles in an RSS-like view while stripping out ads (but leaving photos). You’ll also be able to e-mail the entire text of a Safari page to a contact (presently, you can send only a link).
In other Safari news, tabbed browsing will come to the iPad at last and you can bookmark a Web page on a Reading List list for future perusal. The latter feature can be synced between multiple Safari devices and should work very similarly to browser add-ons like Read It Later and Instapaper.
Reminders
This handy addition will let you store multiple to-do lists with dates for each event and categorize reminders by location. So, for example, if you have a reminder of “Call home when I leave work,” the app will use GPS to note when you’re on the move and send the reminder. Reminders can be shared between devices and sync with iCal on the Mac with CalDAV, and on Windows with MS Exchange.
Camera
iOS 5 will add a shortcut on the lock screen that will launch the camera immediately, even bypassing the lock code. You then can use the volume control to snap the photo. Inside the camera you’ll get grid lines, pinch to zoom (instead of using the slider bar at the bottom of the screen), autofocus, and the ability to change the exposure and add granular controls.
After taking photos, you can edit your shots with crop, rotate, and red-eye reduction. Also, one-click enhancements from iPhoto will add quick color correction. Though we welcome these additions, Apple is late to the photo-editing party as this functionality has long existed on basic phones. We’ll have to see how Apple makes it all work when iOS 5 is available, but we doubt it means the demise of third-party apps like Photoshop Express.
Mail
Coming to the mail app are rich text formatting, better indent control, flagging of messages, and the ability to drag addresses between to, cc, and bcc lines. Also, you now can search within the body of a message instead of just in the from, to, and subject lines. Thanks for that.
‘PC Free’
Arguably the most notable change, “PC Free” will bring over-the-air software updates and device activations. So as on Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry OS 5 devices, you’ll no longer have to plug your device into a computer or even own a computer at all. The updates will serve only the changes, so they’ll be shorter, and you’ll be able to sync, back up, and restore your device using the new iCloud feature. You’ll also find new features within apps, like wirelessly editing photos, managing e-mail folders, and creating and deleting calenders.
Game Center
Additions for gamers include profile photos, achievement point comparison, friends of friends, recommended friends and games, support for turn-based games, and a way to buy games directly from Game Center.
iMessage
Apple takes a shot at BlackBerry with this instant messaging app that will work across all iOS 5 devices. As with BlackBerry Messanger (BBM), you’ll be able to exchange unlimited text messages, photos, and videos with your friends, family, and colleagues. Also, your messages won’t cost you anything and they won’t count against the monthly allotment of messages form your wireless carrier.
Other features include group messaging, an indicator to see if someone is typing to you, delivery and read receipts, secure encryption, and conversation syncing that is pushed to multiple devices. iMessage will work on 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
What else
Forstall quickly mentioned a selection of other updates. They will include new multitasking gestures for the iPad, hourly weather forecasts, Wi-Fi sync with iTunes, a split keyboard for the iPad, a new iPad music app, an iTunes ringtone store, AirPlay mirroring for the iPad 2, a personal dictionary, alternate routes in Maps, Emoji emoticons, and custom vibration patterns.
A big deal or no?
Compared with previous WWDC keynotes, there’s no escaping the fact that this one was quite low-key. Unlike in the last three years, we didn’t get a new iPhone and we still have no clue as to when the iPhone 5 (or is it the iPhone 4S?) will get here. Even when you consider the software only, iOS 5 isn’t terribly exciting either. Sure, it adds some welcome features that will benefit users, but it’s not quite the whopper that iOS 4 or even iOS 3 was.
What’s more, even the most die-hard Apple fans have to admit that some of the new features simply bring the iPhone in line with options we currently see on other smartphone operating systems or in third-party apps. On the other hand, Apple has always excelled at taking existing features and creating a different user experience and that may be the case here.
Indeed, we’ll have to use iOS 5 before we give a real assessment of its features. There may be more spectacular changes that Apple has yet to announce, but we don’t see iOS 5 as a reason to switch to iOS if you haven’t done so already. We’ll stop short of saying that we’re disappointed, as even Apple doesn’t have to wow us every time it has an announcement. It’s just that you tend to get your hopes up for events where Jobs is scheduled to appear.


First Take: Mac OS X Lion coming in July for $29.99 | Apple – CNET News

Apple shows off features in Lion, the next version of OS X, at its Worldwide Developers Conference this morning.
(Credit: CNET )
Amid the fanfare of Steve Jobs’ return to the stage for the WWDC 2011 conference, Apple went into plenty of detail on how the latest big-cat OS will integrate with iOS devices, mimic iOS features, work with iCloud, and much more.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, set for release next month and priced at $29.99, introduces a big shift toward centralizing all your content, whether it’s on your desktop, your iOS device, or in the newly launched iCloud.
Many of the features in Mac OS X Lion have been made public in the past and all point toward an integration of data across multiple platforms.
Apple executive Philip Schiller started off talking about how multitouch gestures are the standard interface for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, and some gestures can already be used on Mac laptops and Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. But with Lion, Apple says it’s adding even more gestures and fine-tuning existing swipes and pinches with a much smoother, more realistic feel.
Next came full-screen apps. For a long time now, many Mac users have complained about Mac apps not having the ability to go full screen (Windows switchers are particularly aware of this). Thankfully, with OS X Lion, Mac users will now have the ability to view any app full screen, so they can get to work without all the usual distractions. To switch to a different app or return to the desktop, users can simply swipe the trackpad. Craig Federighi came on stage to show how full screen apps and multitouch gestures work together.
Mission Control is another long-awaited OS X feature that will become available with OS X Lion. With a swipe on the trackpad, users will be able to see, at a glance, everything that’s running on their Mac, from apps to their associated open windows along with what’s running in Spaces. With a centralized location to see everything running on their Mac, users will be able to get where they want to go immediately, without having to dig through menus, switch between Expose views, or long-click Dock icons.
The recently released Mac App Store, Apple seems to be continuing on the path of what the company views as a safer environment for distributing apps. While some look at the Mac App Store and see a closed garden like the iTunes App Store, the setup does ensure that apps will work seamlessly on Apple’s devices. Schiller went into detail of how developers will be able to take advantage of several new features to make development easier.
LaunchPad is another new feature coming in Mac OS X Lion, letting Mac desktop and laptop users quickly launch apps just like they would using an iOS device. Along with the quick access afforded by the grid-like app layout, users will be able to create folders for better organization, and when they buy apps at the Mac App Store, those apps will automatically show up on LaunchPad. Federighi came back on stage to show how buying an app at the Mac App Store automatically makes it show up on LaunchPad. He also demonstrated how you can drag newly purchased apps wherever you want in LaunchPad.

Mac OS X Lion roars


Next, Schiller showed how file management will be easier in Mac OS X Lion owing to a few new features that help users save their work, track previous changes, and pick up where they left off after a shutdown. With Versions and new auto-saving features, Lion automatically creates a version each time users open it and every hour they work on it. Just like the interface in Time Machine, users will be able to cycle back through versions if they just want to retrieve a previously deleted item, for example. They can then cut and paste work from an earlier version of their document to the current version.
Mac OS X Lion’s new Resume feature lets users get back to where they left off after a shutdown or restart, bringing them back to exactly where they were when they closed out. This means they won’t need to reopen all their apps and set everything up after a restart–all will be ready right from where they left off. In the demo, Federighi showed off how quitting an app doesn’t prompt you with a save dialog because Lion has not only auto-saved your work, but also will save all your settings and how each window was laid out in the app.
Next up was AirDrop. Schiller showed how using AirDrop will let you drag and drop documents to nearby users. Simply open the peer-to-peer Wi-Fi based network, drag the document to your chosen user, and the AirDrop automatically saves it to that users Downloads folder.
Apple’s Mail program will receive a face-lift as well, using much the same layout found on the iPad‘s Mail app. Now with Mail 5, users will be able to quickly browse through messages on the left and get a full-screen preview of every e-mail on the right. The addition of a new Mailbox bar will let users quickly access the most-used mail folders, letting them get where they want to go quickly. Schiller demonstrated the improved searching in Mail 5, showing how the app automatically gives you contacts and content from actual e-mails through the drop-down so you can find what you want quickly.
Mail 5 also offers a new conversation view, much like an organization system found in the latest versions of Microsoft Outlook. With Conversation view, users will be able to group an entire thread of e-mails by conversation so they can quickly get to everything said about a subject. From there they can either save or delete entire conversations with only a couple of clicks. You can also drag-and-drop entire conversations to your favorites bar in Mail.
Schiller pointed out that they were only demonstrating the main features, but there was plenty more to look at.
As expected, Lion will only be available in the Mac App Store and will be 4GB in size. It installs right in place, and when you purchase it, you can use it on all your authorized Macs. Mac OS X Lion will retail for $29.99.


Mobile towers need diesel boost: Ergon – Communications – News – ZDNet Australia
Critical telecommunications infrastructure needs to up the amount of diesel that they keep at base stations to power generators when mains go offline during weather disasters, such as Tropical Cyclone Yasi, according to Ergon Energy’s telecommunications manager Andrew Deme.
Speaking at the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)’s RadComms conference in Sydney on Friday, Deme recalled watching the power and telecommunications networks fail as Tropical Cyclone Yasi beared down on Northern Queensland earlier this year.
“We were trying to work out what part of our telecommunications network would collapse as part of the power network, and then we’re trying to figure out where the public carrier networks would collapse because the loss of the public carrier networks actually creates a massive issue for our organisation,” he said.
In the end, 450 Telstra sites went down as a result of the cyclone; however, Deme said that most of these went down on the second or third day, when Telstra’s backup batteries and diesel fuel for the generators went out while Ergon’s power supply was still cut off to the site.
“Don’t let me try to convince you that this was because of Telstra,” he said. “They had very little damage from the cyclone itself. This is simply because the power went out.”
Deme said that all sites that could be identified as critical infrastructure should have at least a week’s supply of diesel fuel.
“If you’re trying to convince your customers that they should use your telecommunications services for critically important communications, you might have the best hardware in the world, but if you have a generator, which has one day’s supply of diesel and maybe four to six hours of battery, you’re refuelling 450 generators every day,” he said. “Now you don’t have the manpower to do that.”
“If we’re going to identify critical infrastructure as seriously critical, the number one [factor] we have to understand what the actual resilience of that infrastructure is.”
Energy suppliers such as Ergon would also be able to restore power to telecommunications infrastructure more quickly if there were maps provided to energy suppliers that show where the telecommunications infrastructure connects to the power.
“If someone gave me 450 sites geographically it is kind of irrelevant,” he said. “What I really need to know is what power lines and feeders they’re on.
Deme added that Ergon had to resort to some unusual methods to figure out where telcos needed power restored.
“We actually used social media with our customers to tell us what was out,” he said.
Deme said that it took Ergon crews a total of 23 days to restore all power after Tropical Cyclone Yasi.


iOS 5 jailbroken in under 24 hours – Software – News – ZDNet Australia
The next major version of Apple’s iOS has been exploited less than a day after its beta release to developers.
A member of the iPhone Dev Team — a group of hackers that targets Apple devices and is not to be confused with Apple’s group that designs the iOS software — announced through a tweet last night that the developer beta release of iOS 5 was susceptible to limera1n, an exploit that targets a vulnerability in the iOS boot software.
As a result, iPhone Dev Team member “MuscleNerd” said that it was possible to install third-party application installer Cydia, which lets users download applications not offered through Apple’s App Store. The device used was a fourth-generation iPod Touch running the beta of iOS 5, the software that Apple offered up to developers following yesterday’s WWDC keynote address and iOS 5 unveiling.
For proof, MuscleNerd has posted two photos of the jailbreak, one of which includes the iPod’s home screen, which prominently feature the Cydia logo. Another is a screenshot from the third-party SSH iOS application, iSSH, which shows that root level access to the iPod’s file system has been obtained.
As ReadWriteWeb notes, the jailbreak technique that was used results in a tethered solution, meaning that users are required to go through the process each time their phone reboots. The more advanced solution — and what has been offered for previous versions of iOS — is untethered, which sticks around until the next software update from Apple is manually applied.
That Apple’s brand new iOS build would be jailbroken so soon should not be too surprising. The gold master version of iOS 4, which was the same version of the software to ship on the iPhone 4, as well as to be delivered to customers as an update, was jailbroken a day after its release to developers.
Apple has said that it intends to release a final version of iOS 5 to customers in Australia’s spring. In the meantime, it’s offering registered iOS developers a crack at testing out the software and working on making sure that apps are compatible with its new features and APIs. When readying iOS 4 for customers, it took Apple four separate beta builds for developers before reaching golden master status and a final release. During that time, numerous changes were made, including bug and security fixes, giving Apple time to fix vulnerabilities ahead of a public release.


Australia preps for World IPv6 Day – Communications – News – ZDNet Australia
A number of Australian companies are preparing to launch IPv6 services on their websites for 24 hours from 10am tomorrow on World IPv6 Day to encourage companies to start preparing for the switch to IPv6.

The last of the 4.3 billion Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses were dished out in February this year, and it is expected that this supply will run out in the near future. As the number of people and devices connected to the internet continues to grow, it will be vital for the world to shift to IPv6 in order to cope with demand. To facilitate this shift, the Internet Society announced World IPv6 Day for 8 June as a worldwide trial of the new internet protocol with over 400 organisations signing up to make their websites IPv6 for 24 hours.
“We are increasingly reliant on the internet in every part of our lives today, and, unless we adopt IPv6, Australia will miss out on access to new services and be unable to reach vital markets across Asia and the rest of the world,” Internet Society of Australia vice president Narelle Clark said. “We’re especially excited this event is happening, as it is a crucial step in removing the uncertainty many service and content providers have had towards deployment of IPv6.”
Global companies such as Facebook, Yahoo and Akamai have already agreed to take part, and internet giant Google posted a blog today stating it was switching almost all of its services over to IPv6 for tomorrow, including Gmail, YouTube and its search page. Google said that users who cannot connect via IPv6 will fall over to IPv4, but the company warned that it expects a 0.5 per cent failure rate for accessing IPv6 websites on the day.
This will be due to a number of factors including the operating systems used, the router the customer is using, as well as the customer’s own ISP.
Here in Australia, internet service provider Internode has led the charge, allowing its ADSL customers to opt in to use IPv6 since 2009. Founder Simon Hackett said the use of “dual stacking” to assign internet users with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses should ultimately make the transition to IPv6 relatively seamless.
“Done right, consumers don’t notice IPv6. Internode has made sure our customers won’t be disadvantaged through this large, significant change ‘under the hood’ of the internet, and we welcome a chance to show our customers how seamless IPv6 is with Internode even now, ahead of our official move to full production deployment later this year,” he said in a statement. “Internode welcomes World IPv6 Day as an opportunity to demonstrate what it has achieved with IPv6 and to encourage our peers in the internet industry to explore and pursue IPv6 engagement as well.”
iiNet has already flagged plans to move to IPv6 and said it will have an IPv6 version of its website up and running tomorrow.
Telstra, while not participating in the event tomorrow, told ZDNet Australia that it had recently begun implementing IPv6 on its network.
“Telstra is carefully managing IPv4 addresses within its allocation. Telstra has recently commenced implementing IPv6 into its network,” the telco said in a statement. “This will be a phased introduction. We know that much of the existing equipment used by our customers is not IPv6 compatible, which is why Telstra will run both IPv4 and IPv6 together in dual-stack services until there is widespread penetration of IPv6-capable network infrastructure and customer equipment which may take several years.”
The telco said it will first implement IPv6 for enterprise and wholesale customers over the next few years before moving on to consumers and mobile later down the track as IPv6 standards and technology mature.
Other Australian organisations such as the Bureau of Meteorology, AARNet and eintellego will all be participating in World IPv6 Day tomorrow. Optus was contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of writing.


Telstra doubles bundled data quotas – Communications – News – ZDNet Australia
The nation’s biggest telco, Telstra, has more than doubled the amount of data quota it provides under existing bundled plans.
In a statement released today, the telco noted that it had boosted the data quotas of all of its home bundles; its entry level 2GB plan has been boosted to 5GB, its 25GB plan has gone to 100GB, its 100GB plan has gone to 200GB, and its 200GB plan has been boosted to 500GB. The plans come with a Telstra telephone service included, as well as the company’s T-Box set-top box.
The complete details of the plans are available online at Telstra’s website. They range from $89 to $159 in price per month, on a 24-month contract with a $35 upfront fee.
Telstra customers who have a 13-digit account number are able to upgrade to the new bundle for free, although they have to sign on for a new contract term. It remains unclear, however, how the process will work for those with one of the old-style account numbers, believed to be a small percentage of customers still on Telstra’s legacy billing platform. Telstra is clarifying the situation with respect to those cases.
The news still, however, leaves Telstra without a plan featuring a terabyte of included quota, despite the fact that most of Australia’s large internet service providers launched such plans in late 2010.
A number of other providers also offer “unlimited” quota plans. Telstra’s plans are formally unlimited, as users will have their speed capped rather than pay for excess quota usage, but a number of other providers don’t feature the same speed cap when it comes to unlimited plans.


Outback towns shell out for broadband – Communications – News – ZDNet Australia
In outback Queensland towns where mail and food supplies take weeks to arrive, fast speed broadband cannot come soon enough.
The high-speed internet will become the lifeblood of towns like Birdsville and Bedourie, according to Diamantina Shire chief executive Scott Mason.
It will boost economic growth, education and health care.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) will deliver faster satellite broadband, but the council is planning to put its own money up to get fibre optic links for the region.
Birdsville and Bedourie have a combined population of 260, and doctors and medical specialists visit every few weeks or months.
You need a lot of patience to live out here, Mason said, but fast broadband will bring the world closer.
“It’s underpinning everything, it’s the single biggest factor holding back economic growth,” he told AAP.
“There’s no limit to what we could achieve — from education to health, policing, safety, tourism, grazing, private business, local government, everything.
“It’s more important the National Broadband Network is rolled out to the bush than the city.”
Mason said that the shire currently has satellite internet, but it is not at a sufficient speed, and downloading delays are frequent.
He said that fibre optic internet could be a windfall for education.
Currently, children must leave Birdsville and Bedourie to go to boarding school for their secondary education and tertiary studies.
He hopes that one day, virtual classrooms will mean that kids might be able to stay in the towns with their families, but still get access to quality education.
“If we had fibre optic, you could have virtual classrooms, you could have the specialist teacher talking about that specialist topic, the kids can get the same opportunities,” he said.
“They’ll be able to hook into subjects we can’t offer out here.”
Gifted and struggling students will also be able to get extra educational resources and support, he said.
He said that health care would be a huge winner.
“We’ve recently acquired X-ray machines, we have one in each clinic, and eventually when the images will be taken, they’ll be able to be sent through a fibre optic cable and one day interpreted by a GP or specialist somewhere,” he said.
“If you got a suspected fracture, but it’s not, it might be a sprain, if you’re in Bedourie it saves them having to go out to Mt Isa, which is a 1000km round trip, just to have that confirmed and come back.”
Bedourie’s only nurse, Lyn Heaton, told AAP that e-health would speed up the diagnosis process and save on patient travel.
“Follow-up treatments could be done (with video conferencing online) and that would save so much time and hassle.”
She said that the area of mental health and diabetes would also get a huge boost from video conferencing.
“We don’t get the mental health specialist here much,” she said.


Skype outage hits users worldwide | The Australian
SKYPE suffered a second major outage in a fortnight last night, the latest in a growing list of mishaps since Microsoft announced its acquisition of the internet VoIP service.
It is unclear how many of its 170 million-odd global users were affected but Skype members around the world vented their spleen on social media sites.
Users in Australia, Britain, US, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, Malaysia, Croatia, Belarus, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, India, Turkey, Bulgaria, Belgium, Russia and Romania were among those airing their frustration on blogs and Twitter.
But Skype said the outage was affecting only “a small number” of users and blamed the issue on “a configuration problem”.
“A small number of you may have problems signing in to Skype. We’re investigating the cause, and hope to have more details to share soon,” Skype’s Peter Parkes said on the company’s “heartbeat” blog.
“A configuration problem has meant that some of you have been disconnected from Skype. We’ve identified the cause of the problem, and have begun to address it,” Parkes said an hour later.
Around 2am, Parkes said Skype’s “configuration problem” had stabilised. This was some five hours after it reported the initial disruption.
“Today’s problems have stabilised, and recovery is ongoing,” he said.
The outage is the second in two weeks for Skype. Late last month it was forced to release updates to its Windows and Mac client software after what it said was “a corruption” that caused Skype to crash on start-up on computers.
A week ago a Russian hacker posted some of Skype’s code on the Internet, saying he had reverse-engineered Skype’s protocol.
On May 10, Microsoft said it had acquired Skype for $US8.5 billion ($7.96bn) in cash and the deal already had been approved by both companies.

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