• Technogaze

    Gaze into the world of consumer electronics, gadgets and technology.

    From your hard disk to the cloud, Technogaze covers smartphones, tablets, computers and everything in between. Each week we'll discuss the latest news and go in-depth on the topics that matter most.

    If it runs on silicon, it's fair game for the Technogaze crew.

Recent Posts

  • Scratchy Transmitter, .com Power, Netflix and Data Retention

    The resume button was pressed and Technogaze booted back On Air at it’s new time of 5pm on Saturdays. Michael, Nicole and Donna were eager to launch into Techdrive – with this year’s goal to buy a new Transmitter.

    As usual there was a lot to talk about. With .com power being applied in Indiana to force changes to a new law that allowed discrimination against members of the LGBTIQ community. Specifically the changes remove the right to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation/and or gender identity – regardless of your religious beliefs. A similar law in Arkansas has been held up, when its Governor refused to proclaim it.

    In Australia the Senate passed the Mandatory Data Retention Legislation with dissent coming from Independents and the Greens. Protection of Journalistic metadata exists in name only, despite assurances from senior politicians and Malcolm Turnbull kindly offered advice on how to avoid having your metadata captured by the new laws.

    Netflix launched in Australia and New Zealand, prompting its competitors to launch or relaunch similar offerings. Netflix customers on iiNET and Optus will be happy with the un-metering of the traffic. The same cannot be said of all the other non-Netflix customers on those ISPs who saw the performance of the network overall drop as thousands flocked to the new streaming service.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook donates to GLBTIQ campaign, Alibaba’s rumoured gaming console, photo sharing apps

    In this – the final episode for 2014 – Michael and Mark discussed Tim Cook’s substantial contribution to a campaign promoting GLBTIQ acceptance in the Southern US states of Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Popular photo sharing app Intagram performed what has now been dubbed the “Instagram Rapture” – disabling millions of accounts that were deemed to be fake or spam (Justin Bieber alone lost 3.5 million followers as a result).

    Rumours are swirling around that the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (estimated to be worth USD $20bn) is gearing up to begin manufacturing its very own gaming console, to take on Microsoft’s XBox and Sony’s Playstation ecosystems.  Sony has decided to stand up to the hacking and threats of terrorist acts over the release of its recent movie “The Interview” – with select cinemas across the US deciding to screen the movie afterall, and a further online release on Google, Microsoft and Sony movie services.

    Back in the land down under, the Australian government, in an effort to understand the impact of its proposed data retention laws, has released a questionaire to ISPs, requiring them to complete a response in 14 business days.

    And finally, the French are up in arms over use of the acronym “LOL”, declaring that full word phrases such as “mort de rire” are best use of the language of romance.

    Tune in next week as it’s our final week before a three month break!

  • NBN, Hackathon, Bitcoin and News

    Donna returned this week with Mark and Michael and fellow JOYster Jono. News was in the News with Google removing all links to Spanish newspapers from its News site to comply with a recent law that forces aggregators to pay if they display text from a newspaper.  New dating app Scissr expands the availability of options for Lesbians wishing to connect with other women.

    The Sony Pictures hack continues to make news, with threats of violence against the screening of the movie The Interview behind the cancellation of its release. The US Government is officially pointing the finger at North Korea and news sources continue to report on details of leaked documents. Sands Casino in Las vegas was also attacked earlier this year by Iranian hacktivists following anti-Iran remarks by the the Casino’s CEO.

    Microsoft is now accepting Bitcoin to top up your Microsoft Wallet and the NBN has reached new agreements with Telstra and Optus to take ownership of existing copper and cable infrastructure instead of scrapping it.  Telstra is also in the running to maintain these networks on an ongoing basis.

    The Technogaze team wish everyone a Happy Holiday!

  • Pollies Dictionary, Google Gender and Coder In Chief

    Mark and Michael were somewhat amused but concerned, whilst remaining calm, with Malcolm Turnbull describing the latest copyright motivated Internet filter as not being a filter. In a case of ‘it’s not raining until I tell you it’s raining‘ Turnbull insisted that stopping access to certain sites was not a filter.

    Telstra have launched their WiFi anywhere product allowing existing Bigpond customers to get access to WiFi hotspots in commercial areas and to piggy back off other Bigpond customers when not at home. A similar product by Comcast in the US has recently seen one home owner sue for placing a “vast” burden on electricity bills.

    Google is the latest tech company to recognise the Trans* community by moving away from a male/female gender identification and allow individuals to self-identify and select the pronoun that Google+ will use when referring to them.

    Apple is in court, looking likely to win a 10 year old anti-trust case involving deleting non iTunes store music from a consumers iPod but has lost the right to Trade Mark the words App Store in Australia.

    In a lighter note, Barack Obama has been nicknamed the Coder In Chief after writing his first Java line of code – moveForward(100);

  • Happy Birthday JOY, a $700bn Apple and Spying Malware

    This special JOY 21st Birthday episode reunited Mark & Michael with Raena as she joined Bek, from Bekfast, and Jayson Williams from GLOBE as special guests during the show.

    Apple became the first business in the world to reach a market capitalisation of $US700bn with 3 of the largest 4 companies being in the IT sector. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web has called on politicians to learn how to code. This he says, will aid them in their policy decisions once they have a better understanding of how technology works.

    The EU restates its position against monopolies by calling on Google to be broken up – separating its Search Engine business from the rest of the organisation. Although voted on by the EU Parliament, the group has no power to enforce their decision. In what appears to be state sponsored spying software, in a similar vain to Stuxnet, security researchers have discovered new malware that has been hidden since 2008. Infecting primarily computers in Russia and Saudi Arabia, it has been found mainly at ISPs and Telcos.

    In what is a worrying finding, the report into the murder of British Fusilier Lee Rigby accused Facebook of “providing a safe haven for terrorists” because they did not alert the security services to a threat by one of his murderers. By contrast, a former director of MI6 has said Facebook would not have the resource to monitor all posts, nor would the security services be able to respond to the avalanche of data that this would result in.

    A more efficient polarising filter is set to extend the battery life of smartphones as it allows more light through – compared to filters in use today. The subsequent reduction in brightness needed to illuminate the display will offer significant battery savings as well as improve low light performance of the camera.

    JOY94.9 21ST BIRTHDAY KEY 2014

  • Vixen Panda, Open Source .NET and Farewell to Raena

    Why did Tim Lenox call the Technogaze team Chaos Personified?   Was it because Mark, Raena, Jason and Michael squeezed into the studio for this weeks show?

    The G20 was on everyone’s lips this weekend, with potential threats of hacking manifesting itself with Australian media organisations being targeted supposedly by Chinese interests.  It appears that the Chinese President wants to know what questions will be asked of him. Meanwhile, Queensland University researchers are geoparsing tweets to determine how disruptive the G20 is to residents and participants.

    A recent study by a peak Telecommunications lobby group has found that Australians will pirate less content if it was more readily available and cheaper.  Coincidentally, Foxtel has recently cut its pricing, so it will be interesting to see the impact on subscriptions and illegal downloading.

    Lissa joined the group to talk about her recent woes in upgrading from Windows 7 to 8.1 which was in stark contrast to her experience in upgrading OS X.  In further Apple news, they finally have provided a solution to SMS’ not being delivered when people move away from iPhones to another platform.  This coincides with a class action being launched against Apple on this issue – 3 years after it first came about.

    In news that has excited the Microsoft development community, Microsoft have announced the open sourcing of its .NET platform, which will also mean that it will run on other operating systems – not just on Windows.

    What is JOY’s loss is NZ’s gain, as we farewelled Technogaze regular Raena as she embarks on her next adventure.

  • Sexting, Google Tax and Mac Malware

    Raena, Jason and Michael were surprised when Mark popped into the studio to address the Google/Apple imbalance.

    Mac Malware spreading from OSX to iOS devices is infecting some users that are downloading OSX software from dodgy sites.  Unfortunately the malware has well formed security credentials so that the iOS devices believe it is software from the App store.

    Meanwhile Spain has imposed the Google Tax on news aggregators by charging them to display news items from newspapers.  A similar move in Germany failed when traffic to newpapers dropped dramatically after they were no longer included in Google News aggregation.

    New sexting laws in Victoria aim to stop sending of images of others without permission and to punish people who threaten to send revealing images.  Telstra have launched a faster 4G network and we looked at the new version of Safari for Yosemite.

  • Elizabeth R Tweets, Woz in OZ and Hoverboards

    This week, Raena, Josh and Mark looked at an invisibility lens that hides objects in its view.  It must also twist reality, as this is the only explanation as to why Mark was sporting a Windows laptop, Raena an Android phone and Josh an iPhone.  This altered reality did not stop them from getting super excited about a recent Kickstarter project – A Hoverboard.  Yes, they went back to their childhood.

    iiNet is heading to court to protect the privacy of its customers by refusing to give up customer details to a complaining copyright holder.  Facebook has gone down the pseudonym path in its implementation of Rooms, their latest chat app where you can gather and chat in specific topic rooms.  Rooms are accessible by invite only.

    UTS’ Magic lab has recruited Steve Wozniak as its newest teaching staff to work in the innovation space, whilst Apple’s first computer the Apple I recently sold at auction for more than $900,000.  iOS8.1 has just been released supporting Yosemite’s handover feature – so when some one calls your phone, your iPad and Macbook ring as well.

    Samsang’s Knox sandboxing security software, that protects data, isn’t quite as secure as Fort Knox. It has an unprotected file aptly named, pin.xml, that holds enough information to break into the sandbox.  A fix is on the way.

    HRH Queen Elizabeth II has just sent her first tweet.  Although it’s taken her a while to tweet, she was one of the first British civilians to send an email.

  • Disorderly Internet, Fast Cars, Frozen Eggs and POODLE

    The studio was empty this week as Raena & Michael ventured afar with an outside broadcast to bring to you this special In-Car Edition of Technogaze.

    POODLE is the latest SSL vulnerability taking advantage of a technology that should have been retired long ago. Many websites are now likely to remove SSL 3.0 support which will result in applause from the tech community – as if a wooden stake was driven through the heart of IE6.

    Chinese officials will tame the disorderly internet by prohibiting paid commentary. Affecting journalists and bloggers, the Government prefers that its own web commentators, the Wu Mao to guide public opinion on controversial issues.

    The Tesla S D, for dual, has two motors to independently power the front and rear axles. Making the car super grippy it also improves driving range and allows the vehicle to go from 0-100 in 3.4 seconds. A software upgradeable Autopilot feature relies on in-built sensors, radar and camera to provide adaptive cruise control and in the future – a go-fetch feature where the car will come to you when you are ready to be collected. GM has changed tracks and will now support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for its vehicles instead of trying to write its own ecosystem. Aftermarket Navdy is a Heads Up Display unit that can be fitted to any existing vehicle to provide emails, texts and navigation that hover 6 feet in front of the windscreen.

    Ello, the ad-free social network, burst onto our consciousness a few weeks ago. According to Google trends, which provides feedback on how often terms are used in Google searches, the interest in Ello has waned as quickly as it had peaked. Could this be goodbye for Ello? Apple & Facebook have added freezing of womens eggs to the medical coverage that they provide to employees – augmenting a number of existing fertility treatments that are available.

    Both Apple & Google released new products this week. The iPad and iPad mini range have been revamped with the iPad2 faster, lighter and cheaper. Whilst Android Lollipop will appear on the latest Google reference devices – the Nexus 6 phone and Nexus 9, iPad Air competitor, tablet.

  • DuckDuckGone, Pollies on Grindr and a Snowball’s chance ..

    This week, Raena and Michael looked at two new phones – targeted at two very different consumers.  The $35 Firefox OS based phone destined for India and the super secure Blackphone with bundled encryption and security software.

    China has blocked access to privacy conscious search engine DuckDuckGo, extending the restrictions on Internet access in the country.  The NSA’s wide reaching powers to collect data can be traced back to the Reagan era and Google falls foul, yet again, to EU laws on the rights of people to decide how their private data is used.

    The Greens are using Grindr to target pink voters – with ads appearing on the users app when they are in the St Kilda/Prahran area. Whilst in Egypt, Grindr users are being warned about entrapment by law enforcement agencies. Snowball is a new Android app that combines a number of different chat apps into a single location, so its easier to manage your chats.

    Budgee the robot comes to your rescue when you have run out of hands.  Linked to your smartphone, Budgee is a bag on wheels that will follow you about, carrying your shopping.


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