Life & Technology – 2GB 18th October, 2015

A few weeks ago we spoke to Toshiba about their Radius 12 Ultrabook – also known as my next laptop – and it’s going to be available in Australia very, very soon. More importantly, we’ve got pricing – the high-end version with the super slick 4K display and 512GB SSD will retail for AUD$2799, while the 1080p version with a smaller 256GB SSD will be priced at AUD$2399. Click here for more information.


Telstra this week announced that it will be launching its Telstra TV set-top box on October 27 for $109. The Telstra TV will act as a hub for a number of streaming services, pay per view services, and catch-up services including Netflix, Presto, SBS On Demand, 9Jumpin and BigPond Movies. Stan will launch on the service later in November. Telstra customers will be able to get a Telstra TV via Telstra's website or through their retail stores.


A dislike button has long been one of Facebook’s most requested features, and the social network is finally kinda testing one. Rather than an “explicit” dislike button, Facebook is trialling six “reaction” emojis that will sit along the like button: love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry.


The emojis themselves are designed to be emphatic, whereas a dislike button could be seen as harsh or negative feedback. In turn, this type of reaction could alienate or upset users on the receiving end. Facebook is trailing these in Spain and London right now. If the response is positive, it will roll them out to the rest of the world.


Philips is expanding its Hue smart bulb ecosystem with a new HomeKit certified base station. Informally referred to as the Hue 2.0 bridge, the upgraded hub fits into Apple's smart home framework, allowing users to control their lights simply by talking to Siri. After installing the new Hue Bridge, users will be able to issue commands such as "hey Siri, turn lights blue", "hey Siri, set living room to 30 percent," or simply, "hey Siri, turns light off". Pretty nifty, right?


Philips will be launching Hue 2.0 in Australia in 2016, but local pricing has yet to be confirmed.


Last but not least, it’s important we talk about the issue that’s been set the Australia tech world on fire this week: mandatory data retention. There’s been a lot of misinformation about this issue.


In case you missed the news, the Australian federal government’s mandatory data retention scheme came into effect this week, forcing local telcos and internet service providers to collect their user’s “metadata” and store it for a minimum of two years. This includes information such as a user’s name, address, billing information, the sender and recipient of a message / email / phone call, size of a message or email / message / phone call, and the location from which it was made.


Importantly, the legislation specifically states that there is no need to store a user’s web browsing history.


Click here for our full FAQ on data retention.