The picture is deceiving isn't it - especially for a tech site, but now that you're here, sit down for story time and enjoy this news bit.
Today, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and IBM Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Glen Boreham announced a new global R&D lab to be based at the University of Victoria. The deal creates 150 jobs, the major reason behind it is the NBN.
The new R&D lab will open in Q1 or 2011.
At the University of Melbourne, Gillard made the announcement. The lab will be the first IBM lab to combine both R&D into a single operation, it's aim to accelerate progress toward a smarter planet. More specifically, it will focus on areas such as water management, transport in urban centres, natural disaster management, smart electrical grids and more.
The lab is expected to bring more benefits to Victoria, not just including the 150 new researcher positions over five years, 38 of those being PhD students.
Telstra is really stretching out lately - another news bit, that they are upgrading their online bill payment facilities after research showed online payment as the preferred method of customers paying their phone bills.
Telstra's research was the result of Pure Profile's August 2010 sample of 1250 Australian's aged over 18, from both regional and metropolitan areas. Karen Ganschow, executive director of relationship marketing and online, said that the research they had showed 85 percent of Australian's preferred simple transactions on their PC or mobile phone, rather than in person or on the phone.
She added, "The average Australian has entered a new age of embracing online in their day to day lives. More than a third of us go online daily to perform simple transactions - such as paying bills or checking account information - with 10 per cent using the net up to four times a day to perform these tasks."
Our Mobile App of the Day today is picplz.
Getting your pics from your phone to your FaceBook or Twitter accounts can be a fairly tedious process. Picplz has been helping streamline the process, and now has added some fun new features to personalize your pics before posting.
Picplz 1.2 has added the ability to dress up photos with a variety of effects such as color swapping, Instagram, and Hipstamatic, as well as saving a copy of the photo on their servers in case you want to change the photo back. Picplz also has a maximum width of 2048 pixel for uploaded photos, which is much larger than most other programs. Picplz is a free app, so give it a look on iTunes or search the Android Market for picplz.
Today, Apple had their anti-sexting patent approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent aims to prevent users from sending or receiving "objectionable" text messages. The patent office does have an official title for it, sit down for this one people, "text-based communication control for personal communication device", well that was a mouthful - wait, can I say that without the anti-sexting prediction stopping me??
The "text-based communication control for personal communication device" (otherwise known as "sexting") info states that the problem it solves is that there is currently "No way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate. For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language."
Razer's Naga gaming mouse seems to have everything a macro junkie could want: Seventeen programmable buttons, and a 5600 dpi tracking sensor. But it also has something some gamers don't want; that pesky wire.
Razer's Naga Epic clips the cord on the Naga, giving programmable button fans a wireless version of the MMO destroying mouse. Along with a rechargeable battery and standup charger, the Naga Epic also boasts interchangeable side panels to further personalize the mouse for optimum comfort during long gaming sessions. The Naga Epic will retail for $129.99 and is scheduled to ship at the end of November.
Microsoft's search engine "Bing", will soon allow searchers to see results generated by their Facebook friends' use of the "like" button.
Microsoft's president of Microsoft Online Services, Qi Lui and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press conference in Microsoft's Silicon Valley HQ to announce the new feature, which will be a "liked by your friends" section that will take advantage of the way other web publishers have implemented Facebook's "like" button on their sites.
Microsoft are set to start this feature as of yesterday in the US, Bing users will find a little pop-up window in the top right hand corner of their screens that asks them if they want to use their Bing accounts with their Facebook accounts. However, it's not obligatory, users can choose to decline the "offer", with their Facebook profile and "likes" not being shown on Bing. Another feature is the ability to delete Bing from your Facebook applications if you decide later to exclude your data - Microsoft will show this reminder five times.
One of the features of the new integration, will allow Bing searchers to see when their friends on Facebook have clicked the "like" button on a web page. No search data is being sent back to Facebook, which means your Facebook friend's won't see what you're searching for on Bing.
If it hasn't happened to you, you've likely heard a story from someone else: The "I didn't know I was over my minutes/data plan and got a bill for $300/$1000/One MILLION dollars" story. The Federal Communications Commission is looking to make this a thing of a past in the U.S. on Thursday with new proposed rules.
The new rules would be fairly simple, and make a whole lot of sense. If a user is getting close to reaching their monthly limits on voice, text, or data services, cell companies would be required to send a text or voice alert to the user. Alerts would also be required if a user is going to incur any serious uncovered charge like international roaming. File this under "why the heck didn't we think of this earlier?"
Most of you are familiar with Bit.ly's service that shortens long URLs to a more manageable size for providing links. They have now announced that users will now be able to generate mobile device friendly QR codes as well via their site. Check out TweakTown's QR code below:
While Bit.ly is not the first to offer this service, as Google's goo.gl launched about two weeks ago, it is a step forward for the popular site to keep up with the rapidly growing mobile data user segment. Creating QR codes is easy: visit bit.ly, paste in your URL address you want changed, and add .qr to the end for a QR code or leave it alone for the normal shortened URL. Easy as pie. Your Android or iPhone device will have to have a compatible scanner to read the QR codes, but who doesn't have that installed already?
Sandforce's new enterprise-class SF-2500 and SF-2600 SSD processors have companies falling over each other trying to get their high end business class SSDs going, and now Mushkin has joined the fray. Mushkin's EP Series of drives will boast up to 500MB/s read/write sequential transfer rate, up to 60,000 sustained random read/write IOPS, and Advanced ECC with up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH). Get your rackmount space ready soon, as these drives are expected to make an appearance in the first quarter of 2011.
Don't worry Mac fans; Apple has not forgotten about you in the flurry of iOS device launches and such. On October 20th, Apple is throwing a special event just for you. Drawing some pretty obvious conclusions from the big kitty peeking from behind the Apple, it looks like a new OS X version is on the horizon.
With Apple's preference of large cat names for their operating system like Tiger and Snow Leopard, it's reasonable to assume that "Lion" is on the horizon as the next OS for your Mac devices. The party starts at 10AM local time in Cupertino, California, so mark your calendars and keep your eyes peeled here for the latest roar from OS X.