Friday Tech Roundup (14 March 2014): Google AU says piracy is a matter of availability and pricing

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By on March 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of Google’s appeal to the government to improve content availability in Australia, Intel’s new super-fast optical cabling, and a ridiculous new concept coming to the wearable technology market.

Google Australia tells Malcolm Turnbull that piracy is about availability and pricing

TorrentFreak has unearthed a previously unreleased statement from Google Australia’s head of public policy Iarla Flynn, showing that Google believes that Australia’s piracy problem can be reduced by focusing on content pricing and availability. In response to a request for comment from Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, Flynn states that “there is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem,” and encourages the Australian government to “promote new business models and a free marketplace for legal purchasing of content.” Flynn’s final point of the letter closes with “we would be disappointed if the Government decided to go down the route of overly harsh regulation to combat piracy without considering the evidence from around the world that this would likely be costly for business to implement and with little effect.”

Intel crams 64 optical fibres into a single cable capable of 800Gbps

Intel has announced that it is working on a new data interconnect cable that is capable of 800Gbps data transfer rates in each direction, a significant improvement over the current standard for fibre-optic cabling which peaks at 10Gbps. The cable will make use of a proprietary connector dubbed MXC (which doesn’t stand for anything, apparently), which is slimmer, ruggedized, and can expose up to 4 rows of 16 fibres. Don’t expect to see these cables gracing your home networks any time soon, however. Intel are aiming this new cable tech squarely at datacentres and supercomputers for the foreseeable future.

Victorian man accused of using a drone to smuggle drugs into prison

Victoria police have arrested a man accused of using a drone to smuggle drugs into a prison at Ravenhall. According to Victoria police the man was attempting to use a quadcopter to deliver a small quantity of drugs to unknown recipients within the prison. The accused has been bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 17 March, 2014, charged with possession of a drug of dependence, and attempt to commit an indictable offence. “At the end of the day, if they can throw a tennis ball over the wall with drugs in them, and with staffing levels the way they are, it’s going to be very difficult to stop these drones,” David McCaulety of the Public Service Association told the Guardian.

HeadWatch is a headset-slash-smartwatch designed to solve a problem experienced by no-one

One of the legion of problems with smartwatches is the fact that you generally can’t use them to take calls, unless you want to look like Dick Tracey and have your conversations in a very public and annoying fashion. The HeadWatch has been designed to solve this problem by including a hook that allows the user to detach the watchface and mount it to their ear to act as a Bluetooth headset. By doing this, one side of the conversation is obscured, just like a normal phone call. Unfortunately the designers of the device have been unable to solve the problem of the user looking like a person with a watchface on their ear. The HeadWatch is currently seeking funding via an Indiegogo campaign.

Raspberry Pi receives an officially supported audio card

Element14, the maker of the Raspberry Pi has announced that an officially supported audio card is on its way to the miniscule Linux-powered DIY PC. Previously, Raspberry Pi tinkerers have needed to make use of USB peripherals such as DACs to get audio in and out of the system, but the new Wolfson Audio-based card aims to miniaturise, open-up, and simplify the process by mounting directly to the Raspberry Pi via standard P5 pins. The audio card supports high-res audio up to 24-bit /192KHz, via a 3.5mm line-out, or digital S/PDIF output. Audio recording is handled by two onboard MEMS mics, a 3.5mm mic jack, and a digital S/PDIF input. The Wolfson Audio Card is now available for USD$33.

15 comments (Leave your own)

lol @ drone.


I’m confused, doesn’t the Raspbery Pi already have analog audio support via the 3.5mm jack? Sure it’s not the best quality ever, but it does exist.


We all know that Mr Internet won’t listen to Google as they’re basically saying “Stop price gouging and stop geoblocking”.


All the DRM , laws and other crap thrown at us is still not actually listening to the world/public/consumer/community and actually finding out why WE actually DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE

* Availablity – USA of course gets it first
* Cost – USA often has it for US$20 to US$60 cheaper often for games, software like adobe/other business stuff add 100 to 900 bucks for the AU edition
* DRM/Digital – Not only are we paying MORE at LATER DATE but its via the same DRM/Digital Store that the rest of the world uses , NO valid excuse that it needs to get SHIPPED to the country
* Our internet cost more then USA
* Some content USA only (eg tv streaming sites/trailers/tv shows via sites eg hbo/etc)

Solution – Offer digital Media in US currency for the SAME COST , eg US$1 for music or US$40 for a game around the world on the same DAY without regional/country BLOCKING


Second to the United States in paying for digital downloaded content:

Australians may be among the world’s biggest consumers of illegally downloaded video content but they are also among the most avid consumers of legal content, figures released by the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association show.

The market for digital film and television sales in Australia grew 22.4 per cent last financial year to $143.67 million, the association said.

Association chief Simon Bush said the figures showed that “on a per capita basis Australia is second only to the United States in digital consumer revenues”.


Apparently Australia had the highest uptake of VCR’s and Mobile phones aswell

They will still use the 10 year old BS FRAKING ramble
Australia is a small market (translation , lets frak them over)


I posted my thoughts about this elsewhere already but, here’s my thoughts on Intel’s new cable.

1.6Tbps datastream 800/800 up/down @ 300 meters… admittedly 300meters isn’t a long distance, I’m sure it could handle alot longer than that @ say 1+Tbps up to 1KM with no noticable drop in performance actually occurring untill 2+KM. *This is based on average loss of various Fibre standards and some really quick and dodgy math… Admittedly speeds like this are ridiculous and way above what most users need (right now), but it really is the kind of tech we should be building for.

To reach the maximum speed coaxial(liberal FTTN proposal) will provide of 25Mbps you only need a single fibre(running this tech) one 64th of the power these cables provide.
A fibre optic cabinet is future proof a HFC cabinet or *node* is not… Future proofed architecture would be nice.

Intel’s new fibre.
Fibre loss.

As for the piracy thing, always nice to have big companies reinforcing what we already know.


Solution – Offer digital Media in US currency for the SAME COST , eg US$1 for music or US$40 for a game around the world on the same DAY without regional/country BLOCKING

While not digital media, I find it funny that even though the Lego movie was mostly (80% or so) animated in Australia, we’re among the last in the world to have it released…

Majority of world release: 6th/7th February
Australia: 3rd April



Screw the user’s connection, screw the exchange backbone to a lesser extent, we need better international pipes! No one (serious) ever seems to mention the fact we only have a few measly pipes to the rest of the world, the places we get the majority of our content from, while we’re brashly wanting to upgrade everyone to 100Mbps/1Gbps fibre connections. (don’t get me wrong, I want that as well!)
It doesn’t take too many 100Mbps links to saturate even a 2Tbps pipe. Especially so when they’re all watching fcuking YouTube instead of doing something constructive.

Even now, during peak times, connections to US servers slow down noticeably :(

If we could get the intercontinental under-sea pipes to function at 50Gbps PER FIBRE that would *really* future proof us! But I haven’t seen any proposals to even touch the things… Just fibre to the node, fibre to the home. Wireless to the airwaves.

Build the foundation before you build the tower. Such sun tzu. Much think. Very insight. So wisdom. Wow

Edit: Also I doubt they could get 1.6Tbps over anything longer than 300m. It would have been of great benefit (marketing wise) to Intel if they got it functioning over longer distances. Can’t imagine signal skew is too kind on multi-mode, multi-fibre bundles at long distances



I’ve gone on about the need for back haul before, local and international. I’ve heard others make similar comments before admittedly my opinion isn’t all that important … but it’s less relevant of a discussion at the moment due to the HFC connections we seem to be going with in this country … which the current/planned backhaul is enough to handle… my biggest issue with HFC is the upstream. .. which is worthless for just my home use … let alone all the things I want to do with it.


“there is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem,”

Welcome to what every Australian consumer has known for at least 15 years.



Not every Australian consumer. Just the smart ones.
The regular idiots we call the public are the extra 22.4% that grew last year.
The rest of us pirated.


Telstra already has 1TBPS over a single fiber from Sydney to Melbourne, so Intel’s cable is nothing new


its sadly no use to speak to “Mr Broadband”, the amount of information and test scenarios that are freely available and real world examples for anything to do with internet connectivity and user activities means nothing to him or his cronies.


Telstra already has 1TBPS over a single fiber from Sydney to Melbourne, so Intel’s cable is nothing new

It’s 800Gps one way, so 1.6TB total data transfer

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