NBN Co must pay TPG, Canberra VDSL2 users for disconnection notice bungle – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

NBN Co must compensate TPG and a subset of customers of TransACT’s VDSL2 network in Canberra that it mistakenly told would be disconnected from the internet if they did not switch to NBN.
The network builder made a court-enforceable undertaking [pdf] to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after sending over 20,000 households connected to TransACT’s VDSL2 network a final disconnection notice mid last year.
While most internet users in Australia must move from existing services to the NBN once the latter becomes available, there are exemptions in areas that are already served by certain types of fixed-line infrastructure.
The incident made headlines last year when the notices caused confusion for residents, who can remain on VDSL2 if they wish to.
It turns out many did want to stay, with an unknown number going to the NBN before terminating the service early – at a cost – to then revert to TransACT.
Under the enforceable undertaking, those customers can now claim back the early termination costs they incurred.
NBN Co has been instructed to set up a system that can be used to record instances where this occurred and to compensate those households.
TransACT was bought by iiNet in 2011 and is now part of TPG. The forced disconnections, unsurprisingly, “applied mostly to iiNet customers”.
The enforceable undertaking states that NBN Co must compensate TPG directly for expenses it incurred trying to correct the bad notices and misinformation sown by NBN Co.
The amount payable to TPG is to be “no less than $20,000,” the undertaking states.
ACCC chair Rod Sims said it was “unacceptable for NBN Co to tell consumers on other broadband networks such as the TransACT Network that moving to the NBN is their only option, when that is just not correct”.
“Moving to the NBN is an important decision and it can be confusing,” he said.
“Consumers should be able to trust that NBN Co is providing them with accurate information.
“The ACCC will not hesitate to seek high penalties in court against NBN Co, and other telcos, if we see this type of conduct again.”
The ACCC said NBN Co had also committed “to establish safeguards against repeating this conduct.”
“This includes appropriately tailoring its disconnection communications in the footprint of competing networks that supply more than 1000 services and keeping a voluntary register on its website of competing networks that will continue to operate alongside the NBN”.

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Govt to pay back $721m wrongly raised through robodebt – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The federal government will refund $720 million worth of wrong issued debts collected from welfare recipients through its reviled robodebt program.
In a statement on Friday, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said “470,000 debts raised wholly or partially using income averaging of Australia Tax Office data” would be repaid.
“Refunding of eligible debts will commence in July and will continue through the 2020-21 financial year,” he said.
“The total value of refunds including fees and charges is estimated at $721 million.”
Robodebt, officially known as the income compliance program, was introduced by the then Department of Human Services in 2016 to replace parts of a formally manual debt-raising process.
The system automatically matched earnings reported to Centrelink against employer-reported income data held by the ATO, with individuals asked to explain any discrepancies.
But last November, the government was forced to change the way debts are raised after a Federal Court ruling found the way so-called debts were raised failed the evidence test at the first hurdle.
A class action has also been brought against the government by Gordon Legal over the OCI program, with a potential trial slated for July.
More than 30,000 people are reported to have registered with the law firm and thousands more have been sent letters by Services Australia in recent weeks. 
Robert on Friday said “Services Australia will now put in place the mechanisms to start making refunds, including how affected customers are advised of next steps,” he said.
“Consultation will occur with stakeholders, including the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and clear communication is a priority, so people understand what it means for them.
“It is important to note all other income compliance debts will continue to be subject to recovery, ensuring the integrity of Australia’s welfare system.”
“Services Australia makes $180 billion in payments a year. Australians rightly expect the government to be resolute custodians of these taxpayer funds and to work diligently to prevent and recover overpayments.”
More to come.

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HPE lays out US$1 billion savings plan, pay cuts – Finance- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Thursday unveiled a plan targeting gross savings of at least US$1 billion by 2022 and cut the base salaries of top executives by 25 percent as the software maker seeks to weather the coronavirus crisis.
Shares, down about 35 percent this year, fell nearly 6 percent in extended trading after the company missed second-quarter revenue and profit estimates, hit by global lockdowns since February.
Chief executive officer Antonio Neri flagged concerns about cautious consumers and supply constraints during a post-earnings call.
Beginning July 1, through the remainder of fiscal year 2020, the base salaries of the CEO and officers at the executive vice president level will be reduced by 25 percent, HPE said.
The board also agreed to cut by 25 percent the portion of the annual $100,000 cash retainer entitled by directors for the same period.
HPE will now focus on investments and realign its workforce to evolve with its supply chain and real estate strategies, as well as right-size the business.
“My expectation is at least 50 percent of our employees will never come back to an office,” Neri said on the call.
HP, which in April withdrew its 2020 forecast, posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of 22 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 29 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue of US$6.01 billion also missed estimate of US$6.29 billion.

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Xinja almost abandoned serverless backend built for Apple Pay – Finance – Cloud- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australian neobank Xinja stood up an Apple Pay capability in six weeks underpinned by a serverless environment that it was almost forced to abandon during testing.
Chief information officer and co-founder Greg Steel told the recent virtual AWS Summit that Xinja had accomplished with Apple Pay what it would take a larger bank about a year to achieve.
“We built this Apple Pay capability in about six weeks from start to finish, from when we first had a conversation with Apple to when we delivered this into production,” Steel said.
At present, Xinja allows customers to link a debit Mastercard to Apple Pay.
Steel used his presentation in part to describe how Xinja achieved PCI DSS compliance in order to allow customers to enrol with Apple Pay.
“When you want to enrol your debit card with Apple Pay from your mobile application, you need to deal with the PAN [primary account number], the card number,” Steel said.
“When you’re dealing with that card number it imposes a lot of requirements on you for extra levels of security, which is what the PCI DSS standards are all about. 
“For Xinja [or any] new organization to achieve this, is very difficult and very complex.”
Steel said it would have been “prohibitively expensive” for Xinja to establish PCI compliance across its whole technical landscape.
Instead, he said, the team “looked at the parts of our architecture that needed to deal with the PAN, and split them off to a separate set of components, [which] we call that our card data environment.”
“The next thing we did is work with our AWS partner, Itoc, who are far more experienced and mature than Xinja when it comes to higher levels of compliance.
“We also engaged AWS architects and worked through an architecture that would deliver us a new modern PCI environment, quite different from what we’ve seen done in the past.”
The environment, which is managed by Itoc, uses a serverless architecture built on AWS services.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got a fully serverless environment that’s doing all of our card tokenisation and all of the complex integration with Apple Pay and Mastercard MDES [Mastercard digital enablement service],” Steel said.
“It’s very low cost, and it’s able to be run and managed entirely by Itoc and integrate with our system.”
Steel said the AWS services came with PCI compliance delivered via AWS’ assurance programs.
“All of the artifacts that demonstrate that compliance are available through AWS Artifact,” Steel said.
“We’re able to use that compliance information and provide it to auditors. 
“We’re able to then understand our responsibilities as a consumer of those services to deliver the services in such a way that an auditor can fully understand and review that solution and provide that certificate of compliance.”
Though Xinja was ultimately able to launch Apple Pay capabilities, Steel said the team came close to having to re-architect the card data environment entirely due to problems that surfaced in testing.
“We found right at the worst possible time – a couple of weeks into our testing – that the time it takes for a NIC [network interface] to connect to the [AWS] Lambda [serverless compute platform] is too slow,” Steel said. 
“It was taking about 15 seconds, and we had about a 30 second window in total. 
“Some of the handshakes with Apple and MDES took us longer than that, and so we were blowing our timeframe.
“Our beautiful serverless architecture almost had to be abandoned. We were going to go back to build a container-based solution with hosts involved, which would have then meant all of the host protection and data protection that would have been involved.”
Xinja was ultimately able to avail itself of an improvement rolled out by AWS, which reduced the connection time to “about two seconds”.
While Steel said that “getting derailed right at the last minute like that was difficult”, he acknowledged it was also “the type of risk we take by diving boots-and-all into the cloud the way we have.” 
He also saw the emergence of a fix during the crisis as emblematic of AWS’ response to evolving needs and requirements of customers.
“We can see that AWS is dealing with these same problems for other customers and other organisations around the world trying to do things better,” he said.
“So many times we’ve seen the solutions to our problem just bring the next cab off the rank that AWS has delivered for us.”
Steel believed Xinja also had a role to play in pushing AWS – and other partners – to evolve their offerings.
“Xinja sees itself as part of a richer ecosystem, working together to disrupt financial services,” Steel said.
“That creates a bit of a network effect with AWS, where we see that AWS is learning from the needs of these providers and delivering more capabilities to market all of the time that enable us to continue to disrupt and continue to push boundaries.”
All cloud
Xinja provided an update on the large amount of cloud-based systems that now underpin its operations.

The neobank is already known to be the first worldwide to run on an SAP core called C4B (or Cloud4Banking). It uses Iress Xplan as its customer master.
Outside of that, the bank uses a large number of cloud services, with microservices used to stitch all the components together.
“Xinja forms the glue in the middle. We do all of the integration. We do all of the composition of more sophisticated services and products that we can deliver to customers through our mobile apps and through our APIs,” Steel said.
“Most of our partners are cloud-based, modern and easy to integrate with.”
Steel maintained it would have been too expensive to stand up Xinja without going all-in on cloud.
“When we started three years ago we weren’t sure that we could build a whole bank on the cloud. Plenty of people told us that we couldn’t, but we learned a few things,” he said.
“Firstly, there was no other way we practically could have done it. Building in a data centre is expensive, it requires a lot of people and a lot of brute force towards security controls. 
“Building in the cloud can be far more efficient and elegant, particularly if you’re building modern systems.
“Lastly, the regulator doesn’t inhibit or impede using the cloud. The regulator sets standards for what an organisation needs to achieve, and the cloud provides a basis for being able to do this.”

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Facebook to pay $52m for failing to protect moderators from ‘horrors’ of graphic content | Technology- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Facebook has agreed to pay a settlement of $52m in a court case alleging the company failed to protect workers tasked with moderating disturbing content from the grave mental health impacts of the job.
As part of the settlement, which was announced Tuesday, moderators will get a minimum of $1,000 each from Facebook with the potential for additional compensation if they have been diagnosed with mental health disorders, including PTSD.
Moderators, who are generally contracted by third-party firms, are constantly exposed to graphic content including child sexual abuse, beheadings, terrorism, animal cruelty, and “every other horror that the depraved mind of man can imagine”, Steve Williams, a lawyer for the plantiffs, told the Guardian.

Williams said they were “thrilled” with the outcome of the lawsuit, which marks a rare win against the social media giant. “The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe. So the fact that we got some real, meaningful relief going forward just feels really good.”
Workers may be eligible for additional damage awards of up to $50,000, lawyers for the plaintiffs said, and Facebook will change a number of policies to better address mental health.
More than 11,000 people who have worked as moderators for Facebook in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida from 2015 until now will qualify for compensation under the settlement.
The lawsuit was filed by former moderator Selena Scola in a California state court in September 2018 and later joined by several other former employees. In the time since, there have been several reports about the the severe impact of content moderation on workers’ mental health.
Scola developed PTSD after working at the job for nine months. Others found their political views were pushed further right or said they became addicted to extreme content.
A 2019 report from the Verge found workers were paid as little as $28,800 per year, watching thousands of horrific videos each day with very little mental health support.
A spokesman for Facebook said the settlement represents part of the ongoing changes it is making regarding how moderators work.
“We are grateful to the people who do this important work to make Facebook a safe environment for everyone,” he said. “We’re committed to providing them additional support through this settlement and in the future.”
As part of the settlement, Facebook will make improvements to the work environment including requiring its vendors to provide coaching sessions with licensed mental health counselors, enhancing review tools designed to make content moderators’ work safer, and other mental health support. The company will also require that monthly group therapy sessions be made available to moderators.
The plaintiffs feel “really, really good” about the results of the case, said Williams.
“When the case started, it was only about changing the policies,” Williams added. “We are fortunate that it has broadened; the perspective going forward is just as important to us as monetary relief.”

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Westpac finally gets Apple Pay, includes eftpos – Finance – Hardware – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

It’s been a long time coming, but Westpac has finally switched on Apple Pay for its customers and will also include eftpos functionality from the outset.
Australia’s oldest bank on Tuesday revealed it had turned functionality for the new service on immediately, falling in behind its big four rivals the ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank and Tempemail Australia Bank.
“This comes at an important time for our customers, who are looking for an alternative to cash,” said the head of Westpac’s consumer bank David Lindberg.
“We have seen a significant increase in customers using digital banking in recent weeks as more Australians stay at home.
“With the introduction of Apple Pay, it will now be even easier for customers to pay for goods and services in stores, via apps or online without the need for a card or wallet.”
Apple Pay for Westpac appears to offer tokenisation out of the box, a major factor in keeping down the nasty growth in online credit card and scheme debit card fraud.
Westpac says that when customers use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, “the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers.”
“Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device.
“Each transaction is authorised with a onetime unique dynamic security code.”
More to come

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Sony told to pay BBC £5m for stock damaged in London riots | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Sony must pay the BBC £5m after the High Court found it failed to prevent a warehouse containing about £40m-worth of DVDs and CDs from being burnt down during the London riots.
The Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation owned and occupied the warehouse in Enfield, north London, where it stored more than seven million CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs for 2 Entertain Video, a subsidiary of the public broadcaster’s commercial arm BBC Studios.
During the widespread civil unrest following the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by Metropolitan police officers in August 2011, a group of young men broke into the warehouse through a fire door and looted some goods before setting it alight with two petrol bombs.
The fire, which burned for 10 days, destroyed the warehouse and all its contents.
BBC Studios and 2 Entertain, which are responsible for the BBC’s video catalogue and new release stock, sued Sony for loss of profits and business interruption costs as a result of the fire.
They claimed the firm failed to keep its goods secure as a result of “poor security” and “inadequate fire precautions”.
Giving judgment on Friday, Mrs Justice O’Farrell ruled that they were entitled to £5m in damages plus interest as a result of Sony’s failures to install sprinklers or protect the “obvious weak point” in the warehouse’s security.
She said: “Adequate security measures that could have been taken by Sony probably would have deterred or delayed the attack on the warehouse and prevented the youths from gaining entry.
“Reasonable fire precautions, namely, the installation of sprinklers, probably would have suppressed the fire and significantly reduced any damage to the warehouse and its stock.”
The judge said the warehouse was destroyed in “an opportunistic attack on an unoccupied building that was accessible from a public path”.
She said the fire exit door and security grilles “offered almost no resistance to the short attack by youths armed with no more than a few garden implements”, who were able to enter the building “in less than one minute”.
Mrs Justice O’Farrell added that previous break-ins, including an April 2010 burglary in which more than 1,700 Blu-ray copies of the film Avatar were stolen, should have “put Sony on notice that a security review should be carried out, the risks should be assessed, and additional security measures introduced”.
The judge also rejected Sony’s contention that the destruction of the warehouse was an “event beyond its control”, finding that “the risk of intruders was foreseeable” because previous break-ins “had been attempted and/or achieved during incidents that occurred prior to the riot”.

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Havas ME ECD Mark Fiddes on why marketers should pay heed to poetry resurgence- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Havas creative powerhouse and poet Mark Fiddes believes marketers should pay more attention to the power of verse.
Fiddes, Havas Middle East executive creative director, speaking during Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival as part of the ‘What’s on your bookshelf?’ series, pointed out: “Shorter formats are all the more popular. It’s one of the reasons why poetry book sales went up 15% last year.
“Poetry was a small market but has increased hugely with the likes of Instagram and in the current crisis.”
Fiddes argued that marketers could learn from the resurgence of poetry.
“If the poetry isn’t saying something important and touching upon a human truth, then it is bullshit. People need it to get to the point. They don’t have time to be slowly courted by elegant prose. They need you to get into what you are trying to say.” There’s a parallel here, Fiddes said, with a good ad practice.
He spoke of new poetry networks organising during lockdown, pointing to the International Poetry Circle as one example. “People have found a need for poetry,” he said, noting that poetry networks are “giving fresh voices a chance to find their platform and audiences. Book poetry was once rather exclusive and largely the domain of dead white men.”
As people are struggling to find time for longer reads, he suggested ‘snackable’ content like poems and short stories, though balked at the use of the jargon. We could be due to see audiences return to the sharp and evocative copy once favoured in the mid-century print heyday.
According to Fiddes, reading has always been a means of escape. He said he first fell in love with it during arduous commutes across London. “The only way I was going to protect myself from the realities of the Northern line was to read a book that just was totally immersive.”
What he’s currently reading:
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
His favourite books:
Last Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
Poetry anthology Staying Alive by Bloodaxe books
His recommended reading for the industry:
First, he leaned into the Mad Men era and the story of one Mary Wells Lawrence, a trailblazing woman in advertising and the first female chief executive listed on the New York Stock Exchange. That one’s called A Big Life in Advertising.
Next, he suggested the bold title From Those Wonderful Folk who Gave you Pearl Harbor. Jerry Della Femina was a “great copywriter in 60s Madison Avenue” and the title is the shocking headline for an ad he wrote launching Japanese brand Panasonic in the US, barely 20 years after Pearl Harbor.
You can watch the full interview here and view more content from Tempemail’s Digital Transformation Festival here.

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Facebook ‘disappointed’ in Australia’s attempt to make tech giants pay for content | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Facebook has said it is “disappointed” in the Australian government’s attempt to extract millions of dollars from tech giants to pay for media content shared through search and social media.
But on Monday the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, vowed the Australian government “won’t bow to … threats” from tech giants not to show local content describing the coming stoush with Google and Facbeook as a “battle worth fighting”.
The Australian government has opted for a mandatory code of conduct to distribute revenue to media companies because the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had concluded “no meaningful progress” had been made on payment for content in negotiations for a voluntary code.
The ACCC chair, Rod Sims, told ABC TV that, when the government asked for a view about a week ago, the competition regulator advised progress on value-sharing or paying for content “seemed unlikely”.
He cited “the experience overseas”, particularly Spain and France which “passed various laws to get Google and Facebook to pay for content and [they] have basically said ‘the amount we’re willing to pay is zero’”.
Frydenberg and the ACCC chair, Rod Sims, explained the compulsory code, to be finalised by July, could see Facebook and Google pay for content either as a proportion of the revenue user attention earns for the tech giants, or a proportion of the cost of the content, such as news.
Fryenberg told reporters in Canberra it was “hard to be specific” about how much the code could raise, but given Australian content is “lucrative for the tech titans” the government expended revenue to be in the millions.
When Spain made payments to publishers mandatory, Google chose to withdraw its Google News service entirely. In France, both Facebook and Google refused to pay for users clicking through to news sites, prompting the French competition regulator to order Google to negotiate with them.
Frydenberg acknowledged that attempts in France and Spain “haven’t been successful” but vowed the Australian government “won’t bow to their threats”.
“This is a big mountain to climb,” he said. “These are big companies that we are dealing with but there is also so much at stake, so we’re prepared for this fight.”
The communications minister, Paul Fletcher, said European regulators had relied on copyright law to extract payments, whereas Australia would use competition law.
Sims said in Spain only Google News had been targeted, not Google search, while in Australia the code would be “broad enough so that it covers the entirety of the relationship”. “And really, both parties need each other.”
Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director, Will Easton, said the social media giant was “disappointed by the government’s announcement, especially as we’ve worked hard to meet their agreed deadline” for a voluntary code by November 2020.
Easton pointed to a global $100m fund to support journalism during the Covid-19 crisis and $5m in Australia to help news platforms monetise audiences drawn via Facebook as evidence of its support for journalism.
Google, which drove 2bn clicks to Australian news publishers in 2018, has long argued that traffic from the search engine helps publishers monetise content.
A Google spokesperson said it had worked with the news industry to help “grow their businesses through ads and subscription services and increase audiences by driving valuable traffic”.
Google said it had worked constructively with the industry, government and ACCC on the draft code and “we will continue to do so in the revised process set out by the government today”.
Earlier, Fletcher explained the government had intervened because it was a “competition issue” – that local publishers and broadcasters including News Corp, SevenWest and Nine Entertainment are “competing with Facebook and Google … for advertising revenue and attention.
“Competition delivers the best outcomes for consumers but when you have one set of businesses acquiring content from another, without the opportunity for a fair discussion about what they paid for it, then that is why we believe the ACCC needs to get involved.”
Labor welcomed the announcement but said in a statement it was “disappointing that it has taken a global pandemic for this government to find a sense of urgency about the state of Australia’s news media”.
“There is still much to work through before this code of conduct will operate to support the news media, and still much on the media reform to-do list,” the shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland and shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement.

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COVID-19 pandemic demands for an immediate transformation of HR and pay policies: Paysquare- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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In a bid to mitigate the economic impact of the global pandemic, Paysquare, the industry leader in payroll processing solutions recommends swift HR and payroll policy changes to enterprises.
With authorities across the globe enforcing a work from home framework, enterprises lurk in confusion and uncertainty regarding the operations of their business-critical processes.
For a large chunk of businesses, the unprecedented crisis is taking a toll on their HR and payroll processes resulting in a loss of employee productivity. Paysquare, amid the prevailing pandemic and its economic side effects, has activated its disaster recovery measures to eliminate any service disruption to its esteemed clientele.
‘’Enterprises at present are not only staring at massive disruptions of their revenue-generating processes but are also battling with low employee morale and productivity. Since work from home as a concept is new for a large segment of businesses, it is necessary for organisation heads to invest in remote HR and payroll ecosystem. Paysquare in the midst of the current global crisis reiterates its commitment to offer comprehensive support to enterprises in deploying a rewarding remote payroll infrastructure,’’ said Rakesh Jain, CEO and Founder, Paysquare.
With employees restricted to their homes, dedicated payroll portals will not only infuse motivation in them but will also facilitate in accessing essential documents like salary slips, leave records etc. from the comfort of their residences.
‘’We highly recommend enterprises to invest in cloud-powered, robust and most of all secure payroll platforms to leverage uninterrupted payroll processes including monitoring employee attendance and work hours to minimize productivity loss,’’ added Jain.
Paysquare nurtures a legacy of employing highly proficient experts with extensive knowledge of local and global payroll norms. The industry leader has also set new benchmarks in leveraging cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots to offer the best service delivery experience to enterprises.
In a work from home scenario, the chances of a confidential data breach including revenue and salary figures surge exponentially. As a frontrunner in the industry, Paysquare has implemented a multi-layer security mechanism including strict compliances for its employees to ensure data security of its clientele.
‘’Our value-added services like ESS(Employee Self Service) portals, employee performance management tools warrants unparalleled transparency, boosting employee confidence and satisfaction in these challenging times,’’ said Jain.

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