Weekly News Roundup 3/10/2016

Google to announce things, the Yahoo breach is pretty bad and GoPro unveils new product lineup.

If you are a fan of Google hardware like the Chomebook and Chromecast you are in luck because the hype machine is starting to gather steam for a big announcement at 9AM on October 4 which is midnight Perth time between October 4 and 5.

Same, but different?

Rumors include a new Chromecast, a new router, an Alexa-style device called Google Home as a push into the smart home market and something that has the tech industry abuzz, a new pair of phones that might be named the Pixel and the Pixel XL.

Phones carrying the Google name in the past have usually been partnerships between the search giant and hardware makers but this is showing signs that the phones will be at the very least designed by Google and possibly manufactured by the big G. Why is this a big deal to me? For the first time in a long time, we might be seeing another Android based phone that can pick up Android software updates to combat the constant stream of vulnerabilities and flaws that only get patched when you upgrade to the next handset.

The news does not end there though as it is also rumored that Telstra will have exclusive rights to sell the new phone to the Australian market under contract while it is possible to buy outright direct from Google.

Right now, specifications are sketchy about what is under the hood but thanks to a recent leak from Bell, we know what these phones will come in a similar style to all other phones out there.

There may also be “one more thing” which is a Google labelled VR device called the Daydream VR that includes a hardware certification program ensuring that hardware manufacturers will not be playing guessing games when it comes to making VR gadgets that will support the Daydream platform that Google has been pouring lots of effort into to get the experience ready for prime time when the hardware is released to market. Of course, I expect the Pixel phones to be VR ready.

All if not most of the products are expected to be available to purchase late October.

Oh Yahoo, why?

yahoo_hackIt seems as though troubles for Yahoo will not go away as it reels from revelations that it was hacked back in 2014, now it has been speculated that execs at the company may have been sitting on the information about the hack for some time before acknowledging the breach in September.

This is a big blow for the company as the little trust it had remaining with the greater internet is further eroded by not being upfront about the incident and to make matters worse, a former exec claims that the number of comrpomised accounts is more likely to be between 1 and 3 billion accounts according to this Mashable report.

What this means to users of Yahoo products is that we may be evaluating how much we trust the company with our personal information along with other businesses like Australian TV network 7 that have their corporate image tied to the besieged company.

Also in this report from Livescience.com we learn that it took the company more than a year to disclose the breach which may well prompt US lawmakers to pass bills compelling companies to disclose breaches in a more timely fashion.

All in all, a pretty bad September for Yahoo is bound to stretch out a bit longer into the tail end of the year if they do no address industry concerns quicker.

GoPro Hero 5, Hero5 Session and a GoPro drone in a big announcement that could breathe life back into the stagnating brand.

Don’t get me wrong. I love GoPro. The line of tough sports-cameras really filled a void in the photography field. They brought action cameras to the masses and the GoPro name is to action cameras as Kleenex is to tissues.

But over the last couple of years, sales growth has been sliding and the product line seems to be more of the same.

That changed on the 19th of September when GoPro revealed the Hero 5 which is waterproof to 10m without a case, cloud connected, touchscreen equipped and capable of 4K video. The Hero 5 session comes in the usual tiny package allowing it to be attached just about anywhere and also packs wireless connectivity for cloud services, 4K video and waterproof to 10m without housing.

The big software move was with GoPro Plus putting the storage and editing of your GoPro footage into a cloud based service but that was not all.

The real wow moment was when GoPro’s founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman showed off a small backpack that contained the GoPro Karma. A foldable 4K drone, handheld (or body-mounted) stabiliser and controller with optional GoPro Hero 5 or Hero 5 Session packages included from US$799 to US$1099.

Have a look at the CNet review here.

This introduction of the Karma opens up new options for the new action photographer while the established drone customers have also got the incredible new DJI Mavic a next-level high quality camera drone that is expected to retail around AUD$1700.