Author: Raj Deut

The week that was (TWTW) takes a look back at the week’s most prominent tech stories from around the world.

Members of our Patreon campaign get their recap hand delivered on Sunday at 5pm, for everyone else don’t worry you wont be left out, you’ll just have to wait until Monday for your fix.

Video versions of TWTW appear on our website as well as our YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For those that prefer an audio only version, you can subscribe to the TWTW podcast feed on iTunes or by add this feed (https://feedpress.me/reckonerau-twtw) to your favourite podcast app.

Lastly you can find a full transcript of this week’s episode below.

In the week that was October 7th to October 13th, 2018:


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Numerous PS4 owners on Reddit and across social media are warning of a message containing a string of characters that can reportedly cause Sony’s console to seize up and crash

Like the iPhone iMessage bug not long ago this latest occurrence of “messaging gone wild” sees users PS4s crash and in some cases brick due to the console freaking out over its contents.

Suggestions from the community, as Sony haven’t really said much about it yet, are to enable private messaging only – so only your friends can message you and deleting any messages received via the PSN companion app and not touching messages on your PlayStation.

Source: PlayStation 4 reportedly crashing due to malicious message – The Verge

We’re happy to announce that we will soon begin testing the long-awaited feature that will allow users to change their PlayStation Network Online ID from their PlayStation 4 system.

In what is apparently a task tantamount to Moses parting the sea, Sony have officially announced that changing your ill-selected PlayStation Network name will finally be an option.

The name change will be rolling out to PS’s preview program participants over the next month and is expected to have a full release early in 2019.

A single change will be cost free but don’t be too flippant, subsequent changes will set you back US$5 if you’re a PS+ member or US$10 if you aren’t.

Say bye bye “Brownian“!

Source: PSN Online ID Change Feature Entering PlayStation Preview Program Soon – PlayStation.Blog

Google’s worst kept secret, the Pixel 3, was finally unveiled last night. With literally every single spec and aspect of the new smartphone already “leaked” there’s not much for me to tell you that you don’t already know.

Both the standard and XL versions include a Snapdragon 845, 4GB RAM, Bluetooth 5.0 and come with your choice of either 64GB or 128GB of storage. The XL has a bigger 6.3″ OLED over the smaller’s 5.3″ as well as upgraded optics in the phone’s camera and dual lenses on the front for “wide angle group selfies”.

Available in 3 colours (white, pink & blank) the Pixel 3 & 3 XL can be pre-ordered from the Google Store now and are expected to be delivered November 1st.

  • Pixel 3 64GB – A$1,199
  • Pixel 3 128GB – A$1,349
  • Pixel 3 XL 64GB – A$1,349
  • Pixel 3 XL 128GB – A$1,499

 


The Google Home Hub is the company’s version of Amazon’s now YouTube-gimped Echo Show. A 7″ screen complimented Google Home Mini the new Hub is designed to sit in a room like your bedroom or kitchen and bring both a voice assistant and visual display into your life.

What it’s note is a video calling or conferencing tool. Unlike it’s competitors the Hub has no cameras meaning that it’s cheaper but also less useful than others.

The Hub also ushers in a new “Home View” feature for Google that is a brief overview of your home and the connected smart devices you have available within the Google ecosystem.

Available October 22nd the new Google Home Hub will retail for $219 AUD.


Lastly Google are getting into the tablet business. The Google Slate is a 12.3″ 3000 x 2000 pixels “molecular display”, which is their equivalent of Apple’s retina.

The Slate is decked out with an Intel provided CPU and aims to directly compete with Microsoft’s Surface and somewhat with Apple’s iPad Pro. That big downside for Slate is it’s natural reliance on Chrome OS, which despite its classroom appeal suffers greatly in the big, bad world of productivity.

Pricing starts at US$599 for the base m3 CPU 4GB RAM & 32GB SSD up to US$1,599 for the i7, 16GB RAM & 256GB version. There’s also a keyboard attachment for US$199 and a stylus for US$99 to round out the offering.

Don’t get too excited though, Australia’s missing out on the Slate, it’s getting a release in the US, Canada & UK later this year with no word on availability down under.

Today I went to the launch of a bank. Now there’s something you don’t say everyday… or maybe you do? Australia’s banking market is so crowded that on average every single adult has at least three active accounts & relationships with seperate banks. So while to launch a new bank in what is an extremely saturated market might seem like madness to us, to Dom Pym and ex AFL coach Grant Thomas, co-founders of Up, creating a bank that was designed around “living” seemed like something they had to do. Continue reading

Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using. Project xCloud’s state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device…

Hot off the heels of Google’s Project Stream announcement last week Microsoft have come to the party, probably earlier than they’d have liked, in unveiling their game streaming solution “Project xCloud”.

Although the service was eluded to back at E3 in June of this year many believed it was to be fleshed out and announced in full at an Xbox event in Mexico City next month. Google I’m guessing have forced their hand.

Microsoft’s announcement focuses more on the hardware behind their service, which coincidentally has no delivery date or pricing or user specs at this point.

The company has essentially broken down an Xbox One S into its bare components and shoved as many as possible into a server mounted blade that will be the workhorse behind their streaming solution.

xCloud will be playable on a phone, tablet, computer or any MS approved device that will tap into their upcoming service. Control can be done either via a Bluetooth connected Xbox controller or via touch – but lets be honest, that’ll suck for the most part.

There are more questions than answers in Microsoft’s announcement and users aren’t able to try it out like they can Project Stream (if you’re in the US) but the one encouraging thing you can take away from their announcement video is that it will reportedly work over a 4G connection. That means even in Australia with our shitty, shitty internet it may be a possibility. Big emphasis on “MAY”.

Source: Project xCloud: Gaming with you at the center – The Official Microsoft Blog

Facebook has created a new way to videochat with your Facebook friends. It’s not an app, nor is it some awkward virtual-reality playpen. It’s a device called Portal, and it’s meant to sit in your living room and serve as a two-way conduit for conversations with faraway friends and family.

The company that invades your life in every way is today asking you to stick a stationary camera in your living room and pay for the pleasure.

I can only assume this is meant for people who A) have no concern for the privacy what-so-ever and B) don’t own a smartphone.

The Portal is available in two varieties, a larger 1080p version for US$349 and a smaller 720p for US$199. Both have AI built-in that Facebook claims is self-contained and does not send data back to the mothership that utilising the 140 degree camera can track the caller as you get up and walk around the room, zoomed in on the user.

While Facebook are hardly the first to bring a device like this to market, Amazon’s Echos do a similar thing, they are the ones I’m least likely to allow into my living room giving their practices and continual user data issues.

Source: Facebook Portal: Price, Specs, Release Date | WIRED

Thanks to the very nice folk at 2K Games & PlayStation we’re happy to announce that we’re giving away a copy of NBA 2K19 to one lucky PS4 owner.

To enter all you need to do is pop in your details below and you’ll automatically go in the running to win the digital copy. The giveaway is only open to Australian and New Zealand residents due to the regioning behind the game’s digital download code. Sorry!

You can also earn bonus entries by doing things like subscribing to our YouTube channel or liking our Facebook page or subscribing to our podcasts. All the links and details are in the competition form below.

The winner will be drawn and announced next Tuesday – 16/10/2018.

Best of luck!

Click here to view this promotion.

The week that was (TWTW) takes a look back at the week’s most prominent tech stories from around the world.

Members of our Patreon campaign get their recap hand delivered on Sunday at 5pm, for everyone else don’t worry you wont be left out, you’ll just have to wait until Monday for your fix.

Video versions of TWTW appear on our website as well as our YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For those that prefer an audio only version, you can subscribe to the TWTW podcast feed on iTunes or by add this feed (https://feedpress.me/reckonerau-twtw) to your favourite podcast app.

Lastly you can find a full transcript of this week’s episode below.

In the week that was September 30th to October 6th, 2018:


Continue reading

In total, the V40 has five different cameras: three on the back, and two on the front, which give its camera system a level of versatility that other phones don’t offer. It’s not only an upgrade in the camera quality, it’s an upgrade in what you can actually capture with your phone’s camera.

Beside the 5 camera gimmick… yeah you heard me “gimmick” I said, the LG V40 introduces a new, larger battery (3,300mAh), solid 6.4″ OLED screen with thinner bezels than both the Note 9 & iPhone Xs Max.

Spec wise it’s got 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage  and comes with the pretty stock standard SnapDragon 845 CPU.

All in all it looks like a pretty solid effort from LG. The bigger issue is how slow they are with updates, which puts me off a bit.

Source: LG V40 ThinQ review: five cameras to change your perspective – The Verge