Life & Technology - 2GB 28th June, 2014

This week in tech was a bit of a mixed bag, bringing with it some good news, some bad, and some pretty nifty.

 

Trend Micro are among the biggest advocates of online privacy, and are now hoping to help educate Australia’s youth on the issue. The software security manufacturer is calling on young filmmakers and artists to tell their "digital success stories" and promote online privacy in Australia's inaugural 'What's Your Story' competition. The theme of this year's content is "On the Go". Entrants aged between 8 and 12 are asked to create a poster, and those aged between 13 and 18 are asked to create a two minute video. All posters and videos should highlight the positive ways mobile devices and the internet have impacted their lives. Tim Falinski, Trend Micro’s Consumer Director for Australia and New Zealand, shared some of his time with me this week, and this vision for our young tech-savvy generation.

 

Microsoft set its sights on Google this week, doubling One Drive’s storage capacity to match that of Google Drive’s. Free accounts will be upgraded from 7 gigabyte, to 15 gigabytes, and paid subscriptions are being slashed in price.

 

New research has shown that 30% of Australians have Wi-Fi Black Spots at home. I sat down with Matthew Orton, Harvey Norman’s National Product and Marketing Manager for Apple and Mobile Communications, to have a chat about this problem. Matthew provided a whole range of product recommendations from Harvey Norman’s latest catalogue. One great tool for black spot busting is Netgear’s Android WiFi Analytics app. The app provides real time data about your wireless signal strength and quality. It can be downloaded for free from Google Play.

 

Another worrying fact from this week is that over 300,000 web servers are still vulnerable to Heartbleed. While experts suggest that many of these website may be defunct or not require any user login, it is still important to remain vigilante online.  

 

Vodafone’s free data weekend was an Australian first, and resulted in over 600 terabytes of data usage. Australians still certainly love the word free. This week I had a chat with Barry Kezik, Vodafone’s General Manager of Network Planning and Engineering. Barry had some great insights on just what Australia is downloading. Of note was one Vodafone user who was able to download over 600 gigabytes in just 51 hours! Talk about a solid effort.  

 

Another first is Project Live Wire from Harley-Davidson. Project Livewire is Harley-Davidson’s first foray into electric motorbikes, which is certainly an interesting juxtaposition compared to brand’s rough-and-tough image. Unfortunately these bikes are purely prototypes at the moment, but Harley is taking them on a road-trip around the USA to get feedback from riders. Fingers crossed they make it to market; if anyone can make a midlife crisis look appealing, it’s Harley-Davidson.

 

And as always, here are a few questions I was asked by Life & Technology’s loyal listeners this week:

 

How often should I back up?

Well that depends on how important your information is! I normally like to do a complete back up once a month, but for anything important, I keep a copy on Dropbox so that it's synced between my machines.

 

What’s the best way to look at my photos on my TV?

Many newer TVs have a USB port on the back. This means that you can simply copy your photos onto a USB drive, plug it into your TV and navigate through them with your TV remote. Alternatively, you could plug this USB drive into a PlayStation or an Xbox. If your computer has a HDMI port, you connect your laptop directly to your TV, and use the TV as a second monitor.

 

My iPhone battery is dying really quickly! Help!

One of the common causes of battery drain on iPhones is applications that are allowed to refresh in the background. If you want to get a bit more battery out of your iPhone, go to Settings, General, Background App Refresh and toggle it to off.