Episode 600 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes




Favorite Apps (from trial and terror – lol)

  • Waze – Traffic / speed camera app
  • MyPhoneExplore – Sync with computer / contacts / texts / can text from Computer – Awesome
  • Poweramp – great for music
  • Iheart Radio / Tunein – for radio / Podcasts
  • Pocket Cast – for Podcasts
  • HD Widgets for backgrounds etc
  • “Always On” for screensaver
  • Several for home theatre – AV Controller (Yamaha Amp)
  • LG TV Plus for TV + PVR
  • Swiftkey for emails etc
  • AUS Rain – BOM site



Is Microsoft killing off Windows 7 already?

There are 545 days until Microsoft ends support for Windows 7. At least, that’s the official deadline, as stated on the company’s ‘Windows lifecycle fact sheet‘. But some people have interpreted Microsoft’s recent behaviour as a sign it’s desperate to wash its hands of Windows 7 before 14 January, 2020.

in early June, it announced it will no longer answer technical problems in the Windows 7 Community forums (along with the forums for 8.1, and the 2010 and 2013 editions of Office). Users can still reply to each other’s questions, but Microsoft’s ‘agents’ will focus on other forums, such as those for Windows 10 and Office 2016.

in the March security update (KB4088875) for the operating system (OS). Microsoft acknowledged that the update wasn’t working in computers running Intel’s Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2), which is technology that helps processors handle multiple data elements, making them faster.

SSE2 isn’t new. Intel released it in 2000 as part of its Pentium 4 processor – a 1.4GHz chip

three months, it claimed to be “working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release”. That promise was replaced by advice to “upgrade your machines with a processor that supports SSE2 or virtualise those machines”. In other words, Microsoft has given up trying to fix it, and instead wants you to run Windows 7 on a virtual desktop or, preferably, buy a shiny new Windows 10 computer.

Despite Windows 10 being a free upgrade and marketed heavily, it took two-and-a-half years from launch to overtake Windows 7 – as recently as December 2017. Latest figures show that 39% of Windows users run Windows 7, while 46 percent run Windows 10.

Given that Microsoft claims the latter is installed on 700 million devices (albeit including non-PC machines like the Xbox), it means around 600 million computers still run Windows 7. Many millions must now be doing so on computers that Microsoft has in effect abandoned.

Thousands of Magento e-commerce sites hit by malware

Over the last six months, a recently discovered, highly prolific payment card-scraping campaign managed to infect more than 7000 online stores running on the open-source Magento e-commerce software platform.

In an 30 August blog post, Dutch security researcher Willem de Groot reported that the operation involved online payment skimming malware called MagentoCore. Of the 7339 e-shops found to be impacted, at least 1450 of them were infected for the entire half-year period the threat has existed.

the operation involved online payment skimming malware called MagentoCore. Of the 7339 e-shops found to be impacted, at least 1450 of them were infected for the entire half-year period the threat has existed.

MagentoCore skimmers “gain illicit access to the control panel of an e-commerce site, often with brute force techniques,” then embed Javascript into the HTML template. The malicious script records keystrokes and “sends everything in real-time to the magentocore.net server, registered in Moscow.”

Additionally, the malware also inserts a backdoor for periodic downloads, removes competing malware, and changes the passwords of common staff user names.


Amazon joins Apple in US$1 trillion club

Amazon has joined Apple to become the second US$1 trillion publicly listed US company after its stock price more than doubled in a year as it grew rapidly in retail and cloud computing.

Apple took almost 38 years as a public company to achieve the trillion dollar milestone, while Amazon got there in 21 years.

Amazon – founded as an online book-retailer in chief executive Jeff Bezos’ garage in 1994 – started trading on May 15 1997 at US$1.50 on a split-adjusted basis.

By October 2009 it had risen to US$100 and the stock hit US$1000 for the first time on 30 May, 2017. It has held above that level since 27 October, 2017.

Just 10 months later, on 30 August, Amazon shares hit US$2000 for the first time, just US$50 per share away from giving the company a US$1 trillion market value.

Amazon shares were last up 1.4 percent at 2041.29, pulling back slightly from the milestone level of $2050.2677.

Amazon’s stock is up 74.5 percent year to date. In comparison, Apple has risen about 35 percent in 2018.


Elon Musk in new rant at Thai cave rescuer

Writing in an email to Buzzfeed He told the reporter to “call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists”.

He alleged that Mr Unsworth, 63, had spent decades visiting and living in Thailand and had recently moved to Chiang Rai in northern Thailand “for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time”.

“It isn’t where you’d go for caves, but it is where you’d go for something else,” Mr Musk wrote. “Chiang Rai is renowned for child sex trafficking.” He added that he hoped Mr Unsworth would sue him.

Mr Unsworth’s lawyer Mark Stephens from the firm Howard Kennedy told the BBC that Mr Musk’s allegations were baseless.

“Just as we get a series of legal proceedings drafted, Mr Musk adds another libel to it,” he said.

“He seems to have a reckless indifference about the truth of these things. There’s not a shred or scintilla of evidence to back it up.


The waterslide with virtual reality

Germany’s Therme Erding water park is offering virtual reality (VR) headsets to riders of its waterslides.

The VR can transform the ride into one through snowy mountains or outer space.


Woolworths trials ‘scan and go’ smartphone shopping

Woolworths will trial technology in one of its stores in Sydney’s east that will allow a few thousand people registered in its loyalty program to scan and pay for items using just their smartphones.

The supermarket giant revealed details of the trial last night, which have been confirmed by iTnews.

“Thousands” of people already in its Rewards loyalty scheme will be offered a new mobile app called Scan&Go.

The trial will be available in just one store at Double Bay.

Participants will be able to scan the barcodes of items as they pick them up, and also weigh produce using a separate piece of equipment that spits out a separate barcode.

The app is technically capable of allowing customers to simply leave the store after shopping, since it is linked to a credit card.

However, Woolworths said it would require users to ‘tap off’ on a pole first, reportedly because some prospects had been uncomfortable at the prospect of simply walking out.

Joes Podcast for 06/09/2018

Amazon and Microsoft bring Alexa and Cortana to each other’s devices


  • Alexa to Windows 10 devices and Cortana to Amazon’s Echo speakers. Just ask one assistant to “open” the other.
  • That’s the idea behind from Amazon and Microsoft in that it lets Alexa users cue up Cortana on their Echo speakers and then you’ll be able to ask Cortana to let Alexa take the wheel on Windows 10 devices…. ( for example the Cortana-powered Invoke smart speaker from Harman Kardon.
  • The way its suppose to work is that the two voice assistants stand to benefit from each other’s strengths — Cortana’s has deep access to Microsoft Outlook’s email and calendar data, and Alexa’s has expansive smart home controls and a growing library of third-party skills.
  • The way it’s supposed to work is you’ll still need to ask each assistant to “open” the other before you can access the additional controls and features, as in, “Alexa, open Cortana.” Once you open Cortana, all voice data goes to Microsoft and not Amazon anymore, and once you open Alexa, all voice data goes to Amazon and not Microsoft anymore.
  • Echo users will first need to enable the Cortana skill in the Alexa app, which includes logging in with a Microsoft account.





Instagram is Developing A Dedicated Shopping App Called

IG Shopping



  • Instagram is reportedly testing a dedicated shopping app. The app may be called IG Shopping.
  • Apparently in June, Instagram brought a shopping feature to Instagram Stories.
  • This latest revelation comes about because Instagram is said to be in the process of testing of a shopping feature on Instagram Stories.
  • A story on The Verge says that Instagram is aiming to let users browse and purchase goods from businesses they follow on its platform directly through the dedicated app.
  • Businesses are actively leveraging on Instagram’s reach for new customers. The official statistics show, that there is more than 25 million businesses are already on the Instagram, and two million of them are already advertisers.
  • Brands such as Adidas, Aritzia – [a Canadian women’s fashion brand] and Louis Vuitton are among the key partners planned to use the shopping feature, it is expected that it is to roll out to regular users soon.


Instagram also brought you IGTV not long ago as a video-focused app to take on YouTube.

Firefox to auto-block ad trackers


A top executive for Mozilla’s Firefox said in an August the 30th post on the companies blog, that in the near future, Firefox will — by default — protect users by blocking some tracking.

He went on to say that the Firefox browser will soon start to automatically block some ad tracking technologies. The company claims it impacts page load performance and it shadows and follows users wherever they go.

Mozilla added “Tracking Protection” to Firefox 57, a.k.a. “Quantum,” last fall. Since then, the feature has remained an opt-in only, meaning people must manually enable it from the browser’s Preferences display if they want to use it.

  • When its switched on, The tracking Protection blocks a wide range of content, not just advertisements but also in-page trackers that sites or ad networks implant to follow users from one website to another.
  • Mozilla will include the feature in Firefox 63, which is slated to ship October 23. (Firefox is currently on version 61 )