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Natalie Apostolou

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ACCC kills Telstra's transcation cheer

Telstra has been given a double dose of pre-Christmas disappointment by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which has thwarted the proposed acquisition by Carsales.com of Trading Post assets from Telstra in addition to delaying Telstra’s acquisition of Adam Internet. On both counts the regulator has raised …
Australian Government 2.0 taskforce logo

Australia gets new CIO and CTO

Australia’s Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), the nation's top technology policy body, is splitting into distinct policy and services delivery arms, after the departure of Australian Government Chief Information Officer Ann Steward led to a restructure. Steward announced her departure from the top CIO job late …
Engineers fitting antenna heads

Terrible reception for Oz spectrum auction

Australia's spectrum auction has found a terrible reception from those hoped to be most interested in access to the airwaves, with local carriers deciding not to bid. The auction to be held in April next year is for Australia’s 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum, will reallocate the spectrum that becomes available when broadcasters …
Phone 8 Apps

Australian app inquiry launches

Australia’s Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) has kicked off its inquiry into apps, releasing the survey and an Issues Paper it will use to gather opinions and frame policy. The inquiry was announced last month, when Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said that the government wanted to investigate the ways …
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CSIRO top brass sent to anti-bully boot camp

Australia's nexus for scientific research, the CSIRO, is continuing to grapple with the fallout from allegations of widespread bullying practices through the organisation. In an internal email to all staff from the CSIRO’s CEO Dr Megan Clark distributed yesterday, the chief executive addressed concerns and outlined the steps …
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Telecom NZ slashes cost of unexpected journeys

Telecom New Zealand has announced flat-rate international roaming charges. The antipodean carrier announced today that its customers will pay just $NZ6 each day they use mobes while visiting The West Island Australia, and a tenner in UK, USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. Data costs have been …
Telstra's 4G surfboards

Telstra offers cash in flaming exchange afternath

Telstra has announced new compensation plans for beleaguered customers affected by a fire that swept through a telephone exchange in Warrnabool last month. Services in the area remain disrupted. In the latest update Telstra said that there now fewer than 3,000 fixed line services and under 1,000 internet services remaining to be …
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The big bully theory investigated at CSIRO

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - better known as CSIRO - is rife with bullying according to an assessment by workplace relations body Comcare. The bullying claims follow investigation of a dozen claims from employees. Comcare has since issued an improvement notice to the organisation, …

Halfbrick takes gaming to another level

Australian game developer Halfbrick Studios has partnered with mobile analytics outfit OtherLevels to accelerate its global mobile gaming strategy across 13 languages and markets. Following the success of Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja game which has been downloaded over 300 million times, the studio sought a partner to amplify the …
The Moon

Australian telco in $20m robot moon shot bid

Australian telecommunications and satellite communications company PlusComms has emerged as a key partner in a space consortium planning to send a robotic spacecraft to the moon. PlusComms, which is backed by telco industry stalwart Robert Brand, is part of Team Stellar one of the teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize. …
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Xero gets $NZ60m to account for

Kiwi tech entrepreneur Rod Drury’s accounting software company Xero has attracted a further $NZ60m from existing backers Matrix Capital and Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. The new cash is the third round of investment from the SaaS accounting outfit's US supporters and will go towards further expanding service, support and …
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Quickflix sheds staff, drops ads, hunts for US benefactors

Riding out the storm of sudden executive exits, rapid cash flow burn and a trading halt, Australian IPTV aspirant Quickflix now hopes it is weeks away from securing a new strategic investor. Quickflix founder and recently re-appointed CEO Stephen Langsford confirmed at the company's AGM last Friday that the company had engaged …
The launch explosion, captured in a Sea Launch video

Inquiry ordered after phone exchange blaze

The Australian government has launched an inquiry into the communications collapse that ensued after a fire engulfed a pivotal Telstra exchange last week. The fire wiped out communications for a large portion of South Western Victoria at Telstra’s Warrnambool telephone exchange hub, leaving over 60,000 residents without fixed …

Melbourne IT looks to offload business units

Battling disappointing trading results, Australian domain name custodian Melbourne IT is seeking buyers for some of its ailing business units. The hosting house has also weathered a tough year on the security front, enduring a Privacy Commission investigation, following a hacking attack from Anonymous in August that targeted …
Kim Dotcom's Rented Mansion in New Zealand

Australia’s new AUD$5m golden visa

Australia’s yen to morph into an entrepreneurial hub for the Asia Pacific region has led to the creation of a new visa category designed to lure the world’s brightest and richest business elite. Once the Australian immigration is satisfied that you have the business credentials of the next Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg, all you …
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Apps-for-feature-phones leader BiNu scores more cash

Australian developed mobile platform biNu, which aims to give all mobiles access to smartphone apps, has secured a fresh round of VC funding to further expand into emerging markets. The creation of former OzEmail executives Gour Lentell and Dave Turner, biNu has topped existing funding from Eric Schmidt’s investment vehicle …

Kiwi Googleplex comes clean on unauthorised data

The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner has confirmed that Google has finally destroyed the ill-gotten data scooped up from unsecured WiFi networks during its Street View filming across New Zealand. The antipodean Googleplex had earlier claimed that that it had securely destroyed its payload information, but in early October, …
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Quickflix top brass exec exits

Australian IPTV aspirant Quickflix has suffered a sudden executive exodus ahead of a pending announcement on a new mystery strategic investor. In a surprise move Quickflix CEO Chris Taylor and deputy chairman Justin Milne have both announced their departures from the company. Another non-executive director, Susan Hunter, is also …
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Aussie webmail pioneer gets funding boost

Australian developed cloud based, webmail provider for enterprises, Atmail will be beefing up its engineering team and expanding internationally following a AUD$2 million injection from VC Starfish Ventures. The 14 year old company, founded in the Blue Mountains, was one of the pioneers in webmail and has been quietly building …

Drone security project to go open source

Australia’s high end tech research engine NICTA will take a pivotal role in an US$18 million US Defence project which will develop software to protect the systems in drones from cyber attack. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the 4.5 year contract to a global consortium, which includes Australia's …
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SmartTrans pushes into China with former Aus ambassador

Australian online and mobile payments systems developer SmartTrans has scored a coup in its China expansion ambitions, securing former Australian Ambassador to China Dr Geoff Raby as chairman of the company. Dr Raby remained in Beijing as a business consultant after retiring from the diplomatic corps last August and joined the …
Space Invaders

Aus gaming industry gets AUD$20m bonus

Australia;s computer gaming sector has been handed an AUD$20 million stimulus from the federal government in the form of a three year Interactive Games Fund. The funding, which will be administered by Screen Australia, aims to accelerate the Australian gaming development industry to compete globally in a market expected to …

Zeebox lands down under

UK developed social TV platform zeebox has hit Australian screens following its US launch last September. The zeebox platform, the brainchild of former BBC iPlayer architect Anthony Rose and ex EMI exec Ernesto Schmitt, has been backed locally the Ten Network but remains broadcaster agnostic. The social TV app is available …

Australia and NZ fall behind in cloud race

Australia and New Zealand’s limited international connectivity has cast a shadow over both market’s cloud computing competitiveness against their Asian neighbours. According to the Cloud Readiness Index (CRI), an annual study produced by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), Australia has slipped three positions in the …
The Beatles' Yellow Submarine

Submarine cable outage hits Kiwi internet

An 'catastrophic failure' of the Southern Cross Cable, a network of cables linking Australia to New Zealand, the USA and other south pacific nations, has re-ignited pressure on the New Zealand government to support investment in international cable capacity. According to a leaked email referencing Southern Cross’s customer Vocus …