IT News

 

Security

Warning over plane Wi-Fi hijack risk

Troubleshooting home wi-fi issues is a matter or trial and error.

Bart Jansen   Experts warn that passenger Wi-Fi systems could leave flight controls vulnerable to hacking.

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Business

Auditor slams Vic gov't IT spending

Victoria's auditor-general has slammed agencies for a lack of accurate information and accountability amid ballooning IT costs.

Benjamin Preiss   The cost of information technology has skyrocketed to more than $3 billion a year in Victorian government agencies and entities, a new report has revealed.

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Business

Nokia agrees to buy networks rival Alcatel

Two of the industry's biggest network players, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, are  merging.

Adam Ewing and Marie Mawad   Nokia has agreed to buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-stock deal valued at 15.6 billion euros ($21.8 billion) to create the world's largest supplier of equipment that powers mobile phone networks.

Business

Nokia in merger talks with Alcatel-Lucent as competition escalates

Two of the industry's biggest network players, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, are in advanced talks.

MARK SCOTT and DAVID JOLLY   Two of the industry's biggest network players, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, are in advanced talks toward a merger.

Public service revolted over Howard government's ICON sale attempt

telephone

Noel Towell   The system is facing a sell-off for the third time. The last time didn't go so well.

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Business

Westpac's IT department seeks gender balance

Carmen Beverley-Smith is  head of technology optimisation for Westpac.

Beverley Head   Carmen Beverley-Smith left school at 17 with no idea that one of her first ever IT roles would be as head of technology optimisation for Westpac.

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Revealed: China's 'Great Cannon' cyber weapon

People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers shout as they hold guns and practise in a drill during a organized media tour at a PLA engineering school in Beijing in this July 22, 2014 file photo. President Xi Jinping is expected to authorise robust defence spending for 2015 despite China's slowing economy, determined to strengthen the country's armed capabilities amid growing unease in Beijing at Washington's renewed focus on Asia. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/Files (CHINA - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS BUSINESS)

NICOLE PERLROTH   China has begun using an "offensive system" able to disrupt access to websites outside its borders.

Anti-trust

New EU competition chief gives hope to Google anti-trust complainants

The stakes are high for Google, which faces a fine of as much as $US6.6 billion if found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour.

After waiting more than four years for Brussels to resolve his anti-trust complaint against Google, Michael Weber held out little hope of success. Until now.

NBN D-day for 11,000 homes and businesses

Work to build the National Broadband Network is expected to be under way or complete by September 2016.

Lucy Cormack   Is yours one of the 11,000 Sydney copper phone lines about to be disconnected when NBN D-Day hits?

Business

Samsung shows signs of a turnaround

Refreshing: The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

After nearly two years of suffering at the hands of upstart rivals and established industry giants, Samsung may finally be on the mend.

Business

Is this Silicon Valley's most hated man?

Jay Edelson claims to have won more than $1 billion in settlements, a number that is difficult to confirm because many of those agreements are private.

Conor Dougherty   When tech executives imagine the bogeyman, they see Jay Edelson, a baby-faced lawyer in wire-rim glasses.

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Antitrust

US tech giants targeted in Europe antitrust inquiries

A commuter wearing Beats headphones in New York. European concerns focus on whether Apple may try to persuade labels to favour its new streaming service over those of rivals.

Mark Scott   Apple, which already is under scrutiny for its low corporate tax arrangements in Ireland, is now facing potential antitrust questions from the European Commission about the company's new music streaming service expected this year.

The PayPal Mafia's unicorn factory

Investor Peter Thiel.

DAVID GELLES   The ride-hailing app Uber, the apartment rental site Airbnb and other darlings of the next generation of Silicon Valley startups are reshaping the way people use the web.

Business

The key to getting ahead for female tech entrepreneurs

Caroline Woodhouse says she needs a man in meetings to get attention.

Beverley Head   Caroline Woodhouse needed a man to reach the big end of town.

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Cyber war: US targets overseas hackers, groups with new sanctions program

US President Barack Obama has put the focus on cyber security.

Jeff Mason and Andrea Shalal   President Barack Obama launched a new sanctions program on Wednesday to target individuals and groups outside the United States that use "malicious" cyber attacks to threaten US foreign policy, national security or economic stability.

NBN rolls out to dozens of NSW suburbs

NBN fibre-optic cables.

Esther Han   Wynyard, Castle Hill and St Leonards are among 44 suburbs in New South Wales slated for National Broadband Network construction work next year.

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Former army officer Kerry lists his warning system start-up on the ASX

Kerry Plowright.

Kerry Plowright lives in Byron Bay and has been plugging away at delivering weather and natural disaster warning information straight to your smartwartch. On Wednesday he listed his company on the ASX.

ICON sale a step closer

Slow internet connection speeds have been blamed on Telstra's use of copper, something that will be alleviated when the network is upgraded to fibre optic connections.

Noel Towell   Government fibre system pioneer "flabbergasted" that a sell-off back on the agenda.

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Opinion

Tim Cook blasts new laws

Apple CEO Tim Cook listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speak at the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University in Palo Alta, California February 13, 2015.  The aim of the summit is to build support for beefing up cyber security laws in the wake of massive hacked at Target, Sony and Anthem.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Tim Cook   Apple CEO Tim Cook steps up his condemnation of a new religious freedom law in Indiana.

The tweet that added $1 billion to company's bottom line

Elon Musk's news sparked the hashtag #TeslaNewProductGuesses, with guesses ranging from a time machine to a real-life Iron Man suit.

Elon Musk, the billionaire technology entrepreneur, has announced a "major" new Tesla product line that is "not a car", in a cryptic tweet which has left millions guessing.

Business

Will Quickflix become digital roadkill in streaming war?

Stephen Langsford's video streaming platform Quickflix is in a fight for its life.

Hannah Francis   The day after Netflix launched in Australia, Quickflix founder Stephen Langsford sent an email around to his staff asking if they were still alive.

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Hackers eye vulnerable start-ups

Slack icon.

Nicole Perlroth   Security breaches of technologies created by start-ups are starting to become the new normal.

Apple chief Tim Cook Cook to give wealth away

Tim Cook plans to give his wealth away.

Apple chief Tim Cook is joining Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and other technology titans who have vowed to donate their wealth to charities, according to a report in Fortune magazine.

How one woman disrupted Silicon Valley

Ellen Pao (R) and attorney Alan Axelrod walk to their courtroom before the start of her trial at San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco, California, February 23, 2015. Pao, a former partner at prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is seeking $16 million for discrimination and retaliation in a lawsuit against the firm, a Kleiner attorney said earlier this month. Kleiner has denied the accusations of discrimination and retaliation, along with accusations that it did not take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CRIME LAW SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

FARHAD MANJOO   Ellen Pao's gender bias case has accomplished something improbable.

Optus admits security and privacy 'failure'

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

Ben Grubb   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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