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Articles about Australia

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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

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 …
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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 …
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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
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

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

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
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

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 …

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
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 …
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 …
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 …

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 …
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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

Surrender your crypto keys or you're off to chokey, says Australia

Australia's Attorney-General's department has floated a plan that would allow national security agencies to seize citizens' crypto keys. The AG's submission to the Senate inquiry into telecommunications interception outlines the plan, saying that the moves are necessary because new telecommunications technologies are "providing …
The 2010 baseline map of Australia’s soil organic carbon stocks showing the national and state and territory estimates and their uncertainty range.

CSIRO breaks Australia into 90m x 90m grid to map soil carbon

CSIRO has published what probably amounts to one of the largest datasets ever assembled in Australia: an assessment of organic soil carbon on a 90 metre x 90 metre grid, nationwide. It'll hardly surprise anyone that it's taken four years to get the data ready for release. The 2010 organic soil carbon map includes around two …

AWS' Glacier and RedShift creep into to Australia

Amazon Web Services' (AWS') Glacier data deep freeze* is now available in the cloudy company's Australian region. Glacier offers very cheap storage, but with the caveat of restore times that stretch into hours. The service is generally held to store data on tape. When AWS opened in Australia has often said it intends to offer …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Oct 2013
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Is Australia backing away from 'fair use' proposals?

As the Australian Law Reform Commission puts the final polish on its year-long inquiry into Australia's copyright law, the country's Attorney-General has upended the ice bucket over the idea of any radical reform. The long-running inquiry had raised hopes that at least some reforms would be adopted, such as the creation of a “ …
Hacker baseball cap

Laurie Love investigation stretches to Australia, Sweden

Following the arrest of Laurie Love of Suffolk on charges that he gained unauthorised access to US government computers, it's emerged that he was working with co-conspirators in Australia and Sweden. According to the charges reported here yesterday, Love's twelve-month hacking spree included machines belonging to the US Army, …

Microsoft's APAC president denies price gouging in Australia

Microsoft's president for the Asia Pacific, César Cernuda, has tried to explain why some of the company's products cost rather more in Australia than in other parts of the world. Cernuda spoke yesterday at the Canalys Channels Forum in Bangkok, an event at which each speaker's talk is followed by questions submitted by delegates …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2013
iTunes 10: iTunes Music Store

iTunes radio tunes in to Australia for first launch beyond USA

Apple has activated its iTunes radio service outside the USA for the first time, with Australia the lucky nation chosen to receive Cupertino's competitor to Spotify, Pandora and rdio. iTunes radio launched in September 2013 and is free to all users of iTunes and iOS-powered devices. Like other streaming music services, iTunes …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2014
Great white shark

Australia puts 300 sharks on Twitter

The Australian State of Western Australia (WA) has signed over 300 sharks up to Twitter. The program sees sharks tagged with gadgets that, when they come close to floating monitors located near popular beaches, detect the beasts' presence. When a tracker-equipped shark does so, alerts about its location are piped into the Surf …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jan 2014
Rotten apple

Australia rebukes Apple for 'false or misleading representations'

Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has slapped Apple and extracted an “enforceable undertaking” from the company that will result in fines – or worse – if the company continues to ignore its own warranty and return polices. At issue are Apple's 12 month warranty and 14 day return policies, which weren't being …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2013
SKA artists impression

West Australia guarantees SKA funding to 2019

Australia's International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research has had its future secured through to 2019, courtesy of a $AU26 million commitment from the Western Australian government announced at the end of last week. The ICRAR was instrumental in attracting part of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project to …
Disney's Beagle Boys

Australia's States in online shopping tax grab

The idea that Australia's finances can be fixed by closing the online shopping “GST loophole” has shambled back out of its grave to consume the brains of the country's political masters. State treasurers have revived their calls for the federal government to stick its hands in the pockets of online shoppers. Currently, the …
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia's opposition cuts funds to IT research outfit

National ICT Australia (NICTA), the IT research organisation established by a Liberal/National coalition government in 2002 may not survive the next government of that political persuasion, after the body that funds it was earmarked to have its funding cut. Australia goes to the polls on Saturday, with the right-leaning Liberal/ …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Sep 2013

Telecom New Zealand exits Australia with AAPT sale

The last remnant of one of Australia's first batch of competitive telecommunications carriers, AAPT, has been sold to TPG for $NZ450 million (about $AU410 million). The sale marks the exit of Telecom New Zealand from the Australian market. In 2010 TNZ sold AAPT's consumer customers to iiNet for $NZ60 million. TPG outbid rivals …
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Sinclair's FORGOTTEN Australia-only micro revealed!

In early 1980s Australia if you wanted a home computer, chances are you were a Commodore user, a TRS-80 user or … a Commodore user. Famous British micros from the likes of Sinclair and Oric never really got a foothold down under, leaving the field to the Vic 20, C64 and the occasional local contender like Microbee. British micro …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2013
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Australia ponders 160,000-seat ERP possibilities

Australia's government has released an information paper titled “Investigation into optimising ERP Systems across the public service” that will consider how the nation's government can best procure, and wield, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The release of the information paper (regwalled PDF here should come as no …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Sep 2013
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Microsoft Australia calls fibre-to-the-premises 'best outcome' for NBN

Microsoft's Australian managing director Pip Marlow has reportedly told an event staged by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that the nation's new government should not proceed with its policy of a fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network (NBN). Newswire AAP reports that Marlow argued for the retention of a …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2013
Azure Index

Azure hops into Australia

Microsoft has announced "the planned expansion of a new Windows Azure major region for Australia" Details are scanty: Redmond is saying only that the "Windows Azure major region in Australia will consist of two sub-regions located in New South Wales and Victoria. These two locations will be geo-redundant, offering our customers …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2013
Rupert Murdoch @ Davos 2009 credit: World Economic Forum

Foxtel announces broadband, Australia yawns

Foxtel, once held out of the broadband market by long-standing agreement with Telstra, has announced a broadband resale agreement with the incumbent's wholesale arm. That will see it launch the obligatory triple-play offering of Pay-TV, voice and broadband calls. Given the tsunami that has engulfed all forms of television, it's …
Cellular basestation antenna

Mobile price competition stirs in Australia

Beleaguered Australian mobile users might be about to get some price relief, if research from Goldman Sachs proves accurate. Vodafone Australia and Optus sub-brand Virgin mobile are leading the charge, the price survey found, both announcing “double data” plans for a limited time. According to Australian telco newsletter …

Australia floats plan for national social media regulator

Australia has floated a plan to regulate social media at a federal level. The idea's not new: the Liberal/National coalition took it to the nation's 2013 election as a policy that, in part, it used to show that someone was thinking of the children, especially in the context of cyber-bullying and youth suicides felt to have been …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark

Australians without broadband are no closer to being able to understand when, or if, the nation's National Broadband Network (NBN) will make fast data connections available, after Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a new Statement of Expectations document to NBN Co, the entity charged with building the …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Apr 2014

Microsoft sells out of MSN Australia

Microsoft has sold its share of Mi9, the Australian incarnation of the Microsoft Network. Mi9 was once known as “Ninemsn”. The “nine” in both names references the Nine Entertainment Company, owner of one of Australia's three free-to-air commercial television networks. Ninemsn was created by James Packer, son and heir to Kerry …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2013
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Big Blue beats path to Australia's north-west

Big Blue, which over the last year has been talent scouting a number of Australian regions via its Smarter Cities program, is to build a data centre in the remote Western Australian town of Geraldton. Geraldton has found itself becoming something of a surprise high-tech hub over recent years, partly courtesy of its proximity to …

Australia ponders easier share options, crowdfunding

Australia's tech sector will probably miss out on one of its longest-standing Christmas wishes. Although communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy has announced a review of the treatment of employee share schemes – a major gripe in titsup startup land – he's doing so from the point of view of a government already hearing …

Apple flushes poker apps after prod from Australia

In 2001 Australia passed the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, a law the then-conservative government created in a “won't somebody think of the children” knee-jerk reaction to worries about the possible effects of the early-ish internet. The law banned online gambling services in Australia and, in what was seen at the time as a …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2013
Screenshot from 100,000 Stars app showing our Sun

Australia gets a space strategy

Australia has itself a space strategy of sorts: nothing grand, but a signal that the dearth of space applications research down under might finally come to an end. The focus of the government strategy, launched yesterday, is going to be on satellites rather than the scary stuff like launch platforms. In part, it appears to be a …
Artist's impression of Xenoceratops

Dino-boffins discover 100-million-year-old BIRD TRACKS in Australia

Two thin-toed tracks made more than 100 million years ago are proof birds wandered prehistoric Australia, according to palaeoboffins. Photo of the sandstone fossil along with a drawing illustrating the track Photo of the sandstone fossil along with a drawing illustrating the track. Credit: Anthony Martin Emory University …
Rare Earth Supply

Australia to world: Ploughman, dig our rare earths

Last year, the world noticed with more than a little trepidation that China was hoarding rare earths. The Middle Kingdom owns an awful lot of the world's known retrievable deposits of Scandium, Yttrium, Europium and Erbium that are often used in minute-but-critical quantities inside all manner of gadgets, and had made it rather …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Australia threatens Adobe, Apple, with geo-blocking ban

Australia's Parliamentary inquiry into IT pricing has found no plausible reason hardware, software and digital downloads costs more down under, and recommended changes to copyright law so locals can access cheaper goods. The Inquiry kicked off last year, as a part-populist, part-sensible probe into why Australian consumers and …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2013
School of Rock

Australia puts Digital Technologies curriculum in limbo pending review

The Australian Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood, a body comprising the nation's education ministers, has shelved the nation's first Digital Technologies curriculum just weeks before it was due to be signed off. The Register has been told that at a meeting on 29 November 2013, recorded in this communiqué …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2013

HP UK boss sent down ... under (yes, he's going to Australia)

Centuries after some of Britain's less-law-abiding sorts started settling in Australia, the good folk down under are ready to welcome another Pom to their ranks. HP UK and Ireland boss Nick Wilson is set to emigrate. Staff were today told that Wilson is leaving for pastures new and from 1 November will be HP's general manager of …
Paul Kunert, 16 Sep 2013

Australia shuts up shop for tech temps

That idea you've entertained to enjoy a year or two working in Australia, which hasn't had a recession since the early 1990s, boasts an unemployment rate of just 5.6 per cent, sun galore, beautiful beaches and a shortage of tech workers? Dream on, Reg readers: Australia is clamping down on temporary foreign workers and the “457 …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2013
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Australia joins hunt for corporate tax dodgers

Australia's government has signalled it will try to publish details of how much tax multinationals pay in the island nation. Australia's Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury last year explained, and bemoaned, the “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich” used by the likes of Google to minimise the amount of tax they pay. Microsoft and other …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Feb 2013
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

Apple slugs Australia with iPhone tax

Apple's newest iPhones have surprised the world with premium pricing, but that premium is even more noticeable in Australia, where punters will be asked to pay more than US shoppers, even once one takes into account exchange rates. The Reg looked at prices for unlocked handsets, recorded on Apple's website. We checked out the US …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Sep 2013