IT News



iCloud users' login details apparently being intercepted in China

Connections to are being hijacked and stripped of their encryption.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai 10:43 AM   Chinese authorities are attacking users who are connecting to Apple's iCloud website in what appears to be a surveillance push to steal users' login credentials, according to a Chinese censorship monitoring group.


iPad volumes slide but Apple forecast tops analyst estimates

Apple's fortunes still hinge largely on their phone sales, with iPad sliding and brand new products like the Apple Watch still unproven.

Christina Farr, Edwin Chan 10:22 AM   Apple forecast a strong holiday quarter after a better-than-expected 16 per cent jump in iPhone sales, and the strongest growth in Mac computer shipments in years helped the company surpass Wall Street's targets.


Bankruptcy case may expose Apple's secrets

Gorilla tactics: Many expected GT Advanced's sapphire glass to feature in the iPhone 6, but Apple went with Corning's Gorilla Glass instead.

8:40 AM   A key Apple supplier believes the public should be made aware of the details of an 'oppressive and burdensome' deal that lead to its bankruptcy, but it filed documents to court under seal because it faces fines of $US50 million per violation if it breaches Apple's confidentiality agreement.

Public Wi-Fi

Optus prepares to enter free Wi-Fi battle

Optus is understood to be courting local councils for a slice of public Wi-Fi action.

Andrew Colley 12:15 AM   Optus is quietly preparing its strategy to challenge Telstra in the public Wi-Fi battle.

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Corruption watchdog probes education IT project

generic school IT

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie 2:38 PM   Victoria's corruption watchdog is running a secret investigation involving past and present senior education bureaucrats and a botched $180 million schools computer project.


News bytes for week of October 20, 2014

1:49 PM   goCatch catches investors; Australian executives underestimate big data's potential; taxpayers to pay for ATO's iPads and iPhones, and more.

Internet of Things

Forget self-driving Google cars, Australia has self-driving trucks

Coming through: Rio Tinto uses self-driving trucks in its  West Australian mining operations.

Matthew Hall 12:35 PM   Automated giant trucks drive around the outback of Western Australia in a huge Internet of Things example.

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ATO managers to get iPhones and iPads

iTax: The Australian Tax Office has announced a mass rollout of Apple devices to middle-tier staff.

Noel Towell   Taxpayers are to pay for iPads and iPhones for up to 5500 ATO middle managers.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella launches diversity effort

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says he's determined to increase the number of women and minorities at the tech giant.

Microsoft CEO seeks to defuse furore over comments women should not ask for a raise but trust in "karma".


NBN Co announces construction trial of 1300 fibre nodes

NBN Co has announced construction of 1300 nodes.

Work is under way to eventually bring the national broadband network to 200,000 homes and businesses in NSW and Queensland, as a construction trial enters a new phase, the company said.

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Nothing for free in world of content


Craig Gamble   Paying for content is alien to many users of computer devices or services, but something will have to give.


The right time to ask for a pay rise

Please sir/madam, can I have more?

Sylvia Pennington   So in what circumstances is it appropriate for workers, male or female, to hold out their hand for a raise?

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Abbott government innovation policy on right track

Jonathan Barouch thinks the government's new policy is a good start.

Jonathan Barouch   Start-ups can be an impatient bunch, but Jonathan Barouch thinks it's been worth waiting for Tony Abbott's innovation policy.

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Workplace tensions and water cooler chit-chat at fictional Facebook corporation Stackswell

"It's not funny – that’s why it’s funny": co-creators Thomas Oscar and Jarra Vlasto.

Michael Koziol   If you can’t get enough office politics during the workday, this is the Facebook group for you.


Egg-freezing policy gives new meaning to human resource management

Marian Baird is director of the Women and Work Research Group and professor of employment relations at the University of Sydney Business School.

Marian Baird   First she was gob smacked, now Marian Baird says new egg-freezing policies risk winding back the workplace revolution.

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Commonwealth Bank working to combine tap-and-go cards with Opal transport ticket


Beverley Head   CBA is negotiating with the NSW Government to allow customers to use its tap-and-go payment cards and smartphone apps to pay for transport.

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FBI warns US businesses of cyber attacks, blames Beijing

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation warned US businesses on Wednesday that hackers it believes to be backed by the Chinese government have recently launched attacks on US companies.

Women in tech

Facebook, Apple egg-freezing policy commodifies women: experts

IVF technology has come a long way in the past decade.

Hannah Francis   A leading Australian workplace relations expert has labelled a policy of paying female staff to freeze their eggs and delay childbirth as a "loaded option" that commoditifies women's lives.

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Cloud computing

Australian start-up to help SMEs reach cloud

Aggregation could open the door to cloud computing for small businesses.

Andrew Colley   An Australian cloud services start-up aiming to challenge the likes of Amazon and Google for the small end of town has landed a major partnership with Fujitsu.

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Planes, iPads, laptops: the gateway to better attendance at bush schools

Winnie, 8, with Djamirri, 7, in Primary A class at Milikapiti school in the Tiwi Islands. Technology is credited with helping the school achieve an 84 per cent student attendance rate.

Beverley Head   Distance remains enemy number one in attempts to bridge Australia's digital divide. Come the wet season, green mould will be a close second.


Dropbox denies breach as hackers spruik passwords and nude content

Dropbox hits back at media reports that say it was hacked, reassuring users their 'stuff' is safe.

Hannah Francis   Cloud storage service Dropbox has further distanced itself from the leak of hundreds of login credentials on Tuesday.

Data centre

Dell announces Australian data centres and cloud offerings

Dell has announced two new Australian data centres.

Lia Timson   Dell has announced it has opened two new data centres, located in Sydney and Melbourne.

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Internet of Things

Companies warned to adapt to technology or go bust

Digital revolution: It offers big opportunities to companies and industries.

Matthew Hall   The internet is not just hype - it's here to stay and businesses that don't embrace it face a bleak future.

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Start-ups welcome the return of ESOP tax breaks

Cash-strapped Australian start-ups have long argued employee share schemes can help them offer a better package to employees.

Andrew Colley   The federal government has reintroduced tax breaks for employee share schemes, drawing wide praise from Australia’s start-up community.


Russian hackers target NATO, Ukraine and others: iSight

A Russian bug has been found targeting NATO computers.

Jim Finkle   Russian hackers exploited a bug in Microsoft Windows and other software to spy on computers used by NATO, the European Union, Ukraine and companies in the energy and telecommunications sectors, according to cyber intelligence firm iSight Partners.


Australian technology innovators should have access to superannuation funds: Scott Farquhar

"It is another disincentive to stay in Australia if you have a tech sector start-up.": Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar.

Andrew Colley   Scott Farquhar, chief executive and co-founder of successful software exporter Atlassian, says financial regulations should be relaxed to help start-ups get access to Australia's $1.7 trillion superannuation capital pool.

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Data analytics

Salesforce launches Wave, a cloud for data-analytics

Wave: Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO at Dreamforce in San Francisco on Monday.

Jack Clark   Salesforce is entering a new business, data analytics and business intelligence, seeking to maintain growth and persuade customers to pour more of their information into its data centers.

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Apple to blame for Finland's woes: PM

Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb says Apple ruined two key exports for Finland.

Paresh Dave   Finland's prime minister is pointing to Apple Inc. for sinking two of his country's biggest export industries into the ground.


PCs still a strong business for Dell

Angela Fox, new managing director of Dell Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne last week.

Lia Timson   Despite persistent predictions for the demise of desktops in the wake of tablet's rising popularity, sales of PCs are still growing, at least for hardware maker turned one-stop-shop Dell.

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Internet of Things

Aussie minnow joins global giants

Co-founder and CTO of dZhON Rob Gillan.

Stuart Corner   You have likely never heard of them and if the internet of the future works as planned, probably never will. 

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News bytes for week of October 13, 2014

Huawei has signed another university deal, this time providing campus equipment and services.

Another Huawei uni deal, a workshop to work out what security is right for you and retail systems in the firing line.


Technology experts criticise school curriculum review

Maths equations but no formal technology education before Year 9, says the national curriculum review.

Lia Timson   The praise for the federal government-commissioned school curriculum review has not been shared by the technology sector.

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Microsoft to look at gender gap after Nadella pay raise gaffe

Microsoft's chief executive Satya Nadella (centre) has apologised for suggesting women in tech should trust the system and rely on "karma" to get what they deserve.

Numbers show that men tend to earn more than women doing a similar job at Microsoft.


Kmart stores hit by data breach, US retailer Sears says

Some customer card details were likely stolen in a September attack on Kmart.

Sears Holdings has said it was the victim of a cyberattack that likely resulted in the theft of some customer payment cards at its Kmart stores, the latest in a series of computer security breaches to hit US companies and dealing a fresh blow to the struggling US retailer.


Twitter teams with French bank for money transfer via tweet

French bank Groupe BPCE has struck a deal with Twitter for money transfer tweets.

One of France's largest banks is teaming up with social network Twitter this week to allow its customers to transfer money via tweets.


Google gets 1000 forget requests a day

Google has received nearly 145,000 requests to scrub content from its search results.

Google is being swamped with demands from Europeans trying to erase humiliating links to their past.


3D manufacturing plant opens with Holden, Ford and Boeing on its books

Skate printed at 3D Central

Hannah Francis   Just months after Holden announced its departure from Australia, a new manufacturing revolution is quietly taking place.

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Gender gap

Dear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: equal pay does not come to those who stand and wait

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers a keynote address during the 2014 Microsoft Build developer conference.

Jenna Price   Microsoft CEO suggests women who don't ask for pay rises rack up 'good karma'.

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Symantec to split into two companies focused on security, storage

Split: Symantec will break into two businesses.

Norton antivirus maker Symantec will split into two publicly traded companies, one focused on security and the other storage and backup, potentially making itself more attractive to suitors.


The soon-to-be-global smartphone company you've never heard of

Lei Jun, founder, chairman and chief executive of Xiaomi (seated) with his six co-founders.

Stuart Corner   And almost certainly can't pronounce. Its name is Xiaomi. It is only four years old and selling more devices than Samsung.

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