ShinyShiny snippets: Google launches £599 Pixel tablet

Google’s Pixel Tablet launches today (20th June 2023) priced £599

The Pixel Tablet launches today into a field more crowded than ever, priced £599. It’s got the same chip as the company’s flagship Pixel 7 smartphones, an 11-inch screen, and a bunch of apps optimised to take advantage. But the standout feature is the dock, which you slap the tablet on to with some powerful magnets and effectively transforms the device into a home hub. You can see information like time and weather, have it cycle through photos, play music from the in-built speakers, control your lights, and its “Hey Google” voice assistant is always listening. Sky News 

Cupertino VPs Kevin Lynch and Deidre Caldbeck confirmed that third-party watch faces for the Apple Watch aren’t something Apple is considering. The pair joined Swiss media TagesAngzeiger for an interview. Because the watch face is effectively the homescreen of the watch, Apple would rather it be first-party. The pair illustrated that Apple wouldn’t otherwise be able to ensure the third-party watch face would continue to function properly after a software update. 

Don't expect third-party faces for the Apple Watch

The two also shared that the decision to change the single press on the Digital Crown from the app switcher to the Control Center was driven by user feedback. People want to have ready access to the Control Center and this creates one. A double press opens up the app switcher. GSM Arena 

A pair of malicious apps were discovered in the Google Play Store recently by cybersecurity firm Cyfirma. The latter said that the apps were used by state-sponsored threat actors to collect location data and contact lists from targeted devices. Cyfirma, with medium confidence, says that the attack comes from a hacking group in India called “DoNot.” The attacks have been spotted in Pakistan. The two apps in the Play Store are nSure Chat and iKHfaa VPN.  Phone Arena 

From computer programmers to lawyers, several jobs are already at risk of being taken by artificial intelligence (AI). But if you’re a comedian, you can rest easy for now, if the latest robotic demonstration is anything to go by. Ameca, the ‘world’s most advanced humanoid robot’, attempts to tell a joke in a new video – and miserably fails. While Ameca’s facial expressions are undeniably lifelike, her ‘joke’ lacks any kind of punchline. Daily Mail

One of Britain’s most senior hackers has left spy agency GCHQ to join the National Crime Agency (NCA) in a blow to Britain’s international cyber capabilities. James Babbage, commander of the National Cyber Force (NCF), is joining the NCA as head of its intelligence arm. The surprise departure of the 30-year GCHQ veteran, barely two months after he was publicly acknowledged as chief of the secretive hacking unit, will be seen as a blow. Telegraph

Reddit will soon exclusively be a hub for pictures of John Oliver, if protesters get their way. Some of the biggest Reddit communities are now only allowing photos and videos of the comedian, following votes from users. Thousands of Reddit communities – known as subreddits – became inaccessible earlier in June in a protest over changes to how the site is being run. Many have since reopened, although thousands remain inaccessible. And now some of the biggest subreddits that reopened – such as r/aww, r/pics and r/gifs – have held votes resulting in the communities being dedicated to Oliver. BBC


Chris Price