Episode 341 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Now in the Store: Angry Birds Rio for Windows Phone

The game works on both Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices. Price: $0.99.


Microsoft patch Tuesday mends 33 vulnerabilities

Microsoft on Tuesday patched a dangerous zero-day vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer 8, one of 10 fixes that the software giant released as part of its monthly security update.


The other “critical” patch introduced Tuesday by Microsoft is bulletin MS13-037, which addresses 11 additional vulnerabilities in IE. None of the bugs were publicly known, but they are present in all supported versions of the popular web browser.


Microsoft also tapped MS13-039 as high-priority bulletin. It addresses a single vulnerability in the HTTP protocol stack, known as HTTP.sys, a core Windows component that receives and processes HTTP requests.


The remaining seven patches address flaws in the .NET Framework, Lync, Publisher, Word, Visio, Windows Essentials and kernel-mode drivers.



Surface Pro to hit Aussie stores May 30

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet is set to hit Aussie stores on May 30, with pricing starting at $999.

The entry-level model comes equipped with 64GB of flash memory. A more expensive version, coming in at $1099, packs 128GB.


Powering the Surface Pro is an Intel Core i5 processor.


The Surface Pro will be available at the Microsoft Store, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.


Google launches streaming music service ahead of Apple

Google launched a music service on Wednesday that allows users to listen to unlimited songs for $US9.99 a month, challenging smaller companies like Pandora and Spotify in the market for streaming music.


Google’s “All Access” service lets users customize song selections from 22 genres, ranging from Jazz to Indie music, stream individual playlists, or listen to a curated, radio-like stream that can be tweaked. It will be launched for U.S. users first, before being rolled out to several other countries.


At $9.99 a month, Google’s service is costlier than the $3.99 required for Pandora, but on par with Spotify.



Microsoft unveils Windows 8.1 update

Windows 8.1 and will be available later this year free to existing Windows 8 customers


A preview version of Windows 8.1 will be made available at the start of Microsoft’s annual developer conference on June 26,, with the finished update released later this year.



Google tells Microsoft to shut down its YouTube app for Windows Phone

Google on Wednesday demanded that Microsoft yank its YouTube app for Windows Phone from the market and disable any downloaded copies of the app, according to Wired.com, which received a copy of Google’s cease and desist letter.

Microsoft has until May 22 to comply, according to the story by Wired’s Mat Honan.

The Microsoft-written YouTube app violates YouTube’s service terms in two ways: it strips out the ads in the videos and lets users download content from the video site. Users can download the Microsoft app from the Windows Phone App Store.


“These features directly harm our content creators and clearly violate our Terms of Service,” according to Google’s letter. “We request that you immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013.”

“Just today, during his presentation at the Google I/O keynote, Google CEO Larry Page decried Microsoft for “milking off” of Google’s innovations,” Honan writes.


Federal government slammed for blocking websites


The blocking of 1200 websites by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has set off calls for tighter controls on the federal government.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed yesterday that the financial regulator ordered ISPs to block websites that appeared fraudulent, according to a report by Delimiter. The order resulted in blocking of the Melbourne Free University website and other legal websites.

The Pirate Party’s lead Senate candidate for New South Wales, Brendan Molloy, has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents related to blocking requests by ASIC.


Molloy slammed ASIC for not being transparent about its reasons for blocking the websites.

“Surely, if the block was legitimate, they could get a court order and publish the reason behind the blocking,” Molloy said.

Ludlam called the blocking “a filter by stealth that operates with no explanation and no transparency.”


Woolworths launches grocery collection at Melbourne Airport


Customers can order their groceries online or through the Woolworths app and collect them at the end of their flight.

“Our customers are increasingly embracing online and mobile platforms as a convenient and hassle free way to shop,” Kate Langford, head of online business development for Woolworths Supermarkets, said in a statement.


Government funds iview live streaming pilot


The funding is intended to help maintain and expand the ABC’s online content services, including a pilot for live streaming of ABC TV and radio.

“The funding will better equip the ABC to provide the mobile and online content that audiences are demanding in ever-increasing numbers,” ABC’s managing director Mark Scott said.

The ABC said an Android iview app in development in October last year. The iview app is one of the 10 most popular iOS apps in Australia.


Apple, Pascal and Enigma: 350 years of technology on sale

Most obsolete Apple products are worthless and confined to the back of a drawer – but not this. The Apple-1, built by Steve Wozniak in the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage some 37 years ago, is up for auction later this month in Germany at Auction Team Breker.





News Corp. Reveals 21st Century Fox Logo


News Corp. has revealed a black-and-white logo for its entertainment company, recently titled 21st Century Fox.


Today I am proud to unveil our new logo, which serves as a powerful symbol of the inspiration and high bar set by our company. Like our name, the logo reflects the rich creative heritage of Twentieth Century Fox and signals the promise of the 21st century and our restless drive toward the future,” wrote chairman Rupert Murdoch in a note to employees on Thursday.



Air Force One plane up for auction starting at US$50,000



A PLANE that once served as Air Force One is being put up for auction for a mere US$50,000.


The plane has flown every president from Ford, Carter and Reagan to George W Bush, Clinton and Bush Jnr, Fox News reports.


It’s being auctioned by federal officials at the General Services Administration on Wednesday along with vessels, vehicles, space-shuttle parts, real estate, heavy machinery and scientific items.


The starting bid for the DC9-32 aircraft, with tail number N681AL, is US$50,000, according to the GSA’s site.


”It’s not often we get to sell a piece of history like this, but GSA Auctions is selling this plane that flew Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton & Bush (as well as the Vice-President, First Lady, Cabinet secretaries, 4-star generals, admirals, foreign dignitaries and more),” writes a GSA official on the department’s Facebook page.


Inspection of the plane is ”by appointment only” and the successful bidder has to pick up and transport the plane.


It’s currently kept at the Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona.


I/O 2013: One Google, Under Page, With Unification And Usability For All




This is the evening before Google’s I/O developer conference and there’s already been quite a bit of chatter about what the company will announce and share at the conference. One important thing to note is that there will only be one keynote this year, a mega three-hour session where Google will talk to the attendees about all of the important things that have happened over the past year and what to expect moving forward.


For the first time in a long time, Google will be coming into the conference as a hot property in its entirety, a company that has many things going on that are getting attention. The truly important part of this I/O, which will be the third after Larry Page’s return to the CEO role, is that Google is much more than just a search company.


Last year, the focus was on the future, with Sergey Brin’s Project Glass stealing the show. While there was other interesting news, such as the Nexus 7, Chromebox and ahem…Q, the focus and hype were generated by the exciting future that Googlers were concocting in Mountain View. Page missed last year’s I/O, due to voice issues that he addressed today, and we’ve reached out to Google to see if he’ll be keynoting tomorrow.


This year, all the cards are on the table, and the new Google — Google Now, if you will — has to show developers that focusing on building on top of Google properties is the smart bet, even more so than for its rival Apple. Why? Because Google touches everything and everyone. From moms to CEOs, geeks to elementary school students, Google is surrounding us with the tools we need every day.


The best way to look at Google right now is by slicing up the company into three categories, something that we’ve never been able to do with them before.


Microsoft, Google form rare alliance




MICROSOFT’S disdain for Google apparently doesn’t extend to all of its rival’s products.


In a rare bit of cooperation, Microsoft’s Outlook.com is giving users of its free email service the option of logging into Google Chat to exchange instant messages and engage in audio or video conversations.


The tie-in announced on Tuesday represents an uneasy alliance in the midst of a typically contentious relationship between Microsoft and Google.


Microsoft is framing its embrace of Google Chat as an example of how it’s trying to help connect people who rely on various services to interact with one another. Both Outlook.com and Google Chat are offered for free as a way for Microsoft and Google to attract more online traffic to its advertising-supported services.


With the latest addition, Outlook.com account holders will have three different ways to interact with their friends and family in real-time discussions.


They have already been able to use Microsoft’s own Skype chat service and Facebook’s messaging service. Microsoft closed its Messenger chat service earlier this year as part of a switchover to Skype, which the company bought for $US8.5 billion ($8.51 billion) in 2011.


Google co-founder Larry Page has vocal cord paralysis


Even as it offers Google Chat to its Outlook.com users, Microsoft is warning consumers that Google’s search engine and other services can’t be trusted. The company has been spending millions of dollars on a series of critical ads that began appearing online, in print and on television about six months ago.


Some of Microsoft’s recent advertising attacks have been aimed at Google’s Gmail, the foundation for Google Chat.


In a marketing campaign dubbed “Scroogled,” Microsoft lambastes Gmail for scanning the texts of emails to decipher what’s being discussed so ads on related topics can be displayed alongside the electronic conversations.


While depicting Google as an obnoxious snoop, Microsoft’s ads urge people to switch to the less intrusive approach of Outlook.com.


Since the service’s debut nine years ago, Google has never tried to conceal that it uses computers to parse the discussions within Gmail correspondence.


No ads are shown in live discussions on Google Chat, but marketing messages can be displayed if the conversations are saved, according to Google’s policies. As it does with Gmail, Google’s computers scan the context of the saved chats to help pick out which ads to show.


That practice didn’t deter Outlook.com from linking up with Google Chat.


“We do not have any queasiness about adding Google Chat,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Outlook.com’s senior director. “We think it’s important to give people choice so they can make their email more personal. It also gives people one more reason to switch from Gmail to Outlook.com.”


Microsoft believes it already has dented Gmail since it converted its Hotmail.com users and other email accounts operated under other domain names, such as MSN.com, to Outlook.com earlier this year.


The company, which is based in Redmond, Washington, says it now has about 400 million Outlook.com users. That’s up from about 360 million users of Outlook.com and the Microsoft’s other webmail services three months ago.


Google, which is based in Mountain View, California, says it has more than 425 million Gmail users.


Google founder Larry Page has vocal cord paralysis




GOOGLE co-founder and chief Larry Page disclosed that one of his vocal cords is partially paralysed but that it will not stop him from running the Internet colossus.


“Thankfully, after some initial recovery I’m fully able to do all I need to at home and at work, though my voice is softer than before,” Mr Page said in a post at Google+ social network.


“And giving long monologues is more tedious for me and probably the audience.”


Mr Page said that he was first diagnosed with paralysis of his left vocal cord about 14 years ago after a severe cold left him hoarse.


Doctors at the time were unable to pinpoint a cause but speculated that a virus damaged the vocal cord nerve, according to the 40-year-old Google chief executive.


“While this condition never really affected me – other than having a slightly weaker voice than normal which some people think sounded a little funny – it naturally raised questions in my mind about my second vocal cord,” Mr Page said.


“But, I was told that sequential paralysis of one vocal cord following another is extremely rare.”


Google Chat: Microsoft, Google form rare alliance


Mr Page’s voice became hoarse again after he weathered a cold in the middle of last year, and doctors told him that his second vocal cord was also partially paralysed, according to his Google+ post.


No cause for the condition was determined, according to Mr Page. He told of suffering from an inflamed thyroid about a decade ago but noted that doctors never linked it to the vocal cord paralysis.


“Vocal cord nerve issues can also affect your breathing, so my ability to exercise at peak aerobic capacity is somewhat reduced,” Mr Page said.


“Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully,” he continued with a reference to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.


“So surprisingly, overall I am feeling very lucky.”


Mr Page is using some of his fortune to fund a Voice Health Institute research program headed by Dr. Steven Zeitels of Harvard Medical School. He also invited others afflicted with similar conditions to join in the effort by sharing information in an online survey linked to his Google+ post.




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