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App Pick - Smart Measure

Amazon Quietly Releases Another Kindle

The tablet craze has died down a little and Amazon is still quietly plugging away with the best portable reading experience possible. The Kindle Paperwhite has just received a refresh and the new one features an e-ink screen that has an incredible 300ppi (pixels per inch). This kind of resolution comes at no extra cost to you and the new 2015 Kindle Paperwhite will replace their current 2013 version in the near future. Amazon has nailed this market and they show no signs of giving up anytime soon.

Unless you are incredibly finicky about the technology of your e-reader, there's just not much reason to spend the extra $80 to get the Voyage. The Voyage gives you improved contrast, quasi-button zones for turning pages, an adaptive backlight, and 12 percent less weight than other Kindles, but I don’t really think those things add up to being worth the extra cost.

Source: TheVerge

Google Play Music is Free - With Ads

Apple music has spurred on a bit of controversy lately, including some major press around Taylor Swift not releasing some of her music unless she gets paid. Let's face it, we all want to get paid - or save some money. Since launch, Google has had a subscription based Play Music service that is cheaper per user that Spotify and now Apple Music, but they are taking things up a notch in order to keep people interested and gain more users. Google announced on Tuesday, that Google Play Music would now offer a free, ad-supported version as well. Free is nice - if you don't mind a few commercials.

At any moment in your day, Google Play Music has whatever you need music for—from working, to working out, to working it on the dance floor—and gives you curated radio stations to make whatever you’re doing better. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to.

 

Source: Official Android Blog

Google Makes "Undo" A Feature on Email

Google has added the much-talked-about feature, "Undo Send" on their GMail program now. That's right, it's now an official feature of GMail, but you'll still have to be pretty quick. If you sent an email to your boss before work, letting him know how much you hate your job, you won't want to wait until you get to work to "undo" it. You have the ability to choose between 5 and 30 seconds to undo your email, so make sure you're quick.

Google first introduced Undo Send to Gmail way back in March 2009, so you could be forgiven for not realizing the feature was still technically an experiment. Indeed, the feature has stayed quietly in the Labs section of Gmail, where Google tests out new features, which users have to manually switch on to use.

Source: VentureBeat

Skynet is Real - Confirms NSA

If you've watched the original Terminator movie, you'll remember John Connor's attempt to stop Skynet before it started. I'm so glad that is just science fiction. Unfortunately, the NSA says that Skynet is in fact real and they have confirmed that it "watches" over locations and communications of people of interest. That's right. A robot is listening to all of us.

The Skynet program is said to be a collaborative cloud research effort. This came about in a leaked PowerPoint presentation where it said that Skynet applies “complex combinations of geospatial, geotemporal, pattern-of-life, and travel analytics to bulk DNR data to identify patterns of suspect activity”.

Source: Interesting Engineering

WTU Episode #317 - Sony Won't Go Backwards

We have just posted up Episode #317 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Sony is not going backwards, Game makers cautious about VR and Dell is bringing back Linux. Check out those stories and more at the links below.

WTU

Download Episode #317
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes! alt
 

 

Apple Hard Drives Fail? Say it isn't so!

Newsflash: Apple drives fail as much as other drives. In the case of the 27" iMac 3TB computer, they may be failing more than normal. This could be a number of things - including a bad batch of discs, but it could also be partly due to poor ventilation and over heating. The good news is that while you data may all be lost, Apple will replace your drive for you.

Apple is contacting affected iMac owners that provided a valid email address during product registration to inform them about the new replacement program. iMac owners can check if they are affected by entering the computer's serial number on Apple's support website, and visit the Genius Bar, locate an AASP or contact Apple Technical Support to initiate the replacement process.

Source: MacRumors

More Windows 10 Upgrade Confusion

There has been a lot of unnecessary confusion around the upgrade path and free licenses that Microsoft is making to Windows 10 adopters. The short answer is that you actually need a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 license and you'll get a free upgrade if you claim it within a year of launch. The most recent rumor was that all you had to do was install a technical preview build on any machine and you were good to go. This is not the case and it never has been. If you have Windows 7 or 8, you'll get Windows 10 - gratis.

If you want to stay in the program, there is nothing that you will need to do. Each version of Windows 10 in the Insider program comes with a pre-release key that will keep your install activated. Microsoft does say that each preview build will expire after an unspecified length of time but you will have received a new build before the old build expires.

Source: Neowin

Amiga Still Running Enviroment Systems in Schools

Just when you thought that you needed to upgrade your computer that is a couple of years old, the Grand Rapids Public School District shows off that they are still running their climate control system on Commodore Amiga computers that they purchased back in the 1980s. That's right, they have been running non-stop for probably about 30 years and have been going strong. Take that Intel!

The Amiga uses an unusual 1200-bit modem and a wireless radio signal to communicate with the 19 buildings. Each building reports temperature and the status of its heating and cooling systems. The computer can then toggle boilers, spin up fans, activate AC compressors, and so on.

Source: Geek

Buy Xbox One - Get Any Game Free

Microsoft is keeping the Xbox One train rolling after E3 with a new announcement that whne you buy a new Xbox One until June 27, you will get a free game of your choice with the console. The limits on this deal are up to a game worth $60 and must be a disc-based game. That covers most games in the USA where this offer was announced. Good for Microsoft to keep putting the pressure on Sony. Competition is always a great thing.

This special offer is valid with all Xbox One 500GB consoles, now $349 in the U.S., in addition to our recently announced Xbox One 1TB console, which includes the newly designed Xbox One Wireless Controller that comes with a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and Halo: The Master Chief Collection at no additional cost.

Source: Xbox

Sony's PS4 Will NOT be Backwards Compatible

At E3 2015, Microsoft blew the doors off with their announcement that the Xbox One would play Xbox 360 games here in the relative near future. Sony showed off, well, nothing really in terms of hardware features or enhancements and said that they were surprised that Microsoft could pull this off. They also disclosed that they have absolutely no plans to put forth this kind of engineering effort required to make this happen on their console. If you still want to play PS3 games, go buy a cheap PS3. You're welcome.

Microsoft surprised everyone earlier this week by bringing some Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One. Sony was equally startled by Microsoft’s announcement. "It was surprising," says Sony’s Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida in an interview with Eurogamer. "I didn't think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort." Microsoft has built a special Xbox 360 emulator than runs on the Xbox One console to support the old titles. 

Source: TheVerge

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