Episode 249

posted in: Show Notes


Westpac vows to rectify IT glitch that stopped salary and welfare payments


WESTPAC Bank has vowed to rectify payment problems by the end of the day after customers were deprived of their salaries and welfare benefits due to an IT glitch.

Industry analyst Jorn Bettin previously warned consumers they should expect up to 15 years of disruption as banks upgrade their legacy systems.

”Some of these systems are 30, 40 years old and hard to grasp by the average consumer.”   **What the……  ***

European study sees no mobile phone-cancer link


A EUROPEAN study involving nearly 1000 participants has found no link between mobile phone use and brain tumours in children and adolescents, a group that may be particularly sensitive to phone emissions.

After two decades of research, there’s little evidence conclusively linking mobile phone use in adults to major health problems, such as the development of brain tumours.

A 13-country study of adults, released last year, suggested that there was no increased brain-cancer risk for mobile phone users compared with non-users. However, the heaviest users appeared to have a slightly increased risk of a certain type of brain cancer.

But the study could be hobbled by a problem. “Participants with brain cancer may not have the best recall for how often they used their phones,” said Dr Straif. The researchers weren’t able to use billing records to precisely document the phone usage of study participants.

Man accused of hacking into NBN provider is refused bail


AN unemployed truck driver accused of hacking into a service provider for the National Broadband Network has been refused bail.

allegedly gave himself the online nickname “Evil”, is accused of hacking into internet company Platform Networks, one of 13 service companies to offer services under the NBN.

The Australian Federal Police said today they would allege the hacking could have caused “considerable damage to Australia’s infrastructure”.

In Orange Local Court today, it was alleged the 25-year-old Cowra man had control of the entire system of Platform Networks for six weeks.

Mr Cecil has been charged with one count of unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment, and 48 counts of unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data.

The offences carry jail terms of up to 10 years.

It is alleged he is a self-taught hacker who acted alone, spending up to 20 hours a day on his home computer. **WHEN DID HE DRIVE TRUCKS??***

Apple knocks Nokia off perch


Nokia has lost the global crown it has held for 15 years and, after shipments of its expensive mobile phones fell by a third, is likely to fall to third place behind Samsung.

Nokia has led the market in smartphone shipments since 1996 but its market share came under attack after Apple launched its phone in 2007.

smartphone sales slid 32 per cent to 16.7 million. Apple sold 20 million iPhones in the same period

NBN fees to start at $60 a month


The plans also include a telephone service with $10 worth of calls a month.

Internode blamed the unexpectedly high prices on “existing flaws in the NBN Co wholesale charging model” and warned that regional customers could have to pay more to connect to the network.

NBN Co prices prompt inquiry


The concerns centre on the two-tariff pricing structure that NBN Co is charging internet providers to gain access to the network. Under that model, internet service providers must pay a wholesale access fee for each customer they connect to the network, as well as a usage fee based on the amount of data carried.

Scott Hicks, the chief executive of South Australian ISP Adam Internet, said the NBN had set far higher prices to access its network than internet providers were paying today. Internet providers would need to connect at least a thousand NBN subscribers to each of the NBN’s 121 points of interconnect before they would start becoming profitable

Microsoft says sorry for ‘crass’ Amy Winehouse tweet


Xbox360’s official Twitter account, tweetbox360, posted a message “remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune”.

Apologies to everyone if our earlier Amy Winehouse download tweet seemed purely commercially motivated.
“With Amy W’s passing, the world has lost a huge talent.
“Our thoughts are with Amy’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

China officials close fake Apple stores in Kunming city


Two of the five have now been closed as their owners lacked a business licence.

the blogger wrote about conversations with staff, many of whom were convinced they worked for the US electronics firm.
Chinese officials investigated the shop visited by BirdAbroad but it was not one of those closed down. It has a licence to trade and is selling genuine Apple products.
Apple has said it has no comment to make on the discovery of the counterfeit shops.
The blog entry mentioning the visit to the fake store has proved hugely popular and has gathered more than 500,000 visits in less than 48 hours.

Google to warn PC virus victims via search site


The malicious code pipes browser traffic through sites that promote the scammers’ wares which include fake security programs.
Those hit by the virus will be warned with a message that will appear at the top of searches carried out via Google.
The search firm estimates that more than two million people have been hit by the infection.
Google uncovered the huge number of infected machines while doing routine maintenance on a data centre

The main effect of the virus seems to be to funnel search requests through intermediate sites that promote fake security programs and other scams.
Google will be putting a warning at the top of search results seen by people with a machine known to have bounced data off the Google servers. The warning contains a link to advice pages that help people update their anti-virus and clean up their PC.
So far, said Google, it has warned “hundreds of thousands” of users and expects to notify many more.

CanDo QLD – Get the Ringtone http://www.candoqld.com.au/ringtone/candoqld

Labor Treasurer Andrew Fraser was clearly unimpressed by the tune, tweeting: “So public policy debate advanced by the release of a jingle by Campbell today. No policy, just a slick over-produced ad jingle… Woe.”

The song, unveiled at the party convention in Brisbane yesterday, is available from the LNP’s CanDoQld website, which crashed over the weekend at the height of the party’s conference.

“Come on, come on, we need a can do team now; come on, come on, let’s make a can do state; come on, come on, we need a Campbell Newman now; we need a can do Queensland

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/can-do-coming-to-a-phone-near-you-20110718-1hkwe.html#ixzz1TO31yBVC

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/can-do-coming-to-a-phone-near-you-20110718-1hkwe.html#ixzz1TO2z9cUx

***leave alone and it will go away on its own, but can’t help themselves***

Erik’s Notebook

RIM cuts 11 percent of workforce

Research In Motion said it plans to cut about 2000 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, detailing cuts that it first announced last month.
One analyst said the job cuts were slightly deeper than expected, but were key to RIM’s recovery from a slump triggered by stiff competition from Apple Inc and Google Inc.
“This is not totally unexpected. I think the size of (the cuts) is a little bit bigger than what they were intimating before,” said Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek.
“I think this is obviously realigning the cost structure to a new growth, or sales reality.”
RIM said one-time charges from the job cuts were not included in its outlook for the second quarter or for the full year, and it would explain the financial impact of the cuts when it reports second quarter results on Sept. 15.
The stock, already near multi-year lows, was down as much as 2 percent before the market opened.
RIM said the job cuts are “a prudent and necessary step” for its long-term success.
The BlackBerry maker also announced a string of changes to executive responsibilities and, in the latest departure, said Chief Operating Officer Don Morrison would retire.
Morrison, currently on temporary medical leave, will be leaving after more than 10 years at the company.
RIM said when it reported first quarter results last month that it would cut jobs to stay competitive, but it gave no details at the time.
It said on Monday that the job cuts bring RIM’s headcount to about 17,000 people.
Misek, who has an ‘underperform’ rating on RIM’s stock, said one thing to watch was when RIM would adopt its new QNX operating system.
“I think the key here, more than ever, is when do their products launch and what kind of reception will they have and most importantly, when will QNX come in. We don’t think those answers are here yet,” he said.
(Reporting by S. John Tilak, Euan Rocha in Toronto, Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; editing by Janet Guttsman)

Click for restrictions.

That was quick – authorities close fake Apple Stores

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/authorities-quick-to-close-down-fake-apple-stores/story-e6frfro0-1226101842272#ixzz1TMxyOXFJ
CHINESE authorities have closed two fake Apple stores in Yunnan province after a storm of publicity over the rip-off shops.
An investigation of 300 computer stores in the city of Kunming found five outlets using the Apple trademark without the company’s permission, said local news site kunming.cn.
Officials found two of the so-called Apple stores did not have a business licence and ordered them to stop operating pending the results of an inquiry, the report said.
The investigation into the fake stores was launched after an American blogger posted photos of a near-flawless copy of an Apple outlet showing employees wearing the company’s trademark blue T-shirts.
Blogger discovers fake Apple Stores in China
While the shop looked like a genuine Apple store, a closer inspection revealed poorly painted walls and a shopfront sign saying “Apple Store”. Real stores only display the logo.
The Apple website lists four official stores in China — two in Beijing and two in Shanghai, and none in Kunming.
China is home to the biggest counterfeit market in the world, and despite repeated government pledges to root out fake goods, these are still widely available throughout the country.

Who, me? A worker dressed as an Apple employee at one of the stores last week. Picture: AP

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/authorities-quick-to-close-down-fake-apple-stores/story-e6frfro0-1226101842272#ixzz1TMy2xNSf

Google+ traffic dropping already?
Is the shine beginning to fade for Google+?
Google’s social-networking foray saw fewer U.S. visitors last week, and those who did visit spent less time on the site on average, according to new data released today by market researcher Experian Hitwise.
Google+ had 1.79 million visits for the week ending July 23, a decrease of 3 percent compared with the previous week when the network had 1.86 million visits, Experian Hitwise reported.
The average visit was 10 percent shorter, down from 5 minutes 50 seconds to 5 minutes 15 seconds.
Google declined to comment on specifics of the report but cautioned it’s based on the number of visitors and not the number of actual users. Google also said third-party metrics don’t factor in two “very critical” modes of interaction, namely mobile usage and navigation bar usage, in which members interact with Google+ from another Google product, such as the drop-down menu while in their Gmail account.
Google+, the Web giant’s latest attempt to challenge Facebook for the social-networking crown, launched late last month in a field trial, letting in only a handful of users, who could later invite their friends and family.
Despite this, Google+’s early growth has been meteoric, hitting the 20 million member mark in its first three weeks, according to data released last week by market researcher ComScore. If that data is accurate, Google would have doubled its membership in just one week. Google CEO Larry Page reported on July 14 that the social network had reached 10 million visitors and had received a “ton of activity” with more than 1 billion items shared and received each day.
Updated at 9:10 p.m. PT with Google cautioning about the report’s data.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20084485-93/google-traffic-dropping-already/#ixzz1TNCIYt7x

Universities to bring 1Gbps broadband to local communities

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20084489-266/universities-to-bring-1gbps-broadband-to-local-communities/#ixzz1TNDs79XT A group of 29 universities in the U.S. is banding together to bring ultra-high-speed broadband access to the communities surrounding their campuses in an effort to attract start-ups and spur innovation.
The project, called Gig.U, was announced today and aims to build world-class broadband infrastructure to attract high-tech start-ups to areas close to universities. Some of the sectors the project directors hope to target are health care, energy, and telecommunications.
Several of the universities participating in the program, including Arizona State University, Duke University, and University of Michigan, are not in a major metropolitan areas. And others, such as Howard University, University of Chicago, Case Western Reserve, and George Mason University, are in or are close to major cities. But most of the universities involved in the project are not in regions that are considered hotbeds of innovation for technology start-ups.
The hope is that the new infrastructure, which will provide broadband speeds up to 1Gbps to individuals and businesses, will create a hub where cutting-edge start-ups and other businesses will flock to be closer to university researchers and a pool of talented students and graduates.
The project itself is still in the early days, and details about funding haven’t been hammered out yet. But Blair Levin, a fellow at the Aspen Institute who is heading up the project, told the New York Times, that the group is not looking for government funding to build the network. Instead, Gig.U participants are reaching out to broadband companies and other private investors to partner on building the infrastructure.
“The idea is that current and existing providers would fund the networks,” Levin said in an e-mail to CNET. “But that universities and communities could explore ways to improve the business case by lowering capital cost and improving demand.”
Levin said that he has talked to all the major broadband providers and they are intrigued by the notion of a discrete market, such as the ones that the Gig.U networks would produce. But so far no broadband providers have offered firm commitments to participating or offering funding. That said, Levin emphasized that the participating universities will be targeting specific businesses and industries and will in effect create demand for the high speed networks.
The Gig.U project is similar to a network that Google is building. Earlier this year, Google said it would choose a few cities around the country to test new 1Gbps networks. In March, it announced Kansas City, Kansas, as the first city to get the 1Gbps test-network.
Google’s goal in building these ultra-fast broadband test-beds is to deliver more than 100 times the speed of broadband connection to communities and allow entrepreneurs and businesses to figure out what to do with all the bandwidth.
“High-speed Internet access must be much more widely available,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, said at the time. “Broadband is a major driver of new jobs and businesses, yet we rank only 15th in the world for access. More government support for broadband remains critical.”
Levin said that the goal of Google’s project and the Gig.U project are similar, which is to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks. Prior to coming to the Aspen Institute, Levin worked at the FCC and was in charge of developing the agency’s National Broadband Plan. This plan calls on the extending broadband to every American and it promises to offer 100 Mbps broadband to 100 million people by 2020.
The Gig.U and Google plans could help make these plans a reality, as researchers and entrepreneurs develop applications to use more bandwidth.
“What we don’t know is how many great ideas and revolutionary products wait to see the light of day while network bandwidth and computer resources play catch up,” Hugh Hallman, mayor of Tempe, Ariz., where Arizona State University is located, said in a statement. “It is for this reason that the city of Tempe is partnering with Arizona State University and other leading research universities intent on accelerating the deployment of ultra-high speed data networks.”
But Levin added that even the goal of the Gig.U and Google projects is similar, the strategy for achieving the goals is different. The Gig.U initiative focuses exclusively on bringing high bandwidth to university communities, where Levin said there is demand for high speed Net access even outside the walls of the universities.
Most major universities already have access to cutting edge Internet technology and many are involved in research and development networks such as Internet 2, which is used to connect universities throughout the world to share data and also test new Internet technologies. But Gig.U is about extending the high speed Internet access outside the university to the private sector.
Elias Eldaryrie, chief information officer for the University of Florida in Gainsville, Fla., said that its important for the businesses in the community to have access to the same type of network resources that the universities have.
“In order for research universities and communities to grow and prosper together, we need access to the same technology,” he said. “Ultra-high-speed broadband is the new baseline; it’s where U.F. and Gainesville need to be so that we can compete together with the best the world has to offer.”

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20084489-266/universities-to-bring-1gbps-broadband-to-local-communities/#ixzz1TNDwjMWV

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