Episode 450 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Domino’s tech innovation feeds AU$64m profit

Australian-listed Domino’s Pizza has delivered a record net profit after tax of AU$64.4 million, attributing a big slice of the 40 percent year-on-year increase to its innovative use of technology.

The company’s Live Pizza Tracker — which shares real-time data with customers on the progress of their order — made the move to the Android and iOS watches. Domino’s chief digital officer Michael Gillespie said of the wearable’s app launch that wherever a Domino’s customer wants to be in a digital space, they are there with them.

“It’s about that ‘wow’ moment when they can see that their pizza is ready in store on their watch, without having to find their phone,” he said. “Right now, well over 50 percent of our sales are on digital, some stores are very high [in digital sales], and over half of our digital sales are on mobile.”


Google changes name to Alphabet

Google announced a major shake-up of its operating structure on Monday US time, creating a holding company called Alphabet which will contain subsidiaries to separate its core web advertising business from newer ventures like driverless cars.

The move appeared to be an attempt to let the company focus on its more creative and ambitious projects.

The surprise news sent shares of Google up almost 7 percent to US$708 in after hours trading.

Alphabet will replace Google as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin will become president of Alphabet, and Eric Schmidt will be executive chairman.

Page said “Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies, the largest of which is, of course, Google. The company said the new arrangement will take effect “later this year”.


Apple reveals Watch reseller strategy for Australia

Apple is opening up distribution of its smartwatch to a limited channel of third-party retailers for the first time this week.

The Apple Watch will only be available in six stores on 15August, with Harvey Norman Auburn, Doymane Bundall and JB Hi-Fi in Westfield Sydney getting the Apple Watch. Myer will stock the Apple Watch in three of its stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

They will sell the regular Apple Watch and Sport models. The high-end Apple Watch Edition – which costs $14,000 to $24,000 – remains exclusive to Apple stores and online purchasing.

When Apple released the Watch four months ago, it could only be bought online. It was later made available in Apple stores as initial demand slowed down.

Customers can also book an appointment to try on a watch in-store at the chosen retailers before purchasing.

In a Q3 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the vendor was expanding distribution to get ahead of the holiday season. While Apple won’t reveal how many watches have been sold, recent estimates suggests it could be around 2.8 million as of June.


Tinder for business coming

It’s now making serious moves into the workspace, and today it announced a venture with Forbes.

Recruitment apps Switch and Jobr both use Tinder’s swipe model to help employers find suitable candidates, and vice versa. And both are proving successful: each have US$2 million of seed funding behind them, and Switch has already seen more than 400,000 job applications and two million swipes.


First NBN satellite to launch 1 October

The satellites will deliver peak speeds of up to 25 megabits per second to rural and regional areas of Australia. Up to 200,000 homes and businesses will be covered.

The first satellite, Sky Muster, is being launched from French Guiana on 1 October.

The second satellite will be launched in 2016.


Telstra hits 211,000 NBN customers

Telstra now has 211,000 customers with connections to the National Broadband Network, the telco said today.

The telco added 126,000 NBN customers in FY15.

The majority of Telstra’s NBN customers — 161,000 — have voice and data bundles. However, 9000 have data-only NBN services and 41,000 have voice-only services.

As of 30 June, premises serviceable on the NBN stood at 1,143,000 (648,000 brownfields and 188,000 greenfields on the fixed-line network and 268,000 on fixed wireless).

Telstra this morning reported net profit after tax of $4.3 billion for the full year.

In the 2014-15 financial year Telstra added 664,000 retail mobile net new services and 189,000 retail fixed broadband net new services, the telco said.


Twitter drops 140-character limit for direct messages

The total character count for direct messages is now up to 10,000.

The 140-character limit for tweets on Twitter’s main service remains in place

Twitter's iOS app, pictured Aug. 12, 2015.


Windows 10 gets its first set of security patches

For August, Microsoft’s monthly round of security patches contains five bulletins that cover Windows 10, as well as a bulletin that covers the new Edge browser that runs on Windows 10.

Overall, Microsoft released 14 security bulletins for this month’s Patch Tuesday — which occurs on the second Tuesday of each month.

Three of the bulletins were marked as critical, meaning that they should be patched as quickly as possible. A bulletin typically contains a set of patches for a single set of software products, such as all the supported versions of Windows.

Windows 10 seems to be off to a solid start as far as being engineered for security, noted Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer for IT security firm Qualys. He noted that 40 percent of the generic Windows patches this month apply to Windows 10. By comparison, Windows 8 generated 60 percent of all the generic Windows patches then being issued in the first two months after that OS was released.

The three critical bulletins this month, MS15-079, MS15-80, and MS15-81, cover vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office.

 

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