We have just posted up Episode #290 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Xbox One sales are catching up, Google pushes Chromebooks with lots of storage and all top apps have been hacked. We have those stories and more and the links below!
Recent Forum Topics
- WTU Episode #290 - Xbox One Catches Up; Winner is ... [0 replies]
- Jumpy About the Future [0 replies]
- Undetected Malware [0 replies]
- Bumbling Tinder [0 replies]
- Money Goes Up in Steam [0 replies]
- Android App Pick - Sugar Sugar [0 replies]
- Free Chromebook with 1TB Drive Purchase [0 replies]
- Microsoft Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week of Outa... [0 replies]
WTU Episode #290 - Xbox One Catches Up, Winner is Nintendo
Jumpy About the Future
We can all admit that the attention span of the average human being isn’t that great these days. We can also agree that kids’ attention span is even shorter. That fact makes it hard to market kid based electronics, but Joyray wants to change that with their open source smartwatch for kids. This device is called Jumpy and has a lot of things that developers can tweak to keep the interest of the kids.
A Taipei-based hardware startup called JoyRay wants to create a smartwatch for kids that won’t end up abandoned like the Velveteen Rabbit. Founder and CEO Jerry Chang, who was division head of Foxconn’s smartphone business before leaving last December, believes the key to creating a kids’ smartwatch with enduring appeal is to provide an open SDK and release new apps by JoyRay and third-party developers every month.
A lot of us are familiar with certain malware threats. So far internet security has been pretty good with keeping up with them, but there is one that slipped under the radar since 2008. This malware is called Regin and is basically designed to collect data and intelligence on people and companies, and was recently discovered by Symantec. This malware is a sophisticated thing so this once again reminds us to be careful on the web.
Regin is a highly-complex threat which has been used in systematic data collection or intelligence gathering campaigns. The development and operation of this malware would have required a significant investment of time and resources, indicating that a nation state is responsible. Its design makes it highly suited for persistent, long term surveillance operations against targets.
After sueing Tinder for sexual harassment, Whitney Wolfe and two other early employees of the company have gone together to create a direct competitor to the social discovery app. This app is call Bumble, and is a tad bit more in depth than it’s counterpart. Bumble says on their Facebook page that,”Bumble promotes a safe and respectful community. You'll never get unwanted messages and Bumble suggests matches based on more relevant signals than other, more shallow apps.”.But only time will tell if Tinder will burn up or if Bumble will bee no more.
Whitney Wolfe, an early employee at Tinder who sued the company for sexual harassment and workplace discrimination, has joined up with two other early Tinder employees, Chris Gulczynski and his partner Sarah Mick (cofounders of YayNext), to launch a direct competitor to Tinder called Bumble, sources tell TechCrunch.
Money Goes Up in Steam
Good news Steam users with extra money! (Not good news if you're trying to save money)... The fall Steam sale is coming this week! The news is not actually coming from Valve, but from Paypal as they are ramping up for a lot more transactions. The sale is set to run until December 1st. Get out your wallet and game!
Android App Pick - Sugar, Sugar
We have just posted up another Android App Pick of the Week and this week we are getting our heads in the game and our fingers on something sweet. I'm not talking about Android Lollipop, I'm talking about a great game called "Sugar, Sugar". It's fun, challenging and will have you trying to fill the cups just right! Take a look and see what all the fuss is about!
Free Chromebook with 1TB Drive Purchase
Google is following up with the Microsoft outages with an offer that sounds pretty good if you're getting tired of Microsoft and have been sitting on the fence when it comes to purchasing a Chromebook. Right now, Google has upped the 200GB of Drive storage to 1TB for two years if you buy a new Chromebook and activate the offer before January 1, 2015. I know I'll be looking seriously at picking one up around Black Friday for sure. Although those cheap Windows laptops are tempting as well... Both make a great take-it-to-CES rig for casual duties.
They say that this represents a $240 value and considering that most Chromebooks are in the $200 to $300 range, it’s almost like the purchase pays for itself. Contrast this to the 50GB of Dropbox you typically get for free with the activation of a new Samsung smartphone or tablet, for example, and that full 1TB is starting to sound pretty juicy.
Microsoft Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week of Outages
Following a new Cortana ad (that was a win), they tried to stay positive when Bing went down last week. Upon trying to fix that issue, Xbox Live went down and then their Windows Store failed as well. There were even reports that Outlook was even down for a bit and this makes it really hard to trust the guys in Redmond when they tell us that we need to move everything to their cloud. I'm going to take a wait and see approach before I grab my Office 365 membership and move all my data to their "free" storage. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
Considering that Microsoft had a series of outages this week, while their cloud infrastructure has typically had good up-time, this will place a small bit of doubt in the mind of consumers if they were impacted and could not access their content. Because the market is extremely competitive, companies are not measured by how often they are online but how often they are offline.
4K and Gaming: Two Monitors - Fight!
If you are getting excited about 4K gaming and what that will look like, you'll need a great system with graphics that are better than a R9 270X - I'd say R9 280X at the minimum as well as a decent 4K display. There are a few options and getting to be more and more all the time. A couple of the affordable contenders are put head-to-head and now that these start at $700, it's pretty hard to pass up one of these for your next major monitor purchase.
Of the two, the 4K U2868PQU came closer to what I would need out of an everyday monitor, though it's certainly not perfect. On the downside, AOC managed to hit such a low price point for a 28-inch 4K monitor in part by going with a cheaper TN panel, rather than IPS. As such, viewing angles and color accuracy took a hit, and editing photos got a bit frustrating. Such drawbacks are easier to forgive on a gaming-centric display like the G2460PG, but less so on a more "professional" monitor.
Siri vs. Cortana - Bigger
If you're Microsoft, you don't usually post ads that are catchy and that attack other companies. There are several reasons for this. The biggest reason is that Microsoft doesn't always have what it takes to back up their smack-talk. Here's hoping for their sake that Cortana can turn this around - all while staying slim and trim.