Google Pixel 4 is half-price at Optus right now

Optus has now slashed the price of the Google Pixel 4, giving you the chance to get your hands on one of our favourite smartphone snappers for half the price of its RRP – that’s saving you a massive AU$524.16.

It follows on from a similar deal from Vodafone, who last month also cut the price of the handset by 50%. Unlike Vodafone though, Optus is offering the discount in either Just Black or Clearly White.

The deal is exclusive to the 64GB capacity version of the device and you’ll have the option of choosing either a 24-month or 36-month payment contract. Unfortunately the discount doesn’t apply if you want to pay it off over 12 months – you’ll have to hand over the full price of AU$1,048.32.

Repaying the device over 24 months will see you pay AU$21.84 each month, while opting for a 36 month plan will set you back just AU$14.56 per month. While Optus is offering the half-price Pixel 4 on a month-to-month plan, you’ll have to stick with them over the entirety of your contract to get it for 50% off. If you want to opt out early, expect to pay full price.

When you pick up the phone, there’s four different Optus plans to choose from, though for most people, the AU$49 Medium plan probably offers the best value for money. It comes with 60GB of data each month, unlimited talk and text in Australia and unlimited talk and text to selected countries. Optus will also throw in a six-month free trial of Apple Music to sweeten the deal.

Optus’ Medium plan on a 24-month contract will see you spend AU$70.84 each month in total, or if you’d rather pay it off over 36 months, that’s a repayment of AU$63.56 each time.

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Secretlab’s excellent Omega gaming chair is massively discounted

Governments around the world are asking everyone to stay indoors to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and Australia is no different. With lockdown laws in place, and many of us now either working from home, or having more time on our hands indoors, we find ourselves in need of a good home office setup or a more comfortable gaming arena.

Secretlab, the maker behind our favourite gaming chair, is helping with a stay-at-home sale.

You can score up to AU$150 off selected gaming chairs from the 2018 Series, which includes one of our top recommendations, the Secretlab Omega. It’s a chair that’s got numerous customisation options and sturdy construction with premium materials.

There are plenty of adjustable tweaks you can make to get this chair feeling just right, from the angle of the backrest to the position of the armrests, and almost every conceivable adjustment in between.

You can tailor the look of your chair with a number of upholstery options to choose from at checkout, including pleather (polyurethane leather), fabric and genuine leather, though the price will vary depending on which you opt for.

To truly save a packet, Secretlab’s 2018 collection is seeing the biggest price drop. The genuine leather options have the deepest discount and are now down to AU$849, while the pleather choices are available for as low as AU$434.

While it’s not as big a discount as mentioned above, Secretlab’s 2020 version of the Titan is AU$30 off, bringing the pleather option down to AU$569 – nothing to be sniffed at for a choice gaming chair. Alternatively, you can go for another one of our top picks from the 2020 range – the Secretlab Omega in pleather for AU$519.

You’ll need to hurry if you want to spend the coming weeks in comfort, as this sale ends on April 2. Check out savings on the full 2020 range or the 2018 range from Secretlab.

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Optus is doubling the data on some of its best 5G plans

As Optus continues to roll out its 5G network across the country, the telco is hoping to tempt new customers to its 5G-ready phones by doubling your data on selected plans.

Android users, you’re in luck – this offer is currently available across Samsung's 5G range of smartphones, and the deal is for the two bigger plans (Large and Extra Large), so the data doubling will make more of an impact.

When you buy a selected handset, you’ll score double the data for your first 12 months free of charge – that’s a total of 200GB on the Large plan or an unprecedented 240GB on the Extra Large plan.

If you want to keep getting the additional data after the 12-month period ends, you can opt to stay in for just AU$10 each month.

Below, we’ve selected three eligible plans to suit a range of budgets.

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Zoom video calls get a new background tool courtesy of Canva

With the world in a state of flux, many of us have now found ourselves with a new workplace – our homes. While it’s certainly cut down the commute, it’s also having some interesting results, namely, our co-workers are getting a rare glimpse into our living space through video chat.

At least temporarily, connecting with our colleagues in this way is the new normal. To save you from the potential embarrassment of a messy room, and frankly just lighten the mood a little, graphic design platform Canva has launched a new background creator for Zoom video calls.

The new tool allows users to create their own Zoom background from Canva’s library containing millions of images, illustrations and icons, and customize it with easy-to-use editing tools.

It’s not just about hiding your living room turned home office though. If your Zoom meeting calls for something more practical, the tool also allows you to add an agenda list or an infographic to the background of your video chat.

For those who haven’t used Canva before, there are 80 ready-made templates for you to choose from, ranging from funky animations to beachside views, corporate offices to the cosmos. Or if you’d rather, you can upload your own image or choose from Canva’s free image library.

Canva is free to use, all that’s required is to sign up for an account. For the moment, the new background creator tool is only compatible with Zoom video conferencing software.

To upload a Canva-created background to Zoom, sign into Zoom Desktop Client and head to the settings menu. From there, upload your creation to the Virtual Background option.

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Homeschooling in Australia tech guide: essential kit for learning at home

These are unprecedented times, and countless parents across Australia are now finding themselves with a new job title – teacher. Although schools in some states are still open, a growing number of parents are choosing to keep their kids at home to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The prospect of becoming your child’s teacher can be daunting, but if you’re ready for the challenge, TechRadar’s Australian team is here to help you find tech resources you may need to help homeschool your children.

To help you get started, we’ve handpicked a range of laptops, 2-in-1s, printers and more, with choices catering to a variety of budgets so anyone can access learning at home.

Dell XPS 13 (7390)

The Dell XPS 13 has long been our favourite laptop at TechRadar, and from a bang-for-buck perspective it remains one of the best you can buy. This sleek machine gets our vote because it’s lightweight, slim and ultra portable, while also being pretty powerful. The XPS 13 rips through daily computing tasks with ease, and the all-important battery life in the 2019 model has improved over its predecessors. If you don’t want it to drain throughout the day, we’d recommend opting for the Full HD display configuration rather than a 4K panel.

best cheap Chromebook price and deals

The main difference you need to know when comparing a Chromebook to a Windows PC such as the Dell XPS above, is that a Chromebook runs Google’s Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system that aims to get you online as easily as possible. Chromebooks also don’t usually feature very powerful specs, and as a result can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than their Windows counterparts. So if your home schooling will mostly be based online and you’re not too fussed on battery life, the HP Chromebook 14 is an excellent option. It’s one of the few Chromebooks available in Australia and it carries an affordable price tag.

Discover more student laptops

HP Envy x360 13 (2019)

For a convertible, this 2-in-1 feels solid and sturdy despite its rather slick-looking aluminium chassis. Its battery is capable of up to nine hours of video playback, and the AMD chip under the hood will keep performance running smoothly for most schoolwork requirements. There’s versatility in this machine, as the 360-degree hinge allows you to convert its 13-inch Full HD touchscreen display into tablet mode. All in all, the HP Envy x360 delivers the feel of a high-end portable at a competitive price point.

Microsoft Surface Go

It’s technically a 10-inch tablet, but add a Type Cover and it becomes a very compelling 2-in-1 option. While it doesn’t have the powerful components of more expensive 2-in-1s, Microsoft designed this good-looking device to be mighty enough for schoolwork. Despite the additional cost of the Type Cover – something we’d recommend getting if you’d like to use it as a convertible – the Surface Go still comes in cheaper than many other 2-in-1s. For the price, you’re also getting an incredibly colour-accurate display and surprisingly powerful speakers.

Discover more 2-in-1s

Logitech MX Master 2S

This wireless mouse is more expensive than most, but it’s a highly customisable pointer that’s been designed with productivity in mind. Its sensor works incredibly well, so whether your homeschooling setup looks like a wooden kitchen table or glass outdoor furniture, this little beauty will perform with precision. Lefties won’t be able to use this mouse, though, but if your child is right-handed, then this is an ergonomically designed pointer that can be used on up to three computers at the same time.

If you just need a reliable mouse without the bells and whistles of the option above, this is an inexpensive option. It’s wireless, has two straightforward buttons and is comfortable to use whether your child is right- or left-handed. There’s no real fancy features to speak of, just a dependable pointer from a brand you can trust.

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Epson Ecotank Expression ET-2750

While this printer has a high upfront cost, in the long run, you’ll likely save significantly on the cost of replacement ink. This is a cartridge-free printer that already comes with plenty of bottled ink right out of the box – Epson says it’s enough to print 5,200 colour pages and can last up to two years before it needs replacing. It can automatically print double-sided if necessary, and of course, has all the basic functions of copying and scanning, and can be used remotely from your smartphone or tablet thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity.

HP Envy 5030

This is an excellent all-rounder for printing out any assignments you may have set for your child. The HP Envy 5030 is an inkjet device that can print, copy and scan documents, and it automatically prints on both sides of paper to minimise wastage. In addition to the USB port, you can also connect through Wi-Fi, allowing you to print directly from a smartphone if you wish. It’s worth noting though that while the upfront cost of this printer is low, the ongoing price of ink and toner can be relatively high over time.

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Elgato Thunderbolt 3 USB-C hub

Ultra-thin laptops are a pleasure to have and hold, until you find yourself needing more ports than they can provide. Many modern laptops come with the faster USB-C or Thunderbolt ports, making it harder to connect to devices that still use the older USB 3.0 cables for example. And the newer MacBooks are no exception. If your child is using one of Apple’s latest, it’s worthwhile getting a USB-C hub tailored towards Thunderbolt connections. This Elgato dock offers a range of high-speed port options for external monitor support, and also has ports for headphones and a mic, along with a single USB on the front. All other ports are available at the rear to keep this stylish package neat and tidy.

Vava 8-in-1 USB-C Hub

For a cheap and cheerful USB-C hub, the Vava 8-in-1 is worthy of your consideration. It includes an Ethernet port for faster data transfers and better security than most wireless connections, while the HDMI port allows for 4K and Full HD video to project on a secondary screen without lag. You’ll also have three USB 3.0 ports for connecting flash drives, a keyboard or a mouse, plus separate card readers for both SD and microSD, ensuring all your bases are covered.

Discover more USB-C hubs

Bitdefender Total Security 2020

Teaching methods are evolving and a lot of the work can now be done online. Unfortunately, that opens up your devices to harmful malware, and software like Bitdefender’s Total Security 2020 can keep them at bay. Bitdefender has some of the best antivirus packages and the Total Security option looks after Mac, Windows, Android and iOS devices, removing the need for separate security software for different gear. However, if you only need to protect a Windows machine, Bitdefender’s Antivirus Plus 2020 is available for slightly less.

Discover more antivirus software

Microsoft Office 365 Home

There’s a good chance you’ve found yourself needing an office suite while homeschooling your child. After all, assignments and homework may need to be written out on a document, or older students may find they need to make a presentation. One of the most widely used office suites is Microsoft’s Office 365 Home, which includes all the essentials of Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. There’s 1TB of cloud storage available with the package, in case your child’s work needs to be backed up, and it also comes with Skype – very handy during times of self-isolation. It’s compatible with both Windows PC and Mac, and is available to share with up to six people in your family, making it a good value choice.

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Free self-isolation education and entertainment resources

The way many people around the world live, work and entertain themselves is - at least temporarily - changing. Social-distancing and self-isolation measures across the globe have certainly limited access to many real-world resources.

Many schools, universities and public spaces such as libraries have been forced to temporarily close their doors, for example, leaving countless people without access to educational materials, and kids without their favorite stories.

But there's some encouraging positivity coming out during this time of uncertainty, too, with a number of organizations opening up free access to what were previously paid resources.

On this page, we're going to maintain a continuously updated list of all of those – alongside any other useful ones we discover.

Free educational resources

Audible Stories

With schools closed in some parts of the world and parents choosing to keep their kids at home in many others, Amazon's Audible has launched Audible Stories, a new service providing free audiobooks to kids and teenagers everywhere. 

Its collection of audiobook titles include young children’s storybooks to literary classics, and will be made available to stream in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon has also made a selection of its family-friendly movies and TV shows available to stream for free on Amazon Prime Video. Its range of Amazon Original content for children will be free to watch worldwide, though the selection of licensed content for kids will vary by country.

This service is usually a perk of becoming an Amazon Prime member, but the e-commerce giant is making it available to all customers with an Amazon account.

Australian Reptile Park

As we spend more time indoors, zoos across the globe are making sure we can still connect to animals in the outside world. Many are doing this by live streaming feeding time, but the Australian Reptile Park has created a new educational series for students called Animal Tales with Tim Faulkner.

The series features a new episode every day and takes a closer look at Australia’s wonderful animals, and kids are encouraged to post their homework in the comment section. Available to watch on Tim Faulkner’s Facebook page or the Australian Reptile Park’s YouTube channel.


JSTOR is a digital library of academic resources, and part of its database has been accessible to the public for some time. 

They have more than 6,000 ebooks and 150 journals available, and the organization has stated they are currently working with publishers to make a larger set of content freely available to institutions where students no longer have access to educational resources. We'll be keeping an eye on their progress, and update you here if more is made available.

Cambridge University Press

As teachers, researchers and students are increasingly finding themselves having to teach and learn from home, Cambridge University Press (CUP) has made its collection of academic textbooks available online for free to university libraries until the end of May. 

Availability was temporarily suspended due to unprecedented demand (and potential misuse of the offer), but its range of textbooks are now available again to higher education institutions and their students. A number of open access journals are also available online to anyone.

Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library

In response to the pandemic, Internet Archive has created a National Emergency Library so anyone can continue to borrow books. It has suspended waitlists for the 1.4 million books in its digitized collection until June 30, ensuring students and teachers can still access materials while physical libraries in many parts of the world have closed their doors.

The organization says while its collection isn’t comprehensive, it focuses on materials that were published during the 20th century – the vast majority of which aren’t commercially available as an ebook. Signing up to the Internet Archive is all that’s required to borrow from their digital library shelves.

Professional Photographers of America

The organization is calling it a time of need, and for those stuck at home, the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has opened up its entire catalogue of online photography courses to everyone free of charge. There are over 1,100 courses to choose from across a variety of topics for beginners and more advanced photographers alike. 

The courses will be free for two weeks – they were unlocked on March 21, so we expect this offer to be open until April 4, although no precise end date has been mentioned on the organization’s website.

Nikon School Online

The PPA isn't the only organization lending a helping hand to creatives stuck indoors. Camera maker Nikon, too, is helping those who are keen on photography find new ways to be creative. The camera brand is making all of its online classes available to stream online for free for the month of April, offering something for photographers of all skill levels.

Each class is taught by a professional photographer, and subjects range from the basics of getting to know your Nikon DSLR to how to create video content and plenty in between. Signing up with your email address is all that's required to get started.

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Cheap Google Pixel 4 deal: Get 50% off at Vodafone Australia

Love to take photos with your phone? Now’s your chance to pick up our #2 recommendation in Australia for a song. Despite the fact it was released less than six months ago, Vodafone is currently offering the Google Pixel 4 on a plan at 50% off the RRP – that’s a huge saving of AU$524.50 in total.

This discount is exclusive to the Clearly White 64GB capacity version of the device, and available over any length of payment contact – 12-, 24- or 36-months. Over a 24-month period, that makes the monthly handset payment just AU$21.83; over 36 months, the monthly cost is a tiny AU$14.55, while paying over 12 months will see the cost jump to AU$43.88 per month.

You can choose from four different Vodafone plans when purchasing the Pixel 4 with the AU$50 Red Plus plan probably offering the best overall value for money – that comes with 60GB worth of data per month, and unlimited talk and text.

If you decide to go with the AU$50 Red Plus plan on a 24-month contract, you’ll be paying just AU$71.83 each month in total, or if you choose to pay it off over 36 months, that’ll be a repayment of AU$64.55 per month.

With the Pixel 4, Google has turned all its focus to the camera. There’s two lenses on the rear – a 12MP main camera and a 16MP telephoto lens for portrait shots, better zoom and stunning low-light shots. On the front you’ll find an 8MP lens for selfie snaps.

New to the Pixel 4 is tech which allows you to adjust exposure in your images in real-time, before you’ve even taken the shot, while the impressive Night Sight mode lets you take bright, clear snaps in low-light without flash.

For the stargazers, there’s a dedicated astrophotography mode for shooting the stars, though Google says you’ll need to get away from city lights and prop your phone on a steady surface or in a tripod.

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Heads up: Amazon AU has stacks of big-name PS4 and Xbox One games going cheap

Amazon usually has some pretty competitive pricing when it comes to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games – but the e-commerce giant has now dropped prices on a huge number of titles to an all-time low.

That includes the lowest price yet on some of last year’s biggest releases such as Borderlands 3, The Outer Worlds and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

A couple of the more recent hits from the last 18 months are also available for their lowest price to date, including Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2.

These bargain prices are available for a limited time only, so scroll down to shop our top picks before these discounts end on March 15.

There’s plenty more great releases on sale including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Mortal Kombat 11, NBA 2K20 and FIFA 20, so check out the full list of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles on sale before the offer ends on March 15.

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NRL 2020: live stream this year’s Rugby League season online in Australia

Update (19/03/2020): With the global Covid-19 situation still unfolding, the future of this season's NRL games was uncertain, but the organisers have now confirmed they'll continue playing all scheduled matches – albeit to empty stadiums. You'll be able to stream all those games online and streaming partner Kayo is even adding an extra camera feed – full details on how to watch the games continues below.

Australia's 2020 NRL season has kicked off, and it’s looking to be another cracking year.

Back-to-back premiership winners the Sydney Roosters will be the team to beat this year, and the players have made it known they’re hungry for another championship win – though the road to the Grand Final will likely be a different challenge than the two years prior.

Though they’ve got man-of-the-moment James Tedesco onside, fans will be anxious to see how the Roosters’ perform following the retirement of their all-star fullback Cooper Cronk, and the loss of centre Latrell Mitchell to the Rabbitohs.

Their rivals will be fighting to keep the Roosters from a third consecutive win, but if they’re able to fend their contenders off, they’ll be the first team to win three back-to-back titles since the Parramatta Eels in the early 1980s.

There’s a couple of ways to watch the NRL this season – on free-to-air TV the Nine Network will be airing a selection of matches from the first 25 rounds and has exclusive rights to the Grand Final live – though the downside is you’ll need to sit through ad breaks.

If you want to catch more of the action, or you’re looking to live stream from anywhere in the world, you could turn to Foxtel, Watch NRL or Kayo Sports.

How to watch the NRL 2020 season live online

A Foxtel subscription can be a costly option if you’re just wanting to watch sport, as it doesn’t come as standard in the basic package. If you can’t justify the cost of Foxtel in order to get your NRL fix, Kayo Sports is a more affordable option.

Kayo is a sports-centric streaming service, and for just AU$25 a month, you’ll get access to over 50 sports live and on demand, which you can stream on up to two screens simultaneously. There’s a 14-day free trial available for you to test out the service, and if you find it’s not for you, you’re free to cancel anytime as there are no lock-in contracts.

Neither Foxtel or Kayo will be airing the NRL Grand Final live, as the Nine Network has the official broadcast rights. Unlike on the Nine Network though, you’ll be able to catch every game from every round and the finals series live and ad free.

The Grand Final will be available on Kayo through a delayed broadcast, and there’s plenty of features on Kayo to make up for the loss. There’s SplitView, which gets you up to four streams at the same time on selected devices, and a No Spoilers mode, to hide the stats from the games you haven’t seen.

Kayo also gets you access to a number of NRL shows too, such as Sunday Night with Matty Johns, NRL 360 and more.

How to watch the NRL 2020 season from abroad

If you’ll be overseas during this NRL season, or even a part of it, you can keep up with all the action on a Watch NRL subscription. This streaming service offers every single match, including the Grand Final, live and on demand. While you can sign up for it from anywhere, you can only stream the content outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

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Disney’s Baby Yoda toy is now ready to pre-order from Amazon

Few could have predicted the world would fall in love with The Child – aka Baby Yoda – when The Mandalorian came to Disney Plus late last year.

If you’re wanting to hold your very own Baby Yoda, then you’re in luck. You can now pre-order Hasbro’s Baby Yoda animatronic toy for Christmas – and it’s only available from Amazon in Singapore.

Yeah, we know it’s very early to be talking about Christmas, but with the highly anticipated second season of The Mandalorian on the way for October 2020, the Baby Yoda madness will reach fever pitch come the end of the year, and fans will be clamouring to get their hands on the toy.

This isn’t a stuffed toy though. It’s an animatronic that promises to recreate all the adorable traits that endeared Baby Yoda to fans in the first place. He can use the Force, giggle and babble, then promptly get tired and fall asleep. 

We loved Baby Yoda because of his wide eyes and giant ears, and the toy animates those as well with blinking eyes and wiggling ears. There’s over 25 sound and motion combinations to bring Baby Yoda to life – just touch the top of his head.

If you’d love to bring Baby Yoda home, it’s now available to pre-order exclusively from Amazon, though you won’t be able to get it until December 1. Please note that when you go to Amazon’s page, you must click on ‘available from these sellers’ to pre-order.

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Telstra’s knocking AU$120 off some of its SIM plans

During the month of March, Telstra is offering a AU$120 discount on select BYO phone plans when new customers switch to a month-to-month mobile deal.

If you bring your own smartphone over to the Telstra network and sign up for a SIM-only plan of AU$60 or above before March 30, you’ll get AU$10 off for your first 12 months – saving you AU$120 over the year.

The Medium plan is the cheapest option where this offer is available – it’s usually AU$60 per month, but now for just AU$50 each month you’ll get 60GB of data and unlimited national talk and text.

No need to worry if you happen to use up all your data in a month either, as there’s no excess charges, just a speed cap of 1.5Mbps.

If you go with the Medium plan, you’ll also get free trial access to their 5G network until June 30, 2020, provided you’re bringing a 5G compatible phone over to the telco.

If you decide to stick with it after the trial period ends, it’s AU$15 per month to opt-in to the 5G network, but if you’ve gone with a Large or Extra Large data plan, access is included for as long as you stay on the plan.

The Telstra SIM-only plans also include data-free sports streaming of AFL, NRL, the Hyundai A-League and more.

These BYO phone deals are only available to new customers, or existing Telstra customers who are looking to add a second device. They have no lock-in contract, so you’re free to cancel any time.

If you don’t have a handset to bring over to Telstra, you do have the option of signing up for a handset payment plan, which you can opt to pay for over 24 or 36 months.

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Hyundai A-League 2020: live stream every match online in Australia

The Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season is heating up and current champions Sydney FC seem unstoppable with a 13-point lead as the team dominates the top of the ladder.

Last year’s premier Perth Glory is also in finals form as the team from WA chases down the number one spot – but to lift the Premier's Plate again, they’ll need to muscle out Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix who are hot on their heels.

Brisbane Roar is also making a name for itself as the underdogs in the league, once again managing to hold off Perth Glory with a 1-1 draw in their round 20 match up – a repeat of the opening round performance.

With nine rounds remaining and A-League rivals soon set to face off, it’s not too late to catch all the action before grand final weekend on May 16-17.

There’s a few ways to watch the Hyundai A-League this season – the ABC has become the official free-to-air partner of the competition, and will air 29 live matches in the Saturday 5pm AEDT time slot, as well as delayed broadcasts of the final match-ups.

If you don’t want to miss a single kick though, you’ll have the choice between Australia’s top pay TV services – Foxtel and Kayo Sports. There is a third option – Telstra’s My Football Live app – which is data free but exclusive only to Telstra customers.

How to watch the Hyundai A-League 2020 season live online

Fox Sports is part of Foxtel’s sports package, which comes as an optional add-on at extra cost to a standard Foxtel subscription.

For those who have no need for Foxtel’s additional channels and just want to get their sports fix, Kayo is a more affordable alternative. The streaming service boasts over 50 sports live and on demand, and has almost everything there is from Foxtel’s sports pack, including all the A-League match-ups.

For AU$25 a month, you can get a basic Kayo package – that’ll get you access to two screens at once. There’s a 14-day free trial on offer and you’re able to cancel anytime, with no lock-in contracts to keep you bound to the service.

The biggest advantage of Kayo is that it’s the most feature-packed sports streaming service there is. There’s plenty of viewing options, such as SplitView, which lets you watch up to four streams at the same time on selected devices. The No Spoilers setting will keep the scores and results you care about hidden until you’re ready to watch, and Kayo Minis give you quick highlights of the games you’ve missed.

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Twitter takes aggressive new steps to flag misinformation posted to the platform

Twitter is doubling down on its efforts to combat the spread of misinformation on its platform, with a demo featuring prominent labels displayed under false information posted by public figures being leaked to NBC News.

Twitter has confirmed the leaked demo is a “design mockup for one option that would involve community feedback”. This suggests it could be a component of its new policies that target misinformation that will come into effect on March 5.

Screenshot of leaked demo includes a tweet about gun background checks by Sen. Bernie Sanders, an example of medical misinformation and a tweet about whistleblowers by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

This follows on from an announcement this month that the social networking site will be flagging images, videos and audio that have been “deceptively altered” and is likely to cause users harm.

The leaked demo shows tweets from US politicians and Twitter-verified accounts that have a large orange-colored blurb beneath labeling them “harmfully misleading”. The label also includes input from various journalists and community fact-checkers who provide users with context and further clarification about the misleading information being shared.

In this possible iteration of the new feature, misleading information on Twitter can also be corrected by other users who, “contribute in good faith and act like a good neighbor” in a community-style moderation “like Wikipedia”.

Screenshot of Community Notes, which aim to provide critical context to tweets

The leaked demo shows this feature could be called “Community Notes”. According to NBC News, when users report misinformation, they are prompted to answer whether the tweet is “likely” or “unlikely” to be “harmfully misleading”. 

These users, then, will be asked how likely it is that others on Twitter will agree with them, using a scale of 1 to 100. They will also need to explain why they feel the tweet should be labeled as harmful.

Users who participate in the community moderation may earn “points” and a “community badge” to encourage sharing context around misinformation on the platform.

“We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News. “Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it.”

Twitter has also recently partnered with the US Census Bureau, and will prompt users to visit the official US census website when searching for specific keywords on the platform.

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Super Rugby 2020: live stream every match online in Australia

This year’s Super Rugby season has already kicked off, and while the Aussie teams have gotten off to a slow start, hopes are still high that we can turn it around.

After starting the competition with two consecutive wins, the Brumbies were on the receiving end of a heartbreaking loss to the Highlanders by round three, conceding a 23-22 loss in the final minutes. The NSW Waratahs also have a tough slog ahead, after three back-to-back defeats and a bye in round four.

But it’s still very early days, so we’re holding out hope that the Australian teams’ luck will turn around this year after a three-year winning streak by New Zealand’s Crusaders.

If you’re a fan of Super Rugby, it’s not too late to catch up on all the action. Fox Sports has the official rights to broadcast the competition in Australia, which means if you’re keen on watching all the matches from the comfort of your home, your choices are either Foxtel or Kayo Sports.

How to watch the Super Rugby 2020 season live online

Foxtel has a wide variety of sports to watch across its channels, but it can be expensive, particularly when you factor in the additional cost of the sports package, which doesn’t come as standard on the most affordable Foxtel Plus or Foxtel Now subscription.

If you’ve resisted signing up for Foxtel because of its premium price tag, a strong sports-focused alternative is Kayo. The streaming service has access to over 50 sports live and on demand, including every Super Rugby game.

The basic Kayo package is AU$25 a month, giving you practically everything Fox Sports has the broadcast rights to – with the ability to watch on two screens at the same time. There’s a free 14-day trial, and no lock-in contracts so you can cancel any time.

Kayo has some added features such as SplitView, which allows you to view up to four streams at once on selected devices; watch today’s match live while catching up with replays of ones you may have missed.

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Amazon has the best value Samsung Galaxy S20 pre-order deals in Australia

The countdown has well and truly begun for the imminent release of Samsung’s latest flagship series – the Galaxy S20 range. If you’re an avid early adopter of new tech and keen on getting your hands on the device outright, the best value pre-order option on offer right now is through Amazon, and it’s exclusively available to TechRadar Australia’s loyal readers.

This limited-time offer is available on each of the three handsets in the Samsung Galaxy S20 range, including the S20 itself, the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra. To get AU$30 off the Galaxy S20, use the code TR30, or for AU$50 off on the Galaxy S20 Plus or Galaxy S20 Ultra, use the code TR50 on Amazon Australia – both exclusive codes will expire at 11:55pm on February 26.

The Galaxy S20 is the most affordable of the new range, and Amazon is shaving AU$30 off the pre-order price for TechRadar’s Aussie readers when you order by February 26. If it’s the Galaxy S20 Plus you’ve got your eyes on, or you want to go all out on the over-the-top S20 Ultra, Amazon is giving readers AU$50 off when you pre-order before February 26 on the e-commerce giant’s shopping site.

Samsung has partnered with Amazon in these pre-order offers, which means you’ll also get the Galaxy Buds Plus – which retail for AU$299 – thrown in for free, making this the best value pre-order option you can get.

Note: our exclusive offer codes expire at 11:55pm on February 26.

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