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Telstra adds 4G voice to NBN smart modem



(Image: Telstra)

Telstra has announced adding voice services to its National Broadband Network (NBN) 4G-backup modem, calling the addition “vital” as over 3 million voice calls daily are made over home phones by its NBN customers.

According to the telco, there are now more than 600,000 Telstra Smart Modems deployed across the nation, providing backup 4G services in the event of an NBN outage or a delayed migration from legacy broadband services.

“The Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2.0 now provides peace of mind that their home phone will be available during a network outage. So Telstra NBN customers can continue to make voice calls over the 4G network in the event that their broadband service is disrupted and power is still available in the home,” Telstra said.

“Customers using a Telstra Smart Modem generally have a better experience on the NBN network, with their satisfaction scores around 15 to 20 points higher than those without a Telstra Smart Modem.”

The redesigned smart modem also includes new Wi-Fi monitoring tools, including across interference, number of linked devices, and signal strength. It also measures speed and network performance “constantly”, sending this data back to Telstra operational support system agents.

“With this data now one touch away for our field techs, it means they can arrive at a customer’s home and already know how a customer’s broadband and home network is performing, how many devices are connected, the service history of the home and how much data is being used,” Telstra explained.

“It improves our ability to find the root cause of the problem and in turn allows us to find a quicker resolution.”

Speaking in February, Telstra CEO Andy Penn had outlined Telstra’s strategy to improve NBN customer service, including by extending its combined fixed and mobile modem to all new, migrating, or recontracting home bundle customers, which saw the modem grow from 85,000 customers at the time to 600,000 now.

“On fixed, we are moving to provide customers with an always-connected experience,” Penn said in February.

“The smart modem brings together our fixed and 4G mobile networks in a single device to get new customers activated sooner, and existing customers back online quickly if their fixed service is interrupted.

“Once plugged in, the smart modem will connect a home or small business to the internet within minutes, over 4G, without having to wait for the fixed service to be installed and switched on, which can take a long time for customers migrating to NBN.”

Vodafone Australia similarly launched a 4G-backup NBN modem last year, with its Wi-Fi Hub providing backup 4G internet access in the event of an outage or delay in migration.

In June, Vodafone then launched a Wi-Fi booster, which Vodafone GM of Fixed Matthew Lobb described to ZDNet as being a “mini-me version of our Wi-Fi hub”.

Lobb told ZDNet that Vodafone again worked with Technicolor on the booster, which has similar capabilities, including dual-band Wi-Fi with the ability to connect 32 devices.

This followed Vodafone in March automating its 4G backup service.

“Initially in the pilot, Vodafone would turn on the 4G service after some troubleshooting work with our customers,” Lobb told ZDNet.

“We changed that so the device will automatically move to 4G as soon as there’s a fault … there’ll be no time when they’re disconnected.”

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10 Apple Vision Pro Features Already Available With Meta Quest



Apple’s headset features a number of high-definition cameras which record the room around you and relay that recording to the device’s impressive screen. As a result, you can see exactly what’s going on in the room, and this can serve as a background to what you’re doing. Once again, however, this innovative feature is already available on Quest headsets, where it is known as Passthrough — although it varies in quality. 

Older headsets, like the Quest 1 and Quest 2, use a greyscale Passthrough system, which appears in black and white. The Quest Pro has color Passthrough, though this is the same greyscale system as its predecessors use but with color added before it hits your eyes. As a result, it isn’t what you’d call an HD experience.

That said, the Quest 3 is putting a heavy emphasis on augmented reality and may have a higher-quality Passthrough feature. It may also include the depth sensor that was supposed to be built into the Quest Pro, which will be very useful for augmented reality experiences. Instead of trying to tell the headset where the floor, walls, or tabletops are, the depth sensor can just work it out. 

Either way, you can see your surroundings through a Quest headset. In addition, you can also select various environments to work in on the Quest if you hate the things you’re surrounded by in reality — just like you can with the Vision Pro.

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Features Of The Eurofighter Typhoon That Make It One Of The Best Fighter Jets Ever Built



Like a lot of military technology, development of the Eurofighter Typhoon began around the Cold War. It was intended as a revolutionary aircraft that would defend Europe as a new time of uncertainty unfolded, as a joint venture between Spain, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Equipped with a pair of Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan engines and at a cost of $90 million each, the Eurofighter was also expected to keep pace with the developments such aircraft as the United States’ formidable Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, according to Aerocorner. Alas, its fielding was no easy ride: The collaborative nature of development proved difficult to manage, and certain futuristic elements of the aircraft made its development time-consuming and costly. It wasn’t until 2002 that it began serving the U.K., German, Spanish, and Italian militaries, before being purchased by Austria and Saudi Arabia as well.

The Eurofighter Typhoon boasts revolutionary technology to aid in both defensive and offensive endeavors.

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Elon Musk Says Tesla Is Open To Licensing Out Autopilot And Other EV Tech



Now, Musk’s offer isn’t a philanthropic endeavor to redeem humanity from the environmental burden of gas-guzzling cars. Licensing only means the automaker that eventually bites will have to pay a fee for every car in which the Autopilot tech is used, just the same way Arm collects royalty for its chip design. But the bigger question is, who will embrace Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) tech?

In 2016, Musk claimed at a conference that “a Model S and Model X at this point can drive autonomously with greater safety than a person.” Multiple accidents happened in the years that followed, some allegedly due to issues with the Autopilot system in Tesla cars.

Interestingly, when Musk’s claims about Tesla Autopilot tech were brought forth in a lawsuit involving a fatal crash, Musk’s defense argued that those statements were possibly deepfakes. In January, another bombshell allegation dropped in which it was claimed that early promotional videos for the self-driving tech weren’t real, but staged. In light of these things, there’s a big question with no clear answer: given Tesla’s checkered track record with its in-house Autopilot tech, would any rival EV maker be willing to utilize the system in its own cars?

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