Life & Technology – 2GB 30th November, 2014

Apple is painting the App Store (RED) for World AIDS Day, which is actually coming up this Monday. Apple has teamed up with Product (RED) and a number of app developers to release (RED) editions of 25 popular apps including Angry Birds and Monument Valley. All the proceeds from these apps will go directly to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. These apps will be available until December 7.


This week I had the privilege of talking to Steve Huffman, the co-founder of social sharing website Reddit. While Steve is best known for Reddit, he's also co-founded an airfare search site called Hipmunk. Hipmunk aggregates flight bookings and hotel reservations into one simple, easy to user interface. After Reddit's success, Steve decided that Hipmunk was the right project to work because he thought the travel market was broken, and wanted to fix it.


I also got in touch with Shane Treeves from Google's Communications and Public Affairs team to have a chat about Google's new Nexus devices, and the latest version of Android – Lollipop. The Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 are the showcase devices for Lollipop; unsurpisingly, the 9 is a 9-inch tablet and the 6 is a 6-inch phone, well, phablet. Lollipop has brought a lot of changes to Android, including a complete visual redesign, making it look like a completely new operating system! Those with a Nexus 4, 5 or 7 should be able to able to download the update shortly! 


There's less than a month to Christmas; if you haven't already, it’s time to start shopping! I had a chat to Glen Gregory, Harvey Norman's National Business Manager for Technology and Entertainment to get some gift recommendations. Glen suggested the entry-level GoPro Hero ($169), the 7-inch Unisurf Windows 8 Tablet ($149), the Apple TV ($109), Logitech's UE Boom portable speaker ($178) and the Fujifilm Instax polaroid camera ($99). All great stocking stuffers!


Hosting a website isn’t always an easy job, we’ve seen a lot of big websites go down recently due too much traffic – the iPhone 6 launch took down not only all four major Aussie telcos, but Apple’s website too.


Last week, we had our problem – during Sunday’s episode of CyberShack TV, the sheer number of visitors almost ground the website to a halt. Ironically enough, we had published a story about how websites deal with large spikes in traffic! Whoops!


What these companies do is actually quite interesting though. We had a chat to Hostworks, a company who call themselves digital roadies, and specialise in helping clients like Ticketek, the ABC and SBS deal with huge traffic spikes. A big ticket launch like Metallica or Miley Cyrus could require up to 6 dedicated computer scientists and over a month of planning!