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App Pick - Super Mario Run

CBS Finally Getting New Media?

It may be too early to tell, but it appears that CBS is actually starting to get it. Old media delivery via cable or set-top-box is not working anymore as people want everything delivered where they have internet access. They are stepping up their streaming game and have now expanded their All Access package to include sports - and international delivery... to Canada! That's right, while us northerners are a small audience, we still matter to CBS. I'm looking forward to more companies pushing for international delivery as well. It's a huge step in the right direction.

“There is a huge opportunity for CBS to go direct-to-consumer on a much bigger scale worldwide,” Moonves said during CBS Corp.’s second quarter earnings call. Moonves noted that the projected 4 million total OTT subs puts the company well on its way to meeting its goal of 8 million total OTT subscribers by 2020 as the Eye spelled out to investors in early 2016.

Source: Variety

Intel's 18-Core Chip May Be A Good Bet

After AMD announced the Threadripper CPU, Intel was left scratching their head as to what they should do in response. They decided to suggest that they could pull off an 18-core CPU, and while their CPU will be significantly more expensive that the AMD competition, it will still likely pay off. Fans of Intel chips will find a way to pony up the cash and find a way to afford the estimated $2,000USD CPU. I think I'd rather invest that money in a piece of land - or buy a car.

Although we got a taste of Intel's new lineup back in May at Computex, the company today is officially revealing specs for the higher-end i9 family, codenamed "Basin Falls." At the top end, the 18-core i9-7980XE features a base speed of 2.6GHz, and a Turbo Boost 2.0 speed of 4.2GHz. It might seem odd for the creme da la creme of CPU these days to rock a base clock under 3GHz — especially at $2,000 — but the boost figure is more important when you're actually trying to get work done.

Source: Engadget

Guardians Inferno Teaser

To kick the week off with a WDIJW (What Did I Just Watch) video, check out the mess that Marvel has put together as a teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It's not tech related, but it does feature the Hoff. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I guess disco was a thing, right?


Bitcoin Up After Bouncing Back from Split

Last week Bitcoin suffered a bit of turmoil as the cryptocurrency split up into two different forks. One is called Bitcoin Cash and the other is still called Bitcoin. The split caused a bit of instability for a few days to the original currency, but it has since bounced back with a 9% gain. This means that one mere Bitcoin is worth over $3,000 USD at time of writing. That is incredible and if you are still mining Bitcoin, good for you. Make sure to cash out though before your wallet gets hacked. With prices like this, there is certainly incentive for people to hack your Bitcoin account.

Bitcoin will almost certainly remain a highly volatile asset, but its latest high reflects a major positive development. After years of heated debate over how to increase the Bitcoin network’s transaction capacity, major players have finally agreed on a compromise solution known as Segwit2x.

Source: Fortune 

Microsoft Loves Happy Gamers

While some companies make decisions based on ease of integration, ease of use or just straight dollars, Microsoft went a bit of an extra mile to make cross-platform compatibility possible with the Xbox One. In fact, they are pushing things a little bit farther and stepping outside the PC-Xbox One box. They will have a few titles that will be cross-platform compatible with the Nintendo Switch as well. This is a great step in the right direction and Microsoft says that this feature is here to stay.

The company's move has been praised by a majority of gamers, while Sony's decision to reject cross-platform play has been generally derided. Now, gamers will be pleased to know that Microsoft is steadfast in its plans to support developers to enable cross-network gameplay.

Source: Neowin

Samsung To Put Fingerprint Reader in Screen on Note 9

It's been rumored for the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, but the rumor has once again surfaced that the fingerprint reader will be put behind the front glass on your next Galaxy Note product. There are some issues to this of course, but the current design trend from Samsung is to remove the bezel with their "infinity" display and it looks really nice. The downside is that there is no place for a home button, fingerprint reader or other "old school" ideas - unless you move it to the back or put it behind the screen. I don't have a problem with the fingerprint reader on the S8, but I do see where they are going and why.

9to5Google writes that KGI released a new report that claims that Samsung is going to keep the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone, at least for now. Samsung is apparently ready to keep the scanner on the back of the phone through the Galaxy S9 when it’s released next year, and is aiming to introduce the under-display feature in the eventual Galaxy Note 9.

Source: TheVerge

Global Smartphone Sales

The Global Smartphone Sales figures are coming in and once again, Samsung is on top of the charts thanks to them selling 79.5 million phones worldwide in Q2 of 2017. Apple is sitting at #2 with 41 million and then Huawei is 3rd, OPPO is 4th, and Xiaomi is 5th. The fact that Xiaomi is sitting 5th is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they still don't officially sell phones in North America, just showing how large the global market really is. Engadget has more details.

Samsung shipped two percent more phones in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to Strategy Analytics. By shipping 79.5 million out of 360 million units worldwide, it remains the top smartphone-maker in the world -- it has been for a while, so it's not the standout name in the market research company's list. It's Xiaomi, which reclaimed the fifth spot in the top phone manufacturers list for the first time in a year.

Xiaomi hasn't been doing well recently despite displaying explosive growth in its first few years, even if it doesn't officially sell its devices in the west. Lei Jun, its CEO, told employees in an email earlier this year that the Beijing-based company grew faster that it could handle and needed to slow down and refocus. That same month, company vice president Hugo Barra, known for his work with Google's Android division, left Xiaomi to head back to Silicon Valley.

Lenovo K8 Note to ship with stock Android

Apparently Lenovo has been listening to their customers and has made the decision to ditch their Pure Vibe UI and ship their upcoming K8 Note with the stock Android experience. Most companies for some reason have felt that they need to add a different user interface to their phones to help set themselves apart, unfortunately adding a different skin to Android only slows things down and in some cases just confuses everyone. I think this is a trend that most Android users would probably be ok with if other companies decide to go the same route. Gadgets360 has the story.

Lenovo has confirmed that going forward, it will be abandoning its Vibe Pure UI Android customization which ran on top of its recent Android smartphones in almost all markets. The company will be switching to stock Android experience, and the Lenovo K8 Note will be the first smartphone from the company to ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing, Smartphones, Lenovo MBG India confirmed the news to Gadgets 360.

"What we have done in last 11 months is we looked at what we had in terms of software perspective. We have been close to the consumers and we saw what they were asking for. There was a certain trend and we have now decided to cut the Vibe Pure UI off from our phones. So you will now get the stock Android which consumers have been asking for," Sharma told Gadgets 360.

1.2 Billion iPhones

Apple announced this week that since the release of the iPhone, they've now sold 1.2 billion phones. Whether you like the iPhone world or not, that's still pretty impressive. 9to5Mac has the full story.

In July of 2016, Apple confirmed that it had sold 1 billion iPhones to date, with Tim Cook touting the device as a one of the most ‘important, world-changing and successful products in history.” Furthermore, this means that Apple has sold somewhere around 200 million iPhones in the last year, selling around 41 million units in Q3 2017.

Microsoft to focus on AI

Thanks to Microsoft's latest financial filings, AI now appears to be their top priority, replacing mobile. I don't think it's a secret that Microsoft has wanted to get themselves into the mobile market for the past 10+ years but has found a way to continually stumble so maybe a change in direction isn't the worst thing in the world. CNBC has the story.

Microsoft just named artificial intelligence as one of its top priorities in a financial filing.

The annual report for the company's 2017 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, now includes six references to AI, up from zero in the previous annual report.

And the company has plunked AI into its corporate vision statement, too.

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