Issue 519

Monday, 13th November 2017

In This Issue


What does NBN do once the MTM rollout is done in 2020?

Nokia paid Ovum to do a report on what should happen to the NBN once the current rollout is complete in 2020. Unsurprisingly, Ovum recommends upgrading the hodge-podge of half-arsed tech if NBN wants to achieve the ARPU targets government have set. For FTTN and FTTB portions of the NBN, tech like Vplus,, and XG-FAST (which of course, Nokia will happily sell us) will be required and for the HFC portion, upgrading to DOCSIS 3.1 and Full Duplex DOCSIS. Don't bring up the fact that installing fibre in the first place would have been cheaper than upgrading old tech twice or Bill Morrow will write an angry blog post about you.

Bitcoin falls 25% while Bitcoin Cash quadruples in value

The price of Bitcoin has plunged 25% in just a few days, as more miners switch over to Bitcoin Cash - a forked version of Bitcoin designed for faster transactions. There's currently a bit of drama going on in the cryptocurrency community, as the "traditional" Bitcoin leaders refuse to make changes to the protocol that allow speedy transactions, making it increasingly useless for payments. People are starting to sell their Bitcoin (hence why the price has fallen) and are buying Bitcoin Cash instead (which resulted in a 4x price increase since Friday), as they think the value of Bitcoin will go even lower as its utility is eroded by Bitcoin Cash's faster transactions. As usual with cryptocurrency, watch this space. sells to Chinese tech company for around US$1b

If there's a tween in your life, you probably know about If you're lucky enough to have avoided this nefarious app, watch this video and be grateful of your ignorant bliss. As respected user Baby Ariel explains, it's basically Snapchat, but for singing along to music and over 100 million people have signed up to use it. The reason I bring up isn't because I signed up for an account over the weekend, but because it sold for US$1b (allegedly, the terms were not public) to ByteDance Technology, a Chinese company that operates a personalised news app called Toutiao that's kinda popular in China. will continue working as normal and Toutiao plans to grow their investment by getting Chinese tweens singing and dancing too.

Faraday Future is cooked

At last year's CES, a cashed up Faraday Future was pimping it's Tesla killer FF91 electric car and talking up a huge Las Vegas factory where tens of thousands of them will be built. A year has passed and they cancelled the factory, it's main investor Jia Yueting spiralling into financial difficulty and the resignation of three senior executives. The most recent departure was Stefan Krause (formerly BMW's CFO) and and on his way out, Faraday Future has decided to sue Stefan for "possible violation of law and lack of contribution to FF’s goals over the course of his leadership". Doesn't look like the FF91 will be rolling off the production line any time soon.

The iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL are experiencing some teething problems

Now that the iPhone X has been out and about for over a week, reports of issues with the flagship device are starting to surface. Green lines on the fancy OLED, problems with the touch screen in cold weather, as well as distortion and buzzing from the earpiece speaker. Apple's apparently on top of all that stuff, but are yet to comment on this Vietnamese infosec researcher successfully making a mask of himself that unlocks his iPhone using FaceID. Google's Pixel 2 XL is having its fair share of problems too, with unresponsive screen edges, Google Assistant not working with Bluetooth headphones, the oloephobic coating wearing off prematurely and of course, there's the dodgy OLED screen.

Not News, But Still Cool

This spy phone hidden inside a USB cable is crazy

Look at this crazy USB cable with an embedded microphone and GPRS radio. At first glance it appears to be a regular USB cable that you'd plug into a charger and leave on a table, but inside the USB plug itself, there's mic and radio circuitry. You can call the SIM and listen in on any conversations going on around the cable. Send an SMS and you'll get a rough location (so you know if the cable has been moved) and get updates on the status of the battery. This device even has a nifty feature where it will call you once audio levels hit 40 dB, so you don't miss out on any juicy gossip. Absolutely wild.

A robobus will zip around La Trobe uni starting in April

It's now Victoria's turn to get a robobus! Just like the ones in Perth and Sydney and the same as the one that crashed in Las Vegas last week, a Navya 6-person driverless bus will tool around La Trobe's Bundoora campus, moving people between the uni and the bus and tram interchanges. Unlike elsewhere, the Victorian robobus will have an operator inside to take over if the little bus gets confused. The state government coughed up $375,000 to trial it and it'll be operated by Keolis Downer, HMI Technologies, the Australian Road Research Bureau and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. I can't wait to give it a crack once it starts in April 2018.

Windows 10 Mixed Reality is not good for long web surfing & writing stints

Windows 10 Mixed Reality is out and about in the latest update to Windows 10, but is it any good? In the demo out there, it's pretty weird with the beach house and stuff. It doesn't seem all that practical as a day-to-day working environment. Andrew Freedman took one for the team and wore an Acer Mixed Reality Headset all day and tried to do his usual journalist type work in the Mixed Reality environment. Needless to say, it didn't go well - his eyes were stuffed by around noon, it was difficult to type without the keyboard in his peripheral vision, app windows just went missing for no reason, amongst other workflow slowdowns due to the quirky UI.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!