Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: Diana Detaux | Filed under: CHINA!, Hack!, ONLINE SECURITY, UPDATED! | Tags: American Civil Liberties Union, AOL, apple, Barack Obama, China, Cybersecurity, facebook, fbi, FBI director Robert Mueller, Google, Internet Privacy, Justice Department, Microsoft, NSA, PRISM, Skype, The Guardian, Twiiter, US Centre for Constitutional Rights, Washington Post, Yahoo, YouTube | 2 Comments »
The Guardian’s revelations that our privacy is no longer our own has caused huge public outcry, the tinfoil-hat brigade is in a furore, normal folk have become concerned at what governments are peering at, and most importantly the nefarious are sat back gobsmacked. PRISM, if your at all shocked that such government devices exist, your naive; if your angry, then your possibly delusional.
RANT WARNING! Our freedom, our ability to stroll the streets or fly the airways, is almost entirely reliant on a – very real – war on terrorism. As news flashes across our television sets – Syria – and our soldiers return from the fronts of war – Afghanistan – we perhaps need to pause and consider what price that freedom has cost. If we aren’t thankful that we weren’t one of the 3 thousand troops who gave their lives in the name of democracy in Afghanistan then perhaps we’ve become disconnected.
The graphic images of war and death beamed to us by television networks isn’t an example of what we face, it’s what we face. And what privacies have we given up – in order that our streets don’t look like a Boston Bombing – someone reading our emails, a government employee checking over our social media posts or an analyst trawling though our text messages, again, what have you lost? Certainly not your life – unlike the 3000 lives lost on September 11 2001, you can surely be thankful that you weren’t one of the 20,0000 patriots who were wounded in the line of duty, defending our freedom to like on Facebook and plus on Google.
No, it seems that the cost of surveillance on the general population is naught! Unless of course you have something to hide, or wear a tinfoil-hat. While I don’t disagree that The Guardian has done a splendid job revealing PRISM, and presenting the world with another anti-espionage proponent – Edward Snowden – what have they truly given us, a safer community, more freedom? This author thinks not. Truth and lies, are very personal, we tend to take a lack of trust – or being lied to – as an infringement on our own integrity. Being deceived isn’t what this is about, it’s much much bigger than our individual integrity, it’s about our safety as a society :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 11th, 2013 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Technoid Computer News | Tags: Adobe, apple, Australia, Inquiry into IT Pricing, Microsoft, Price Gouging | 1 Comment »
Australia’s parliamentary inquiry into consumer electronics and IT pricing has heard testimony from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, the testimony however failed to impress. Australia consumers pay up to 90 per cent more for some of the most commonly required IT products, the trap of course is that programs like Adobe’s Photoshop are essential, irreplaceable tools in many businesses. The price discrepancies rely heavily on an enthusiastic abuse of copyright and a heavy handed approach to geo-blocking.
The price gouging by some of the planets largest companies led the parliamentary inquiry to take the unusual step of forcing Apple, Microsoft and Adobe – The Big Three – to front up and explain their obscene pricing policies. The inquiry issued a threatening summons to the world’s technology behemoths, demanding they answer accusations. Committee chairman Nick Champion says the inquiry has heard from many Australian consumers and organisations frustrated at the prices charged for digitally downloaded software, computer games, music, movies, and e-books. Matt Levey, head of campaigns for independent consumer organisation Choice, says Australian consumers should not have to pay so much more.
Microsoft, which employs 800 people in Australia, says attempts to compare absolute prices across different counties is of limited use because there are a range of regional factors that need to be taken into account. The company says it provides recommended retail prices for its products that take into account various market forces, such as the size of the market, and the consumers willingness to pay. Adobe, which sells a wide range of consumer and professional software packages, says most of its business in Australia is conducted through third parties which incur local costs. Adobe told the commission that it charges an extra $1,000 to download software in Australia because it offers a local, bespoke experience, while Apple blames local copyright holders for its iTunes prices, which are 50 per cent higher than in the United States. The inquiry heard examples of an Arctic Monkeys album costing $17.99 on iTunes in Australia but the equivalent of $13 overseas, and the movie Toy Story costing $24.99 in Australia but $10 overseas :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 8th, 2013 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Microsoft | Tags: Anti Competition, European Commission, European Union, Microsoft | 1 Comment »
The technology behemoth that is Microsoft has been fined more than $AU700 million for failing to offer it’s OS users a choice of different internet browsers in Europe.
The company was found to have breached its own 2009 commitment to introduce a pop-up screen offering users a choice of browser, rather than just Internet Explorer. The pop-up was introduced as part of an earlier European Union competition case, but was dropped in a Windows 7 update in early 2011.
Microsoft claims the omission was simply the result of a “technical error”. The tech-behemoth was fined 561 million euros – $AU711 million – taking the total cost of its regulatory troubles in Europe to 2.15 billion euros – $AU2.75 billion – since 2002.
The European Commission, which acts as competition regulator across the 27-member European Union, said it found Microsoft broke its undertaking between May 2011 and July 2012. The Commission said it takes such settlement commitments very seriously :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: July 21st, 2012 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Microsoft, Technoid Computer News | Tags: Google, Microsoft, Second Quarter Financials, Steve Ballmer | No Comments »
That behemoth that is Microsoft – under the steerage of Steve Ballmer – has reported its FIRST EVER quarterly loss as a publicly listed company.
The company misplaced almost half a billion dollars – $US492 million – in the fourth quarter due to a massive $US6.2 billion write-down related to its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, a digital advertising firm aimed at helping Microsoft compete against Google and others.
The news is dire, not deathly though, Microsoft still posted an annual profit of $US16.98 billion and said the results reflected “solid revenue growth and rigorous cost discipline”.
In stark contrast, that other behemoth, Google, has reported an 11 per cent jump in second quarter profit to $US2.79 billion. Google said the result was boosted by a 21 per cent jump in revenues from its internet sites.
Posted: July 19th, 2012 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Standout, Tech-Business News, Technoid Computer News | Tags: apple, Choice, Choice Report, International Copyright Discrimination, itunes, Microsoft, Wii Games | 2 Comments »
Australian consumer watchdog Choice says locals are paying twice as much as they should for computer hardware, software and digital downloads. In it’s latest research - The Digital Price Divide - the consumer group says Australian prices for products such as music, personal computers, console games and computer software are on average 50 per cent higher than those in the United States.
In a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into IT pricing, the group noted that across 44 software products, Australian prices were 34 per cent more expensive than comparative overseas prices. Choice also found that Australians are paying 51% more for iTunes music, 88% more for Wii games and 41% more for computer hardware than US consumers.
One piece of Microsoft software was nearly $9,000 more expensive in Australia than the United States, Choice said via it’s website that it would be cheaper to pay someone’s wage and fly them to the US and back twice, and get them to buy the software while overseas.
“For this amount, it would be cheaper to employ someone for 46 hours at the price of $21.30 per hour and fly them to the US and back at your expense – twice,” Choice said in its submission.
Choice identified international copyright discrimination as one of the causes for the disparity. But group spokesman Matt Levey says the most likely reason is Australia’s relative affluence :: Read the full article »»»»