Episode 287 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Samsung Series 9 Australian launch, pricing revealed


The 13.3in Series 9 notebook has a 12.9mm high body, while the comparable 13.3in MacBook Air has a height of 17.2mm. The Series 9 weighs in at 1.16kg to the MacBook Air’s 1.35kg.

It is also thinner and lighter than the 15mm high, 1.35kg Acer Aspire S5, which was recently touted as the world’s thinnest notebook.

The Series 9 will be available in 13.3in and 15in models, for $1599 and $1899 respectively.

LED backlit keyboard, nine second boot time and is cased in a single-shell aluminium chassis. It holds a 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, and a has a 10-hour battery life.

Adobe launches software suite in Creative cloud


Adobe’s Creative Cloud lets users download and install Creative Suite 6 for a significantly lower price than the traditional license. Users can sign up for the Creative Cloud membership for $US49.99 per month. In contrast, Creative Suite Master Collection costs $US2,599.

With membership in Creative Cloud, users can download and install 14 Adobe Creative Suite 6 applications, including Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe InDesign CS6, Adobe Illustrator CS6, and Adobe Dreamweaver CS6.

Customers can also use Creative Cloud use, for a $US29.99 monthly fee, CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5.
In addition, Adobe’s desktop application, Creative Cloud Connection, will support the synchronisation, sharing and storing of files across mobile devices and desktops.

Creative Cloud membership includes up to 20 GB of cloud storage, with additional storage purchase options coming soon, the company said.

Apple announces 2012 developer conference


Tickets for Apple’s worldwide developer conference, scheduled for June 11 through June 15 at San Francisco’s Moscone West convention center, sold out just two hours.
The tickets were selling for $1599.

Apple said it will share the technical sessions from the event free-of-charge on its developer’s website for those who were unable to attend.

The event, which drew in attendees from more than 60 countries last year, will offer the Apple developer community a sneak peak at planned enhancements for both its iOS and OS X platforms.


Apple’s iOS also beats out the competition when it comes to its app count. According to mobile app research firm Mobilewalla, the iOS platform touts over 600,000 apps today. Android trails next with about 350,000.

A robust app ecosystem is apparently paying off for Apple; the mobile giant reported this week stellar second-quarter earnings, driven mostly by booming sales of its iPhone and iPad products.

According to Apple, it sold four million Macs during the quarter, a seven percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter

Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the second quarter, an 88 percent jump from last year second-quarter numbers, and 11.8 million iPads, an even more staggering 151 percent year-over-year jump.
Its total profit for the quarter reflected these numbers, rising 93 percent to $11.6 billion.

Apple pips Lenovo in Australia


Apple shipped 178,892 Macs to Australia last quarter. This includes desktops and PCs but not iPads.
Apple’s 32 percent quarterly growth is compared to HP’s six percent decline. Acer Group grew at 15.5 percent as did Dell at 10.5 percent

Telstra, Optus prepare 4G battle for Newcastle


Optus is set to unveil its first Long Term Evolution network in the area this week, using the city – along with the Hunter Valley and stretching north to Port Stephens

Telstra’s competing LTE network has been available in Newcastle for seven months,

Vodafone Australia to the 4G market sometime next year

Why Newcastle and have two in same city – instead of swap over to faster network, will see consumers choosing between same service and it will all come down to price.

Optus has kept all details on pricing, devices and availability outside of “April 2012” close to its chest.


Mozilla smartphone to go on sale in ‘late 2012’


Mobile phones running an operating system developed by makers of the Firefox web browser will go on sale in late 2012.
The first handsets running Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” (B2G) software will be available in Brazil on Telefonica Vivo’s mobile network.

Announced in July 2011, B2G aims to be an open rival to Google’s Android.

It gets the name “Gecko” because that is the part of Firefox that decides how to display pages in a web browse


iiTrial: iiNet wins High Court appeal


The High Court of Australia has unanimously dismissed the film industry’s appeal against a lower court decision, absolving iiNet’s liability for copyright infringement by its users.

The High Court said iiNet had “no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent system to infringe copyright in the appellants’ films”.
Instead, it said iiNet’s powers to prevent infringement only extended to its ability to terminate that customer’s internet service.

The Pirate Party of Australia was among a host of organisations to congratulate iiNet on the victory.

The Pirate Bay  warned that the issue would not die with the High Court ruling and sought more involvement of the public in otherwise closed-door discussions between the Government and rights holders.


YouTube loses court battle over music clips


A court in Hamburg ruled that YouTube is responsible for the content that users post to the video sharing site.
It wants the video site to install filters that spot when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by royalty collection group, Gema.
The German industry group said in court that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted clips being posted

Music streaming site Grooveshark pulled out of Germany claiming licencing rates set by Gema made it impossible to run a profitable business in the country.

Google unveils Dropbox-like G Drive


The app will be first made available to Mac, Windows and Android users with an iOS app expected  in the coming weeks

Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article.

Users will get 5GB of free storage

https://www.google.com/settings/storage/ new plans

ig on old plan like me and pay $5 per year for 20gig, get to keep, as long as it remains active and you dont change.  Dont let credit card details lapse – expiry date.



Pricing structure (prices are yearly)

  • 20 GB – $5
  • 80 GB – $20
  • 200 GB – $50
  • 400 GB – $100
  • 1 TB – $256
  • 2 TB – $512
  • 4 TB – $1024
  • 8 TB – $2048
  • 16 TB – $4096
Pricing structure (prices are monthly)

  • 25 GB – $2.49
  • 100 GB – $4.99
  • 200 GB – $9.99
  • 400 GB – $19.99
  • 1 TB – $49.99
  • 2 TB – $99.99
  • 4 TB – $199.99
  • 8 TB – $399.99
  • 16 TB – $799.99

Microsoft’s paid storage plans begin at US$10 a year for anything over 20GB, US$25 a year over 50GB and US$50 a year for over 100GB.  Microsoft has also updated its SkyDrive app for Windows Phone and iOS devices, along with a beta version of Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS X Lion.

cant seem to sync ofice docs.

Dropbox on Monday announced a new “link” service that generates a URL for users to share videos and pictures that can be viewed through any browser and downloaded if required.



Does not compute – how Aussies are being ripped off over IT

AUSTRALIANS are being short-changed by thousands of dollars when buying software, with international companies charging us more than double overseas prices.

With more international companies now offering their products to download directly from their website, Labor MP Ed Husic wants the government to conduct a formal inquiry into the extent of IT price differences within Australia.


“Australian consumers are often paying up to 80 per cent more for these products, compared to what is charged to US or UK customers for exactly the same products,” Mr Husic told The Daily Telegraph.


While the cost of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional on the US online store is $199.99, the same product on the Australian website is $449 – a mark-up of 125 per cent. Similarly, the popular Adobe CS 5 Photoshop software, which retails online in the US for $2599, is sold in Australia for nearly $4000.


Some global suppliers tried to blame the discrepancy on the cost of supplying a smaller market like Australia but a Productivity Commission report refuted this, saying the “costs of delivery to the customer are practically zero and uniform around the world”.

The ACCC told The Daily Telegraph it was not able to influence Australian software prices.

“The ACCC is constrained by the legislation it administers and there are no provisions in the Act that prohibit this type of conduct,” ACCC spokeswoman Erin Polmear said.


A Microsoft spokesperson yesterday blamed its 125 per cent mark-up on a number of factors, saying: “Every market is different and prices vary by region being determined by a variety of location-specific factors including, but not limited to, local market conditions, local taxes, duties and in the case of physical retail and logistics.”


AVG Australia boss Sam Hendry attributed his company’s 40 per cent mark-up to “different margins and cost structures”.


“In terms of the operation of our business, we provide a call centre and 35-person workforce who give seven-day-a-week support,” he said. “That’s something our overseas counterparts don’t do.”


Adobe and AutoCAD groups both declined to comment.

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/technology/does-not-compute-how-aussies-are-being-ripped-off-over-it/story-e6frfro0-1226335784860#ixzz1snxOmQt0

US judge lets tech ‘poaching’ suit proceed


A US judge has given a green light to a lawsuit charging Apple, Google, Pixar and other technology-driven firms with colluding to keep salaries in check by agreeing not to poach one another’s software engineers.


District Court Judge Lucy Koh, in a decision released late Wednesday, rejected motions to dismiss a class-action lawsuit charging that high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco areas conspired on “Do Not Call” lists to keep talent tethered.


The list of defendants includes Lucasfilm, Pixar, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Adobe Systems, alleged to have participated in the scheme to refrain from hiring each other’s employees.


Koh noted in her ruling that the suit was based on Department of Justice antitrust investigations that ended in 2010 with technology firms agreeing to change their ways without admitting any wrongdoing.


The DOJ concluded that “facially anticompetitive” agreements were made that “eliminated a significant form of competition” to the detriment of workers “who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities,” according to court documents.


Agreements not to woo other companies’ workers could prevent people from advancing careers and eased market pressure on employers to improve compensation overall, Koh reasoned.


“While these allegations concerning the labour market effects of cold calling remain to be proven, the court presumes these factual allegations to be true for the purposes of ruling on a motion to dismiss,” the judge wrote.


“It is plausible to infer that even a single bilateral (do-not-call) agreement would have the ripple effect of depressing the mobility and compensation of employees of companies that are not direct parties to the agreement.”


Apple posts 94% profit gain, iPhone sales ‘on fire’


pple has posted a monster profit of $US11.6 billion ($A11.24 billion) for the first three months of the year, driven by robust demand for the iPhone in China as well as purchases of a new version of its blockbuster iPad tablet.


The result, which outstripped Wall Street estimates, boosted the company’s shares more than 7 percent over the same period.


“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook.


“The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”


Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $US39.2 billion as sales of iPad more than doubled from the same quarter the previous year and iPhone sales surged 88 per cent, according to Apple.


Apple’s net income for the quarter was nearly double that seen in the same three month period a year earlier, when sales tallied $US24.7 billion.


Dispelling iPhone fears


Shares of the world’s most valuable technology corporation resumed their rally after a two-week decline. Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones – its flagship product which accounts for about half its revenue – in the March quarter, outpacing the 30 million or so expected by Wall Street analysts.


“International iPhone sales were on fire,” Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters in an interview, adding that sales of the smartphone in the Greater China region jumped five-fold from the previous year.


The strong results came after a 13 percent decline in Apple’s share price over the past couple of weeks in unusually volatile trading. The stock had long been considered a must-have in most U.S. equity portfolios.


Results spur rally

“When you have a strong rally in a stock it often sells off for no better reason than uncertainty. I think you’re going to see the naysayers go away,” said Michael Yoshikami, CEO of YCMNet Advisors.


The Cupertino, California-based company released the third-generation of its market-ruling iPad tablet computer in March, meaning its blockbuster sales out-of-the-gate have only begun to pump up Apple’s bottom line.


“Our record March quarter results drove $US14 billion in cash flow from operations,” said Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.


“Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $US34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $US8.68.”


Apple stock price reversed a losing trend for the day after release of the earnings figures, jumping more than seven per cent to $US602.20 a share on the Nasdaq exchange.

AFP, Reuters


Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/apple-posts-94-profit-gain-iphone-sales-on-fire-20120425-1xk1q.html#ixzz1t0mjvWXG

Apple CEO Tim Cook emerges from Steve Jobs’ shadow   


APPLE CEO Tim Cook has long seen as the humorless and unemotional guy running the show from behind the scenes. But he is beginning to reveal a more assertive and eloquent side, hinting that he’s learning to shoulder more of Steve Jobs’ role as a front man and leader.


On a conference call with journalists and financial analysts, Cook showed some fire when talking about competitors, echoing the combative Jobs. He also spouted a vivid metaphor that spread like wildfire over Twitter before the call was over.


Most Apple watchers have sized up Cook as a competent caretaker of the machine that Apple founder and late CEO Steve Jobs created, but if Cook has latent charisma that can be thawed out further, he may turn into the kind of leader some people think is essential for the company.


In a blog post, the CEO of Forrester Research, George Colony, predicted that Apple Inc. would go the way of Sony, fading away now that Jobs is not around to inspire.


“Without the arrival of a new charismatic leader it will move from being a great company to being a good company,” he wrote.


Even while Jobs was alive, Cook handled appearances in front of Wall Street analysts. He spoke precisely and calmly, and his language wasn’t very quotable. At a Goldman Sachs investors meeting in February, for instance, he said “our high order bit is we want to please customers.” A “high order bit” is a computer science term for the most important piece of data in a set.


But when asked if PCs and tablets might someday blend into one device, like rival PC manufacturers hope, Cook extemporized this response:


“I think anything can be forced to converge. The problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn’t please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”


The “toaster fridge combo” phrase zoomed around Twitter, and within minutes, someone created a “FridgeToaster” account that started talking back at Cook.


Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw tweeted that Windows 8, the new software that’s supposed to bridge tablets and PCs, is “not a toaster/fridge. It’s a toaster/oven. Those seem pretty popular. Just saying.”


Cook’s attack was reminiscent of an appearance by Jobs on a conference call in October 2010, in which he lambasted the idea of tablets smaller than the iPad.


Competitor Samsung Electronics was set to launch a small tablet, in the first real challenge to the iPad. Jobs said 7-inch screens were so small that owners would need to file down their fingers with sandpaper to hit buttons accurately.


Later, Cook was asked if he’d consider settling some of the patent lawsuits the company is waging against competitors. Apple accuses Samsung and Motorola of copying its iPhone and iPad. Again, Cook revealed some emotion.


“You know, I’ve always hated litigation and I continue to hate it. We just want people to invent their own stuff,” he said.


Carmine Gallo, a communications coach and the author of several books about Apple, says that while it’s clear Cook is a much less emotive communicator than Jobs, he could become an effective one.


“Remember, Steve Jobs’ stage presence was honed over decades of trying to improve his style and his communications skills. The Steve Jobs of the mid-70s -and there are video tapes of him- was not nearly as polished and charismatic as the Steve Jobs that we knew until last year,” Mr Gallo said.


One thing Cook does very well, Mr Gallo said, is that when he presents a number he wants listeners to care about, he puts it into a meaningful context.


For example, when Cook wanted to convince the audience at a 2010 event that the Mac business is still very important to Apple, even though iPhones make a lot more money, he didn’t just say that it makes $22 billion a year.

Cook added that if it was a standalone company, the Mac business would be number 110 on the Fortune 500 list.


“I thought ‘What a brilliant technique!'” Mr Gallo said. “He does that all the time.”


But most importantly, Gallo said, it’s evident that Cook cares deeply about Apple.


“You can’t teach passion. Every great communicator is abundantly passionate about -not necessarily the product- but what the product means to society. And that is an attitude that pervades Apple’s executive office, and it starts with Tim Cook,” he said.


Cook revealed some of that passion at the February conference. Toward the end of the talk, he said there was “no better thrill” for him than going to a gym or to Starbucks and seeing people using their iPhones or iPads.

“These are the things that bring a smile to my face, and there is no replacement or substitute for that,” Cook said.




Why your wi-fi network is never safe

Matt Smith

April 26, 2012 – 8:15AM

With almost 50 per cent of Australia’s internet subscribers using mobile or wireless broadband, serious concerns are being raised about the security of wireless systems and the ease of hacking.


Many residential networks are left vulnerable, because users don’t alter system passwords from their default setting or at times don’t even apply a password at all.


Mark Gregory, a senior lecturer in computer engineering at RMIT, believes it isn’t just residential users that leave themselves vulnerable – businesses and some corporations do as well.


“About 20 per cent of wi-fi networks are left unsecure or have poor security.


The most a user can do is make sure the password is strong, but even then ‘password security’ is a fallacy.”


Many networks are insufficiently protected with older technology. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), which was developed in 1999, is now outdated and was replaced in 2003 by wi-fi Protected Access (WPA).


Dr Gregory says the weakness of most home wireless networks lies with the modem manufacturer – repeated password failure does not lock down most modems, allowing hackers to continue to attempt to break in until they are successful.


“If a system timed out after a number of password failures, that would be enough to deter most would-be hackers,” Dr Gregory says. “A wireless modem should at least be able to prevent brute force attacks. Unfortunately manufacturers have been a bit lax.”

The serious nature of hacking was recently highlighted by Queensland Police, whose fraud squad began a wardriving initiative to help identify unsecure residential wireless internet networks.


Wardriving is the act of searching for wi-fi wireless networks from a car using a laptop.

“It’s a positive community support program, and the effort should be supported,” Dr Gregory says. “The issue should be taken seriously, and this response should be carried out in all states.”


With wi-fi signals reaching up to 100 metres, a potential hacker could be anywhere. ‘Nick’ (not real name), a computer enthusiast who admits he is not an expert, found it simple to illegally access wi-fi.


“A neighbour of mine didn’t have a password on their wi-fi,” says Nick. “Another didn’t change their network name or password from the default name of the router.


“You can just chuck it through a program dedicated to generating the password for that particular router. It might take some time, but it works. That’s more cracking than hacking, and it’s simple.”


Nick says there are plenty of forums on the internet dedicated to hacking and cracking, and that no wi-fi network will be completely safe.


“With a bit of an understanding of networking, a couple of programs to capture and analyse what’s going into and out of the networks, the right wireless adapter, a Linux operating system, and some patience, you can have whatever network you want,” he says. “There’s no such thing as a bulletproof wi-fi network; if someone is devoted enough they’ll get in.”


While many hackers could see it as an innocent challenge, others could be using their illegal wi-fi access to commit fraud or serious offences, such as using child pornography.

“These sound maleficent in nature, but it’s like a puzzle to those with a deep interest in the subject,” says Nick. “It’s a challenge, like a Rubik’s cube, and you’ll find that most hackers break in for those reasons alone.”


Many popular and specialised hacking tools are easily accessible through internet search engines. Programs such as wi-fi Hacker and NetStumbler are commonly used, and numerous tools and guides can be found on websites such as wardrive.net.


Many of these applications are easy to use. Some, such as iWep Pro, will run on a jailbroken iPhone. It can provide passwords for wi-fi networks within minutes.


A Spanish application developer, “Mike Wazowski” (not real name), says he developed the application to provide users with a tool to test the vulnerabilities of their own routers.

“The app will only unlock a network if it’s kept on the default password configuration,” Wazowski says. “I don’t know why so many people don’t change the password on their modem. I haven’t changed my own, so if you ask me, I’m just lazy.”

Wazowski confirms that iWep Pro users have reported good results in Australia, providing passwords for BigPond, Thomson and Speedtouch wi-fi modems.

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/why-your-wifi-network-is-never-safe-20120424-1xi2m.html#ixzz1t6GzBTbP


Privacy advocates slam Google Drive’s privacy policies

But Google says its policies are no more onerous than rival service providers


Computerworld – Privacy advocates voiced strong concerns today over how data stored on Google Drive may be used during and after customers are actively engaged in using the cloud service.


“The terms of service are bad, but even worse is that Google has made clear it will change its terms of service whenever it wishes,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).


On March 1, Google “ignored the views of users” and consolidated all of its terms of service, Rotenberg said, so that it could “do more data profiling.”


“After the unilateral changes on March 1, I don’t understand why users would trust Google to stand by its terms of service,” he said.


Rotenberg is not alone in his concerns.

Users commenting in online forums said privacy was the reason they would not use Google Drive.


On Dropbox’s online forum a user by name of Chen S. wrote, “My big concern with Google Drive is that they already have all my emails, web analytics, and search terms. Do I really want to give them even more data?”


Another user, Christopher H., said this in the Dropbox forum: “Like many other users, I’m not excited about Google having more data points on my life via the files I will be storing in their cloud.”


Still another Dropbox user, — Mark Mc., noted that while Google might not sell or disclose data without a user’s permission, “they can, however, use that data in anyway shape or form the like internally – and if that includes selling personalised [sic] ad’s based on data farming of the files that I’ve uploaded I’m out of there!”


But a Google spokesman said Drive’s terms of service make it clear, “what belongs to you stays yours” and the company’s policies are no more onerous than other service providers.


“You own your files and control their sharing, plain and simple. Our Terms of Service enable us to give you the services you want — so if you decide to share a document with someone, or open it on a different device, you can,” he said.


“Many who have covered this simply ignored that paragraph and quoted only the one immediately following it, which grants us the license required by copyright law to display or transmit content on a user’s behalf. Other companies use very similar language.”


Dropbox’s terms of use says: “You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below.”


Similarly, Microsoft’s SkyDrive terms of use also claim no ownership of user data.

According to Microsoft’s policy, a user controls who may access their content. However, if you share content in public areas of the service or in shared areas available to others you’ve chosen, then you agree that anyone you’ve shared content with may use that content.


“If you don’t want others to have those rights, don’t use the service to share your content,” the policy states. “You understand that Microsoft may need, and you hereby grant Microsoft the right, to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and display content posted on the service solely to the extent necessary to provide the service.”


Google’s terms of use say: “You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours. When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”


Google states in its official blog that its new privacy policy allows it to build a more “intuitive user experience.” For example, if you’re working on Google Docs and you want to share a file with someone on Gmail, “you want their email right there ready to use.”


“Our privacy policies have always allowed us to combine information from different products with your account…. However, we’ve been restricted in our ability to combine your YouTube and Search histories with other information in your account. Our new Privacy Policy gets rid of those inconsistencies so we can make more of your information available to you when using Google,” the company states.


“I don’t know of any legislation on this subject,” said John Webster, a senior partner with Evaluator Group, a market research firm that specializes in data storage issues. “You have to ask yourself, what’s the business model. If the business model is to make money from a service or money from advertising, that’s one thing. If it’s trying to make money off the sale of data, that’s another thing.”


While older Internet users tend to be wary of how their data is used and protected, younger users rarely consider the consequences of where they store personal information, Webster said. “They may not be reading the fine print.”


The other issue to consider is what happens to your data when you leave a cloud service behind, he said.


Google’s terms also state that when a user discontinues use of its service, it continues to retain the right to use customer information.




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