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NC50 Noise Canceling Earphones

Cable keeps losing customers, but not as fast as you might have thought

A constant topic of discussion in the tech world is how internet video will mean the end of cable companies, however, while subscriptions are dropping, it really isn't as bad as predicted. Since 2012, 3.4 million people have cut the cord but it hasn't bankrupted any of the major players. The first quarter in 2018 saw 285,000 users which is once gain about the average over the past couple years. DSLResports has the full story.

The cord cutting phenomenon saw a slight slowdown during the first quarter, with the nation's biggest pay TV providers losing "just" 305,000 subscribers during the first quarter. According to the latest study from Leichtman Research, that's a notable improvement from the half a million subscribers the industry lost one year earlier. That said, Leichtman's numbers tend to be notably lower than many Wall Street analyst estimates, and the cord cutting phenomenon is expected to heat back up during the second quarter, when many college students go home for the summer.

ZTE shuts down operations

ZTE has announced that they'll be shutting down their global operations as a result of the sanctions that were placed against them by the US government. ZTE was one of the more promising smartphone makers and has some pretty decent devices. Thanks to some issues with them withholding information from the US government, the US has banned American companies from exporting technology to ZTE and as a result the company has decided to shut down all together. ArsTechnica has the full story.

One of the leading Chinese smartphone makers, ZTE, is shutting down global operations in the face of crippling sanctions levied by the US government. ZTE is China's number-two smartphone maker, and as recently as last year it was the number-four smartphone vendor in the US.

"The major operating activities of the Company have ceased," ZTE wrote (PDF) in a Wednesday announcement to stock market traders in Hong Kong.

ZTE's business became untenable after a US government order banned American companies from exporting technology to the Chinese smartphone maker. ZTE is heavily dependent on US-made components, especially Qualcomm chips and Google's Android software stack.

IBM bans all removable storage for staff

We talk pretty regularly on our podcast about data breeches and hacks, however, the biggest liability is still your users when it comes to security weak points. IBM is taking things to a new level by banning all removable storage for their staff members which seems a little extreme but quite frankly isn't the worst idea in the world. Unfortunately for IBM and any other big company, it's nearly impossible to actually enforce a policy like this. The Register has the full story.
 
IBM has banned its staff from using removable storage devices. An advisory to staff penned by IBM global chief Information security officer Shamla Naidoo said the company “is expanding the practice of prohibiting data transfer to all removable portable storage devices (eg: USB, SD card, flash drive).” The advisory says some pockets of IBM have had this policy for a while, but “over the next few weeks we are implementing this policy worldwide.” Big Blue’s doing this because “the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimised.” IBM has banned its staff from using removable storage devices. An advisory to staff penned by IBM global chief Information security officer Shamla Naidoo said the company “is expanding the practise of prohibiting data transfer to all removable portable storage devices (eg: USB, SD card, flash drive).” The advisory says some pockets of IBM have had this policy for a while, but “over the next few weeks we are implementing this policy worldwide.” Big Blue’s doing this because “the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimised.”

Weekly Tech Update #434 - Tesla: Losing $6,500 per Minute

We have just posted up Episode #434 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing the founder of WhatsApp quits, Sprint and T-Mobile talk about a merger and finally, we talk about what's next for Bitcoin. We have those stories and more...

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Twitter profitable two quarters in a row

Somehow Twitter remained profitable for a 2nd quarter in a row. Not going to lie, I didn't see this one coming after Twitter lost money for many years consecutively but seems to have at least temporarily stopped the bleeding. CNET has the full story.

The company, meanwhile, has had a hard time finding growth, both in terms of profits and in terms of users. So its latest numbers may offer a ray of hope.

For the quarter that ended March 31, Twitter counted 336 million users who log in at least once a month. That's less than a sixth of the more than 2 billion that Facebook counts, but it's up from 330 million in the final quarter of 2017.

The question is whether that'll amount to anything more than a blip. In a March note to investors, analysts at Oppenheimer Equity Research declared that even if Twitter regains user growth momentum and increased advertising, "long-term utility" is "still unknown."

Weekly Tech Update #433 - Twitter is On a Roll!

We have just posted up Episode #433 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing Twitter is still profitable, speculation on the Amazon Fire TV Cube, and Amazon will now deliver you parcels to the trunk of your car. We have those stories and more...

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Yahoo fined $35 million for data breach

Remember that time that Yahoo failed to disclose one of the biggest data breaches of all time? Remember how they then sold to Verizon for $4.48 billion dollars? Well as a result of an investigation of federal regulators' charges, they've been fined $35 million dollars. I'm sure other $4+ billion dollar companies will be super worried about fines when the numbers are that low and everyone will learn their lessons, right? 

The LA Times has more on this story.

The company formerly known as Yahoo is paying a $35-million fine to resolve federal regulators' charges that the online pioneer deceived investors by failing to disclose one of the biggest data breaches in internet history.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the action Tuesday against the company, which is now called Altaba Inc. after its email and other digital services were sold to Verizon Communications Inc. for $4.48 billion last year. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company, which no longer is publicly traded, neither admitted nor denied the allegations but did agree to refrain from further violations of securities laws.

Amazon Prime reaches 100 million subscribers

Amazon has always been pretty tight-lipped about just how many Prime subscribers have, but thanks to a letter to their shareholders they revealed that they've reached the 100 million mark which is a pretty big accomplishment. 2017 was a good year for Amazon and it doesn't appear that they're about to let up anytime soon. The Verge has more on this story.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed in his annual shareholders letter today that his company has over 100 million Prime members, marking the first time in the 13-year history of Amazon offering its Prime membership that the company has ever revealed its number of subscribers.

Analysts have speculated for years as the scope of Amazon’s premium service, which Amazon has kept secret for years. According to Bezos, Amazon Prime also saw its best year ever in 2017, with the company shipping over five billion products with Prime and signing up more new members than in any previous year.

Weekly Tech Update #432 - Apple Struggles to Solve Problems

We have just posted up Episode #432 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing Sega games coming to the Nintendo Switch, Apple's got a problem and it's getting harder to solve and we'll discuss the world's most admired man - spoiler alert, it's not Mark Zuckerberg. We have those stories and more...

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Sonarworks True-Fi Evaluation

We have just posted our evaluation of the True-Fi software from Sonarworks. This is a pretty amazing piece of software that lets you setup your headphones to be true reference headphones. If your hardware is on the list, you'll have a great experience and have a music experience that is equal across all platforms. Take a look and see what True-Fi has to offer.

As much as I'd like to encourage everyone to run out and buy True-Fi from Sonarworks, it's not for everyone. If you are happy listening to bass-heavy music and don't really care about good quality sound, you might want to pass. If you care about audio quality and are willing to browse the list to see if your headphones are supported (list is growing all the time), you may want to give it a shot.

True-Fi

 

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