Episode 521 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Apple to start manufacturing iPhone in India

Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron is setting up an assembly plant in Bengaluru to focus solely on assembling iPhones, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The source, who asked not to be named because he was not cleared to discuss matters publicly, said Apple and the Indian government were, however, still discussing “the repatriation of long-term profits from local sales and exports.”

The government of the Indian state of Karnataka said on Thursday it welcomed Apple’s proposal to begin initial manufacturing operations in tech hub Bengaluru, its state capital, hinting it is moving forward with plans to assemble iPhones in India.

***No mention of Trump and the tax on the phone if not made in America. Bogus report ?

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Outage strikes the Australian Taxation Office again

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has faced yet another outage while replacing the faulty hardware that caused the systems to go down in December 2016.

During the ongoing restoration process, the ATO said both outages were caused by hardware fault, revealing the nature of both issues to be different.

When the replacement was initiated on 2 February, the ATO started to have issues with services including the Tax Agent, Business and BAS Portals, ATO online, the Australian Business Register (ABR), Standard Business Reporting (SBR) and Superannuation online services.

Our focus will now turn to building system resilience to best ensure the stability of our services to the community.

The taxation office pledged that after systems are fully functional it will focus on making services available to key stakeholders, build system resilience and increase the capacity of its systems.

Since the systems were down for the first time in December 2016, the ATO has performed several planned outages in order to restore its systems.

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Telstra named the most complained-about telco

According to data released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), Telstra registered a total of 6.8 complaints per 10,000 services. In the previous quarter, Telstra had a total of 6.0 complaints, while Optus had 7.2.

Optus, however, after leading the complaints report for most of 2016, has shown a consistent fall in the amount of complaints registered by the TIO having closed the last quarter with 6.7.

odafone with 5 complaints. In the previous period, Vodafone received 6.2 complaints

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Smart TV vendor penalised for massive privacy violation

A US smart TV maker tracked the program-watching habits of millions of viewers and collected their personal data to onsell to third parties without consent, in one of the largest deliberate privacy breaches recorded.

Vizio, which was acquired by Chinese electronics maker LeEco last year, has agreed to pay the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey Divsion of Consumer Affairs a total of US$2.5 million (A$3.27 million) for the privacy violation

The company was also ordered [pdf] to delete most of the data, which it collected from over 11 million internet-connected TV sets since 2014 and sold to advertisers and other third-parties, unbeknownst to viewers.

To identify what people were watching, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the TV screen and matched them to a database of of television, movie, and commercial content.

This included data from a range of content sources such as streaming devices, free to air broadcasts, cable TV, DVD players, and more.

Although Vizio did not allow re-identification of user data with consumer names, it appended a large amount of personal details to the viewing histories it collected. Third parties that bought viewing histories received them matched to information such as a consumer’s sex, age, marital status, income, household size, education, and home ownership.

Information on devices in viewer homes such as their network IP and unique media access control (MAC) identifiers were also collected by Vizio’s ACR software, along with wi-fi signal strength and nearby access points, the FTC said.

The TV maker went as far as to retrofit older devics with the ACR software to glean further information, and permitted third-parties to track viewers across devices.

Vizio was able to capture as much as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs, the FTC said.

Vizio has published information on how to turn off the “Smart Interactivity” ACR feature on its TVs.

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Mass attack worldwide on internet-exposed printers

An unknown hacker has taken it upon himself to warn users that their unprotected internet-connected printers can be remotely exploited, by printing out warning messages from the devices.

Over the weekend, several users took to social media to post photographs of warning messages emanating from their printers.

The hacker, who calls himself Stackoverflowin, is automatically sending out instructions to exposed devices to generate a message telling users their printers have been “pwned” and are now “part of a flaming botnet”. The message includes an ASCII art rendering of a robot from the Mec Warrior video game.

Stackoverflowin claimed to have attacked some 150,000 printers, running a script that targets devices with the internet printing protocol (IPP) enabled on transmission control protocol (TCP) port 9100.

A scan on the Shodan.io vulnerability reporting site showed just over 147,000 printers connected to the internet with IPP listening on TCP port 9100. Most (almost 65,000) are in the United States, while Australia shows up as having 2700.

Mass attack worldwide on internet-exposed printers

Facebook Live stream of Danny Green vs Anthony Mundine fight to be pursued by Foxtel

Facebook users Darren Sharpe and Brett Hevers live streamed the $59.95 pay-per-view across the social media platform, attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers.

“I want you to stop streaming it on Facebook. Just keep watching the fight at home, there’s no dramas with that. Just don’t stream it on Facebook,” the Foxtel rep could be heard saying.

Mr Sharpe replied he believed he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong and would keep streaming for the “78,000 viewers” tuning in.

When asked on its policies, Facebook said it has human moderators to check what is being streamed, but only after videos reach an undisclosed threshold of viewership.

It added there was also a rights manager system, which copyright holders can use to have illegally posted material removed.

The illegal streams of Anthony Mundine and Danny Green’s fight were viewed by hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Apple’s 10th anniversary ‘iPhone X’ could cost more than $USD1,000 – report

By Neil Hughes

Wednesday, February 08, 2017, 11:43 am PT (02:43 pm ET)


A new high-end, top-of-the-line iPhone featuring an OLED display and an all-new design is expected to debut later this year with a similarly premium price tag, which one report claims could start at more than a thousand dollars.

Concept rendering of next-gen iPhone with edge-to-edge display.

Citing a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Fast Company reported on Wednesday that Apple’s so-called “iPhone X” or “iPhone 8” is likely to be priced above $1,000.

In addition to an OLED display that is expected to encompass the entire front of the phone, the report said the handset will feature “a memory upgrade from the current iPhone 7 line.” Whether that means faster memory or a new high-end 512-gigabyte capacity was not indicated.

Wednesday’s report also reiterated claims that the OLED iPhone will feature a display size around 5.8 inches. However, there has been some confusion over that fact, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo clarifying that while Apple is buying larger flexible panels to allow a curved design, only 5.1 to 5.2 inches of the display will represent the actual active area.

A $1,000-plus price tag would be the most expensive iPhone Apple has ever produced. The company’s current top-of-the-line model, a 256-gigabyte iPhone 7 Plus, runs $969.

“iPhone 8” OLED concept via iMore.

The flagship OLED iPhone is believed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Apple’s revolutionary handset. Reports have suggested the design shakeup will enable Apple to embed key features—including the FaceTime camera, earpiece and Touch ID fingerprint sensor—beneath the display, boasting a truly seamless edge-to-edge design.

Alongside the all-new design, Apple is also expected to launch successors to the iPhone 7 series in similar designs, sized with the same 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens. It is rumored that those handsets will stick with LCD technology for their displays, while the OLED iPhone will have a “considerably better” panel, helping to justify its jumbo-sized price tag.

Fire breaks out at Samsung factory responsible for Note 7 battery production

By Malcolm Owen

Wednesday, February 08, 2017, 09:19 am PT (12:19 pm ET)


The Galaxy Note 7 battery saga continues to cause problems for Samsung, as a fire broke out Wednesday at a facility used in the production of the faulty batteries found in the discontinued smartphone.

The fire at Samsung SDI Co. in Tianjin, northern China, is described by Samsung SDI spokesperson Shin Yong-doo to Reutersas minor. No casualties were reported at the facility, with the factory continuing to operate as normal without any significant impact to its production lines.

The local fire service and Samsung both advise the fire broke out in part of the facility used for storing waste materials, including faulty batteries. The emergency service added in a microblog the source of the fire was “lithium batteries inside the production works and some half-finished products.”

Despite being deemed “minor,” the scale of the fire was such that 110 firefighters and 19 trucks were called out to put out the fire. On a nearby road, passers by took photographs of the plume of black smoke, uploading images to Sina Weibo.

Samsung SDI is one of the suppliers of batteries for Samsung’s ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, which was the subject of a global recall after a number of incidents where the smartphone caught fire. An investigation found two issues caused the fires, with an initial design flaw causing short circuits in one corner of the battery, while a manufacturing issue introducing an ultrasonic welding defect affected the replacement battery batch.

The major battery problems have prompted calls to improve the safety standards of lithium-ion battery production, with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission urging for modernized safety standards for battery production. The South Korean government has also stepped in, introducing new safety regulations relating to battery production and fault investigation.

The recall is estimated to ultimately cost Samsung at least $5 billion in losses, though this didn’t stop the electronics producer from increasing its operating profits in its most recent quarterly financial results.


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