Episode 619 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


GOFAR is a personal assistant for the car.  www.gofar.co

We deliver economic value to the driver (cheaper costs, less time spent on the car) and we deliver social value to the country (by cutting emissions and accidents).

MYOB ponders selling software at the petrol pump

Accounting software company MYOB thinks that the petrol pump can play a big part in making its wares more attractive, by sending information about transactions straight into a general ledger.


Sending transaction data into MYOB is a new trick the company has made possible by partnering with prominent vendors like Reece Plumbing and Caltex.


The service works by linking vendors’ database systems to MYOB’s back end. When buyers make a transaction, they can link it to their MYOB implementation and potentially even arrange for client codes to make the journey too. With that data to work with, MYOB thinks it could automate billing – all a tradie’s purchases for a single client or job would appear on an invoice for that customer!

Caltex wants more MYOB users to fill up at its service stations, because offering the convenience of automated billing will help it sell more stuff. MYOB wants current and potential end-customers to have in-your-face reminders of the convenience its software offers when they shop



Disability-themed emojis approved for use


The new characters include hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, white “probing” canes and guide dogs.

They follow a complaint by Apple that few existing emojis spoke to the experiences of those with disabilities.

Their inclusion in 2019’s official list means many smartphones should gain them in the second half of the year.


Another notable addition to the emoji library is a drop of blood, which is meant to offer women a new way to talk about menstruation.

Image copyrightUNICODE

Its addition follows a campaign by Plan International UK, a girls’ rights charity that held an online vote in 2017 for what a period-themed emoji should look like.

The most popular choice was a pair of pants marked by blood but when that was rejected by the Unicode Consortium, the charity pushed for a blood drop instead.


Joes Podcast Notes for

Gmail is now blocking 100 million extra spam messages every day with AI


Google has recruited its in-house machine learning framework, called TensorFlow, to help train and add additional spam filters for Gmail users. With the new filters in place as of last month, the Google claims Gmail is now blocking an extra of around 100 million spam messages every day.
Gmail has been using AI in addition to existing rule-based filters for years. While rule-based filters can block the most obvious of spam, machine learning looks for new patterns that might suggest an email is not to be trusted.
There is not one type of definition of spam out there,” AI could help work out the best definition for your emails.
The Algorithms are trained in such a way as to balance a huge number of metrics….. everything from the formatting of an email, the email address right up to the time of day it’s sent.


New $199 Bose Frames are
Audio Sunglasses


The Bose Frames is a pair of sunglasses that houses speakers in its frame and a microphone near each temple, allowing users to play music and take calls as well….. Users are also able to interact with Siri and Google Assistant using the sunglasses, after pairing the frames to a phone, however interactions are limited to asking an assistant to play music and handle music playback.
When pairing the sunglasses with a smartphone phone it also gives the device a GPS location, and it also has its own nine-axis motion sensor to tell what direction a user’s head is pointed in. Each pair of Bose Frames is Bose AR enabled, ( Augmented Reality )and new functionality with Bose AR will be available for users on the Bose Connect app via an upcoming software update.
What is Bose AR ? – well it’s unlike other augmented reality products and platforms, Bose AR doesn’t change what you see, but knows what you’re looking at — It does that without an integrated lens or the phones camera…… And rather than superimposing visual objects in the real world… Bose says that the Bose AR adds an audible layer of information and different experiences, making every day a little better, more easier, and more meaningful, and productive for the user.

Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking
( And there’s no way a user would know )


Yeah what’s going on is that many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it….. And they don’t need to ask for permission for it as well.
When you use your smartphone one can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some are even monetizing your data without your knowledge…. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.

Even Worse though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, but some inadvertently expose sensitive data.

Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, which is a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed “session replay” technology into their apps. These session replays let app developers record the screen and play them back to see how its users interacted with the app to figure out if something didn’t work or if there was an error. Every tap, button push and keyboard entry is recorded — effectively screenshotted — and sent back to the app developers.
The App Analyst, who is a mobile expert who writes about his analyses of popular apps on his eponymous blog, recently found Air Canada’s iPhone app wasn’t properly masking the session replays when they were sent, exposing passport numbers and credit card data in each replay session. “This gives Air Canada employees — and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database — to see unencrypted credit card and password information,” he told TechCrunch.
These types of data industry are unlikely to go away any time soon — big companies rely on this kind of session replay data to understand why things break, which can be costly in high-revenue situations. But for the fact that the app developers don’t publicize it or tell anyone about it just goes to show how creepy even they know it is.

Optus has been fined $10 million for

misleading customers


The ACCC has just announced that the Federal Court has ordered Optus to pay $10 million for misleading customers. Proceedings against Optus began in October 2018, with the order being handed down today.
In a breach of corporate regulations, some Optus customers unknowingly bought digital content such as ringtones and games through third party billing services.
These purchases occurred when customers were subscribed to Optus’ Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) service. The telco has admitted that it did not adequately inform its customers that this service was set to default on their accounts.
Optus subsequently earned commissions on any intentional or unintentional purchases that occurred. Optus also admitted that it was aware of customers being billed for these services, sometimes without their knowledge, from at least April 2014. The ACCC has reported that despite receiving over 600,000 inquiries about it, it failed to put identity verification measures in place and even referred some complaints to third parties.
While the purchases could of been added to a customer bill through two browser clicks, customers reportedly had difficulty cancelling and getting refunds for these purchases from those third parties.

“In many cases, Optus customers had no idea they were buying anything, and certainly did not need or want the content for which they were being charged,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Optus failed to take appropriate action, choosing instead to continue to charge customers and collect commissions on these sales, even after numerous complaints. “We are pleased that the Court agreed that this conduct is simply unacceptable, and deserves a significant penalty,” Mr Sims said.
So far Optus has refunded around $8 million to over 240,000 customers. Third party providers have also issued a further $13 million in refunds. If this story sounds familiar, it could be because it may have happen to you or it’s because Telstra was fined the same amount in April 2018 for similar violations.