Tag: 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

Cricket Australia has sacked a female employee after she campaigned for abortion reform on social media, telling the woman that concerns she had insulted the Tasmanian government were central to her dismissal.

Due to the closure of the last publicly run abortion clinic in Tasmania Angela Williamson, whom was working as the manager of public policy & government relations for Cricket Australia, was forced to travel to Melbourne for a termination.

The mother of three had criticised the Tasmanian government in a series of tweets beginning in January of 2018 and was told they’d “damaged [her] relationship with the government”.

Cricket Australia has confirmed that the matter is now in the hands of each party’s legal teams and has made a statement saying that whilst they “respect an individual’s right to their opinion” they expect “employees will refrain from making offensive comments that contravene the organisation’s policies.”

Personally, my takeaway from the statement is that Cricket Australia doesn’t believe women should have publicly available local options for pregnancy terminations in the state of Tasmania.

Source: Cricket Australia sacks worker over series of tweets about abortion

…for the first time in three years, Facebook failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations for revenue and user growth. The company’s user base of 185 million users in the United States and Canada remained flat over the last quarter, and added just 22 million users worldwide — the lowest number of additions since at least 2011.

Is it the beginning of the end for Facebook? Perhaps. Unlikely.

It was enough to spook investors though. Facebook stock dropped almost 20% in the day of trading following the announcement. That equates to US$119b in the single greatest loss in US trading history.

On the extreme flip-side, Amazon is rapidly approaching a $1 trillion valuation.

Amazon reported earnings for the second quarter of 2018 today, posting an even higher profit than Wall Street analysts estimated thanks in large part to boosts in North American operating income, its highly profitable cloud computing business, and booming sales in its growing ad division.

Amazon reported earnings of US$5.07 per share, which was doubled the estimated amount and resulted in a paltry US$2.5b in profit – a 1200% increase of the same quarter the year before!

Since it was started two years ago, Spacious has converted 25 upscale restaurants in New York and San Francisco into weekday work spaces.

This is one of those ideas so crazy it just might work!

Membership to Spacious’ network of co-working restaurants is just US$99/month – on a yearly plan, or US$129 month to month. That’s a pretty sweet deal considering dedicated co-working spaces can set you back the same price for a day.

The restaurants offer coffee & other ammenities and despite Spacious wanting you to believe that “Bars become standing desks” & “Booths become conference rooms” are essentially pre-fitted with tables aplenty.

I’m not sure if the idea will spill over to Australia any time soon but it’s an interesting article to read through all the same. Pop it on your “read it later” list now that Instapaper is back at its best!

Source: Sorry, Power-Lunchers. This Restaurant Is a Co-Working Space Now. – The New York Times

Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since […] 2013.

Instapaper has an interesting story.

One of the first “read-it-later” services out there it was my service of choice before it was wrapped up and sold off to betaworks in 2013 and then a few years later Pinterest of all people.

Today the they’ve announced the service will be returning to its independent origins and in 21 days will begin to operate on its own as a new company.

It might be time to return the Instapaper bookmarklet back to my favourites bar.

Source: Instapaper is going independent

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year, two people familiar with its plans told Reuters.

Zip, bam, boom, we’re off to the mooooooon!

Firstly; between US$200k & US$300k is a fairly wide gap “people familiar with its plans”, but it’s not as ridiculous as I’d expect so there’s that I suppose.

Second to that; we all agree Blue Origin’s New Shepard “space vehicle” is the most phallic thing ever right?

Source: Exclusive: Jeff Bezos plans to charge at least $200,000 for space rides – sources | Reuters

Source: MacRumors.com

A former Apple employee has been charged in federal court with stealing trade secrets from the company, authorities said.

In something straight out of a bad Mission Impossible script former Apple engineer Xiaolang Zhang was arrested as he attempted to leave the US via San Jose International Airport.

Zhang is alleged to have stolen data and hardware related to Apple’s highly secretive self-driving car project ahead of a new job with China’s electric car startup Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology.

Zhang has admitted to using AirDrop to transfer documents to his wife’s laptop and has been filmed on CCTV leaving the lab with equipment whilst supposedly on paternity leave.

Source: San Jose: Ex-Apple employee charged with stealing trade secrets

…the new Surface Go [is] a smaller, less powerful take on the popular Surface Pro device. The Go features a 10-inch screen, integrated kickstand, Windows 10, and a similar design to the Surface Pro, and starts at [US]$399.

Could this be the mythical unicorn I’ve been looking for to replace my ageing 11″ MacBook Air??

Great price point, full OS, touch screen, solid keyboard (US$99 add-on cost), LTE (coming with no pricing yet) and USB-C. Sounds almost too good to be true!

It kind of is too, but only kinda. Adding on all the accessories will bump up the price. Adding in LTE will also do the same. Very quickly you’re hitting iPad Pro pricing or a low end Surface Pro even. Other downside (for me personally) is Windows. I’m a Mac guy and live in a Mac world but for all I want it for (writing & couch machine) I’d be willing to make the switch.

First impressions are good though and I’m very keen to get my hands on one to try it out.

The new Surface Go from Microsoft is available to pre-order in one of two Wi-Fi versions. Expect Aus pricing & availability to hit shortly.

Updated to include Australian pricing.

Source: Microsoft’s Surface Go tablet has a 10-inch screen and starts at $399 – The Verge

The app, which provides a nostalgia service by resurfacing old photos and posts by connecting to your social media profiles, said it’s cloud computing environment was hacked and the usernames, email addresses and the phone numbers of some 4.7 million accounts were taken.

In addition to user details being stolen access tokens that allow the Timehop app to communicate with your social media accounts have also been accessed. This means the intruders can now potentially post & read  your Facebook, Twitter and other connected accounts at their will.

Source: Timehop data breach impacts 21 million users – Security – iTnews

Apple has added protections against the USB devices being used by law enforcement and private companies that connect over Lightning to crack an iPhone’s passcode and evade Apple’s usual encryption safeguards.

The new setting means that after your phone is locked for one hour it’s USB port is essentially rendered useless.

There’s already a workaround for it though (kinda), where you basically keep something plugged into it when the phone is first obtained. That of course requires you to get the phone within the hour window before it locks off the USB port.

Source: Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 and blocks passcode cracking tools used by police – The Verge