Episode 274 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes



Google’s Android Developer Labs headed to Australia next week

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Lab sessions are designed to teach “accomplished” Android developers best practice techniques in order to maximise the potential of the platform and make the most of their title.

Sessions will cover: what’s new in Ice Cream Sandwich; how to utilise cloud services in your app; bringing polish and immersion to your user experience; and how to create “rich” apps for smartphones (and tablets).

For registration details and further information on the program https://sites.google.com/site/androiddeveloperlabs/

Melbourne 31 Jan 2012     Sydney 3 Feb 2012    Auckland  8 Feb 2012


JB Hi-Fi holding huge sale across notebooks until Sunday

Holy Nyans! 60 hours per minute and 4 billion views a day on YouTube

Nokia celebrates 1.5bn phones running on S40
The first S40 phone was sold in 1999

Star Wars Uncut: Director’s Cut

In 2009, thousands of Internet users were asked to remake “Star Wars: A New Hope” into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted.

The film, uploaded on 18 January, is made up of hundreds of 15-second scenes created by internet users.

the clips had been available online previously, this is the first time they have been put together into a full-length film.
The new version of the film quickly became a YouTube hit. “1M views in 72hrs!

Google in privacy policy changes across its services


More than 60 different policies will be combined into one that will go into effect 1 March, the company said.

“We’re rolling out a new main privacy policy that covers the majority of our products and explains what information we collect, and how we use it in a more readable way,” said Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy, product and engineering.
The single privacy policy will apply to Google search, Gmail, YouTube and Google+, its social networking site.
The main change applies to users who have Google accounts.
“If you’re signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries, or tailor your search results, based on the interests you’ve expressed in Google+, Gmail and YouTube,” the company said, explaining the changes.

Google+ relaxes real name policy to allow pseudonyms


The move follows criticism from human rights groups which had said there were circumstances under which individuals could have become unsafe if they revealed their identities.
The search giant said it had already begun rolling out the amended policy.
However, it is said users must prove their pseudonym has already attracted an audience elsewhere.

Megaupload founder denied bail by New Zealand court

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The Megaupload founder was arrested by police on the $23 million property – hiding in a safe room with a loaded gun – during his birthday celebrations on Friday.

One room had seven 60-inch televisions

He reportedly paid $NZ500,000 for fireworks

As a child, he made copies of computer games to sell

“I’m smarter than Bill Gates,” he once said

He called himself Kimble after The Fugitive

He is reportedly two metres tall and weighs 140kg

three cars with the licence plates “HACKER”, “MAFIA”, “STONED”, “KIMCOM”, “GUILTY”, “GOD” and “POLICE”,

I am 37 years old now, I am married, I have three adorable children with two more on the way (twin girls – yeah) and I know that I am not a bad person. I have grown and I have learned.”
He continued: “Mega has nothing to fear. Our business is legitimate and protected by the DMCA and similar laws around the world. We work with the best lawyers and play by the rules. We take our legal obligations seriously.
“Mega’s war chest is full and we have strong supporters backing us. We have been online for 7 years and we are here to stay, so no need to worry about us.”

megaupload site show 008

Boasting some 150 million registered users, Megaupload was one of the biggest file-sharing services in the world before it was shut down this week.

US boost for Brisbane social network

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Like a mash-up of Facebook, Skype and YouTube, users select who they want to connect with – friends, strangers or the world – and then share their video messages in real time, broadcasting their lives live from fixed lines or mobiles via free Kondoot apps.
Access is available to public brands and private individuals alike, meaning record companies might beam rock concerts live to virtual ticket holders, or advertisers could bypass TV schedules to connect direct with consumers.

Mark Cracknell and partner Nathan Hoad returned from the US with $3.2 million in funding for their site.

Australia’s lagging standards of internet service may force Kondoot from home shores; a chunk of their growing team will relocate to America in the coming months, with a view to opening offices in Asia and London down the track.


Woolworths to close over half Dick Smith stores: analysts


A report published by CLSA analysts David Thomas and Richard Barwick predicts Woolworths will either “shrink and trim” its Dick Smith operation or sell the brand entirely, following a period of lacklustre sales which in November saw CEO Grant O’Brien signal a strategic review into the underperforming business.

The consumer electronics chain has suffered a steady decline in sales since FY2007, dropping from $71.1 million earnings before interest to just $22 million last year. Main rival JB HiFi’s sales grew from $65.5m in the same period to $196 million in FY2011.

Christmas shoppers spend big on Apple


Record sales over the Christmas period saw Apple yesterday post revenue of $US46.33 billion ($A44.2 billion) for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of over $20 billion on first quarter 2011.

iPhone, iPad and Mac sales contributed to the 44.7 percent jump in gross margin, with over 37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs shipped during the quarter. iPod sales didn’t fare so well, dropping 21 percent from the same period in 2011 with only 15.4 million products sold.

Apple’s net profit more than doubled this quarter, rising from $6 billion in Q1 2011 to $13.06 billion.

The company expects Q2 2012 to generate revenue of over $32 billion and diluted earnings per share of $8.50.  – ***is it time to give more back?***

Dodo core routers downed


Dodo internet users in NSW, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory reported data browsing and authentication issues Tuesday night around 8pm.

The merged entity has approximately 120,000 active DSL services nationally, in addition to wholesale infrastructure picked up with theacquisition of Platform Networks in August.

The network failed to switch-over to a back-up router, prompting Cisco engineers to fix the problem on-site.
“It locked up and didn’t switch over as it should,

Telstra skirts SEA-ME-WE3 cable limits

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Telstra has bought one of four fibre pairs on a new subsea cable system connecting Perth and Singapore, partly to gain some control over transmission technology upgrades on the route.
The carrier said late last week that it had invested in the ASSC-1 cable, which is to provide an initial 6.4 TBps capacity on the route

Although ASSC-1 is not due for completion until 2013, Telstra is already looking at it serving as the primary link for a number of customers.
“I would expect we’ll be using a lot of this new facility for [the] primary route for Telstra’s traffic and customer’s traffic,” Clarke said.

SEA-ME-WE3 from wikipedia
SEA-ME-WE 3 or South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3 is an optical submarine telecommunications cable linking those regions and is the longest in the world, completed in late 2000. It is operated by India’s Tata Communications and 92 other investors from the telecom industry. It was commissioned in March 2000.

It is 39,000 kilometres (24,000 mi) in length and uses Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technology with Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) transmission to increase capacity and enhance the quality of the signal, especially over long distances (this cable stretches from North Germany to Australia and Japan).

“SEA-ME-WE3 does have limitations placed on it by the consortium – of which we Telstra are part of – and until the consortium changes various rules and conditions it’s difficult for SEA-ME-WE3 to be upgraded [to future transmission technologies],” he said.
“[On ASSC-1], Telstra will have that control, given we are purchasing our own fibre pair outright on this system.
“It’s within Telstra’s control as and when that fibre pair is upgraded in the future and the equipment we use.”

iiNet offers free wi-fi to Perth subscribers

The telco has established 15 hotspots across the CBD, allowing subscribers of iiNet, Westnet, Ozemail and Netspace to use any email address and password associated with their internet subscription accounts to access the free wireless network.

Users are given access to a 512 Kbps connection on one of the hotspots, with each node able to support an average 200 users simultaneously.
Each node is connected to 100 Mbps or gigabit backhaul but Soin said the provider was keen to test how subscribers used the network.
“It isn’t designed for customers to leach and download massive amounts, it’s really designed for email and basic web browsing,” he said.



Apple earnings more than double on strong iPhone and iPad sales
APPLE reported its best quarter ever for revenue, earnings and iPhone sales as the consumer electronics giant benefited from the release of its latest smartphone and continued strong demand for its popular tablet.

Shares of the Cupertino, Califirnia, consumer electronics giant, already trading near all-time highs, added 7.8 per cent to $US453.02 in after-hours trading, as results surpassed even the most optimistic analyst on Wall Street.

The latest quarter also represents the first full earnings period with Tim Cook as chief executive. Co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO in August and died months later.
The numbers, on many levels, were mind-boggling.

The company’s total revenue of $US46.33 billion for its fiscal first quarter, up 73 per cent from a year ago, means Apple reported more revenue in the final three months of last year than in all of 2006 and 2007 combined.

“Customer demand for iPhones and iPads was off the charts for the quarter, and sales of iOS devices were stunning,” chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said in an interview.

Meanwhile, in its fiscal first quarter, Apple generated more than $US17.5bn in cash flow from operations, bringing its total cash holdings to $US97.6bn and sparking more questions about whether the stock will begin offering a dividend.

On a conference call, Mr Oppenheimer said company officials were discussing uses of its cash balance but didn’t have anything specific to announce today. “We continue to be very disciplined with the cash and are not letting it burn a hole in our pockets,” he said.

Nonetheless, to put Apple’s cash total in perspective, only 25 companies in the S&P 500 — not counting Apple itself — have higher market valuations than what Apple holds in cash.

In the first quarter, Apple shipped 37.04 million iPhones, more than doubling the prior year’s total, and it could have done more. Mr Oppenheimer said demand was outstripping supply, and the device was on “significant” backlog at the end of the quarter. The latest quarter marked the first reporting period to include the new iPhone 4S, which went on sale in October.

Bill Kreher, analyst at Edward Jones, noted much of the iPhone growth was propelled by the US, which has the newest devices, and international expansion could bolster future quarters. For example, the iPhone 4S went on sale earlier this month in China.

“China is clearly a big part of the Apple story in 2012,” he said. He added the iPhone’s growth in particular has helped the company distance itself from peers. In Apple’s first quarter, 58 per cent of its top-line came from international sales.

Apple’s backlog and the possibility of further overseas growth may be why Apple, known for traditionally giving conservative guidance, provided an outlook for the current quarter that surpassed analyst expectations. Apple said it expects fiscal second-quarter earnings of about $US8.50 a share on revenue of about $US32.5bn; analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast a profit of $US8.04 a share on $US32.1bn in revenue.

Apple’s strong first quarter followed a disappointing fourth-quarter report, which was hurt by customers holding off iPhone purchases on expectations of a new device.

This morning, Mr Oppenheimer declined to say how much similar speculation could impact the company’s sales of iPads, as a new tablet computer is expected to be announced in the next few months.

For the quarter ended December 31, Apple reported earnings of $US13.06bn, or $US13.87 a share, up from $US6bn, or $US6.43 a share, a year earlier.

In October, the company projected earnings of $US9.30 a share on revenue of about $US37bn. Analysts had most recently forecast a per-share profit of $US10.10 and revenue of $US38.91bn.
Gross margin widened to 44.7 per cent from 38.5 per cent, ahead of analyst expectations for 40.8 per cent.

Apple sold 15.43 million iPad units in the latest quarter, more than double what it sold a year earlier. The company sold 5.2 million Macintosh computers, up 26 per cent from a year ago.

It also sold 15.4 million iPod media players, a 21 per cent decline. Sales have slowed for the iPod, although the unit has likely benefited from higher average selling prices, as more consumers gravitate toward the iPod touch.

Additional reporting: Nathalie Tadena

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom denied bail in New Zealand

A NEW ZEALAND judge has denied bail for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was arrested for allegedly violating online piracy laws.

Judge David McNaughton issued his ruling on Wednesday morning local time, The New Zealand Herald reported.

He did not give a reason for his decision.

Dotcom, who legally changed his name from Kim Schmitz, was arrested last week by New Zealand police, at the request of US authorities, in a raid at his NZ$30 million ($24 million) property in Coatesville, 24km north of Auckland.

Megaupload employees Bram van der Kolk, 29, Finn Batato, 38, and Mathias Ortmann, 40, were also arrested in the raid last Friday. Another three suspects remain at large.

All seven were charged by the FBI over alleged violations of piracy laws worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

They were indicted by a US grand jury in the state of Virginia on charges which include racketeering and money laundering.

Prosecutor Anne Toohey had argued against bail for Dotcom, a 38-year-old German national, saying he posed an “extreme” flight risk and would likely re-offend.

However, his attorney Paul Davison said that Dotcom was not a flight risk, and could be monitored electronically after being released on bail.

Davison told the court that if granted bail, the internet entrepreneur would not attempt to restart Megaupload.

Bail hearings for van der Kolk, Batato and Ortmann are set for Thursday, according to The New Zealand Herald.

The FBI is seeking to extradite Dotcom and his three employees to the US to face the racketeering and money laundering charges.

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/technology/megaupload-founder-kim-dotcom-denied-bail-in-new-zealand/story-e6frfro0-1226253201973#ixzz1kV8PXpuW

Australia’s first 4G smartphone hits shelves – but is it any good?

AUSTRALIA’S first 4G mobile phone will be launched today, offering internet downloads up to 17 times faster than current connections, News Limited tests show.

The HTC Velocity 4G will be the first phone to use Telstra’s 4G network, launched to laptop users late last year, but the company promises to release more 4G smartphones and a compatible tablet computer this year.
Telstra’s 4G network, using Long Term Evolution technology, is currently available in a 5km area around Australia’s capital cities and in 80 regional centres, and promises typical download speeds up to five times as fast as current phone downloads.
But exclusive News.com.au tests show average downloads are up to 17 times as fast as those on Telstra’s 3G network, putting a huge speed gulf between the Velocity 4G and competing phones.
Download speeds of up to 40 megabits per second and uploads of 10 megabits per second are possible with the 4G phone, making quick photo uploads, live video streaming and seamless mobile YouTube watching possible.

Telstra mobile director Andrew Volard said 4G phones would allow “the next generation of mobile apps” to emerge, including some delivering “cloud gaming” that Telstra was currently testing.
Mr Volard said the HTC Velocity 4G was the first of many 4G phones to come this year.
“We have a number of devices in development with all the major manufacturers,” he said. “We have four in development and we’re looking at a 4G tablet that will also come in due course. It’s going to be one of our major focuses in 2012.”

Telstra is currently upgrading 3G phone networks in an additional 20 sites around Australia, though Mr Volard would not say when 4G coverage might become widely available outside town centres.
But Telstra is the only carrier to launch a 4G network in Australia so far, with Optus planning to launch 4G coverage in parts of New South Wales in April and Vodafone yet to confirm its 4G launch date.
Brisbane health worker Scott Marshall was one of the first phone users to test the HTC Velocity 4G and said he was already planning to give his 3G-compatible Apple iPhone to his sister.
“I got (the HTC phone) last Thursday and I’ve been playing with it non-stop – my other phone has never been charged so little,” he said. “I can’t believe the speed or how quickly things load.”
Mr Marshall said he had been using the phone’s faster internet connection to upload videos on the go and to connect his laptop to the web.

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/technology/smartphones/australias-first-4g-smartphone-hits-shelves-but-is-it-any-good/story-fn6vihic-1226251546872#ixzz1kV9Aw3sJ

iPhone 5 Rumor Tips 4-Inch Screen, New Form Factor

The holidays are over, CES has concluded, and Apple has revealed its blockbuster earnings. What’s next? Why, the latest iPhone rumor, of course. The iPhone 4S is barely in users’ hands, but there are already reports of the fabled iPhone 5 finally becoming a reality.

According to 9to5Mac, “reliable sources” at Foxconn tell the blog that workers are gearing up to start production on the iPhone 5. At this point, however, there are several models floating around, so it remains to be seen what the final version will entail, but they all include a few similar features.
Screen size, for example, has been bumped up from 3.5 inches to 4+ inches, 9to5Mac said, and LG is making at least one of those screens. The form factor differs from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but do not include the rumored teardrop shape.

9to5Mac speculated that the timing on the iPhone production suggests that Apple will return to its previous early summer iPhone launch schedule. The iPhone 4S made its debut in October; production didn’t start until the spring.
During an earnings call yesterday, Apple said it sold 37.04 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, and CEO Tim Cook said the 4S was the most popular version.

The Apple chief said people are still buying its new smartphone.
“Customers are absolutely loving this product,” Cook said of the iPhone 4S. “We made a very bold bet entering the quarter as to what the demand would be. And as it turns out, despite it being a very bold bet, we were short of supply throughout the quarter and did end with a significant backlog.”

“That situation has improved some since the end of the quarter, but we still are short in some key geographies currently,” he concluded.
For more, see PCMag’s review of the iPhone 4S and the slideshow below.
For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Ultrabook growth to outpace tablets

GLOBAL shipments of Ultrabooks will grow at three times the rate of tablets over the next five years, a new report says.

The report by analyst firm Juniper Research, has found that manufacturers vying for a slice of the tablet market dominated by Apple’s iPad 2 have failed to make their alternative devices significantly different or cheaper to gain market traction.

“While the market is bursting with new products post-CES (Consumer Electronics Show), a number of challenges remain for the industry,” Juniper Research said.

“As we have seen in the tablet market, without products which are significantly differentiated from those of Apple in terms of price and features, gaining traction for its competitors is a difficult value proposition.”

Juniper forecasts that tablets volumes worldwide will remain higher than Ultrabook ones, with 253 million shipped in 2016, compared with 178 million Ultrabooks.

However vendors have great potential for success in the relatively-new Ultrabook market.

“Leading vendors only launched the first Ultrabooks – a new category in mobile computing driven by the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Intel – in late 2011,” Juniper said.

According to report author Daniel Ashdown, manufacturers are facing difficulties complying with Intel’s strict specifications for Ultrabooks, which includes weight, thickness, and price point.

“While Intel’s control of the brand ensures that Ultrabooks stand out from traditional notebooks, vendors face a balancing act in terms of product strategy.

“Meeting Intel’s specification secures brand status and funding, but the step-change from notebooks means many of today’s Ultrabooks are too expensive for many consumers.”

Juniper said that while flash-based solid state drive storage typically used in Ultrabooks offered superior performance, the higher cost of these drives means vendors would need to augment solid state drives with more conventional hard disk drives or cloud storage in the long term, to keep costs low.

So far ACER is the only manufacturer that offers Ultrabooks with both SSD and conventional hard drive hybrid solutions.

The report said Windows 8 would play a pivotal role in driving Ultrabook adoption, with extended battery life, always-on-always-connected and other functionalities coming with Microsoft’s next OS.

Netbooks shipments would comprise just a third of today’s volumes by 2016, as tablets and low-cost, but superior performance notebooks continue to cannibalise this short-lived segment.


Qantas begins trials of Apple iPad for in-flight movies, music

Qantas has begun using Apple’s iPad for in-flight entertainment, with all passengers in economy and business being provided with an iPad 2 for the duration of the flight.
The trial, originally slated for late last year, will run for six weeks under the moniker of ‘Q Streaming’ but will be limited to a single Boeing 767-300.
That plane will be scheduled across a variety of routes, from Sydney-Melbourne to transcontinental coast-to-coast services (if you’re a real aviation geek who wants to know if you’ll be setting foot onto that particular plane, the aircraft rego one to watch for is VH-OGH).
“You’ll find this 767 on our triangle route of Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane but customers will get the most benefit on the long east-west routes” Alison Webster, Qantas Executive Manager for Customer Experience, told Australian Business Traveller.

iPads for every passenger

All passengers on that aircraft will find an iPad 2 sitting in their seat-back pocket, while those in business class will also get a flexible stand which can be used on the fold-down meal tray. The plane will carry one tablet for each of the aircraft’s 254 seats, with several spares on hand.
A special ‘Q Streaming’ app loaded onto the iPad will act as the front-end for on demand content beamed over wireless networking from a central server on the aircraft, using technology developed by Lufthansa Systems as part of their BoardConnect platform – which has also been adopted by Virgin Australia for its own in-flight system set to debut in mid-2012.
Webster says the iPads will be “locked down”, bypassing Apple’s normal home screen and booting straight into the Q Streaming app – “so if anyone decides they want to ‘borrow’ one it won’t have any capability off the aircraft.”
Towards the end of the initial six week trial Qantas will allow passengers to view the streaming content on their own iPad by making the Q Streaming app available as a free download from the iTunes App Store.
Qantas says the iPads have the capability to be preloaded to the same level of content as offered on their flagship Airbus A380, although the trial will be restricted to streaming content from a smaller selection.
In a novel and welcome twist, Q Streaming will eventually allows passengers with their own tablet to download video to watch within a 24 hour period of leaving the aircraft if the programme was cut short by the plane landing.

What about Android tablets?

The system also has the capability to work with Android tablets, notebooks and even smartphones, although the trial is an iPad-only program.
“This pilot programme is about putting the wi-fi streaming capability through its paces” Webster says. “The system is able to support a variety of devices and the ultimate goal is for customers to bring their own devices if they choose” Webster says. “We’ll evaluate the trial at the end of this year and then make some strategic decisions.”
If successful, the system will be rolled out on ten Boeing 767-300s, with the airline then looking at installing seats with in-built iPad brackets.
Qantas is keeping an open mind on introducing it to long-haul Airbus A330s, but is quick to point out that the airline remains committed to conventional in-flight entertainment systems with a screen in the seat or the armrest.
Qantas will also launch in-flight Internet on Airbus A380 flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles next month:


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