Episode 253 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes



Microsoft still struggling to kill off Win XP, IE6 and Office 2003


worldwide head of Microsoft’s application compatibility program, it’s Chris Jackson’s job to help migrate enterprise customers to the latest MS platforms while officially “retiring” outdated software. This includes old favourites (and legacy enterprise touchstones) such as Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6 and Office 2003.

Microsoft Tech.Ed 2011 proudly kicks off Australia’s biggest annual geekfest


More than 2,500 devs and IT pros congregated on the Gold Coast yesterday for the start of Microsoft’s yearly Tech.Ed conference

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre


Hello to all attendees.

The HP TouchPad is back: for now


Hewlett-Packard will resume manufacturing its TouchPad just 11 days after the tablet was killed off in the market.

The company’s decision follows an unprecedented demand for the TouchPad, which in Australia was axed just four days after its launch due to poor sales in the US.

However its resurrection appears likely to be a cameo appearance only, with HP saying in TheNextBench blog that the resumption of production was only temporary.

The HacknMod.com website and partnering sponsors have offered developers a $2300 prize for creating a fully functional version of Android suitable for the TouchPad with a user-friendly installation process.

But Australian customers wishing to buy more TouchPads will be forced to head online overseas, or order them through an agency that can buy them in the US on their behalf.

HP Australia said this afternoon there was no plan to sell more TouchPads through Harvey Norman, which was its sole Australian retail distributor.

$11bn Telstra deal in doubt after ACCC knocks back parts of its plan


The ACCC says the telco’s so-called Structural Separation Undertaking, which is critical to its deal with NBN Co, “could not be accepted” and it has asked Telstra to resubmit the document so that it “fully complies with legislative requirements”.

One concern relates to the provision of adequate equivalence and transparency measures that would compel Telstra to treat its rivals on the same terms as its own retail broadband arm, BigPond.

also concerned about the provisions preventing Telstra promoting wireless services as a substitute for NBN Co’s fibre services, and the failure of Telstra supplying a compliance plan for its commitment to structurally separate by 2018.

Another worry for the regulator was that it was being asked to approve the contract between NBN Co and Telstra in a form that would exempt it from competition laws without undergoing further ACCC scrutiny.

Telstra merges digital brands under Telstra Advertising Network banner


after announcing the merger of its Sensis, BigPond, and Telstra Classifieds businesses, Telstra has rebranded the three divisions under a single banner — the Telstra Advertising Network.

The move consolidates the company’s digital advertising under the brand, which will allow it to better sell assets such as the AFL, NRL and V8 Supercars.

It also opens the door for the telco to sell digital advertising on emerging internet broadcasting properties and on mobile devices.

The new division initially will seek to capitalise on the growth in online car sales advertising after Telstra brought brands including Trading Post, Car Showroom, Car Advice and Car Buddy together under a single network, to be known as the automotive alliance.

SBS app brings listeners the news in their own lingo


SBS will launch a radio application that will allow users to listen to SBS Radio 1 and 2 programs in 68 languages

The player has an archive of more than 20,000 videos to encourage on-demand viewing.

SBS has launched five new apps in the past year, including an SBS World News app, a soccer results app based on its The World Game brand and even a Tour de France application.

Beyonce MTV pregnancy revelation breaks Twitter record


site posted 8,868 tweets per second when the singer showed off her baby bump after her performance at the event.
The previous record was 7,196 after Japan’s win over the US in the women’s World Cup final in July.
Twitter said in June that Twitter users are sending 200 million tweets a day, up from 65 million a year ago.

Again? Apple reportedly loses another iPhone prototype in another bar


This year’s lost phone seems to have taken a more mundane path: it was taken from a Mexican restaurant and bar and may have been sold on Craigslist for $200,” Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh write on that site, citing an unnamed source who is said to be familiar with Apple’s investigation of the matter. “Still unclear are details about the device, what version of the iOS operating system it was running, and what it looks like.”  CNET Spokesman

Erik’s Notebook 253

More info on NBN needed: Govt Joint Committee

  NBN Co and the Federal Government must do more to keep Australians and the telecommunications industry more informed on the progress of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and its consequence, the Joint Committee on the NBN has concluded.
In its Review of the Rollout of the NBN First Report (PDF), tabled in parliament the committee put forward five recommendations aimed at improving information flow to industry and the public.

The first recommendation argued that NBN Co, together with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, should provide a six-monthly report on the progress of the NBN rollout.

NBN Co should also publish a detailed account of impacts on timing and cost of the NBN as its deals with Telstra and Optus, and as a result of the decision to increase the number of points of interconnect (PoI) from 14 to 121.

NBN Co’s deal with Telstra was thrown into doubt this week, with the ACCC saying it cannot accept the telco’s structural separation undertakingin its current form.

The report said NBN Co should also publish timeframes for the rollout of NBN services to regional and remote areas, investigate the impact of the transition to the NBN on currently available levels of service for satellite technology, and formulate contingency plans against potential reduction of capacity in regional and remote areas as a consequence of the NBN rollout.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy should also publish a detailed statement outlining the productivity, jobs and competitive benefits of the NBN, how markets will operate at the wholesale and retail levels under the NBN, and the effect on wholesale and retail competition of the expansion of the PoI.

Government agencies should also take measures to ensure they are ready for the NBN rollout.

The report — which comes hot on the heels of Townsville becoming the first Queensland location to be connected to the network — also argued that more needed to be done to communicate to the public that that the NBN will be sold off, rather than remain a public liability and debt.

“Many Australians are under the misconception that NBN Co is building a government-owned monopoly to own and run the wholesale platform at taxpayers’ expense, indefinitely, with no return to the government on its very large initial capital expenditure,” the report reads.

“This is an incorrect assessment of what the final product will look like, and what the true return to the taxpayer really is.

“The end product will, more than likely, be a privately-owned and operated wholesale platform, with a return on revenue through engagement with retail providers as the platform is built, and then the opportunity for a significant private sale once the NBN is complete.”

As a consequence, the report argued, the question of when and how private equity and finance will be engaged in the wholesale platform, and at what financial return to government, and ultimately taxpayers, needed to be answered.

“The political debate is obscuring the fact that what is being built will be an asset on the financial books of the taxpayer,” the report reads.

“And as with all assets — everything from a house to a business investment — if it is built efficiently and effectively, and if private equity is engaged in the right way at the right time, an initial spend can lead to a much larger return in the future.”

As a result, the committee would seek to satisfy itself about the government’s view of where the points of entry are for private investment alongside public investment, and to make sure maximum return on the government’s investment is secured on behalf of Australian taxpayers in its next report.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @Tlohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

HP TouchPad to rise again–one

more time

Summary: If you missed the $100 HP TouchPad, it will be back

I previously wrote about BestBuy.com selling the HP TouchPad for $100. At the time I managed to get one on order, and it showed up a couple of days ago. I’ll be writing up my impressions in the next day or so, since I definitely have enjoyed my experience with it.
If you didn’t get in on the first round of the fire sale, HP has announced that it will be makingmore HP TouchPads available in the coming weeks. According to THENEXTBENCH:

“A limited supply are coming and it will be a few weeks before they are available. As we know more about how, when, and where TouchPads will be available, we will communicate that here and through email to those who requested notification. We can tell you that HP’s Small and Medium Business team has sold out of HP TouchPads and will not have more inventory.”

So, why is HP planning to offer the TouchPad again? As my colleague, Adrian points out, HP is doing this one last run of TouchPads because there are tons of HP TouchPad components still in the supply chain. I think that’s a solid enough reason, but I think there’s another reason, too. Right now HP looks like it doesn’t know what it’s doing. If consumers feel that way about HP, HP will no longer be able to sell its products. So, HP needs to turn the negatives around, and it’s trying to do that by offering a one-time 25 percent off, to anyone who had signed up to receive information about the HP TouchPad. If that’s not enough, the company is rumored to be courting some offers for the sale of its WebOS business. If there’s too much negative press, the value of the business goes down.
In the end, this could be viewed as the best marketing move ever. Create demand for a product that’s being end-of-lifed, and then give it one last run. Then sell off the whole software business. Nice move. I doubt it was orchestrated to work this way, but it’s still going to be an amazing success story, if someone picks up WebOS for a nice multiple.

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ACCC concerned at Telstra’s agreement not to promote wireless as a substitute for the NBN

 UPDATED Annabel Hepworth and Mitchell Bingemann 

THE competition regulator has raised concerns about Telstra’s agreement with the company building the National Broadband Network not to promote wireless internet as a substitute for the $36 billion fibre network for the next 20 years.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has indicated that Telstra’s plan to structurally separate its business – a key plank of Labor’s NBN policy – will be knocked back this afternoon.

Telstra submitted its separation undertaking in late July, outlining its plan to migrate to the NBN as it gradually ceases to supply fixed-line voice and broadband services over its copper and HFC networks.

However in a paper discussing Telstra’s undertaking, the ACCC said it could not accept the telco giant’s separation plans in their current form.

Its objections could delay reforms essential to the rollout of the NBN.

“The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the particular structural separation undertaking that has been provided could not be accepted, and hence Telstra will need to resubmit this document in a form that fully complies with the legislative requirements,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The ACCC highlighted concerns about provisions against Telstra promoting wireless services as a substitute for NBN Co’s fibre services, and the limitation on the telco’s ability to provide cable internet services to customers, as among issues that would prevent its approval of the plan.

The ACCC is also concerned that the $11 billion deal between the NBN Co and Telstra for the telco giant to migrate its customers on to the new fibre network could potentially be exempt from competition laws without undergoing further ACCC scrutiny.

“The ACCC has serious concerns about arrangements between Telstra and NBN CO that include the parties’ ability to vary the arrangements without further scrutiny by the ACCC,” the regulator said.

In its discussion paper the ACCC is pressing for more safeguards around transparency and equivalent access for competitors in the lead-up to the National Broadband Network.

“The ACCC’s initial view is that there needs to be a clear and enforceable commitment to an `equivalence of outcomes’ that enables wholesale customers and Telstra’s retail businesses to gain access to key input services of equivalent quality and functionality,” Mr Sims said.

Top business leaders have warned Labor that the National Broadband Network could choke off competition.

Electronics giants unite in battle for small LCD market



From:The Wall Street Journal 

September 01, 2011 8:00AM

IN A move to support technology companies striving to compete with aggressive rivals from other parts of Asia, Japan is pumping $2.5bn into a merger of the small-panel LCD operations of three of the country’s biggest electronics makers.

The investment by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan will pool the small-panel liquid-crystal-display businesses run by Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony.

The new entity, to be known as Japan Display KK, is likely to hold at least 20 per cent of the fast-growing global market for panels used in smartphones and other digital gadgets.

The three companies and the government-backed investment fund, or INCJ, said that the merger is to be completed in the spring of 2012.

The INCJ will invest about 200bn yen ($2.5bn), by purchasing new shares, giving it a 70 per cent stake.

That will reduce the burden shouldered by the three companies.

Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony will each hold a 10 per cent stake.

The deal comes as Japan is stepping up efforts to help companies counter the yen’s recent surge to record highs just as the country’s economic recovery after the March 11 disasters encounters signs of an economic slowdown in key US and European export markets.

The government measures include a $US50bn credit line designed to boost overseas mergers and acquisitions.

The investment, first flagged earlier this year, is the fruit of months of work by the little-known INCJ.

Set up in 2009 under the government of then-Prime Minister Taro Aso as a public-private partnership, the INCJ began its life with Y900bn to invest in Japanese ventures.

The government provided about 90 per cent of that capital, while a series of companies supplied the rest.

Kimikazu Noumi, president and chief executive of the INCJ, said that the new joint venture is being set up “to ensure that Japanese companies can maintain their competitive edge in the LCD panel space”.

The new company hasn’t decided on where to base its production hub.

Trying to keep up with South Korean and Taiwan rivals, Japanese competitors are focusing on smaller LCD panels used in smartphones and other digital devices after already experiencing an erosion in market share for larger panels used in television sets.

Joining forces in an area where Japan believes it still has a technological edge reduces the hefty capital expenditures for research and development and new facilities.

It also makes the partners less vulnerable to price fluctuations due to shifts in supply and demand.

To maintain and enhance this technological advantage, the new company will invest in the development of next-generation technologies such as thinner and higher-resolution organic light-emitting-diode displays.

With a projected combined market share of 21.5 per cent, the new entity will supersede industry leader Sharp.

Last year, Toshiba had a 9.2 per cent share of the small-panel LCD market by shipment value.

Hitachi had 6.3 per cent and Sony 6 per cent, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

Sharp held 14.8 per cent of the market last year, followed by Samsung Electronics of South Korea with 11.9 per cent and Chimei Innolux of Taiwan with 11.7 per cent.

The new entity expects sales of at least Y750bn in the fiscal year ending in March 2016, compared with the companies’ estimated combined sales of Y570bn for the current fiscal year ending in March.

The new entity also aims for an initial public offering of stock by March 2016.

It expects the market for small and midsize LCD displays to continue to grow at an annual rate of 21 per cent.

Additional reporting: Judy Lam and Hiroyuki Kachi


With iOS 5 Beta 7, Apple is Right: iTunes Match is Not Streaming in iOS


Wednesday August 31, 2011 9:06 pm PDT by Arnold Kim

the iTunes Match Beta to developers earlier week, there has been a lot of confusion about whether or not the service was “streaming” or not. 

Early hands on videos seemed to show that iTunes Match was a streaming service for both the Mac and iOS devices. Music would play over the internet, but not appear to be permanently downloaded to your device. 

Apple, however, later denied that the service was actually streaming. Instead they described it as “a simultaneous listen and download”. We labeled the distinction one ofsemantics and still considered it streaming based on what had been observed in the early build. 

With the release of iOS Beta 7, however, Apple is right and iTunes Match (for iOS) is a listen and download service, and not a streaming one. InsanelyGreatMac put together anew video of how things have changed with this latest release. 

Songs that are played are now permanently downloaded to your iPhone, iPod or iPad library. Even if you skip past a song, the entire song is saved directly to your device. That means as you listen to music, songs are pulled from the iCloud and stored. The main distinction is that users may have to manually free up space over time. Once a song is deleted, it will again be available for download once again in the same manner.

As a result, the original impression of streaming may have just been an iOS user interface bug or simply an oversight by Apple. What makes us think it was not just an interface bug is the fact that songs are still streamed in iTunes Beta for Mac. Even with the newest iTunes beta release from tonight, users can reportedly stream songs from iTunes Match and those songs are not saved permanently to their Mac. Mac users must explicitly press the iCloud button to download and save songs locally — of course, this could change. 

Apple’s clearly continuing to tweak and make changes to iTunes Match, and we hear there remain a lot of bugs in the interface itself. We should know more for certain when the software seeds stabilize as we approach the expected launch this fall.


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