Episode 374 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Grab 50GB of Free Storage for Life on Box by Downloading the iOS App

iOS: You can never have too much free online storage. Box (formerly Box.net) is now offering a ton of free storage—50GB—if you download their new iPhone and iPad app within the next 30 days.P

No news for Android users – but they have had a dig at the 50 Gig in 2012.  Keep your eye on blog.box.com

This IPhone Case Doubles As A Stun Gun And Packs A 650,000-Volt Punch

Inside the case from a compnay called Yellow Jacket is a 650,000-volt stun gun that you can activate by pressing a button on the side of the case.  

A 5-second or longer taze could bring a grown man to his knees

won’t cause any lasting damage

the company makes it difficult to accidentally stun yourself through the seat of your pants. Before the activation switch works, you need to flip off the cover on the metal prongs and flip the safety switch. Quick and easy enough when you’re feeling threatened, but unlikely to happen by mistake.

Another neat feature of the Yellow Jacket: The case doubles the charge of your phone and will keep 10% reserve battery for emergencies — meaning you can use the stun gun feature on the case even when it’s otherwise “dead.”

The company currently sells cases for the iPhone 4 and 4S for $US99, with iPhone 5/5S and Samsung Galaxy cases on the way for the spring.

Apple’s new Aussie – Brisbane

Apple’s new store is scheduled to open at 10am on Friday 17 January

It will be Apple’s 21st store in Australia and just the first street-front store in Queensland. Apple also has two stores in shopping centres in Brisbane and another on the Gold Coast.

The Brisbane outlet will be its third street-front store in Australia, after the flagship George St store in Sydney and its Perth City outlet

The new Apple hub takes up the entire bottom level of the building, and features 200 “touch points” – Apple-speak for gadgets you can play with.

About 100 staff, who speak at least a dozen languages, will be employed.

“When we took over this store, a lot of the original historic elements were either missing or in disrepair, so what we’ve done is we’ve painstakingly restore it to its original glory,” Apple store leader Jonny Walker said.

AVG voted best vendor by Computer Troubleshooters

AVG Technologies has been named Vendor of the Year by the Australian Computer Troubleshooters Franchise Network (FNCTA) for the fifth time in six years.


Dowling said that a key factor behind AVG’s continuing success is its excellent, locally based support crew, which operates from AVG offices in Cheltenham, Victoria.

The judges’ comments underscored that by recognising that at AVG there were no language or time zone barriers; response times were fast; and the team understood their business and end customer needs. The judges acknowledged AVG’s diversity of its product, the design of its reseller program and its very favourable pricing for partners that have small to medium client bases.  

AVG previously won the award in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.


Windows 9 reportedly coming next year

Details of the next major version of Windows which will supersede Windows 8 are being tipped to be announced by Microsoft in April this year. with the new release coming out the year after,


Long-time Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott posted over the weekend details of what he has learnt about Windows 9, which is code-namedThreshold, from internal company sources.


Key features of Windows 9 will be the return of the Start button task launcher, and a new Metro 2.0 user interface that has a windowed mode, to enable apps to run on the Desktop.

These and other changes are necessary to for Windows 9 to succeed, Thurrott says.


Microsoft retreats from XP’s antivirus kill notice

Microsoft today backpedaled from earlier decisions and said it would extend a limited helping hand to Windows XP users by offering both antivirus signatures and its own Security Essentials software for more than a year after it stops patching the aged OS.


“To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our anti-malware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015,” the company’s Malware Protection Centerteam said.

Microsoft will ship its final public security updates — patches for known vulnerabilities — in less than three months, ending nearly 13 years of support

Security Essentials will continue to be available for download by Windows XP users from Microsoft’s website until July 14, 2015.


AV vendors buck Microsoft, will deliver Windows XP anti-malware signatures for years

Kaspersky, BitDefender and Avira, for example, which placed 1-2-3 in AV-Test’s September-October 2013 examination of AV products for Windows XP, have pledged to support consumers until 2018, January 2016 and April 2015, respectively. On the business side, Kaspersky, Symantec and Trend Micro products topped the list; Kaspersky will support its end-point AV software on XP until the second half of 2016, Trend Micro until Jan. 30, 2017. Symantec has not set an end date.


Stop Virus’ but not patch underlying windows vulnerabilities – UPGRADE PEOPLES!



Boost Mobile Cuts Data Allowances


The cheap get cheaper: Boost Mobile (now operated by Telstra) is slashing the data it offers customers, making the pre-paid game look less competitive once again.


Our sister site, Lifehacker reports that Boost has cut data on its $40 offering from 3GB down to 2GB.


In an announcement on its Facebook page, most of its customers don’t use more than 2GB, so it doesn’t really matter.


There it is again: the “average” customer ruining otherwise good telco plans again.


Read the full story on Lifehacker.


Aussie Mum In Anti-Bitcoin Crusade After Son’s Death


This is a tragic story. Anna Skelly came home from holiday with her husband to find her son dead on her bed after what looks to be a bad reaction to cocaine. Cocaine which he reportedly acquired from an online drug marketplace, financed by Bitcoin transactions. Now the Sydney mother is going on a crusade against the crypto-currency, calling on the Federal Government to ban it in Australia.


Anna Skelly has launched her own change.org petition to have Bitcoin banned in Australia.


“Tony Abbott,” the petition starts, “commence an inquiry into Bitcoin – it’s protecting drug dealers.”

Kogan Has A Sub-$1000 4K TV Now


We’ve watched on with envy as our Ameri-friends have enjoyed the option of sub-$1000 4K TVs for the last year, but now us Aussies can buy one too thanks to Kogan.


Unveiled at CES today, the LED 55-inch UHD/4K TV packs in a 3840×2160 resolution, four HDMI ports, Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet and microSD card slot.


It’s also a smart TV, running Android 4.2 with access to the Google Play store.


White Hat Hacking Lands Aussie Schoolboy In Hot Water


White hat hacking refers to someone who wants to find vulnerabilities in a particular organisation’s infrastructure to save them from being exploited by real bad guys. Companies usually contract these people to do such work, which is why a 16-year old Victorian schoolboy hacking his way around Public Transport Victoria is now in hot water, despite his best intentions.





Following tens of thousands of consumer complaints, Apple has agreed to refund at least $US32.5 million ($36.5 million) to US customers for children’s purchases from its App Store without parental consent, regulators say.


Apple must also change its billing practices to make it more obvious that an actual purchase is taking place during the course of a game or app, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said.


The mass Apple refund will not affect Australian parents, but follows a local crackdown and awareness campaign by Australia’s competition watchdog on potentially misleading “free” games and apps that trick children into spending their parents’ money on in-game purchases.


In December, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found hundreds of “free” smartphone games targeted at children failed to warn parents about potentially costly in-game purchases.


It is now considering legal action and is engaging with the industry about ensuring adequate disclosures about costs associated with app-based games.

The next version of Windows is slated to arrive by April 2015 as the current version, Windows 8, is “tanking”, according to a report.


The new iteration, Windows 9, is codenamed “Threshold”, according to a report from blogger Paul Thurrott.




“Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment,” wrote Thurrott.


Thurrott claimed Microsoft will release more details about its Windows-related plans at its Build developer conference in April this year.


Those plans might include an update to Windows 8.1 as well as Windows Phone 8.1, both of which should ship in April 2014.


Microsoft will reportedly overhaul its Metro design language in Windows 9, and although it won’t be released as an alpha version during the Build conference, the company plans to launch three milestone releases of Windows 9 before the final version hits shelves.


“It’s not clear what changes are coming, but it’s safe to assume that a windowed mode that works on the desktop is part of that,” wrote Thurrott.


Microsoft today announced it will continue to provide updates to its security products (antimalware engine and signatures) for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. Previously, the company said it would halt all updates on the same day as the end of support date for Windows XP: April 8, 2014.


For consumers, this means Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to get updates after support ends for Windows XP. For enterprise customers, the same goes for System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection, and Windows Intune running on Windows XP.

At Apple, he was renowned as one of the “godfathers” of the iPod — music’s hottest device since the Walkman.


So when Tony Fadell left the company in 2008 and co-founded a start-up with another Apple engineer, there was considerable interest in what the pair was working on.


After an 18-month wait, tech insiders were a little underwhelmed when Fadell announced his next project was not a cutting-edge entertainment device but a thermostat.


However, having sold his three-year-old company Nest to Google for $US3.2 billion ($3.5 billion) on Monday, those same detractors might now think otherwise.


The deal is the second-largest in Google’s history, after its $US12.5 billion acquisition of mobile phone maker Motorola in 2011, comfortably eclipsing the $US1.6 billion they paid for YouTube in 2006.


Nest is best known for its smart thermostat, which learns your habits over time and adjusts heat settings accordingly. It was created in a garage in Palo Alto, California.


Thinking about quitting your job? A new app aims to relieve the stress and anxiety of confronting your boss with the news by sending a text message instead.


Although the new iPhone app is meant to be funny, its creators are hoping it will take off and people will use it to leave jobs.


The Quit Your Job app takes users through a series of steps to determine why they are leaving and then crafts a text message that is sent directly to their boss.


“Despite all the advances in technology we still quit our jobs the same way we did hundreds of year ago,” said Alex Douzet, chief executive of TheLadders, a New York-based employment company that produces the app.




“There’s a lot of anxiety around the resignation process, so we used technology to ease the pain in that moment and make it seamless to break up with your boss,” he added.


Douzet said the first few months of a new year are the busiest time for job searches. Many people wait for their end-of-year bonuses before making a move to a new position.


“It always correlates with New Year’s resolutions. People think ‘I’m not happy and want to make a move,'” he said.

Just about every vendor at the Las Vegas Convention Centre was showing off some sort of wearable device for the world’s biggest gadget show.


A wearable gaming controller called the PrioVR consists of sensors to be strapped onto the body to allow users to fully immerse themselves in video games or any other kind of virtual world.


It makes use of triaxial gyroscopes, magnetometers and accelerometers, as well as sensor fusion – the combining of sensory data – to read movements. Combined with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, this is every gamer’s dream. Sony’s SmartBand is a waterproof wristband that tracks everything from physical activities and sleep patterns to how much the user has socialised with friends.


LG’s Lifeband Touch can be paired with headphones and a smartphone app to measures distance, speed, number of steps, calories consumed and projected pace. It will be available this year. LG also released Heart Rate Earphones, which can measure the wearer’s pulse.





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