Episode 355 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Queensland Health begins planning new payroll system

The Queensland Government has accepted all four recommendations of the commission of inquiry into the failed Queensland Health payroll replacement and is already “well on track” to see them implemented.


One of those recommendations calls upon the state to immediately commence planning for the replacement of the $1.2 billion IBM-built system, itself a replacement for the LATTICE system the Department had previously relied upon.



Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch due 4 September

The new device will arrive on 4 September, according to reports, along with an updated Galaxy Note 3.


According to specs leaked to GigaOm, the watch will run on Android and will feature a 2.5in OLED display.

Additional reports suggest a 320 x 320 resolution display, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 2-megapixel camera and lengthy battery life. The watch will also reportedly have Bluetooth and NFC.

According to GigaOm, Samsung is encouraging developers to write apps for the watch for its own app store, rather than Google Play.

LNP to revisit number plate scanning

The Coalition plans to resurrect a proposal to roll out automated number plate recognition (ANPR) technology nationally, in a bid to track the movements of criminals and gangsters near airports and waterways.


“This will enable law enforcement and criminal intelligence agencies to identify people and organisations whose attendance at these locations may be unauthorised or suspicious.” the Liberal and National parties said.

Amazon outage lasts 25 minutes, costs millions

Amazon is one of the top 10 web web sites in the world with between 70 and 80 million visitors a day.


earlier this year it suffered a 47 minute crash at the end of January. It s estimated that Amazon loses $70,000 in revenue for every minute it is offline.


This time the outage lasted 20 to 25 minutes potentially costing it $2 to $3 million in sales


Amazon Web Services appears to have been unaffected by the crash although its control centre did report increased error rates during the incident.

Amazon is yet to comment on the outage.


Microsoft: Upgrade from Windows XP or risk ‘infinite zero-days’

Microsoft is intensifying its efforts asking users to scrap Windows XP, next April which began life in 2001.


after April 8[, 2014], Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates


any new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its ‘end of life’ will not be addressed by new security updates from Microsoft.


According to a study conducted in April by VMware, 64 percent of enterprise-size companies still haven’t migrated off XP. The same goes for 52 percent of midsize firms and 61 percent of SMBs.

“Common challenges such as end-user downtime, data loss, migration failures and effort to upgrade remote employees

In addition, cost is an impediment. Gartner has estimated that, based on a 10,000-PC environment, the expense of migration is between $1,205 and $1,999 per machine.


Google crashes, world internet traffic down 40 per cent

Friday afternoon – US pacific standard time –  almost all of Google’s services around the world went dark. As a result global internet traffic immediately dropped by 40 per cent,



Sony names PlayStation 4 launch dates

The next-generation games machine will become available in North America on 15 November and Europe on 29 November.


Sony said there had already been more than one million pre-orders of its new console worldwide. It added that a total of 32 countries would be able to buy the PS4 during the Christmas holiday season.


Previously unannounced PS4 titles unveiled in Germany included:

  • Shadow of the Beast – a reboot of the 1980s Commodore Amiga title – as a Sony exclusive

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, a post-apocalyptic game from the UK-based developers of cult title Dear Esther

  • Minecraft, the landscape-building title which has already been a hit on the Xbox 360 and PCs

Children to have Linkedin profiles

Linkedin is dropping its minimum age for membership from 18 to 13.

Children’s profiles will have default settings making less of their personal information publicly visible, with more prominent links to safety information.

Support requests from child members will also be dealt with separately.

Dr Bernie Hogan, of the Oxford Internet Institute, said the development, which takes effect on 12 September, would help children “differentiate between the public profile they want for employment [and] the personal profile they share on Facebook with their friends and family”.

“I am personally opposed to employers intruding on Facebook pages while screening candidates,” he said.

Minecraft maker shelves 0x10c video game

The new project was provisionally titled 0x10c. It was to be a space-themed game, set in the distant future.

Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, recorded £57m profit in 2012 and had promoted 0x10c during its development.

Mr Persson blamed both the high levels of interest in 0x10c and code copiers for his decision to stop working on it.

“I was streaming code and someone copied all the code and made their own version of it,” he said of the new game during a live web stream.

Mr Persson has previously said he found it “weird” that he had made so much money out of the game, and told his web stream audience that he would no longer work on such high profile projects.

“I’m just going to make small games that hopefully you guys like instead of trying to do something that was going to have big mass appeal.”

Facebook founder Zuckerberg hacked to highlight bug

A Palestinian programmer has highlighted a flaw in Facebook’s security system by posting a message on Mark Zuckerberg’s private page.

Mr Shreateh said he had tried to use Facebook’s White Hat scheme, which offers a monetary reward for reporting vulnerabilities, but had been ignored.

Facebook said it had fixed the fault but would not be paying Mr Shreateh.

Mr Shreateh found a security breach that allowed Facebook users to post messages on the private “walls” of people who had not approved them as “friends”, overriding the site’s privacy features.

He wrote to Facebook’s White Hat team to warn them of the glitch, providing basic details of his discovery.

After a short exchange with the team, Mr Shreateh received an email saying: “I am sorry this is not a bug”.

In the post, Mr Shreateh, whose first language is Arabic, said he was “sorry for breaking your privacy and post to your wall” but that he had “no other choice” after being ignored by Facebook’s security team.

He added that as Mr Shreateh had highlighted the bug “using the accounts of real people without their permission”, he would not qualify for a payout.



Foxtel’s TV1 And SF To Close In December


Two of Foxtel’s most popular channels will go off the air at the end of the year.


The owners of TV1 and SF haven’t been able to negotiate a deal with Foxtel, and the channels will close when the current deal runs out at the end of December.


Mediaweek reported that Foxtel seems certain it can find replacements for both, and keep the most popular content available to subscribers.


Foxtel will reveal details of its new general entertainment and science fiction channels once it’s finalised new content deals.


TV1 and FX both allow playback to TV and tablet right now if you sign up for Foxtel Play, but you can’t watch them on computer because of a strange licensing quirk. One benefit of the upcoming changes may be improved cross-licensing that lets you watch both channels on more devices.


Travellers Beware: Google Play Might Delete All Your Books


It’s easy to forget that owning something digitally is way different from owning it for real. And if you do forget, it can bite you in the arse. That’s what happened to Jim O’Donnell when he traveled into Singapore and found that Google Play Books app on his iPad had up and deleted all his ebooks.


You see, the Google Play Store doesn’t operate in Singapore, Google Play Books aren’t available in Singapore, so obviously it’s not going to sell to people who are there. But apparently the DRM goes a step further, and can/will actually delete your stuff if it catches you visiting the wrong part of town the world.


The helpful update didn’t affect O’Donnell’s ownership of the books, of course, but he found that outside of Google Play territory, re-downloading was impossible. And all this could have been avoided by refusing the update, but that’s a shitty thing to have to know ahead of time.


It’s unclear if the Android app behaves the same way, but the Google Play Terms of Service does clearly state:


In certain cases (for example, if Google loses the relevant rights, discontinues a service or a Product is discontinued, breaches applicable terms or the law), Google may remove from your Device or cease providing you with access to certain Products that you have purchased.


Aussies Pirate Breaking Bad More Than Anyone Else On Earth


Australians top the charts for the most notorious pirates of Breaking Bad on the planet. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie?


According to TorrentFreak, Aussies topped the charts for illegal downloaders pulling the return episode ofBreaking Bad, with 16.1 per cent of the world’s traffic coming from within Australia. We weren’t too far ahead of the pack, however, with the US coming in at 16 per cent of the illegal downloaders, followed by Canada at just over 9 per cent.


Australia’s most pirate-happy city for the Breaking Bad return was Melbourne, with one in 20 illegal downloaders living there, while second place was claimed by Sydney, with one in 30 illegal downloaders hailing from the Harbour city.


This isn’t the first time Australia has set world records for piracy. Almost every successive return of Game Of Thrones sees Aussies nabbing headlines as the world’s most prolific pirates.


The latest piracy figures come after both Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad have been fast-tracked to Australian screens just hours after release.


Snowden Reportedly Started Stealing Spy Documents While Working At Dell


Unnamed United States officials and other anonymous sources told Reuters about the Dell connection. They say that Snowden started downloading information about the government’s spy programs as early as April 2012, when he was working at Dell. It appears that the NSA was one of Dell’s clients at the time, and Snowden managed to win access to documents about the NSA’s collecting information from fibre-optic cables, including transoceanic cables. A Dell spokesman told Reuters, “We are honouring our customer’s request that we not comment on this matter.”


Mercedes-Benz Is Integrating Google Glass Against Your Better Judgment


Wired reports that the German automaker is currently working with Google to integrate Glass into its cars’ navigation and infotainment systems. They’re calling it “Door-to-Door Navigation,” and they mean that literally. And it actually sounds quite safe.


The working prototype is simple enough. Dial up some directions through Google Glass while you’re walking out the door. Hop in your car, plug in your phone and the directions are beamed over to the Mercedes’ in-dash navigation system which will take you to your destination. Once you arrive, unplug your phone and the rest of the directions are beamed back to Google Glass to take you to the door at the end of your journey. Get it? Door-to-door navigation.


This order of operations should quell some anxiety about using Glass behind the wheel, which is probably going to be illegal in more than a few states. In effect, the Glass integration is just improving the car’s existing navigation system and doing so in a way that doesn’t require the driver to stare at the Glass display while driving. Wired’s Damon Lavrinc isn’t so sure that would be a bad thing, though. He wrote earlier this year:


What’s more dangerous behind the wheel? Constantly checking and poking a small smartphone screen stuck to your dash or tucked away in a cup-holder, or simply glancing up — through a transparent screen directly in your field of view — to see when to make your next turn.


Even built-in systems designed by automakers aren’t much better, with small touch points, horrid user interfaces and finicky voice controls.




“Jiva”: iiNet’s new $79 unlimited quota plan


National broadband player iiNet has revealed it will challenge cut-rate ISPs TPG and Dodo with a new $79 broadband and telephone package offering “unlimited” broadband quota and to be marketed under a new brand dubbed “Jiva”.


“Jiva will be ready for new customers from September 2013, selling under the simple proposition: ‘One plan. One bill. Always.’,” the company said. “For $79 per month on a 24-month plan, Jiva customers will get an ADSL2+ broadband connection, unlimited broadband data, all local and national landline calls, and a wireless modem.”


Leave a Reply