Bleats

The New iPhone Will Cost All Your Money But At Least It Has A Cool Porn Star Name Going For It

How are we meant to look at the name "XS Max" without thinking about something dirty or INXS?

It’s new iPhone day, everyone, and that means shiny new toys for Apple fans and new things to poke fun at for the haters.

Top of the sticking points this year? How are we meant to say ‘XS Max’ without thinking the new iPhone has a porn name.

It was tricky enough when Apple wanted us to call the iPhone X the ‘iPhone 10’, but with today’s arrival of the iPhone XS, Apple adamantly proclaims it’s the ‘10S’ and definitely not the ‘excess’.

In fact, there’s three new models. The XS, the bigger XS Max, and the cheaper XR. Remember, you’re meant to read the X as a 10 but the S and the R like they’re part of the normal everyday alphabet. Which kind of means you can say ‘Tennis’ and ‘Tenner’?

So what’s new? It’s the ’S’ year, which means the surface layer is just like last year and the upgrades are mostly under the hood. So it’s all about being faster, smarter, smoother.

And sexier, like the saucy minx you know XS Max must be.

While the XS is the same size as last year’s X, the XS Max takes us up to a 6.5-inch screen (but still smaller than the older big iPhones).

For regular overseas travellers, the new iPhones also have dual SIM support, so you can split your phone between your home phone plan and an overseas plan to keep call and data costs down.

It’s all watched up to 11 – sorry, to 10S – but that also means the price, which sees the fanciest models smash through the wallet crushing $2,000 mark for the first time.

The Aussie dollar is part of the problem this year, too, down about 10% compared to September last year, so the conversions really don’t work in our favour at all.

Want the cheapest possible X model? The iPhone XR with 64GB storage will set you back $1,229. Want all the bells, whistles and Max Power of a 512GB iPhone XS Max? That’ll be $2,369.

Strap yourself in and feel the Gs (leaving your bank account).

The XR does seem like the ‘sweet spot’ of all the shiny fancy full-screen-with-a-notch iPhone models. It comes in some snazzy looking new colours too.

The biggest news of the event was in the Apple Watch section of the show. While many have argued these watches aren’t all that, the stats now indicate Apple Watch has become the number one watch in the world. Not smartwatch. Any watch. Apple’s watch business alone now makes more money than Rolex.

The new watches are a little bigger, but also thinner, and can fit a few more data points on the watch face so you can get more useful info at a glance.

But the killer feature is in health tracking, with the new Series 4 Apple Watch adding fall detection as a big help for the elderly or just plain clumsy, and an amazing new ECG reader built into the watch crown. The heart rate monitor can also now flag if your heart rate is too high, too low, or busting out some arhythmic beats that might require medical attention.

This stuff is huge for people at risk and in need of constant medical data tracking without the need for obtrusive devices strapped all over the place.

The new Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $599 which sounds like pocket change compared to the phones.

And with that, we also say a sad farewell forever to iPhones with headphone jacks. The old iPhone 6S now leaves the store, the last model before it disappeared.

So what happens next? Fans get excited and place their orders (starting Friday), haters point, laugh and call out the sheeple for being so bold as to spent their money on things they like to spend money on. Apple will make record profits yet again and analysts will argue this is the last time that happens for sure.

Then we do it all again in 2019.

With the iPhone XI? X2? XX? Place your bets now.

8K TVs Are Coming But You're Better Off Ignoring Their Siren Song And Buying Two 4K TVs Instead

Save your money for other things because it's completely pointless to get 8K TVs right now.

Full HD. 4K. It’s been a hell of a decade in the TV resolution revolution. And it only makes sense that the TV industry wants to turn it up to 8K as soon as possible. Daddy gotta deliver some shareholder value.

After years of concept demo screens teasing mega screens of megapixels, Samsung, LG, Toshiba and TCL all revealed actual TVs you’ll actually be able to buy last week at the IFA tech show in Berlin.

There’s been some breathless coverage out there of the beauty of the 8K from the gathered pundits. Throw that 4K in the bin, gang. Such garbage must never again taint their enthralled eyeballs now they’ve bathed in the glory of quadruple the pixels.

But wait, I hear you say (play along), I’m still using an HDTV that isn’t even 4K yet? Should I feel dead inside because I’m now two generations behind the future of televisual magnificence?

I’m glad you asked.

No and no. Nope. Not even slightly. Because I’m here to tell you that this signals the beginning of the era where 4K TV is now the perfect TV to own for the next 10-20 years. This is the sweet spot. This is the forever format.

Pop quiz. What’s the resolution of the movies when you go to the cinema? 4K. It’s slightly wider than the home video 4K format, (4096 pixels vs 3840 for the data nerds) but it’s 4K.

The movie industry masters movies for 4K distribution. It has been restoring old films into digital archival formats at up to 5K resolution, which works nicely to send out a finished 4K output for distribution.

Everything over the past 15 years of the industry has been converging on this ideal format that means all distribution setups can use the same source to deliver awesome pictures and sound to every screen in the world.

Let’s get even grittier and talk about angular resolution. Yeah, you love it. This is about how far back from the screen is the ‘perfect’ viewing distance – where the pixels disappear and your vision is just swimming in delightful pictures.

Let’s say you’ve gone really big by current TV standards with a 65-inch screen. For Full HD, that ideal is 2.5m back. For 4K it’s 1.25m. For 8K? 63cm. Anything further back isn’t doing much for your eyes.

Now there’s a really nice gap there for a lot of living rooms where 4K is a great upgrade over Full HD. But if you’re not planning having a giant screen within arms reach of your couch, there will never be a need for 8K as a living room format. NEVER.

OK, there’s one. Maybe we’ll arrive at that sci-fi future where our TV becomes a wall-sized interactive interface, delivering multiple 4K video feeds to the one screen and making our home feel like the Batcave information station?

I’m sure that’s right around the corner. If it is, I’m all in.

It hurts my eyes…

Of course, most Australians can’t even get a good 4K Netflix stream yet thanks to our world famous crappy internet. Add 4x the resolution and you suddenly need even more of the data you don’t even have to watch content that doesn’t exist yet.

That delivery problem will get solved. We’re getting better all the time at compressing big videos into smaller packets without making the pictures look bad. But there is no true standard yet for exactly how best to compress 8K for efficient delivery.

And once we finally get a well respected standard for 8K TV you can pretty much bet anyone who buys an 8K TV in the first few years will find their TV doesn’t even support the ‘right’ format and can’t be upgraded to do so. There’s more than a few 4K early adopters who found that problem screwed them over in the end.

Meanwhile, 4K TVs have now settled into an amazing groove. Apps for all your favourite streaming setups. Support for dead sexy HDR formats. Better sound than ever.

If you’re in the market for a new TV, pick a nice 4K one. It really will last you a long, long time.

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