Episode 278 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Mac moves closer to iOS with new Mac OS X “Mountain Lion”
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Move over Lion: Mac OS X is now just OS X with Apple’s new “Mountain Lion”, which strengthens the integration between the company’s computer and mobile platforms

is said to bring greater coordination with iCloud and generally make things smarter and easier.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog

following Macs which were supported by OS X Lion will NOT run Mountain Lion:
>> Late 2006 iMacs (iMac5,1, iMac5,2, iMac6,1)
>> All plastic MacBooks that pre-date the aluminum unibody redesign (MacBook2,1, MacBook3,1, MacBook4,1)
>> MacBook Pros released prior to June 2007 (MacBookPro2,1, MacBookPro2,2)
>> The original MacBook Air (MacBookAir1,1)
>> The Mid-2007 Mac mini (Macmini2,1)
>> The original Mac Pro and its 8-core 2007 refresh (MacPro1,1, MacPro2,1)
>> Late 2006 and Early 2008 Xserves (Xserve1,1, Xserve2,1)

Surf lifesavers move custom apps to cloud

One million personal records to move.

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has revealed it will retire 12 server and storage boxes

By May this year, the not-for-profit plans to build, test and house all “organisational IT” – including databases and web applications for some 158,000 members across the country – in Fujitsu’s cloud data centre in Homebush Bay.

By adopting infrastructure-as-a-service, he expected to save 55 percent of the cost of refreshing, hosting and supporting its ageing infrastructure. Savings would be on the scale of “a few hundred thousand dollars” over four years. SLSA said

Dodo cops blame for national outages

The outage, which lasted approximately 35 minutes this afternoon, affected an international link used by major service providers Telstra, Optus and iiNet for ADSL and 3G data services nationwide.
Telstra said it had solved the issue but was still investigating what caused it.

Industry sources said the network issue came as a result of Dodo mistakenly issuing new IP route addresses from its system that equated to “announcing the whole internet”, confusing Telstra’s systems and causing blackouts on the AS1221 upstream router.
A memo purportedly from Optus, and posted to Whirlpool, indicated Dodo had “decided to advertise all the global routes it knows to Telstra and for some unknown reason Telstra then accepted these as ‘best path’ which in effect meant ALL traffic originating from the Telstra network would try and route traffic via Dodo”.
Dodo chief executive Larry Kestelman confirmed the outage could be sourced to Dodo as the result of a “minor hardware issue”.

celebration of 25 years of hand-held phones

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it has been 25 years since the launch of the first hand-held mobile phone.

typical download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps, you can download up to twice as fast as the next fastest Australian mobile network technology. Where 4G is not available, you’ll still enjoy super fast 3G speeds, which can include dual channel 3G speeds previously unavailable on handsets in Australia.

009 4G coverage map Gold Coast

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom granted bail

on Wednesday when a New Zealand court freed him from jail and instead put him under effective house arrest and banned him from using the Internet.

Queensland Govt eyes $5.7m student iPad trial

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has pledged a $5.7 million trial of iPad devices in 20 secondary schools should the party win the state election next month.
Under the trial, over 5000 Year 7 students would receive an iPad 2 device with 32 GB of storage and wi-fi connectivity.

Murrumba State Secondary College would be the first school to receive the devices under the election promise. The remaining schools would get devices in 2013 or 2014.

Trial funds would be drawn from the Queensland Education Trust. Tenders would be issued within 100 days of Bligh’s Labor party returning to office.

iPhone 5 to allow in-call file sharing

Apple has filed a patent to let people share files with the person they are talking to, perhaps as a new feature for this year’s forthcoming iPhone 5.

According to 9to5Mac, the iPhone 5 will feature a 4-inch screen display made by LG and a different casing compared to the iPhone 4S

Apparently the iPhone 5 will have a flat battery – thinner and more powerful, with the Long Term Evolution (LTE) feature.

like all other iPhones, is expected to have 16/32/64GB of internal memory. However, and also like all other iPhones, it may not offer users the option to increase that capacity, via external memory card slots


iPad 3 with Retina Display, quad-core A6 and 4G LTE to arrive March 7th?

According to 9 to 5 Mac, iMore goes on to say the next-gen iPad will rock the much talked about 2048 x 1536 Retina Display, A6 quad-core processor and will potentially have 4G capabilities

iPad 3 rumour round-up

Microsoft unveils Windows 8 logo

The company on Friday unveiled the logo for the next generation of the company’s flagship operating system

Microsoft has said it will debut a consumer preview version of the software on February 29 during Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona.
Unlike the multi-color, flag-like graphic that has been a component of every Windows logo going back to Windows 3.1, the new logo is entirely one color (shown in light blue) with a simple four-pane window viewed at a slight angle

Pirate Bay vows to go underground over blocking threat


The Pirate Bay has said that it will adapt rather than die as it faces legal blocks in the UK.
On Monday the High Court ruled that the site facilitates copyright infringement.
It will decide in June whether ISPs must block UK customers from accessing the site.

The Pirate Bay said it would be moving to new methods of file distribution from the end of the month.
“The 29th February is the last day we offer torrents in its current form. Then it will be all magnets, which works pretty much the same,” it said on its official Facebook page.
“Please understand that it’s a necessary move in the saga known as The Pirate Bay. Not having torrents will be a bit cheaper for us but it will also make it hard for our common enemies to stop us.”

The main reason torrent sites are moving toward magnet links is Since The Pirate Bay won’t be hosting files that link to copyrighted content—that is, the torrent files—it’s more difficult to claim the site is directly enabling the downloading of copyrighted material.

Government to trial Audio Descriptors for vision-impaired


The government is set to trial audio-descriptors, which describe action, scenery, costumes, facial expression and body language for blind and vision-impaired viewers.
“The ABC will deliver content and conduct a technical trial of closed audio description using receiver-mixed technology for the Australian Government,” Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy,  said.
“The trial will involve the broadcast of drama, documentary and other content with audio description on ABC1 for 14 hours per week during prime time over a 13 week period commencing in mid 2012.”

Wednesday Feb 29

* No year that is divisible by 100 can be a leap year unless it can be divided by 400. The year 2000 was a leap year the year 1900 was not.

* Leap year babies born in the year 1884 did not celebrate a single birthday on their actual birth date throughout entire teen age years.February 29th fell on the year they turned 12 and then not again until they turned 20.

* The tradition of women proposing to men on leap year day dates all the way back to 5th century Ireland.

* In 1288 Queen Margret of Scotland ordered that any man who was proposed to on Leap Year’s Day and refused the proposal could be fined either a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves that were to be given to the rejected woman. So a woman, who was extremely unpopular could fund her entire wardrobe by proposing to a lot of men she knew would refuse her.

* The very first calendar that provided for leap year was introduced in 238 B.C. By King Ptolemy.

* Astrologers believe that anyone being born on February 29th has unusual talents and personalities befitting of their special birth day.

* People born on leap year’s day are called leaplings.

* The last leap years was 2008 and the next leap year will be 2012

* Anthony, Texas is the self proclaimed leap year capital of the world. Every year this little town that sits on the border of New Mexico holds a festival and leap year birthday celebrations complete with a carnival and hot air balloon rides. People come from all over the world to celebrate their special birthday in style.

* The chances of having a leap year birthday are 1 in 1,461

* There are about 4 million people in the world who have been born on February 29th.


Optus in court bid to gag Demetriou

Lucy Battersby and Louise Hall
February 23, 2012

OPTUS has launched court action in a bid to silence AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou after he accused the Telco of ”stealing” and ”lifting” content from the league for its mobile TV service.

Optus says statements by Mr Demetriou last weekend were misleading and deceptive, and that it is ”taking the relevant legal action to defend our name”.

In a hearing today in the Federal Court in Sydney, the Telco will seek an interim injunction ”prohibiting the AFL and Mr Demetriou from making comments that Optus is stealing content for its TV Now service”.

Optus launched its action after Mr Demetriou, in comments reported in a Sunday newspaper, said Optus ”are not paying for [content]; they are lifting it. It is akin to stealing and all it will do is that if sport can’t rely on that revenue they will slug the consumers.

”The thought of Optus deciding to lift our content and not pay for it, and pretend and purport to be doing it for the consumer, is a complete disgrace.”

Mr Demetriou encouraged consumers to ”get out of that company” and switch to Telstra.

His comments followed a recent court decision that upheld the right of Optus to provide its TV Now customers with AFL replays on a delay of one to two minutes on their iPhones and iPads.

The court decision is the subject of an appeal, but in the meantime Optus customers can watch AFL matches – and any other sport shown on free-to-air television – on the short delay.

The league says Optus’ action puts at risk a $153 million deal that it struck with Telstra for exclusive AFL internet distribution rights for 2012 to 2016.

Optus’ general manager of corporate and government affairs, Clare Gill, said TV Now simply provided a personal recording and storage service.

She said Optus believed recent statements by Mr Demetriou were ”misleading and deceptive in relation to stealing and lifting content … We are disappointed to see the AFL continue this line and as a result Optus is taking the relevant legal action to defend our name.”

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said the league would contest the action.

The heads of several sports bodies, including the AFL, have been lobbying the federal government to abolish a provision in the Copyright Act that allows individuals to time-shift their viewing. A court recently found that TV Now complied with the law because viewers were shifting viewing to a more convenient time ”even if only by two minutes”. Proposed changes to the legislation have not been released publicly yet.

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/optus-in-court-bid-to-gag-demetriou-20120222-1to97.html#ixzz1nAWZcgR8

Bailed Dotcom eyes extradition hearing
KIM Dotcom is spending his first full day out of custody in more than a month after being granted bail.

Dotcom, the multimillionaire founder of file-sharing website Megaupload who faces charges in the United States of racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering, had been in custody since a police raid on his mansion north of Auckland on January 20.

He failed twice before yesterday to be bailed after two judges ruled that he was a significant flight risk.
But Judge Nevin Dawson said in North Shore District Court yesterday that flight risk was not now of such concern, because all of Dotcom’s assets and bank accounts have been seized and no new assets or bank accounts of any significance had been uncovered.

There is also some uncertainty about when an extradition hearing will occur.

“I am relieved to go home to see my family, my three little kids and my pregnant wife. I hope you understand that’s all I want to say right now,” said Dotcom, who will be bailed to a property next to the Dotcom mansion.

As part of the conditions of his electronically-monitored bail, Dotcom will not be able to access the internet.
The crown has indicated it will appeal the bail decision.

Dotcom’s three co-accused, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, now face up to six months before a hearing to extradite them to the United States begins.

In a separate hearing, the court was told the US government has yet to file the necessary extradition papers.

They must be filed by March 5, in line with the extradition treaty with New Zealand.

The four accused have been remanded until August 20, the provisional start date for the extradition hearing, which could take three weeks.

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/technology/bailed-dotcom-eyes-extradition-hearing/story-e6frfro0-1226279086126#ixzz1nAro5ApQ

An E-Mail App Arrives for the BlackBerry Tablet

OTTAWA — Research in Motion, the company that introduced wireless e-mail to the world, on Tuesday finally brought e-mail to its tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook.        

The e-mail application is one of several additions to the second version of the PlayBook’s operating system, which became available as a no-cost download early Tuesday morning.

There was considerable surprise last April that the PlayBook, the company’s answer to the Apple iPad, initially could send or receive e-mails only by being connected to a BlackBerry phone.

The much-delayed upgrade that corrects that omission also allows the PlayBook to run some apps developed for devices that use Google’s Android operating system. And it includes some novel features for automatically integrating information and messages from social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with its e-mail, calendar and contact apps.

With the software upgrade, owners of BlackBerry phones will also be able to use the familiar keyboard on their handsets as a physical keyboard for the PlayBook through a wireless connection.

While several analysts welcomed the arrival of the new operating system, they were also skeptical that it would make RIM a significant force in the tablet computer market or inspire consumers to wait for a new, and also delayed, line of phones that will use similar software.

“It probably puts a couple of fingers in the dike,” said Mike Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, a unit of the Royal Bank of Canada. “While many of the updates are nice, albeit late, there isn’t much to differentiate it from Android and iPad tablets.”

Tero Kuittinen, a senior analyst at M.G.I. Research, said that the changes would not be sufficient for the PlayBook to compete successfully with the third generation of the iPad, which is expected in March, or devices like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

“Nothing matters anymore; it’s over,” he said. “It’s going to be fairly impossible for RIM to do anything.”
While the new software plugs the biggest gaps in the PlayBook, it nevertheless failed to bring all of the features found on BlackBerry phones to the PlayBook. Most notably, the upgrade lacks BlackBerry Messenger, RIM’s instant messaging service. Several RIM executives, including Thorsten Heins, the new chief executive, have repeatedly said that BlackBerry Messenger was one of the most popular and important features on its phones. The company has been vague about the reasons for its continued absence on the PlayBook.

Compared to Android-based tablets and Apple’s iPad, the PlayBook offered relatively few apps. Its new ability to run Android apps should help overcome that disadvantage. But only Android apps that have been submitted by developers to RIM and then made available through an online BlackBerry app store will work with the PlayBook.

Sebastien Marineau-Mes, a senior vice president for BlackBerry software at QNX Software Systems, the RIM unit that developed the operating system, said most Android apps would work on the PlayBook without any modification. RIM, however, restricts Android apps from performing some functions that could create security concerns.

Despite the PlayBook’s name, RIM has long said that it intended to heavily promote the tablet to corporations, governments and other institutional users. That enterprise market, as it is known to the electronics industry, was the original customer base for BlackBerry phones.

But enterprise users that want the data security offered by BlackBerry phones on the PlayBook must purchase and install additional software on their servers. Some analysts say that this can be a costly and complex process for many companies, which may limit the PlayBook’s appeal in that market.

Now that RIM has eliminated some of the PlayBook’s software shortcomings, the company is still challenged to find a way to sell that tablet at a profit.

After finding little initial interest from consumers, RIM increased PlayBook sales by cutting prices of different models by as much as $300. Mr. Abramsky said that the resulting prices, which are as low as $200 for some models, meant that RIM was losing about $200 on every PlayBook it sold. He estimates that just the parts used to make the devices cost the company $205 to $271, depending on the model.

RIM may, however, be forced to continue to offer PlayBooks at a loss through at least the remainder of this year. The same operating system is the basis of the BlackBerry 10 operating system that RIM’s new phones will use. The phones are expected at the end of 2012, although Mr. Marineau-Mes declined to provide any more specific details.

Brian X. Chen contributed reporting from New York.

Dell Shares Fall on Earnings, Miss Outlook
Published: February 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM ET                   

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Dell Inc forecast fiscal first-quarter revenue below Wall Street’s expectations, stoking fears the PC industry has not fully emerged from its downturn and sending the company’s shares more than 4 percent lower.  
The world’s No. 3 personal computer maker projected sales would be down 7 percent this quarter from the previous quarter, when it posted revenue of $16 billion. That translates into about $14.9 billion, below the average forecast for roughly $15.2 billion.

Dell’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings also came in below Wall Street’s view as strength in its corporate business unit was offset by the weakness in the division that caters to public businesses.

Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said profit margins for the quarter were hurt by a combination of weakness in U.S. public spending, discounting of the leftover inventory of its previous generation phones and the lingering impact of the Thailand flood on its product mix.

“We just didn’t get the mix of drives that we wanted and it really forced us to sell less configured lower-end systems and prevented us from accessing higher margin more highly configured systems,” he said.
Gladden said he expected the hard-disk drive issues to continue this year.

PC makers have grappled with slackening demand as mobile devices such as Apple Inc’s iPad erode market share, while a shortage of hard drives after flooding in Thailand crimped supply.

Investors were disappointed by the “lack of the upside in the quarter,” ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall said. “It’s going to take a little bit of time for Dell to turn around the tanker ship.”

“They have $65 billion revenue and it takes a long time to move the needle to more strategically relevant revenue sources and we are just not seeing signs of progress yet,” he said.

Dell has been trying to boost profit margins by getting out of low-margin businesses and focusing on being a one-stop-shop for business customers.

For fiscal 2013, the company said it expects non-GAAP earnings per share to exceed $2.13.

Revenue in Dell’s fiscal fourth quarter was up 2 percent at $16 billion, in line with the average analyst estimate of $15.96 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company posted a net income slide of 18 percent to $764 million, or 43 cents a share, for the period, down from $927 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 51 cents a share, a penny below the 52 cents expected.

Dell’s large-enterprise business held up well, increasing sales 5 percent in the quarter to $4.9 billion, as corporations continued to upgrade aging hardware.

Gladden told Reuters that he expects business spending in Dell’s enterprise unit to continue to be strong this quarter.

Dell’s public business generated revenue of $3.9 billion, which was down 1 percent from a year ago due to weakness in the United States and Western Europe while Dell’s sales to consumers fell 2 percent over the same period.

Dell’s gross margin rose to 21.1 percent from 20 percent a year earlier.

The shares of Dell, which vies with market-leading Hewlett Packard Co, slid to $17.36 in extended trading after closing on Nasdaq at $18.21.         

Telstra to confirm acceptance of conditions, clearing
Lucy Battersby
February 23, 2012 – 2:55PM

Telstra has lodged a revised structural separation undertaking with the competition watchdog – clearing the way for it to finalise its deal with NBN Co.

Chief executive David Thodey said the ”revised [undertaking] came after multiple rounds of public consultation and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had publicly indicated Telstra had adequately responded to the issues raised”.

This last comment is a reference to the ACCC’s insistence that Telstra not oppose its plan to set a price cap on the amount it can charge competitors for wholesale broadband services.

“I am please the ACCC has acknowledged that their concerns have been addressed and I note their commitment to consider the [undertaking] promptly”, Mr Thodey said.

Telstra said changes made to the undertaking since December last year were not material.
The ACCC had indicated it could approve the undertaking within weeks, meaning Telstra’s deal with NBN Co could be finalised within weeks.

Telstra values the deal with NBN Co at $11 billion in today’s money and has indicated it may use the funds to buy back shares.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said finalising the deal between Telstra and NBN Co would be a ‘the leap forward that we need’ on the roll out of the broadband network.

The ACCC confirmed it received the final draft.

“This further version addresses those drafting issues raised during the recent consultation process that were of concern to the ACCC,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC does not propose to consult further in relation to this revised undertaking and is now moving to finalise its decision on Telstra’s undertaking which it expects to announce shortly.”

Telstra shares were down 1.2 per cent at $3.27 in afternoon trade.

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/business/telstra-clears-way-for-nbn-deal-20120223-1tpsa.html#ixzz1nAwz01LE

Telstra router causes major internet outage
Telstra has confirmed it is investigating the cause of a major network outage that affected ADSL and 3G data services nationwide.

The Telco tweeted a short time ago that it was aware of some users “experiencing intermittent internet access”.

A Telstra spokesman confirmed the outage lasted for 35 minutes but was unavailable for further comment at time of writing.

Users of multiple ISPs flooded Twitter and broadband forum Whirlpool to seek information on the outage.
A post on the Whirlpool forums of a partial notification by wholesale service provider Vocus appeared to point to a routing problem.

“Vocus network operations staff have been made aware of a routing incident that has had significant impact on some domestic networks,” the post read.

“This incident has impacted most of the Telstra domestic peering points and caused a large amount of route churn and some sub-optimal routing.

“Engineers from the affected network are working to restore traffic back to its original paths but this may take some time.”

Other network operators and ISPs reported downstream issues that appeared to point back to the issue at a specific Telstra router.

“Looks like a major outage in Telstra network. Appears nationwide,” Spectrum Networks tweeted, saying its network was operating as normal.

ISP iiNet also pointed to an “upstream routing issue” as the cause of a nationwide fault it described as having a “major” impact on services. The fault had since been resolved, engineers said.

TPG also noted issues it attributed to a “3rd party carrier fault”.

AusWeb said the outage was “causing major routing table changes throughout the network.”

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