Weekly Tech News Roundup 24/7/2017

Google Home in Australia. Game of Thrones pirates on notice again while HBO and Foxtel fail to meet online demand.

The race is now on to get smart assistants into the home with Google (finally) launching the Google Home in Australia.

Beating the other official markets to the punch, Google has released the well supported Google Home and the Google Wifi to the Australian Market with a software tweak to the smart home device to give it a distinctly Aussie twist (right down to the local accent) to go with the usual tech wizardry that goes with the Google platform.

The Google home stands a bit bigger than a coffee cup and downplays the technology it packs with a very clean “non-tech” design to fit in with pretty much any home decor. This device would not look out of place in the kitchen bedroom or family area. Packing respectable speakers the Google Home sounds as good (if not better) than other bluetooth enabled speakers in the $199 price range but with the ability to connect back to the tech juggernaut that is Google AI, search and data services you have an amazingly powerful product in your home.

With voice distinction, the Google Home is capable of linking multiple accounts to different voices which is a big plus over the others with the ability to read individual calendars and other user-specific information.

I am so impressed with the Google Home and the level of integration with other products and services I believe that Australia will quickly embrace this new visitor making it harder for Apple and Amazon to get a good bite at the market.

Available from the Google Store, Retravision, JB Hifi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and The Good Guys for $199 I fully expect to see the Google Home finding its way into many homes and offices around Australia very quickly.

HBO goes after pirates. Again.

Here we go again. After the big release of the latest season of the Game of Thrones, HBO has engaged an investigator to help track down offenders that downloaded the season premiere of what is believed to be the most popular TV series in history.

The flaw however is in how it seems HBO is going after the pirates by investigating offenders identified by email addresses. I address this in the short video below.

 

Coincidentally, online (legitimate) customers of Foxtel were unable to watch the season premiere last week as the demand for the streaming of the video had many subscribers enraged that they had paid for the service but were simply unable to use that service to watch the start to the latest season.

Foxtel was forced to make an apology and point the finger back to HBO who seemed insistent that keeping all the video content within HBO controlled networks was a good idea.

This of course did not work as viewers all over the US, South America and Australia regions got error messages. The way that the distribution was handed was unique as HBO seemed intent to hold onto the control of the content as tightly as possible. But as the old saying goes, the tighter you grip, the more slips through your fingers as many upset subscribers voiced their disappointment and resolved to instead to go to illegal sources for their Game of Thrones fix as it was more reliable than the legitimate service.