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.

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? Remember how the Australian Government subsequently blacklisted Huawei from selling its hardware to the National Broadband Network Company? Well, it turns out that this was squarely a case of the pot calling the kettle black. New revelations coming out of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has access to the National Security Agency treasure trove of whistleblower Edward Snowden, makes it very clear that the NSA has been doing the same thing with US networking equipment vendors.

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.

I'm sure you've been wondering (as many people have) just how Australia's premiere electronic surveillance agency Australian Signals Directorate was able to gain access to the telephone data of high-ranking Indonesian officials in that country's government. Well, wonder no more. According to The Guardian, the agency has a massive level of access to Indonesia's telco networks.

Thought Telstra was finished with its wide-ranging outsourcing and offshoring initiatives? Not by half, if a report in the Financial Review newspaper this morning is to be believed.

I am currently seeking regular columnists for Delimiter 2.0. You'll need to be able to write opinion/analysis pieces of a minimum of 1,500 words, on hot topics in Australia's technology scene. You'll need to use references to argue your case and have a broad understanding of the current dynamics of the industry.

It’s clear that things move very slowly within the Federal Government. But taking five months to post an advertisement seeking a replacement for an executive who has publicly announced their departure seems like a little long. As first reported by iTNews, the Department of Defence has finally advertised the position of chief technology officer.

Australia's peak ICT research body National ICT Australia will be forced to make substantial job cuts to its Victorian operations, ZDNet reports today, as the result of funding cuts by the Victorian State Government.

Those of you who've been following Delimiter over the past several days might have noticed that I've gotten a little bit on my high horse over the issue of industry subsidies. I was a little shocked by the massive national ruckus created by the request by fruit processor SPC Ardmona for millions of dollars worth of government assistance for its plant in Shepparton, Victoria, when larger issues in the nation's technology sector are almost completely ignored. Today I've published a further view on the issue on the ABC's The Drum site, arguing that it's because the IT industry just isn't sexy enough.

Clune's right: Australia's IT startup scene is predominantly composed of white, middle class males, a physical form which venture capitalists usually identify with. But Liubinskas is also right: Things are more complicated than that in real life, and opportunities do abound for the passionate or determined, regardless of who they are. Perhaps the passion and diversity in this debate do much to illustrate the sector as a whole.

The Northern Territory has reportedly confirmed plans to deploy Apple iPads to all of its frontline officers, in the latest local wide-scale deployment of tablet technology in a police force.

Google's augmented reality and heads-up display headset Google Glass hasn't yet formally launched, but that hasn't stopped some of Australia's major corporations from developing an app for the latest hot platform.

The new Coalition Government appears to have made little progress so far on enacting core elements of its centralised IT policy.

A technique for more rapidly cleaning up Telstra's clogged pits and pipes infrastructure reportedly could offer the National Broadband Network Company a significantly faster deployment mechanism with respect to the fibre components of its network rollout.

Remember when the Financial Review reported in August that devices manufactured by Chinese vendor Lenovo (including its extremely popular ThinkPad line) had been banned from use in the “secret” and “top secret” networks of the intelligence and defence services of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, because of similar espionage concerns as have been leveled at Chinese networking vendor Huawei? Well, Australian government agencies just got a whole new kettle of fish to worry about, with two key acquisitions by Lenovo which have taken place over the past week or so.

You might have noticed that there's a decidedly positive tenor to the announcements which ailing mobile telco Vodafone Australia has been making recently. The company's leadership in 4G mobile broadband speeds, its appointment of a qualified executive from Europe to replace outgoing leader Bill Morrow, and this morning, the news that it has a million customers on its 4G network.

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has announced its Chromebook laptops are available in Australia. Announced at CES 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month, the devices ship with a 13.3" display and run Google's Chrome OS operating system. Australian recommended retail price will be $399.

We've been hearing the same mantra from NBN Co for some years now with regards to its Fibre to the Premises network rollout. Initially moving, as Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull likes to describe it, "at the pace of an arthritic snail", NBN Co executives have long been fond of claiming that the company's rollout would speed up as time went on, in a "ramp-up" phenomenon. However, over at iTNews, journalist Ry Crozier has crunched the numbers and determined that the claim is just that -- a claim -- with no actual evidence of such a ramp-up in sight.

As you might have noticed, Apple is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Macintosh. Anthony Agius, the founder of Australian Apple forum MacTalk and long-time Mac lover, has posted what he bills as "a love letter for the Mac" on his blog.

Heard the term "Australian brain-drain"? You're probably not going to see a more blatant attempt at it than this.

Those of you who’ve actually read the National Broadband Network Company’s Strategic Review document will be aware that, as I wrote in late December (Delimiter 2.0 link), it’s actually surprisingly favourable to use cases involving ubiquitous fibre broadband being deployed around Australia. Although it’s the Coalition’s preferred HFC/Fibre to the Node-focused ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ approach which has gotten all the airplay, in actual fact the document itself is quite positive to the use of Fibre itself. Telco commentator David Braue reminds us of this fact in a well-written piece for ZDNet.

If you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry. Your writer has watched with great amusement over the past week as Megaport chief executive Bevan Slattery has been bitterly complaining about the fact that TPG Telecom has blocked certain types of third-party access to PIPE Networks’ datacentres. You can find Slattery’s problems outlined here on the blog of Megaport, which aims to build an interconnection fabric between various carriers and cloud computing providers.

Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has penned an extensive blog post discussing the need for the Coalition's Broadband Network (CBN) to remain on a 'wholesale-only' basis, despite the fact that the network's architecture is set to radically change due to the 'Multi-Technology Mix' model proposed by NBN Co.

The Queensland Government appears to have suffered a substantial blow to its attempts to reform its technology infrastructure, with the news reported late last week that the executive in charge of that renewal program, Glenn Walker, had resigned for a position in the private sector.

The nation's number two telco Optus and its subsidiary Alphawest has revealed that they recently helped shopping centre giant Mirvac ditch its fleet of BlackBerry mobile phones for an Apple iPhone replacement.

If you're an Android user but also a fan of the new gold option on Apple's iPhone 5S, you may be interested to know that Taiwanese vendor HTC has just announced a 'champagne' gold version of its flagship One handset through Telstra.

Public Transport Victoria has reportedly reported a 16-year-old Melbourne schoolboy to Victoria Police for merely informing it of substantial security holes in its IT infrastructure.

The debate over whether video games can be classified as art has been a long and bitterly fought one. To explore this issue in greater depth and champion the idea that games can have artistic merit, Australian gaming journalist Matt Sainsbury has started a Kickstarter project to fund the development of an in-depth, 200 page, premium quality hardcover book which will tie in conversations with some of the gaming industry's artistic titans.

South Australia's outgoing whole of government chief information officer Andrew Mills, who this month took up the same role in Queensland, has dramatically revealed the extent to which the state's IT infrastructure is being targeted by online attacks against.

Speculation has started floating around Australia's blogosphere from senior sources that the nation's number one telco could find it opportunistic to be positioning itself for a buyout of New Zealand's incumbent telco Telecom New Zealand.

Australian software firm Atlassian has revealed it will shift its headquarters to the United Kingdom on paper, to aid with its plans to eventually list in the United States.

By all accounts, 2014 is shaping up as a pretty good year for the actual National Broadband Network rollout. As I write on Delimiter 2.0 today (paywalled), the project has a solid amount of Fibre to the Premises construction work set to deliver this year, and there are other reasons to be optimistic about how the next 12 months will pan out. But from 2015, it's all downhill.

This is just a quick message to all readers to let you know that Delimiter is now officially on holidays, and to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If you believe NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the NBN Strategic Review released last week is all about re-using HFC cable, implementing Fibre to the Node and minimising the use of Fibre to the Premises. However, a close reading of the document shows that it also finds that Labor’s original FTTP vision can still be delivered very affordably and in a timely manner.

So, it turns out the Queensland and New South Wales Governments are not the only major Australian organisations running short of much-needed cash when it comes to critical IT upgrades. According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, national carrier Qantas also can’t afford to keep its IT up to spec.

I think it's safe to say at this point that Turnbull has not gotten his first 100 days in power right; in fact, he's gotten them disastrously wrong, making little or even backwards progress on a range of fronts. It will be interesting to see if he can rectify his political and functioning mistakes in the next 100 days.

Most of the cloud computing stories we hear about involve major vendors. You know the ones we're talking about: VMware, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Amazon and so on. These are household names. But what you may not realise is that there are other options out there for building cloud computing stacks. And some of them are not based on proprietary technologies and vendor lock-in at all.

I am here today to formally apologise. I was wrong to have faith in Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition on this issue. You were all right. Turnbull does indeed appear to be attempting to "demolish" the NBN.

Wondering who the new National Broadband Network chief executive will be? So are we, and reportedly we're going to find out very shortly.

What this investment, as well as the planned ASX listing and its past healthy fundraising efforts, shows is that ingogo is pulling in substantial revenues.

Just how fast can 4G mobile broadband go? Very fast, according to Telstra, which has been conducting trials of LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation technology.

It’s now been three and a half years since then-Communications Minister Stephen Conroy promised Australians that NBN Co would eventually deliver 1Gbps broadband speeds through the Labor’s all-singing, all-dancing, all-fibre National Broadband Network, and eight months since NBN Co promised it would be here by the end of 2013. Well, the rollout of the NBN may have made very little progress in that time, but the 1Gbps speeds are still coming.

Are you one of those Australians who lined up at midnight to buy some of the first next-generation video game consoles to go on sale? Have you spent some time exploring your new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Then you would be aware that when it comes to Australian support for their new consoles, both Sony and Microsoft appear to have screwed Australians pretty badly.

You may remember that in October Delimiter kicked off a reader giveaway. Today, we’re happy to announce the winner! A new Nexus 7 is currently on its way to Pella, a web publisher based in Sydney.

The Queensland Government has been threatening to sue technology giant IBM over the Queensland Health payroll systems debacle for years, and who could blame it? Well, the only problem is that the former Labor Government actually already settled with IBM over the issue due several years ago to the need to get the system up and running. Despite this, the LNP administration in Queensland confirmed overnight that it had taken IBM to court.

iOS is generally considered a very secure and modern mobile platform — certainly more secure than Android and a heap more modern and functional than BlackBerry’s various offerings. Yet it has taken five years for the Department of Defence to allow its staff to procure iOS devices.

We’ve been seeing some very interesting moves from retail giant Coles over the past several years with respect to cloud computing and software as a service adoption. Nothing revolutionary, but solid moves nonetheless.

Apologies, but you're not going to see a lot of stories from Delimiter today. I'll be spending the rest of the day thinking and planning, with a view to making Delimiter better in future. In fact, there's been a fair bit of this going on this week in general.

Sometimes it appears as though Australia's Federal and State Governments are the only ones botching major IT projects. And that makes sense, given the frequency of IT project failure in the public sector, and the public nature of the audit reports which examine them. But the private sector also has its failures, as the Financial Review chronicles this week with respect to a number of major superannuation funds.

Just how rich is Commonwealth Bank chief information officer Michael Harte? Rich enough to buy his own mediterranean island, according to Ninemsn, which today detailed the executive's attempt to buy the island of Budelli off the coast of Italy.

In Australian intellectual property circles, there are few names which are more respected than that of Kimberlee Weatherall. That’s why we were personally thrilled to learn that Weatherall has recently published a mammoth blow by blow analysis of the enforcement provisions contained in the recently leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership IP chapter.

If you are looking to buy a new Nokia, you'd probably be interested to know that the company announced this morning that it would have one more stab at a major local launch, with its new model, the Lumia 1520. The selling point of the 1520 is that it features a 6" full HD 1080p screen, placing it in Galaxy Note range.

Despite a successful launch in other major first-world nations such as the UK, as well as throughout Latin America, US IPTV giant Netflix has constantly signalled over the past few years its lack of interest in launching its service in Australia. However, all that may be about to change.

Which console launch are you most excited about, and why? Am I right that the PlayStation 4 has most of the momentum at this point? Or is underdog Microsoft making a comeback with the Xbox One?

When Greens Communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam said in January 2012 that he suspected law enforcement agencies of bugging his mobile phone, we criticised the Senator for making the claim without providing evidence of the claimed nefarious activity. But according to the ABC, the Australian Federal Police admitted in a Senate Estimates session this week that it had monitored various MPs’ communications.

You would hope, you would really hope, that a major city such as Brisbane, which is about to host the G20 group of twenty global finance ministers and central bank governors, would be in the practice of ensuring that the traffic management systems which govern the operation of systems such as stoplights would be secure from attack. But not so.

Spare a thought for Eija Seittenranta, who was appointed Department of Parliamentary Services chief information officer in January this year. Not only did Seittenranta find the department’s IT operations to be an absolute shambles when she arrived, but the poor IT executive has to contend with feisty parliamentarians such as Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, who took Seittenranta to task in this extraordinary Senate Estimates hearing (we recommend you watch the video) about the fact that the US National Security Agency may have a back door into the Microsoft software used at Parliament House.

If you were seeking to hire independent experts to conduct a cost/benefit analysis on an important piece of national infrastructure, you would probably seek to hire, well, experts who were independent, right? Experts who hadn't previously formed a fixed view on what would be the best way to deploy that infrastructure? Wrong, at least if you're Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Regular readers of Delimiter will be aware that we’ve long had a beef with the ABC over the public broadcaster’s lack of an iView app for the popular (some would say dominant) Android platform. Well, the ABC looks set to finally rectify that issue, making several announcements relating to Android and the iView more platform generally.

Are you a fan of HTC's flagship smartphone, the One, but not quite satisfied with the device's already large 4.7" screen? Then you're in luck, because HTC has just launched virtually the same model, but with a much larger 5.9" screen, in Australia exclusively through Telstra.

You would think ... you would really think, that there would be no possible way that NBN Co, Telstra and retail ISPs like Eftel could so badly coordinate the changeover process from Telstra's copper network to NBN Co's fibre network that any resident could be left without telecommunications access. You would think.

Freelancer chief executive Matt Barrie shocked a few in Australia’s tech sector with his mid-September rejection of a $400 million offer from a Japanese HR and recruitment giant to buy his company. The executive’s decision to list his company on the Australian Stock Exchange instead was similarly controversial. However, as I write in Delimiter 2.0 today (subscriber content), Freelancer’s not alone. There’s half a dozen other technology industry companies seeking to list on the ASX late this year or early next.

It seems like it was only yesterday that Australia’s major financial services organisations were holding their noses and sniffing at the bad smell that they associated with ‘low-grade’ cloud computing services operated by offshore technology giants such as Amazon Web Services. It was only last month that it was revealed that National Australia Bank had switched its entire public-facing website into Amazon’s cloud, and this week Suncorp joined the throng, planning what The Australian describes as a “complete transfer” into the cloud.

There’s a wide-ranging number of largely unanswered allegations that Kogan has breached the terms of the GNU General Public Licence in using open source software in its own-manufactured gadgets.

On Reckoner, Anthony Agius catalogues how insurer QBE has recently launched a product in Australia that directly tracks everything you do with you car, and the rather obvious privacy challenges that are already evident.

Wow. It's been a huge week or so in Australia's financial services IT scene, with revelations that two massive, long-running IT outsourcing deals which have been in place for a decade or more may be finally opened up to rivals.

If you were reading Delimiter and Delimiter 2.0 yesterday, you may have seen that we took a fairly strong view on the departure of NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens and the appointment of Telstra’s NBN lead executive Greg Adcock in his place. However, in the interest of balance, and with particular reference to our new formal Code of Ethics published last night, we believe it’s worth alerting readers to another side of this story.

Are you a Sydney-based technologist interested in getting out of Australia's corporate IT sector and into a hot IT startup? Or perhaps a budding entrepreneur looking to start one? Well, local tech startup consultancy and incubator Pollenizer's got your back. The company's Ben Ma has published an extensive overview of Sydney's tech startup scene.

You may not realise it unless you’re a Taswegian, but Labor’s National Broadband Network policy is not the first time residents of the state have been promised a Fibre to the Premises rollout by politicians. Nor is it the second time. In fact, the current NBN promises with regard to Tasmania are the end result of at least 12 years of political pledges made to residents in businesses in the state that they would get better broadband.

Those of you who watch such things closely may recall several weeks ago that a sudden decision by German software giant SAP to end active development of its ailing Business ByDesign online software suite left the New South Wales Government’s premier cloud computing business systems pilot stranded without a future roadmap. Well, it appears that the NSW Department of Trade & Investment didn’t take SAP’s move sitting down.

It's not often you see examples of cloud computing deployments in major Federal Government departments. With the exception, it turns out, of the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, which went a little cloud-crazy before it was split in two after the Federal Election.

Is it really believable that Tony Abbott's formerly highly disciplined front bench spontaneously started debating the Huawei issue through the media, despite the fact that the Prime Minister has notoriously drawn all the strings of the media close to his chest? Or is there something more at work here -- a coordinated effort, designed to meet multiple, complex aims simultaneously?

Ever wondered who actually runs top-tier Australian telco TPG? So have we. Your writer has been reporting on Australia's telecommunications industry for almost a decade now and I've never met or spoken to reclusive TPG chief executive David Teoh, despite the fact that the executive runs one of Australia's largest telcos and has a habit of buying others.

According to massive Italian newspaper Corrierre della Sera, through the Daily Telegraph in Australia (we recommend you click here for the Daily Telegraph’s version, as it’s not in Italian), at the recent G20 Summit in Russia, the country gave G20 leaders, including then-Foreign Minister Bob Carr, USB keys which included bugging functionality

The newspaper alleged, and Leighton has substantially verified, the fact that staff from Visionstream were suspected of aiding Silcar staff in stealing Visionstream tender files relating to a $240 million contract to deploy Optus’s 4G network, which the two contractors were competing to bid. I’ll have a separate article on that situation shortly. What you may not realise is that this not an isolated incident.

I’d like to see a little more transparency from IBM with respect to this issue. Of course IBM is entitled to shift around staff and re-balance its headcount. But when we’re talking about redundancies as high as 1,000 workers, large companies such as IBM have a responsibility to their customers, to their staff and to their shareholders to let a little more information out of the kimono. 1,000 staff is not 100. And it would be ethical of IBM to let us know a little more about what’s going on here.

Are you a journalist or a politician? Do you use your telephone to have private conversations about sensitive information? You do? That seems logical, given the position that you're in. Well, you may want to have a re-think about just how private that avenue of communication is, given that the Australian Federal Police recently revealed it occasionally examines the call logs of MPs and journalists (without their knowledge) in an attempt to track down whistleblowers or leakers within the Government.

So you’re a new Labor Shadow Minister in the Communications Portfolio, and you’re considering how best to push Labor’s all-fibre NBN policy and stick it to Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Or perhaps you’re a techno-savvy Labor backbencher who wants to get in on the action. What angle should you be taking to take on the Viscount of Vaucluse?

Those of you with a long-term interest in Victorian Government IT shared services provider CenITex will remember that the agency was several years ago known far and wide for the high rates it was paying its extensive contractor workforce. No more: Most of those contractors are now gone.

If you had spent a decade in a high-profile role at Telstra that netted you $1.5 million worth of shares in the telco, would you consider it a good idea to sell those shares before taking a similarly high-profile role at NBN Co, which is engaged in billion-dollar negotiations with Telstra that could significantly affect Telstra's share price?

The Financial Review reports today that Telecom New Zealand is once again trying to offload its AAPT asset (when is it not?)

You can find my thoughts on Justin Milne and other recent NBN appointments under the new Coalition Federal Government in a piece published on Delimiter 2.0 this morning that I titled 'Stacking the deck: NBN Review filled with Turnbull cronies'.

It's all well and good that cool head Jason Clare has been appointed Shadow Minister for Communications, but we think the real story is the appointment of Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland as his assistant Minister. Rowland has had a habit over the past several years of taking down Malcolm Turnbull in the portfolio, or, as the MP has liked to describe Turnbull, "the Shadow Minister for dial-up".

It seems like only yesterday that Telstra first confirmed it was interested in dumping the email, blogging, photos and online storage platforms used by customers of its BigPond division and migrating customers to Microsoft’s Windows Live platform. However, it hasn't precisely been an easy transition for the two companies.

As many people will be aware, yesterday an Australian startup named Flirtey announced that it in March next year, it would launch a commercial drone package delivery service, using "fully automated drones" to deliver packages in inner Sydney through short flights. But can this claim be believed?

Those of you who’ve been around for a while will know that we’re not the greatest fans at Delimiter of Victorian IT shared services agency CenITex. From unethical procurement practices to a basic inability to deliver some of the services it promised, the agency has a penchant for getting itself in hot water with the media, politicians and even the internal Victorian Government agencies it’s seeking to serve. Which is why the State Government sacked its board and is now hot in the process of outsourcing its core functions. The next step, according to a media release issued by the Victorian Government this morning, is to start refreshing the agency’s board.

Wondering how many staff the nation’s biggest telco Telstra has located overseas, following its decision over the past several years to end its previous moratorium on offshore support? Wonder no more, for, through the magic of journalism, the Sydney Morning Herald has discovered the full extent of the big T’s offshoring efforts.

According to Bloomberg, iTunes Radio is to launch in Australia in early 2014.

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