Saturday, October 08, 2016

TechTalk October 4, 2016

Tech in all its shapes and forms is one of those things we all talk about.

Well, this is an hour of technology chatter to keep you up to date and informed on the things going on around us that matter.

Andrew Thomas is in the house from Nexa,

Email us your questions and we will get them onto the next show.

The Show Notes.

Oct 4

Uber eats - launches here!

Downloaded it, gonna use it today!

Launching in the emirate on Thursday September 29, you'll now be able to order from more than 100 restaurants across town, seven days a week, with weekend operating hours extended from 11pm to 5am.

Among the first outlets to sign up are Gustronomy, Taqado, BurgerFuel, The Hummingbird Bakery, Sushi Art and Pinza.

This is cool sensors make this awesome
Slowly but surely, the Zepp Labs is taking on every sport known to humankind. And the latest is a biggie. The company is set to start shipping Zepp Play Soccer tomorrow here in the States (hence the name, footy enthusiasts).
As with the rest of the Northern California startup’s offerings (which also include baseball/softball, golf and tennis at present), the soccer pack is built around a series of sensors designed to offer users on-field insight into their game. Among the list of tracked stats are distance, kick number, sprints, maximum speed, activity and goal conversion rate, which determines the number of goals scored versus shots taken, based on tagged info.
Info is gathered via a sensor with a that can be secured to a shin guard on the player’s dominant leg. The info gathered is tracked as either a quick pickup game, or a Team Game option, which tracks greater details and assess stats over the course of a season.
The soccer pack hits retail tomorrow, priced at $100.

Pixel leaked in Canada!

The Pixel XL is a 5.5-inch phone with a quad HD, 1,440x2,560 pixel resolution AMOLED screen and a 3,450mAh battery — the rest of the specs are the same as its little brother's.
Both phones have a fingerprint sensor on the back and support fast, USB Type-C charging. They are pretty much identical in terms of design (and in line with previously leaked images). The smaller Pixel is 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6 mm in size and weighs 143 grams; the Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm and weighs 168 grams.

Google did a whole fancy hush-hush thing about a new phone the company is birthing that is totes not a Nexus. It rolled out a cryptic website the other week with little information except for that the release date would be October 4. But the world is wild and unpredictable, and the Google’s new phone, the Pixel, got LEAKED by the Canadian phone company Bell, ostensibly by accident, when it posted a preorder page for the phone earlier this evening. The phone company has taken down the webpage, but everything you post online is forever, so the images remain.
This harkens back to when Amazon accidentally leaked the iPhone 7. Or when Amazon accidentally leaked its new Echo Dot. (LOL Amazon, get it together...)

Facebook really going after snapchat

After seeing Instagram launch ‘Stories’ in August, it seems Facebook wanted in on the fun. The blatant rip of one of Snapchat’s key features is making its way to a second Facebook-owned platform, Messenger, at least for testing.
‘Messenger Day,’ lets users post photos and videos, with filters, that self-destruct after 24 hours. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been a Snapchat feature for years, and just recently came to Instagram.

Cool movie for us tech boys  -silicon cowboys

Three friends dream up the Compaq portable computer at a Texas diner in 1981, and soon find themselves battling mighty IBM, for PC supremacy. Their improbable journey altered the future of computing and shaped the world we now know.

FB wants to be craigs list again

Marketplace is accessible via a new shopping icon at at the bottom of the Facebook app.
Marketplace opens with photos of items that people near you have listed for sale. To find something specific, search at the top and filter your results by location, category or price. You can also browse what’s available in a variety of categories such as Household, Electronics and Apparel. Use the built-in location tool to adjust the region you’re looking in, or switch to a different city altogether.
When you find something interesting, tap on the image to see more details from the seller, including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location. You can also save the item to find it later.

Apple issue!

It's known as "touch disease," an affliction of Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models where the smartphone freezes up and won't respond to touch commands.
And now Apple is facing proposed class-action lawsuits in both Canada and the U.S., alleging the California-based tech giant knew about the defect and failed to take action.
"As they began to have more and more complaints and people were going to them — and we've had significant numbers of people contact us — they brushed it under the rug," claims Regina lawyer Tony Merchant.
iPhone 6 plus
Canadian lawsuit alleges Apple knew its iPhone 6 and 6-Plus had a defect and failed to take action. (Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)
In September, Merchant's firm, Merchant Law Group, filed two class actions against Apple, one Canada-wide and one solely for Quebec residents.

Hands up if you want one of these?  - ipad mini pro?

Google Maps

Users no longer have to tap the microphone icon before speaking when driving. They will be able to say ‘Ok Google,’ followed by a suitable voice command to start navigation to a new destination, seek an alternative route or change driving settings.

Unless they’re in social media marketing or customer service, most bosses probably don’t want their employees using social media at work, but you know what? Screw ‘em!
That seems to be the feeling of a majority of American workers, anyway, as 67% said they regularly use social media on the job anyway, according to a new survey of 1,000 drudges and wage slaves conducted by Bambu, a service from Sprout Social. And while that may not be good news for their productivity, it’s great news for advertisers and publishers looking to reach consumers during the workday.
Asked how much time they spend on social media at work, 18.7% of employees said they spend 15 minutes or less per day; 17.2% spend 15 minutes to half an hour; 12.3% said 30 to 60 minutes; 9.6% said 60 minutes to 120 minutes; and 9.4% said over two hours (which is basically an admission that they view employment as an unfortunate distraction from the pressing business of cat videos).
As for when they goof off online, among respondents who use social media at work, 41.4% gave the acceptable response – “at lunch” – but almost as many, 40.4%, said they check in throughout the day. Meanwhile, 22.3% said they check social media at the end of the day, and 11.6% said they check during bathroom breaks.
Of course, one could argue that using social media at work isn’t a problem if it doesn’t affect productivity, but the thing is: it does. In fact, four out five respondents admitted that social media distractions have a negative impact on their work.

Spotify is now available in Japan, one of the biggest music markets in the world. It is also introducing a new lyrics feature on mobile and desktop, which will be available in Japan before anywhere else.

Henceforth, Google will now refer to its Apps for Work service as G Suite. “Sounds more hip, right?” TechCrunch asks, adding: “Google also noted a handful of upgrades and improvements in G Suite’s existing product lineup, which includes apps like Drive, Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, Calendar, Hangouts, and more.”
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In addition to Android-powered devices, Android Wear gadgets are supposed to sync with iOS. But, “Something odd is seemingly going on with a handful of Android Wear smartwatches and the recently-announced iPhone 7,” 9To5Mac reports.
“Multiple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users are reporting online that their Android Wear powered smartwatch is not pairing with the iPhone 7.”
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  • Amazon wants india

As promised over the summer, Apple is officially adding Search Ads to its App Store. Funds permitting, that means developers now have a simple way of showing off their apps to potential users.
Heightening demand for such a service, the App Store is expected to expand dramatically over the next few years.
Based on data stretching back to the App Store’s launch in 2008, the active app catalogue in the store will increase by 73% from the end of 2016 -- reaching a total of 5 million apps -- according to a research project by Sensor Tower.
“The forecasted and historic figures … account for worldwide active apps on the store at the end of each period, as opposed to the total number released (or projected to be released) in past or future years,” Randy Nelson, Sensor Tower’s head of mobile insights, noted in a recent report.
Games are the tip of the spear for that growth: 48,231 new apps debuted on the store in May, with the Games category accounting for approximately 43% of that figure, with nearly 21,000 new games added for the month.
Apple will have to deal with the App Store discoverability problems writ larger if their predictions hold true, Nelson notes.
To date, Apple has already made steps to combat the issue, including launching new categories.
Adding search ads is expected to help, but Nelson suggested that Apple has to consider additional solutions to the problem.

Google unified its various enterprise cloud services under one moniker, Google Cloud, but perhaps its biggest move getting its integration and customer service story straight.
As noted by Stephanie Condon, Google lumped its various enterprise lines under Google Cloud. In short, Google Cloud chief Diane Greene said her unit now is "the full power of Google in the Cloud". Indeed, Google had Google for Work, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Apps, Enterprise. Now it's all Google Cloud.
Rebranding is one thing. Unifying Google services in a way that will resolve ongoing questions about how serious the search giant is about the enterprise is another. The questions about Google Cloud as an enterprise partner have dissipated, according to Greene. But Google's reputation for being in perpetual beta has hampered its standing as a company where a CIO is going to go all-in for infrastructure.
Time can alleviate those concerns. But case studies, customer wins, and better service can alleviate lingering questions a lot faster.
That's why Google Cloud's moves to scale its integration efforts, create templates for success, and engage large integrators are critical.
Among the moving parts:
  • Google Cloud will have customer embeds. Google has created Customer Reliability Engineering (CRE), a program that aims to embed Google engineers with enterprises. These engineers would meld a customer's operations team with Google engineering expertise. CRE was tested out on Niantic, the company behind Pokemon GO's launch.
  • The company is focusing on integrating multiple clouds via its Google Container Engine effort. The idea is that Kubernetes, the open-source container management system, will be able to deploy workloads across multiple clusters and clouds.
  • Accenture announced an alliance with Google to develop industry-specific tools with Google Cloud technologies. The two companies will focus on retail, healthcare, consumer products, energy, and finance. Accenture will include everything from Android to apps to big data and machine learning. Google Cloud will also be integrated into Accenture's multi-cloud management platform.
None of these aforementioned moves are going to capture the imagination. Google has capturing your imagination down well. What Google has lacked in the enterprise is the basic blocking and tackling needed to create quality customer engagements. In the end, the basics are going to go a lot farther than new technology in determining Google Cloud's success.

A private exploit seller has tripled the reward for Apple iOS exploits and is now offering $1.5 million for valid attacks against fully patched iPhones and iPads.
Zerodium is a premium exploit platform which purchases zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits and pays heavy rewards to researchers that discover previously unknown security flaws in popular software.
The exploit peddler says it "focuses on high-risk vulnerabilities with fully functional exploits" and "we pay the highest rewards on the market."
For new, novel attacks against Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems, the company appears to be correct, with rewards for iOS 10 jailbreaking now reaching up to $1.5 million.
In an updated rewards list, Zerodium revealed that researchers able to produce a new attack against up-to-date iOS 10 iPhones and iPads which successfully compromises the devices remotely can expect up to $1,500,000. This is three times the amount of previous rewards, which were brought down to $500,000 after the company paid out $1 million to three research teams last year which were able to find remote zero-day exploits for iOS 9.
In addition, researchers who can provide the private exploit seller with remote exploits for Android 7 mobile devices can enjoy double the payout, with Zerodium now willing to pay up to $200,000 an exploit.
Zerodium's updated rewards list.

Just a few months after announcing the NES Classic Edition retro console, Nintendo is giving its compatriots exclusive access to a new console: the Famicom Mini.
The Famicom Mini appears to be a tribute to its Japanese homeland, with a console that fits right into a person’s hand.
Much like the NES Classic Edition revealed in July, it will allow players to play 30 of the NES’s classic games including Donkey Kongand, of course, Super Mario Bros.

However, it will differ from the one that will be launched in the rest of the world, as some games included in this bundle – such as Final Fantasy III – will only appear on the Famicom Mini.
Some other notable inclusions on the list of games made available over at IGN include: Pac Man, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Dr Mario and Ninja Gaiden.
It also has the ability to have four different saved games on each one, to allow a family to create multiple saves of the same game.

Retro shell, modern components

While this is a given for almost any game released today, it would be the first time that many of these titles have had this ability.
As for the design of the console itself, the dark red and slightly off-white are certainly stylistically geared towards the 1980s, but the internal hardware all matches up with the present day.
Aside from the HDMI port, it also comes with two wired controllers that neatly fit on its sides, unlike the NES Classic Edition that comes with just one controller.
The console will be released a day before the NES Classic Edition on 10 November, but will cost the same, at a price of $60.
If gamers from elsewhere in the world are keen to get their hands on the Famicom Mini, they will have to be prepared to learn Japanese and shell out an additional $10 for an AC adapter.

Comms chip giant Qualcomm is reportedly in talks to buy NXP Semiconductors, signalling further consolidation of the chip industry.
Qualcomm, the primary maker of chips for smartphones, is rumoured to be eyeing up NXP, a leader in the growing near field communication (NFC) chip area – a vital tool for turning mobile phones into digital wallets.
In one fell swoop, Qualcomm has the potential to be the leader in the 21st-century mobile commerce chip industry.
NXP is valued at around $28bn and Qualcomm is prepared to offer $30bn for the company.

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