NBN Co will spend $620 million launching two satellites to provide broadband coverage to remote Australians, a move Julia Gillard has said is critical to building “the new economy of the future”.
The opposition attacked the deal as reckless, saying the Gillard government risked building technology so far ahead of demand that it could put “billions of dollars into infrastructure that may not have a use”.
The Prime Minister and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday said had secured a deal with Space Systems/Loral to build two satellites in California, to be launched in 2015.
The government said the contract was part of a total investment of about $2bn in its Long Term Satellite Service, which will service about 3 per cent of the population.
According to the NBN Co corporate plan, the satellite service is expected to provide broadband services to 106,000 premises by 2021, equating to a cost of about $18,000 a premises.
NBN made the satellite service — which will deliver internet speed of 12 megabits a second
It follows a developer blowing the whistle on the practice of using automated PCs – known as bot farms – to push apps up the charts.
The anonymous developer said that it was common practice to pay bot farms to inflate rankings.
a developer claimed that an unnamed firm had offered to give his app a top 25 ranking in return for $5,000
He said that the firm had listed some of its other clients, and openly described its business model.
Google is determined to make its own app store more secure
Last week the search giant revealed that it had been using a malware checker dubbed Bouncer for the second half of 2011, and its use had led to a 40% decrease in the number of potentially malicious apps on Android Market.
security expert Catalin Cosoi said there it could be a problem that Bouncer only scanned the Android market.
“There are several other websites from where Android users can install applications. In fact, most malicious applications we discovered were actually hosted on third-party markets and not directly on Google’s (Android) Market,” he said.
Copyright Exceptions Review chair announced
Nicola Roxon, said the review would consider whether exceptions to the operation of the Copyright Act remained “adequate and appropriate in the fast-paced digital environment”.
General exceptions in the Act cover issues such as fair use, content time-shifting, and the making of a copy of a computer program for back-up purposes.
Roxon said the Government was determined to encourage new opportunities within the digital economy ahead of the NBN rollout.
Draft terms of reference are expected to be released shortly.
Exetel simplifies NBN plans
The company has begun offering a top-tier service with 100 Mbps downstream speeds, 40 Mbps upstream and 25 GB of download quota for $45 a month.
Users can triple the data quota for an extra $5 a month, or opt into Exetel’s most expensive service – a 150 GB download quota – for $60 a month, down from its previous price point of $89.50.
Other options for lower tiers have also been minimised, with those on the 12/1 Mbps plan only offered a 50 GB quota for $35 a month.
But the company has retained a $100 installation charge for NBN connections, despite the network being installed for free by NBN Co.
Exetel founder John Linton has passed away from a stroke. last thursday 02/02
Linton suffered an “intensive stroke” according to his son, James Linton, while at lunch yesterday.
Linton established Exetel as a telecommunications consultancy in the 1990s and later became an internet service provider in 2003, competing with low-cost providers for consumer and business internet services.
James Linton said his father would “not want us fussing over him” and asked that any donations to the family be redirected toward the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Telstra investigates mail delivery issue
since the weekend.
Emails to affected Telstra customers bounced back, with the senders receiving failed delivery status notification messages.
Posts on broadband forum Whirlpool indicated that the issue stemmed from a BigPond server being listed on realtime spam blacklists.
Telstra’s spokesman said the issue was “under full investigation” and staff were checking affected email addresses.
Google’s Chrome browser is now available to anyonewith an Android 4.0 smartphone or tablet.
Chrome for Android shares your browser tabs across all your desktop and mobile devices, plus history, preferences and bookmarks. It’s also been redesigned to include mobile optimised tabbed browsing that’s as easy to navigate “as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands” and introduces Link Preview, a smart link identifier to help you peck out the right link in a list.
Adobe’s confirmed its runtime environment isn’t heading to Chrome for Android. Not yet, at any rate.
AMD said it plans to make its debut in the tablet space this year with the launch of an ultra-low power APU (accelerated processing unit) dubbed Hondo and, as previously announced, will also introduce its new Trinity APUs designed for ultra-thin laptops.
The price drop comes as Amazon S3 experiences massive growth. The Amazon S3 cloud storage service closed out 2011 with more than 762 billion objects stored, which reflects year-over-year growth of 192 percent.
With the cloud storage price change, all standard Amazon S3 storage customers should see “a significant reduction in their storage costs
the cost for the first 1 TB of S3 storage dropped to 12.5 cents per GB per month from $0.14; for the next 49 TB chopped 15 cents from the GB-per-month costs, lowering it to 10 cents.
The price changes took effect Feb. 1.
an ‘inside source’ at Telstra has confirmed the existence of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE, which will launch in either late February or early March. As its name implies, the new Galaxy model will come with an 8.9in display and will be the first 4G LTE tablet in Australia.
Microsoft to unveil Windows 8 late February
Microsoft to unveil Windows 8 operating system
Tech giant has one target in sight – the iPad
Designed to work with PCs and mobile devices
MICROSOFT will pull the covers off Windows 8 – a radical rethinking of the operating system that runs most of the world’s computers. And it has one clear goal in sight: The iPad.
The software giant will talk about the forthcoming release on that date and hold what is essentially a massive public beta of the next-generation operating system, an overhaul intended to stress the growing importance of tablet computers and smartphones to the overall world of technology, reported Fox News.
Users will most likely be able to download the software for free that day, though Microsoft refused to confirm when it would be available.
The new operating system boasts a completely revamped user interface Microsoft calls “Metro.”
It will run on top of the conventional interface and is intended to work not just with the world’s hundreds of millions of Windows computers but also with the emerging mobile devices that have taken consumers by storm.
The new interface will display applications as tiles for quick and easy access, while also allowing them to toggle back to a classic Windows look.
Other user interface changes already unveiled include a new “lock screen” for the operating system that gives far more information at a glance than the current iteration of Windows and pervasive touch input controls – yet another a signal that Microsoft will be focused on devices that emphasize touch.
Space Systems/Loral accused of illegally using technology from a rival provider
THE company providing two satellites as part of the Government’s high-speed broadband network has been accused of illegally using technology from a rival provider.
The Federal Government today announced it would spend $620 million on the satellites from California-based Space Systems/Loral to deliver high-speed broadband to the most remote three per cent of Australia by 2015.
But the company has been accused of using technology from satellite broadband provider ViaSat Inc, SpaceNews reports.
ViaSat Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in a California court, but the two companies are said to have agreed to resolve the matter out of court and will defer legal proceedings pending negotiations.
John Celli, president of SS/L, told news.com.au the lawsuit will have no effect of the NBN project as none of the intellectual property listed in the complaint will be used for Australia.
“NBN Co and Space Systems/Loral share a commitment to excellent performance and the highest quality service,” Mr Celli said.
“We’re delighted to play a part in helping to deliver much-needed high-speed broadband services to communities in regional and remote areas.”
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the Ka-band satellites will be built in California and launched six months apart in 2015.
Senator Conroy said no Australian companies could have built the satellites. There were only five companies in the world which could – three in the United States and two in Europe.
Mobile broadcast ruling prompts ALP to consider copyright changes
February 09, 2012 12:00AM
JULIA Gillard has declared her government will “urgently consider” options to ensure copyright laws are working effectively.
The Prime Minister’s announcement comes after the Federal Court ruled that Optus could allow its customers to watch sporting matches on mobile services moments after they were screened on free-to-air television.
The decision has sparked fear among sporting codes that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intellectual property has been rendered worthless. Telstra recently agreed to pay $153 million for the online broadcast rights of the AFL for the 2012-16 seasons.
Ms Gillard said yesterday she had already had discussions with representatives from the sporting codes and was open to considering their push to change current laws to protect their copyright.
“We have said to them, and I am very happy to say publicly, that we will urgently consider options here,” she said.
Google to pledge not to favour Motorola
Google will pledge to license on fair and reasonable terms the patents it acquires through buying Motorola Mobility, said a person familiar with the matter, in a bid to allay regulatory and users’ concerns.
The world No.1 Internet search engine will send a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and other global bodies with the promise, the person said.
The non-profit ETSI, which has members from 62 countries, produces standards for telephony and Internet technologies globally.
“Since we announced our agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility last August, we’ve heard questions about whether Motorola Mobility’s standard-essential patents will continue to be licensed on FRAND (fair and reasonable) terms once we’ve closed this transaction. The answer is simple: they will,” said a Google spokesman.
Standards-setting agencies typically require members to offer licensing access to their standards or patents on such terms.
Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters in November last year that the group would not favour US handset maker Motorola once it had completed the acquisition.
The European Commission, which acts as competition regulator in the European Union, is reviewing the deal and is scheduled to decide by February 13 whether to clear it.
Google unveiled the $US12.5 billion acquisition in August last year to boost its patent portfolio and compete better with mobile rivals such as Apple. US antitrust regulators are also reviewing the acquisition.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Rex Merrifield and Jon Loades-Carter)
Disguise your iPhone as old Apple products
(Credit: Schreer Delights)
Schreer Delights offers a set of iPhones designed to look like old Apple products, including the iMac G3, Power Mac G4, and first-gen iPod. We particularly like the old-school Macintosh model, which includes such details as vent grooves and an SCSI port.
Compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S, the cases give you access to the smartphone’s ports and camera. Schreer Delights says the graphics are printed deep into the case’s surface, so they won’t fade, peel, or chip.
That said, we suspect the folks in Cupertino may have something to say about the unauthorized use of their intellectual property, so if you fancy one of these cases, you might want to grab one soon. Each case costs $44.95.
(Via Core 77)
Google said to be readying cloud-based storage service
Google is reportedly getting ready to take on Dropbox with its own cloud-based storage service.
The service–called Drive–is in response to the growing use of mobile devices to access personal files stored on the Internet, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unidentified people familiar with the matter. Drive will allow users to upload photos, documents, and videos to Google servers for sharing with others and later retrieval, the sources said.
Drive, which is expected to launch in the coming months, will be free for most consumers and business, with a premium service offered for those who want to store a large amount of files, the paper reported.
Google representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dropbox has experienced meteoric growth since the cloud-based storage service was founded in 2007. The service, which allows users to upload content and then access it from any Internet-connected device, announced last November that it already had 45 million users. In late October, the companylanded $250 million in funding, a huge amount compared with what most startups raise these days.
Targeting businesses as well as individuals, the company provides 2 gigabytes of storage for free, a 50GB plan for $9.99 a month, and a 100GB plan for $19.99 a month.
The new service would join Google Music, a service that takes advantage of Google search technology as well as its ability to tap the tastes of a user’s friends to recommend songs. Launched last November, the service allows users to upload their entire music libraries to Google’s servers, but uploads are limited to music files, while rival Amazon also allows documents, pictures, and videos to be uploaded.
Facebook’s Saverin agreed to sell shares to Russian firm in 2010
Thanks to his depiction in the blockbuster film “The Social Network,” Eduardo Saverin is one of the social network world’s most famous co-founders. But is he now feeling a pinch of seller’s remorse after getting rid of some of those uber-valuable founders shares?
Amid a batch of new financial documents released today, Facebook disclosed that Saverin cut a side deal to sell a chunk of his shares to Digital Sky Technologies in 2010. In an attachment to its updated prospectus, Facebook reported that Digital Sky, a Russian-based investment firm, and Saverin were involved in the transfer of shares as part of what it described as the “Saverin Agreement.” It’s unclear how many shares Saverin sold or what price he received.
In the original S1 filed last week, Facebook revealed that Digital Sky and its affiliates now owns 5.4 percent of the company’s outstanding shares. But back on February 19, 2010, Digital Sky and a related party were said to own 8.2 percent of Facebook’s outstanding stock.
While pre-IPO estimates of Facebook were already in the tens of billions in 2010, they have since climbed to as much as $100 billion.
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
©2008 Malcom Gladwell; (P)2008 Hachette Audio