Issue 759

Wednesday, 6th November 2018

In This Issue


Samsung showed off a folding smartphone that'll go on sale soon

Everyone's going crazy over Samsung's demonstration of a chunky smartphone with a foldable screen at their developer conference (did you know Samsung had a developer conference? I didn't!). Samsung calls it the "Infinity Flex Display" and its a plastic lined OLED that allows the screen to be folded "hundreds of thousands of times" without degrading. I could spend hundreds of words trying to explain what it looks like, or you can just watch the video. What's also cool is that Google announced a feature called "Screen Continuity" that's designed to make user interfaces for folding/multiple screens. Samsung reckons a folding phone will go on sale early-2019.

Melbournian GTA cheat creator's home raided by Rockstar's goons

A Melbourne dude had his house raided by private investigators because he was making cheats for GTA 5. That's right, someone making video game cheats, had his home raided by someone that isn't the police, on behalf of a US company - and it's all legal via this Federal court order. According to the ABC, Chris can't afford a lawyer, or even proper food (old mate is sucking down Aussielent as his only meals, gross) because all his assets have been frozen due to Rockstar's court action. I totally understand why Rockstar doesn't want cheats in their games (makes playing online a crappy experience), but damn this is some harsh action over a stupid video game mod.

Aussie startups are pissed off with proposed changes to the R&D tax incentive

Australian startups are having a fit over proposed changes to the R&D tax incentive many of them use to appear profitable. If you don't know, the R&D tax incentive is designed to spur Australian companies to conduct R&D here in Australia, but has been ripped off big time. There's even a cottage industry of accountants and lawyers that can guide you through the process of fooling the government. The government has woken up to these shenanigans and wants to reform the R&D tax incentive, but the tech startup industry is not a fan of the proposed changes that'll mean less taxpayer cash in their pocket, with several of them threatening the government they'll relocate to NZ if these changes go through. On one hand, the government is probably fucking this up, that's what they do. On the other, startup weenies get less money. Hmm, tough to pick a side here.

San Francisco tech giants lose battle to stop homeless funding measure

If you've ever been to San Francisco, you'll know that despite the insane wealth the city generates, they have a serious problem with homelessness. An attempt to capture more funding to help this problem was was put on the ballot for San Francisco voters at yesterday's mid-term elections and it passed! Not bad considering the tech industry's massive campaign to fight the measure, with "$100,000 from Lyft; $419,999 from Stripe; $100,000 from venture capitalist Michael Moritz; $150,000 from Y Combinator investor Paul Graham; $25,000 from Square; and $75,000 from Dorsey" donated to a scare campaign against it. I know this stuff is on the other side of the world to Australia, but it's a shining example of the kinda mindset these Silicon Valley types have to corporate responsibility for the society they exist in.

Flickr will not be deleting its large library of Creative Commons photos

Flickr has a huge collection of photos available under the Creative Commons licence that were going to be removed from the internet by Flickr's new owners as part of user account changes. But after public outcry at such a valuable resource disappearing, Flickr changed its mind and will not be deleting any photos made available under Creative Commons that were uploaded before November 1st, 2018. Future photos uploaded to free accounts and marked as Creative Commons will still be subject to the 1,000 free photos rule though. Can't just mark all your pics as Creative Commons and get free unlimited photo hosting! Good piece of common sense from Flickr here.

Not News, But Still Cool

Apple's Anand Shimpi talks up the A12X SoC with Arstechnica

Anand Shimpi, the guy who started the tech site Anandtech, has worked at Apple for a few years now, but I had no idea what he was doing there. Today he was wheeled out alongside Phil Schiller to give an exclusive interview with Arstechnica about the magical A12X SoC. It's a bit of a puff piece, but worth a read if you're into this kinda crap like I am. What strikes me as interesting about this interview, is the fact it happened at all. Using someone like Anand (respected, knowledgeable) tells me that Apple is clearly setting things up for an ARM based Mac in the near future and this is just the beginning of priming the Mac user base for the change.

Twelve South's new photo frame with a Qi charger is interesting

Qi wireless chargers are pretty ugly things to have lying around your house, particularly if your house isn't going for the "shabby nerd who sucks at cable management" look. Twelve South knows this and has released the PowerPic - a 5" x 7" photo frame with a Qi charger built in. It's got a thick recessed frame that your phone rests on, and because the photo frame is on an angle, the phone doesn't fall forward. There's a 10W Qi charger inside that hooks up to a USB-C charger you'll need to provide. If you get creative, you can match the photo on your phone's home screen to the photo in the frame. It's a bit pricey at US$80, but I can see it making a nice gift.

Cheap TVs, hi-fi speakers, GoPro Hero5 Black, Sony headphones, Apple Watches and The Frustrated State

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

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