ZTE Grand X 2 Smartphone

Optoma NE800M Earphones

NZXT Noctis 450

App Pick - Hydro Coach

Adblock gets sold

It seems like the popular topic for the last few weeks has been web browsers popup blocker software. In an attempt to make more money, popup or ad blocking software companies have started allowing 'good' or 'friendly' ads to show up on the webpage you are looking at in exchange for them getting paid. Obviously, most people aren't too excited about this change and one of the more popular choices for ad blocking software, Adblock, have been trying to do damage control assuring people this is actually a good thing.

Well apparently the plot has thickened as it was announced that Adblock has been sold. The company who has purchased Adblock is not being named at their request. Great, sounds legit to me. My money is on this not going well for the 40 Million Adblock users...

Business Insider has the full story.

Adblock, the popular extension for Chrome and Safari, has announced via a pop-up to users that it has been sold — but doesn't mention a price or a buyer. The company was previously privately owned by its founder, Michael Gundlach.

Windows 10 runs on pretty much anything

Windows 10 can be installed on a pretty wide range of hardware according to their recommended hardware requirements, but the guys over at TechReport didn't believe them when they included a 2003 era AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with 512MB of memory. Long story short, on a computer with half the performance of most tablets available today, Windows 10 not only installed, but actually ran pretty well. 

Microsoft's decision to have a common operating system blueprint that can run from an internet-of-thing device to a (super) computer means that Windows 10 has been built from the ground up to run comfortably on low-performance parts.

The fact that it shares the same minimum hardware requirements as Windows Vista (at least for the Premium experience) is a fantastic achievement but that's only part of the story; Windows 10 actually runs better than its beleaguered ancestor. Much better.

Things Google announced this week at Nexus event

Google held their Nexus 2015 event this week and unsurprisingly announced a couple new members to the Nexus family, the 5X and 6P. The 6P is going to be a larger, 5.7 inch display while the 5X is going to be a bit smaller at 5.2 inches. In addition to a couple hardware upgrades and a few new camera feature you will of course get the new Android Marshmallow operating system.

In addition to the Nexus devices, Google announced a new Chromecast device as well as some upgrades to existing Chromecast devices. Also to note, Google was also showing off a new Chromebook in their Pixel series.

If you want all the details head on over to The Next Web for a preview of Google's new devices.

Several rumors and leaks later, the new Nexus devices are here. This year, Google introduces the Nexus 5X and 6P.

The Nexus 6P packs a 64-bit processor, USB Type-C, a 12.3 MP camera, 8 MP selfie cam, a Touch ID-esque fingerprint sensor called “Nexus Imprint” – all under a 5.7-inch screen. The camera uses “laser detect” technology to auto-focus during daytime and low lights, and can capture 4K video.

The device will come with Android Marshmallow with improved notifications to alert you to any update without being disruptive. You can also search for apps straight on the search bar instead of just a basic Google search, and the number of pre-loaded apps have been reduced. If you still hate them, you’re now able to uninstall as you wish.

ZTE Grand X 2 Z850 Review

We have just posted up our review of the ZTE Z850 Grand X 2 Smartphone. This is their followup to last years ZTE Grand X Plus and this unit packs a slightly faster processor, a larger battery, decent camera and more. It's a solid mid-range device that looks and performs like a champ. The icing on the silicon-infused-proverbial cake is that this device will only set you back $150 - off contract. Take a look and see why ZTE really deserves serious consideration.

One thing that I do like about ZTE devices is the inclusion of a MicroSD card slot. They do this to make up for the 16GB of internal storage that is showing its age. With the included software, the device ships with about 11GB of available storage. It certainly is nice that the Grand X 2 will support up to a 64GB MicroSD card.

ZTE Grand X 2

Google and Microsoft play nice

I could probably post a new lawsuit between the major technology companies on the main page here at BCCHardware a couple times a week without much trouble, someone is always suing the competition. This week Microsoft and Google decided they were tired of fighting and have agreed to dismiss all pending patent infringement lawsuits they have against each other (roughly 20 active lawsuits). I think in the 10+ years of news we've been posting this is probably the first one where both companies have made a move like this. MarketWatch has the story.

Rivals Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. agreed to dismiss patent-related lawsuits between the two companies, in a sign of the cooling intellectual-property wars among technology giants.

Microsoft and Google had roughly 20 lawsuits pending between them over uses of patents in mobile phones, Wi-Fi, Web video and other technologies. The companies agreed to dismiss all the pending patent cases, including those related to Google’s former Motorola Mobility smartphone unit, Microsoft and Google said in a joint statement Wednesday.

More people cut the cord on cable TV

Every month or two I find that there is a new survey that shows more and more people cutting the cord on cable, this month is no different. In the US, 479,000 people said goodbye to cable in Q2 of 2015. In addition, part of the survey asked if people were going to keep their cable service in the next year, 63% said they were unsure. You would think with statistics like this cable companies would be dropping the prices and trying to make customers happy but that doesn't seem to be happening as Netflix and other online services keep growing like crazy. The appropriately named Cut Cable Today website takes a look at cable TV and how it keeps losing customers.

As more awareness is created for alternatives to cable television services, cord cutting continues to press forward as a viable option in the minds of current cable customers. In fact, subscribers are leaving cable TV in droves, with a recent report from Strategy Analytics finding that 479,000 US consumers dropped their pay TV in Q2 2015 alone.

We randomly surveyed 604 cable users to find out if they felt they would keep their paid cable services 12 months from the time surveyed. Our findings concluded that 63% of those people were unsure which TV service their money would ultimately go towards in the next year.

Google's Pixel C Tablet Powered by NVIDIA

Google is now really in the hardware business with their Pixel C tablet. It's been a while since they make their own hardware (Nexus devices always made and and branded by 3rd party) but the Pixel C is all Google. In reality, it's probably made by NVIDIA entirely as it is their 256-Core Maxwell GPU that powers this beast. This is a tablet that could do a whole lot more, but unfortunately it's running Android rather than Windows 10. It's direct competition to the iPad Pro, but won't compete with the Microsoft Surface as both Apple and Google's offerings are running a mobile OS instead of a full OS.

It’s just the latest result of our ongoing collaboration with Google. Over the past few years, we’ve helped Google redefine the tablet market with the first Nexus 7 tablet, praised for its Tegra-powered multimedia prowess and budget $199 price, as well as the Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9 tablet, the first 64-bit Android device.

Source: NVIDIA

Apple's Gatekeeper Doesn't

Apple used to claim that you didn't need security software if you owned a Mac. However, as more people used these machines, it become profitable for people to try and hack them. Now you need security software, and as such Apple themselves have engineered a few software bits to keep you protected. In truth, their Gatekeeper has a massive flaw that allows pretty much anyone to run any program on your computer they so choose - all with a simple exploit. Ouch. Apparently, Gatekeeper is about as secure as Microsoft Security Essentials.

Gatekeeper's sole function is to check the digital certificate of a downloaded app before it's installed to see if it's signed by an Apple-recognized developer or originated from the official Apple App Store. It was never set up to prevent apps already trusted by OS X from running in unintended or malicious ways, as the proof-of-concept exploit he developed does.

Source: ArsTechnica

Race for Cheap Tablet Crown

With Amazon recently announcing their $50 Fire Tablet, the race is heating up in the cheap-tablet space. There have always been cheap tablets, but they were always, well, cheap. With Amazon releasing a high-quality unit, there will be a lot more high-quality tablets from other companies as well. While you may not have heard of Onda before, their 8", Windows 10 Tablet that comes with a Quad-Core Atom CPU and 2GB of RAM for $115 may make you sit up and take notice.

Microsoft's October 6th event will most likely see the introduction of the next iteration in the Surface line, the Surface Pro 4. That device will have a premium price tag attached, which some buyers simply won't be able to afford. Luckily, many of Microsoft's partners are producing Windows 10 devices that aim to offer a solid user experience while remaining a good deal more affordable.

Source: Neowin

Microsoft says Windows 10 Doesn't Have Privacy Issues

There have been a few questions regarding the privacy and data collection policy Microsoft uses in Windows 10. It really is pretty straightforward though. Microsoft does indeed collect information so that Windows 10 works better for you personally. It's the same way that Siri collects information about iPhone users and Google Now collections information about users of Android. Microsoft is not much different, except Microsoft gives you the ability to limit or deny information that is collected. I like that idea very much.

A great example of how this data was used effectively was just last month, when aggregate data showed us that a particular version of a graphics driver was crashing on some Windows 10 PCs, which then caused a reboot. This driver was not widely used, but still the issue was impacting customers. We immediately contacted the partner who builds the driver and worked with them to turn around a fix to Windows Insiders within 24 hours.

Source: WindowsBlog

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