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Thursday Evening (12 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 12-September-2019  18:19:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a cool new 50c coin which lets you crack a Cold War style code. The 50 cent coin features a unique ‘one-time pad’ key – similar to those used by operatives during the Cold War – to encrypt and decode secret messages. And you have the chance to solve it. As part of the 70th anniversary celebrations, The Mint also launched a ‘coincryption’ competition for those who crack the code on their coins.

There's some new iPhones - 3 of them. Apple on September 10 unveiled the iPhone 11, its new flagship $699 smartphone that offers a range of powerful features at an affordable price tag. Sold alongside the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 11 is going to be the iPhone perfect for most people. The iPhone 11 succeeds the iPhone XR, and it features a 6.1-inch LCD display that Apple calls a "Liquid Retina HD Display." It features a 1792 x 828 resolution at 326ppi, a 1400:1 contrast ratio, 625 nits max brightness, True Tone support for adjusting the white balance to the ambient lighting, and wide color support for true-to-life colors. Discussion in this thread.

I missed this last week, but thieves in Perth have made off with $300k worth of Apple gadgets. Nearly 45 minutes later, the group arrived at Garden City in Booragoon and smashed the glass window of the complex's Apple store, threatening security staff before stealing $300,000 worth of tech, mostly mobile phones. The men are believed to have been wearing dark-coloured clothing. Two cars linked to the break-ins were found torched in Perth's southern suburbs on Tuesday morning. Discussion here.

The Australian Electoral Commission are grumpy with Google for lack of transparency over political ads. Dr Michael Jensen, a political communications researcher at the University of Canberra, noted Google took five days to officially respond to the agency's query. He said this is an unnecessarily long time, compared with the lifespan of advertisements online. "For example, the duration of ads that the Russian internet agency used in the US context in 2016 ... typically ads would appear during especially the last phase of the election for just two days," he said. "When you're waiting at least five days for a response from Google, you're not able to interrupt an influence operation."

Meanwhile the ACCC's decision to block a Vodafone / TPG merger has ended up in court. TPG’s counsel Ruth Higgins, SC, told the court on the opening day of the three-week trial the ACCC position was built on the "fallacy" that TPG will have the ability to become Australia’s fourth mobile operator by building a network it says it doesn't want and can't afford to build. In outlining her argument, Dr Higgins invoked the hit Kevin Costner 1989 film Field of Dreams, where the Costner’s character builds a baseball diamond in his corn field to reunite the ghosts of his favourite players in a final game to describe the ACCC’s legal stance.

Babeltech have a VR shootout between the Vive Pro and the Oculus Rift. We present a five-game cross-platform VR performance showdown between the Oculus Rift CV1 and the Vive Pro. We benchmark using the RX 5700 XT Anniversary Edition versus the RX 2060 SUPER and RTX 2070 SUPER Founders Editions. That follows on from this earlier comparison of the three video cards in twelve VR games.

The ACT is looking to build a huge battery system to stabilise power in the area. The proposed battery would be able to store about one-third as much power as the Hornsdale reserve in South Australia, which is the world's biggest lithium-ion battery. Mr Rattenbury said the ACT facility, which would take about two years to build, would help stabilise the electricity network and allow Canberra to operate solely on renewable power.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.