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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 …
CSIRO Logo

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 reduced …
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 …
CSIRO Logo

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 global …
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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 …

Verizon stakes claim as global cloud mobiliser

Armed with an expensive war chest of high end acquisitions in cloud and telematics assets, Verizon is re-positioning itself as “one of the handful” of global players that will survive in the enterprise sector. “Not every species or company makes it to the next era,” said Verizon Enterprise Solutions chief marketing officer John …
Atlassian's Forums tombstone

Atlassian junks nine years of user forums

Atlassian has cast the concept of user Forums to the “IT history books” overhauling its nine year old system to a gamification based, community curated Q&A site, Atlassian Answers. Answers was launched last year as a successor to Atlassian Forums. The two ran concurrently for a time, but the Forums are now history. Atlassian …

Vodafone Oz taken to court by dealer

Update Vodafone Australia has something else to worry about besides its dwindling customer base and fragile network, as dealer BD Mobile suing the carrier for unpaid commissions. BD Mobile, also known as Besyl, was one of Vodafone’s exclusive dealers but was placed into voluntary liquidation in February. Boutique insolvency firm …
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Optus breaks up with TeleChoice after ten years

Australia’s biggest independently owned mobile phone, internet and telecommunications retailer has been left in the cold after negotiations to renew a ten year retail contract with Optus unexpectedly stalled. Optus yesterday revealed that it was revising its retail strategy and opening 33 new retail outlets. In pursuit of that …
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Vodafone Oz slims down as customers flee

Vodafone Australia is to shed an estimated 500 staff as it continues to leak customers and struggle with network quality issues. Following a detailed business review and the loss of 178,000 customers in the six months to July, Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow said that the company was “prepared to think and act differently in everything …
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NBN set to tap into Asian growth

Australia’s National Broadband Network is being positioned as a key trump card in accelerating economic and technology traction in the Asian markets following the release of government white paper ‘Australia in the Asian Century’. The NBN is at the core of one the national objectives of the white paper to make Australia’s …
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

NBN Co awards satellite station contracts to locals

NBN Co has selected two local Australian construction companies, Perkins and Cockram, to build ten satellite ground stations for its regional broadband deployment. Under contracts worth AUD$180 million, West Australian based Perkins will build four satellite transmission centres in WA while Cockram, based in Melbourne, will …
shutterstock_how_the_internet_stole_yr_privacy

Aus student data stored for Google ads

Australian students may be spared potentially invasive digital data access from Google following the Privacy Commission’s decision to back the EU’s reforms regarding Google's new privacy policy. European data protection agencies have given Google a four month deadline to fix its new privacy policy which the agencies claim do not …

Australia ponders patent refresh to restrain trolls

Australia’s patent system will be overhauled to make life harder for cynical abusers of the patent process. The review will focus on 'innovation patents', a type of patent introduced in 2001 to encourage IP protection for SMEs and function to protect “simple inventions and improvements to existing technologies”. Such patents …
Google's Android statues

APAC privacy group backs EU's Google stance

The Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum (APPA) has backed the recommendations made by the Commission Nationale de I’Informatique et des Libertès Working Party’s investigation into Google’s privacy policy issues. In a letter from Australian Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim, representing the APPA’s regional data …
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Harvey Weinstein wants US to adopt French piracy laws

Hollywood power player Harvey Weinstein has urged Big Content to take a “hang ‘em first and talk about it later” stance when it comes to piracy. Keynoting at the BFI London Film Festival, he railed against the online industries approach to piracy, and slammed Apple and Google for “getting paid, not the actors.” "I think we are …

Judge goes postal on Kim Dotcom extradition appeal

Kim Dotcom’s attempts to escape US prosecution on the grounds that his company Megaupload was not based in the country has been thrown out of US District Court. Judge Liam O'Grady deemed Megaupload's dismissal demands to be "extreme" and denied the request. Federal prosecutors argued that team Megaupload’s line of reasoning “ …
Space X Dragon in Orbit

SpaceX's Falcon places Dragon in desired orbit

Dotcom space cowboy Elon Musk’s SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon rocket and Dragon orbiter on the first of twelve missions that will deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station. The craft soared skywards at around 00:35AM GMT on Monday, October 7. NASA provided the video below. Watch Video var …
Moog Minitaur Analogue Bass Synthesiser

ScanJet sings number one hit

What to do does one do with outmoded printers and obsolete computers? Create a machine that plays over saturated, heavy rotation pop hits from Australia, of course. This week’s You Tube hit puller is from Canadian homestyle electronica boffin bd594 who has managed to use a 2004-vintage HP ScanJet 3c and an Amiga 600 to play …
X-Factor Branded Handset

Simon Cowell plans X Factor for Tech

The man responsible for unleashing Il Divo, Susan Boyle and Sinitta on the world will now apply the same star spotting eye to finding the next tech superstar. Reality TV impresario Simon Cowell has teamed with Black Eyed Peas rapper Will.i.am to produce and new reality TV format based on the “X Factor” template, but this time …
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

NBN Co nests satellites in WA

West Australia will house three key ground stations for the National Broadband Network’s regional satellite deployment which will begin beaming in 2015. NBN Co is making a total investment of around $AU2bn in the Long Term Satellite Service. The ground stations will be built and operated in Moonyoonooka near Geraldton, Binduli …
Wife dressed as nurse administers last act of mercy

Adelaide hospital rolls out RFID tagging

Visionstream will deploy a AUD$71 million ICT solution for the Royal Adelaide Hospital that is aimed to integrate government development on high end data services with actual health care provision. The project will provide the hospital with 150 Terabits per second of switching capacity and new technology platforms including RFID …
'Yes Optus' logo

SingTel gets app happy with Pixable

The acquisitive hand of SingTel has reached out to the US to buy smartphone happy snap app Pixable for US$26.5 million. The social app was founded in 2009 by a group of MIT grads and boasts over four million users over the web, iOS devices and Android devices. The data smarts behind the app allows for the analysis of consumption …
ABC iView with Doctor Who

ABC sends lawyers after iView freeware

Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, has unleashed its legal team on the creator of an alternative frontend app for ABC’s iView, issuing a stern take down notice. The offending free software, Python-iView, allows users to watch content from the ABC's iView media player, which is functionally similar to the BBC's iPlayer, …

ACCC busts Bieber scamming mobile content pushers

Mobile content providers attempting to dupe vulnerable teenagers with premium content honey traps have attracted the wrath of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Federal Court. The Australian Federal Court has dismissed appeals by mobile content service providers Global One Mobile Entertainment and 6G, …
The actor playing a young Julian Assange in the telemovie Underground

Key evidence in Assange case dissolves

The case against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may be on the brink of collapse following claims from the defence team that the central piece of evidence used in the case does not contain Assange’s DNA. According to details that have emerged in a 100-page police report submitted after witnesses were interviewed and forensic …
Two faces black background

Australian gamers can get high and naked

Australian gamers will soon be able to legally indulge in violent, nude and drug fuelled games, thanks to the publication of new, long-anticipated Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games that for the first time include an R18+ classification for games that can only be sold to adults. From January 2013, Australia will …

NICTA micro-kernel trailblazers slurped by US defense giant

US aerospace and defence company General Dynamics has swooped on Australian virtualisation software developer Open Kernel Labs. OK Labs’ software currently sits on 1.6 billion devices around the world, enabling security for remote access to corporate and government assets while protecting everything that runs on the device. The …

Fuel VFX goes up in smoke

Australian visual effects company Fuel VFX looks set to be sold, just weeks after being placed into voluntary administration less than a fortnight ago. The visual effects house secured cornerstone work in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, The Avengers, Mission Impossible and Iron Man 2 but was hit with a cash crisis stemming from a …
Premiere Home Cinema chair

Oz cinema chain to stream new releases

Australian cinema chain Hoyts will launch its own video-on-demand streaming service in the first quarter of the New Year. Hoyts Stream, as the new venture will be called, will support multi-device access and offer consumers a pay-as-you-go model for new release as well as classic movies and TV content. Hoyts Stream will …