iTWire - iTWire - Latest News iTWire - Technology news, trends, reviews, jobs Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:21:56 +1000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Tigerspike to be led globally from Australia Tigerspike to be led globally from Australia

Enterprise software and IT services company Tigerspike has appointed an Australian-based CEO to head up the company’s global operations.

Industry veteran Alex Burke, who will work from the company’s Sydney office, has taken up the worldwide position after his promotion from Asia Pacific CEO.

Burke will centralise and coordinate operations across the eight Tigerspike offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Melbourne.

Luke Janssen, Tigerspike founder and former CEO said Burke will bring global efficiencies and amplify local insights and development capabilities, as well as “enabling Tigerspike to continue its pioneering work in delivery of adaptive, lean and innovative technology, with excellence in user experience.”

{loadposition peter}“As technology is evolving so is our business and we need to be culturally aligned to help our customers navigate these challenging times,” Janssen said.

“Our vision is to use technology to improve people's lives and my move to executive chairman will allow me to be more strategic with our growth, while enabling Alex to drive our global business vision forward.”

Commenting on his appointment, Burke said:“A mobile first strategic framework is becoming the imperative and Tigerspike, like our customers, needs to adapt and be flexible in this environment. I want to ensure we are leveraging every opportunity across the business and propelling our customers forward to overcome the challenges of change. It’s an exciting time to be part of such an industry.

“There is no doubt that a mobile first approach is challenging business to re think strategy. Technology is now driving initiatives to have flexibility, consistency and enable continuous transformation.  Without a strong strategic approach these developments can cause confusion and wasted investment in platforms and technology that are not intuitive or driving efficiencies and lowering costs.”

]]> (Peter Dinham) People Moves Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:59:34 +1000
Pacnet secures place on government panel Pacnet secures place on government panel

Data services company Pacnet has been appointed to the federal government’s Data Centre Facilities Supplies Panel.

Under the appointment, Pacnet’s Tier 3 data centre facilities in Sydney and Melbourne can provide redundancy for Canberra’s geographically diverse public sector organisations.

Supporting local disaster recovery and data sovereignty requirements, Pacnet’s network infrastructure offers not only low-latency connectivity across Asia Pacific, but also wide domestic reach with a number of Points of Presence in Australia’s capital cities.

The panel appointment means that government agencies will be able to deploy the Pacnet Enabled Network to self-provision and configure their network resources on demand within minutes, controlling performance and quality of service requirements under a flexible pricing model and robust SLAs.

{loadposition peter}Pacnet CEO Australia and New Zealand Nigel Stitt, said with Pacnet’s support for AWS Direct Connect, government agencies can leverage the company’s network and data centre infrastructure to establish dedicated private network connections to build and manage hybrid cloud computing deployments.

“We are very excited to be included in the Australian Government Data Centre Facilities Supplies Panel and view this as a tremendous accomplishment in the Australian market,” Stitt said.

“Participation in this initiative will provide Australian agencies with broad exposure to our data centre infrastructure and managed services. Australian government agencies will now have the opportunity to become better acquainted with our technology such as PEN and its very strong value proposition in supporting security sensitive departments with large-scale network infrastructure.”

Stitt said Pacnet has been an established ICT service provider to the Australian Government since 2002 and has provided connecting infrastructure for several government departments for the past 12 years.

]]> (Peter Dinham) Data Centres Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:55:26 +1000
Australian Government lets expire in huge blunder Australian Government lets expire in huge blunder

The Australian government has made what seems to be a colossal stuff-up with private investors picking up a prized Internet domain name after it expired today.

The domain name was, until today, registered to The Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations.

The Department website says “On 18 September 2013 the Department of Education and the Department of Employment was created out of the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.”

The department's ownership of expired today at 1pm and went to auction with the winning bid of AU$30,110.

The winning bidder was Now Hiring Pty Ltd, which operates a jobs website and is also a joint venture partner with iTWire in

It seems that before today redirected to, a government-run website with information for apprenticeships and traineeships, courses and training providers, and the National Register of VET.

The website is now in private hands however, and can be used at the total discretion of Now Hiring for whatever it wishes.

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“This happens all too frequently, both in the public and private sectors.” said Simon Johnson, Director of, a Melbourne-based brand protection firm.

“If the Australian government were managing their domain names like any other asset, then they could be alerted in advance and renewed the domain name. Unfortunately, once its gone, its gone.”

According to IPNeighborhood, the sale of for $30,110 is in the record books as the eighth highest public sale in Australia. It's extremely rare for governments (or private companies for that matter) to let such prestigious domains expire.

Visiting the site right now leads to the message " parked with

"Is this your domain name?

"Get started and list your domain name for sale on Netfleet, and you could be receiving offers today straight from this page."

A similar situation occured last year in the US when, which was a website providing information on the US government's 'Obamacare' Medicaid program. It expired however, and was purchased by Tennessee company Medx Publishing Inc, which also owns the domain name In a move that is surely confusing for US citizens now redirects to, a private insurers' website.

The Department of Industry and Now Hiring have both been contacted for comment.

]]> (David Swan) Government Tech Policy Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:33:34 +1000
Xbox One set to be China's first gaming console since PS2 Xbox One set to be China's first gaming console since PS2

China has a huge population of over one billion - that's a lot of potential gamers. And the country is set to get its first major home console release since the Playstation 2, with Microsoft's Xbox One set to go on sale in September.

Microsoft announced its launch plans at a press event in Shanghai, where it said its latest flagship console would hit shelves on September 23, for 3699 RMB ($643).

The Xbox One will come bundled with copies of Powerstar Gold and Neverwinter Online pre-installed, along with free Xbox Live Gold membership through March 2015.

A special, limited Day One edition, bundled with Kinect, will also be available. Priced at 4299 RMB ($746), this edition boasts a Day One achievement, a commemorative controller, and two extra games: Kinect Sports Rivals, and Forza Motorsport 5.

Microsoft also stated that both free to play games and paid games, with prices ranging from 99 RMB to 249 RMB ($18 to $45) will be available on the Xbox One in China.

Currently, “more than 70″ games are in development for the console.

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Developers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and 2K are redesigning existing games specifically for the new market, according to Microsoft, while Chinese developers are also creating their own titles.

Until recently, home consoles have been banned in China, with the PlayStation 2 having the honour of being the last traditional home console to get a release in the country.

Foreign game consoles have been widely available through the country’s grey market, however.

"We're honored that Xbox One is the first console approved for sale in China through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice-president of marketing for Devices and Studios, said in a statement.

"We're dedicated to earning millions of fans in China by working with BesTV to deliver an all-in-one games and entertainment experience starting September 23."

Microsoft also recently announced it would close down its 'Xbox Entertainment Studios' production house, as part of a broader company stategy shift from new CEO Satya Nadella.

]]> (David Swan) Entertainment Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:33:40 +1000
Like Tomb Raider or Final Fantasy? Grab this bundle Like Tomb Raider or Final Fantasy? Grab this bundle

The Humble Square Enix Bundle has added five additional games into its already massive offering, for a total of twenty games for anyone willing to pay $15 or more.

The bundle offers Thief Gold, Mini Ninjas, Daikatana, Hitman: Codename 47, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Anachronox for $1 or more.

As usual the bundle is 'pay what you want', but if you pay more than the average price (currently about $9), you'll also get The Last Remnant, Just Cause, Hitman: Blood Money, Hitman: Contracts, Hitman: Absolution, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Deus Ex: The Fall, Nosgoth Veteran Pack, and Battlestations: Midway.

Those who pay $15 or more will receive all of the above, plus Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut, Just Cause 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition, and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.

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This Humble Bundle sale ends in a few short hours, so get in quick.

Charities getting support this time around include Make-A-Wish Foundation and GamesAid.

You can find out more at

Meanwhile Square Enix also confirmed today it’s set to release an English version of the iOS port of Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen.

The upcoming version is part of the developer’s lineup for this year’s Gamescom event, which is scheduled for mid-August in Cologne, Germany. The confirmation comes a couple of months after the launch of the English edition of Dragon Quest VIII for iOS, which itself came five months after its soft launch in Japan.

For its part, Dragon Quest IV has been in soft-launch mode since last April on the Japanese App Store, where it’s available for ¥1,800 ($18).

Originally released for NES in 1990, Dragon Quest IV isthe fourth installment in Square Enix’s  Dragon Quest series of role-playing games. It’s noted for its unique narrative structure, which comprises five chapters featuring different protagonists.

Touch Arcade reported:

"The iOS version is, save a few small differences, a port of the Nintendo DS remake, which itself was based on a Playstation remake that only saw release in Japan. The remake adds many features over the NES version, including an entirely new chapter that adds significantly to the story. There’s no word yet on if the somewhat over zealous localization from the Nintendo DS version will be altered, but if Dragon Quest VIII is any indication, it will probably be pretty similar."

]]> (David Swan) Entertainment Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:17:56 +1000
Turnbull tells content owners to lift their game Turnbull tells content owners to lift their game

Communications Minister Malcom Turnbull has defended the Government’s plans to make ISPs police the actions of their customers.

But he also says content owners should make digital material more affordable and more easily available.

Speaking on ABC Radio’s AM current affairs program this morning, Turnbull gave an encouraging sign that the Government is starting to listen to the chorus of voices arguing the restrictions on the availability of content is one of the main causes of piracy.

Here is a lightly edited transcript of some of his interview with host Chris Uhlmann (full interview available here):

Uhlmann: Australians are among the world's most prolific downloaders of illegal videos and music. The Government looks likely to ask Internet service providers to do more to crack down on piracy.

Two years ago Malcolm Turnbull said the High Court had made the right decision when it ruled that one ISP was not liable for the actions of its customers. But now, as Communications Minister, he has released a discussion paper which says the providers should take "reasonable steps" to make sure their customers aren't breaking the law, even when they don't have the direct power to stop them.

Malcolm Turnbull, what is it that you're trying to achieve?

Turnbull: Internet piracy, downloading a movie that you haven't paid for, is theft. It's become a massive problem for the content creators of Australia and right around the world. It is really undermining a very important industry globally. It is simply theft.

Uhlmann: But are you seeking to make the conduit responsible for the crime by making Internet service providers responsible for what people download?

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Turnbull: There are many schemes around the world, and there's a lot of controversy about what worked. We're looking at something like what they do in New Zealand for example, it's probably the best comparison.

In New Zealand where an ISP is advised by the rights owners that an IP address allocated to your computer at the time you're using it, has downloaded an illegal movie, the ISP is required to send a notice to the account holder. After they've sent three notices of different violations, then it's up to the rights holder, if they want to, to take the customer to court and seek to recover some damages.

Uhlmann: Choice says that what international experience shows is that what's being proposed is high cost and has low results.

Turnbull: Well, that's where there's some controversy about that and hopefully we'll be having a lot of good input and debate on this. The fundamental problem is that Internet piracy is a big issue. I am a passionate defender of the Internet and freedom on the Internet, but freedom on the Internet doesn't mean freedom to steal.

Uhlmann: Certainly there are a lot of Australian consumers who feel like they're getting ripped off at the moment. Why do Australians pay 40% more than people in the US to download the top ten movies off Apple’s iTunes store?

Turnbull: That is a very powerful argument. There is an obligation on the content owners. If their concerns are to be taken seriously and if governments are to take action to help them prevent piracy, then they've got to play their part to make their content available universally and affordably.

Uhlmann: What's their reason for that price differential?

Turnbull: I assume it's because they feel they can make money out of it.

Uhlmann: So it's an Australian tax imposed by these providers?

Turnbull: Oh, no, no.

Uhlmann: Well, it doesn't cost any more does it, to download it in the US than in Australia? This is the Internet age.

Uhlmann: Anyone is entitled to sell their products for whatever price they like. That's their right. I'm not suggesting that the Government should be setting prices here, but I am saying that if you want to discourage piracy, the best thing you can do is to make your content available globally, universally and affordably. The music industry is a very good example of this, the way they've responded.

In other words, you just keep on reducing and reducing and reducing the incentive for people to do the wrong thing.

But everybody has to play their part. In the debate that's going to follow this discussion paper the content owners will have to justify why they are charging more to Australians. They've got to make their case too.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Government Tech Policy Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:48:18 +1000
Melbourne publishing startup Tablo launches author social network Melbourne publishing startup Tablo launches author social network

Facebook may have a new book-based rival after Melbourne-based publishing startup Tablo announced the launch of new social features for its cloud-based e-book publishing service, as part of what it describes as the biggest shift in its plaftform since its 2013 launch.

As we reported earlier this month Tablo, led by 21-year-old founder Ash Davies, recently completed its first round of seed funding and brought on lead investor Paul Reining, former CEO of the Catch Group as a Director and Advisor.

Davies said the developments are part of a wider effort to transform the writer from a solitary character into a social one by encouraging collaboration amongst authors and likeminded bookworms within an online community.

The unique social network will enable authors to create their own individual profiles, complete with a biography, photo and previous or upcoming works, and to share their writing with others in the online community.

Followers can browse the ‘Bookshelf’ of their favourite authors, receive updates on new chapters as they are written, and become part of the creative journey, while users can also join communities called ‘Groups’, bringing together writers and readers with a passion for all kinds of subjects.

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Davies said the new features were vital in upending the traditional publishing model.

“Writing has traditionally been seen as a lonely endeavour. This, combined with the sad reality that the vast majority of authors struggle to see their work ever published, means that countless pages of writing from talented individuals, are never shared or read by others. Tablo is changing that.

“Publishing a book in 2014 should not be the same as it was in 1914. Yes, authors still put words onto a page (whether digital or paper), but an ambitious or talented writer shouldn’t need a huge publishing deal to ensure their words are read. With our new social features, readers can discover and follow authors from day one. This will help authors secure and grow a loyal readership.

“Very often the best writers are also the best readers, and technology today allows us to be both, anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The nature of the Tablo community means that the next bestseller might be written on a smartphone or discovered on an iPad, and be armed with a loyal fanbase before it’s even published.”

Tablo, which was part of the Angelcube startup accelerator program last year, said it is currently helping over 10,000 authors, and publishes to the iBooks Store and Amazon.

]]> (David Swan) Business Software Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:42:35 +1000
Hangout on Google with Blue Jeans Hangout on Google with Blue Jeans

Video collaboration services provider Blue Jeans Network today introduced Blue Jeans for Hangouts, an interoperable gateway service that delivers what it describes as first and only cloud-based solution to enable room-based systems, such as Cisco or Polycom, to connect with Google Hangouts participants joining from desktop, mobile, or Chromebox for meetings rooms.

Blue Jeans for Hangouts will mean Google users can connect with whoever they want - colleagues, customers, partners, and friends - across a wide range of third party business conferencing systems.

It's described as "the easiest way to connect Hangouts and Chromebox video participants with users from a non-Google environment", and is 100% cloud-based.

“We’re thrilled to work with Google to enable millions of users of other video conferencing systems to connect into Hangouts,” said Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at Blue Jeans Network.

“Today’s modern workforce demands collaboration solutions that are multi-vendor, multi-device, and multi-location. That has always been the hallmark of our success at Blue Jeans. We look forward to working with Google to proliferate easy, open, and affordable video conferencing to businesses of all sizes and shapes.”

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“Blue Jeans has long been the archetype and paragon for interoperability in video collaboration,” said David Maldow, Founder and CEO, at LetsDoVideo. “As a market and brand leader for cloud-based VC interop solutions, it makes perfect sense for Google to work with them to connect other systems into Hangouts. Blue Jeans and Google are two of the fastest growing players in the video as a service space, and it will be exciting to watch their work together evolve.”

Blue Jeans said its new Hangouts system will be available in September for any standard H.323 or SIP room based system. 

As we reported back in May the video collaboration company released increased the participant limit from 25 to 100.

If you haven't heard of the Chromebox before Google released it earlier this year; it's a specialised version of the company's Chromebox PC that comes with videoconferencing gear, including a video camera and speakers.

For pricing and availability information check out the Blue Jeans for Hangouts website here.

]]> (David Swan) Cloud Services Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:10:09 +1000
Learn Linux for free from August 1

The Linux Foundation is offering its comprehensive Introduction to Linux course - normally $2,400 - for free.

The Linux Foundation's Intro to Linux course is a full, professionally-delivered course. Its usual price tag is $2,400 but is being offered for free from August 1st 2014.

For your money - or lack of money, in this case - you get over 40 to 60 hours of course work, taught by Dr Jerry Cooperstein, who oversees all training for the Linux Foundation.

To get the free course click on the words "Why do I have to pay? What if I want a free honor code certificate?" and the option to select the "Select Honor Code Certificate" option will show, which allows you to bypass the usual contribution fee.

{loadposition david08}The course outline lists 18 modules, through an introduction to Linux philosophy and components, the GUI, system configuration, command-line operations, finding documentation, file operations, and on through text editors, network operations, text manipulation and printing, shell scripting, processes, security and common apps.

Before taking the course it would be helpful to ensure you have Linux running on a computer (or virtual computer). If you have never done this before the Linux Foundation provides a helpful 16-page guide to get you up and going.

Sign up through edX and bolster your Linux skills. The course has no assumed knowledge except familiarity with computers and common software. If you can sign up for the course then you have as much experience as is required.

For the keen, you can register to get a certificate proving your completion and newly acquired Linux skills for $250.

]]> (David M Williams) The Linux Distillery Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:04:52 +1000
HP updates Moonshot family HP updates Moonshot family

HP has announced two new Moonshot servers as part of its ambitious program to change the way organisations do IT.

HP's Moonshot system is built around the idea of using large numbers of low-power servers in parallel to support scale-out workloads such as web serving and desktop virtualisation.

Several of these microservers are packaged into one 'cartridge', and multiple cartridges can be packed into one rack-mounted chassis.

A key aspect of Moonshot is that cartridges are built to suit particular applications, allowing the design to be simplified and thus reducing power requirements. HP calls them 'application-defined servers'.

{loadposition stephen08}As part of its New Style of IT concept, HP has added two new cartridges to the Moonshot family.

The Moonshot ProLiant m300 (pictured) is aimed at front-end Web applications, dedicated hosting and light weight analytics workloads.

HP officials said the new m300, based on the 2.4GHz Atom C2750 processor, delivers seven times greater performance and six times higher performance per watt than the previous generation.

The Moonshot ProLiant m700 is built for hosted desktop infrastructure workloads and is used in the HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops which supports 180 hosted desktops from one chassis.

These hosted desktops provide the business graphics and multimedia performance of a traditional desktop PC, company officials claimed, while reducing the total cost of ownership by up to 44%.

Furthermore, Moonshot technology can reduce power costs by up to 63%, they said.

In related news, HP has opened a Discovery Lab in Singapore, allowing customers and partners in Asia Pacific and Japan to work on applications on Moonshot and traditional servers.

Discovery Lab resources can be used on-site or remotely.

"Organisations across the region are under enormous pressure to build an efficient infrastructure to grow, compete and be ready for what's next," said HP South Pacific enterprise group director and general manager Raj Thakur.

"Today's announcements demonstrate HP's continued commitment to transforming the server landscape with customer-inspired innovations to Moonshot servers that enable organisations to be faster, smarter and more efficient now and into the future."

]]> (Stephen Withers) Data Centres Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:04:51 +1000