Episode 447 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Gerry Harvey may finally get his way over GST

Australia’s state and federal leaders have agreed in principle to expand the goods and services tax to include goods valued under $1000 purchased online overseas merchants.

such an approach was feasible, but progress had been held back because states and territory governments had not yet been able to agree on an approach to the issue.

However it appears those in opposition to lowering the threshold have changed their tune, with a memo from yesterday’s inaugural Australian Leaders Retreat advising the nation’s leaders had agreed to extend the GST to cover online goods worth less than $1000.

It said lowering the threshold to $20 would cost more than $2 billion to businesses, consumers and government while only generating revenue of around $550 million annually.

It recommended keeping the $1000 threshold as is until it was cost effective to lower it.

The changes to the GST rate on physically imported goods follow the introduction of the government’s so-called ‘Netflix tax’ in its most recent federal budget.

Under the draft changes, from 2017 foreign companies selling digital goods and services into Australia will be required to levy the 10 percent GST.

It is expected to reap the government $350 million over four years. The changes cover a wide area of goods and services, including music and movie downloads, software and some online education courses.

Experts hack moving car: brakes, engine seized

A pair of veteran cybersecurity researchers have shown they can use the internet to turn off a car’s engine as it drives, sharply escalating the stakes in the debate about the safety of increasingly connected cars and trucks.

In a controlled test, they turned on the Jeep Cherokee’s radio and activated other inessential features before rewriting code embedded in the entertainment system hardware to issue commands through the internal network to steering, brakes and the engine.

Former National Security Agency hacker Charlie Miller, now at Twitter

In a controlled test, they turned on the Jeep Cherokee’s radio and activated other inessential features before rewriting code embedded in the entertainment system hardware to issue commands through the internal network to steering, brakes and the engine.

“There are hundreds of thousands of cars that are vulnerable on the road right now,” Miller told Reuters.

Fiat Chrysler said it had issued a fix for the most serious vulnerability involved. The software patch is available for free on the company’s website and at dealerships.

Driverless cars to take to Adelaide expressway

The first demonstration of autonomous vehicles on a closed-off Adelaide expressway will be held in November this year in a trial led by the Australian Road Research Board.

Volvo has partnered with the ARRB and the SA government to send an as-yet unspecified number of its new XC90 vehicles, equipped with its autopilot system, down the city’s southern expressway under controlled conditions

The Volvos feature automatic braking, steering and parking via sensor-linked software, as well as a fail safe mode that will pull the car over to the side of the road if something goes wrong and the human driver is unable to take control of the vehicle.

South Australia has already positioned itself as the nation’s most vocal proponent of driverless vehicle technology, having flagged upcoming changes to the state’s road rules that would pave the way for autonomous cars on public roads.

Kogan USB charger may electrocute, warns ACCC

products, has been recalled immediately

The Kogan 2.1 amp USB charger with model number KAUSBXXADPC, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this week, carries a “risk of electric shock”.

“The enclosures of the plug portion can separate allowing access to live parts,

The affected units were sold between 5 November last year to 26 June this year.

“Consumers should stop using the charger immediately and contact Kogan to arrange a credit or full refund for the product,” stated the ACCC.

Cheating website hacked, 37 million clients under threat

Hackers claim to have personal details of more than 37 million cheating spouses on dating website Ashley Madison and have threatened to release nude photos and sexual fantasies of the site’s clients unless it is shut down

The hackers, who call themselves The Impact Team, leaked snippets of the compromised data online and warned they would release customers’ real names, profiles, nude photos, credit card details and “secret sexual fantasies” unless their demands were met, Krebs said.

The hackers demanded the closure of another of Avid Life Media’s sites, sugar-daddy site “Established Men”, but did not target the company’s “CougarLife” site, which caters for women members looking for “a young stud”.

Shutting down AM (Ashley Madison) and EM (Established Men) will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more,” the hackers said.

They said users who had paid a fee to Avid Life to have their personal data permanently deleted had been lied to and the company had retained records, including credit card information.

Commodore is back… as an Android smartphone

Commodore has returned, but rather than video games, the famous manufacturer has released a 5.5in Android smartphone.

Named after the legendary Commodore PET, the company’s latest smartphone evokes feelings of nostalgia thanks to its light “biscuit-beige” exterior.

Inside, the Commodore PET packs in everything you’d want from a modern Android smartphone. Featuring a 1.7GHz octa-core processor and a 3,000mAh battery, the PET also includes a 13-megapixel camera – complete with a shutter button for quick snaps.

As you’d expect, Commodore have also added a raft of emulation software to Android Lollipop, so you’ll be able to play some gaming classics.

Available in France, Italy, Poland and Germany in a few weeks’ time, the handset will cost around US$300 for a 16GB model – but that includes a 32GB microSD card. For those that want more storage, Commodore also produce a 32GB version that should cost around US$360.


What were the six best-selling PC brands of last quarter?

5 (tie). Asus

5 (tie). Acer

4. Apple

3. Dell

2. Hewlett-Packard

1. Lenovo






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