Life & Technology – 2GB 14th December, 2014

We talk about electric vehicles every now and again on Life & Technology, and this week brought some exciting news in the space. Tesla, the manufacturer of the game-changing Model S, opened up shop in Sydney this week. Tesla also announced that their Supercharger network rollout plans, which will allow Model S owners to easily traverse Australia’s eastern coast by 2016. The initial rollout will see Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra connected before the end of 2015 and Brisbane and the Gold Coast will follow. 20 minutes on a Supercharge will refill a Tesla to about half of its 500KM capacity.


If you want to have a look at these cars, which you should – they’re beautiful – the showroom is based in Artarmon. Unfortunately they cost a pretty penny, an entry-level model will cost you about $100,000 including on road and stamp duty, and since they’re made to order, you’ll be waiting until about may. 


Netflix, one of the world's most popular video-on-demand streaming services, is final coming to Australia and New Zealand in March 2015. I had a chance to chat Cliff Edwards, Netflix's Director of Corporate Communications and Technology ahead of next year's launch. While it's taken a while, Cliff explained that Netflix does its homework before moving into a country, ensuring Australians can watch the content they want to watch. We've got an in-depth interview with Cliff and a few other Netflix team members on CyberShack.


Netflix aren’t the only one trying to win the lion’s share of the Australian streaming market. A couple of weeks ago we heard that Channel 9 and Fairfax will be launching their own streaming service called Stan, and this week we learnt that Foxtel and Channel 7 are teaming up for their own TV streaming service called Presto Entertainment.


Presto Entertainment will be a separate subscription to the current Presto Video-on-Demand service and will carry programming from both Foxtel and Seven’s various networks. Next year certainly will be interesting – picking a streaming service provider could end up becoming a pretty tough choice.


According to research conducted by Amaysim, 59% of Australians watch video on their smartphone or tablet every day! That's a lot of videos! But what do they actually watch? I sat down with Ged Mansour, Amaysim's Head of Public Relations to learn some more about Australia's smartphone habits. Turns out its cute animals are the stars of Australia's most watched video type. Why am I not surprised?


Roughly a year after Vodafone introduced $5 per day global roaming, Telstra has announced its own simplified plans for international travel. Called Travel Passes, Telstra customers can buy a “pass” for 3, 7, 14 or 30 days. During this duration, customers have access to unlimited phone calls and messaging, and 50 megabytes of data per day. When travelling to New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia or Bali, these are billed a $5 per day, but at $10 per day for every other eligible country. Click here for a complete list of eligible countries.


I also got in touch with Tim Every from Domanye Kotara to have a chat the idea of kids bringing their own device to school. Many kids are now required to bring their own laptop or tablet to school but most parents don't know what device to actually buy. Tim said that the must have features are Office compatibility, all day battery life, dual-band, and relatively thin and light, recommending the Asus T100 at the lower end and Surface Pro 3 at the high.  


 It's not quite the coliseum, but wireless multiroom audio is certainly becoming a heated battleground. If you wanted an in-home, wireless multiroom solution, it was typically a choice of Sonos or Bang & Olufsen.  LG and Samsung have both recently launched their own multriroom audio products giving consumers a bit more choice. Both sets of products are fairly similar featuring low-end, mid-range and high-end speakers, and they all sound pretty good.


The most unique thing about LG’s speakers, called Music Flow, is that if you have an NFC enabled smartphone, you can tap the speaker with your phone to move your music from one room to another.


The Samsung speakers have a nifty accessory called the LinkMate which lets you take your old analogue devices like turntables and beam their audio to the rest of your wireless speakers.   


Click here for our review of LG's speakers, and here for our review of Samsung's.