Episode 595 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Apple’s expensive iPhones pay off big time

Apple has responded to a plateauing global smartphone market by launching ever-more expensive phones and diversifying into services. Chief executive Tim Cook credited “wearables”, a category which includes wireless earphones and the Apple Watch, with making growing contributions as well.

buying back US$20 billion in stock in the quarter, part of a US$100 billion stock buyback programme.

Apple sold 41.3 million iPhones in the fiscal third quarter, below expectations of 41.8 million units, but the average iPhone selling price hit US$724, beating analyst expectations of US$694, according to data from FactSet.

Shares rose 3.4 percent to US$196.80 in after-hours trade. With a market capitalisation of more than US$900 billion, Apple is tickling at the title of world’s first trillion-dollar company.


Telstra retains Australia’s fastest telco crown

Telstra has been awarded Australia’s fastest fixed network and mobile telecommunications provider by internet speed testing website Ookla.

The telco earned a speed score of 47.27 based on an average mobile download speed of 53.42 Mbps and upload speed of 17.53 Mbps. Vodafone came in second with a score of 42.07 followed by Optus with 39.85.

Telstra has won the mobile speed test for four consecutive years,

The award was based on speed tests on all of Australia’s major network operators over a six-month period to 30 June 2018. The mobile award measured the internet speeds of more than 481,000 users across 1.7 million tests, and the fixed award measured 9.8 million users over 15.8 million tests.


Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge have all adopted biometrics API

The API is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) effort that makes it possible to use a device’s hardware, or other schemes, to gather authentication credentials. Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and others have backed the spec in order to reduce password use online, as websites that don’t need to store them are a less tasty target for criminals.

Microsoft and others have proven that biometrics can work at scale: smartphones happily handle a great many million biometrics logins a day

There’s also provision for using USB fobs for authentication.

The API was first drafted in 2016 but is currently just a “Candidate Recommendation”. Before final endorsement it must pass through “Proposed Recommendation” and “W3C Recommendation” stages.


Outlook rolls out ‘Dark Mode’ inverted colour scheme

The feature, which inverts the colour scheme so that the background is black with text picked out in white, is designed to reduce eye strain and to make using the app in low-light conditions more pleasant. Many apps, including Twitter, Gmail and YouTube, have also adopted similar features.

Dark Mode is currently only available on the Outlook.com web app, and only available through the beta version, which can be easily enabled by toggling a switch at the top of the inbox. Dark Mode can also be toggled on and off in individual emails by clicking a button at the top of an email labelled ‘turn on the lights’.


The company has not confirmed when (or indeed if) the feature will be making its way to desktop and mobile versions of the Outlook client.


System Administrator Appreciation Day, so give yours whatever they ask for

Friday July 27th, has been designated the 19th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

The organisers of the day suggest that “This is the day that all fellow System Administrators across the globe will be showered with expensive sports cars and large piles of cash in appreciation of their diligent work” but then admit that “a nice token gift and some public acknowledgement” is probably more realistic.

In case ideas on how to celebrate the day don’t immediately come to mind, ideas from other Sysadmins

Don’t call me today;

  • If you must call me today, turn your computer on and off again before calling;
  • A cake would be lovely, thank you very much.