Episode 353 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes



Google introduces Android app for remote wipe, locating lost devices

  • A new app called “Android Device Manager” will help users locate or remotely wipe their lost or stolen phones.

  • comparable to Apple’s “Find My Phone” app,

  • Android Device Manager isn’t expected to be available to everyone until later this month.

  • All phones and tablets running the Android 2.2 “Froyo” platform and higher will receive the update.

  • the app will allow users to make misplaced devices in “earshot” ring at maximum volume. If farther away, the device can be located on a map in real time or wiped.


New app turns iPads into POS devices

Kounta has launched a free app that turns any iPad or iPad mini into a cloud-enabled POS device.


the application is free to download and install, users must pay a monthly subscription fee to actually use it as part of their business processes.


The POS software also integrates with payment and ordering services such as PayPal, Beat the Q and Xero.”


No Pricing on the webpage except for $50 device fee.  Can get started for free, but no pricing.



Queensland mulls blacklisting Big Blue

The Queensland Government is considering whether it will ever contract with IBM again following the release of a report on the failed Queensland Health payroll proje


  • The Richard Chesterman report wastabled in the Queensland Parliament yesterday

  • IBM argued when the system went live it was hindered primarily through business process and data migration issues outside of its contractual and practical control.

  • IBM says “Reports that suggest IBM is accountable for the $1.2 billion costs to remedy the Queensland Health payroll system are completely incorrect. IBM’s fees of $25.7 million accounted for less than 2 percent of the total amount. The balance of costs is made up of work streams which were never part of IBM’s scope.”

  • the qld Government was considering what action it could take against IBM, given the previous government had given up its legal rights to claim damages against the technology giant.

  • IBM was banned from seeking new business with the US Government in 2008 after it was alleged to have violated procurement rules when bidding for a contract from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The ban ended up lasting for nine days.


Internode to turbo boost wi-fi in Adelaide

  • Internode has won a $1.5 million deal to more than double Adelaide’s free wi-fi coverage, in what would be the world’s largest CBD-wide outdoor public wireless networ

  • Work on the network has already begun and is expected to be wrapped up early next year.

  • It is expected that AdelaideFree will cover about “97 percent of the northern CBD from Wakefield and Gouger streets to North Terrace”, and provide “extensive external coverage for the southern half of the CBD.”

  • when completed, AdelaideFree would offer “faster internet access than is currently available over mobile phone networks” in the area


NBN Co act in caretaker mode

  • NBN Co will shift into caretaker mode with other government agencies but “may” continue some promotional activities right through to the election

  • Such things as deferring “significant appointments”, which means the vacant top job at NBN Co won’t be filled until after the election

  • spokeswoman confirmed business-as-usual (BAU) activities, such as the network rollout, would continue, and it appears that may cover some marketing and promotional activities.

  • There are also rules for social media use.

  • This Facebook page will be deactivated once the Government enters a caretaker role prior to the election on 7 September 2013

  • Twitter that its account there would become“less active”.

Microsoft offers 15GB of free SkyDrive storage for one year to iCloud users losing their free 20GB

With the free 20GB of iCloud storage that former MobileMe users enjoyed coming to an end, Microsoft is trying to take advantage of the situation by offering users who are losing this free storage an extra 15GB of SkyDrive space for free for one year. This would be on top of the 7GB that users get for free with their SkyDrive account, for a total of 22GB of space free for a year. The offer came in a tweet from the SkyDrive Twitter account:

Did Apple cancel your extra MobileMe storage? Fwd the downgrade email to HelpMeSkyDrive@outlook.com for an extra 15GB of SkyDrive for 1 year

It’s a good offer, but SkyDrive does lack some features of iCloud. For instance, the ability to backup and restore your iOS device from the internet has become important to many, and SkyDrive, or any other service, for that matter, does not offer that ability on iOS. If you just want to store files, and you want something more flexible than iCloud, then it’s worth a look.

John Carmack Joins Oculus as CTO

Legendary game programmer John Carmack will be officially joining the Oculus team as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

John co-founded id Software, served as lead programmer on Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and the Quake series, and is one of the pioneers of 3D graphics. When John’s not working on revolutionizing video games or computer graphics, he can be found coding at Armadillo Aerospace.

John is one of the brightest minds of our generation — pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can.




iiNet Steps In To Buy Adam Internet


After Telstra screwed the proverbial market pooch on its acquisition of Adam Internet, iiNet has now swooped in on the regional ISP to acquire it for a sum of $60 million.


Adam Internet currently has 70,000 broadband subscribers in the Northern Territory and South Australia, and the acquisition of the ISP brings iiNet’s total customer numbers up to 900,000.


The ACCC has already cleared the acquisition of Adam by iiNet, but other structural and procedural hurdles still need to be adhered to. iiNet expects the deal to be completed by 31 August.

Chinese Hackers Have Been Caught Hijacking A Decoy US Water Plant


Chinese hackers have been harassing the US in a seriesof cyberattacks, but we’ve started trying to talk it outand cool this all down. But in the meantime, a security researcher has just revealed that he caught a team of Chinese hackers hijacking a fake water plant he set up. And aside from spotting the fake, they knew exactlywhat they were doing.


Kyle Wilhoit, a researcher with security company Trend Micro, explained the details of the whole thing at Black Hat on Wednesday. The hackers that attacked the honeypot are known as APT1 or “Comment Crew” and have been tracked back to the Chinese Army before; this isn’t just some group of high-tech hooligans.


According to Wilhoit, the whole thing was extremely and obviously deliberate. He put it this way to the MIT Technology Review:


You would think that Comment Crew wouldn’t come after a local water authority. I actually watched the attacker interface with the machine. It was 100 per cent clear they knew what they were doing.


This isn’t an isolated case either. Wilhoit also shared information about 12 other decoys that attracted some 74 deliberate attacks from APT1 and other groups, 10 of which were able to completely control of the fake water plants. If the targets had been real and not decoys, the attackers would have had no problem doing pretty much anything they wanted with the infrastructure they managed to snag.

The FBI Can Remotely Activate Microphones In Android Phones To Record Conversations

The WSJ is reporting that the FBI uses super slick hacker tactics and tools to spy on people. It can get pretty dirty. Like, according to a former US official, the ability to “remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google’s Android software to record conversations” dirty.


On top of the ability to record conversations with Android phones, the FBI can activate microphones in laptops without anyone ever knowing too. Supposedly, these hacker techniques are targeted towards cases involving organised crime, child pornography and terrorism. The FBI rarely uses hacking to investigate hackers since they don’t want to get caught and embarrassed. Both Google and FBI declined to comment to the WSJ.


Other details in the WSJ report reveal the FBI’s Remote Operations Unit, the unit in charge of the FBI’s hacking efforts. The Remote Operations Unit has developed ways to remotely installing surveillance tools on computers, installing malicious software using a thumb drive and so on. The FBI claims it only gathers “relevant data” from their hacks but yeah, that’s not exactly comforting. [WSJ]


IKEA’s New App Transports Furniture Right Into Your Living Room




IKEA has messed around with augmented reality before, but this year it has really outdone itself. With just a phone and a copy of the catalogue, you can now call up a digital version of any piece of furniture and put it anywhere in your home.


All you have to do is throw the catalogue on the floor to set an anchor for the illusion, and you’re all set. Granted, from an AR standpoint, this is nothing new, but it’s still cool. And, more importantly, it could actually be useful. Looking at a 3D rendering through your phone isn’t quite the same as seeing the real thing, but it’s as close as you could hope to come without holograms.


Lost Your Android Phone? Android Device Manager Will Find It For You


Later this month, Google will be releasing a new Android Device Manager to help you find your lost Android phone. Yes, it took Google this long to release its own app to locate your lost Android device.


Not only will you be able to locate your lost phone on a viewable map, the updated ADM will ring your device at maximum volume. And if it’s gone for good, then you can wipe your device remotely.


Devices running Android 2.2 or later will receive the update later this month. Google says a stand-alone Android app will also be released for those with multiple Android devices. [Android]





iiNet picks up Adam Internet for AU$60m


Less than two weeks after Telstra decided not to go ahead with its takeover of Adam Internet, iiNet has stepped in and entered into a binding agreement to acquire South Australia-based ISP Adam Internet for AU$60 million.


The deal was announced to the Australian Stock Exchange last Monday.


Under the agreement, iiNet will acquire Adam Internet’s 70,000 customers located primarily in South Australia and the Northern Territory, a new datacentre, DSLAM equipment and fibre network infrastructure.


Samsung’s smartwatch will likely be called the Galaxy Gear


With Samsung rumored to unveil its first-ever smartwatch in less than a month, we now have a very good idea of what the new device will be called. Dutch website Galaxy Club has spotted a trademark filing for a new line of devices called the Galaxy Gear that the company describes as “wearable electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or ban.” This is the second time we’ve seen the upcoming smartwatch referred to as the “Gear,” so it looks as though Samsung has now made a final decision on the name for its smartwatch. Earlier rumors have indicated that Samsung will release the device on September 4th alongside its Galaxy Note III.

YouTube Easter Egg: Type ‘1337’ for a Geek Surprise


Go to any YouTube page as of 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, and type the numbers 1337 — which, as any Internet veteran knows, is another way of saying “leet.” But make sure you type them on the page, not in the search bar. Then, presto: All of the comments on that page are now in leetspeak.


Even if you don’t understand the “language,” it’s a definite improvement on the average YouTube comment.




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