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The latest news

Panasonic is crowdfunding human blinkers

Tags: tech

The prototype device, called Wear Space, is designed to keep people distraction-free when working in busy spaces or open-plan offices by blocking them off from their immediate surroundings.

These are just plain f#@king dumb. (In my opinion)

Just build your office with some walls. The open-plan office works for some companies but not for most. We have proof of that now.

Inventing something akin to a dog wearing a cone on their head and slapping some bluetooth headphones in them is not the solution.

Source: Panasonic’s human blinkers help people concentrate in open-plan offices

Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite is now completely waterproof

Tags: tech

 

New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet.

Naturally Amazon would release a new Kindle Paperwhite just weeks after I’d purchased a new one. It’s more expensive though so there’s some slight relief there… I guess?

Thinner (by 1mm) and now completely waterproof it retains the same “paperwhite” 300 ppi 6″ touchscreen as its predecessor. It does blur the lines between itself at Amazon’s flagship reader “Oasis” which now only differs through its design and physical buttons for page turning.

Available immediately the new Paperwhite is available in three versions:

  • 8GB Wi-Fi – A$199
  • 32GB Wi-Fi – A$249
  • 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G LTE – A$369

Source: All-new Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with twice the Storage (8GB) – Amazon AU

PlayStation will finally let you change that ridiculous PSN name

Tags: gaming, tech

We’re happy to announce that we will soon begin testing the long-awaited feature that will allow users to change their PlayStation Network Online ID from their PlayStation 4 system.

In what is apparently a task tantamount to Moses parting the sea, Sony have officially announced that changing your ill-selected PlayStation Network name will finally be an option.

The name change will be rolling out to PS’s preview program participants over the next month and is expected to have a full release early in 2019.

A single change will be cost free but don’t be too flippant, subsequent changes will set you back US$5 if you’re a PS+ member or US$10 if you aren’t.

Say bye bye “Brownian“!

Source: PSN Online ID Change Feature Entering PlayStation Preview Program Soon – PlayStation.Blog

A Slate, a Hub & a Pixel. Google unveils its latest lineup

Tags: tech

Google’s worst kept secret, the Pixel 3, was finally unveiled last night. With literally every single spec and aspect of the new smartphone already “leaked” there’s not much for me to tell you that you don’t already know.

Both the standard and XL versions include a Snapdragon 845, 4GB RAM, Bluetooth 5.0 and come with your choice of either 64GB or 128GB of storage. The XL has a bigger 6.3″ OLED over the smaller’s 5.3″ as well as upgraded optics in the phone’s camera and dual lenses on the front for “wide angle group selfies”.

Available in 3 colours (white, pink & blank) the Pixel 3 & 3 XL can be pre-ordered from the Google Store now and are expected to be delivered November 1st.

  • Pixel 3 64GB – A$1,199
  • Pixel 3 128GB – A$1,349
  • Pixel 3 XL 64GB – A$1,349
  • Pixel 3 XL 128GB – A$1,499

 


The Google Home Hub is the company’s version of Amazon’s now YouTube-gimped Echo Show. A 7″ screen complimented Google Home Mini the new Hub is designed to sit in a room like your bedroom or kitchen and bring both a voice assistant and visual display into your life.

What it’s note is a video calling or conferencing tool. Unlike it’s competitors the Hub has no cameras meaning that it’s cheaper but also less useful than others.

The Hub also ushers in a new “Home View” feature for Google that is a brief overview of your home and the connected smart devices you have available within the Google ecosystem.

Available October 22nd the new Google Home Hub will retail for $219 AUD.


Lastly Google are getting into the tablet business. The Google Slate is a 12.3″ 3000 x 2000 pixels “molecular display”, which is their equivalent of Apple’s retina.

The Slate is decked out with an Intel provided CPU and aims to directly compete with Microsoft’s Surface and somewhat with Apple’s iPad Pro. That big downside for Slate is it’s natural reliance on Chrome OS, which despite its classroom appeal suffers greatly in the big, bad world of productivity.

Pricing starts at US$599 for the base m3 CPU 4GB RAM & 32GB SSD up to US$1,599 for the i7, 16GB RAM & 256GB version. There’s also a keyboard attachment for US$199 and a stylus for US$99 to round out the offering.

Don’t get too excited though, Australia’s missing out on the Slate, it’s getting a release in the US, Canada & UK later this year with no word on availability down under.

Microsoft unveils ‘Project xCloud’ & screams “We’ve got streaming games too!”

Tags: gaming, tech

Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using. Project xCloud’s state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device…

Hot off the heels of Google’s Project Stream announcement last week Microsoft have come to the party, probably earlier than they’d have liked, in unveiling their game streaming solution “Project xCloud”.

Although the service was eluded to back at E3 in June of this year many believed it was to be fleshed out and announced in full at an Xbox event in Mexico City next month. Google I’m guessing have forced their hand.

Microsoft’s announcement focuses more on the hardware behind their service, which coincidentally has no delivery date or pricing or user specs at this point.

The company has essentially broken down an Xbox One S into its bare components and shoved as many as possible into a server mounted blade that will be the workhorse behind their streaming solution.

xCloud will be playable on a phone, tablet, computer or any MS approved device that will tap into their upcoming service. Control can be done either via a Bluetooth connected Xbox controller or via touch – but lets be honest, that’ll suck for the most part.

There are more questions than answers in Microsoft’s announcement and users aren’t able to try it out like they can Project Stream (if you’re in the US) but the one encouraging thing you can take away from their announcement video is that it will reportedly work over a 4G connection. That means even in Australia with our shitty, shitty internet it may be a possibility. Big emphasis on “MAY”.

Source: Project xCloud: Gaming with you at the center – The Official Microsoft Blog

Facebook’s “Portal” is the videophone of your nightmares

Tags: tech

Facebook has created a new way to videochat with your Facebook friends. It’s not an app, nor is it some awkward virtual-reality playpen. It’s a device called Portal, and it’s meant to sit in your living room and serve as a two-way conduit for conversations with faraway friends and family.

The company that invades your life in every way is today asking you to stick a stationary camera in your living room and pay for the pleasure.

I can only assume this is meant for people who A) have no concern for the privacy what-so-ever and B) don’t own a smartphone.

The Portal is available in two varieties, a larger 1080p version for US$349 and a smaller 720p for US$199. Both have AI built-in that Facebook claims is self-contained and does not send data back to the mothership that utilising the 140 degree camera can track the caller as you get up and walk around the room, zoomed in on the user.

While Facebook are hardly the first to bring a device like this to market, Amazon’s Echos do a similar thing, they are the ones I’m least likely to allow into my living room giving their practices and continual user data issues.

Source: Facebook Portal: Price, Specs, Release Date | WIRED

Project Stream unveiled as Google’s game streaming service

Tags: gaming, tech

[Google] today unveiled “Project Stream,” and while Google calls this a “technical test” to see how well game streaming to Chrome works, it’s clear that this is the foundational technology for a game-streaming service.

The service was announced to be launching its beta on October 5th but is limited to the US so don’t get too excited yet.

Spots in the beta are apparently extremely limited and require you to have a consistent 20Mbps connection and a Ubisoft account to participate.

Game streaming is seen as the holy grail of gaming delivery moving forward. Sony have tried it for years, Microsoft’s new Scarlett console is about to, and PC gamers have access to NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service but many believe Google could finally crack the game-streaming nut.

Because if they can’t, then who?

Source: Google gets into game streaming with Project Stream and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in Chrome | TechCrunch

Panasonic, Sigma & Leica let their powers combine

Tags: tech

The collaboration enables Panasonic and SIGMA to make use of the L-Mount standard developed by Leica for their own developments and to offer both cameras and lenses utilising this lens mount.

It’s a crazy week in the photography world. Photokina is in full swing and with every man and their goat announcing a full-frame mirrorless camera I was shocked to see an even bigger announcement overshadow it.

The collaboration of not two but three large players in the camera game to form a new alliance to allow the use of their lenses across each of their full-frame bodies is nothing short of huge. Sure it’s not Nikon & Canon saying “hey let’s be best buds” to one another but it’s hardly no one either.

Big win for photographers.

Source: L Mount Alliance

Apple couldn’t put TouchID under a screen but Xiaomi’s new M8 Pro has

Tags: tech

The newly announced Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro & Mi 8 Lite smartphones come with all the promise and speed increases you’d expect from a phone announcement in 2018. The new models include an OLED screen, Snapdragaon 845 CPU, dual 12MP cameras on the back & so on an so forth.

The Mi 8 Pro however comes with an additional feature. Announced overnight it was confirmed the Pro version would be offering not only the ability to unlock the phone using Xiaomi’s version of Face ID but it could also be unlocked using a fingerprint sensor that’s embedded beneath the phone’s screen. A feature Apple has long been rumoured to be working on but unable to achieve.

Another interesting feature of the Mi 8 Pro to note is its price tag. Retailing in China for CNY 3,200 (A$647) for the base model you’re getting a hell of a lot of phone for A$1k less than the newly released iPhone XS.

The Mi 8 lineup begins shipping in China on September 28th with no official date or price set for Australia as yet.

Source: 小米8 屏幕指纹版 – 小米商城

Oh look Sony has a mini console too…

Tags: gaming, tech

Today, we are so excited to announce that we are bringing back the original PlayStation experience in a new miniaturised version – PlayStation Classic!

Available December 3rd, the new PlayStation Classic will come with 20 pre-loaded games and retail for A$149.99.

At the moment only 5 of the 20 games that will be included have been revealed. They are: Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, R4 Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms.

No doubt Sony will dangle the carrot by revealing more as we get closer to the launch date. So keep an eye out for that if mini dust collectors consoles are your thing.

Source: Introducing the PlayStation Classic, with 20 pre-installed games