Opensignal reveals the real state of 4G
coverage and speeds,
Ailsa Bay releases world’s first blockchain
whiskey to ensure authenticity,
Tile trackers new line-up,
Optus introduces Messaging service for fault
reporting and more,
Circles.Life – new MVNO (mobile virtual
network operator) on the Optus Network,
D-Link adds a single camera to its 2, 3, and 4
camera OMNA kits,
Intel unleashes the “Hulk” – new Xeon processors
for the professional creator,
Intel Core-X – Hulk’s little brothers
ITy Bytes 14 October is brief, curated news for those who want to
ITy Bytes 14 October
Nokia 8.1 first to receive Google Android 10
Nokia first smartphone to receive Android 10 is the 8.1. It is also
the first phone running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 mobile platform to receive
the OS update. The Nokia 8.1 will benefit from the latest AI-led innovations,
enabling even more accessibility options, intuitive gestures, and more control
of your data.
Nokia 8.1 fans will get to experience a whole host of new features
with Android 10, including:
Gesture Navigation: control of your Nokia smartphone just got
slicker, with faster and more intuitive controls at your fingertips
Smart Reply: receive even smarter responses in messages, not just
words but actions you can take
Privacy Controls: have even more control of your data all in one
place, as well as control when your location is shared with your apps – whether
that is always, only while in use or never
Focus mode: block out distracting apps when you need to
concentrate on what’s important (try it now in Beta)
Family Link: helping parents set digital ground rules for the
whole family, now part of the Digital Wellbeing settings.
All Nokia Android phones get two years of OS updates and three
years of security patches. That makes Nokia a safe bet.
Windows devices may have a vulnerability
SafeBreach found Open Hardware Monitor, a free, open-source
software program that monitors a computers temperature sensors, fan speeds,
voltages, load and clock speeds has a major vulnerability. Tens of millions of
computers use Open Hardware Monitor as part of monitoring systems, including HP
devices using HP Touchpoint Analytics.
The critical vulnerability is the second of its type found by
SafeBreach Labs during the past four months. Previously, SafeBreach also
discovered a vulnerability in PC-Doctor, a monitoring and diagnostics packaged
licensed to Dell and other major OEMs, that is run on hundreds of millions of
systems. Both offer attackers the capability to take over machines and read and
write to device memory, among the most serious types of security risks.
HP has patched the vulnerability (here), and some users may need to force an update.
SafeBrach says this is only the latest instance of supply-chain
attack vectors. These are among the most dangerous because they compromise
trusted components and allow for attackers to go months or years unnoticed
enjoying privileged access to devices and systems without being discovered.
Opensignal reveals the real state of 4G coverage and speeds
Opensignal is a mobile analytics company. It is the independent global standard for understanding the true state of the world’s mobile networks based on measurements of real user experience
While we all thought that Telstra has the best 4G network everywhere,
Opensignal has just proven that it only has the edge in Major cities and Optus
gives it a hiding in all other areas. We will let the charts do the talking,
but it is clear that Telstra only wants volume and is following the money. It
also shows that Vodafone is improving outside capital cities. Perhaps its time
to switch recommendations from Telstra to Optus.
Ailsa Bay releases world’s first blockchain whiskey to ensure authenticity
GadgetGuy enjoys a good scotch and we reported on Ailsa Bay late last year as the first to use rapid micro-maturation and ‘precision science and engineering’ to measure and control the Sweetness Parts Per Million (SPPM – or how sweet the whisky is) in addition to the commonly measured Phenol Parts Per Million (PPPM – or how smoky the scotch is) – it is even listed on the bottle. Cost $95, and it is highly recommended for peat lovers.
For Ailsa Bay, blockchain data is collected from parent company
William Grant & Sons’ existing data sources, including cask types, filling
dates, and bottling dates are all tracked.
Consumers can trace the origins of their whisky via an innovative
web experience, which is individually tailored to each bottle. By scanning a QR
code, users are presented with a visual history of their whisky, produced using
digitally created art generated by blockchain data unique to the drink’s
Blockchain technology also allows Ailsa Bay to gather data from
existing and potential customers, using mobile location services to correlate
where the whisky is being purchased and consumed to maintain brand protection.
James Macrae, Brand Ambassador or Ailsa Bay, says “Innovation is a
key part of the William Grant & Sons business. We’re constantly looking to
evolve our offering and learn new things to push the boundaries within the
drinks industry. We’re doing something now that we hope will set the bar for
the future experience of spirits, and we look forward to seeing how other
brands follow suit as innovation within the industry continues to develop in
the next few years.”
Tile trackers new line-up
world’s leading smart location company has introduced Tile’s most innovative
tracker yet, Sticker; a new sleek form factor for Slim; and expanded range for
classics Pro and Mate. Together, this next generation of Tile products unlocks
more use cases and greater functionality to help customers find their
belongings in every situation.
Sticker is waterproof, adhesive-backed and has a full three-year battery life and 45 metres range
Slim, the shape of a credit card, it is perfect fit for wallets, luggage tags, and other hidden spots. Sixty metres range and a three-years of battery life.
Pro has a Bluetooth range of 120 metres (400 feet). Mate has a Bluetooth range of 60 metres.
Optus introduces Messaging service for fault reporting and more
Ever called a useless, faceless call centre (I have) to report a fault only to have to repeat all the information again when you need to call back.
Optus says that while its Live Chat feature is good, Messaging
allows customers to ‘come and go’ from a conversation and that means they no
longer need to wait on the phone or a chat queue; making it easier than ever
for customers to engage with us when they need help.
Optus customers can start a Messaging conversation online through
the web, and then jump across to the My Optus App on their mobile device to
continue their interaction if that’s easier. The service is 24/7 and applies
to any Optus service, home phone, internet, accounts etc.
Circles.Life – a new MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) on the Optus Network
GadgetGuy usually does not publish MVNO plans as this is not news.
What is news is that Optus is beating Telstra in coverage and speed (see
earlier article) and Circle.Life’s pricing is not bad – $28/20GB a month with
an extra $10/20GB top-up or $6/3GB boost or 1 cent per MB pay-as-you-go.
It is entirely online, and interaction is only via the Circles.Life
app. Established in 2016 in Singapore, it came to Australia earlier this year.
From what we can see, there is no downside apart from it offering users ‘deals
and surprises’ in conjunction with its partners.
D-Link adds a single camera to its 2, 3, and 4 camera OMNA kits
D-Link’s OMNA DCS security cameras now come in two, three and four-camera
kits as well as single cameras. GadgetGuy announced the two-camera kit here
and was impressed because like the popular Arlo range it uses a dedicated base
station to keep camera traffic off the home network.
Complimentary 12-month subscription to the
mydlink 14-day Cloud recording service.
DCS-2804KT OMNA 4-Pack with base station – $1299.95
DCS-2803KT OMNA 3-Pack with base station – $1099.95
Dcs-2802KT OMNA 2-pack with base station –
DCS-2800LH OMNA Add-On camera – $349.95
We set the two-camera kit up in a holiday home with the basic
12Mbps NBN. Because these use a base station with local storage (not the home
Wi-Fi), we can still access it over snail’s pace NBN to check on alerts.
Intel unleashes the “Hulk” – new Xeon processors for the professional
The Intel Xeon W-2200 platform is the ‘ultimate’ for professional
creators. These eight new processors (W-2295, W-2275, W-2265, W-2255, W-2245,
W-2235, W-2225 and W-2223) deliver outstanding performance and expanded
platform capabilities for data science, visual effects, 3D rendering, complex
3D CAD, AI development and edge deployments.
They are for configurable form-factors – from small desktop to
towers – as well as include built-in platform security features and
reliability, such as ECC support and Intel vPro. For example, the 3D
architectural rendering process on Autodesk Revit with V-Ray accelerates up to
10% faster compared with the previous generation.
For freelancers, prosumers and desktop enthusiasts who may not
need commercial-grade features, Intel Core X-series processors provide the
performance with the added flexibility of overclocking capabilities. These four
new processors (i9-10980XE, i9-10940X, i9-10920X and i9-10900X) are especially
suited for advanced workflows that vary in need for photo/video editing, game
development and 3D animation. Additionally, they deliver enthusiast-ready
enhanced features, like Intel Performance Maximizer that makes it easy to
dynamically and reliably custom-tune the unlocked processors based on the
X-series’ individual performance DNA.
New X-series prices range from US$590 to $979. With the creator
segment’s need for more computing-intensive and specific workloads, the new
pricing enables X-series to be more accessible to the creators looking for even
more compute-intensive workloads than Intel’s mainstream desktop processors.