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Tech Roundup – Sky Heart of Glass

Hello and welcome to the Geeky Brummie Tech Round-Up!

Each week I’ll be deep diving into the world of technology. Bringing back some new pearls from Birmingham and beyond! If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at ryan@geekybrummie.com.


This week we look at Sky’s new telly, Facebook outages, twitch leaks and a new VR experience now open in Brum!

Yo dawg, I heard ya like Sky…

Source: Sky

Sky Glass

Sky is one of the two big premium TV services here in the UK, the other of course being Virgin Media. However those pesky satellites aren’t cheap to run and as streaming becomes part of daily life, Sky are looking at innovative ways to move people over.

Building on their experiences with NowTV streaming devices, comes the Sky Glass, a Quantum Dot (Samsung panel then) 4k TV with Sky built in.

Picture-wise it’s got all the bells and whistles such as support for HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG and 10 bit colour. For sound there’s 6 integrated speakers (3 out, 2 up and one sub) for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital and 2.1 stereo sound.

Connectivity looks fairly good too, 3 x HDMI 2.1, 1 USB-C for power, Bluetooth 5.0, 100Mbps Ethernet (y no gigabit?) and a back up DVB (satellite) connection.

Source: Sky

Sky Glass will be available from £13 per month for the 43″ screen, but consumers will also need a Sky TV subscription, taking the cost to £39 per month. You can laso upgrade your screen with a 55″ version for £17 a month, or for those wanting a full home cinema experience, a 65″ screen for £21 a month on top of the Sky TV subscription, and all three will begin retailing from 18 October.

The full price for each is £649 at 43″, £849 at 55″ and £1049 at 65″. The company says that all of the Sky Glass models come with a full two-year warranty and free delivery including unboxing and packaging removal.

The colour range is reminiscent of a fruit based tech provider with Ocean Blue, Dusky Pink, Racing Green, Ceramic White and Anthracite Black as the options. It’ll be available to buy in the UK from 18 October and will launch in other European markets from 2022.


Further Reading:

https://news.sky.com/story/sky-glass-new-4k-ultrahd-smart-tv-set-to-replace-satellite-dishes-and-boxes-12427480


Facebook gets pie over its face (and servers)

In what’s been the longest outage of Facebooks services since 2008, the social media world moved to Reddit and Twitter on Monday. That was due to a six hour outage across it’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms.

The cause? Buggy auditing code which caused the border gateway protocol (BGP) routing to its own DNS servers, causing its domain names to fail to resolve.

DNS stands for Domain Name System, think of it as the phonebook for the internet. You want to dial a website such as facebook.com, the DNS takes that name and matches the IP (Internet Protocol) address. Each device connected to the internet has its own address and without the DNS top look up which address is which, it caused a cascade of both internal and external failures for Facebook’s ecosystem.

There’s been reports of staff locked out of buildings due to access cards not working and taking angle grinders to server cabinets to get access.

Very co-incidental they day Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen went in front of US Congress. Tinfoil hats at the ready!

Further reading:

https://www.theregister.com/2021/10/06/facebook_outage_explained_in_detail/
https://www.c-span.org/video/?515042-1/whistleblower-frances-haugen-calls-congress-regulate-facebook&live=

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/facebook-instagram-down-whatsapp-latest-b1932071.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58800670


Twitch Hack, oh dear oh dear!

In another service related issue. Amazon owned home of Gen Z gamers and questionable hot tub hangouts Twitch has been hacked and data has been leaked.

Posted to the land of the trolls 4chan , the data is pretty much Twitch.

Yep all of it.

Th the source code, streamer earnings, SDKs internal configurations and a whole lot more wrapped up in a 125GB torrent. There was also reference to a service called “Vapor” from Amazon Game Studios which is an alleged unreleased steam competitor.

Twitch has acknowledged the breach but are so far tight lipped about the impacts apart from resetting all stream keys:

Some data divers have claimed to see encrypted passwords in the data and we’d suggest you change your twitch passwords immediately and enable 2 factor authentication if you haven’t yet.

I imagine the EU will be keeping a VERY close eye on the topic to gauge the size of the GDPR fine possibly heading Twitch’s way.

Further reading:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58829604

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-10-07-twitch-confirms-data-exposed-in-major-leak

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-your-favorite-twitch-creator-earnings-paid-2021-10?r=US&IR=T


Vr’ing inabox3

We covered this a while back (see here), but it’s now officially here. Launching yesterday (October 6th).

Located on Floodgate Street in Digbeth, Birmingham. The first experience Chernobyl: Hidden Depths. is written by Hollywood screenwriter, Jeremy Drysdale (Line of Duty, The Game, Battlefield 2),

Visitors will be asked to complete a demanding mission, as they battle the elements to overcome the hazards in the dangerous radioactive plant. The participating team must rely on their wits and intelligence to solve the challenge through a series of puzzles. Which will facilitate their escape before either the mutated soldiers, or the radiation, gets them. 

Tickets are available at https://www.inabox3.com/ and use Code LAUNCH30 gets 30% off tickets for a limited time.


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Blog, Other Geekery, tech

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