Archive for November, 2012

Rebuilding Your Online Presence

This is a great article over at Lifehacker Australia about how to clean up your online representation and then expand your online presence in a more professional manner.

How To Clean Up Your Online Presence And Make A Great First Impression | Lifehacker Australia.

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Famo.us

Famo.us is a US tech startup who is using gamification to bring high-speed 2D and 3D applications to web browsers, utilising the GPU for graphical efficiency… all using the next generation of javascript.

The actual live demo of the Famo.us Periodic Table can be accessed here.

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A great guide to Facebook Privacy

I know that a lot of my friends are concerned about their privacy when it comes to Facebook… and so they should be.  Facebook has been consistently guilty of making it complicated to lock down your privacy settings, even to the point where some of us more “IT savy” individuals even struggle with it at times.

The writers over at Lifehacker have put together a great updated guide on dealing with your privacy settings on Facebook.  Have a read and lock your Facebook profile down!

The Total Facebook Privacy Guide

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Photocopiers – A not so obvious security risk!

We all have used photocopiers at some stage to copy personal documents when applying for loans, rental accommodation, passports, etc.  What a lot of people don’t realise is that most photocopiers use a hard drive to build the image of the document that they are replicating for you, and then don’t necessarily delete that image once you have completed your photocopying.  This also applies for to the multi-function photocopiers that people use in offices to send faxes.

The following CBS investigation (from back in June 2012) details just how easy it is for ANYONE to purchase a second hand machine and gain access to this stored sensitive data.

Whilst there is no a lot that you can do to force the various institutions that we deal with to improve their security policies on these things, you can try and reduce your own risk.

My recommendation would be that if you are planning on copying private documents (eg photocopying your driver’s license or credit cards for any sort of application) either use a scanner (yours or one that belongs to a trusted friend) to scan the documents in, and then print them.  Take note that if you do this you may also have to check that the scanned image is deleted from the computer that you have used to perform the scanning (unless you use one of the simpler home multi-function printers).

I know that all of this may sound a little paranoid to some of you but at the end of the day, you are responsible for how secure your personal details are, so try to do what you can to protect yourself.

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Sony X Preview of the new Sony 84″ KD84X9000 4K LCD TV

Sony Bravia 84" LCD TV

Being a member of the Sony X Team definitely has its perks. One of which was an invitation to tonight’s preview of the new KD84X9000, which is Sony’s new 84″4K LCD TV.

So, my first response to hearing that there was such a thing as an 84″ TV was, “Why?”  I am a proud owner of a KDL-46NX810 Sony Bravia LED TV which was an out of this world Christmas gift from my amazing wife, a couple of years ago.  At the time, this TV was top of the range, and did everything short of cooking you dinner and giving you a foot rub.  It was (still is) a pretty big TV, with a great picture, whilst not becoming the most dominant thing in the living room.

However, after watching tonight’s demo of the KD84X9000, I have to say that I am pretty darn impressed.

I spent most of the demo crouched (there were no seats and crouching provided a better viewing angle) less than 2 metres away.  We were actually encouraged to move closer to the screen… and for good reason too.  The picture was incredibly sharp, even that close to the screen, with the colours being very vibrant.  All of the demo footage was at 4K resolution, which utilised the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution beautifully. Complex imagery was displayed in such detail that you felt like you were missing things towards the the edge of the screen for being so close to it.  This TV gives you the impression of closest thing to having an HD iMax screen in your living room.

To give you an idea of the scale of this TV, I was able to capture one of the images from the demo itself:

Representation of TV scale

The TV will upscale Blu-ray HD video, which should display nicely but nowhere utilises the screens full potential.  Even though we didn’t see it, I shudder to think what a Standard Definition channel would look like on this behemoth…

Sound was delivered via two stereo side speakers (which come included with the TV) that provide pretty impressive sound quality.  It is a leap forward from the the rear-of-unit speakers that most Bravia TVs sport (which provide a very weak stereo experience).

The TV is 3D capable, but no demonstration was available tonight due to a lack of appropriate demoware.  However, the TV will support the upcoming Sony Playstation 4, with it’s ability to display the next generation of console games running at 4K resolution.

So, at the current price of $24,999.00, this beautiful piece of technology may be a little outside of most people’s price limit (or in my case, it is in a completely different galaxy to my price limit!), however it is state of the art hardware which will only be retailed by Sony themselves.

My wife now knows what I want for next Christmas… 😛

I would like to extend my thanks to the Sony X Australia team for my invitation, and to the staff at Sony Centre Brisbane for looking after us.

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LucasArts sold to Disney for $4 Billion

So, as some of you will have already read, George Lucas has recently sold all of the rights to  LucasArts and all of it’s subsidiaries to the Walt Disney Company.  For more details on this, please check out the LucasArts, Everything Star Wars Sold to Disney article (at GameTrailers.com) and/or watch the interview with George Lucas & Kathleen Kennedy as they talk Star Wars and Disney.

A lot of people of talking about how this is either a massive sell out for the Star Wars franchise, that Disney will destroy Star Wars.  I, however, think that it is the best news in a long time for Star Wars fans.  Having George hang up his Writer/Director/Producer/Creative Despot boots one and for all means that there is new hope that for a franchise that has struggled with fans in light of the most recent three movies (Episodes I, II & III).  I know that George had a story that he wanted to tell, but because he had too much control with the most recent trilogy, he had no one truly grounding him with a lot of his “creative decisions”… in my honest opinion.

Episodes IV, V & VI had George coordinating with directors that would challenge his vision, and therefore helped him create a better movies (yes, we will avoid discussing Ewoks, thank you very much!).  Now that he is “retiring” from the franchise, and that Disney has stated that there WILL BE and Episode VII, there is an opportunity for new directors, writers, and producers to come together and produce a truly balanced third trilogy.  Of course, there are no guarantees, but at least there is a possibility of this occurring where there was no chance previously.

It also means that Disney will want to make their money back and therefore should be releasing a significant amount of product under their newly acquired franchise.  That means more Star Wars, which can’t help but make the fans happy.

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