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The latest news

Apple is releasing iTunes for Samsung TVs

In an industry first, a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will debut only on Samsung Smart TVs in more than 100 countries. AirPlay 2 support will be available on Samsung Smart TVs in 190 countries worldwide.

In a bombshell announcement to kick off CES week Apple has partnered with what I’d consider to be one of the least likely I could imagine: Samsung.

The pair have cuddled up to develop a Tizen based version of iTunes for Samsung’s 2018 & 2019 lineup of Smart TVs.

The fully functional iTunes app brings Apple’s full range of movies, music & TV shows to the Samsung displays without the need for an Apple TV being plugged in.

In addition to the app being available, supported TVs will also be AirPlay2 compatible making the Samsung TV (and any attached audio devices) an output for your phone or Mac to stream to.

iTunes for Samsung TVs will be available this Autumn (US Spring).

Source: Samsung Smart TVs to Launch iTunes Movies & TV Shows and Support AirPlay 2 Beginning Spring 2019 – Samsung US Newsroom

Musk’s love tunnel proves anti-climactic

A few big elements of the Boring Company’s concept […] have changed since Musk last presented it in May.

Gone are the “electric skates,” […] Instead, users will now have to mount specialized wheels on their own electric, autonomous vehicles…

The Boring Company’s tunnels are rapidly turning into nothing more than South Australia’s now 32 year old O-Bahn bus network. The system which is comprised of a series of concrete rails that allow buses (with specialized wheels)to travel, unobstructed, at higher speeds.

Unlike Elon’s version the O-Bahn doesn’t use car lifts, nor does it require you to be running an autonomous vehicle with the driver in control.

It was also revealed the Boring Company’s tunnels are also doing away with the previously announced public travel pods that were designed to automatically ferry multiple pedestrians and cyclists.

Multiple sources have confirmed that whilst riding on the track it was extremely bumpy, with Musk later reassuring all that wouldn’t be the case down the road.

Travel on the test track was also limited to just 40mph instead of the promised 150mph maximum.

Source: Elon Musk Unveils the Boring Company’s Car-Flinging Tunnel | WIRED

Fortnite is facing legal action over “stolen” dance emotes

The latest person to hop aboard the litigation bandwagon is Backpack Kid, Russell Horning, who went viral after one of his dance videos was shared by Rhianna on Instagram in 2016. He later appeared on SNL with Katy Perry, performing his signature dance ‘The Russell’ which later made its way into Fortnite Season 2 as The Floss emote.

Everyone wants a slice of that Fortnite pie.

Backpack Kid (as he’s idiotically known) joins Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Belair) who’s also suing Epic over its use of the “Carlton” dance.

Scrubs actor Donald Faison, who also has a dance recreated in the game, has made his feelings clear on its use in the game saying “Somebody stole that shit and it’s not mine no more”. In the case of Scrubs Epic did contact show creator Bill Lawrence who said the legality of it was grey but that it was fine as it was just a “character” dancing.

Source: Backpack kid is the latest in a long line of celebrities suing Epic over its Fortnite dances – VG247

Delivery robot catches fire on the job

The battery ignited with “some smoke and minor flames,” causing a student to grab a nearby fire extinguisher before the Berkeley Fire Department arrived to make sure that it wouldn’t reignite.

Did anyone order BBQ?

The non-New Zealand affiliated delivery startup, which uses a combination of automated robots and human delivery drivers, had one of its batteries catch fire mid delivery.

According to their blog post the battery wasn’t replaced in time as it was scheduled to do so and has resulted in what they believe to be an issue impacting 0.6% of their robot fleet.

Source: Kiwi blames ‘human error’ after delivery robot catches fire | TechCrunch

It’s Edge Jim but not as you know it

[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

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 is your next Android phone’s brain

Tags: tech

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.

Another QLD cop busted for hacking

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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

Tumblr bans porn

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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]

Do you even bake, (tech) bro?

Tags: tech

…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