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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
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
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
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 …
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
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

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
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

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 …

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 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
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
Qantas A380 tail

Australia relaxes in-flight device use rules

Australia is following the US in eliminating the air-flight ritual of switching off electronic devices during take-off and landing. If, however, you're the kind who dreads listening to an hour of someone else's life between Sydney and Melbourne, don't worry: voice and data communications with the outside world will still be …
Nokia - NSN logo

Nokia networks biz slurps Australia's Mesaplexx

A seven-year-old Australian radio filter specialist has been bought by Nokia Siemens* Solutions and Networks to bolster its position in the small-cell and “hetnet” market. The Brisbane-based Mesaplexx, founded in 2007, put six years into developing filters, with its xCube technology reaching the market in 2013. The first …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves

Australia's is pondering whether it needs the power to block websites that facilitate copyright infringement. Crikey revealed a draft of a discussion paper on “Online Copyright Infringement” that offers three remedies. The first, “Extended Authorisation Liability”, would strike down the legal principle that internet service …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2014

Australia's opposition backs warrantless metadata collection

Australia's opposition Labor Party has signalled that it intends to link arms with the intelligence community. In a television interview with Sky News, the party's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said she wants to give “agencies the maximum ability to do their job well, within the bounds that people would expect.” According to …
HbbTV logo large

Rejoice, Australia! SBS trials SOCCER AND SEX on ONE SCREEN tech

Australian broadcaster SBS, which during the 2014 FIFA World Cup ran a movie promo called “Sex Before Soccer”*, has quietly launched an HbbTV beta to the tiny handful of viewers that have suitable TVs. HbbTV – Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV – lets people with suitably-equipped Internet-connected TVs or set-top-boxes navigate …
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia targets software maintenance costs with Drupal plan

Software maintenance costs Australia's government will today hand down its annual budget, a document that is expected to result in the closure and/or merger of around 70 government agencies as part of an austerity drive designed to reduce government debt. Those left standing after the resulting “machinery of government changes …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2014
IIA Logo

Australia's Internet Industry Association winds self up

Australia's Internet Industry Association is handing its members and regulatory functions to the Communications Alliance and will be wound up. The IIA has suffered erosion of its membership base over recent years, amid a flurry of mergers among Australia's tier-two telcos, and chairman Patric Fair has written to members to say …
Azure icon

Did Microsoft just paint TechEd Australia Azure?

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that TechEd Australia 2014 is going to drop the format of a few days in one place and instead run as a two-day event in each of Sydney and Melbourne. As the comments on my blog post about the chance indicate, community disgruntlement didn't take long to follow the skimpy announcement. Many …
Adam Fowler, 08 May 2014
Australian Hanagars Database

Data.gov.au 'getting somewhere' says Australia's CTO

Data.gov.au, Australia's open government data portal, has enjoyed a significant injection of new data in the form of 2,500 new spatial datasets. The site and its curators at the Australian Government Information Management Office last year revealed that a spring clean found a lot of the data it hosted was junk. The resulting …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2014
Photo of Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro, with Touch Cover

Microsoft Australia slashes price of Surface Pro 128GB by $AUD400

Walk into JB HiFi, Australia's most prominent purveyor of consumer electronics, and slap down $AUD597. You'll walk out with this HP 15-d004au and its 15.6-in screen, quad-core AMD A6-5200 running at 2 GHz and packing a Radeon HD 8400 graphics card, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB disk. Take just two dollars more to Microsoft Australia's …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Mar 2014

Vodafone Australia's 'doubles user traffic' on free weekend

Vodafone has unintentionally exposed the miserly behaviour of Australian mobile data users, while hyping data usage over the “free data weekend” it declared to apologise for network outages. It turns out that punters hammered the network with a stunning eight Kbps per user. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Voda customers “ …

Australia iOS ransom gizmo-snatch OUTRAGE not our FAULT: Apple

Apple has denied that a breach of its iCloud service is the reason for an outbreak of ransomware infecting Australian iThing users. Australian Apple owners yesterday complained that their beloved hardware iStuff had been remotely locked by a chap identifying himself as Oleg Pliss and demanding a PayPal transfer of $AUD50 to …
Simon Sharwood, 28 May 2014
Dunce

Government won't name expert reviewers of Australia's national curriculum

Subject matter experts engaged to review Australia's national curriculum, including the new digital technologies curriculum The Reg has tracked, have been appointed. But the Department of Education won't name the reviewers until the final report on the curriculum is revealed. The Reg makes the above statement after receiving the …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jun 2014
eyeofSauron

Australia gets spooks' charter, new leak penalties

Australia's government has introduced its “spooks' charter” to parliament, wheeling ASIO chief David Irvine in front of a press conference to convince Australians of deadly threats to their liberty that justify the erection of a surveillance state. The new legislation introduces a single warrant covering networks of computers ( …
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata

Australia's federal government should store metadata collected by the nation's Internet service providers (ISPs), because the government already operates suitable facilities in which to do so. ISPs have suggested that if the government persists with its metadata retention plans they would have to pass the costs of storing data …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2014

Australia doubts ICANN is ready to run the internet

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has endorsed USA's decision to hand over core internet supervisory chores to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Calling the USA's decision “A momentous day in the history of the Internet” in a blog post, Turnbull says the USA's current involvement …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2014

Appeal to again seek code for Australia's secret election software

Michael Cordover, who last November failed in his attempt to get the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to release its vote-counting software, now hopes to raise the funds to challenge the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Back in November, the AEC decided that there were too many trade secrets embedded in its …
iVEC's petaflops-housing Pawsey Centre data center

Australia to build 35,000-core supercomputer on Xeon-E5-2600 v3

Australia's Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has revealed basic information about an upgrade to its 'Magnus' supercomputer. The upgrade will see Magnus transmogrify into a Cray XC30 supercomputer with over 35,000 cores. Intel's future Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 will be pressed into service to give Magnus its upgrade and take it …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2014

Telstra kills ZOMBIE BOXES all over Australia

The fire that took out a major regional exchange last year has inspired Telstra to start building bigger mobile exchanges for future emergencies – and it's also revealed that there's a bunch of redundant hardware still consuming carbon around the country. The 2012 fire in the Warrnambool exchange showed up various holes in the …

In Australia, protesting against Brendan Eich will be a CRIME

Come to Australia, Brendan Eich: our freedom-of-speech government wants to protect you against the pesky business of community outrage. The outcry that led to Eich's resignation today as CEO of Mozilla over his past support for an anti-gay-marriage bill in California is something that's exercising the mind of the Australian …
A Telecom comms container in the desert

Australia, Indonesia, make peace in the cloud

Australia and Indonesia may be working their way through a nasty diplomatic spat over spying and asylum seekers, but the two nations' premier telcos Telstra and Telkom Indonesia have signed what they call “a non binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a new joint venture to provide network services in South East Asia …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jan 2014

Australia hobbles self in tech tax chase

Australia's new government will not pursue an initiative its predecessor advanced as a way to crack down on technology companies' tax-minimisation schemes. Australia's newly-elected treasurer (think Chancellor of the Exchequer for UK readers, Secretary of the treasury for those Stateside) Joe Hockey today announced a raft of tax …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2013
Photo of boxes of Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft Australia blows own deadline for online Office 365 sales

Microsoft has written to its Australian customers to apologise in advance for failing to meet a self-imposed deadline for the opening of a portal that would let them sell Office 365. The missed deadline was revealed by Steven Miller, Microsoft Australia's Office division lead, in a Thursday post. “Earlier this year, we …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Mar 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility

The Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA) yesterday released “independent research” claiming that “Australia has the lowest average price in the world when looking at new release high definition digital video on demand films”. The news arrived in a breathless press release in which AHEDA “announced that …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Sep 2014

Australia's 'repeal day' de-regulated SPOOKS

Australia's government yesterday declared that it will stage a "repeal day" next week, a day of Parliamentary proceedings largely given over to sweeping aside legislation said to be obsolete, idle, and/or superseded by newer laws. The exercise is largely political: the government got to put some big numbers in its press releases …
Steam engine

Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has fired the sueball-gun at Valve, accusing the game-maker of trying to dodge Australian consumer law. The consumer watchdog has announced a filing in the Australian Federal Court, in response to terms and conditions it says violate Australian consumer laws. In its …
Google 'Glass' patent application illustration

Australia proposes privacy tort

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released a discussion paper that canvasses the idea of a tort of privacy invasion for Australians. Available here, the discussion paper is seeking comment on whether or not Australia's privacy law needs to be changed to deal with invasions of privacy “committed intentionally or …

AWS brings Workspaces to Australia at a premium price

Amazon Web Services has flicked the switch on its 'Workspaces' desktop-a-as-service offering in its Sydney region. There's nothing new about the service, which as we've previously noted isn't at its best when consumed over high-latency links. AWS tells us Australian users can expect about 90 milliseconds less latency than was …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia told to follow UK's 'Digital by default' strategy

Australia has been told it should adopt the UK's “Digital by default” strategy and a “cloud first” strategy for government IT. The antipodean nation has tiny government debt by the standards of advanced economies in North America and Europe, but local political sensibilities deem budget deficits disastrous and unendurable. …
Simon Sharwood, 01 May 2014
Derisive laugh

Online shopping tax slug not worth the effort: National Australia Bank

State and federal governments lovingly eyeing off a billion-dollar windfall if the GST threshold on online purchases is lowered are deluding themselves, according to a former Treasury economist now with the National Australia Bank. The NAB conducts a long-running research series into online commerce in Australia, giving weight …
Suitcase bulging with cash

Apple 'hid AUD$9 BILLION' from Australia alone: Report

An Australian newspaper is claiming that analysis of Apple's Irish subsidiary's finances demonstrates Cupertino's skill at offshoring its revenues is saving the company billions it would otherwise have to shell out in tax. The Australian Financial Review alleges (warning: may be paywalled) that over a ten-year period, Apple has …

Big Content says Pirates of the Caribbean do their worst in Australia

A local market located “at the foothills of the Dandenongs, 25 km from Melbourne”, has been nominated as a major locus of DVD piracy by the MPAA. According to a letter to the US Trade Representative, the status of the Caribbean Garden and Markets is such that it alone should be enough reason for the USTR to add Australia to its …
anonymous logo

Anonymous Indonesia claims attacks by Anonymous Australia

Entities using the name and iconography of Anonymous (EUTNAIOA) and claiming to be the Indonesian branch of the movement have accused entities using the name and iconography of Anonymous and claiming to be the Australian branch of the movement of attacks on Indonesia's national airline Garuda and other hostile actions. We are …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2013