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The latest news

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)

RED’s Hydrogen One smartphone sucks

Tags: tech

…the three big things meant to set the Hydrogen One apart — its holographic display, 3D photo and video capture, and a powerful accessories port — all fail, and are ultimately the phone’s weakest points.

Ooooof!

Blurry display, slow SoC, oversized and accessory poor. There’s very little the folks over at The Verge could find to put in the “positive” column of their review.

Are you surprised though? The holographic-hype was real but I kinda bought into it – or wanted to!

Source: RED Hydrogen One Review: Red, dead, no redemption – The Verge

Oculus co-founder departs Facebook after Rift 2 cancelled

Tags: gaming, tech

Brendan Iribe, the co-founder and former CEO of Oculus, announced today that he is leaving Facebook.

Iribe announced his departure in a Facebook post yesterday, thanking his colleagues and employees who’ve been a part of the Oculus journey since it began in 2012. Notably (and unsurprisingly) absent from that list any mention of Oculus’ other co-founder Palmer Lucky who remains one of Silicon Valley’s ostracised Trump funders.

While Iribe doesn’t mention it his departure from Facebook is said to have come at the cancellation of the company’s successor to the popular Oculus Rift headset. It’s believed the desired growth path is to concentrate on all-in-one solutions like the recently announced Oculus Quest.

Cancellation of the “Rift 2” should ring alarm bells for PC VR gamers whom are now potentially left with only one unit being actively developed by HTC.

Facebook have since stated that the Rift is definitely not be shuttered and they’re still developing the headset but who believes anything Facebook says at this point?

Source: Oculus co-founder is leaving Facebook after cancellation of ‘Rift 2’ headset | TechCrunch

iPhone XR reviews begin to hit

Tags: tech

Most people can probably find a better way to spend $2250 than on infinite black levels.

Probably the most telling pull from The Verge’s hands-on review with thew new iPhone XR.

Despite its LCD panel, with a relatively low 326 PPI density, and single rear facing camera the iPhone XR is set to be what I think will be Apple’s highest selling model of the current generation.

Significantly cheaper, almost no functioning difference and what I consider a sweet spot in physical size sitting perfectly between the iPhone X  and the iPhone 8+.

Very keen to get hands-on with one and see how it feels in hand.

 

Source: Apple iPhone XR review: better than good enough – The Verge

Samsung could say goodbye to the ‘notch’

Tags: tech

At an exclusive event for twenty corporate customers at the Marriott Hotel in Shenzhen, China, Samsung revealed a new technology milestone that could enable the Galaxy S10’s radical new design: a display that allows front cameras to poke through without the need for a notch.

Samsung are said to have developed a display with four underlying technologies built into its AMOLED core that would allow the hideous notch to be removed and introduce a truly edge to edge display.

The four components said to be included are:

  • Finger-on-Display (FoD) for finger print reading
  • Sound-on-Display (SoD) which emits sound without speakers
  • Haptics-on-Display (HoD) for localized feedback aimed at gaming.
  • Camera/Image sensors for photography and depth sensing.

Speculation of how the screen works is the AMOLED being able to make areas of the screen transparent/translucent to allow sensors to operate beneath it, but little is really known beyond the single leaked slide below.

It’s also unclear whether we can expect the upcoming Galaxy S10 to include the display or not. It looks like, at this stage, the tech is in heavy development but whether or not its at a mass production level is yet to be seen.

All I know is that I’m yet to own a “notch” based smartphone and it looks like, given I haven’t upgraded again, I may never have that burden.

Source: Here’s How the Galaxy S10 Could Kill the Notch Forever

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