Episode 469 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Foxconn workers get rare holiday

Foxconn, which assembles most of Apple’s latest iPhones, will cut working hours over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday

Reports of slowing shipments and mounting inventories of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, as well as tepid forecasts from suppliers, have pushed Apple investors into unfamiliar territory after years of booming sales and surging shares.

Apple announced on Wednesday US time that customers spent over US$1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases in the two weeks ending 3 January, setting a record for holiday season sales.

On New Year’s day alone, customers spent more than US$144 million, breaking the previous single-day record set on Christmas Day.


Web developers rejoice; Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 die this week

A patch, which goes live on January 12, will nag Internet Explorer users on launch to upgrade to a modern browser. KB3123303 adds the nag box, which will appear for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 users still using the old browsers after installing the update.

End of life means the browsers will no longer receive security updates or any other kind of patches, leaving those running them wide open to new vulnerabilities in the future.

The nag can be disabled by those in enterprises who haven’t made the upgrade yet, through the registry, though it’s probably easier just to jump onto Internet Explorer 11.

What’s even bigger about the end of life for these versions is that this means Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Microsoft’s old browser that’s left supported, as the company continues to transition customers to Edge on Windows 10.

If you’re still using any version of Internet Explorer below 11, it’s time to upgrade now, before it’s too late.


Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji App Breaks Apple Store After Insane Amount of Downloads

According to TMZ, there was a point on Monday when there were 9,000 downloads per millisecond.

Those trying to get the app on their iPhones had some trouble after the store crashed.

Kimoji costs $1.99 to download


Apple OS X named most vulnerable software of 2015

http://www.cvedetails.com/

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures Details (CVE) conducted a study and produced a list of the most vulnerable software of 2015. The list is based on reports submitted by cyber-security firms, researchers and software creators

With Apple’s platforms always being pegged as highly immune to threats and attacks, the news of them being number one on the list comes as a worldwide shock. Adobe was expected to top this year’s list having had reported numerous zero days in 2015, however they did take the third place spot.

Their report also shows Apple was the company in whose products the highest number of bugs (654) were discovered in 2015. IBM, the leader of this not-so-lucrative race in 2014, has improved markedly, as it fell down to the 7th place this time around.

apples-os-x-comes-out-as-most-vulnerable-software-of-2015-2


Twitter considering 10,000-character limit

An expansion of the limit to 10,000 characters would allow a tweet of more than 1,000 words with spaces between words and punctuation. For comparison, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was 272 words, and President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech was 1,366 words.

Twitter may launch the service toward the end of the first quarter but has not set an official date,

the company has seen more people sharing screenshots of text, which are a way to get around the 140-character limit.

Twitter has come under increasing pressure to boost user growth and ad revenue. It had its slowest user growth in 2015 – it now boasts just over 300 million users – and was eclipsed by photo-sharing app Instagram, owned by Facebook, which surpassed 400 million users last year.


Dick Smith seeks white knight as vouchers, lay-bys become worthless

Dick Smith has put a call out for buyers while confirming existing gift vouchers would not be honoured and lay-by deposits would not be refunded.

Affected customers will become unsecured creditors

Dick Smith went into voluntary administration recently after failing to secure sufficient short term funding. The chain copped a $60 million write-down on inventory in December then ran a clearance sale – but failed to turn around its fortunes.


Windows 10 already on 200 million devices

Fastest adoption of any Microsoft OS

Much of the growth comes from retail consumers, with devices such as Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console helping drive adoption of Windows 10, the company said. Xbox’s busiest day ever was 28 December,

the ultimate success of Windows 10 will be judged by the take-up rate among businesses. About three-quarters of Microsoft’s enterprise customers are testing Windows 10, the company said.


John McAfee launches funding drive for password replacement tech

https://everykey.com/ video

Takes time out of presidential bid.

Cybersecurity legend and former fugitive John McAfee has launched a crowdfunding campaign to replace passwords.

The McAfee Antivirus founder started an Indiegogo campaign this week for his Everykey project, which he claimed would securely unlock users’ devices and enter their passwords.

The project is portrayed as a “master key” and so far has raised US$63,000, or around 300 per cent of its original goal of US$20,000

McAfee said the project was “a f*cking game changer

He said Everykey would work not only on smartphones and PCs but also on Bluetooth-enabled cars and doors. It uses Bluetooth to connect hardware to Everykey and can enter passwords stored on servers.

Everykey will inlock a device when it is near a device and will lock them again when out of range. The device stores passwords using military-grade encryption.

If an Everykey is lost, it can be deactivated so the hardware no longer recognises the dongle.

The project plans to start shipping the devices some time in March with donors able to choose perks such as multiple Everykeys, key rings and charging cables.


iPhone 4s users file class action over iOS9 update

Apple iPhone 4s users have filed a class action in New York over the alleged impact that the iOS9 update had on their devices.

In court filings posted by Apple Insider, the class action alleges “deceptive trade practices and false advertising” by Apple on the compatibility of the new operating system with the older device.

The lawsuit said affected users believed they should have been warned that “iOS9 may or will degrade overall performance and usability” prior to install, as iOS users could not roll back to the previous version of the operating system.


Shayne – 070116

Netflix Everywhere: now streaming (almost) worldwide

  • Netflix’s plan for world streaming domination revealed during CES 2016 Key Note.

  • Netflix is working with LG to extend streaming service to Middle East, Asia & Europe.

  • LG is an ideal partner due to WEBOS3.0, which puts streaming on par with other sources.

  • Netflix CEO Read Hastings tried to do a Steve Job “One More Thing” revealing that Netflix is now available in 130 countries & supports 20 languages.

  • China should have service soon, leaving just North Korea, Syria & Crimea.  Strange how these are all current political & military hot spots.

Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 Finally Die Next Week

  • As of January 12th, Microsoft will no longer support Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10.

  • Microsoft stated that version 11 will continue to be supported, receiving security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. For now.

  • But if you use an older version of IE, then it’ll no longer receive updates. If you insist on using a Microsoft browser, now might be time to consider using Edge?

Apple scales back iPhone orders

  • Apple is scaling back orders for its iPhones, sending ripples throughout the multibillion-dollar industry that supplies and builds the company’s phones.

  • Subsidies were given to Foxconn after it began dismissing some workers there earlier than usual for the Chinese Lunar New Year break, according to people familiar with the manufacturer.

  • Component suppliers that rode the iPhone’s boom are now bracing for lower sales.

  • Apple provides suppliers with projections on possible orders months in advance and makes adjustments over time, based on demand and inventory, according to suppliers & these projections have dropped.

  • In October, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said it expected iPhone sales to increase in its fiscal first quarter ended in December from the same period a year earlier, but declined to make projections further out into the future.

  • But Chinese iPhone factories had some idle capacity in the final two months of the calendar year, when they would typically be racing to keep up.

  • An Apple spokeswoman said the company never discusses sales forecasts and referred lay-off questions to its contract manufacturer Foxconn, officially known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.  They refused to comment.

  • The Zhengzhou government didn’t respond to a request for comment.

  • IPhone concerns have weighed on Apple’s stock. The shares are down 13 per cent over the past month.

  • Second IPhone manufacturer & associated suppliers also hit hard.

NBN Responds To Claims FTTP Is Better Value Than FTTN

  • Research has revealed the longer term costs and savings of Fibre To The Premises when compared to Fibre To The Node, but NBN says a fast rollout is priority.

  • FTTP would deliver better value than FTTN, according to research from Monash University data analyst Richard Ferrers.

  • In response a representative from NBN told Gizmodo “the figures used as the basis for his analysis are from draft documents from early 2015 — not endorsed by our executive.”(Not Endorsed does not necessarily mean not accurate.)

  • “The longer FTTN remains in place, the greater the foregone benefit for not switching to FTTP,” he wrote.

  • Despite costing $2,300 more per premise to install than FTTN, the analysis showed FTTP cost $220 less per connection per year, and the install cost would be earned back in 76 months. FTTP also generated almost $10 more revenue each month than FTTN.

  • “This is a total net benefit of $360 per household per year for using FTTP over using FTTN.” writes Ferrers.

  • He takes analysis further into the future to reveal this figure could amount to $9 billion over ten years.

  • NBN Rep stated: “A full Fibre-to-the-Premises rollout will take significantly longer to complete than the Multi-Technology approach. This means delayed revenue opportunity and an inability to take advantage of a ubiquitous network in the next four years.”

CES 2016: Ford to include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto support

  • Apple and Android car entertainment technology will become almost universal inside Ford vehicles, according to one of the first major announcement at CES this year.

  • Starting this year, owners of SYNC-3 equipped Ford vehicles can activate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces built for those types of smartphones.

  • Significantly, the technology will be universal on all SYNC-equipped Ford vehicles from 2017 onwards in North America, but with the features expanding worldwide by 2020.

  • Ford’s app offerings will include Concur, which will automatically log business journeys directly from the odometer and maintain a trip journal.

Ransom32 Is a JavaScript-Based Ransomware That Uses Node.js to Infect Users

  • A new type of ransomware has been found, the first of its kind, a ransomware that uses JavaScript to infect its users, being coded on top of the NW.js platform.

  • NW.js, formerly known as Node-WebKit, is a powerful platform that allows developers to create desktop applications via Node.js modules. The platform lets programmers use JavaScript in the same way, and with the same power and reach inside the OS, as other more powerful languages like C++, Delphi, Java, ActionScript, and C#.

  • NW.js uses a stripped down version of WebKit, the same layout engine used in Chrome, Safari, and Opera, but without many of its limitations. While browsers limit what JavaScript code can do, NW.js removes these limits and allows JS developers to interact with the OS itself.

  • NW.js can run on all three major operating systems, meaning that ransomware coded to work on top of it would theoretically be able to target all operating systems at once.

  • According to Emsisoft’s Fabian Wosar, a new ransomware family that goes under the name of Ransom32 is using the NW.js platform for infiltrating the victims’ computers, and then locking their files.

  • As Mr. Wosar told Softpedia, Ransom32 is currently distributed only via spam email campaigns.

  • Using Node.js to infect and encrypt user files

  • Ransom32 is not the work of an amateur given the level of sophistication & new approach.

  • Ransom32 includes top-shelf quality encryption

  • Ransom32 authors operate as a Ransomware-as-a-Service from the Dark Web

  • All payments are sent to the Bitcoin address of Ransom32’s authors, from where they take a 25% cut, and then forward the rest of the money to the intermediaries that helped distribute the ransomware.

  • Currently, only Windows machines have been infected, but we may be one update cycle away from seeing the first truly cross-OS ransomware family.

 

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