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BRIEFS: September 2

Photo show not guaranteed beyond 2011

PICA has written to PMAI President, Ted Fox, advising him that the annual photo industry exhibition (renamed the ‘Imaging & Entertainment Expo’ for Sydney, June 24 – 26, 2011) could not be guaranteed beyond next year ‘unless progress was made in engaging with the CE market’.

With a view to enticing the CE channel to be more involved, key players such as Harvey Norman and NARTA may be provided with a free conference facility for their own members at the 2011 event, according to a recommendation from a PICA ‘think tank’ meeting at Hamilton Island earlier this year.

Provided Harvey Norman and NARTA are interested in the proposal, the think tank also recommended that PMA and PICA finance ‘a major international drawcard speaker of the highest calibre for one joint session’.

The think tank also recommended that consumer show hours be extended to all day Saturday and Sunday, leaving Friday for trade-only access, with a trade-only area on the floor plan to respond to concerns of exhibitors who don’t have consumer customers.

Harvey’s getting bigger

Harvey Norman has indicated six new stores in regional towns will be opened in the next 12 months:

Two of these stores will be in New South Wales (Ballina and Narrabri), two will be in Victoria (Benalla and Morwell), one will be in Queensland (Ipswich)

Fast cards are good cards, says Lexar

Lexar’s Jeff Cable has released a demonstration video on YouTube demonstrating the value of having a high-speed card when you don’t want to miss any of the action.

The video is in support of Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash cards, which operate at rapid write speeds, helping digital SLRs clear the buffer faster, so photographers can capture more images without missing an important moment.

PMA launches fund-raising foundation

PMA has announced the creation of the PMA Education & Research Foundation, which will seek sponsorship funds to help support industry promotions and its research activities (PMA Monthly Trend Reports, Annual US Photo Industry Review). Corporate ‘Elite level’ sponsorship is offered at a cool US$250,000, ranging down to individual sponsorships of $1000.

The Foundation’s aims are to ‘support the global photography and imaging community. Its mission and promise is to meet the research and educational needs of the industry by identifying consistent and ongoing industry benchmarks; analysing technological change; and offering industry support, enhancement, and promotion.’

‘Built-for-USB’ viruses multiplying

Virus-infected USB drives could become increasingly problematic when used in photo kiosks, with 25 percent of new worms in 2010 having been specifically designed to spread through USB storage devices connected to computers, according to US software security specialist Panda Security.

Viruses in USB drives can copy themselves to any device capable of storing information, such as cell phones, external hard drives, DVDs, flash memories and MP3/4 players.

With survey responses from more than 10,470 companies across 20 countries, it was revealed that approximately 48 percent of small and medium businesses admit to having been infected by some type of malware over the last year; 27 percent confirmed the source of the infection was a USB device connected to a computer.

‘There are now so many devices on the market that can be connected via USB to a computer: digital cameras, cell phones, MP3 or MP4 players,’ says Luis Corrons, technical director, PandaLabs. ‘This is clearly very convenient for users, but since all these devices have memory cards or internal memory, it is feasible that your cell phone could be carrying a virus without your knowledge.’

Big W experienced an outbreak of infected kiosk PCs earlier this year at a number of its outlets. The company conceded that it was not using any anti-virus software on its kiosk PCs at the time.

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