Episode 273 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Anti-SOPA internet blackout today said to number 7,000 sites going dark
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7,000 websites including Wikipedia will take part today in a voluntary internet blackout worldwide to raise awareness of the controversial SOPA & PIPA anti-piracy bills
Notable sites taking part in today’s action include Wikipedia, Mozilla, WordPress, Reddit and Boing Boing

What is it   from http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/

Protect IP Act PIPA

if passed, will give  U.S. corporations and the government the right to seek affirmative legal action with any website that they see as enabling copyright infringement whether of U.S. origin or not. Here is a breakdown of all that they will have the power to do.

  • Force U.S. internet providers to block access to websites deemed as enablers of copyright infringement
  • Seek legal action by suing search engines, blog sites, directories, or any site in general to have the black listed sites removed from their website
  • Will be able to force advertising services on infringing websites, and those supporting of them, to remove them from their advertising accounts
  • Companies will also have the power to sue any new websites that get started after this bill is passed, if they believe that they are not doing a good job of preventing infringement on your website

Stop Online Piracy Act SOPA

SOPA, if passed, will work in conjunction with PIPA. As described by such entities as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, SOPA is nothing more so than the U.S. government and private corporations black list. Here is a breakdown of the power given to the government and private corporations.

  • The U.S. Attorney General can now seek a court order that would force search engines, advertisers, DNS providers, servers, and payment processors from having any contact with allegedly infringing websites
  • It will allow private corporations to create their own personal hit lists composed of websites they feel are breaking their copyright policies, ironically this doesn’t have any odd feelings of a legal mafia at all. These companies will be able to directly contact a website’s payment processors a notice to cut all off payment involvement with the targeted website. This payment processors and website of question will then have five days to act before it is simply taken down.
  • Payment processors will have the power to cut off any website they work with, as long as they can provide a strong reason of why they believe this site is violating copyrights

Anonymous threatens Sony with anti-SOPA attack
Coordinated teams of hacktivists will wage war on Sony on Monday to punish the company for supporting the controversial US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
The Anonymous collective plans to hack Sony.com and load the homepage with BitTorrent files that allow users to download copyright-protected music and movies — the very action SOPA is designed to prevent.
Hackers also plan to strike Sony Music’s online store, reducing the cost of songs to zero.


OnLive Desktop puts Windows 7 on your iPad for free… but when is it coming to Australia?
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The app, which is free, connects your iPad to OnLive’s datacentres in the US, which host an individualised virtual Windows 7 machine on your behalf and stream it back to your tablet

there’s no word yet on when OnLive Desktop will be available in Australia. According to the company’s web site, OnLive Desktop is only currently available in the US and UK, although it will “continue expanding into Europe and Asia.

One challenge in bringing OnLive’s lineup to Australia is the relative slowness of our broadband (plus the absence of any OnLive servers locally)

I use logmein and will likes TeamViewer.


Velocity 4G smartphone released on January 24 in Australia
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4G coverage areas would enjoy typical download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps, which is up to five times faster than speeds available on Australia’s fastest 3G handsets.

Customers could also experience typical upload speeds of 1Mbps to 10Mbps, which was up to three times faster than speeds available on the fastest 3G handsets in Australia.

Telstra became the first mobile service provider in Australia to launch 4G LTE mobile services last September.

The phone is available to business customers for $0 upfront on Telstra’s $90 Business Mobile Advantage Member plan while consumer customers could buy it for $0 upfront on the $79 Freedom Connect Plan

4G speeds are initially available in all capital CBDs, associated airports and selected regional locations and will seamlessly switch over to our fastest available 3G speeds in other coverage areas.


Telcos to resell Telstra 3G services
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The new wholesale service will be rolled out in two phases, the first of which will see the telco offer post paid only services, while phase two expected later in 2012 will provide resellers with a fully fledged white label mobile service, offering prepaid, postpaid and wireless broadband services.
The first phase of the new offering will allow Telstra wholesale customers to sell mobile 3G services with typical download speeds of 550kbps to 3Mbps in a coverage footprint that reaches 97 per cent of the population.

The decision to cap speeds on the new wholesale service below the download rates of its Next G service has been made to protect its premium mobile service from cannibalisation.


Virgin boss Richard Branson in .xxx domain name dispute
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Virgin is attempting to gain control of the domain richardbranson.xxx.
The company took the action after an individual unconnected with the company registered the name.

CM Registry, which oversees the .xxx domains, had offered firms the chance to pay a one-off fee to protect their brands prior to the scheme’s launch.
Virgin’s claim will turn on factors such as whether the original registration was in good faith and what legitimate interest the present owner may have to the use of the name.

Gordon Ramsay’s dwarf porn double Percy Foster dies in badger den
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Percy Foster’s 107 centimetre (3’6″) body was discovered in a badger’s den in Wales.
The report says the 35-year-old was found, “deep in an underground chamber by Ministry of Agriculture experts ahead of a planned badger-gassing program.”
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of suicide, according to the report.


World IPv6 launch day set to aid net address switchover
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Leading internet firms have set 6 June as the World IPv6 launch day.
IPv6 is the new net address system that replaces the current protocol IPv4, which is about to run out of spaces to allocate.
Web companies participating in the event have pledged to enable IPv6 on their main websites from that date.


Lifelike Steve Jobs doll pulled from market
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A Chinese firm scrapped plans to sell a lifelike doll of Steve Jobs after his family and Apple lawyers objected.


Apple publishes supplier details for the first time
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Apple has published a list of its suppliers for the first time as it looks to head off criticism over how workers are treated.
The company also said it has increased its inspection of factories in a bid to ensure proper working conditions for suppliers’ employees.

http://images.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Apple_Supplier_List_2011.pdf


HP TouchPad gets Ice Cream Sandwich
CyanogenMod 9 Alpha build.

The only tablet so far to have an official upgrade to Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS is the Asus Transformer Prime, with other tablets like the Motorola Xoom 2 still waiting for an official upgrade.

Installation instructions can be found at RootzWiki, and with the option to dual-boot WebOS and Ice Cream Sandwich


Apple and Samsung to waterproof smartphones
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HzO technology – as it is officially known – is applied to a gadget’s insides during the manufacturing process, wrapping around the internal electronics and creating a nano-scale film barrier – so your gadget’s waterproofed from the inside.

Apparently, HzO has already caught the attention of the Samsung Chairman, who was wowed when shown a Galaxy S II coated with the stuff. And the company also mentioned being in talks with Apple


WILL’S SHOWNOTES
 

Pirate Party goes dark for SOPA

The Australian Pirate Party has blacked out its website in protest against the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) today, warning that censorship could come to Australia.

(Screenshot by Michael Lee/ZDNet Australia)

The Pirate Party warns that the strong alliance between the US and Australia means that our law makers could be pressured into introducing similar legislation into Australian parliament.

“America’s control over treaty organisations such as TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and ACTA [Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement] would allow the smooth transition of America’s law into our legislative system. If we don’t combat this now, its introduction into our parliament could be just around the corner.”

The Pirate Party’s message comes tacked on to a standard blackout message developed by freelance creative developer, Zachary Johnson, who created the template and placed it in the public domain. It is available for anyone to download from Github.

“I’ve been calling my representatives in Congress, but this gave me another outlet for my frustration with this legislation,” Johnson wrote in notes provided with the code.

According to Fight for the Future, a not-for-profit group partially responsible for coordinating the blackout, thousands of sites will participate in the blackout. These range from small independent bloggers, to large communities such as Reddit and Wikipedia.

Other organisations such as Google have thrown their support behind the blackout, but will not be pulling their sites down. Instead, Google will post a link on the company’s home page to notify users of the US Bills being debated, but will not go as far as replacing the company’s logo.

However, not everyone agrees with the blackout. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has labelled the blackout as foolishand said shutting down web services isn’t the right way to take a stance on an issue.

Swizz Beatz’s website battles with Universal over label’s stars

Sean “Diddy” Combs is one of the artists in trouble with their label for appearing in Swizz Beatz’s video. Picture: AP

RELATED COVERAGE

The CEO of the internet company, Beatz persuaded the stars to appear in a “Mega Song” video promoting his service, intended to send large media files.

The catch is the music industry has been fighting against file sharing, accusing the services Megaupload offers of supporting piracy.

Beatz’s wife, Alicia Keys, has promoted the site with her picture and a quote. Swizz also asked Mary J. Blige, Kim Kardashian, Lil Jon and Macy Gray to promote Megaupload.

But after the starry promo appeared on YouTube last month, Diddy, West and Will.i.am’s label, Universal Music Group, issued a “take-down notice” to YouTube, saying the artists’ performances were unauthorized.

Their individual reps followed up, sources said.

Megaupload fired back with a lawsuit against Universal to stop it from blocking distribution of the video.

A Megaupload rep told the New York Post, “We have never received any word that any artist has [individually] filed a take-down … [we have] legally binding agreements with the performers that appear in the video … They promised that they had the rights to enter into that agreement and it’s not interfering with any third-party rights.”

Universal and Diddy’s reps would not comment. West’s and Will.i.am’s reps did not respond to requests for comment.

French man found guilty of public insult over ‘c**p bosses’ Facebook comment

Eric Blanchemain has been found guilty of public insult for posting about his “c..p bosses”. Picture: File

RELATED COVERAGA FRENCH court has found a union delegate guilty of publicly insulting his call-centre employers by calling them “c..p bosses” on Facebook.

The court in Paris found Eric Blanchemain guilty of “public insult” for the November 2010 posting on the Facebook page of the CGT-FAPT union branch for the Webhelp call centre based in Caen, northwestern France.

In the post, Blanchemain had written: “C..p day, c..p weather, c..p job, c..p office, c..p bosses.”

He was given a suspended sentence of a 500 euro ($635) fine and ordered to pay a symbolic one euro each in damages to Webhelp, its branch in Caen and his immediate supervisor.

“The statements in question went beyond the limit of acceptable criticism,” the court said in its ruling.

Blanchemain, who had been suspended for five days following the post, admitted in court to having posted the statement but said it was under exceptional circumstances as it was the day after a colleague’s suicide.

High school uses smartphone jamming device to stop cheats

AN Austrian high school principal has narrowly escaped legal action after going after potential exam cheats with a high-tech – but illegal – idea.

Gerhard Klampfer reportedly bought and mounted a jamming device strong enough to prevent graduating classes from doing internet research on their smartphones during final exams last year.

State broadcaster ORF said the move was effective enough to attract the attention of a phone service provider.

The company alerted authorities in charge of monitoring radio traffic after noticing lack of service.

They then notified legal officials who threatened Mr Klampfer with a misdemeanour.

Under Austrian law only police, the military and others in charge of security can jam signals.

Mr Klampfer said he didn’t know he was breaking the law and he was let off with a warning, instead of a fine.

‘LEMMING-LIKE’ TUMBLE: Data stoush could lead to higher prices

Telstra says Australia risks falling behind on the mobile front. Picture: Herald Sun

TELSTRA has warned Australia will fall behind other countries in rolling out crucial mobile phone technology if the Federal Government slugs the industry with draconian licence-renewal fees.

The telco giant has told Communications Minister Stephen Conroy that the government risks hampering the development of smartphone and wireless technology, the Herald Sun reported.

In a submission lodged with the government yesterday, Telstra says Australia could suffer the “lemming-like” tumble taken by Europe a decade ago that saw the development of mobile networks stymied.

Under the government’s plan, Telstra will have to pay $758 million to renew its 15-year licence for spectrum access. Vodafone would have to pay about $678 million.

Telstra yesterday told Mr Conroy the price was outrageous.

“The price is high by current international standards,” one industry insider said. “We don’t agree with the methodology the government used, we think mistakes were made.”

Under the government plan, telcos will pay 50 per cent on top of the base price recommended by consultants. It is understood telcos are pushing to pay closer to 25 per cent. A decision on pricing is expected by March.

Industry experts yesterday said the government was starting negotiations with a high price.

“They are thinking ‘how high can we go while avoiding an auction’?

“They want to avoid an auction because there are a whole lot of factors like the troubles in Europe casting doubts over the capacity of another player to enter the field.”

In its submission, Telstra draws parallels to the prices that were paid in Europe during the tech boom.

“Because of the high cost, all the telcos were under financial pressure and it slowed the roll out of technology by three years.”

The Telstra and Vodafone licences are set to expire at the end of the year.

Vodafone yesterday said it was undertaking continuing “constructive discussions” with the government.

BBY telecommunications analyst Mark McDonnell said all the telcos were “hostage” to the government over the “repricing” of spectrum and prices would inevitably rise if the government leveraged a high fee.

Mr McDonnell said that over the past 15 years the telcos had built multi-billion dollar networks with millions of customers on top of the spectrum access.

“The rights of incumbency and lack of right of incumbency is a significant risk for carriers in this country.”

Public comment on the draft is still being sought.

App “If I die” lets you messages on Facebook when you’re dead

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The “If I die” app let’s you post on Facebook from beyond the grave. Picture: Courtesy of If i Die

RELATED COVERAGE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdzCELofGgE&;feature=player_embedded

FACEBOOK is hosting an app that lets you deliver your last words from beyond the grave.

The third-party app called “If I die” lets users record a video or text message that will only be published in the event of your death.

Once you install the app you must select three “trustees” from your Facebook friends list to confirm you have in fact died.

What do you think? Is this app cool or creepy? Tell us below.

When all three agree, the video or message will be released on your wall.

Digital strategist at communications agency Text 100 Karalee Evans said while app could seem a little creepy it could help stop trolling and flaming on memorial pages.

“The person that has recorded the message is controlling how their social networks find out about their passing,” Ms Evans said. “And it could be something that helps to mitigate that flaming by switching the power balance.”

She said the app could be useful for people with terminal illnesses to control how they finish their social footprint.

More than 5000 Facebook users have already liked the app on the social networking site but judging from this reaction on Twitter not everyone is convinced:

“Now I have seen it all! Morbid?” wrote user @ronbercume.

Another user @johanncarlise wrote: “If FB is the best you can do for after-death messages you probably don’t have any very exciting secrets to share anyway.”

Russia won’t predict crash site of Phobos-Grunt voyager

The Phobos-Grunt atop its launch rocket before being fired into Earth orbit, where it became stuck. Picture: AFP

RELATED COVERAGERUSSIAN scientists believe fragments of its Phobos-Grunt probe, which spiralled back to Earth after failing to head on a mission to Mars, have crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

“According to information from mission control of the space forces, the fragments of Phobos-Grunt should have fallen into the Pacific Ocean at 5.45pm GMT (4:54am AEST),” space forces spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin told the Interfax news agency.

There was no immediate comment from Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, which throughout the day, as the probe approached Earth, had given wildly different predictions about where it could land.

Zolotukhin said that the space forces had closely followed the probe’s course. “This has allowed us to ascertain the place and time of the fall of the craft with a great degree of accuracy,” he told Interfax.

According to the ITAR-TASS news agency, the probe should have splashed down 1250 kilometres west of the island of Wellington off the coast of Chile.

A landing in the ocean would be a huge relief for Russia after earlier reports suggested it could crash into the territory of South America, possibly Argentina.

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft should have been on an expedition to Mars’ largest moon but instead became stuck in an Earth orbit that has become lower and lower as it became increasingly tugged by the Earth’s gravity and slowed by the upper atmosphere.

Telstra first to sign on to emergency alert service for mobile phones in Victoria

The new system will mean no one misses out on emergency alerts for a particular area. Picture: File/Sam Mooy

RELATED COVERAGE

A WORLD-first emergency alert system to deliver text messages to mobile phones will be in place this year.

New technology allows the alerts to be sent to all mobile phones in a certain area and enables authorities to notify Victorians of fire, flood or other major hazards at a moment’s notice.

Acting Premier Peter Ryan will today announce Telstra has signed as the first carrier with the service.

“This new technology has no national or international precedent,” Mr Ryan said.

Talks with mobile phone carriers Optus and Vodafone are continuing.

When the system in place, it will send a text to every mobile phone switched on in a geographic area.

This will address one of the major flaws in the existing system, that of alerting visitors on holidays.

It means that alerts for places such as Lorne, with about 900 permanent residents, can be delivered to all 20,000 people there during peak holiday periods.

Mr Ryan said the system was a world-leading development.

“As a result of Victoria’s leadership, by November 2012, emergency service agencies will be able to deliver warnings to mobile phones based on their location,” Mr Ryan said.

“This system will be available across Australia despite the fact that only the Commonwealth and Victoria to date have contributed to the establishment costs.”

Human Services ends IBM, HP outsourcing

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will not renew long-running infrastructure-management contracts with IBM and HP, instead bringing more services in house, new CIO Gary Sterrenberg has revealed.

(Parkes NSW image by Amanda Slater,

CC BY-SA 2.0)

In his first interview with ZDNet Australia since taking over the role from long-running CIO John Wadeson in October last year, the former ANZ CIO said that as part of the department’s Service Delivery Reform program, long-running contracts that IBM has with Medicare and HP has with the Child Support Program (CSP) will not be renewed, and will instead be brought in house, in line with other agencies in the mega-department.

“It’s about value creation,” he said. “The Centrelink program … has a huge capacity, because of the strengths that can be shared. Harvesting that value is what we’re going to be doing in the next two to three years.”

In this financial year’s Federal Budget, the department was given $530 million to consolidate the ICT systems for each agency within the department. DHS also successfully integrated the Department of Veteran Affairs completely at the end of 2011, and Sterrenberg said that should the government require it, DHS is in a good position to acquire other government agencies.

“What we’ve created by the integration of the agencies is set up, almost like the business term would be, a mergers and acquisition capability to [integrate other agencies]”.

Sterrenberg said that this capability would work better for agencies that deliver services directly to the public, and would be particularly useful in the event of a disaster.

“You want to be able to deploy a range of services to the broader community, and having a service arm like DHS enables that,” he said. “Everything we do, we think about whole of government. I think there’s a lot of good thinking around where we can help each other. If you can do it working together, that’s the way to go.”

One of the major projects under the Service Delivery Reform program is to consolidate 14 DHS datacentres into just three, and Sterrenberg revealed that the department is already ahead of schedule on this initiative.

“We’ve completed a lot of the mainframe work. We’ve moved CSP onto the mainframe; we’ve moved DVA onto the mainframe. We’ve moved most of CSP out. We’ve closed Macquarie and Bruce, [and] we’ve got most of the stuff out of Belconnen.”

Sterrenberg said that the timetable for moving out of datacentres tends to be determined by when the leases for those locations end. The department is now in the planning stages for moving Medicare out, which Sterrenberg said could have been done earlier, were it not for the IBM contract.

“We believe we could have gone quicker with Medicare, but we have a sourcing contract with IBM, so it makes sense to do it that way,” he said.

Despite the hurdles, Sterrenberg said that by the end of 2012, the department will be six to nine months ahead of schedule on the datacentre consolidation.

Moving to a common communications platform would be a much larger task for Human Services. The infrastructure planning, such as the directory design for the platform, was completed in September, Sterrenberg said, and a small pilot of 500 desktops running Windows 7 was completed at the end of 2011, but there is a huge task ahead to roll it out to all 37,000 DHS staff.

“It’s about bridging multiple domains, multiple networks, moving four to five SoEs [standard operating environments] to a single SoE, to move to a single IP-addressing layer across everything, and create a single environment for all DHS people,” he said.

“The hard work is right to get the construct right, so that it cannot just service the current DHS agencies, but also whatever comes beyond.”

The aim is to have 10,000 desktops rolled out by June, and an additional 15,000 by the end of 2012, leaving just over 10,000 left for the next year. The desktops will have thin clients, so department staff will be able to log in using a swipe card, as part of a two-factor authentication process. This roll-out will also bring about the end of Lotus Notes for Centrelink and Medicare, which has been on the cards since 2010.

Moving from ANZ to Human Services

Sterrenberg praised the legacy of his long-time predecessor John Wadeson, and the 3800 IT staff under him.

“It’s actually better than expected. I was very pleasantly surprised that the previous CIO John Wadeson left a really good legacy. You don’t do that overnight; it’s four or five years in the making,” he said. “Particularly in the quality of staff we have in the ICT are exceptional. We have a very sound base to work from.

“I would rate some of our mainframe teams as the best, certainly in Australia, if not broader.”

He said that he sees a lot of similarities between coming from a bank to moving to Human Services, particularly given the volume of payments the department makes to the general public, and the back-end technologies used. He said that desktop consolidations and desktop roll-outs are all experiences that the private sector knows well, although he said that the government is about a year behind corporate Australia.

One of the major differences, he said, is that the government role is a lot more transparent.

“Everything you do is very open for all to see, and I think that is the right thing. We’re dealing with huge amounts of investments of public money, and, as such, that level of scrutiny has to be there,” he said.

But that’s a powerful motivator, too.

“One of the things I was saying to an ex-banking colleague the other day is that you don’t wake up without motivation. Everything you do is delivering a service to the community. And you just know it has a huge responsibility attached to it, because if our systems do not pay, people will not have money for rent, will not have money for food, in some cases,” he said, adding that his staff feel that way, too.

“They’re absolutely passionate about providing service to their customer, and in some way that motivation is not always there in corporations I’ve worked for in the past,” he said.

Recruiting the right skills set is still an issue for Human Services, though, and he said that the department is looking for more workers outside of Canberra, where it is much tougher to find workers. The department is also continuing to work with universities to encourage school leavers to take up ICT degrees to get those skills, but he said that a lot of it has to do with public perception of those roles.

“I think there is a view that you are a code cutter, whereas nowadays, a very small portion of the work is code cutting,” he said.

He said that working for the government is also undersold to students.

“We actually are using some of the latest technologies to serve the communities, and I don’t think it is well understood. Everything that you do in corporate you can do for us and more. The cherry on the cake is that you’re serving the community. You’re making a difference.”

How ANZ could have changed security

ANZ’s plan to cut 23 of its fraud-detection staff had me hopeful that it would stop giving carte blanche to customers who failed to secure their systems, but would it be willing to put its neck on the line for it?

(Change Jam Questions image by Dreamfish, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Sydney Morning Herald reported this morning that ANZ is about to cut 23 of its fraud team, leading to speculation that more fraud is going to slip through the cracks. When I first heard the news, the bank’s plan didn’t make much sense to me. Surely, by cutting staff, more fraud would go undetected, costing it in terms of reputation and financial loss? Could that much be saved by making that many people redundant?

Well, even if we very generously say that each member of staff cut saves ANZ $200,000 — and those are some pretty highly paid bankers — it only represents a saving of $4.6 million. Credit-card fraud alone rose by tens of millions of dollars last year. Even if ANZ fired that many people each year, it wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Then I began to get a bit excited. Could it be that ANZ is going to be one of the first banks to stop taking responsibility for its customers’ lack of security?

ANZ, like every Australian bank, has a money-back guarantee whereby innocent victims of fraud are compensated for any losses.

This means that customers who are doing the right thing — securing their computers against credit-card stealing trojans, and protecting their PINs at ATMs — are rightfully compensated when the bank’s security measures and staff fail to protect them. They are the ideal customers, the ones who do everything by the book, but, through no fault of their own, have their credit-card details stolen when a company that was meant to be storing their details safely didn’t.

But we don’t live in a perfect world where everyone follows best practice or even knows what it is. Banks are paying for fraud that customers could have prevented if they’d been just a little more careful. Judging by the rate that fraud is increasing year on year, it seems like that’s a huge cost to pay.

It’s commendable that banks wear more of the risk and the financial burden than those of us who are careless, but it’s also detrimental to educating the masses. So, my excitement stemmed from the possibility that a bank is willing to put its neck on the line for the greater long-term benefit of security education. After all, for ANZ to make the most of its smaller fraud team, it would have to focus on the people who are responsible for the bulk of fraud-related problems, and thus represent the highest financial losses.

It would have been a refreshing difference from fraud-compensation schemes that give people the false impression that they can be a little more reckless with their credit-card details, since their bank will protect them. It could also have been an industry-changing stance against supporting poor security, resulting in saving banks millions of dollars in compensation — money that could go towards security research and other measures. It could even change the focus from helping victims recover to preventing them from being one in the first place. Wouldn’t that be something?

So I was saddened to learn from the bank that the real reason behind its 23 redundancies is that it has improved its automated fraud-detection systems to provide an equivalent level of protection without the need for as much manual intervention.

I should have known from the start that no bank would be willing to be seen as abandoning its customers, even if it was for the benefit of both bank and customer in the long run, but I was surprised to see that when offered the opportunity to take a small step in breaking the status quo and making use of the extra anti-fraud resources that the technology had freed up, ANZ picked what appears to be a short-term gain and a long-term loss.

While the speculation over whether ANZ would be able to maintain its anti-fraud activities today has been proven to be incorrect, it might not be tomorrow.

Telstra’s HTC Velocity 4G out next week

This Tuesday, Telstra will launch the first long-term evolution (LTE), or “4G” handset in Australia, the HTC Velocity.

The HTC Velocity

(Credit: Telstra)

After weeks of speculation, Telstra has announced that the first “4G” handset will be made available online and through Telstra stores from 24 January.

The Velocity features a 4.5-inch touchscreen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera, and is powered by Android. The phone runs on 4G in Telstra’s 1800MHz spectrum, but has the ability to switch to 3G and GSM or EDGE. Talk time is estimated to be 310 minutes on 3G, and 248 hours on standby for 3G.

Telstra advises customers that typical 4G download speeds for the HTC Velocity will be between 2 megabits per second (Mbps) and 40Mbps, while upload speeds will be between 1Mbps and 10Mbps.

Telstra’s 4G network was launched in September last year, and is now deployed within a five-kilometre radius of all major capital cities, as well as within three kilometres of 80 regional locations.

The phone is available to consumers for $0 on Telstra’s 24-month $79 Freedom Connect plan, which includes $800 worth of calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 2GB of data each month.

For business customers, the smartphone is available on Telstra’s $90 Business Mobile Advantage plan with $90 worth of standard national calls, unlimited SMS and 2GB of data on a 24-month contract.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Lamar_Smith%2C_Official_Portrait%2C_c112th_Congress.jpg/170px-Lamar_Smith%2C_Official_Portrait%2C_c112th_Congress.jpg

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