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The latest news

Aston Martin delivers promised EV – Rapide E

Tags: tech

What’s a few extra hundred-grand when you’re already spending A$120+ on a Tesla right?

Aston Martin’s Rapide E is the delivery of a promise made years ago by the UK sports car manufacturer before being tangled up with LeEco and having their promised delivery date of 2018 skip on by.

Today they set things straight, announcing the limited run of 155 Rapide E’s will begin production through a new partnership with Formula 1 manufacturer Williams.

The Rapide E, which is heavily designed after its combustion counterpart, is rear drive and powered by twin electric motors that produce a lazy 950Nm of torque.

It’ll go from 0 – 60mph in just under 4 seconds, which at the price tag expected to adjoin it, pales in comparison to a P100D equipped Tesla Model S that’ll do it in just over 2. But then a Tesla is no Aston Martin and they’ve gone and included CarPlay and Android Auto when Tesla wont touch that so might be worth it after all.

Source: Rapide E – The first All-Electric Aston Martin | Aston Martin

Sony reveal PS5 details ahead of notable E3 absence

Tags: gaming, tech

Don’t expect it anytime in 2019, but the next PlayStation console is well on its way—and it’s packing ray-tracing support and a loadtime-killing solid-state hard drive.

The console wars are about to fire up for another generation kids.

With E3 just over a month away and details of one of Microsoft’s new consoles coming out less than 24 hours ago Sony have deemed it time to offer an exclusive to Wired detailing just how fantastic their yet to be named (it’ll be the PS5) console is going to be.

Mark Cerny, the PS4’s system architect cum game designer (he’s behind Knack & Marble Madness – one of those was good) is returning to spearhead the PR train revealing details most people could’ve surmised themselves.

The new PS5 will include backwards compatibility, a true first for the Sony console, 8K support (if you can throw A$10k at a TV), an AMD Ryzen 7nm Zen 2 based CPU as well as an AMD Radeon Navi GPU, a new 3D audio system and faster SSD system (probably PCIe 4.0 based) that was demonstrated loading a previously 15 second long section of last year’s Spider-Man in 0.8 seconds.

It seems like one of the major points Cerny was making centred around the new console’s ray-tracing abilities that he attributes to only being available in US$10k+ systems and a first for consoles when it comes to the PS5. Raytracing is a hard sell and something that engine makers will need to incorporate and support, which I’m sure Sony are working hard on to achieve, but just ask Nvidia how well that marketing tactic has gone with their RTX 20 Series launched last year. (Spoiler alert – not well)

Lastly the console is definitely not coming out until 2020 and even then not likely until October/November for the holidays. It will still have some form of physical media and for those of you thinking Death Stranding is coming out soon, they make a strong point it’s likely to be a PS5 launch title but you’ll get a shittier PS4 version as well to make you want to upgrade.

Source: Exclusive: What to Expect From Sony’s Next-Gen PlayStation

Google’s “Wing” drones start delivering products in Canberra

Tags: australia, tech

Today, we are excited to be launching our first air delivery service in North Canberra . Our service allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh food, hot coffee or over-the-counter chemist items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes.

Initially a Google X-Moonshot project like Waymo & Loom, Wing has been running trials for over 18 months and completed nearly 3000 test deliveries.

Available to residents in Grace, Palmerston & Franklin Wing drones will embark on a world first in delivering goods after receiving CASA approval today.

Initially product offerings will be slim, with launch partners including Bakers Delight, Guzman Y Gomez, Drummond Golf and Capital Chemist. More are expected and a callout to local businesses has been raised as the service continues to grow to other ACT suburbs such as Harrison and Gungahlin.

Interestingly the drones flightpath and a large part  of the approval by CASA require them to avoid major roads and aren’t allowed to cross them or get too close to people whilst flying, hence the extravagant winch system.

Customers whom sign up to use the service will also be required to undergo training on how to receive a delivery as a part of the regulatory requirements.

Source: Wing launches commercial air delivery service in Canberra

Sonos & Ikea partnership bears fruit – Meet Symfonisk

Tags: tech

Sonos has collaborated with IKEA on SYMFONISK, a range of speakers designed to democratize the home sound system. Combining our expertise in sound and technology with IKEA’s knowledge of home furnishing, SYMFONISK seamlessly fits into the home to enhance everyday life and integrates with the Sonos system.

A table lamp and a bookshelf speaker that doubles as a shelf. That’s the two new products out of the Sonos & Ikea partnership due to launch in August.

Each of the two new speakers are fully compatible Sonos speakers including the recently added AirPlay2 support. Essentially variants of the Sonos One speaker the new Ikea models can also be used in a 5.1 surround setup with either the Sonos Beam or Playbar.

Aesthetically the speakers will match most modern homes and whilst the lamp doesn’t include a smart bulb, could be easily retrofitted.

The bookshelf speaker is the most versatile of the two in terms of placement. It can be hung in a kitchen on a utensil rack, laid perfectly into the squares of their popular Kallax bookshelf, hung as a shelf of its own or just plugged in and placed anywhere you desire.

Priced at €179 for the lamp and €99 for the bookshelf version there is no word on available in Australia at this point but look out for more information soon.

Source: SYMFONISK: Stereo Furniture by Sonos and IKEA | Sonos

Beats’ new Powerbeats Pro earbuds are everything the AirPods should be (almost)

Tags: tech

Beats have soft-announced their new H1 equipped Powerbeats Pro headphones, launching a website and adding them to their parent company’s (Apple) online store but not enabling that “Buy” button.

The new Powerbeats Pro look almost identical to the highly reviewed Powerbeats 3 with the cable between the buds removed and some slight bulk added to their main arm to allow for new sensors, controls and a larger battery that outdoes Apple’s 2019 AirPods, which is, ultimately, not a hard feat.

The Powerbeats Pro, like all wireless buds these days, make use of a charging case that sadly (likely due to their overlords influence) uses a lightning port to power them and in their one downside compared to the new AirPods, lack wireless charging.

Thankfully you wont have to make use of the case nearly as often as the AirPods’ dental floss container as the Powerbeats Pro rock in with a solid 9 hour battery life.

For those whom find the AirPods to never just quite fit (that’s me if you hadn’t guessed), or anyone wanting a high quality, in-ear audio experience the Powerbeats Pro look like a solid fit.

Supposedly on sale next month the new Powerbeats Pro will set you back A$349.

Source: Introducing Powerbeats Pro – Beats

Cloudflare adds a fast & free VPN to their secure DNS service

Tags: tech

Today we’re excited to announce what we began to plan more than two years ago: the 1.1.1.1 App with Warp performance and security technology. We built Warp from the ground up to thrive in the harsh conditions of the modern mobile Internet.

A year ago Cloudflare gave the internet the most secure, fast and more importantly, free DNS service for us all to use pledging to have user security and privacy at the forefront of their service.

Continuing with that train of thought they’ve announced a new service, which will further work towards personal privacy online with the introduction of a free VPN service.

Called “Warp“, the VPN makes use of the relatively new WireGuard system. Designed to offer a higher level of security whilst being faster to setup and easier to maintain, Cloudflare have taken WireGuard and have begun incorporating it into their “1.1.1.1” app.

Unlike the general use case for VPNs in Australia (ie. to change your location to watch US Netflix shows) Warp wont let you choose a location, nor is it designed to skirt geoblocking rules. Instead the idea is to reroute your traffic to make it faster whilst encrypting your data automatically when it can.

Unlike other pseudo VPNs cough Facebook cough Google cough, Cloudflare records no identifiable user data nor do they have any user tracking that’s onsold to advertisers. They will be offering a paid version of Warp called Warp+ however that’s designed to fund the new system. Warp+ will take advantage of Cloudflare’s enterprise Argo routing tech, that should theoretically boost your online experience even more.

While I don’t think many need the advantages of Warp+ here in Australia, having a VPN that provides more security without compromising speed (and potentially boosting it) is a major win.

You can join the waiting list (I hate this method of rollout BTW) for the new Warp service by installing the iOS or Android version of the 1.1.1.1 app and clicking on Warp. A desktop version of Warp for Mac & Windows will be released soon.

Source: Introducing Warp: Fixing Mobile Internet Performance and Security

Link tax & upload filters – The EU passes controversial new copyright laws

Tags: tech

 

Image: The Daily Dot

…the European Parliament passed a directive to overhaul copyright law in the European Union and put more pressure on the likes of Google, Facebook, and Instagram to keep copyrighted material like photos and videos off their platforms.

Touted to bring copyright law into the digital the age many believe recently passed laws put forward in the European Parliament are a gigantic affront to our online freedoms.

Article 11 of the new legislation is being described as a “link tax”, allowing publishers charge platforms for using or displaying portions of their content. The change would result in the removal of any pre-amble from search results for news content heavily diminishing the quality of any news related search within the EU. It’s not the first time it’s been tried before. Both Spain & Germany have introduced a similar link tax on their own and both times it’s failed miserably.

Image: Google

Of larger concern is Article 13 (later changed to Article 17) known as the “meme-killer” in which the onus for copyright protection is placed on the service facilitating its publishing on the internet. This, many believe, will mean the implementation of upload filters to look for and remove any potentially copyright infringing content before it’s served.

Websites that make use of or have a high volume of meme content such as Reddit could cease to exist in the EU under such heavy legislation and the costs of implementing such systems prohibit tech growth within the EU.

Now passed it’s up to each EU member nation to draft and implement their own interpretation of the legislation within 24 months.

Source: Europe’s New Copyright Law Could Be Bad for Memes | WIRED

Lithuanian man steals US$120m from Google & Facebook by simply invoicing them

Tags: tech
Image: BTCmanager.com

A Lithuanian man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and three counts of money laundering, after tricking employees of Alphabet’s Google unit and Facebook into wiring more than $100 million into bank accounts he controlled as part of multiple business email compromise (BEC) fraud attacks spanning from at least in or around 2013 through in or about 2015.

Credit where credit is due. This is by far one of the most astoundingly simple cases of fleecing cash from gigantic corporations I’ve ever seen. The fact it’s was carried out against two of the largest tech companies in the world is just the icing on the cake.

Described as a “blatant scheme” by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, the man simply registered a company in Lithuania with the same name as an Asian hardware supplier and started sending the two companies invoices.

Clearly fooled, both Google & Facebook then went on to pay over US$120m to the man’s shell company between 2013 and 2015.

Since caught he’s surrendered nearly US$50m back to the US and pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The man now faces up to 30 years in prison.

Source: Lithuanian Pleads Guilty to Stealing $100 Million From Google, Facebook

Apple release new wireless charging AirPods

Tags: tech

Now with more talk time, voice-activated Siri access — and a new Wireless Charging Case — AirPods deliver an unparalleled wireless headphone experience.

If you can’t make an AirPower pad, change the products you’re supposed to charge on them so you can. I think that’s Apple’s new philosophy as we head into day 3 of Apple’s hardware-refresh-a-poolza.

Apple’s new A$319 AirPods with their now Qi compatible Wireless Charging case also introduce a new “H1” chip that boasts an extra hour of talk time, faster connection speed and “Hey Siri” activation support.

The new “H” for Headphone chips represent a new line of Apple’s ever-expanding chip lineup and will be iterated upon now made specifically for headphones. The “W” line that was used before will remain too but be used exclusively in Apple’s watches.

The new 2019 AirPods can also be bought without the Wireless Charging case (Why?) for A$249 and for those of you with an existing set you can buy just the case for A$129.

All of these are available for purchase now and will be shipping from Monday next week.

As for the AirPower pad… there are rumours swirling we may finally see that next week, now that they only have to deal with two types of charging instead of three.

Source: AirPods – Apple (AU)

Google unveils game streaming service: Stadia

Tags: gaming, tech

Google CEO Sundar Pichai […] introduced the Stadia service during a special keynote at GDC this morning. Describing it as a platform for everyone, Pichai talked up Google’s ambitions to stream games to all types of devices.

The service, which is notably NOT coming to Australia when it launches later this year, will allow gamers to stream AAA titles to a slew devices ranging from your laptop or PC to a Chromecast connected TV.

Announced just a couple weeks after Microsoft’s xCloud project, “Stadia” is an almost identical product with added lofty statements such as 4K, 60fps, HDR surround at launch and an expectation to hit 8K 120fps down the road.

Stadia will make use of Google’s vast data centre & cloud network, which it hopes will give it an edge in the race to cloud console streaming war that is now heavily ramping up.

Games can be played using either existing PC connectable controllers, mice, & keyboards or using Stadia’s own controller. The Stadia controller also doubles as a Google Assistant device and directly connects to the Stadia service via WiFi identifying whatever screen you’re playing on, meaning you can literally just pack the controller and take your gaming anywhere.

Game wise the only titles announced for the service are Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which was used in the service’s beta, and Bethesda’s Doom Eternal.

No information is available as to the service’s cost at this stage but one thing is for sure and that’s the universal loathing of Google’s chosen name for the service.

Source: Google unveils Stadia cloud gaming service at GDC 2019 – The Verge