Author: Raj Deut

Mark Zuckerberg made his first senate hearing appearance today to answer for what has rapidly become a maelstrom of privacy issues in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. There was plenty to digest but if watching senate hearings aren’t your bag then here’s a quick list of the big hits.

  • Facebook *doesn’t* tap your phone and listen to everything your phone’s microphone can pick up. Zuck was pretty emphatic about this one.
  • Palmer Lucky wasn’t fired for the pro-Trump media funding scandal however no details about *why* he was fired were offered in return to the questioning. Zuckerberg saying it was a “personal” issue not for that forum but essentially confirming he was fired.
  • When questioned about Facebook being a monopoly Zuckerberg named every big name in the tech sphere but failed to rule out the fact the company has a firm grip on the market, pointing out it has elements that overlap the likes of Apple, Google, et al.
  • We could get a paid version of Facebook in the future. When asked about a previous statement made by Zuckerberg that Facebook would always be “free”, he today said there would always be a free version however there is a possibility of a subscription variation.

A new bill was introduced almost immediately after the hearing was complete aimed squarely at restricting data collection and methods for authorising them to be enforced in the US by the FCC. Call the CONSENT Act (Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions), the bill outlines the requirement of explicit opt-in consent from users before their data can be shared or sold to anyone.

For 11 years, our partnership with (RED) has supported HIV/AIDS programs that provide counselling, testing and medicine that prevents the transmission of HIV from a mother to her unborn child.

Just like the iPhone 7 and many products before Apple’s new Product (RED) edition is exactly that… a red version of an iPhone.

Different to last year’s however the new Product (RED) iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus versions don’t have that hideous white bezel defaulting to a much more aesthetically pleasing black.

Noticeably absent, a red version of the iPhone X, perhaps due to a much tighter profit margin for the company?

Source: (PRODUCT)RED™ – iPhone 8 Special Edition – Apple (AU)

…a prototype dev kit, designed in-house, offering a combined 100 degree field of view, low latency, and high resolution. Leap Motion plans to open-source the design of the device, which they’re calling Project North Star.

Leap Motion made headlines a few years ago when it released the Leap Motion Controller. The device could (somewhat) accurately track a user’s ten fingers at once and made for an impressive tech demo.

Since then the Motion Controller has been used primarily as an extension for VR users with adaptors made to attach the controller to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Today’s announcement takes the impressive controller and combines it with two fast refreshing 1600 x 1440 LCD screens that cover each eye. The end result, which can be seen below in Leap’s VP Keiichi Matsuda’s Twitter feed, is an impressive Augmented Reality experience that puts existing commercial solutions to shame.

In addition to its impressive display Leap Motion’s new open-sourced prototype is being touted by the company to hit a price-point of US$100, far, far less than anything else.

Source: Leap Motion Reveals Project North Star, an Open-source Wide FOV AR Headset Dev Kit

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

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.

You can also listen to TWTW via the Anchor.fm app or online at http://anchor.fm/reckonerAU

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

In the week that was April 1st to April 7th, 2018:


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Twitter had previously announced that it’s heavily used streaming api that enables your favourite Twitter client to work (eg. Twitterific, Tweetbot, etc) would cease to work this coming June.

Developers would instead be forced to use Twitter’s new “Account Activity API”, which details are extremely scarce on but effectively removes the ability to display a live stream of tweets.

… third-party Twitter clients just won’t have any practical way of offering a live-updating timeline anymore.

The full extent of the new API’s features are still largely unknown though. The final details of it are unknown to anyone outside of Twitter, including the developers were being forced to implement it by June.

Realising that June is fast approaching Twitter have, for now, delayed the deprecation of the existing API, much to the joy of third party developers. The delay is just that though; a delay, with Twitter’s official developer account tweeting again aloof details on the new system’s implementation stating:

“will provide at least 90 days notice from when the Account Activity API becomes generally available” and that “more specifics on timing [are] to come.”

Twitter recently dropped support for their Mac client after many years of neglect, now with the end to a streaming API for third party clients it leaves the company with no solution for live tweets on a Mac Desktop, forcing everyone through their mobile and heavily manipulated app feeds.

Should the new API effectively kill third-parties for good, which is something Twitter seem hell bent on doing, Twitter could literally nail its own coffin shut.

Source: Twitter postpones platform change that would cut off third-party apps – The Verge

 

…the promised Mac Pro will be a 2019 product.

In a lengthy post over on TechCrunch Apple’s senior director of Mac Hardware Product Marketing, Tom Boger, confirms that the company is indeed working on a new modular Mac Pro that will ship in 2019.

In addition to the Mac Pro Phil Schiller, Apple’s global chief of marketing, also confirmed that the company is working on a new standalone display.

Apple’s display lineup has effectively been untouched for 5 years and because of the partnership with LG and their 5K display, has been speculated to be an abandoned product line.

Source: Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows | TechCrunch

ROG Zephyrus M picks up where its predecessor, ROG Zephyrus, left off — delivering mighty performance in a minute package.

Named “M” for being a more “mobility-friendly” version of the original Zephyrus laptop, the latest version is a far more practical and compact version of its widescreen big brother.

Kitted out with an impressive 15.6″ 144Hz IPS-level display powered by a GeForce GTX 1070 along with Intel’s latest Core i7-8750H CPU and 16GB of DDR4, the new slimmed down version isn’t messing around.

The GM501 also brings a significantly increased battery life, doubling its predecessor, reaching up to 5 hours whilst taking advantage of the new GPU switching technology built in.

The only downside, the smaller version, despite its custom designed cooling solution, has a downgrade in GPU going from a 1080 down to a 1070, which for some may seem like a step backwards but will hopefully mean the product is far more financially accessible.

The new ASUS ROG Zephyrus M will be available in the coming weeks starting at RRP A$3,099.

Source: ROG Zephyrus M (GM501) | Laptops | ASUS Australia

Everyone here at Insomniac Games is thrilled to announce that Marvel’s Spider-Man will launch on Friday, 7th September 2018 exclusively on PlayStation 4 consoles.

One of the most anticipated titles for 2018 finally has a release date & pricing. Expect more details about the game in June when we head to E3 to have hands on.

Various editions are available to pre-order now via select retailers and PlayStation Store, including:

  • Standard Edition – $99.95 AUD RRP
  • Digital Deluxe Edition – $114.95 AUD RRP
  • Special Edition (Steelbook) – $119.95 AUD RRP
  • Collector’s Edition – $249.95 AUD RRP

Source: Marvel’s Spider-Man releases on 7th September, Collector’s Edition revealed and more – PlayStation.Blog.Europe

To entice new users into the GoPro family the company has released a new version of it’s popular HERO lineup.

The new version is substantially cheaper coming in under A$300 RRP but in doing so by drops 4K leaving 1440p60, 1080p60 and 10MP stills.

For many 4K is overkill and something a lot of people’s machines will have trouble editing let alone enough storage space to keep all your Ultra-HD files. For them the new HERO could be perfect.

Source: GoPro HERO

Apple is expected to ditch Intel’s x86 architecture using its own chips in the Mac as soon as 2020…

No surprises here. Apple’s been shifting to their own “system on chip” (SoC) architecture for tighter integration, faster speeds and better control for years now.

The most recent A10 Fusion SoC blows most portable Intel CPUs out of the water in testing so it makes sense they’d be looking to make the jump, yet again, to a different architecture.

Doing so would make the 3rd jump Apple have done. The last, and probably most significant, was the move to Intel when the PowerPC architecture all by stopped dead in its tracks years ago.

It’s believed this next jump, code named “Kalamata”, will follow a similar approach in creating “fat” binaries that encompass both architectures for a transition period.

It’s interesting this info is coming to the surface now ahead of WWDC in June, however it’s not expected any solid information to be forthcoming at the event this year.

Source: Apple planning to ditch Intel chips in Macs for its own custom silicon in 2020