Episode 444 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

Foxtel saves Hills Limited’s Adelaide factory

Foxtel has renewed its agreement for Hills Limited to provide satellite dishes, cables and connectors.

While Hills imports the cables and connectors, satellite dishes are manufactured at its Adelaide factory.

The existing contract lasted four years, with a new four-year term starting on Wednesday 1 July.

“We are proud to partner with a world entertainment leader to provide high quality broadcast options for people around Australia,” said Hills communication and satellite business head Leanne Francis.

Hills is the iconic manufacturer of clothes hoists now known as a $450 million IT giant.

1800 ‘free call’ numbers now actually free from mobiles

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced today that “free call” 1800 numbers are now free of cost on Optus, Telstra and Vodafone mobile networks.

The watchdog warned that a “small number” of independent mobile telcos have not yet made 1800 calls free, with lobbying continuing to bring all providers into line

NBN on track to launch wholesale HFC next year

NBN confirmed it will offer wholesale services over the HFC network in 2016, after it received the go-ahead to take over Telstra’s copper and HFC cables.

The agreement was announced in December, but has only now received final approval from the ACCC after various revisions to Telstra’s migration plan. NBN today stated that wholesale NBN services delivered via HFC are on track for a commercial launch in 2016.

The ACCC reminded users that connection to the NBN is not automatic and they should “act early” to order an NBN service when it comes time for their region to migrate to the new national network.

Google apologises for Photos app’s racist blunder

Google says it is “appalled” that its new Photos app mistakenly labelled a black couple as being “gorillas”.

Its product automatically tags uploaded pictures using its own artificial intelligence software.

The error was brought to its attention by a New York-based software developer who was one of the people pictured in the photos involved.

Google was later criticised on social media because of the label’s racist connotations.

“This is 100% not OK,” acknowledged Google executive Yonatan Zunger after being contacted by Jacky Alcine via Twitter.

“[It was] high on my list of bugs you ‘never’ want to see happen.”

Mr Zunger said Google had already taken steps to avoid others experiencing a similar mistake.

This is not the first time Google Photos has mislabelled one species as another.

The news site iTech Post noted that the app was tagging pictures of dogs as horses in May.

Users are able to remove badly identified photo classifications within the app, which should help it improve its accuracy over time

Mr Alcine

Matti Makkonen: Finnish pioneer of texting tech dies

Matti Makkonen, who helped to launch the worldwide sensation of texting, has died at the age of 63 after an illness.

Makkonen became known as the father of SMS after developing the idea of sending messages via mobile networks.

Jarmo Matilainen, managing director of Finnish telecoms group Finnet Association

described Makkonen as a “grand old man of the mobile industry”.

“It’s very sad. He was just going to retire and he should have had many years ahead,” said Matilainen, who added that Makkonen’s fascination with communications technology had been irrepressible.

Matti Makkonen

Disney confirms selfie stick ban at theme parks

The gadgets were already prohibited on rides but now visitors will be asked not to bring them to the parks at all.

The long arm of a selfie stick helps users take a better self-portrait, but there are fears that they could cause injury if somebody was accidentally struck with one during a photo opportunity.

The gadget also poses a safety risk on rides as its long arm can extend far outside the carriages and could come into contact with a ride’s mechanism.

Visitors will now be asked to leave their selfie sticks in lockers at the parks’ entrances to collect later.

A number of football clubs, the National Gallery, and the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon have already banned the sticks over concerns they could cause injury or be a nuisance to other visitors.

Apple banned the device from audiences attending its annual WWDC developers conference, held in the US earlier this month.

A spokesperson for St John Ambulance said the first aid charity had not noticed a surge in selfie stick-related injuries but did offer advice for anybody hurt.

“If you get hit in the head with a selfie stick, sit down and hold a cold compress against the injury,” said training officer Clive James.

“Advise the casualty to seek medical help if they develop signs of a worsening head injury – like dizziness or nausea, confusion and loss of memory of events preceding the injury.”

Selfie stick

Computer museum seeks BBC Micro fixers

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) needs help to maintain the stock of BBC machines it uses in education programmes and exhibits.

It is looking for people familiar with the computer and its peripherals including monitors and disk drives.

The 8-bit BBC Micro was launched in 1981 and gave many people their first taste of home computing.

BBC Micro computers

Apple removes games featuring the Confederate flag from App Store

Apple has become the latest retailer to remove products featuring the Confederate flag, after pulling a number of games from the App Store.

Symbols of the Confederacy are being debated in the US after the man accused of killing nine black people in South Carolina was pictured holding the flag.

Amazon, Wal-Mart and Sears have all stopped selling the Confederate flag.

Critics say it’s a symbol of racism in southern states in the US.

Anti-Confederate flag protestors

BBC forgotten list ‘sets precedent’

The BBC has “set a precedent” for other media organisations by publishing a list of links removed from Google searches, the corporation’s policy boss has said.

The links were removed as part of the “right to be forgotten” ruling put in place by the European court.

It allows individuals to request certain links do not show up when a person searches their name.

it was up to individual media organisations to decide how best to be transparent with audiences over what has been removed, he felt the BBC had taken the lead “without being provocative”.



Apple’s iOS 8.4 kneecaps Home Sharing, music streaming now limited to Apple TV

While Apple introduced an array of new music features with its latest iOS 8.4 update featuring Apple Music, it also quietly nerfed content serving functionality by apparently limiting Home Sharing to videos.

As noted on Apple’s Support Communities forum, Home Sharing support for music is no longeravailable for iOS, leaving iPhone, iPad and iPod owners in search of third-party software solutions for streaming tracks from their iTunes libraries.

Apple updated its official Home Sharing supportwebpage on June 30 to reflect the change, the same day iOS 8.4launched. Previously, the site included instructions to enable content sharing through separate iOS Settings menu options, one for music and another for videos.

Launched on iOS in 2011 as part ofiOS 4.3, Home Sharing allowed iPhone, iPad and iPod owners to stream digital content from a central computer running iTunes as long as the devices were connected to a common network.

In prior iOS 8.4 beta release notes, Home Sharing is listed under known issues as “not currently available,” offering some semblance of hope that it will return in a future build. Home Sharing is still active for desktops running iTunes and Apple TV.

Of course, Apple Music’s $14.99 Family Plan partially negates the need for Home Sharing as it offers full access to Apple’s music catalog for up to six people, as well as song caching for offline listening. Still, the removal might be an inconvenience for those with extensive collections of tunes not in Apple’s catalog. Such cases require users to upload their libraries to iCloud before streaming.

AppleInsider reached out to Apple for comment and will update this article when a response is received.


Jony Ive Officially Takes ‘Chief Design Officer’ Title at Apple

Wednesday July 1, 2015 7:05 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol

Apple senior executive Jonathan Ive has officially assumed the role of “Chief Design Officer” at Apple effective today, after being promoted from his previous role of “Senior Vice President of Design” nearly six weeks ago. Apple has updated Ive’sexecutive profile on its leadership website to reflect the design chief’s new position as Apple’s third active C-level executive alongside CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri.

Jonathan Ive is Apple’s Chief Design Officer, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Jony is responsible for all design at Apple, including the look and feel of Apple hardware, user interface, packaging, major architectural projects such as Apple Campus 2 and Apple’s retail stores, as well as new ideas and future initiatives.

Jony Ive Chief Design Officer

Apple announced in acompany-wide email last month that Ive would be promoted to Chief Design Officer on July 1 and turn over his day-to-day management of the company’s design teams to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, who have both been elevated to vice president positions. Ive will remain responsible for all of Apple’s design, with a focus on redesigning Apple Stores and other larger projects.

Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.


Universal Releases Official Full-Length Trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’ Movie

Wednesday July 1, 2015 8:11 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard

Following aninitial teaser earlier in May, Universal today released the first official full-length trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs movie.

The two-and-a-half minute trailer provides the longest look at the Danny Boyle-directed biopic that anyone has seen yet, balancing focus between Steve Jobs’ various behind-the-scenes product launches and his intense personal life regarding his relationship with daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.


The trailer also gives more in-depth looks at Jeff Daniels and Kate Winslet, especially, as John Sculley and Joanna Hoffman, with various through-the-years glimpses of Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs. After variouscasting calls andset photo leaks earlier in the year, excitement around thesomewhat troubled film has only been steadily building. Fans can expect to see the full movie in theaters October 9.

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