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The latest news

Apple updates the iPad Mini for the 1st time in 4 years

Tags: tech

In an attempt to fool us all into thinking they’re still a hardware company Apple have trotted out the revised corpse of another long-lost product, the iPad Mini.

The new iPad Mini makes use of the same A12 Bionic chip you’ll find inside of the iPhone XS & iPhone XR. It now also includes a Retina display with True Tone and claims top spot across all of Apple’s devices when it comes to pixel density with 326 DPI.

The Apple Pencil will now also work with the iPad Mini, should you be inclined, but make sure you’re using the old 1st generation version as the newer one isn’t compatible. Weird.

Available to order now the new iPad Mini starts at A$599 for the WiFi 64GB version and goes up to A$1019 (why didn’t they just make it A$999, seriously) for the LTE, 256GB version.

In addition to the iPad Mini the iPad Air was updated to use the same A12 Bionic chip but also receives a bump in screen size going from 9.7″ to 10.5″ making the Air all but identical to the Mini but for screen size.

The 2019 iPad Air starts from A$779 (64GB, WiFi) and goes up to A$1,199 (256GB, LTE).

Both the Air & Mini will ship Monday March 25th, a day ahead of Apple’s giant video service reveal.

New Dropbox device limit nerfs free tier

Tags: tech

Basic users have a three device limit as of March 2019.
Plus and Professional users can link unlimited devices.

Similar to Evernote, Dropbox now limits the number of devices you can sync your files to.

Dropbox have said they’ll honour existing device registrations for free users with more than three devices, but if you accidentally deregister one it wont be allowed back.

Clearly a change (made very quietly) to entice users to start paying for the service, but could the move mean the company ends up in a similar position to Evernote?

I was already looking at alternatives; this could very well be the nail in the coffin.

Source: Is there a limit to the number of devices I can link to my account? – Dropbox Help

Sonos wants to be inside your walls

Tags: tech

Sonos and Sonance partner to create custom-installed speakers that disappear into your ceiling, pulse with the power of Sonos Amp, and self-optimise for the room using Sonos Trueplay tuning software.

Sonos, everyone’s (or at least James Croft’s & mine) favourite in-home speaker system has announced a new partnership with Sonance today.I’d never heard of them personally and despite having a name that’s all too close to Sonos they also manufacture high-end invisible speaker systems people like to install in walls & ceilings.

The new “Sonos by Sonance Architectural” range includes an in-wall, ceiling and outdoor speaker that are designed to work harmoniously in the Sonos system.

In reality the new speakers appear to be naught more than a partnership in sales & name. Each of the speakers requires that you also add the not-so-cheap Sonos Amp (A$999) that allow the Sonance Architecturals to connect to your system. This is in fact the main reason to buy the Sonos Amp, to allow you to connect any speaker and not just ones Sonos have formulated a partnership with.

To further prove the point, the new speakers are also void of any voice services meaning they wont work with Amazon’s Alexa or (one day) with Google Assistant.

In-Ceiling speaker pair – A$899 (Feb 26th, 2019)
In-Wall speaker pair – A$899 (Feb 26th, 2019)
Outdoor speaker pair – A$1,199 (TBA)
Sonos Amp – A$999 (Available now)

Apple revokes Google’s enterprise certificate too

Tags: tech

It looks like Facebook weren’t the only ones being naughty when it comes to side-loading tracking apps onto people’s iPhones. Google too had their own version of a tracking app called “Screenwise Meter”, which after Facebook’s came to light was closed down by the company who also issued an apology.

“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program. This was a mistake, and we apologize.”

Apparently that wasn’t good enough for Apple, whom after making a very poignant stand yesterday over Facebook had no choice in the matter but to revoke Google’s as well or else be seen as playing favourites.

The Screenwise Meter app offered gift cards and vouchers to users that installed the app and like Facebook was tracking user data over a VPN in clear breach of Apple’s Enterprise Agreement.

Apple revokes Facebook’s iOS enterprise distribution certificates

Tags: apple, tech

They did it, Apple has finally showed some teeth!

Facebook, developer of some of the most installed apps on all iOS devices, have had their iOS enterprise distribution certificates revoked after blatantly breaching their enterprise agreement with Apple.

Apple who’ve long campaigned as the champion of user privacy have taken action in the wake of the latest Facebook privacy scandal. Details emerged yesterday that that Facebook were installing a “research” app codenamed “Atlas” onto paid participants phones. Running since 2016 the app has the ability to collect data from any instant message app, media sent to anyone, ongoing location information and more.

Despite Facebook releasing a statement saying they would close the program after it went public yesterday Apple have taken steps to ensure they stay true to their word by revoking their method of distribution. The side effect of doing so is that all of the apps that made use of the same certificates and did not breach the agreement by being loaded onto internal staff’s devices only no longer launch.

Internally Facebook distribute apps for users to arrange travel as well, of course, early builds of Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Whilst revoking the certificates doesn’t deny Facebook the ability to load apps via other methods it does make it exponentially harder for them to do it at scale.

Apple’s actions will certainly disrupt Facebook today but are far from the company’s apps being removed completely, which I fear other developers (had they done similar) would likely suffer.

A slap on the wrist it may be, it’s nice to Apple back themselves when it comes to privacy.

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.

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

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