Episode 337 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


ispONE goes for Kogan

  • ispONE is planning a counterclaim against Kogan Mobile, alleging the online retailer breached an agreement by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.

  • Kogan Mobile’s lawsuit claimed ispONE was breaching its agreement with the retailer by continuing to suspend users, without notifying Kogan, after the two parties had come to an agreement on how to deal with overuse.

  • Kogan Mobile disputed the claim, arguing the word “unlimited” was present in many of ispONE’s own documents. Kogan offers unlimited calls and texts and 6GB of data on a prepaid $29 plan.

  • The two parties were encouraged by Justice Judd to undertake further mediation. A new trial date of April 29 was issued.

  • “It seems to me this is the kind of case that screams out for somebody to sit down and bang heads together to arrive at a solution to a very practical problem,” Justice Judd said.


Supplier warning pushes Apple stock below $US400

  • Apple shares fell below $US400 ($A385) on Wednesday for the first time since December 2011

  • lost more than 40 percent of its market value since its record high last September, battered by worries about intensifying competition and the effect on Apple’s industry-leading margins


Trader admits fraud in $US1 billion Apple stock scheme

Prosecutors said Miller bought 1.625 million Apple shares on October 25, 2012, the day the maker of iPads, iPods and iPhones planned to report third-quarter results, hoping to profit if the company’s share price rose.

But they said Miller falsely told Rochdale that the trade was for a customer that had in fact ordered just 1,625 shares.


When the bet backfired, Rochdale was on the hook for $5.3 million of losses on the extra 1,623,375 shares, leaving the Stamford, Connecticut-based company undercapitalized, the SEC said in court papers.


Miller faces a maximum 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 8, but under a plea agreement he could receive a term of five to eight years. The Rockville Centre, New York resident is free on bond.

Microsoft working on its own smartwatch

Bill Gates was pushing a tablet vision for years before the iPad came along and demonstrated just how it should be done.


Now, with all the interest around smartwatches and other personal tech devices, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft has been here before – and, according to reports, wants to make sure if the sector takes off, it has an offering to match Apple, Pebble and others.


In 2004 Microsoft developed SPOT – or Smart Personal Object Technology. Using the FM radio band, Microsoft delivered data to watches made by Suunto, Fossil and others. Back then, the service cost around $US60 per year. Oddly, the technology also appeared in coffee makers, and there was talk of adding it to navigation systems.


In essence, however, it was a case of being too early with a product that didn’t offer the convenience and rich application layer users demanded. Microsoft discontinued SPOT watches in 2008, but the service soldiered on until the beginning of 2012, when it was shut down altogether.


The Pebble smartwatch is able to connect to smartphones from Apple and those using Android via Bluetooth.


Reports say Microsoft wants in on the smart watch space, possibly as an accompaniment to its Surface tablets and touch enabled Windows 8 platform, both viewed by the company as critical to its ambitions of successfully extending the Windows ecosystem beyond desktops and laptops.


Apple iRadio to start streaming soon?


Apple is set to sign a deal with Universal Music Group, bringing its rumoured iRadio streaming music service one step closer.


ources report that Warner Music is close to a deal, although talks with Sony have not yet reached the point where a deal can be signed.


Apple is paying royalties at a similar rate to Pandora, so we can expect to see it offering a similar service – we’d expect that to include something similar to Pandora’s free music offer,



Twitter buys Aussie music start-up

Twitter has acquired We Are Hunted, a small, three-person music streaming startup based in Australia


The purchase of the music streaming app comes several months after Twitter bought Vine, a small video-sharing service that had not yet launched. Since its official release in January Vine has become one of the most popular apps in Apple Inc’s iTunes store, as Twitter users increasingly shared short, 6-second video clips in the form of tweets.



Microsoft acknowledges botched security update

acknowledged the problem in an alert to users late Thursday, indicating that the update causes system errors in conjunction with certain third-party software. The update is contained in one of nine security bulletins issued this week as part of Microsoft’s April 2013 Patch Tuesday release.


“The system errors do not result in any data loss nor affect all Windows customers,” wrote Dustin Childs, group manager for response communications at Microsoft Trustworthy Computing.


the security update remains available, but the engineering team removed the portion of the update that is causing the problems. The botched update is rated moderate and was applied to Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems.


Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies

known to millions as one of Darth Vader’s first victims in Star Wars, has died aged 66, his family has announced


native played Admiral Motti in the 1977 film, the disdainful Death Star commander whose “lack of faith” Vader found “disturbing”.



Redditor confesses to murder, then disappears

Confession Bear, one of the go-to “advice animal” memes on Reddit, is typically used as a medium for admitting minor quirks, such as embarrassing TV addictions or intimate bathing practices.


One Redditor, previously known as “Naratto”, took the meme a step further on Saturday by using the image to confess to an apparent murder.


“My sister had an abusive meth addict boyfriend – I killed him with his own drugs while he was unconscious and they ruled it as an overdose,” he wrote.


Naratto deleted the account shortly afterward, then posted a follow-up saying his comments were only partially true. That post, and his account, were soon deleted as well.



Actress age claim against IMDb rejected


An actress who sued Amazon.com after her date of birth was posted on its Internet Movie Database has had her claim rejected by a jury in Seattle.

Huong Hoang, who goes by the stage name Junie Hoang, alleged that offers dried up after the database revealed her age.

IMDb argued it had the right to publish accurate data and that Hoang, 41, could not prove she lost out because of it.

According to the website, her credits include the 2011 title Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver.


Ms Hoang, who had been seeking $1m (£650,000) in damages, had initially provided the site with a false birth year that reduced her stated age by seven years.

When she asked for that information to be removed, the site used a public records search to discover her true date of birth and published it against her objections.



Google Glass tech specs unveiled






Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face.


Extra nosepads in two sizes.




High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.




Photos – 5 MP


Videos – 720p




Bone Conduction Transducer




Wifi – 802.11b/g






12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.




One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.




Included Micro USB cable and charger.


While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind. Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use.




Any Bluetooth-capable phone.


The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.


Report: To Settle With EU Regulators, Google Proposes To Link To 3 Competitors Every Time It Links To Itself




Google’s search results in Europe could soon look a bit different if a number of new reports about the company’s settlement with the European Union’s competition commission are correct. After a three-year investigation into its potentially anti-competitive practices, Google submitted its proposal for an agreement with the EU last week, but the details remained under wraps. According to reports from the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, however, Google’s proposal includes a number of changes to how it will do business (at least in the EU).


According to these reports, Google has offered to “make users clearly aware” when it is linking to its own specialized services and vertical search engines. Every time Google promotes one of its own links, it will also show “at least three links to rival, non-Google sites that have information relevant to a user’s query,” the Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati reports. So whenever a search on Google would naturally highlight a result from Google+ Local, Google would also add links to sites like Yelp, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor or other relevant sites.


This part of the agreement would at least cover Google’s search services for restaurants, finance and shopping. Results from Google News, the Financial Times says, would “merely need to be labelled and separated.”


Under this proposed settlement, Google will also offer sites the ability to easily remove 10 percent of their content from its vertical search engines (though it’s not clear how this would actually work) and make it easier for advertisers to move their campaigns to other search engines (similar to what Google is doing in the U.S. after its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year). Google’s search algorithm itself would remain untouched in this agreement.


If the EU agrees to these terms, Google will avoid the large financial penalties that the EU could have levied against the search company. The proposal, if the reports are correct, would be binding for five years, and a neutral third party would ensure that Google doesn’t stray from the agreement.


Google competitors, whose official complaint started this investigation, were probably hoping for larger changes, and fines will probably not be in favor of these relatively small changes Google is offering to make. Last week, FairSearch.org already filed another complaint against Google in the EU. This time, the organization, which is backed by Microsoft, Expedia, Oracle, TripAdvisor and 13 other search and technology companies, argues that Google is abusing its power “to dominate the mobile marketplace and cement its control over consumer Internet data for online advertising as usage shifts to mobile.”


Even if Google does settle this latest investigation with the EU then, chances are we haven’t heard the last of this.


Wide-scale attack against WordPress blogs reported




Unidentified hackers are said to have have launched a large-scale attack against WordPress blogs and any hosts using weak passwords are urged to update them immediately.


Security firms have been tracking an escalating number of “brute force” attacks against WordPress installations, which have been trying out logins such as “admin” and then running through thousands of commonly-used passwords to try to break in.


“One of the concerns of an attack like this is that the attacker is using a relatively weak botnet of home PCs in order to build a much larger botnet of beefy servers in preparation for a future attack,” security and website performance firm CloudFlare said in a post Friday.


Security firm Incapsula told security blog KrebsOnSecurity that infected sites are seeded with a backdoor that gives the attackers remote control of the site. “The infected sites then are conscripted into the attacking server botnet, and forced to launch password-guessing attacks against other sites running WordPress,” the site reported.


Hosting site HostGator also warned of the attack.


“As I type these words, there is an on-going and highly-distributed, global attack on WordPress installations across virtually every web host in existence,” HostGator said in a post.


“This attack is well organized and again very, very distributed; we have seen over 90,000 IP addresses involved in this attack,” it said.


It advised anyone with WordPress installation to update their password immediately to one that meets the requirements on the WordPress website.


The attack gathered steam last week, died off somewhat and picked up again Thursday morning, it said. Symptoms of the attack are slow back-end performance or an inability to log in. In some cases sites may be inaccessible for a short time, it said.


HostGator said it was trying to mitigate the attack through its server farm but that it could only do so much.


There was no mention of the attack on the WordPress blog or its Twitter account Friday evening.


Homes of future have need for more speed than current National Broadband Network plans




STREAMING movies so crisp they are indistinguishable from real life, health sensors that follow your every move, and connected appliances that help you cook, wash clothes, cool the house and order the groceries.


These are some of the innovations experts expect to see in Australian homes by 2021, although there are already fears that, altogether, they’ll require more speed than offered by current National Broadband Network plans.


While the Government and the Opposition disagree on the delivery, timing and cost of the NBN, experts agree that demand for internet speed will grow rapidly – reaching at least 100 megabits per second by 2021 and, for high-end users, a huge one gigabit per second.


Failing to properly account for our growing need for speed was a mistake, according to the CSIRO’s Geof Heydon, as demand for faster connections and more bandwidth had yet to plateau in its 30-year history.


“Back in 1987 in Australia, you could get a 2400 bits-per-second modem,” he said.


“These modems were considered fast enough because you would use them to send text and humans couldn’t read text any faster than that. In the context of the day, 2400bps was considered job done.”


Mr Heydon said demand for 1Gbps speed, or 1024 megabits per second, could easily arrive within eight years as consumers embraced new technology.


Ovum research director David Kennedy agreed, saying downloading entertainment would be the principal driver.


“We’re talking about a lot of video,” he said.


Topping the list of future high-speed downloads is TV content using a format called 4K or Ultra HD. The new technology delivers four times the resolution of current full high-definition footage, at four times the file size, and 4K screens are due to go on sale later this year.


But plans are already underway for 8K television screens, Mr Heydon said, which could require a connection speed as high as 80mbps – 30mbps more than the Coalition’s current minimum standard for 2019.


“We could also see the first holographic TVs in the market, which will require three-dimensional imaging content,” he said.


“No one knows yet what bandwidth will be required to deliver that.”


More appliances are likely to be connected to the internet, with Samsung and LG already showing off whitegoods that deliver recipes, grocery lists and updates on clothes washing.


Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox also said “teleworking rates may rise by 2020”, creating more demand for reliable speeds to deliver video conferencing and secure remote network access.


Telehealth services were also likely to play a part in future broadband demand, Mr Heydon said, with trials currently underway that monitor the habits of elderly people to keep them in their homes longer, and deliver medical consultations and surgical recovery services by video.


Google’s “Inactive Account Manager” has your death covered




What happens to your digital life after you die?


The Verge reports that handling your Google accounts if the unthinkable happens now takes a few minutes, thanks to Google’s new Inactive Account Manager.


“We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife — in a way that protects your privacy and security — and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone,” reads the post on the company’s Public Policy Blog.


In setting up the Google Inactive Account Manager, users will be able to select a length of time the account must be inactive before the alert goes out. Then, up to ten trusted individuals will receive a customized information on how to proceed or handle the account. Finally, Google gives users the option to effectively “burn” their account, wiping all materials from all Google properties — including public Youtube videos, Google+ profiles and Google Voice extensions.


There’s also no worry that a “trusted” member will be able to gain access to the account if the deletion preference is selected. A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that “when there’s a conflict, we will honor the preference you’ve made in Inactive Account Manager to the extent permitted by law.”


Dealing with digital identities after someone has gone dead or missing is an interesting and still-developing problem on various platforms. The Inactive Account Manager is a simplified version of the old process for accessing or shutting down an account, which required both birth and death notices from a family member. Other platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, still require a bit of finagling to secure a loved one’s account after he or she dies, but the Inactive Account Manager could provide plenty of information and act as a “digital will” with minimal set-up.





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