Gadgets, Updates And Virtual Gaming: Week In Review August 14 2015

I played games, reviewed a lot of products and dabbled in the news world, amongst other things. Here’s a sample of my favourite bits of my own work throughout the last week.
Lead image: Manoj Vasanth

Game On

As happens every fortnight, there’s a new episode of Vertical Hold for you to enjoy. In Episode 16 (2015 Series), Adam Turner and I look at streaming games from your consoles to a second screen, streaming zombies straight to your eyeballs with Zero Latency and much, much more.


Game On! (Some More)

Speaking of game streaming, earlier in the week I compared and contrasted the streaming fortunes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. Since doing so, the Xbox One I was happily streaming from now refuses to work at all. It’s probably a plot, or something.


I quite like Mac hardware and software, but anyone who tells you that it’s inherently “secure” or “bug free” is living in la-la land. You only have to look at the lengthy advisories Apple itself puts out when a new OS version for either iOS or Mac OS lands, as happened this week. In other news, if you’re running Apple gear, UPDATE NOW!

I’ll be there for you……

In streaming terms, apparently Netflix is ruling the Australian market with huge numbers of subscribers. A monopoly is no fun for anyone — and genuinely bad news for consumers — so it was pleasing to see Stan announce a tie-up with WB for a bunch of series ranging from iZombie to Friends on Monday, and then flip around and announce intentions for new Smart TV and console client apps, as well as new series (including the world premiere for Ash Vs Evil Dead!) on Tuesday. Nice work, Stan.

A Mid-Range Oppo-rtunity

Damn, and I was so strong to avoid that pun throughout my review of Oppo’s interesting mid-range premium pretender phone, the Oppo R7.

Samsung Does Something Note-able

Everyone knew that a new Galaxy Note was coming — even Samsung, probably. They seem to have mislaid my invite to the New York launch, but in the meantime, I ran down the basic specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. Which… erm… isn’t a Note. It’s all rather confusing.

Who Shot JR’s Lawyers?

Image: Spablab
A surprising turn of events very late in the week, with the Dallas Buyers Club case being finalised… and DBC actually losing out, at least for now, with the judge ruling they’ll have to put $600,000 up as a bond against any kind of naughty speculative invoicing type behaviour.
Yes, OK, the Dallas Cowboys have nothing to do with the case per se. But who recognises the Dallas skyline in Australia, really? Everything else copyright free was of a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader…

I Feel The Need. The Need For… Carrier Aggregation.

TelstraThat’s how the quote goes, right? With the Galaxy Note Cat Out of the bag (note to Samsung: It’s cruel to put felines in sacks), Telstra could announce that not only was it getting the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, but that they could access its Category 9 network for tasty downloads at up to 450Mbps. Just try not to think about the mobile data bill.

Touch Me. Touch Me NOW!

Those of a certain age will now have an earworm rattling through their brains, and what you need for that is a music player. Apple still makes iPods, although they’re not a priority, and this week I reviewed the 2015 edition of the iPod Touch. Spoiler: It’s rather nice.

You Can Call Me, Call Me Anytime

Dud mobile phone reception sucks, but using your own home or work wireless to make it better and still paying mobile call costs? Is that really a good deal? Optus seems to think so.

I hear voices in my head, they talk to me, they understand…

Or at least they make Sense, which continues the awful punning as I segue into my review of the Plantronics Backbeat Sense. They’re lightweight, stylish and sound good, which is pretty much the trifecta for headphones.


I never did understand how nobody heard Prince Adam when he shouted that. It was hardly unsubtle. Also, iPhone battery cases exist, and this week the Incipio offGRID Express Backup Battery Case for iPhone 6 went in for review. It’s not the fanciest battery case on the market, but it’s quite suitable if your iPhone 6 battery life isn’t up to par.

Money Laundering

A story I didn’t entirely plan to write, but a useful advisory nonetheless. If you’ve got lots of contactless cards — credit cards, travel cards, whatever — and you accidentally run them through a washing machine, it may not be as terminal as you think.

Hey, Where’s The Short Story?

Image: Angus McRae
Umm… yeah… about that… you see… would you believe it was in the wallet I accidentally washed?
Damn. I guess then that I’ll have to write it. Which I will do before Sunday.
In the meantime, here’s last week’s story, which also went up on a weekend, entitled “Thinking Time”.

Hey, Here’s The Short Story (And There’s A Bear In There)

Image: Esparta Palma
Week Twenty of my self-imposed short story challenge. That feels like an achievement, if only because it means I’m six weeks from the precise half-way point.
So to celebrate, a slightly strange story about Teddy Bears. Yes, another Teddy Bear story. No, I don’t know why either.

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