Life & Technology – 2GB 21st June, 2014

After over a year of rumours, Amazon have finally announced a smartphone: the Amazon Fire Phone. As with the Kindle Fire, the Fire Phone runs a custom version of Android with anything Google stripped out. Unsurprisingly, the device is tightly integrated with the Amazon store and provides users with even more ways to shop online. Whether or not we see the Fire Phone in Australia is another question all together.


LG announced three new G Pad tablets this week, a 7”, and 8” and a 10”. These new tablets will incorporate many of the new features from the LG G3, such as Knock Code and Smart Keyboard.


Continuing with the tablet news, Samsung also had a tablet announcement this week, introducing a new flagship, the Galaxy Tab S. I had a chat to Arno Lenior, the Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Australia about the new tablet. The Tab S seems to be a device heavily focused on multimedia consumption, boasting an impressive 10 hours of 1080p high definition playback. This is reinforced by Samsung’s new partnerships with Marvel Comics and Conde Naste (the publisher of GQ and Vogue).


I also had a great chat with Ron Curry, the CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, about the importance of teaching our kids to program and the Australia STEM Video Game challenge.


In other news, YouTube confirmed a new subscription music service for delivering ad free music videos from various record labels. Formal details such as pricing and specific content are still to be announced.


Another exciting development on the horizon is Vehicle to Vehicle communication, or V2V. I had the opportunity to sit down with Professor Jack Singh, the director of the Centre for Technology Infusion at La Trobe University, about his research in the field. It turns out when V2V technology becomes commercially available, our roads will not only be safer, but less congested!


We also had some time for a few questions from our favourite people, our loyal listeners!


I was asked about why computers get slow when there isn’t much hard drive space left:

“Most often, this is because of file fragmentation. File fragmentation is where your hard drive doesn’t have enough space to place data “sequentially”, meaning when you want to run a program or find a file, it has to search various areas of your disk, rather than just in the one. The best way to fix this is to move files you might not to need to a back-up disk, and then to run the Disk Defragmenter Tool in Windows. This can be found under System Tools. “


I was also asked about why Android users don’t receive messages from their friends after switching from an iPhone:

“The most likely scenario is that you didn’t disable iMessage on your iPhone before you swapped over to your new device, so messages are still trying to go to that account. The best option is to go to your old phone and disable iMessage. If you don’t have access to your iPhone any more, it is possible to disable it through Apple’s website.”


And I was asked about whether or not a $50 HDMI cable is necessary:

“No. While in the old days of analogue, a gold plated cable gave you a better quality picture, this is not the case with HDMI. HDMI is a digital standard, which means the cable is only transferring a 0 or 1, there is nothing in between that can get distorted as with an analogue waveform. As such, a $5 HDMI cable from eBay will be just as good as $50 branded, gold plated one.”