Episode 553 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Microsoft cancels Groove music streaming service

discontinue its Groove Music Pass subscription service, allowing its existing customers to move their playlists and music collections to Spotify.

 

The Groove Music app will no longer offer the option to stream, purchase, and download music after 31 December, the company said in a blog post.

 

Microsoft introduced the service in October 2012 as Xbox Music, offering music streaming through subscription or purchase through the Windows Store.

 

However, the company said it would continue to update the Groove Music app on all Windows devices to support playback and management of owned music.

 

Apple’s iOS 11 release patches backdoor exploit on wi-fi chips

Apple’s release of iOS 11 patched an out-of-bounds write vulnerability in wi-fi chips that, if exploited, could have allowed attackers within range to execute arbitrary code on the firmware.

 

Following Apple’s 19 September update, Google’s Project Zero publicly disclosed the bug, as well as a proof-of-concept exploit that inserts a backdoor into the firmware. The backdoor allows remote read/write commands “to be issued to the firmware via crafted action frames (thus allowing easy remote control over the Wi-Fi chip

 

Australians with fibre broadband connections double as DSL sinks

The number of Australians using fibre broadband services more than doubled in the past year to reach 2.1 million, up from 960,000 in 2016.

 

while fibre connections surged 123 percent, DSL connections continued to decline, down 15.9 percent to 4.2 million

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics data for the year to 30 June 2017 show Australia now has 13.7 million internet subscribers, not including mobile handset customers, up 500,000 on last year.

 

Mobile wireless remained the most popular type of internet access with 6.1 million customers, followed by DSL, then fibre with 2.1 million and finally cable with 1 million.

 

NBN Co nearly doubled its network footprint last financial year, and claims to have 2.4 million active connections as of 30 June 2017

 

This is a  mix of technologies, such as 1 million customers with fibre-to-the-premises, 900,000 with fibre-to-the-node/basement/curb, 200,000 with hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC), 200,000 on fixed wireless and 100,000 on satellite

 

According to the ABS report, 3 million terabytes (TB) of data was downloaded in the three months to June 2017, up from 2 million TB during the same time last year. Mobile handset downloads contributed 175,000 TB, an additional 50,000 TB from the same time last year.

As for mobile handsets, the number of subscriptions grew by 1.5 million from last year to reach 26.3 million, more than Australia’s 24.1 million population.

 

First plans from Telstra’s budget brand Belong lets users roll over data

Telstra’s budget telco brand Belong has revealed its first two SIM-only mobile plans that will go on sale though Coles and JB Hi-Fi.

 

$25 per month and comes with 5GB of data

$40 per month 15GB of data

pay an additional $5 per month for unlimited national calls and text, or $10 per month for unlimited calls and text to standard numbers in Australia and 10 other countries.

 

Belong’s plans include data banking, allowing customers to roll any unused data into next month’s billing cycle. Customers can also give their unused data to other Belong mobile customers through the Belong app

 

Belong said that it will not top up data automatically, and manual top ups will cost $10 for an extra 2GB

 

Microsoft will refocus Bing on PC market

Bing, will focus on expanding in the PC search market after losing its deal with Apple’s voice assistant Siri

 

Apple said it would replace Bing as its default search engine for Siri on iOS and Spotlight on Mac with Google.

 

Bing, the second-largest search engine in the United States, was the default engine for Siri since 2013. It is still the search engine that powers Yahoo!, AOL and Amazon.com.

 

Microsoft reveals Office 2019

expected to release second half of next year

 

It will include updated, versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the Outlook messaging and calendaring client

 

Office 2019 will come with new Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business services, which Microsoft said will have better manageability, usability, security and updated voice capabilities

 

Among these are improved “inking” or screen drawing features that include stylus pressure sensitivity, tilt effects and replays.

He also promised new formulae and charting options for the Excel spreadsheet, and animation features for the PowerPoint presentation package.

 

Twitter to test double tweet length

Twitter will experiment with increasing the amount of characters that fit into tweets from 140 to 280.

The 140 character limit stems from Twitter’s origins as a short messaging service (SMS) based offering; SMS text messages are limited to 160 characters

 

Aliza Rosen, Twitter’s product manager, explained in a blog post that the company’s research showed that the 140 character limit is “a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English.”

 

The 280 character expansion for tweets will be tried out with a small group of users first before it’s launched to Twitter as a whole, Rosen said.

She did not say which users would take part in the 280 character tweet trial.

 

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