Weekly News Roundup 19/9/2016

I spend 10 minutes with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, I am caught up in email fraud and Dutch Police establish an anti-drone “wing”.

Prior to going on air at 6PR, I was able to drop into the Telstra Shop in Perth to take a look at Apple’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

iphone7There were a few things that got my attention right away and it had nothing to do with the colour. One was a feature that if I had not read about I would have not been aware of it. The definition of flawless execution was right there in my hands and the humble audio jack that had been around for decades was omitted to make room for this improved feature.
It was about the home button but it is no longer a button. It is a solid state sensor that can detect touches and presses which in itself is pretty cool but the magic happened when I pressed down on the sensor. It is not a button and it does not move but when depressed I could swear I felt it click. My thumb told me that the button pushed past a friction point and hit the contact behind it with perceptible click. Only thing was that there was no movement whatsoever. It was all due to Apple’s improved Taptic Engine a tactile feedback unit in the phone that buzzes, pulses and clicks inside the phone that gives the impression that things are moving in the phone.

Next up was the camera with it’s image stabilization, a big improvement over other smartphone cameras as it soaked up deliberate shakes and bumps and the 7 Plus’s optical zoom party trick thanks to its second camera was also a standout feature.

Overall, the phone is ticking some boxes that needed to be ticked including spash resistance, better (and much louder) speakers, sharp screen and purported improvement on time between charges the upgrade although mostly expected is still really welcome.

If the thought of shelling out for another phone leaves you feeling light in the wallet, you might be interested that Telstra would accept your existing iPhone as a trade in worth up to $400 for your iPhone 6 and even more for your 6s which could really lighten the burden of your next upgrade.

Me? A scammer?

email_scamJust this morning I was contacted by a business on the east coast of Australia asking what an invoice was about. I had never had previous contact with this business before and person on the other end was concerned over a debt apparently owed to me since August.

After asking a few questions it had become obvious to me that someone was issuing fake invoices in my name in an attempt to either trick someone into paying a fake invoice or to open an infected attachment and install ransomware.

This was concerning that now scammers were using the identities of legitimate businesses to fleece innocent people that not only deprives people and businesses of their hard-earned cash but stands to damage the reputation of businesses unwittingly caught up in the scam.

My advice to businesses is to issue a statement as soon as they become aware and if possible post that statement on their web page or other main point of contact. This should help give people looking for answers easy access to the truth.

Have a look at my recent update explaining this scam with advice on how to avoid getting stung by ransomware.

Dutch police prepare for rogue drones with a novel solution.

It looks like earlier trials have paid off and Dutch law enforcement is getting serious about using trained eagles to combat unauthorised drones entering restricted airspace.

The birds of prey are perfect for the job. Slow and noisy drones are no match for these agile raptors that can easily pluck a drone from the air and return with the drone in its talons back to a handler. Very efficient and quick way to deal with the new wave of technology by employing hunting techniques dating back hundreds of years ago.

Not much to elaborate on really. Just this really cool video demonstrating drone take-downs.


Of course, I can’t let a drone’s perspective of getting belted out of the sky by a wild Aussie Wedge Tailed Eagle not make the cut.