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Wednesday Midday (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-May-2017  12:19:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

One interesting aspect of the new Federal Budget is that it accomodates digital currencies. As part of its push to foster innovation and fintech startup businesses in Australia, the government's 2017 Federal Budget will cut the GST for purchases of digital currency, allowing Bitcoin and online games' in-game money to be treated just like plain Australian dollars for tax purposes. At the moment, anyone purchasing a digital currency in Australia is technically liable for GST expenses on that purchase. From 1 July 2017, though, the government is exempting purchases of digital currency from Australia's 10 per cent Goods and Services tax. Discussion of Bitcoin etc is in this thread.

Meanwhile, ACCAN have cautioned the government about their proposed broadband tax. “Funding un-economical geographic services through levies on broadband connections is likely to increase the cost of services in commercial areas,” ACCAN said in its submission. “In effect it could reduce the ability of low income consumers in commercial areas to afford services.”

There's an emergency patch for a critical Windows vulnerability. On Twitter, prominent vulnerability hunter Ormandy revealed the existence of a zero-day flaw in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MsMpEng), used by Windows Defender and other security products. The researcher deemed the find a "crazy bad" bug which may be "the worst Windows remote code exec [execution flaw] in recent memory."

A more bizarre bug has Microsft Edge displaying one set of numbers and printing something else. This currently unknown issue scrambles digits in a PDF document. For example, a simple sequence like “123456” will be replaced by “114447.” See image above for a visual representation of the issue. To make matters worse, Edge is also the default application for viewing (and indirectly printing) PDF documents on Windows 10.

If you're unsure about the benefit (or point) of Intel's Optane Memory, maybe this article on LegitReviews will help. We don't see too many people buying the 32GB model as a boot drives due to the $76 (USD) price point, but we were curious how an Intel Optane Memory module would perform as a primary boot drive, a secondary drive and then as a RAID 0 array with two of them. We managed to get our hands on a second Intel Optane Memory Module 32GB, so we fired up our storage test platform and gave it a quick look.

TechSpot have built a budget eSports PC (pricing is in USD). Currently at $80 the RX 550 is not the best value, but given the competitive landscape it's our hope that it'll soon be selling for as little as $60, a price at which it starts making sense, especially when you consider the potential in a $120 combo with the G4560 for an uber-affordable eSports build. That's precisely what we're doing here today.

Backblaze have released their latest HDD stats. In this update, we’ll review the Q1 2017 and lifetime hard drive failure rates for all our current drive models, and we’ll look at a relatively new class of drives for us – “enterprise”. We’ll share our observations and insights, and as always, you can download the hard drive statistics data we use to create these reports.

Bladerunner is pretty much my favourite film, so I've been feeling conflicted about the arrival of a sequel. But this new trailer looks pretty good!



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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.