Episode 281 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

HTC rolls out Ice Cream Sandwich to smartphones
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The following HTC devices are confirmed to get a tasty treat of Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • DROID Incredible 2 by HTC
  • HTC Amaze 4G
  • HTC Desire S
  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC EVO 3D
  • HTC EVO Design 4G
  • HTC Incredible S
  • HTC Sensation
  • HTC Sensation XL
  • HTC Sensation 4G
  • HTC Sensation XE
  • HTC Raider
  • HTC Rezound
  • HTC Rhyme
  • HTC Thunderbolt
  • HTC Vivid

The ICS roll out even includes some of its older handsets that date as far back as October 2010, like the HTC Desire HD.

Exact timings are yet to be confirmed, but as we know the HTC Sensation and Sensation XE are first in line to receive the upgrade

According to HTC, “upgrades will be more widely available in the next few weeks


Aussies get first batch of new iPads
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Telstra will open its George St, Sydney and Bourke St, Melbourne stores at midnight tonight to new iPad customers. It will also retail the device through its Business Centres from 8am tomorrow morning.

Optus and Vodafone have confirmed they will stock the iPad from tomorrow

Customers have been able to pre-order the new iPad online since its launch on 8th March, though Apple yesterday confirmed pre-orders had sold out. Those who ordered the tablet after the March 8 announcement will be forced to wait an extra week for delivery.

The new iPad will arrive in New Zealand and several European countries from March 23.


FireFox & Chrome makeover for Windows 8
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Mozilla has announced public alpha and beta versions will be available in the second half of 2012.

ommenting on its Windows 8 move, a Google spokesperson said: “Our goal is to be able to offer users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8.”


Samsung releases Galaxy Note to Australians
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Samsung has made its smartphone-tablet hybrid Galaxy Note available to Australian customers, months after the device went on sale in the US and Europe.

It will be available for purchase this week from Optus and Vodafone for $899 outright, $0 on Optus’ 24 month $79 cap plan, and $5 on Vodafone’s 24 month $59 cap plan.

Telstra will retail the device from April but is yet to confirm pricing.

Samsung is touting the phone as a first in a newly-created category, sitting in between a smartphone and a tablet with a large 5.3in HD screen. The phone also includes a stylus ‘S Pen’ which allows users to sketch, take notes and annotate images and files on screen.

Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy Note will be updated from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in several months. The phone holds 1GB of RAM and 16GB internal memory, and is powered by a 1.4GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor. It is 9.6mm thick and carries a 2MP front-facing camera and 8MP camera on the back.

Samsung’s only competitor in the smartphone-tablet hybrid category as yet is LG, which last month unveiled its 5in Optimus Vu.


Microsoft cuts touchscreen lag to 1ms
http://youtu.be/vOvQCPLkPt4?t=1m  007

Modern touchscreen tablets can run at a lag of 100ms, Microsoft has brought it down to 1ms. Sure, it might not appear in tablets for a while as this interface is still in the developmental stages


What’s in a domain name? It’s a bargain at $200,000

PERTH-based iiNet will be the first telco in Australia to announce plans to buy its own domain name today.

The $200,000 cost for .iiNet was a ”relatively cheap way to secure a part of the internet”, he said .
If successful, iiNet would get control of the domain by the end of 2013.

An Optus spokeswoman said it was still considering a top-level domain, Telstra has confirmed it would apply.


Encyclopaedia Britannica ends its famous print edition
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After 244 years reference book firm Encyclopaedia Britannica has decided to stop publishing its famous and weighty 32-volume print edition.

The firm, which used to sell its encyclopaedias door-to-door, now generates almost 85% its revenue from online sales.
It recently launched a digital version of its encyclopaedias for tablet PCs.


Disney App becomes 25 billionth download
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Earlier this month Apple announced that downloads of “apps” had hit 25 billion.

The 25 billionth app downloaded was a game called “Where’s my water” by Disney, featuring Swampy the Alligator.

The game is a departure for Disney, marking the first time they have introduced a new character on an app rather than in a traditional film.


Angry Birds teams up with Nasa for latest game, Space

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The new game will be released on 22 March and will be available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.

Angry Birds Space features 60 initial levels and six new characters but has what Rovio says is a “unique twist in a variable gravity environment”.
“From the weightlessness of space to the gravity wells of nearby planets, fans can have fun with physics as they try out new gameplay possibilities,” Peter Vesterbacka added.
“The Angry Birds themselves have also transformed into superheroes, with new costumes and abilities.”

In November, Angry Birds became the first game to achieve 500 million downloads less than two years after it was released.



ERIK’S SHOWNOTES

New iPads sell for 90pc discount after UK website

A GLITCH on the website of a British supermarket chain saw hundreds of shoppers snap up Apple’s new iPad for £49.99 ($78) – a 90 per cent discount on the recommended retail price of about £500.
As word of the bargain spread via Twitter, shoppers raced on to Tesco Direct to buy the iPad Wi-Fi 4G 64GB black model, The Daily Mail reported.
At one stage “Tesco Direct” and the company’s slogan “every little helps” started trending Britain-wide on Twitter.
The company was only alerted to the error after the surge in traffic crashed its website. The supermarket giant said it would cancel the purchases and issue refunds.
“We always look to offer our customers unbeatable value but unfortunately this is an IT error that is now being corrected,” a Tesco Direct spokesman said.
Read more at The Daily Mail.

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/money/new-ipads-sell-for-90pc-discount-after-uk-website-glitch/story-e6frfmci-1226299708693#ixzz1p5K5tsqn

NRL says judge erred in Optus Case

Reported by
AAP
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The NRL has launched its legal fightback against a Federal Court decision allowing Optus to show delayed matches on mobile phones.

Lawyers for the NRL on Wednesday began an appeal against a February ruling that found Optus had not breached copyright laws by allowing customers to record free-to-air television programs on mobile devices and watch them on a slight delay.
In the hearing before the court’s full bench, the NRL lawyers attacked Justice Steven Rares’ likening of Optus’ TV Now service to video or digital recording devices.
“There was no material before the court to permit the exercise to be undertaken in relation to VCRs and DVRs,” barrister Noel Hutley SC said.
The NRL, AFL and Telstra Corporation are all appealing Justice Rares’ ruling that gave Optus the green light to offer its TV Now service to customers.
The AFL and NRL claim Optus’s TV Now service infringes their copyright in respect to AFL and NRL matches, for which they have multi-million-dollar contracts with Telstra.
In his ruling, Justice Rares found TV Now users had themselves made the recordings of the matches, similar to when a person used a video or digital recorder.
He also found the recordings were being made for private and domestic use and that users were responsible for making available the recording, not Optus.
This was allowed under an exception in the Copyright Act.
The NRL, AFL and Telstra want Justice Rares’ orders set aside and a permanent injunction preventing Optus from broadcasting matches on its TV Now service.
Justice Rares’ ruling has reportedly put in doubt Telstra’s $153 million, five-year deal for the online and mobile rights for AFL matches.
The appeal before Justice Desmond Finn, Justice Arthur Emmett and Justice Annabelle Bennett is expected to run for two days.

New iPad’s ‘4G’ marketing questioned

An Australian Samsung executive has labelled Apple’s marketing of its new iPad with “4G” mobile broadband technology as “confusing” considering the tablet will not be capable of 4G broadband speeds in Australia.
An Australian spokeswoman for Apple said on the day the new iPad was unveiled last Thursday, after some confusion, that it was correct to say it did “not connect to Telstra 4G”.
Despite this, it hasn’t stopped Apple from advertising its new tablet in Australia as one that can use 4G, leaving it to the fine print for customers to find out they cannot get 4G speeds here.
Today, following the publication of this article, the Apple spokeswoman did not say why the mobile iPad version continued to be advertised as 4G but noted that the Apple website listed telcos in the US and Canada as supporting 4G.
“The new iPad supports fast [mobile] networks the world over – up to 4G LTE,” the spokeswoman said.
The competition watchdog, the ACCC, said it would “not be making any comment on Apple”. It did however say that, as a general rule, Australian businesses were “prohibited from misleading their customers”.
“… traders should be very careful about promoting the benefits of a good or service without adequately disclosing limitations on receiving those benefits. (such as should they not currently be available.),” it said.
A spokesman for communications regulator the ACMA, David Brumfield, said that for the new iPad to work on Australian 4G networks it would have to be modified to work with what mobile spectrum was available.
The Samsung executive’s comments came with a swipe at Apple, indicating that one of Samsung’s tablets was compatible with Telstra’s 4G network, and were supported by an independent telco analyst who agreed that Apple’s use of the 4G term in its marketing had “the potential to confuse consumers”.
“My personal view is that I think it is very confusing for consumers,” Samsung Australia’s vice president of telecommunications, Tyler McGee, said of the new iPad being advertised as 4G in Australia in an interview at the launch of his company’s Galaxy Note smartphone last night. “I guess consumers will, if they buy [it] under the impression that it is 4G, soon be disappointed in their buying decision.”
He said his company’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G was the only tablet in Australia with true 4G capabilities. “There’s obviously the [new iPad] that’s been announced claiming to be 4G but it is not supported in Australia.”
Apple has produced one iPad for US telco AT&T which carries 4G speeds at 700 megahertz and 2100 MHz frequencies. It has made another product for US telco Verizon which operates at 700 MHz only. But no Australian mobile carriers currently operate 4G at these frequencies. (Telstra carries 4G network speeds on the 1800 MHz spectrum while Optus has been testing 4G at 700 MHz in anticipation of that spectrum becoming available to mobile carriers in 2014.)
The iPad will still work, however, with the 3G networks of all Australian telcos and can also take advantage of Telstra’s HSPA+ dual channel technology, sometimes referred to as “3.5G”, which Telstra has said provides typical download speeds that are up to twice as fast as 3G speeds available on other Australian networks.
Telsyte telecommunications analyst Foad Fadaghi believed Samsung had “done everything correct” in the way it marketed its 4G tablet but said Apple “could do more to help consumers understand that [its new iPad] doesn’t work on the current Telstra LTE network in Australia”, which is commonly referred to as its 4G network.
LTE promises download speeds of 100 megabits per second, although theoretical network speeds often rely on being very close to a tower. Telstra promises “typical download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps” on its LTE network, which is available in select areas including in the CBDs of many Australian cities.
Mr Fadaghi noted that the term 4G was “generally confusing” across the globe, including here in Australia, as it was used loosely by telcos and device manufacturers for a number of different technologies.
“In different parts of the world they call what we call our 3.5G network 4G,” he said. “The problem is the term 4G is a marketing term, not a technical specification.”
The Samsung executive and analyst’s comments come after Apple updated their Australian website with information after the launch of its new iPad that wasn’t there when the device was first listed last week.
The update added, among other changes to the tablet’s pre-order web page, the following line to the technical specifications of the new iPad: “The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model … is configured to work with a particular mobile network technology. Check with your carrier for compatibility and cellular data plan availability.”
The changes can be compared using Google’s copy of the page taken on the day the new iPad was unveiled.
This reporter is on Facebook: /bengrubb

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/tablets/new-ipads-4g-marketing-questioned-20120314-1uzwb.html#ixzz1p5LZcao9

‘Misleading and deceptive’: Apple sued over Siri
March 14, 2012 – 2:05PM

An iPhone 4S buyer has sued Apple for promising more than it delivered with automated “Siri” voice-activated assistant software built into the coveted smartphones.
A suit filed in a California federal court argued that Apple advertising touting the wonders of Siri amounted to “intentional misrepresentation” and unfair competition, according to documents available online on Tuesday.
Lawyers representing a New York City man who bought an iPhone 4S want class action status to represent millions of people who bought the latest generation Apple smartphone.
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The suit included Apple – whose ads show people asking Siri to help them find restaurants, learn chords to songs, tie neck ties, and even figure out if there is a rodeo in town – had disappointed some users.
Lawyers representing the iPhone 4S buyer, identified as Frank Fazio of Brooklyn, argued that Siri claims were “misleading and deceptive,” and are calling for California-based Apple to pay unspecified damages.
“Promptly after the purchase of his iPhone 4S, plaintiff realised that Siri was not performing as advertised,” the lawsuit said.
“For instance, when plaintiff asked Siri for directions to a certain place, or to locate a store, Siri either did not understand what plaintiff was asking, or, after a very long wait time, responded with the wrong answer.”
Apple does not comment on pending litigation.
Siri has been a hit since its US debut with the iPhone 4S in October and was even referred to as a direct challenge to Google’s search engine by the Internet giant’s chairman Eric Schmidt.
Siri artificial intelligence software was derived from research conducted to make computers more intuitive at understanding and working with soldiers in action.
Siri is designed to understand context so people can speak naturally when asking it questions.
For example, spoken queries of “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” and “What is the traffic like around here?” will prompt online searches for local weather forecasts or road conditions.
Siri helps make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, find local businesses, and get directions. Siri will even perform mathematical calculations if asked
AFP

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/misleading-and-deceptive-apple-sued-over-siri-20120314-1uz3d.html#ixzz1p5LzcqHC

Kim Dotcom’s money won him New Zealand residency
March 14, 2012 – 9:17AM

In the eyes of New Zealand immigration authorities in 2010, Kim Dotcom’s money trumped his criminal past.
Documents released to The Associated Press this week under New Zealand public records laws show that immigration officials granted the Megaupload founder residency that year after deciding the money he could bring to the country outweighed concern about criminal convictions in his native Germany for computer fraud and stock-price manipulation.
Dotcom was charged with racketeering in the US this year; prosecutors say he facilitated millions of illegal downloads through his website. US authorities are seeking Dotcom’s extradition from New Zealand, where he remains under house arrest.
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At the time his residency application was being considered, Dotcom had made charitable contributions in New Zealand and was planning to sponsor a fireworks show for the city of Auckland at a cost of $NZ600,000. He set a deadline for immigration officials to act on his application and threatened to move to Australia or Canada if they didn’t meet it.
They complied.
“The applicant has already made a substantial economic contribution to New Zealand through his spending here and will make further investments,” immigration official Chris Biggs wrote. “I consider that these benefits and potential benefits outweigh the negative aspects flowing from the applicant’s convictions.”
In an email sent Tuesday to the AP, immigration official Jan Clark said due process was followed and all elements of Dotcom’s application were appropriately considered.
New Zealand records show that Dotcom first applied for New Zealand residency in June 2010 under a special category for wealthy investors. Before that, he had been living in Hong Kong, where Megaupload is registered.
Dotcom’s immigration agent, David Cooper, described him in application papers as a billionaire, a term immigration officials repeated in their own assessments. Cooper told the AP in an interview that the description came from Dotcom himself.
Subsequent asset seizures, however, indicate Dotcom’s wealth to be far less than $1 billion. Dotcom’s lawyers have declined AP requests to make him available for an interview.
Dotcom was convicted in 1998 of computer fraud and dealing in stolen phone cards. In 2002, he was convicted of manipulating the stock price of an Internet startup. Both times, he was fined but managed to avoid jail time. New Zealand immigration authorities noted that the convictions occurred a long time ago.
On Oct. 26, 2010, an immigration manager, Gareth Grigg, sent a memo to a colleague saying that he’d been advised by Cooper that “Mr. Dotcom wants a decision on his application by 1 November 2010 or he will walk away” and consider his residency options in Australia or Canada.
He noted Dotcom’s charitable contributions, but also noted in a section titled “Risks” that: “Mr. Dotcom may be seen to be controlling the processing of his application;” that he may “attract ‘buying residence’ criticism;” and that proceeding with the application without all the outstanding information “may amount to Mr. Dotcom being afforded special treatment because of his wealth.”
Nevertheless, six days later — on Dotcom’s November 1 deadline — New Zealand immigration officials decided to grant him residency.
Two months after he was granted residency, Dotcom was convicted in Hong Kong on several counts of failing to disclose his shareholding levels to the Securities and Futures Commission, and was fined 8000 Hong Kong dollars. New Zealand immigration authorities decided the convictions were too minor to consider deporting Dotcom.
In another development, Dotcom this week told file-sharing news website TorrentFreak that “Guess what — we found a large number of Mega accounts from U.S. government officials, including the Department of Justice and US Senate.”
Megaupload was shut down in January when Dotcom was arrested.
“I hope we will soon have permission to give them and the rest of our users access to their files,” Dotcom told the website.
Dotcom did not suggest that government officials illegally shared copyrighted material. US prosecutors allege that illegal downloads on Dotcom’s website cost movie makers and songwriters some half a billion dollars.
Dotcom, who legally changed his name from Kim Schmitz, has said U.S. authorities have cherry-picked evidence in their indictment in a way that is “misleading and malicious.”
AP

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/kim-dotcoms-money-won-him-new-zealand-residency-20120314-1uz6q.html#ixzz1p5MHniEG

Optus picks Huawei to build 4G network
Lucy Battersby
March 14, 2012 – 12:00PM

Network will operate on same frequency as Telstra’s 4G.
Optus has selected Chinese-owned Huawei to build its 4G network around Newcastle in New South Wales.
It is Huawei’s first commercial contract building a 4G network in Australia, as Telstra selected Swedish-owned Ericsson to build its network, which opened last year.
Huawei will install its single radio access network equipment and operate 4G services at the 1800 megahertz (MHz) frequency. This frequency was previously used by Optus for 2G services.
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But as customers leave 2G technology behind, Optus has refarmed the spectrum for new fast mobile broadband technology. Telstra uses the same frequency for 4G, and Vodafone has been trialling 4G at 1800 MHz as well.
While Vodafone Hutchison Australia has already installed the same Huawei equipment as Optus, it has only activated the 2G and 3G capabilities.
Optus has also been testing 4G technology at 700 MHz – the frequency which will become available to mobile companies once the switch to digital television is complete in 2014. Huawei hopes this initial contract will lead to a national roll-out.
‘‘This is a real milestone for Huawei Australia, marking the deliver of our first 4G network,’’ chief technology officer Peter Rossi said in a statement today.
Different 4G networks operate around the world, leading to confusion when it comes to choosing mobile devices to suit. The lastest iPad operates on a different 4G frequency to Telstra’s. It does however work on the existing 3G on multiple carriers in Australia.

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/optus-picks-huawei-to-build-4g-network-20120314-1uzke.html#ixzz1p5Mk06ih

The latest iPad arrives in store on Friday and already telcos have sold out of available stock

THE new iPad is available in store from Friday and consumers will need to shop around to get the best deals. Priced from $479 plus delivery of $29 for the 16GB wi-fi version from online store Kogan, the same tablet could cost twice that with bundled data deals from telcos that have no upfront costs.
Vodafone is the first telco off the blocks with announcement of its new iPad pricing plans.
Offering $0 upfront and $47 over two years for 2GB of data, the minimum cost of the new iPad 16GB version would be $1128. Vodafone is also offering up to 18GB of data a month for up to $87 for a total cost of $2088. The 64GB new iPad will cost $0 upfront with a minimum monthly spend of $56 for a total price of $1344.
The 16GB tablet can be purchased outright through Kogan for $479. This means that the data cost component of Vodafone’s basic plan works out to be $27 a month. If a consumer were to buy the tablet from Kogan – with a delivery date of April 2 – they could purchase a data pack with Amaysim for 2.5GB of data a month at $19.90 or $29.90 for 4GB of data a month.
Apple is accepting pre-orders for the new iPad at a starting price of $539 for the 16GB model that comes in black or white with an expected shipping time of two to three weeks. The wi-fi version of the 16GB new iPad costs $679 from Apple with free shipping.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/technology/the-latest-ipad-arrives-in-store-on-friday-and-already-telcos-have-sold-out-of-available-stock/story-fn5h1vlf-1226299657870

Oracle showdown against Google set for April
March 14, 2012 – 3:07PM

Patents and intellectual property trial could last eight weeks.
Giant technology companies Oracle and Google will finally face off at a trial commencing on April 16, over claims that may have implications for all mobile devices running the Android operating system.
Oracle claims Google violated Oracle’s intellectual property rights relating to the Java programming language.
Oracle sued Google in 2010, alleging the web search leader’s Android mobile operating technology infringed Oracle’s Java patents.

In addition to those patent claims, Oracle also levelled copyright infringement claims against Google. Oracle acquired the Java programming language through its purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2010.
Oracle agreed to withdraw several claims after the patents were struck down by the US Patent and Trademark Office. However, two patents remain in the lawsuit, US District Judge William Alsup wrote on Tuesday.
Combined with the copyright claims, Oracle’s damages could still run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Alsup scheduled the trial for April 16 in a San Francisco federal court.
“These patent and copyright claims are without merit, and we look forward to defending against them at trial,” Google spokesman Jim Prosser said.
Oracle declined to comment.
In his order issued Tuesday, Alsup wrote the trial was expected to last eight weeks.
The original suit was filed in August 2010. Last September the companies’ CEOs appeared in a Californian court.

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/oracle-showdown-against-google-set-for-april-20120314-1uzx7.html#ixzz1p7ee6anm

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