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The latest news

Marriott hotel hack exposes the user data of 500m guests

Tags: tech

…hotel behemoth Marriott announced a massive hack that impacts as many as 500 million customers who made a reservation at a Starwood [Sheraton, Westin, Aloft & W Hotel] hotel.

The equal 3rd largest hack of all time behind both of Yahoo’s mega-breaches in 2014 (500m) and 2013 (3000m).

Information including guest’s names, addresses, date of birth, passport details, all stolen for anyone that stayed in a Starwood group (and potentially Marriott) hotel up until September 10th, 2018.

Credit card numbers have also been stolen however Marriott believes hackers don’t have the required keys to decrypt them.

Source: The Marriott Hack: How to Protect Yourself | WIRED

DJI’s new Osmo Pocket is their smallest camera yet

Tags: tech

Osmo Pocket

Meet Osmo Pocket, the smallest 3-axis stabilized handheld camera DJI has ever designed. In just seconds, the compact and intelligent Osmo Pocket turns any moment into a cinematic memory. Share your life anywhere, anytime.

The Pocket looks like they’ve ripped the camera off a DJI Spark and popped it on top of a handle-grip with a screen. They haven’t and the reason I know that is that the Pocket also does 4K 60fps video, which the Spark does not but besides that they look very similar.

The Pocket will set you back A$599 which is no small amount but when you compare it with top of the line GoPros (which don’t include any of the axis-stability functionality) and former Osmos it’s definitely coming down and competitive.

Source: Buy DJI Osmo Pocket – 3-Axis Stabilized Handheld Camera – DJI Store

The human cost of Black Friday sales

While this may be great for Amazon’s bottom line, all this shopping has a real human cost. As plenty of Amazon employees have attested, working in the company’s warehouses is gruelling.

…Amazon runs on a logistics system that’s based off working people to the bare bones.

While Australia doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving it has, more & more so, been indoctrinated into the events that surround it such as “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” sales.

These sales bring us a bunch of very cool and often very cheap bargains but in doing so the people behind the scenes, the ones sending those orders out, are often subjected to some horrific working conditions and (in America anyway) poor remuneration.

A short read, this piece is an interesting one with a good interview with a former Amazon warehouse worker about what those big days are like for the teams working there that I encourage everyone to check out.

Source: What Amazon’s Black Friday shift is like for workers – Vox

The wild world of influencer marketing

Tags: tech

…the wild world of influencer marketing, where prices and pressure are high, and hundreds of thousands of dollars change hands daily on murky terms, seeking sway over the posts in your feed

This is an incredible read that I found absolutely fascinating. In a world where every man and their dog has an Instagram account it appears the masses that follow these new-world “stars” believe almost anything they say as gospel and go out of their way to avoid advertising regulations.

A highly recommended read.

Source: Inside the Pricey War to Influence Your Instagram Feed | WIRED

PlayStation wont be at E3 2019

Tags: gaming

Sony Interactive Entertainment […] won’t be hosting its annual press conference or showing up at all during next year’s massive E3 expo.

I can’t imagine an E3 without Sony. I’d say this is the beginning of the end for the gigantic gaming trade show but that already started when EA decided to take a major dump on them & open up their own thing next door.

Sony have also cancelled their “PlayStation Experience” event after four years and while this has absolutely nothing to do with their mammoth PS4 sales figures I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to announce another event in the months to come.

E3 is still on next year though and Nintendo, Xbox, Bethesda and others have confirmed they will be there. The question is, for how much longer?

Source: PlayStation Skipping E3 For First Time – Variety

Melbourne GTA Online cheat developer has home raided

Tags: australia, gaming

A gamer in Melbourne has had his assets frozen in connection with a cheat for Grand Theft Auto Online, raising questions about the reach of copyright law and the policing of online civility.

This is a cracking read & raises so many great discussion points around the reach of copyright, cheating in online games, profiting from selling cheat-enabling software and the stifling of the mod-ing community out of fear of legal action.

Spend the five minutes to read through, it’s an incredibly well written piece and well worth it.

Source: He Developed a Video Game Cheat. Then His Home Was Raided. – The New York Times

Samsung shows off their folding smartphone display

Tags: tech

Samsung showed off its future-phone concept under dimmed lights at its annual developer conference today in San Francisco. The phone unfurls to offer a 7.3-inch flexible display for reading, watching television, or multi-tasking with multiple apps.

Chew, chew…. you hear that? It’s Samsung’s PR hype train running at full speed down the tracks direct from 2019… or maybe 2020?

The demoed display was shown off under some heavily dimmed lighting for no more than 20 seconds, which yes showed the display nice and brightly but also hid the giant box that housed the prototype.

Samsung are telling us to expect the display to go into mass production next year and Google have announced their support for the “foldable” display format within Android but as to when you or I might holding one in our hands? Bet longer than shorter on that one.

Source: Samsung’s Folding Galaxy Smartphone Concept Bends All the Rules | WIRED

Get Destiny 2 on PC for FREE!

Tags: gaming

In celebration of one year of Destiny on Battle.net we want to gift you a copy of Destiny 2. Claim now before the offer expires on November 18, 2018.

 

That’s a pretty sweet deal. All you have to do is log into your Battle.net account and click the “Claim” button before November 18th and it will forever be there for you to play.

Even if you think Destiny isn’t your jam its definitely worth checking out, especially at that price!

Source: Blizzard Gifts

The dream is over, WhatsApp is getting ads

Tags: tech

“We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’. That is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp”

WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels shared that little nugget at a conference in India overnight.

Targeted ads are to be inserted alongside WhatsApps “Status” feature – one that I didn’t even know existed but replicates Instagram Stories & Snapchat.

With more active users than Snapchat, which at this point I don’t think is too hard, the messaging service is skirting the line on their 2016 announcement: “you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication”.

Source: Money matters: WhatsApp to soon show ads in ‘Status’ feature – The Economic Times

Lana del Ray resurrected two of Apple’s dead product lines today

Tags: tech

Introducing the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. Powerful tools to imagine and create amazing things.

The Mac Mini has been untouched for four years. FOUR! Today Apple took the covers off a new version with an entirely revamped set of internals that are impressive?

A quad-core i3 or six core i5 are behind the new Mini with support for up to 64GB of RAM. It gets USB-C, which Apple seems to be adopting everywhere now (including the new iPad Pro) as well as an option for 10Gb ethernet.

The Mac Minis are available to order now and start from A$1,249.


Also reborn, my personal favourite Mac, the MacBook Air. The new Air mirrors the Mini in getting a series of new CPUs and ports but like it’s non-Air brothers now gets a Force-Touch trackpad, TouchID and a much welcomed Retina display.

Different to Airs of the past the new version will only be available in a 13″ variety and is now bigger than Apple’s MacBook lineup at 12″. The decision further muddies Apple’s lineup and, at a guess, is aimed at making people who want the smaller footprint to move to a far inferior solution (in my opinion) and get an iPad Pro.

The new MacBook Air is available to order today and start from A$1,849 which will get you 8GB of RAM & 128GB of storage.


Lastly the iPad Pro got all of the leaked updates and features we expected. A new screen, the removal of the home button and the new A12X Bionic chip.

More exciting is the fact the re-released Apple Pencil now has a magnet that allows it to clip onto the side of the new iPad Pro. It’s also meant that bot the pencil and the sides of the iPad are now flat akin to the iPhone 6’s sides but with a god-awful lens bump.

People are making a big deal of the iPad losing its headphone jack but it’s really not that surprising to anyone – or rather it shouldn’t be. The inclusion of a Thunderbolt equipped USB-C port over Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector is a boon that hopefully proliferates across the iPhone and other iPads in the future. Another reason not to upgrade my phone it would seem.

The new 11″ & 12.9″ iPad Pro are available today and start from A$1,229.


And lastly Lana del Ray was there singing a couple of songs off her new album. Why? I’m not sure, why not I guess? Maybe that’s why the whole thing was in Brooklyn?

At least if she’s a “brand ambassador” she probably uses an iPhone already and we don’t have tweet around a photo from Twitter where she uses an Android phone or something.

Brand ambassadors unite!

Source: Apple (Australia)