Episode 332 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Samsung to launch Apple iWatch rival alongside Galaxy S4?

Samsung is going to launch the Galaxy S4 on Thursday 13/03.  

if the images are genuine the suggestion is that the Samsung smartwatch must be close to being ready for launch

Samsung smartwatch named the Galaxy Altius

Recently we’ve seen smartwatches launched by Sony (not particularly great) and Pebble


HP printer flaw enables remote attacks


  • The telnet debug shell flaw impacts 10 LaserJet Pro printers, according to the HP Software Security Response Team
  • Christoph von Wittich, a security expert based in Germany discovered the flaw “The printers had a telnet port open which I did not expect to be open,” he told CRN. “I tried to connect to the port with a telnet client and I got a debug shell which allows you to disable SSL communication to the HP ePrint Cloud servers and shows the passwords for the HP Cloud server connection in plain text.”
  • As long as the printer is not connected to the Internet, this vulnerability should not cause much trouble for the end user,” he said
  • Impacted printers identified by HP include HP LaserJet Pro models P1102w, P1606dn, M1212nf, M1213nf, M1214nfh, M1216nfh, M1217nfw, M1218nfs, M1219nf and CP1025nw. Users can download the updated firmware by going to the HP support site and clicking on the Drivers & Software page and then searching for the appropriate printer model number.


Android malware surges


  • There were 96 new families and variants of Android threats in the fourth quarter of 2012, doubling the number recorded in the previous quarter, according to the latest Mobile Threat Report
  • “The majority of this malware is distributed as Trojanized apps, in which a legitimate program has been engineered to include a malicious component,
  • This malware generally attempts to profit from the user by silently subscribing them to premium SMS-based services, or by placing calls to premium-rate numbers.”
  • A banking Trojan believed to have stolen millions from victims’ accounts also has surfaced on Android devices. The Carberp Trojan steals online banking credentials or usernames and passwords for other websites.
  • The mobile version, called Citmo.A, monitors incoming SMS and steals the mobile Transaction Authentication Number (mTAN) that banks send to customers to validate an online banking transaction. The cybercriminals behind the malware then use the stolen mTAN to drain victims’ accounts, F-Secure said.

iPhone apps riskier than Android


  • According to a report published by mobile application analyst Appthority, iOS apps pose greater risks and privacy issues to users than Android.
  • The bi-annual “App Reputation Report” analyzed the top 50 free apps on both platforms and examined the differences in behavior that affects user privacy. The study focused on free apps because they commonly collect more user data which is then shared with third-parties, a method used by developers to generate revenue.
  • In nearly all of the categories, iOS apps proved to access the most information. Of the 50 apps examined on each platform, 100 percent sent and received unencrypted data on iOS compared to 92 percent on Android.
  • Sixty percent of apps tracked user location on iOS, compared to 42 percent on Android, and 60 percent of the iOS apps shared user data with third parties, as opposed to 50 percent running on the Android platform.
  • However, the most alarming figure was that 54 percent of iOS apps accessed user contact lists on iOS, as compared to 20 percent on Android

“In a BYOD environment, the corporate address books are an important asset. This could be something to consider if you are gong down this path.

Google Maps launches indoor functions


  • Google Maps has launched 200 indoor maps for Androids in Australia for shopping centres, train stations and airports.
  • Users will now be able to navigate inside buildings such as the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney and Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.
  • Users will be able to upload floorplans, with maps automatically loading when users zoom in on a location.
  • The indoor maps will show users where they are located in a building, down to what floor they are on and directions on how to get to a destination.
  • the company has not revealed when it will release indoor maps for iPhones.
  • Google has launched indoor maps in eight other countries: US, UK, France, Japan, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.

New national online gambling protections to be introduced

The final report made 32 recommendations, including that a national approach should be taken to ensure there were minimum standards in regards to harm minimisation and consumer protection measures.

New measures the federal government plans to introduce include making it mandatory for users to set their own deposit limits; stricter rules around lines of credit; and limiting the types of inducements offered by online gambling providers, such as limiting the payment of commissions to third parties that encourage people to open new online gambling accounts.

Xenophon said the Federal Government should tighten consumer access to overseas sites and is disregarding the Commonwealth’s ability to intervene now and fix “loopholes in the legislation.

Conroy said the government will not pursue changes to online poker tournaments and in-play sports betting, such as betting on an event’s final result; betting on particular situations, such as who will score the next goal; and micro-betting, which includes betting on the next point in tennis.

The final report recommended micro-betting should be prohibited online and at physical outlets.

Dell Australia Celebrates 20 Years

Dell opened its doors to Australian customers in early 1993. Since then, the company’s Australian operations have expanded to include:

  • Offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra;
  • A logistics team managing Custom Factory Integration (CFI) and Customer Factory Services (CFS) out of Mascot;
  • Data Centre Services capacity in Brisbane and Canberra which will offer Dell Smart Hosting and Disaster Recovery, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and customised Enterprise Managed Services (EMS);
  • A Sydney-based Solution Centre providing state-of-the-art facilities and demonstrations to support engagements with customers; and
  • Through its recent acquisition of Quest, a significant software development centre in Victoria and a sales office in North Sydney.


Facebook unveils redesigned News Feed

Facebook is giving its billion users a completely new way to look at its site.

The company on Tuesday previewed a new version of its News Feed that cuts page clutter, highlights photographs and content from publishers, and allows users to browse their feed by subject.

“We’re trying to give everyone in the world the best personal newspaper they can find,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, during a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

‘Pirate Bay’ for 3D printing launched

The company that developed 3D printed gun parts has announced plans to launch a new firm, dedicated to copyright-free blueprints for a range of 3D printable objects.

Defcad, as the firm will be known, has already been dubbed the Pirate Bay of 3D printing.

its blueprints at non-profit Defcad.org have seen 400,000 downloads since the site was launched, according to founder Cody Wilson.

In the video, Mr Wilson said the revolution which many predict 3D printing will bring about will only happen if it can be freed from corporate ties.
The blueprints available on the site will be for “important stuff”, he said. “Not trinkets, not garden gnomes but the things institutions and industries have an interest in keeping from us; access, medical devices, drugs, goods, guns.”
“Supplying consumers with blueprints to print products designed by third parties is a business model fraught with risk,” said Lorna Caddy of law firm Taylor Wessing.


Microsoft shares code for Kinect game gadget

Before now anyone wanting to use the Kinect had to work via an official software toolkit that hid the underlying code.

Microsoft said it had opened the code up to make the Kinect easier to use and get feedback about how to improve it.

Soon after the Kinect’s 2010 release, hardware hackers wrote code that let them control the device so they could use it for their own projects.

Now, Microsoft has released 22 code samples for the Kinect that expose the computer code that helps it track faces, interpret gestures and determine colours, among other things.
The code has been put on the CodePlex website so developers can freely download and share the software.


Dragons’ Den announces Piers Linney as new member

Cloud computing pioneer Piers Linney has been named as the new member of the Dragons’ Den,
replacing Theo Paphitis.

Linney will join regulars Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and another new Dragon, Kelly Hoppen.




More Aussies have Internet-ready TVs than tablets

In 2012, the ‘Smart TV’ market was flooded with Internet-ready models from Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony and other manufacturers. Over 60 per cent of LG’s 2012 TVs included Smart TV features, with two thirds of those TVs able to connect to the Internet through built-in Wi-Fi for easier connectivity. 70 per cent of Samsung 2012 TVs were Smart, and two thirds of those had built-in Wi-Fi.
Most of these 2012-model TVs are still available, with a yearly model refresh usually announced during April with 2013-model TVs released onto store shelves between May and October. The amount of TVs sold that are able to be connected to the Internet will only increase with this year’s refresh.
The steep decline in TV prices over the last few years has plateaued at a level where a fully-featured, Internet-capable, Wi-Fi-enabled TV like the 55-inch LG LM6410, or the 55-inch Samsung Series 6, can be bought for as little as $1300. Only a few years ago, buying a Wi-Fi-enabled TV of the same size would have cost over $4000.

Worlds first ‘printed’ dress unveiled by designer Michael Schmidt

IS a 3D printer your future wardrobe? What is claimed to be the world’s first “printed” dress has been modelled in the US.
Dita Von Teese debuted the lacquered black Michael Schmidt design (known for Lady Gaga’s famous bubble dress) in New York earlier this week.
The dress was electronic from its inception to its production: Schmidt came up with the design on his iPad, communicated with architect Francis Bitonti on the 3D modelling necessary to make the dress wearable, and printed each piece of the dress remotely via a printing studio.
The dress was formed from a powdered nylon that was hardened by lasers. The dress still had to be designed with 17 articulated components and 3000 joints to make it wearable.

Google cuts 1200 more Motorola jobs

GOOGLE is cutting an additional 1200 jobs in its Motorola division as the unprofitable cellphone maker struggles to compete.
Last summer, Google Inc. announced 4000 Motorola job cuts. The latest reductions are in addition to those and will be in countries including the US, China and India.
“These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer,” Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said in an email.
When Mountain View, California-based Google bought Motorola last year for $US12.4 billion ($12 billion), it had about 20,000 employees.
The online search leader also expects to pare jobs at the division with a planned $US2.35 billion sale of the Motorola set-top business, which has about 7000 employees. Google had about 53,000 employees as of late September.
Google bought Motorola primarily for its 17,000 patents, bolstering the company in the mobile device arms race with other technology companies.
The cellphone business has lost market share to Apple and Samsung, however, and posted operating losses of $US1.1 billion since Google completed the Motorola deal in May.
Analysts have been concerned that adding a phone manufacturing business could hurt Google’s profitability and potentially alienate the other device makers that use Google’s Android mobile operating system.
Samsung, HTC and other phone makers run Android. Apple and BlackBerry have their own systems.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Motorola job cuts in Friday’s editions.
Google shares rose $US3.39 to $US835.99 in premarket trading.

Facebook transforms news feeds

FACEBOOK will offer daily news in its stream of updates from friends in a “personalised newspaper” with news ranging from the personal to global events.
The format of news feeds on home pages is being revamped to get rid of clutter and present “bright, beautiful” stories whether they are insights from friends or trending news of the day, Facebook said.
“I think there is a special place in the world for this sort of personalised newspaper,” Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said in introducing the overhauled News Feed.
“It should have a front page and top news section or let you drill down into any topic you want.”
Facebook began rolling out the new News Feed “very slowly” at its website reached by desktops and laptops. It planned to begin adding it to its smartphone and tablet applications in coming weeks.

Each News Feed will automatically be tuned to the interests of individual Facebook users, according to technical lead Chris Struhar.
Pictures in the feed will be gleaned from posts by friends or online pages people have indicated the “like.”
If a Facebook user follows pages from CNN or other professional media organisations, top shared or trending stories are displayed.
Music or film lovers should see News Feeds touting fresh developments regarding bands, stars, movies, songs or other related subjects.
Mr Struhar said  “we hope you get all you need” without having to leave Facebook to seek stories at websites such as Google News or Yahoo! News.
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking to the people who use News Feed every day,” Mr Struhar said. “They want more choice and more control over stories they are seeing on their home pages.”



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