The NBN stands out strongly amidst a slew of other issues in this Federal Election. Because in ten years, in twenty years -- in fifty years -- most of those other issues will have ceased to matter. But the problems with the NBN will remain. The only way to deal with these problems is to cut them off at the source: And vote against Malcolm Turnbull.
Those of us who've been around the traps for a while know that it's extremely common for major IT projects to go over budget. 10 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent ... these are all normal amounts for a project's costs to blow out by, and of course delays to projects' delivery schedule are also common. However, what would you think of a project which doubled in cost over its lifetime?
Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Queensland Health CIO Colin McCririck has reportedly resigned for a job with IBM in the US.
You'd have to expect that IBM has been able to come in from the cold with the Queensland Government. However, according to iTnews, this is not the case.
Salesforce has been promising Australian customers for many years that it would start delivering some of its popular cloud offerings from a local datacentre for many years. So where is it?
I just wanted to post a quick update to let you know that the 15 percent off Delimiter Membership Election Special which we launched on Monday is progressing pretty quickly towards being sold out: Better get in quick if you want to take advantage of the discount!
There is absolutely no doubt that electronic health records system implementations have an extremely chequered history in Australia. Now a new catastrophe along these lines has appeared in Far North Queensland.
Larry Ellison's baby hasn't yet confirmed precisely what is going on here, but several outlets have this morning reported that Oracle Australia managing director Tim Ebbeck has resigned from his post and is currently on gardening leave.
We've just launched a 15% discount Election Special on Delimiter Memberships, to make sure people don't miss out on all the great content we've got coming in over the next three weeks until the Federal Election.
As you may have noticed, Amazon Web Services is not precisely having a fantastic week in Australia. And now we know why and how.
I strongly urge the Victorian Government to address this issue as a matter of urgency. It will require not only a substantial funding increase for this area to Victoria Police, but also a number of senior appointments and strong Ministerial support to get this project moving and delivered.
I'm not sure what has precisely happened here, but it appears that there is more than one side to this story. While there may have been some irregularities with regard to Nandlall personally, it also appears that Telstra is scrapping the CTO role from its executive line-up. This isn't a surprise, given that the role has always been a bit nebulous. I'd encourage readers to keep an open mind as to what is going on here.
I have one message to the NBN whistleblowers: You're not alone. We're with you. I, many Delimiter readers, many of your fellow NBN employees (past and present) and many Australians in general, are with you. Because you have honour. You have integrity. In a time of great darkness, you stood up for what was right and good. So remember this, and stay strong. Hold your head up high.
Over the past several years it has become a very common story to see major organisations shifting IT infrastructure, particularly their public-facing websites, into cloud computing facilities. Major banks have done it. Government departments have done it. And now, as has been outlined in a slew of articles over the past week, has Qantas -- well, at least it's in the throes of the migration.
I'll be the first to admit if -- and I'll be happy about it -- I am proven wrong. But all the evidence from the past shows that this appointment will ultimately amount to little.
Right around Australia, right now, the NBN company and its contractor are deploying thousands upon thousands of brand Fibre to the Node cabinets and micronodes. But sometimes it stuffs up and places them in terrible locations. So send us all your node photos and we'll publish the "worst of the worst".
There are some fascinating case studies coming out of Amazon Web Service's Summit in Sydney this week. One of the ones that we found the most interesting was a story regarding resources giant Woodside, which has conducted one of the largest Internet of Things projects we've seen yet in Australia.
Every major organisation in Australia needs a senior executive to hold its top technology role. The minute you abandon that concept, is the minute you invite the kind of IT disasters and cost blow-outs that are already rife within Australia's state-based public sector.
The boys in blue are in line, apparently, for hot new gadgets such as body worn cameras, tablets and more, in an effort to modernise the force. Not mentioned, of course, are the significant problems which Victoria Police faces with fundamental IT service delivery.
In April 2013, the Department of Defence signed a massive new contract with Telstra. With a value of $1.1 billion, the deal was one of the largest telecommunications services contracts signed by any customer organisation in Australia. However, as iTnews reports today, the deal is suffering significant problems.
There have been a series of new revelations in the Commonwealth Bank's IT bribery scandal over the past several days.
Things are not going well for the Queensland Government in its lawsuit against IBM over the incredibly botched payroll systems upgrade project at Queensland Health.
Remember that pesky Internet piracy industry code? The one that Attorney-General George Brandis and then-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the ISP and content industries to develop, on pain of having one developed for them? Well, it appears as though the code has more or less been permanently shelved at this point.
I'm pleased to announce that the winner is Nicholas, an account manager from WA. The iPad mini 4 (Nicholas picked the gold colour) has been dispatched and should arrive shortly. Congrats!
According to at least one school, these new-fangled devices are a "waste of money" and should be banned.
What I can't understand at this point is why the auDA board itself would turf Disspain from the position he has done an admirable job in. Was it a personality conflict? A professional disagreement of opinion? The statement says auDA is looking for "new leadership", but isn't the essence of auDA that it needs to remain stable -- something which Disspain has certainly been able to deliver to the organisation?
It appears that IT staff at Western Australia's Public Transport Authority had a rather different kind of weekend: One in which they descended into the hell of trying to clean out hackers from their IT systems.
It's now been several years since cloud computing became mainstream in Australia. Small businesses are using it. Major corporations such as Australia's largest banks and insurers are using it. And even the public sector has started using it. With this breadth of adoption has also come a deepening of our understanding of how large organisations should use cloud computing.
It is Conroy's habit to play Candy Crush on his iPad instead of doing, you know ... actual work.
The new kids on the block may do well to remember that the DTO has only been around for a very short period of time, and could easily be deleted again by a hostile Federal Cabinet during tough budget times. The folks who set up GovCMS paved the way for an agency like the DTO to do great things.
According to Labor Senator Stephen Conroy, even the NBN company's own staff have their doubts about the upgrade project.
Walking around Cisco Live in Melbourne over the past several days, it is quite hard to escape the fact that Cisco appears a little more ... obsessed with Apple iMacs and MacBooks than one would expect.
I'm attending Cisco Live in Melbourne this week, and I have to say that while there is a lot of marketing hype out there about software-defined networking and the kinds of complex network/app/processing integration that Cisco is hyping up, there is also a lot of real-world activity building out there with respect to this new paradigm.
Recently I've begun to detect a wave of dissent against Slack. The platform opened up a great deal of communication and collaboration options for corporations ... but at the same time, it has also created yet another distraction into our modern workplace. It may end up creating as many problems as it solves.
The tender was put on ice some two years ago, as it was undertaking several other major IT purchasing efforts at the same time. However, iTnews reported today that the contract had been brought back.
I hope this Suncorp example can serve as a stimulus for other organisations to shift off Excel for these kinds of complex tasks as well.
Delimiter is about to hold our first reader giveaway of the New Year! This time the prize will be an Apple Watch!
One would hope that the Federal Government will be closely examining the experiences that states such as South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia have had with shared services, before it commits to its own shared services approach. Because to rush in haphazardly would be dangerous indeed.
The Federal Government's adoption of cloud computing technologies has been quite a slow one. However, according to an article published this week by ZDNet, the situation may be drastically changing.
For most of the time that IBM's Watson artificial intelligence (for want of a better word) system has been around, I suspect many technology journalists such as myself have viewed the platform as something of a toy -- a pet project which Big Blue can use to demonstrate its deep technology research credentials and wow live quiz shows on television. But if this article by iTnews is any indication, Watson is moving past that into something rather more functional.
As revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald and a number of other media this morning, the content industry's first target will be Solar Movie.
Bad news for the Western Australian Parliament, which, it appears, didn't have the most hardened IT security systems on earth. The ABC is reporting today that a "trojan virus" has knocked the Parliament's IT and telephone systems offline.
Toll has reportedly stopped the rollout of a Google Apps deployment to its staff and is developing a new plan for its proposed SAP-based finance transformation.
Sounds like there is still quite a bit of work to do in nailing this one down, and making sure this kind of situation never happens again.
Those of you with an enduring interest in State Government IT projects will recall that Delimiter has covered the NSW Education Department's Learning Management and Business Reform (LMBR) project on many occasions.
Those of you who've been around the traps for a while may recall the name of Stephen Ellis, a former advisor to Malcolm Turnbull
This morning Twitter Australia opened its new Australian headquarters in Sydney. The facility was opened by NSW Premier Mike Baird, and according to Twitter, has "a distinctly Australian flair", which includes meeting rooms named after Australian beaches, a "muted green and golden colour scheme", a "local beach design" and an open plan. Presumably they also have a fantastic expresso machine.
Fresh off the back of claims that Oracle has just dumped its entire Australian support operation, news has arrived from the Financial Review this week that global Oracle co-chief executive Mark Hurd has landed in Australia.
Delimiter has been contacted by several sources who have stated that The Register's report is accurate, and that Oracle has indeed completely offshored its Australian support centre in the past month.
Perhaps one of the most irritating pieces of legacy software that is still kicking around is Microsoft's most famous operating system, Windows XP.
As it turns out, two weeks on, the hospital still has not quite got control of the IT infection
Those of you who run your own business and thus have had the unfortunate experience of being forced to interact with the Government's myGov website will be aware that the site is, to put it rather bluntly, something of a piece of crap.
Spend a lot of time calling Oracle's Australian support centre for those pesky database support enquiries? Well, if a report late last year and mutterings this week around the traps are any indication, you could shortly be speaking to someone in somewhere like Romania instead.
You would think, you would really think, that pretty much every organisation Australia-wide would have gotten the picture by now that Windows XP is an outdated platform and needs to be replaced. But sadly this is not the case. From Victoria comes the news that the Royal Melbourne Hospital has had its operations knocked offline by a Windows XP virus.
If there was ever any doubt about the manliness of Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, let that doubt be dispelled right now. This morning it was revealed that the Liberal Senator grew what Delimiter can only describe as a glorious beard over Christmas.
If you have spent any time working in IT in Australia's public sector, you are probably aware that there is something of a taboo in government departments and agencies using offshored IT services such as are provided from countries such as India, as well as increasingly Malaysia, the Philippines and other countries. However, this may be about to change.
In their day jobs, Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Innovation and Startups Ed Husic are supposed to be at each's necks, as they cover the same innovation portfolio from opposing sides of politics. But in practice the pair -- two of the most tech-focused MPs in Federal Parliament -- appear to be sometimes thinking along the same lines.
Along with our yearly $129 option, we now also offer a $75 six monthly option. In addition, I have also added a 20 percent discount coupon for full-time students or pensioners, which can be applied to either plan. I've also added PayPal as a payment option, alongside our existing secure credit card payments platform, Stripe.
Google's Nexus 5 is now available with a $100 discount in the Australian market, with both the company itself and retailers such as JB Hi-Fi applying the discount.
In mid-December 2015, the Department promoted the fact that it had appointed a new chief executive and chief information officer of eHealth Queensland -- the agency within the Department which is responsible for resolving the state's ongoing eHealth mess. Less than one month later, the executive has reportedly been stood down as part of an internal investigation.
Those of you who got too deep, too early into the silly season around Christmas time may have missed the fact that the Department of Defence has taken a strong step forward in the mammoth ERP consolidation program known as "Defence Insight".
I always enjoy Strant's posts. He's primarily a Microsoft-focused technologist, but he has an open mind. And that can sometimes be a rarity in our idealistic industry.
just a quick post to note that Delimiter will today enter a reduced publishing schedule that will last throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
To my mind, this situation reflects the perfect example of politics interfering with sensible IT project delivery.
Great news from the US, where Australian software firm Atlassian has at long last started selling its shares on the NASDAQ, under the ticker TEAM. The Guardian reports that the share price of the company has already soared on its first day. The share sale apparently represents Australia's biggest ever share float on the international market.
Yesterday we launched a limited stock Christmas special for Delimiter Memberships, but it's almost sold out already.
From The Wall St Journal earlier this month comes confirmation that military equipment specialist Lockheed Martin still expects to sell or spin off the IT services business which the company has long had tacked on to its manufacturing operations.
To your writer's mind, the amount of money the ATO is chasing from Wright severely diminishes the case that Wright is Nakamoto. If this is indeed true, there would be no need for the cryptologist to get involved in a legal case with the ATO over a handful of millions.
I just wanted to publish a quick post to let readers know that we have just launched a brief Christmas discount special on Delimiter site Memberships. Normally they cost $129, but we're taking 15 percent off for a brief window this month, bringing the cost down to $109.65.
This afternoon, The Guardian reported that police had raided the home of alleged Bitcoin creator Craig Steven Wright's home in Sydney on the basis of an investigation by the Australian Taxation Office.
Gizmodo has revealed that it, too, has been tracking Craig Wright and his friend Dave Kleiman for some time regarding the claim that they may jointly be the creator of Bitcoin. The media outlet has gone as far as visiting people associated with Wright and Kleiman in Sydney and asking them for further information.
If Wired is to be believed, Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto may have been unmasked overnight. The magazine has presented a great deal of evidence in this article that Nakamoto is actually Craig Steven Wright, an Australian cryptology expert living in 'Eastern Australia'.
'Mobility' has been one of the hottest buzzwords in Australian IT departments for some time now. Smartphones, tablets, laptops -- and allowing users to access their corporate data wherever they feel is the most appropriate place and time and in the most appropriate format -- these are all the hallmarks of the new evolving mobility landscape inside major and minor organisations. However, few have taken it to the extremes that the NSW Cancer Council has.
This week it appears as though Queensland's actions have blown up in its face again with respect to its botched payroll systems upgrade at Queensland Health.
The ABC this morning reported that the weather boffins at the Bureau of Metorology had suffered a "massive" IT attack on its systems, including the supercomputer which it uses for weather forecasting, with the source reportedly being based in China.
Just a very quick note to let Canberra residents know that I'll be speaking tonight at the launch of the Canberra Chapter of Electronic Frontiers Australia, if you want to come and catch up.
In which I request the help of Delimiter's readership in convincing former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to speak to me about technology policy.
Last week the ABC's flagship current affairs program 7:30 covered the somewhat extraordinary story of Dylan Wheeler, an Australian teenager. According to the program, Wheeler has not only been charged by Australian police on hacking offences, but he has also been highlighted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for his activities. None of this, however, appears to have stopped Wheeler from leaving Australia on his own passport or subsequently appearing on national television.
Could the mainstream media tide be turning against Turnbull when it comes to the NBN? Andrew Bolt has already expressed his reservations. It will be interesting to see if the AFR continues in this line of criticism of the Prime Minister over his handling of Australia’s largest ever infrastructure project.
As you may have seen last week, the NBN company announced that it would conduct a trial of revamped pricing on its CVC product -- the structure through which the NBN company actually charges retail ISPs for downloads over its network, rather than customer connections.
As you may recall, Delimiter was planning to hold a webinar this morning on transitioning to Office 365. This is just a quick email to let you know that, due to events beyond our control, the webinar has been postponed for a couple of weeks. It's unfortunate -- I was looking forward to it, and we have some great content.
It's not enough, it seems, for Australia's law enforcement agencies to have unwarranted access to our telecommunications metadata. Now they're going after metadata held by banks and other financial services companies as well.
In a court case last week, it emerged that the NSW Police Force has had a ... less than legal relationship with the Facebook account of an individual who had been making fun of police officers online by posting extremely poorly doctored images of police Photoshopped with other images.
According to Financial Review correspondent Phillip Coorey — currently travelling with now Prime Minister Turnbull on an extensive overseas trip stopping off at Germany — Turnbull is set to reinstate at least some of the funding chopped from NICTA.
Honestly, sometimes it feels at the moment as though there is just a huge stack of pure cash money flowing in the streets for Australia’s technology startups. Several weeks ago the Queensland Government announced a $40 million co-investment fund for startups, last week Victoria followed with a $60 million effort, and of course who could forget the new $200 million fund unveiled by Blackbird Ventures in August. Well now there’s another $200 million fund targeting Australian technology startups.
Well, we knew Australia's law enforcement and government agencies were keen on accessing Australians' metadata, but until this week we didn't know quite how keen they were.
From my point of view, although this is an important policy debate, and I am glad that we are having this debate on Delimiter, I don’t personally want to weigh in too heavily into it. The reason is pretty basic: I am male, not female, and I don’t feel that it’s my place to set policy for women or to preach to women how they should engage with the IT sector.
With Malcolm Turnbull's ascension to the Prime Ministership, sometimes your writer feels as though the whole Federal Government has gone technology-mad. It's a good feeling -- so much is being discussed at high levels that the technology sector has been trying to get on the table for years -- but things are also getting deeply, deeply weird.
Overnight in the US Apple revealed it is still planning on bring Apple Pay to Australia -- and the launch could happen sooner than you expect.
Your writer can't imagine that it's easy working at Telstra. Although Australia's biggest telco has an extensive workforce with many career opportunities, it also conducts regularly redundancy rounds as part of its ongoing drive to become more efficient and cut costs.
CRN has come to the rescue and has published a series of three case studies on the topic of tablet deployments from a number of different organisations.
When it comes to broadband, it's safe to say that New Zealand is beating Australia hands down.
To my mind, this action by Uber is something akin to corporate heroism. Its customers want to use its services, and so it is continuing to provide services that customers want, despite the fact that the Victorian Government is essentially trying to shut it down at the moment.
Just a quick post to remind you that Delimiter is currently holding our first reader giveaway since our relaunch!
When major IT projects go wrong in government departments, often nobody loses their job. Public servants have significant tenure in their positions, and they're very difficult to fire -- even if it can be comprehensively demonstrated that millions of dollars have been wasted. However, in the unfolding case of the OneSchool IT systems glitch in Queensland, it appears the Queensland Government is taking the matter seriously enough that heads are rolling.
Police unions nationally have called for a mega-IT system to allow them to collaborate more effectively.
Last month Macquarie University generated quite a lot of headlines when it confirmed it would ditch Google’s Gmail platform and migrate instead to Microsoft’s Office 365 ecosystem. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot, with CRN reporting that Australian marketing outsourcer Salmat is in the midst (with the assistance of Accenture-owned Cloud Sherpas) of removing Microsoft Office from its operations and deploying Google Apps with Chromebooks instead.
While your writer was whiling away his time in the Senate Environment and Communications Committee last night listening to NBN company chief executive Bill Morrow field a variety of questions from Senator Stephen Conroy, the NBN company’s media relations team was busy briefing other journalists on the company’s initial trial of the G.Fast standard which allows much higher speeds than previously thought possible to be delivered through extending Fibre to the Node closer to customers’ premises.
Those with a close interest in electronic surveillance may recall that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was given new powers last year that would allow the agency to hack into computers remotely for investigation purposes -- and even break into the computers of completely innocent Australians on the way. Well, now they're not the only ones.
Some of you may recall that then-Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was fond of using the word "heroic" with reference to the NBN company's rollout targets and revenue assumptions under the previous Labor Government, indicating that he did not believe they were realistic. With this in mind, we were surprised this week to read in the pages of the Financial Review that the NBN company's chair Ziggy Switkowski has chosen the same word to apply to the NBN's rollout plans for the next five years.
By all accounts the innovation policy hackathon held by new Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy in Sydney over the weekend went quite well.
According to the Brisbane Times, Uber is fighting back against regulation by ... blocking the Queensland Government's inspectors from booking its services and thus being able to fine its drivers.
It hardly comes as a surprise that the head of M2 Group, Geoff Horth, is calling for a bit of bipartisanship on the NBN from here on in.
iTWire revealed late last week that Defence contractor Lockheed Martin is just now putting the finishing touches on private cloud infrastructure for the department, using hardware from storage giant NetApp.
It's not easy being a buyer of technology products and services in Australia at the moment. The continually sliding value of the Australian dollar means that vendor after vendor is hiking the Australian prices of their products. Australians are increasingly paying more Australian dollars for precisely the same product.
We knew that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was a technophile, but I suspect many of us didn't quite appreciate how focused on technology the Member for Wentworth truly is.
The sinking value of the Australian dollar when compared to the greenback is certainly causing quite a spot of bother for Apple gear. Australians already got a raw deal on Cupertino’s new iPhones, iPads and TV, and now we’re going to be paying through the nose as well for apps, with Apple announcing a formal price rise over the next 36 hours.
If you've been following public sector IT for a while, you're probably aware that Australia's Federal Government has not precisely set the world on fire when it comes to its adoption of cloud computing platforms. Most Government CIOs consider the cloud a little risky, both for control reasons, but also because of data sovereignty issues. However, much of that may change, if Malcolm Turnbull's Digital Transformation Office gets its way.
Given that the Government's Data Retention legislation passed the Parliament some seven months ago, you would expect that Attorney-General George Brandis and his merry band at the Attorney-General's Department would have at least gotten all their ducks in a row at the nation's biggest Telstra. I mean, it would be an embarassment of epic proportions if even Telstra -- a multi-billion-dollar telco giant with about a million IT professionals on hand to help it with the implementation -- couldn't get this thing done. Right? Right?
Those of you who followed the controversial comments recently made by Singaporean telco MyRepublic about Australia’s National Broadband Network may recall that the company’s advertisements when it entered the New Zealand market featured actor William Shatner — best known for his iconic roles on Star Trek and Boston Legal. Well, your writer suspects Shatner may not be available for MyRepublic’s planned Australian launch — because he has already signed up with Foxtel for its own broadband campaign.
Over the weekend an extensive article was posted on Medium alleging that a customer had bought a new OnePlus 2 smartphone from Kogan and found it had bloatware installed on it — bloatware that could not be easily removed.
You may recall that several weeks ago, mid-tier telcos M2 and Vocus announced they would merge into a large company with a market capitalisation in excess of $3 billion, in a move that will further cement M2’s place as Australia’s fourth-largest broadband player and further consolidate the already minimalist Australian telecommunications industry. But what was not widely reported at the time was that the merged pair of telcos are also considering pursuing a Fibre to the Basement rollout to compete with the NBN company and TPG, which are already deploying this kind of infrastructure.
Remember how Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy publicly discussed the possibility of holding an innovation policy ‘hackathon’ to generate new policy ideas to help develop Australia’s economy into an innovation powerhouse? Well it’s already organised, and it’ll be Saturday week in Sydney, with tech accelerator BlueChilli doing much of the organising.
There is currently a great deal of debate and controversy out there surrounding the decision by Australian software giant Atlassian to go public through listing its shares on a US-based stock exchange rather than in Australia. Some successful Australian entrepreneurs, such as Freelancer chief executive Matt Barrie, have been trying to persuade Atlassian to list locally for years, in a move that they believe will help change the focus of Australia's financial markets towards the tech sector.
If you've ever started your own business (hint: it isn't easy, but it's worth it), you're probably familiar with the fact that you suddenly have to pay a great deal more tax than you previously had to. Australian companies are taxed on their profits, they usually have to collect GST, and that's just the start. Well, now a backbench Coalition MP who has previously been involved with the national technology sector has put forth a proposal which appears to be gaining strength in Government ranks: Remove the annoying capital gains tax when applied to investors in early stage startups.
I personally feel it would be a real shame to see UXC snapped up by CSC. UXC is a strong Australian business, with its Red Rock, Oxygen, Connect, Telsyte and other brands being very well-known in Australia. Of course, CSC would be likely to keep most of its staff intact. But the Australian IT services market would feel a lot less ... Australian without UXC existing on its own.
For those of you who’ve been relatively dubious about the supposed health benefits of wearing an Apple Watch, I recommend you check out this story posted by long-time Australian technology journo Garry Barker earlier this month.
All glory to the Fibre to the Node cabinet.
As you may remember, when Malcolm Turnbull seized the Prime Ministership from Tony Abbott two weeks ago, I took the chance to publish an examination of the Member for Wentworth’s history leading the Communications Portfolio over the past five years for the Coalition. What you may not have known is that it was also mentioned on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Michael Ascharsobi arrived by boat in Australia as an asylum seeker. Now he works for Google and teaches at the University of Technology, Sydney. Not a bad effort -- not bad indeed.
If you were working in Federal Government ICT circles back in 2008, you may recall that the then-Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government signed a $30 million deal (PDF) with local IT services group ASP for a comprehensive range of services ranging from desktop support to servers, laptops, printers and more. Well, news arrived this week that the Department is so happy with ASG — after seven years — that it has re-signed the contract.
Remember how one of the first actions which TPG took upon acquiring its broadband rival iiNet was to dump the FetchTV Internet television product which iiNet and its subsidiary brand Internode had been such an evangelist for back in the early days? Well, that move, it turns out, may have been something more akin to a negotiating tactic.
Cloud computing vendors such as Salesforce.com have had a bit of a difficult relationship with Australia's banking and financial services sector. This week from the company's Dreamforce conference in the US comes news that Salesforce.com is yet again making some headway.
We've seen some pretty wild demands made in the Federal Parliament, but this one probably takes the cake ... at least for this week. Queensland LNP Senator Matt Canavan has accused the Australian Greens of being hypocrites for simultaneously having concerns about Australia's mining sector while also using smartphones which use minerals in their manufacture.
If you follow Australia's technology startup scene at all, you are probably aware of the 'Startup Weekend' or 'hackathon' events that are regularly held across the country. It's a lot of fun and a great way to get involved in the tech startup community. So much fun, apparently, that the newly minted Assistant Minister for Innovation, Wyatt Roy, wants to bring the concept to the public policy debate over innovation.
Australia's growing cadre of Bitcoin trading companies have discovered that the mere nature of their business has been enough to get them blacklisted by Australia's major banks.
Always wondered what secretive TPG billionaire David Teoh looks like? Never been able to check out a photo of the executive? You're not alone. However, that changed this morning after the Financial Review published a photo of Teoh that a freelancer photographer had taken after camping out outside his house for days.
In Australia's technology pantheon, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes is somewhere near the top. Cannon-Brookes successfully developed a massive software company still largely based in Australia, has invested in scores of other local technology startups, and is trying to save Australian Technology Park in Sydney. Now you'll get the chance to ask the entrepreneur anything you want, courtesy of a Reddit AMA he's starting to promote the closing date of the latest intake round for the Startmate incubator.
I've got a number of questions about this deal ... namely: How the hell was Medibank Private -- a huge corporation -- even using eight different telecommunications suppliers in 2015 to start with? Why has it taken the company so long to consolidate the numbers of suppliers down? And since when, as Telstra detailed in its media release, has Telstra been selling Skype for Business services (owned by Microsoft) as part of its service offering?
This is just a quick post to let you know that today I introduced a new element to Delimiter — site membership. I want to tell you about it and how it will work.
Spare a thought for Senator Mitch Fifield. Just as the new Communications Minister was being sworn in at Government House in Canberra this morning, his web developer was apparently knocking his website offline for maintenance.
Reneweconomy reports that US car manufacturer and burgeoning battery giant Tesla is looking to launch its home and commercial battery storage solution Powerwall into Australia in late 2015, with retailers such as Canberra-based Reposit Power already going public with its plans to act as an integrator.
The Federal Government's Digital Transformation Office has been talking a lot recently about the need for more rapid technology development cycles in the public sector, but its' not the only home of innovation in government around Australia.
Just when you thought Australia's broadband scene couldn't get any more absurd, along comes something which breaks the mold yet again.
Here at Delimiter we've been tracking the NSW Department of Education and Communities' long-running Learning Management and Business Reform project for quite a few years already. And the project just keeps on going from bad to worse, by all appearances.
In essence, what we’re seeing here is that Dallas Buyers Club and Marque Lawyers have decided to more or less accept Justice Perram’s ruling, but may be seeking to reword their approach to alleged copyright infringers to still target them for facilitating uploading of content online (as occurs in a BitTorrent situation, for example), rather than merely targeting them for downloading material.
So it's come to this. Other first-world countries are pushing so hard to attract lucrative technology startups to their shores to grow their own digital economies that they are actually paying to fly Australian entrepreneurs overseas to check out the local scene.
You may recall how earlier this week it was revealed that Dyson Heydon, former High Court judge and now head of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, had admitted he did not use a computer at either of his offices and did not know how to send and receive emails. Well, the plot thickens.
Pioneering US security journalist Brian Krebs — who has broken a number of major hacking stories over the past several years — thinks he may have tracked down one of the Ashley Madison perpetrators. The kicker? He appears to be Australian and may be a fan of local supergroup AC/DC.
blog Sydney-based financial technology startup hub Stone & Chalk launched last night to great fanfare, with a solid wedge of politicians from both major...
When I think about the people that I personally most admire in Australia's technology sector, my thoughts usually go first to those working in chief information officer, IT director and IT manager positions. It's for these reasons that I'm planning to start a new regular profile for Delimiter.
Leaving the Member for Wentworth off Murdoch’s list at this point, taken together with the NewsCorp mogul’s sledge at the NBN, may be a signal indicating where Murdoch’s views on the subject of leadership lie.
Remember that massive, billion-dollar payroll IT systems disaster at Queensland Health? Remember how the prime contractor IBM disavowed all responsibility for it? And how the Queensland Government subsequently sued the company and banned IBM from any further work with its departments and agencies? Yeah, good times.
We're starting to see this kind of SaaS/cloud computing deployment in the Federal Government. It's a slow process, but each kind of 'safe' deployment such as this one -- with data and processes which could be considered non-mission-critical -- increases the comfort level of mega-agency chief information officers and secretaries regarding cloud computing. We're getting there.
Much has been written about the general lack of understanding which Australia's political sector has when it comes to setting good technology policy. But few have put it as bluntly as Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes did last week in an interview with Business Insider.
But don't worry, Hackett's not short of speed, even though he's selling his original ride. He actually has another Roadster still in Australia and one in California, as well as a Tesla Model S. The Carsales ad for the car states: "Owner has too many Roadsters; this one is surplus to requirements." It's a hard life for a multi-multi-millionaire.
As regular readers of Delimiter will know, Australia's police forces have not precisely covered themselves in glory when it comes to upgrading their ageing IT systems.
When I first started publishing Delimiter back in January 2010, the Internet was quite a bit simpler. Fast forward more than five years and things are obviously drastically different. The Internet is a much more active, dynamic, fluidly updated place, and Delimiter has changed with the times.
Keen to use your iPhone and/or Apple Watch to pay for goods and services at EFTPOS terminals around Australia? You're right out of luck, with Australia's major banks standing in the way of Apple's Pay service launching locally.
Personally, I'd suggest that 10 percent is a figure chief financial officers can understand in this context. But 26 percent is likely enough to raise more than a few eyebrows.
If you've been following international news overnight, you're probably aware that Islamic State has released a large amount of data pertaining to US military personnel. This morning, the Federal Government confirmed that a number of Australian Defence personnel and one Victorian MP had had their details included as part of the leak.
Last night, while Coalition MPs debated marriage equality in a small room in Parliament House for six hours straight, tech-focused Labor MPs Jason Clare and Ed Husic flew to Melbourne and were partying on, Silicon Valley-style.
Your writer has been pretty supportive of the controversial comments made by MyRepublic chief executive Malcolm Rodrigues about the Coalition's version of the National Broadband Network. However, not everyone shares the same views. One very well-argued piece of detailed analysis comes from the founder of Communications Day, Grahame Lynch.
We can't imagine the staff morale at Australia's peak IT research group NICTA is fantastic at this point. The Federal Government cut all funding to the organisation in the 2014 Budget, the CSIRO merger plan to save the group has been in negotiations for six months, and even now the situation in terms of hundreds of redundancies continues to be unclear.
If you attended the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in Melbourne over the weekend, you might have caught a most unusual sight: Australia's noble Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and his Shadow, Jason Clare, breaking bread together in a most congenial display of bipartisanship.
If you're a regular user of 4chan, then you're probably aware that the Internet board is notorious for the number of Internet subcultures and memes it has created. What you probably wouldn't expect to find on 4chan is classified Department of Defence documents.
Those of you who follow the crypto-currency scene in Australia may remember that the Australian Taxation Office hasn't always treated the most popular type of crypto-currency, Bitcoin, the way that those involved in its trade would prefer. However, the long-running crypto-currency inquiry by the Senate Standing Committee on Economics may be about to disagree with the ATO.
In which the South Australian Government comes up with complex legal arguments as to why it should be able to continue to use a 1980's software package.
Good news from the Googleplex this morning. Google Australia has decided to take some of the hard-earned money that it's been piping through Singapore to avoid paying tax in Australia and decided to plough it back into directly funding the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills in Australia.
It turns out that four months after the legislation passed, the Government still hasn't quite worked out the funding model for its data retention package.
Not everyone in Australia's startup sector believes Labor has yet demonstrated it can walk the talk when it comes to the digital economy: Can these feel-good events actually translate into solid policy?
Tired of reading article after article about how Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop should resign? Bored at work on a Thursday afternoon and need some diversion while the boss isn’t looking at your screen? Bronny Copter — an online game in the style of Flappy Bird from Melbourne developer Ricky Sullivan — is here to save you.
It's not often we get a deep window into the inner workings of Australia's electronic spying operation, but this week the ABC's 7:30 program delivered just that in an expose on how the local industry is pitching solutions from the Hacking Team firm to Australian Government agencies.
It seems like it was only yesterday that a rebel Queensland resident was committing the heinous sin of charging his Tesla Model S electric vehicle (EV) using a windfarm up north. Well, today’s news is even more shocking — the Queensland Government itself has announced it plans to start deploying new EV fast-charging stations around the state, powered by solar energy. That’s right. Blasphemous. How dare they!
Headline says it all, really. The future is here.
Should the Federal Government consider underwriting the management fees of venture capital firms to attract large-scale institutional investors like the superannuation funds?
In which Kotaku alleges an odious culture of gross staff neglect and out and out abuse at national retailer EB Games.
It used to be that the most that early stage Australian software companies could pick up in capital raisings was a few hundred thousand to a couple of million. Complaints about the impossibility of raising a decent amount of venture capital were constant and loud. Wow. How times have changed over the past few years. Today's piece of evidence demonstrates that money is truly flowing in the streets for Australia's growing cadre of technology firms.
In which Renai unfortunately calls in sick just days after Delimiter re-launches.
In which Tony Abbott attends Startup Weekend Brisbane, flanked by LNP MPs Wyatt Roy and Teresa Gambaro.
For many politicians, the Blackberry would have been their first real experience of a smartphone that did much more than telephone calls and SMS. Times have changed, but some offices in Parliament House change slower than others.
If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.
Those of you who have been in the industry for some time may recall that the national competition regulator played a substantial role in the previous Labor Government deciding to restructure the telecommunications sector through implementing an all-fibre model for its National Broadband Network project. This week, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull made a few somewhat controversial comments about the ACCC's historical role in the situation.
This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.
The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations' main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.
Over the past week several fascinating articles have been published speculating about the possibility of US-based IPTV giant Netflix launching in Australia.
Remember how in early June, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed that Telstra was working on a wide-scale trial of the Coalition’s preferred Fibre to the Node network rollout style that would encompass about a thousand nodes? Well, it looks like the pedal is about to hit the metal with the trial, with the Financial Review quoting Turnbull this week as stating that the two telcos had signed a deal which would see the trial go ahead.
If you caught Google’s I/O conference overnight, you will be aware that one of the highlights of the show was the fact that several smartwatches running Google’s new Android Wear operating system supposedly went on sale. However, as regular readers will be aware, “on sale” doesn’t always quite mean in Australia what it means in the US, with devices typically launching in Australia at a later date than they do in America.
Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.
In the wake of the news yesterday that the Coalition and Labor are supporting a raft of new electronic surveillance measures, the Pirate Party of Australia has called for a rational debate to be held over the issue, in the context of widespread opposition to increased surveillance by the Australian public.
In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia's Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state's schools.
The National Broadband Network Company's Strategic Review found conclusively that under almost every model, the company's network rollout would make a long-term return on investment, ultimately costing the Federal Government nothing due to the cost being reimbursed by subscriber fees paid by millions of Australians. Despite this, Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer this week referred to the cost of the NBN and how it could be brought down further.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn't cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.
The Daily Telegraph reported this morning that the Coalition would shortly introduce a raft of new surveillance laws based on almost all of the recommendations handed down last year in a report by the the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security on potential reforms to Australia's National Security Legislation.
You might have noticed that global online retailer Amazon launched a new phone overnight in the US. With a new feature called ‘Dynamic Perspective’ (which delivers 3D depth to some apps), a customised version of Android and solid integration with Amazon’s world-beating content ecosystem, this model is getting some plaudits from technology reviews. However, for Australians the phone itself may not be as interesting as Amazon may want it to be. That’s because there are no signs it’s coming to Australia yet.
Some of you may remember the name of Nick Ross, the editor of the ABC’s Technology & Games site who wrote several in-depth articles criticising the Coalition’s rival National Broadband Network project. Well, what you probably didn’t know is that Ross has also been spending a great deal of time and effort on a side project. Known as ‘Nanotransactions’, the project is micro-transaction technology which Ross hopes will “save high-quality journalism”.
Today I write to let the Delimiter community know two things: Firstly, Delimiter will cease publishing new articles on Friday 5th July. And secondly, I have a new job.
I don't want to get too deep into commenting on the merits of the various arguments coming from each side, but I wanted to make readers aware of a somewhat extraordinary debate which has been happening at, and on the sidelines of, the IEEE's International Conference on Communications, being held in Sydney last week.
If you've been involved in Australia's technology startup community over the past several years, you will be aware that there have been multiple incubator programs that have been made available to entrepreneurs. Programs such as Startmate, PushStart, Telstra's Muru-D and so on have made early stage seed funding, mentorship and even physical work facilities available. However, according to one business consultant, the 'scene' is actually a lot more undeveloped than it seems.
It has become more or less the norm for global technology companies to minimise their Australian tax liability in a way that much of the local population finds at least mildly objectionable. Well, perhaps the most arrogant of the bunch (surprise, surprise) has turned out to be social networking giant Facebook, which has filed a form arguing it doesn’t need to disclose its Australian earnings at all.
It's no secret that a large percentage of the technology sector thinks that the current proposal by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis (pictured) to crack down on Internet piracy will have little impact, given that most such attempts in the fast have broadly failed, and the commonly held belief that commercial avenues represent the best way to handle the situation. However, some commentators feel things will go still further. Veteran telecommunications analyst Paul Budde wrote this morning on his blog that he expects the anti-piracy measures to actually increase piracy.
New Zealand's national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms 'Office Productivity as a Service' services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts -- Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.
It’s only a very limited rollout so far, but Melbourne residents might be interested to know that local telco Spirit Telecom has deployed what appears to be a Fibre to the Basement broadband rollout in the Triptych apartment facility in the Southbank area. It appears that Spirit has been able to achieve speeds of up to 200Mbps by using Fibre to the Basement and then deploying its own in-building network to extend broadband to each apartment — skipping the existing in-building copper infrastructure.
I don't want to comment too strongly on the substance of the speech at this point, but I wanted to make readers aware that Malcolm Turnbull's Parliamentary Secretary Paul Fletcher has delivered a major speech on the Coalition's vision for the Digital Economy.
Just wanted to let readers know that Delimiter will be having a slow couple of days today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), with only a couple of articles being posted on each day.
I know that mentioning consumer-grade modems such as the Budii Lite on Delimiter can be fraught with danger -- many readers, including myself, prefer options such as FRITZ!Box, D-Link or Linksys. However, I wanted to flag this as something that readers may especially find useful to recommend to friends and family. I get constantly asked by personal connections for broadband recommendations.
From the Department of No Surprises comes the news that Sony’s cloud-based PlayStation Now service — which allows users of its gaming consoles to play games online without having to download the content — will not initially be available to Australians when it launches in the middle of this year.
If you thought you had a solid grip on just how extensive Government surveillance of our electronic communications systems was, think again. The revelations just keep coming. Late last week mobile telco Vodafone revealed an extensive bucket list of surveillance measures which are used by governments in dozens of countries it operates in — including Australia — to retrieve information about its customers.
If you assume, as I do, that many of these staff spent much of their time 'putting out fires' -- reacting to the latest crisis in terms of their schools' IT infrastructure -- then removing those staff will create chaos across the board.
Given the size, volume of sales and complexity of Apple’s retail footprint, as well as the extreme level of revenue Apple makes in Australia in general, you would have to say that most people would probably expect Apple Store employees to be making a little more. As it stands, the lowest-level employees will barely be making more than minimum wage. And that’s just not insanely great.
Those of you with an interest in the technology startup equity funding space will be interested to know that the Federal Government's Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee this week delivered a major report into the possibility of allowing so-called Crowdsourced Equity Funding in Australia (CSEF). The concept, which is not dissimilar to the crowdfunding techniques used by sites such as Kickstarter, but with an ownership component, has been introduced overseas.
Well, we knew it was coming. The extensive delays suffered by NBN Co during its rollout under the previous Labor administration are starting to hit the project under the Coalition as well. Last week it was revealed that NBN Co's new deal with Telstra may not be inked until the end of 2014. And later on in the week ZDNet confirmed that NBN Co's trials of the Coalition's preferred Fibre to the Node technology have also been delayed. Surprise!
Just a quick note to let you know that we're having a slow day at Delimiter today as I am away. It's actually a terrible time for it, as there are a stack of amazing stories I want and need to write -- the Internet piracy (Attorney-General's) and NBN stuff coming out of Senate Estimates, a bunch of enterprise IT stuff (especially the banks, and the Federal Government procurement situation), further stuff about the ABC's NBN coverage and more. But this one has been scheduled in for a while, so it's unavoidable.
It’s extremely hard to see this as a surprise, given the fact that NBN Co’s previous delay with Telstra was extensively delayed, and given that as late as mid-January the pair had not even begun talking, but the Financial Review reported today that NBN Co’s negotiations with the nation’s largest telco Telstra over access to its copper and HFC cable networks could run up to six months late. Yup.
Own an Apple device, use the vendor's iCloud online synching service but haven't been able to get access to one or more of your devices this week? Congratulations: You've fallen prey to what are probably a bunch of Internet script kiddies attempting to ransom your data for a hefty fee. ZDNet has a solid local story on the phenomenon, which so far (weirdly) appears localised to Australia.
As Korean giant Samsung has grown its presence in the mobile phone space to rival and even exceed that of industry leader Apple, it has also had to grow its support network. This is to be expected. But what many readers may not have realised is that much of the company’s support for its devices in Australia was actually supported from Australia, with a call centre based in Wollongong. Unfortunately for those concerned, according to Ausdroid, those jobs are now to be offshored.
I just wanted to post a quick note to let readers know that AngelCube, the Melbourne-based startup accelerator, has opened the doors for applications for its 2014 intake. If you don't know about AngelCube but you are interested in starting your own IT startup, you had better familiarise yourself quickly, because you only have a few days to file your entry.
IBM might have been banned from signing new contracts with the Queensland Government over the Queensland Health payroll systems disaster, but that apparently hasn’t stopped other Australian jurisdictions from dealing with the vendor. The Financial Review reports this morning that Transport for NSW (which was formed from the merger of the NSW RTA, maritime, transport construction authority and Country Rail groups) is poised to jump into bed with Big Blue in a big way.
What we're seeing here with Telstra during the negotiation process over access to the telco's networks is Telstra leveraging its position of strength over the Government to get the best possible result from the negotiations. Under Labor, the Government had Telstra up against a wall, because it fundamentally did not need Telstra's assistance to build its NBN fibre infrastructure. It had the advantage. Under the Coalition, Telstra has the advantage -- because the MTM mix approach cannot be delivered without Telstra's active assistance. And Telstra is leveraging that situation to the hilt.
Those of you with long memories may recall that Australia has its own version of Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Office 365 email platforms. The company is called Atmail and it’s based in Queensland. In November 2012 it picked up a cool $2 million in venture capital from Australian VC firm Starfish Ventures. Well, already Atmail looks to be picking up new local corporate clients. The AustralianIT reports this morning that real estate agency Raine and Horne recently picked Atmail for its new email platform, serving some 3,500 mailboxes.
I have to say, it’s hard to disagree with the Atlassian gurus on this one. Comprehensively, if there was a measure which was aimed at assisting Australia’s ICT sector (particularly fast-growing startups), it appears as though the new Coalition Government was determined to cut it. Regular Delimiter readers will be aware that I didn’t find some of these programs very effective, but there is at the least no doubt that the Coalition certainly didn’t replace them with anything either. Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and company appear to believe that the sector — responsible for huge ecoomic outcomes in other countries — has little relevance to the land Down Under. Strange stuff. Why wouldn’t you want to have a bevy of high-powered tech firms like Atlassian calling Australia home?
If you've been in Australia's telecommunications industry for a long time, you may recall the name Alan Kellock. There's not a lot of information about him online, but Peter Kellock, who appears to be his son, published an obituary of Kellock the senior through The Age newspaper recently. I don't want to go too far into Kellock's history, but suffice it to say that he was instrumental in setting up Telecom (now Telstra), as well as the international telephone system that we all enjoy today.
It used to be pretty rare that Australia would see an IT system implemented or maintained so poorly that it had the potential to cause fatalities or serious injury. But not any more. This year we’ve seen three such cases in Victoria alone, linked separately to failing IT systems at Victoria Police (which actually did result in several deaths), a Victorian hospital and, most worryingly, with relation to children’s safety under the care of the Department of Human Services. Well, last week South Australia got its own potentially fatal IT system.
Those of you who follow the big end of the IT services market in Australia will recall that November last year Bank of Queensland revealed plans to finally chop up its extremely long-running comprehensive IT outsourcing deal with HP, with the effort being led by the bank's chief information officer Julie Bale (pictured). Well, things have been moving along at a rapid clip and the bank has reportedly now cut down its list of prospective partners to four.
Into the e-surveillance miasma comes David Leyonhjelm, the new Senator-Elect for the Liberal Democrats, who will take his chair in just six short weeks. In a piece for the Financial Review newspaper late last week, Leyonhjelm makes it very clear where his party will stand on this issue: In opposition to data retention and similar initiatives which erode Australians’ privacy.
Picked up a copy of the 'Blackshades' remote administration tool recently? You may be on the FBI's target list. The Wall Street Journal reports in the US over the weekend that US authorities have worked with law enforcement authorities in a range of countries to raid the homes of those who have been using the software.
Just a day or so ago, National ICT Australia appeared relatively unfazed by the Coalition Federal Government’s decision to entirely cut its funding within two years, vowing to seek alternative options. But an interview with the group’s chief executive Hugh Durrant-Whyte in the Financial Review newspaper yesterday paints an entirely different picture.
What’s not precisely clear at this point is how this new panel will differ from the old one, or how the new ‘cloud-first’ policy will differ from the old one.
Remember how the US Government made such as a huge song and dance about the claimed security implications to buying networking equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei? Well, it turns out that this was squarely a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
You may remember that in March Delimiter kicked off a reader giveaway. To enter to get a chance to win a new Google Nexus 5 smartphone, you had to sign up to our new weekly newsletter before the end of April. Today, we’re happy to announce the winner! A new Nexus 5 will shortly be on its way to Justin Corfield, a systems engineer/admin based in Queensland. Congrats Justin! Enjoy your new Nexus 5 :) And thanks to everyone else who signed up to enter the competition.
Internode founder, NBN Co board director and all-round superhuman Simon Hackett is well-known as being one of Australia’s main electric car evangelists. The entrepreneur imported Australia’s first Tesla Roadster and recently teamed up with another former senior Internode executive and two early executives from electric car pioneer Tesla to found a new startup focused on building a new type of electric car specifically designed for high-speed performance racing. With the news that Australia may shortly see its first Tesla Model S units shipping locally, Hackett has been investigating the regulatory settings for the emerging industry and found them wanting.
Controversial commentator Van Badham has not been dismayed by having her NBN questions shut down live on Q&A last week by host Tony Jones and has penned a fiery piece slamming Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's 'Multi-Technology Mix' vision and the poor media coverage of it.
Remember how publishing giant Fairfax announced plans several years ago to dump Microsoft’s Office and Exchange platforms for most of its 11,000 staff and switch to Google Apps? Well, this week the company’s chief information officer Andrew Lam Po-Tang gave the CeBIT conference a detailed look at what that process actually looks like inside the company. It turns out the demise of Microsoft Office is not so much a bang but a whimper for the publisher.
We’ve been hearing rather a lot about the philosophy of buying corporate IT platforms on a “cloud-first” basis recently. The US Government more or less kicked off the trend several years ago, and over the past 12 months the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian Governments have followed. Only last week the new Coalition Government’s Commission of Audit recommended a cloud-first approach for the Federal Government. So we’re not surprised to hear that the private sector has gotten on the bandwagon as well.
The list of US telcos and cities which are expressing a strong desire to deploy gigabit broadband speeds just keeps on growing. First it was Google, which is currently looking to take its Fiber offering to a further 34 US cities. Only a few weeks ago it was AT&T, which is also looking to deploy gigabit fibre, in its case to some 100 cities. And of course, the City of Los Angeles also has a gigabit project it is seeking partners for. The latest news comes from the Tech Times, which reports that US cable giant Cox Communications is now getting on the gigabit bus.
Those of you who keep an eye on the extremely large IT purchasing habits of the Department of Defence will recall that the Department has had a long-running tendering initiative going for what it calls “Centralised Processing” services. The contract has been out to market for some time, with IBM, HP and Lockheed Martin previously being the players in contention. In September that list shrunk down to two, with Defence knocking HP out of the running at that point, and last week the list shrunk again, with Big Blue losing out and Lockheed Martin winning preferred tendered status.
Remember how Federal Attorney-General George Brandis a while back publicly floated several ideas about how the Federal Government could tackle the thorny issue of Internet piracy? Remember how most people kind of assumed there would be some kind of consultation process where industry and hell, you know, ordinary Australians, could put forward views on the issue? Ah, those were the days. News arrived from the Sydney Morning Herald this morning that Brandis has already developed several proposals and is taking them to the Abbott Cabinet.
Remember how in the middle of last week, the Commonwealth Bank announced a raft of measures to reform mobile access to its infrastructure, including cardless access to ATM machines? Well, it appears the competition was watching. Barely had CommBank gotten its announcement out of the door when Westpac followed.
Hi everyone, just a quick note that Delimiter will be having a slow day today (Friday). It's been a very busy period recently and I need to slow down for a day and take stock of our editorial coverage and administration and plan for what's next.
Yours truly hasn't yet had the chance to comb through the recommendations contained in the Abbott administration's Commission of Audit report released this afternoon; that will take the better part of a week. However one notable item which has already been picked up by technology media outlet iTNews this afternoon is that the report includes some rather ... drastic recommendations for Centrelink's extremely complex and high maintenance core IT systems.
If all you know about Ireland is sourced from St Patrick's Day festivities, then you might be surprised to learn that internationally the country is considered a centre for technology innovation, largely because its Government has continually invested in the industry through favourable taxation laws and investment. In the newest move to come from this island nation, broadband is the focus.
Those who have been wondering when the Australian Taxation Office would follow the US Internal Revenue Service and make a formal ruling on how cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin should be taxed now have an answer. According to the Financial Review (we recommend you click here for the full article), the ATO has just opened a review into the issue.
Film and entertainment giant Village Roadshow is decidedly unhappy with Google Australia for taking what the search giant believes is a realistic approach to dealing with Internet piracy. Go figure.
Uber's new 'ride-sharing' service has caused an uproar in Australia's tightly controlled taxi industry. However, the truth is that this innovative offering is just the tip of the iceberg for a whole raft of 'person to person' services shortly to launch in Australia, collectively known as the emerging 'sharing economy'.
I thought I would do a quick post noting that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be appearing on the ABC's Q&A program tonight. If you have questions that you would like to see the Earl of Wentworth respond to, on any issue, but especially the hot button topic of broadband policy, then I recommend you submit those questions as soon as possible online here.
Over-the-top plays have not always gone well for Australia's telcos and Internet service providers. While the sector's big players -- Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet and Vodafone -- have proved themselves able at selling telecommunications services, in most cases they have also found it hard to make money from content or services sold over the top of their telco packages. But this doesn't appear to daunt iiNet, which tells the Financial Review this week that it has a war chest for just this purpose.
If you've attended an Australian cinema recently, you'll be aware that $20 ticket prices are now a thing. If you just hit up a film every couple of weeks and avoid the cinema's high-priced junk food aisle (your writer habitually goes to Woolworths for some snacks beforehand), then this mark may not seem like such a huge deal. But if you throw a family into the mix, a night out at the movies can now seem a little too exorbitant for many. According to several cinema executives, one of the central reasons for the ongoing price increases is Internet piracy.
NBN Co is reportedly considering launching a third satellite in an effort to provide better broadband access to the small percentage of Australians in remote areas.
According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.
Wow. Are we still writing about One.Tel? Apparently so. One.Tel, of course, was a hugely hyped Australian telco which eventually went bust in spectacular fashion, and become the subject of many lawsuits. The final one is about to be concluded, according to The Australian newspaper.
Ever received one of those giant telephone bills from Telstra with a massive amount of extra fees which you never expected? Spare a thought for the National Broadband Network Company. Industry newsletter Communications Day has gotten its hands on a report compiled by investment bank Goldman Sachs which, for the first time, fully projects the amount NBN Co could be paying Telstra over the next half-decade for access to infrastructure such as pits and pipes.
Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung's hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)
Queue the hype train, because Gizmodo reported this morning that US electric car firm Tesla has shipped one of its popular Model S units over to Canberra for testing.
Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.
A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.
It probably won't come as a surprise to those who have followed Game of Thrones piracy news over the past several years (an important genre in technology journalism in its own right), but Australia appears to have set a new record in terms of copyright infringement of the flagship HBO series.
Just how much new datacentre space is needed in Australia? A lot, if you believe the industry. New listed datacentre player NEXTDC has been busy setting up new facilities all over the place, HP just built a mammoth new centre in Western Sydney, and this week established datacentre provider Equinix announced the expansion of its third Sydney datacentre.
So you've seen the reports about Federal Attorney-General George Brandis resuscitating the failed talks between ISPs and content owners about the pesky problem of Internet piracy? Have you ever wondered what measures the rights-holders feel should be taken to address such issues? Fear not, industry publication Mumbrella has published an extensive article detailing their demands. And it appears they want rather a lot.
If you’ve been following Australia’s national broadband debate for some time, you’re probably familiar with most of the “fibre to the” terms. Fibre to the Premises is what Labor wanted to do with its National Broadband Network policy, Fibre to the Node is the watered down Coalition alternative and Fibre to the Basement is what most of the telcos want to build to apartment buildings. But what about Fibre to the Drop Point (FTTdp)? The concept, which would see fibre extended to the lead-in pit in front of Australian premises but the existing copper reused from that point on, has been explored in an extensive article published by the journal of the Telecommunications Society of Australia.
Remember when software giant Microsoft made a big deal back in May 2013 about how it was going to launch two new Australian datacentres for its Windows Azure cloud computing service? At the time it seemed as though the company’s plans were quite advanced and that we’d be seeing Australia-based Azure in short order. Well, almost a year has come and gone since that time and Microsoft has so far failed to deliver. The latest blip of news on the cloud front from the company comes in an article published by The Australian newspaper this morning.
Wondering how NBN Co’s Fibre to the Basement trials in the Melbourne suburbs of Carlton, Parkville and Brunswick are going? Well, we already know that they’re likely to garner some pretty high speeds. Similar commercial deployments in Sydney have delivered speeds of up to 100Mbps, after all, and NBN Co’s own testing in laboratory conditions in late 2013 showed similar results. The first actual speed tests have been disclosed by Telstra at the CommsDay Summit in Sydney this morning.
Vox Media in the US has recently published a fascinating interview with Susan Crawford, former Special Assistant to President Obama on Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. In it, Crawford expresses a view very similar to that taken by the Australian Labor Party — that the development of broadband is too important to be left to the profit-focused private sector.
Interested in working with the Federal Government's massive datasets? Got a knack for making meaningful information out of huge piles of numbers and letters? I've got some good news for you. The Australian Government Information Management Office is looking for proposals for joint projects between the public and private sector that will leverage big data technologies.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen any Australian organisation of any kind have any words of praise for Novell’s ailing GroupWise collaboration suite. The trend is overwhelmingly that organisations are continually ditching it for alternatives, typically Microsoft’s Outlook/Exchange platform. However, if an article published by ZDNet is to be believed, at least one organisation is sticking with the Novell warhorse.
Global content Amazon giant overnight unveiled Fire TV, an Apple TV-like set-top device which is designed to stream movies, TV shows to consumers' televisions, as well as providing video game functionality. However, as with many of Amazon's product launches in the past, there appear to be no immediate plans to ship the device to Australia.
Those of you who've been hanging around the tracks for a while may remember a famous piece of newspaper graffiti which was published a while back regarding Prime Minister John Howard and his musical abilities. Well, it's taken us a while, but we've now been able to find a Federal Politician who can actually DJ quite well. Or so it appears from these glamour pics of Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam, who spent some time DJ'ing at a rave held to fundraise for his WA Senate campaign this month.
Google Australia has published a new 47 page book. Dubbed 'Australia's Innovation Generation' and part of the search giant's Start with Code campaign, the book chronicles the stories of ten innovative Australian entrepreneurs, including high-fliers such as Atlassian's Mike Cannon-Brookes and entrepreneur-turned-investor Niki Scevak.
Those of you with a long memory will recall that Australia’s video game classification systems hasn’t precisely always been without controversy. Well, in what looks like a good move on the surface, Australia appears set to join a new international system for video game classification.
Wondering how the MP widely considered likely to become the eventual next leader of the Australian Labor Party views the controversial data retention and surveillance issue? Wonder no more. Deputy Leader of the Opposition and former Health, Human Services and Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek is all for it.
Seasoned Delimiter readers will know that your writer is fond of gently teasing Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his aristocratic bearing, by use of several honorifics. At times we have dubbed the Liberal MP 'the Duke of Double Bay', 'the Viscount of Vaucluse' and so on. But by far the most common title we have awarded to Turnbull has been one that made it onto the floors of Parliament this week.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam is reportedly trying to have Edward Snowden and Julian Assange called before a parliamentary committee to give evidence into what they might know about mass surveillance of Australian citizens.
Over the past several years we’ve begun to see a bit of a trend in Australia of major organisations shifting server workloads away from traditional mainframes and onto Oracle platforms, especially its integrated Exadata and Exalogic systems. The key driver of continued mainframe use has always been the legacy platform’s efficiency, stability and (to a certain extent) flexibility (such as in its virtualisation ability), but it’s also had numerous disadvantages, which we need not go into here. As time has gone on, it appears the performance levels inherent in Oracle’s systems are starting to lure CIOs away from the mainframe environment where appropriate. We saw this in Westpac in January 2013, and now, according to iTNews, we’re starting to see it also at another major financial institution — ASIC.
Remember when Motorola was a Google subsidiary and not in the throes of being acquired by Chinese company Lenovo? Remember in early August last year when the company announced what looked like at that point as being a fantastic new Android handset, in the form of the skin- and colour-changing Moto X? Yeah, good times, good times. Well, even though multiple other high-level Android and iPhone handsets have been launched since August, Motorola has finally gotten organised enough to send a few Moto X units Australia’s way.
Those of you who've been long-term fans of the excellent video games produced by Blizzard Entertainment (StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Diablo) will recall that Australians have been fighting for many years to get the company to set up local servers to service the multi-player aspects of its games. Well, Blizzard has finally cracked, and Diablo III is the first cab off the rank to get the local seal of approval.
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Now is a fantastic time to be involved in an Australian IT startup. It used to be that it was tough to find finding for great new ideas in the Australian technology sector, but the plethora of sizable investment deals over the past several years proven that the local funding environment has changed substantially.
A government department botching the delivery of a new IT platform? Shocking, I know. This has never, ever happened before. Unbelievable. Today's public sector IT blunder comes from the pages of Intermedium, which tells us that the National Disability Insurance Scheme developed by the previous Government has been hamstrung by the poor quality of the IT systems put together to support it.
Call me cynical, call me a jaded old journalist who’s seen too much in his short life, call me suspicious, but I have to say I wasn’t precisely surprised to see the news that US-based networking equipment giant Cisco Systems is spruiking the benefits of a National Broadband Network project based on HFC cable technology. After all, Cisco does have a sizable business selling HFC cable equipment, especially in the US, the global home of HFC cable.
Remember that year when search giant Google made revenues from its Australian operations estimated at north of $1 billion, but paid corporate taxes of just $74,000? Or the year that Apple made $6.1 billion in revenue but paid just $36 million in corporate tax? Yeah, good times, good times. Well, the good times may well be over for these technology giants, with the ABC reporting that the Australian Taxation Office has (finally) set up a dedicated task force to tackle the situation.
Over at Pollenizer, long-time startup industry figure Bronwen Clune has published a list of Australia's top 50 female programmers.
As you may know, we're big fans of Google's Nexus line-up in general here at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 ... we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this, and because we're still seeking to boost our newsletter subscriber numbers, today we're kicking off a new competition to give away one of Google's new Nexus 5 smartphones.
Remember how the new Coalition Federal Government issued a detailed discussion paper in mid-January canvassing various options through which it can deal with the issue of children’s safety on the Internet, including the potential establishment of a children’s e-safety commissioner? Of course you do. Well, now Malcolm Turnbull’s Parliamentary Secretary Paul Fletcher, who is spearheading the policy, is facing opposition from a new front: Coalition MPs.
If you've spent any time working in the global technology industry over the past five years, it would have been pretty hard to miss the growing importance of the 'DevOps' movement -- in short, the increasingly powerful attempt to break down the traditional disconnect between 'development' and 'operations' activity within IT shops, particularly associated with agile development techniques. So what's happening in Australia in this area? iTNews has this morning published several excellent feature articles on this topic, and we recommend you spend this morning reading them instead of actually doing work.
If you needed any further indication that we now live in the science fiction future long ago mapped out for us by visionary authors, then look no further. News arrived this week that an Australian digital currency company and Bitcoin mining concern, digitalBTC, has listed on the Australian Stock Exchange through a backdoor listing.
Australia’s law enforcement agencies have for some time now been demonstrating their interest in using remotely controlled drones to tackle crime. The military already uses them, South Australia’s police force went to market for a whole bunch last November, and Queensland Police is also keen on the technology. But what the law may not have quite anticipated is the degree to which criminals are also interested in using drones for their own, not quite as legal purposes.
Remember how embattled airline Qantas revealed plans in late February to cut some $200 million out of its technology budget over the next three years? It seemed at the time like an impossible dream that the company would never be able to achieve. Well, The Australian has published what appears to be Qantas’ comprehensive roadmap for hitting its goals. As the newspaper writes, the solution is … outsourcing everything to IBM.
When it comes to working in government departments and agencies, you know the drill when it comes to personal IT infrastructure. Public servants are typically issued with an ageing desktop PC bought about five years ago and running Windows XP (or sometimes, God forbid, Windows Vista), a BlackBerry for their mobile phone, and they'll have to argue with their IT support team to get permission to install something as basic as Mozilla Firefox. We've all been there at one time or another. However, if an article published by Intermedium last week is to be believed, the Victorian Government is seeking to shake this paradigm up.
Just when you think you've seen it all in Australia's mediasphere -- all the crazy and technically illiterate pronouncements from radio shock jocks, all the denouncements of Labor's NBN policy from right-wing bloggers and so on -- something new appears to prove that still more can be dredged from the depths.
If the Coalition had stuck with Labor's largely Fibre to the Premises NBN policy, of course, all this wouldn't be an issue. Talk about unintended consequences. Setting regulatory frameworks can often be like this; you need to think through several steps ahead, especially when it comes to a long-term project such as building a national broadband network.
We can't help but suspect that the telco considers itself to have gotten off relatively scot-free from the debacle, paying an infringement notice of only $10,200 in relation to its contravention of an earlier direction on the issue by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Cloud computing projects in the Federal Government are a little thin on the water these days, despite the fact that the previous Labor administration tried to push for further adoption in the public sector, and despite the fact that cloud is all the rage in state governments at the moment. That's why we're particularly interested in this little gem posted by Australian Government chief technology officer John Sheridan on his blog today.
It seems that no matter where you look, someone is trying to fix the Australian Internet television market. Attorney-General George Brandis, as his Labor predecessor Mark Dreyfus did before him, is trying to block Internet piracy. Quickflix and FetchTV are still trying to create viable competitors to Foxtel's pay TV operation. And Foxtel itself is obviously trying to make as much hay as possible while its sun still shines. Into this fraught situation comes Richard Branson's Virgin Group.
A very interesting article on Techworld last week highlights the fact that IT security as a service is currently exploding in Australia, with smarter, sleeker, cloud-based alternatives to the old models coming to the fold.
I'd just like to be able to pop down to the shops quickly now and then for a packet of chips without some police system automatically scanning my face for matches with some massive crime database. Is that too much to ask?
The Financial Review newspaper reports that Apple has shifted some $9 billion in profits out of Australia, avoiding a normal tax situation being applied to them.
Those among you with longish memories will recall the slight hullaballoo which emergency services agency Fire and Rescue NSW caused in November 2012 when it revealed it had dumped plans to deploy new traditional PCs throughout its operations in New South Wales, opting instead for a widespread deployment of 400 units of Google's Chromebox cloud-based desktop platform. Well, according to to the group's IT director Richard Host, the rollout has been a huge success.
Delimiter 2.0's model is proven, and it's a viable slice of the Delimiter business which is expanding. In an age where media outlets have struggled with revenue models, it represents a little bright spot, and I may come back to it one day, at the right time. However, as with all businesses, I have to face facts and invest my time where the greatest return on investment is to be found. Right now, and in the short to medium-term, that's definitely Delimiter 1.0.
In the wake of the news that the Federal Government will try to weaken some areas of Qantas' foreign ownership rules in an effort to provide the airline with a level playing field with Virgin, Telstra chief executive David Thodey has called for the same debate to be held with respect to Telstra.
The new year has not started well for Australian technologists in terms of the jobs situation. Qantas is cutting IT workers, Sensis is cutting workers, Telstra is cutting workers, the Victorian Government is looking into offshoring, and now, according to The Australian newspaper, IBM Australia has embarked on another major redundancy round.
One of the key messages that is coming out of the cloud computing camp at the moment is the concept that those who are thinking about this new paradigm of IT infrastructure purely through the lens of the old are missing out on the opportunities that it offers. A good piece on the issue comes from Rackspace Asia-Pacific chief technology officer Alan Perkins, formerly an influential chief information officer who had been an early cloud pioneer in Australia.
As the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union argues today in an extremely valid point, there's no real need for more overhead FTTP trials in Tasmania -- those have already been done. I'd like to hear an answer from the Minister as to why we need more trials of overhead FTTP infrastructure in the Apple isle, when so much work along these lines has already been done.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) admitted in a Senate Estimates session in Canberra this week that it is literally tracking every conversion between Bitcoins and Australian dollars. Wow. Talk about privacy-invasive.
If you've been following the technology portfolio in politics for a while now, you'll know that we're pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to the physical attractiveness of our representatives. Certain women of your writer's acquaintance have been heard to refer to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull as "the Silver Fox", for instance, while Senator Kate Lundy has always been a favourite amongst the gentlemen. But now there's a new entrant onto the scene: Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam.
Impressed by the 4G speeds offered by your provider, whether it's Telstra, Optus or Vodafone? You should be. According to a new study of 4G/LTE mobile speeds around the world, Australia has the fastest average speeds in the world.
There you have it, folks -- in black and white. A court has decided that Telstra's network covers a geographic area nearly two and a half times greater in land mass than that of Optus. That's a figure we'll be pulling up regularly in future as Optus makes claims about its coverage.
Huge news coming from Computerworld today with respect to retail chain Woolworths, which is reportedly set to switch 85 percent of its PCs across to Google's Chrome OS operating system, shifting off Windows in the process.
Well, it didn’t take long. Just one month (one month!) after Telstra agreed to sell 70 percent of its ailing directories and advertising business Sensis to US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity, up to 400 jobs are reportedly set to be cut at the division.
If you follow the crypto-currency scene (think Bitcoin and its many imitators), you might have noticed that the co-founder of one of the more outlandish currencies, Dogecoin, is an Australian. Jackson Palmer is a product marketing manager at Adobe, is based in Sydney, and is one of the key figures in the development of the good Doge. And, if you read this excellent online interview with Palmer produced by new Australian tech media outlet Techly, you'll find that he's also a man of many interesting opinions.