Episode 459 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Apple removes apps over security concerns

Apple said on Thursday that it had removed “a few” applications from its App Store, expressing its concern that the security of some users’ personal data could be compromised in certain circumstances.

The company said the apps threatened users’ security by installing certificates that can expose data to monitoring by third parties. The company did not specify the precise number of apps at issue.

Among the apps removed was Been Choice, which has attracted attention for its ability to block advertising in apps.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company would release a support page to help users remove the apps in question from their devices.

Apple upgrades iMacs with Retina and Force Touch

enhanced its desktops with a new Retina 4K display option for its 21.5-inch iMac, as well as standardised Retina 5K displays and Skylake processors for its 27-inch iMac, and improved keyboard, mouse devices and trackpad peripherals.

The new Retina 5K display also ramps up its pixel density, quadrupling its resolution with 5120 by 2880 pixels. The new 27-inch iMacs with 5K Retina display start at A$2,799, according to Apple. Like the 4K display, Apple’s new 27-inch iMac also offers 25 percent more color for a more vibrant display.

Apple also revealed upgrades to its keyboard, trackpad and mouse. Apple’s Magic Keyboard, priced at A$165, is redesigned for 33 percent more key stability and more comfortable typing

The keyboard features wireless Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in lithium-ion battery that charges through a Lightning connector to a USB cable.

In addition, Apple’s newly designed Magic Trackpad contains Force Touch and a 29 percent bigger design, and is priced at A$199.

Finally, the company’s new Magic Mouse 2 contains a newly designed internal structure and a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, priced at A$129. The Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 come in the box with new iMacs

US website flogs Microsoft Band 2 to Aussies


Big Apple Buddy is already advertising the Microsoft Band 2 to Australians before the product officially goes on sale in Australia.

While Microsoft had not yet announced Australian pricing and release for the Microsoft Band 2 at the time of writing, Big Apple Buddy has announced that Australians can pre-order the device immediately through the site.

Big Apple Buddy advertises itself as a “shopping concierge”, allowing users to order tech products “directly from the US”.

The site encourages visitors to browse the US-based online shops of Apple, Samsung, Best Buy, Microsoft, Bose, Dell and others, then request a quote for international shipping from Big Apple Buddy.

The Big Apple Buddy site buys the item on behalf of the customer and handles shipping. The company charges a minimum service fee of $40 for each order.

Microsoft is allowing pre-orders of the Band 2 in the USA for US$249.99. The device will be available to buy from 30 October

Google Australia’s holding company changes to Alphabet

Google Australia has officially changed its holding company to Alphabet Inc.

Details of the change were officially published by regulatory authorities today, signed by Google Australia director John Elliot Howell. The change was effective in Australia from 2 October, nearly two months after Alphabet was first announced.

The creation of Alphabet saw the search giant separate its various subsidiaries into separate businesses – the company’s interests range from drones to driverless cars, health and Internet advertising.

While Alphabet’s website is abc.xyz, Google has also reportedly bought the domain abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com.

Google offers virtual reality Street View

Google is to make its popular Street View service available as a virtual reality app viewable on its budget headset Cardboard.

Google Cardboard is now available in more than 100 countries and Cardboard-ready apps have been installed 15 million times, it said.

One analyst said Street View was a “natural fit” for virtual reality.

Google also announced that it has a growing number of certified viewers – including the Mattel View-Master and the Zeiss VR One GX – on sale, which are made of plastic and are more robust that the original cardboard viewer.

Street View via Google Cardboard will not be true VR as the images will not be 3D but users will be able to see street images in 360-degrees, offering a new way to explore cities and landmarks around the world.

Support for Cardboard will be available on both iOS and Android.Google Cardboard

Australia begins mass data retention under new law

Large amounts of telecommunications metadata must now be kept for two years by Australian telecommunications companies, under a new law which came into effect on Tuesday.

It covers data on who called or texted whom and for how long, as well as location, volume of data exchanged, device information and email IP data.

It also makes it much easier for authorities to access the records.

The government has stressed that the data retained is only “metadata” and does not include the content of calls and messages themselves.

The law also does not require firms hold on to a web users’ browsing history.

while Australian internet services are required to keep detailed records of almost everything about an email or chat conversation apart from their content, foreign platforms, like Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook and Skype are exempt.

Internal email and telephone networks, such as those operated within companies and universities, are also exempt.

Servers for data storage are seen at the Advania Thor Data Center in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

Minecraft player’s 35-hour gaming marathon

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly, of Cheltenham, played the game for 35 hours, 35 minutes and 35 seconds, raising £1,800 for cancer research.

The current record, 24 hours 10 minutes, was set by Martin Fornleitner in Austria in 2011.

The title has sold more than 54 million copies worldwide.

Mr Kelly, who live streamed the entire game on YouTube, added that the stunt had taken its toll on his hands.

“My shoulders didn’t ache, my back didn’t ache – the worst thing was my fingers.

“They hurt so much just from holding keyboard and mouse and being in clenched position for such a long time.

‘Liking’ on Facebook is about to get interesting with new ‘reactions’ emoticons

Facebook says it’s bringing in several emoticons you’ll be able to use instead

The new “reactions” will let users express love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger.

It works by hovering or long-pressing the Like button and selecting the relevant emoji that you want to put in your message.

The status will then count how many likes, loves, angers, etc. you’ve had.

The company says it hopes to roll the feature out to everyone soon.

An example of how the love 'reaction' will look

Video games: US voice actors approve strike action

Actors want royalties for games – some of which sell millions of copies.

They also want stunt co-ordinators for motion-capture shoots and stunt pay for “vocally stressful” recording sessions.

The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists  had needed more than 75% of members to agree before it could authorise a strike.

Actors have complained that sessions for games such as Call of Duty, which require a lot of vocally stressful sessions, often go on for hours. The union has called for such sessions to be limited to two hours, with actors receiving higher pay for them.

The union also wants actors to be given more information about the roles that they are auditioning for and what they will be required to do, after reports that voice actors were also be asked to perform motion-capture work.

Call of Duty Black Ops III

Queensland kids as young as four to learn coding, robotics

CHILDREN as young as four will be taught about digital technology in Queensland schools as the government phases in the next wave of digital reform.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the launch of a discussion paper called #codingcounts.

Our plan is for all students to be global citizens who are skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with expertise in Asian languages and intercultural understanding, literacy and numeracy.

“Learning coding and applying these skills to real world problems will help students to be critical thinkers, innovators and problem solvers.


watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vGcH0Bk3hg

Apple Raises Mac Prices in Brazil, New Zealand, Norway and Malaysia

Apple has raised its prices for the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and Mac Pro this week inBrazil,New Zealand,Norway andMalaysia as the values of foreign currencies continue to fluctuate against the U.S. dollar.


MacBook Air prices in New Zealand, for example, ranged between NZ$1,399.00 and NZ$1,799.00 for stock configurations prior to the price increase, but the lineup is now priced between NZ$1,599.00 and NZ$2,199.00.

Similarly, the base model Mac mini now starts at NZ$899, up from NZ$749, while the base model Mac Pro rose from NZ$4,499.00 to NZ$5,699.00. The 12-inch MacBook is now priced from NZ$2,399, a $400 increase over the original NZ$1,999 price.

The price increases were consistent on the Apple Online Store in the other affected countries. In Brazil, for instance, the MacBook Air now costs between R$ 8.499,00 and R$ 11.499,00, up from between R$ 5.899,00 and R$ 7.699,00.

Retina MacBook Pro prices now start at kr 14 990,00 in Norway, as another example, an increase over the former kr 12 590,00 price for the entry-level configuration. In Malaysia, the Retina MacBook Pro is also now more expensive, at RM 5,899.00 and up.

Apple reports its quarterly earnings in U.S. dollars, and routinely adjusts its prices in foreign countries due to currency exchange rates that are beyond its control.Australia, Canada and Europe have faced similar price increases this year.


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