Tech News Test Feed

Posted: August 8, 2016 in Misc Tech

Live Test Feed – Tech News TV   1)

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

rtmp://a.rtmp.youtube.com/live2

excitement

 


Due to make landfall in Late June or July

Loren W
Melbourne Australia,

sony

Because of the semi- irregular Phone and Tablet launches it means that someone has to have the latest spec mobile phone until someone else does that is. Sony did this before with Xperia Z Ultra a great phablet for those so inclined at the time. Semi-launched in June 2013 it hosted a 6.4 in display only a fraction smaller than the Nexus 7 but was the first of the upper tier of phone makers to have the Snapdragon 800, and was IP56 waterproof and competing at the time with the Samsung Note 3 had the market for almost 12 months but with an average camera, and poor market distribution and supply, it was never a challenger but was a lovely phone, and took some ok pictures even underwater with in the Cook islands, thank you Sony

Well the stars have aligned for Sony again with their range of new Sony Xperia X Phones. Of much interest is the higher Waterproof X Performance that is the first of the top brands to host the latest Snapdragon 820 chip prior to the 823 chip being released. The timing of the phone means there were discussions if they would host the newer 823 chip instead that is destined for the Samsung Note 6 with an estimated 15-20% upgrade in speed compared to the 820.

Sony Xperia X Performance

 

Polaris Data Centre

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Misc Tech

Polaris $241m Data Centre- Loren Wiener


Hi folks,

I am a serial domain name buyer, and have never sold 1 at a profit buying hundreds over the years.
Working for the largest hosting companies in the world over the last decades, if I get an idea I buy the domain name.
But life happens.. So.. here are some domain names for sale.. email me at domains@loren.net.au… I am guess paypal works easiest but let me know

List 

http://www.zita.com.au – starting at $250AUD


GOOGLE

Image  —  Posted: June 5, 2015 in Misc Tech


 Even if you are ‘Phat’ TRIM might be a problem. – Doing Nothing Is Seeing SSD Performance Degradation

 

31 May 2015
Melbourne Australia

win10Noticed that speedy SSD drive has been slowing down, or you do not want it to, on your PC or Mac, well you need to consider TRIM and AGC.  Say what?

SSD – (Solid State Hard Drives) have been around for a while, at up to x100 performance on data access, and boot up times as well as about 1/3 of the power so cooler as well,  to that of normal hard drives it is a no-brainer SSD is worth having for your boot drive on a PC or a Mac.
TRIM – a command built into SSD drive controllers that inform an SSD drive which blocks of data are in use, not in use and can be wiped internally.  Computers do not support TRIM by default automatically and maybe not at all.
AGC – Active Garbage Collection, as sexy as this sounds it is a secondary process that does the same as TRIM if TRIM is not working and it is built into the firmware of some but not all SSDs (is a good thing).
HDD – A standard internal hard drive for PCs or Macs that run normally at 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm

AHCI-  Advanced Host Controller Interface a SATA setting in the bios (not natively turned on and can impact SSD drive weed by a factor of 3 (that’s 300%) – Not turned on in BIOS the SSD is still faster than an HDD.

 

Like many, I build my own desktop PCs always have (well have them built for safety / risk). However I have never gotten around to installing an SSD drive for my main boot drive.

  • Personally to buy an SSD drive under 500GB or a 1TB, seemed pointless, and with prices of 500GB being around $150, then the price per GB (PPG) on an SSD has fallen recently, and as good as they will be for a while, if you look at the market on these things. Also with SSD drives like CPU, new versions come out occasionally offering faster read and write speeds at the same price (no point buying a new SSD drive that is slower). Current versions of SSD drives offer 500-550MB/sec speeds on reading and writing.
  • However many SSD drives have certain tweaks that if not performed will reduce the speed of this speedy drive.
    AGC- (Active Garbage Collection) is a feature of some SSD drives (Crucial is one brand), simply put when your PC is idling, the SSD drive is cleaning itself. However, between power saving (that is set by default to let a PC sleep) or those that turn a PC on work all the time then turn it off immediately the impact is the same. The SSD drive needs idle time to clean itself.

What’s The Problem ? – As TRIM commands simply tell an SSD drive what blocks of data are not being used and can be wiped. If TRIM doesn’t kick in, then AGC is there to clean up the drive. However in the very logical scenario above (power saving mode / PC turned off when not in use) then AGC cannot kick in, so the drive does not get cleaned up and slows down, or worse (yep).  Or your SSD drive may not have ACG meaning if TRIM is not configured properly (VERY easy to miss), then your SSD drive will slow down.

Simple Prevention – Let TRIM or ACG do it’s thing

  • No Sleep– Just go to your power settings on PC or Mac and turn off any power plans that turn off your hard drive. These are on a default, and many people just leave them that way.
  • Defrag– Turn off automatic or scheduled defragmentation most Windows has this turned on by default. SSD drives do not fragment like magnetic drives so turning this off can help performance, and ssd drives have a limited number of writes and reads so this can also add to the longevity of your drive. The bug / feature request to have this deactivate for SSD drives has been reported to Windows 10 team.
  • Is your TRIM turned on?- Easy… Firstly TRIM is only supported in Windows 7 and beyond, so you need to consider that. Also if you upgrade from anything to Windows 7 or newer TRIM might not work at all. So how do you tell if TRIM on your windows 7 or higher PC (or OS X Mac) is turned on.. easy Open a Admin CMD prompt and TYPE

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify (ENTER)

This will give you an answer of 0 or 1. Zero indicates TRIM is enabled, a one means it is not. You can turn on TRIM by repeating the step above and add a 0 at the end per below.

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify 0  (ENTER)

Now repeat the first step and you should get a 0 but a re-boot might be needed. 

Indexing- Due to the speed and way SSDs work indexing designed to speed up windows search on magnetic drives but not needed and impacts on longevity (and performance a little) on SSDs To turn it off just go to the properties of your SSD drive and turn indexing off. You may need admin rights to do this, and might need to turn indexing off manually .

 Fix it -– Here is how you fix a slow SSD Drive.  PC or Mac – In Windows, the best thing to do is to disconnect your SATA cable from your SSD Drive for a few hours, but leave the power connected this will make the SSD drive run in MCG mode. For a Mac just go to à system preferences, -> energy saver –> uncheck ‘put the hard disks to sleep’. You do not need to do this unless you have a problem on the PC.

Don’t Forget the Bios- PC’s new and old to not have AHCI mode enabled. If you do not turn it on you would never know what you are missing. AHCI only came out with SATA interfaces, and SSD did not get popular until way after SATA was started. WARNING: This may be obvious to some, but it is not.  Logisitcally, you need to activate AHCI mode prior to installaing the OS on that  SSD drive. If you install the OS on an SSD drive with AHCI not enabled then goto the bios to enable it, then the drive will not boot up DOH ! (I got caught out on that).

I have had a lot of people ask about defaults in Windows 10 (actually all versions of Windows), so was surprised that there were so many aspects to this but all simple to fix.
If of any use please let me know.

@mr_internet

 

 

 


Ongoing Windows 10 Updates Errors Not the End of the World

 

30 May 2015
Melbourne Australia
Background

•              So you have a windows  10 update could be anything, in my case I am updating to 10130 on 30 May 2015. I got an Error 0x8200056 (but there can be other errors)

•              In my case the windows update program froze and could not be stopped easily due to a corrupt update (windows or otherwise) causing the windows update program that runs automatically on start up to restart then go back to a frozen state even when your PC is restarted multiple times (the restart worked on similar errors on previous versions but not going from build 10125.

•              So to fix this you need to unfreeze the windows update program, and rename the windows update folder (C:/Windows/Softwaredistributionand) then try again

Here’s How

Note: To isolate the problem turn off in the windows 10 update box ‘update other programs’ when updating windows. – This prevents any update other than windows 10 from corrupting your windows 10 update.

pic 1ok

1.        Run services.msc – Find windows update server – disable – (remember where this is, you will be going back in a minute)

2.        Restart PC Run CMD prompt with admin access

3.        Type cd %systemroot% (ENTER)

4.        Type Ren Software Distribution SoftwareDistribution.old (ENTER)

5.        Repeat step 1 but put windows update server back to ‘automatic’

6.        Restart PC

Note: If you want to check to make sure the windows update folder is now replaced (softwaredistribution) you can do this by re doing step 3 and 4 above and you should get an error saying the folder could not be found. This is correct as you renamed in in step 6. Or just look in your root folder and see if C://Windows/SoftwareDistribution.old   is there and  C://Windows/SoftwareDistribution is not there (per step  3 and 4) if so then you are good to go.

7.        Re – start Windows update

So we have fixed 3 issues here

1.                    Moved a potentially corrupt windows update folder (due to windows 10 or another program)

2.                    Isolated the Windows Update Server for Windows 10 only by turning off ‘Update other programs’ by turning off the other programs until windows 10 has been updated.

3.                    Disabled then re-enabled the windows update server

 

Note:  The Normal way you could disable then re-enable the windows server is by running CMD ‘Net stop wuauserv ‘ in lieu of step 1, but in my case I got an error saying the windows update server (wuauserv) could not be stopped or was stopping and even when repeated wuauserv was still frozen even after multiple restarts. So step 1 above in this case is a fall back but worked much better.

 

Bad News

Your Windows 10 update will have to download again, so if you can download an ISO of your updates then it will allow you to save potentially a lot of time (and bandwidth usage) if important

 

 


Good Tech Can Be Simple
30 May 2015
Melbourne Australia

I must go through more than my share of car phone holders a year, changing out phones, they break, or as I travel I forget them in a rental. Expensive or cheap to be honest there is no more ugly, and useless form of tech (if you can even call it that).Suction cup on a windscreen some form of bracket to hold the phone.. nothing more to say … but sound the trumpets..

104072-L-LO

 

Logitech has introduced the +drive phone mount, it has no brackets but instead it locks on with a suction cup (or permanent 3M is so inclined) but there is no bracket to hold the phone. Instead it gives you a flat small square of metal that adheres to your phone case (between the phone and the case) and the strong magnet on the phone holder then holds even the largest phone well in place.

It works so well on a recent scary mountain drive in California (I live in Australia) that I just stuck it on a recorded the drive no problem. Instead of the metal plate you can buy a special magnetic case but I prefer my own. This plate even sticks to heavy grade silicone as is my case.

http://bit.ly/Logitech-drive

Well done Logitech – RRP is around $40 USD / $50 AUD


22 May 2015

If you add an old (windows 8) touch screen monitor to windows 10 it works fine.
You can buy them from around $100 -150 USD for a 23” view sonic for instance (only 2 touch points at a time for that price thus the windows 8 reference).
If you have other non-touch monitors (say on either side, or just 1, and if you let the screens bleed / overhang into the touchscreen then you can control those monitors as well.


One Man’s Taxation is Another’s Encouragement for Piracy

Melbourne Australia

12 May 2015

Pirate button on computer keyboard

According to reliable reports Australia Treasurer Joe Hockey under the guise of preventing international taxation avoidance is set to impose taxes on many online services driving the costs up, and encouraging piracy.

Untitled

 

Piracy of online content per capita in Australia is amongst the highest in the world. This is worsened by the 20-30% gap in the US and Australia dollar, as much of the online content is still USA centric. The delaying of popular movies and television shows has long been a another reason piracy has been rampant on everything from DVDs, Games, e-books, even online music. With sometimes falsely imposed taxations and profits from companies on products and services has made this problem that much worse.

Recently everything from reducing the time it takes for  US movie, song, or TV show to play in Australia has been reduced, as a direct result to reduce the need for piracy, and it has been successful according to many. To now add a further tax to all of this will be a major set back and less attractive for those that routinely pirate their online entertainment and services and are considering paying for for it legitimately.


Loren W
29 December 2014
Melbourne Australia

 

Jailbreaking – the process of removing limitations on an Apple iOS, allowing users to get otherwise unavailable access to iPhones, iPads, and AppleTV, restoring a device via ITunes removes a jailbreak.
CydiaThe software used after jailbreaking that is the ‘gateway’ that allows users to install jailbroken apps.

It still strikes me as ironic, that if you mention ‘rooting’ an Android phone, to an Android user, it is yes so what. Mention jailbreaking to an iOS user, and you get a very different reaction. This is because traditionally, many Android phones are already unlocked to some extent, and unlocking and rooting them is again not treated with any dismay, just offering a different ‘class’ of user. To an Apple iOS user, jailbreaking is akin to hacking, stealing and other forms of thievery. What is often ignored is that today’s iOS jailbreak is often tomorrow’s iOS enhancement. There are sometimes complications and a slowing down of iOS when a jailbroken app is used, however, it often offers a choice that many iOS users may never get. Not Alone– It is estimate there are millions of users of iOS devices that only buy a device with the anticipation of jail breaking, but for many others the logical question is, there any reason now a days on the cusp of 2015, to actually unlock an iOS device. So without further ado, the top reasons to jailbreak an iOS device in 2015.

The simple things– Often it is the simple things that a user can do with a jailbroken iOS device that adds that extra feature, making the whole activity worthwhile. Hey Siri- A new feature in iOS8 allows you to choose to have Siri listen to you at all times and activate her via an ‘hey siri’ command, unfortunately this only works when plugged in to power. A logical approach for anything other than the newer iPads or iPhones as their battery life is exceptional. UnthetheredHeySiri, over rides this and works when powered or not, this may sound minor but offers a whole different element to this feature. Status HUD 2 – Offers a volume HUD in the status bar. Themes– The amount and feature set you can get with themes I huge. Zeppelin- changes the iPhone carrier MyWi– A fav from those that use their iOS device as a hot spot. Netflix++ – Netflix doesn’t show trailers on an iOS device but this little app allows it. iFile– Offers a better file manager than you can normally get in iOS any other way. SwipeSelection– selecting text in iOS is not great, this app offer a set of additional features via gestures on a keyboard. I would be surprised if this is not used in iOS sometime in the near future. Aeternum– a UI tweaker for iOS that is made to resemble the new AppleWatch UI. Slide2Kill8- One of the nice apps in Android is the ability to kill multiple apps at one time. This is one of those apps that Apple will likely borrow as well. Badgomizer– another feature rich fine tuner allowing custom icon color, shape, position, size, rotation and opacity. No Assault Just DetailedBatteryUsage– As many apps as there are showing battery usage, in iOS the feature richness is often lacking this app gives some of this back. iOS
is lacking and prevented in changing fonts, this app allows some worthwhile tweaking that again I expect Apple to allow one day. FilippoBiga– a Cydia source where you get even more tweaks. BioLockdown – The new fingerprint sensors allow you to make purchases and unlock your device with a finger print. Some developers can lockdown their apps using it as well, but it is hit and miss which ones do, this app allows you to offer this feature on all apps via the iOS device itself. Another app I expect Apple to develop in the next major release of iOS.

Sony Unleashes The Interview Online-

Posted: December 26, 2014 in Misc Tech

Other Countries Forced to Bypass USA Online ‘Geo-Locking’

 

Loren W
Melbourne Australia

26 December 2014

 

 

In a move release that did not totally surprise many, Sony unleashed the new action comedy, The Interview in the USA only to about 10% of the 4000 original cinemas and only in the USA and later online to the USA only (referred to as Geo-locking) The movie was released online first via Google Play, and on a dedicated site http://seetheinterview.com all taking credit cards, Sony then opened it up to YouTube Movies, and Xbox, tip toeing into the global release front for the diehard hackers, perhaps by accident. Dates of 22 Jan 2015 and earlier are still on the table in Australia, Europe and Asia dates continue to evolve.

Why The Delay Outside The USA – Money – Had they released the movie globally even online Outside the USA, then those countries that are still to get the movie would also be impacted further in theory. There is also the chance that movie-goers on hearing how bad the movie is might stay away as well. There are ways around the geo-locking but it requires some keen interest to do it, (Geo hacking if you will). In what many are saying is the biggest movie dog since Cujo, critics have not been kind to the movie, and rotten tomatoes movie review website has seen the score of the movie go down as more reviews come in. Currently gives it a 50% that is very low, but not as low as it could be in that reviews are pretty scarce, though interest in seeing it is a very high 96%. In a contest of bad movies over Christmas the competition for worst blockbuster is currently between the new Night at the Museum and the Interview.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major Film Release’s vs Australia – Delays What Delays? –The movie industry refuses to talk about why movies are released as a rule so much later outside the USA, and often deny it all together. Logical reports indicate that the result of the delays in TV, DVD, and Movies being

Released so much later globally is piracy. A recent checking of moves by Nick Evershed of the Guardian Newspaper Australia analyzed 168 movies to illustrate the point. Different Types of Geo-Locking and How to Ignore Them (unless prohibited by law). There are different types of online geo locks that need different levels of bypassing to manage. Manu users use them anyhow to protect their anonymity / privacy if online. Originally by hackers now more people than ever are keen to protect their privacy. 1) USA Location– Some require the buyer to be coming from the USA (tested by verifying the IP address location) can be managed by using a VPN (a free or paid service that fakes the originating IP address on a PC or a Modem/router). 2) USA Funds– Some blocks, require the user to use funds that are USA based, managed by buying a USA debit visa card and topping it up with Australia funds, users are sometimes charged per transaction to use the card. 3) USA Address– Some cards and services if being posted for instance require the user to have a USA address. This can be provided by USA forwarding companies, or might be provided by the USA credit card company depending on which one you use. 4) PayPal Payment – Some online payment stores use PayPal and some of those do not require the buyer to do anything other than pay in US dollars, something PayPal does easily. Interestingly all the methods Sony used in the Interview online release act slightly differently, so it is worth checking which services require and

work with which method. Hacking- Ironically this means Sony is only leaving 3 ways for hackers to watch the Interview if outside the USA, 1) a geo hack, 2) pirated downloads, or 3) waiting an extra month to see the movie when and if released in Australia. The movie industry is slowly releasing that delays in releases are directly showing increases of piracy so hopefully we will see the way movies are released evolve very soon. The Movie Itself – One of the good things about having the lowest of expectations is you’re pleasantly surprised when the movie is better than you thought. No Oscar winner here, but a fun movie for the holidays with a good entertainment value for different gender and different age groups. Well worth a watch.

 

 

 

 

 


23 December 2014
by Loren W
Melbourne, Australia

The UMI Zero- Might be the best 5″ phone of 2015

  • Umi is not a name that immediately comes to the mind by most of us. The name UMI means ‘mother’ in Arabic, and ‘ocean’ in Japanese, this might be the mother of all phones for Umi’s Flagship.
  • The New Umi Zero, a new phone thinner than an iPhone 6, with other impressive features;
  • Camera- Fast 13mp IMX 214 Sony Camera rear and an impressive, 8MP front camera, dual LED flash, Dual sim,
  • Charge! Texas Instruments Quick Charge (QVOC),
  • Screen – Samsung 5″ FHD Super AMOLED showing off an impressive 3264 x 2448 4:3 ratio & Gorilla 3 glass screen front and back,
  • Memory – 2GB Ram, 16GB ROM, (upgradeable via mem card),
  • CPU / SoC – World’s first 8 core 2GHz Octacore, MTK6592 system on a chip (SoC) CPU, using a quad core 700MHz GPU, The CPU/SoC alone is about 20% faster than the popular snapdragon 800 series CPU.

 

The UMI mobile range of phones include the ZOPO and UMI range, with them being part of the Shenzhen Huiyeshidai Technology Co. Ltd, based in Shenzhenshekou, China near Hong Kong.

 

 


Google Project Ara Reaches Phase 2 Ahead of 14 January Conference

 

22 December 2014
Loren W
Melbourne Australia

 

In June 2014, Google announced to very little fanfare outside of the tech community, the most adventurous mobile phone project ever known. A modular hardware eco-system, allowing you to put the phone together yourself, made in a modular form, and offering a more custom and future proof phone that allows you to update, components as required, creating bespoke high end or low end phones. Using the same components (called ‘modules’) in any of 3 size frames or endo skeletons (endo for short), all will greatly reduce electronic waste for Google (about 25%), and allowing for the production of phones that cost only $50 and up to produce, depending on the specification. Modules such as CPU, screen quality, Wi-Fi, battery, LEDs, speakers, night vision, health sensors, even Pico projectors and more are already available, most are available in different specifications as they are in phones today. The phone is targeted to be used by 6 billion people, 1 billion smartphone users and 5 billion ‘feature phone’ 3rd world users. This is no small endeavor, 20 partner companies, 150 people across 3 continents, universities, chip designers, industrial engineers all within Google ATAP (advanced, technology and projects division), and some members of ATAP are ex DARPA Innovation employees, and it is their methodology they are following for the project. Originally part of Motorola Mobility, Google kept ATAP on the sale of Motorola to Lenovo and they work under the Android team. Developers work on a common MDK (Module Developers Kits) to keep the development within certain common parameters.

The first prototypes are out, and are made up of the endo that via a ‘passive magnetic system’ binds all the parts together. (This means you can add extra parts such as more batteries, perhaps instead of a camera or other sensors as the technologies becomes available, on the surface of the modules are individual ‘cases’ (called shells) that can potentially even be custom printed on 3D printers so custom covers are a simple process. There are also 3 sizes , a small one 45x118x9.7mm (about the same size as an iPhone 4, ) a middle size 68x141x9.7m (about the same size as the iPhone 6) and a phablet model 91x164x9.7mm (larger than the Nexus 6, Note4 or iPhone 6+) The modules come in 3 sizes, 1×1 (none released yet) 1×2, and 2×2 (usually for battery). The Project Ara phone, is thicker than the new iPhone 6 but thinner than the even newer Nexus 6.

Even the modules are swappable between the 3 sizes of phone, allowing you to have 3 different endo skeleton sizes, all using the same components. The consumer pilot will be announced in Jan 2015 by Google but not likely to be offered until mid to late 2015. For developers the phones will be available in Jan 2015. The phone is uniquely targeted for the high end as well as the 3rd world. Leading to hopes some variations of the phones will be very low cost.

New Low End Chips
Since September 2014, Intel is working with Chinese chip manufacturer Rockchip creating new low end chips to compete with ARM, that will also be used in the lower end Ara modules in Spiral 3 or Project Ara in March 2015.

Updated Modules

Project Ara is entering the 2nd phase of development (2nd Spiral) currently and Spiral 3 is likely to take place around April 2015. Each ‘spiral’ addresses the next phase in technology advancements that are way ahead of the old Moore’s law observation, (that the advancement in technology originally transistors doubles every 2 years). Developers for project Ara are also working on 2 separate ‘reference designs’ for the best of breed models. The PXA1928 by Marvell, is a quad-core 64-bit system on a chip (SoC) offering communications of 2G- 3G- 4G. On the other high end the fastest mobile phone chip on the market is

 

the NVIDIA Tegra K1, this chip is part of the new modules google just announced is offering for developers. As technology is evolving this means the more software on a chip means, the unit can be smaller. However, the many lower spec modules are what google is most excited about as they openly target, the next 5billion users offering various health sensors and other similar heath modules as well. Google #AraDev even is being live streamed, and is at multiple live event sites on 14 January 2015. More Information is available from the Project Ara website www.projectara.com or you can sign up to the live stream here http://bit.ly/stream-ara , you can see the latest build of Project Ara here http://bit.ly/ara-video .

 

Google is Not Alone
Google is not alone, leaked in November 2014, by CEO Jun, Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi that hired ex Android VP Hugo Barra away this year has also announced their own modular phone and shown photos as well. However the ‘magic cube’ phone only allows the camera and battery modules to be switched out currently. That will be interesting to watch as well.

 

 

 


Threating Letters to the Prime Minister, Warnings From the Muslim Community and Even from Iran

Loren W
17 December 2014
Melbourne Australia

  • In what will likely be seen as a lone attack by a crazed individual, sex offender, and fraud, struggling with not being viewed as more important than he was, self-declared Peace activist, Sheikh, and Ayatollah, Man Haron Monis was the gunman at the centre of the Sydney Café siege on 15 December 2014, was very widely known to authorities.
  • It is be hard to understand where the actor Man Haron Monis, who also used the name Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi ends and the peace activist began. Warned by Iranian officials as having a long history of crime and fraud in Iran prior to fleeing and seeking asylum in Australia. He told the media he had be involved in the Iranian intelligence and security community but it appears he ran a travel agency only before fleeing with $200,000 of customers’ money and leaving for Australia.
  • Despite this he was granted asylum. Even after he was convicted of accessory to murder his ex-wife with his girlfriend (a self-confessed terrorist), in 2013, and sexual assault in 2014 ( where he claimed he was an expert in astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic before allegedly indecently assaulting 7 women)
  • As early as 2007 the Islamic communities warned that Haron was not a genuine spiritual leader.
  • Haron wrote many hate letters in 2009 to Australian War widows, a charge he was convicted of (menace).
  • In 2013 Haron wrote letters to the PM Tony Abbot challenging him to a live debate with a view to change Australian policy warning otherwise Australia and Australians could be attacked and emphasizing he was being ignored by the Australian government, and copying the letter to the ASIO, and AFP amongst others.
  • Haron was not on a watch list despite this, and even if he was he could not be watched at all times, he had changed his beliefs just weeks before the siege (something he even announced on this web site).
  • There are heroes in this story, mainly the Australian people, that when an element of racism showed its head in social media spoke up offering #Illridewithyou on twitter to offer solidarity with the Muslim community not feeling safe as a result of the actions of a sick individual.


4 December 2014
Melbourne Australia
Loren W

This One Might Be the Biggest of Them All

bear

digital wallet

  • Apple Pay – is the digital wallet service from Apple launched in the USA only (for now) in September 2014 that by using NFC (Near Field Communications) touching or almost touching specific Apple devices allows payments to be made instantly, using technology like Visa’s PayWave and MasterCard’s PayPass and AmercianExpress’s ExpressPay Terminals but tied to the security of the newer Apple Devices.
  • However there is a familiar name in finance looking to compete with Apple Pay and their current rival MCX. Andrew Robertson @robertsonabc reporting for ABC News reports that the big 4 Australia banks and 8 other financial institutions are looking to spend $1Billion to introduce a competing system within 3 years. It is with a company called SWIFT Financial and is believed to be a better deal for stores and banks as it bypasses the current delays in receiving payments as payments are received the instant they are made.
  • It is not clear if the payments will only use a bank to bank transfer method (what SWIFT if famous for) or still use credit cards. Currently Apple Pay works with very few debit cards, mostly credit cards, something MCX and SWIFT would love to avoid. Though MCX plans to use credit cards as well.
  • MCX the other digital wallet consortium is coming out sooner in 2015 with their product called Current-C that is not supporting Apple Pay either but is currently not well received by some as it uses older technology (QR codes) than the Apple Pay use of NFC. However some of the largest retailers in the USA has chosen to go with Current-C vs Apple Pay currently, in a war with 1-3% credit card fees. According to a story by Jacob Davidson @JakeD of Money

 The Name Game

  •  Note: A bit confusing on the word-smithing here. Swift is also the new name for the new apple programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa touch (used in new apps) for Apple iOS and OS X devices (iPads, iPhones and Macs).
  • MCX is the Merchant Customer Exchange – a company created by a consortium of U.S. retail companies to develop another merchant-owned mobile payment system, called CurrentC launching in 2015.

SWIFT Financial – Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is the 1973 Belgium founded Cooperative set up and control the standard that currently enables some 9000 banks in 209 countries (and territories) to send 15 million messages a day. SWIFT currently does not send funds only payment orders that banks then use to transfer the funds. SWIFT codes (or BIC codes) are unique to each bank. For instance there are 2300 banks in the USA alone with their own SWIFT codes and 311 in Australia.

  • Apply Financial (not apple) launched the SWIFT App for iOS that offers validates SWIFT/BIC codes. SWIFT has worked with the CIA and NSA since 9/11 and other
    governments to protect various interests. If a bank’s assets were to be ‘isolated’ such as Iran in March 2012, then one of the things they would do is cut off or manage the SWIFT communications. What countries have control over SWIFT has been the topic of discussion since 2012. Apply Financial – offers an ‘API’ – code to make apps and programs so that banks and companies not just banks share SWIFT payment codes SWIFT is a supplier / partner of Apply Financial.
  • Some aspects of this story are attributed to Jacob Davidson @JakeD (twitter) of Money and Andrew Robertson of ABC News Australia @robertsonabc (twitter)

27 November 2014
Melbourne Australia
Loren W

Well there are two firsts for me here.

  • I never review kitchen appliances and I never review copied / or such heavily inspired products.
  • I have seen and tested a couple of other similar bullet type blenders all suspect in their quality and with no warranty. I opted to review a model that was available on the high street made by a company called Smith and Noble as well as the branded Magic Bullet.
  • To be honest I am not sure the legal logistics here. The Magic Bullet is made in China by Homeland Housewares out of the USA and the Smith and Nobel Rocket Multi-Purpose Blender is made in China by Smith & Noble, a subsidiary of GSM International Limited out of Hong Kong. These blenders are of the small personal variety, and are about the size of a regular size travel mug with their cups in place.
  • There are slight but significant design differences between them that make the machines slightly unique.
  • There has been so much press over juicers, and blenders etc. that the original magic bullet started to get some bad press here in Australia. This is largely because in the USA the magic bullet is sold for around $50 AUD, and has a 300W motor.
  • However in Australia the unit sells for $120-140AUD. Almost 3 times the price. I believe there is some impact due to the USA model is of course 110V and the Australia version is 220-240V, but as a result it is no surprise that the market in Australia is seeing a lot of competition in personal blenders currently.
  • Interestingly the Smith and Noble Rocket Blender Version has some improvements over the Magic Bullet.
  • The motor on is more powerful at 350W, vs 300W on the bullet, the gasket attaches and removes easier, and the way the cups engage in the Rocket vs the Magic is better on the rocket.
  • Other than that the devices seem almost identical and the Smith and Nobel Version is also $60 AUD.
  • Though getting one for testing was a bit tough, due of course to the demand here in Australia. I contacted the Magic bullet people in the USA that deferred me to their distributor here in Australia who were not very helpful but eventually told me they were not longer selling the magic bullet direct to the public but as distributors did not know what shops actually sold the blenders. Even their website advertises the magic bullet but they do not sell it and did not know who did.

     

    Accessories Galore

     


    As with the Magic Bullet, the Rocket Blender offers a kit offering drinking cups, shaker lids, etc. all those available with the equal spec. magic bullet.

  • I salute Smith and Noble (GSM International) and their pricing and product quality, they are worth a consideration if you are looking for a personal blender product this one is the best value in the market place.
  • The rocket blender is available from suppliers per the GSM website listed here http://bit.ly/rocket-suppliers . Information all but limited on the magic bullet is available here.

Note:  Sorry about the formatting issues, we are moving servers and all content from 2006 trying not to create a black hole along the way, or did I say that already.

 

By a Dummy

15 November, 2014
Loren W
Melbourne Australia

  Why Me?

  •  I saw an opportunity in 1994 where   business users could benefit from   consumer broadband services being tweaked for business and my 15  seconds of fame began.
  • I was what they called a Product Manager, for one of the largest telcos in the world British Telecom. For me I would listen to no one, or I would listen to everyone or something in between, to introduce and market a new product or service that if successful would make my company a lot of many, I did. I had good timing and loved the Internet and knew what it was becoming.
  • Every country in the world has evolved differently in how they went from offering the original expensive Internet services used by governments and big business (at around $35k per year in 1993) down to consumer products including broadband for both Corporate, SME/SMB and home use.
  • In the UK, expensive Internet services over copper were dedicated then ISDN based, broadband was adopted by home users later business adopted it later. That was me, this again was slightly different around the world. I did not invent the Internet, I just introduced new Internet services like business broadband and cloud services, I had some good ideas an unlimited budget and great bosses, and good timing.
  • This was pre-dotcom bust we had team meetings in Disneyland Paris, we booked the entire London Zoo for our Xmas party, or an entire theme park times were tough then.   
  • Also in the UK at this time 1991, my  incumbent Telco BT, was moving out of being 100% government owned to being regulated by a government ombudsmen that has changed as the nature of the Internet and related services has evolved as well.
  • At the other end of the spectrum I was creating services for every corporate company in the world that wanted Internet or server capacity to the UK. They wheeled me in as the guru to close the big deals, they got comission, (HUGE) I got 15 secs of fame and was able to keep introducing every new Internet service I wanted (that I could cost justify on a 12 or 24 month ROI). I had a few tricks that helped. 
  • BT were a duopoly on Internet with WorldCom in the UK at this time that was all about to change.

Net Neutrality or Is It?:-)

  • I am no expert on Net neutrality as silly as that might sound.
  • I and my team introduced Business Broadband in 1994 to an unsuspecting world (a product offering specific features of the already exiting and more expensive Internet).
  • It was a quieter, gentler time, we did have a big issue with peering arrangements that was how different ISPs managed traffic across our networks. 
  • I personally evangelized everything from the regulatory, legal and commercial offering, marketing campaign and training the original sales teams across the UK, Europe and the US tweaking the $15k a year services that was the Internet and making it a $2k a year service. It then became the commodity we all know and love today. I did NOT invent the internet, I just made it cheaper and more accessible to businesses as an alternative to fixed internet or ISDN.


What is Net Neutrality?

  • There is the question for the ages. Everyone has a view on what it is or what it is not.
  • The fathers of the Internet Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee have spoken out in favor of net neutrality
  • A simple view is that all Internet usage / viewing should be treated equally.
  • However for things to be open for all SOMEONE HAS TO ADDRESS THE COSTS ! !
  • In 2014 Netflix had 50 million customers, and 32% of all video streaming in the US is via Netflix, requiring some sort infrastructure management and costs to handle this.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in March 2014, after a long dispute they had paid Comcast and others not for Network Neutrality but for ‘Interconnection fees’;

  • Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will in cases pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience. When we do so, we don’t pay for priority access against competitors, just for interconnection.
  • The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don’t restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make. The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient.
  • Strong net neutrality additionally prevents ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube, or Skype, or intermediaries such as Cogent, Akamai or Level 3, to deliver the services and data requested by ISP residential subscribers. Instead, they must provide sufficient access to their network without charge.
  • That is no carrier should slow down a service like Netflix. Netflix also said about peering arrangements
  • Some ISPs say that Netflix is unilaterally “dumping as much volume” (Verizon CFO) as it wants onto their networks. Netflix isn’t “dumping” data; it’s satisfying requests made by ISP customers who pay a lot of money for high speed Internet. Netflix doesn’t send data unless members request a movie or TV show.
  • Interestingly, there is one special case where no-fee interconnection is embraced by the big ISPs — when they are connecting among themselves. They argue this is because roughly the same amount of data comes and goes between their networks. But when we ask them if we too would qualify for no-fee interconnect if we changed our service to upload as much data as we download** [** in other words, moving to peer-to-peer content delivery] – thus filling their upstream networks and nearly doubling our total traffic — there is an uncomfortable silence. That’s because the ISP argument isn’t sensible. Big ISPs aren’t paying money to services like online backup that generate more upstream than downstream traffic. Data direction, in other words, has nothing to do with costs.

Show Me the Money and a Bad Analogy by Me

This is the one that gets me going.

  • A lot of the debate on Net neutrality has not been on freedom but cost.
  • In early 2014 Comcast offered a comment on the Netflix comment

“The Open Internet rules never were designed to deal with peering and Internet interconnection, which have been an essential part of the growth of the Internet for two decades. Edge providers like Netflix have always paid for their interconnection to the Internet and have always had ample options to ensure that their customers receive an optimal performance through all ISPs. We are happy that Comcast and Netflix were able to reach an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues and believe that our agreement demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters.”

This above is so relevant. The original Internet cost models pre-dated heavy individual users providing heavy demanding users the content. If you built a data centre at your business the power provider if needing to upgrade their power feed would incur large costs for doing that, it would be crazy to expect them to absorb all the cost they are a company and need to make profit on that specific business transaction. In this day of net neutrality people are ignoring the costs.

How to Fix Net neutrality

  •  So again as I am no expert, but like many I have an opinion
  • Many believe that the Telcos are not capable of self-regulation
  • Others believe that government cannot react fast enough or impartial enough to act in the best interest of the consumer.
  • This all might be true.
  • You need to define as with any business who needs to pay for the cost of service.
  • What worked in the UK though not perfect offers a simplistic view.
  1. The telecommunications act is way out of date and a re-write updating it needs to be addressed. Due to the length of time this would take introducing new guidelines, under the remit of a new ombudsman that offers a layer of protections and guides on the top of the FCC Telecoms act of 1996 can put a short term fix in place. This ombudsman (a buffer between the carriers and the government) acting on behalf of anyone complaining about carriers will hold the carriers accountable, for dubious acts, and have the bite of the Federal Government and be able to move faster than the government as was done in the UK with. In the UK Ofcom covered, TV/ Radio/ Internet/ and Spectrum Licensing. When a new Internet service was introduced OFCOM had to be notified and consulted.

    Ofcom presides over licensing, research, codes and policies, complaints, competition and protecting the radio spectrum from abuse in the UK

  2. All content providers need to pay for peering agreements (transit, peer or customer), also called pay swap, or sell. See wiki peering. For what peering is.
  3. All Telco services offered need to be transparent, (prices are on the Internet), how the service works needs to be transparent as in the UK.
  4. Where there is no individual provider of traffic (e.g. bit torrents) those costs if large enough should be paid by the user (a P2P tax) or pay as you go.



27 November 2014
Melbourne Australia
Loren W

Well there are two firsts for me here.

  • I never review kitchen appliances and I never review copied / or such heavily inspired products.
  • I have seen and tested a couple of other similar bullet type blenders all suspect in their quality and with no warranty. I opted to review a model that was available on the high street made by a company called Smith and Noble as well as the branded Magic Bullet.
  • To be honest I am not sure the legal logistics here. The Magic Bullet is made in China by Homeland Housewares out of the USA and the Smith and Nobel Rocket Multi-Purpose Blender is made in China by Smith & Noble, a subsidiary of GSM International Limited out of Hong Kong. These blenders are of the small personal variety, and are about the size of a regular size travel mug with their cups in place.
  • There are slight but significant design differences between them that make the machines slightly unique.
  • There has been so much press over juicers, and blenders etc. that the original magic bullet started to get some bad press here in Australia. This is largely because in the USA the magic bullet is sold for around $50 AUD, and has a 300W motor.
  • However in Australia the unit sells for $120-140AUD. Almost 3 times the price. I believe there is some impact due to the USA model is of course 110V and the Australia version is 220-240V, but as a result it is no surprise that the market in Australia is seeing a lot of competition in personal blenders currently.
  • Interestingly the Smith and Noble Rocket Blender Version has some improvements over the Magic Bullet.
  • The motor on is more powerful at 350W, vs 300W on the bullet, the gasket attaches and removes easier, and the way the cups engage in the Rocket vs the Magic is better on the rocket.
  • Other than that the devices seem almost identical and the Smith and Nobel Version is also $60 AUD.
  • Though getting one for testing was a bit tough, due of course to the demand here in Australia. I contacted the Magic bullet people in the USA that deferred me to their distributor here in Australia who were not very helpful but eventually told me they were not longer selling the magic bullet direct to the public but as distributors did not know what shops actually sold the blenders. Even their website advertises the magic bullet but they do not sell it and did not know who did.

     

    Accessories Galore

     


    As with the Magic Bullet, the Rocket Blender offers a kit offering drinking cups, shaker lids, etc. all those available with the equal spec. magic bullet.

  • I salute Smith and Noble (GSM International) and their pricing and product quality, they are worth a consideration if you are looking for a personal blender product this one is the best value in the market place.
  • The rocket blender is available from suppliers per the GSM website listed here http://bit.ly/rocket-suppliers . Information all but limited on the magic bullet is available here.

Apple iPhone6 Launch Fail

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Apple, Misc Tech

19 September 2014
Melbourne Australia

After thousands around Australia spent the night queuing for Apple iPhone6 , scores were disappointed when stock levels ran out barely an hour after the doors were open. John Chen one of hundreds in line is a student at RMIT, was equally surprised, waiting all night at the Apple Store in Fountaingate in Melbourne Australia. “We were told on multiple occasions there was enough stock”.  Even as late as 730am 30minutes before the doors opened. They expected there to be enough stock, they lied for a PR or something’’ Apple staff promised there would be more phones released tomorrow and lines would be forming at 12am again.

clip_image001

Apple #iphone6 launch day plagued by low stock levels over promised and under delivered again. As hundreds that spent the night leave empty handed