Technological World for March 10: Microsoft's Exchange Server, Sonos Roam speaker, Raddish cooking club for kids, virtual culture for families, VR and the PS5

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This week, Sonos’ new Roam speaker, Raddish and Raya are cooking, what to do with the kids during spring break, and virtual reality and the PS5. But first, expected Chinese hackers are making a mess of Microsoft’s Exchange Server software.

Chaos worldwide as organizations running Microsoft email software hacked

Microsoft revealed last week that it had released security updates for its Exchange Server software, which tens of thousands of organizations around the world use for email.

Computer security journalist Brian Krebs wrote that the flaws were first exploited in early January.

The hacks have allegedly been carried out by a group Microsoft is calling Hafnium, believed to be sponsored by the Chinese government.

In another article on the incident, Krebs quotes a source as saying that even if organizations patch their software, they were likely already impacted and the race is on to remove the backdoors that were installed through the hack before others are added by the bad actors.

Global News reported that the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security said it “could not disclose whether Canadian organizations or individuals were targeted in the attack as well.”

Sonos introduces Roam portable speaker

Sonos is expanding its line of portable speakers with the announcement of Roam, an ultra portable that was created to be taken out and about.

The Roam has a rounded triangular shape that is small enough to be carried in one hand, and weighs only 430 grams (less than a pound).

Sonos says it will give you 10 hours of playtime, and when you’re not using it the device goes to sleep to preserve power – it will maintain a charge for up to 10 days – and it wakes in an instant. It will charge with any Qi wireless charger or with the included USB-C cable. Sonos is also selling a wireless charging dock with magnets to keep the Roam in place.

The Roam is designed to be used outside, and has an IP67 rating for dust and waterproofing.

Like all Sonos speakers it has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity; the Roam automatically switches to whichever connection it needs as you move around, and a new feature called “Sound Swap” throws the music to the speaker that is closest to where you are.

And like Sonos’ other portable, the Move, Roam boasts “Automatic Trueplay”, which adjusts the sound based on the environment you’re in.

As with all Sonos products, the Roam will connect to other Sonos speakers and you can pair two Roams for a stereo experience.

The Roam costs $229 and can be preordered now for release on April 20. The magnetic charging dock costs $69.

Raddish cooking club for kids ties in with Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon

Raddish is doing dinner and a movie in a new way: your kids are going to make the dinner that goes with the new film, Raya and the Last Dragon.

The company is all about developing a love for cooking in kids. It’s a cooking club, and with a subscription comes a monthly delivery of three themed recipes and instructions and a shopping list.

The menu for Raya and the Last Dragon is free, and includes recipes for shrimp noodles, pork lettuce wraps, and mango sticky rice.

Virtual cultural excursions for kids and families alike

Spring break is either arriving soon or already happening depending on where you are in Canada. And while nobody’s going to Hawaii or Mexico or Florida, there are some fun virtual excursions you can do with your kids.

Check out these options:

Virtual reality made for Sony’s PS5 is a thing, but not this year

When the Playstation 5 was released last fall, I wondered what was going on with Sony’s virtual reality system. Now we know.

Playstation VR, PSVR, works with the PS5, but it is technology that is more than four years old, an epoch in the virtual reality space.

The next generation PSVR is being built for the PS5, and while we don’t have a firm release date, we do know that we won’t see the new system this year.

In a blog post, Playstation revealed that the new system would connect to the PS5 using a single cord, as opposed to the four-cord setup of the original model. That’s in addition to better resolution and better tracking.

We also learned that there will be a new VR controller which “will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller”.

While I don’t have a PSVR myself, I have written about my experiences with it, when it first released and after previewing a bunch of new titles.

Not all experiences were great, but those that were great absolutely transported me somewhere else.

For those with a PSVR, there are six new games being released this year, including After the Fall, Zenith, I Expect You to Die 2, Fracked, Song in the Smoke, and Doom 3: VR.

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