California Streaming: Everything Apple Announced

Apple announced loads at their California Streaming event yesterday, so let’s start off from the top:

California Streaming: Apple Fitness+

Guided Meditation

Apple Fitnees+ is getting Guided Meditation. Building on the popularity of Mindful Cooldowns in Fitness+, Guided Meditation helps users develop a regular meditation routine. Therefore helping to improve their sense of well-being. Users can select from different themes such as Purpose, Kindness, Gratitude, Awareness, Creativity, Wisdom, Calm, Focus, and Resilience. There will be a video experience alongside the Fitness+ trainers. While each practice can be 5, 10 or 20 minutes long.

Audio Meditation

Furthermore to the video experience, same meditations will be available in audio form on the Mindfulness app on the Apple Watch. With Watch OS8, Breathe app becomes the Mindfulness app. Featuring an enhanced Breathe experience. A new session called Reflect and Fitness+ Guided Meditations. Users will be able to track their meditation while moving in the workout app on the Apple Watch while doing their meditation. Allowing you to meditate while walking, hiking or stretching.

For those just getting started, a new Meditation for Beginners programme will help users understand the fundamentals before diving into the studio sessions.

Pilates

Pilates will now be added to Fitness+ as a new low-impact workout type. Providing users with more options to improve their strength and flexibility. While most Fitness+ Pilates workouts can be done on a mat, many others also incorporate the use of a resistance band. Pilate workouts can be 10, 20 or 30 minutes long.

(Apple)

California Streaming: iPad Upgrades

The 10.2-inch iPad is Apple’s most popular iPad and now it comes with A13 Bionic, Centre Stage, True Tone, and more storage.

The 9th generation iPad now has a powerful A13 Bionic chip, making it super fast and capable. A 10.2″ display with True Tone, a new 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Centre Stage, support for the 1st Generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard and twice the storage options. It is available to order today and will be available on Friday September 24th at £319.

A13 Bionic

The new iPad comes with the A13 Bionic, making it 20% perform better than previous. Making it 3x as faster than the best selling Chromebook and up to 6x faster than the best selling Android tablet. Allowing for seamless transition between apps and games. The Neural Engine in A13 Bionic also powers the machine learning capabilities including Live Text in iPadOS 15.

Front Camera

Center Stage comes to the iPad, thanks to the new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and Neural Engine. As users move around Centre Stage will automatically pan to keep them in view. If others join in the camera detects them too and smoothly zooms out to keep them in the conversation.

Display

True Tone comes to the iPad for the first time. A new upgraded ambient light sensor enables True Tone. Adjusting the screen content to the colour temperature of the room. Making images more natural and provides for a better viewing experience.

Storage

Storage has also been upgraded and begins at 64gb, while going all the way up to 256gb for those looking for more.

(Apple)

California Streaming: iPad Mini

Apple have redesigned the iPad mini. It now has a full screen 8.3 inch Liquid Retina display and comes in 4 finishes. It also has the new A15 Bionic Chip, and delivers up to 80% new faster performance. USB C allows for faster connectivity, cellular models bring 5g, new advanced cameras, Centre Stage and support for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. New iPad mini is available to order today and will be in stores September 24th.

New Display

The new iPad mini comes in Pink, Starlight, Purple and Space Grey. Features a full screen 8.3″ Liquid Retina display with narrow borders whilst remaining mini. It has 500 nits of brightness, a P3 wide colour gamut, anti-reflective screen coating, True Tone and full lamination. Landscape stereo speakers combined with the new display makes it great for viewing videos and movies.

The new screen display is enabled by moving the Touch ID to the top button of the iPad mini. iPad mini now supports Apple Pencil 2nd gen too.

A15 Bionic

The new A15 Bionic Chip allows for an all-day battery life. The 6-core CPU delivers a 40% upgrade in performance, 5 Core GPU delivers an 80% increase in graphics performance compared to previous generations. It can play games effortlessly and switch between apps seamlessly.

Advanced machine learning functions are powered by a 16 core Neural Engine and new ML accerlators in the CPU. Helping to deliver 2x faster ML tasks than previous generations. Combined with the CPU and GPU, the Neural Engine enables apps to deliver next level experiences such as image recognition and natural language learning. Such as Live Text, which uses on-device intelligence to recognise text in photos. Which can also be translated into 7 different languages.

Centre Stage

Centre Stage comes to iPad mini, so users can enjoy more engaging video calls. The upgraded Ultra Wide front camera with a new 12MP sensor and a much larger field of view. The camera will automatically pan the camera to keep viewers in view. While if others join in the camera will zoom out to keep them in too.

The back camera now features a 12MP sensor with a Focus Pixels and a larger aperture to capture sharp, vivid photos. The back camera will also feature a True Tone flash, perfect for capturing images in low light. The A15 Bionic will allow for remarkably natural-looking photos with Smart HDR.

5G and USB C

5G is now on iPad mini, allowing you to reach up to 3.5Gbps in ideal conditions. Users can now stay connected wherever they are. iPad mini also has support for Gigabit LTE and eSIM, iPad mini offers incredible flexibility when users need to get connected. Wi-Fi 6 ensures even faster Wi-Fi connections as well.

iPad mini now features a USB-C port for up to 5Gbps data transfer, which is 10x faster than the previous generation. USB-Connectivity allows for connection to a vast ecosystem of USB-C accessories including cameras and external storage and displays up to 4K.

California Streaming: Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 has a reengineered Always-On Retina display with a larger screen area, thinner borders making it the largest and most advanced display. Narrower borders on the display maximise the screen area, without touching the dimensions of the watch. It has softer and more rounded corners. The display now has a unique refractive edge that makes full screen watch fasces and apps. Making it appear to seamlessly connect with the curvature of the case. You can also read more on the larger display and has two unique watch faces that makes use of the new display. Contour and Modular Duo. The watch can now charge 33% faster.

It also has a durability upgrade with a more crack resistance front crystal, IPX certification for resistance to dust and a WR50 water resistance rating. The entire Apple Watch Series 7 lineup will be available later this autumn.

Design

The display is 20% larger and thinner borders at just 1.7mm, 40% smaller than that on Series 6. An innovative design maximises the screen area whilst minimally changing the dimensions of the watch itself. The always on display is also now up to 70% brighter indoors than the Apple Watch Series 6. Making it easier to see without having to raise the wrist.

The UI has also been optimised to take advantage of the shape and size of the new display. You can now have two larger font sizes and a new QWERTY keyboard. Which can be tapped or swiped with QuickPath, allowing users to slide a finger to type. It will also use on device machine learning to anticipate the next word based on context.

Durability

Apple Watch Series 7 features a redesigned front crystal. 50% thicker than that of Apple Watch Series 6, making it more crack resistant without compromising optical clarity. It is also IP6X dust-resistant, making it more durable in environments such as the beach or the desert. Also keeping the WR50 water resistance.

Charging

Apple Watch Series 7 has an 18 hour battery life on a single charge and a 33% faster charging compared to Apple Watch Series 6. All through a new charging architecture and Magnetic Fast Charger USB-C Cable.

(Apple)

California Streaming: iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini the next generations of smartphones have been announced. There is a beautiful design with sleek flat edges. Both models comes with a brand new advanced dual camera system ever on iPhone. With a new wide camera with bigger pixels and sensor shift image stabilisation. Allowing for improvements in low light photos and videos. New personalisation with the camera with Photographic Styles and Cinematic mode. A15 Bionic also allows for a longer battery life, brighter Super Retina XDR display, new durable Ceramic Shield front cover, double entry level storage at 128gb and IP68 rating for water resistance.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will be available in Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED,1 with pre-orders beginning Friday, September 17, and availability beginning Friday, September 24.

Design

Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have amazing Ceramic Shield exclusive to iPhone and tougher than any other smartphone glass. Both of the 6.1inch and 5.4inch displays are safe. They also have IP68 water resistance rating and are designed to protect from spills and common liquids. A new redesigned rear camera with diagonally arranged lenses enables the advance dual camera system. A redesigned TrueDepth camera system is smaller while still packing the same tech as before, but it’s smaller. Allowing Face ID but offering more display area.

Super Retina XDR OLED

The Super Retina XDR OLED display has been improved to deliver a 28% increase in max outdoor brightness at 800 nits, higher peak brightness for HDR content like photos and videos at 1200 nits.

Battery has been improved thanks to the A15 Bionic. More efficient components, a larger battery, and power optimisations. iPhone 13 will deliver an all-day battery, offering up to 2 1/2 more hours in a day than iPhone 12. While iPhone 13 mini will provide up to 1 1/2 more hours in a day than iPhone 12 mini.

Camera

Cameras on the iPhone and iPhone 13 mini have a massive upgrade. There’s a new Wide camera with 1.7 µm pixels, combined with the biggest sensor ever in an iPhone dual-camera system. It will allow for 47% more light for less noise and brighter results. Sensor-shift OIS, the same tech introduced in iPhone 12 Pro Max, also comes to the Wide Camera. Even in the iPhone 13 mini. Stabilises the sensor instead of the lens so shots are more steady. While the custom -designed Ultra Wide camera with a new sensor captures images with more detail in the dark areas of photos and videos with less noise.

Cinematography

Apple done an extensive study of cinematography and the powerful use of rack focus, Cinematic mode on iPhone records videos of people, pets, and objects with a beautiful depth effect with automatic focus changes, so anyone can capture cinema-style moments, even if they aren’t a professional filmmaker.

While you can also adjust the focus during and after capture. Changing the level of the bokeh in the photos app and iMovie for iOS. While this adjustment will also soon come to iMovie for MacOS and Final Cut Pro. Cinematic mode records in Dolby Vision HDR. With both models offering HDR video recording with Dolby Vision. Support for 4K up to 60fps on all cameras.

A faster Neural Engine in A15 Bionic, new image signal processor and advancements in computational photography power all-new features on iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini.

Photography Styles

Photographic Styles allows for users to bring their own personal photo style to every image. Preset and customised preferences work across scenes and subjects, more than just a filter. Intelligently applying the right adjustments to different parts of the photo. While ensuring important parts are preserved, such as a persons skin tone.

The dual camera system and  power of computational photography support Smart HDR 4, now with improved colour, contrast, and lighting for each subject in a group photo, including in challenging conditions, making images more true to life, as well as improved Night mode. And the TrueDepth camera supports all the amazing new camera features, including Cinematic mode, Photographic Styles, Smart HDR 4, and more.

A15 Bionic

A15 Bionic is much faster than the competition delivering a much improved performance and power efficiency making everything fluid in iPhone 13. The 6-Core CPU has 2 high performance cores and 4 high efficiency cores and is up to 50% faster than the competition. While the new 4-core GPU is up to 30% faster than the competition. Allowing for more lifelike visuals and improved lighting effects in graphics intensive games.

The new 16-core Neural Engine is capable of faster machine learning for features such as the Live Text in Camera in iOS15.

5G

5G is also on the new iPhone 13 transforming the way users share, connect and enjoy content.

Users can experience higher-quality video streaming on their favourite platforms, more competitive gameplay in multi-player games, faster download and upload speeds, and so much more.

(Apple)

California Streaming: iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple have announced a brand new set of their top of their line smartphones. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Both models feature the all new Super Retina XDR Display with ProMotion, featuring adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Pro camera system has brand new Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto cameras that capture amazing photos and videos. All powered by the amazing A15 Bionic. With macro photography coming to the iPhone for the first time on the Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance on the new Wide camera.

Photography

Computational photography features such as Photographic Styles personalise the look of images in the camera app. With both models now having Night mode on all cameras. Video takes a huge leap with Cinematic mode for beautiful depth of field transitions, macro video, Time-lapse and slow mo and better low-light performance.

Both models offer end to end pro workflows in Dolby Vision and ProRes. iPhone and iPhone 13 Pro Max also have 5G. There are also big improvements to the battery life and a new max storage to 1TB and the Ceramic Shield front cover.

Phone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be available in four stunning finishes, including Graphite, Gold, Silver, and the all-new Sierra Blue. Pre-orders begin Friday, September 17, with availability beginning Friday, September 24.

Cameras

There is new sensors and lenses for all 3 rear cameras, powered by the new image processor in the A15 Bionic for improved noise reduction and tone mapping. The all-new Wide camera has a larger sensor with 1.9 µm pixels. For far less noise and faster shutter speeds needed across lighting conditions.

Coupled with the larger ƒ/1.5 aperture, the Wide camera on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max offers a massive improvement in low-light situations, up to 2.2x when compared to iPhone 12 Pro, and nearly 1.5x when compared to iPhone 12 Pro Max. Sensor-shift optical image stabilisation (OIS) — unique to iPhone. Is available on both models, stabilising the sensor instead of the lens, so images are smooth and video is steady, even when the user is not.

Ultra Wide

New Ultra Wide camera features a wider  ƒ/1.8 aperture and a new autofocus system, bringing a 92 percent improvement for low-light environments, producing images that are brighter and sharper.

The new lens design has autofocus capability for the first time on the Ultra Wide on iPhone. While the software on iPhone allows for macro photography. Users can capture sharp, stunning images, magnifying subjects with a minimum focus distance of 2cm. You can also use macro to video including Slow-Mo and Time-Lapse. The Telephoto camera is now 77m, allowing users to get closer to the subjects while recording video. You can also achieve even more classically framed portraits, offering 3x optical zoom for a total 6x optical zoom range on the camera system.

Photography Styles

A faster Neural Engine in A15 Bionic, new ISP, and advancements in computational photography power the all-new camera features on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Photographic Styles allows users to bring their personal photo preferences to every image.

Preset and customised preferences work across scenes and subjects, and unlike a filter, intelligently apply the right adjustments to different parts of the photo to ensure the important elements, like skin tones, are preserved.

Night Mode comes to all cameras on iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max, with Smart HDR 4, users can expect improved colour, contrast and lighting for subjects. Even in group shots or challenging lighting situations. iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also has the same features you all love such as Deep Fusion, Apple ProRAW, and Portrait mode with Portrait Lighting.

Video

There is a brand new Cinematic mode on iPhone allow for a beautiful depth effect with automatic focus changes. Therefore allowing for cinematic style content creation. Focus can also be changed during and after the capture on Photos and iMovie on iOS. Coming soon to iMac on MacOS and Final Cut Pro. Enabled by A15 Bionic and advanced machine learning algorithms, Cinematic mode records in Dolby Vision HDR.

Separate to the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Pro / Pro Max can shoot in ProRes an advanced video codec used for commercials, films and TV broadcasts. Offering higher colour fidelity and less compression. Helped by the new camera hardware, advanced video encoders and decoders and the A15 Bionic and flash storage pipeline. iPhone is the only smartphone in the world to provide an end-to-end workflow — capture, edit, and share in Dolby Vision or ProRes.

Super Retina XDR

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max has a Super Retina XDR with ProMotion, supporting an adaptive refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz. Allowing users to have fast frame rates when users need it. Intelligently preserving battery life when they don’t. Making everything feel more responsive as a result.

While the display is the brightest ever at up to 25% higher max outdoor brightness at 1000nits. Allowing users to experience amazing resolution, colour, and contrast whether casually scrolling through the web or watching HDR videos.

Redesign

The new Pro lineup has a new premium flat-edge design, crafted with surgical grade stainless steel band. The finish is resistant to abrasion and corrosion with a textured matte glass back. Both models are protected by the Ceramic Shield front cover, exclusive to iPhone. Which is tougher than any other smartphone glass, offering great durability and drop performance. The screen also has a 20% smaller area to house the TrueDepth camera system, allowing for more screen real estate.

Battery life is much improved, iPhone 13 Pro will last up to 1 1/2 hours longer than iPhone 12. While iPhone 13 Pro Max will last up to 2 1/2 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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Air Up

We have been trying Air Up recently and it’s quite frankly amazing. You can drink Coca Cola without actually drinking Coca Cola. In fact you are drinking just pure water. Yes that’s right. Pure Water. That tastes like Coca Cola.

All thanks to SCIENCE.

Retronasal – The Science.

Well Air Up firstly is a drinks bottle that holds water.

But what makes it taste differently is thanks to retronasal smell. This is the science term for a process of tasting with your nose. When you smell something, it passes through your throat and to the olfactory centre in the nose and manifests itself in the brain as a taste.

So it’s quite simple really.

The water bottle has a scented disk on the top and when you drink you smell the aroma which in turn then tricks your brain into thinking your water is flavoured.

How To Use Air Up

  1. Fill up your air up® bottle with fresh drinking water. Fizzy or flat, it doesn’t matter; make it your own.
  2. Attach the straw to the mouthpiece, and slide the straw into the bottle
  3. Fit the mouthpiece tightly into place, lining the teardrop shape with the 650ml marking.
  4. Remove the aroma Pod from the packaging and press it onto the mouthpiece.
  5. Activate the aroma Pod by pulling it gently up until it naturally stops. The scent is now active.
  6. Drink by sucking the water up through the straw. You do not need to tilt the bottle.
  7. Experience scent-based taste, whilst drinking only water.
  8. Attach the bottle cap, covering the mouthpiece and Pod. The Pod is now de-activated. Remember to keep the aroma Pod on the bottle when adding the lid to ensure there are no leaks.

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Lupe Pure Vacuum Cleaner

The Lupe Vacuum cleaner is a fantastic vacuum cleaner that has some of the best suction from a vacuum cleaner! It can last up to 60 minutes too and has one say to use head. No need to change a head depending on the surface. Not only that the Lupe Vacuum cleaner is also very very sturdy!

Hard Wearing Lupe Pure Vacuum Cleaner

The Lupe Pure Vacuum Cleaner is not only hard wearing and is built to last a long time. It has easily replaceable parts which are available direct from Lupe. Each feature is intergratedinto the specification for a long lasting product.

The Cleaner

The Lupe Pure Vacuum Cleaner has got a patented ‘Suction Intensifier’ sealed for the maximum suction from the product all the time and every time. Deliverying the strongest and most efficient suction of any cordless vacuum cleaner on the market. Also for the 60 minutes too!

All Surfaces

One head, all surfaces. That’s what the Lupe design is all about. It can work effectively across any and all surfaces and picking up all debris on each of the surfaces too! This is helped with the high power brush bar which is perfect for cleaning hair and deep dirt. While the inlet and counter rotating design helps to pick up all debris from all surface types. The surfaces are tackled thanks to composite roller with an inner soft core. Helping to make a dynamic seal conforming to all surfaces. Which in turn help to collect large debris. Furthermore an air tight and tough outer skin eliminate any unnecessary leaks and helps to maximise the suction.

What’s Inside the Lupe Pure Vacuum Cleaner Box?

  • Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner main body
  • Universal pick-up head with suction intensifier technology
  • Detachable lithium ion battery pack
  • Charger coming with EU, UK, US and AU plug adapters
  • Detachable wand
  • Multi-function crevice and upholstery accessory tools with on-board mount

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Microsoft Heist of $10M!

Volodymyr Kvashuk likely isn’t a name you’ve heard before. Had his scheme gone according to plan, it would’ve stayed that way and he could have walked away with over 10 Million Dollars. Stolen from Microsoft. Turns out, things didn’t go so well for Kvashuk. Here’s the story of the Microsoft Heist of $10M! 

Volodymyr Kvashuk received a $15 code a few weeks before Christmas, in 2017, among a batch of 20 others worth $300 altogether. But the engineer, who went by Vova for short and was in his mid-20s, hadn’t paid for the Xbox gift cards himself, nor were they some early holiday present from relatives.

Vova  was originally from Rivne Oblast, in the western part of Ukraine. He’d studied computer science and economics at a top university where his mother and father taught. Apparently he was clever but average student. A report card shows he received a C in finance and a D in risk management.

He like all the normal things in life. Drinking beers while playing Minesweeper and World of Warcraft games, did a little bit of boxing for Fun, and rode a motorcycle.

Kvashuk first arrived in the U.S. from Ukraine in 2015 to attend the wedding of his aunt Alla, who was marrying a dentist from Southern California.

Like so many of us he fell in love with the SoCal lifestyle, the sun sea, surf, good vibes. Also he got himself a girlfriend and a software gig reviewing JavaScript code.

He sounded like he was living the dream eh?

He even had a legit side hustle…

In his spare time, Vova and a fellow Washington-based entrepreneur named Lee Wang started a company, SearchDom.AI, which they pitched as an “automated solution for all your marketing problems.”

The Microsoft Heist of $10M beginnings…

Here’s how it started. So in 2016, Vova started Microsoft as a tester, placing mock online orders to make sure everything was working smoothly.

His team’s focus was to simulate purchases on Microsoft’s online store, looking for glitches in the payments system. This meant making lots of pretend purchases in the store. If Kvashuk added a computer to his shopping cart, he’d use a fake credit card number Microsoft had provided to complete the transaction, and document any errors that may pop up. So that way he could test the whole sales process and the system knew the purchase was fake. So it wouldn’t deliver the device to him. At least that was what was supposed to happen.

Then Kvashuk found a bug that would change his life, a flaw so stupidly obvious that he couldn’t bring himself to report it to his managers. While the software automatically prevented shipment of physical products to testers like Vova. It didn’t block the purchase of virtual gift cards.  

To be clear when he did a “test” shop and used his fake credit card number from Microsoft to buy a gift card. The gift card number that it churned out was a real one that could be used to buy anything from the Microsoft store. So the 26-year-old Kvashuk discovered that he could use his test account to buy real store credit and then use the credit to buy real products.

Free Money

 So it must have dawned on him that he could generate virtually unlimited codes, all for free. However, what he should have done is gone to a supervisor and pointed out the problem. Got this little error sorted out. He could have just left it alone.

While this was not the case. The temptation was too much.

A former senior engineer on Vova’s team, says this was the  equivalent bank leaving its vault unlocked. 

“Sooner or later, someone’s going to try to get away with taking $20,” the ex-Microsoft employee says. “When they don’t get caught, they figure, ‘All I need is six guys to empty out the safe one night when no other employees are around.’ 

So Vova started small he bought a Microsoft Office subscription, but when no one objected to that an some other small purchases…he scaled up. Of course as you scale up you need to keep the heat off your back.

So, he worked from his apartment , masking his internet traffic by routing it through servers in Japan and Russia. 

After placing a  couple test orders, dozens of gift card codes immediately appeared, worth $2,000, then $4,200, and eventually a lot more.

Also Kvashuk and his co-workers usually switched between a couple of these mock profiles and presumably the fake credit card details. When they were working, to conceal his identity, though, Kvashuk figured out his colleagues’ passwords and used their test logins.

Lets not forget….Vova was a techy, and having to make each transaction one by one manually must have got boring. So in January 2018, Kvashuk built a computer program,  called PurchaseFlow.CS, to speed things up. 

Going into Overdrive Microsoft Heist of $10M!

With PurchaseFlow.CS fired up, in just a few clicks h he could select a gift card denomination like  (20, 30, 75, 100), the currency output (U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds), and the desired number of purchases. 

Prosecutors later said the program was:

“created for one purpose, and one purpose only: to automate embezzlement and allow fraud and theft on a massive scale.”

I can hear you asking though. How comes this didn’t get flagged earlier? Well you have to understand the sheer size of the gift card business for Microsoft and how well they work for them as a company.

Here is how big gift cards are for Microsoft. Microsoft briefly considered outsourcing its gift cards to a third-party provider such as Visa Inc., but the business was too lucrative and the company didn’t want to give Visa a cut. Now when Visa asks for a transaction fee cut it’s usually only a few percent. So for a small percentage to be worth so much to a company must been that they are turning over A LOT.

Also the gift cards also served as a low-cost promotional tool: Microsoft occasionally gives them to gamers to generate goodwill and has to count the giveaway as a marketing expense only if the cards are redeemed, which, of course, they often aren’t. 

Also Microsoft incurs fewer transaction fees from gift card redemptions than it does when it processes a credit card sale.

So by the time Vova started his scam, the company’s virtual bank was facilitating hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions. Would anyone notice if some of it went missing? 

With his new programme PurchaseFlow.CS working away Vova was filling up Excel Page after Excel  page of microsoft codes. With that the same Microsoft Office subscription he used at the start! Vova’s Excel sheet full of codes would total 2,344 pages. So now it was time to cash out!

Selling Out

Vova decided to get rid of the gift cards, the place he was going to do it was Paxful.com, a leading marketplace for trading gift cards for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. While, at the time, Paxful didn’t require verifiable government IDs, allowing users to stay anonymous. For Vova this was perfect.

The platform is popular with bulk buyers and sellers, who barter via chat message. Paxful holds the crypto in escrow until a trade is agreed upon and then the customer gets their order and you get your crypto cash!

Vova crated the user name “Grizzled Wolf” and placed a mouth watering offer in early 2018:

“Xbox gift cards in denominations of $30, $50, and $75, for roughly 55% off….Looking for a trading partner…. “We start trade, I give you code. If I’m online, it’s instant.”

He also offered the same deals in other currencies like Australian dollars and Japanese yen.

So along came a customer by the name of Makoo. Makoo ordered almost 30 grand worth of Xbox cards from Grizzled Wolf. The transaction went smoothly and presumably Makoo went on to sell the codes as singles for a some profit. But Vova aka Grizzled Wolf wanted to go big or go home. He pushed Makoo and other traders for larger transactions.

While in the end Makoo and another Paxful user accounted for about $7 million in transactions of Microsoft gift cards. They were probably backed by someone else who was bankrolling these transactions.

Bloomberg amanged to get in contact with a small timer called Avstebone aka Avi Rachlin, who is now 19 and studying business at Penn State University. He said:

“A ton of my friends on the school bus played Xbox, so I would buy these codes from this dealer on Paxful at a steep discount, and then resell them to my friends, still at a great discount,” explains Avsterbone,

 “If I’m getting 50% off, they’re getting 25% off. Everyone’s winning—except, as we now know, Microsoft.”

Vova was getting bitcoin which I know people generally think is super untraceable. However people transacting with Bitcoin can keep their identities anonymous, but the numbers corresponding to any transaction are tracked on a digital public ledger. Known as the blockchain, creating a record for government authorities. So you can be tracked.

 So Vova needed a way around it. He  attempted to avoid this by funnelling some of his earnings through ChipMixer.com, which U.S. prosecutors defined it as an

“ internet money laundering tool that acts as a “blender” to mix around Bitcoin with different crypto of the same value, “to obscure and conceal the original source” and “obliterate the blockchain trail.” 

However a ChipMixer spokesperson says the system is intended for privacy and that it’s “used by many individuals and some may be bad people.”

Vova then transferred the replacement Bitcoin into his account at Coinbase, which is a well known crypto wallet. He then sold his Bitcoin for money. 

LOTS OF CASH

In March 2018 he deposited $1.4 million from Coinbase into his personal account. Then an additional $935,000 in April.

He told his accountant that the monies were simply a gift from his father. This is where Vova started to flash the cash a little.

He bought a red Tesla Model S for $162,899 and then a modern $1.675 million house to match on Lake Washington with a boat dock IN CASH!

But while all was looking lovely on the outside investigators did pick up signs of stress. Web search histories suggest he was trying to quit alcohol and looking into acquiring a Canadian visa. Business was still humming, but Kvashuk began running into trouble with his supply. 

For some odd reason, certain 5×5 codes were no longer working when buyers tried to redeem them online. 

Remember Avsterbone, the high schooler? His codes stopped working for him and his friends. So he demanded a refund.

Avsterbone also told Vova he’d phoned Microsoft’s customer service number and was warned that the gift cards had been reported stolen. 

Vova aka ’Grizzled Wolf issued refunds, provided new gift cards to other customers, and blamed his “supplier” for any “dead” codes.

After receiving a bunch of invalid codes, Makoo also contacted Microsoft, infuriating Vova who said:

 “Damn, man, you should not send this request to Microsoft. Send them to me,” “If they will start tracking me down, I will just bail.”

However, Microsoft were already on the case. 

Microsoft Heist of $10M! – Microsoft’s Payback.

In February 2018, the company’s Fraud Investigation Strike Team aka FIST noticed an inexplicable spike in online purchases using gift card codes. Probably from the PurchaseFlow.CS programme Vova set up that was creating thousands of codes!

According to an internal report, Microsoft’s fraud team theorised that the hack came from someone outside of the company at first but soon realised it was an inside job.

In March corporate investigators traced irregular activity to two internal test accounts assigned to employees on Microsoft’s store team. The accounts, they learned, had already gobbled up almost $8 million in codes that were selling on Paxful and other sites. They blacklisted the test accounts. But then a third account to begin buying codes a few days later. That account managed to steal $1.6 million more of Xbox gift cards within 26 hours before Microsoft blocked it, too.

The net started to tighten as investigators questioned the employees behind who had access to test accounts. Which was not very successful. 

FIST figuring things out….

FIST worked out that a program called Fiddler, which employees used to file bug reports, contained data divulging tester logins. Anyone with access to Fiddler could’ve hacked the accounts, suggesting that some other employee or contractor might be responsible.

But the FIST armed with FIDDLER info wasn’t enough. They needed to wheel in the big guns. A veteran detective of Scotland Yard’s computer crime unit, Andrew Cookson. Cookson quickly zeroed in on a new suspect: Volodymyr Kvashuk aka VOVA…

Cookson and FIST using FIDDLER found that one of Kvashuk’s official test accounts had bought some Xbox gift cards illegitimately in 2017. 

More suspiciously, Kvashuk was connected to another batch of stolen codes that had been used at Microsoft’s web store to buy three high-end GeForce graphics cards, manufactured by Nvidia Corp. 

The buyer had shipped them to “Grigor Shikor” at unit 309 of the Norman Arms in Seattle. Nobody by that name lived at the Norman Arms, and the highest unit number was 308. Kvashuk had lived in 101. 

Although he thought he hid his usage through international servers, he hadn’t done well enough as they found a trail of breadcrumbs which included an outdated version of Firefox..which lead right back to him.

Discoveries….

Investigators even discovered that the Microsoft Office license he bought at the start of his scam was registered to an administrative account for SearchDom.

On July 16, 2019, his work accounts deactivated and it was time for the federal agents to get involved.

They found after searching his place, a haul of evidence including: 

  • Crypto wallet keys
  • Notebooks with bank account information
  • USB drives crammed with stolen 5×5 codes
  • Wads of cash

They also found Vova’s wish list called  “How I will manage my next 10 million.”

Which included:

  • A $4 million home in Maui
  • A $1 million house in “the mountains near ski lift,”
  • Just“1 yacht.”

In February 2020, federal prosecutors from the Western District of Washington took Kvashuk to trial for money laundering, identity theft, and wire and mail fraud, as well as filing false tax returns. The IRS managed to trace laundered crypto funds. 

But said Kvashuk took “steps to conceal the money trail from his crime. He could have millions hidden somewhere.”

According to prosecutors, Vova’s code making wa so prolific that it got to the point where his money-printing scheme was “singularly responsible for global fluctuations in the price of Xbox gift cards on reseller markets.”

Vova’s Excuse for the Microsoft Heist of $10M! 

Kvashuk’s attorneys argued that their client had no intention of defrauding anyone. He had generated the gift card codes to help the company because the more freebies Xbox gave away, the more popular the platform would be, increasing overall spending. So, his logic went, why not give away tens of thousands of free Xbox gift cards to test if that somehow boosted engagement and sales down the road?

Anyway of course, the judge and jury found his defence ridiculous and declared him guilty on all counts. He’s likely to be deported back to Ukraine after serving time in prison until March 2027 and will have to make restitution of $8.3 million.

(Bloomberg, PC Gamer, American Justice Dept)

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Killer Drones – Safety or Defence

Skynet is here and it’s in the shape of Killer Drones. For those not aware Skynet is, according to trusty old wikipedia:

“Skynet is a fictional artificial neural network-based conscious group mind and artificial general superintelligence system that serves as the antagonistic force of the Terminator franchise.”

Skynet is a computer programme that became self aware. With full access to all of the weapons known to man and tries to wipe out mankind. Then in the future finds out the way to kill mankind is too make robots that look just like them.

What if we told you that, automated killing machines, that have minds of their own. Isn’t too far off real life?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

So basically unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are commonly used for search-and-rescue missions when disasters occur. They, most often, take aerial imagery of structural damage.

Would a drone capable of tracking you down by listening for your voice, would that creep you out? What if you were pinned under rubble after a disaster? Maybe then a human seeking drone wouldn’t be such a bad or creepy idea.

This is the concept of focus for engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer institute, who’ve built a drone prototype designed to find people by detecting human screams and listening for other signs of distress. 

One of the lead engineers…, Macarena Varela showcased their progress in early 2021.

How they work…

By setting up an auditory (lots of mics pointing in different directions) to decipher between human cries and sounds of nature. Such as animal calls, wind and even it’s own propellers. The drone may also need to recognise patterns associated with kicking, clapping, or other ways people try to get the attention of rescue teams.

To do this they built a database of “impulsive” human noises to train the drone against. So they recorded themselves screaming, tapping and creating other noises which would determine a sign of people in trouble. Furthermore they analysed each sound frequency to find common ‘signatures’ and used them to train artificual intelligence software.

Therefore making drones attracted to the screams of distressed humans. While it is easy to imagine drones in a sci-fi horror movie,  Macarena says the gadget would be ideal for post-disaster scenarios, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires. They could hover over an area that rescue crews have difficulty getting to and pinpoint where people may be trapped.

Macarena said:

“[Drones] can cover a larger area in a shorter period of time than rescuers or trained dogs on the ground,” 

“If there’s a collapsed building, it can alert and assist rescuers. It can go places they can’t fly to or get to themselves.”

In terms of how well the tech works…Macarea said

“We have already succeeded in angularly detecting and locating impulsive sounds very precisely … with the presence of drone noise,” Varela said. “The engineers are in the process of patenting their method for tracking down sounds using microphones.”

So it works they are just getting the patent sorted. Also, since announcing their development, the researchers have been approached by various organisations interested in partnering with Macarena and her team.


Safety Drones

How safe can drones be?

Other drones have thermal imaging capabilities to scan for body heat, while larger drones can deliver medical supplies and other goods to people in isolated areas. However, researchers are finding more novel uses for an extra set of eyes in the sky and even noses!

The University of Washington has paper about a new type of tech called a bio-hybrid odor-guided autonomous palm-sized air vehicle. Basically a drones that use smell to locate disaster survivors. 

The Aerospace Corporation is teaching the AI-enabled drones to recognise humans and dogs in trouble, then sharing their locations with rescue teams. While, the University of Zurich developed a drone to change shape mid flight to fit into oddly shaped crevices. 

Killer Drones

There are already military grade autonomous drones that can fly themselves to a location, pick their own target and then kill. Without the assistance of a remote human operator.

An article on NPR said that  

“Such weapons are known to be in development, but until recently there were no reported cases of autonomous drones killing fighters on the battlefield.”

That was until they found a United Nations report about a March 2020 skirmish in the military conflict in Libya that says such a drone, known as a lethal autonomous weapons system — or LAWS — was used…

But the report does not say explicitly that the LAWS killed anyone – but it does say 

“People were hunted down and remotely engaged by the unmanned combat aerial vehicles or the lethal autonomous weapons systems such as [one called] the STM Kargu-2…”.

Killer Drones: Kargo 2

The Kargo 2 is made by Turkish Company STM, the brochure for the Kargo is here.The Kargu is described as an “Autonomous Rotary Wing Attack Drone”. While one of its features is 

 “KARGU®️ is capable of performing fully autonomous navigation vis STM’s unique flight control system. In addition, the platform is able to perform precision strike for low signature, beyond line of sight targets.”

More from How To Kill An Hour

So while drones can be really powerful and great to help the human race. They can also be rather scary. 

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Audi Q4 e-tron – SUV Goodness!

We recently got the chance to try out the Audi Q4 e-Tron an amazing electric SUV that we really enjoyed using! It’s perfect for around town driving. However, if you wish to drive along the motorway, you may need to keep in mind that the vehicle will need charging up at either end. As you won’t be able to make it there and back on a single charge!

Audi Q4 e-tron Design

The impeccably designed Audi Q4 e-tron is the next big step in the evolution of electric Audi cars. Fully electric, expressive and ready for the everyday.

The maximum electric performance the vehicle has is 150kw, has acceleration speeds of 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds and has a range of up to 316miles.

The looks of the Audi Q4 e-tron are just as amazing as you’d think from an Audi. It makes a strong statement with strong lines giving it an assured and sophisticated look. It has a big look to it and has very large wheels. Just what you’d expect from an SUV. While the large grille, on the front gives it that signature Audi look.

The inside is just as incredible. There is no middle tunnel where the powertrain would usually sit. So therefore, you get much more legroom for passengers. There’s also 520 litres of luggage space and clever stowage compartments which make it perfect for the family as well. Technology wise there is a touchscreen and a multifunctional steering wheel, not only that the dashboard is head up display too! Giving it an overall futuristic look. Great for tech lovers such as ourselves!

Audi Q4 e-tron Technology

The Audi Q4 e-tron has loads of tech inside of it, all with the latest Audi innovation. There is a first for Audi with an optional head up display. Better yet it uses augmented reality to project driver information on to the road ahead. Another optional first for drivers is the optional premium sound system from SONOS. Standard tech on the Audi A4 e-tron is the Audi Virtual cockpit; MMI Navigation plus a 10.1″ touch screen and a double spoke steering wheel. Also the steering wheel has touch sensitive operation!

Drivers can also opt for an optional complimentary 7kW callbox when ordering an Audi Q4 e-tron.

Editions

The Audi Q4 e-tron comes in Sport Line, a S Line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung editions.

Sport

Key highlights include:
– 19″ x 8.0J 5-W-spoke ‘aero’ alloy wheels, Graphite grey, gloss turned finish
– LED headlights with LED daytime running light, LED rear lights
– Contrast bumpers in Manhattan grey paint finish
– Front Sport seats in Routine cloth with integrated head restraints
– MMI Navigation Plus with 10.1″ touch screen display
– Audi Virtual Cockpit
– 3 zone automatic air conditioning with remote preconditioning

S Line

In addition or replacement to Sport, S line trim highlights include:
– 20″ x 8.0J (front) 9.0 J (rear) 5-Y-spoke alloy wheels
– S line exterior styling with Privacy glass
– Front sport seats with ‘S’ embossed logo in Pulse cloth / leatherette with integrated head restraints
– Ambient lighting package

Edition 1

In addition or replacement to S line, Edition 1 trim highlights include:
– 20″ x 8.0J (front) 9.0J (rear) 5-V-spoke polygon style Audi Sport alloy wheels, matt Titanium grey, gloss turned finish
– Audi Matrix LED headlights with digital light signatures, dynamic light sequencing and dynamic indicators
– Full body colour paint finish
– Black styling pack
– Front sport seats with ‘S’ embossed logo in Twin leather with integrated head restraint
– Electrically adjustable seats with memory function for driver seat and exterior mirrors
– Flat top and bottomed twin-spoke leather multi-function Sport steering wheel with shift paddles for recuperation

Vorsprung

In addition or replacement to Edition 1, Vorsprung trim highlights include:
– 21″ 8.5J (front) 9.0J (rear) 5 arm rotor ‘evo’ Audi Sport alloys wheels, matt titanium grey, gloss turned
– Contrast bumpers in Manhattan grey paint finish
– Front Sport seats with ‘S’ embossed logo in Fine Nappa leather with integrated headrests and contrast stitching in rhombus pattern
– Panoramic glass sunroof
– SONOS Premium Sound System
– Augmented reality head-up display
– A host of driver assistance systems

(Audi)

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Gozney Roccbox PORTABLE PIZZAS

We recently went away and tried out cooking. Guess what we made? Pizzas! With the Gozney Roccbox we didn’t even need a big powerful oven either! So who needs a BBQ when we can make PIZZAS!

The Gozney Roccbox is a restaurant-grade portable pizza oven. Also it’s portable and powerful. You can either dual fuel up and use the gas or use wood for the purest pizza experience.

Gozney Roccbox Features

Portable – Take Roccbox anywhere with it’s retractable legs, detachable burner and built-in thermometer.

Reaches 500°C – Enjoy unrivalled cooking results created by a thick stone floor, dense insulation and a unique rolling flame.

Gas or wood fuelled – Roccbox comes with a gas burner as standard, and the option to buy a detachable wood burner if you choose dual fuel.

Safe touch – Host pizza parties with the family friendly option. Roccbox’s safe-touch silicone jacket reduces the risk of skin burns that can often occur with metal bodied ovens.

Restaurant-grade Engineered to replicate the performance of Gozney’s professional ovens, used by leading chefs and restaurants all over the world.

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Steganography

Steganography Secret Messages

Steganography is an interesting piece of tech, but it can be used for malicious purposes. Here’s one story of just how interesting it can be and how it can be used to hide everything!

On the morning of the 1st of august 2018….FBI agents were seen in Niskayuna (Nisk-Kah-Yunah) New York walking, Xiaoqing Zheng (‘She-Ow-Jhing-Jhen’) a principal engineer at General Electric, to a car in handcuffs, the charge…theft. Zheng was smart man, he had a degree from the Sloan School of Management, a PHD in Aeronautical Engineering with 29 patents.

So a smart man means a smart crime and smart this mans crime was economic espionage and theft of General Electric’s trade secrets. To be specific Zheng had just been charged on 14 counts of Economic Espionage and Theft of General Electrics’s Trade Secrets. He had been caught after stealing nearly 20,000 electronic files detailing design models, engineering drawings, configuration files, and material specifications for gas and steam turbines. 

He was alleged to be sending the information to an aviation com in Nanjing China. So, this was a company which he started up, allegedly he started up with funding the government of china. He did it inside photographs.Yes he hid the information inside pictures, like sunsets. So, he emailed the images to himself with the title “Nice view to keep.”

The technique in it’s basic form is something that has been around for over two thousand year and that is Steganography.

Steganography

The word Steganography comes from the Greek steganós, meaning “covered or concealed,” and graphia meaning “writing.”

It’s like cryptography but slightly different. So cryptography is writing in code that is hard to decipher. So like morse code or the code that baseball players throw up to ask for different types of pitches. However, in steganography we’re trying to hide the fact that we’ve sent a message at all.

Like if I wrote you a letter with regular ink like, “whats up..fancy going to that nice new healthy restaurant in London?”. Yet wrote a secret message between the lines in, invisible ink that said “Let’s get a dirty takeaway tonight…” 

THAT is Steganography and it’s been used for YEARS!

Some good examples are:

  • Greek ruler Histiaeus – who shaved a servants head, tattood a message on the top of the shaved servant….let the hair grown back then sent them on their way with instructions to tell the person they were going to to shave em down and read the message.
  • Leonadro Di Vinchis Monal Lisa and Michelangelo’s contribution to the Sistine Chapel have got Steganography in them.
  • In 1941 – British army officer Major Alexis Casdagli was captured and imprisoned by the German forces in the early days of WW2. To pass the time he began stitching what would become known as The Casdagli Sampler. Along the border of the embroidered canvas, which features German swastikas, American eagles, British lions and Soviet hammer and sickles, are a series of irregular lines and dots. Those irregular lines and dots were Morse code for “Fuck Hitler.”
  • 1968 – The crew of the USS Pueblo were captured by North Koreans and brutally tortured. In propaganda photos aimed at showing how well the captives were being treated, the POWs snuck in their middle fingers in what became known as The Digit Affair.

Funny all these old school serious photos of people who are looking dead into the camera with their hand poking up with a middle finger, sort of thing a kid would do when they are getting class photos done!

Steganography How It’s Done.

Fast forward to now and we have got digital images. While digital images images can be megabytes or more and with steganography you can hide files of megabytes or more in them.

One way they do this is Least Significant Bit Substitution (LSB)

Least Significant Bit Substitution (LSB)

Changing the least significant bit of something to send a message

FIRST WE NEED A CODE using numbers…the simplest code I can think of is

1= yes

0 =no

SET THE SCENE – I WORK IN A BANK…I WANT TO GIVE YOU A SIGNAL TO TELL YOU THE BANK IS READY TO BE HEISTED and its full of cash by using our code.

If I change the last penny of your balance to a 1 = we are good to go!

If I change the last penny of your a zero we are not good to go….

No why the last penny because it is the least significant bit

But opening an account every time is long 

Where else can we find numbers?

Change the last digit of my bank account to a zero if 

Explain how you could hide a code in a three digit numberwitu last no code

1 = yes

2 = no

Now what if we did it with 

Odd = yes

Even = no

Then what if we messed with the last 2 digits?

Last two numbers = a letter in the alphabet

Bit more obvious so maybe it would be better if we took a 4 digit number and changed the last 2 digits

01 = a

02 = b

Pixels…

Pixels are numbers so by adjusting the data that makes the pixels in an image. Bit by bit. The pixels are the little coloured dots that make up images you see. So the megapixel cameras, so a million pixels in an image. Therefore if you change one or two slightly there is no way you can notice right!?

They do it by adjusting the lowest bits in the image, without getting into megabits and bytes. The best way of explaining this is:

Imagine each bit is a 3 digit number…

So one bit of info in the image is the number 100

If I only change the last digit of the number  then it doesn’t make much difference..like lets change the last number to 1…..so that would make 101

The difference between those two numbers is minor.

If you were to change the first number in the digit that would make a massive difference!

If you changed the first digit in 100 to 2 that would make 200…which is almost twice the number.. 

Make sense?

Well each byte of data is 8 numbers which means we have a lot to play with.

If I can change the last digit of that number like 12345677 then there is only a little difference between the numbers right?  

 Imagine every byte of data is 8 bits….lets call those numbers…

So now every byte of data is like like an 8 digit number 12345678 which would be 12,345,678 

If I only change the last digit of the number  then it doesn’t make much difference..like lets change the last number to 9…..so that would make 12345679.

The difference between those two numbers is minor.

If you were to change the first number in the digit that would make a massive difference!

If I can change the last digit of that number like 12345677 then there is only a little difference between the numbers right?  

Hidden messages

While the amount of data you can pack in is significant. I saw a demo on youtube where someone put the entire works of Shakespeare in an image of a tree that was 1 and a half megabytes.

This technique has been used for malicious purposes in the past USA Today ran a story in 2001 reporting that Bin Laden and his associates had been hiding information crucial to terrorist plots in images on pornographic websites as early as 1996. 

Future of Steganography

So in Zhengs picture that he emailed to himself with the words  “Nice view to keep.” there was a lot more than than a nice sunset. There were top secret docs and before you go trying to use steganography to commit your own flavour of fraud please remember that he got caught there are algorithms that can find images which have been tampered with!

I will say this though…if you want to make it harder for someone to workout if you have tampered with a pic – use a picture that you have taken and delete the original. Then there is nothing to compare it with! I mean if you see two images on a drive and one is 30 mb big. Then the other is 1 then it’s obviously that big for a reason!

The future of steganography obviously will develop as we use 3d images and VR more. More visual data means more places to hide messages. In fact it doesn’t have to be an image, it could be a social media post, some audio even a podcast.

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Main Sources for this episode are Motherboard, Youtube channel Computerphile and Okta.com

Samsung Odyssey G9 49″ Ultra Wide Monitor

Samsung have launched a really cool gaming monitor which can also be used for work. It’s called the Samsung Odyssey G9 and is a 49″ curved gaming monitor. Also it’s a BEAST.

The Samsung Odyssey G9 joins the G7 in the Odyssey line up. While this too has completely reinvented the gaming experience by bringing together the most important aspects of gaming. Comfortable curvature of the monitor, immersive interaction and fantastic picture quality.

The Samsung Odyssey G9 is a premium product with premium performance. It has been certified by TÜV Rheinland. Who are a leading international certification organisation. It has recognised the gaming beast as having the industry’s best high performance 1000R curved display and Eye Comfort. Furthermore the G9 is the first monitor certified to support HDR10+. Therefore enabling it to deliver games and content in a high quality. Combining Quantum dot technology and an HDR1000 panel.

The Samsung Odyssey G9 is also lightning fast and has a fast response time of 1ms. It is the worlds first Dual Quad High-Definition (DQHD; 5120×1440 resolution) monitor. Furthermore the immersion is enhanced by the 1000R curvature. Under the hood as well as having a 1ms response time it has a super fast 240Hz refresh rate. A crystal clear QLED picture for the best gaming in dual QHD. The monitor also has dynamic and seamless scene by scene capabilities enabled by NVIDIA G-SYNC® Compatibility and Adaptive Sync on DP1.4.

The G9 is different than most and comes with a cool glossy white exterior. With Infinity Core Lighting. Allowing to have 52 different colours and five lighting effect options behind the display.

Samsung Odyssey G9 Specifications

Model G9
Display Screen Size (Inch) 49”
Aspect Ratio 32:9
Panel Type QLED Curved
sRGB Coverage 125%
DCI Coverage 95%
Screen Curvature 1000R
Refresh Rate 240Hz
Response Time 1ms (GTG)
Resolution 5,120 x 1,440 (DQHD)
HDR HDR 1000
Brightness (Max.) 1000cd/㎡
General Feature Gaming Feature G-SYNC Compatible, FreeSync Premium Pro
Game Mode Custom/FPS/RTS/RPG/AOS/Cinema/DCR
Etc. Low Input Lag Mode, Virtual Aim Point, Black Equalizer, Eye Saver Mode, Flicker Free,
Etc. Interface Display Port 1.4(2 EA), HDMI 2.0(1EA), USB3.0(1UP, 2DOWN), Headphone
Wall Mount Yes (100 x 100mm)
Color Glossy White

(Samsung)

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Philips Hue Strip Lights

The Philips Hue Strip Lights make it even easier to customise your living space and light and mood in any chosen area. They can bring amazing light to any area of your home. Mainly thanks to the flexible nature of the Philips Hue Strip Lights. Even combine them with a Hue Bridge to unlock the full suite of smart lighting features.

They can be bent, curved and even cut to size. The Philips Hue Strip Lights really are the best for personal lighting. Tuck them behind bookshelves and tables. They will immediately transform any decor of any room. Surround yourself with a warm glowing light to create a relaxing area in any room for example. For safety use them to illuminate hallways to help you get around in low light situations.

Use the Hue App or other smart accessories to control them. By using either one of the Hue Apps.  Use a hardware based solution such as the Hue dimmer switch or the motion sensor. Even use your voice by using voice commands by pairing them with home assistants. Such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.

Cut them down or extend the Philips Hue Strip Lights to up to 10M with connectors and stick them to any solid surface.

Placement

Attach them under your kitchen units to light the way during the middle of the night. Furthermore even tuck them behind a ceiling cove for a subtle sophisticated look. Place them behind your desk to level up your gaming space!

(Philips Hue)

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