iTWire - iTWire - Latest News iTWire - Technology news, trends, reviews, jobs Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:35:46 +1100 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb PNG merger for MCR and Allcom PNG merger for MCR and Allcom

Two of Papua New Guinea’s ICT services vendors, MCR and Allcom, have merged to make the new company one of the largest ICT providers in the region.

Former Allcom boss  Luke Byer has been  appointed Managing Director of the newly merged company, named  Allcom MCR PNG , while Sam Vakili, former MCR Managing Director will continue as Group MD.

Byer, a 30-year IT industry veteran, has previously worked for Telstra and Memorex Telex. He is based in Port Morseby.

"We are very excited about joining the Allcom PNG and MCR entities together. Both organisations are well established in PNG and our combined resources and strong vendor partnerships will further enhance our product and service offerings in the PNG market," Byer said.

{loadposition peter}According to Byer, the management team of the new company would ensure a successful merger of two of the best technical teams in PNG.

A company announcement said Vakili will continue to play an important role as Group MD and will remain heavily involved in the PNG operations.

“This merger demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Papua New Guinea and our customers – we are looking forward to a bright future working with Allcom PNG,” Vakili said.

]]> (Peter Dinham) Deals Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:49:54 +1100
Here’s Telstra’s T Health press event in full - VIDEO’s-telstra’s-t-health-press-event-in-full-video’s-telstra’s-t-health-press-event-in-full-video Here’s Telstra’s T Health press event in full - VIDEO

Telstra has tentacles in many pies, but with its latest move into the eHealth arena, it shouldn’t have to worry about indigestion - here’s the launch video and media scrum for anyone interested in seeing how the event unfolded.

Telstra has launched into what I remember a few years ago being called the next trillion dollar business - the health and wellness industry.

The Company has done this by becoming, in one fell swoop, Australia’s largest provider of eHealth services, spending over $100 million dollars to get to the starting point of today, with aims to create a “brilliantly connected healthcare future for everyone”.

We wrote about the launch earlier this morning, which you can read here, but this article has two new videos embedded below - the launch event in full at approximately 45 minutes, and the media scrum afterwards at around 10 minutes with questions from the assembled media pack.

Telstra aims to connect “patients, healthcare workers, hospitals, pharmacies and health funds”, as well as government, and is doing this “to build a safer, more convenient way to manage our health – with patients at the centre.”

Telstra is offering applications for health care providers, so healthcare businesses can be managed “in a smarter, simpler way”.

It is offering “connected care”, so we can “connect and share confidential data quickly and safely.”

Telehealth is a natural part of the equation, as is “Intelligence” so doctors and patients have “the tools to discover better outcomes and deliver data-drive patient care”.

The information from Telstra on its health initiative is at its website, with the specific section linked here , although Health is now listed at the top of the site as one of the headline sections.

The Company says it is offering solutions for government and insurers, hospitals, GPs, community pharmacies and for aged and community care, and list “six challenges to support the Australian healthcare system”.

These are:

Consumer Control - Providing people with greater control of their health and wellness

Connectivity - Increasing access to healthcare regardless of location

Admissions - Reducing hospital and aged care admissions

Integration - Improving integration of health information

Pharmacy - Creating a safer, efficient and more convenient pharmacy system

Efficiency - Improving efficiency and productivity across the system

It all sounds very laudable, so let’s hope Telstra is successful in delivering better outcomes for all patients, rather than simply creating the next big data-driven “Big Brother”.

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Health Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:32:29 +1100 comes closer – a boost for the NBN and copper–-a-boost-for-the-nbn-and-copper–-a-boost-for-the-nbn-and-copper comes closer – a boost for the NBN and copper


This year’s Broadband World Forum 2014 currently being held in Amsterdam features an ‘Interoperability Pavilion’ highlighting, the technology that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been touting as a way to get fibre-like speeds over copper.

The Pavilion features 17 vendors, test houses and industry bodies. Visitors are able to see live examples of the latest technology, VDSL2 Vectoring, GPON (Gigabit passive optical cable) and the Forum’s TR-069 remote management protocol.

The Broadband Forum group, which has organised the conference and the pavilion, says answers many of the deployment questions around the demand for faster broadband, by giving Gigabit speeds without the Outside Plant (OSP) costs.

“ is essentially a ‘fibre to the periphery’ solution,” said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh. “It depends on bringing fibre closer to the customer typically to within 20 to 200 metres, depending on the deployment scenario. is set to be very important, particularly as service providers look to provide services such as IPTV at 500 to 1000 Mbps.”

Malcolm Turnbull is known to have been watching developments with interest. FTTN has been a contentious issue in Australia, with the Coalition scrapping the previous Labor Government’s ambitious all fibre NBN with a ‘multi technology mix’ strategy using a mixture of FTTP and FTTN.

The Broadband Forum has also selected the world’s first testing laboratory to certify products designed for deployment. It has chosen the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), which has more than 25 years’ experience and major testing facilities.

“Interoperability of the and FTTdp (fibre to the distribution point) is essential to the rollout of these new technologies, and we’re working with the Broadband Forum to quickly develop the test plans and certification program in step with the broadband industry’s first anticipated wave of products,” said Lincoln Lavoie, UNH-IOL senior engineer.

{loadposition graeme}“Our goal is to begin initial testing of products during the first half of 2015 and deliver certifications during the second half, so service providers can assure the certified CPE and DPU devices selected for their first FTTdp deployment will be interoperable.”

Alcatel-Lucent has been a leader in developing which it has been trialling with a number of telcos around the world. Now it says it will be commercially available in 2015.

Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Networks business, said: “Quite simply, moves the goalposts thanks to its ability to provide fibre-like broadband speeds. The debate is no longer about copper versus fibre, as both technologies can provide what customers want.

“This means operators can expand their fibre footprints in the most efficient way, choosing between copper or fibre technologies for the final connection, to ensure no customer is left behind when it comes to getting ultra-broadband services.”

The commercial launch of Alcatel-Lucent’s follows 12 trials with operators, including A1, a subsidiary of Telekom Austria. This trial comes a year after Alcatel-Lucent and A1 conducted the first laboratory trial of with vectoring where they achieved speeds of 1.1 Gbps. works only over comparatively short distances, with speeds degrading quickly after 250 metres. Other trials have included BT in the UK and Orange in France. Eight more operator trials have been confirmed before the end of the year. Alcatel-Lucent did not say whether Telstra or the NBN would be one of these.

Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement announcing the availability of that its new 7368 ISAM single-port Optical Network Terminal (ONT) accelerates the availability of fibre-like speeds without the need for operators to bring fibre all the way into the premises, “the most costly and time consuming part of any fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment.

“Instead, fibre can be drawn close to the home and used to deliver speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) over the existing telephone line into the premises. The ONT (pictured) can also be deployed in a multiple-dwelling unit, with one ONT serving each household.”

Alcatel-Lucent says customer trials have used multi-port s vectoring technology to eliminate the cross-talk interference that occurs when two or more copper lines are in close proximity, which adversely affects speeds. The multi-port solution will drive the evolution of Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 micro-node portfolio.

Copper technologies like are crucial for enabling service providers to expand their fibre footprint and bring ultra-broadband services to as many customers as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Guillén.

“Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs recently demonstrated the real-world possibility for XG-FAST technology – which extends the possibilities of copper even further. Laboratory trials saw symmetrical speeds of 1 Gbps over 70 metres of copper.”


]]> (Graeme Philipson) Telecoms & NBN Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:33:59 +1100
Alibaba’s BIG commercial deal for merchants and suppliers’s-big-commercial-deal-for-merchants-and-suppliers’s-big-commercial-deal-for-merchants-and-suppliers Alibaba’s BIG commercial deal for merchants and suppliers

Alibaba has done a deal with Aussie software company Bigcommerce to give merchants “greater global access to products and services” and integrate Bigcommerce’s “easy-to-use” e-commerce platform.

Alibaba is one of the world’s biggest online storefronts for manufacturers, linking them with the world’s merchants, thus bringing China’s many and varied factories ever closer to consumers - and their wallets.

Quoting industry research from the “Drop Ship Directory”, published on the 17th of October 2014, we’re told that “84% of online sellers find that establishing a drop ship supplier or wholesaler relationship is the #1 roadblock to starting an online business.”

This is where the new Bigcommerce and partnership comes into play, promising to “bring together online businesses with trusted suppliers to make it easier to find, purchase and stock products from all over the world.”

The deal is said to be a “new, first-of-a-kind partnership”, and will give “Australian online retailers and entrepreneurs the power to tap into a significantly larger international market to source and sell more products.”

Alibaba is also famous for having just had “the largest IPO in history and now has a market cap of more than US$220 billion”, while Bigcommerce has over 55,000 merchants, including thousands in Australia, that will now be able to source more than 1.5 million products directly from manufacturers around the world.

{loadposition alex08}Touted benefits include:

- A shortened sourcing cycle, with Bigcommerce merchants able to “source products directly from manufacturers around the world — including the ability to find suppliers and receive quotes within 48 hours with the AliSourcePro service.
- Convenient access to new and hard-to-find inventory, with the finding of “new and niche products made easier for Bigcommerce merchants with the integration of Wholesale Checkout,’s wholesale marketplace with products at low prices and low minimum order quantities.”

- Next is a “simplified buying process and streamlined checkout”, with Bigcommerce merchants to gain “single-click access from the Bigcommerce platform to where they can easily find products, register and complete purchases.:
- Finally, there is the deal’s “safe and secure way to connect with trusted suppliers from around the world”, with Bigcommerce merchants able to “purchase goods directly from the world's leading network of independently verified manufacturers. Merchants also receive access to buyer services such as Escrow, a payment protection program, and third-party inspectors for quality control.”

Michael Lee,’s director of Global Market and Biz development stating: “We are partnering with Bigcommerce to make it easy for our customers to do business anywhere in the world. and Bigcommerce together are building an integrated ecommerce ecosystem and helping to introduce more small and medium-sized merchants and online stores to the global market.”

Eddie Machaalani, the co-founder and CEO of Bigcommerce, whose name almost sounds Machiavellian but isn’t, said: “With this partnership, we are helping our merchants grow their online businesses every step of the way — from sourcing to selling.

“ provides access to the world’s largest network of suppliers and manufacturers of goods that will help our merchants build their online presence and expand into new revenue opportunities.”

For more info on the deal, you can visit Bigcommerce’s site here.

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Deals Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:51:56 +1100
Vodafone’s dandy iPad deals: Air 2, Mini 3’s-dandy-ipad-deals-air-2-mini-3’s-dandy-ipad-deals-air-2-mini-3 Vodafone’s dandy iPad deals: Air 2, Mini 3

Taking advantage of its superfast 4G network and improved 3G network, Vodafone has done a deal to sell Apple’s latest and greatest iPads in its Australian stores from today with data plans of up to 25GB per month. 

Apple’s iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi and Cellular and iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi and Cellular are on sale from today in Vodafone’s Australian stores, coupled with what the company says is “attractive data plans” that offer speeds of 2 to 40 Mbps on its 4G network, which is up to fifteen times faster than Vodafone’s “current average speeds” of 1 Mbps on its 3G network.

The iPad Air 2 is of course the world’s thinnest tablet, with Apple always loving to gazump its competitors in various winning ways every time one of its new iDevices is launched, along with the new A8X processor, Touch ID capability, 8 megapixel camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 675,000+ iPad specific apps and comes in gold, space grey and black.

The iPad mini 3 sadly hasn’t been upgraded anywhere near as magnificently, effectively being the same as the iPad mini 2 with Retina save for the introduction of Touch ID and the same three new colours.

{loadposition alex08}So, the all important question: what is Vodafone charging for the new iPads?

Well, its $20 plan gives you 2.5GB of data, the $30 plan offers 4GB of data, the $45 plan gives you 8GB of data, the $65 plan offers 12GB of data and the $90 per month plan gives you a whopping 25GB of mobile broadband data.

The chart below makes it clear what the additional costs are for each iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 in the 16, 64 and 128GB sizes:

In addition, Vodafone says it is “offering $100 credit when you add a 24 month tablet plan to your existing account. Offer ends 4 November.”

In store sales start today, October 22, while online ordering starts on the 28th of October.

Two more things Vodafone wants us to know: it’s superfast 4G network isn’t everywhere yet, but it is in “selected areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong and Hobart”.

The second and final thing is that, as usual, “minimum monthly spend and early exit fees apply”, along with all data included being for use in Australia only.

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Mobility Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:34:02 +1100
Telstra’s T Health an OZ eHealth revolution’s-t-health-an-oz-ehealth-revolution’s-t-health-an-oz-ehealth-revolution Telstra’s T Health an OZ eHealth revolution

Telstra’s vision for a more connected healthcare system has launched today as Telstra Health, with the Company aiming to become Australia’s “leading provider of integrated eHealth solutions".

Telstra is involved in telecommunications, broadband, digital media, digital advertising, retail and a plethora of other things, and now it is getting into the eHealth game, too, spending $100 million so far on setting up its brand new T Health division alongside a new “ReadyCare” initiative which will see doctors available 24x7 for phone and/or online consultations with doctors that can even issue prescriptions.

UPDATE: To see Telstra's T Health presentation in full (approx 45 minutes) and the approx 10 minute media scrum afterwards, please click to this story. 

The T-Rex that is Telstra is aiming to take a bite out of a new area: eHealth. Telstra’s retail executive, Gordon Ballantyne, said: “We’ve seen what the digital revolution has meant for other industries and we believe that healthcare in Australia could benefit from eHealth to better serve all Australians.

“Telstra Health wants to be the partner of choice in the health industry to connect patients, healthcare workers, hospitals, pharmacies, government and health funds and build a safer, more convenient way of managing health.”

A YouTube video we recorded of the media scrum will appear in this article within the hour, it is still uploading but will add additional information based on the range of questions asked after the presentation concluded. Telstra's video called "Case for Change" is embedded below. 

According to Mr Ballantyne, eHealth “could help solve some of the profound challenges facing the health care industry in Australia”, adding that: “Health spend is growing more than twice as fast as our economy to nearly 10% of GDP, from $120 billion in 2010 to an estimated $200 billion by 2020. Aging populations, chronic disease and equal access are just some of the challenges faced in bringing quality healthcare to every Australian across a fragmented system.

{loadposition alex08}“Many Australians have a different experience of the healthcare system because of where they live. Seven million people in rural and regional Australia access GP services at a lower rate than the national average.

“We see our role as integrating eHealth solutions across all care settings to solve these industry challenges. Telstra Health is about connecting you to your doctor, your doctor to your other providers, and having access to care and information where you want, when you want.”

Telstra Health is now headed by the well known and respected former CEO of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, Shane Solomon, who brings 30 years experience in the health sector as Managing Director of Telstra Health.

“Through acquisition and partnerships, the team has assembled 10 of the most innovative eHealth companies from Australia and around the world to create leading integrated eHealth solutions, including the one we’re announcing today,” Mr Ballantyne said.

Then there’s Telstra Readycare, which is being run in a joint venture with the successful Swiss “MedGate” service that has been providing online and phone consultations in conjunction with a Swiss telco for the last 13 years.

 Telstra says its new service “will see patients talk directly to GPs over video or phone to receive advice, diagnosis, prescriptions, and referrals. ReadyCare is designed to complement regular GP consultations, with information from a telemedicine GP consultation provided back to the patient’s regular GP to ensure continuity of care.” 

ReadyCare is aimed at overcoming the challenges of distance and availability to provide greater levels of access, and will operate on a 24/7 basis to address the “estimated 2.2 million of emergency department presentations occurring annually that could have been treated by a GP.”

Medgate’s CEO, and President of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth, Dr Andy Fischer, said: “There will be a great demand for telemedical consultations in Australia, and I look forward very much to a successful and exciting collaboration with Telstra Health,” Dr Fischer said.

A Clinical Advisory Panel has been established by ReadyCare to oversee clinical guidelines. Dr Chris Mitchell AM, past President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Associate Professor Dr Bruce Chater, past President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine have been appointed to the panel.

Next up is Telstra’s partnership with the NT Government to build a “National Telehealth Connection Service”, integrating eHealth solutions, including connectivity, video conferencing, and scheduling, to bring specialist medical care to some of Australia’s most remote communities.

The program enables patients to receive more of the care they need in their communities rather than having to travel for more than 17 hours each way for a single appointment.

David Thodey at the T Health launch

Mr Ballantyne said: “The Service is now connecting community health centres in Tennant Creek and Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory with specialist medical care from teaching hospitals. It combines our strength in data connectivity with our new eHealth capabilities to deliver remote specialist health service.”

There’s also T Health’s announcement with the Silver Chain Group, which is one of Australia’s largest and most innovative in-home health and care providers, and which has "chosen Telstra Health to help deliver highly specialist nursing care in the comfort of a person’s own home.”

Claimed to be a leader in “hospital-in-the-home services”, the Silver Chain Group will “use Telstra Health’s new eHealth platform to more closely monitor the health of patients leaving hospital, intervene to reduce the risk of a health condition from deteriorating, and avoid a return to hospital.”

Mr Ballantyne added that: “Hospital medical staff will be able to access a secure portal to keep track of the services provided by Silver Chain and remotely monitor changes in the patient's condition”.

Shane Solomon, CEO of Telstra Health

Silver Chain’s CEO, Chris McGowan said that “the organisation is focused on improving outcomes for patients and that using this form of technology will ensure a seamless journey for everyone involved in the provision of care.” 

“This integrated approach will result in a higher quality of care, better communication between services and more efficient use of health resources,” added Mr Ballantyne.

“These new services show our commitment to work with health services to provide the eHealth solutions they need to deliver the best possible care to patients in their own homes and communities,” concluded Mr Ballantyne.

]]> (Alex Zaharov-Reutt) Health Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:26:33 +1100
TPPA: Like Oliver Twist, the US always wants more TPPA: Like Oliver Twist, the US always wants more

Leak number four of the IP chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, a multi-country "free trade" proposal, tells us little more than the earlier leaked drafts. It does, however, give some reason for cheer.

While the treaty itself will bring nothing but doom and gloom for the man on the street, the fact that it is becoming unwieldy to negotiate in direct proportion to the increasing number of countries involved, is good news indeed. So far, there have been 20 rounds of talks. (Leaks: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Talks began in Canberra on October 19 to try again to reach the broad outlines of a deal and will go until Friday. Trade ministers of the countries involved will then meet in Sydney from October 25 to 27.

The World Trade Organisation's talks on a global trade treaty - the so-called Doha Round - went on and on and on. Finally the US, fed up with the inordinate delay, initiated the TPPA. Initially, there were eight countries, including Australia and New Zealand involved; now there are 12.

{loadposition sam08}The countries involved are the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam and Chile. The US has been hoping each year that the treaty can be finalised and announced at the annual APEC conference which is held in November.

But that has been an annual ambition since 2011, the year after the talks began. Since March 2010, there have been 20 rounds of talks, in various parts of the world. With each session, it looks like the disagreements are growing.

For Australians, what is interesting to note is the way the government's proposals for data retention seem to dovetail neatly into the ambitions expressed in the TPP - mostly US-driven - to extend copyright beyond even what its most fervent supporters have wet dreams about.

Internet service providers are being asked to act as the watch-dogs for copyright holders - read the big film studios and music companies in the US - and this is sought to be made mandatory. Australian attorney-general George "you have a right to be a bigot" Brandis's data retention laws would be very helpful in this regard, a link I have drawn all along.

Indeed, the latest draft shows that any company which provides online services could well be asked to the police force that dobs in those who access copyrighted material without authorisation.

And even though there are safe harbour provisions for ISPs, this is made conditional on their agreeing to act as enforcers of what would be similar to a DMCA-like set of provisions for all countries involved.

The new draft seeks to make unauthorised access of a trade secret through a computer system a criminal offence, an obvious reference to the Edward Snowden affair.

The draft seeks a minimal copyright term for all TPPA participants, a modification of the earlier proposal to have an optimal term.

The current terms of copyright in the US border on the ridiculous. "...for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first."

How much more does Uncle Sam want?

]]> (Sam Varghese) Open Sauce Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:50:25 +1100
Mint Wireless sacks CEO, share trading halted Mint Wireless sacks CEO, share trading halted

Wireless payments operator Mint Wireless is trying to hide the bad news, but it’s getting increasingly difficult.

Last week Mint Wireless’s shares were suspended from trading on the ASX. Now it has announced that CEO Robin Khuda is being shown the door. “The board believes a different skill set is required at the CEO level.”

Khuda was appointed CEO only in May. Obviously it hasn’t worked out. He seemed well qualified – he was one of the founders of data centre operator NextDC, and its CFO and deputy CEO. But chairman and founder Alex Teoh wants to run things his way – he has returned as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.

The company has announced a major review of its operations, of “the current governance structures, in particular the right balance between board and management, the alignment of customer and product activities, and the best approach to ensuring success with geographical and functional growth plans,” it said in a statement to the ASX.

It is not the first time Mint has changed direction. It has redefined itself a few times since listing on the ASX in 2007. Its shares were placed in a trading halt last week after the ASX asked it why its shares had declined sharply recently. It said it expected the trading halt to be lifted on Monday (20 October), but that did not happen.

{loadposition graeme}

Mint Wireless couched its most recent statement to the ASX in positive terms, hiding the news of Khuda’s departure towards the bottom of the last page. It accentuated the positive news that the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) has certified Mint’s mPOS solution for EFTPOS transactions using Remote Key Injection (RKI), and that it was the first to achieve RKI certification for mPOS in Australia.

But such announcements are not revenue. Mint has deals with accounting software vendor MYOB and with a number of banks for the use of its mobile payments system, but it is burning cash at an alarming rate. It said in its statement to the ASX that it has $9.5 million in available funds to “ensure a strong financial position for future growth plans.”

Mint lost $4.2 million last year, on revenues of just $2.2 million. It completed a $10 million share placement in May 2014, which has given it its current cash reserves, but it is still talking in terms of an “early stage rollout” for its products.

It seems the market is losing patience. Before trading in the company’s shares were halted, the price had declined from 27 cents to 8 cents in just three months, wiping off more than two thirds of its value.

Little wonder a “strategic review” is under way.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Listed Tech Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:10:49 +1100
iPhone 6 boosts Apple’s numbers’s-numbers’s-numbers iPhone 6 boosts Apple’s numbers

Apple has announced its annual results. They include results for the last quarter, when the iPhone 6 was released. Things are looking good.

Everyone knew Apple’s financial results would be strong. And they are – beyond the market’s expectations.

They have been boosted by sale of the iPhone 6 at the very end of Apple’s fiscal year, which ended 30 September. Apple sold a record 39.27 million iPhones in the last quarter, many more than the 33.79 million units it sold in the same quarter in the previous year. More than ten million of those were iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, even though they were on sale for only the last three weeks of the quarter.

Investors think there is better to come – Apple’s share price has returned to near record heights, with the company’s market capitalisation now around US$600 billion (all values in this article in US$).

Apple’s revenues last year were $182.795 billion, easily the highest in the ICT industry. Just over half of this is from iPhones, and around 60% of it from outside of the US.

{loadposition graeme}

Total revenues increased by 7.0% on the previous year. But the real news was last quarter’s revenues, which were up 12.4% on the same quarter last year, to $42.123 billion. Apple’s gross margin was 38%, up marginally.

"Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple's strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015."

It’s easy to be excited when you are doing so well. “"Our strong business performance drove earnings per share growth of 20% and a record $13.3 billion in cash flow from operations in the September quarter," said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO. How would you like to be Apple’s CEO?

"We continued to execute aggressively against our capital return program, spending over $20 billion in the quarter and bringing cumulative returns to $94 billion."

iPad sales are down and the Macintosh is old technology, but Apple has its Apple Pay and the Apple Watch still to add to its numbers. The company keeps reinventing itself, very successfully. There has been much written about how Apple’s best days are behind it. This is rubbish. Apple is cock of the walk, and likely to remain so for a long time yet.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Listed Tech Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:06:24 +1100
Win a trip to ESA space operations center: Name Comet's Site J Win a trip to ESA space operations center: Name Comet's Site J
You only have less than a day to provide a better name for Site J, the site where Rosetta's lander Philae will land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
If you submit the best name to the Comet's "Site J", then you will win a trip to the European Space Agency's Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany.
When at the Center, you will follow the landing -- live -- from its mission control center.
According to a press release from the ESA, "As the location of the first soft landing of a human-made object on a comet, the site, currently identified as Site J, deserves a meaningful and memorable name that captures the significance of the occasion.”
According to the article Name Rosetta’s Landing Site on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, Win Trip to Germany, the rules "are simple". Here they are:
"… any name can be proposed, but it must not be the name of a person."
{loadposition william08}And, "The name must be accompanied by a short description (up to 200 words) explaining why this would make the ideal name for such an historic location."
Further, "A jury comprising members of the Philae Steering Committee will select the best name from the entries, and the winning proposer will be invited to follow the landing in person from ESA’s mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany on 12 November 2014."
Also, "Entries will be accepted until 7:59 p.m. EDT (4:59 p.m. PDT, 11:59 p.m. GMT) on 22 October 2014."
And, lastly, "The top prize can only be awarded to participants who are a citizen of or a permanent resident of an EU Member State, an ESA Member State (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; Canada takes part in some projects under a Cooperation agreement), an ESA Cooperating State (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia), or the United States of America."
Learn more about the contest at:
]]> (William Atkins) Space Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:20:08 +1100