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Domotz Evaluation

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ROCCAT Kiro Mouse


App Pick - Planner 5D

What's next for the Microsoft Surface?

Last year when the Microsoft Surface 3 launched people were genuinely impressed. You would think after you come up with a successful product that you'd be working on the next version to keep people talking, however, in typical Microsoft fashion, people aren't sure what is happening. So far we've heard nothing in regards to the successor to the Surface 3 and the stock levels are dropping to the point that only a few configurations are available. Basically it seems like Microsoft is either really good at keeping a secret and is going to come out with something to replace the Surface 3 or they are looking to get out of the hardware business. ArsTechnica has the full story.

Microsoft's Surface 3 impressed us when it launched last spring. It's a smaller, cheaper iteration of its Surface Pro concept, and this setup struck us as a pretty compelling mix. But there are signs that the device is not long for this world. Brad Sams at Thurrott.com writes that many versions are listed as out of stock in Microsoft's online store, with no expected availability. Online, only the 2GB RAM/64GB storage/LTE version is in stock.

In-store stock levels show a bit more availability, but the Surface 3 remains limited, with only some configurations on offer.

Will Netflix finally allow downloads?

Once again the "Netflix is finally going to allow downloads" rumor is swirling. Every few months people who are wanting to use Netflix on the go without having to pay for mobile data get excited but apparently thanks to "creditable sources" we might finally see a download feature maybe even by the end of 2016. Take this with a grain of salt as this isn't the first time that people have predicted that Netflix will add this feature. LightReading has the full story.

Following similar moves by Amazon, Comcast and others, Netflix is now working on a feature that will allow subscribers to download certain programs for offline viewing, according to industry insider and Penthera COO Dan Taitz. And Taitz thinks there will be a landscape shift when the new Netflix feature arrives.

"We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product," says Taitz. "My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers."

Sony agrees to pay PS3 Linux users

Six years ago Sony decided to end Linux support on the PS3 with a firmware update. Fast forward 6 years and a lawsuit later and Sony has agreed to pay users who this decision affected. Basically if you can prove that the end of Linux support affected you in a negative way you could be eligible to get $55 bucks back. If you were going to use the feature but never got around to it you could still be eligible for $9, The settlement is in the final stages of being settled and then you'll be able to file a claim if you were an affected PS3 user. ArsTechnica has the full story and all the details.

After six years of litigation, Sony is now agreeing to pay the price for its 2010 firmware update that removed support for the Linux operating system in the PlayStation 3.

Sony and lawyers representing as many as 10 million console owners reached the deal on Friday. Under the terms of the accord, which has not been approved by a California federal judge yet, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if they used Linux on the console. The proposed settlement, which will be vetted by a judge next month, also provides $9 to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's claims about "Other OS" functionality.

Netflix users don't want ads

Netflix is like any other company on the planet and is looking at how to increase profits. Hulu has gone the route of offering ads instead of increasing prices but apparently according to a new survey Netflix users aren't so receptive. Of the people polled, 90% said they'd rather pay more than see ads. 74% of people polled said that they'd rather cancel their subscription than see ads. It's interesting to see the numbers as high as they are as typically internet users like cheap or free and will put up with a fair amount of hassle. Seeing as Netflix has raised their prices recently it appears that their surveys have suggested the same. AllFlicks has the full story.

In its early days as a streaming service, Netflix wasn’t just the biggest and best company on the block – it was the only one. In those heady days, Netflix was able to charge low subscription rates and still provide a catalog that included just about everything.

As we’ve seen, that’s been changing. With new competition from companies like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has seen streaming deals get pricier and customers get antsier. For a few years now, Netflix’s catalog has been shrinking while its prices have been rising.

What is Zuckerberg Hiding?

Facebook likes to know our business and have made millions studying our habits. While Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg was celebrating Instagram reaching 500 million monthly users, people noticed from his post that he had tape covering over his webcam and mic. This low-tech solution is assumed to be his way of trying to protect himself from hackers turning it on, and it's not a bad idea I guess because apparently Zuckerberg doesn't like people spying on him...

Zuckerberg is apparently paranoid enough about hackers that he took the extra security step, in a move to shut down any prying eyes savvy enough to gain control of the camera. There also appears to be some sort of obstruction on his mic jack, although it's unclear what - tape, or some kind of dummy plug?

Source: TheVerge

Top Game Trailers from E3 2016

If you missed a bunch of E3 coverage this year, as I did, you may want to just skip to the video below and check out the top 30 game trailers from E3. It's not the perfect solution, but it will help you get caught up.

 

Huge Hacks Net Chief Execs Raises

The corporate world is a bit different that my "real world". Normally, if I screw up, oversee a bad decision or generally don't address a serious issue, I would expect to get a pay cut - if not outright fired. Not so with a whole bunch of executives that somehow managed to get a raise after their companies were hacked. It's pretty disgusting and I really don't understand the rational behind it. There is a list compiled for your view pleasure at the link below.

Things blew up this week when Dido Harding, the chief executive of TalkTalk, a British internet and phone provider, saw her pay packet almost triple in size in the wake of a devastating hack, in which hackers stole personal information on four-million customers. Harding's paycheck scaled to about £2.81 million ($4.12m) thanks to a cash bonus and a payout as part of the company's long-term incentive plan (LTIP) between 2012 and 2015.

Source: ZDNet

Google Adds "Sick" New Feature

Google Voice Search / Assistant is a great feature that I use daily - multiple times a day. It allows me to quickly and easily add appointments, math, calendar events and a number of things on my device. It allows me to contact people via SMS or even ring them up. Google has just added a new command to their voice database. See if "OK, Google. I think I'm dying," works for you. Google will help search up your symptions - vetted through Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic to help get you some answers. This is not a replacement for your doctor, and no I'm not pregnant.

"Our goal is to help you to navigate and explore health conditions related to your symptoms, and quickly get to the point where you can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional," said Google project manager Veronica Pinchin.

Source: TheInquirer

Spotify Montly Active Users Top 100 Million

If you determine success by dominating the competition in your market, I guess Spotify is successful. They have now topped just over 100 Million monthly active users and of these, 30% of them are paid subscribers. This is huge news as 30 Million subscribers * $10 / month = $300,000,000 montly income. As impressive as that sounds, I'm sure they also generate some revenue from in-app ads on the free platform. Sounds successful right? Well, if you factor in that they lost $209 Million last year - you will have to re-think your definition of success and also re-think how much money the music industry robs from Spotify.

Swedish music streaming service Spotify said on Monday its user base had grown to 100 million, up from 75 million previously, as it pushed into new markets and despite competition from the likes of Apple Music. Spotify has the music streaming industry's biggest paid subscriber base, with 30 million users paying to listen, but the vast majority still tune in for free with commercial breaks.

Source: Reuters

WTU Episode #362 - Spotify Breaks the Magic 100 Million

We have just posted up Episode #362 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing free games that aren't free, more rumors on the iPhone 7 and Nintendo is content with third place. Check out those and lots more tech stories at the links below.

WTU

Download Episode #362
Show Notes
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Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

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