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The latest news

Twitter “rethinking the core” of how it works

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said he is rethinking core parts of the social media platform so it doesn’t enable the spread of hate speech, harassment and false news, including conspiracy theories shared by prominent users like Alex Jones and Infowars.

This is Twitter continuing to play both sides of the fence without any real action in my opinion.

Don’t hurt yourself thinking too hard Jack.

Source: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says in an interview he’s rethinking the core of how Twitter works – The Washington Post

Google Drive is now cheaper & part of a new product called ‘Google One’

With Google One, we’ve upgraded our paid storage plans so you’ll have all the space you need for your Google Drive, Gmail, and original quality photos and videos in Google Photos. With lots of options, ranging from 100GB to 30TB, you can choose the plan that’s right for you.

The TL;DR, the rebranded Google Drive isn’t available in Australia (or anywhere outside the US yet) so cool them jets. It’s not far off though, they’re just doing a staggered rollout.

In addition to storage you’ll also receive dedicated Google customer support or access to “experts” as they like to call them. For shits & giggles they list a bunch of value-adds like hotel deals, Google Play credits and “more benefits over time”.

Google Drive is getting cheaper (in some places), which is what we all really care about but have only announced US pricing so take the perceived Aussie conversion with a grain of salt.

Plans for the new Google One version start at US$1.99/m for 100GB, with a new 200GB plan introduced for US$2.99/m. The biggest change comes at the 2TB tier, now US$10 cheaper at US$9.99/m.

Source: One simple way to get more out of Google

Turnbull government’s new encryption legislation doesn’t break the laws of physics but they do send you to jail 

Tags: australia, tech

Under the legislation, tech companies would have to: remove protections on devices; give law enforcement agencies the design specs of their devices; install software on a device when asked; provide access to devices; and help agencies build their own systems.

The draft legislation was introduced by cyber security minister Angus Taylor and is open for submissions until September 10th. The sitting government is aiming to have it introduced by years end but will struggle to do so given its sensitive nature in affectively removing an individuals right to privacy and thus likely being submitted to a committee for review.

Under the legislation companies who do the right thing will be compensated for their time, however for those that don’t, expect a fine of up to a lazy A$10m.

For individuals, failing to unlock your device or decrypt any information requested by the powers that be, you’ll face a A$500k fine or a lazy 5 years in jail for “simple offences” or 10 years for crimes deemed “serious”.

Source: You Could Go To Jail For 10 Years For Refusing To Unlock Your Phone

Look out folks Samsung has a smart speaker too!

Today Samsung announced its first smart speaker with the Bixby virtual voice assistant, the Galaxy Home  The announcement was made at the company’s Unpacked event in Brooklyn, New York, alongside the Galaxy Note 9 phone.

OK sure, the Galaxy Note 9 is the bigger announcement from Samsung’s event overnight but it’s definitely not the most interesting (or easiest to make fun of).

The new “Galaxy Home” smart speaker has a unique design that I personally think is quite cool and I’m sure to have drawn inspiration from high-end audio brand Bang & Olufsen. Many are likening the shape to a witch’s cauldron but in bucking the trend the speaker stands out from the crowd and matches modern design aesthetics.

Technically speaking the speaker’s size & design affords it the space to include a full range of speakers and a subwoofer, potentially giving it an edge against competitors – although it’ll be difficult to knock off the HomePod for sound quality.

The Galaxy Home also includes 8 far-field microphones to activate what is probably its most laughable feature: Samsung’s rather dysfunctional voice assistant “Bixby”. Whilst Bixby has somewhat matured over time it’s never really been anything of significance in the VA world and despite pivoting in message sits well below Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, which in turn pale against Amazon’s Alexa and best in class Google.

There’s no pricing or availability date set for the Galaxt Home as yet but if it’s anything like the pricing for the new Galaxy 9 Note, which starts at a mind boggling US$1k, she ain’t going to be cheap!

Source: The Bixby speaker is real. Here’s what we know about Samsung Galaxy Home – CNET

Red’s Hydrogen One smartphone has been delayed again

Red founder Jim Jannard took to the company’s forums to announce a further delay to the production of the Hydrogen One smartphone:

As you probably know, we were set back in certification by a critical part that needed to be retooled. That change has now been completed (certification is still in process) and that delay has affected the launch schedule

Now expected in November the Hydrogen One was at the forefront of the hype machine when it was announced to include a “holographic display”. The display, is said to switch between 2D & 3D content without the need for the user to wear 3D glasses.

Select media were recently invited to see the Hydrogen One first hand and while impressions were not as astronomically high as the hype would have you believe they weren’t terrible either as you can see in The Verge’s hands-on below.

Source: Schedule… with Houdini – Periodic Table –

The Verge goes hands-on with the coveted Magic Leap AR headset

Google-backed startup Magic Leap invited The Verge to Florida for a hands-on of the Magic Leap One, a headset that projects 3D images into reality. The goggles are weird, futuristic, and surprisingly wearable — but has Magic Leap’s technology caught up to its ambitions?

Spoiler alert: Nope.

Doesn’t mean people aren’t still convinced though. Google has pumped over US$2b into these guys and perhaps once its field of view grows to cover the entire lens instead of a paltry 50 degrees I’ll upgrade my cynicism to a “maybe”.

NBN’s HFC gets its promised upgrade as sales finally resume

DOCSIS 3.1 technology will double the downstream capacity across the hybrid fibre-coaxial network, with NBN saying it is focused on improved experience rather than faster speeds.

Lab trials of the new DOCSIS tech saw the NBN hit 1Gbps down last year but don’t expect to be getting that in-home anytime soon.

The NBN’s plans for DOCSIS 3.1, which stands for something long and boring (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification), is instead being implemented to ramp up the speed of the NBN’s delivery. The tech brings the ability to increase the network’s capacity without the frequent need for optical node splits previously required with the hopes of a faster delivery.

The NBN now believe up to 100,000 homes a month will be brought online for sale each month, the first indication its sale freeze is now over for HFC.

Source: NBN finally launches DOCSIS 3.1 across HFC network | ZDNet

Grab a slice of Android 9 Pie

Tags: tech

Google has announced that the final, shipping version of the newest Android update is available for all Pixel phones today. And, as usual, it has announced a name to go along with the over-the-air update: “Android 9 Pie.”

Pixel owners rejoice, Android P is on its way in an over-the-air update to you today. With the release of the new OS also comes an end to speculation over which name will be chosen to follow Android Oreo. Wave goodbye to Popsicle, Pop-Tart or Peppermint – tonight you’re getting Pie for dessert.

Android 9 Pie ships with a variety of previously announced features baked in, such as access to Google’s Digital Wellbeing beta. Digital wellness is the latest buzz phrase in tech with other big names like Apple and Facebook recently announcing similar features. The idea is to help users limit the time spent mindlessly scrolling the same app, vacant expression on their face and string of drool clinging to their lip. It’s unbecoming and skewing the value of screen time stats.

Source: Android 9 Pie is available for Google Pixel phones today – The Verge

Foodora calls it quits in Australia

Foodora will “cease operations in response to a shift in focus towards other markets where the company currently sees a higher potential for growth.”

With the rapid growth and uptake in its rivals UberEats and Deliveroo it looks as if Foodora has been squeezed out of the local market.

To add salt to the wound, Foodora Australia is in the middle of a legal battle in which three staff have alleged the company’s employment contracts are a “sham”.

Source: Just In: Foodora Quits Australia – Broadsheet