Episode 534 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


WannaCry could spark lawsuits, but Microsoft not to blame

The WannaCry worm has affected more than 200,000 Windows computers around the world since Friday, disrupting car factories, global shipper FedEx Corp and Britain’s National Health Service, among others. The hacking tool spreads silently between computers, shutting them down by encrypting data and then demanding a ransom of US$300 to unlock them.


companies that faced disruptions because they did not run the Microsoft update or because they were using older versions of Windows could face lawsuits if they publicly touted their cyber security


LinkedIn was sued after a 2012 data breach, alleging individuals paid for premium accounts because the company falsely stated it had top-quality cyber security measures. LinkedIn settled for US$1.25 million in 2014.


Microsoft itself is unlikely to face legal trouble When Microsoft sells software it does so through a licensing agreement that states the company is not liable for any security breaches




Old Windows PCs can stop WannaCry ransomware with new Microsoft patch


Users of old Windows systems can now download a patch to protect them from this week’s massive ransomware attack.

In a rare step, Microsoft published a patch for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8

Download English language security updates: Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64, Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86,Windows XP SP2 x64, Windows XP SP3 x86, Windows XP Embedded SP3 x86, Windows 8 x86,Windows 8 x64

Download localized language security updates: Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64, Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86, Windows XP SP2 x64, Windows XP SP3 x86, Windows XP Embedded SP3 x86, Windows 8 x86, Windows 8 x64


Windows XP is still the third most popular operating system in the world


Microsoft stopped providing security support on April 8, 2014.


According to statistics from Net Applications, it’s actually the third most popular operating system globally, with 7.04% market share.

That means an out-of-date, unsupported operating system is more popular than any version of Windows 8, any version of Mac OS X, and Linux.

top five most popular operating systems, according to Net Applications:

  • Windows 7: 48.5%
  • Windows 10: 26.28%
  • Windows XP: 7.04%
  • Windows 8.1: 6.96%
  • Mac OS X 10.12: 3.21%


Analyst house Gartner predicted “If we conservatively take 2 billion as the number, that suggests there at least 140 million PCs still running Windows XP.”

Next big update for Windows 10 revealed as the Fall Creators Update

The next major update to Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 3, has been unveiled as the Fall Creators Update that will be introduced later this year, Microsoft revealed on day two at Microsoft Build 2017.


its headline feature is Story Remix, a new app that’ll let you easily stitch together images and video clips. The app is simple to use for the non-tech savvy individuals, yet is a powerful tool that works intelligently to create customised, interchangeable stories at the click of a few buttons.


Thanks to its intelligent AI backend, the app is able to identify highlights and specific individuals to tailor a video for your needs. During the keynote, Microsoft demonstrated the ease of switching the focus from one football player to the next, creating two completely different video clips.


Windows 10 users will be able to annotate a video and even add effects with ease. The app is aimed at those who want to create a sharable clip to family and friends. The app will work across Windows, iOS and Android devices, allowing you to quickly synchronise photos and videos across multiple devices.


Microsoft will finally allow you to access OneDrive Files On-Demand.


Clipboard allows those using compatible apps to copy and paste across devices. For example, you’ll be able to copy text on your Windows device and paste it on iOS


Timeline cleverly recognises what apps and programs you were using on another device. Microsoft showed how someone could be working in Microsoft PowerPoint on one device, and then move across to another, with AI assistant Cortana reminding you what document you were working on and exactly where you left off.


glad to know that iTunes, Ubuntu, openSUSE and Fedora are coming to the Windows 10 Store.




Tinder fights one-man dating platform


Shed Simove called the app Shinder and said he built it to find himself a partner.

However, when he tried to trademark it, a Notice of Threatened Opposition was filed to the Intellectual Property Office by dating giant Tinder.


He also received a letter from lawyers representing the elevator firm Schindler.

Schindler asked him to commit to refraining from entering the elevator or escalator market.


“I think it’s a case of a big corporate giant looking at an entrepreneur who sees the world differently and being punitive,” he said.


…then why want to patent it?




It might be time to say goodbye to the MP3 – so let’s look back at its life

The Fraunhofer Institute says it has “terminated” its licensing programme with Technicolor because its patents are expiring.


The Fraunhofer Institute says the quality of the format is also inferior to its current standard.

That’s called AAC – or “Advanced Audio Coding”.


most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs such as the AAC family or in the future MPEG-H.

“Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3.”


The supposed “death” of the MP3 won’t have much of an impact because of streaming and most new portable players now use different formats anyway.


MP3s were born in Germany in 1987

This group of nerds in Germany came up with the original MP3 format, including researcher Karlheinz Brandenburg (the man holding headphones below) who’s credited with inventing it.



Australia could ban laptops on international flights

The US and Britain banned laptops in cabins on inbound flights from a number of Muslim-majority countries in response to unidentified security threats in March. The US is currently considering extending the ban to flights between Europe and the US.

At the time the Australian government indicated it would not implement a similar ban, but Turnbull today suggested that position could be reversed.

“We are looking at it very closely, taking into account all of the information and advice we’re receiving internationally and we’re working very closely with our partners and in due course, any announcements will be made formally though the Transport Minister,” Turnbull said.









Last week, the WannaCry ransomware caused mayhem around the world, crippling vital serves such as those used by the NHS.

Now experts have warned that a new cyber threat called Adylkuzz is currently developing that could be even more devastating than the WannaCry attack.

Initial statistics suggest that the attack could affect hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide – although it is unclear which system will be targeted.

The new threat has been flagged by Proofpoint, a cybersecurity firm based in Sunnyvale, California.

In a post on its website, Proofpoint said: ‘We discovered another very large-scale attack using both EternalBlue and DoublePulsar to install the cryptocurrency miner Adylkuzz.

‘Initial statistics suggest that this attack may be larger in scale than WannaCry, affecting hundreds of thousands of PCs and servers worldwide.’

The Adylkuzz campaign started before the WannaCry ransomware attack hit on May 12, according to Proofpoint.

And the cybersecurity experts think that some firms may have mistakenly believed they were being victimised by the ransomware, when in fact it was Adylkuzz.





Google’s artificial-intelligence-based Assistant is on more than 100 million devices now, and the company is leveraging a longtime competitor to expand the technology to even more people.

At its developer conference overnight, Google said it’s launching the Assistant as an app for Apple’s iPhone, and that it will support many of the same functions as the service does on Google devices.

Users will be able to integrate with Gmail and complete various tasks through voice commands, Google said. The application will become available first for users in the US and support English. Other countries and languages will come later. This means users on iPhone will now be able to choose between Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Google’s Assistant for the voice-activated assistant needs.

The announcement heralds a step by Google, whose Android system runs on the majority of the world’s smartphones, to get a foothold on Apple’s phones, which have smaller market share but are used by people who tend to spend more on technology.




A bill proposed in US Congress would require the National Security Agency to inform representatives of other US government agencies about security holes it finds in software like the one that allowed the recent WannaCrypt ransomware attacks.

Under former President Barack Obama, the government created a similar inter-agency review, but it was not required by law and was administered by the NSA itself.

The new bill would mandate a review when a government agency discovers a security hole in a computer product and does not want to alert the manufacturer because it hopes to use the flaw to spy on rivals. It also calls for the review process to be chaired by the defense-oriented Department of Homeland Security rather than the NSA, which spends 90 per cent of its budget on offensive capabilities and spying.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson and Democratic Senator Brian Schatz introduced the legislation in the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.




Even as many businesses are worried about hackers taking control of their computers as part of the worldwide WannaCry ransomware crisis, Disney may be facing a slightly different ransom situation of its own.

Hackers have obtained a copy of an upcoming Disney film and are threatening to release more and more snippets of it unless the company pays a “huge sum” of bitcoins, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Citing remarks that chief executive Bob Iger made to employees Monday, THR reports that the film could be the latest entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, or perhaps Cars 3. The company is reportedly refusing to pay.

A spokesman for Disney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the report marks the latest attempt by hackers to wring Hollywood for cash. It comes two weeks after Netflix confirmed that hackers were responsible for leaking new episodes of its hit series, Orange Is the New Black.





A NEW Hampshire man who was injured in a house explosion is thanking Siri for saving his life.

Christopher Beaucher says he was checking on his mother’s vacant cottage in Wilmot earlier this month when he saw something suspicious and went inside.

When he switched on a light, the house exploded.

“The whole place caught fire,” Mr Beaucher told WMUR-TV. “Part of it collapsed while I was in it during the initial explosion, so I couldn’t really tell where I was.”

Mr Beaucher’s face and hands were badly burned. He grabbed his smartphone but was unable to dial because of his injuries.

He says he somehow asked his iPhone’s voice-controlled virtual assistant Siri to call 911, believing he was going into shock

A spokeswoman for Apple said Monday (Tuesday AEST) that statistics on Siri being used for emergencies weren’t available, but noted some recent emergencies in which it was used.

Those include three boaters off the Florida coast in April who used the water-resistant phone when their craft capsized; a 4-year-old boy from London who used his mother’s thumb to unlock her iPhone and called Siri after she collapsed at home in March; and a man in Vancouver who collapsed, became paralysed, and was able to use his tongue to use Siri.




Apple to Announce New MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Possibly MacBook Air at WWDC

Tuesday May 16, 2017 11:26 am PDT by Juli Clover

Apple is planning to announce refreshes for its notebook lineup at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference set to take place in June, reports Bloomberg. New versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro are expected to be announced, and Apple is also considering updating the MacBook Air, its most affordable notebook.


The MacBook Pro, which was just updated in October with a slimmer design and a Touch Bar, will be refreshed with a faster Kaby Lake processor, an update from the Skylake processors in the current machines. It will look the same as the current model, adopting only internal updates.


Apple has been working on a custom-designed ARM chip that could handle low power features in the MacBook Pro, but the chip may not be ready for the June MacBook Pro refresh.

Apple’s MacBook, last updated in April of 2016, will gain an updated processor, also likely to be in the Kaby Lake family.

Apple has not updated its MacBook Air since March of 2015 and has been phasing it out in favor of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, both of which are now thinner than the “Air” model, but Bloomberg suggests Apple is thinking about refreshing it with an updated processor, which would mean the MacBook Air could stick around for at least another few years as a low-cost notebook option. Sales of the MacBook Air “remain surprisingly strong” due to its affordability.

The new notebooks are likely to be announced at Apple’s June 5 keynote, which is set to kick off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Rumors also suggest Apple could use the event to introduce both a new Siri speaker and the long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is said to feature slimmer bezels for a nearly edge-to-edge design.

Today’s report makes no mention of the iMac or Mac mini, two of Apple’s desktop machines that have not been updated in some time. It has been more than 580 days since the iMac was last updated in October of 2015, and more than 940 days since the Mac mini was updated in October of 2014.

Apple has said it has updated iMacs in the works, but it is not clear when the machines will debut.

Apple Rumored to Discontinue iPad Mini

Tuesday May 16, 2017 7:49 am PDT by Joe Rossignol

Waiting for an iPad mini 5? You may be disappointed. BGR, citing a source close to Apple, claims the 7.9-inch tablet is being phased out. The report doesn’t offer a timeline as to when the iPad mini will be discontinued, and its sources couldn’t confirm if the iPad mini 4 will remain on sale for a period of time.

Apple is rumored to introduce a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro as early as the WWDC 2017keynote on June 5, so it’s conceivable to think the iPad mini could be axed then if the report is accurate. Apple’s tablet lineup would then consist of the iPad Pro in 12.9-inch, 10.5-inch, and 9.7-inch sizes, and the new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

Apple launched the original iPad mini in 2012. Since the iPhone 6 Plus launched in 2014, it’s been speculated that the 5.5-inch smartphone may be at least partially cannibalizing sales of the iPad mini, but Apple doesn’t break out its tablet sales numbers on a model-by-model basis, so it’s hard to say for sure.

Nearly two months ago, Apple discontinued the iPad mini 2 and stopped selling a 32GB version of the iPad mini 4. It also lowered the starting price of the 128GB iPad mini 4 to $399, which was previously the 32GB model’s price point.

Japanese blog Mac Otakara claimed Apple would release a 7.9-inch iPad Pro in March with a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers and microphones, a 12-megapixel rear camera with True Tone flash, and an improved processor, but it’s already May and the rumor has yet to materialize.