Episode 422 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

Amazon takes fight to Office 365 with WorkMail

Amazon Web Services will directly compete with Microsoft’s Office 365 with the launch of a new cloud-based email and calendar service targeted at businesses.

The AWS WorkMail service is being marketed as a secure solution. It will be hosted out of the company’s global network of data centres, and will allow users to specify which region their email is stored in for latency and compliance purposes.

Messages, contacts, attachments and other data at rest are encrypted, and users are given the ability to control the encryption keys through Amazon’s Key Management Service. Should customers choose not to manage their own keys, WorkMail messages will be encrypted with keys supplied by AWS.

The service will work with existing mail and calendar tools – such as Outlook on Windows – and is expected to be made available in the second quarter of this year.

Features of the service include calendaring, calendar sharing, tasks, contact lists, distribution lists, resource booking, public folders, and out-of-office messages.

WorkMail will cost US$4 per month for a 50GB mailbox. Messages are capped at 30MB.

Apple cheered for “biggest profit in corporate history”

Apple sold a record-breaking 74.4 million iPhones for its first quarter ended 27 December, powering US$18 billion in profit on a nearly 30 percent increase in sales to US$74.6 billion.

The one disappointment in the quarter came with sales of the iPad dropping 18 percent to 21.4 million units compared with 26 million units in the same period one year ago. Apple is celebrating the five-year anniversary of the breakthrough tablet.

  • people would have an ipad if had an iphone

  • ipads not generally on plans and it is an upfront cost

  • tablets would generally last longer in terms of useability and features compared to iphone

Canalys: Apple finally tops China

Apple has previously lagged behind Samsung and Xiaomi in the Chinese market, Canalys analysts noted that the “incredible popularity” of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China’s fourth quarter of 2014 enabled Apple to turn the tables and take the top spot.

The achievement was especially interesting because of Apple’s high price range compared with other vendors, he noted

Microsoft’s AutoCharge lamp can charge your smartphone

Dubbed AutoCharge, the prototype technology uses standard lamps to charge smartphones, eliminating the need for a nest of cables under your desk.

AutoCharge works by using cameras to detect phones on a desk in a room and moving the lamp’s beam to shine onto it. It could be used in table lamps, ceiling lamps and even one suggestion of creating a box you could place your phone in for it to charge.

Research and built by Yunxin Liu, Zhen Qin, and Chunshui Zhao from Microsoft’s Bejing research center, the prototype makes use of an Xbox Kinect to detect the phone or tablet on a surface, and from the images supplied in the resarch paper, it seems to be rather accurate in knowing where a device is.

The only real issue presented by AutoCharge is delivering enough power through the beam to a phone. While Microsoft admits that a ceiling light could be too weak to charge a phone sufficiently enough, it says that AutoCharge would utilise a “straight light beam with little scattering,” to ensure most of the light energy reached the phone

The AutoCharge system is clever enough to not waste energy charging a phone that doesn’t need juice. The prototype phones Microsoft used for testing were equipped with a set of LED flashing lights, indicating when the device battery was low enough to need charging. It took just three seconds for the Kinect camera to identify and target the phone that needed a battery boost the most.

Google makes every Aussie an Apps reseller

Google has launched the Google Apps Referral Program in Australia, giving users $15 for every referral they make to Google Apps for Work.

Users can refer an unlimited number of customers as long as they sign up to at least 120 days of Google Apps for Work. Payments are made directly into user’s bank accounts after any customer they refer sign-up using a unique code.

Google Apps for Work costs $5 per user per month, including 30GB of Gmail and Google Drive storage, or $10 per month for unlimited storage and access to Google Vault.

The referral program only applies to paid Google Apps for Work, not free apps.

Apple’s Australian tax bill hiked as profits triple

The local operation, Apple Pty Ltd, paid out $80.3 million in income tax in the last financial year, an increase of $43.9 million (120.6 percent) over the $36.4 million it coughed up the previous year, according to its annual report to ASIC.

The tax hike came courtesy of a major increase in pre-tax profit, which hit $251.9 million, a rise of $163.4 million (184.6 percent) from $88.5 million last year.

The fluctuating Aussie dollar was the big factor: Apple booked an unrealised foreign exchange gain of $106.4 million in the 2014 financial year, up significantly from a $46.9 million loss the previous year.

Apple’s Australian net profit after tax reached $171.5 million in 2014, up $119.4 million (229.2 percent) from $52.1 million the year before.

Child watch: The apps that let parents ‘spy’ on their kids

Think your kid’s being bullied? Or sending sexts? Or dealing drugs? There’s an app for that.

a growing number of so-called parent apps – to track what kids are doing online.

TeenSafe can work as a personal CIA spy for parents.

The company urges parents to tell their children they are being monitored, but the app can work covertly and show what kids are posting on social media as well as deleted texts and messages sent via popular apps such as Kik, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

TeenSafe operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and is hoping to expand to the UK soon. Since it started in 2011, it says it has had 800,000 people sign up for the service.

$14.95 per month


Tim Cook Says Apple Watch Ships In April

  • The Apple Watch will start shipping in April to consumers, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Cook’s decision to add some clarity to its actual release timeline is uncharacteristic for Apple.

  • Pre-announcing the hardware months in advance was already a departure from standard practice.

  • Developers wanting to target the platform have could not time their releases without a date.  So an announced April shipping target provides a clear goal to aim for.

Apple TV’s Aussie flavour grows with TenPlay catch-up TV

  • As of today Ten’s catch up service TenPlay is now available on Apple TV.

  • TenPlay has already had more than one million app downloads on mobile platforms, with streaming on mobile and tablets accounting for half of all streams.

  • The release follows Cricket Australia’s addition to Apple TV, offering news and highlight videos on your big-screen TV.

  • If you’ve got an Apple TV you should see TenPlay immediately, or after a software update today.

Samsung to release its first Android printers in Australia

  • SAMSUNG has eliminated printing from a computer with its first Android-driven models to be available in Australia.

  • Instead, users go straight to the printer to access their documents and photos from their cloud storage accounts on the printer’s 10.1-inch touch screen panel.

  • Samsung Electronics Australia said it was bringing eight of these multi-function device (MFD) printer models to the Australian market.

  • The new range will be sold through Samsung’s authorised partners across Australia.

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