Can Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2-in-1 spell the end of the traditional laptop?

BROWSING the internet, writing and watching streaming services are the only things I use my computer for, so why am I stuck believing a traditional laptop is best for me?

This is the question I had to ask myself when contemplating if I would get better value from making the switch to a 2-in-1 — a device combining the computing power, storage and software compatibility of a laptop with the flexibility and freedom of a tablet.

With Samsung’s Windows 10 Galaxy Book joining the growing list of impressive 2-in-1 products on the market, I decided to see if I was ready to say goodbye to my laptop for good.

DESIGN

The detachable 2-in-1 device has a gorgeous 12-inch Super AMOLED display that has an impressive 2,160 by 1,440 resolution.

When removed from the keyboard, the display’s curved edges, top-oriented power button and volume rocker offer an authentic tablet experience.

The plastic shell of the display gives the illusion of an aluminium finish, which gives the device the sleek and sexy appearance of other Samsung devices.

There are two speakers on the left and right edges of the device, with both offering decent sound, while the right side also houses a 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB-C connections — USB 2.0 and HDMI inputs can be connected with an adaptor.

The Galaxy Book also offers a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing webcam.

The Samsung Galaxy Book can double as a 12-inch tablet.

The Samsung Galaxy Book can double as a 12-inch tablet.Source:Supplied

The full-size detachable keyboard cover is the same layout and size as most Windows 10 laptops meaning there is no adjustment period or learning curve, and the backlit keys make the device easier to use the device the dark.

While Samsung could have followed the Surface Pro’s design of a rear kickstand and a detachable keyboard, the Galaxy Book includes a keyboard cover with various magnetised orientations for holding up the display.

Even though this helps avoid adding too much bulk to the device, it means the Galaxy Book tends to be flimsy when being used on anything other than a flat surface.

I did find this to be frustrating at first, but when lounging around I simply removed the display and used the on-screen keyboard built into the tablet.

After a while I actually found using the large tablet more comfortable than it would have been to use a keyboard or traditional laptop in the same position, yet it would still be nice to have the option of a reliable kickstand.

So the keyboard cover isn’t the most sturdy kickstand.

So the keyboard cover isn’t the most sturdy kickstand.Source:Supplied

In addition to the detachable keyboard, the Galaxy Book also comes standard with an S-Pen stylus that can be used for physically scribbling down notes or as a replacement for the mouse.

Both are a welcome inclusion as the Surface Pro requires users purchase the detachable keyboard and stylus separately.

The stylus is very responsive and fantastic to use, although it could be easy to lose given there is nowhere to physically store it on the device.

On the plus side, if you do happen to misplace the S-Pen you could always purchase the Staedtler Noris digital — an adaptation of a traditional pencil with the cutting-edge technology of an S Pen.

Impressively, the tablet creates an electromagnetic field that interacts with the tip of the S-Pen to ensure you always knows the exact location of the point of the pencil.

Another positive is both the keyboard and stylus don’t need to be charged for use.

The Staedtler Noris digital looks and feels exactly like your pencils from school.

The Staedtler Noris digital looks and feels exactly like your pencils from school.Source:Supplied

PERFORMANCE

The Galaxy Book comes standard with Windows 10 to help it feel like an authentic replacement for your PC, while also including a few Samsung exclusive apps to take advantage of the S-Pen.

Powering the device is a dual-core, seventh-generation Core i5 processor running at 3.1 GHz, with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive also included — more than enough to meet my aforementioned computer needs.

Samsung says the Galaxy Book offers 11 hours of battery life from a single charge, although I found it delivered closer to five to six hours life during heavy use — still more than enough for your morning commute.

The Galaxy Book has also been fitted with “fast-charging” abilities, however this doesn’t work as quickly as you would hope when using the device while plugged in.

To take advantage of the 12-inch Super AMOLED display, Samsung has made the device compatible with HDR video content — a technique allowing preservation of details otherwise lost due to limiting contrast ratios.

This alone makes the device a great choice for those wanting to watch video content on the fly.

The Galaxy Book is Samsung's latest 2-in-1.

The Galaxy Book is Samsung’s latest 2-in-1.Source:Supplied

CONCLUSION

I came into this review looking to see if Samsung’s 2-in-1 Galaxy Book could be a solid replacement for my traditional laptop and I truly believe this could be the case.

There is no denying the keyboard kickstand poses some pretty big issues with the device, but the inclusion of the stylus and ability to use as a tablet certainly offers benefits not seen with the laptop. The appeal of 2-in-1 will really just depend on what you use the device for.

I enjoyed using the Galaxy Book as a tablet when watching TV on the couch and drawing using the stylus has also been a fun, new experience.

Having to use the detachable keyboard kickstand on a flat surface does add some frustrations, although I generally found myself sitting at a desk when writing on my laptop anyway.

As someone who enjoys binge-watching when on trains and planes, the Super AMOLED display is a huge winner in my eyes.

I would put some serious thought into the uses of your device and if a 2-in-1 can better fit your needs, why not make the switch?

Or if you wanted to own both a laptop and tablet, but don’t have the money for both, this could also be a valid solution.

Five of the best new computers reviewed, from laptops with pens to desktops that move

COMPUTERS are no longer just beige boxes plonked on a desk.

They can arrive without keyboards, with digital pens, in slender bodies or hefty forms.

We’ve rounded up five of the best — and arguably most diverse — new portable computers to help you choose your next workhorse.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

4 out of 5 stars / $1499-$3299 / microsoft.com/en-au

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is lightweight and well built.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is lightweight and well built.Source:Supplied

Microsoft’s most accessible computer is beautifully crafted.

The Surface Laptop features a slim profile, metal top, and unusual spill-resistant fabric covering around its keys. It also offers a 13.5-inch touchscreen that is easy on the eyes, at 201 pixels per inch, though it doesn’t flip over or detach like some of its other products.

This laptop also uses Windows 10 S, which is designed for use with Microsoft apps, though you can upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro for free this year and install whatever program you please. This straightforward laptop should appeal to anyone in need of a basic computing experience, and travellers in particular due its pleasingly light weight.

It does have just one USB port, however, so you might need to pack a couple of adaptors.

Samsung Galaxy Book 12-inch

3.5 out of 5 stars / $1599-$2299 / samsung.com/au

The Samsung Galaxy Book features a 12-inch touchscreen, and comes with a keyboard cover and stylus.

The Samsung Galaxy Book features a 12-inch touchscreen, and comes with a keyboard cover and stylus.Source:Supplied

Why would you buy Samsung’s Windows 10 tablet over its Microsoft Surface equivalent?

The new Galaxy Book boasts a 12-inch Super AMOLED screen that is crisp, bright, and capable of screening HDR content, it comes with a battery-free stylus capable of greater pressure sensitivity than its peers, and there’s a keyboard cover thrown into the package.

Additionally, if you buy the top package, you can get up to 256GB storage, 8GB RAM, and a built-in 4G connection to stay connected wherever you roam.

And why would you stick with Surface instead?

This 2-in-one tablet convertible peaks at a dual-core Intel Core i5 chip, is a bit smaller but a bit heavier than an iPad Pro, and the packaged keyboard is troubled, offering limited angles, connection delays, and little use on a lap.

HP Spectre X2

4 out of 5 stars / $2199 / hp.com.au

The HP Spectre X2 is a convertible tablet computer with a sophisticated design.

The HP Spectre X2 is a convertible tablet computer with a sophisticated design.Source:Supplied

This convertible tablet makes Microsoft Windows look young again.

The Spectre X2, from HP’s premium range, shows off the software on a 12-inch touchscreen surrounded by a copper-coloured kickstand and a slender keyboard with a matt black exterior. It’s not all about looks with this machine, of course.

As its price suggests, it can act as a fully functional laptop too, with Windows 10 Home, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i5 chip, and a 256GB hard drive.

It also has enough connections to appease most users, with two USB-C ports and a memory card slot. The new X2 comes with a stylus too, though it doesn’t match the Surface Pen, and a keyboard that offers surprising comfort but an occasionally finicky trackpad.

Its battery life is also not as good as that of the Surface Pro, but it should make the shortlist.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

3.5 out of 5 stars / $949-$1099 / samsung.com/au

The Samsung Tab S3 is a high-end Google Android tablet with a crisp 9.7-inch touchscreen and a packaged stylus.

The Samsung Tab S3 is a high-end Google Android tablet with a crisp 9.7-inch touchscreen and a packaged stylus.Source:Supplied

If you want a tablet free of a fruity logo, there aren’t many high-end options for you to choose. Samsung addresses this void with the Galaxy Tab S3 that is the most advanced Google Android tablet on the market and a slick device.

Its 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display is crisp and easy on the eye, it features an attractive glass back, meagre 434g weight, comes with a battery-free but efficient stylus, and decent sound thanks to four speakers and Samsung’s AKG Harman purchase.

Both its wi-fi and 4G variants come with just 32GB storage, though users can boost that by adding a memory card. On the downside, it can be sluggish to operate, its optional keyboard is poorly designed, and its screen is smaller and more reflective than the competing iPad Pro 10.5 that costs just $30 more.

HP ZBook 17 G4

No stars / $3893 / hp.com.au

HP's ZBook 17 G4 is a mobile workstation.

HP’s ZBook 17 G4 is a mobile workstation.Source:Supplied

HP calls this a “mobile workstation” rather than a laptop because it’s far too big to sit on a lap. This 3.12kg computing beast arrives in a magnesium-reinforced chassis, features a 17.3-inch touchscreen, a full-sized keyboard with number pad, several connections including four USB ports and space for an Ethernet cable, and it can be customised to your liking.

You could, for example, add up to four terabytes of storage, and the rear panel of the machine can be removed to replace the battery.

Extremely rare ‘Schoolsky’ Apple-I computer could fetch $881,000 at auction

Image result for Extremely rare ‘Schoolsky’ Apple-I computer could fetch $881,000 at auction

IF YOU thought $1800 for Apple’s new iPhone X was a little steep, you might not want to look at how much you could be paying for one of the company’s computers.

It might have been four decades since it was considered a cutting-edge gadget, but an Apple-I computer is currently for sale in an auction has already attracted bids of $A258,000.

Even more wild is the value estimated for the “extremely rare ‘Schoolsky’ Apple-I computer” is $A881,000, according to the auction house with the listing.

“Bid to win one of the first models of the Apple-I computer, originally owned by friend and associate of Steve Wozniak, Adam Schoolsky,” the listing reads.

“The Apple-I Computer is considered the origin of the personal computer revolution and was built in Steve Jobs’ parents’ home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, CA.

“200 were hand-built by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs’ sister, and their team, but it is believed that less than 60 are still in existence.”

Built using an Apple-I “NTI” board acquired from internal stock when Adam Schoolsky was an employee of the company, the device has since been authenticated by a historian.

There is also a documentation package with this computer, which the historian scored as a nine out of 10 in terms of condition.

So if you have a spare $A259,000 or more, why not make the bid — but be quick as there is only 17 hours remaining at the time of writing this article.

“Schoolsky” Apple-I Items Included in Set:

• Apple-I original Operation Manual

• Apple original Basic Users Manual

• Apple-I original Cassette Interface Manual

• Apple-I original cassette (dis-assembler)

• Apple-I original advertisement

• Apple-I original box

• Apple original price list, 1977

• Miscellaneous correspondence between LCF Group and Adam Schoolsky

• Three original issues of Silicon Gulch Gazette (1976 — 1978) addressed to Adam Schoolsky

• Original copy, in mint condition, of the 40-page First West Coast Computer Faire Conference Program dated April 15-17, 1977

• Early copy of the Zaltair brochure, created by Steve Wozniak and Adam Schoolsky as a spoof document to be distributed at the First West Coast Computer Faire Conference

• Apple ][+ Keyboard with Apple-I adaptor

• Stancor power supply transformers

Bill Gates reveals one big decision he would rethink if he could turn back time

BILL Gates has revealed the one decision he wishes he could change if time travel were possible — and it might surprise you.

The Microsoft founder said he wouldn’t change too much in case he altered the course of history, reports The Sun.

But he did say there was one small tweak he would make that may have changed your life for the better.

Gates said during a talk at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum that he wouldn’t have created the CTRL-ALT-DEL keyboard shortcut

The shortcut allows you interrupt your computer’s operations when it goes haywire, allowing you to restart if necessary but it is notoriously tricky to manoeuvre.

When quizzed on the keyboard function during his appearance at the Plaza Hotel in New York, Gates said: “I am not sure you can go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk.”

Asked whether he regretted his decision, he said: “Sure, if I could make one small edit I would make that a single key operation.”

It certainly hasn’t cost him dearly, as Gates is apparently on track to become the world’s first trillionaire.

Forbes, which publishes a yearly rich-list, estimates Gates’ fortune in 2017 to be around $A108 billion. But he is accumulating wealth by simply breathing.

An Oxfam report stated if billionaires like Gates continue to secure these returns, “we could see the world’s first trillionaire in 25 years”.

Why iPhone phishing scam shouldn’t become a problem

APPLE fans were warned about a hypothetical iPhone phishing attack by iOS code expert Felix Krause this week.

The phishing scam he designed mimics the familiar pop-up window on iOS devices which routinely prompts users to enter their Apple ID password when doing things like downloading apps. It looks exactly the same but it’s designed to steal your password.

The blog post gained major traction this week for showing the potential for hackers to make an easily deceptive iOS app feature, despite it not being in the wild.

“The goal of this blog post is to close the loophole that has been there for many years, and hasn’t been addressed yet,” Mr Krause wrote.

“For moral reasons, I decided not to include the actual source code of the pop-up, however it was shockingly easy to replicate the system dialogue.”

Apple declined to officially comment on the blog post but stressed the demonstration by Mr Krause remained a proof of concept and was not something currently being experienced by customers.

Ultimately a malicious developer would need to corrupt an app already in the app store or somehow sneak an app with malicious code past the auditing systems that scrutinise everything about a potential app — from its code to its appearance — before being approved to appear in the App Store.

Sebastian O’Halloran develops iOS apps under the moniker Juicy Apps in Hobart, Tasmania, and thinks these days such an app would almost certainly be detected by Apple.

The 18-year-old has been building apps since he was 11, and says he has experienced first hand just how finicky the company can be with its auditing process.

At 14 he designed an app to allow people with intellectual disabilities communicate what they wanted to get from the governments’ newly introduced disability care scheme.

Some of his apps have been rejected for relatively “minute” things in the past such as “mismatched screenshots” that didn’t appear to exactly match the appearance of the app’s interface.

“They’re incredibly thorough,” he told news.com.au. “They try to dismiss ‘scammy’ apps as much as possible.”

“In saying that there was a couple of apps that got through two or three years ago that were intended for scamming and somehow they got through the system.

“So I’m not saying it’s bullet proof.”

In 2013 researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology found a way to sneak malicious iOS apps past Apple’s review process. Ultimately the apps could be updated after they’d been approved to carry out harmful actions without triggering security alarms. The researchers shared their successful act of deception in a paper titled: When Benign Apps Become Evil.

In 2015, hackers also managed to sneak malware designed to steal users’ iCloud passwords onto Chinese apps in the App Store.

These instances have no doubt caused Apple to bolster its review process — something which it clearly thinks would catch any app like the one made by Mr Krause.

Dangerous sound? What Americans heard in Cuba ‘sonic’ attacks

IT SOUNDS sort of like a mass of crickets. A high-pitched whine, but from what? It seems to undulate, even writhe.

Listen closely: There are multiple, distinct tones that sound to some like they’re colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect.

The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some US Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks which left US diplomats suffering mild brain damage including memory loss and loss of cognitive ability.

The recording, released overnight, is one of the many taken in Cuba of mysterious sounds that led investigators initially to suspect a sonic weapon.

The recordings themselves are not believed to be dangerous to those who listen. Sound experts and physicians say they know of no sound that can cause physical damage when played for short durations at normal levels through standard equipment like a mobile phone or computer.

What device produced the original sound remains unknown. Americans affected in Havana reported the sounds hit them at extreme volumes.

Whether there’s a direct relationship between the sound and the physical damage suffered by the victims is also unclear. The US says that in general the attacks caused hearing, cognitive, visual, balance, sleep and other problems.

The recordings from Havana have been sent for analysis to the US Navy, which has advanced capabilities for analysing acoustic signals, and to the intelligence services. But the recordings have not significantly advanced US knowledge about what is harming diplomats.

The Navy did not respond to requests for comment on the recording. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert wouldn’t comment on the tape’s authenticity.

Cuba has denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks. The US hasn’t blamed anyone and says it still doesn’t know what or who is responsible. But the government has faulted President Raul Castro’s government for failing to protect American personnel, and Nauert said Thursday that Cuba “may have more information than we are aware of right now.”

“We believe that the Cuban government could stop the attacks on our diplomats,” said White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Not all Americans injured in Cuba heard sounds. Of those who did, it’s not clear they heard precisely the same thing.

Yet the AP has reviewed several recordings from Havana taken under different circumstances, and all have variations of the same high-pitched sound. Individuals who have heard the noise in Havana confirm the recordings are generally consistent with what they heard.

“That’s the sound,” one of them said.

A billboard depicting the image of legendary guerrilla leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara images in a street of Havana this month. Picture: Yamil Lage

A billboard depicting the image of legendary guerrilla leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara images in a street of Havana this month. Picture: Yamil LageSource:AFP

The recordings have been played for workers at the US Embassy to teach them what to listen for, said several individuals with knowledge of the situation in Havana. Some embassy employees have also been given recording devices to turn on if they hear the sounds. The individuals weren’t authorised to discuss the situation publicly and demanded anonymity.

Cuban officials wouldn’t say whether the US has shared the recordings with Cuba’s government.

Another big question remains: Even if you know you’re under attack, what do you do?

Still dumbfounded by what’s causing this, the United States has been at a loss to offer advice.

The embassy’s security officials have told staff if they believe they’re being attacked, they should get up and move to a different location, because the attack is unlikely to be able to follow them, the commenting individuals said.

Some diplomats who experienced an attack or heard sounds reported they were narrowly confined to a room or parts of a room.

At least 22 Americans are “medically confirmed” to be affected, the State Department says, adding that the number could grow. The attacks started last year and are considered “ongoing,” with an incident reported as recently as late August.

Cuba has defended its “exhaustive and priority” response, emphasising its eagerness to assist the US investigation. Cuban officials did not respond to requests for comment for this story but have complained in the past that Washington refuses to share information they say they need to fully investigate, such as medical records, technical data and timely notification of attacks.

Biometric security: your next password could be your face, eyes or even the way you walk

WHAT if you could stroll through a building’s lobby to be identified and gain access?

And what if your bank would let you gaze at your smartphone to unlock a payment?

Both are possible using advanced biometric authentication technology that is now being tested and even rolled out to an increasing number of smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, and smartwatches.

And new research shows the transition from passwords, or “something you know,” to fingerprint, face, and eyeball scans, or “something you are,” could be complete within two years for phones, with other devices to follow in 2020.

In the last 24 hours, there has been talk that Apple may even ditch its Touch ID system on its iPhones and replace it with Face ID.

According to an investors note sent by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, he says it’s now likely that all 2018 iPhone models will move to Face ID and leave Touch ID behind.

While Apple has been facing manufacturing difficulties with 3D sensing, Kuo says Face ID will help Apple “capitalise on its clear lead in 3D sensing design and production for smartphones.”

But, as Apple readies to launch its first face-scanner this month, do security experts consider this technology more secure or just more convenient?

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Philip Schiller, introduces the iPhone X. Picture: AFP

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Philip Schiller, introduces the iPhone X. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Biometric security has been creeping into everyday technology for years, slowly replacing passwords and lengthy PIN codes.

Apple introduced its fingerprint scanner to phones in 2013, for example, while Microsoft unveiled facial recognition for its Surface computers in 2015.

The technology is evolving, however, and becoming both more common and more advanced.

Dissatisfied with the security of a fingerprint lock, Samsung introduced an iris scanner with its Galaxy S8 smartphone that photographs the coloured parts of your eyes and identifies up to 200 features in each eyeball to authenticate your identity.

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Galaxy S8 and Note 8 users can use this technology to unlock their phone and even to authenticate bank transfers or credit card payments.

Apple will also upgrade the biometric security in its top smartphone within a fortnight, introducing Face ID to the iPhone X as a replacement for its fingerprint scanner.

READ MORE: Hands on with Apple’s iPhone X

The facial recognition system uses a host of front-facing sensors, including a flood illuminator, dot projector, and infra-red camera, to project over 30,000 invisible points on to the user’s face and create a 3D model of their appearance.

It’s similar technology to that used in the Xbox Kinect, though Apple also uses a neural engine in the phone’s processor to determine whether the person looking at the phone is someone new or whether the user has just grown a beard, added spectacles, or changed hairstyles.

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 8 has biometric technology. Picture: AP

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 8 has biometric technology. Picture: APSource:AP

Apple worldwide marketing vice-president Phil Schiller says there is “no perfect system, not even biometric-wise” for locking phones, but the new face-scanning technology would be significantly more secure.

“The data for (the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner) Touch ID has been one in 50,000, meaning that the chance that a random person could use their fingerprint to unlock your iPhone has been one in 50,000 and it’s been great,” he says.

“What are the similar statistics for Face ID? One in a million.”

The spread of biometric security features is also expected to accelerate over the next three years.

Acuity Market Intelligence predicts all smartphones will feature some form of biometric technology by 2019 and, by 2020, it will also feature in all laptops, tablets, and smartwatches.

Facial recognition could spread to online services too, with Facebook revealing it was testing the technology to confirm user’s identities.

Biometric technology could involve more than just face or fingerprint scans in future, though.

Internet giant Google has experimented with mapping speech patterns to identify users, and the CSIRO has developed technology that identifies people by the way they walk.

 

The prototype technology, which requires users to wear a device backed with motion sensors, was tested on 20 subjects earlier this year with an accuracy of 95 per cent.

CSIRO Data 61 networks research group leader Professor Dali Kaafar says the unique authentication system is “convenient because as we walk around each day our gait can be sampled continuously” and it’s also “more secure than passwords because the way we talk is difficult to mimic”.

“Since (it) keeps authenticating the user continuously, it collects a significant amount of information about our movements, making it difficult to imitate or hack unlike guessing passwords or PIN codes,” he says.

DEVICES WITH BIOMETRIC SECURITY

Face scanners: Apple iPhone X, Microsoft Surface Pro, HP Spectre x2, Alienware 15.

Eye scanners: Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Fingerprint scanners: Google Pixel 2, LG G3, Huawei P10 Plus, Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

Wacky wearable technology: from breast pumps to beer testers, the newest gadgets are unusual

FROM testing your blood alcohol limit during a big night out to cooling you down on a summer’s day, wearable technology is getting more advanced, more useful, and seriously wacky.

The technology now features in everything from the cuffs of denim jackets to portable breast pumps, and even hides inside rose gold jewellery.

And the latest innovations are likely to find an audience willing to wear them as Australians continue to embrace wearable tech in record numbers, according to industry analysts.

The Proof wristband from Milo Sensors tests alcohol molecules in your skin to detect your level of sobriety. Picture: Supplied

The Proof wristband from Milo Sensors tests alcohol molecules in your skin to detect your level of sobriety. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Research firm IDC recently found wearable technology had jumped in popularity again this year, with consumers buying 26.3 million devices between April and June, up more than 10 per cent.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said Australians were among the early adopters of wearable technology, from fitness trackers to smartwatches, and were likely to embrace next-generation devices, even if they initially seemed strange.

“As a society will we accept so many devices on us? Yes, I think we will, given we accept so many apps in our lives today,” Mr Fadaghi said.

“You can definitely expect more products that sit on a person, particularly if they can mesh into the background and not be obvious to everyone around.”

New wearable gadgets span the gamut from items that sit on your wrist to devices you slip in a bra.

The Proof wristband, for example, uses biometric sensors to detect alcohol molecules in your skin and can deliver notifications about your sobriety, or lack thereof, to your smartphone in real-time.

Milo Sensors chief executive Evan Strenk said the device, currently under development, would use disposable patches that worked for 12 hours at a time and would prove less “awkward” than pulling out a breathalyser at the pub.

The Embr Wave is a wearable device created by scientists from MIT that promises to cool or warm the wearer. Picture: Supplied

The Embr Wave is a wearable device created by scientists from MIT that promises to cool or warm the wearer. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Upright Technologies also launched two new wearable devices in Australia this week, with the Upright Go and Upright Pro designed to stick to the wearer’s back and vibrate when they detected poor posture.

The $150 and $200 devices can also be used to merely track slouching if alerts get too distracting.

Other new healthy wearable tech included a watch-like device from MIT scientists called Embr Wave that can directly cool or warm “the temperature-sensitive skin on your wrist,” a stylish and waterproof ring called Motiv that tracks exercise and sleep, and a smart, wearable breast pump system for nursing mothers called Willow that stores milk in modest, sealed bags and is now available to beta testers willing to pay $US480.

Mr Fadaghi said health gadgets were particularly popular with Australian consumers, as they often had a specific purpose and gave wearers more data about what they were already doing.

“When it comes to alcohol testers, for example, people are not going to wear a band because they want to wear a band, but they’ll wear it so they’re alerted not to drive a vehicle drunk,” he said.

Internet giant Google is also dipping a toe into the wearable tech field, announcing a Pixel Buds headset that can translate languages automatically, and releasing its smart denim jacket created with Levi’s this month.

The $US350 Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard features a touch-sensitive area sewn into its sleeve that, when connected with a removable USB stick, can control your smartphone.

Russia attempted to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US

Image result for Russia attempted to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US Russia attempted to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US Russia attempted to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the USRUSSIA’S meddling in US politics and society ahead of the 2016 presidential election keeps getting weirder.

The Kremlin-backed campaign of so-called fake news employed targeted Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google ads to sow division and exacerbate political and racial tensions in the country.

While the tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google will be dragged before a Senate and House Intelligence Committee next month for their role in spreading the material, we’re still learning the extent of Russia’s subversive campaign.

A new report by CNN shows Russia even used the previously popular smartphone game Pokemon Go to carry out its insidious agenda.

One Russian-linked campaign posed as part of the Black Lives Matter movement and was titled “Don’t Shoot Us”.

The Don’t Shoot Us YouTube page, which is simply titled “Don’t Shoot,” contains more than 200 videos which all link back to a donotshoot.us website.

The investigation found the website was linked to a Tumblr account which promoted a contest encouraging readers to play Pokemon Go. It specifically encouraged them to play the game at sites where police shootings of black men and alleged incidents of police brutality had occurred.

Users were instructed to give their Pokemon names that corresponded with those of the victims, CNN reported.

A post promoting the contest showed a Pokemon named “Eric Garner” who was the African-American man who died after being put in a chokehold by a New York policeman.

It’s unclear how many people, if any, actually participated in the challenge (which promised Amazon gift cards to the winners) or exactly what the promotion hoped to accomplish.

But it appears it was one of the more bizarre ploys by Russia to stoke division by promoting protests against police mistreatment of African-Americans while simultaneously spreading fear about the movement to other social media users.

The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts belonging to the Don’t Shoot Us group are currently suspended.

Queensland weather: More rain to come

HEAVY rains have forced the closure of beaches and caused dams to overflow but with two-thirds of the state drought declared, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the bucketing over the weekend.

From the Gold Coast to Brisbane up to 50mm of rain fell and the same area is likely to cop a further 80mm as the rain continues on Sunday.

More than double that has already fallen across much of the Sunshine Coast and two dams on the South Maroochy River, Wappa and Poona, are spilling excess waters.

Seqwater earlier warned residents living near Poona Dam to prepare for “hazards”.

“If you a downstream of the dam, please avoid potential hazards such as fast flowing or deep water near waterways and floodplains.

“These hazards potentially threaten the safety of you and your property,” a spokesman said.

A month’s worth of rain was dumped in some regions on Saturday. Picture taken by Nigel Hallett, driving from St George and Goondiwindi

A month’s worth of rain was dumped in some regions on Saturday. Picture taken by Nigel Hallett, driving from St George and GoondiwindiSource:News Corp Australia

But despite the flooding risks, Ms Palaszczuk said the rain was very welcome.

“Queensland needs widespread rain like this. Two-thirds of Queensland is drought declared,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Ms Palaszczuk urged all Queenslanders to drive carefully.

“If it’s flooded forget it,” she said.

Mon 05:36 EST

While conditions are forecast to ease across Brisbane and the Gold Coast during the start of the week, a further few days of soaking are expected for the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions.

Between 80mm to 150mm is predcited to fall on those regions daily until at least Tuesday.

The highest total was recorded around Delaneys Creek on Sunday, where almost 170mm had fallen since Saturday.

Sunset between St George and Goondiwindi after the Saturday’s downpour. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Sunset between St George and Goondiwindi after the Saturday’s downpour. Picture: Nigel HallettSource:News Corp Australia

The SES has received 48 calls for assistance for leaking roofs, mainly from people at the Sunshine Coast and Logan and there have been no swift water rescues or reports of serious injury.

On Sunday five beaches between Southport and Burleigh were shut along with Main Beach at North Stradbroke due to dangerous conditions, a Surf Life Saving Queensland spokeswoman said.

At the Sunshine Coast beaches remain open despite winds gusting up to 30 knots and squalls blowing in from sea, with the local SLSQ duty officer describing conditions as “inhospitable.”

Beaches will be monitored closely on Monday and could be closed depending on rips, visibility and winds.

Along with the heavy rain, temperatures have dropped a few degrees cooler than average.

Felix Laios, 8, from Melbourne, wasn’t turned off by the storm clouds over Noosa. Picture: Nigel Hallett