Episode 336 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Woman claims to have solved time traveller mystery

The mystery of a young woman who appears to talk on a mobile phone in video footage from the 1930s may have been solved after a relative of the so-called ‘time traveller’ came forward.


Footage of a young lady who appears to be using a mobile phone as she walks out of a factory in a 1938 film went viral in 2010 amid suggestions the woman was a time traveller who had been caught out, the The Huffington Post reports.


But the mystery could now be solved with a woman posting a comment on YouTube, using the name Planetcheck, claiming the woman in the film is her great-grandmother Gertrude Jones, a former factory worker.


Planetcheck said Ms Jones was 17 at the time and clearly remembers the event.

“She says Dupont [the company that reportedly owns the factory in the video] had a telephone communications section in the factory,” she wrote.


“They were experimenting with wireless telephones. Gertrude and five other women were given these wireless phones to test out for a week.


Sceptical commentators have expressed doubt that such wireless technology existed in the 30s but Planetcheck claimed to have the experimental phone used in the film.

However, she is yet to provide evidence of the phone’s existence and the comments have since been removed


PC sales worldwide have tumbled, data from IDC shows

Global sales of PCs fell 14% in the first three months of the year, the biggest fall since research firm IDC started tracking the industry in 1994.

IDC said 76.3 million units were shipped, a figure that underlines the appeal of tablets and smartphones as alternatives to PCs.

IDC also said that, traditionally, companies replaced PCs every three years, but that during the economic downturn this was more likely to be every five years.

Apple was not immune from the decline, as some sales of its own Macs appeared to be displaced by iPads. Its U.S. PC sales fell 7.5 percent in the quarter, but it held on to its spot as No. 3 U.S. PC manufacturer, behind HP and Dell.


****win 7 & 8 run on older machines so no need to upgrade hardware as much to get the lastest OS ***

Kogan wins first move against ispONE

Kogan has succeeded in its bid to stop mobile wholesale partner ispONE suspending users from the retailer’s mobile service.

Kogan yesterday launchedlegal action against the Telstra wholesale provider for blocking a portion of Kogan’s Mobile customer from using its network for “high-usage’.

Kogan was forced tooffer compensation to customers after ispONEkicked users off the service for overuse.

Kogan said 200 customers, or 0.2 percent of its user base, were responsible for the overuse, blaming ispONE for acting independently of the retailer and accusing it of breaching their agreement.

It wants ispONE to honour the contract, and supply 50,000 micro SIM and 15,000 nano SIM cards to the online retailer as compensation for its actions.

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft issues critical updates

Microsoft has repaired critical vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and its Windows Remote Desktop Client, fixing remote code execution flaws that can be used to gain access to sensitive data.

The repairs address both client- and server-side vulnerabilities, fixing issues in Windows, Windows Defender antimalware software and SharePoint Server.

The issues impact all versions of Internet Explorer, including Internet Explorer 10 on Surface tablets. “Both of these issues were privately disclosed and we have not detected any attacks or customer impact,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft also announced that support for Windows XP users will end next year. Microsoft said due to its age, Windows XP has higher malware infection rates than other Windows versions.

Aussie hacker accused of Anonymous attacks

A 17 year old alleged hacker accused of being associated with Anonymous has appeared in Parramatta Childrens’ Court today on charges of illegally accessing computer data.

An Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokesperson told iTnews the youth allegedly accessed both company and personal websites without authorisation.

It said it executed a search at the youth’s property last November, which resulted in charges of unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment, unauthorised access with intent to commit a serious offence, possession of data with intent to commit a computer offence, and unauthorised access to restricted data.

The suspected hacker faces a maximum of 10 years jail time if convicted and will face court again on May 17.

Australia ranking falls in global IT survey

Australia continues to fall in global rankings on how ready business and governments are to benefit from using information technology (IT).

In the 2013 Global Information Technology survey produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Australia ranked 18th of 144 nations, down one spot from the previous year and from ninth place in 2004.

The nation’s ranking for individual IT use rose one spot to 15th, but dropped three places to 25th for business use and down 11 positions to 19th for government.

Australian Industry (Ai) Group chief executive Innes Willox said “This reinforces both the need for high speed ubiquitous broadband but importantly, the critical need to invest in lifting the skills needed to gain the greatest benefit from this infrastructure,”

Mr Willox said businesses wanted all political parties to support the rollout of high-speed broadband infrastructure.

Australia gets Google Play Music

Individual tracks start from 99 cents each, but most “top songs” appear to cost $2.19 or $1.69.

Albums in the Australian store appear to range from $5.99 to $18.99, though most listed in the “top albums” section are priced between $11.99 and $15.99.

The Google Play Music service has included a number of Australian artists at launch including Delta Goodrem, DJ Havana Brown and Lisa Mitchell.

For artists not signed to a record label, the service includes the Google Play artist hub, a platform for independent artists to sell their music.

Artists can create a profile, upload their music files, suggest a retail price, and sell their music on Google Play for a cost of $25.

The Google Play Music service also allows users toupload their own personal music collection (up to a maximum of 20,000 songs) to store in the Google Cloud.

In addition to the Australian launch,Google has switched on the service in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Portugal.


Abbott denies coalition’s NBN plan slower

Under the coalition’s plan, fibre broadband cables would be rolled out to the node (FTTN) with download speeds slower the further away a house is from a node.

Labor is rolling out fibre to the premises (FTTP), with download speeds the same to all premises along the cable.

The coalition’s NBN plan is projected to cost $29.5 billion and be completed by 2019, with Labor’s plan expected to cost $44.1 billion and be finished two years later.

Mr Abbott on Wednesday denied that internet speeds would be slower under the coalition’s plan than under Labor’s more expensive plan.

“The short answer is `no’,” he told the Australian Radio Network in Melbourne.

“90 per cent of households will get 50 to 100 megabit downloads and they will get it for one third of the cost of Labor’s broadband.”

Sydney gets real-time train apps

Sydney train commuters are now able to track in real-time how far away their train is with smartphone apps.

State Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian unveiled six updated apps on Thursday that will have the real-time capability, which makes use of markers on stations that will receive information from trains, and then pass it on to the apps.

The release of up-to-the-minute information about where trains are on the networkfollows the release late last year of real-time bus information.


Each of the six apps –TripGo, Triptastic, TripView, Arrivo Sydney, Hidden City and TransitTimes – offers different features for customers and there are free versions as well as versions costing up to $2.99. The apps are available from the iTunes Store, Google Play and the Windows App Store.

The apps will initially provide real-time train location information for trains on the Western,


Bankstown, Inner West, Northern, Cumberland, Airport and East Hills, South and North Shore Lines as well as the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line to Heathcote.


LulzSec hacker pleads guilty to cyber attacks on Sony, NHS, Nintendo, US police and News Int.




A BRITISH computer hacker affiliated to the group Lulz Security pleaded guilty to cyberattacks on institutions including Sony, Britain’s National Health Service and Rupert Murdoch’s News International.


Ryan Ackroyd admitted one count of carrying out an unauthorised act to impair the operation of a computer.


Prosecutors say the 26-year-old accessed websites belonging to Sony, 20th Century Fox, the NHS, Nintendo, the Arizona State Police and News International between February and September 2011.


He will be sentenced May 14 at Southwark Crown Court in London. Other charges against him are being dropped.


Three other British hackers – 18-year-old Mustafa Al-Bassam, 20-year-old Jake Davis and Ryan Cleary, 21 – had previously pleaded guilty to launching distributed denial of service attacks on organizations including the CIA and Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency. Denial of service attacks work by overwhelming sites with traffic.


Prosecutors say Cleary’s targets also included US Air Force computers at the Pentagon.




New Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 may be a tough sell at US$399




The Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung’s stylus-equipped answer to the iPad Mini, but it’ll be a tough sell when it launches April 11 for $399.


That’s $50 more expensive than Apple’s small tablet, at a time when most small tablets are trying to undercut the Mini. Samsung’s hoping that the Galaxy Note 8.0’s S Pen stylus and standout features will lure buyers.


The Galaxy Note 8.0 has an 8-inch display with a resolution of 1280-by-800 pixels, a quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera. The Note 8.0 runs the Android 4.1 operating system, with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on top.


The $399 price tag is attached to a Wi-Fi model, but a version with 4G is coming.




Bitcoin’s price soars to over $200




Bitcoin may just be a “virtual” currency, but there’s no denying its rising value. The currency, which last month was trading on the order of roughly $30, is now valued at over US$230.


On Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, the most popular place online for people to buy and sell Bitcoins with others around the world in their own local currencies, the last listed price for a single Bitcoin was $236. That’s up more than 100 percent from roughly $100 a week ago.


Pinpointing the factors underlying Bitcoin’s ascending popularity, however, is tricky. Bitcoin is based on a concept called “crypto-currency,” using a peer-to-peer framework allowing its users to manage transactions and issue Bitcoins without any central financial or regulatory authority. The true identity of even its founder, colloquially known as “Satoshi Nakamoto,” remains a mystery. Bitcoin currently has roughly 1.4 million users.


“Bitcoin’s foundation is similar to Linux, which was open-source software designed to take on Microsoft’s Windows,” said Jon Matonis, a board member of the Bitcoin Foundation, which acts as an organizing body for Bitcoin by aiming to provide software funding and also publish best practices for businesses transacting in Bitcoin.




Vodafone plans to outpace Optus and Telstra, announcing fastest 4G mobile network




THE smartphone speed war is poised to intensify as Vodafone today announced the country’s fastest 4G mobile phone network due to launch in June, outpacing rivals Telstra and Optus.


The smallest of the major telcos will launch its 4G network in all mainland state capitals and three regional centres, and promises speeds that are “up to 15 times faster on average than our current 3G network”.


But Vodafone’s 20MHz network will be equipped to deliver downloads as fast as 150 megabits per second, a spokeswoman said – 50 megabits per second faster than the top speed on Telstra’s 15MHz network.


That top speed could theoretically let users download an album in one second or a high-definition movie in fewer than 30 seconds.




ClickFrenzy hires global technology firm Akamai to avoid another mega-sale meltdown




GRANT Arnott’s plan to avoid a repeat of last year’s Click Frenzy online meltdown is simple: make the website big enough to handle the job.


To do that, the Melbourne-based retail marketing company has hired global technology firm Akamai.


Akamai is a content delivery network company that hosts a version of its client’s website on most ISPs. It manages content for most of the world’s major banks, media companies and major retailers.


Ian Teague, Senior Manager, Australasia at Akamai, said the Akamai distributive computing model involved creating a cached version of a website on individual ISP servers so that the load was spread around.


Last year, the Click Frenzy website was offline for hours as it crumbled under the weight of 1.75 million shoppers wanting a bargain.


“That’s a big number but it would hardly rate a blip on our whole platform,” Mr Teague said.


Mr Teague said the Click Frenzy website handled by Akamai could “absolutely” handle 10 times the number of people who hit it last year.


“We virtually have an unlimited capacity,” he said


“We deliver about 25 per cent of all internet traffic every day.”


But Mr Teague said his company’s involvement in the sale could not ensure the event was trouble free for every retailer involved.




PLUS D: ‘What Google should be like’, says Wikileaks founder Julian Assange




WIKILEAKS has launched its own search engine.


At midnight this morning – via Skype, from the Equadorian embassy – Julian Assange unveiled the new search engine named PLUS D (The Public Library of United States Diplomacy).


The search engine is a portal to an archive of 1.7 million US diplomatic cables which include 250,000 leaked State Department cables that were made public during Cablegate, the time in US history where memos of Henry Kissinger’s time as US Secretary of State were made public.


And more than 251,000 of those cables relate to events or communications between 2003-2010.


Assange confirmed that the US state department documents listed on PLUS D are already declassified and much of the information has already been available in the US National Archives and Record Agency.


Assange said that the range of publicly-available documents range in the number of two million and were therefore not efficient to search through.


“Just look at The Kissinger Cables to be released today, they are technically in the public domain,” he said… They were not practical or efficient for people to make sense of them or to use them.


“There would be about 1.7 new PDF files of information so they’re not essentially usable to do sophisticated searches across the lot.”


The search engine is a marked change from WikiLeaks who have previously relied on “old school” style of journalism. During his press conference Assange said Plus D would make it easier for journalists to conduct investigations, by using a search algorithm that “rivalled Google”.


“It is a search system that I am quite proud of,” he said. “One of our people recently said this is what Google should be like.


“This is a search system that investigative journalists can use effectively.”





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