Weekly News Roundup 3/8/2015

The Windows 10 hangover party, Roku TV streaming coming to Australia and you could get pwned by your grandmother! No really!

Is Windows 10 ready for primetime?

I managed to get my hands on Windows 10 and popped it onto a laptop I use for testing and gave it a quick spin over the weekend.

Installation : I had reserved my copy but it seems I was not at the top of the list so I set about downloading the installation media creator that allows me to jump the queue. Then booting from the USB drive was OK but then I found my first glitch. Windows 10 will not install if your existing version of window is NOT US English.

Initial thoughts : It’s pretty. A pleasure to look at and it runs pretty quickly on a core i5 Thinkpad T410s with 4GB of RAM so most hardware these days should be able to upgrade without breaking much of a sweat. The Cortana Assistant managed to understand my voice commands and searching was pretty simple once she was tuned to listen for a “Hey Cortana”. This is it. This is the future, I can talk to my computer and it understands me!

Getting Busy : Microsoft Edge Browser, the replacement for Internet Explorer seems to be pretty responsive at first but I hope to put it through some testing soon enough. Integration with Microsoft Office and OneDrive is as expected pretty seamless and overall the experience is what Microsoft needs to deliver.

The Bottom Line : But you should not install it on your computer if you depend on it for work?

No.

As with all brand new releases (more so with Windows than with any other major OS) it pays to tread with care as I found a key part of my work was affected on this new operating system.

The sound drops out after a few minutes. It simply cuts out. The picture sometimes keeps going but my laptop decides to do an impression of 1920’s cinema with soundless, moving pictures. Times like this I wish I knew how to play the old upright piano to provide the soundtrack missing from this super-retro experience.

So in a nutshell, yes it is a nice operating system but for people that need to get stuff done hold off for a few months if you can. Trust me, the wait will be worth it. Microsoft has delivered with a good start but there is still some work needed.

If you do decide to try it out for yourself, make sure you have a good backup plan like Acronis True Image ready to go.

Acronis True Image 2016 with cloud

Telstra TV “Game Changing” Announcement

With Netflix steamrolling the Australian streaming video market it looked like they were going to run away with the game all together but last week, Telstra announced Tesltra TV.

The telco giant that has strong ties to Foxtel, the only real Australian player in the Cable TV market is expected to launch a set top box in September based on the Roku 2 device, a wildly popular piece of kit in the United States. The expectation that the service bundled with the device will be launched initially to Telstra Broadband Home customers. Hopes for the service are that it will allow bundling of streaming services including Stan, Presto, and Netflix as well as the possibility of bundling in subscriptions of Foxtel or even going direct to US production houses like AMC and HBO (wishful speculation).

This is a big move and if it can offer a broad selection for a reasonable price (reasonable for all of Australia, not just upper-middle thanks) then Telstra TV could really secure a position as the Nation’s dominant media and communications player. With the increasing threat to the traditional Cable and Free to Air markets coming from subscriber based services, the timing could be perfect as long as the execution is flawless. These days a missed step could really hurt the future of a service like Telstra TV.

Come on guys, make sure you play the game so the consumer wins because at the end of the day that is how you wind up on top.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/telstra-tv-is-game-changer-streaming-services-need-in-australia/story-fn8tnfhb-1227467220011

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/08/how-telstras-roku-platform-will-transform-tv-and-maybe-piracy-too/

BOOM! Headshot dearie!

I am actually looking forward to getting trash-talked by an senior citizen as she splatters my brains across the landscape. It has been done before but for mainly amusement purposes like this youtube video here (caution : Language, violence).

However, this is actually a possibility. Research is showing that Older Australia is more likely than ever to pick up the controls and blow off steam with some escapism which is no surprise to me at all.

Gaming has come a long way from the prehistoric Space Invaders, PacMan and Galaga. These days, development budgets rival the big spending Hollywod blockbusters complete with story and character development that gets players heavily invested in the gameplay. The developers have also recognised that the unconventional markets are the great untapped markets of the future and are tooling up to meet this unexplored landscape.

We are not seeing the gaming shops dominated by the Blue Rinse Brigade any day soon but we are expecting to see the balance evened out with the retirees and middle-aged gamers having a bigger impact on the world of hardcore gaming, not just Candy Crush and Words With Friends.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/digital-australia-report-older-australians-and-women-are-the-future-of-video-games/story-fnjwmfre-1227465240960

http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/australians-play-video-games-for-15-hours-a-day-survey/story-e6frfrt9-1227459456488