Issue 699

Friday, 10th August 2018

In This Issue


New Samsung Note 9, Galaxy Watch & Galaxy Home smart speaker

Samsung announced heaps of new gear overnight at their Unpacked event in New York. The Galaxy Note 9 is basically a souped up Note 8 with a more RAM faster SoC, improved S-pen, bigger battery and the option of 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. 8GB of RAM in a smartphone, fuck me. The RRP on that top end model is AU$1799 and it'll be go on sale at the usual joints on August 24th. Alongside the new flagship smartphone was a new Galaxy Watch (runs Tizen OS, has a built in LTE radio, better battery life, coming October 4th) and Galaxy Home smart speaker (basically an Apple HomePod but with Bixby & no ETA) that looks like a Webber BBQ. Oh and Fortnite on Android will be exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices during its beta phase.

Microsoft tells Nazi harbouring site it hosts to delete some hate speech

Gab, if you're blissfully unaware, is where alt-right weenies spout hate when they've had enough of getting dragged on Twitter and just want to be racists in peace. Gab is hosted on Microsoft's Azure cloud service and Microsoft suddenly took exception to two specific posts by a guy called Patrick Little - "a Republican Senate candidate from California who the party found so vile it kicked him out of its convention in May". In these posts, he calls for the "complete eradication of all Jews" and in another, wants them all murdered and tortured. Typical Nazi shit. Gab has 48 hours to remove the posts or Microsoft will close their Azure account. What interests me here is that surely these posts aren't the first obviously offensive pieces of content on Gab? Why did Microsoft do something now, about these posts in particular? What caused Microsoft to grow a spine today?

Trump's Space Force is still a thing

Donald Trump and Mike Pence's Space Force brain fart is still a thing and appears gaining momentum as mummy's boy Pence was at the Pentagon today banging the drum for it. The idea behind of Space Force is to use space technology as a means to defend the USA from hostile forces (aka China & Russia). Instead of having each division of the defence force (i.e: Army, Air Force, Navy, etc.) having its own capabilities, Trump wants Space Force to sit along side those military branches as its own dedicated defence force with its own secretary and seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pence has said there will be US$8b of funding to get it off the ground starting in 2020. That's a lot of cash for a problem that doesn't really need solving. But hey, maybe we'll get some cool satellites and rockets and shit out of it.

Apple gets over excited with the App Store ban hammer & former robocar exec comes back

Two bits of Apple news today. First is Apple deleting a bunch of random apps (e.g: a magazine? an app for browsing gifs? A blackjack card game?) whilst purging the App Store of dodgy gambling apps. Someone at Apple clearly wasn't paying attention. The other bit of news is that "Doug Field, the former VP of Mac hardware who left Apple to become Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer, has returned to Cupertino". Doug is working on Apple's robocar program, that I thought they ditched. Heaps of tech blogs mentioned these two things today, but I don't think they're that important really.

Small, but interesting news items

Not News, But Still Cool

What the hell is an MQA-CD?

MQA-CD is a new format of CD audio that is backwards compatible with regular CDs and CD players. It's launched in Japan first (I guess because they're still into the whole physical media thing) and Techmoan over on YouTube has purchased a few discs and an MQA-CD decoder to try em out. When you chuck an MQA-CD into a normal CD player without an MQA decoder attached, you get the usual 16-bits/44.1kHz sound quality, but chuck an MQA decoder box on the optical output or use a CD player with MQA support and you get 24-bit/384kHz audio. I don't quite understand how it does this whilst retaining CD backwards compatibility. Not that it matters, not like I'm gonna go buying CDs any time soon. The Tidal streaming service uses the same MQA codec too.

A nice collection of ready to run docker images of popular self-hosted apps is a website full of Docker images you can deploy on your own server. These images are all open source, generally better configured than what you or I could do (well, me at least) and are available for armhf, arm64 and x86 platforms. You can quickly and easily install server apps like Plex, nzbget, headphones, Deluge and even the UniFi controller software. Most of the docker images centre around HTPC uses. Slap on a container centric OS like CoreOS, run the command provides to install the image and away you go. Could even run these on a Raspberry Pi using Ubuntu Core.

Cheap SSDs, GTX1070Ti GPUs, Galaxy Note 9, Logitech presentation remote & Vodafone SIM only plans

That's it, see ya Monday!

You Am I - Rumble