Author: Raj Deut

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:


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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

Image: Bloomberg Businessweek

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

The Bloomberg Businessweek report claims a tiny chip, smaller than the head of a pencil, was added to hardware manufactured in China by the US owned Super Micro Computer Inc.

The compromised hardware was then installed in systems used by large corporations such as Apple, Amazon and government contractors within the US leaving them open & vulnerable.

Apple & Amazon vehemently deny the report and refute that either of them contacted the FBI when the added chip was discovered.

Whilst Bloomberg have reported there’s no direct evidence that any data has been obtained through the addition of these malicious chips the full extent of exactly what they were doing and what has been extracted because of it may take years to come to light.

Definitely worth the read!

Source: The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies – Bloomberg

On the train or in the air, your music and calls sound spectacular on new Surface Headphones. With intuitive controls and active noise cancellation, listen in comfort and style all day.

Today’s Surface event was chock full of new details and updates on Microsoft’s Surface lineup but beyond making them black it’s largely just a spec bump and not that interesting.

What is interesting is the announcement of a new product for the company: Surface Headphones.

Apparently in development for 3 years the Surface Headphones have been developed to directly compete against the likes of Bose & the current king of the noise-cancelling mountain, Sony.

They have some interesting features akin to Sony such as  touch controls, a solid 15 hours of battery when used wirelessly and an app for customising your sound experience. Where they differ is in the precision control of the noise-cancelling level offering the ability to dial it up or down as much as you like.

Sadly they’re only going to be available in the US leading up to the holiday period and are retailing for US$399 – that’s a good A$600 here so hardly cheap!

The Verge were at the event and have a quick hands-on if you’re interesting in finding out more here.

Source: Meet the New Surface Headphones – The Smarter Way to Listen – Microsoft Surface

[Google] today unveiled “Project Stream,” and while Google calls this a “technical test” to see how well game streaming to Chrome works, it’s clear that this is the foundational technology for a game-streaming service.

The service was announced to be launching its beta on October 5th but is limited to the US so don’t get too excited yet.

Spots in the beta are apparently extremely limited and require you to have a consistent 20Mbps connection and a Ubisoft account to participate.

Game streaming is seen as the holy grail of gaming delivery moving forward. Sony have tried it for years, Microsoft’s new Scarlett console is about to, and PC gamers have access to NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service but many believe Google could finally crack the game-streaming nut.

Because if they can’t, then who?

Source: Google gets into game streaming with Project Stream and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in Chrome | TechCrunch

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 23rd to September 29th, 2018:


Continue reading

On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts. We’re taking this incredibly seriously and wanted to let everyone know what’s happened and the immediate action we’ve taken to protect people’s security.

Well f#@k. Just a lazy 50 mil. Oops.

The “bug” allows you to nab user’s authenticated token when using Facebook’s “View as” function, simulating how your profile appears to other users.

Once you’ve got it, the authenticated token is your key to the kingdom. You’re automatically authenticated to log into Facebook and any other application you’ve federated your Facebook login to use.

The company has already taken steps to mitigate the breach, forcing affected users to log in once again and refresh their authentication as they scramble to handle the fallout.

Source: Security Update | Facebook Newsroom

Well, “we” aren’t but I (Raj) am.

The PAX Aus schedule was officially released today and you can catch yours truly participating in the “Are the console wars still relevant?” panel starting at 6:30pm on Friday the 26th of October. So if you’re around and got some time to kill come say hi, it’d be great to see you there!

In addition to that, the full schedule is chock-full of amazing panels and sessions that I encourage you to check out!

See you at the end of October!

Source: Schedule | PAX AUS – Melbourne, VIC – Oct 26 – 28, 2018