Pipe

Stories in the Pipe

These are stories waiting to be published to the main page. Remember, anyone can submit a new story!

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Samsung forces Bixby on users in Galaxy 8
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-04-25 05:41
0 comments
Have you ever wanted something looking over your shoulder watching everything you do that you can't get rid of? Samsung thinks you do. The latest flagship product from Samsung has an assistant program baked into the operating system for which cannot be disabled by the owner of the device. This is a receipe for privacy violations and data leakage. In comparison, most other programs including Google Services can be disabled. Is it time to pass a law requiring companies to hand over root access for devices to consumers?
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eBay may block Australian buyers over GST collection
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-04-18 13:08
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eBay has responded to the Australian Government initiative to collect GST for all internet purchases by proposing to block Australians from using eBay on the grounds that the changes demanded by the ATO are unworkable. While the Australian Treasurer has stated that this measure is to ensure local Australian businesses are not disadvantaged by the availability of overseas goods, the bill does not address that goods not available in Australia will also be taxed. The cost to businesses around the world to collection and be audited for GST may be excessive enough for many businesses to simply block Australians from purchasing. Local stores including Harvey Norman and Premier Investments are being blamed for supporting this change providing the government a platform to reap more taxes. Should this occur, and eBay does block Australian buyers, then the Australian government may find itself facing a backlash from millions of voters that it is not in the position to manage.
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Google invents a whole new way to creep us out
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-04-16 13:26
1 comment
Don't be evil. A motto to live by. A goal to achieve. A vision. A stupid utterance made by an exec before Google dominated the internet. Google has announced a new product named Google Hire which will allow a potential employee to see your internet search history. Privacy advocates are warning that now is a good time to clear your Google search history and take preventative measures. Google Hire will links events from your Google account, Youtube history, and other sources to give employers a deeper understanding of applicants. Google Hire will allow employers to employers to post job listings, and accept and manage applications similar to StackExchange and other sites.
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Another group of thieves has their selfies uploaded to iCloud
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-04-09 13:27
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Proving once again that criminals are just stupid a group of thieves has stolen an iPhone then taken selfies which automatically uploaded to the cloud. The phone's owner posted the pictures on Facebook and handed them to the police in the hope of catching the criminals. Years after the first news story where an idiot used a stolen phone not realizing that the pics were being uploaded it appears that thieves are still targeting these valuable devices. When will a universal kill switch be implemented to make this type of crime not worthwhile?
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Microsoft admits how much data Windows 10 sends
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-04-08 09:16
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Microsoft is in damage control after admitting how much data Windows 10 actually takes. The admission has sickened privacy groups fears and confirmed the rumours of how bad Windows 10 actually is. Microsoft intend to make the situation worse in the soon to be released, the Creators Update, will report all details of a windows machine to Microsoft down to the hardware serial numbers and colour of the machine. This is the type of information advertisers have been clawing to get for years. No word at time this on how much Microsoft would sell this data for.
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ACCC to investigate how fast the NBN actually isn't
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-04-07 05:27
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In a shock move, the Australian Customer Care and Cardiology department of the Australian Department is going to respond to repeated calls for the still-being-built National Broadband Network to be re-done due to complains of inconsistent speed and bad dropouts in the new fiber network. This will involve NBN victims^WCUSTOMERS putting a hardware device on their NBN line to report statistics in real time. around 4000 households will be tested to see exactly how bad the NBN is. Since its inception the NBN has been lambasted for its approach and implementation to build what is meant to be the fastest public infrastructure for the future ever seen in Australia for which is meant to last generations. In related news, a recent poll showed that less than half the country wants the NBN, and one third of the people polled think that they can just refuse the NBN when it is connected and keep using their existing copper line.
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Galaxy 8 to have face recognition for payments
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-03-19 08:04
2 comments
The latest Samsung Galaxy 8 will have facial recognition for payments, a 3.5mm audio jack and no home button. Samsung needs the Galaxy 8 to be a success after the shocking problems with the Note 7. With cheaper smartphones entering the mobile arena Samsung needs to capitalize on its market dominance to stay ahead.
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iPhone Explodes in Customer's Hand at Repair Shop
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-03-18 04:45
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A customer took their iPhone in to be repaired only to have the iPhone 6 explode in their hand as they pressed the screen. The screen blew right off. The shop had to be shut for the day due to the fumes created by the burning device. Beware of lithium-ion batteries in phones.
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Dominos may win GPS Pizza Tracking suit by default
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-03-15 12:37
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The Australian arm of Dominos is battling a lawsuit over its use of GPS technology to track pizza deliveries with Precision Tracking who claim that Dominos reversed their technology after initial talks fell through. Dominos claims to have gone with a superior GPS technology solution provider, Navman Wireless, who they are now suing, for which themselves have lodged a counterclaim against Precision Tracking making this a three way lawsuit. If Precision Tracking does not put up AU$200,000 as security then its case against Dominos will be halted. This three way stoush over the implementation method of using GPS to track pizza delivery shows how close Australia has become to following in America's footsteps in having legal battles over software patents for obvious inventions, tie up courts and harm innovation.
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Vibrator maker pays out after admiting to tracking users with online app
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-03-15 12:07
5 comments
A class action lawsuit has resulted in a leading vibrator manufacturer paying out up to $10,000 for any person who used their We-Vibe app after hackers discovered that personal data was being recorded by the company. While the company has claimed that it has done nothing wrong, anyone who owns a We-Vibe is entitled to part of the settlement based on that dates and times of use as well as vibration mode and pattern was being sent to servers owned by Innovation Standards using personally-identifiable email addresses as keys. As the data collected was deemed to be 'highly sensitive' the company will destroy all data collected.
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Nokia brings back the 3310 but not for Aussies
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-02-27 02:20
3 comments
With the recent rash of popularity of old style phones Nokia has licenced the old style 3310 candybar style phone to be ressurected. Sadly this phone is not useful in some countries like Australia where the 2G networks are being dismantled. If this retro phone does take off there is hope of a 3G or 4G version for diehard enthusiasts and people who appreciate a phone with 22 hours of talk time and one month standby.
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Australia to introduce face recognition to speed up airport processing
by Anonymous Coward on 2017-01-22 07:36
1 comment
Australian introduced SmartGates a decade ago to scan passports automatically reducing the time required to process passengers through international airport security. Now the Australian Government is planning to spend 94M for a five year project to process 90% of travellers processed automatically. Passengers would not need to show their passports, instead being processed by biometric recognition of their faces, irises and/or fingerprints.
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Fun with candy and hot water
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-12-23 07:32
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Recent experiments have demonstrated the lovely patterns that can be formed from skittles and hot water. Now, the BOS shows how to mix hot water and m&m candy to create colorful patterns. Next up: hot water and jelly beans.
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Australian Welfare Debt Automation Cockup So Bad Centrelink Boss Gives Out Personal Email Address
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-12-20 13:42
10 comments
As of six months ago the Department of Human Services started spewing out 20,000 letters per week to people claiming that they owe Centrelink a debt. This is the same number of letters Centrelink, a part of DHS, used to send out per year. This is due to a new system implemented by the DHS for which pulls back five years of data from the Australian Tax Office then compares the amount of benefits paid to each person resulting in a calculation for if the person was potentially overpaid welfare. Due to the period of time many people have moved on and were not contactable by the DHS, so Centrelink sent the letters of demand to debt collectors when people could not be contacted to resolve the question of whether a debt was owed. Now, with Christmas approaching, thousands of people are being hunted down by debt collectors for debts they know nothing about and for in several cases debts that are not real. Understandably, many people are not happy about this. In response to the overwhelming negative response by the public to this situation Centrelink boss Hank Jongen has asked people to email him directly to discuss their issues. This is just the latest in a series of publicly humiliating incidents the DHS has faced in 2016 with special focus on its baneful MyGov and My Health Record systems and the outsourcing of the Bowel Cancer Screening Register. On the bright side, there are only 10 days left in 2016. What else can possibly go wrong this year.
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Australia considers US style copyright reform
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-12-20 02:28
1 comment
In a move widely regarded as being a step in the right direction, Australia is considering adopting fair use provisions in cooyright law. However, restrictive Free Trade agreements prevent decreasing the length of copyright terms. This will bring Australian in line with America for fair use of copyrighted content, reduce the cost of dealing with infringements and may address other costly issues currently caused by existing laws.
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Groupon Moves Operations to Ireland for Tax Breaks
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-12-19 22:55
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Yet another company has followed in the footsteps of internet giants which currently claim to operate out of Ireland for tax purposes. From January 2017 online voucher powerhouse Groupon Australia will move its data and possibly some staff to Lower Ground Floor‚ Connaught House‚ 1 Burlington Road‚ Dublin 4‚ 216410 Ireland. Whether or not this will trigger recent ATO tax haven measures or result in a Australian Privacy Principle violation is yet to be determined.
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Indian outsourcing fail as ATO brought to its knees
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-12-13 07:58
9 comments
The outsourcing of Australian IT jobs to indian nationals failed badly today with key systems offline directly attributed to ATO's failed agile implementation and the outsourcing of many positions to Indian nationals. While ATO management have attempted to shift blame to "those who did not get onboard" the evidence of this failure is clear: outsourcing key functionality of the ATO is a failure. The attempted shift to agile is partly to blame with the implementation of agile using the SAFe methodology being proven to be an abject faikule. Most of the problems are centered with the employees sourced from India hired into key positions.
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Libre-VideoGame Chaos-Esque Anthology reaches release 100.
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-12-11 12:34
1 comment
After years of constant, grinding, development the libre-videogame and fork of Xonotic known as Chaos-Esque Anthology has reached version 100.

The project has expanded Xonotic's original cast of 18 weapons to over 130 weapons, has added new textures, and maps, aswell as a list of other features including: city generation subsystem (with interiors), building subsystem (build buildings, furnishings, doors, blocks, the buildings have interiors and function similar to RTS buildables), marshaling subsytem, foliage subsystem, aswell as mounted weapons and more vehicles. Additionally hand-to-hand fighting was added for those wishing for a Mortal-Kombat feel in a libre 3d video-game.

More information can be found on the project's Linux Game Database page including changelog and download link of the ISO: https://lgdb.org/game/chaosesque-anthology

(Note: Chaos-Esque Anthology name was decided upon after input from the lead developer of Xonotic, many moons ago)
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Australian NBN company runs out of money requiring a AUD20bn from Government to complete mixed techn
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-11-20 03:53
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After downgrading the promised Australian fiber network to a 'mixed technology' which was promised to be delivered faster and cheaper the NBN Co. has run out of money. NBN Co. had loaned 20bn from the Australian Government to complete the NBN rollout. Even with this cash injection NBN Co. will still be unable to deliver the fiber network promised to the Australian people when the project first began.
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ACT elections results website mirrors ABS PR incident
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-15 12:53
2 comments
Following on from the terrible ABS performance during the Australian 2016 Census the ACT Elections Result page consistently threw a HTTP Error 404. The requested resource is not found. message. Given the current negative feedback of online government services with a range of failures from MyGOV through to the 2016 Census it is clear that Australian government departments need to up their game.
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Australian Health Dept Releases Confidential Medicare Data
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-29 04:18
1 comment
The Australian privacy watchdog has been called on to investigate a breach of Australian Medicare data. This breach gives more weight to the privacy concerns surrounding the recent Australian 2016 census where the ABS has announced it will keep data permanently as a "linked key", store data for longer, and match data across government agencies. The Department of Health is the last in a list of Australian agencies to allow confidential data to be accessible.
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How secure is your password
by Anonymous Coward on 2016-05-22 09:26
1 comment
With the recent theft of millions of users passwords and increased reliance on secondary authentication the need for educating users about insecure passwords has never been more important. With this in mind the people behind Dashlane Free Password Manager have released a web page that shows how long it takes to crack a password. The idea here is simple; users can see effective their password combination is and see in real time how long it would take today's computer systems to crack that password. What is being sought here is for users to choose longer passwords. This should be something which should be taught to kids in school.
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