NBN Website Update Allows You To Find Out When The NBN Network Is Available In Your Area

Have you wondered when you will have access to the NBN?

For the first time, you will be able to find out. The company has updated the website’s address tracker to show a timeframe for when people in an area can connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Previously, the NBN website told people when construction would begin in an area — not when the service would actually be available.

“The number one question we get asked by people is ‘when will it actually be available?’ so this new update gives people an answer to that very question,” NBN spokesperson Dan Chamberlain told the ABC.

The online tool will show an estimated timeframe of the when the NBN will be available in an area, what technology will be used to roll the network out, and a list of retailers that will offer the service once it is available.

Information on internet speeds and bandwidth was not included in the update.


Over 39,000 Cases Of Cybercrime Reported In Australia Last Year

Online fraud and scams make up 49 per cent of reports according to The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

The Government launched the ACORN in November 2014 as an easy way for the public to report cybercrime. It is also used as a national intelligence database for authorities to use for identification and prosecution of criminals.

Online fraud and scams accounted for 19,232 of the reports received in 2015.

Online trading issues which affect Australians who buy and sell goods online were the second highest type of cybercrime reported; the ACORN received 8,368 reports which accounts for 22 per cent of total reports in 2015.

Victoria received the highest number of cybercrime reports, closely followed by Queensland and New South Wales.

The majority of reported victims of cybercrime were between 20 and 40 years of age (40 per cent), followed by the 40-60 age group (38 per cent).

Over the past year, email, social networking, and website advertising have been the top three reported online channels used by cybercriminals to target their victims.

Many instances of cybercrime go unreported because victims either do not know where to report, don’t think it’s worth reporting, or are reluctant to do so. ACORN said in a statement that the service “allows cybercrime victims to easily and instantly report cases of criminal activity online, as well as providing information on how to avoid falling victim to cyber criminals.”

“As Australia’s reliance on technology grows, and online shopping remains an increasingly attractive option for busy Australians, the cost and incidence of cybercrime is expected to increase.”

Netflix to Clamp Down on VPN Users in Australia

Netflix is going to make life harder for customers using proxy servers.

Netflix has promised to make things difficult for viewers that use proxy servers to access content from other countries. In a blog post titled “Evolving Proxy Detection as a Global Service”, vice president of content delivery David Fullagar claimed that the next few weeks would see the rollout of new measures targetting VPNs.

“In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are,” wrote Fullagar. “We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”

The company doesn’t give any information on how it intends to block VPNs, although this could simply be a matter of blocking IP addresses tied to proxy servers. Elsewhere in the post, Fullagar acknowledges that proxy servers wouldn’t be necessary if the content was available globally:

“Over time, we anticipate being able to do so,” he wrote. “For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory. In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”

New E-Ink Traffic Signs On Australian Roads

New road signs to use display technology found in eBook readers and the Pebble Time smartwatch.

Sydney has introduced E Ink traffic signs that, in the near future, could revolutionise how traffic is managed. Designed by the Road and Maritime Services agency (RMS) and featuring Visionect’s hardware and software, the signs can be updated over the air, and even be read in bright sunlight. As a result, the new technology could enable authorities to provide diversion and traffic data to drivers in an instant.

How do they work?

Sydney’s new traffic signs use E Ink, a technology most commonly found in ebook readers or smartwatches such as the Pebble Time. Unlike LED or LCD screens, E Ink uses minimal power to display static images, making it perfect for road signs.

“The hardware components are managed by server software programmed to ‘wake up’ the sign for certain pre-scheduled windows of time, when the content on the sign will be changed using 3G technology,” explains Rok Zalar, Visionect’s head of product development. “Outside of the ‘waking’ time, the traffic signs use no power.”

The solar-powered signs offer greater efficiency and also more reliable operation in Sydney’s warm climate. Manufactured to withstand direct sunlight without malfunction, the signs are easy to read in direct sunlight – another strength of E Ink displays.

The future of roads

The signs are another example of the way technology can already improve our roads. Innovations such as plastic roads, autonomous driving and connected cars represent the route our traffic infrastructure will take in the future, but innovations such as these are changing things now.

By using existing display tech and the Internet of Things, the signs could ease traffic congestion by allowing authorities to provide real-time diversions and information to road users. Thanks to its low-running costs and easily updated infrastructure, it’s only a matter of time before the use of such technology spreads to cities across the world.