Episode 537 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Kaspersky takes Microsoft to court in Europe in Windows Defender antitrust complaint

Kaspersky Lab has filed antitrust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German federal cartel office


Kaspersky Lab says that Microsoft is abusing its dominance in the PC operating system market, creating obstacles for independent software security vendors by distributing its own Defender anti-virus software with Windows operating system


Microsoft said Microsoft’s primary objective is to keep customers protected,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. And we will answer any questions regulators may have.”


Kaspersky in November threatened to complain to the European Commission but in April said it would hold off because Microsoft had agreed to make some changes.

Kogan to sell NBN services from Vodafone

The online retailer will resell NBN services from Vodafone’s network beginning in 2018


Vodafone itself only announced it would enter the NBN market in October last year, and is expected to release its first broadband bundles in the coming months.


Specific plans will be detailed closer to launch in 2018


Dropbox will open Australian point of presence hosted in Equinix data centre

Dropbox has announced it will deploy a point of presence (PoP) in Equinix’s Sydney data centre to improve upload and download speeds for Australian users

The PoP will act as a proxy server and enhance performance to complement existing built-in technologies like LAN Sync and Delta Sync.

The proxy will be available to all Dropbox users and will be deployed over the next two months.

Dropbox previously worked with an AWS proxy, which was limited to certain services. With its own proxy hosted in one of Equinix’s Sydney data centres, Dropbox said it could now cover traffic for its local user base.


Now you can buy Instagram followers from a vending machine

You can pick up Instagram followers and likes from a vending machine while you’re out doing your shopping — if you’re in Russia or the Czech Republic,


A hundred followers will cost 100 rubles, which is approximately AU$2.30.

other functions it performs. These include printing photos from your Instagram account and buying followers and likes for other social media platforms including VK, which is especially popular in Russia.

Apple will share its secret iPhone screen-repair machines

Apple has its own sophisticated machine — the Horizon Machine — to repair cracked displays. It’s now ready to share it more freely.


Until recently those microwave-sized machines have largely been a secret. They’ve been primarily located in Apple retail stores around the world and in a handful of third-party repair centers. But with repair wait times growing at some of its busiest retail stores, Reuters reports that Apple will supply about 400 authorized third-party repair centers in 25 countries with Horizon Machines by year’s end. That figure represents about 8 percent of Apple’s 4,800 authorized service providers worldwide



Apple Insider

Apple’s Horizon Machine will be deployed to Best Buy stores first, with one in a Miami area store, and in San Francisco, London, Shanghai, and Singapore now


While a cracked screen can be replaced by skilled technicians without the machine, if there is any damage to the Touch ID sensor, or the device has a fully laminated screen, the Horizon Machine is needed to synchronize the new Touch ID sensor, with the motherboard, and the Secure Enclave. Failure to do so disables the feature, and prevents authorization through the sensor.


Reuters was given a demonstration of the device, from initial screen replacement, through calibration.


After a screen is affixed to the device, the iPhone is inserted into the Horizon Machine. The machine takes about 10 to 12 minutes to complete the synchronization and calibration process, enabling Touch ID to communicate with the Secure Enclave.



Apple’s iOS 11 update ends support for iPhone 5 and 5C


Apple’s iOS 11 mobile operating system will not be available for the iPhone 5 and 5C or the iPad 4 when it is released in the autumn.


It means those with the older devices will no longer receive software or security updates.

The iPhone 5S and newer devices will receive the upgrade but some older apps will no longer work afterwards.

The news is the result of Apple’s decision to end support for devices and apps using 32-bit processors.


Apple is also starting to phase out 32-bit support for the Mac, telling developers at WWDC that Mac OS High Sierra would be the last to have 32-bit capability “without compromises”.

From June 2018, all new apps submitted to the Mac app store will need to support 64-bit, and from June 2018 updates to existing apps must also be 64-bit compatible.










Foxtel launches fresh website-blocking injunction for 17 piracy sites

FOXTEL might have launched a new budget streaming service to attract new customers to the platform, but this doesn’t mean it has stopped its relentless attacks on piracy.

The subscription TV provider will return to the Federal Court on August 8, where it will lodge its latest application for a website-blocking injunction made under Australian anti-piracy laws.

After successfully having The Pirate Bay, isohunt, Torrentz, and TorrentHound blocked by ISPs last December, Foxtel are seeking an injunction to have another 17 piracy sites blocked.

The infringing sites include: YesMovies, Vumoo, LosMovies, CartoonHD, Putlocker, Watch Series 1, Watch Series 2, Project Free TV 1, Project Free TV 2, Watch Episodes, Watch Episode Series, Watch TV Series, The Dare Telly, Putlocker9.is, Putlocker9.to, Torlock and 1337x.

In total, the company has listed 127 key URLs to be blocked to ensure the piracy outlets cannot just keep operating using a mirror of the original site.

If the application is successful, ISPs like Optus, Telstra and TPG will have 15 days to comply.

While the injunction would be a victory for Foxtel’s ongoing war against piracy, the company will be required to pay the affected ISPs $50 per domain it wants blocked.

If a new mirror or proxy site does appear after the application, Foxtel will also have to lodge an affidavit with the Federal Court to alter the original blocklist.

Based on Foxtel’s victory last December, it is highly likely the subscription TV provider will be successful in its blocking efforts, although it still has to prove the sites it is targeting have the primary purpose of copyright infringement or the facilitation of copyright infringement.


Facebook is planning to move WhatsApp off IBM’s public cloud, source says

Facebook‘s WhatsApp messaging service, which is used by 1.2 billion people across the globe, is planning to move off of IBM‘s cloud and into Facebook’s own data centers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The WhatsApp move, which could begin later this year, would result in IBM losing a high profile customer for its public cloud. A source claims that WhatsApp has been one of IBM’s top five public cloud customers in terms of revenue, and was at one point spending $2 million a month with IBM. (IBM says WhatsApp is not currently one of its top five public cloud customers.)

IBM’s public cloud business lags behind Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is on top with 33 percent of the market in April, as well as Microsoft‘s Azure cloud, according to Synergy Research.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and has left the app running on the servers it has always used. Other companies that Facebook has acquired over the years initially used similar IBM SoftLayer servers, and Facebook was quick to bring them in-house, another source said. But with WhatsApp, Facebook has taken a much longer time.

Part of the reason was prioritization. When Facebook bought WhatsApp, it was already in the midst of a yearlong migration of its Instagram photo-sharing app, which it acquired in 2012, from AWS to its own data centers.

Also, Facebook separated its own Messenger messaging and calling app out from the core Facebook app months after the WhatsApp acquisition, and the social network’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, didn’t want WhatsApp to “get Facebooked” — in other words, to get integrated with its own apps too soon, a source said. Since then both Messenger and WhatsApp have gained hundreds of millions of users.

Malware Uses Router LEDs to Steal Data From Secure Networks

Specially-designed malware installed on a router or a switch can take control over the device’s LEDs and use them to transmit data in a binary format to a nearby attacker, who can capture it using simple video recording equipment.

This attack scenario is the creation of a talented team of researchers from the Cyber Security Research Center at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, who previously researched other types of data exfiltration scenarios relying on hard drive LEDs, coil whine, headphones, and others.

Attackers need to install malware on routers, switches

The entire operation is centered around a piece of malware the researchers created and named xLED.

This malware will intercept specific data passing through the router, break it down into its binary format, and use a router LED to signal the data to a nearby attacker, with the LED turned on standing for a binary one and the LED turned off representing a binary zero.

An attacker with a clear line of sight to the equipment can record the blinking operation. This “attacker” can be a security camera, a company insider, recording equipment mounted on a drone, and various other setups where a video recording device has a clear sight of the router or switch’s blinking LEDs.


Uber fires more than 20 workers — including some senior employees — after internal investigation

More than 20 employees have been fired from Uber as part of an internal investigation, a company spokesperson told CNBC, after a former employee alleged gender bias and sexual harassment within the start-up.

In an explosive blog post earlier this year, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler alleged the company failed to act on sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaints. CEO Travis Kalanick called for an urgent investigation into the claims.

Now, San Francisco-based Uber’s 14,000 employees have been given an assessment of the probe led by law firm Perkins Coie.

The firm examined 215 claims at Uber, and took no action in 100 instances, a spokesperson said. Not all these claims involved sexual harassment — they also included retaliation, discrimination and other issues. The 20-plus terminations also were based on a variety of claims, according to the spokesperson.

Separately, a source told CNBC that the firings included employees at all levels, including high-level employees. But Kalanick was not in attendance when the firings were announced, as he is with family in Fresno, California, the wake of a tragic accident and death in the family.

A separate investigation is being led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. An executive summary of the report from Holder will be discussed at the all-hands meeting next Tuesday, a spokesperson told CNBC.





Crypto Asset Fund looks to raise $400 million to buy into blockchain frenzy

Timothy Enneking started a cryptocurrency fund in 2014, when the market was almost exclusively bitcoin. That’s no longer the case.

The 58-year-old money manager is now aiming to raise up to $400 million for the Crypto Asset Fund, a diversified pool of digital currencies and assets that he expects to be in the tens of millions of dollars by the end of this year. Enneking filed with the SEC on Monday.

With the soaring value of ethereum, Ripple XRP and NEM, the top 100 cryptocurrencies combined are now worth more than $98 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin accounts for 46 percent of the total. Enneking said just six to eight months ago, the total value was in the low teens and 85 to 95 percent was bitcoin.

“We can actually now apply much more sophisticated tools to a portfolio of investments,” said Enneking, who started managing money in Russia in 2002 and is now based in San Diego. “I don’t think the world has seen but the pointy end of the spear in terms of what’s going to happen in cryptocurrencies.”

Crypto Asset is a trading fund, so it’s not for the buy-and-hold investor. Enneking said that the minimum investment for the fund is $25,000 and that most of the institutions that are approaching him have between $100 million and $2 billion under management.


Amazon, Kickstarter, Reddit and Mozilla are staging a net neutrality online protest

Some of the Internet’s biggest names are banding together for a “day of action” to oppose the Federal Communications Commission, which is working to undo regulations for Internet providers that it passed during the Obama administration.

Among the participants are Etsy, Kickstarter and Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox Web browser. Also joining the day of protest will be Reddit, the start-up incubator Y Combinator, and Amazon (whose chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, also owns The Washington Post.)

On July 12, the companies and organizations are expected to change their websites to raise awareness of the FCC effort, which is aimed at deregulating the telecom and cable industries. Mozilla, for example, will change what users see on their screens when they open a new browser window.

At stake are the government’s net neutrality rules, which prohibit Internet providers from blocking or slowing websites or charging them special fees in order for their content to be displayed to consumers.

The digital rally recalls a similar online effort in 2012 by Google, Wikipedia and others to protest federal legislation on Internet piracy. The companies blacked out their websites in an effort to show how the bill could lead to censorship.