Archived News for IT Professionals - July, 2011
iView Systems and Argus Global have announced a partnership that will see both companies provide a full battery of security reporting and managmenet solutions in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
The Federal Opposition’s Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed information on his party’s alternative to the Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).
Australia’s Attorneys-General have agreed to an in-principle R-18+ rating for video games in Australia. The move has been welcomed by the video games industry following years of lobbying for the implementation of a mature rating.
Internode, the sixth largest Internet service provider (ISP), has become the country’s first national broadband network (NBN) provider to officially publish its pricings for consumers to connect to the network.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Council (ACCC) has ruled on the maximum Telstra will be permitted to charge its competitors to access its network.
The School Education Minister Peter Garrett has announced the creation of a new advisory group of education and IT experts to provide the Australian Government with advice on the next steps towards transforming teaching and learning through technology.
The Victorian Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips has announced that the State Government will provide $3 million as part of a $21 million investment in the University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES).
Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology are looking for ways to reduce the high cost of internet data storage and retrieval in cloud computing.
While cloud computing – which relies on remote, rather than local servers – offers almost unlimited capacity for data storage and processing, current usage charges mean the costs are expanding at the same near-limitless rate.
Social media such as Facebook and Flickr are simple examples of cloud computing, but the drain on resources from these sites doesn't compare to the volumes of high-end data generated by the world’s research institutions, healthcare systems and industries.
Government agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office, Bureau of Statistics, and Treasury are all potential heavy users of cloud computing services, and the costs to them are high and rising. An estimated $1 billion could be saved if the Australian government develops a data centre strategy – the core for cloud computing – for the next 15 years.
This is why, using funding from an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant, researchers from Swinburne’s Centre for Computing and Engineering Software Systems (SUCCESS), are developing more cost-effective models for cloud computing’s heavy users.
Professor Yun Yang and Professor John Grundy (from Swinburne) and Dr Jinjun Chen (now with the University of Technology, Sydney) have been exploring the management of raw data and intermediate data sets, which are generated from processing this initial data.
“The trade-off is going to be between storage cost and computation cost,” Professor Grundy said. “Finding this balance is complex, and there are currently no decision-making tools to advise on whether to store or delete intermediate datasets, and if to store, which ones.”
To overcome this, the researchers have developed a mathematical model which factors in the size of the initial datasets, the rates charged by the service provider and the amount of intermediate data stored in the specified time.
“The formula can be used to find the best deals for storing data in the cloud,” Professor Yang said.
They have also developed an Intermediate Data-dependency Graph (IDG) which helps users decide whether they are better off spending money on storage or computation for intermediate datasets.
“IDG records how each intermediate dataset is generated from the one before it and shows the generation relationship between them. This means if a deleted intermediate dataset needs to be regenerated, the IDG could find the nearest predecessor of the dataset. This can save computation cost, time and electricity consumption,” Professor Grundy said.
The researchers have been evaluating these solutions by simulating a pulsar survey used to crunch information from radio telescopes.
“Searching for pulsars – rapidly spinning stars that beam light – is a typical scientific application,” Professor Yang said. “It generates vast amounts of data – typically at one gigabyte per second. That data will be processed and may be reanalysed by astronomers all over the world for years to come.
“We used the prices offered by Amazon cloud’s cost model for this evaluation. For example, 15 cents per gigabyte per month for storage, and 10 cents per hour for computation.”
From one set of raw beam data collected by the telescope, the pulsar application generated six milestone intermediate datasets. The model generated three different cost scenarios. The minimum cost for one hour of observation data from the telescope and storing intermediate data for 30 days was $200; for storing no data and regenerating when needed, $1000; and for storing all intermediate data, $390.
This gave the researchers options for which data to keep, and which to delete. “We could delete the intermediate datasets that were large in size but with lower generation expenses, and save the ones that were costly to generate, even though small in size,” Professor Yang said.
These are only a few of the solutions the researchers have come up with so far. To cater to different sectors, the group is also working on models that will allow users to determine the minimum cost on-the-fly, and as frequently as they wish.
Engineers at Swinburne University of Technology have developed an inspection system based on artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and characterise internal flaws in composite materials in aircraft.
The Federal Government has named Telstra, Fujitsu and TransACT as a panel to provide internet-based network connection services (IBNCS) to government departments and agencies.
The National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) has secured more radio spectrum frequencies at auction, which will be used for the delivery of its wireless broadband service.
ACCC invites comment on non-discrimination guidance for NBN and superfast telecommunication networks
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released an issues paper relating to the preparation of explanatory material on new non-discrimination provisions that form part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
As part of the National Broadband Network reforms, NBN Co and other designated superfast telecommunications networks will be prohibited from discriminating between access seekers, except under limited circumstances.
"This issues paper provides an important opportunity for all stakeholders to express their views on the operation of the non-discrimination provisions and the guidance the ACCC should provide within its explanatory material," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
"The guidelines that the ACCC are developing will serve as an important part of the framework for a fair and level playing field across the NBN and superfast telecommunication networks."
The ACCC is required to publish explanatory material relating to these non-discrimination provisions on its website. The issues paper is the first step in a consultation process that will inform the development of the explanatory material.
The ACCC is now accepting comments from interested parties. Submissions to the issues paper should be provided to the ACCC by COB on Monday 8 August 2011.
The ACCC expects to release final explanatory material in late 2011.
The issues paper will be available on the ACCC’s website http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/996290
The Australian Information Industry Association, the Australian Computer Society and the Pearcey Foundation this week announced the state winners of Australia’s premier technology innovation awards program, the 2011 iAwards.
For the first time this year, the National iAwards, now in their 17th year, not only recognise awards for individual companies, they include recognition of individuals through the Australian Computer Society Annual Awards program as well as the Trevor Pearcey Medal for Outstanding Achievement in ICT through the Pearcey Foundation.
State and territory winners and merit recipients will go on to compete for national honours against leading companies from other states and territories at the 2011 iAwards Gala Dinner in Melbourne on 4 August. Winners of the national iAwards then have the opportunity to compete internationally at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards later this year.
A new committee to undertake the 2011-12 Regional Telecommunications Review that will examine telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia has been appointed, chaired by Rosemary Sinclair, Director, External Relations, at the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales.
A consortium headed by McKinsey and Company has been selected to lead the national change and adoption process as Australia moves to introduce Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) next year.
Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, said the National Change and Adoption Partner will help educate and support the training and information needs of the health workforce who will use the system.
“The consortium will plan, design and develop training, guidance and tools in collaboration with clinicians and software providers. It will also provide change management support for clinicians including at the 12 lead implementation sites.
Optus has been found guilty by the Federal Court of breaching the Trade Practices Act by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct in its advertising campaigns for its ‘Think Bigger’ and Supersonic’ broadband internet plans.