Life & Technology - 2GB 7th December, 2014

It’s the end of an era, Microsoft has finally killed off Clipart. I probably haven’t actually used it for about 15 years, but it’s still sad to see it go. Those very old school looking graphics are being replaced by Images from Bing. When Office users try to ad Clipart to a document now, they will see a selection of royalty free images sourced from Bing. At the least, they’ll definitely be more up to date.

 

Office 365 became free for iOS and Android devices a couple of weeks ago, so I thought now was a good time to get in touch with Steve Miller, Microsoft's Director for the Office to have a chat about what's changing with the longstanding productivity suite. While Office for mobile was previously free to download on iOS and Android, you had to be an Office 365 subscriber to actually edit your documents, so everything was stuck in read only mode. Other big recent changes include the ability to sync directly with Dropbox and unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 subscribers.

 

NBN Co this week announced that an additional 1.9 million premises will be connected to the National Broadband Network by June 2016. These will be the first premises connected using the multi-modal mix, meaning that some connections will be fibre to the node, some will be fibre to the basement, some will be high-speed wireless and some will be satellite. Here's what suburbs, cities and towns are being connected in this round.

 

I also caught up with Brad Hales, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Uniden. Uniden make a whole lot of internet connected security cameras, and importantly, make it easy to secure from them unwanted access. No one wants their camera's vision to end up some Russian hacker's website!

 

I had a chat with Ben White, Optus' Vice President for Mobile Marketing, to learn some more about device insurance. Optus has completely revamped its device insurance policy – it’s now known as Yes Cover – and it’s really simple to understand. It's $13 per month per device, there's no lock in contracts, and it has a flat excess structure: AUD$50 for accidentally damaged devices, $150 for lost or stolen devices.

 

Google wants to fix the captcha – the annoying thing websites use to check that we’re not robots. Replacing the need for those garbled bits of text you’re forced to decipher – and probably fail a few times – Googles’ new captcha system is simply a check box. While it sounds simple, the technology behind it is actually incredibly sophisticated; it analyses your behaviour on a website such as how you’ve moved your mouse or how long it’s taken to fill out a form to determine whether or not you’re a robot. Pretty cool, and a definite time saver.