The Big Switch: An Android user’s first week with an iPhone 6s

   Why did you get an iPhone? What do you think of it? Should I switch from Android to iPhone?  As a long time Android champion, these were the sort of surprised questions I started getting when I told people I’d made the switch to an iPhone 6s. Rather than fill Facebook with a series of unconnected posts, I thought I’d try and put my initial impressions in to a single blog post. So firstly, why did I jump ship? I have a confession to make. My decision to switch was at least partly based on novelty.  I’ve been pretty happy with the succession of  HTC ‘droids I’ve owned over the years. But I’m also someone who enjoys learning new things, and part of me […]

Terabyte Delight or Terror Byte?

I have a new post at TEX,  looking at the market buzz around terabyte broadband plans. The short version of my argument: whilst there are some users who consistently use  a terabyte or more, this is a lot more data than most currently need.  Anyway, the post  got picked up by the media, being covered by both ZDNet and IT News. ZD Net, Telstra Attacks Terabyte Fad IT News, Telstra says: Don’t take terabyte broadband bait

Attribution & Retribution in the age of Aurora and Stuxnet

This post is  inspired by my attendance at the Sydney session of the  McAfee Focus 2010 Security Seminar and recent discussions around the Stuxnet malware. At  McAfee’s  Focus 2010 Security Seminar, one of the more interesting sessions  was an analysis of Operation Arurora presented by McAfee’s head of Threat Research,  Dmitri Alperovitch.  Outside of  IT security circles, the name Operation Aurora probably doesn’t ring any bells.  But in January 2010,  the Aurora cyber-attack  was making headlines across the globe due to Google’s sensational claims it had been the victim of a security breach which had its origins in China. Google wasn’t the only company infiltrated.  A number of other US companies in industries such as finance, defence and technology, were also targeted. But it was […]

Losing the filter without losing face

This week the Australian Labor Party installed Julia Gillard as its new leader, making her the first female Prime Minister of Australia.  This change in leadership provides the government with an opportunity to change its approach to certain policy issues without losing (quite so much) face. The new PM has wasted no time in seizing the opportunity to  change the governments  approach to negotiating with the mining industry over the resource super profit tax (RSPT). The question now is – what other policy areas could benefit from an opportune change of tack? Within the telecoms and technology arena, there have been two hot topics for the  ALP led government since it came to power – the National Broadband Network (NBN) and internet censorship. This week, […]

NBN not mandatory for ‘smart grids’

One of the claimed  benefits of the national broadband network (NBN) is that it will act as an enabler for ‘smart grids’.  ‘Smart grids’  have been described as electricity distribution networks that: “use sensors, meters, digital controls and analytic tools to automate, monitor and control the two-way flow of energy across operations—from power plant to plug. A power company can optimize grid performance, prevent outages, restore outages faster and allow consumers to manage energy usage right down to the individual networked appliance. Smart grids can also incorporate new sustainable energies such as wind and solar generation, and interact locally with distributed power sources, or plug-in electric vehicles.” (IBM 30/11/2009) In his NBN advocacy,  Senator Conroy has claimed smart grids can make a significant contribution to helping […]

NBN Study: Were the right questions asked?

Earlier this month, the Australian government released the implementation study for the National Broadband Network.  The scope of the study was to: “advise Government on how best to implement its stated policy objectives, not to evaluate those objectives, given that the policies have already been agreed by Government. This report therefore focuses on translating high-level policy objectives into tangible actions for both Government and NBN Co to implement. Explicitly, it does not: Evaluate Government’s policy objectives; Evaluate the decision to implement the NBN via the establishment of NBN Co; Undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the macro-economic and social benefits that would result from the implementation of a superfast broadband network.” (NBN Implementation Study, 06/05/2010) The report is clearly directed at answering the question of how to […]

Telstra’s first Android is mostly Desirable

Just over a  year ago,  Optus brought the first Android phone to Australia in the form of the HTC  Dream.  Now Telstra has joined the Android ranks with the launch of the  HTC Desire.  This recent addition to HTC’s Android lineup is an impressive device and after two weeks of use, the verdict is “mostly desirable”. So what makes this phone so desirable? And why the qualification of “mostly”?

Internet censorship: not dead, just sleeping

With the Australian government delaying  introduction of its internet censorship legislation, there’s been some speculation that the policy may be dead. The more likely scenario however is that the policy has simply  gone in to hibernation until after the Federal election. Despite the media and blogosphere cries of “backflip”, this is a smart tactical move. Tactically, delaying the legislation makes sense. Pushing it through before the election risks continuing the distracting public feud with the government’s critics. Delaying until after the election gives the ALP a range of options. Should the ALP  fail to hold a majority in the Senate following the next election, ‘net censorship may once again become a political bargaining chip.  Family First are strong supporters of mandatory ISP filtering, and have previously called for the […]

First impressions: Motorola DEXT & Backflip

The Android invasion of Australia is set to  ramp up with this month with new handsets being launched by both Telstra and Optus. Telstra will be launching the HTC Desire on April 27th, followed by the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 on May 4th. Optus meanwhile, has already hit the market with the Motorola DEXT and Motorola Backflip. After having a quick hands on with the DEXT and Backflip at a local Optus store, here’s my initial thoughts on the features that stood out for me.