daria42 writes: Think the media's bad in your country? Spare a thought for Australia, where much of the conservative media is against the Australian Government's decision to deploy universal fibre broadband around the country to deliver 93% of Australians speeds of 1Gbps. Yup, you read correctly. There are media outlets staunchly against this plan. This week the country's Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was forced to step in to defend a journalist who has been pointing out that the Government's fibre broadband plan was fundamentally better technically than a much more limited plan being pushed by the Opposition.
daria42 writes: Want a pair of Google Glasses? Well, apparently all you have to do is be voted Australia's Prime Minister, if photos to emerge today are any judge. Australian PM Julia Gillard posted a photo of herself wearing a pair of the hot new Google augmented reality toys following a meeting with the search giant's global chief financial officer Patrick Pichette.
daria42 writes: If you live in Australia, you might have good reason to be annoyed at Adobe, considering that the company charges up to $1,400 more for its Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign etc) than it does in the US. However, in a press conference in Sydney this morning, the company's global CEO Shantanu Narayen flatly refused to directly answer any questions about the price differential, instead farcically pushing the message that Australians should pay for Creative Suite on a monthly basis instead ('Creative Cloud'). Steve Jobs' comments that Adobe has "turned out crap" as a company since founder John Warnock left might have been quite prescient.
daria42 writes: It appears as if the decision to screen HBO's popular Game of Thrones show in Australia up to nine days after it screens in the US is having a dramatic impact on the country's Internet piracy activities. With a population of just 23 million compared with the US's 313 million, more people are pirating Game of Thrones via BitTorrent each week in Australia than are in the US, with 10.1 percent of all BitTorrent downloads of the show coming from Australia compared with 9.7 percent from the US. Perhaps, just perhaps, HBO, it might be a good idea to stream Game of Thrones in a reasonable time frame to Australia? Just saying.
daria42 writes: Australian Internet service provider iiNet has emerged victorious in a long-running court case to determine the future of how the country's ISPs handle Internet piracy complaints by movie and film studios. Australia's courts have found several times that ISPs such as iiNet have not authorised Internet piracy by not passing on so-called "copyright infringement notices" from content owners to broadband users. This morning, the country's highest court of appeal, the High Court, found in favour of iiNet and dismissed an appeal by film and TV studios in the area, setting back the content owners' ability to directly target Internet users for piracy. The move is being widely interpreted as a win for digital rights in Australia.
daria42 writes: Progress is happening rapidly in Australia, with the country's government continuing to roll out a nation-wide fibre network. However, the country's major telco Telstra doesn't appear to have quite gotten the message. Releasing its first National Broadband Network fibre broadband plans today, the telco stipulated that fibre customers will still be forced to make phone calls over the telco's existing copper network. Yup, that's right — fibre to people's houses, but phone calls over the copper network. Progress.
daria42 writes: Apple's global financial resurgence on the back of the iPhone and iPad has been well-documented, but did you know that the company recently took pole position as the largest non-telco technology company in Australia? With Australian revenues larger than HP or IBM according to new internal documents released by Apple this week, Apple is now the largest tech company of any stripe on a per revenue basis in Australia. And it's even closing in on major telcos like Optus. With the iPad 3, iPhone 5 and maybe even an Apple television in the works, it's hard to get a grasp on just how large Apple is going to get over the next several years. Steve Jobs must be proud;)
daria42 writes: Remember how the mass piracy lawsuits common in the US are now coming to Australia? Of course you do. Well, now Australia's Government has come out backing the legal process which makes them possible — and is even promising to streamline it. Anti-piracy organisations will be jumping for joy — but I'm not sure how popular the move will be with the rest of the population.
daria42 writes: A long-running Australian court case debating whether Google has done enough to differentiate paid advertisements from normal organic search results has come to an end, with the search giant the victor over the country's competition regulator. The landmark case influenced how Google discloses which search results were advertisements — with the result that it now labels ads as "Ads" rather than as "Sponsored links". In addition, Google now prohibits companies from advertising products or serices with which they are not associated — making it much hard for competitors to artifically take valued positions in Google's rankings.
daria42 writes: A US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks has revealed much of the previously hidden background behind the BitTorrent court case currently playing out in Australia's High Court, including the Motion Picture Association of America’s prime mover role and US Embassy fears the trial could become portrayed as “giant American bullies versus little Aussie battlers”. Oops... looks like there's a little bit of egg on the movie studios' faces!
daria42 writes: After almost a decade of debate on the issue, video gamers in Australia are today rejoicing, with almost every state and territory nationally committing to introduce a R18+ video game classification. Some games such as Left 4 Dead 2 have previously had to be modified to remove blood to be sold in Australia, while others such as Mortal Kombat were banned outright. However, within a few months, the new classification will kick in, finally giving Australians unrestricted access to such 'adult' games, and bringing the country into line with the US, UK, Europe and other jurisdictions. The last holdout state, NSW, expects to reach a "reasonable compromise" on the issue soon.
daria42 writes: Microsoft looks like it's finally done quite a bit right with its hosted productivity suite Office 365 launched overnight. But spare a thought for international customers looking to deploy the software as a service. In Australia, for instance, Microsoft has set prices for Office 365 up to 76 percent higher than in the US. This is for exactly the same software, delivered from exactly the same datacentres. Enterprise customers will be particularly stung, while small business customers will pay close to 40% more. Ouch.
daria42 writes: With Australia's Federal Court having knocked back an appeal by movie studios in their high profile court case arguing ISP iiNet should be responsible for movie piracy by its users, the local ISP industry has started to evolve its response to the studios. Today industry representative body the Internet Industry Association revealed it was working on a code of standard practice which ISPs could adopt in the area. It doesn't look so far like the code will adopt the 'three strikes' rule being used in some countries globally — but it may be a bit harsher than ISP's current approaches. Maybe it's time to move to Sweden?