Episode 327 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Telstra posts $1.6bn half-year profit

Revenue from cloud services grew by 25 percent during the half,

“We now have 16,000 cloud customers and we’ve had over 3000 join us in the last six months,” Thodey told shareholders today

They have now sold 1.5 million 4G devices and we are on track to expand 4G coverage to 66 percent of the Australian population by June 2013

Mobile revenue grew by 4.6 percent to $4.5 billion, with more than 600,000 new domestic customers acquired during the half. Telstra now has 14.4 million mobile customers across Australia

complaints about it to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman declining by 10 percent during the year.

there were now 150,000 live customer service chats taking place each month, and two million visitors to its crowd support site.


NBN Co offers 25/5 Mbps on fixed wireless

NBN Co will make a 25/5 Mbps service available on its fixed wireless network as early as June also be offered on long-term satellite services when they launch in 2015.

NBN Co said in a statement. The wholesale prices for internet service providers who supply rural broadband users will be pegged at the same rate as they are for fibre users in the cities: $27 per month for the 25/5Mbps service and $24 for the 12/1Mbps service

NBN’s fixed wireless network, which uses advanced technology commonly referred to as LTE or 4G, is engineered to deliver services to a fixed number of premises within each coverage area.
This means that the bandwidth per household is designed to be more consistent than mobile wireless, even in peak times of use.

Unlike a mobile wireless service where speeds can be affected by the number of people moving into and out of the area, the speed available in a fixed wireless network is designed to remain relatively steady.


Surface Pro gets tough early reviews

US tech writers have given Microsoft’s Surface Pro largely negative reviews,

The “Surface with Windows 8 Pro”, as it is officially called, is available from Saturday in the US, but Microsoft has cut Australia out of the first round of shipments.

The Surface Pro runs on an Intel chip and features the full Windows 8 Pro operating system,

Whilst it was noted by Walt Mossberg – US Tech Writer, that is ran all the software he put on it, he and others had concerns about battery (lasting less than 4 hours) and useable memory on the 64 GB version.

Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet  It’s not as good of a tablet, in terms of weight/battery life, as the Surface RT is. But it’s also not as good of a Windows 8 PC as other OEM-produced devices, coming in at lower price points with better battery life and other specs.”

But it is version 1 after all – and who buys version 1’s


Google beats ACCC in High Court

Victory after a six-year legal battle against the ACCC over alleged misleading advertising.

The ACCC’s allegations pertained to Google’s sponsored links between 2005 and 2008, which were created by, or at the direction of, advertisers, and displayed on the same page as organic search results.

By publishing or displaying those search results, Google was said to have contravened s 52 of Australia’s Trade Practices Act, which provided that a corporation should not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

“Ordinary and reasonable users of the Google search engine would have understood that the representations conveyed by the sponsored links were those of the advertisers, and would not have concluded that Google adopted or endorsed the representations,” the High Court’s judgement summary read.

The high court findings were unanimous


 

Done deal: Dell going private

Dell has reached an agreement with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and other financing companies to go private through a leveraged buyout at $US13.65 per share, or $A23.4 billion, according to the company.

going private will allow Dell to focus more on technology and building enterprise solutions without having to worry about satisfying Wall Street’s insatiable thirst for quarterly profits,

Michael Dell will continue to lead the company after the leveraged buyout, which includes cash from Silver Lake, MSD Capital, a $US2 billion loan from Microsoft and additional financing from BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets. Michael Dell also will contribute his own shares to the new company, believed to be about 16 percent of the total shares, as well as make “a substantial additional cash investment

As a private company they would no longer need to be hyper-focused on quarterly earnings, enabling them to take the long-term focus necessary to continue to retool as an enterprise-focused provider.


Apple’s iTunes hits 25 billion songs sold

The 25 billionth song bought from the online shop was a Monkey Drums remix by Chase Buch.
Apple said that it was bought by a German man who will be getting a 10,000 euro ($13,000) iTunes gift card to celebrate the occasion.

An average of 15,000 songs are downloaded every minute at iTunes

The iTunes Store was opened in 2003


Telstra says 1.5 million 4G phones and tablets sold since launch

Nielsen research conducted for Telstra showing one in five smartphone owners plan to buy a 4G phone in the next year.

The research shows 4G smartphone owners spend

an average of seven hours a week surfing the web on their phones, which is about an hour more than people using 3G phones.

About half of people who own a 4G phone say they are more likely to Google something on their phone than they would be to search for it on their computer.

Half of 4G smartphone users say their phone is their primary way of using social network and nearly one third say they use their 4G phone more than their computer for online banking.


DrupalCon Sydney: Looking beyond content management

Drupal 8 will continue the open source project’s move beyond being purely a content management platform, Drupal’s creator, Dries Buytaert, told the inaugural DrupalCon Sydney, held in Coogee.

Drupal currently runs 2 per cent of the world’s websites, Buytaert said, but there’s no reason the community shouldn’t aim for it to run 10 per cent of them.

The next version of Drupal, Drupal 8, is due to enter feature freeze on 18 February, followed by a code freeze on July 1. Drupal 8 will be released at the end of the year or “whenever it’s ready”, Buytaert said. So far more than 4700 patches have been submitted for Drupal 8, by more than 1000 contributors, he said.


 

Global domain name disputes rise 4.3 per cent: report

Some of the big brands that filed cases with World Intellectual Property Organization  in 2012 included Apple, Dyson, IKEA, IBM, Intel, LEGO, McDonalds, Pfizer and Royal Bank of Scotland.

.com was the domain most recovered from cyber squatters – who register and typically profit from a domain owned by someone else


Mathematician: Finding 17M-digit prime number like climbing Everest

The prime number, which is more than 17 million digits long, won’t make computers run faster or help scientists develop better rockets. However, searching for the number was an exhilarating journey for Curtis Cooper, a mathematician at the University of Central Missouri.

If this prime number — 257,885,161 minus 1 – was typed out in a standard Times Roman 12-point font, it would span more than 30 miles. It also would fill more than six Bibles.

A prime number is a whole number that can be divided only by one and itself.

Mersenne primes are extremely rare. With this discovery, only 48 are known. Each Mersenne prime is increasingly difficult to find.

Mersenne Primes are 2 raised to the x power, minus 1. For instance, the number 3 is a Mersenne prime number because it can be written as 2 squared, minus one. Number 7 is also a Mersenne prime number because it’s 2 cubed, minus one.
To find this new Mersenne prime, Cooper used 1,000 computers on his university campus in Warrensburg, Mo. Each computer checked individual numbers. Dual-core machines could check two numbers at once.
The computer that discovered this 17 million-digit prime is a Dell desktop running an Intel dual-core processor.

 

SHAYNE’S STORIES

Gerry Harvey ‘would get rid of all computers’
http://www.news.com.au/technology/gerry-harvey-would-get-rid-of-all-computers/story-e6frfro0-1226571798266
The CEO of Harvey Norman says that if he could get rid of all computers, he would.
“I think one of the great tragedies with youth is that they spend so much time playing games and crap on computers and they’re not outside,”he told Ten Late News.
“You’re not healthy and it’s a big problem in our society.
“If I could get rid of computers, all leisure computers for all of Australia I probably would. They can have them at school, but leisure time — no.
“We’re talking about kids playing games mostly online and wasting their life away basically playing games online because they’re not getting any physical activity and their minds are screwed up on these games.”
However, in almost the same breath Gerry Harvey also predicted that one day Harvey Norman would be the biggest online retailer in Australia, “but it’s not going to happen overnight,” he said, which would be fine if he hadn’t repeatedly said that the internet was a fad which had failed.
“Look, I’ll go down in history as saying the internet doesn’t work and it will,” he told Ten Late News last night.
“I don’t know where that comes from. That will be on my epitaph I presume.”
So one day Harvey Norman will be the biggest retailer on a platform he believes to be a failure.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you, Gerry

Record-set​ting Asteroid Flyby in February
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/28jan_2012da/
On Feb. 15th an asteroid about half the size of a football field will fly past Earth only 17,200 miles above our planet’s surface. There’s no danger of a collision, but the space rock, designated 2012 DA14, has NASA’s attention.
“This is a record-setting close approach,” says Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program at JPL. “Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we’ve never seen an object this big get so close to Earth.”
“2012 DA14 will definitely not hit Earth,” emphasizes Yeomans. “The orbit of the asteroid is known well enough to rule out an impact.”
A schematic diagram of the Feb 15th flyby.More
Even so, it will come interestingly close. NASA radars will be monitoring the space rock as it approaches Earth closer than many man-made satellites. Yeomans says the asteroid will thread the gap between low-Earth orbit, where the ISS and many Earth observation satellites are located, and the higher belt of geosynchronous satellites, which provide weather data and telecommunications.
“The odds of an impact with a satellite are extremely remote,” he says. Almost nothing orbits where DA14 will pass the Earth.

President can order preemptive cyberattacks if needed

http://m.computerworld.com/s/article/9236535/President_can_order_preemptive_cyberattacks_if_needed?mm_ref=http://www.mahaweb.com/iphone_aus.php?newsone=207&premium=0&version=300&user=iphone&iphone_id=09f3eba72a0b1f18ae66598d972fbdaa63ff6f1e&page=custom
A secret review of American policies governing the use of cyberweapons has concluded that President Barack Obama has the broad power to order pre-emptive strikes on any country preparing to launch a major digital attack against the U.S.
The review is part of an ongoing effort by the Administration to develop new ground rules for U.S. engagement in cyberspace. Over the next few weeks the administration will work on approving rules for how the military can defend or retaliate against cyberattacks launched by unfriendly nation states, according to a report inThe New York Times.
The rules will also spell out how far U.S. intelligence agencies can go in looking for and mitigating imminent threats against U.S. assets in cyberspace, The Times reported, quoting unnamed sources. It would spell out situations where the military, with presidential approval, would be allowed to go out and preemptively inject destructive code on an adversary’s networks, the report noted.
The order would also provide for exceptions where the military would be permitted to carry out preemptive cyberattacks of a tactical nature where executive approval would not be necessary
The highly classified rules have been under development for nearly two years and are apparently a response to growing concerns about crippling attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure targets by enemy states…

Bad Kaspersky antivirus update prevents business and home users from accessing websites

http://m.computerworld.com/s/article/9236525/Bad_Kaspersky_antivirus_update_prevents_business_and_home_users_from_accessing_websites?mm_ref=http://www.mahaweb.com/iphone_aus.php?newsone=207&premium=0&version=300&user=iphone&iphone_id=09f3eba72a0b1f18ae66598d972fbdaa63ff6f1e&page=custom
A faulty antivirus update issued by Kaspersky Lab on Monday left many of its home and business customers unable to access any websites on their computers.
Systems administrators using Kaspersky Endpoint Security (KES) on their corporate networksstarted reporting the problem on Kaspersky’s support forum on Monday afternoon, Eastern Time. The reports kept piling up until late in the evening.
“I have ~12,000 machines running KES8 and my help desk started getting calls about an hour ago saying users were having problems accessing various web sites,” one user named bradb21 reported.
Other users confirmed the problem and attempted to troubleshoot it themselves. Some reported success after disabling the Web protection component or turning off the product’s monitoring for port 80, 443 and other Web proxy ports.
Users later posted responses they had received from the company’s technical support representatives. This included a recommendation to temporarily disable the Web antivirus component on the affected computers via the management console, force them to perform a new definition update and re-enable the Web antivirus.
Most users reported that the problem manifested itself only on Windows XP systems. However, the faulty update didn’t just affect business antivirus products, but consumer ones as well.
“The issue was caused by a database update released on 4/2/2013 at 8:52:00 PM MSK [Moscow Standard Time] that resulted in the Web Anti-Virus component in some products blocking Internet access,” a Kaspersky representative said Tuesday via email. “The problem only affected x86 systems with the following products installed: Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Workstations 6.04 MP4; Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Windows; Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 for Windows; Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and 2013; and Kaspersky Pure 2.0.”
The problem was fixed with a database update released on Jan. 5 at 2:31 a.m. Moscow Standard Time (Jan. 4 at 5:31 p.m. ET), according to the Kaspersky representative.

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