Episode 610 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes



Disney’s new streaming service, called Disney+, will be launching late 2019. And the entertainment company is banking on Loki, Cassian Andor, and other characters in its vast portfolio to lure fans away from streaming champ and soon-to-be rival Netflix.


Disney CEO Bob Iger spilled the beans on Thursday during an earnings call with investors. The new direct-to-consumer streaming service will be built around Disney’s venerable namesake studio, along with Pixar, Marvel, the Star Wars franchise and also National Geographic. What’s more, through the recent $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney will also control 60 per cent of Hulu and use Fox assets to add to its content lineup.


There will be a new live-action “Star Wars” series that Lucasfilms plans to take into production next year, where you’ll be able to follow the adventures of Rebel spy Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna, during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

It was previously revealed that producer and actor Jon Favreau will write and executive produce “The Mandalorian,” a live-action series set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order.


Iger also confirmed that Marvel Studios is developing a series around the popular god of mischief Loki, portrayed by Tom Hiddleston.


And Disney’s CEO told CNBC that thousands of hours of “library” product, including movies, TV shows and other content aimed at hardcore Disney fans will be made available.

Disney+ will also feature new stories set in the worlds of “Monsters, Inc.”and Disney Channel’s “High School Musical.”




Samsung has unveiled its much-anticipated foldable phone at a conference for developers in San Francisco, urging Android programmers to start creating apps for the device.


The South Korean electronics giant also launched new flexible mobile screen technology for its foldable phones, called infinity flex display, and said it is working with Google on development.


Foldable phones hold the promise of allowing consumers to do more complex work that would normally be done on a tablet or laptop, but with a device that becomes far more compact.


The goal of this week’s Samsung event is garnering critical feedback as new technologies will require developers to tweak apps to make sure they run smoothly when the phone folds out into tablet form.


Samsung is among a handful of companies which have flagged that foldable phones will be coming to market soon.


Although it has so far been mum on exactly when, analysts expect a launch date in the first half of 2019; any later and Samsung would run the risk of new Apple phones stealing its thunder.

Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, confirmed that timeframe at a Google conference being held separately in California.


“It’s an exciting concept and we expect to see foldable products from several Android manufacturers,” he said.


“In fact, we’re already working closely with Samsung on a new device they plan to launch early next year.”


China’s Huawei has also said it is planning to launch a 5G smartphone with a foldable screen in mid-2019.


Both Samsung and Huawei, however, have been beaten to the market by Royole, a Chinese display making start-up, which last week unveiled a foldable phone with a 7.8 inch screen, priced from around $1800. Royole said it will start filling orders from late December, although little is known about the projected sales.



Thousands of Australians are still getting less than half the home internet speeds they’re paying for, according to the latest data on NBN fixed-line connections.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released its third quarterly Measuring Broadband Australia report on Monday which tests around 1000 customers’ connections.


It shows that 69 per cent achieved download speeds above 90 per cent of the plan’s advertised maximum speeds, while 7 per cent recorded less than 50 per cent of that maximum. This means around a quarter of the connections achieved between 50 per cent and 90 per cent.

The overall numbers have barely moved since the last report in July this year, but ACCC chair Rod Sims told Fairfax Media the data is still encouraging.


“First of all, the numbers confirm the massive improvement over 2017, which is just terrific,” Sims says.


“And then you’ve had [internet service provider] MyRepublic taking notice of the results and improving their performance. This monitoring does keep everyone on their toes.”

TPG led the pack again this time, delivering 88.4 per cent of its plans’ maximum download speeds. It was followed by Aussie Broadband (85.8 per cent), iiNet (84.8 per cent), Optus (84 per cent), Telstra (83.5 per cent) and MyRepublic.


Sims says that although only a small number of the tests showed speeds of less than half of the advertised maximum, telcos should be aiming to deliver at least 90 per cent consistently. If it’s not possible, they shouldn’t advertise it, he says.




Telstra customers can keep using both their home phone and internet during fixed-line broadband outages, as the telco unveils its next generation 4G mobile fallback modem.

The new Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 automatically diverts phone and internet landline services to Telstra’s 4G mobile network within 30 seconds of a fixed-lined home broadband outage.

While voice calls in progress are disrupted, once the internet connection switches across to 4G customers can resume making and receive calls using their home phone number and handset. The modem still requires a battery backup if customers wish to use their home phone and internet during a power outage.

Customers do not pay extra for the mobile data used during a fixed-line outage, although speeds are capped at 6 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Meanwhile, voice calls are charged at standard home phone rates.


Whilst running over mobile broadband, home phone calls take advantage of the mobile Voice over LTE standard, using Quality of Service to reserve bandwidth for voice. This ensures that call quality does not suffer when the internet is in use.


Available to NBN, DSL and cable customers, the new Gen 2 modem goes on sale today. Of the 600,000 existing Telstra Smart Modems with 4G broadband fallback, Gen 1.1 devices (but not Gen 1.0) are set to receive voice fallback via a firmware upgrade next year. While broadband fallback works for all customers, voice fallback is only available to those on the NBN.


Both Telstra and Vodafone released 4G fallback modems in 2017, taking advantage of their mobile networks to ensure customers were not trapped in limbo during broadband outages or NBN connection delays.



Nintendo has won a lawsuit seeking to take two large retro-game ROM sites offline, on charges of copyright infringement. The judgement, made public today, ruled in Nintendo’s favour and states that the owners of the sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co, will have to pay a total settlement of $12 million to Nintendo. The complaint was originally filed by the company in an Arizona federal court in July, and has since lead to a swift purge of self-censorship by popular retro and emulator ROM sites, who have feared they may be sued by Nintendo as well.

LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co were the joint property of couple Jacob and Cristian Mathias, before Nintendo sued them for what they have called “brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo’s intellectual property rights.” The suit never went to court; instead, the couple sought to settle after accepting the charge of direct and indirect copyright infringement. TorrentFreak reports that a permanent injunction, prohibiting them from using, sharing, or distributing Nintendo ROMs or other materials again in the future, has been included in the settlement. Additionally all games, game files, and emulators previously on the site and in their custody must be handed over to the Japanese game developer, along with a $12.23 million settlement figure. It is unlikely, as TorrentFreak have reported, that the couple will be obligated to pay the full figure; a smaller settlement has likely been negotiated in private.

Instead, the purpose of the enormous settlement amount is to act as a warning or deterrent to other ROM and emulator sites surviving on the internet. And it’s working.

Motherboard previously reported on the way in which Nintendo’s legal crusade against retro ROM and emulator sites is swiftly eroding a large chunk of retro gaming. The impact of this campaign on video games as a whole is potentially catastrophic. Not all games have been preserved adequately by game publishers and developers. Some are locked down to specific regions and haven’t ever been widely accessible.


“A Chinese headmaster has been fired after a secret stack of crypto-currency mining machines was found connected to his school’s electricity supply,” writes the BBC. An anonymous reader quotes their report:

Teachers at the school in Hunan became suspicious of a whirring noise that continued day and night, local media report. This led to the discovery of the machines, which were mining the crypto-currency Ethereum. They racked up an electricity bill of 14,700 yuan [£1,600, or about $2,100]…

The headmaster had originally spent 10,000 yuan on a single machine for use at home, but allegedly decided to move it to the school after he saw how much electricity it consumed… A total of eight mining machines were installed in the Hunan school’s computer room between summer 2017 and summer 2018… The deputy headmaster also became involved in the scheme and allegedly acquired a ninth machine for himself in January, which was also installed at the school. The computer network in the building became overloaded as a result of the mining activity, according to reports, and this “interfered” with teaching.

All the money earned through the mining operation has now been claimed by the local official responsible for “discipline inspection.”