Verizon Wireless vs Telstra: The great mobile rip-off continues

Does the recent announcement by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of a new code of practice to prevent bill shock for “long-suffering telco customers”, and improve product marketing practices, bring Australia up to par with its international cousins? In a word: no.

Australia’s blue collar ICT challenge

The bottom line is that Australia lacks call centres, cloud computing hubs, ICT hardware and software manufacturing capability not because we don't have high-speed broadband. Rather it is the lack of a definable understanding of how ICT services and their supporting labour force will take its place in the roll-out, development and economic benefit of the NBN that represents the real issue needing to be addressed.

Correction: Cutting the NBN won’t save money

Yesterday Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stated in a high-profile speech at the National Press Club in Canberra that cutting Labor's National Broadband Network project would free up Federal Government money to be spent in other areas such as transport. It was a nice political soundbite. However, unfortunately, this statement was factually incorrect.

Anti-piracy lobby still suffering from self-delusion

Most Australians understand that the only solution to the nation's record Internet piracy rates is for the film and TV industry to follow the music, book and gaming sectors and make their content available online in a timely, affordable and convenient manner. But that's a truth rights holders and their lobbyists seem unwilling to accept.

Connecting to Australia’s first digital technology curriculum

Australia finally has its first digital technology curriculum which is mandatory for all Australian children from Foundation, the name replacing kindergarten, to Year 8.

Reality check: The Coalition’s fibre on demand plan is a pipe dream

Those broadband speed freaks holding out hope that the Coalition's pledge to provide 'fibre on demand' services will save them from life in the slow lane in a fibre to the node future need to take a cold shower and wake up to reality. 'Fibre on demand' is nothing but an fluffy ephemeral dream which has no chance of becoming reality in the short- to medium-term under the Coalition's National Broadband Network vision.

Five reasons the iPad will fail in Australia

There's just not enough information yet to know whether the iPad will succeed or fail yet in Australia. But here's five reasons why it might.

Oh dear: Telstra exec banter and Yes, Minister

At Delimiter we're big fans of iTnews weekly video the Crunch. This week's episode refers to the bantering we reported on between Telstra chief information officer John McInerney and chief technology officer Hugh Bradlow, as well as some rather unusual footage of NSW Education Minister Verity Firth at an Adobe event.

Freelancer’s IPO: A billion reasons to care

For the Australian tech company market, the success of Freelancer would be a good thing and could possibly serve to boost the likelihood of other companies receiving investment. But because tech companies listing on the ASX are relatively uncommon, they are often treated as scarce events resulting in a general temptation to attach too much significance to a company that has yet to really prove it is worthy of the attention.

Four Corners report short on technical detail

When is Australia's technology sector going to get the full picture on what went on at BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue?

Reboot ICT teacher training to halt the computing brain drain

The shortage of computing experts in Australian schools has serious implications for our future as a player in the knowledge economy.

‘Digital play’ is here to stay … but don’t let go of real Lego...

Ensuring access to both physical and digital methods of building block construction where children can move freely from one to another is crucial for their development in the early years.

Decentralised NBN key to unlocking bush potential

Decentralisation is the key to unlocking the potential of our regions while making life in both "Sydney and the Bush" just that little more bearable.

Will nice guy Thodey finish last?

Telstra chief executive David Thodey charmed the pants off press and analysts at the telco's half-yearly financial results briefing last week.

Oh dear: Kogan’s all-out war on Harvey Norman

Not content to have successfully lampooned Labor's mandatory internet filtering project, the bad boys at Australian electronics manufacturer Kogan have taken aim squarely at Harvey Norman. Mumbrella points out the company is planning a satirical advertisement aimed at the retailer.

Would you vote for a party which supports filtering?

Australia's technology press is banding together on a common survey question regarding the Federal Government's mandatory internet filtering policy. We're asking just one simple question: Would you vote for a political party which supports the internet filter?

The ABC must now deal with its NBN problem

Over the past month, the evidence has become overwhelming that the ABC is actively censoring coverage of the National Broadband Network issue in a way that runs counter to the public interest. The broadcaster must now face the issue squarely and deal with it head-on, or run the risk of losing credibility with its highly informed and vocal audience.

The eternal symmetry of Quigley’s spotless life

I can't help but imagine that NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley (pictured) must have taken some time out last week to reflect on the strange symmetry of his life over the past few years.

Election rant 5: Can we even use a Terabyte a month?

The Coalition got a lot of things wrong with its election broadband policy, wireless being the chief one. But Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb got one thing dead right: Australia's telecommunications market has not failed.

Back off, AFACT: Changing the law is not the answer

The Federal Government should ignore the pathetic demands of the film and TV industry for new legislation to "exterminate" Internet piracy and fix the blatantly obvious problems with its commercial model, following its latest loss in Australia's High Court. Australia's copyright law works well as it stands, and does not need changing.

Reality check: Appointing “Dr Ziggy” to run NBN Co is a terrible idea

Communications Minister-elect Malcolm Turnbull reportedly thinks Ziggy Switkowski would make a great choice to run the National Broadband Network Company. Can I please have some of what he's smoking?

Tiny niche ISPs join the NBN market

When you think about competition on the National Broadband Network, you normally think about major telcos like Telstra, Optus and iiNet battling it out to win Australia's broadband spend. But the truth is that a large number of very small ISPs have already joined the NBN market and are also competing.

Break up the NBN? Wow. How about we actually build the damn thing first.

The National Broadband Network should not be broken up into smaller parts. It should not be set up to compete with itself. And it should most definitely not be sold off to the private market. There is only one thing that the Government should do with the NBN. It should damn well get on with the job of building it.

One step forward, two steps back: Govt cloud policy displays classic ignorance

The Federal Government has taken many positive steps forward in the past year with respect to freeing up its departments and agencies to adopt the new class of cloud computing technologies. But the release of an overly bureaucratic policy this month on offshore data storage has the potential to set that progress back substantially, relying as it does on several outdated concepts of risk management in IT projects.

Caretaker mode? No. NBN Co should go hog wild.

Not only should NBN Co ignore Malcolm Turnbull's spurious claim that it's in some form of 'virtual caretaker mode' ahead of the upcoming Federal Election, it should intentionally sign as many long-term construction and equipment contracts as possible before September, in case the Coalition wins government and tries to shut it down.

Labor’s NBN is a natural monopoly, but the Coalition’s is not

The argument made by respected competition expert, academic and executive Fred Hilmer several weeks ago that the National Broadband Network is not a "natural monopoly" is somewhat convincing, but ultimately falls short by failing to acknowledge specific factors relevant to competition in the telecommunications sector.

Emperor Rupert’s not at war with the NBN: It’s democracy he has a problem...

Rupert Murdoch has not sent a political assassin Down Under specifically to kill Labor’s evil National Broadband Network project so it doesn’t wipe out Foxtel’s revenues. No, it’s the people’s right to choose which frustrates Murdoch, not Labor’s little side project.

Oh dear: The iAbbott cometh

Ah, YouTube. We love you so.

Fair suck of the sav, Blizzard

Blizzard, I suggest that you need to put at least one character in StarCraft II with an Australian accent. The Protoss seem a bit up themselves and the Zerg are quite weird, so it would have to be a Terran character.

Why iiNet won’t be acquired: No buyers

Speculation that iiNet will be acquired following a decision last week by Amcom to divest its 23 percent stake in the ISP is simply ill-informed. Our favourite Perth-based broadband provider isn’t going anywhere — and over the next week, every day we’ll publish one major reason why.

iPad telco plans will sting Australians

Steve Jobs may have created a new category of electronic device. But he’s also created a new category of wireless broadband plan to go with it.

McAfee is calm, collected … and doomed

The bug that McAfee suffered last week has the potential to very seriously undermine its business prospects in Australia in the medium term.

AGIMO needs a little Obama magic

It's hard to imagine AGIMO getting to the point where it has the direct support and interest of Australia's Prime Minister of the day in its efforts. But, if we've learnt anything from Vivek Kundra in the US, it's that this kind of executive-level buy-in is possible.

The Westpac dialectic: IT outsourcing and warring narratives

At a certain point, corporate-speak becomes more than an abstraction. It becomes more than a useful metaphor. It becomes something which is simply undesirable in the honest relationship between an employer and and an employee. It becomes something which is all-too pervasive in our media-saturated society. It becomes ... spin.

The ‘myth’ of the Australian entrepreneur

A better understanding of the realities of entrepreneurial life in Australia will lead to better informed industry policy, and perhaps increased support for an ecosystem that is a key driver of future growth and development for Australia.

On Conroy’s information byway, there’s some roadkill

If you care about democracy, follow the worm. This worm has a name: Stephen Conroy. While Australians were distracted by another worm this week -- top of the screen for Rudd, bottom for Abbott – few bothered to watch the more insidious wormling, Conroy.

The Kindle Fire will storm Australia in 2012

Prediction: When Amazon's Kindle Fire launches in Australia next year, it will very quickly become the second most popular tablet locally behind Apple's dominant iPad, easily eclipsing rival offerings from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion and more.

Productivity Commission IP reform recommendations likely to be lost in election haze

The Commission’s recommendations as a whole are thus very unlikely to be embraced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, by his colleagues or by Bill Shorten. The Commission states that “Australia’s intellectual property system has lost sight of users”. We should ensure that the Government does not lose sight of the report.

SPC Ardmona: Let’s replace these tin cans with high fibre

The Federal Government's decision to reject a $25 million plea for financial assistance for SPC Ardmona's troubled fruit processing plant in Shepparton should be seen in the context of the long-term and very necessary war to lessen the reliance of Australia's economy on legacy industries and to push it towards the next-generation of knowledge-based smart businesses.

Aaron’s Army fights the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The case of Aaron Swartz highlights the need for a reconsideration of punitive and excessive intellectual property enforcement provisions in trade agreements.

The only winner from the IT price hike inquiry is Ed Husic

The price hike inquiry has already benefited one individual very strongly: Ed Husic, the passionate first term MP who may very well be leading Labor's broadband portfolio following the Federal Election.

Oh dear: Kogan creates “spams & scams” portal protector

Kogan Technologies has created what it describes as a "portector" -- a device designed to protect Australians from what Communications Minister Stephen Conroy recently...

We must determine how the $15bn NBN cost blow-out occurred

The full resources of the Federal Parliament and other Government accountability mechanisms must be deployed to determine how a cost blowout of between $5 billion and $15 billion was allowed to occur in the National Broadband Network, and how to stop a similar situation from occurring again in future.

Conroy must apologise to Google for appalling attack

Stephen Conroy must immediately stop his vicious public attacks on Google and apologise for his clear lack of understanding of the technical details of the recent potential privacy breach in the collection of Wi-Fi data by the search giant’s Street View cars.

Five ways NZ is smarter than Australia on broadband

In Australia, poking fun at our New Zealand cousins has become more than just a hobby over the years; these days it enjoys the status of a national sport. However, when it becomes to broadband, the situation has been turned on its head: New Zealand is doing everything right that we are doing wrong. Here's five ways the Kiwis are smarter than us in this critical area.

New World Order: IBM’s Qld Health disaster places project governance focus back on vendors

The disastrous, billion-dollar failure of Queensland Health's project to replace its payroll systems delivers a stark warning to technology giants such as IBM that they must start to take a much stronger role in governing government IT projects.

Oh dear: Is there some form of CS5 event coming up?

Judging from its Twitter account, it looks like someone at Adobe Australia and New Zealand has been told to drum up support for the company’s upcoming launch of its Creative Suite 5 products (Photoshop, InDesign and so on).

Mod chip or freedom to choose?

Sony’s legal case to stop a handful of tiny Australian retailers distributing a device – known as a ‘mod chip’ – which would allow consumers a much higher level of control of the PlayStation 3 hardware is only one example of the dominance which this approach is gaining.

Can David Thodey escape his Big Blue shadow?

One cannot help but feel that there was a certain irony to David Thodey's life yesterday which must have been impossible for the Telstra CEO to ignore.

Why #NatSecInquiry is filling me with worry

This inquiry, and any proposals that stem from it, should be looked at very closely and any expansion of powers of the state put forward should be fought.

Would FYX’s global mode have breached copyright?

We should think carefully about the inevitable alarmist claims regarding FYX and be wary about movie industry calls for new laws that protect their interests at the expense of Australian consumers.

Wi-Fi patent has driven CSIRO money mad

The CSIRO should give up its pointless chase of global technology giants and telcos, and let sleeping laptops lie.

Improving technology’s grades in Australian education

In Australian society, so much of the ongoing narrative about the current generation of students in our schools is focused around the different way that they understand and use technology; and so much of that narrative is focused around fear. But it doesn't need to be, and there's more than one side to the story.

Hoist by his own petard: How Labor can take on Turnbull

To a Federal Labor Party exhausted from several bitter years of internal struggle and a vicious election campaign, it must seem like slipping into Opposition might be a good chance for a hard-earned rest. But the truth is that the long fight to keep one of its key policies intact has just begun. Here’s some ideas for how Labor can take on Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the National Broadband Network issue — and win.

Budget 2014: No country for new games

Cutting off the Games Fund demonstrates that the Liberal government has no interest in supporting an existing vibrant and maturing creative industry. Attacking the younger and lower classes of the nation by gutting a wide range of social services demonstrates that the Liberal government has no interest in the creative and cultural future of the nation.

Double standards: When filtering is not always mandatory

Two completely separate policies, both designed to protect children from "bad stuff", but with completely different implications.

Coalition hasn’t addressed basic NBN policy issues

Fibre to the node isn't intrinsically a bad solution for Australia's broadband needs. But when you compare it to Labor's more visionary fibre to the premises plan, the differences between the two start to become starkly apparent. Australia deserves a whole lot better than what an incoming Coalition government will serve up to us.

Biggest ever? Optus penalty just another “parking fine”

It’s possible to view the Optus penalty this week as nothing more than a cost of doing business, a slap on the wrist, a quick 10min in the corner of the room with its face to the wall. This isn’t a substantial fine — and it shouldn’t be treated as such.

Why Vodafone customers are a pack of lazy whingers

Don’t whinge about the company which is providing you with poor service, then sue them, and finally, demand the Government do something about their security problems. It’s an open, competitive market, people. DUMP THEIR ASS AND PICK ANOTHER PROVIDER. How hard can it be? Really, Vodafone customers, how long will it take you to realise you can go elsewhere?

BT FTTN rollout shows what Australia could have had

The success of BT's fibre to the node rollout must come as a stark reminder of what could have been achieved in Australia over the past eight years if the various players had stopped their incessant, poisoned infighting on the broadband issue.

NBN plans trapped in an ADSL framework

From the quota included to shaping speeds, from what is considered 'on-net' traffic and even the inclusion of dial-up backups, the release of NBN pricing plans by iiNet, Internode and Exetel betrays nothing so much as that thinking on NBN pricing is still trapped in a paradigm where ADSL broadband is the norm.

The sorry story of Finance’s Windows Vista fail

A month before Windows 7 is released, the Federal Department of Finance and Deregulation upgrades to Vista. Fail.

How do Labor and the Coalition differ on NBN policy?

The NBN has been a key issue in the past two elections, so will Labor’s new policy be a vote winner? The policy to move back to FTTP provides a clear differentiation from the Coalition’s FTTN-centric strategy.

Will Australia’s digital divide – fast for the city, slow in the country –...

As the Productivity Commission grapples with the question of what the USO should look like in 2016 it will really need to consider what it should look like in a decade or two. This question will challenge the Commission’s rationalist economic predilections.

For whom the Whirlpool trolls? Stephen Conroy and the NBN

Is Whirlpool or the Financial Review more accurate when it comes to reporting on the National Broadband Network? Two Canberra journalism professors analyse the situation.

Why the Apple iPad will change the face of healthcare

In the healthcare setting, and no doubt numerous other settings also, those added inches make a significant difference.

BitTorrent war: Will ‘six strikes’ policy come to Australia?

Forget 'three strikes and you're out'; Internet users in the US are about to have a total of six warnings about downloading pirated content before their ISPs get fed up with them and disconnect their broadband connection for good. But could such a scheme ever be implemented in Australia?

NBN petition and the backlash: When does democracy speak?

Malcolm Turnbull may believe that democracy has spoken; but now is the time for democracy to shout back.

Will smart meters benefit consumers?

There are pros and cons of all forms of roll-outs. Network led geographic roll-outs may offer economies of scale but retailer led roll-outs may allow for more effective targeting of smart meters (for example, large users could get meters first). Whoever rolls out smart meters however, it is the consumer who will pay the costs. Consumers, therefore, should see some benefits.

NBN war: Is The Australian out of line?

Conroy’s arrogant attitude towards criticism of his prize project will need to change drastically — and soon — if he truly wants to drive the project forward and to success. Otherwise, he may find it’s not just The Australian on his back about the issue — but much of the rest of the media as well.

Vale Stephen Conroy: Australia’s greatest ever Communications Minister

For all his flaws and missteps, Stephen Conroy has been an incredible reformer and revolutionary force for change in Australia's technology sector over most of the past decade. He will ultimately be remembered as Australia's greatest ever Communications Minister; a visionary who almost single-handedly drove the creation of the National Broadband Network.

The great NBN sell-off has already begun

NBN Co, we hardly knew ye. Make no mistake: Tony Abbott's new Coalition Government does not want to own a national broadband monopoly. The process of selling NBN Co to the private sector has already begun, and will be accelerated over the next several years.

Oh dear: Harapin’s SCG race heats up

Bloody hell! Poor old Harapin is going to have a tough time in this race for the SCG board. So we decided to give the poor VMWare MD a little help along the way.

‘War’ on tax avoidance overlooks some obvious legal fixes

This article is by Antony Ting, Associate Professor, University of Sydney. It originally appeared on The Conversation. opinion/analysis The war on tax avoidance by multinational...

Reality check: Turnbull’s not “trashing” the NBN

The level of hysteria over the past 24 hours over Malcolm Turnbull's entirely predictable decision to refresh NBN Co's board has been laughably absurd, and starkly demonstrates the lack of understanding the media has about the National Broadband Network in general. Take a chill pill, people: The Coalition is not "trashing" the NBN or "setting it up to fail". The sky is not falling.

Reality check: Telstra’s P2P trial is no big deal

Those panic merchants jumping up and down screaming blue murder over Telstra's P2P shaping trial need to take a chill pill and go sit in the naughty corner until their blood pressure sinks a few points. The reality is that the trial isn't a big deal and it's certainly nothing out of the ordinary in the context of the Australian and international telecommunications sector.

Evil descends on the NBN? Erm, not quite

Another day, another hacking exploit makes headlines.

Optus and TV Now: Will copyright law catch up to the cloud?

A legal decision which forced Optus to shut down its time shifting service TV Now may eventually lead to reform of existing copyright law to cater for cloud technology.

Big Red Button: How NBN Co’s launch events are unfairly fuelling Labor’s election campaign

NBN Co's constant stream of launch events is providing Labor with a massively uneven platform to promote its broadband policy and very likely breaches the Government's Caretaker Conventions.

Our NBN debate: Where everyone is partly wrong

Like a blade out of the dark, this week ex-ACCC chief Graeme Samuel came from nowhere to drive a stake into the heart of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy, arguing that the FTTN technology it’s based on is “obsolete”. And just as viciously, Malcolm Turnbull fired back. But who is objectively on the side of truth in this storm in a teacup? As is so often in our flawed NBN debate, the answer is: ‘Nobody’.

Help us fact-check Conroy’s NBN comments

Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important NBN media release by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Finance Minister Penny Wong. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.

NBN Co paying lobbyists to woo the Coalition? This madness must stop.

If NBN Co's board has indeed hired political lobbying firm Bespoke to represent itself to the Coalition ahead of the Federal Election ... then that represents an extraordinary move, and one which I, for one, and no doubt countless others, simply cannot approve of.

Are online + eBook retailers killing small bookshops?

Are eBooks and cheap online imports killing small Australian bookshops?

Peter Dutton MP are you for or against the filter?

Peter, seriously if you cared what I thought you would notice I am not overly interested in a stock standard response letter. I get that from my bank and let me tell you I don’t like them much.

Has Gov 2.0 in Australia gotten too boring too fast?

So has Gov 2.0 become boring too fast in Australia? Shouldn't we see more conversation, more voices, more blogs, more tweets, more people packing out events seeking the latest information in what is one of the most rapidly changing environments in history - the internet?

In the Airbnb world we need a new productivity measure

Our productivity problem is a like an epidemic. It affects many businesses and threatens the prosperity of future Australians yet it is poorly understood and goes largely unnoticed, especially in a service economy. If a problem of this size and scale were to affect people’s health, money would be raised for further research to isolate the causes and cures for the malady.

Apple and the enterprise – Are you ready?

Apple isn't ready for the enterprise. Apple has been ready for years. Now, the enterprise is ready for Apple.

Building a financial system for a cashless age

If the Financial System Inquiry is to achieve its aim of helping to promote growth and productivity in the Australian economy it will need to focus strongly on electronic payments.

Pulling apart the NBN’s untenable pricing model (by Simon Hackett)

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the subject of promises from the government that consumers will pay comparable prices to current day ADSL2+ and phone service bundles in order to access entry level NBN based services, and that NBN based retail pricing will be nationally uniform. Unfortunately, a number of pressure points in the wholesale pricing model exist which will make these promises (from the government) untenable in practice, unless serious issues with the underlying pricing model are addressed by NBN Co and the ACCC.

Reports of the filter’s death are premature

This is a temporary cessation of the filter policy, but the storm clouds of round two are gathering in the distance.

Time to kill paper ballots? First, let’s look at the alternatives

The loss of the West Australian ballots is a serious breach of electoral integrity, and one that must be thoroughly investigated to identify what went wrong. But amidst all the party-driven hysteria, it’s important to remember that no system is entirely fail-safe, and the risks posed by electronic or internet voting are potentially far more serious than this isolated incident.

Cheaper hardware, software and digital downloads? Here’s how.

Australians are paying about twice as much as they should for a range of tech products including computers, software and digital downloads. It’s time for the government to act to bring this shameful situation to an end, to stop foreign multinationals from ripping us off. But until then, people should take steps to lower the cost of buying tech products. How? Read on.

A political price for Telstra

It’s now more than four months since Telstra and the NBN team formalised their terms of engagement and kicked off negotiations. Since then, they have got nowhere. Both sides say the talks have been constructive and that much has been achieved, but they are miles apart on price.

Internode up shit creek? Bullcrap. Here’s why.

Those currently running around like Chicken Little with their heads cut off and proclaiming that the sky is going to fall on national broadband provider Internode need to take a swift injection of reality juice directly to the frontal lobe. The loss of four of Internode's most senior technical staff and a few other "difficulties" at the company are not evidence of a pending wider collapse.

Why Telstra is wrong on VoIP (by Simon Hackett)

There is a deep sense in which the statements made about VoIP by Telstra today are simply trying to deflect its own status as the last adopter of this technology by claiming that it is somehow not going to be good enough until Telstra 'invents' it via some mysterious magical property imbued upon it by calling it 'digital voice' instead of VoIP.

How much did Gillard’s endorsement cost IBM?

This morning IBM achieved what can only be described as a sensational marketing coup: It convinced Australia's Prime Minister to get up on a stage and enthusiastically sing the praises of its corporate brand in front of a national audience.

iiNet and Netspace? Hell, it’s about time

Having known the principals at both the ISPs -- iiNet chief Michael Malone and Netspace MD Stuart Marburg -- for some time, I would be surprised if the pair hadn't flirted occasionally with the idea of a merger on and off for the past decade.

Implementation study gets the NBN numbers wrong

The McKinsey-KPMG national broadband network implementation study released last week by Stephen Conroy is deeply flawed. Even if we overlook very optimistic assumptions and logical inconsistencies, its fatal flaw is that it fails Finance 101.

Oh dear: Microsoft Australia’s anti-piracy propaganda

Microsoft Australia creates an anti-piracy video.

Oh dear: Filter issue dogs Kate Lundy

You can't blame Kate Lundy for trying. The Labor Senator is one of the most enlightened in her party when it comes to technology, and while she doesn't always agree with some of its policies, she tries to make the best of a bad situation.

Did AGIMO censor Reinecke’s Gershon review?

When a Government entity blacks out a portion of a public document, it always sparks intense speculation as to what has been censored and why. Is the hidden information dangerous for Australia's enemies to know? Commercial in confidence? Or simply slightly embarassing?

What makes a great Australian iPhone app?

On Thursday this week, Delimiter will publish its first eBook. Entitled The best Australian iPhone apps (under $5), this 40 page effort will list and review over 30 of the best iPhone apps focused on Australia, as well as featuring a introduction by well-known Australian iPhone developer Graham Dawson – creator of the popular Oz Weather app, among others.

Five ways the NBN is better than Google Fiber

This week Google finally launched its Google Fiber service in the US. But don't be lured by the company's sweet, sweet promises of cheap, unlimited fibre broadband to your home. Australia's National Broadband Network will be five times as good as Google Fiber. And here's why.

Do we even need a fibre National Broadband Network?

As someone who is very pro-technology and likes to be on the cutting edge, I find myself staring at many of my colleagues and acquaintances in the industry with disbelief when the topic of the National Broadband Network comes up. People I know (and some who just email or tweet me) ask if I've bumped my head and forgotten what I do for a living. It even has had me re-thinking my views, but ultimately I keep coming to the same place.

Optus’ NBN deal gives it an unfair advantage

Optus' $800 million National Broadband Network deal is an unnecessary and unsavoury sweetheart arrangement which smacks of favouritism and will deliver Optus a war chest with which to attack smaller rivals like iiNet, TPG and Internode; rivals which will not be paid to migrate their customers onto the NBN.

Fiery telco expert with a fibre passion: Michelle Rowland gets a licence to terminate...

With a lengthy history as a telco regulatory lawyer and a passion for the National Broadband Network bordering on an obsession, Labor MP Michelle Rowland is well-qualified indeed to be Labor's Shadow Assistant Communications Minister. But it's the Member for Greenway's penchant for taking Malcolm Turnbull down a notch or five on the floor of the House of Representatives that will have pro-fibre NBN fanbois falling in love with her.

‘Cloud first’ a circuit-breaker, says Ovum

Taking a “cloud-first” policy has the potential to act as game changer to allow departments and agencies to break out of their current restrictive ICT procurement practices, technology analyst firm Ovum said this week, as discussion continues to swirl about how Australian governments are handling the new cloud computing paradigm.

Oh dear: McDonald’s rejects Kogan job application

Ruslan Kogan just might be the Australian technology sector's version of Richard Branson. The 27-year-old entrepreneur still has his youthful good looks and enjoys going out, he is skilled at making millions, and everywhere he seems to go, he generates controversy.

iPhone 4: Is a Telstra plan worth the money?

There is only one question that wannabe iPhone 4 owners need to ask themselves when gearing up to buy Apple's hyped handset when it launches in Australia at midnight Thursday night. Can you afford to pay Telstra's exorbitant prices for access to its superior network?

Can wireless replace fixed broadband? Yes … and no.

Over the past week, I’ve been conducting a little experiment with respect to my household broadband situation.

Why is Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1?

In a move certain to raise the ire of users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system the software giant has announced that next month it will cease support for Windows 8.1. But that operating system is barely eight months old and already an upgraded version of the Windows 8 system that failed to impress many users since its release in 2012.

XKeyscore + NSA surveillance leaks: Australian expert reaction

XKeyscore is an online surveillance tool run by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) that allows analysts to search contents of chats, emails and browsing histories without warrants. Australian experts respond in this article to the issue.

It’s the internet, stupid: WikiLeaks and the modern state

Many have speculated that the internet, fully realised, would bring forward an era of global citizenship and the permanent fracturing of the nation-state. Whether this is folly or fact will only be understood in hindsight, but for now, we'll have to be content with watching the world's governments grappling with more immediate questions of what they have tried to hide, and what they now have to fear.

Goddamnit, just make Malcolm Turnbull Comms Minister already

For all the sweet love of Jesus that everyone knows you hold in your godfearing soul, Mr Abbott, forgive Malcolm Turnbull just enough to make him Communications Minister.

Let’s talk about Telstra and the NBN … again

Telstra's "threats" of competing with an alternative access strategy are this time all nonsense. They can't get enough wireless out there, they have major building access issues with HFC and they should be cricified by sharehlders if they try to over-invest in their PSTN.

Conroy vs Lundy: A 14-year comparison study

It's important to look back at the history since Conroy and Lundy both joined the Senate in 1996 to learn why one has maintained a strong reputation in Australia's technology sector while the other is having theirs torn further into shreds every day.

Memo to Minister Turnbull: NBN dissent is “democracy”

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to stop engaging in attacks on those who support a Fibre to the Premises model for the NBN and commit to an open and transparent review process for the network, according to telecommunications blogger and IT technician James Archer.

Electronic voting may be risky, but what about vote counting?

The right technologies, deployed in the right way, can assist with speeding up vote counts without putting the integrity of our voting system at risk. The place for that technology is not as a replacement for the paper ballot.

Reality check: Piracy is not killing Australian film

Imagine a world where you can only consume culture from government-approved sources, months after its widely publicised release overseas, in low definition, with long term lease agreements where you can never purchase a copy to own, only to borrow and use within a specific set of technologically locked parameters. Where the freedom to share or own copies of cultural works has finally been stamped out and middlemen are free to charge what they like for mediocre services and innovation is locked in a box then dropped into an ocean abyss.

Australia is at a digital crossroads

A love of freedom is likely what terrifies me about parts of Mr Conroy's agenda. But the thing about freedom is it must be exercised to be of value.

Pro-NBN fanbois have fallen into bad habits

Like mindless junkies scrabbling for their latest fix, the virulent community of pro-NBN extremists in Australia's technology sector will do or say almost anything to prove the Coalition's NBN policy to be completely worthless, despite the fact that it shares most of its fundamental principles with Labor's own superior broadband vision.

iiNet’s BoB Lite: Insecure by design

While testing iiNet's new Bob Lite integrated ADSL router yesterday, I became aware that it ships with an extremely insecure default Wi-Fi setup.

Wardriving & surviving: Who’s using your Wi-Fi?

The Queensland Police wardriving effort is certainly not the first of its kind. In fact, wardriving has been occurring since the inception of Wi-Fi in the 1990s.

Oh dear: Phil Burgess is … totally a bikie

We knew that former Telstra group managing director of public policy and communications Phil Burgess -- one of former CEO Sol Trujillo's team of 'amigos' had taken a trip with his son on Harleys during a US spring break. But we didn't have the evidence, until now.

Oh dear: Generation Y, meet Stephen Conroy

Oh dear. We're fairly sure this meeting would have been punctuated by long, uncomfortable silences.

NBN: Misleading parliament should be a crime

The Federal Government should follow Queensland and enact a law which makes it illegal for politicians to knowingly mislead Parliament with false information. This would immediately have a dramatic and positive impact on the quality of the debate around the National Broadband Network.

Welcome to NBN 17. It’s safer here.

For some people, mathematics and a crowbar are more than enough.

Did Apple shaft Aussie telcos on the iPad?

I was shocked by the revelation yesterday that neither Telstra or Optus would be directly selling the iPad from their retail stores (we don’t know about VHA yet). As I wrote the news stories about the telcos, just one thought was crossing my mind: Are they completely insane? Don’t they want to make money? What the hell is going on here?

The need for speed: there’s still time to fix Australia’s NBN

A National Broadband Network (NBN) based on Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) was, and still is, the right answer for Australia’s broadband needs.

Five reasons to block Woz’s Australian citizenship

A number of media outlets have reported this week that Apple co-founder and global technology sector luminary Steve Wozniak is attempting to become an Australian citizen. But is this really a good idea? Here’s five reasons why we should stop the Woz at the border and send him packing back to his home country of the United States.

Don’t privatise the NBN

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy should do more than just remove from the NBN legislation the option for it to be a retailer – he should put in a clause that it will never raise equity or be privatised.

Curmudgeon: 3D smartphones have no depth of feel

3D smartphones won't succeed as gaming or content consumption devices, but that doesn't mean they won't find their niche.

Ten reasons Gillard should promote Conroy

Senator Stephen Conroy has done such a good job as Communications Minister that he should be promoted to take over the Finance Ministry even before incumbent Lindsay Tanner retires at the next election.

iiNet’s piracy authority is only half a solution

The problem with iiNet's scheme is that its 'traffic police' analogy is far from apt for the situation which Australians find themselves in with respect to watching TV and movie content.

Oh dear: Twitter.com.au’s great Australian web design

Australia has a long-running history of sheltering cybersquatters. Various international giants such as YouTube and Facebook have, over the years, been forced into action on our shores to retrieve the .au versions of their domain names.

Opinion: Internode must slash its horrible NBN pricing

The release of iiNet's highly affordable National Broadband Network pricing this morning makes it as crystal clear as the view from Simon Hackett's glider that fellow ISP Internode must drastically slash its own prices or be left out of the NBN race altogether.

A review of Australian political iPhone apps

It appears that neither of Australia’s two major sides of politics – Labor and the Coaltiion -- has so far developed an iPhone app to help keep their supporters up to date on their activities. Even the Greens – known as a progressive party in touch with the younger generation – don’t have an iPhone app that we could find.

Hospital attack shows the risk of still running Windows XP

A virus attack on the computer system of one of Melbourne’s largest hospital networks is cause for concern because it affected machines running Microsoft’s Windows XP, an operating system no longer supported by the software giant.

Why NBN prices will be higher (by Malcolm Turnbull)

In this post, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull responds to the claim that broadband pricing will not increase under Labor's National Broadband Network plan.

Delimiter’s curious response to UK Superfast report

Delimiter has published a curious response to a UK House of Lords report on broadband policy released this week. Strange days indeed. Perhaps Delimiter read a different report to everyone else.

Optus’ NBN plans: The most intelligent so far

Well, colour me extremely surprised. Optus' National Broadband Network plans released today are among the best so far, and represent a level of innovative thinking about the next-generation infrastructure that has so far been missing from all previous NBN commercial pricing options.

Deconstructing Australia’s wireless/NBN fetish

The uncertain future development roadmap for wireless technologies and their potential to plug the broadband gap between copper and fibre means wireless will continue to be at the centre of the National Broadband Network debate for the foreseeable future.

The NBN Company is boring … and deliberately so

Let's not pretend the NBN Co is not tuning its own message for public consumption, or that its deliberately boring exterior shell represents reality.

Turnbull’s new NBN policy is 90 percent win

Yesterday Malcolm Turnbull did exactly what a Liberal shadow minister should do: Present a credible, fiscally responsible and less disruptive alternative to a big-spending and over the top Labor project which since it was unveiled in 2009 has been the policy equivalent of using an elephant gun to kill a house fly.

Mr Jobs, thanks for the iPads

My wife asked me the other day how much iPads would cost in Australia. "Don't worry," I said. "Just let Steve handle it. Steve knows what's best."

iiNet’s IPTV is three times the cost of Telstra’s

opinion Like any competitive industry, Australia’s broadband market has been characterised by a certain predictable dynamic for some time now. First, customers become frustrated by...

Linux on Australia’s desktops: Are the stars aligning again?

The phrase "Linux desktop" has been anathema to Australian organisations for almost a decade, after a brief flurry of interest in the platform back in 2004. But a massive successful deployment at France's national police force and the growing popularity of Software as a Service applications could put Tux back on the corporate radar.

Will Telstra give iiNet one 4G ring to rule Optus?

Like a cluster of ancient elves residing deep within the sheltered enclaves of evergreen forest glades, the worthy folk of SingTel subsidiary Optus have long focused their gaze to the far north, where the dark lords of mighty Telstra have ruled Australia's telecommunications sector from their fiery thrones.

I hate you Telstra … more than Steve Jobs

This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...

NBN: Can we trust either side to actually deliver on their promises?

Can either side be trusted to live up to their promises? History and analysis of the plans suggest that no matter who wins the election, very little will go as planned.

Govt’s treatment of Huawei is inconsistent

While it is impossible for outsiders such as Ovum to assess the merits of national security issues because there is too much we don’t know, it is clear that there has been a lack of consistency and transparency in the way that Huawei has been treated.

Blackmailing NBN Co works best through the media

Over the past week a rather pathetic little game of bluster, bluff and ultimately blackmail has played itself out in Australia's telco sector as a handful of Australia's major ISPs have done everything in their power to demonstrate just how self-interested they can be when it comes to exploiting the National Broadband Network.

Oh dear: One for the ladies …

Now it's time for Delimiter's female audience to enjoy themselves ... courtesy of a promotion of some kind by Virgin Mobile in Martin Place yesterday, involving the telco's "big cap" plan and chocolate enticements to break up with your current mobile provider. "In less than 24 hours you could be out of an unhappy relationship, and into a brand new phomance with someone who really cares," says Virgin head of customer narketing Dan Woodall. We bet.

Budget a harsh wake-up call for the tech sector

Listening to the shrieks and squeals of tech sector commentators over the past few weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking Joe Hockey’s first budget contained nothing for the industry. A more measured inspection of the budget entrails and you will find the Coalition has delivered a lot. A lot of pain, and a lot of lessons.

NBN Co business case: A big fat load of nothing

I just wasted twenty minutes of my life poring through one of the most boring and vacuous documents which I have had the privilege to read in my career as a journalist. And I want that time back.

Voda Win: Australia’s mobile problem child emerges from its deep depression

The easiest way to view the departure of Vodafone Australia's turnaround specialist Bill Morrow to take the reins of NBN Co is as the final nail in the extremely troubled mobile telco's fortunes. But the truth is that Morrow is leaving the company just as it's getting to its knees again. Finally, after three years in the wilderness, Vodafone is showing signs that it may be competitive in Australia's mobile landscape again -- and heading towards a sustainable footing.

Malcolm Turnbull and the great Huawei farce

It doesn’t matter at all whether Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was or was not briefed about the Federal Government’s security concerns about Huawei. What matters is whether those concerns are actually objectively grounded in hard evidence. Because all indications so far support the argument that they are not.

Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10

The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.

At least two web browsers for every Australian desktop: It should be mandatory

In mid-2008, a government staffer at an employee town hall meeting being held by the US State Department got up to ask Secretary of State Hilary Clinton what appeared to be a rather unusual question for the venue. "Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox?" asked public affairs officer Jim Finkle.

Be sceptical of vague new ‘National Security’ powers

Any proposal by the government to increase its own power should be treated with scepticism. Double that scepticism when the government is vague about why it needs that extra power. Double again when those powers are in the area of law and order. And double again every time the words "national security" are used.

Progressive thinkers: Greens the best option for tech voters

The Greens generally have their major competitors beat when it comes to technology policy, and their parliamentary experience gives them an edge on minor party rivals.

Foxtel’s bundle of pain could come sooner than it thinks

This whole business model is now under challenge; for newspapers, TV channels and for pay TV. The share prices of media companies are in decline, and in the US in sharp decline.

Could Internode buy iiNet? On paper … maybe.

Could Internode buy iiNet, now that Amcom is divesting its 23 percent stake in the Perth-based Internet service provider? On Monday I said no, but some readers questioned that view. So let's take a closer look at the possibility. Hell, it's likely still a pipe dream, but it's fun to speculate!

Lotus fans: Show me the money or shut the hell up

If there is one thing I am absolutely sick to death of, it is the pathetic rantings of die-hard Lotus Notes fanboys about how technically superior their product is, and how everyone else who isn't drinking the IBM kool-aid are somehow "biased" and don't understand Notes' obvious superiority.

Does the MTM CBN model place “wholesale-only” at risk?

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.

eBooks in Australia – What went wrong?

This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...

When the price is not right: Technology price gouging in Australia

Since Federation, Australian consumers have suffered the indignity and the tragedy of price discrimination. From the time of imperial publishing networks, Australia has been suffered from cultural colonialism.

No, Minister: The Tasmanian NBN rollout has not stopped

Amidst the ramping up of the new Australian government, and with reviews of just about everything under the sun underway, we see yet more incorrect statements from incoming federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull in regards to the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Red underpants? Yes, Minister, says Hackett

It looks as if Internode founder Simon Hackett has taken Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s infamous “red underpants” comments a little seriously, if this photo from CommsDay’s Melbourne Congress this morning is any indication. Oh, dear.

Using SurveyMonkey? Be careful … if you’re an Australian Govt organisation

I've had an interesting and robust conversation online in the last day regarding how Australian councils and governments are using overseas services like SurveyMonkey to collect information from citizens and residents.

CommBank’s deep innovation is redefining our notion of what a bank is

The remarkable wave of technological innovation emanating from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is forcing Australians to redefine their fundamental concept of what a bank is, and reimagine what their basic relationship to such an institution should be.

Budget 2014: What now for the NBN as taxpayer investment is capped?

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow now faces some difficult decisions in deciding how best to allocate resources to meet the objective of providing high-speed broadband across Australia. Since the Coalition’s election in September last year the NBN has been subject to a number of reviews and a wholesale clean out of management. With many reviews, such as the cost-benefit analysis, yet to report, the strategic direction for NBN Co is uncertain making it difficult to comment on future developments with accuracy.

Tasmania’s dirty bunyip not the last

There's more dodgy laws in the swamp where Tasmania's ridiculous electoral online comment legislation came from.

Correction: NBN prices will not be higher

In several radio interviews this week, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that the National Broadband Network project would cause consumer broadband prices to rise higher than those currently on the market. However, unfortunately this statement was factually incorrect.

Fact Check: Is ridesharing no safer than hitchhiking?

The claim that ridesharing is no safer than hitchhiking is not supported by empirical data. Much of the data used by critics of Uber rely on anecdotal data and media reports to support their view ridesharing puts passengers at personal risk.

TV Now: Why the AFL should be grateful

More eyeballs in front of live sport broadcasts are what matter. The AFL should be encouraging people to watch their product. Trying to stop them is just completely counter-productive.

Google’s US-centricity is starting to grate

In short, if Google Australia wants to take the high road, it has to earn it and show Australia that its local presence is not just a sales and marketing office.

Conroy’s filter: To be or not to be?

Two and a half years ago, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced a significant delay to Labor's controversial mandatory Internet filter project, pending a review into the Refused Classification category of content which the filter was to block.The results of that review were published yesterday and contain very little guidance for the Minister. What will Conroy do now?

Narrowband – it’s all we’re getting

I don’t want to be a pessimist, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the rollout of the National Broadband Network is never going to be completed. That grand vision of a fibre-to-the-home network providing high-bandwidth, cheap, accessible internet access is never going to reach the 90% of households the government said it would.

Having your Exchange cake and Gmail too

For the past several years, many Australian chief information officers and IT managers have been hard-locked into choosing between just two options when it comes to evaluating the future of their email systems.

Five reasons Australian email belongs in the cloud

If your company or organisation is not currently considering migrating its email systems onto a cloud computing platform, then you're in danger of being left behind.

Analysis: Liberal MP Fletcher cherrypicks NBN facts

Liberal MP and former Optus executive Paul Fletcher's highly critical article about the new corporate plan released last week by the National Broadband Network Company contained a number of generally factually accurate but contextually misleading statements about the project, analysis has shown.

Please accept my apologies: I was wrong about Malcolm Turnbull

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.

How’s that going to work, then? – Government 2.0 and purdah

Perhaps it's time we stopped considering departmental web sites and social tools an optional bolt-on and put them where they belong – as a part of the critical communication network government agencies rely upon to get their message out and serve their government and public.

TPG’s $69.99 unlimited plan shows the NBN future

The $69.99 unlimited plan revealed by cut-rate ISP TPG yesterday shows what the future of broadband plans on the National Broadband Network will look like, and it's not good news for premium ISPs such as Telstra, Optus and iiNet.

Sit tight for Australia’s tablet price war

If you're considering buying any form of tablet device in the next month or so Australia, stop right where you are, put your wallet and your hard-earned cash back in your pocket and go and take a cold shower for ten minutes until you calm down and your lust for loot has vanished from your feverish brain.

Labor and Coalition broadband policies: What’s the difference?

The Coalition’s broadband policy offers a lower-cost network that will provide customers with modest improvements in broadband services in the shorter term; whereas the Coalition’s network will create a new digital divide and require major upgrades soon after it is completed. Labor promises a more future-proof solution that will cost more at the outset, but will stimulate broadband developments in government, business, and entertainment, and has potential to serve Australia beyond 2050.

The Australian public cares about privacy: Do politicians?

Two documents released this week highlight divergent views among the community and politicians.

Devil in the details: Tasmania’s 12-year FTTP failure demonstrates political incompetence

Politicians in Tasmania and in Canberra have been promising residents of the Apple Isle fibre broadband for at least 12 years. The abject failure to deliver almost any improvement to the state's basic telecommunications infrastructure in that time starkly demonstrates the rank incompetence of Australia's political class in setting and deliverying broadband policy.

iPad shock and awe

What is a bit unbelievable there is that we're getting remarkably close pricing to the US, at least on this spin of Apple's magical wheel of price fixing. But getting the local Telcos — and especially Telstra — to deliver some surprisingly good and genuinely competitive 3G data pricing? Now that is unbelievable.

Wake up and smell the democracy, Stilgherrian

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read Stilgherrian’s rant on ABC Unleashed yesterday about how Australia’s “digital elites” may understand technology but somehow don’t get how the apparently unbelievably complicated world of Federal politics works.

Chaos: Coalition a total shambles on NBN policy

Up until now, I've been willing to give the Coalition the benefit of the doubt when it comes to national broadband policy, due primarily to the intelligence and experience of its Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. But events last week starkly demonstrated the Coalition is currently a complete mess when it comes to this critical portfolio.

The Coalition’s NBN policy is a triumph of short-termism over long-term vision

Malcolm Turnbull has moved the Coalition light years – or at least several million fibre optic kilometres – from the Luddite criticisms thrown up by the Opposition during the 2010 federal election campaign. That said, it was sad to see the number of debating tricks employed in launching his national broadband policy.

The Kobo eReader: What you need to know

My personal opinion is this is the best project we can expect to see in the market in the short to medium term, and should be successful for Borders Australia.

Burned by their own hubris: Every party to the Kogan Mobile fiasco brought their...

There are no victims in this complete debacle: Like the fated heroes of the Greek tragedies, every party involved in the Kogan Mobile catastrophe brought their own injury on themselves.

Oh dear: McAfee CEO is bored by his own press conference

We can understand that McAfee chief executive Dave DeWalt has a lot on his mind. He just sold his company to Intel for US$7.68 billion, his press team is running wild naming Cameron Diaz the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace, and the internet “threat landscape” is always growing.

Oh Dear: Firemen + the Church of Father Quigley

Industry lunches are generally pleasant and padded enough to bring in the bacon munchers -- but one does not expect a veritable comedy sketch and an impromptu evangelist "Hallelujah father! I am cleansed!" rejoice session.

What it means: Five key points from the Senate’s Digital Currency report

Last week the Senate Standing Committee on Economics handed down a detailed report following its inquiry into Australia’s emerging digital or crypto-currency sector. The release was hailed as a “watershed” moment for this financial technology — here’s why it matters, in five succinct points.

‘Shelved’? No. Data retention will be back

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Federal Government had 'shelved' its data retention plans, walking away from the controversial proposal to monitor all Australians' communications. But the reality is the complete opposite: Data retention is still being actively considered as a policy and will shortly return to plague Australia once again.

Five disturbing things about the Interpol filter

This month, Australia gets its first mandatory Internet filtering scheme, courtesy of a project which is seeing the nation’s largest ISPs Telstra and Optus block their users from visiting a ‘worst of the worst’ list of child pornography sites defined by international agency Interpol. But the project hasn’t exactly come up smelling like roses. Here’s five things we find disturbing about the whole thing.

The only way to fix copyright is to make it fair

Everyone knows there’s a problem with copyright. Artists get paid very little for their work, and legitimate consumers aren’t getting a very fair deal either. Unfortunately, nobody agrees about how we should fix it.

The Department for ACTA

A key player in Australia’s negotiations to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) revealed itself last Monday and surprisingly it wasn’t News Ltd, the US Embassy in Canberra or even a reigning political party. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade emerged as ACTA’s cheerleader-in-chief in Australia, trumpeting the benefits of the treaty before a rare open federal parliamentary committee.

Reality check: NBN Syntheo delays not significant

If you believe what you read over the past week, you'd think that construction delays on the part of contractor Syntheo have significantly derailed the progress of the National Broadband Network. However, as is often the case with the NBN, the truth couldn't be more different. The fact is that network remains squarely on track to meet its June 2013 rollouts targets.

NEHTA — On the road to nowhere?

The NEHTA plan, as it stands will deliver fragile single purpose interconnectivity with little or no interoperability ... As it stands they are on a road to nowhere. We have been down that road and we know where it leads.

Forget e-health, the NBN is a big, fat, entertainment machine

What the supporters of the NBN should be doing is heavily promoting the reasons that an average, wage-earning family would have for the NBN. And that argument, simply, is entertainment.

Australian Amazon datacentre? Or just a CDN node?

There's simply no way that Australia will see an Amazon datacentre presence consisting of anything like the same scale that the company has deployed in the US, Europe, or even Japan. What we will see is likely something like Amazon Edge, plus a little bit on the side. Datacentre rollouts are more complex than headlines would make them out to be -- and so are commercial decisions for a company as big as Amazon Web Services.

Retail service providers an endangered species

When the NBN rollout comes past your premise, you will have a choice of which retail service provider you sign up with. But that choice may be limited -- and the plans not as broad as you would like.

Australia’s double dragon enterprise IT revolution

Australian workers are starting to demand that their data and applications can be delivered to any device, anywhere, at any time, and they want all this now. Cloud computing + iPad = a level of flexibility and productivity that has heretofore been impossible in the enterprise.

A couple of important NBN corrections

Over the past several weeks, several prominent newspaper commentators have published a number of factual inaccuracies with respect to the Federal Government's National Broadband Network project. With the aim of informing good public policy debate, it seems appropriate to try and correct the record.

The iiBorg are assimilating all NBN competition

You can easily imagine what coffee meetings with Michael Malone must be like these days. "Resistance is futile," the leader of the growing iiBorg empire would sternly tell anyone brave enough to enter his company's headquarters. "You will be assimilated. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own."

Explainer: what is 4G?

If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone or computer you’ve probably seen advertisements and offers for 4G-compatible devices. You might even own a 4G-compatible device already. But just what is 4G? How does it compare to existing 3G networks? And what is the current availability of 4G networks in Australia?

Election rant 3: Prevailing wisdom

Many telcos and industry pundits don't like to admit it, but if you examine the past 15 years of history in Australia's telecommunciations sector, you will find a stark picture: Faster speeds, billions of dollars spent on successful infrastructure, strong degrees of competition and better consumer outcomes.

Why NBN ISPs won’t all perform the same

opinion This week, Exetel chief executive John Linton made the audacious claim that all ISPs reselling National Broadband Network services would deliver the exact same performance to customers. However, I believe the claim to be broadly wrong – and in this article I’ll attempt to demonstrate why.

Calling Conroy an idiot won’t stop the filter

Getting rid of Conroy won't get rid of the filter -- it's not just a personal thing, it's endorsed by Cabinet. Attacking him in the hope that his unlikely removal would kill the proposal is just a waste of time.

How does fibre over powerlines stack up against other potential NBN technologies?

Tasmania’s assertive push to keep up deployment of optical fibre, and make it cost effective by using overhead rollout, makes a lot of sense. In urban areas, no other technology has a feasible lifetime beyond 2025, and many of the existing broadband technologies are already obsolete with no hope of evolution. It will work for the vast majority of urban areas.

Why are media giants so afraid of technology?

What our media companies should take from the popularity of piracy, even in Australia, is how this new medium (the big, bad Internet) can be used as a distribution channel for the new generation of media consumer.

Oh dear: Mark Newton’s epic government rant

Mark Newton's submission to the Cyber-Safety Committee is one of the most epic rants we have ever had the pleasure to read.

It will take more than being ‘bouncy’ to fix Australia’s innovation system

It is a good sign that Turnbull is upbeat about innovation; but he appears not to understand that innovation is not a matter of pressing the right button and expecting that change will happen.

New NBN policy galvanised Coalition voters

The release of the Coalition's new National Broadband Network policy had a dramatic effect upon support for Labor's existing policy, analysis of polling data shows, with a large chunk of Coalition voters abandoning their previous long-term support for Labor's existing NBN policy in favour of the new Coalition alternative.

Dear Mark, in Australia we love “the Facebook”

I know that your team is sorting through everything, day and night. You can't post just anything on 'the Facebook" and get away with it, can you Mark? You guys notice everything. And are you on Twitter yet?

Conroy’s wrong on net filtering

Take the money allocated to the technical path and distribute it across the other goals of the overall cyber safety policy of the government, and we'll all be in a better place.

Opinion: The Roy/BlueChilli policy hack is a great concept, but poorly executed

I hope that the guys at Blue Chilli can pull together something valuable, with outcomes that encourage further policy hacks and a more inclusive approach that reflects the broader community- however I don't expect it.

How seriously should we take Ruslan Kogan?

As we said before, Ruslan Kogan is a talented, visionary and successful entrepreneur who deserves our attention. But the events of the past few weeks have demonstrated we simply cannot take the maverick businessman at his word -- because he has done little over the past week to back up some very large and very public claims with hard evidence.

Dotcom turns twenty-five

Whether it's an effort to block Google access in China, an effort toward mandatory internet censorship in Australia, or otherwise, these efforts are truly futile.

Gershon funds must remain quarantined

The Australian ICT Policy Reform online petition is seeking support from the Australian ICT industry to call on both the Gillard Government and the Opposition to maintain quarantining of the agreed savings identified as a result of the Gershon review. These funds should remain available for re-investment by the Australian Public Service to enhance existing service delivery for all Australians and provide an opportunity for ICT driven innovation within the public sector.

Internet control: Conroy’s not fooling anyone

Today, Senator Conroy has was asked about the crisis in Egypt, where a desperate government cut internet access in order to hinder protestors. The minister in response declared his undying love for an Internet free of government control and assured us that such a thing could never happen in Australia.

Why data breach reporting should be mandatory

As we move forward in this era of online transactions and social media, there’s a need for security and privacy legislation to keep pace. Most importantly, there’s a need for Australians to feel confident that their personal information is being kept safe by those we entrust it to.

Public ownership of the NBN is just crazy talk

Put simply, committing to public ownership for the sake of public ownership is a backward step that nobody should be seriously considering at this stage of the NBN's deployment. It is just crazy talk.

Oh dear: Meter Maids heat up Tech.Ed

Meter Maids attend Tech.Ed.

Govt to upgrade filter to new SOPA version

The Federal Government today confirmed plans to upgrade its controversial mandatory Internet filtering scheme with the new Stop Online Piracy Act module released in the United States this week, with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy confirming the new functionality would be ready ahead of the next Federal Election.

NBN competition will rest almost solely on price

Retail competition on the National Broadband Network will rest almost solely on price, in my opinion, as the importance of other differentiating factors between telcos like Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet will diminish almost to zero. And here's why.

“Destructive forces” unravelling NBN, says Budde

"Destructive forces" at work in a "highly polarised political environment" are starting to "unravel" Labor's National Broadband Network project, veteran analyst Paul Budde said yesterday, with the new Coalition Government having boxed itself into a corner on the issue and end users set to suffer from a nightmarish situation akin to a "Pandora's Box" of problems.

McAfee clients: do you have the guts?

McAfee customers whose systems went down yesterday should demand they get given money or an extended licence for the time they had to spend fixing the problem.

Cloud computing is the new green IT

If I hear the word "cloud computing" mentioned one more time in the next month I am going to petition Kevin Rudd to create an ombudsman to deal with the matter.

“Technology-neutral policy” can be a dangerous fallacy

"Technology-neutral policy" is a useful but treacherous concept that has led many Australian politicians into making poor decisions about important technology issues over the past decade. It's still a very useful framework, but it's time this theory was re-examined by our policymakers in light of those failures and the importance of learning from the past to better inform the future.

Australia desperately needs a good technology policy think tank

The past decade or so of failed technology policy in Australia sharply demonstrates the need for an independent think tank that would focus on developing viable, sustainable and popular technology policy and feeding it into the political process.

Google shouldn’t stop collecting Wi-Fi data

Google's decision to stop its Street View cars collecting harmless data on the location of Wi-Fi hotspots (including in Australia) is an over-reaction to the baseless concerns of a few privacy experts and should be reversed.

Does the NBN even need a voice port?

If there is one thing which has always surprised me about the National Broadband Network project, it is the dogged insistence of the network's designers on building a legacy voice telephony port into what is supposed to be next-generation infrastructure.

BigPond broadband is cheap as chips

I stumbled upon a shocking and unbelievable truth when casually browsing around the websites of several of Australia's top internet service providers this afternoon.

Better public Wi-Fi in Australia? Let’s send a signal

If you can’t get a satisfactory mobile signal in Martin Place or Collins Street during peak hour, perhaps you should lobby the Sydney or Melbourne city councils, as well as your mobile phone provider.

Cost benefit rationality of the false NBN dichotomy

The truth is -- as Malcolm Turnbull has been at pains to point out, to his peril -- that the private sector has stood willing and able to replace and upgrade vast chunks of Australia's ageing yet still very functional telecommunications infrastructure for some time– as long as that ever tricky requirement falls into place – regulatory certainty.

Internet: ignorance is the real threat

In the 21st century it should be utterly unacceptable to elect representatives who wilfully fail to understand how our country has changed in the presence of technology.

NBN: Where do we go from here?

The National Broadband initiative is an opportunity to see if we can manage a more evolved form of government where people can elect the representatives that represent their ideological views, but with the knowledge that the country will be governed in a non-dogmatic way and with greater participation.

The road to public sector IT hell may not be paved with intentions at...

Something that scares me enormously is the house of cards that many (if not most) governments have built with their IT systems.

Oh dear: Tony Smith doesn’t really ‘get’ Twitter

Politicians tend to be a mixed bunch when it comes to interacting with Twitter. Some seem to really understand the social networking tool, like NSW Premier Kristina Keneally. And some, like Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, seem to ignore it altogether. And then there's Tony Smith.

Oh dear: David Thodey finds out about the iPad

Telstra chief executive David Thodey wasn't happy when he found out that the Apple iPad launched in Australia six months before Telstra's T-Touch Android tablet.

Politically and functionally, Turnbull’s first 100 days have been a disaster

It's hard to imagine how things could have gone worse for Malcolm Turnbull in his first three months as Communications Minister. With the public rapidly turning on the Earl of Wentworth over his horribly unpopular new NBN policy, a growing perception that he's stacking NBN Co with partisan staff and a lack of transparency verging on the hypocritical, it's hard to find positives for the Earl of Wentworth from his initial period in office. Turnbull is truly fumbling the catch on both political and functional levels.

Corporate highs: The US P-TECH model for schools in Australia?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited a P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early Career High) school in New York last week, hinting it’s a model of education we should consider implementing in Australia. The school, partly funded by IBM and training students to suit the company’s needs, is different to anything we have in Australia. While the P-TECH model would be feasible here, the model risks confusing economic needs with educational ones.

Is there any future for Telstra at all?

I couldn't help but get the impression that these negotiations, whichever way they come out, give every sign of being Telstra's "last hurrah" as a relevancy in Australian communications.

The truth about politicians and technology policy

The recent adult rating for computer games debate has raised a concept that I’ve alluded to a few times in the media recently (and if you’re unlucky enough to be someone who knows me in a private sense, you’ll have had it there too), namely the dichotomy of what democracy means – how politicians view it and how everyone else does.

Praise the Sun

In the critically acclaimed video game Dark Souls, there is a mysterious character known as Solaire of Astora who has developed something of a global cult following which may give us some insight into this human existence.

Spotify: Saviour of the music industry?

It says an awful lot about the music industry that the key IT companies have dominated legal sales mechanisms in providing affordable digital systems and a decent market share. Spotify will continue to be an interesting experiment in an industry that is still not relaxed and comfortable about the new century.

When will Labor get serious about supporting its NBN policy?

The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor's Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?

The NBN must have a cost/benefit analysis

The Gillard Government must urgently undertake a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the network. Its stubborn failure to do so can only lead us to conclude that it does not want to know what that analysis will reveal.

Good news, flyers: ‘Flight mode’ is safe during take-off and landing

Earlier this year, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) put together a panel of aviation experts to look at whether personal electronic devices (PEDs) could be used on planes without compromising safety. The results are in: the committee is recommending that electronic devices – such as tablets, e-readers and other PEDs – be allowed during all phases of flight (including take-off and landing).

NBN study release a major Greens victory

It is perhaps fitting that as Minchin is leaving the stage, Greens Senator Ludlam is emerging as the defacto Shadow Communications Minister, in the absence of Opposition will to engage in the portfolio.

Wow! What a week. Humbled, but still nervous. 15 percent to go: Will we...

We still need about $3,700 to successfully fund the project, and although contributions are still coming in, they have obviously slowed down substantially from the incredible first couple of days of the project. I will need to continue momentum if The Frustrated State is to be funded. And Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing model – if we don’t hit our target, I won’t receive any funding for the project.

Datacentre strategy a big downer

When I read the summary of the government's datacentre strategy for the next 15 years, the first thing I wondered was how it could have taken the government months to come up with this document.

Oh dear: “Unlimited” doesn’t mean “Unlimited”

The Delimiter office was a little surprised this afternoon when a courier appeared and handed us a copy of The Little Oxford English Ditcionary & Thesaurus. But what was inside?

On folly, freedom and filters

Hannah has been using the Internet since she was four ... When Hannah uses the Internet, she uses a connection at home that is completely unfiltered, neither by the router we use nor by activating the fairly comprehensive parental controls that come as a standard part of modern operating systems. She has administrator access to the machine she uses and she also knows and understands how to access and manage the home network.

“Incredible” NBN debate stuck in “yesterday’s logic”, says Budde

Respected telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has called for a more constructive debate about Australia's future broadband needs, arguing that the current national conversation over the issue of the National Broadband Network is stuck using "yesterday's logic" as it fails to plan for the needs of a future only five to ten years away.

Election rant 6: NBN envy – or apathy?

In the end game, politically and economically, the NBN is a nice thing to have. But it's not an essential thing. And that's the other thing about the problem of the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence.

Neither AT&T nor Turnbull are telling the whole truth

The local debate over AT&T's plans to deploy gigabit fibre to 100 US cities starkly demonstrates that neither giant telcos nor the politicians regulating them can be trusted to give Australians 100 percent of the truth about how next-generation broadband infrastructure rollouts are being or should be deployed.

When does technology fade into the background?

Sometimes it’s time to let things go and stop treating them as unusual just because they involve a certain type of technology.

Intelligence apologists fast running out of excuses

Politicians from Australia's major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community's ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.

How Australia got online 25 years ago

It is a quarter-century since Australia first connected to the internet, but this technological breakthrough had a long gestation. What is now a global phenomenon was once the property of an exclusive community.

The rage building over Telstra

At some point, Telstra shareholders are going to have to decide whether the cost of not doing a deal with Conroy and Rudd is too high, or, alternatively, whether the cost of doing a deal is too high. Either way, compared to the current situation, they lose.

Snowden report calls out Australia’s inadequate privacy law

The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have altered the way we think about accountability, transparency and the rule of law with regard to both the activities of security agencies and the value of privacy, according to a detailed report released this week. But this change in thinking has not led to practical reform, according to the report.

Labor hardly better than Opposition on tech policy

I feel obliged to point out that when it comes to having policies about technology, the Australian Labor Party -- the party which is currently governing Australia -- is little better than the Coalition.

How can small booksellers get ahead with eBooks?

If B&T and Blio can work out a format and DRM regime that won’t annoy the long-suffering consumers already overburdened with DRM, incompatible devices and numerous apps required to read a book, having friendly local sellers onside may be the secret ingredient in winning the format wars!

Do Australia’s video game developers have a future?

While there are obviously plenty of opportunities to develop a sustainable video game industry in Australia, the key appears to be an ongoing dialogue between industry and policy advisors at a state level, and an association such as the GDAA.

AFL rights: Optus, Telstra in a techno-legal time warp

The danger here is that regulators go with a business-friendly commercial fix, rather than regulation in the public interest. At the heart of capitalist property law is the right to exploit: just ask Optus.

Conroy’s R18+ decision

A feeble Delimiter Friday afternoon attempt at humour, based on the Rage Guy and other memes floating around at the moment online.

AFP questions Attorney-General for not switching off phone on plane

Oh, dear. It appears as though Australia's new Federal Attorney-General is at least as arrogant as the previous two. An article in the Daily Telegraph published late last week tells us that Mark Dreyfus, who replaced Nicola Roxon in the portfolio in February, refused to turn off his mobile phone in a recent flight and was subsequently met by the AFP when the plane landed.

Cranky Telstra wants its champagne glass back

Telstra's response so far to concerns about its Structural Separation Undertaking has been conciliatory by its own standards; but has not yet come anywhere near to substantially addressing issues with the document expressed by its rivals and the competition regulator over the past several months.

Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

Despite experts’ fears, Australia should be moving to electronic online voting

Australia’s current election proves that there has never been a greater need for online electronic voting. The country has come to a political standstill as the laborious process of manual counting of ballot papers is conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Oh dear: Microsoft Twitterer doesn’t know who’s who

You have to hand it to whoever was running Microsoft Australia's official Twitter account today during the launch of Redmond's latest and greatest Office 2008 suite.

Why a 4G iPhone will spell doom for Vodafone

The local launch of a new Apple iPhone supporting 4G mobile speeds will spell disaster for ailing mobile carrier Vodafone -- the only major mobile telco in Australia not to have launched or even started constructing a 4G network to deliver improved speeds to customers.

Bevan and Baxter: Two more for the NBN board

Last week we proposed Internode founder Simon Hackett as a prime candidate to sit on NBN Co’s newly refreshed board under Tony Abbott’s new Coalition Government. Today we add two new prospective names to the list: PIPE Networks’ influential founders Bevan Slattery and Steve Baxter.

Paying a high price for embarrassing the government

This article is by Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne. It originally appeared on The Conversation....

Oh dear: Alan Jones, Chika, Steve Waugh and VMWare?

The trustees list of the of the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust reads like a roll call of Sydney blue blood royalty.

Why major IT projects fail: A basic primer

New South Wales' outgoing auditor-general has published a brief whitepaper outlining the major causes of project failure in the state government and what can be done to address the issue, specifically calling out IT projects as having a bad track record in the area.

Election rant 1: Who’s greediest?

As many pigs have discovered over time – heading straight for the feeding trough without keeping a watchful eye out for the farmer's axe can lead one to feeling that they're high on the hog when they're actually a pig in a poke.

Cloud services first: A next-generation shared services policy for government

Cloud services break the cycle of agency investment in dedicated ICT solutions that are difficult or impossible to share. In contrast, each procurement of cloud services incrementally develops the capacity of the vendor to offer the same service to other agencies. A policy position of “cloud services first” is a strategic commitment by government to the development of the next generation of shared services.

I tried to buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab … but failed

The scene: Deep in the dungeon of a Federal Government agency. Our protagonist, a mild mannered government worker by day, intrepid reporter at night, sees the Delimiter article on Vodafone releasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab on this date! Hallelujah!

myGov has potential but is far from finished

MyGov – or something like it – is part of a 21st century government. It is the way of the future. But it needs careful development, testing, and selling.

Has Apple’s iPhone jumped the shark?

Apple only has a brief interval of time in which to attract our middle class attention with shiny new toys before we start to feel guilty for not joining the faster, broader and increasingly more innovative and open Android upgrade cycle.

Fact-checking NBN politics: Where reality defeats spin

Perhaps the most common complaint about the ongoing National Broadband Network debate is the extent to which it has become dominated by misleading political spin that may obscure the fundamental ideas being discussed. With this in mind, this article will attempt to fact-check a number of recent NBN-related statements from both sides of politics. Who's telling porkies? We'll find out.

Will Australia meet its April 2014 Open Government commitment?

Will Australia join Russia, becoming the second nation to withdraw? Or will it simply delay membership - one year, two years or more? Perhaps we'll find out with a government announcement in the next month regarding its OGP commitment. Or perhaps all we can expect is ongoing silence.

Apple Pay no sure thing in mobile payments race

Evidence both the incumbents and disruptors face challenges in non-traditional payments.

Watching the detectives: the case for restricting access to your social media data

Let’s hasten slowly in considering calls to free the state from administrative inconveniences such as warrants and rules of evidence.

Five reasons Australians should quit Facebook

Is this a company that Australia should be supporting? Not in my book.

How high-speed broadband will be the death of Telstra

The opposition is doing the government a favour by blocking the legislation that will allow Telstra to be broken up.

How to understand NAB’s core banking strategy

If you follow Australia’s banking technology scene closely, no doubt you’ve probably become quite confused over the past four or so years about the National Australia Bank’s core banking overhaul strategy and how precisely it is actually put together and progressing; and you wouldn’t be the only one. But if you delve a little under the surface it all becomes clear.

The end of the Wii era

Nintendo's Wii is dead. OK, hyperbole check. It's still kicking mass-market butt, actually. But that's not going to last much longer. So allow me to rephrase: Nintendo's Wii will be dead by the end of this year.

Warning: Telstra is killing off Australia’s mobile competition

In five years' time, just how much market share will Telstra have in Australia's mobile phone industry? If it keeps on adding 900,000 new mobile connections every six months while its rivals do diddly squat, I would have to say the answer will be: Most of it.

Why EA will be great for Firemint

Criticising Firemint for simply doing the necessary in order to release the best work they possibly can is unfair and ultimately gets in the way of what should be the number one aim of anybody in the game development industry, regardless of their business circumstances: creating the most awesome games possible.

Virgin’s internet porn sackings somewhat hypocritical

I couldn’t help but feel amused by the irony on Friday when the news broke that Virgin Blue had sacked 20 staff for what the Sydney Morning Herald reported was the dastardly offence of swapping porn on the airline’s computers.

The lost cause of American political fact-checkers

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” — Daniel Patrick Moynihan.