Episode 339 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

 

Uncovered: Australia’s data breach laws

The Australian Attorney General’s Department has circulated a draft exposure bill for data breach notification laws, which the Government optimistically hopes to pass through Parliament within months.

 

The scheme was recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission in 2008 and would force organisations to notify the Australian Privacy Commissioner, affected consumers and occasionally the media when data breaches occur.

 

nder the draft legislation, the Federal Government would consider a data breach to be serious if an organisation is delinquent in its requirements under the new Australian Privacy Principles to take reasonable steps to secure customer personal information.

 

The breached data, lost or stolen, would need to expose customers to a “real risk of serious harm” and potentially subject to unauthorised access or disclosure.

 

Repeat and serious offenders face financial penalties of up to $340,000 for individuals or $1.7 million for organisations

 

Small-scale offenders could be taken to court and fined up to $34,000 for individuals, and $170,000 for organisations.

 

In the eyes of the Privacy Office, the organisation that sent customer data to an offshore provider remains the guardian of the data. If the Privacy Commissioner finds due diligence did not occur prior to this transaction – and a breach occurs at the third party – the guardian of that data faces a serious data breach.

 


 

Commonwealth to chase Google for tax

Legislators have taken issue with Google’s efforts to greatly minimise the tax it pays on revenues earned from customers in Britain, New Zealand and Australia by claiming it does not serve customers with paid search servicesfrom within those jurisdictions.

 

latest financial statements show that it tabled a profit of $22.4 million for Australian operations in the year ended December 31 2012, and as a result, paid only $6.1 million in tax

 

However, these accounts don’t include $1 to $1.5 billion in search advertising revenue routed to Google’s Irish subsidiary that in turn pays royalties to a Dutch company. The money then goes to Bermuda which has no corporate income tax.

 

The practice is legal and saved Google US$2 billion in tax for 2011 as it routed US$10 billion to Bermuda that year, Bloomberg reported

 

In UK as an example as there is a current enquiry going on at the moment.Lawyers and academics say that if UK staff did sell to UK customers, that could have implications for Google’s tax status in Britain, opening the possibility of much bigger tax bills. Google labelled the Reuters story as misleading.

 

Brittin, Google’s Vice President for Northern and Central Europe, told the PAC in November that “Nobody (in the UK) is selling.”

 

He said Google employs “a couple of hundred” staff at its European headquarters in Dublin who are responsible for selling to UK clients. The people “on the ground (in the UK) are helping people make the most of the web,” he said, “and the people in Ireland are helping to operate the systems and sell advertising to the businesses that want to work with us.”

 

Despite having 2.2 million users in New Zealand, Facebook paid just NZ$14,497 (A$11,991) in tax for that same year and NZ$5,238 (4,330), figures that NZ’s opposition Labour party slammed as “barely believable”.

Unlike Australia and the UK however, the Kiwis appear to have thrown in the towel when it comes to making corporations pay their fair share of tax.

An Inland Revenue Department report sighted by Fairfax says the tax office is powerless to crack down on the multinationals’ tax avoidance, even if it means allowing such practices put domestic companies at a severe disadvantage.

 


 

Kogan claims victory over ispONE

Telstra reseller ispONE has agreed to stop suspending Kogan Mobile users from its network without Kogan’s approval, unless in accordance with the service suspension policy.

 

ispONE today abandoned its counterclaim against Kogan Mobile, which had argued “misleading and deceptive conduct” meant Kogan was in breach of the master wholesale agreement between the two.

Kogan Mobile counsel in court today said the allegation was “outrageous”.

 

Kogan Mobile’s claim for damages is to be heard separately.

 


Skype morphs into Outlook.com

Microsoft has unveiled the long-expected capability for Skype to run in a browser, by building it into the Outlook.com email service.

The company announced a preview version of Skype for Outlook.com yesterday for UK users, with the United States and Germany coming up over the next few months. It did not say when Skype for Outlook.com would be available for the rest of the world.

Both video and audio calls are supported.

 


 

Tourism Northern Territory rolls out free Wi-Fi service in Alice Springs

 

Alice Springs visitors and locals will be able to access three hours of free Wi-Fi every day following the rollout of a service by Tourism Northern Territory (NT) in the city’s Todd Mall.

A maximum of 200 megabytes (MB) download will be available from any Wi-Fi enabled device.

The Wi-Fi network cost $84,227 which is being met within Tourism NT’s budget. Alice Springs Town Council is funding half the operational costs over the first two years.

The NT government also provides free Wi-Fi services on public buses in Darwin and Alice Springs.


Action! Big Blue enters film biz with atomic movie

VIDEO

IBM said it made the world’s tiniest movie by using thousands of precisely placed atoms to create nearly 250 frames of stop-motion action.

Big Blue engineers manipulated the atoms to demonstrate atomic-scale memory that has the potential to make computers smaller and more powerful.

IBM’s new flick, titled “A Boy and His Atom” depicts a character named Atom who befriends a single atom and goes on a playful journey that includes dancing, playing catch and bouncing on a trampoline. Set to a playful musical track, IBM said the movie represents a unique way to convey science outside the research community.

 


 

Man’s arm saved by iPad in garbage truck crash

 

Neville Toms was driving a dual-cab ute through the Victorian island’s main street on Monday morning when he swerved to avoid a garbage truck.

 

The truck clipped the left-hand side of Toms’ vehicle, which was then flipped and skidded on its driver’s side for an estimated 70 or 80 metres.

 

The driver’s side window was completely smashed and the wing mirror shorn off.

 

Nev realised after the accident that his shoulder was resting on the ipad .  It was scratched up and if it wasnt there his shoulder would have been seriously grazed.

 

The iPad was encased in a strong plastic red cover

 

The iPad, itself hasn’t. Toms says it is working perfectly and he used it immediately after the crash to take photos of the overturned vehicle,


 

Phone pioneer speaks for first time in 128 years

audio  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/audio/204505151.html

 

On the wax-disc recording, the telephone inventor says: “Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.”

The recording is among the earliest held by the Smithsonian Institution, which runs the National Museum of American History.

Bell’s voice was recorded on to the disc on 15 April 1885 at his Volta laboratory in Washington.

As well as saying his name, he also recites a series of numbers and lines from several Shakespeare plays.

The disc was too fragile to play using a needle so the museum, along with researchers at the US Library of Congress and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, developed an alternative play-back system that used light and a 3D camera to turn its bumps and grooves into sounds.

Also identified was the voice of Alexander Melville Bell, the inventor’s father, in a recording from 1881.


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