Episode 451 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


More .au options for all Australians or not – the pointy end of the naming panel process

The 2015 Names Policy Panel has released its draft recommendations about the use and allocation of .au domain names, the most notable of which is a proposal that Australians should be allowed to register domain names directly under .au (such as abc.au or myname.au). This has not been possible in Australia before.

Under the proposals, the current 2LDs would remain available (com.au, net.au etc.) but Australian entities and individuals would be able to register under .au, too.

Ashley Madison breach: the fallout begins

Hackers dumped a big cache of data containing millions of email addresses for US government officials, UK civil servants and high-level executives at European and North America corporations late on Tuesday, the latest cyber attack to raise concerns about internet security and data protection.

While there were some initial questions as to the data was legitimate, it was soon being widely accepted as accurate. Respected security writer Brian Krebs wrote that he had spoken to “three vouched sources” who confirmed they had found their information and the last four digits of their credit card numbers in the leaked database.

The data is now searchable online, allowing users to confirm if email addresses were included in the breached database, according to The Verge. One of the sites claims 36 million accounts were included in the dump, of which 24 million had verified email addresses.

The breach reveals incredibly embarrassing details from users’ profiles, with The Telegraph in the UK reporting one user writing that he had a “sex drive too high to handle”, “I need someone who is more sexual” and “I need someone who is willing to try anything.”

Last month, the hackers threatened to leak nude photos, sexual fantasies, real names and credit card information for as many as 37 million customers worldwide of Ashley Madison, which uses the slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Google launches $200 wi-fi router


The cylinder-shaped router, named OnHub, can be pre-ordered for US$199.99 at online retailers including the Google Store, Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Australia shipping details were not revealed.

The router comes with in-built antennas that will scan the airwaves to spot the fastest connection

With the router, users will be able to prioritise a device so that they can get the fastest internet speeds for data-heavy activities such as downloading content or streaming a movie.

The router can be hooked up with Google’s On app, available on Android and iOS, to run network checks and keep track of bandwidth use among other things.

The router is being manufactured by network company TP-Link, Google said, hinting that ASUS could be the second manufacturing partner for the product.

Microsoft can disable pirated games and illegal hardware

Microsoft’s updated European Licence Agreement terms and conditions let it disable any counterfeit software or hardware and, if you’re running a Windows 10 computer, you’ve just agreed to them.

Section 7b – or “Updates to the Services or Software, and Changes to These Terms” – of Microsoft’s Services EULA stipulates that it “may automatically check your version of the software and download software update or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices.”

if you use Windows 10, a Windows phone, or any of Microsoft’s other services, Redmond can disable any games you’ve pirated or devices you’ve unlawfully hacked.

Kaspersky slams allegations it faked malware to harm rivals

Two former employees have alleged that Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab tried to damage rivals in the marketplace by tricking their antivirus software programs into classifying benign files as malicious – claims Kaspersky has vehemently denied.

As reported by Reuters, the pair alleged that the secret campaign began more than a decade ago, with Kaspersky said to have targeted Microsoft, AVG Technologies, Avast Software and other rivals, fooling some of them into deleting or disabling important files on their customers’ PCs.

Executives at Microsoft, AVG and Avast previously told Reuters that unknown parties had tried to induce false positives in recent years. When contacted this week, they had no comment on the allegation that Kaspersky Lab had targeted them.

Kaspersky is one of the biggest antivirus software makers in the world, with 400 million users and 270,000 corporate clients. It has won wide respect in the industry for its research on sophisticated Western spying programs and the Stuxnet computer worm that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010.

Stephen Hawking’s speech tech released by Intel

The program interprets visual signals and translates them into words, which are then “spoken” by a machine.

Intel originally developed the technology specially for Prof Hawking, but it has been used by other sufferers of motor neurone disease (MND).

Anyone is now able to download and experiment with the system.

Intel hopes that ACAT, which runs on Microsoft Windows 7 or higher, will be used by researchers developing new interfaces for sufferers of diseases like ALS.

The programme and full source code have been published on code-sharing site GitHub.

Prof Stephen Hawking uses Intel's software to "speak" via a computer



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