IT News

 

Optus admits security and privacy 'failure'

Optus exposed many customers' private details and was slow to address the risk.

Ben Grubb 3:39 PM   Optus has been forced into a mea culpa over the privacy and personal security of about 300,000 customers in three separate incidents last year.

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Social

Facebook wants Messenger to become a hub for commerce

Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco.

Vindu Goel   Social network opens chat app up to developers, allowing for applications like ordering food or tracking packages through chats with businesses, or more customisable games and emoji.

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Streaming

Apple, Beats move forward with streaming service to rival Spotify

Moving to the Beats: Ian Rogers, the chief executive of Beats Music (left), Luke Wood, chief executive of Beats by Dre, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, record producer Jimmy Iovine, and Dr. Dre.

Ben Sisario, Brian X. Chen   Apple is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like Spotify.

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Software

Microsoft partners with Android tablet-makers in mobile Office push

Samsung will be one of 11 partner companies to pre-install Microsoft Office on their Android devices.

Nick Wingfield   Microsoft is serious about making its most lucrative business, Office, relevant for mobile users. What is less clear is how much money it will be able to make from them.

Wearables are the next smartphones, says Telstra

Telstra chief technology officer Vish Nandlall.

Hannah Francis   Telstra is preparing for the "Internet of Things", and 5G will play a crucial role.

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Security

New bugs found in common encryption software

New vulnerabilities have been found in the same software that housed the 'Heartbleed' vulnerability discovered last year, although these newly-discovered bugs are not as serious.

New bugs in the widely used encryption software known as OpenSSL were disclosed on Thursday, though experts say do not pose a serious threat like the "Heartbleed" vulnerability in the same technology that surfaced a year ago.

NBN

'This level of secrecy is unacceptable': Senate committee slams NBN roll out

NBN Co is still too 'uncertain' to reveal how much technology will cost or how long it will take to build, report says.

A parliamentary committee has accused NBN Co of secrecy over future costs of rolling out the broadband network.

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Brisbane homes switch over

More than 3000 Brisbane homes will be disconnected from the old copper wire phone network on Friday.

Tobi Loftus   Some Brisbane suburbs are switching to the NBN today.

Metadata

'Dark web' keeps criminals out of reach of metadata retention laws

The Tor network is a web outside the web, offering anonymity to users.

Liam Tung   Criminals and terrorists are taking cover in a part of the web that can’t be Googled. It’s called the dark web and it’s growing.

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Start-up

Melbourne clusters around start-ups

Cluster

Lia Timson   Lord mayor Robert Doyle says the Victorian capital has the economic pillars needed to sustain business growth.

Start-up

Stylerunner twins Julie and Sali Stevanja teach lesson in upmarket online success

Stylerunner twins Julie and Sali Stevanja, 34, shy away from discounting.

Sylvia Pennington   While scores of e-tailers target the bargain dollar, these twins have hit a sweat spot with their online start-up that does the opposite.

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CeBIT

Angela Merkel urges closer ties with rising tech giant China

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, China's Vice Premier Ma Kai (L) and Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma at the official opening of the CeBIT Hanover 2015.

Frank ZELLER   German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged closer high-tech cooperation with China as she opened a major IT business fair where the Asian giant is the official partner country.

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Start-ups

'Dead unicorns': investor warns Silicon Valley bubble burst draws near

Burn out: a tired South by Southwest attendee recharges.

Mik Isaac   Bill Gurley, who has made a career of picking the winners and losers in the future of technology, says we'll soon see the negative effects of tech start-ups' high burn rates.

'We're world champions, we want to be better,' says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton wins the 2015 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne.

Lia Timson   Already World Champions, Sunday's winners Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg want to use biometrics to improve further.

Virtual currency

IBM looks at adopting bitcoin technology for major currencies

Regulated currencies like the US dollar could soon join Bitcoin in the virtual space.

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss   The objective is reportedly to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously without a bank or clearing party involved, saving on transaction costs.

m-payments

Apple Pay bridging bricks-and-mortar and online fraud

The Apple Watch will be able to make payments using Apple Pay.

Brian Krebs   Lost amid the Apple media firestorm these past few weeks is a stark and rather unsettling reality.

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Email

Slack is a transparent office chat app that may finally sink work email

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of Slack. The start-up is changing the way workers communicate, with a group chat app that eschews privacy and automatically archives almost everything.

Farhad Manjoo   If email is to be replaced, it will be by new tools that allow people to collaborate in big groups and promote information transparency across the company.

Malware

Microsoft fixes Stuxnet bug, again

Another big Patch Tuesday.

Brian Krebs   Microsoft pushed 14 update bundles to address at least 43 separate vulnerabilities in Office, IE, Exchange and a host of other components.

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m-payments

Commonwealth Bank does away with smartphone tap-and-go pay sticker for Android

iPhone users will still need the Commonwealth PayTag sticker for now.

Beverley Head   Commbank's latest app opens up tap-and-go payments for any Android phone using 4.4 and above

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Start-up

Andrew Dent presents Zeetings to help keep audiences awake

Andrew Dent

Beverley Head   Andrew Dent returned to Australia five years ago – but he still bears the hallmarks of years spent in the start-up scenes of Seattle and Silicon Valley.

Cloud

Rightsizing: the best way to tackle cloud computing

Transitioned: Hipages CEO David Vitek (centre) with VP of Engineering, Chris Iona and VP of Product, Dino Talic.

Stuart Corner   The cloud's advantages over an in-house system are not necessarily simple, or fixed.

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Sports Tech

Competitive sport still afraid of technology

Rafael Nadal in action with his Babolat racquet.

Matthew Hall   With so much technology around, you’d think more would be making its way onto sports grounds and playing fields.

Cyber fraud

US charges three in cyber fraud ring that stole one billion email addresses

It seems it is hard to overstate how easy it is – in some cases without even trying – to get around the new laws, in a completely legal way.

Lindsay Dunsmuir, Jim Finkle   Two Vietnamese citizens and a Canadian have been charged with running a massive cyber fraud ring that stole one billion email addresses, then sent spam offering knockoff software products, the US Department of Justice said on Friday.

NBN – 200 homes in danger of disconnection

Spokesman Darren Rudd says the NBN will close the gap between Australia and countries with well-developed digital economies.

Esther Han   About 200 Sydney households are being urged to switch to NBN-linked phone and internet plans or risk losing the services this month, as their connections to the old copper network are cut.

Expertise

Mark Zuckerberg's one rule for hiring at Facebook

One rule: Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Josie Ensor   'It's a pretty good test and it has served me well,' Facebook founder tells audience at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

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Leadership

The best path to CEO? Myer's Richard Umbers found it

Bernie Brookes (left) has stepped down as Myer chief executive and has been replaced by Richard Umbers.

Sylvia Pennington   Myer's CIO was recently elevated to the top job, but he's in a very small minority.

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Comment

Time to give tech start-ups a chance to maintain Australian standard of living

Alan Noble.

Alan Noble   Start-ups should be given the regulatory support to take risks and turn Australia into a true knowledge and software-led economy.

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Components

Google challenge to iPhone opens modular door for Toshiba

Toshiba

Pavel Alpeyev and Takashi Amano   Google's key ally in its challenge to the smartphone status quo is a company that Apple's iPhone drove out of the market.

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Cloud

Bulletproof results reveal rush to public cloud services

Australan businesses are increasingly taking to the cloud.

Stuart Corner   As an ASX listed company, Bulletproof offers one of the few insights into the financials of the expanding Australian cloud computing market.

Expertise

Dollhouse to encourage more girls into engineering

Alice Brooks, an engineering graduate of Stanford University,created the ultimate geek doll house Roominate  to get more girls into an engineering and science career. 3 March 2015. The Age NEWS. Photo: Eddie Jim.

Stathi Paxinos   Mechanical engineer Alice Brooks has come up with a way to put learning about building and electronics into a context most six-year-old girls will appreciate.

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'Truly awful': Centrelink, Medicare apps slammed

The Medicare Express Plus app has been panned by some users of it.

Noel Towell   Apps are so bad they are getting claimants kicked off benefits, users have complained.

Acquistions

HP to buy Aruba Networks

IS HP on a new buying spree?

Jeremy C. Owens   Technology company buys second largest Wi-Fi equipment manufacturer for $US2.7 billion.

Mobile

Google confirms plans for mobile internet service in US

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google, speaks during a keynote session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Brian X. Chen   It’s official: Google wants to offer a wireless service, but not like just any other phone carrier.

Investors keeping an eye on cornea-based biometric banking

The future may be bright for Stephen Mason's biometric tech.

Beverley Head   Sydney optometrist Stephen Mason should know soon if his cornea-based biometric technology can be successfully commercialised.

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Procurement

Outsourcers on notice as Labor takes back IT reins

New Queensland Minister for Housing, Public Works, Science and Innovation, Leeanne Enoch was elected on a "No Asset Sales" platform.

Sylvia Pennington   The technology industry can expect less talk of outsourcing and a greater focus on local jobs and innovation as the Labor party takes the reins in Queensland.

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Women in tech

Ellen Pao case puts Silicon Valley boys' club on trial

Ellen Pao walks to the courtroom before the start of her trial at San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco, California.

Josie Ensor   Reddit CEO is suing former employer, an influential venture capital firm, for US$16 million in back pay and future earnings.

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Government moves quickly to adopt metadata retention law review recommendations

Greens senator Scott Ludlam.

Andrew Colley   The federal government is moving quickly to accept all the recommendations of a parliamentary committee reviewing its controversial data retention bill.

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Expertise

Brave, creative, over 60: age only a number when it comes to tech

Ron Hunt scored a permanent gig in the US at 69.

Sylvia Pennington   Some mature ICT professionals are refusing to let age hold them back or stand in the way of their start-up dreams.

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Iran behind cyberattack of Las Vegas gambling juggernaut, US says

Sheldon Adelson (left), chief of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and his wife Miriam Adelson attend the ground breaking ceremony of the Cotai Strip in Macau.

Tony Capaccio   The top US intelligence official confirmed for the first time that Iran was behind a cyber attack against the Las Vegas Sands Corp. last year.

Queanbeyan homes and businesses connect to NBN

NBN roll out in Queanbeyan

More than 2800 Queanbeyan homes and businesses will be able to connect to the National Broadband Network from Wednesday.