IT News

 

Broadband

$15.6m NBN satellite subsidy may not reach enough remote communities

satellite

Mahesh Sharma   6:30 PM   NBN Co has started dishing out $15.6 million in subsidies in a bid to help 9000 remote premises connect to the NBN.

Innovation

Paul Fletcher says reforms are coming to remove innovation 'blockers'

Paul Fletcher is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull.

Andrew Colley   12:06 PM   The federal government denies it’s moving too slowly on economic reforms to foster technology start-ups. Told to consider Israel example.

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Results

Apple reports $7.7 billion profit

Even though sales of the iPad have dropped slightly, and Q3 is generally a slow period for smartphones, the iPhone has seen a bump  up in sales.

Brian X Chen   8:45 AM   For Apple, the iPhone continues to be the gadget that makes the company tick.

Social Media

Clinton praises girls who code, hopes social media becomes reconciliation tool

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seen here during a visit to Twitter headquarters, has big aspirations for social media in diplomacy.

Lia Timson   Hillary Clinton dropped by Twitter headquarters where she praised 'girls who code' and hoped social media would one day be used to resolve political and diplomatic problems.

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Payments

Payments start-up Stripe launches in Australia

Stripe's payment platform allows online businesses to accept payments from local and international cards.

San Francisco company Stripe has launched its global payments platform in Australia, marking a first move into the Asia-Pacific region for the three-year-old payments start-up backed by a trio of PayPal co-founders.

Business

EMC targeted by activist investor

Activist investor Elliott is pushing for EMC to spin off VMware.

Elliott Management has amassed an active stake of more than $US1 billion in EMC and is pushing the world's biggest maker of storage computers to spin off its VMware unit, a person familiar with the matter said.

Start-up

Investors pour millions more into Ori Allon’s Urban Compass start-up

Funding for expansion: Urban Compass co-founder Dr Ori Allon.

Stephen Hutcheon   Urban Compass, the real estate brokerage start-up co-founded by Australian-educated entrepreneur Ori Allon, secures a new round of funding which values the company at $US360 million.

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Jobs

Big Apple leads technology-sector investment to boost jobs

Flatiron School tech students

Matthew Hall   As Australia’s federal government looks to make controversial budget cuts to education, innovation and science research, New York City is partnering with schools and private companies to fund training and jobs.

Connectivity

Telstra and Ericsson testing virtual home gateway

Telstra and Ericsson are looking to connect all home devices via a virtual gateway rather than multiple set-top boxes and modems.

Stuart Corner   Trials of new technology being undertaken by Telstra and Ericsson could enable pay TV, internet and other services to be delivered without customers needing a set-top box at home.

News bytes for week of July 21, 2014

Online retailer Catch of the Day suffered a data breach in 2011.

A billion in pay packets; the breach of the day and lack of security education.

Overhaul of government supplier accreditation

The Queensland government says a paid accreditation scheme will make it easier for suppliers to do business with the state.

Sylvia Pennington   ICT vendors that want to do business with the Queensland government will now be required to pay an annual accreditation fee of $396 to a private organisation before they can be considered for contracts.

Digital currency

Financial regulators take note of bitcoin's rise in popularity

bitcoin

Beverley Head   Virtual currencies remain firmly on the radar of financial regulators despite only 2 per cent of Australians ever using alternative currencies such as bitcoin.

Teachers sue over leased laptops

The union is suing the department, claiming the deductions from teachers’ salaries for the laptops are not lawful.

Jewel Topsfield and Benjamin Preiss   Victorian teachers who leased notebook computers from the Education Department could be repaid hundreds of dollars if their union wins a court case.

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Disruption

Technology making financial playing field uneven

Financial system inquiry chair David Murray

Beverley Head   The last time Australia's financial system was formally reviewed, 14 per cent of Australians had internet access from home - today the figure is 83 per cent. Technology has similarly revolutionised the world of banking and payments.

Security

Catch of the Day caught out by hackers

Online retailer Catch of the Day suffered a data breach in 2011.

Ben Grubb   Customers of popular online shopping website Catch of the Day are being urged to change their passwords after the company disclosed on Friday it had suffered a data breach, which took place in May 2011.

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Snowden aims to develop anti-surveillance technologies

Rights activist: Hundreds of hackers crowded into an auditorium to hear Edward Snowden  speak from Moscow.

Jim Finkle   Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor who leaked details of US surveillance programs, called on supporters at a hacking conference to develop easy-to-use technologies to subvert government surveillance programs.

Privacy

Judge OKs warrant for Google user's emails

Police have been granted acces to a user's Gmail account in a US warrant.

A federal judge in New York has granted prosecutors access to a Gmail user's emails as part of a criminal probe, a decision that could fan the debate over how aggressively the government may pursue data if doing so may invade people's privacy.

Russian media uses Wikipedia to blame MH17 on Ukraine

A white flag marks the site of a body among the wreckage of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

Patrick Hatch   The Russian government has reportedly been caught editing a Wikipedia page relating to crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and removing references to Russian involvement. 

Layoffs

Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs, mostly from new acquisition Nokia

Workers leave Microsoft's office, in Oulu, Finland.

Nick Wingfield   The job cuts are the largest in the company's 39-year history, representing 14 per cent of its workforce.

Automation

Jobs will be lost to robots: Seek boss

Robots and automation are moving beyond manufacturing.

Karlis Salna   The head of Australia's largest online employment website says more people will lose their jobs and will have fewer opportunities to find work as businesses increasingly replace labour with technology.

E-commerce

Facebook tests 'Buy' button

Facebook.

Social network trying out "Buy" button to boost their advertising sales.

Business

Google's business chief departs for SoftBank

Exiting: Google's Nikesh Arora.

Google's main liaison to Wall Street is leaving the internet search company.

Start-ups

Memo to start-up hopefuls: do your homework

Due diligence: Start-ups need to research well before committing to an accelerator or incubator program.

Three-step check list to decide if an incubator or accelerator program is what your amazing start-up idea needs.

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Propaganda

Gaza social media chatter not all it seems

An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards Gaza.

Matthew Hall   A computer lab staffed by students in an Israeli university is playing a key role in the war of information in the Gaza conflict.

Broadband

Changes to NBN inquiry deferred

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Matthew Knott   The Abbott government has again deferred a vote on a motion to dissolve the current NBN oversight committee.

Management

How lean will Microsoft become under Nadella?

Determined: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Brier Dudley   This month's "vision memo" from Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella was a stage setter for drastic changes he'll announce soon.

Security

Google's elite hacker squad

Google's Project Zero team to clean up the internet.

"Project Zero" to hunt for bugs in world's most popular software, such as Chrome and IE.

Antitrust

Apple agrees to $450m e-books antitrust accord

Apple denies acting illegally over e-book prices, but has agreed to pay $450m if the decision against them is upheld.

Apple has agreed to pay $US450 million to resolve US state and consumer claims the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices, according to court records.

Payment tech

Visa turns up the online pressure on PayPal

The redesigned and rebranded Visa Checkout app.

Beverley Head   Visa is making another tilt at PayPal, currently the darling of online consumers, with a rebranded and reworked digital payment system that allows consumers to pay for goods online from any device using just a login and password.

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FOI

Government rejects bid to disclose election software code

The AEC accused Michael Cordover of being "vexatious" after he filed a freedom of information request for the source code to its software for processing Senate election preferences.

Mahesh Sharma   The government has rejected a Senate demand to disclose the Australian Electoral Commission's✓ (AEC) secret computer code used to electronically count Senate preference votes.

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Broadband

Changes afoot for NBN Senate inquiry

NBN

Matthew Knott   The Abbott government is set to dissolve a Senate committee scrutinising the NBN and replace it with a new committee dominated by Coalition members.

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Disruption

Digital technology an opportunity and a threat for financial system: inquiry

A bitcoin wallet app

Shaun Drummond   Digital technology is breaking down barriers to competition in financial services, but it also threatens to create new monopolies and could undermine the safety of the financial system, according to the Murray inquiry's interim report.

Espionage

Germany mulls anti-high-tech spy technology: the typewriter

The tapping of the  typewriter may become a familiar sound in German offices.

Abby Phillip   Germany is considering going back to the trusty old typewriter to counter alleged spying by the US government.

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Partnerships

Apple, IBM team up on devices for business

Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at Apple's headquarters on Tuesday.

Apple eyes enterprise market with custom devices that bring the power of IBM's supercomputing analytics to a mobile workforce.

Data analytics

Germany's World Cup a win for tech

Bright future: Mario Goetze of Germany kisses the World Cup.

Lia Timson   It’s a dream come true for a sponsor: not only does the team it has backed win soccer's biggest title, but it does so using the sponsor's own wares.

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Jobs

Microsoft expected to announce job cuts this week

REBOOT: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers the keynote address at Build earlier this year.

Dina Bass   Microsoft is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years, as the software maker looks to slim down and integrate Nokia Oyj's handset unit, people with knowledge of the company's plans said.

Business

Sotheby's enlists eBay to expand live auction bidding

eBay is set to provide the reach and technology for revamped online auctions from Sotheby's.

Patricia Reaney   Two of the biggest names in auction sales look to connect extensive inventory of antiques, collectibles and works of fine art with 145 million active online buyers.

Facial recognition

Facial recognition success rises from NICTA ashes

The Google Glass-style spy spectacles known as X6.

Sylvia Pennington   Facial recognition software which the Queensland government ceased funding two years ago has emerged as a star among cutting edge technologies in the American defence community.

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Strategy

Epson's precision goal to capitalise on intellectual property

Epson president Minoru Usui models Epson'€™s virtual reality glasses, based on its projector and sensing technology.

Lia Timson   President Minoru Usui takes a page out of Steve Jobs' book in looking to focus on proprietary technology.

Bytes

News bytes for week of July 14, 2014

Swinburne University of Technology is now home to a joint NICTA software lab.

New NICTA software lab; NBN cost-benefit analysis (part 1) is out; billions invested in the cloud; and more.