The former Microsoft boss who is credited with bringing Nokia to its knees has found a job down under, advising an Aussie telco how to get its act together.
Stephen Elop has been appointed to the new role of Telstra’s Group Executive Technology, Innovation and Strategy, According to the company press release he will be “leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company”.
Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company which has been having a few outage problems lately. The former government department has done quite well although it does charge rather a lot for its services.
In a hugely amusing press release, Telstra cites Elop’s “deep technology experience” and “innate sense of customer expectations.”
Chief Executive Officer Andrew Penn said Elop’s new job brings together aligned lines of business including the Chief Technology Office, Chief Scientist, Telstra Software Group and Corporate Strategy with strong links into product development functions.
Penn is new in the job himself, having taken over on a platform of making the outfit more customer focused.
Elop on the other hand is famous for his his “burning platform” email to Nokia staff in 2011. He practically destroyed Nokia by telling staff that the company was “standing on a burning platform” and must “change its behavior,” suggesting that the adoption of a non-homegrown platform like Android or Windows Phone 7 is a more realistic possibility.
After he made that the company’s share price went into free fall. In the end the company was bought by Microsoft and died a death.
Apple has been slapped with a $1.9 million fine after it agreed to settle a case brought by Australian regulators.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was not all that thrilled by the fact that Apple marketed the new iPad as a 4G device in Australia, namely because its 4G LTE chips does not support Aussie 4G frequency bands. Regulators argued that Apple’s claims mislead consumers, who believed they could use Telstra’s 4G network.
Apple eventually agreed to drop the “Wi-Fi +4G” branding from the iPad and substitute it with something a bit more truthful, “Wi-Fi + Cellular.” Apple originally argued that some network frequencies classified as 3G in Australia operate as 4G elsewhere. Eventually Apple decided that it is better to take a slap on the wrist and make the whole problem go away.
In addition to the US$1.9 million fine, Apple will also have to settle court costs estimated at A$ 300,000. It doesn’t sound like much for Apple to stomach, after all the outfit claims to have sold more than three million new iPads worldwide since March, and sales of the old iPad 2 are still going strong.
NASA’s live coverage of Venus’ solar transit was interrupted by an Australian roadworker.
The worker severed a fiber-optic cable, cutting NASA’s live video feed from one of the best vantage points in the world, Australia’s majestic Northern Territory.
Antipodes always played a significant role in space travel due to their specific geographic location, at least if Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff is to be believed. But, all it took to mess things up was one fumbling worker, reports Fox.
Local telco Telstra said it could not repair the cable until around 3:00pm local time Wednesday, but the transit occurred at 2:03pm.
The next Venus transit is expected in 2117, which is plenty of time to work out the kinks.
Australia is currently connected to south-east Asia by a cable owned by Telstra, which effectively can charge what it likes.
All that is set to change when Australia-Singapore Cable Ltd announced that a 4800 kilometre cable will begin construction early next year.
It will means that internet costs could fall because the new cable gives internet providers more choice when choosing a backhaul provider. The new cable will have faster backhaul speeds into Australia.
The cable is being built by Alcatel-Lucent. It’s currently in the design and route survey phase. Construction starts in early 2012 and the cable is expected to be operating in 2013.
It will run from Perth, over Indonesia’s Sunda Strait and land in Singapore. It will manage 100 gigabit per second with the wind behind it.
ASC chairman Peter McGrath wrote in a statement that the new cable system will fill the much needed gap in the marketplace connecting Australia via the Indian ocean to Singapore and offering a more cost effective, higher capacity and lower latency route than alternative east coast routes.
It also means that NextGen will have an overseas link to carry internet traffic from its new cross-country underground fibre-optic network. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, all this will also help NextGen take on Australia’s biggest telco Telstra, which has a huge segment of the Australian market.
While many had expected the Aussie ISPs to adopt a “child porn” filter voluntarily, it seems that one important carrier thinks the idea is pants.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald Telstra, Optus and Primus, which between them represent about 70 percent of Australian internet connections are to voluntarily block child abuse content, with the prospect that others might follow
But one ISP, Internode, says it has significant concerns with administration of the blacklist of child porn URLs used for the voluntary filter, and will not apply it.
Internode’s regulatory and corporate affairs manager, John Lindsay, said that the “child porn” list contains a fraction of what would need to be blocked for it to be effective and has already been shown to contain URLs of legal content.
The list of child porn websites is maintained by the government’s Australian Communications and Media Authority. It is claimed that it contains web addresses of child abuse imagery obtained from lists maintained by reputable overseas agencies. However it does not.
It also contains links to online poker sites, YouTube links, regular porn sites, and websites of fringe religions. Internode is the country’s sixth-largest internet service provider, with about 190,000 customers, but its refusal to voluntarily censor what the government is dubbing “child porn” is a bit of a blow to the government.
If it could get filtering in voluntarily it would not have to make a politically unpopular decision to back the censorship scheme. It would also classify all the sites it did not like as “child porn” and get away with it.
Australia’s third-largest provider, iiNet, was yesterday mulling over whether or not it would participate.