Episode 638- Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Telstra finally scraps 1800 mobile plans, replaces with just 20

Telstra has made good on its promise to scrap its 1800 consumer and small business mobile plans in favour of just 20 (or 19, depending on who you ask).

From today, Australia’s biggest telco will also do away with lock-in contracts across all of its mobile plans, claiming to be the first Aussie to do so.

Telstra also removed excess data fees, meaning if customers go over their limit, they will be shaped down to 1.5Mbps download speeds. 

 

For customers that have a 5G compatible device already, access to the network will be free during a trial period until 30 June 2020. After that, customers with small and medium plans will have to fork out another $15 a month for 5G, while large and extra large customers will get access for free.

 

Raspberry PI debuts Model 4

The new Model 4 boasts a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 64-bit processor that can hit 1.5GHz and is said to run “up to three times faster than its predecessor.”

There’s now a second HDMI port that can handle two monitors at 4K resolution. USB’s been upgraded to SuperSpeed USB 3.0 delivers faster transfer and can hit 5 Gbps.

But the big change is in the graphics stack, which now uses the Mesa V3D driver developed by Eric Anholt at Broadcom. The new code means the Pi gains OpenGL-accelerated web browsing and desktop composition, plus the ability to run 3D applications

Micro-USB has been dismissed as the source of power: that job’s been given to USB-C, which the Pi Foundation points out “…supports an extra 500mA of current, ensuring we have a full 1.2A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load.”

The Pi’s Ethernet port can now reach 1 Gbps while WiFi now has dual-band wireless capabilities on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

The new model comes in three variants with one, two and four gigabytes of RAM respectively. The base model costs US$35, with each step up in RAM adding $10 to the price.

Australian Pi reseller Core Electronics lists the new machines at AU$59.95, $66.95 and $94.95.

Core also has the $219 desktop kit that bundles a 4GB Pi Model 4 with keyboard, mouse, case, power supply, twin HDMI cables and a 32GB microSD card with a cut of the Raspbian OS based on Debian 10 Buster. 

 

 

Microsoft debuts new Windows CLI

Microsoft has delivered its first taste of a new Windows command line experience.

The company announced the new tool, called “Terminal”, in early May 2019, when it promised “a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt and  PowerShell,

Among the promised features were a tabbed interface, to let users run multiple terminal sessions, the addition of graphics and proper typography to improve readability and customisability so that admins can make their consoles their own.

Microsoft promised Terminal would appear in [Northern] summer, and that promise was made good on Saturday Australian time when the software appeared in the Windows Store.

 

Apple recalls MacBook Pros over fire risk

The company issued a global recall of 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017 for fears that batteries could overheat.

The recall only affects a specific model of MacBook Pro with a 15.4-inch display, 2.2-2.5 GHz processors, 256 GB to 1 TB SSD, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3 ports and a HDMI port. No other MacBook Pro models have been recalled.

Users can use a tool on Apple’s website to check the serial number of their device to determine whether it is eligible for the recall available here.

If affected, Apple recommends to stop using the device immediately and contact Apple for a free battery replacement, which could take 1-2 weeks.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which is responsible for recalling faulty products, called for greater safety provisions last year after recalling 4.5 million items in 2017-18.

 

 

Woolworths expands Scan&Go smartphone shopping trial

Called Scan&Go, the technology “allows customers to scan products with their smartphone as they walk through the store and pay in the app before tapping off at a dedicated kiosk in the self-serve area”, Woolworths said in a statement.

It is available to download on the App and Google Play stores. App users “must be Woolworths Rewards members and will need to upload an accepted credit or debit card within the app before shopping,” the retailer said.

Woolworths Group head of payments Paul Monnington said in a statement that the 10-month trial at Double Bay had proven successful.

 

the technology can also be used at four Woolworths Metro stores – Pitt Street, Met Centre, George Street and York Street – in Sydney’s CBD.

In addition, customers of Woolworths’ “renewed full-line supermarket in Mona Vale” on Sydney’s northern beaches will also be able to participate in the trial.