Author: Raj Deut

If you’d told me a week ago that the most exciting thing I was going to see at PAX Australia was a bunch of laptops I would’ve told you to piss off.

Quite possibly the last thing that comes to my mind when someone says the word “gaming” is to then follow it with “laptop”. Laptops throughout history have been notoriously underpowered or outdated in comparison to their desktop counterparts. Attempts to bridge the gap in the past have been largely farcical producing laptops so thick and heavy they’re ultimately just as immobile as a desktop anyway.

So imagine my surprise when I walked into a closed briefing where on display is not one but three NVIDIA MAX-Q branded laptops and I’m told by their Senior PR Manager, Bryan Del Rizzo, that “Today; more gaming laptops are sold than PlayStations and Xboxs combined”.

Get the fudge outta town! Continue reading

Firefox today released its newest browser Firefox Quantum out of beta. The company claims it’s twice as fast as the original Firefox from six months ago.

Firefox Quantum has a sleek UI with the option to customize the toolbar. It also exceeds the performance of Google Chrome in a browser speed test battle.

Bells and whistles aside the new browser is double the speed of its previous version AND it uses significantly less RAM than Chrome.

Could be time to make the switch back?

Source: The fastest version of Firefox yet is now live – The Verge

HTC has finally unveiled its upcoming standalone VR headset at today’s Vive Developer Conference in Beijing. Dubbed the Vive Focus, this all-in-one device features inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) “world-scale” tracking, meaning it doesn’t require external base stations nor sensors, so you can get positional tracking anywhere at any time…

Everyone has one now. Oculus, Microsoft’s OEM partnered “Mixed Reality” (MR) sets and now HTC/Valve.

The Valve Focus is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and will have an AMOLED screen along with Valve’s Deluxe Audio Strap. Pricing and availability were not announced but to compete with Oculus’ “Go” headset of the same ilk expect it to arrive in the first half of the new year.

Source: HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset with ‘world-scale’ tracking

Amazon expects to launch down under within two weeks.

The world’s biggest online retailer is contacting sellers advising them to get their products online and ready to sell by “mid-November,”…

The plan is to be live for America’s “Black Friday” weekend. Not that Australians really know what the post Thanksgiving holiday sale is I’m sure they will soon!

Source: Amazon Australia plans to launch in November by Black Friday – CNET

Notch Remover lets you remove the notch from the status bar! Notch Remover modifies your wallpaper to adjust for the notch.

I have absolutely no idea how or why this app has been approved given Apple’s strong stance on anything that affects their phones’ UI/UX.

If the “notch” is your nemesis get it now before they realise what they’ve done…

UPDATE: There’s a free app that does the same thing called “Notcho” but is watermarked. Thanks to reader Rhys.

Source: Notch Remover on the App Store

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

You can now also find an audio only version of TWTW on Anchor.fm. If that suits you better check it out at http://anchor.fm/reckonerAU

In the week that was November 5th – November 11th 2017:

The driverless electric shuttle bus that made its debut downtown Wednesday was involved in a minor accident in its first few hours of service, but the human driver of the other vehicle was at fault, police said.

Oddly I was at the unveiling of this shuttle, purely by accident, 11 months ago in Vegas. At the time they blocked off the entire street and let people hop on and off.

Today it seems they finally launched it and a truck driver basically reversed into the thing. The police seem pretty confident that the autonomous vehicle did what it should and stopped before the human truck driver failed to see it and continued to reverse.

What the shuttle didn’t do, reverse when it saw the truck was going to hit it.

Source: Human at fault in accident with Las Vegas driverless shuttle – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Optus has bowed to pressure and announced refunds to customers for not delivering on promises of high speed internet.

Vocus has also confirmed it is working the the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and will also compensate customers once a review is complete.

Vocus includes such consumer brands as iPrimus and Dodo.

The ABC who filed the source article also reached out to TPG who did not respond to their request for comment. I’d expect they’ll follow suit now that everyone’s jumping on board the “good guy” train. If they don’t they’ll have a slew of angry iiNet, Internode and their self-branded TPG customers to deal with.

Source: Optus, Vocus join Telstra in compensating customers for slow NBN – The World Today – ABC Radio

In a speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon today, Uber’s head of product Jeff Holden announced that the company is adding a third city, Los Angeles, to its list of places where it hopes to pilot its aerial taxi service by 2020. LA joins Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai as cities announced to be working with Uber on the program.

Uber’s “Elevate” project has largely, until this point, been a whole lot of marketing whooey and very little substance. First mentioned a couple of years ago now in a white paper the low altitude flying car service still has no actual vehicle to show or test but have added significant weight to their goals in a partnership with NASA.

A new Space Act Agreement between Uber and NASA will see the companies join to develop a new air traffic control system to manage the upcoming, electric based (and possibly autonomous) aircraft. The biggest part of this, not the new system being developed per say, but the fact that a reputable, long-standing government department like NASA is working with the long encumbered and muddy-named Uber. It goes a long way in throwing weight behind a company that’s been floundering for a variety of reasons of late.

Source: Uber’s ‘flying cars’ could arrive in LA by 2020 — and here’s what it’ll be like to ride one – The Verge

A huge thank you to everyone that entered and provided feedback. Our winners have been contacted overnight as announced on this week’s podcast.

The Winners:
Simon McCallum – Nintendo Switch & “The Sizzle” 1 year subscription
Liam Gatt – Logitech keyboard, BackBeat 505 & “The Sizzle” 1 year subscription
Will Ockenden – BackBeat Fit  & “The Sizzle” 1 year subscription