Samsung’s new S20 phones are spec sheet beasts and new Z Flip less of an embarrassment
Microsoft drops SDKs and documentation on Windows 10X for dual screen devices
Government releases advice on how to get your toddlers ready for being online 24/7
Real world experience of a virtual power plant preventing blackouts in SA
Cheap Yamaha 5.1 amp, Sandisk Extreme 512GB SD cards, Samsung S20 pre-orders, 15% off iTunes
Samsung launched new smartphones last night. The Galaxy S20 and S20+ are direct successors to the S10 and S10+ with the usual faster, better specs. The S20 Ultra is where things get interesting as it's got a 108MP camera alongside a 12MP ultra-wide and 48MP telephoto with fancy AI stuff for some 100x fake-optical zoom (but better than digital zoom). Launches in AU on March 6 and the Ultra with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage (fuck me that's more RAM & storage than my laptop) will set you back a cool $2,249. Samsung also announced the Galaxy Z Flip, a horizontal folding phone that looks way better than the botched Galaxy Fold. It's got a glass folding screen that's supposed to be way better than the plastic screen on every other folding phone. The Flip Z comes out Feb 14th in the USA (no ETA for AUS).
Microsoft's Surface Neo running Windows 10X was a highlight along with the Android-based and smaller Surface Duo of their last Surface event back in October. One of the questions I had post-event was how well would Windows & Android work on a dual screen device? Today Microsoft released a Windows 10X emulator/virtual machine so developers can get their apps ready for the new device. At its core, Windows 10X is a "slightly more modern version of Windows 10 that has been cleaned up for future devices", removing the legacy Win32 stuff that's been around for decades but allowing those apps to run via a container. Microsoft also released an SDK for the Surface Duo with an image for the Android Emulator that includes a dual screen layout and APIs designed specifically for the Surface Duo.
The eSafety Commissioner has released a booklet aimed at parents of kids under the age of 5 called "Online Safety for under 5s" (very original), designed to help parents "start the chat" about online safety. It'll be sent out to more than 11,000 pre-schools, child care centres, and early learning centres. You can take a look at it online if you're keen. I thought the booklet would be patronising but it contains solid info that I think many adults (particularly boomers/non-digital natives) would benefit from like being kind and respectful online, asking for help, thinking critically and managing screen time. Troy Hunt has also published a blog post with 10 tips about kids and online stuff, predominately about making sure your kids privacy is retained until they’re old enough to make informed decisions about what and what not to share online.
Over in South Australia they have a thing called the Virtual Power Plant. It's a program where people can buy a battery to hook up to their solar panels and get access to super cheap electricity in return for using those batteries to support the grid every now and then. Two weeks ago the interconnect between SA and VIC was damaged in a storm resulting in VPP batteries getting cycled multiple times a day, making some owners to worry about their battery lifespan and warranties. This is exactly how the VPP was designed to be used and has prevented blackouts in SA, but nobody really considered how VPP use might introduce a reason for battery manufacturers to dishonor a warranty totally unrelated to the VPP.
Yamaha HTR-2071 5.1 amp - $185 at Harvey Norman
15% off iTunes cards at Big W
Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 512GB - $163.22 from Amazon AU
Pre-order a Samsung S20/S20+/S20 Ultra and get a free pair of Galaxy Buds+
🎶 Some Mutts (Can't Be Muzzled) - Amyl and The Sniffers
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