Apple has refuted the claims, denying it misled customers and arguing the iPad is compatible with what are deemed to be 4G standards internationally. The company has also offered refunds to customers caught out by the local incompatibility and said it will post clarifications at point of sale to alert potential buyers of the 4G inconsistency.
Apple has also agreed to send clarifying emails to customers who bought the new iPad, but is resisting moves to force it to put stickers on its packaging and publish corrective advertising.
Telstra’s 4G network operates on a 1800MHz frequency, while the iPad 3 only works on 4G frequencies currently available in the US and Canada and will not pick up an Australian 4G frequency until at least 2015.
THE Gillard government will start rolling out the National Broadband Network in all but 11 federal seats – 10 held by the Coalition and one by Labor – within the next three years.
Releasing the NBN rollout schedule today, Julia Gillard declared 3.5 million premises would be connected, or would be in the process of being connected, by June 30, 2015.
The Labor seat of Richmond, in northern NSW, will also miss out in the initial rollout.
NBN Co. chief executive Mike Quigley said site selection had been determined on the basis of engineering and logistics.
“What I can say is that the planners had no idea of electoral boundaries, and they weren’t even interested,’’ he said.
Once again, Labor’s real message is `trust us’,” he said.
“The rollout plan does not contain a forecast of how many households and businesses will actually be able to connect to the NBN fibre by 2015.
“Nor does it contain a forecast of how many households and businesses will actually be connected. Yet these are the only numbers that matter.”
Mr Turnbull said on NBN Co’s own figures, just 18,900 premises would be able to connect to the NBN by March 31 this year.
But the corporation claimed to have 18,243 premises able to access the network on June 30, 2011.
“Therefore over the past nine months NBN Co’s fibre rollout has reached 657 additional premises – just over 3 per working day.”
LABOR’S $36 billion National Broadband Network has been branded the most expensive rollout of its kind in the world, according to new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The NBN was ranked the world’s eighth-best plan (out of 13) by the study because of the limited private-sector involvement and its “outstanding example of extreme government intervention”, new analysis showed. That places it behind Singapore, which ranked first; South Korea; Japan; Finland and Estonia.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says he has located the long-submerged F-1 engines that blasted the Apollo 11 Moon mission into space.
In a blog post, Mr Bezos said the five engines were found using advanced sonar scanning some 14,000ft (4,300m) below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface.
Mr Bezos, a billionaire bookseller and space-flight enthusiast, said he was making plans to raise one or more.
Apollo 11 carried astronauts on the first Moon landing mission in 1969.
They burned for just a few minutes before separating from the second stage module and falling to Earth somewhere in the Atlantic.
The latest version of the Angry Birds game notched up 10 million download in its first three days of release
The new Angry Birds instalment features 60 initial levels and six new characters and has what Rovio calls a “unique twist in a variable gravity environment”.
As well as Google Android and Apple iOS devices, last week also saw the game released simultaneously on PC and Mac.
An Australian Financial Review (AFR) report says that Huawei has been barred over security concerns.
Without making direct reference to the Chinese firm, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said: “The National Broadband Network is a huge infrastructure project and you would expect that as a government we would make all of the prudent decisions to make sure that that infrastructure project does what we want it to do and we’ve taken one of those decisions.”
last year a US Congressional Committee said the firm could post a security risk.
One of the reasons cited was that the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei was in the Chinese Army until 1984.
University of Sydney’s John Lee, an expert with 10 years’ experience in Chinese international relations, said the Australian Government’s decision was right.
“It is a prudential move,” Lee said. “It is basically unthinkable that Huawei would be at an arms’ length from Bejing. The system the company comes from is extremely closely monitored and controlled by the Chinese Government.”
He said there were “absolute links” between the company, the government and the People’s Liberation Army. Huawei founder and CEO Reng Zhengfei formerly worked as an engineer with the PLA, a fact which has been cited by the company’s detractors to bolster claims that Beijing is pulling the strings.
Dick Smith slashes prices ahead of sell-off
http://www.ecogamer.com.au/dsearticle.html sale prices
April fools JOKE??? they say not.
Retailer Dick Smith from this Monday April 02 will no longer be stocking any games. So what are they going to be doing with all their stock? Selling it for absolutely crazy prices. Really really crazy prices. Ecogamer has the entire list which consists of games from every platform, but some highlights for Nintendo fans include;
– Nintendo DSi Hardware Pink, Blue $20 Black, White $40 (The Fu..)
– Nintendo Wii Console $129
– Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box $5
– Nintendogs+Cats (all versions) $10
– Super smash Bros Brawl $15
– Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver $10
– Metroid Other M $5
– Wii Classic Controller $5
There’s also cheap Xbox 360’s ($100), PSP’s ($40) and many many more bargains.
Samsung has launched an upgrade of its Galaxy S II smartphone allowing users to connect to Telstra’s high-speed LTE network.
It currently runs on Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread operating system but Samsung has confirmed a future upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Telstra is currently the only telco with an LTE network in Australia. Rival Vodafone is in the early stages of its own LTE rollout.
Apple fans have been digging into the nooks and crannies of Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion developer release – and seem to have unearthed clues pointing to retina displays on next-gen Macs. Specifically, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has been found to contain double resolution icons – the type that would be used on a retina display.
Apple iTV, the fabled television screen from Apple, is set to launch but not until 2013 according to an Asian research group. CSLA says that we can expect an Apple TV, with a screen made by Sharp, but not until 2013.
BAD APPLE: Watchdog bites tech giant over iPad 4G claim
AUSTRALIA’S competition watchdog will take legal action against one of the world’s biggest technology companies tomorrow, claiming Apple has misled consumers by calling its new iPad a “4G” tablet.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced it would file an application in the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow at 9.30am (AEDT), seeking “injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected”.
Apple’s new iPad, launched on March 16, is advertised on its website as an “iPad with WiFi + 4G,” though the tablet cannot access Australia’s existing 4G network that uses the 1800MHz frequency.
Apple’s new iPad instead connects to networks in America that use two different frequencies.
A spokesman for the ACCC declined to comment on the lawsuit, but the watchdog claimed in a statement that advertising the tablet under the “4G” banner was “misleading” as it suggested the tablet computer could, “with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case”.
Apple was unavailable for comment.
Apple offers refund for misled iPad ‘4G’ buyers
Lucy Battersby and Craig Butt
March 28, 2012 – 7:59PM
4G or not 4G: that is Apple’s iPad question
Apple Australia has agreed to post signs wherever its new tablet computer is sold clarifying the device does not work on Australian fourth-generation mobile networks.
The tech giant has also agreed to email anyone who purchased the new iPad stating the limitation and to offer refunds to consumers.
The voluntary undertaking comes after the competition watchdog launched legal action seeking court orders stopping Apple from selling the new tablet using the product name ‘‘iPad with WIFI + 4G’’.
It said this name could mislead consumers because the iPad does not work on either of the 4G networks in Australia.
Telstra operates a 4G network using long-term-evolution (LTE) technology at 1800 megahertz, while Vividwireless operates a 4G network using WiMax technology at 2.3 gigahertz.
Apple’s new iPad works on 4G networks tuned to 700 MHz or 2. 1 GHz – frequencies only used the United States and Canada. It still operates on Australian 3G networks.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission earlier asked that Apple place stickers on all ‘‘iPad WIFI + 4G’’ boxes, but this was part of an application dismissed in favour of the voluntary undertaking.
Apple has also agreed to provide signage to all resellers by 5pm on April 5 with the phrase ‘‘This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks or WiMax networks’’.
Colin Golvan, SC, acting for the ACCC, argued for a single sentence without any reference to the iPad’s capabilities. However, Apple argued that consumers may think the device did not work on any mobile broadband networks and the ACCC’s proposal was ‘‘disparaging of its very good product’’.
Justice Mordecai Bromberg of the Federal Court in Melbourne set a trial date of May 2 for the parties to determine whether Apple has broken Australian law. The outcome of this trial could lead to further legal action.
Meanwhile the parties will meet on April 18 for mediation.
Apple potentially faces penalties of $1.1 million per contravention, however the number of contraventions would not be known until the ACCC files a statement of claim next week.
The iPad’s charging challenge explained
If you’ve recently taken possession of a shiny new iPad, you may have noticed an odd message when connecting the tablet to some computers or USB chargers: the words Not charging in the iPad’s status bar. Or maybe you’ve plugged a third-generation iPad into Apple’s official charger while you’re using the tablet and later noticed that it doesn’t seem to have charged at all. Or perhaps you’ve left the new iPad to charge and it seems to be taking longer than with your older iPad.
Why? Compared to iPhones and iPods, the iPad simply has more-demanding charging requirements – and for the latest iPad, those demands are even more challenging. Some USB ports, especially those on older computers and many USB hubs, don’t provide enough power to charge an iPad when the screen is on. And with the third-generation iPad, even Apple’s own charger can struggle at times. What this means is that whether or not a particular USB port or charger can charge the iPad’s battery – and how quickly – depends on which iPad you have and how it’s being used.
Here’s a quick summary of options and information, based on our experiences, Apple’s support site and information provided to Macworld by Apple:
Fastest charging – iPad charger: For the fastest charging of any iPad, use the iPad’s included 10-Watt USB Power Adapter or a third-party charger certified for fast-charging an iPad. This will fully charge a first- or second-generation iPad in a few hours, even if you’re using the iPad at the same time; the third-generation iPad will take a bit longer, as explained below.
Slower charging – high-power USB port: When connected to a high-power USB port – such as one on a recent Mac, Apple’s USB Power Adapter for iPhone or third-party chargers certified for the iPhone – a first- or second-generation iPad will charge, even during use, but more slowly. (Some third-party USB hubs provide higher-power USB ports, but many don’t; similarly, the USB ports on many Windows PCs don’t provide this additional power.)
Slowest charging – lower-power USB port: When your iPad is connected to a lower-power USB port – those on older Macs, many Windows PCs and many USB hubs (powered or unpowered) – the battery is charged only while the iPad is asleep. If a first- or second-generation iPad is awake and in use, its battery essentially holds its current charge level. What’s confusing here is that the message Not Charging appears in the menu bar when the iPad is awake, which might lead you to assume that the offending USB port can never charge your iPad. But rest assured that once you put the iPad to sleep, the battery will charge.
The third-generation iPad: The newest iPad has even heftier charging requirements than its predecessors, for a couple reasons. First, it has considerably more battery capacity than the first two iPads – 42.5 watt-hours, compared to 25 watt-hours – so even at the fastest rate of charging, the third-generation iPad takes noticeably longer to fully charge. (And, in fact, according to testing by DisplayMate, the new iPad’s battery doesn’t reach a full charge until about an hour after its battery meter displays 100 percent.) So no matter how you charge, it will take longer to fully charge a third-generation iPad than either previous iPad.
Second, though every iPad model charges more slowly if you’re using it while charging, this slowdown is much more noticeable on the third-generation iPad because the new iPad’s electronics – its screen, processor and the like – require more overall power than the previous models’ components.
What this means is that the first three charging guidelines above apply differently to the latest iPad. For starters, some users report that even when using Apple’s 10-Watt power adapter, if you’re doing processor- and graphics-intensive tasks such as playing a demanding video game and you’ve got the iPad’s brightness set to maximum and Wi-Fi or cellular data enabled, it may seem as though the battery isn’t charging at all. During other tasks, the tablet might instead charge very slowly. Using a high-power USB port, a third-generation iPad will charge slowly when asleep, but generally not when in use – in my testing, a 2010 iMac’s USB port held the battery level steady while I watched video at medium brightness. And when connected to a lower-power USB port, the iPad will charge – very slowly – only when asleep; when in use, a third-generation iPad will likely use more power than it gets, resulting in a gradual decline of battery level (although at a slower rate than if the iPad wasn’t connected to power at all).
How you use it matters: Because the iPad’s screen is such a huge part of the tablet’s power drain – especially on the third-generation iPad – your own experiences will vary depending on your preferred brightness level. Most of the observations above were based on screens set to roughly 50- or 60-percent brightness. If you set an iPad’s screen to full brightness, it will take longer to charge while in use than if it’s set to medium brightness. In fact, with a third-generation iPad set to maximum brightness, the battery level may even decline if you use the iPad while it’s connected to a high-power USB port. Similarly, actively using Wi-Fi or a cellular-data connection will lengthen the charging time, as will playing a demanding game or streaming high-definition video. On the other hand, if you’ve got your screen brightness set to the lowest level and you aren’t accessing a network, your in-use charging time will be shorter.
The takeaway here is that if your iPad’s battery seems to take a long time to charge – or, for owners of a third-generation iPad, even longer than before – there’s nothing wrong. The tablet is just hungry (or hungrier) for power. But by keeping an eye on how you charge the iPad and what you’re doing while you’re charging it, you help it charge more quickly.
Ten thousand Australians face web blackout
Ten thousand Australian internet users are among four million worldwide who face a total internet blackout from July 9 thanks to a malicious piece of software that infected their computers without their knowledge.
That is the warning to Australian internet users from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which today issued a statement appealing to internet users to check if they were infected.
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The communications regulator, together with other government agencies, has set up the website dns-ok.gov.au for web users to check their computer for the malicious software and remove it if necessary.
The web blackout from July 9 will be enforced by the US FBI, which is shutting down a number of web servers through which infected users’ web request traffic has been travelling. It’s shutting them down following an investigation into a sophisticated internet fraud ring which used the servers to manipulate people’s web browsing.
The malware changes a user’s DNS settings, diverting all web requests through servers the FBI seized in November but has been temporarily maintaining to ensure internet services were not disrupted. This maintenance will finish on July 9, meaning computers still infected will face internet troubles.
“It is likely that users infected … will be unable to connect to the internet when the temporary DNS solution is switched off,” the dns-ok.gov.au website states.
Bruce Matthews, manager of the ACMA’s e-Security division, said since November last year the watchdog had seen more than 10,000 Australian internet users infected with the “DNSChanger” malware.
Mr Matthews said that the ACMA worked with Australian internet services providers to try and reduce the number of infected users since it knew about the malware but said the number had only been reduced by a few thousand since November.
He said the way in which users were most commonly infected by the malware included opening malicious attachments in emails and visiting suspect websites through links included in an email.
Paul Ducklin, of security firm Sophos in Australia, said users may have been infected by the malware in the past and removed it but could still face issues on July 9 if they didn’t change their DNS settings.
“So it’s important to remember that even if your anti-virus gives you a clean bill of health about malware infection, you might nevertheless still be affected by a lingering side-effect of the malware,” he said.
NBN announces three-year rollout plan
NBN Co Ltd boss Mike Quigley says the launch of the three-year rollout schedule for the high speed national broadband network (NBN) is a “turning point” for the federal government project.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Mr Quigley on Thursday announced details of the rollout at a special event in Sydney.
See if your suburb is included in the rollout here
Over the next three years, construction of the fibre optic cable section of the network will be underway or completed in areas containing 3.5 million homes and businesses in 1500 towns and suburbs across Australia.
“We are moving out of doing the trials, doing all the planning, all the negotiations with Telstra deal, submissions with the ACCC,” Mr Quigley told AAP.
“Today we are really announcing stage one of the large-scale rollout.”
NBN Co, the government-owned builder of the $35.9 billion network, is commissioned to deliver high-speed fibre cable broadband to 93 per cent of homes, schools and businesses by 2021.
Some four per cent of premises will receive broadband through fixed wireless networks, while the remaining three per cent will have a satellite service in areas that don’t receive cable or wireless.
The ramping up of the rollout program follows the sealing of agreements between NBN Co and the owner of Australia’s aging copper wire network Telstra, which took effect at the beginning of March.
Several hurdles have slowed the build of the NBN, including a delay in the competition watchdog’s approval of Telstra’s plan to split its wholesale and retail arms.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved Telstra’s plan in February, eight months after the telco, NBN Co and the government signed definitive agreements in June 2011.
Mr Quigley said several factors decided the locations of the towns and suburbs in the three-year rollout.
“We had to take into account what the government asked us to do, which was get to a balance between regional and metropolitan Australia, get a good balance across the states and complete Tasmania by 2015,” Mr Quigley said.
The availability of Telstra infrastructure to make connections was also a constraint.
New suburbs at the outer reaches of major cities, known as greenfield sites, were also a priority.
Mr Quigley said the fixed wireless rollout to provide broadband services to rural Australia will be done as soon as possible.
It will take an average 12 months from the release by NBN Co of detailed maps of each location to when households and businesses can order broadband services from their telephone or internet service provider.
Mr Quigley dismissed claims the selected locations were due to politic considerations.
“Our planners wouldn’t know an electoral boundary if they fell over one,” he said.