Deployment

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Almost a month after Microsoft released its fixed for KRACK in October, Apple has released updates for all four of their operating systems. And while it’s new emojis and other window dressing that you’ll notice up front, a fix fit the KRACK vulnerability is a big ticket item.

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Apple has been knocking heads with Qualcomm, the company that supplies them with the comms chips that let your iOS devices connect to all sorts of networks. But the two companies have been arguing over Qualcomm's competitive practices and Apple has been shifting from being very Qualcomm-dependent to a more diversified set of components.

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Data 61's CEO Adrian Turner spoke at the Cyber Security: the Leadership Imperative, hosted by InnovationAus, on the need for boards and senior business executives to become more au fait with the changing risk profile of businesses in the internet age. One of the key issues, he argued was a lack of diversity on Australian boards and a need for IT practitioners to change how they communicate the risks that emerge with new technologies.

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Anyone who has demoed a technology product or service onstage knows the terror of that moment. You know the one. That time just before you launch into your well rehearsed demonstration where you hope the technology doesn't let you down.

Spare a thought then for Michael Leworthy from Microsoft's Azure Migration Team. While showing off Azure's Site Recovery tech, Everly proved what many people already know - Edge's primary purpose is downloading Chrome.

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As Office 365 continues to become Microsoft's core productivity software platform, the premium, ad-free version of outlook.com is being shutdown with its features folded into Office 365 as of today. That means the only way to get an ad-free cloud-email service from Microsoft will be to pony up for the dearer Office 365.

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Vayyar Imaging has created the WalabotDIY - a device for home renovators and DIY enthusiasts that can see through objects, liquids, and materials. As someone in the midst of a bunch of renovating, it's devices like this that give me confidence to put a nail or screw into a wall without fear that I'll create a disaster.

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Google has changed the way you can localise searches. While the default option has usually forced you to the local search site - enter google.com and you get redirected to google.com.au - it has been possible to push Google to other locations. (If you wanted a localised British search you could go to google.co.uk, for example.) But now, the company will automatically direct you to your local Google regardless of the address you enter.

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While many of us are going to wait quite a while longer for the NBN to roll up our streets, 400 Australian Defence Force sites have been tagged to get access to the "world class broadband network". The sites will be upgraded so personnel serving on them will be able to access high-speed broadband to keep in touch with their families and friends all over Australia and the rest of the world.

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One of my favourite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation is "The Measure of a Man". In that episode, the personhood of the android Lieutenant Commander Data is legally argued with Capitan Picard and Commander Riker forced to lock horns in a court to determine whether Data should be afforded the right of self determination. While that might have been science fiction, the European Union is considering a similar matter, with a resolution to afford robots legal status as "electronic persons" being considered.

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For most of its 42 year history, Microsoft has based its profits on the Windows and Office cash-cows. Perpetual licenses, special deals with OEMs, licensing agreements with corporate customers and regular paid product upgrades drove the company's revenue for decades. But today's Microsoft is a different beast. With significant growth in almost every significant financial measure, Nadella's Microsoft is recording double digit growth on the back of revenue streams that didn't exist less than a decade ago.

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Android 8.1 is an update to Oreo that will offer optimisations and enhancements to the most recent release of Android. If you're enrolled in the Android beta program, you'll soon see the update arrive as an over-the-air update. For developers, this is an oppritniity to prepare for any changes that are coming. For corporates, it's a chance to ensure the apps you rely on will work when the update has devices. Here's what's coming.

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I looked at MyFiziq a while ago. The basic premise of their app and service is that they can conduct an accurate body scan, using your smartphone's camera and a bunch of algorithms calculate your body composition with a high degree of accuracy. While there are scales that can tell you your body-fat percentage or do can pay for a DEXA scan (figure on around $100 for each scan). MyFiziq gives comparable results. They've now signed a deal with Fitocracy, a huge health and fitness focussed social network, to offer their scanning tech as part of the on-boarding process for people looking to get fitter and track their progress.

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Many companies want to do things better but are hit with obstacles and blockers. ServiceNow's VP of innovation, Chris Pope, is visiting Australia this week and I spoke with home about how Australia differs from other markets when it comes to trying new technology and what he sees as the blockers to process improvement.

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NBNCo is boasting of delivering 100/40 Mbps connections to new FttC (Fibre to the Curb) customers in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. But CEO Bill Morrow is questioning whether the company will ever be financially competitive as other technologies steal its thunder in delivering fast connectivity.

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The idea of a multi-user operating system is almost a tautology today but back in the 1980s it wasn't all that common - at least when it came to personal computing. PC-MOS was a multi-user operating system that, like DR-DOS and others, competed with Microsoft's MS-DOS before eventually disappearing at the Redmond juggernaut crushed almost all its competition. Now, Roeland Jansen, Gary Robertson and Rod Roark have put the operating system onto GitHub as an open source project so we can all mess with its source code.

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While smartphones have carved out a really useful space in our pockets, most of us have retained a desktop computer or notebook for "real" work. What if you could have a device that worked as both. Something you could slip into your pocket when you're out of the office but could easily dock and connect to a big screen and a mouse and keyboard. That's the promise of Samusng's DeX - and it looks like it's getting a hefty update to help realise that one device dream.

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Microsoft has announced the release of Visio Online so you can open and edit diagrams from just about any device. Although it will cost you an extra US$5 per month (assuming an annual commitment), that's pretty decent value. It allows your to share Visio diagrams which can be viewed for free using the iOS or online viewers.

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The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2017 (Cth) which was passed on 23 August 2017 and the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill which was passed but the Parliament today are about ensuring large companies don't stifle competition and ensure that abuses of market power are stopped. The previous laws looked at the purpose of mergers, acquisitions and other actions whereas the new rules examine the potential affects of company activities, as well as their purpose.

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Dropbox is continuing its journey away from being simply a file sync service into one that businesses can use for collaboration and more sophisticated information distribution. While their free service remains popular, the company is continuing to push their business creditability with the new Showcase - the centrepiece of Dropbox's new Professional offering. I spoke with Dropbox's Daniel Iversen about the new products and services.