Issue 723

Thursday, 13th September 2018

In This Issue


New iPhones - XS, XS Max & XR

Apple announced new iPhones. The "flagship" iPhone is the iPhone XS & XS Max. Then there's basically the same phone, but missing 3D Touch, with only a rear single camera and an LCD screen instead of OLED, called the iPhone XR. They all have faster Face ID, CPU, better cameras and so on, compared to the iPhone X (which is no slouch). There's also eSIM support so you can have 2 numbers simultaneously. The XR comes in different colours like blue, yellow and coral. Apple will keep selling the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus for poor(er) people. The Xs & Xs Max can be pre-ordered tomorrow at 5.01PM AEST and will ship on October 21st. The XR can be pre-ordered October 19 and will go on sale October 26. No telco plans yet, but that'll come soon, probably mid-next week.

New Apple Watch Series 4

Apple also announced new Watches - the Series 4. They managed to give the S4 30% larger screens in the same case size. So the 38mm is now 40mm and the 42mm is 44mm. The entire UI has been re-organised to make use of the larger display. Bands and accessories from previous Apple Watches still work on the S4. Inside is a new SiP (aka fancy CPU) that Apple claims is twice as fast but retains the same 2 days of average use, plus a fancier accelerometer and gyroscope that can detect falls and call for help. The digital crown got re-engineered for haptic feedback & more precise control when scrolling. The headline feature however, is the a 1-lead ECG sensor in the back of the Watch. The sensor and its algorithm has received FDA clearance for atrial fibrillation-detection, so it's not a gimmick, but it's not for proper diagnosis either. Oh and the ECG feature is software locked outside the USA for now. Pre-order the new watch tomorrow and it'll ship on the 21st of September.

More Apple news

Google's killing off Inbox app

To the disappointment of many, Google is discontinuing its popular Inbox email app. It was an "alternative" Gmail client that came out in 2014 and was basically a re-imagining of Gmail. Over time, many of those features found their way into Gmail proper, so Google reckons Inbox is no longer required. Inbox will be shot in the head and its body dragged into the San Francisco Bay by the end of March. I never liked the smarty-pants features in Inbox - I'm old school, just dump my emails in the one spot and let me sort em out. But then again, I was never one of those unfortunate people who had 3,000 emails a day arrive and have hundreds of them actually warrant my attention.

European Parliament passes controversial copyright laws

The European Parliament passed an amended version of the Copyright Directive, including the notorious Article 11 & 13 proposals. Article 11 is the "link tax" law (so publishers can charge Facebook/Twitter/Google News for displaying snippets of content to users), Article 13 is the "upload filter" law (forcing websites handling user submitted content to run it through a copyright matching filter before it's made public). The Directive is still not actual law in EU countries, but the fact the vast majority of the European Parliament voted it and from the sounds of it, the rest of the process is just a formality. If this goes ahead in the AU, you bet your arse News Corp and Village Roadshow will want the same thing in Australia.

Not News, But Still Cool

Brave privacy web browser makes official GDPR complaint against Google

The founder of the Brave privacy web browser, Brendan Eich, "best known as the creator of the Javascript web programming language and was also a co-founder of Mozilla", has made a GDPR related complaint in the UK & Ireland against Google and other ad-tech firms. The complaint argues that "when a person visits a website, intimate personal data that describe them and what they are doing online is broadcast to tens or hundreds of companies without their knowledge in order to auction and place ads". This, according to Brave, is a violation of "the GDPR's requirement for personal data to be processed in a way that ensures they are properly secured, including against unauthorized or unlawful processing and against accidental loss". Google is denying everything, of course. Should be a spicy meatball to watch as the complaint progresses.

Microsoft really wants you to use Edge instead of Chrome or Firefox

Microsoft's getting more aggressive in trying to get people using Microsoft Edge in the latest version of Windows 10 (v1809). If you try and install Firefox or Chrome, you get a pop up saying that Edge is already installed, forget about this new browser and crack open Edge now. Windows already bugged ya when you tried to change the default browser, but actually intercepting you when trying to install an app? That's kinda tacky. Not that Google is much better, making Google owned sites run like trash in a browser that isn't Chrome. Plus on iOS, you can't even change the default browser, or install an alternative rendering engine! (apps like Firefox on iOS are just skins around the WebKit rendering engine). I wonder how long it will be until we're rehashing the browser anti-trust wars of the 90s in court again?

Cheap Sony CarPlay, JBL Chromecast speaker, Logitech trackball, 65" TV, videogames, Macs, Dell gaming PCs & 10% off site wide on eBay

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Smashing Pumpkins - Bodies