Episode 323 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

Kogan jumps on ‘phablet’ bandwagon with $149 smartphone

Kogan Technologies has launched a budget 5in ‘phablet’ running Android Ice Cream Sandwich priced at $149.

Agora 5.0″ Dual-core Smartphone was unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today

Purchases of the Agora 5.0″ Dual-core Smartphone are currently limited to three units per customer. The phone is available to order now, with shipping in February.

specifications include a 5-inch WVGA touchscreen with a native resolution of 480×800 pixels, a 1GHz dual core Cortex-A9 processor, a five-megapixel camera and 1GB RAM.
Connectivity options include two separate SIM slots, inbuilt Blutooth and WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), a 3.1mm audio jack and a Micro SD card slot for additional storage. The phone comes network unlocked and is compatible with 3G networks.


Microsoft reveals Windows 8 sales figures

Microsoft Corp has sold 60 million licenses and upgrades for its new Windows 8 operating system in the 10 weeks since its launch

That puts sales broadly in line with Windows 7, which averaged 19.4 million sales per month in its first nine months on the market, when PC sales were running at a lower level than today.

Industry analysts have noted that the majority of Windows 8 licenses have been sold to hardware partners. Some of these partners, notably Fujitsu and Acer, have reported difficulties in reselling Windows 8 products to businesses and consumers.


Apple app downloads hit 40 billion

The number (which does not include repeat downloads or updates) is equal to nearly six downloads for every man, woman and child on earth. Despite this, Apple says there are a mere 500 million active Apple Store accounts.
More than 20 billion of the downloads were in 2012


CES 2013 explained

 

  • January 8-11
  • It stands for Consumer Electronics Show, and it’s chock-full of the latest tech designed for the public.
  • first show first in 1967 in New York with just 14 exhibitors as a spin-off from the Chicago Music Show.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, attracting 156,000 visitors last year
  • Launched at CES and made it big
  • 1971 8-track
  • 1974 LaserDisc
  • 1975 Atari home Pong console
  • 1976 First cheap ($20) digital watch (Texas Instruments)
  • 1981 Compact Disc (CD)
  • 1982 Commodore 64
  • 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • 1993 MiniDisc
  • 1996 Digital Versatile Disk (DVD)
  • 1998 High Definition TV
  • 1999 TiVo Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
  • 2001 Microsoft Xbox
  • 2004 Blu-ray and HD DVD
  • 2008 OLED TV
  • 2009 3DTV

 

First 1TB USB flash drive coming soon

the world’s first 1TB flash drive, a USB 3.0 device that is likely to cost more than most computers do.
The company said its “DataTraveler HyperX Predator” will go on sale this quarter, and it is for “users who work with large video or graphics files, or gamers who like to travel with their entire library.”

Kingston has already launched a 512GB version, which is currently available on its website for US$1,337.


New Lego robots can talk to iPhones

Lego is set to announce a new, $US350 ($A336) Mindstorms EV3 kit will have the ability to talk to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches through Bluetooth wireless connections.

That means Lego builders can use the devices as remote controls for their robots or create simple programs that are then sent to the robots to control their actions.

In the kit, Lego includes the blueprints for a snake robot that uses its eyes to sense if someone is close to its head, in which case it strikes.


Windows 8 discounts end in three weeks

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Pro upgrade discount will expire in about three weeks,

set to end Jan. 31, prices a download upgrade to Windows 8 Pro at $39.99, or $69.99 for a DVD.
the DVD-based Windows 8 Pro upgrade carries a suggested list price of $199.99

Also expiring new Windows 7 PCs acquire Windows 8 Pro for $14.99

Other deals expiring 31st January so check the actual article via the shownotes

and also remember the The Windows 8 Developer Preview of September 2011, the Consumer Preview of February 2012 and the Release Preview of May 2012 all expire Jan. 15. After that date, the free previews will automatically restart every one or two hours, and on-screen messages will tell customers that they must upgrade to a paid license.


UK still has 13,000 black-and-white TVs

The number of licences issued each year has dwindled from 212,000 in 2000. A total of 13,202 monochrome licences were in force at the start of 2013.

A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50.

 

SHAYNE’S SHOWNOTES

The iTwin Connect Plugs Into Your Laptop To Create A Personal VPN That Nobody Can Crack – (Video included)
http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/09/the-itwin-connect/
If you’re smart, you probably think twice before using a WiFi network anywhere outside of your own home to log into things like your bank account and even your email. Being on a shared network notoriously leaves you more vulnerable to having someone else monitor all the details of your web browsing activity and access your personal data. But if you’re a remote worker, as more and more people are, lots of your time online is spent using relatively untrusted networks in places like cafes, airports, and hotels.
A new product from iTwin called the Connect is aimed at taking away those worries. The iTwin Connect, which launched today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is a tiny 3.5 inch device that plugs into your laptop through the USB port, encrypts all your data, and routes it through the host server of your choice — either iTwin’s own secure servers, or your own computer that you’ve linked to the device. Essentially, this lets you freely browse the web through a secure VPN while utilizing an untrusted public or shared Wi-Fi network. This means that you can use it to access sensitive things such as online banking, and also get around certain site geo-restrictions.
The benefits here are pretty big and the use-cases are many, so it was great to have iTwin’s co-founder and COO Kal Takru stop by the TechCrunch on-site CES stage to show us the Connect and give us the product’s pitch first-hand.

Teenage boy lands in trouble after posting Twitter jokes to bomb Sydney Airport
http://www.news.com.au/technology/teenage-boy-lands-in-trouble-after-posting-twitter-threats-to-bomb-sydney-airport/story-e6frfro0-1226550715566
A TEENAGE boy who jokingly threatened to blow up Sydney Airport on Twitter yesterday was given the shock of his life when he was met by Federal Police at Melbourne Airport.
Anthony Palazzolo was escorted off a Jetstar flight in front of his parents by Australian Federal Police officers when it reached the gate at Melbourne yesterday afternoon after he posted a string of threatening tweets on the social networking website.
”I’m actually determined to bomb Sydney airport it’s actually so s—. Melbourne’s airport is legit perfection compared to this. whOOPS,” the 17-year-old posted shortly before boarding his flight.
Another tweet said: ”Petition to burn down Sydney airport.”
One prescient friend even replied to Mr Palazzolo: ”um imagine if you get like moved into an interrogation room for typing that.”
Sure enough, the two tweets caught the attention of authorities who quickly discovered he was on en-route to Melbourne and arranged for the greeting party to board the plane before passengers began disembarking.
The Melbourne teenager was returning from a family holiday in Europe when he apparently became frustrated while transiting through Sydney Airport.
”Why does Sydney airport exist? It’s so unorganized I want to stab myself,” he wrote.
”Sydney Airport needs to sTOP It’s so busy I can’t breaTHE.”
The boy’s Twitter account was deleted soon after the incident.
An AFP spokesman confirmed officers had spoken with the boy and released him without charge.
”The incident was determined to be a hoax and no further action will taken against him,” he said.
Under the Transport Security Act threatening to blow up an airport can result in jail time.
Palazzolo is not the first person to land in hot water for making a seemingly light-hearted bomb threat on Twitter.

WiFi rifle unveiled at CES
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/consumer-electronics-show/wifi-rifle-unveiled-at-ces/story-fnbupmbs-1226550794529
A US firm has unveiled a WiFi-enabled magnum that talks to smartphone apps and uploads shooting data to Facebook and Twitter.
TrackingPoint, an applied technology company based in Austin, Texas, launched what is likely to be a controversial adaptation of technology at the Consumer Electronics Show “ShowStoppers” event, an opulent demonstration session put on for manufacturers and gadget journalists in Las Vegas.
Boasting three onboard processors and a proprietary precision guided firing system, the TrackingPoint system takes into account environmental factors such as wind speed and calculates the positions of moving targets when firing rounds with a claimed accuracy of 1200 yards for novices, the company claims.
But its WiFi hotspot capability, including the streaming of video from the gun site to an iPhone or tablet computer, and its interfacing with social networks, makes it unusual
Hunters can cooperate and guide mentor clients by viewing what they see though the site, and share their shot data over the net from the weapon, the firm said in a statement.
“The networked tracking scope also records each shot sequence from tag until 10 seconds after the shot is taken and takes stills of the tag, shot and the frame 10 seconds after the shot so hunters can download using their TrackingPoint app and share their shot films and stills with friends, complete with voice and the shot data, over Facebook, Twitter and email to prove their shot.”

Electric cars and hybrids could be forced to make more noise at low speeds
ELECTRIC cars and hybrids are set to be required by law to make a humming noise when travelling at low speeds – to prevent deaths and injuries of elderly or vision impaired pedestrians in shopping centres and car parks.
In a landmark submission filed overnight the peak road safety authority in North America recommended external speakers become compulsory on all electric vehicles and hybrids from 2016.
Currently, the only sound from cars running on electric power is the almost-silent rolling of the tyres.
Some cars, such as the Nissan Leaf electric car, already make a deliberate hi-tech hum below 30km/h – but the noise can be disabled by the driver at the press of a button on the dash.
Toyota began fitting outside speakers to the Prius hybrid in North America last year – but they’re yet to be fitted to models sold in Australia.
“It’s something we’re looking at seriously,” said Toyota Australia spokesman Mike Breen.
“We’ve had some calls from various agencies who’ve expressed concern about [hybrid] cars being heard by people with limited sight. We are working with Toyota Japan to find what would best suit conditions in Australia.”
Toyota has sold more than 10,000 hybrid cars in Australia over the past 10 years but says it is yet to receive a report of someone being knocked over by one of its petrol-electric vehicles while in silent mode.
The Holden Volt plug-in hybrid car doesn’t have a hum – but it does have what the company calls a “polite” horn. If you tap the button, it gives a short toot at half the normal volume to let others know you’re nearby.
“If [external noise] were mandated in North America, the technology would likely make its way onto cars here,” said Holden spokesman Craig Cheetham.

Toyota, Audi to unveil self-driving cars at CES
http://m.computerworld.com/s/article/9235296/Toyota_Audi_to_unveil_self_driving_cars_at_CES?mm_ref=http://www.mahaweb.com/iphone_aus.php?newsone=207&premium=0&version=300&user=iphone&iphone_id=09f3eba72a0b1f18ae66598d972fbdaa63ff6f1e&page=custom
As preparations for the annual electronics show approach their climax here, two of the most awaited announcements aren’t from big-name electronics companies but rather auto makers Toyota and Audi.
Each company plans to unveil prototype self-driving car technology here on Monday.
Toyota offered a tantalizing glimpse at its prototype through a 5-second video clip published online of its “Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle.”
The video shows a Lexus car decked out with various sensors on the front grill, rear wheels and the roof, the most striking of which is a spinning cylinder on the roof. A similar device is used in a self-driving car prototype developed by Google and in city mapping cars operated by companies including Nokia.
Lasers point at the cylinder and through reflections from the car manage to map out an accurate image of the car’s surroundings complete with depth information that would be unavailable from a conventional camera.

Facebook Mobile User Counts Revealed: 192M Android, 147M iPhone, 48M iPad, 56M Messenger
http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/04/how-many-mobile-users-does-facebook-have/
Facebook keeps user counts for its mobile apps hidden, but analyst Benedict Evans found a way to uncover them and they provide critical insight into the direction and performance of Facebook’s mobile efforts. Most interestingly, Facebook’s Android user count is growing much faster than its iPhone user base, but is found on a lower percentage of Android devices. Let’s take a closer look at the data.
A year ago, Facebook stopped reporting user counts for its own mobile apps via the Graph API. But if you searched for one that none of your friends used and hovered over the search result, you could see its monthly active user count (MAU). Evans of Enders Analysis meticulously recorded until “some time in November [2012], those disappeared and were replaced” with hover cards lacking the usage data, he tells me. He incorrectly calculated Facebook’s mobile web site stats due to overlap between native app and HTML5 site users. Facebook declined to comment but solid analytics sources and old official numbers say the rest of his stats are accurate

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