Telstra launches outbound voice calling on Google Nest devices, iPhone eSIM support


Telstra says it is the first mobile carrier in the world to support voice-activated outbound calls on Google Nest and Home devices.

The telco said that its mobile customers could link up to six mobile services to a compatible Google Assistant device and synchronise contacts. A Google Mini, Home, Home Max or Hub can be used to dial by contact or business name, or call a particular number.

Google Assistant can be trained to recognise up to six individuals’ voices using its Voice Match feature.

Telstra will begin to roll out the service to customers from today.

“Voice technology is growing rapidly in Australia with smart speakers in over 1.35M Australian households, and two-thirds of Australian owners admitting to using their smart speaker daily,” said Telstra connected devices and accessories principal, Steve Dance.




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Cochlear to support direct audio streaming on Android 10 – Software


Australia’s implantable hearing device darling Cochlear has today revealed a tie-up with Google that will allow users with newer generation hearing aids and implants to directly stream audio from Android devices.

The new capability coincides with the release of Google’s latest version of its mobile operating system, Android 10, with the Pixel 3 family of phones the first to get the update and the ability to connect with hearing ads.

In partnership with Danish hearing aid connectivity specialist GN Hearing, Google and Cochlear co-developed a new open source hearing aid specification for – Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Connection-Oriented Channels.

The use of BLE, which was previously marketed as Bluetooth Smart, should allow users to stream “all day” while preserving the battery life of their hearing devices, Cochlear said, an improvement over what would have been possible using Classic Bluetooth.

Android streaming will be available to users with ReSound LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids, and Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 sound processor, but will require a firmware update.

Nucleus 7 and Resound user, Dr Peter Wolnizer, said in a statement the new capability has been very effective so far.

“It’s very convenient, it means I don’t have to wear a third device.”

David Brell, also a Nucleus 7 and Resound user, agreed with Wolnizer, saying the hands-free functionality was the biggest advantage of the new streaming service.

“I used to have a telecoil around my neck which used to connect to my phone which, at times, was challenging to hear the voices but now my hands are free, I have direct streaming straight to my phone, I don’t have to hold anything, I can do all sorts of day-to-day activities without having to hold the phone.”

Android 10 will also support other features for hearing impaired people, including a live captioning tool for all audio aspects of phones.

An estimated 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss.


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Tech support: Singapore seeks foreign talent for key sector – Strategy – Training & Development


Singapore is pursuing more foreign tech talent as it ramps up efforts to grow the sector, its trade minister said on Monday, adding that locals would also benefit from the plans amid concerns about preserving jobs as the economy sours.

The Asian city-state is already home to the regional offices of hundreds of tech companies like Facebook and Google, a cluster it hopes to grow into a global tech hub and make the “linchpin” of its future economy.

“We are accelerating our efforts to develop our tech talent,” Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing told parliament.

“Demand for tech talent is far outstripping the local supply… We need to complement our local pipeline with skilled workers from all around the world.”

Chan was responding to a question about whether a scheme aimed at helping firms hire foreign tech talent, called Tech@SG, was necessary given slowing growth and the government’s stated focus on hiring and developing local jobs.

“We are deeply cognisant of the fact that this topic can be easily stirred up because of the emotions involved and because it concerns jobs… However, we must not go down the path of other countries who have started to put up barriers and take an inward-looking, protectionist approach,” Chan said.

He said stepping up efforts to grow the tech sector was “precisely because of the uncertainties with the economic outlook”.

Foreign labour has long been a socially sensitive topic in Singapore, which is due to hold an election in the next 18 months. It was seen as one of the biggest issues for voters in the ruling party’s worst election result in 2011.

Singapore has been tightening conditions for hiring foreign professionals in recent years, and said in February quotas for foreign workers in the services sector would be further reduced.

Risks of a looming recession with growth rates at a decade-low and a slight uptick in citizen unemployment – although low by global standards at 3.3 percent – have brought the issue back into the limelight.

But Chan said Singapore cannot afford to “sit back” amid a global shortage of tech talent, citing concerns raised by firms with expansion plans such as Alibaba and Grab.

“We have only a small window to build a critical mass of high-end professionals, startups and companies,” said Chan.

“How we do today will decide whether we make it as a tech hub, or not. We must move now, and move fast.”


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Ugh finally, Samsung adds support for Bitcoin in Blockchain KeyStore



It looks like Samsung has finally got its house in order after it added support for Bitcoin BTC in its Blockchain KeyStore.

Despite the cries of mass adoption that would undoubtedly follow, Samsung decided to quietly add support for Bitcoin to its private key wallet that it calls its Blockchain KeyStore. The use of such keys is vital to many decentralized applications (dapps) as well as for storing keys to cryptocurrency.

Support is restricted to Samsung‘s S10 and Note10 devices including the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, S10 5G, Note10 and the Note10+. It’s also only available for customers in Canada, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the US, and the UK.

Samsung first revealed its KeyStore earlier this year. Naturally, some started to spread word that it would boost Bitcoin adoption. But many overlooked the simple fact that it didn’t support Bitcoin, until now.

Instead, Samsung‘s Blockchain KeyStore was only compatible with Ethereum, and at that, it only supported a handful of small-time ERC20 tokens that for the most part had little to no real world utility.

From a business perspective, it makes sense that Ethereum support was added first. By accepting ERC20 tokens, Samsung immediately opened its device to potential compatibility with thousands of Ethereum projects.

What’s more, earlier this year reports surfaced that Samsung was working on its own proprietary blockchain network. And you guessed it, it would be based on the Ethereum mainnet.

Bitcoin has nearly 70 percent of the cryptocurrency market by value, at the time of writing. Ethereum has less than eight percent. While supporting Ethereum might make business sense, I question if it was really in the interests of the consumer and the cryptocurrency market, speaking more broadly.

Whatever its motivations, at least Samsung didn’t keep us waiting too long before adding support for Bitcoin.

H/T – The Block

Published August 14, 2019 — 12:20 UTC




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WhatsApp could become more like iMessage with multi-platform support



WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging service, with over 1.5 billion monthly users, but it’s always had one annoying limitation: you need your cellphone to use it. Sure, you could sign onto the Web or desktop app and access most of the service’s features, but it requires your phone be on and connected to the internet at all times, and it only works on one device at a time.

There’s a sign this is changing. According to WhatsApp leaks site WABetaInfo, the messaging app is working on a new platform that will allow for greater interoperability between devices. WABetaInfo cautions that this feature is still in the ‘rumor’ category as there are no screenshots to share, but in referring to the new feature, the author notes “everything I’ve discovered in these months leads me to that conclusion.”

The changes would reportedly allow you to use your WhatsApp account on multiple devices, without routing everything through your phone and without limiting the number of connected devices.

That would make the service work more like Apple’s iMessage or WhatsApp sibling Facebook Messenger. It could be a lifesaver for people like me, who tend to use messaging services across devices. In my case, that’s generally a smartphone, tablet, a laptop, and a desktop. Though I sometimes use the WhatsApp Web app, always needing to reconnect when I switch devices is a small annoyance.

It’s not clear how the feature will work. One of WhatsApp’s key security features has been that messages are tied to your phone number and only saved onto your phone, not some distant server. That’s why the current Desktop and Web apps need to route messages through your phone. Something would have to change for desktop and tablet apps to be able to operate independently.

Again, keep in mind this is just a rumor and it may never come to fruition, but it’s a notable enough possibility from an often reliable source. If true, the change could make WhatsApp a lot more convenient, but let’s hope the app doesn’t sacrifice security to achieve it.


WhatsApp beta for iOS 2.19.80.16: what’s new?
on WABetaInfo


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Nakivo Backup And Replication 8.5 Beta brings Nutanix AHV Support and more


Nakivo Backup And Replication 8.5 Beta brings Nutanix AHV Support and more – ITSMDaily.com

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