Episode 375 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Microsoft: Unplugging Windows XP PCs won’t keep them safe

“Being disconnected to an internal network [sic], or using a USB or CD to transfer information, may reduce the attack surface but will still leave you vulnerable to several types of attacks once support ends. Aside from a few special situations, keeping your Windows XP machine in a sealed room on its own is not the right choice for your business,” Microsoft said in the document, which was viewed by CRN US

Security experts said customers that continue using XP on systems still connected to the Internet after the deadline could be hit with a flood of zero-day vulnerabilities. But for disconnected PCs, it’s hard to see how they might be vulnerable, experts said.

Though Microsoft is ending XP support and patches, the software giant will be providing antimalware signature updates for XP users through July 14, 2015, to help businesses complete migrations.

 


$45,000 worth of iPhones stolen – Modbury

 

Police are investigating the theft of 51 new Apple iPhones from a store at Modbury on Sunday 12 January 2014.

At about 3pm, four men entered the store and while several of the men distracted staff members, the other two broke into a locked cupboard and stole 51 new iPhones valued at approximately $45,000.

It was not until after the group left that the theft was apparent.

Police believe this is an organised group working nationally targeting electronic devices at large stores and shopping complexes.

The men are all described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 175cm tall with slim builds and several members of the group had an Irish accent.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the theft or has information regarding the suspects identities, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.sa.crimestoppers.com.au

– See more at: http://www.sapolicenews.com.au/component/content/article/4-news/20851-45000-worth-of-iphones-stolen-modbury.html#sthash.PMsp7Hy2.dpuf

 


Carriers “losing grip” on phone sales

According to new research from Telsyte, fewer than half of all smartphones sold in Australia were bought via contract in 2013.

Outright purchases have been growing on popularity; around 30 percent of people who acquired a smartphone in 2013 bought the phone outright.

Contracts do remain a key part of the sales mix; 43 percent of Australians 16 years and older acquired smartphones on a contract last year, with “free” handsets on contracts that don’t require extra monthly payments particularly popular.

 

hand-me down” phones, which increased in 2013, according to Telsyte. The tendency for more phone owners to upgrade their handsets at a faster rate has led to a “glut” of secondhand devices on the market.

 

the trend away from buying phone contracts also suits companies like Apple and Samsung, who have a preference to selling direct.

 


 

Google uses YouTube performance to rate ISPs

 

The Video Quality Report website will first be available in Canada, where users will be able to see how an ISP’s network performs in a specific region. Unlike many other performance tests, the Video Quality Report doesn’t spit out a number of megabits per second, but one of three ratings.

 

The top one is “HD Verified,” which means users should be able to watch videos in HD (at least 720p) with fast load times most of the time. To get the rating the operator’s network has to perform at that level 90 percent of the time. The sustained speed needed to qualify is over 2.5M bps.

 

“Standard Definition” and “Lower Definition”. They mean users can watch videos in standard definition (at least 360p) with moderate load times or with a resolution lower than 360p. Videos will also load slowly and may stop to re-buffer over networks that have the lowest rating.

 

The rating for an ISP can be split into various time slices — for example, hour, day or week — as well as different geographical levels. Google’s goal was to present a rating that “is meaningful, easy to understand and one that closely reflects the real world Internet experience,” the company said.

 

The company didn’t give any details on when the report will become available to users outside of Canada. For now, the site just says “results from your location are not yet available” if you try to use it in other countries.


LogMeIn pulls plug on free remote access; rage ensues

 

LogMeIn announced Tuesday that it would shutter the free remote access service — which lets people connect to as many as 10 computers for remote support, transferring files and online demonstrations — it said it was immediately halting new registrations and would require current users to pick a paid plan.

Current users will have seven days from the day they next use LogMeIn to pay up or lose the free service. The Boston-based company has sent emails to users, and will notify them of the change when they run the software on a PC, Mac or mobile device.

LogMeIn’s least-expensive paid plan costs $99 annually, and allows access to only two computers, although the company is halving that fee — to $49 for the first year — to entice users into signing up.

Not surprising, virtually all of the several hundred commenters bewailed the demise of the free service.

 

“Thanks for giving us loads of notice to sort something else out,” chimed inchandlerp.

 


 

Google loses Android patent lawsuit, faces claim for US$125 million in damages

 

SimpleAir is seeking US$125M in damages from Google after a jury found that push notification services in Android infringe on a SimpleAir patent, the company said Tuesday.

 

Google declined to comment on the case but one of Google’s attorney’s asked for mistrial on all issues, a court document showed.

 

Its patent portfolio is licensed by several technology companies, including Apple. Apple settled a patent lawsuit with SimpleAir in May 2012 when the companies entered into a confidential license agreement. Earlier in 2012 SimpleAir entered into a similar agreement with Blackberry and in November last year, Microsoft also entered into a confidential settlement and license agreement with the company.

 

SHAYNE’S STORIES

 

HP To US Customers: ‘Windows 7 Is Back’

 

HP is bringing back Windows 7 “by popular demand” — it’s not clear from whom — and making it pretty difficult to buy a computer with Windows 8. Who needs the future when you’ve got the very recent past?

 

HP sent a boatload of emails out to US shoppers over the weekend, pointing out that “Windows 7 is back”, before offering customers up to $US150 of savings for people buying a PC loaded with Windows 7 rather than 8.

Woman Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass While Driving Judged Innocent

 

Remember the woman who got a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving? Well, her citation has been dismissed by a court commissioner, who said he found no proof the device was operating at the time.

 

The achingly contemporary court case saw technology entrepreneur Cecilia Abadie challenge a citation, given alongside a speeding ticket, for using a visual “monitor” in her car while driving. By visual monitor, the ticket was in fact referring to her wearing Google Glass.

 

Aussie Tennis Fan Smashes TV With Tablet, Blames Channel Seven

 

VIDEO – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bdFdK7PLcMo

 

App-based competitions are fun, aren’t they? Car company Kia for the Australian Open Tennis are challenging people to return a virtual serve on their phone, but now someone has put a tablet through a TV trying to beat the game. It’s the Wiimote catastrophe all over again. Does nobody ever learn?

 

The competition is simple. Use an app you download on a phone to return a virtual serve made by the current world record holder, Aussie player Sam Groth. Swing the phone at your TV and if you return it, you go in the draw to win a Kia car.

Vodafone Finally Releases 4G Modem And Wi-Fi Hotspots With Plans To Match

 

Vodafone has had a fancy and fast 4G network for some time now, but data-hungry customers with multiple devices have been patiently tapping their feet waiting for something that can connect all of them at once. Enter the 4G Pocket Wi-Fi hotspots from Vodafone, able to connect up to 10 devices at once.

 

Both the new USB broadband device and the Pocket Wi-Fi hotspots will be available on new 4G data plans from Vodafone.

 

JASON’S STORIES

 

If you wear Google Glass to the movies, the FBI might come after you

A man who went to a cinema in the US wearing Google Glass was interrogated by FBI agents for an hour because employees thought that he was illegally recording the movie (his Glass was off). Even if you don’t have a lot of context for FBI interrogations that still sounds like a really scary hour. I mean, this guy was just trying to watch Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit in peace.

The incident, which took place in Columbus, Ohio, was complicated by the fact that the man’s Glass had prescription lenses. Had they been clear, he could have just taken them off to prove that he wasn’t interested in recording, but he needed them to see the movie, and the employees reportedly didn’t believe him.

An AMC theatre spokesperson told Business Insider the people at the company are “huge fans of technology and innovation”, but it’s not appropriate to wear a device with recording capabilities in a movie theatre. AMC also noted that it eventually contacted Homeland Security because this agency oversees movie theft cases.

It took an hour for “the feds”, as they called themselves, to figure out that they could resolve the issue by checking what was on the man’s Glass.

“Eventually, after a long time somebody came with a laptop and a USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean,” he told the Gadgeteer. “I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording).

“Then they went through my phone, and five minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong.”

How Google’s smart contact lens works

Wearable devices are already bringing technology much closer to you than you ever may have expected, but Google has kicked it up to a whole new level.

The company last week announced a project to make a smart contact lens. But this gadget isn’t going to be used to deliver your email straight into your skull – at least not yet. This project is working to tackle one of the biggest health problems facing us today: diabetes.

Given the wariness around wearable devices and their capabilities for data collection, the idea that the company would get that much closer raises the question: how will Google handle this data? Or, for that matter, how can any commercial company stepping into a new world of collecting sensitive medical data deal with the security concerns?

It’s a question that Google’s clearly thought a lot about, said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology, who was briefed on the lens before the company’s announcement. Hall said Google assured him the data would not be added to the company’s banks of personal information gathered from other servers.

“The data will never hit Google’s servers,” he said. “That’s a forward-thinking affirmative claim that they’re making. That is important.”

 

Candy Crush developer trademarks the word ‘candy’

 

Almost a year after the makers behind the popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga filed a trademark claim for the word “candy”, the filing has been approved in the United States.

Now, app developers with games on the market that include “candy” in the title are reportedly receiving emails from Apple asking them to remove their apps from the App Store.

These emails are in line with Apple’s protocol as the company automatically sends out emails asking the two parties to connect when a claim is filed. Such emails therefore don’t necessarily mean the tech giant is working alongside King.com, the maker of Candy Crush, it’s simply the protocol that takes place when a user files a claim against another developer.

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The trademark includes games and software, educational services, and, oddly enough, clothing.

King.com is indeed asking other developers to remove their games, according to Gamezebo. King did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and an Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Laying claim to a word as common as candy is ruffling some feathers in the world of gaming developers, many of whom may not have the financial resources necessary to fight a trademark claim against a more established developer such as King.

 

‘Fastest ever’ broadband speeds achieved in fibre test

 

The “fastest ever” broadband speeds have been achieved in a test that hit 1.4 terabits per second – enough to transmit 44 high-definition movies in just one second.

British Telecom (BT) and French networking equipment company Alcatel-Lucent conducted the test on the existing fibre network in London, with the hope of maximising the efficiency of the current infrastructure and avoiding costly upgrades.

“It’s a reaction to the growth in demand for video content,” the managing director of technology analyst firm Telsyte, Foad Fadaghi, told Fairfax Media. “It’s about reducing the cost of carrying vast amounts of data over the coming years.”

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The chief executive of broadband analyst firm Point Topic, Oliver Johnson, agreed, telling the BBC: “BT and Alcatel-Lucent are making more from what they’ve got … It allows them to increase their capacity without having to spend much more money.”

Researchers used what is known as “flexigrid” infrastructure, creating an “alien super channel” made up of seven 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) channels. These channels – the paths that data travel between two nodes on a network – were combined to give a total capacity of 1.4 terabits per second.

The gaps between these transmission channels were reduced, thereby increasing the channels’ density, resulting in a 42.5 per cent increase in the efficiency of data transmission compared with current standard networks.

 

Facebook, Twitter to remove ‘harmful’ content under proposed government crackdown

Major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ will be directed to remove bullying and other “harmful” online content under a federal government proposal.

But those involved say the proposal could ignore smaller networks such as Snapchat, and fail in its goal of stamping out online bullying.

As foreshadowed on Tuesday, the government is currently consulting with industry and child safety groups on the proposal, which would see a “senior Commonwealth official” appointed as e-safety commissioner.

The commissioner would field complaints about content online and direct large social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to remove offending content.

Those that failed to comply could face formal warnings, infringement notice and civil penalties.

“It is clear that parents, and others caring for children, want more help – and better tools – to keep the children in their care as safe as possible when they use the internet,” said Liberal MP Paul Fletcher, parliamentary secretary to the Communications Minister.

“When a child falls victim to cyber-bullying, it can be hard to get the harmful material down fast. And with current laws, cyber-bullies may not realise they are breaking the law. This is what these measures are designed to address.”

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