Archive for October, 2010

Tap and Pay: new card technology

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Don’t have cash, don’t want to sign or use your pin? Just tap your card in front of the new reader, and you are off.  Mastercard and Visa have been rolling out  the “tap and pay” machines for transactions under $100 AUD.

Banks are quick to roll out the machines, with Commonwealth Bank expecting to have 20,000 introduced in stores by the end of the year. NAB expects to have 25,000 out by mid 2011.

Not all cards have the technology yet, but those that do have the logo clearly displayed on the card.

What about privacy and theft concerns? Commonwealth Bank says the $100 limit is too small to attract fraudsters, who are interested in large, big ticket purchases.  The Banking Ombudsman notes that the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct covers transactions using tap and pay, so customers can be compensated for fraud providing the other conditions under the code of conduct are met.

The full article from Sydney Morning Herald is available here.

You have been served – by Facebook!

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Police in Victoria used non-traditional means (where traditional means had otherwise not been a success) to serve a man with court papers via Facebook, reports Sydney Morning Herald today.

A local magistrate allowed the service of the court documents by Facebook, then Senior Constable Walton read out the court order in private messages. After the final message was sent, Victorian Police were able to contact the man who confirmed he had received the messages.

The end result was that the woman who was being harassed by this man, was able to get a desired outcome by being able to serve him with these documents, although Facebook itself was of no assistance to the Police.

Internet bullying, stalking and intimidation are taken very seriously. ‘In this instance we were able to deliver justice through the same medium as the crime committed’ says Senior Constable Walton.

Ghermez Cupcakes on Kochie’s Business Builders

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

We are delighted to hear that our client Ghermez Cupcakes ( was recently featured on Kochie’s business builders.

Click here to visit their website and check out the advice Kochie and his team were able to give to Ghazaleh Lyari and her growing business.

Internet Explorer 6 and disposal methods: Why it won’t be the death of me

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

As a website development firm that wants our clients to be well looked after, we are often concerned when we discover clients still using Internet Explorer 6.

If you have come across this article because you use Internet Explorer 6 and someone has told you that you should upgrade to a newer version, then please, just upgrade to the newer version now!

Some background information is available about Internet Explorer 6 here:

Internet Explorer 6 is a problem both for the security of your Windows computer, and for web developers, primarily because it’s so old. It was made in 2001, almost 10 years ago.

“10 years?” I hear you say, “that’s not that old.”

Certainly from a timeline of modern inventions no, it’s not.

On a timeline of when the modern desktop computer was invented, it seems a lot older. And scale that down to the age of YouTube, Facebook and the iPhone and Internet Explorer 6 is as old as time.

So why is it so important to get rid of it?

Because the relative age of IE 6 is so old, that it has become a thorn in the side of web developers. Any new or interesting features or functionality you want on your website won’t work on IE 6. For web developers, building a great website can mean having to build a great website, and then a version in IE 6. Which is why we no longer support this in our development for clients unless it’s absolutely critical.

Worse than being a problem for web developers, it’s also a major issue for you. Not only do you get an ugly web browsing experience, you also get a web browser that is no longer maintained. Any new threats are not covered – you’re not protected against them. You might as well stick your credit card to a shop window and let someone take it – the potential risks are severe.

When I started using the internet, I used Netscape as it was the only one I knew how to get access to. If you wanted to download a file from a website – say a PDF file – you had to stay doing that the entire time until it was done – if you browsed to another web page the download would stop and you would have to start all over again. Of course in those days downloading a file was a major process and took hours instead of seconds, sometimes.

Now we have the benefit of browsers with all sorts of tools and widgets – you can download and upload and browse 30 websites in separate tabs or windows or screens if you want. If you want more, or different features in your web browsing experience, you have dozens of choices. Or, you can use several at the same time to take advantage of different benefits. But most of all, you now have choice. And there is no reason for you to be using Internet Explorer 6. At its peak of popularity, Internet Explorer 6 was used by 90% of web users. Now that number is down to about 10-20% depending on which website you visit, but my own opinion is that number is about 10%. And it’s dropping quickly – the only reason people still use it is because they’re not forced to upgrade by anyone, or that their organisation uses an ancient legacy system that needs replacing anyway – if it only runs on Internet Explorer 6.

Did you know many websites now advise people using IE 6 that they do not support this browser anymore? Or, they simply block access.

So please, if you haven’t upgraded your Internet Explorer 6 to a new version, please do it now. Because IE 6 isn’t going to be the death of me!

Consumer devices need a clean bill of health

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Scott Charney, Microsoft’s VP for trustworthy computing spoke at the International Security Solutions Europe (ISSE) conference in Berlin, suggesting that the IT Industry, government and ISPs institute a new “health model” for the internet.

The suggested health model would mean that relevant stakeholders would have to ensure that consumer devices were safe from malware before allowing the devices to access the internet.  A health certificate would be required from consumer machines  showing what software patches were used, firewalls, and anti-viruses in place before the machine could access the internet.

Therefore, if major problems were found, such as a malware infection, the device’s bandwidth could be constricted.

A risky idea which requires a balance between privacy and risk control, but perhaps wise given increasing cybercrime worldwide.

The full article at SC Magazine is available here.