Episode 607 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Apple may unveil new Macs, iPads later this month

Apple has announced a second fall product event, scheduled for 30 October,

Reports have said that Apple plans to unveil an 11-inch iPad Pro—presumably taking the place of the existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro—alongside an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

 

Google to charge Android partners up to US$40 per device for apps: report

 

Google will charge hardware firms up to US$40 (A$56.30) per device to use its apps under a new licensing system to replace one that the European Union this year deemed anti-competitive

 

The new fee goes into effect on 29 October for any new smartphone or tablet models launched in the European Economic Area and running Google’s Android operating system, the company announced on Tuesday.

 

Google will charge hardware firms up to US$40 (A$56.30) per device to use its apps under a new licensing system to replace one that the European Union this year deemed anti-competitive, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

 

The new fee goes into effect on 29 October for any new smartphone or tablet models launched in the European Economic Area and running Google’s Android operating system, the company announced on Tuesday.

The fee can be as low as US$2.50 and rises depending on the country and device size, the person said. It is standard across manufacturers, with the majority likely to pay around $20

 

The European Commission in July found Google abused its market dominance in mobile software to essentially force Android partners to pre-install search and Chrome on their gadgets. It levied a record US$5-billion fine, which Google has appealed, and threatened additional penalties unless the company ended its illegal practices.

 

Linus Torvalds returns to head Linux coding community

 

Mr Torvalds stepped back from heading core development of Linux following accusations of bullying and rudeness.

He sought professional help to curb his abrasive side and to develop empathy with the Linux community.

His return comes as Linux coders adopt a code of conduct that seeks to make the community more welcoming.

 

Before taking the short sabbatical, Mr Torvalds was known for giving forthright feedback, often in the form of expletive-filled emails, to contributors.

Mr Torvalds said he doubted that he would ever be “cuddly” but could improve the way he handled people.

 

Mr Torvalds developed the first version of the Linux operating system while studying at the University of Helsinki, Finland, in 1991. Since then, the free OS has become hugely popular across the web and in many industries.

 

Apple Reportedly has Blocked Police iPhone Hacking Tool  And Nobody Knows How

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/10/apple-reportedly-blocked-police-iphone-hacking-tool-and-nobody-knows-how/

 

  • Apple’s has reportedly turned the GrayKey hacking device used by police into an expensive doorstop. The release of iOS 12 has made it much harder for GrayKey’s ability to unlock a iphone.
  • Law enforcement agencies around the world have been using GrayKey to break into locked iPhones for a couple of years now, but it appears Apple has finally gotten ahead of the hacking device , well at least for the moment.
  • This Hacking tool is about $US15,000 and is made by a company called Grayshift. After the apple fix it is now only capable of performing a “partial extraction” of data, where it can only pull a few unencrypted files and some metadata that’s virtually worthless to them.
  • GrayKey’s tool uses a workaround to brute force its way in by guessing a users’ password until it gets it right. Apple has protections in place to stop that kind of thing happening.
  • To protect yourself from getting your iphone hacked, You’ll need to have iOS 12 and then go to Settings > FaceID and Passcode. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and disable USB accessories and turn on the Erase Data feature so that after 10 failed passcode attempts it will erase all the phones data

 

( I’m not sure about this Erase Data Feature , but if your really worried about someone getting your data then turn it on)  

 

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Mozilla Firefox Teams up with ProtonVPN, Amazon

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3315667/web-browsers/mozilla-turns-to-new-revenue-streams-from-vpn-amazon.html

 

  • The Firefox browser maker has teamed with Swiss firm ProtonVPN to offer VPN services to firefox users.
  • Starting today, for some Firefox users they will see in-browser ads for a VPN service or (virtual private network) service that encrypts all traffic and routes it through a secure server.
  • A  “small, random group” of U.S.-based Firefox users will see a $10 per month offer for a subscription to ProtonVPN, which is a Swiss VPN provider. Mozilla selected this firm because of its “strict privacy policy” and because it doesn’t log any user data. They also have a track record of fighting for online privacy and are dedication to Internet safety and security.
  • Mozilla will collect the money for the ProtonVPN subscriptions. In which a portion of these proceeds will be shared with ProtonVPN, in order to offset their costs in operating the service.

Discuss –

Do you glenn or Jordon use or have you ever used a VPN service at home on your browser ?

 

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Talking about Smart Smoke Alarm’s

 

https://www.pocket-lint.com/smart-home/buyers-guides/146059-netatmo-smart-smoke-alarm-vs-nest-protect-what-s-the-difference

 

  • These devices are essential in every home for our safety. So you should really consider upgrading to a new smart smoke alarm.

 

  • Smoke alarms are generally something we install and then forget about them until we hear the low battery warning alarm, these Smart Alarms monitor themselves and ensure they don’t run out of battery when you need them most…. They also keep you up-to-date with alerts right to your phone….. even if you aren’t home you’ll know if there’s something wrong the moment it happens.

 

  • Connect them to your home WiFi via the app available for both Android or Apple devices.  Smart Smoke Alarms can send alerts to your phone when problems are detected. It’s recommended to install several alarms throughout your home.

 

  • There are a few different ones around , but If your buying for example a Nest Protect Smart Alarm (which is a google device ) it’s design includes a multi-colour indicator ring – The Nest Protect is either powered by six long-life AA batteries or wired directly into your mains electricity supply. Nest say the long-life batteries should last five years. The company  recommends replacing the smoke alarms every 10 years.

 

  • Another is the Netatmo smart smoke alarm comes with only a Integrated LED, and has a automatic self-check system. It also comes with a built-in battery which ensures it will last once 10 years is up.

 

  • As well as working with your smartphone, these smart smoke alarms are also compatible with IFTTT ( If – This Then That )and Apple HomeKit. This means you have some flexibility with your setup that includes clever little tricks like getting your Philips Hue lights to flash red when a smoke alarm is active.

Paul’s Stories

Google Reportedly Vows Pixel 3 Camera Will Work Properly For Everyone Soon

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/10/google-reportedly-vows-pixel-3-camera-will-work-properly-for-everyone-soon/

A pernicious bug has struck some Pixel 3 devices, leaving smartphone photographers missing many of the images they take. Per Android Police, a fix for Google’s latest smartphone is on the way.

While we found photos taken with the Pixel 3 to be mighty appealing, we have also been fortunate enough to not run into a bug that has left many rumblings on social media. Periodically, photos taken with the phone simply won’t save for some users.

The issue appears to occur when the Pixel 3’s camera app shuts down immediately after a photo is taken—not having time to save the photo before closing. This could be due to a shortage of RAM. The Pixel 3 has just 4GB of RAM, while many other flagship Android phones have 6GB or more.

In Android, applications shutting down suddenly is a common indication of a RAM shortage or a failure of the phone’s OS to manage memory appropriately, which is why many other Android phones have run into the issue, including all the earlier Pixels, the Nexus 5x, and a wide variety of budget devices.

According to Android Police, Google says a fix will be rolled out to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, as well as earlier Pixel devices, which also appear to have been affected (though without a similar online furor). It is not clear if this fix will affect all Android devices, or just the Pixel line—we’ve reached out to Google for clarification.

“We will be rolling out a software update in the coming weeks to address the rare case of a photo not properly saving,” Google reportedly said.

In the meanwhile, if you find yourself with a camera app that unexpectedly quits after a photo is taken, it might be a good idea to manually close other applications open on the device. Android is usually good about doing that itself, but clearly this isn’t always the case. Most phones should have a recent applications button (check the manufacturer website for your specific device) that shows all applications currently open. From there, you can quickly close any apps you don’t plan on using, forcibly making more memory available to the camera app.

It’s not ideal, but it’s a reasonable solution until Google fixes things.

Google’s Pixel Stand Is A Smarter Breed Of Wireless Charger
https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/10/googles-pixel-stand-is-a-smarter-breed-of-wireless-charger/

In a world of increasingly complex tech, wireless chargers are refreshingly simple devices. Just take your phone, drop it on a pad or stand, and walk away. That’s it. And now that wireless charging is basically a standard feature for most flagship handsets, it’s quickly becoming the preferred way to keep your phone’s battery topped up. But what if your wireless charger could do more than just excite electrons without the need for wires or cables? Well, that’s exactly what Google is trying to do with the new Pixel Stand.

 

To start, Google took a 10-watt wireless charging stand (which is a bit faster than most wireless chargers) and then it did what Google does best: programmed in a bunch of neat software tricks. And the result? When docked, the Pixel Stand transforms a Pixel 3 into a mini smart speaker plus Home Hub, with the potential to be even more in the future.

Unlike like other wireless chargers, the Pixel Stand is smart (or at least smarter), so not only does it know where it is, it can also differentiate between different Pixel phones. So after downloading the free Pixel Stand app, you can name your stand before wading through its settings to best customise its functions for your needs.

If you’re someone who likes to keep a wireless charger next to the bed next to your bed, you can set it to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb mode so your phone won’t blink or vibrate when you’re trying to sleep. In fact, if you want to be even more specific, you can set the Pixel Stand to only turn on Do Not Disturb between set times, so that you can still see notifications during the day, and still get uninterrupted silence at night. And if you happen to have two Pixel Stands, say one at home and one at work, you can customise them individually to best suit their location.

On top of the Pixel Stand’s charging and notification duties, Google also created custom music and photo interfaces, so that when a Pixel 3 is sitting on the stand, you can easily view things like album art and song titles at a glance, with big buttons along the bottom so you can pause and skip between tracks without needing to unlock the phone. Now, when you take into account the Pixel 3’s powerful front-facing stereo speakers and the Pixel Stand’s bespoke music interface, suddenly everything begins to make sense. These products were designed in tandem, and when combined, a Pixel 3 essentially becomes Google Home Mini, except that unlike a Home Mini, it’s much easier to take your phone with you when you leave the room.

As for pictures, the device’s dedicated gallery mode syncs with Google Photos and displays them on the Pixel 3’s screen. You can set it to only pull images from specific albums (in case you’re worried about privacy) and it will even vary between single shots and a tw0-shot layout that makes the best of the phone’s real estate. So now, the Pixel Stand turns your phone into a mini digital picture frame too. But we’re not done yet.

And for folks who have trouble getting up in the morning, the Pixel Stand also features what Google calls a Sunrise Alarm. The way it works is that based on whatever alarms you have set, 15 minutes before any noises go off, the Pixel 3’s screen turns on and gradually shifts from orange to yellow in an attempt to wake you up more gently.

 

However, because the Sunrise Alarm is reliant on the Pixel 3’s screen for illumination, it doesn’t get quite as bright as a dedicated wake-up light. But if you prefer to sleep in pitch black light me, the extra yellow light is still quite noticeable. And if light alone isn’t enough to rouse you, when your alarm finally goes off, the Pixel Stand’s alarm screen also includes Snooze and Dismiss buttons so you can continue on (or not) with the rest of your day.

Also, like everything else Google makes these days, the Pixel Stand also features Google Assistant integration. That means you can start your day by getting a quick rundown or your schedule and a weather forecast, control lights or other smart devices, or just ask it any other questions you might have.

 

The Pixel Stand even has tie-ins with security gadgets like Nest’s Video Doorbell, so that anytime the camera senses motion, it will automatically send the video feed straight to your phone, assuming it’s sitting on a Pixel Stand. Sadly, this function is currently restricted to Google’s family of Nest devices, and while I did have a chance to see this in action during the Pixel 3 launch event, I don’t own any Nest products myself, so I haven’t been able to actually test it out. Hopefully, Google can partner up with more companies down the road so that this sort of functionality is available across a wider range of devices.

Now as good as all this sounds, there are a few issues with the Pixel Stand. The most obvious of these is that none of these features work with non-Pixel phones, which is a real shame because many of the features are rooted in software, one might think it would be Google’s interest to make them available to the wider Android community. The other major problem is that while the Pixel Stand charges phones just fine in portrait or landscape mode, Google’s custom music screen only really works when the phone is resting vertically.

I also had a few issues getting the Sunrise Alarm to work properly alongside Ambient Photo Mode, as the latter tended to override the alarm’s glowing wake up screen. Configuring the Pixel Stand is also kind of annoying because everything is handled by the app, you can only access the Pixel Stand’s settings when the phone is actually sitting on the charger. And while the Pixel Stand boasts some relatively speedy charging speeds, priced at $119, it ain’t cheap either.

 

Out of all this though, there’s one thing that feels truly shady. Thanks to its 10-watt wireless charging capabilities, the Pixel Stand topped off a Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL faster than other similarly priced chargers. That’s good, right? Well not really, because as part of its charging protocol, Google requires the Pixel 3 to establish a “secure handshake” in order to get full 10-watt wireless charging. All non-Google-certified wireless stands are restricted to just 5-watt charging (even though the phone will say it’s “charging rapidly), regardless of their actual capabilities.

This approach is a new spin on the walled ecosystems that Apple, Microsoft, and more recently, Google have built, and it doesn’t feel good. I’m sure part of the reasoning here is about protecting the device, but given all the smart capabilities of this stand, it seems like it should also be smart enough to detect how much juice is flowing in and regulate things appropriately, without the need to hamstring chargers made by other companies. Samsung and Apple don’t do this on their phones, and I wish Google wouldn’t either.

 

But when compared to its less sophisticated brethren, the Pixel Stand serves as a reminder that wireless chargers can do more than just fill up your battery. And for anyone dead set on buying a new Pixel 3, I’d argue that a Pixel Stand is almost a required accessory, even if part of the reason for that is because Google refuses to play nice with others. It’s one part smart speaker, one part picture frame, and maybe someday, it will even be a portal into your home security. For $119, not only is the Pixel Stand an above average wireless charger, it makes an already intelligent phone just that much smarter.

 

Windows 10 October 2018 Update continues to frustrate users with another bug
https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/1035673/Windows-10-October-2018-Update-file-delete-bug-reported-Microsoft-users

WINDOWS 10 October 2018 Update has continued to frustrate Microsoft fans with another bug that appears to be replacing PC files without asking for permission.

It appears Microsoft fans running the Windows 10 October 2018 Update may have discovered another bug (Image: Microsoft)
Windows 10 October 2018 Update was initially released by Microsoft during its Surface hardware event on October 2.
However it was soon pulled after a number of users reported the new operating system version was deleting precious files unexpectedly.
This led to the roll-out of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update being paused while Microsoft investigated such problems.
The American tech firm later resumed the delivery of the upgrade but limited it to Windows Insiders only.
Discussing the move, Microsoft said: “we paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigated isolated reports of users missing files after updating.
“Given the serious nature of any data loss, we took the added precaution of pulling all 1809 media across all channels, including Windows Server 2019 and IoT equivalents.
“We intentionally start each feature update rollout slowly, closely monitoring feedback before offering the update more broadly. In this case the update was only available to those who manually clicked on ‘check for updates’ in Windows settings.”
But it appears Microsoft fans running the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, also known as version 1809, may have discovered another bug in the software.


A user on Reddit reported when moving files from a ZIP format, the firmware would not ask if they wanted to replace them with others on their computer.
Such a feature is standard procedure on other Windows 10 versions.
They said: “Ever since the October update, the overwrite confirmation is missing from ZIP files.
“I noticed that whenever I move something out of a ZIP, the ‘do you want to replace these files’ dialogue never shows up, it just does it.

Windows Latest has emphasised Microsoft appears to have fixed the ZIP issues (Image: Microsoft)
“I’ve reinstalled Windows and it still does it, it’s only on the October Update.
“Pretty nasty bug since you can accidentally overwrite a file and have no way of getting it back.”
Other Windows 10 users have reported the new software has also failed to replace any files at all when items have been moved from a ZIP folder.
Most notably, it has been insisted the operating system did not inform the user, instead leaving them unaware no operation had taken place at all.

A user on AskWoody said: “The issue is that in 1809 (Windows 10 October 2018 Update), overwriting files by extracting from an archive using File Explorer doesn’t result in an overwrite prompt dialogue and also doesn’t replace any files at all; it just fails silently.
“There are also some reports that it did overwrite items, but did so silently without asking.”
Since the issues have been noted, Windows Latest has emphasised Microsoft appears to have fixed the issue.
The outlet said in the latest Windows 10 preview build, version 19H1, it was unable to reproduce similar ZIP file problems.
That means when the Windows 10 October 2018 Update resumes its rollout to all Microsoft fans, such an issue should not be present.