Episode 393 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Microsoft demos Skype instant translator

Microsoft has revealed a real-time translator for Skype that allows two people speaking different languages to hold a conversation with each other, with each hearing the other in their own language.

Dubbed Skype Translator, it was introduced by company CEO Satya Nadella on the first day of the inaugural Code Conference In California


Gurdeep Pall corporate vice president of Skype cautioned it is “early days” for the technology.


the translation produced during the demo is accurate, it is noticeable both Diana and Pall were speaking slowly and taking care to articulate their words.


The first version of Skype Translator will be available to Windows 8 users as a beta app before the end of 2014.



Microsoft warns against XP hack for updates

Microsoft is warning against a simple hack that enables those still using Windows XP to receive security updates through 2019.

The trick involves modifying the system registry, a process that is fairly easy, said security experts. The modification makes the Windows XP system appear as a point-of-sale system or automated teller machine by Microsoft’s update servers. Both restricted Windows XP systems received a support extension while the financial industry upgrades the devices.


Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP,


Segura said.  “While it may be tempting to use this hack, users should bear in mind that Microsoft did not intend for those upcoming updates to be applied on regular XP.” said Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher at security vendor Malwarebytes:



Aussie Apple users face ransomware attack

A number of Australian Apple customers have reported being locked out of their devices and prompted to send up to US$100 to a suspected hacker in order to have them unlocked.

All the affected customers revealed that their Apple products – phones, tablets, laptops or desktops – were connected to Apple’s iCloud services.


affected users found a workaround to access their devices by restoring the device from a backup within their iTunes account.

Such a workaround appears only to be effective for users who previously had a passcode on their devices.


The issue has also been reported by a handful of New Zealand customers.


No comment from apple at this stage



Apple fixes iMessage lock-in for Android users

Apple claims it has fixed a bug with its iMessage service that prevented users who switched from iPhone to Android from receiving some text messages.


Ex iPhone users can also log into Apple’s website and deactivate iMessage on their old device if they no longer have the handset, but a recent server glitch prevented Apple’s support staff from helping customers switch iMessage off.


Apple is facing a lawsuit in the US from a former customer who claims the iMessage glitch is depriving her of a full telephone service after making the switch to Android. Well I guess thats over with now then ??


Alleged iPhone 6 dummy shows curvy screen

A noted leaker of Apple information tweeted photos of an alleged mock iPhone 6 featuring a curved screen.

iphone6sonnydicksonmay82014.jpgIs a curved screen in the works for the next iPhone?Sonny Dickson

Though you can make-your-own Apple iPhone 6 rumor, you can go a more traditional route and pay attention to noted leaker of Apple products, Sonny Dickson. He tweeted photos claiming to show mock-ups of the iPhone 6 with a new and notably curvaceous design.

Dickson shared images of the purported front and back of an iPhone 6 dummy and, since rumors of the next Apple smartphone brandishing a curved screen have been floating around for some time, the leak is excitingly convincing. The curved screen in the photo is mostly notable thanks to a reflection of light seen on the left side, but the photo of the rear shows the new rounded design more prominently.



The purported iPhone 6 dummy appropriately looks like a rough draft.Sonny Dickson

The latest rumors lead us to believe there will be more than one iPhone released later this year, including a larger 5.5-inch model. The curved screen rumor piggybacks off of current smartphones rocking the fresh design and, with Apple’s tendency to pack existing cutting-edge technology into their new devices and marketing them as breakthrough wonders, I wouldn’t put it past them.

The leaked images of the iPhone 6 dummy look rough around the (curved) edges, but Dickson’s reputation for truthy rumors precedes him, giving the speculation as much credibility as you can give a rumor. Do you think these photos are real? How do you feel about the next iPhone offering a curved screen? Let us know in the comments.

Apple Announces $3 Billion Beats Acquisition, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Joining the Company

Wednesday May 28, 2014 1:34 pm PDT by Jordan Golson

Apple is buying Beats Electronics and the Beats Music streaming service for a total of $3 billion. The acquisition is the largest in Apple’s history and is the biggest move by CEO Tim Cook since he took the reins from Steve Jobs several years ago.


Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as full time employees, with both reporting to iTunes head Eddy Cue. In an interview with The New York Times, Cook said Iovine and Dre were “really unique” and that “it’s like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They’re rare and very hard to find.”


Cook said that “of course” Apple could have built a subscription music service rather than buying one, just like the company could have built all the technologies that it has acquired over the years. “You don’t build everything yourself. It’s not one thing that excites us here. It’s the people. It’s the service.”


In the Times, Cook promised new features for Beats that will “blow your mind” as well as “products you haven’t thought of yet”. He promised the team would “take music to an even higher level than it is now.”



Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre and Eddy Cue


In an interview with Re/code, Cook said that Apple felt Beats was the first subscription music service to “get it right:

We get a subscription music service that we believe is the first subscription service that really got it right. They had the insight early on to know how important human curation is. That technology by itself wasn’t enough — that it was the marriage of the two that would really be great, and produce a feeling in people that we want to produce.




But mostly, backing up — it’s because we always are future-focused. So it’s not what Apple and Beats are doing today. It’s what we believe pairing the two together can produce for the future.

Apple has seen rumors of a interest in a subscription music service for close to a decade, with Jobs saying in 2007 that customers “don’t seem to be interested” in music subscriptions. The New York Post said in 2010 that Apple was negotiating with record labels on such a service, though nothing ever came of it.


Earlier this month, Spotify reported that it has 10 million paying subscribers to its music service, showing that many customers are now interested in such a service.


The Wall Street Journal says Iovine will quit as chairman of Interscope records to work full time at Apple. Dr. Dre will continue to produce music but do “as much as it takes” for Apple. The two men’s titles will reportedly be “Jimmy and Dre”. In a letter to employees, Tim Cook confirmed that the entire Beats team will be joining Apple under Eddy Cue and noted the company’s commitment to curated content.

Both Apple and Beats believe that a great music service requires a strong editorial and curation team, and we will continue to expand what we do in those areas. The addition of Beats will make our incredible iTunes lineup even better, extending the emotional connection our customers have with music.

Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine will appear tonight on stage at the Code Conference.


The acquisition will include $2.6 billion in cash and another $400 million that will vest over time. Apple expects the transaction to close sometime next quarter. The Beats Music iOS app has been updated with an extended 14-day trial period and a price drop to its yearly subscription to $100 from $120.


Beats Music is a free download for the iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]


Apple to launch ‘smart home’ system at WWDC


Apple plans to reveal a new integrated home platform at next week’s WWDC, according to a report in The Financial Times(subscription needed).

The system would be a software platform that would enable an iPhone (or presumably an iPad) to have direct control over such household items as lights, security, heating and other gadgets.

The FT reports that Apple’s plan is to make a “big play” in the area, and it will do this by giving official approval to various suppliers and device makers, in the same way that the ‘Made for iPhone’ programs does for hardware accessories like headphones.

It will also enable software support for the devices in iOS 8.

“The Cupertino-based company was likely to emphasise the privacy protections built into its smart home system, one person familiar with Apple’s plans told the FT, given heightened sensitivity about technology companies’ access to personal information amid revelations about US intelligence agencies’ online surveillance programs,” writes the news website.

WWDC 2014 Round up


OS X 10.10, iOS 8, and More

Possible Announcements

  • iOS 8 with Healthbook

  • OS X 10.10

  • No iWatch or revamped Apple TV

  • Possible iMac Refresh

  • Home Automation Platform



Google has started building its own self-driving car that it hopes to begin testing as early as this year.

“They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal … because they don’t need them,” the company said in a blog post. “Our software and sensors do all the work.”

For Google, the car marks a shift away from adapting vehicles made by others in its quest to pioneer individual transport that needs only a stop-and-go function.

“It was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask: ‘What should be different about this kind of vehicle?'” the post said.

Google said it plans to build about 100 prototype vehicles.

Later this year its drivers will start testing early versions with manual controls, Google said.

“If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years,” the company said.

The top speed of the prototypes will be 40 kilometres per hour.

The ACT Government has awarded iiNet a five-year contract to offer free wi-fi to Canberra residents and visitors, with over 700 wireless access points to be rolled out across 12 business districts by June next year.

iiNet will utilise Cisco technology to deploy 300 wireless access points in high traffic areas and 400 points within businesses across the city, connecting users with its fibre and VDSL2 broadband network.

The ACT Government first revealed plans to make free wi-fi available in public spaces and transport hubs across Canberra in November last year.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher promised a $2.9 million investment into wi-fi hot spots in the lead up to the 2012 ACT election.


WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues

This page exists only to help migrate existing data encrypted by TrueCrypt.

The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP. Windows 8/7/Vista and later offer integrated support for encrypted disks and virtual disk images. Such integrated support is also available on other platforms (click here for more information). You should migrate any data encrypted by TrueCrypt to encrypted disks or virtual disk images supported on your platform.

How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

Soulskill posted about two weeks ago | from the backed-into-a-corner dept.


An anonymous reader writes”Last year the W3C approved the inclusion of DRM in future HTML revisions. It’s called Encrypted Media Extensions, and it was not well received by the web community. Nevertheless, it had the support of several major browser makers, and now Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal has a post explaining how Firefox will be implementing EME. He says, ‘This is a difficult and uncomfortable step for us given our vision of a completely open Web, but it also gives us the opportunity to actually shape the DRM space and be an advocate for our users and their rights in this debate. … From the security perspective, for Mozilla it is essential that all code in the browser is open so that users and security researchers can see and audit the code. DRM systems explicitly rely on the source code not being available. In addition, DRM systems also often have unfavorable privacy properties. … Firefox does not load this module directly. Instead, we wrap it into an open-source sandbox. In our implementation, the CDM will have no access to the user’s hard drive or the network. Instead, the sandbox will provide the CDM only with communication mechanism with Firefox for receiving encrypted data and for displaying the results.'”


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