Episode 467 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Tesla announces Australian partners for Powerwall

Tesla has appointed Natural Solar and Origin Energy as Australian channel partners for the distribution and installation of its home batteries.

Both companies said installation of 5kWp Tesla Energy Powerwall would begin next year. Natural Solar will begin installing in January, while Origin will offer Powerwall to customers from February.

Natural Solar managing director Chris Williams said Powerball would be available concurrently in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Australia is one of the first regions globally to receive the batteries due to our high electricity prices, abundant sunlight and fast uptake of renewable energy with more than 1.5 million households already using solar.

A survey commissioned by Origin revealed that almost one third of Australians are aware of Tesla’s home batteries and this was more than twice the recognition of other brands.

Calabria said that while home batteries may not be for everyone, a recent survey showed that more than 80 percent of home owners running solar would consider buying into the technology.

Tesla’s rechargeable lithium ion batteries suit indoor and outdoor uses and come with a warranty of up to 10 years.  

Apple Just Got Rid Of All Your Battery Life Woes For A Small Fee Of $165!

The Smart Battery Case is engineered specifically for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, to give you even longer battery life and protection. The soft microfibre lining on the inside helps protect your iPhone, while the soft elastomer hinge design makes it easy to put the case on and take it off again. On the outside, the silky, soft-touch finish of the silicone exterior feels great in your hand.

Charge your iPhone and battery case simultaneously for increased talk time up to 25 hours, Internet use up to 18 hours on LTE, and even longer audio and video playback.* With the Smart Battery Case on, the intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Centre, so you know exactly how much charge you have left.

The battery case supports Lightning accessories, such as the Lightning to USB Cable (included with your iPhone) and works with the iPhone Lightning Dock (sold separately). Choose from two complementary colours.

Dick Smith fire sale fails to ignite shares

Dick Smith has failed to impressed critics with its clearance sale after taking a $60 million write-down on inventory.

The company kicked off its sale last weekend, advertising discounts of up to 70 percent off on stocked items. However, specific discounts aren’t listened on the retailer’s website, and vary between each store depending on stock availability.

Major discounts were mostly on private-label products such as phone chargers, while discounts on premium stock like Apple and Fitbit were around 10 to 20 percent, as reported by Fairfax.

Investor analysts from Deutsche Bank went to the stores and told News Limited:  “Unsurprisingly, a large amount of the inventory appears to be aged with the majority of promotions on accessories to suit superseded hardware (eg: Galaxy S4 and iPhone 4). There were also a number of deep discounts on current model accessories but the discounts were generally shallower than they were for older products.”

was sold off by owner Woolworths for $20 million in 2012, then floated and reported a net profit after tax of $42.1 million in its first year as a public company, a massive surge from $6.7 million one year previously.

Now, the company’s stock price has plummeted from around $2 per share at the start of August to less than 40 cents at the time of publishing.

***What makes you invest in a company?  low price, products?

ATO grabs 30 years of property records to catch tax cheats

The Australian Tax Office has requested state property records as far back as September 20 1985 in a bid to catch tax cheats by bolstering its data matching program.

The most recent request covers all relevant records held by the residential tenancies board, state revenue office and land titles office in each state and territory in Australia.

By the ATO’s own estimation, the request will dig up around 1 million rental bond and 30 million land title office records each year.

The request gives the ATO access to various personal details about rental property landlords, including their full name, address, date of birth and contact number, as well as the full name and address of the managing agents.

Rental property details set to be gathered by the ATO include the length of the lease, weekly rent, number of bedrooms, amount of bond held, type of dwelling, full address, when the lease commenced and the date it expired.

The ATO also wants various personal details about anyone who has purchased or sold a property since 1985, including their name, address, date of birth, Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN).

In addition, the agency is gaining access to information about every property sold since September 1985, including their address, land area, total transfer price, valuation, sale contract date and settlement date.

In a notice appearing in the Government Gazette, the ATO estimated that the property transaction details will be able to be linked back to 11.3 million individuals.

Under Australian privacy laws, any government agency who wants to match discrete data sets affecting more than 5000 people has to make a public notice of that intention.

The ATO has previously enlisted records held by numerous other third-party organsiations as part of its data matching efforts, including Uber, eBay, the ASX, Computershare, Ink Market Services, Advanced Share Registry Services, Boardroom and Security Transfer Registrars.

DBC waters down damages claim to access alleged iiNet pirates

Dallas Buyers Club LLC was granted access to the 4726 account holders accused of sharing its film online in April this year.

In October, the company asked the judge to release 10 percent of the alleged pirates’ names and addresses

Today the company put forward its argument to be allowed access to the subset of account holder details, saying it would now only claim for the cost of the film ($20), a single license fee for upload, and damages for its court costs.

It has abandoned its push for damages based on how many other, non-Dallas Buyers Club movies an individual had shared online.

One uniform damages claim would be made to all individuals, the company said. DBC LLC had previously planned to tailor it to an individual’s circumstances.

However, the company was unable to provide evidence of what a “reasonable” licence fee would be.

The Judge withheld his judgment on whether DBC LLC should be allowed access to the 472 account holder details until next Wednesday.

Apple plugs large number of security holes in iOS 9.2

OS X, watchOS, tvOS and Xcode vulnerabilities also patched

No fewer than 50 security flaws are patched in iOS 9.2, 19 of which permitted local and remote execution of arbitrary code without user interaction.

The zlib file compression library, CoreMedia Playback media utility, libarchive archival utility and the OpenGL 2D and 3D graphics platform all allowed maliciously crafted websites to run arbitrary code on victims’ systems, Apple said in its security advisory.

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Shayne 10/12/15

Fixed Wireless NBN Gets A Speed Boost

  • Rural Australians connected to the fixed wireless portion of the NBN will enjoy a speed upgrade from 25/5mbps to 50/20mbps.

  • NBN says the service is now “30% faster than our next best fixed wireless global peer in Ireland.”

  • Currently, around 300,000 homes in rural areas have access to the tech, and that number will be over 600,000 after the rollout is complete.

Google Wants To Patent A Blood-Sucking Smartwatch

  • The company just filed a patent application for a “needle-free blood draw” device that can be implanted in a wearable.

  • The new Google design isn’t exactly needle-free. It’s basically a really slick finger-pricking gadget that works by blasting a gas-powered microparticle into the skin and then draws a small vial of blood into a pressurised container.

  • Google isn’t saying exactly what it wants to do with this new invention, if anything. “We hold patents on a variety of ideas — some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t,” the company told The Verge. “Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”

  • The thought that Google wants to get in on the needle-free blood test game shouldn’t come as a surprise. the first new company created under the Alphabet umbrella was spun off of the life sciences division at Google X.

US Court Rules That Breaking Your Employer’s Computer Policy Isn’t A Crime

  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion rejecting the government’s attempt to hold an employee criminally liable under the federal hacking statute — the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) — for violating his employer-imposed computer use restrictions.

  • The decision is important because it ensures that employers and website owners don’t have the power to criminalise a broad range of innocuous everyday behaviours, like checking personal email or the score of a baseball game, through simply adopting use restrictions in their corporate policies or terms of use.

  • The court also ruled that the government cannot hold people criminally liable on the basis of purely fantastical statements they make online — i.e., thoughtcrime.


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