IT News



SAP opens $60m centre, adds weight to youth unemployment debate


Lia Timson   7:23 PM   German software developer SAP has committed an extra $60 million to its Australian installations, unveiling a new mission control centre and innovation lab in Melbourne.


A slower NBN sooner, but hurdles remain

5:25 PM   The long-awaited cost-benefit analysis of the NBN predictably backs the Coalition's option, but Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull still has to deliver.

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Data breach

Australia, reaching for more metadata, lets some slip

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has questioned the government's ability to handle data retention responsibilities.

Matt Siegel   5:00 PM   Federal police accidentally allowed private metadata connected to a criminal investigation to be posted online.


Snapchat near new funding

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.

Sarah Frier   12:26 PM   Snapchat is near a round of funding at a valuation of about $US10 billion from investors including venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.


Malcolm Turnbull: No change to NBN plan following cost benefit analysis

No change to NBN plan: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Matthew Knott   10:59 AM   The Abbott government remains committed to subsidising the rollout of fast broadband in rural areas despite a cost-benefit analysis finding the economic and social benefits of doing so are dwarfed by the costs.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review: a tablet for work

The included pen gives the Surface superior inking capabilities.

Jenneth Orantia   Microsoft needed a couple of tries, but their latest device redefines what tablets are capable of, proving they can be just as effective as laptops with the right mix of hardware and software.


Cost benefit analysis shows Turnbull plan has $16b advantage

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Matthew Knott, Peter Martin   Abbott government's pared-back broadband plan is three times more cost effective than Labor's ambitious scheme and would leave Australians $16 billion better off, according to the first independent cost-benefit analysis of the national broadband network.

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Amazon snaps up live video start-up Twitch for $970m

The acquisition of Twitch will be Amazon's biggest ever.

Amazon has snapped up live-streaming gaming network Twitch Interactive for about $US970 million in cash, reflecting Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos' resolve to transform Amazon into an internet destination beyond its core retail operations.


Aussie company in box seat on collision prevention plans

Cohda's Paul Alexander in a solar car fitted with the company's anti-collision technology kit.

Stuart Corner   Cohda Wireless stands to be a major beneficiary from US Government moves to mandate vehicle-to-vehicle anti-collision technology.


Houzz arrives in Australia seeking renovator's dream

Husband and wife team Alon Cohen (left) and Adi Tatarko. Tatarko is in Australia this week to launch the local version of Houzz, their renovators' site.

Matthew Hall   An American company behind a booming website and mobile app for the home improvement market has opened a Sydney office with plans to modernise the huge Australian renovation industry.

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Cops freeze big shareholding in Kim Dotcom's Mega

Kim Dotcom, founder of ultra-encrypted file storage site, Mega, and online streaming music service designed to bypass the record companies.

Tom Pullar-Strecker   NZ Police have frozen an 18.8 per cent shareholding in Kim Dotcom's Mega, according to Mega chief executive Graham Gaylard.


News bytes for week of August 25, 2014

Westpac will include a budgeting app from NY start-up Moven in its banking services in New Zealand.

Westpac NZ introduces yet another tech tool to banking; Tech showcase is coming and more money for bug trackers.


Hackers target video games companies for fun, profit and better scores

A developer in the Montreal offices of Ubisoft, the maker of the Assassin's Creed games. The company announced last year that its networks had been hacked.Credit

Nicole Perlroth   Hackers are breaking into software companies for credit card numbers, passwords, trade secrets and - it turns out - for phony video game scores.


China targets own computer operating system

Banned in China: Windows 8, Microsoft's latest OS for desktop PCs and tablets.

China could have a new homegrown operating system by October to take on imported rivals such as Microsoft, Google and Apple, a news agency has reported.

Women in tech

Girl coders: the antithesis of the anti-social misfit

Drawn into programming: Jeya Karthika.

Sylvia Pennington   An anti-social misfit tapping feverishly before a screen of green zeros and ones in the half dark … it’s the image that comes to mind for many when asked to visualise a computer programmer hard at work on the tools.

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Dr Who? Dogged teen builds K-9

A school project, volunteer aid, Dr Who tribute: K-9 as developed by VCE student Adam Lloyd.

Katie Cincotta   As Dr Who fans await the debut of the 13th doctor, a young fan is regenerating an old character.


Commonwealth Bank experiences system glitch


The Commonwealth Bank experienced system problems on Friday morning with some customers unable to access mobile banking and other online services.

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Metadata ambiguity to be resolved by government data retention policy paper: sources

Critics of the mandatory data retention proposal say consumers will end up paying for it.

Ben Grubb   The federal government will attempt to put the debate over data retention and metadata to bed with a policy paper likely to be issued as early as Friday.

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iiNet tells NBN Co to get on with job

iiNet's new boss David Buckingham is banking on the NBN to boost customer numbers.

Internet service provider iiNet has told NBN Co to stop dragging its heels on the national broadband rollout claiming it is impacting its future.

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NBN Co connects first fibre-to-node customers

NBN Co has connected a handful of Umina premises to broadband using fibre to the node and copper to the premises.

Company marks milestone in the technology's introduction but it's still only a trial.

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eBay rises on report of possible PayPal spinoff next year

eBay is considering separating its two successful businesses, sources say.

Brian Womack   eBay shares climbed after The Information reported the company could spin off its payment unit as soon as next year.


St George leads biometric charge with fingerprint login for mobile banking

Touch on: St George will launch fingerprinting internet banking logon on Apple iPhone 5S in September.

Beverley Head   Having deployed smartphone apps, contactless payments and wearables, Australia's banks are now taking on tech's next frontier.

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US hospital breach biggest yet to exploit Heartbleed bug

Heartbleed bug: Researchers have disclosed a serious vulnerability in standard web encryption software OpenSSL.

Hackers who stole the personal data of about 4.5 million patients of hospital group Community Health Systems broke into the company's computer system by exploiting the "Heartbleed" internet bug, making it the first known large-scale cyber attack using the flaw, according to a security expert.

Women in tech

Changing the world one tech girl at a time

TechGirls visit Google in New York City.

Matthew Hall   For Nataly Ayyad, a 15-year-old from Bethlehem in the Palestinian Territories, the past month’s experiences have changed view of the world and, potentially, her life.

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How bitcoin and cryptocurrencies work

Bitcoin: Values have fluctuated wildly this year.

Stephen Hutcheon   A quick guide to the emerging cryptocurrency markets.


Ex-CEO Ballmer quits Microsoft board to focus on NBA's Clippers

Steve Ballmer, left, pressing the flesh with former NBA players earlier this year.

Bill Rigby   Former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has left the software company's board in order to spend more time on his newly acquired Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, but said he plans to hang on to his 4 per cent stake in the company.


Lorem Ipsum: of good and evil, Google and China

Lorem Ipsum: placeholder text of the web.

Brian Krebs   Translating common internet placeholder text in Google Translate resulted, until recently, in some startlingly modern and geopolitical phrases. One researcher believes it was being used to code secret messages.


Web fights back against poor security

Personal information at risk: A new blog is shaming websites and apps that do not use encryption.

Ben Grubb   The web is fighting back against websites and apps that don't use encryption.

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Taking the guesswork out of predicting the weather

"World meteorology is a miracle when you think about it": Bureau of Meteorology CEO Dr Rob Vertessy.

Trevor Clarke   The Bureau of Meteorology’s chief executive says the Bureau isn’t just a weather forecaster. It’s an “environmental intelligence agency”.


iPad loses top spot as tablet market slows

Slowing down: The current iPad Mini and iPad Air.

Australian tablet sales have slowed for the first time in three years and the iPad has lost coveted top spot as owners wait for a reason to upgrade.

Open data

An open data vision

Bike share

Marc Moncrief   Need something to tell you how many bikes might be available at the nearest bike share station, what kind of events are on around town and how many people are walking, at this moment, in a range of locations around the city? Would it be helpful if that tool could also help you plan your train trip? Want a weather update with that?

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Australian investors sought for Israeli start-ups

Jon Medved of OurCrowd in Australia last week.

Lia Timson   A 30-year veteran of Israel’s venture capital sector wants rich Australians to spare some of their cash on Israeli start-ups.

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GST 'looms' over crowdfunding

Ric Richardson's Uniloc won a court case against Microsoft.

Andrew Colley   Australia’s GST laws could limit the potential for technology start-ups to use crowdfunding to raise capital, says Byron Bay inventor and Microsoft slayer Ric Richardson.

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Smart home

Samsung acquires home automation start-up SmartThings

Samsung is making a definite move into the Internet of Things with the acquisition of smart home start-up SmartThings.

Mohana Ravindranath   Samsung Electronics has acquired Washington-based home automation start-up SmartThings for an undisclosed sum, the South Korean technology giant announced in a blog post on Friday.


Bill Gates answers Ice Bucket Challenge with nerdy contraption

Bill Gates takes The Ice Bucket Challenge one step further by constructing his own water-pouring machine.

Katie Sola   Bill Gates and Apple CEO Tim Cook join Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella in completing the viral challenge for charity.

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How secure is your security badge?

An HID iClass card.

Brian Krebs   Hackers show just how trivial it still is to read, modify and clone most HID cards — the rectangular white plastic “smart” cards that organisations worldwide distribute to employees for security badges.

Death certificate delays cause angst for families

There have been dealys in the issuing of death certificates.

Kim Arlington   Grieving families have been waiting weeks for death certificates after a system upgrade at the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages caused long delays.


Tony Abbott says reported mobile phone hack did not compromise Julie Bishop MH17 talks

Julie Bishop's mobile phone was reportedly hacked.

Ben Grubb   Following reports Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's mobile phone was hacked, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says sensitive discussions were conducted over secure phone lines and were not compromised.

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WA News

WA government phone and laptop losses rise

The theft and loss of taxpayer-funded mobile phones and laptops in WA has risen to more than $480,000 in the past year, despite a promised crack down on missing equipment, the opposition says.


Australian teen uncovers security flaw in PayPal

Joshua Rogers says he made public a flaw in PayPal's website after they ignored him.

Ben Grubb   Aussie teen who found flaw in a government site finds another one, this time in PayPal.

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