IT News

 

Work-from-home model takes off for AAMI's call-centre staff

House calls: AAMI staff member Shermaine Fitzgerald in her home office with her children.

Julie Power   Insurance company AAMI is bucking the trend by offering more call-centre employees the chance to work from home.

Big data

Google Analytics for your baby's movements is closer than you think

Sensors and software helped record a baby's movements.

Sholto Macpherson   When Nico Minelli decided to help his aunt record her baby's first years, pulling out a video camera seemed a little old-fashioned.

Jobs

Microsoft lays off 2100 staff

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.

Bill Rigby   The moves are part of CEO Satya Nadella's goal of cutting 18,000 staff, or about 14 per cent of its workforce.

Security

Can voice commands turn Apple's Siri against you?

Can hackers control digital assistants at a distance?.

Jenneth Orantia   One of the new advantages in Apple's new iOS 8 and highly anticipated smartwatch is Siri's active listening feature. But there may be drawbacks.

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Breach

Security breach exposes Victorians' private information

Beau Donelly   A government authority has leaked the billing and contact details of Victorians online, but decided against telling affected customers even though the privacy breach posed a "medium to high" level threat.

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Payment

Debit card brings bitcoin to back pocket

The first eftpos cards linked to bitcoin accounts will tried over the next couple of weeks.

Paddy Wood   Digital currency bitcoin is creeping out from computers to the real world.

Forecasts

Sony now expects $2.14b loss as mobile growth slows

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.

Paul Mozur   The Japanese electronics giant Sony said Wednesday that it expected to post a loss of more than $2 billion for the fiscal year, almost five times larger than it previously forecast, exposing signs of serious wear in its mobile unit.

Australian women shun technology courses as tertiary IT enrolments fall

Judith Gammie  has gone back to uni to study computer science and set up a group for women in IT on campus.

Craig Butt   Enrolments in tertiary information technology courses have been falling, as local female students recoil from the sector's masculine reputation.

Cybercrime

Hackers lock up Australian computers, demand ransom

The Cryptolocker software.

Ben Grubb   Some 20,000 Australian computers have been infected with software that encrypts files and asks for a ransom.

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Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 review

Exceptional: The 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S in bronze.

Jenneth Orantia   The lion’s share of Android tablets are more or less the same, but with best-in-breed hardware with a selection of productivity-focused applications, this is a rare exception.

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Security

Click here for the dark web

In custody: An unverified photograph of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of Silk Road, the world's biggest drug-dealing website.

Jake Wallis Simons   Ten years ago, the US Navy invented an anonymous internet network. Today the ‘‘dark web’’ is used to trade guns, drugs and child pornography. Why do they insist it’s a force for good?

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Signal

Telstra wants more power for ACMA to stop network interference

Telstra says even solar panels can interfere with its services.

Andrew Colley   Telstra has called for the communications watchdog to be given stronger powers to enforce spectrum rights and stop stop radio wave pollution..

Broadband

Telcos must ensure residents are not cut off in NBN rollout

Telstra says it aims to contact customers up to 20 times before any existing service goes dead.

Bec Zajac   Telecommunications companies have confirmed it is their responsibility to ensure that no household is cut off prematurely from old phone services during the national broadband network (NBN) rollout.

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Machine-to-machine technology to create new revenue for businesses

Vodafone Australia is counting on machine-to-machine communications.

Stuart Corner   How would you like a toothbrush that tells your dentist if you fail to brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes? How about being able to bid for a car parking spot at a sell-out concert venue?

Security

Edward Snowden reveals tapping of major Australia-New Zealand undersea telecommunications cable

Edward Snowden accused New Zealand's Prime Minister of misleading the public.

Philip Dorling   A major undersea telecommunications cable that connects Australia and NZ to North America has been tapped to allow the NSA and its espionage partners to comprehensively harvest internet data.

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Bytes

News bytes for week of September 15, 2014

US flag

Aussie company opens US office, demand for iPhone 6 fuels grey market in China, and executives relying on gut instinct for big decisions.

Security

NSW Police using spyware on targets: WikiLeaks data

Spyware.

Ben Grubb   NSW Police are using sophisticated hacking software to spy on smartphones and computers during criminal investigations, according to documents published by WikiLeaks on Monday.

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Innovation

Westpac moves on innovation

The Westpac building in Kent Street in Sydney

Beverley Head   Move over Silicon Valley – Kogarah is where it's at innovation-wise; at least that's what Westpac's hoping.

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Business

Inside Alibaba: unassuming lieutenant Simon Xie a key player in business

Quiet period: Alibaba is keeping a low profile ahead of its IPO.

Gerry Shih, Matthew Miller   Inside Alibaba, where co-founders are revered like rock stars, relatively few employees know about the soft-spoken executive who for years kept his same cramped office, unfashionable clothes and the self-effacing demeanor of a metalworker's son.

Social networks

Facebook after YouTube talent

Social network reportedly goes after YouTube's biggest content producers to switch allegiance.

Social network muscles in on big content producers to host videos directly on Facebook, in attempt to move ad revenue over.

Talent

Apple Watch a triumph for Melbourne app creator

Belle Gibson, creator of the app The Whole Pantry.

Rachael Jones   A cancer diagnosis, family adversity and hard work, did not stop Belle Gibson collecting her reward last week.

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Mobile Payments

Apple Pay to take NFC to mainstream

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

Patrick Crooks   Is Apple Pay the disruptor Australia's multi-billion dollar payments market had been waiting for? Patrick Crooks argues for the positive.

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Metadata

Yahoo was threatened by US over metadata

Yahoo was one of the first companies to participate in NSA's PRISM program.

Craig Timberg   The US government threatened to fine Yahoo $US250,000 ($275,000) a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand for user data that the company believed was unconstitutional.

Watches

Swiss watch industry denies threat from Apple Watch

The high-end version of the Apple Watch, called the Apple Watch Edition, is displayed at Apple's launch event this week.

Silke Koltrowitz, Eric Auchard   Apple's iPod upended the music industry, and its iPhone knocked Nokia off its smartphone perch, but Swiss watch makers breezily dismissed warnings that the technology giant's new wristwatch gadget could do something similar to them.

Internet of Things

Securing smart things in the IoT a patch challenge

Internet-connected sensors in unlikely things such as gas pipelines pose challenges for the Internet of Things.

Liam Tung   It may be impossible to patch software running every device plugged into your home, vehicle or body.

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Mobile payment

Apple waiting on Visa to make Apple Pay work in Australia

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

Beverley Head   Apple Pay - Apple's answer to a digital wallet - was announced overnight but it can't be launched in Australia until 2015 because a key part of the underlying security platform isn't ready.

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Manila calling for the ATO, Health Department to Bangalore

The ATO is considering an offer from computing behemoth Accenture.

Noel Towell   Transnational wants to move Australian data work to the Philippines.

Payments

Introducing Apple Pay for iPhone 6

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

Elizabeth Dexheimer   Apple's new iPhones are threatening to make the plastic in US wallets obsolete, and probably still benefit Visa, MasterCard, American Express and the biggest card-issuing banks.

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Virtual money

PayPal to accept payments in bitcoin

Golden touch: acceptance of bitcoin is growing

Spencer Soper and Olga Kharif   The move will open the world's second-biggest internet payment network to virtual currency transactions.

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Banks in hackers' sights despite $70b spent on security

The four major banks are most advanced in their security thinking, while Tier 2 financial service providers have also improved.

Beverley Head   The world will spend more than $70 billion on information security this year but banks will still have their systems compromised.

Bytes

News bytes for week of September 8, 2014

Copyright ad ban on the cards as Australians found to be paying more for on-demand TV shows; Internet of Things hub to be announced.

Coverage

Council blankets city with microwave Wi-Fi network

Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun.

Stuart Corner   Liverpool's microwave network will provide provide free Wi-Fi, CCTV surveillance, voice and data communications between council networks.

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NBN satellite services hit by power outage

An outage with a ground station prevented some NBN satellite users from accessing the internet on Sunday.

Ben Grubb   Thousands NBN's satellite service customers were unable to access the internet for several hours on Sunday after a power outage disrupted a ground station in WA.

Security

'Dread Pirate' sunk by leaky CAPTCHA

A snapshot of the offerings once avaialble on the Silk Road, until it was shut down.

Brian Krebs   The man behind online black market The Silk Road thought his operations were entirely obscured behind an anonymity service. But as court documents just released explain, that wasn't entirely true.

Broadband

NBN fibre trial document 'misguided': NBN Co

Options: NBN Co says it remains technology-agnostic.

Lia Timson   NBN Co has said an internal document detailing results of a fibre-to-the-premises deployment trial was written by a well-meaning member of staff but was misguided.

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Security

Spark still probing NZ net outage

Investigating: Spark.

Tom Pullar-Strecker   New Zealand ISP says outage didn't appear to be related to malware, saying hackers instead exploited poorly configured home modems.

Opinion

Serious flaws in Turnbull's NBN cost-benefit analysis report

Is the government sending signals on the speed of broadband Australians should accept?

Rod Tucker   Bill Morrow, the CEO of NBN Co said he is “curious” about the prediction that Australians will only need 15 mbps by 2023. I would go further and say it is simply wrong.

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Cyber soldiers jobs boom

cyber

Phillip Thomson   Frontline warriors must account for what they've done, where they've been in the last decade.

Security

Fake nude celebrity links trigger NZ internet meltdown

Hacked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, among others, are being exploited by criminals to install malware on computers.

New Zealanders keen to view hacked photos of naked celebrities are being blamed for a nationwide internet meltdown.

IT crowd shrinking as VCE enrolments plummet

IT student Cora Brewster.

Craig Butt   Enrolments in Year 12 information technology subjects have hit a 20-year low, with more and more girls turning their backs on the subject.

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