A Melbourne man has been surprised by a $191,000 phone bill. Usually when we hear about this kind of thing the telco waives it, but in this case they're taking him to court. But as Mr Beveridge later found out, a monstrous bill had already been accumulated within those 20 hours. He claims there were a total of 4484 calls made with an average duration of 10 minutes within the 20 hour period before the account was disabled.
A few people pointed out the more positive news that various Telstra mobile plans are going to get increased data allowances. Looks like Telstra is gearing up for the mobile streaming revolution! The telco might not be unmetering Netflix on mobile, but it is throwing in loads of bonus data and Presto subscriptions for customers on all sorts of plans.
As we settle into our new world of data retention, it's worrying to be told that the Australian immigration department accidentally leaked details of world leaders at the G20 summit. The Guardian can reveal an employee of the agency inadvertently sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of all world leaders attending the summit to the organisers of the Asian Cup football tournament. The United States president, Barack Obama, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, and the British prime minister, David Cameron, were among those who attended the Brisbane summit in November and whose details were exposed.
Techgage have a recap of the 2015 GTC. The 2015 GPU Technology Conference proved to be an exciting event with a number of big announcements and a slew of other cool bits of information. In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the biggest announcements made at the show, as well as some of the lesser talked-about items that are still worth highlighting.
PCPerspective looked at early DX12 performance. ate last week, Microsoft approached me to see if I would be interested in working with them and with Futuremark on the release of the new 3DMark API Overhead Feature Test. Of course I jumped at the chance, with DirectX 12 being one of the hottest discussion topics among gamers, PC enthusiasts and developers in recent history. Microsoft set us up with the latest iteration of 3DMark and the latest DX12-ready drivers from AMD, NVIDIA and Intel. From there, off we went. LegionHW shared their experience also.
Data Retention Laws Passed
(link) Friday, 27-March-2015 03:19:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The data retention laws have been passed by Parliament. The laws will force telecommunications providers to keep records of phone and internet use for two years and allow security agencies to access the records. Companies already retain the data but for varying durations and in an unregulated environment. The Coalition and Labor have argued the laws were necessary to help authorities in counter-terrorism and serious crime investigations.
The official media release from the Attorney-General is here. By passing this Bill, the Parliament has ensured that our security and law enforcement agencies will continue to have access to the information they need to do their jobs. No responsible government can sit by while those who protect us lose access to vital information, particularly in the current high threat environment. At the same time, the Bill contains safeguards to protect our cherished rights and liberties, including through the establishment of additional oversight mechanisms covering the security and law enforcement agencies. Metadata is the basic building block in nearly every counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and organised crime investigation. It is also essential for child abuse and child pornography offences that are frequently carried out online.
Bizarrely, Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications, is openly telling people how to get around it. If you have a device, you know, a phone or a smartphone, and if I call you through the mobile phone network there will be a record. Say my phone’s with Telstra, there’ll be a record with Telstra that I’ve called your number. If on the other hand I communicate with you via Skype for a voice call or Viber, send you a message on WhatsApp or Wickr or Threema or Signal or Telegrammer — there’s a gazillion of them — or indeed if you make a FaceTime call, then all that the telco can see is that my device has had a connection with the Skype server or the WhatsApp server…but it doesn’t see anything happening with you.
Crikey have a guide summing up the issue. Crikey has been covering data retention for several years, and we’ve written tens of thousands of words in that time explaining what it is, why it’s important and the threat it poses to Australians. We know that a lot of people, especially in the media, have only started to focus on the issue in recent days, so we’ve further expanded this Q&A we prepared last year to take into account recent developments and give you a one-stop document for what will be Australia’s biggest ever mass surveillance regime.
The internet is abuzz with news that the BBC have dropped Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, after investigating an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" on a BBC producer. Responding to the news, Prime Minister David Cameron said he believed that "if you do something wrong at work there can be consequences" and that "aggressive and abusive behaviour is not acceptable in the workplace". Discussion of Top Gear UK continues in this thread.
Internode co-founder and now NBN Co board member Simon Hackett has indicated FTTP is still his preference over FTTN. "Ideally, the NBN would have been built with 100 percent fibre," said Hackett at the Communications Alliance's Fast Forward/Rewind event in Sydney on Wednesday. "[But] it's not my money."
SMH have a guide to the new video services recently released in Australia. Netflix, Quickflix, Presto and Stan are all fighting for your attention, but how easy are they to use and how hard will they hammer your internet connection?
Meanwhile the website blocking legislation has been introduced to Parliament today. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today introduced proposed laws to allow content owners to apply for websites faciliating online piracy to be blocked, taking over responsibility for the bill from Attorney-General George Brandis.
Wired report on an interesting upcoming NASA mission, which is a test run for a Mars mission. Except it’s not a movie: That’s the real-life idea for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which NASA announced today. Other than simply being an awesome space version of the claw arcade game (you know you really wanted that stuffed Pikachu), the mission will let NASA test technology and practice techniques needed for going to Mars.
I don't normally link Kickstarter stuff, but there's a drive to get a new Descent: Underground game up and running. Descent was, from memory, the first proper game I ever played all the way through on the PC. I used to have Descent dreams.. Descent is back! Pilot your ship & battle foes through twisting, turning tunnels with unrestricted 3D movement & FPS action in Zero-G!
Scott Ludlam still seems to be the primary voice of opposition to the data retention scheme in Parliament. Ludlam began by expressing his frustrations with the blanket-nature in which the bills are going to pass, and the lack of broad democratic process that's been involved in the bill's debate. But far from simply targeting the Government about the legislation, Ludlam sharpest barbs were saved for the Labor party and their perceived cave-in and lack of opposition in debating and challenging the bill on some of its finer points.
If you're also opposed to the data retention scheme, you can protest by going dark today. This scheme is rushed, costly, ineffective, and against the public interest. Also, absurdly, the flawed legislation leaves open numerous loopholes, which can be used to evade the scheme. This means the data retention dragnet will capture the data of innocent Australians and cost millions of dollars, while allowing those who don't want to be caught to remain hidden.
Live video streaming service Twitch is the latest to report report a security issue and requires users to change their passwords. "For your protection, we have expired passwords and stream keys and have disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube," reads the statement. "As a result, you will be prompted to create a new password the next time you attempt to log into your Twitch account. We also recommend that you change your password at any website where you use the same or a similar password."
(link) Tuesday, 24-March-2015 07:29:47 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Here's some interesting things from people in the forums: