iTWire - iTWire - Latest News iTWire - Technology news, trends, reviews, jobs Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:06:55 +1000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Lenovo widens ThinkPad battery recall Lenovo widens ThinkPad battery recall

Lenovo has widened a recall of batteries sold with or for a wide range of ThinkPad notebooks.

In March 2014, Lenovo recalled lithium-ion batteries used in certain ThinkPad notebooks that were shipped between February 2010 and December 2011. That recall has now been widened to include those shipped until June 2012.

The batteries concerned may have shipped with the notebooks or as optional or replacement parts.

Affected models are T410, T420, T510, T520, W510, W520, X100E, X121e, X130e, X131e, X201, X201s, X220, X220t, Edge 11, Edge 13, Edge 14, Edge 15, Edge 320, Edge 420, Edge 430, Edge 520, Edge 525, Edge 530, L412, L420, L512, L520, Mini 10, SL410, and SL510.

{loadposition stephen08}The batteries covered by the recall have one of the following assembly part numbers (ASM P/N): 42T4695, 42T4711, 42T4740, 42T4798, 42T4804, 42T4812, 42T4816, 42T4822, 42T4826, 42T4828, 42T4834, 42T4840 and 42T4862.

Since the batteries may overheat causing a fire hazard, affected users should shut down the computer, remove the battery and then run the notebook on mains power only until a replacement battery is obtained.

Instructions for removing the battery and obtaining and fitting a replacement are available here. That page features Lenovo's automated tool for determining whether an installed battery is subject to the recall and if necessary explaining how a replacement may be obtained.

Information is also available by calling Lenovo on 1800 041 267.

A large number of batteries supplied by various notebook vendors were recalled in the 2006-2008 timeframe.

More recent recalls include the Juice Up powerbank, Lenovo notebook power cables, and Panasonic tablet batteries.

]]> (Stephen Withers) Hardware Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:37:20 +1000
Xero: Customers 'switching' from competitors helps fuel growth Xero: Customers 'switching' from competitors helps fuel growth

New Zealand-based cloud accounting software provider Xero has recorded strong global customer growth over the 12 months to the end of March, claiming that much of the growth has come from 35% of new customers switching from other accounting software providers.

Releasing its results to the ASX today, Xero (ASX:XRO) reports global operating revenues were $114.9 million, up 87% from $62.2 million in the FY14.

Xero says Australian customers now exceed 203,000, up 86% from 109,000 customers the same time last year, while claiming that more than 15,000 have switched from competitor MYOB.

The company says its accounting software is now used by Australian small businesses to process $1.5 billion in payroll each month.

{loadpositon peter}Globally, Xero reports paying customers grew to 475,000 small businesses, up 67%, while subscription revenue grew 88.9% to $112.2 million – with its recurring revenue model providing the basis for commencing the 2016 financial year strongly, with $156.4 million in annualised subscriptions.

“Xero continued to grow strongly over the past 12 months, showing that small businesses in this country want accounting software they can use anywhere, from any device,” said Chris Ridd, Managing Director of Xero Australia.

“Our recent partnerships with NAB and CGU Insurance have enabled small businesses to tap into our vision for smarter financial services. In the case of our recent API partnership with NAB, we are providing small business customers the ability to immediately and automatically link their bank accounts to their Xero dashboard, and open up new possibilities in the future.

“We’re expecting the 2016 financial year will be even bigger than 2015, with a large number of updates planned for our customers.”

Ridd said Xero now has three platinum accounting partners in Australia (partners with over 500 clients on Xero), including Crowe Howarth Australia, Mulcahy & Co and Bentleys Paragon.

Xero regional customer breakdown:

                            Year ended 31 March

Paying customers



% Change

New Zealand








United Kingdom




North America




Rest of World









]]> (Peter Dinham) Cloud Accounting Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:38:33 +1000
ICT scrapes into Top 10 list of ‘Most Attractive Sectors’ in OZ‘most-attractive-sectors’-in-oz‘most-attractive-sectors’-in-oz ICT scrapes into Top 10 list of ‘Most Attractive Sectors’ in OZ

A survey has revealed the Australian IT sector has only just scraped into 10th spot in the Top 10 ‘Most attractive industries’ list for the first time!

HP, Fujitsu and Optus might be the top 3 most attractive ICT companies to work for in Australia, but the IT / ICT sector hasn’t fared as well. 

Recruitment firm Randstad Technologies runs the annual Randstad Awards, and its research reveals that ‘ICT is gradually growing in popularity, with 33% of the 12,002 Australians surveyed in the Randstad Award employer branding research signalling they would like to work in the sector.’

However, if you thought this meant the ICT sector was a really popular place to work, given the ICT led technology boom of the last three decades, Randstad’s results are revealing.

It turns out that the ICT sector only broke into the top 10 most attractive sectors list for the first time, and finished in last place at 10th overall.

Naturally, there are more sectors than just 10 in Australia, but the figure was surprising to me as I’d imagined the ICT sector was a lot more popular.

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Still, research is research, and we’re taking it at face value, but at least the good news is that ICT is, according to the stats, becoming more popular. 

That said, the aviation, FMCG, mining and natural resources, design engineering, state and federal government, media, professional services, bank and financial services and retail all rank in the 9 spots respectively above 10th spot were ICT is placed.

So, it will be very interesting to see where the ICT sector fares in Randstad's stats in 2016, and whether it will climb up the charts, or sink back below the Top 10 threshold. 

My earlier article on the Randstad Award winners for 2015 lists the Top 20 Most Attractive Organisations in Australia - read on here

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Enterprise Staff Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:53:51 +1000
HP, Fujitsu, Optus the Top 3 most attractive ICT companies in OZ HP, Fujitsu, Optus the Top 3 most attractive ICT companies in OZ

HP is the ‘most attractive employer’ in Australia according to the 2015 Randstad Awards, with ICT in the list of Top 10 most attractive industries.

The annual Randstad Awards were held at Doltone House in Sydney last night, with HP named as the ICT sector’s ‘Most Attractive Employer’.

43% of Australians surveyed by recruitment firm Randstad Technologies claimed they would like to work for the ICT giant, with HP holding off strong competition to edge out Fujitsu and Optus, who took second and third spot respectively.

The ICT sector has increased its appeal to people as an industry to work in, breaking into the top 10 most attractive sectors list for the first time - although only in 10th spot.

Even so, Randstad says ICT ‘is gradually growing in popularity, with 33% of the 12,002 Australians surveyed in the Randstad Award employer branding research signalling they would like to work in the sector.’

The Randstad Awards were presented in front of senior executives from 150 of Australia’s largest employers, recognising those organisations which Australians find the most attractive to work for.

Alex Jones, Randstad Technologies’ National Director said he ‘believes both HP and the wider ICT industry have done an impressive job in building strong brands, strengthening their image and reputation, and this in turn will attract great talent.’

Jones was quoted stating: “Technology has been at the heart of economic changes for more than a decade. The challenge is about maintaining a strong ICT sector when it is critically short of talent, mostly resulting from our ageing population and the lack of graduates coming through from IT and STEM degrees.

“Strong employer branding is therefore a critical success factor – a notion fully embraced by HP and the wider ICT industry,” added Jones.

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According to those surveyed as part of the annual Randstad Award research, the ICT sector is particularly attractive when it comes to providing interesting job content, providing a good work-life balance and career progression opportunities.

Jones said: “All businesses, whether large or small, have characteristics and qualities which form the basis of its image, brand and reputation.

“To be as appealing as possible to potential employees, organisations need to promote these defining characteristics through every aspect of their marketing, communication, HR and employer branding strategies, something the ICT sector does well.

“Randstad is dedicated to helping Australian businesses secure the best talent possible and our annual employer branding research is one of the many tools we provide to organisations to help them become a ‘magnet for talent’.

“Our commitment is to not only help Australian businesses attract great people, but to retain this talent within these organisations and within the country,” concluded Jones.

Randstad Award 2015: Top 3 most attractive ICT companies

1. Hewlett Packard (HP)
2. Fujitsu
3. Optus

Randstad Award 2015: Top 10 most attractive industries in Australia

1. Aviation
3. Mining & natural resources
4. Design engineering
5. State and Federal Government
6. Media
7. Professional services
8. Bank & Financial Services
9. Retail
10. Information, Communication & Technologies (ICT)

Randstad Award Top 20 Most Attractive Organisations in Australia

1. Virgin Australia
2. ABC
3. Dept. of Immigration & Border Protection
4. Seven Network
5. Qantas
6. Nestle
7. Wesfarmers (Coles, KMART, Target, Bunnings)
8. Coca-Cola Amatil
9. Department of Defence
10. Department of Health
11. Australian Federal Police
12. HP (Hewlett Packard)
13. GHD
14. BAE Systems
15. Toyota
16. Westfield
17. BHP
18. National Disability Insurance Agency
19. Rio Tinto
20. Mondelez (Cadbury, Vegemite, Philadelphia)

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Enterprise Staff Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:27:32 +1000
Yatango raises $1 million, gets new operational latitude$1-million-gets-new-operational-latitude$1-million-gets-new-operational-latitude Yatango raises $1 million, gets new operational latitude

Yatango’s reverse takeover of Latitude has already started bearing fruit, with a convertible note issue ‘materially’ oversubscribed, raising $1 million.

Last month, Yatango announced a reverse takeover where Latitude Consolidated, a listed ASX company, would be acquiring 100% of the issued capital of Yatango.

Now, a month later, there has been more movement at the station. It seems the word had passed around that investing in Yatango’s success could be a solid play.

After all, listing an already successful MVNO and self-described ‘disruptive online consumer products and services delivery platform targeting the 18 to 45 demographic’ sounds just like the kind of modern-day technology business many want to be part of.

On top of that, if it also features a ‘centralised rewards and recommendation system enhances buying power and creates a more engaged, more loyal and more profitable customer across all business units’ - then all the better!

Now, I’m not an investor myself and naturally don’t give any financial advice, nor profess to be any kind of financial advisor, so any financial investment decisions you do or don’t make come from the skin of your own wallet.

However, Yatango’s new capital injection certainly would seem to give the company some nice new latitude to make a bigger marketing and operational splash, with the funds earmarked to be ‘largely used to drive marketing initiatives and provide general working capital’.

All of this follows due diligence between the two companies that was completed on 14 April 2015.

The convertible note issue was managed by lead brokers for the transaction, Azure Capital and Fosters Stockbroking, who report that ‘significant demand was received for the issue and upon closing it was materially oversubscribed.’

We are also told that ‘pricing for the convertible note was at 20% below the price for new stock to be issued as part of the planned upcoming $6 million recompliance capital raising.’

In addition, the announcement of proposed post merger Board is due in the coming weeks.

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So, who do we know was a participant in the issue?

Yatango and Latitude’s media release points to ‘a number of sophisticated high net worth investors’, although they remain unnamed.

We are told, however, that ‘this adds to the existing blue chip shareholder register for Yatango including Larry Kestelman, Basil Sellers, Ryan O‘Hare and Annette Presley.’

Timothy Moore, a director of Latitude Consolidated said: "The strong interest received from investors in the issue is very encouraging. It provides the necessary funding for Yatango to proceed with its growth plans and raises confidence as to the likely investor interest in the upcoming capital raising.”

Andy Taylor, Yatango’s Founder and CEO said: “The coming months will be a busy an exciting time for Yatango. We have a number of new marketing initiatives which will be implemented to drive customer growth across our mobile and shopping business units and some important corporate news including the announcement of a proposed post acquisition Board in the coming weeks.”

Yatango notes its two existing business units, Yatango Mobile and Yatango Shopping, will be added to over time by further business units, with the newest addition set to be Yatango Money to arrive during the 2015 calendar year.

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Listed Tech Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:43:19 +1000
Wrist action: banking by Apple Watch with Westpac and St George Wrist action: banking by Apple Watch with Westpac and St George

Today, some Apple Watch buyers will start receiving their orders, so it’s no surprise to see banking apps (and plenty more) ready to rock your wrist.    

If you’re a Westpac or a customer of its subsidiary St. George who uses an iPhone 5 or better and is soon to get an Apple Watch, both banks you’ll be ‘among the first in the world to use mobile banking at the touch of the wrist’.

The banks say their latest offering ‘will provide ease and convenience for the increasing number of customers who are now banking on the go on 'smart' devices.’

It’s not quick access to account balances that you’ll receive, but the ability to find your nearest ATM or bran and even receive ‘travel notifications at the airport to advise the bank of your travel plans.’

Harry Wendt, Westpac’s GM of Digital said: “Providing customers with a variety of ways to manage their money, whenever and however they want is a priority for us, and the latest iteration of that is Apple Watch.

“Around 370,000 smart watches were purchased by Australians last year, highlighting the voracious appetite for new technology devices. By offering secure banking on the latest Apple device we are giving our customers even more choice in how they want to interact with us.” 

Dhiren Kulkarni is the CTO of St George, and said: “We know our customers like being first with the latest technology and we’re extremely excited to be first to market with rolling out our mobile banking app at release of the Apple Watch.

“The St.George app brings pleasure to banking and makes banking tasks simple and convenient with features like Quick Balance, where customers can quickly view their account balances directly from their wrist watch.

“We will be enhancing the app on an ongoing basis, and following the success of our Android smartwatch app, we’re confident the Apple Watch app will be a big hit for our growing number of customers banking on the go.” Dhiren said. Naturally Westpac and St. George highlighted in their joint media release the various innovations they’ve introduced just over the past year.

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For Westpac customers, there’s Fingerprint Logon on Android and iPhone; Westpac Get Cash which enables customers to withdraw cash from a Westpac ATM without a card by having a code sent to their phone; Westpac contactless payments; overseas travel notifications and Global Alliance overseas alerts to notify customers of their nearest Global Alliance partner ATM.

St.George has also been busy, claiming its smartwatch mobile banking app is an Australian first for Android.

There’s also biometric logon capability and the introduction of iBeacon technology, which delivers a personalised experience every time a customer enters a branch.

More details of what Westpac Mobile Banking on Apple Watch will provide customers with access to is as follows:

  • Find your nearest ATM or branch
  • Receive a Get Cash code on your watch, requested via the app on your iPhone.
  • Receive Travel Notifications at the airport to advise Westpac of your travel plans prior to travelling overseas.

For St.George mobile banking customers on Apple Watch, you’ll get access to:

  • View up to 2 account balances (Quick Balance)
  • Find your nearest ATM or branch

So, with all that wrist action, may you be a very happy mobile banker!

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Home IT Fri, 24 Apr 2015 02:19:10 +1000
FileMaker Go really gets going with over 1.5 million downloads FileMaker Go really gets going with over 1.5 million downloads

Apple-owned database company FileMaker has announced over 1.5 million downloads of the FileMaker Go app for iPhone and iPad, underscoring its popularity for custom solutions.

With over 1.5 million downloads of its FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad, the company says this demonstrates the app’s momentum and wide-ranging use, underscoring the broad appeal of the FileMaker platform for creating custom iOS solutions.

The FileMaker Go for iPad and iPhone app, a free download from the iTunes App Store, is part of FileMaker’s comprehensive lineup of desktop, server and iOS software for creating custom business solutions that run on iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and web browsers.

Ryan Rosenber, VP of Marketing and Service for FileMaker said: “The FileMaker Platform is helping improve business and life for everyone from local fruit growers to cleanup specialists working on EPA Superfund sites [in the US] to health care workers in Haiti.

“Our customers amaze us with their ingenuity in developing custom iOS solutions. We continue to invest in making our platform the easiest, most flexible way to get data and business processes to where they matter most.”

So, what are some local examples of FileMaker Go helping companies to save time and money or to help save lives?

Well, there are two Australian examples and one from New Zealand.

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The first is environmental organisation, Planet Ark. FileMaker Go allowed the organisation to free staff from physical offices, letting them access and share information from any given location. Along with giving the team the ability to work more productively, FileMaker says its the mobile solution has also lowered infrastructure costs through shared office areas and hosted services.

Then there’s the Melbourne football club, Carlton FC, which says FileMaker Go allowed it to escape the burden of using handwritten notes and spread sheets to manage data. The club can now deal with injuries and changes on the go, as the solution involves instant data entry on iPad, which has digitised the Carlton training regimes.

Finally, there’s Way To Go Heliservices, a New Zealand-based helicopter tour agency. It offers a range of commercial, agricultural and aerial transportation services, with FileMaker Go helped to streamline the comapny’s business processes across several locations, including in the air.

So, that’s the company’s description of how FileMaker Go is helping companies to run their operations and businesses in a more efficient manner.

Clearly, FileMaker hopes you’ll explore its software to see if it can help your business, too. Whether you do or don’t is up to you, but as an Apple-owned company, it’s clear that FileMaker’s impact extends well beyond simply making files.

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Business Software Fri, 24 Apr 2015 02:02:31 +1000
What’s the status of your IBM software licences - Compliant, risk exposed?’s-the-status-of-your-ibm-software-licences-compliant-risk-exposed?’s-the-status-of-your-ibm-software-licences-compliant-risk-exposed? What’s the status of your IBM software licences - Compliant, risk exposed?

An audit can often be the first time a business will find out that its software licences may not be compliant, opening up the company to unnecessary risks which could easily have been avoided by following the correct processes at the beginning.

And, it’s not just compliance that can be an issue, with many organisations failing to optimise, and get the best value, out of their IBM Software investment. With IBM constantly improving and extending its software portfolio, new products get added, old products retired and offerings are bundled and unbundled all the time.

Combined with a range of licensing models, it’s easy to see how keeping track of your software entitlements can become a challenge.

Wouldn’t it be great, however, if there was a seamless process to ensure you’re not just compliant, but getting the most value out of your licenses across your organisation?

{loadposition petrer}With ISW’s Software Value Review (SVR), by implementing a 5 Point Plan, the hassle-free program can take your uncertainty out of the equation, giving you piece of mind.

For over 17 years, ISW has been a leading Australian IBM Premier Business Partner who are certified across the broad range of IBM software. So whether you’ve deployed software solutions in Cognos, MobileFirst, Rational, Tivoli, Websphere or Social software, they can have you covered.

Gain confidence in your compliance status and learn how to squeeze more value from your existing IT environment. A Software Value Review can even implement possible cost-savings by leasing your licenses from the Cloud.

All you need to start is request an initial consultation. Empower yourself with a fixed price quote to perform the Software Value Review (SVR) within your environment, no-obligation.

Want to know more about how a Software Value Review? ISW can arrange a complimentary consultation for you Australia-wide.

Click here to learn about the ISW SVR program.

*Bo Mabry, ISW Brisbane-based Business Development Manager

Business Software Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:45:30 +1000
Citrix CloudBridge Virtual WAN aggregates cheaper WAN links Citrix CloudBridge Virtual WAN aggregates cheaper WAN links

Citrix CloudBridge Virtual WAN Edition can bond multiple consumer-grade connections into a business-grade connection at lower cost.

To be available as software for certain CloudBridge appliances and at a later date as a virtual appliance for use on AWS and other cloud services, Citrix CloudBridge Virtual WAN Edition addresses a problem that's particularly common in some Australian industries: the lack of affordable dedicated connections.

CloudBridge Virtual WAN combines multiple connections - MPLS, 3G, 4G, DSL, satellite and so on - with the intelligence necessary to deliver business-grade performance over what may be consumer-grade links, and at a lower total cost.

Citrix ANZ senior manager of networking sales Phil Caleno told iTWire that connectivity costs are a particular issue for Australian companies working in regional and remote areas where the low population density means they would have to bear most of the cost of installing high-capacity links.

{loadposition stephen08}So CloudBridge Virtual WAN provides them with a way of aggregating whatever links are available, with intelligent, real-time monitoring and management.

It does not just monitor the links, it also profiles the data traffic and assigns individual connections to the most suitable link. For example, latency is not important for email, so it could be delivered over a high-latency link, leaving the lower-latency channels free for traffic that needs it, such as VoIP or video.

Significantly, this process is performed dynamically, responding to changes in line conditions (e.g., when neighbouring residents get home from school or work and start using Netflix, loading up the local DSLAM), and a particular stream of data may be moved between links during one logical connection such as a voice call.

This approach also means that standby links can be put into routine use, maximising the available bandwidth. CloudBridge Virtual WAN has a "clean and simple GUI so customers don't need to be routing superstars" to achieve this, Caleno said, even in situations where 100 branches each connect to a data centre by as many as five links each.

There is provision for duplicating the most important and sensitive traffic across two links, discarding whichever of the two packets is last to arrive at the destination.

CloudBridge Virtual WAN is also smart enough to detect when traffic is flowing between two branch locations and reroute it via the internet (with encryption) rather than hairpinning via the data centre. Creating an opportunistic mesh in this way also reduces latency, but that's just a useful side benefit, he said.

CloudBridge Virtual WAN integrates with Citrix's HDX and application acceleration technologies for remote and branch offices.

Using multiple DSL links can be "10 to 15 times cheaper than an MPLS circuit," said Caleno, so there is also potential to replace some MPLS capacity and save money.

Customers can expect CloudBridge Virtual WAN to pay for itself within a year, he added.

CloudBridge Virtual WAN will be available this quarter.

Costs will be further reduced in a subsequent release, which will allow users to reduce the amount of connection-quality-checking traffic flowing over links that have a relatively high marginal cost (e.g., 4G). This capability has been requested by customers that have been given early access to the product in Australia and certain other countries, Caleno said.

]]> (Stephen Withers) Networking Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:02:57 +1000
Video: OMG! Star Wars Battlefront looks out of this world Video: OMG! Star Wars Battlefront looks out of this world

There have been a few videos, and certainly there are many grains-of-salt to be taken here, but the new Star Wars: Battlefront official trailer does look better than Princess Leia in a gold bikini.  Perhaps this IS the game we have been looking for.

Here is the latest trailer from EA showing off the power (in this case on a PlayStation 4) of what we can expect from the next in the Battlefield,,,oops sorry, Battlefront series.
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Cashing in obviously on the renewed (did it ever go away?) interest in Star Wars leading up to the new movie, Star Wars: Battlefront looks like it will deliver.

]]> (Mike Bantick) Entertainment Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:43:50 +1000