150,000 top loaders recalled

Electronics giant Samsung is recalling 150,000 washing machines across Australia after fears the top loaders are sparking fires.

The company is recalling six models of its top loading washing machines after 15 fires involving the machines across the country.

The fires were sparked by water condensing on the machine’s motor connection, NSW Fair Trading said.

NSW fire investigators raised safety concerns with the washing machines after firefighters attended six fires linked to the product since November.

Samsung sold 150,000 machines in Australia between 2010 and 2013, including almost 63,000 in NSW, it said.

Another 36,000 machines have been sold in New Zealand.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe says Samsung will provide an in-house service to fix affected machines.

In the meantime customers are advised to only do their washing if they are present to monitor it.

“If you notice any smoke or smell coming out of the washing machine, turn off the machine at the power point,” he said in a statement.

AAP

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Android reigns, Windows gains in smartphones: survey

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Google’s Android mobile operating system extended its dominance in smartphones in the US and other major markets in early 2013, according to a survey published on Monday.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Android was used on 49.3 percent of smartphones sold in the US market in the first quarter, compared to 43.7 percent for Apple’s iOS, the operating system for the iPhone.

Android has thus boosted its lead from a year ago, when was ahead of Apple by a margin of 47.9 to 44.6 percent.

In other major markets, Android was even more dominant — with 93.5 percent of smartphones in Spain, 73.6 percent in Germany, 69.4 percent in China, and 63.3 percent in France.

Japan was the only country in the survey where Apple was in the lead, with a 49.2 percent market share to 45.8 percent for Android.

But the survey also showed gains in several countries for a relative outsider, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, following the upgraded platform introduced in late 2012.

In the United States, Windows boosted its share to 5.6 percent from 3.7 percent a year ago, Kantar said. Windows grabbed 10.9 percent of smartphone sales in Italy, 7.2 percent in France and 7.0 percent in Britain.

“As iOS and Android continue to battle it out for top selling smartphone OS, we have seen Windows steadily grow over the past year and is now at its highest sales share figure so far,” said Kantar analyst Mary-Ann Parlato.

“Windows’ strength appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a featurephone,” she said, adding that this means prospects are positive for Windows, especially in the United States.

“With over half of the US market still owning a featurephone, it’s likely that many will upgrade over the coming year, which will ultimately contribute to more growth for the Windows brand,” Parlato said. Read story

Apple

tim cook apple

AP

Apple‘s annual developers conference in San Francisco, WWDC, is the company’s biggest show of the year. 

WWDC has been the site of a lot of major Apple product announcements. This year, Apple is expected to introduce iOS 7, its newest mobile operating system, as well as the newest version of its desktop operating system, OS X.

But tickets to this year’s conference in June sold out in a record two minutes. Last year, tickets sold out in two hours. In 2008, it took about two months.

Apple recently acknowledged the sellout and came up with a couple of solutions. It will post videos of all its sessions during the event, instead of waiting days or sometimes weeks to post the content. This fall, it also plans to host “Tech Talks,” which are essentially mini WWDCs, in various cities.

WWDC is limited to about 5,000 attendees, but there are more than 275,000 developers in Apple’s ecosystem. People have suggested that Apple should increase the event’s capacity by utilizing all three of Moscone Center’s buildings instead of just one, host more throughout the year, or create a variety of access-based ticket types.

But some of Apple’s biggest fans are saying the conference is broken. In fact, long-time WWDC attendee Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software says Apple should just stop having WWDC all together.

That’s because, Jalkut says, Apple is no longer achieving the goals of the conference, which is to educate developers and encourage them to contribute to Apple’s platforms. Instead of WWDC, Jalkut thinks Apple should expand its number of developer resources and documentation online.

Instapaper creator Marco Arment says Jalkut’s proposal sounds plausible, but thinks it would ultimately crush the spirit of the developer community.

“WWDC has an energy,” Arment writes on his blog. “It’s a huge rally to juice developers’ confidence and enthusiasm for the platform. Every year, I’ve been filled with an insatiable desire to just make something the whole time, and that energy gives me a boost for months afterward.”

But others have suggested a less drastic approach. 

“One thing Apple could do differently this year: announce WWDC on Wednesday, but not sell tickets until the next day,” well-known Apple blogger John Gruber recently proposed on App.net. “Sounds like a good way to DOS developer.apple.com, but this would make it more like a lottery, with less advantage to certain time zones.” (DOS means “denial of service,” which is what happens when a site gets too much traffic at once.)

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Guilty plea over Ryder suppression breach

New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder

A man admitted breaching a suppression order by posting footage of Jesse Ryder’s assault online. Source: AAP

A MAN has admitted breaching a court suppression order by posting video footage of the two men accused of assaulting New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder online.

Jordan Mason, 28, pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching a suppression order when he appeared in Christchurch District Court on Monday.

He was remanded on bail until his sentencing on July 10, Christchurch Court News reports.

Mason was charged after he posted mobile phone footage on YouTube of Ryder’s alleged attackers, whose names and images have been suppressed.

The footage has since been taken down.

Mason earlier told media he didn’t know why he posted footage of Ryder’s alleged attackers online, but later said he thought they should be named and shamed.

Breaching a suppression order carries penalties of up to six months jail or a fine up to $NZ50,000 ($A41,684).

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