Author: Raj Deut

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… well, that’s how the song goes, but buying gifts ahead of Christmas can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. So to help you out we’ve complied a list of great ideas to buy that special (and possibly nerdy) someone in your life.

To make it even easier we’ve divided them up into three groups to suit every budget starting with Stocking stuffers for under A$60, then on to Family & Friends ranging up to A$250 and finally our How much do you love me? category that goes all out.

If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions to add to our list then be sure to leave a comment below and make everyone’s holiday season a little more easy and enjoyable.


Stocking stuffers ($0 – $60)

Dark Matter book cover Dark Matter – A$16
This book by Blake Crouch is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. An incredible page turning dealing in parallel universes and dimensional travel all set in current day is an absolute must read for any sci-fi fans.

Amazon Dot (2nd gen) – A$39
Sure there’s a new generation of Dot out there but the 2nd-gen is cheaper and does exactly the same thing. I’m all aboard the Alexa train for smart home integration, which has far more integrations and skills than others at the moment. It’s also your best friend whilst cooking and the easiest way to set a timer.

MicroSD card (128GB+) – A$39+
Everyone needs a microSD today. From phones to drones and back again they all use them. I like SanDisk’s, which I’ve linked to here, they’ve always been good quality to price for me.

Witcher box set – A$32
Did you know before it was a game it was a lauded book series? Did you also know that after it was a successful game series its author tried to sue CD Projekt Red because it was so successful and he wanted more cash? No? Well that doesn’t matter really, but you may be interested in exploring the Witcher world beyond the games, which differs from the books in a lot of ways. Great read and a well regarded series.

Wool Trilogy – A$59
Quite possibly my favourite sci-fi book series of recent time Hugh Howey’s Wool trilogy originally started as a creative online blog and turned into a novel. From there it continued into three and is widely regarded as one of the best in modern day sci-fi. If you haven’t heard of it or been wondering if it’s worth the purchase it most definitely is.

 


Family & Friends ($61 – $250)

Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4Red Dead Redemption 2 – A$78
God of Ware may have won the “Game of the year” award according the the Games Awards but Red Dead Redemption 2 is definitely my personal choice. It doesn’t matter what version you get, be it PS4 or XB1 RDR2 is a masterpiece in story telling game design that I’ve enjoyed well beyond my wildest imagination. It’s a must play for this generation.

Satechi USB-C Hub – A$89
We live in a dongle world my friends. USB-C may be the best thing to happen to peripherals in a long time but whilst it’s slowly being adopted we have to deal with connecting everything to it. That’s where the USB-C hub comes in and Satechi make a damn fine suite of them. If you have USB-C in your life these are a worthy gift to give & receive.

Logitech G610 Mechanical Keyboard – A$154
There are a bunch of mechanical keyboards out there but Logitech’s G610 is a work horse that I’ve loved and used for years now. She may not be the latest but she certainly is the best for my mind. In built volume controls, a gaming option and your choice of blue, red and brown cherry switches the G610 is a solid choice in keyboard for PC and Mac aficionados alike.

Nvidia Shield TV Nvidia Shield TV – A$207
You can read and watch exactly how much I love the Nvidia Shield TV in our review but the short of it is I unplugged my Apple TV to review the Shield and I’ve never plugged in back in. If you use apps on your TV or have another streaming box plugged in then the Shield will bring a better, more user friendly experience that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. It’s also perfect for PC gamers that want to stream and play on their big screen TV over their local network. Love it!

2018 Paperwhite Kindle – A$179
Amazon say it every year they release a new Kindle but this year their 2018 Paperwhite is without a doubt their best so far. Lightweight, waterproof, paperwhite screen and an awesome battery life I can’t say how much I enjoy reading of this guy. If you’re rocking an older one on its last legs or interested in taking the ebook plunge this is the device (at the right price) for you.

 


How much do you love me? ($251+)

Sony WH1000XM3 – A$399
Sorry Bose, Sony are the kings of noise cancelling headphones. Their new XM3s solidify that even further and now with USB-C their rich sound, touch controls and long battery life make for a killer feature set. I cannot express how much I love these headphones and for anyone in the market for a noise cancelling pair these are what you want to buy.

Roomba 761 vacuum cleaning robot – A$290
I was pretty skeptical about robot vacuum cleaners but I finally took the plunge on a Roomba a few months ago and boy has it changed my life. Sure the little fella gets stuck every now and then but it’s so set & forget now that my home is always vacuumed and clean so well I sometimes think I’ve hired a cleaner.

Surface Pro – A$600+
I fell in love with the Surface after reviewing the Surface Go earlier in the year. It’s everything I wanted the iPad Pro to be (except for the Windows part). Now they have the new Surface 6 lineup with larger screens and more powerful CPUs as well as the Go’s at a really attractive price for the holidays.

LG 34UC89G 34″ Curved UltraWide WQHD IPS Gaming Monitor 144Hz 5ms HDMI DP G-Sync – A$989
OK so this one is a little exorbitant but the category does ask how much you love someone! I love my curved monitor and even with 4K & 5K ones out there I prefer the wider setup. LG’s 34″ curved is a combination of all the killer features including G-Sync, 144Hz refresh rate and a 1440p resolution and is somehow under A$1k. What more could you want?!

Nintendo Switch – A$398
Without a doubt the runaway success story for Nintendo the Switch has been a huge hit that everyone loves. There isn’t a person alive that wouldn’t love to be unwrapping one of these on Christmas morning complete with Super Smash Bros now too!

Anthony Agius  & Raj Deut discuss Australia’s insistence on forcing companies to provide a backdoor with the fear of imprisonment as both major political parties swing their di#ks in parliament haggling over the downfall of us all in the “Assistance and Accessibility Bill”.

In addition to that rant-fest they look at how Tumblr plans on staying relevant after banning porn, Ant gives Raj an EV 101 lesson with the purchase of his Hyundai Ioninc, the Quora & Marriott hacks are put under the microscope and we all throw out our now crappy old useless 4K TVs as Japan’s NHK starts broadcasting 8K!!

Continue reading

[Microsoft] is beginning to rebuild Microsoft Edge to run on Chromium, the same open-source web rendering engine that powers Google’s Chrome browser.

In an effort to bring Edge into some sort of relevance Microsoft are switching its core over to have it render and be at feature-parity with Google’s own.

The move will allow it to theoretically run and capitalise on new product features launched by Google (and others) that rely on Chrome’s bleeding edge feature sets.

Also of interest Microsoft have announced they’ll be bringing the browser to the Mac as well, which will mark the first time the company has run a browser on an Apple computer since Internet Explorer 5.

Source: Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser on Chrome and bringing it to the Mac – The Verge

If you don’t own an iPhone the likelihood is that your phone is an Android one and it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC at its core.

Overnight Qualcomm released a whole bunch of details about their latest version, the Snapdragon 855 that will undoubtably be inside your Samsung S10 or alike this year.

First and foremost the 855 now uses a 7nm architecture (just like the iPhone’s A12x), meaning it’s more performance and longer battery life (or should). Qualcomm claim it draws up to 30% less power when watching 4K/60fps video in comparison to its predecessor.

The 855 is also 5G ready, but that’s will be a custom order as the default version (and the one likely to be in your phone this year) includes an LTE modem and none of our carriers support 5G yet anyway. Telstra are doing trials at least.

Also baked in are imaging improvements that when utilised will allow more depth information and real time green-screen like operations to allow the cutting and pasting of objects powered directly off the chip.

It will also be the first SoC to capture video in 4K with HDR, although this is limited to portrait mode for some reason, but does support HDR 10+ for playback. In addition to that there’s hardware support for the decoding of H.265 and VP9 video for better streaming support.

Available for phone manufacturers to order now expect these guys to be in your phones all throughout 2019.

QLD Police badge

A 38-year-old Brisbane police officer has been stood down from active duty over allegations of computer hacking.

Another one on a very large pile of embarrassing computer incidents for the Queensland police force.

Earlier in the year a 30 year old officer was reportedly suspended & facing charges for hacking the police’s own network.

Before that the abuse of computer systems and privacy issues with officers conducting personal checks also occurring in QLD.

And all this with the staggering revelation that from 08/2016 – 09/2017 52 of the 59 officers investigated for computer hacking had no disciplinary action taken.

Source: Qld undercover cop stood down over “Computer Hacking” claims – Security – iTnews

It’s become kind of ‘cool’ to bash Fallout 76. Whilst its release has been by no means “smooth” one could argue it’s been no rougher than any to come from Bethesda. In fact most of their games are lauded for their janky demeanour and are hilariously abundant with quirks, so why then has everyone been so quick to turn on this particular one and even more puzzling why am I enjoying it so much more? Continue reading

tumblr logo

 

Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr.

Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.

We all know Tumblr was a gigantic porn stash. Community driven or not the service served as an illicit repository for consumers and producers alike.

Tumblr has take a series of actions over recent years to tackle the issue but all has come to a head when Apple banned tumblr from the app store over a child pornography incident.

Now with a large portion of its user-base alienated, the micro-blogging darling of the early Web 2.0 days will either sink or swim under its new overlords Verizon.

Source: Adult content – Help Center [Tumblr]

…well-off, internet-raised 20- and 30-somethings have turned to baking bread to self-impose a little offline time […] to get closer to their mythical human roots, to go back to a time when everything took forever and nothing could be [Uber’d].

If you’re like me, more and more of your tech industry mates have gotten into baking bread. I like to think of it as “home-brew for nerds“. My instagram is full of “crumb shots” as they call them and I have to listen to this muppet go on about it every fortnight when we record the podcast.

Eater’s article is an interesting read on how these new baking “disruptors” (such a wanky buzzword) are using baking as a means to switch off and get a little tech-free time that I do really understand having been in the industry for 20+ years.

Source: How Tech Bros Fell in Love With Baking Bread – Eater

…hotel behemoth Marriott announced a massive hack that impacts as many as 500 million customers who made a reservation at a Starwood [Sheraton, Westin, Aloft & W Hotel] hotel.

The equal 3rd largest hack of all time behind both of Yahoo’s mega-breaches in 2014 (500m) and 2013 (3000m).

Information including guest’s names, addresses, date of birth, passport details, all stolen for anyone that stayed in a Starwood group (and potentially Marriott) hotel up until September 10th, 2018.

Credit card numbers have also been stolen however Marriott believes hackers don’t have the required keys to decrypt them.

Source: The Marriott Hack: How to Protect Yourself | WIRED

Osmo Pocket

Meet Osmo Pocket, the smallest 3-axis stabilized handheld camera DJI has ever designed. In just seconds, the compact and intelligent Osmo Pocket turns any moment into a cinematic memory. Share your life anywhere, anytime.

The Pocket looks like they’ve ripped the camera off a DJI Spark and popped it on top of a handle-grip with a screen. They haven’t and the reason I know that is that the Pocket also does 4K 60fps video, which the Spark does not but besides that they look very similar.

The Pocket will set you back A$599 which is no small amount but when you compare it with top of the line GoPros (which don’t include any of the axis-stability functionality) and former Osmos it’s definitely coming down and competitive.

Source: Buy DJI Osmo Pocket – 3-Axis Stabilized Handheld Camera – DJI Store