Articles about Australia

Australia.gov.au beta

Australia puts itself back into Beta

The Online Services Branch of Australia's Department of Finance, which oversees the nation's online efforts, has put the country in beta with the release of a new design for the national website at australia.gov.au. The new look is said to be the result of “user analysis and … benchmarking with other government agencies both …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

Australia threatens to pull buckets of astronomy funding

A political impasse is putting at risk Australia's participation in the ginormous Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope*, along with a slew of other major research science projects. The impasse centres on a plan to "deregulate" Australia's universities by allowing them to charge higher fees to make up for reduced …
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

Verizon brings half its cloud to Australia

Verizon enterprise has opened its cloud in Australia, or least half of its cloud. Verizon's cloud is an oddity inasmuch as it comprises two distinct platforms. One is the kit it acquired along with Terremark and has since indicated it will rebuild on Xen and CloudStack. That cloud's used to dleiver the reserved performance bits …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2015

Toshiba Australia recalls combustible laptop power cords

Toshiba Australia has issued a recall notice for the power cord it supplied with laptops sold in Australia between 1st September 2010 and 30th June 2012. The recall notice says the “'LS-15' labelled AC Power cord” was built with “electrical insulation [that] may degrade over time”. If that happens, there's “potential to …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2014
Uber apologises for Sydney siege surge pricing SNAFU

Uber to Australia: Legalise UberX and we'll GIVE you DATA

Uber has told Australia it wants to stop butting heads with regulators and will offer them traffic data as their quid pro quo for official recognition. The company told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 730 programme last week that “We have a lot of information about how people are moving around their cities, so there's …
The Tanami Desert en route to Willowara

Australia: even more empty than you imagine

In a release that went largely unnoticed in the lead-up to Christmas, the Australian Bureau of Statistics launched a data product designed to simplify regional and international comparisons. The Australian Population Grid 2011 (that is, it uses the 2011 Census data) plots Australia's population against a 1km2 grid. Prior to the …
Uber apologises for Sydney siege surge pricing SNAFU

Uber Australia hiring lawyers, PR flaks

Uber Australia has two interlinked problems: because its operations appear to be against current regulations, and it behaves with impunity, a fair share of the public thinks it is a corporate scoundrel. What a surprise then, that on the HR wishlist for the company's Sydney office are the following roles: Lead country counsel, …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Feb 2015
Dunce

Australia dumbs down: Chief Scientist says research performance lags the world

Australia likes to flatter itself that it's good at sciences: the nation's scientists did, after all, invent WiFi and lots of other useful stuff. But when the nation looks in the mirror it should be honest and and admit it's wasting away, says a new report from the nation's Chief Scientist. In a report presented to the …

Australia's digital technologies curriculum parked AGAIN

Australia's proposed digital technologies curriculum, which would see kids taught computational thinking for the first ten years of their schooling, has been parked again. The curriculum's development was spurred by industry concerns that Australia's not producing enough skilled technologists to meet employer demand or foster …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Mar 2015

Australia Post goes a little bit grey with parcel forwarding service

One of the least-favourite activities of Australian online shoppers, working out who offers a safe and reliable international drop service, has become a bit easier after the national postal service Australia Post entered the market. The deliverators have decided to set up in competition with existing forwarders, at the same time …
rockstar games bully/canis canem edit

Australia's social media censorship law – for the children - all-but passes

The Enhancing Online Safety for Children Bill 2014 has passed Australia's Senate, meaning the nation now has a regime for compelling social networks to remove material deemed to represent bullying of children. The Bill defines bullying material as “… intended to have an effect on a particular Australian child ... likely to have …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Mar 2015

Visa's tokenisation scheme to debut in Australia

Australian and European shoppers will be able to use a throwaway Visa card token to shop online in a bid to reduce fraud. The scheme is being rolled out across Australia and Europe to Visa-allied banks and merchants. Shoppers will be issued tokens that will be matched to their cards. Validated transactions will map tokens to …
Darren Pauli, 25 Feb 2015

Pacnet becomes 'potential' prey for Australia's Telstra

Australia's dominant telecommunications company, Telstra, has told the nation's stock exchange “that it is in discussions with the owners of Pacnet around a potential transaction to acquire the company.” The announcement of the exploration is so brief it reads a lot like it's a tick-the-boxes reveal under the continuous …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2014
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australia to conduct national cyber-security review

Australia will conduct a national “cyber-security review”. Speaking today at the launch of the new Australian Cyber Security Centre in Canberra today, prime minister Tony Abbott put network security on par with physical security, said it is a guarantor of economic security and added “it is so important we keep one step ahead of …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2014
australia

Forrester says Australia, not China, is next boom market for cloud

Cloud vendors that have done alright in Europe and North American should head to Australia to find their next growth market, according to analyst outfit Forrester. Veep and principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals James Staten says Australia may lack China's or India's size, and is an expensive place …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2014
slow_sign

Australia's Akamai ranking has nothing to do with the NBN

There's never any shortage of ways for Australia to feel inadequate about its broadband performance, and speed comparisons are a perennial favourite. With Akamai's latest State of the Internet report hitting the Internet at the end of last week, Australians are in for another bout of soul-searching: while our year-on-year …

SNIA's Australia/New Zealand chapter winds itself up

The Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA's) Australia and New Zealand chapter has decided to wind itself up. “I would say SNIA ANZ has achieved its goal over the years,” said chairman Sean Kopelke, before going on to explain that the Association's board felt the global SNIA charter – which focuses on standards and …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2014

Australia ignores data retention in summer slack-off

The Australian federal government's strategy of conducting inquiries on a short time-scale approaching holidays is paying off in spades when it comes to data retention. The Register has already noted the government's rushed Christmas-eve questionnaire to the telecommunications industry about the costs of data retention. There's …
Bill Gates talks tech

Microsoft Australia floats 'death to TechEd' thought bubble

Microsoft Australia has hinted that it may follow the lead of its US parent and make TechEd a part of a larger conference. The Microsoft Mothership last month decided to bundle TechEd and conferences dedicated to SharePoint, Lync, Exchange and Project into a “unified Microsoft commercial technology conference.” TechEd will …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2014

Digital Post Australia goes titsup in orderly fashion

Having fought a lawsuit against Australia Post (the nation's postal service) to have the right to offer its service, the much-hyped but ultimately-unwanted Digital Post Australia (DPA) is shutting down, saying its service is “not sustainable at this time”. DPA's closure might give pause to communications minister Malcolm …
heart.australia

Australia.gov.au Alpha design revealed to grateful nation

Australia's Department of Finance, within which resides the Australian Government Chief Technology Office (AGCTO), has revealed designs for the nation's new home page. The beta is available here, and if you click on the image below you'll get a look at a lovely big screen capture. Beta of the new australia.gov.au The new …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2014
australia

Australia to block piracy sites if Big Content asks nicely in court

Australia will join the ranks of nations that ask local internet service providers block access to sites suspected of illegally distributing copyrighted material. The nation's attorney-general George Brandis and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull today revealed their intention to “amend the Copyright Act, to enable rights …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Dec 2014
Azure icon

Azure Australia launches, complete with full-fibre diet

Microsoft has, as expected, pressed the Big Blue Button to enliven the Australian “geo” of its Azure cloud service. Scott Guthrie, veep of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group had one other snippet to announce, namely the availability of dedicated fibre links – dubbed ExpressRoute - from Equinix and Telstra to the two …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014
Julie Bishop & Marty Natelagawa

Australia makes pinkie-promise to end Indonesia spying

Australia has signed a code of conduct to promise not to spy on Indonesia's elected officials in a bid to heal seeping wounds opened by NSA leaks. In November 2013, documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed Australia had spied on the mobile phone of then-Indonesian-leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), his …
Darren Pauli, 29 Aug 2014
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

VMware announces vCloud Air for Australia

VMware has announced it will launch its vCloud Air hybrid offering in Australia in the first half of 2015. Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, scored the hosting gig and will stand up VMware's kit in a Melbourne bit barn. VMware's schtick for vCloud Air is that it is designed from the ground up to hook into its vSphere control …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2014
Steeden NRL ball

National Rugby League boots 'metadata' right into Australia's face

Australian politicians and activists frustrated at their fellows' apparent indifference to the metadata data retention debate have cause to thank the National Rugby League (NRL). In its laudable battle against bad behaviour by the inadvertent role models who sign up to play in its competition. the NRL has announced new rules for …
Qantas A380 tail

In-flight slab-fondling and mobe-stroking in Australia at last

Australian gadget-owners rejoice, you can now keep your devices switched on from “gate to gate” on Qantas and Virgin Australia flights. Earlier this year, aviation regulator CASA announced it was relaxing the rules that demanded a power-down for mobes and fondleslabs, but that airlines required certification to put the rules …

AT LAST: Australia gets its very own malware

Australians are being targeted by a new variant of the Carberp malware under what appears to be renewed criminal interest in the antipodes. The modified trojan, Carberp.C, was spread through a spam operation masquerading as a payment invoice. Virus writers pushed the malware out a day after coding it, Symantec researcher …
Darren Pauli, 19 Jan 2015
Dunce

Australia to social media: self-censor or face AU$17,000 FINES

Australia's long-threatened plan to compel social networks to remove bullying material directed at children has emerged, complete with a naughty corner for networks who don't play nice with others. The bill seeks to ensure that all social networks operating in Australia implement “basic online safety requirements” including …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Dec 2014
Azure Index

Azure Australia is ALIVE, but not for the likes of you, just yet

Microsoft has announced that its two Australian Azure bit barns are up and running, in a “private preview”. Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow writes that “a number of customers and partners are using the service today” but adds that “I still can’t give you the final date for general availability but I can share …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014
The Tanami Desert en route to Willowara

Australia's new broadband satellites won't be all the help Willowra needs

One of the things we've been asked about our project to figure out how to improve network performance at the Wirliyajarrayi Learning Centre in the remote Australian town of Willowra is why we are bothering. It's a decent question to ask because Australia is building a new Long Term Satellite Solution (LTSS) that promises multi- …
Social media buttons

Australia plans 'penalties' for social networks that don't think of the children

Australia has devised a small stick and big stick approach to cyber-bullying material stored on social networks. The nation's recently-installed government ran on a policy of Thinking Of The Children that proposed the creation of a new “Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner” with the power to compel social networks to …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014

Australia tries to ban crypto research – by ACCIDENT

While the world is laughing at UK PM David Cameron for his pledge to ban encryption, Australia is on the way to implementing legislation that could feasibly have a similar effect. Moreover, the little-debated Defence Trade Control Act (DTCA) is already law - it's just that the criminal sanctions it imposes for sending knowledge …
Bitcoins

Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued its official assessment of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies – and decided it isn't money but can be taxed. The ATO's note says BTC is “neither money nor a foreign currency” and that “transacting with Bitcoins is akin to a barter arrangement”. Australia taxes formal barter …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014

Dell Australia managing director steps down

Joe Kremer, Dell's veep and managing director for Australia and New Zealand, has called it a day. Kremer will leave the building in July, to be replaced by Angela Fox. Fox currently leads Dell's services outfit in the Asia Pacific and Japan, having previously served in senior roles in the company's enterprise solutions business …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Help Australia's PM and attorney-general to define metadata

POLL Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott and attorney-general George Brandis on Tuesday announced that Australia will collect telecommunications metadata. Yesterday, they contradicted each other, and themselves, when attempting to define metadata and exactly what they propose to collect. Both failed to offer a consistent …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2014

G'Day Australia! Office 365 and Dynamics CRM bounce Down Under

Lots of Australian businesses have already jumped aboard Microsoft's cloudwagon, often after having been told that the latency associated with data centres on foreign soil was no impediment to anything at all. What, then, to make of Microsoft's announcement that Office 365 and Dynamics CRM will be on offer from its Australian …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2014
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

Azure Australia certified good enough for government work

Microsoft's Australian outpost still won't say when its pair of local Azure bit barns will go live for folks beyond the current cloud test dummies, but is waving around a newly-acquired letter that proves it “has appropriate and effective security controls in place for the processing, storage and transmission of Unclassified …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2014
Cyber friends - Kiwicon 7

Australia and USA strike closer cyber defence alliance

Australia and the United States will forge tighter bonds in information security defence and incident response on the back of a White House meeting between the nation's leaders. The announcement contained scant detail on the arrangement and came as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Barack Obama agreed to new defence deals …
Darren Pauli, 13 Jun 2014
Privacy image

Australia's PM says data retention laws think of the children

Australia's Federal Government, and its agencies, are working to drum up political support for the nation's controversial data retention legislation. Prime minister Tony Abbott offered favoured outlets early access to a speech to child protection charity Bravehearts, in which he said the data retention regime is needed to battle …

Amazon hiring in Australia for 'new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative'

Amazon.com has advertised for a Brisbane, Australia-based software developer to work on a “new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative”. AmazonFresh is shopzilla's grocery delivery service and has hitherto been confined to Seattle and parts of California. But the company has previously signalled it is keen to bring AmazonFresh …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Sep 2014

Western Australia considers ban on R18+ games

The Australian State of Western Australia (WA) is reviving the country's vexed games classification debate, with a new report suggesting the state government should consider banning games currently carrying an R18+ classification. The suggestion is contained in a report from the Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for …
Steve Wozniak

Hey, Woz. You've got $150m. You're kicking back in Australia. What's on your mind? Killer AI

Old-school computer whiz Steve Wozniak is afraid an emergence of an artificial super-intelligence will be very bad news for the human race. The former HP engineer, who today lives in Australia and works as adjunct professor in Sydney, agrees with SpaceX supremo Elon Musk and physics ace Prof Stephen Hawking that computers in the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2015

Facebook Australia's 'small company' status makes it a small target

There's an old joke about failed CEOs, which runs “how do you create a small company? Give a big one to CEO X”. Facebook has found a new wrinkle: you build a small company merely by getting regulators to agree that it's a small company. Apparently in order to manage its corporate reporting requirements in Australia, that's just …
flag.Australia

Australia's eMinister has policy-crush on UK's Liam Maxwell

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has offered a little more detail on his plans for electronic delivery of government services and the way Australia will procure the kit required to deliver them. Writing in The Guardian Australia, Turnbull detailed a meeting with Liam Maxwell this week. Neelie Kroes, the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia to get spooks charter at cost of at least AU$188m

Australia's Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has recommended that the nation adopt a telecommunications metadata retention regime. The Committee's report report (PDF) does recommend changes to the current Bill, including the proposed dataset being enshrined in legislation and therefore subject …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia to launch Digital Transformation Office, with no budget

Australia will launch a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) within the Department of Communications “so that government services can be delivered digitally from start to finish and better serve the needs of citizens and businesses.” The new agency will aim to “... use technology to make services simpler, clearer and faster for …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jan 2015
Australia.gov.au beta

Australia's IT industries were repeatedly humiliated in 2014

Last week's hearing of Australia's Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, which convened in part to discuss Australia's planned communications metadata retention laws, produced high farce. Despite having been lampooned for previously being unable to offer a definition of metadata, Attorney General George Brandis …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2014
Azure icon

Azure Australia data centre undergoing final testing

One of the two data centres Microsoft Australia will use to house antipodean Azure is undergoing final testing, The Reg understands. One recent visitor to a data centre in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde where Azure will operate has told The Reg certain areas of the facility are off-limits, because Microsoft doesn't want …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia to retain telecommunications metadata

Australia will enact laws that compel telecommunications providers to retain metadata about their customers' online activities for two years. Attorney-General George Brandis today indicated that the laws have been approved, conceptually, and that legislation will emerge later in 2014 and come into effect not long afterwards. …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Aug 2014