Episode 626 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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NBN Co moves to kill off 12Mbps broadband plans

The changes, which could come into effect as early as May, are part of a deliberate year-long campaign to make 12Mbps broadband services even less attractive.

The latest move will see NBN Co call time on a bandwidth discount that has allowed retail service providers (RSPs) to sell largely uncongested 12/1Mbps services on the NBN at a cheap price.

 

Most RSPs with 12Mbps offers in-market give users, on average, between 9Mbps and 11Mbps speeds in the evening peak.

 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that almost 1.2 million users are on a 12Mbps plan as of February this year – a quarter of all users connected to the NBN.

 

From May, the options for 12Mbps users will be:

  • Stay with their existing service and watch the performance die as CVC costs skyrocket.
  • Upgrade to a 50Mbps service on the new price model (since few RSPs sell a 25Mbps service). This assumes their line is capable of supporting those speeds.
  • Downgrade to what NBN Co is calling the “entry level bundle” – a $22.50 a month wholesale service with barely dial-up internet speeds.
  • Abandon NBN altogether.

 

Facebook cares about privacy so much it stored passwords as plaintext

Account passwords for hundreds of millions of Facebook users have been housed in plain text and searchable by thousands of Facebook employees since 2012.

 

An internal probe found that Facebook staffers had been building applications that logged unencrypted password data and stored it in plain text on internal company servers, according to the report. The investigation so far suggests that between 200 million and 600 million users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text, making them searchable by more than 20,000 Facebook employees.

 

The passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook, said.

 

The password storage issue comes three months after Facebook disclosed that it had allowed third-party applications to improperly access photos from up to 6.8 million users. The bug affected as many as 1500 apps built by 876 developers, and exposed photos for 12 days between 13 and 25 September.

Three months before that, Facebook revealed that attackers had exploited a vulnerability in the social media giant’s code to potentially take over nearly 50 million people’s accounts. The vulnerability discovered in Facebook’s code impacted ‘View As,’ a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else.

 

 

 

Google reveals gaming platform Stadia

 

Google has unveiled a new digital gaming platform called Stadia which will stream better-than-console-quality games that have traditionally had to be either downloaded or purchased on disc.

At launch it will work on existing desktops, laptops, TVs and phones

 

It looks like a traditional console gamepad but the Stadia version has a button for capturing and sharing gaming directly to YouTube.

It was also announced that id Software’s major title Doom Eternal will be one of the first games available.

No pricing was revealed at the event in San Francisco but the firm did say Stadia would launch in 2019 in the US, UK, Canada and Europe.

 

Gamers have complained of issues with “lag” – the delay between a player performing an action, and the game reacting to that move.

 

In an attempt to avoid this, Google said its Stadia controller would connect directly to the internet, communicating with Google’s servers independently from the other hardware.

 

The company has promised the service will offer games at 4K resolution, at 60 frames per second (fps) – and up to 8K, 120 fps in future.

 

During an on-stage demonstration, google demonstrated how someone viewing a video on YouTube could press a “play on Stadia” button and begin playing the title within seconds

.

 

MySpace admits losing 12 years’ worth of music uploads

 

A message on its website says that “any photos, videos and audio files” uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available.

There had been complaints going back several months that links to music were no longer working.

 

Myspace popularity has waned in popularity since it was founded in 2003 but in its prime it attracted millions of users.

In 2006 it was the most visited site in the US – beating Google.

 

Andy Baio, who helped build the Kickstarter crowd-funding site, tweeted that the loss could amount to some 50 million tracks by 14 million artists over that period.

He also questioned whether the loss was accidental.

 

Flagrant incompetence may be bad PR, but it still sounds better than ‘we can’t be bothered with the effort and cost of migrating and hosting 50 million old MP3s’.” he wrote.

MySpace was bought by NewsCorp in 2005 for $580m (£437m). It was sold in 2011 for $35m to ad targeting firm Specific Media.

Joes Podcast Notes for

28/03/2019

The new Apple Card and how it works

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/27/18281071/how-apple-credit-card-works-fine-print-fees-cash-back-titanium

And

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/25/18281259/apple-card-credit-goldman-sachs-titanium-design-event-2019

 

  • Apple has partnered with global investment bank Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to bring you the new Apple Card.
  • Apple’s new Apple Card is made out of titanium and its stripped of all functional numbers. It immediately looks different. People around you at the supermarket or restaurant don’t need to know the particular credit rating requirements you had to pass to get an Apple Card, they just see the debossed Apple logo and the minimalist design and immediately recognize that you’re a person with disposable income and that you are a card-carrying member of the Apple consumer club.
  • According to Apple, its digital credit card and will have no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees and an interest rate among the lowest in the industry, however the fine print on this last point does shows a pretty standard range of interest. When customers use the card they get 2 per cent cash back on all purchases and 3 per cent when purchasing an Apple product or service.
  • When the Apple Card becomes available latter in the year in US, ( Not known yet when in Australia ) you can apply through the Wallet app on your iPhone. Once your approved, you’ll get instant access to a digital version of the card that will automatically appear in the app…. After a brief waiting period, the physical, chip-enabled card will be shipped to you, which you can then use at retailers that accept Mastercard.
  • The card will decipher statements into something that’s easier for people to read and understand and will automatically group purchases into categories and help customers track and develop insight into their spending habits. And interestingly, Apple says none of the purchasing data will be shared or sold to advertisers or third-party data brokers….At this time, Apple does not plan to allow users to sign up through a web browser.

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Don’t change your Twitter birthday to 2007 unless you want to get kicked off for being under 13

https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2019/3/26/18282942/twitter-birthday-prank-2007-13-color-scheme

 

  • A viral prank trying to get people to change their Twitter birthdays to 2007 is getting users locked out of the platform for being under 13. The prank is a tweet that tell users that changing the Twitter birthdays on their profiles will do everything from unlocking new color schemes, getting them admin privileges, or even a verified check….but this won’t actually happen.
  • Those unfortunate enough to have fallen for the prank can contact Twitter Support and get their accounts back by uploading a copy of their government-issued ID.
  • On a completely unrelated note, changing your Twitter birthday to 2008 will let you edit your tweets, so if you like you could totally try that out now…. But why after a tweet you did over 10 years ago.

 

 

Apple unveils its subscription streaming service, Apple TV+

https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/25/apple-tv-plus-launch/

 

  • Apple unveils its subscription streaming service, Apple TV+
  • CEO Tim Cook said this will be an ad-free subscription, with everything available for online and offline viewing, in more than 100 countries.
  • Coming in May, also is Apple TV Channels, which will allow you to subscribe to other streamers like HBO, Showtime, Starz and CBS All Access. It turns out TV+ will be a part of the TV app, but you’ll have to pay extra for every subscription.
  • Apple is also adding support for over-the-top TV services like Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and others (but no YouTube TV) to Apple TV.
  • The updated Apple TV app is heading to Apple TV boxes, iPhones, iPads, and Samsung smart TVs this spring starting in May, while support for MacOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and smart TVs from Sony, LG, and Vizio will arrive in the fall around the debut of Apple’s new lineup of original content. Apple hasn’t shared any pricing info yet.

 

Scooti, you can now hail a

two-wheeled taxi ride

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/scooti-the-uber-of-scooters-has-launched-in-melbourne-so-now-you-can-hail-a-two-wheeled-ride-2019-3

 

  • Scooter taxi service Scooti launched in Melbourne on Monday. It allows people to hail a scooter via an app and travel around the city on two wheels.
  • The company claims that its service is much cheaper, greener, and quicker than travelling by car. The company’s app connects scooter drivers with people that are looking for a ride in the same way that Uber’s connects car drivers with passengers.
  • You won’t need to worry about bringing a helmet either, as the scooter driver is obliged to provide one for all passengers.
  • “All drivers are specially trained, insured and certified under government legislation,”  Scooti operate mainly in and around the CBD where most roads are 40 km/hr zones, and the helmets, hairnets and safety vests are provided to all our customers.”
  • It will operate daily from 5am to 10pm. Scooti plans to expand to Sydney and Brisbane if the launch goes well in Melbourne.