Computer games will be classified under six categories: •
RC (refused classification)
Games will receive an RC rating if they contain illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards; detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime or violence; or the promotion or provision of instruction in paedophile activity, amongst other criteria.
A total of 58,437 submissions were received for the discussion paper, with98 per cent of submissions supporting the classification.
It has been confirmed that Windows Phone 8 will support NFC technology which allows for two-way communication between a mobile device and an NFC terminal at a cash register or pay station.
A Micro SD card will be available so users have expanded memory on their Windows Phone 8 to allow them to store more content.
Microsoft has improved multitasking of calls for the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.
“Multitasking support is going to enable VoIP call waiting. if the user receives a voice over IP (VoIP) call on Skype, they can choose to put it on hold and answer a phone call. If the user decides to use another application, the VoIP call will continue to run in the background.
is offering full encryption and support for enterprise customers who deploy Windows 8 phones.
In addition, organisations will be able to control the deployment of apps onto Windows Phone devices that are used by employees.
Apple traditionally cuts off access to its online store in advance of big announcements, then refreshes it with the new products highlighted a few hours later.
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outage impacted not only users of GoDaddy’s own Web hosting and email services, but also many Web sites with domain names registered through GoDaddy but hosted elsewhere, due to the fact that such websites were primarily located by consulting GoDaddy’s Domain Name System (DNS) servers.
GoDaddy maintains records for over 53 million domain names, according to the company.
Twitter user @AnonymousOwn3r, who claimed to be the “security leader of anonymous,” took responsibility for the outage in a video posted on YouTube. @AnonymousOwn3r later stated that the outage was his or her own doing and not part of the Anonymous collective.
According to GoDaddy, a series of unspecified “internal network events” took place that corrupted the company’s router data tables. Network routers keep tables listing host addresses as well as all the intermediate hops that data packets must take to reach their destinations. Without this information on Internet routers, websites, email hosts and other domain-name-based Internet services may be unreachable.
GoDaddy’s outage took place shortly after 10 a.m. PDT Monday and service was fully restored by 4 p.m. PDT, according to the company. The company did not specify how the tables were corrupted but did state it took additional measures “to prevent this from occurring again,” Wagner said. The company temporarily had competing registrar VeriSign to handle its DNS services during the outage.
Google touted several new features in the YouTube app, including a new channel guide and several sharing options ranging from Facebook and Google+ to Twitter. The company also claimed that its own app’s search tool found videos faster than the Apple-coded versions and that iOS users would have access to more video content, including “official music videos.” Google did not mention, however, that it was able to offer music videos because its own app displays advertisements.
Apple’s YouTube app did not show ads.
The YouTube app will not be removed from iOS 5. Current iPhone and iPad owners who choose not to upgrade to iOS 6, or who cannot do so because of hardware requirements, will be able to continue watching the videos through Apple’s app. They can also download Google’s and have both on their devices.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is continuing to try to stem the public backlash against data retention, offering a YouTube clip for not-for-profit organisation GetUp! to broadcast.
GetUp! claims that companies will be required by law to store every message you send, every website you visit, every conversation you have, or product you buy for two years. This is simply not true,” Roxon said in the clip.
“GetUp! claims that companies will be required by law to store every message you send, every website you visit, every conversation you have, or product you buy for two years.
This is simply not true.”
Apple’s new adapter to connect older iPhone accessories to the iPhone 5 will not come bundled with the new smartphone as expected, but at a price.
Australian buyers will be forced to hand over $35 to be able to use any existing iPhone accessories with their new iPhone 5.
Apple’s Australian website, the adaptors won’t arrive locally until October
The company will also launch a USB cable adaptor to connect the iPhone 5 to a personal computer. It will retail for $25.
if you have an iPhone dock that’s perfectly sized for the current generation iPhone, using that inch tall adapter simply isn’t going to work. So Apple’s also graced us with a more flexible option—literally—with a cable version of the adapter that’s $10 more
|Size & Weight||
The 3GS has lost its spot in the company’s line-up of iPhone products after this morning’s launch of the sixth-generation iPhone. The new line-up now includes the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
The iPhone 3GS was previously available in the US for free on a two-year contract – a position the iPhone 4 has now taken over, pushing the 3GS out of the line-up as a result.
Hands on: iPhone 5
San Francisco: The iPhone 5 is lighter, thinner, faster and taller than its predecessor.
Made using glass and aluminium, it feels great in the hand andas solid as Motorola’s new smartphones unveiled last week in New York, which have a Kevlar back.
Flyover mode with 3D turned on is simply amazing. You can visit sights such as … the Opera House in Sydney and see them in 3D … It’s as if you were there but even better.
The new iPhone also feels much sturdier thanSamsung’s Galaxy S III, which I’ve always thought should have been made using a tougher material than the current plastic.
Sporting a larger 4-inch display, the iPhone 5 can connect to 4G LTE networks in Australia, meaning users can browse the web on Telstra’s, Virgin Mobile’s and Optus’s 4G networks much more quickly than they can on 3G networks – up to five times faster in 4G coverage areas.
Vodafone announced a 3G+ network upgrade today but they won’t begin rolling out 4G until early next year. They said they would still carry the new iPhone, which will begin shipping next Friday.
The 4-inch display is a shift away from the 3.5-inch screen iPhone users have got used to as other handset makers have moved to larger screens. Now, finally, Apple users too can make use of a larger screen, which is great for watching widescreen movies on the go.
Surprisingly, though, the screen is not wider than its predecessor; it is only taller. The decision to keep the screen width the same as that of the iPhone 4S was so that users could operate the new phone more easily with one hand, Apple said.
Weighing in at 112 grams, the iPhone 5 is noticeably lighter (by 28 grams) and faster than the iPhone 4S. I was surprised Apple was able to make it so light – maybe Apple took in criticism from the iPhone 4S launch about the 4S being three grams heavier than the iPhone 4 too seriously?
Besides being 8.6 millimetres taller than the 4S, which allows for a 1136 x 640 resolution display, it’s also 18 per cent thinner, with a thickness of just 7.6 millimetres.
It also features a smaller connector for use when syncing it with a computer, docking it or charging it. Named the “Lightning” port, the connector is 80 per cent smaller than the 30-pin connector now used in iPads, iPhones and the iPod Touch.
To ease the transition to the new Lightning port, Apple isselling a $35 adaptor which iPhone 5 users can make use of when in a car, for example, that only supports the 30-pin connector.
The move to the smaller connector is likely to anger users who use iPhone alarm clock docks that have the 30-pin connector. They will most likely need to upgrade their docks unless they want an adaptor holding up their iPhone (which might not work well).
The iPhone 5 also features a smaller nano-SIM card slot, which will require a new SIM card to be issued by a user’s telco if they already have an iPhone with a standard or micro SIM. Using the smaller SIM meant engineers could save valuable space in the phone.
In the 30 minutes of hands-on time I had with the new smartphone this morning, the two apps built for its iOS 6 operating system that stood out for me (which other Apple devices will get too, next Wednesday) were its Maps and Passbook apps.
The Maps app replaces the Google Maps app on the iPhone and it appears Apple has put in a lot of effort to make it work seamlessly. Unfortunately for Australiansspoken turn-by-turn directions will not be available at launch but traffic congestion will be and so will the neat “Flyover” feature, which lets you “fly over” a city as if you were in a plane above it. My favourite feature of Flyover is the 3D mode. Both Sydney and Melbourne have this feature enabled (not Brisbane) and it allows you to see buildings from every angle.
Sydney’s CBD in 3D “Flyover” mode as seen in Apple’s new Maps app. Photo: Ben Grubb
Flyover mode with 3D turned on is simply amazing. You can visit sights such as Big Ben in London and the Opera House in Sydney and see them in 3D and use finger gestures to move around major city landmarks. It’s as if you were there but even better.
Passbook is also nifty. It’s essentially a coupon book and even acts like one, allowing you to “shred” coupons that have been used. It can also be used for things such as flight boarding passes. Some Australian companieshave already revealed they will be using the app.
The deep Facebook and Twitter integration in iOS 6 is also great. When you take a photo, for example, you can instantly and easily share it on these social networks. The voice assistant Siri will now also be more useful in Australia on the new iPhone, with it being able to find nearby points of interest like restaurants.
Overall, the new iPhone has some great new features that will appeal to the masses. Existing Android users will probably prefer the Samsung Galaxy S III but the iPhone is the smartphone I would continue to recommend to friends and family simply for its ease of use
US woman loses $222,000 music downloading appeal
A Minnesota woman accused of sharing songs online owes record companies $US222,000 for willful copyright violations, a US federal appeals court has said, reversing a lower court’s ruling in a long-running lawsuit over music downloading.
A three-judge appeals panel ruled that Chief US District Judge Michael Davis erred when he cut the award against Jammie Thomas-Rasset to $US54,000.
The woman’s case was one of only two lawsuits to go to trial out of more than 30,000 filed by the recording industry in a drive to stop the unauthorised free downloading of copyrighted music, which the industry says has cut deeply into its revenues. The vast majority settled for about $US3,500 apiece.
The US Supreme Court in May refused to hear an appeal by former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum of a $US675,000 award in the other case, but he has vowed to keep fighting.
Juries ruled against Thomas-Rasset in three separate trials since the industry sued her in 2006. Davis said the last award, of $US1.5 million, was “severe and oppressive.”
But the appeals court found the high award was not unreasonable. It sent the case back to Davis for an order that she pay $US222,000 – the award from her original trial – and for an injunction barring her from making the plaintiffs’ recordings available to the public via online media distribution systems in the future.
“We are pleased with the appellate court’s decision and look forward to putting this case behind us,” the Recording Industry Association of America said in a statement.
But Thomas-Rasset said she plans to appeal again as long as her attorneys remain with her for the long haul, and they’ve assured her they are. She has said she can’t afford to pay anyway.
Her attorney, Kiwi Camara, confirmed they’ll ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, saying the $US222,000 award is punitive.
The industry has previously offered to settle for $US25,000 and donate the money to a musician’s charity. Camara said they wouldn’t accept such an offer even if were made again.
The industry presented evidence that Thomas-Rasset made available over 1,700 songs to other computer uses via the file sharing service Kazaa, though the lawsuit targeted only 24 songs.
For tactical reasons, the appeals court noted, the industry didn’t seek reinstatement of the third jury’s award and was content with the original $US222,000 – $US2,250 per song – from her 2007 trial.
Thomas-Rasset got a second trial in 2009 after Davis concluded he made a legal error in her first. After Davis cut the second jury’s $US1.92 million award to $US54,000, the industry won a third trial that resulted in a $US1.5 million award, which Davis again cut to $US54,000.
NBN Co promises new regulatory framework in weeks
Formally withdraws first document.
NBN Co has said it will submit a revised regulatory framework to the competition watchdog “in a matter of weeks”, again missing deadlines it set for submission of the key documents.
The company this week formally withdrew its initial special access undertaking, which was submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in December last year.
The SAU was heavily criticised by the ACCC and retail service providers alike for a relatively one-sided view of the company’s regulation.
The ACCC was required to make a decision on the initial undertaking by June 5, but had requested an extension on the deadline until September 17.
The withdrawal of the original undertaking is a formality after NBN Co announced in June that it wouldsubmit a revised undertaking aimed at scaling back much of the 30-year framework initially proposed and offering more powerful dispute resolution powers to both the commission and ISPs.
The new, modular SAU — originally planned for submission in August — would include provisions to sign agreements with customers for two years, rather than five, and keep other provisions under an initial ten-year term with revisions every three-to-five years subsequently.
The wholesaler kept the 30-year term only as a bare framework for product and service descriptions, legal terms, as well as long-term cost recovery on the network, which it had lobbied as necessary for investor confidence in the network.
An NBN Co spokeswoman said the new document would come within a matter of weeks.
“We’ve been working closely with the industry and the Commission to meet their concerns and ensure we get this right for the benefit of NBN Co, our customers and ultimately consumers,” the spokeswoman said.
It is believed the submission of the new document will reset the six-month statutory deadline placed on the ACCC for consideration of the regulatory framework.
Commissioner Ed Willett told iTnews in June that the process would not necessarily start again.
“It will be a new process, including the issue of some sort of consultation document before we go to final [decision],” he said at the time.
However, it is likely to impede on the one-year stop-gap agreements signed between NBN Co and ISPs last year, which are now expected to expire in November.
Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.
Amazon announces new wave of Kindles
Santa Monica, California (CNN) — A new, high-definition Kindle with a lighting system and a bigger Kindle Fire tablet topped the list of gadgets rolled out by Amazon on Thursday at a splashy event in an aircraft hangar.
“We love to invent. We love to pioneer. We even like going down alleys that turn out to be blind alleys,” CEO Jeff Bezos told reporters and other guests. “Every once in a while those blind alleys turn into broad avenues. And that turns out to be lots of fun.”
The Kindle Paperwhite e-reader will feature 62 percent more pixels than the Kindle Touch, Bezos said. It will have a touchscreen and be lit with a fiber-optic lighting system that has been in development for four years, he said.
Bezos predicted users will “leave the light on all the time” and said the device will have eight weeks of battery life, even with its light on.
Amazon on Thursday unveiled an HD model of its Kindle Fire tablet with an 8.9-inch screen.
It’s slightly thinner than the Kindle Touch and, at 7.6 ounces, the same weight.
A new feature called Time to Read will estimate, based on the reader’s speed turning pages, how long it will take to finish the current chapter or the entire book.
The Wi-Fi-only version will cost $119 and 3G versions will be $179. The WiFi-only model is $20 less than Barnes & Noble’s rival Nook Glowlight, priced at $139. Pre-orders began Thursday and the device ships on October 1.
The original style, non-touchscreen Kindle also will remain available, with its price dropping to $69 for the ad-supported version.
Bezos also rolled out new Kindle Fires: a new version of the current tablet, which he says is 40 percent faster and has a longer battery life; and two sizes of a fancier Kindle Fire HD.
The Fire HDs will have either a 7-inch or an 8.9-inch screen. The big one is nearly two inches bigger than the current Fire’s 7-inch display and slightly smaller than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen.
The Fire HD, which will continue to run a modified version of Google’s Android operating system, features dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus and two antennas, which Bezos said will lead to better connections.
It will feature new gaming tools, including an app that lets parents limit the amount of time their kids can spend playing. They’ll have Bluetooth connectivity and an HDMI port.
The 7-inch Fire HD will cost $199 and the 8.9-inch version, with 16GB, will go for $299. The 7-inch ships September 14 and the 8.9-inch on November 20.
The updated Kindle Fire will sell for $159 and ship on September 14.
And as a parting note reminiscent of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ “one more thing,” Bezos announced that they’ll be offering a 32GB version of the 8.9-inch Fire with 4G LTE connectivity.
That price is significantly lower than a 3G iPad with 32GB ($729), but its data plan, at an affordable $49 a year, only includes 250 MB of data per month.
Amazon’s event is just one of many product announcements this month from electronics companies hoping to build hype ahead of the holidays. Nokia and Motorola announced new smartphones on Wednesday, and HTC is planning an event for September 19. The tech companies also are battling to make an impression in the shadow of Apple’s big press conference next Wednesday, which is most likely for the newest iPhone.
Rumors and leaks had been plentiful ahead of the Amazon event, with all signs pointing to an array of new Kindles. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G were recently listed as “Currently Unavailable” on Amazon.com, and last Thursday the Internet retailer claimed the $199 Kindle Fire had sold out, nine months after it went on sale.
Bezos has called the original Kindle Fire Amazon’s most successful product launch and, in a press release last week, said it accounts for 22% of tablet sales in the United States.
The company has not released any sales numbers for the device to support this statistic, but research firm IDC says the company had 4.8% of the global market share in the second quarter this year. Since the Kindle Fire is only sold in the States, that percentage is likely higher in this country.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire debuted a year ago at $199. It was met with lukewarm reviews but was still a hit with consumers looking for an affordable alternative to the $499-and-up iPad. Early complaints focused on many small design issues, such as the lack of external volume buttons, no video output and a poorly placed power button. Performance was also a problem, with sluggish Web browsing and video playback speeds.
Meanwhile, the tablet market is filling up with options from major manufacturers. At the moment, it’s still dominated by Apple, which released a refreshed iPad in March and had a 62% global tablet market share in the second quarter. The company is expected to announce a new, smaller version of the iPad in October.
Other new tablets include Microsoft’s Surface tablet, running the new Windows 8 operating system, which will go on sale October 26. Google released its own 7-inch tablet this summer, the $199 Nexus 7, and is pushing it hard, even giving it a coveted ad spot on the Google.com homepage. They join Samsung’s Galaxy line as well as the Barnes & Noble Nook and BlackBerry PlayBook, both $199.
While all tablets have differences in hardware design, performance and price, a bigger factor may turn out to be access to music, books, movies and television shows.
Amazon has a head start in this department. This week, the company announced a new partnership with Epix, which will bring blockbusters such as “The Avengers” to Amazon Prime, the company’s $79-a-year instant-streaming service.
Australian Tax Office portals struggle following upgrade
Summary: A number of online portals for the ATO have experienced outages since Monday, following an upgrade deployed over the weekend.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has confirmed that its Business Portal, Tax Agent Portal, and BAS Agent Portal have all struggled since Monday, when the ATO deployed enhancements to the portals.
ATO Assistant Commissioner Cameron Sorensentold 2GB this morning that there has been “intermittent problems” on the portals used by tax agents to access client information since Monday.
“We deployed some enhancements to the BAS agent portal, and a new portal access-management tool for tax practitioners on the weekend,” he said. “We’ve experienced issues across all our portals [and] I think it has certainly played a significant role.”
Tax agents have reported issues with connecting to the portals, slow response times, and being disconnected from the portals.
According to Sorensen, the issue should be resolved by this afternoon.
“Indications are that the portals will stabilise this afternoon, and we’re monitoring them to watch their performance and work on some additional things overnight to enhance that stability going forward this week,” he said.
He advised anyone with issues accessing the portals to contact the ATO by phone.
TV Now ruling provides ‘clarity’ for cloud providers: Telstra
Summary: Telstra has defended the court’s decision against Optus’ TV-recording product TV Now, claiming that it provides clarity for cloud providers.
Telstra has fired back at claims from Optus and legal experts that the court ruling against Optus over its TV Now service will affect cloud services, stating that the court’s judgment provides “clarity” for cloud operators.
Optus fought against the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), and Telstra in the case, as the organisations were concerned that the app would put their multimillion-dollar mobile-broadcasting deals in jeopardy. Optus argued that its app, which allowed users to record free-to-air TV broadcasts and save them to Optus’ cloud to view later, was not in breach of the Copyright Act, because it was similar to a digital video recorder. Recording at home to watch later is allowed under an exemption in the Copyright Act.
But the Full Federal Court disagreed, and the High Court said that Optus had little chance of overturning this ruling, because it was a commercial product and Optus played a role in making the recording rather than the recording being the sole act of the customer.
In ablog post yesterday, Telstra lawyer Jane Perrier said that the ruling is positive.
“The decision provides welcome clarity for cloud operators, while at the same time recognises the delicate balance of interests which copyright law seeks to protect,” Perrier said.
Optus and legal experts claimed that the ruling will impact what cloud service providers could offer to customers. Dr Rebecca Giblin, law professor at Monash University,told ZDNet that many cloud services would be targeted by the ruling.
“Many remote backup services can be set to automatically scan for and copy all files of a particular type, like movies or music,” she said. “Under the Full Court’s reasoning, those providers could be ‘making’ copies and, therefore, committing copyright infringement, just through that automatic process.”
But Perrier said that because the ruling focused on the relationship between Optus and the customer, a different sort of technology may ultimately result in a different court ruling.
“It … doesn’t follow from the decision that cloud operators will automatically be found to have copied content that is uploaded to their services; liability will depend on what the cloud operator does, and how the operator does it,” she said.
Perrier said that in making copies of the broadcasts of football matches on TV for a commercial gain, Optus was in breach of the Copyright Act, and should have obtained a licence or permission first.
“[The court] made it clear that private copying, and the kind of commercial copying that the Optus TV Now product was engaged in, are distinguishable,” she said.
Perrier said that the court’s decision will now allow Telstra the “freedom” to grow its cloud business and invest in services such as the AFL live app.
Internet growth driven by flexible governance, not restrictive regulation
12 September 2012
Published inGovernment Tech Policy
Evidence shows that the current free model effectively promotes Internet growth and access in developing countries. A new report argues that any fundamental regulatory overhaul could halt such growth and find users cut off.
Telecoms and media analyst group Analysys Mason has released a report that says recent proposals to regulate the global Internet will harm growth and innovation worldwide. The report assesses the current state of the Internet in under-served and developing regions worldwide, and provides recommendations for governments on developing an Internet ecosystem that imposes minimal restrictions on users.
The report is called “Internet Global Growth: Lessons for the Future” and was written by Michael Kende, co-head of Regulation at Analysys Mason. It examines the impact of proposals that seek to apply the “antiquated settlement system for terminating international voice calls over the legacy telecommunications network to Internet traffic.”
Kende says the proposals addressed in the paper are to the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which are being readied for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) to be held in Dubai this December by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
“The report highlights the Internet as a driver for growth and opportunity, noting its increasingly central role to consumers, businesses and governments alike,” says Kende. “The Internet has successfully evolved based on commercial considerations as opposed to regulatory dictates.
“Content has transformed from largely text-based to multimedia delivery, global demand and usage has exploded, and access has moved toward wireless over wired. Significant investments must continue to occur in response to these patterns, as current projections show that the number of Internet users worldwide will increase from 2.2 billion today to 3.5 billion in 2020”.
The report confirms the continuing increase in Internet deployment using mobile broadband throughout the entire world, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and that such investments are best achieved without internationally sanctioned regulatory intervention.
Multimedia content requires high bandwidth and can be expensive to deliver, but up to 98 percent of Internet traffic now consists of content that can be stored on servers, such as streaming video or web pages. These servers can be located in multiple locations around the world, and then delivered to users faster and at lower cost.
The result is a shift in usage patterns and global Internet traffic flows. For example, 70 percent of international Internet bandwidth originating in Africa went to the USA in 1999, but by 2011 this figure had dropped to less than 5 percent, as bandwidth shifted to Europe. Now, content is increasingly being stored on servers in Africa, where it can be accessed domestically or regionally.
The report offers recommendations for governments in developing countries on cultivating a robust Internet ecosystem without imposing any form of accounting rates on the Internet. Specific suggestions include removing roadblocks to investment while stimulating demand, as well as full liberalisation of the sector while removing barriers to foreign investment and ownership.