Episode 429 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Free upgrade to Windows 10, even if current OS is pirated

To “re-engage” with Chinese users running illegitimate software.

offering free upgrades to Windows 10 to all Chinese Windows users, regardless of whether they are running genuine copies of the software.

Recent studies show that three-quarters of all PC software is not properly licensed there.

Myerson said Windows 10 would be released globally sometime “this summer”. That is the first time Microsoft has put a time frame on the release, although it has been expected in autumn, based on Microsoft’s release history.

Lenovo said in a statement that it will make phones running Windows software, available through China Mobile, sometime later this year.

Microsoft also said it is working with Chinese handset maker Xiaomi – which generally uses a form of Google’s Android on its devices – to offer some customers a test version of Windows 10 on their smartphones.


Microsoft to offer biometric sign-in for Windows 10

No more passwords with Windows Hello.

Microsoft will introduce an automatic biometric sign-in option with its Windows 10 operating system due out later this year, the first time it has offered such a service widely across devices.

The feature, called Windows Hello, means users will be able to scan their face, iris or fingerprint to verify identity and access Windows phones, laptops and personal computers.

users’ biometric data would be stored locally on the device and kept anonymous to make sure personal data is safe from hackers.

Windows Hello will only be available on new devices that are capable of running the new feature. Chip-maker Intel said all machines incorporating its RealSense F200 sensor will run Windows Hello.


Microsoft launches Office 2016, Skype for Business previews

if you have an Office 365 business account you can get in on the Office action thanks to an official Office 2016 Preview build being made available.

this early build isn’t packed with all the features the final Office 2016 suite will have.

It looks as if improvements have been made to Outlook, such as faster search, flexible email storage options, and multi-factor authentication

The news of Office 2016 Preview for businesses comes a week or so after the release of Office 2016 Preview for Mac OSX. This is no coincidence as both packages share similar colourful and minimalist designs.

You can sign up to the Office 2016 Preview at Microsoft Connect.


Windows 7 users report issues installing Microsoft update

According to a Microsoft security advisory, issued on Patch Tuesday, the update is meant for supported editions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to “add support for SHA-2 signing and verification functionality”, since the use of SHA-1 for signing purposes is discouraged and no longer a best practice.

It’s worth noting that KB3033929 is a reissued update for a buggy patch, 2949927, pulled last October by Microsoft.

Krebs advised users to temporarily avoid installing KB3033929, in case it is removed, re-issued, or instructions are provided via tech help forums.


Yahoo gets rid of passwords and brings in email encryption

one of the world’s largest providers of free email services,

The On-Demand password service means users will no longer have a specific password or pass phrase linked to their account. Instead, when you want to log into Yahoo’s email client you’re presented with a “send my password” button. Clicking this sends an automatic text  message with a time-sensitive code you can use to log in. Spend too long faffing around, or you miss the text, you’ll need to request a new code to gain access to your email.

While the service is only live for US users at the moment, a worldwide rollout for Yahoo.com account holders is planned. Also, those using Yahoo’s email client on an iOS or Android device can choose to set up app passwords to add an extra layer of security.


TPG to acquire iiNet for $1.4 billion

TPG Telecom has announced to the ASX a full acquisition of rival ISP iiNet for approximately $1.4 billion.

If approved, the combination would create a monster telco with revenues of $2.3 billion, earnings of $654 million and a combined broadband user base of more than 1.7 million.

iiNet shareholders will receive cash consideration of $8.60 per iiNet share,

The two providers already position themselves in different market segments: TPG in the “value-based” lower end of the market while iiNet positions itself as a “premium” offering.

will that offer better service for the lower end or lesser service for the higher end – either way 2bites of the cherry


Sotheby’s auctions to be streamed live on eBay

The first auction on the new platform will have a New York theme, with Yankee Stadium memorabilia on sale.

It will take place on 1 April and will include the giant letters from the New York baseball stadium, which could fetch up to $600,000 (£406,500).

However, evening sales of high-value artworks and other specialist items will not be included, Sotheby’s said.

The auctions will be streamed on a new eBay platform: ebay.com/sothebys. The first will include photographs, alongside the baseball memorabilia from the famous player Reggie Jackson, who won the World Series five times.


Apple’s Tim Cook offered liver to dying boss Steve Jobs

Apple chief executive Tim Cook offered a part of his liver to a dying Steve Jobs, according to a new book due to be released this month.

In 2004, Mr Jobs announced that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer and by 2009, the Apple chief executive was very ill, unable to come into the office and waiting for a liver transplant.

Mr Cook regularly visited Mr Jobs at home and after one visit he “left the house feeling so upset that he had his own blood tested”, according to excerpts

Mr Cook found out that he, like Steve Jobs, had a rare blood type, and guessed that it might be the same.

According to the book, he went through a series of tests and discovered that a partial liver transplant was feasible.

But when he shared the news with Mr Jobs, the dying Apple boss reacted angrily, according to the book.

“He cut me off at the legs, almost before the words were out of my mouth,” an excerpt says.

“‘No,” he said. ‘I’ll never let you do that. I’ll never do that.'”

“Steve only yelled at me four or five times during the 13 years I knew him, and this was one of them,” Mr Cook added.


Offshore storage to be allowed for Australian data retention

Telcos and internet service providers will be able to store the metadata of Australian citizens required under the Government’s proposed two-year retention scheme outside of Australia.

Turnbull confirmed to the House that the amendments contained no requirement for the physical server hosting the data to be located in Australia.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted the internet and telco industry could store the mandated data set in offshore facilities.

Former iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby last year said the ISP would try to find the lowest cost option for storing the required data, which “at the moment .. is in China”.


Greater oversight for Google’s app store

Google is tightening supervision of its freeforall Play store, forming a special team to screen new apps for malware and sexually explicit material, and strengthening its age-based rating system.

The change brings Google Play, a bazaar for digital games, social media apps and entertainment software, closer to Apple’s tightly controlled App Store with Google launching a new rating system that will spell out which apps and games are appropriate for certain age groups.

Google said that its expert team will screen each app submitted by developers to spot earlier anything that runs afoul of its rules. Google had previously only used automated technology for screening at the time of submission.

The new process will not create bottlenecks, Google said in a blog post, promising that approved apps will become available on Google Play within “a matter of hours” after submission.

Apple does not disclose specifics of its app review period but puts the average wait time at seven days for Apple’s App Store.

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