Episode 361 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes – Longest Running Australian Tech News Reviews Podcast

posted in: Show Notes



Website maps 1.2 billion Facebook faces


A new project, “The Faces of Facebook,” collects more than 1.27 billion Facebook profile photos on one site, arranged in chronological order according to when the person joined the social network. Users can sign in via Facebook to pinpoint their photo on the page and see where they show up in relation to their friends.




Rojas the creator said she is not breaking Facebook privacy rules because she is not storing anyone’s name, photo or private information — just linking out to public Facebook profiles. She also said she hasn’t heard from the social network, which she thinks is good news because “I was a bit worried about things like using their name in the URL.”


Microsoft investors try to oust Bill Gates

Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, according to people familiar with matter.

While Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has been under pressure for years to improve the company’s performance and share price, this appears to be the first time that major shareholders are taking aim at Gates, who remains one of the most respected and influential figures in technology.


There is no indication that Microsoft’s board would heed the wishes of the three investors, who collectively hold more than 5 percent of the company’s stock, according to the sources. They requested the identity of the investors be kept anonymous because the discussions were private.


Gates owns about 4.5 percent of the $277 billion company and is its largest individual shareholder.

The three investors are concerned that Gates’ role as chairman effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they point to Gates’ role on the special committee searching for Ballmer’s successor.

They are also worried that Gates – who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation – wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.


Gates, who owned 49 percent of Microsoft before it went public in 1986, sells about 80 million Microsoft shares a year under a pre-set plan, which if continued would leave him with no financial stake in the company by 2018



Microsoft apps now support 81 Windows 8.1 devices

Microsoft is rapidly increasing the number of devices that can share apps from five to 81.

In Windows 8, users can “roam” their apps, using them across multiple devices under the same login, rather than buy the same app again. This could be done across five devices.


Starting 9 October, Windows Store apps will be able to roam across 81 devices – likely more of a nod to the arrival of Windows 8.1 than an actual expectation that even the most enthusiastic users have dozens of devices.


Developers will also be allowed to set the roaming limit to a smaller number of devices. “Developers that decide to have the app enforce a constraint around the number of devices must disclose that constraint to Windows Store customers and set expectations appropriately,” Microsoft said.



Microsoft: Security essentials covers the basics only

Microsoft has admitted Windows users should install antivirus above and beyond its own Security Essentials, describing its protection as merely a “baseline” that will “always be on the bottom” of antivirus software rankings.


auto installed in win 8


Microsoft has said it sees Security Essentials as merely the first layer of protection, advising customers to use additional, third-party antivirus – although the company stressed that wasn’t because the product wasn’t good enough to stand on its own.


Holly Stewart, senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center


that shouldn’t be seen as Microsoft leaving customers unprotected, claiming the company is merely focusing on the most serious threats.

“Baseline does not equal bad,” she said. “We provide a high-quality, high-performing service to our customers and if they choose not to buy [antivirus] on Windows 8… we want to get those people protected.”


Telstra cuts rates for mobile data roaming

Telstra will slash pay-as-you-go fees for international mobile data roaming from $15.36 to $3 a megabyte.

The telco said in a blog post it would also significantly expand the data limits for its ‘casual traveller data packs’.


Customers are also to be sent usage alerts every time they run through 20 MB of mobile data while roaming


Earlier this month, Optus introduced new zoning arrangements and fees for international roaming, that see data usage charged at between 50 cents and $1 a megabyte,


Vodafone has also been making changes to its international roaming plans, though its pay-as-you-go rates remain high at 1 cent a kilobyte ($10.24 per megabyte) for customers on a plan, or five times that for prepaid customers.

For $5 a day, Vodafone now allows customers to roam with the same features and allowances of their domestic plan, but the available countries are limited.



Dodgy Microsoft pirates slapped with $800k in fines

Software Paul, was recently ordered to pay $4995 in compensatory damages, plus $300,000 in additional damages, for what the software vendor said was due to the “flagrancy. of [his] repeated infringements of Microsoft software copyright”.


software paul had turned off updates on all four copies of Windows in an effort to avoid detection. Some of the software was also infected with malware.


“The court found software Paul to be a repeat offender who previously had 1473 counterfeit discs seized by the Victorian Police in 2005 and a further 799 in 2006. Furthermore, the court held that Software Paul had blatantly infringed Microsoft’s copyright as early as 2006 and continuing up until June 2013,” according to Microsoft.

Other judgements included a ruling on 17 June 2013 wher the perp was ordered to pay $30,000 damages, and another, who was ordered to damages of $40,000 in a ruling on 31 May.


Switkowski to lead three-person NBN Co board


Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed long-running rumours by naming former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski as the new chairman of NBN Co.


Switkowski will lead a drastically slimmed down board of three, which will include current board members Kerry Schott and Alison Lansley. The board must have a minimum of three members to operate.

The previous seven members of the NBN Co board, were asked to resign following the Coalition’s win in the September federal election.


Switkowski will act in the position of CEO until a new appointment is made.


Switkowski served as Telstra CEO from 1999 until his 2004 resignation and replacement by Sol Trujillo. Switkowski had previously worked at Optus and Kodak Australasia.


The new NBN board’s first task will be to undertake the 60-day NBN strategic review .


That review will set out options for a faster and more cost effective project roadmap, which will include a plan to revise the technology of the NBN from Labor’s fibre-to-the-home model to the Coalition’s preferred fibre-to-the-node.


The Coalition has costed its own policy at $20.4 billion until 2019. Labor’s policy was costed at $37.4 million until 2021.

The board will also begin detailing plans to renegotiate the deal with Telstra.

The pits and ducts are currently being used to house and connect fibre to homes. In order to move to a fibre-to-the-node system the Coalition will need to negotiate access to Telstra’s copper.


iiNet signs up for Hawaiki, SubPartners cables

Trans-Pacific cable contender Hawaiki said it received a letter of intent from iiNet, for capacity on its proposed new link between Australia, New Zealand and the west coast of the United States.

In addition, iiNet said in a financial filing that it will take capacity on a SubPartners cable, which is to be built between Perth and Singapore

The cable is scheduled for completion in late 2015, and will have a design capacity of 20 terabits per second.


ISP iiNet will take up to 5 Tbps


New Zealand provider Voyager 20 gigabits per second initially.



Icelandic phone app stops you dating close relatives

The app allows users to bump their phones together and instantly find out whether or not they are related.


Sleeping with a relative is more of an issue in Iceland than most other territories due to the country’s small size—Iceland has just 320,000 residents, compared with more than 300 million people in the U.S.—as well as the lack of immigration and the peculiar way that surnames are constructed in the country.

Your surname is not passed down through the generations as it is in most Western cultures. Instead, your surname is your mother or father’s first name, with the word “son” or “dottir” suffixed.

So, to use Iceland’s most famous export as an example, all that the surname of Björk Guðmundsdóttir tells us about her heritage is that her mother’s first name was Guðmund. Information which, if exchanged in a bar late at night when Sigur Ros is playing really loudly, may not give many hints as to exact lineage or potential problems at the next family get-together. People are listed in the phone book by their first names in Iceland.

“In addition to the already available search function where you can search for and find out how you are related to any other Icelander, we added a birthday calendar to make sure you don’t forget your relative’s birthday. The app even reminds you on the date to guarantee you won’t forget it.”

YouTube’s first-ever Music Awards

On November 3, YouTube will honor the artists you love in a global celebration with live performances by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Arcade Fire and more.


You chose the nominees every time you liked or shared their videos on YouTube; now, starting October 17, get ready to pick the winners.



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