Episode 640- Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

MSY set to be acquired by mining company for $17.5m


MSY is set to be acquired by soon-to-be-former mining company Lanka Graphite Limited.

The two companies have discussed the transaction since August 2018, when Lanka Graphite issued an ASX announcement (PDF) proposing a price of $17.5 million and outlining a series of financial and regulatory steps to be taken to make the transaction happen.

In December 2018 Lanka Graphite’s annual report explained why it wants MSY: the company plans to exit the mining business and pivot to e-commerce. MSY’s national network of 28 stores, plus its online presence, are its chosen vehicle to do so.

MSY takes a minimalist approach to customer service, online and in-store, and seemingly focuses on system builders. That formula has delivered one of Australia’s larger retail chains and propelled it to $100m in annual sales, despite the MSY shopping experience being rather less sophisticated that offered by many direct rivals, and many more e-tailers in other fields.

Will it continue to offer good prices


Newcastle debuts driverless CBD to beach shuttle

nveiled an automated shuttle bus it plans to run between the central business district and the beach to complement its existing transport strategies.

Newcastle’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuatali Nelmes

“We are planning for passengers to be able to take in views of the City’s harbour along the proposed 2km loop service, from Watt Street along Wharf Road to Nobbys [beach] and back, making it very appealing to tourists,” Nelmes said.

“A larger circuit will include some of Newcastle’s other beachside destinations after a couple of months.”


ACMA finds worst NBN modems ‘barely break’ 50Mbps wi-fi speeds

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today released the results of a modem quality study it commissioned Enex to undertake earlier this year.

The results are laid out by manufacturer and model,

In its report,  “a large number of devices have 2.4 GHz wi-fi that is incapable of supporting the higher data rates currently offered by FTTN/B NBN services.”

“In fact, some of the devices tested were barely capable of supporting the lower data rates offered by certain FTTN/B NBN services,” the tester found.

“Certain devices could barely break the 50Mbps performance level, whereas the best performing devices achieved closer to 160Mbps.”

Enex said that the large performance gap “was due to a mixture of older technology and a limited number of antennas (spatial streams) being present in certain devices.”



That’s when the stress and anxiety builds up’: Mum’s whopping $465k Telstra bill

Karen, from Bunbury in Western Australia, was left reeling when she opened her family’s bill in April and saw that she owed Telstra $465,595.23.

Telstra executive “There were two issues — there was a system glitch error that created the original problem and then human error to not pick it up as quick as we possibly could,” Mr Ackland said.

“(Karen) should ignore that bill because it takes a little bit of time for the billing systems to process the removal, and we have confirmed with her in writing that all those charges are removed and she should ignore them.”



End of the road for Volkswagen Beetle


Volkswagen is ending production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.

the car remains a landmark in design

The United States became Volkswagen’s most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40 per cent of production.

The last of 5961 Final Edition versions of the Beetle is headed for a museum after ceremonies in Puebla on July 10 to mark the end of production.


Volkswagen reveal modern Kombi van concept

Volkswagen has revealed a modern take on a classic, one that combines old school design with modern technology for a car that has appeal across generations.

The one-off “Type 20 Concept” doesn’t mess with the classic styling of the Volkswagen Type 2 split-window Kombi, instead focusing on what lies beneath the metal.

“The Type 20 is a fantastic example of how we celebrate our heritage while striving to advance our technology.”

Instead of an air-cooled boxer engine there is a 90kW electric motor and a 10kWh battery pack for short emissions-free driving.

Instead of traditional mechanical suspension there is an air suspension set-up

The suspension can automatically raise the car as the driver approaches, making it easier to get inside.

The Type 20 Concept also has an artificial intelligence computer chip produced by gaming giant Nvidia, something that allows biometric identification by using facial recognition.

There’s even a Star Wars-like holographic display creating 3D images on the dashboard

The so-called “Conversational Digital Assistant” uses microphones to decipher natural speech from the front and rear of the cabin. There’s even an external microphone outside the car to pick up voice commands.

The mirrors and wheels are also a new look, designed to reduce weight and add a touch of modernity.

Type 20 Concept will never be produced



Donkey Kong and Mario’s Birthday

Unable at the time to acquire a license to create a video game based on the Popeye character, Nintendo decides to create a game mirroring the characteristics and rivalry of Popeye and Bluto. Donkey Kong is named after the game’s villain, a pet gorilla gone rogue. The game’s hero is originally called Jumpman, but is retroactively renamed Mario once the game becomes popular and Nintendo decides to use the character in future games.

Due to the similarity between Donkey Kong and King Kong, Universal Studios sued Nintendo claiming Donkey Kong violated their trademark. Kong, however, is common Japanese slang for gorilla. The lawsuit was ruled in favor of Nintendo. The success of Donkey Kong helped Nintendo become one of the dominant companies in the video game market.


Joes Podcast Notes for


Raspberry Pi admits to faulty USB-C design on the Pi 4


  • The Raspberry Pi 4 has a non-compliant USB-C charging port and doesn’t work with as many chargers as it should.
  • Apparently the design of its USB-C port is incorrect. There is Two “CC” pins on a USB-C port that are supposed to each get their own 5.1K ohms resistor, but Raspberry Pi 4 came up with its own circuit design that allows them to share a single resistor. This is not a compliant design and breaks compatibility with some of the more powerful USB-C chargers out there.
  • Whether your USB-C charger works with the Pi 4 has to do with whether it uses an “e-marked” cable. E-marked cables are fully featured USB-C cables with chips inside that negotiate power management, accessory modes, data rates, and other communication specs. Since the Pi 4 USB-C port is wired incorrectly, these smart cables will detect the Pi 4 as an “Audio Adaptor Accessory” and refuse to charge them. Usually, e-marked cables are more expensive and come with larger, higher-powered items, like a USB-C laptop.
  • This will be fixed in a future board revision, but for now users will need to use a non-e-marked cable, like the official Pi 4 charger.




Bill Gates calls failure to fight Android his “greatest mistake”



  • Bill Gates revealed his biggest regret while at Microsoft was a failure to lead Microsoft into a solid position in the smartphone wars.


He said in an interview with VC firm Village Global. 


In the software world—particularly for platforms—these are winner-take-all markets. 

So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. That is, Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win, and you know it really is winner-take-all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90 percent as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom. There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system. And what’s that worth? Four hundred billion? That would be transferred from Company G to Company M. And it’s amazing to me having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time—and there was this antitrust lawsuit and various things—our other assets—Windows, Office—are still very strong. So we are a leading company. If we’d got that one right, we would be the leading company. But oh well.


In the interview, Gates takes full responsibility for not reacting to the new era of smartphones.


iOS 13 will remind you to cancel your subscription when you delete an app



  • When uninstalling an app to which you have a paid subscription,  in iOS 13’s latest beta release it will lead to a prompt to potentially unsubscribe from that app..This might be a good idea if your not planning to use the related service anymore.
  • If removing the app temporarily, you could or still plan to use it on another device, or even if you just wish to keep supporting the developer who made the app.  A prompt would just popup and says “Manage Subscription,” with a call-to-action—it’s not telling you to unsubscribe, it’s just making it an option. There are two options in “Manage Subscription,” are Remove or “Keep.”


_This Week on New and upcoming Gadgets_


The First Bluetooth Cassette Player



  • There are a lot of good reasons we left audio cassettes behind, but if you’re determined to keep the dead format alive, you can now enjoy your music in less than CD quality through a pair of wireless headphones.
  • NINM Lab is no stranger when it comes to upgrading antiquated technology with modern conveniences. The company’s new IT’S OK cassette player does succeed in bringing new functionality to cassette players with the addition of Bluetooth 5.0 built right in. So instead of plugging headphones into a physical jack (which is still an option), users can stream their mixtapes to Bluetooth speakers, or wireless headphones and earbuds.
  • This new Bluetooth Cassette Player eliminates the inconvenience of a cord, but has everything else about using audio cassettes, from having to fast-forward or rewind to find the track you want, to recording songs in real time, to having to carry a bunch of tapes around
  • Available in three colours, Sakura pink, Cloud white and Evening blue, it’s going to cost somewhere between $90 to $125when released.