Episode 414 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Microsoft releases out-of-band Kerberos patch

the company has recently taken to dubbing the second Tuesday of the month Update Tuesday to avoid negative connotations

 

Security Bulletin MS14-068 covers a privilege escalation vulnerability in the Kerberos security subsystem, present in all currently supported versions of Windows. The flaw has been deemed Critical by Microsoft, the company’s most serious of ratings – hence the out-of-band patch. Thankfully, it’s a problem which is likely to only concern enterprise customers: while the Kerberos system is present in all versions of Windows, it is typically only used on servers installed within an Active Directory or similar network environment – thus only servers are likely to be at risk of active attack, and then only if the attacker already has valid credentials for the domain.

 


Netflix in Australia: will telcos play along?

Streaming video service Netflix has announced it will launch services in Australia and New Zealand from March 2015.

The long-rumoured launch was confirmed via a press release issued this week, in the absence of any details around hosting or telco partnerships.

 

Netflix hosts its video content in Amazon Web Services’ S3 storage service, and has developed its own content delivery network, the Open Connect CDN, on top of Amazon Web Services’ EC2 compute service.

 

ISPs in Australia and New Zealand approached by iTnews were not surprised by today’s announcement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, citing commercial confidence, several said they had already begun negotiations with Netflix and started to prepare their networks with OpenCDN caches and peering arrangements with Netflix via the AWS instance housed in Sydney’s Equinix data centre.

 

ISPs in Australia and New Zealand approached by iTnews were not surprised by today’s announcement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, citing commercial confidence, several said they had already begun negotiations with Netflix and started to prepare their networks with OpenCDN caches and peering arrangements with Netflix via the AWS instance housed in Sydney’s Equinix data centre.

 


 

Samsung to cut one-third of smartphone models

Samsung plans to cut up to one-third of its smartphone models starting next year, an adjustment the company sees as essential to turning around its plunging profit.

 

reported an almost 50 percent drop in profit during its third-quarter earnings call last month, after reporting a 20 percent drop three months earlier.

 

“Samsung previously had a lot of success versus its competition by doing what I like to call, ‘the spray and prey method’ of sending out models,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy,

 

“If you wanted any size, waterproof, standard, one with a pen, one without a pen, they offered pretty much every type of model everywhere. That is actually a really good move when you are the giant of the industry. You don’t have to determine what people on the whole want because you are offering everything. But what’s happening is the industry is maturing and people are getting a better idea of what they want, so now that strategy isn’t as profitable for Samsung.”


Five-year-old passes Microsoft Certified Professional exam

five-year-old Ayan Qureshi from Coventry has become the youngest person to pass the Microsoft Certified Professional exam.

 

“I found whatever I was telling him, the next day he’d remember everything I said, so I started to feed him more information,” he told the BBC. “Too much computing at this age can cause a negative effect, but in Ayan’s case he has cached this opportunity.”

 

Ayan’s mastery of the motherboards convinced his father to enter him for the Microsoft Certified Professional exam. The exam, which takes around two to three hours to complete, includes up to 90 multiple choice questions.

 

Sample questions on the Microsoft website include:

 

You have a computer that runs Windows 7. You start the computer and receive the following error message:

BOOTMGR is missing

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

 

You then start the computer from the Windows 7 installation media. You need to ensure that the computer successfully starts Windows 7. What are two possible ways to achieve this goal?

A. Run Startup Repair

B. Run System Restore

C. Run Bootrec/RebuildBcd

D. Run Bcdedit/createstore

Ayan reportedly spends two hours a day learning about operating systems and installing programmes. We’ll make him a PC Pro columnist as soon as he’s old enough not to break child labour laws.

 


 

Telstra offers free trial for first 1000 wi-fi hotspots

 

Telstra customers and non-customers alike will free get access to the first 1000 hotspots switched on as part of a limited trial of the telco’s $100 million national wi-fi network.

 

Telstra in May announced plans to invest more than $100 million into a national wi-fi network involving 8000 Telstra-built hotspots in public phone booths around the country and 1.9 million wi-fi access points provided by its customers.

 

Once officially launched, the network will only be free to Telstra home broadband customers. Anyone else will be charged a “small” fee to access the network.

However, Telstra has decided to offer access to the first 1000 hotspots – located in Sydney’s Hyde Park, Bondi Beach and Manly, Melbourne’s Bourke St Mall and King George Square in Brisbane, among others – free of charge for a limited trial period.

 


 

Google, Telstra trial balloon internet in Queensland

Google’s mission to bring internet to regional areas of the world via high-altitude balloons has arrived in Australia, as the company prepares to kick off a 20-balloon trial with Telstra in Queensland.

 

Google’s Project Loon officially commenced in New Zealand mid-last year, when the company launched 30 ballons in the skies above Canterbury in the south island to test whether reliable internet services could be delivered to 50 users in under-served areas.

The project uses solar-powered balloons operating about 20km above the earth’s surface to create a wireless network offering users speeds equivalent to 3G networks.

The balloons – which span about 15 metres in diameter and carry 10kg of kit – are operated by adjusting their altitude based on wind directions and atmospheric layers.

Users of the service connect to the internet through a dedicated antenna attached to their premise, which communicates with the balloon network and back onto a ground station acting as the point of interconnect for the user’s internet service provider.

Project Loon trial in western Queensland, as first reported by The Australian, will see Telstra provide Google with access to its 2.6GHz spectrum and terrestrial base stations.

The trials will commence in December and will run for an undefined period of time, a Google spokesperson confirmed.

In contrast to the NZ trial – which was aimed at proving the concept and testing the service with users – the Queensland trial will focus on testing the balloons’ connectivity with Telstra’s infrastructure.

The results of the pilots will help determine whether the novel approach would be able to deliver internet services to regional and remote areas around the world.

 


 

Google rents world’s biggest digital billboard in Times Square

 

Google has become the first company to rent to the world’s largest and most expensive digital billboard in Times Square, New York.

The billboard is eight storeys high and is estimated to cost $2.5m (£1.6m) to hire for four weeks.

The screen, which is the size of a football field, is mounted on the side of the Marriot Marquis hotel.

The new billboard was turned on on Tuesday evening and will show a nature-inspired digital art piece for a week until Google’s adverts begin running.

Hundreds of tourists watched as the screen was turned on.

The screen is also connected to cameras, allowing for interactive content.

 

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