Episode 584 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Google is introducing a new storage service for paid users called Google One

will automatically migrate paid Google Drive customers to the new service, Google One, which includes price cuts on some of its plans


G Suite business customers won’t be affected by the change.


The new service isn’t intended to replace Google Drive; the company will still give 15GB of free storage to each Google account.


New plans start at US$1.99 for 100GB of storage, US$2.99 for 200GB, and 2TB for US$9.99 per month, but Australian pricing hasn’t been announced yet. Existing Google Drive customers with 1TB plans will be automatically upgraded to the 2TB plan for free.


Along with the new price structure, Google is touting other Google One features including access to experts for customer support and “extras” like credits for Google Play or deals from partnering hotels in Google Search.


Google will start migrating the customers over the coming months starting with US customers.



‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’? People can’t decide

If you can hear high freqs, you probably hear “yanny”, but you *might* hear “laurel”. If you can’t hear high freqs, you probably hear laurel. Here’s what it sounds like without high/low freqs.





Australian Space Agency to launch on 1 July


The federal budget included $41 million over four years from 2018-19 to “grow the Australian space industry,” including the launch of the new agency.

Some $26 million of the funding is for the Australian Space Agency, which budget documents said will “coordinate domestic space activities for Australia“.

In addition, $15 million from 2019-20 was earmarked for the establishment of the International Space Investment project, which will provide grants to “strategic space projects”.


Currently, Australia’s domestic space industry is worth around $3.94 billion, the report produced by the review panel states; equivalent to around 0.8 per cent of the US$345 billion global space economy.

“The growth of our space industry will provide an additional 10,000 to 20,000 high-level jobs across Australia, while creating a sustainable and important capability for the nation,” the report states.

“Space is integral to how all of us communicate, locate, and see the world and underpins the ability of Australia’s key sectors such as agriculture, maritime, gas, mining and transport to remain world-leading.”

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to increase our share of the growing global space economy,” jobs and innovation minister Michaelia Cash said.



NSW to begin state-wide digital licence rollout


The NSW government in late 2016 started rolling out digital licences, initially allowing the state’s residents to use the Service NSW app to store details of the Recreational Fishing Fee (fishing licence), Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) Competency Card.

By March 2017, some 20,000 people had signed up for digital licences in the state.

The government last year announced a DDL trial in Dubbo.

“The Dubbo trial was a big success and drivers gave it the thumbs up,” said the NSW minister for finances, services and property, Victor Dominello.

More than 1400 people in Dubbo have participated in the DDL trial, which began in November.

Users had an 83 per cent customer satisfaction rating, according to the state government.

“Smartphones have become de facto wallets and we’re using cutting edge technology so that drivers can use a digital licence in everyday scenarios,” the minister said.


People who elect to use the DDL will still be provided with a physical licence but will not have to carry it with them.





Data from millions of Facebook users who used a popular personality app, including their answers to intimate questionnaires, was left exposed online for anyone to access, a New Scientist investigation has found.


Academics at the University of Cambridge distributed the data from the personality quiz app myPersonality to hundreds of researchers via a website with insufficient security provisions, which led to it being left vulnerable to access for four years. Gaining access illicitly was relatively easy.


The data was highly sensitive, revealing personal details of Facebook users, such as the results of psychological tests. It was meant to be stored and shared anonymously, however such poor precautions were taken that de-anonymising would not be hard.


“This type of data is very powerful and there is real potential for misuse,” says Chris Sumner at the Online Privacy Foundation. The UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, has told New Scientist that it is investigating.



Twitter is announcing on Tuesday that it will begin hiding tweets from certain accounts in conversations and search results. To see them, you’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the conversation and click “Show more replies,” or go into your search settings and choose “See everything.” Think of them as Twitter’s equivalent of the Yelp reviews that are “not currently recommended” or the Reddit comments that have a “comment score below threshold.”


But there’s one difference: When Twitter’s software decides that a certain user is “detract[ing] from the conversation,” all of that user’s tweets will be hidden from search results and public conversations until their reputation improves. And they won’t know that they’re being muted in this way; Twitter says it’s still working on ways to notify people and help them get back into its good graces. In the meantime, their tweets will still be visible to their followers as usual and will still be able to be retweeted by others. They just won’t show up in conversational threads or search results by default.




Microsoft has halted the deployment of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update for computers using certain types of Intel and Toshiba solid state drives (SSDs).


The Redmond-based OS maker took this decision following multiple user reports about the Windows 10 April 2018 Update not working properly on devices using:


Intel SSD 600p Series

Intel SSD Pro 6000p Series

Toshiba XG4 Series

Toshiba XG5 Series

Toshiba BG3 Series


The Intel and Toshiba issues appear to be different. More specifically, Windows PCs using Intel SSDs would often crash and enter a UEFI screen after reboot, while users of Toshiba SSDs reported lower battery life and SSD drives becoming very hot.


In both cases, Microsoft is recommending that users go back to their previous version of Windows (the Fall Creators Update), or reinstall the entire OS if they can’t access the Windows setting panel from where they can downgrade.


Curiously, is that the Intel series are usually the SSDs that ship with some of the Surface Pro laptops, meaning Microsoft failed to thoroughly test the April 2018 Update on its own, homegrown devices.



Under normal circumstances we would never encourage or endorse slathering someone in BBQ sauce, beating them up, and leaving them lying on the side of the road, and that goes for both humans and robots. But we’re not exactly short-circuiting with anger over this one mechanical security guard who had that exact thing happen to it, because it’s tasked with harassing homeless people.


In a story we first came across at New York Magazine, a Knightscope security bot used by a non-profit organization in San Francisco in part to discourage homeless people from congregating, was found lying on its side wrapped up in a tarp and marinating in some barbecue sauce. (No word on what flavor or brand.) The five-foot tall, 300-pound machine that fittingly looks like it was inspired by Doctor Who‘s Daleks, is designed to alert the local authorities of any untoward behavior, but apparently it wasn’t able to get help for itself in time.

If you were looking for a great backstory for your dystopian novel, robot security guards that scare your dog and harass the homeless while roaming one of the richest cities in the world is a pretty fantastic foundation. Whether you keep the BBQ sauce or go with another condiment is up to you.