Episode 292 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Sony DEV-5 Digital Recording Binoculars review
a twin CMOS driven, GPS tagged, fully 3D digital binocular

The binoculars put behind the standard lenses two Exmor CMOS sensors, and then replay their input on a digital LCD screen inside the viewfinders. As there’s a separation between two lenses, outputting to the eyes separately gives you natural 3D (just like eyes!).

the binoculars are given more functionality, like photography and video recording

The DEV-5 can record video in AVCHD H.264 at 1080p in 3D, twice, to take both video streams into account. It records to Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/SDHX/SDXC, and can output to HDMI in 2D and 3D as well as replaying recorded content back to the viewfinder. Recording time in 3D is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, according to Sony.

Available from Sony, retailing for $1,999.


Giant 22in tablet by Viewsonic set to cannonball into the tablet arena
Viewsonic is set to introduce a 22in behemoth of a slate on June 5th at Computex in Taipei.

The 22in VCD22 tablet will arrive packing a 21.5in full HD display. Inside there’s a relatively paltry 1Ghz dual-core Texas Instruments processor, powering Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich under the hood.

1.2MP camera (lameish?) a microSD and micro HDMI port, coupled with three USB ports


iPhone 5 case spotted: report
9to5Mac appeared to be first to publish the shot.  The shape is fairly similar to the current iPhone 4 and 4S models, except with a smaller dock connector and larger speakers. The site was also told that the back is made from aluminium alloy.


Family robbed after cash photo posted to Facebook
The family of a 17-year-old girl was robbed after their daughter uploaded a photo of a cash pile to Facebook.
Two men armed with a knife and a wooden club broke into the Bundanoon home in the NSW Southern Highlands last week demanding to speak with the unnamed girl about the cash.

The girl had been helping her grandmother count her life savings in Sydney earlier in the day when she posted the photo of the undisclosed sum of cash to the social media site.
At 11.30pm, seven hours after the photo was uploaded, the men entered the girl’s family residence where she no longer lived.

The men searched the house and stole a small amount of cash. Noone was injured in the incident.
Police inspectors were unable to disclose how the girls’ family address was known.
Facebook promotes location information sharing within profiles and allows users to include address information. But even if such information was withheld, location data could be extracted from geo-tagged photographs.



QUICKIES
Facebook to buy Opera: report
Facebook is planning to take on Google, Apple and Mozilla in the browser arena with Opera,
A well-integrated and polished Facebook browser could be beneficial to heavy users

HTC joins Facebook for phone project
Code-named Buffy, the phone would be Facebook’s third known attempt since 2010 to develop a rival to Apple and Google devices. in partnership with Taiwanese mobile device maker HTC, according to The New York Times.
This time around, Facebook has hired several hardware and software engineers who have worked on iphone and ipad.


Telstra leaks HTC One XL launch
A video uploaded by Telstra late yesterday showcases the new HTC One XL smartphone and announces pre-orders are now available, via a URL – has since been taken down

The smartphone comes equipped with 4G capability and will launch in partnership with Telstra and its LTE network.

The One XL is less powerful than its predecessor, with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor rather than the One X’s 1.5Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 chip.

The One XL also carries less memory, with 16GB compared to the One X’s 32GB internal memory.

Telstra has announced the smartphone will be available forpre-order today and in-store from June 5.


NBN Co expands wireless trials
Eligible users in Toowoomba have begun receiving installations to the network. Those in Tamworth will be allowed to apply for a connection this week.

The TD-LTE network, being rolled out by Ericsson, aims to provide a service of 12 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to approximately 500,000 premises.

Those premises are located outside of the fibre footprint planned for the National Broadband Network, and deemed not rural enough for satellite access.

The wireless portion of the network has been built and trialled in Armidale for the past two months, with NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley reporting a total 53 active services in the town at a Senate estimates hearing last night.
One ISP told CRN sister site iTnews it already had 40 users in Toowoomba waiting to be signed up to the wireless network.

Equipment will be installed on a total of 2300 new and co-located towers during construction

the network connects tri-sector base stations to a hub site with a 180 Mbps link.

From there, the hub is connected to a fibre access point using a 900 Mbps aggregated microwave link, which hands traffic off to a gigabit fibre link connected to the nearest fibre access node.


Windows 8 boot: too fast for own good
Windows 8 User Experience program manager, Chris Clark

For the first time in decades, you will no longer be able to interrupt boot and tell your PC to do anything different than what it was already expecting to do.”
“We have SSD-based UEFI systems where the “F8 window” is always less than 200 milliseconds,” explains Clark. “No matter how fast your fingers are, there is no way to reliably catch a 200 millisecond event.”

The team has created ‘failover’ behaviors which automatically bring up the Boot Options menu when problems arise during bootup. In addition, users will be able to easily reach the Boot Options menu at any time they like.
According to Clark: “Instead of these menus and options being ‘interrupt-driven’, they are triggered in an intentional way that is much easier to accomplish successfully.”

VIDEO TO PLAY  http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Fast-Boot

PICS http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/22/designing-for-pcs-that-boot-faster-than-ever-before.aspx


CommBank introduces cloud storage for customers
NetBank Vault allows users to store up to 1000 files and folders, including documents, music files, videos and images in an “online virtual safety deposit box” within NetBank.
CommBank introduced the service yesterday after a 5000-customer trial.
Unlike rival cloud storage services – which provide between two and five gigabytes of space before requiring users to pay – NetBank Vault does not initially specify a set amount of storage for users but instead works on the number of actual files.

The service is available for free through NetBank Labs. CommBank has promised to give customers 60 days’ notice should the service be discontinued


Xero integrates payroll for Aussie businesses
The updated solution provides many of the features offered by Paycycle, which Xero acquired in July last year, but would allow existing customers of both products to use the same login credentials.

Australian use of the software has sky-rocketed, with the local user base doubling in the last financial year to more than 16,000 customers, making up approximately a fifth of the company’s 78,000-strong user base globally.

The country also accounts for approximately a quarter of Xero’s reported NZ$19.3 million (AU$14.9 million) in revenues for the year ending March 31.

Despite claims the company was listening to its users, Australian users continue to pay the most for Xero products when compared to equivalent pricing in the US, UK and New Zealand.

Where Australian users pay $64 per month for the top-tier option, New Zealanders pay AU$56.91, US users pay AU$39.84 and those in the UK are offered the same solution for $46.12, including sales tax.

Ridd said price differences between countries for Xero came down to differing regulations in each country, requiring unique functions and features. He toldiTnews that Xero “hasn’t moved on price since 2008”.


App removes faces from Facebook
A facial recognition app built on Australian-designed technology proposes to warn users when their photos appear on social networks, allowing them to track down unauthorised or unwanted photos from the sites.

CeeQ uses sophisticated facial recognition technology developed by National ICT Australia (NICTA) under the $5 million-plus Advanced Surveillance biometricproject completed last year.
“It’s designed to help users find photos they are in so they can contact the owners or Facebook to get them taken down,” Abbas Bigdeli, creator of the application and a lead developer at Advanced Surveillance

Bigdeli last week pitched the application to Facebook to help raise capital. If the social network giant bites, it may mean the app would not be released for rival social networks.
Users can download a free copy of the application by registering on Bigdeli’s website.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=GWSciDTU9kM


Japan arrests Majikon video game piracy suspect
The games company said the case involved the sale of kit designed to work with its DS handheld console.
It said it hoped the case would discourage other illegal vendors.
Nintendo says police in the central Aichi region made the arrest.
The case involves the sale of Majikon – adapters which accept memory cards containing software.
When plugged into a console’s cartridge slot the machine activates a special interface which then allows the user to select which program to run off a SD memory card.

Although Japan outlawed the devices years ago, those found selling them did not face criminal sanctions until the end of last year. As a result trade in the kit continued.
Japan is not the only country to target the equipment.
The UK’s High Court banned the adapters in 2010. They were being sold in the UK as R4 cartridges.
Nintendo says there have been similar rulings in South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.


ERIK’S SHOWNOTES

Oracle boss Larry Ellison has said that he is out to dethrone IBM in the realm of business network hardware, including high-end computer servers.

 

“Our biggest competitor is IBM,” Ellison said during an on-stage chat with Kara Swisher at the prestigious All Things Digital conference hosted by the Rupert Murdoch-owned technology news website.

 

PHOTOS: Larry Ellison’s billionaire lifestyle

“IBM was number one in databases. Now we are number one,” he said.

 

“And they were number one in middleware (programs that help different elements of a computer system communicate), now it’s us; they were number one in high-end servers, and we will be number one in the high-end servers.”

 

Oracle’s high-end offerings, such as Exadata and Exalogic, are well placed to “beat” IBM pSeries systems, according to Ellison.

 

However, he said that California-based Oracle was not a competitor to IBM in services, which has been a priority for the century-old New York-based technology pioneer.

 

The servers are a relatively new business for Oracle, which was founded in 1977 and specializes in business software and databases.

 

Ellison has been head of engineering at the company since it was founded. Oracle got into the hardware business when it bought server-maker Sun Microsystems in 2010.

 

According to figures released Wednesday by IDC, Oracle is currently ranked fourth in worldwide server market revenue, with its share declining to 6.1%, behind Hewlett-Packard (29.3%), IBM ( 27.3%) and Dell (15.6%).

 

But Ellison said tracking market share was misleading, since Oracle was sacrificing sales of entry-level systems to focus on more profitable high-end gear with fat profit margins.

 

“Our margins are probably higher in the server industry,” Ellison said.

 

He explained that Oracle was emulating the model set by Apple in the consumer electronics market by providing fully integrated systems designed to be simple for users.

 

“We found that data centers were unnecessarily complex”, Ellison said.

 

That led to the decision to bring together hard disks, data storage, networks, and rich databases, because “if we do all we can do it is much more reliable, much lower cost.”

“This is the Apple model,” he said, before paying tribute to the iPad, iPhone, iPod and Macintosh computer maker’s legendary co-founder and boss Steve Jobs, who died last year.

 

Mr. Ellison also announced that on June 6 all Oracle software will be accessible online in the Internet “cloud” and that he will mark the occasion with his first “tweet” on the micro-blogging website Twitter.

 

All Oracle applications have been “rewritten” to be offered online, which he said had given the company a wide edge over its biggest competitor in software, Germany-based SAP.

Ellison is the sixth wealthiest person in the world.

Kogan’s new 10-inch Android 4.0 tablet from just $179

 

Kogan has once again turned up the heat on its competitors with an irresistible tablet offer – the latest Android 4.0 10-inch Agora device is just $179.

 

The device has a 10-inch touchscreen, 8GB of internal memory, built-in wi-fi connectivity, HDMI output and a microSD slot.

 

There’s even a USB port to allow files to be transferred from a PC and to charge the device.

 

And the 16GB version of the Kogan Android 4.0 10-inch tablet is priced at just $199.

 

Under the hood is a 1.2Ghz Cortex A8 processor and 1GB of RAM while on the rear panel is a 2 megapixel camera as well as a front camera.

 

processor and 1GB of RAM while on the rear panel is a 2 megapixel camera as well as a front camera.

The 10-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1024 x 768 and the device is running the latest Android 4.0 operating system which is also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

 

Battery life is listed as eight hours on a single charge which is plenty of time on the go to browse the web, view pictures and videos, check emails and download and use apps.

 

The 10-inch Kogan Agora tablet is priced at $179 (8GB) and $199 (16GB) and can be pre-ordered from [LINK=http://www.kogan.com]www.kogan.com [/LINK]with a delivery date of

June 25.

http://techguide.com.au/reviews/computers/1130-kogans-new-10-inch-android-40-tablet-from-just-179

Battered BlackBerry maker weighs options     

BLACKBERRY-maker Research in Motion has hired a team of bankers to help it weigh its options as its business erodes in the face of an exodus to the iPhone and Android smartphones.

RIM issued a dire warning about its business Tuesday, saying it is losing money for the second-consecutive quarter and will lay off a “significant” number of employees.

The company based in Waterloo, Ontario said it has hired J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to help it evaluate its options. Those including partnering with other companies, licensing software and overhauling its business, it said.

 

RIM made no mention of selling of the company. But new Chief Executive Thorsten Heins did not rule that out after RIM’s last earnings report in late March.

 

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Financial, said the company is in a downward slide that’s not slowing. He said he doesn’t see any buyers for RIM coming forward soon.

 

“Unfortunately, it falls into the too little, too late category,” Gillis said. “It doesn’t mean somebody won’t try it. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be a savior for the company either.”

 

The statement from RIM did not detail the coming layoffs, other than to say the company expects “significant spending reductions and headcount reductions in some areas throughout the remainder of the year.”

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said he expects RIM to announce as many as 5,000 layoffs soon. The company has about 16,500 employees now after cutting 2,000 jobs in July.

 

RIM said the company looks to save $1 billion – even as it transitions to its much-delayed “BlackBerry 10” software platform expected out later this year.

 

RIM’s stock fell 7 percent, or 80 cents, to $10.43 in extended trading following the release of the company’s statement. Before Tuesday’s announcement, the stock had lost almost 75 percent in the last year.

 

The company that pioneered the smartphone market with its BlackBerry phones is facing the most difficult period in its history. RIM’s U.S. share of smartphones dropped from 44 percent in 2009 to 10 percent in 2011, according to market researcher NPD Group.

 

It still has 78 million active subscribers across the globe, but Apple Inc.’s iPhone and smartphones from companies including Samsung and HTC that use Google Inc.’s Android software are gobbling up market share.

 

“The on-going competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace,” Heins said in Tuesday’s statement. He said the company will likely post an operating loss when it reports its fiscal first quarter results on June 28.

 

Heins, formerly a little known chief operating officer at RIM, took over in January after RIM founder Mike Lazaridis and longtime executive Jim Balsillie stepped down as co-CEOs after the company lost tens of billions in market value.

 

RIM has tried to make phones with touchscreens that resemble the iPhone, but those offerings have largely flopped. And so has RIM’s tablet, the PlayBook, which uses the very software that will be in the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

 

The company is following the same trajectory as struggling Finnish handset maker Nokia and California-based Palm, both of which attracted consumers with trend-setting phones and technologies in their heyday, only to be outmaneuvered by competitors. In Canada, there is fear that the nation’s biggest technology company could go the way of former Canadian tech giant Nortel, which declared bankruptcy in 2009 and was picked over for its patents.

 

RIM was “the leader and this is what happens in the technology cycle of creation and destruction,” Gillis said. “They rode the first wave of the smartphone revolution and Apple is riding the next one.”

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/business/battered-blackberry-maker-weighs-options/story-e6frfm1i-1226374787326#ixzz1wKg0WKMm

9to5Mac sent photographs believed to be the back casing of the new iPhone

 

 

Photos believed to be the back section of the new iPhone show the new device will be, you guessed it, taller but would also come in different colours, 9to5Mac reports.

The Apple-centric blog said the pictures were forwarded on to them by Chinese parts supplier iFixyouri – the “reliable source” that revealed the iPad would come in white back in November.

Many changes are believed to be on the way, including a larger 3.9inch frame and an aluminium back instead of a glass.

“We are told the extra space on the bottom is used by Apple to enhance the speakers that will be louder and of a higher quality than the current iPhone,” 9to5Mac said.

“Interestingly, the supplier also told iFixyouri that black and white would not be the only two colors this year. There were at least two other colors seen for the back plate that obviously might not make it into production if these parts are indeed real.”

The supplier also said the front-facing camera has moved above the ear piece and will now appear on the front of the phone. On the backside, there is a new hole in between spaces for the camera lens and the flash.

The headphone jack also appears on the bottom of the frame, as compared to the top.

Read more:http://www.news.com.au/technology/to5mac-sent-photos-believed-to-be-the-back-of-the-new-iphone/story-e6frfro0-1226374049695#ixzz1wKgWN6CC

Google and Samsung unveil new Chromebooks

This post was originally published on Mashable.

Samsung has unveiled two new Chrome OS devices, computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system. One, like its predecessors, is a laptop design — a.k.a. “Chromebook” — while the other is a “Chromebox”, which is meant to be paired with a monitor.

Google says the new Series 5 Chromebook run up to three times faster than the first generation of Chromebooks that Google released last year. The new devices support hardware-accelerated graphics, and the Series 5 has a “built-from-scratch” touchpad that’s said to have a much faster response time.

Chromebooks are meant to be simple, yet nimble machines focused on everyday productivity tasks like web browsing and email, with a price to match. In keeping with that philosophy, both the new laptop and Chromebox are powered by Intel’s entry-level Celeron processors, with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage. Google says it boots up in seven seconds and resumes “instantly”.

The Chrome OS emphasises constant connectivity, but Google is making the Chromebooks more usable when a connection is unavailable. Google Drive is integrated with the Chromebooks’ file system, and Google says it’s going to roll out offline support for the service over the next few weeks. It also says many of the apps in the Chrome Web Store are offline-capable as well.

There’s also a revamped media player and photo editor. And Chrome Remote Desktop (in beta) lets you use your Chromebook to securely connect to your Mac or PC, simulating the desktop experience in Chrome OS.

The new Series 5 Chromebook comes in wi-fi+3G and WiFi-only versions (as a non-mobile device, the Chromebox is wi-fi-only). The new Chromebook’s screen is 12.1 inches, and the Chromebox can connect to up to two 30-inch external displays. Two USB ports are on the Chromebook, while the Chromebox boasts six.

The wi-fi-only Series 5 Chromebook costs $US450, while the wi-fi+3G version is $US550. The Chromebox is $US330.

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/google-and-samsung-unveil-new-chromebooks-20120530-1zi0v.html#ixzz1wKgoVrZX

Facebook looks to build a smartphone  

FACEBOOK looks set to make its third attempt at manufacturing its very own smartphone.

The social network, which faces the perils of being a publicly listed company after its initial public offering (IPO), seems keen to show it has a sure-footed business model and its unhappiness with simply having its Facebook app on other companies’ smart phones.

 

So it has gone out and hired more than half a dozen former Apple engineers who worked on Apple mobile devices, according to The New York Times.

 

The Times reports that people briefed on Facebook’s plans say it plans to release its smartphone by next year.

 

It seems more than coincidence that Facebook is talking about manufacturing a phone just days after rival Google announced it had finalised its deal to buy smartphone maker Motorola Mobility.

 

Many commentators believe the Google acquisition is primarily about Google gaining a stack of patents, but should Google produce smart phones of its own, it’s likely Google+ will be a big part of it.

 

Of course, it is not the first time Facebook has attempted to build a smartphone.

 

In November last year The Australian reported that Facebook had joined with Taiwan’s HTC to build a customized smartphone powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system.

 

The project, code named “Buffy,” was aimed at “deeply” integrating Facebook in a mobile device.

 

Tim Cook continues Apple’s secretive strategy on new products

Benny Evangelista

 

Under Steve Jobs, Apple was notoriously famous for being secretive about new products, but new chief executive officer Tim Cook says the company will “double down” on that secrecy.

In his second public interview since taking over for Jobs, Cook offered some tantalising glimpses into what Apple was working on, including a better Apple TV product, a more responsive Siri voice recognition program for the iPhone and better integration with Facebook.

He also said he could see the day when Apple products were manufactured in the United States instead of just in China.

 

But Cook cooly and deftly dodged questions that would reveal specifics about what the Cupertino company might introduce in the near future.

 

“I feel strongly that being secretive on the product side of our business is so important,” Cook said before an audience of business executives and media at the D: All Things Digital conference.

 

Of course, being secretive and fueling intense speculation before a major product release has always been a major part of the Apple strategy, helping to build the company into a consumer electronics powerhouse.

 

But he gave enough hints about Apple’s plans to add fuel to the speculation.

 

One was about Siri, the voice activated feature that became a major selling point for the iPhone 4s introduced this year. Siri itself was introduced at a previous All Things D conference before Apple purchased that company.

 

Tech journalist Walt Mossberg pressed Cook to talk about what Apple was doing to shore up the technology’s shortcomings.

 

“I think you’re going to be really pleased with where we’re taking Siri,” Cook said. “We’ve got some cool ideas about what Siri can do. Siri proved to us that people want to relate to the telephone in a different way.”

 

Mossberg also asked whether Apple was working on setting aside differences with Facebook to integrate the social networking service into Apple products the way Twitter is.

 

“I think we can do more with them, so just stay tuned on this one,” Cook said.

 

Apple has been criticised for poor working conditions in a Chinese plant that makes iPads and iPhones. Cook noted that the company is now doing monthly audits of those working conditions instead of annual audits.

 

But when asked if there was a chance Apple would ever make products in the mainland United States, Cook said, “I want there to be.”

 

He continued, “I think there are things that can be done in the US, not just for the US market, but things that can be exported for the world.”

 

Apple has been rumored to be working on a reimagined Apple television product. Cook noted the company has sold 2.7 million Apple TV internet receivers this year, nearly equaling the total number it sold previously. But he said the company was still working on it.

 

“This is an area of intense interest to us,” he said.

 

It was only the second public question-and-answer session for Cook since taking over Apple last August when legendary co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down. Jobs died six weeks later.

 

Fears about whether Apple would stumble without Jobs have so far been unfounded. The company generated $31 billion in cash in 2011 and continues to see strong sales of its iPhones and iPads.

 

The conference, sponsored by the Wall Street Journal’s tech Web site AllThingsD.com, continues through Thursday with a long list of luminary speakers, including Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Zynga Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus, LinkedIn executives Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner, former Facebook President Sean Parker, Pixar President Ed Catmull and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/tim-cook-continues-apples-secretive-strategy-on-new-products-20120530-1zj8h.html#ixzz1wQUCyHNO

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