Author: Raj Deut

It looks like the tech world has decided to hold off on their party planning for the first month of 2019 and instead scheduled everything over the coming month.

There’s going to be a lot to cover but to give you all an idea of what to expect and whether or not you should be waking up at god knows what hour to watch said event here’s a brief breakdown of what’s coming. Continue reading

David Polfeldt - The Division 2

We made a conscious decision to rethink the live-phase. Instead of thinking of it as ‘games as a service’ we redefined it as ‘games as a relationship’.

Blatant self-promotion this one. Roast me if you will 🙂

Recently Ubisoft Australia gave me the amazing opportunity to interview Massive Entertainment managing director, David Polfeldt.

Developers of The Division franchise, Polfeldt talks about how the studio changed its entire development strategy after the release of the original and how their new relationship with gamers goes towards shaping the content they produce.

It was a fascinating chat and a great opportunity that I’m quite proud of.

Source: The End Of “Endgame” And Gaming As A Relationship

What were EA thinking?

Two studios with two different games and two vastly different marketing budgets releasing within days of one another. EA has cooked up some sort of David vs Goliath battle pitting two of its own studios, underdog Respawn and triple A story-tellers Bioware, against one another.

Why EA thought it would be a good idea to release the rock solid, stable and highly addictive behemoth that Apex Legends has become just weeks ahead of Anthem I’ll never know, but they have, and they did, so here we are.

Today in a continued effort to show off the millions being poured into the marketing budget of EA’s champion, Anthem, we get a live action trailer directed “from” Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame. The trailer, produced by Blomkamp’s Oats Studio, is of course beautiful to look at but I fear leads the game further down a path already well trodden by Destiny’s shit-show of a storyline.

With that said Bioware are lauded to be the magicians of story telling in the gaming world so if anyone can make it work it should be them.

Motorola have a bit of a sordid history when it comes to smartphones. The once mobile phone behemoth behind iconic handsets like the StarTac and the super-sleek Razr sort of dropped the smartphone ball, much like fellow 90’s mobile mogul Nokia, and was rescued through a series of acquisitions.

Today Motorola, the phone brand, lives on under the wing of Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo. Over the past few years it’s seen quite the resurgence helped in no short part by the advent of their Z Play smartphone series and the easily attached accessory series known as “Moto Mods”. Continue reading

Apple’s proposed flagship store at Melbourne’s Federation Square drew intense criticism when announced by the Victorian government back in 2017. Concerns over a largely government funded public space holding an extremely commercial retail enterprise did not sit well with many individuals. Nor did its design, which when announced, looked more akin to an 80’s style Pizza Hut restaurant than the architectural glamour and refurbishment normally associated with Apple’s retail arm.

A year and a half later and the store appears to be continuing with further planning documents submitted for the demolition of the existing structure and the Victorian Heritage Council hearing the case and impact of doing so. As a part of this new phase they’re open for public comment ahead of their hearing and are available on the council’s website for viewing.

The building has been completely redefined with the pagoda style facade replace by Apple’s customary glass walls. The store now more closely resembles another of Apple’s six flagship stores in the Manhattan based Apple “cube” store. The building is also to remain a four storey structure however its footprint has been reduced allowing for more public traffic and space to surround it.

apple store melbourne open

The new design also incorporates large double storey sliding metal panels that will be used to shelter the store from its prominent east & west facing sides. These metal shields will help alleviate a great deal of the harsh sun the store is destined to bare as it will have little surrounding it for protection at that height.

Remaining from the original plans is the surrounding balcony, which will allow visitors an uninterrupted view of the Yarra River, the opposing Alexandra Gardens and Melbourne’s Southbank precinct.

apple store federation square

Heavy opposition for the venture remains with a new fake crowdfunding campaign created to buy the estimated A$40m site proposed for the store. The campaign is designed to demonstrate the opposition of now over 2,000 protestors whom deem the addition to Federation Square a blight on what was originally designed to be a public space. There is also great outcry and concern for the displacement of the occupants of its current tenant The Koorie Heritage Trust, whom have relocated across the road to Flinders St ironically close to where an existing Apple reseller was located before it moved late in 2018.

Sonos and Sonance partner to create custom-installed speakers that disappear into your ceiling, pulse with the power of Sonos Amp, and self-optimise for the room using Sonos Trueplay tuning software.

Sonos, everyone’s (or at least James Croft’s & mine) favourite in-home speaker system has announced a new partnership with Sonance today.I’d never heard of them personally and despite having a name that’s all too close to Sonos they also manufacture high-end invisible speaker systems people like to install in walls & ceilings.

The new “Sonos by Sonance Architectural” range includes an in-wall, ceiling and outdoor speaker that are designed to work harmoniously in the Sonos system.

In reality the new speakers appear to be naught more than a partnership in sales & name. Each of the speakers requires that you also add the not-so-cheap Sonos Amp (A$999) that allow the Sonance Architecturals to connect to your system. This is in fact the main reason to buy the Sonos Amp, to allow you to connect any speaker and not just ones Sonos have formulated a partnership with.

To further prove the point, the new speakers are also void of any voice services meaning they wont work with Amazon’s Alexa or (one day) with Google Assistant.

In-Ceiling speaker pair – A$899 (Feb 26th, 2019)
In-Wall speaker pair – A$899 (Feb 26th, 2019)
Outdoor speaker pair – A$1,199 (TBA)
Sonos Amp – A$999 (Available now)

Unicode Emoji 12.0 was officially announced today. Included in the release are 59 new emojis including mechanical body parts, an otter, sloth, waffle, ice cube and more.

In addition to the new emojis 171 variants will be added to existing characters to offer a wider selection skin tones.

The new standard is scheduled for release March 5th where smartphone manufacturers and operating system providers can incorporate the full standard in all its 2019 glory.

You can check out a full list, as well as provided imagery of what you can expect the new emoji to look like here.

 

It looks like Facebook weren’t the only ones being naughty when it comes to side-loading tracking apps onto people’s iPhones. Google too had their own version of a tracking app called “Screenwise Meter”, which after Facebook’s came to light was closed down by the company who also issued an apology.

“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program. This was a mistake, and we apologize.”

Apparently that wasn’t good enough for Apple, whom after making a very poignant stand yesterday over Facebook had no choice in the matter but to revoke Google’s as well or else be seen as playing favourites.

The Screenwise Meter app offered gift cards and vouchers to users that installed the app and like Facebook was tracking user data over a VPN in clear breach of Apple’s Enterprise Agreement.

The team over at Limited Results have published a paper detailing not one but three quite alarming security vulnerabilities found in their limited time with a LIFX Mini bulb.

The easily accessible hardware contains WiFi passwords in plain text, easily readable keys and no security settings at all.

The team advised LIFX of the issues in May of 2018 requesting PGP keys to detail the security issues but received no response. They then sent a report in plain email in October where the company agreed to investigate and action the issues before the would be disclosed publicly in 90 days.

LIFX have issued no statement as to the validity or fix for any issue listed as yet.

UPDATE: LIFX have responded to the research findings on their website’s privacy & security page. It states that all high & moderate issues brought to light by the Limited Results researcher have been resolved in a firmware release and that it should be applied immediately. The fix encrypts sensitive data and introduces other security measures.

For those who own the products LIFX advise changing any passwords that would’ve been stored prior to firmware patch being applied (ie. Update your WiFi password) to ensure your network’s safety.

Source: Pwn the LIFX Mini white – Limited Results

We’ve had a bunch of people asking for t-shirts lately and instead of just whacking the Reckoner “R.” on one willy-nilly we thought it might be cool to run a design competition and see what our awesome readers can come up!!

The beauty of the competition is that whoever wins will get their winning design made for them as a prize. So if you design a t-shirt and we love it you’ll win it! Design a coffee mug and we think it’s cool, we’ll buy it for you! It’s that easy!

All of our assets are below to help you create your awesome design! Once you’re done use the entry form below to submit a link to the finished product. Alternatively if you want to mock it up in your design program of choice you can attach it to your submission.

Depending on the number of designs submitted and what we like there is likely to be more than one winner. Ideally we’d love at least 1 t-shirt, 1 hoodie & 1 other piece of merch like a mug or bag meaning a minimum of 3 prizes issued with the potential for more!

Assets

Some design stores

There are plenty of places on the web to design some merch but here are a few of the most popular. You don’t have to use these if you don’t want to but they’re a great place to start.
Teepublic
Teespring
Redbubble
Cafepress

Entry form


Terms & conditions

Entries will be accepted up until February 28th 11:59pm. Winning entries will be judged on their design and ability for reproduction. Winning designs and their rights are to be transferred to Reckoner as authorised through competition entry submission. Winners will be notified by March 5th to request further information on the production and mailing of their winning design once produced. Production times may vary. Judges decisions are final.