Issue 562

Wednesday, 24th January 2018

In This Issue


Apple HomePod goes on sale Feb 9

Apple finally said when they'll have the HomePod on sale - Feb 9th (it was announced in June 2017). It'll cost A$499 and won't include AirPlay 2, multi-room support or the feature where you can buy two HomePods and use them as stereo speakers. Those features will come "later next year". Oh and if you don't speak English, Siri won't work either. It can be used as a speaker-phone though. This thing better sound bloody good, otherwise you may as well get a Sonos One which is way cheaper cheaper and has the superior Alexa built in.

DJI has a new drone, the Mavic Air

DJI announced the Mavic Air, which is sits between the Spark and Mavic Pro in DJI's consumer drone line-up. The Mavic Air looks a lot like the Spark but is a fraction bigger (still has the folding rotor arms) and 130g heavier than. Still heaps smaller than the Mavic Pro and still manages to pack a 4K 30fps camera, 1/2.3" sensor, three-axis gimbal and flies faster than the Mavic, topping out at ~68km/h. The Mavic Air will also do 32 MP panorama stills and 1080p 120fps slow-mo video. It'll cost US$799 and starts shipping on the 28th of Jan. Here's DJI's promo vid and here's Casey Neistat's hands-on vid.

Tesla gives Elon a massive stock incentive & LA council not convinced about Boring Company's plans

Tesla has given Elon Musk an insane set of stock incentives to keep him as CEO for an extra decade. At it's maximum, if Elon manages to get Tesla to be valued at $650b (which would make it worth about the same as Apple), Elon will get $45b worth of Tesla stock. But he already owns 20% of Tesla, so all up, he would have $200b worth of stock! Elon's also been busy pitching tunnel construction to the Culver City Council in LA, so they can get a permit to build them. But the council isn't totally convinced and reckons it's not as safe as it seems and is skeptical it won't cost the city a cent to build.

Motorbike rider crashes into GM's robocar and reckons it was the robot's fault

A motorcyclist is suing General Motors because one of its automated Chevy Bolts crashed into him, leading to an inability to work. The motorbike was behind the robocar, when the robocar decided to merge into a different lane, then immediately went back to the lane it was in, due to the gap in the new lane being too small after another car slowed down. That sudden change of mind caused the motorbike to crash in to the robocar. The rider reckons it wasn't his fault and wants compo for the injuries. This will be interesting because the human meat sack in the driver's seat did not have their hands on the wheel and did nothing to avoid the accident.

Microsoft adds more launch day titles to Xbox Game Pass subscription

Microsoft's added a bunch of new games to its Xbox Game Pass service, which is kinda like Netflix, but for games. Ok, whatever, new games, woo. But what's interesting here is the inclusion of Xbox Exclusive games, on launch day. So instead of dropping $70 for a new game you may or may not really like, you can just spend the $12/m or whatever it is and still get access to those new titles on day 1. Microsoft said they'll be including all Xbox Exclusives made by Microsoft Studios as part of the game pass going forward - so stuff like Gears of War, Forza and Halo will be "free", as part of the subscription.

Not News, But Still Cool

DuckDuckGo's browser privacy plugin & smartphone browser is nice

DuckDuckGo has a new app and browser extension that makes it really easy to see if sites are tracking you, to block them and if your connection is properly secure. DuckDuckGo also rates each site you visit to highlight if somewhere you browse is particularly bad. Sure, it's nothing other plugins or apps don't already do, but to have it in a neat little package, from a reliable source (DuckDuckGo aren't gonna screw you over, privacy is their whole shtick), regularly updated for free, is pretty nice. You can get it as a browser extension and as an iOS or Android app.

New Samsung SATA SSD marks the end of performance gains for SATA SSDs

SSD fans (I reckon I'm an SSD fan - storage can never be too fast imho) will be interested to know that Samsung has released a new version of their venerable 860 PRO 2.5" SATA SSD, the PRO 860. Anandtech has a review and they found it to be the best SATA SSD around, with the highest sequential and random speeds. But it's not that big of a difference between it and the previous unit. It's not even that much better than the EVO 850, which is much cheaper. SATA SSDs are a commodity item now really. Personally, I can't wait for a 256GB Intel Optane SSD in an NVMe format. That's the good shit right there.

Cheap Xiaomi TV box, selfie stick & laser projector, iPad Pro, iPhone 8 & Xbox One X

That's it, see ya tomorrow!