Episode 588 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Kogan’s latest business venture is smart home devices

The Kogan SmarterHome range will start with two smart heaters, priced at $99 during the pre-sale period, and $129. The company said it would expand its smart home range throughout the year to include smart lights, plugs, portable conditioners and other connected devices.

Kogan’s smart devices can all be controlled through the company’s free SmarterHome app available for iOS and Android.


Last week, Kogan announced it would start selling whitegoods and kitchen appliances from its website. Other recent ventures include life insurance and health insurance.


Microsoft is giving Office 365 a facelift

Microsoft is giving Office 365 a facelift, with user experience changes to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook set to roll out over the coming months.


The updates will be exclusive to Office.com and Office 365 versions of Microsoft’s popular productivity software.


The first change is a simplified ribbon

The web version of Word will be the first application to receive the new update starting today, followed by Outlook for Windows for select Windows Insider users.


Microsoft is also making aesthetic changes to Office 365 including new colours and icons, which are built as scalable graphics to adjust to different screen sizes.


Apple to block tool used by law-enforcement to crack iPhones

will change the default settings in the iPhone operating system to cut off communication through the USB port when the phone has not been unlocked in the past hour.

That port is how machines made by forensic companies GrayShift, Cellebrite and others connect and get around the security provisions that limit how many password guesses can be made before the device freezes them out or erases data.


Apple representatives said the change in settings will protect customers in countries where law enforcement seizes and tries to crack phones with fewer legal restrictions than under US law.

“We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”


With the new settings, police or hackers will typically have an hour or less to get a phone to a cracking machine. In practical terms, that could cut access by as much as 90 percent, security researchers estimate.


Microsoft ends forum support for Windows 7 and 8.1

community forums, cease to provide technical support, including “proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions”, for Windows 7, 8.1 or 8.1 RT.

Windows 7 remains the most widely used Microsoft operating system, according to Net Marketshare, at 43.8 percent ahead of Windows 10 at 31.3 percent.

Microsoft’s unpopular Windows 8.1 OS has a market share of 5.8 percent, which is still behind Windows XP.

Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on 13 January 2015, but the OS is still to receive extended support until 14 January 2020.

Windows 8.1 is due to receive extended support until 10 January 2023. Mainstream support ended 9 January 2018.

Other Microsoft products that will no longer be supported in the community forums include Microsoft Security Essentials, Internet Explorer 10, Office 2010, Office 2013, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface RT, Surface 2, Microsoft Band and Zune.


End of an era: Yahoo Messenger is being shut down next month

One of the web’s very first messaging tools is being shut down next month — Yahoo Messenger will be discontinued on July 17.


Instagram May Soon Allow Hour-Long Video Uploads

Only a rumor at this stage

Instagram already supports hour-long live streams, but videos you post to your profile can only be up to one minute long and story clips are capped at just 15 seconds


Instagram has been busy as of late rolling out new features, including video chat, new ways to poll your friends, and the ability to mute posts. The long-awaited mute feature lets you hide posts from certain people without unfollowing them. To do that, just tap the ellipses () on the top-right of someone’s post and select “Mute.”


Addicted’ girl, 9, wets herself instead of taking break from playing Fortnite


Fortnite is the latest fixation for gamers – with more than 40 million people across the world downloading it since it launched last year.


A nine-year-old girl in the UK is so gripped with the game, she wet herself, instead of putting down the controller to go to the toilet, the Sunday People reported.

“She is in ­therapy for the addiction after she ­became withdrawn, ­agitated and disturbed from playing up to ten hours a day – sometimes playing until dawn, wetting ­herself so she didn’t have to leave the screen,” her mum Carol told the publication.

boy, 11, from Sydney, told News Corp that he could spend 2½-hours a day playing with his friends, despite being restricted to 30 minutes during the week.

“I’ll wake up at, like, 5am, get dressed then I’ll play for two hours before school. Then when I go to bed I play for another 30 minutes.”

The makers of the game, Epic Games say on their website that they will investigate all feedback and take action if or when necessary.