Episode 413 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes



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Apple lets local resellers mass-configure devices

Apple has opened the door for iOS and OS X devices purchased through Australian resellers to access its device enrolment program, allowing enterprise and education institutions managing large fleets of Apple devices to configure new iPhones and Macbooks before use.


It removes the need to manually configure iPhones, iPads and Macbooks – allowing staff to use the devices straight out of the box.

The service had previously only been available for devices purchased directly from Apple. From today, the program has been extended not only to countries outside the US – including Australia – but also to devices purchased through authorised resellers.

The service allows IT teams to assign user profiles before the iPhone is activated, link devices to MDM servers, and importantly, use the ‘zero-touch configuration’ tool to immediately configure apps and account settings when the device is first switched on.



The internet of things will now make your coffee

The $150 device allows you to switch the coffee maker on to a schedule, “monitor your brew status” and modify the strength of the brew using the WeMo app for iOS and Android devices. The device can also be triggered remotely, so you can have a fresh pot waiting when you walk through the door of an evening, or simply fire up the machine without even getting out of bed.


The app will alert you when the filter needs changing or when you need to clean out the pot, and for those worried about a caffeine crisis when the Wi-Fi falls over, the machine can also be set to brew manually.


Belkin has a range of WeMo devices geared towards home automation, including remote-control light switches, plug sockets and motion sensors.


Beer in the cloud? Coopers ramps up online DIY


Coopers Brewery is partnering with Adelaide-based Hostworks to support its online storefront.

Hostworks will be hosting and supporting Diybeer.com, Coopers’ online storefront for homebrewing supplies. Marketing manager for Coopers’, Scott Harris, said diybeer.com will provide rural customers with Coopers’ DIY products.



BlackBerry Passport puts company back on road to survival


The unusually shaped Passport – named because of its passport-like dimensions – became BlackBerry’s new flagship handset earlier this year. It was something of a return to the BlackBerrys of yesteryear, with a full QWERTY keyboard and square screen, designed to make it easier for reading emails, fiddling with spreadsheets, and the other business-related activities normally undertaken by BlackBerry wielders.

Chen says the Passport has proved a hit, and perhaps even a bigger seller than the company anticipated.

“I’m happy that this product is a successful product, but we did not make that many of them, so it is in limited supply almost everywhere.”


BlackBerry announced an operating profit from its handset business for the first time in five quarters earlier this year, after a period of heavy losses.


“We’re managing the supply chain, we are managing inventories, we are managing cash, and we have expenses now at a number that is very manageable. BlackBerry has survived; now we have to start looking at growth.”


A Solar-Powered Glow-in-the-dark Bike Path by Studio Roosegaarde Inspired by Van Gogh

The swirling patterns used on the kilometer-long Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path were inspired by painter Vincent van Gogh (who lived in Nuenen from 1883 to 1885), and is lit at night by both special paint that charges in daylight and embedded LEDs that are powered by a nearby solar array.

YouTube’s Music Key: Can paid streaming finally hook the masses?

a pilot version of YouTube Music Key, a monthly subscription service that’s priced at $10 a month. Members can watch music videos and listen to songs on YouTube without ads. It will also keep the tunes spinning on mobile devices even if the screen locks, listeners move to another app or the user has no Internet connection.


Music Key will be available in the US, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Finland at first.



NBN Co reveals new broadband mix

NBN Co has finally outlined which internet connections will be made available in which areas under its multi-technology mix national broadband network, revealing any new fibre-to-the-premise builds will be purely on a case-by-case basis.


fibre-to-the-node will become the default access technology for the majority of Australian premises, and fibre-to-the-premise would remain part of the network only in areas where it has already been deployed or is in advanced stages of a rollout.


According to its most recent weekly progress report [pdf], NBN Co has passed 431,873 brownfields premises with FTTP (80,441 of which are unable to order a service), with 160,965 having taken up an active service. Just under 136,500 new developments have been passed with fibre, with 63,347 on active services.


Woman busted for importing meth in printer cartridges


A 27 year-old female has been charged with importing seven kilograms of methamphetamine into Australia hidden inside several boxes of printer cartridges.



Largest Microsoft ‘patch Wednesday’ coming this week

Microsoft has prepared a bumper batch of fixes for security holes in its applications and operating systems, which will be released as part of the November ‘Patch Tuesday’ (Wednesday Australian time) regular update round.


Five of the flaws are rated as critical by Microsoft, affecting old and new versions of Windows Server and client operating systems, as well as Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

In four cases, the critical-rated vulnerabilities allow remote code execution by attackers, and in one, privilege elevation.

Office 2007 service pack three is also being patched, along with Word Viewer and the Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack.

SharePoint Server 2010, Exchange Server 2007, 2010 and 2013 will also need to be patched with a restart required against a flaw rated as important by Microsoft.

The patches will be available automatically from Windows update this Wednesday, with an update for the company’s Malicious Software Removal Tool being sent down the wire as well.



Google launches YouTube Music Key streaming service

The major players in the streaming music market are suddenly a quintet: Spotify, Pandora, Apple, Amazon and now Google.

YouTube has announced the launch of its highly anticipated subscription music service, as well as an overhaul to how the site organises and presents its collection of free music.

The subscription service, called YouTube Music Key, will be invite-only for the time being, with six months free followed by a promotional price of $US7.99 per month. The regular price on its broad release will be $US9.99, the same as Spotify. Google Play Music subscribers will also have access to Music Key.

YouTube’s service will operate in two parts: a new desktop and mobile-friendly system to listen to music for free and a subscription version that removes ads and allow users to listen offline. The subscription service will enable various mobile features including the ability to play YouTube music while sending texts or doing other activities on a phone and listen to music offline.

The subscription service is not yet public. It is set to begin an invite-only six-month beta test in the next couple weeks, with broader availability coming in early 2015.


No NBN rollout planned for Parramatta sees internet users left with third-world download speeds     

  • Western Sydney internet speed among worst in the world

  • Even Ethiopia can boast faster speeds than in Merrylands

  • NBN rollout cancelled in Parramatta and surrounding suburbs

  • Households, hospitals, schools and businesses to suffer slow speeds

If you live in Merrylands, it may have been quicker to phone a friend in the Congo to read this story to you than to download it, as it’s likely their internet is faster than yours.

Internet speeds in Merrylands have been logged as low as 0.14mbps, while the Republic of the Congo scores an average of 1.75mbps, according to aninternational net index.

Australia’s average download speed is 15.76mbps, and other countries that surprisingly leave Parramatta for dust are Ethiopia (7.99mbps), Ghana (7.62mbps) and Cambodia (6.04mbps).


Parramatta Federal Labor MP Julie Owens said that locals are struggling with these third-world conditions, and said a recent survey had found many businesses and households struggling because of inadequate internet speeds.

“Hundreds of local households, schools, community groups and businesses sent me their upload and download speeds, confirming that internet speeds in Parramatta just aren’t good enough,” she said.


Ms Owens said download speeds were as low as one megabit per second and that with Parramatta no longer scheduled a rollout date for the Federal Government’s NBN, the end of bad internet isn’t likely to be a reality anytime soon.

“Schools don’t have what they need — it doesn’t work if only one student can use a computer at a time,” Ms Owens said.

“Hospitals are going to need hundreds of megabits per second to allow video consultations and back to base health monitoring but we wont have the infrastructure at the other end.”


“One local family in Merrylands has a dismal download speed of just .14 megabits per second. Nearly half of the respondents had download speeds of less than five, speeds not suitable for working from home or for multiple users.

“For comparison, Russia has upload speeds of on average 25 megabits per second, China 11.4, Japan 26.2 and Parramatta less than two.”


A Communications Department spokesman said Parramatta had variable broadband quality ratings and variable ADSL quality.

“Individual experience of internet speed can vary from premises to premises as a result of the constraints inherent to the kind of technology being used for broadband access,” he said.

The spokesman said the government was prioritising homes and business in areas that have no access or limited access to fixed broadband which was about 1.6 million households across Australia.

He said NBN Co was due to release a new corporate plan soon which would provide more information on the network rollout.


Ms Owens said Labor’s NBN was due to be under construction in the suburbs around Parramatta now with 22,000 homes in Mays Hill, Parramatta, South Wentworthville, Westmead and Harris Park due to have fibre to the home.

“This has been cancelled by the Abbott government with Parramatta no longer appearing on the roll out list,” she said.

“They are doing the greenfield sites first so if you can afford to buy something new the government will fund your NBN but not if your renting a red brick unit in Harris Park.

“They will take the cable to the basement but then it will be up to individuals to apply to get the cable to their units and if you’re renting, your landlord probably wont go to the expense.

“It is not just about video downloads or internet browsing; this is about the technology of the future and equipping Parramatta city and surrounds to be a hub for business, health, education and community.”


12.9-Inch ‘iPad Pro’ Production Rumored for Q2 2015 Amid Manufacturing Difficulties

Wednesday November 12, 2014 2:16 pm PST by Juli Clover

Apple’s 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” may not enter mass production until the second quarter of 2015, according to new predictions from often-reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He believes that the iPad Pro will use an oxide panel to achieve a “high resolution, quick response, and high color saturation,” and that the time needed for component yield and assembly to improve will push back production until 2Q 2015.


Earlier this year, a report fromBloomberg suggested the iPad Pro might be released in early 2015, but an October report fromThe Wall Street Journal indicated Apple had delayed its planned December mass production of the tablet in order to focus its attention on producing more iPhone 6 Plus units, leaving a potential iPad Pro release date up in the air.



Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad Pro next to 13-inch MacBook Air


Little is known about the iPad Pro aside from its12.2 to 12.9-inch display size, which dwarfs the smaller 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3. Rumors have also suggested that it will offer the same A8X processor introduced with the iPad Air 2 along with anultra high resolution display and a 7mm-thick form factor that’s similar to existing iPads.


Kuo’s report also focuses on forecasting iPad shipments, which he believes will fall 54.5 percent quarter over quarter to just 9.8 million units during the first calendar quarter of 2015. He points towards the lack of new applications and a saturation of the tablet market as the basis for his prediction.

We believe that, in a major shift, while Apple (US) used to be able to use new form factor designs to boost demand, it has failed to do so this time around. The lighter and thinner iPad Air 2 will face strong headwinds in increasing sales in 1Q15, we believe; we also hold that this means that iPad, along with the entire tablet market, is faced with structural challenges characterized by a lack of new applications and market saturation. We don’t think these challenges will be easily overcome by upgraded specs, new form factor designs or lower prices.

Kuo’s estimate is rather low, considering Apple sold 16.35 million million iPads during the first calendar quarter of 2014, but iPad saleshave been down for the past three quarters in a row. During the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, Apple sold 12.3 million iPads, down from 14.1 million units in 2013.


According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the drop in iPad sales is just a “speed bump” that the company will overcome. He told investors earlier this year that “significant innovation can be brought to the iPad,” and suggested Apple was working on such improvements. The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro may be Apple’s first step towards bolstering its iPad lineup, and the company is also said to be working on new iPad features, likesplit-screen multitasking.


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