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App Pick - Frozen Free Fall

WTU Episode #277 - Steve Ballmer Leaves Microsoft for Good

We have just posted up Episode #277 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Sony and Microsoft users get denied service, Steve Ballmer throws in the towel at Microsoft and early earthquake warning systems still have a long way to go. We have those stories and more and the links below!


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Android App Pick - AirDroid

We have just posted up another Android App Pick of the Week and this week we use an App on our Android device that makes it so we don't have to use our Android device. That's right, AirDroid allows you to connect via a web page to your device and manage files, apps, messages, images, music and more - all while your device sits comfortably in your pants. If you are working at a desk and are tired of responding to people and clients by constantly picking up your phone, our App Pick of the Week will help you shed the small screen in favor of your PC screen. Check it out!




Break Cryptography With Your Hands

With enough technical savvy you can do almost anything. That's the word from Tel Aviv University anyhow. They manage to actually break cryptography with your bare hands by measuring the electical "ground" potential in computers when you physically make contact with them. This sounds completely unbelievable (unless your Lucy using 25% of your brain), but in reality it's true. Take a look and find out exactly how they can pull this off.

A signal can be picked up by touching exposed metal on a computer’ chassis with a plain wire. Or that wire can make contact anywhere on the body of an attacker touching the computer with a bare hand (sweaty hands work best). The ground signal can also be measured by fastening an alligator clip at the far end of an Ethernet, VGA, or USB cable attached to the computer, or even wirelessly with sensitive voltage-detection equipment.

Source: TechnologyReview

PlayStation Network and Xbox Get DoS'd

Sony had a rough weekend. In addition to their PlayStation Network was taken down with a Denial of Service attack and then were further crippled when their Sony Online Entertainment service was also taken down. Microsoft didn't escape unscathed either as their Xbox Live login servers were also knocked offline in a world wide hack on these gaming services. Reports are floating around that Battle.net was also affected and this caused League of Legends to be unavailable for a while as well. Thankfully for all of these services, no information was taken and nothing was compromised - logins were just crippled due to the DoS flood.

As SOE's John Smedley explains, the culprits are simply trying to overwhelm Sony rather than break in. That won't be much comfort if you wanted to squeeze in a few rounds of Killzone before the weekend was over, but it hopefully means that you can get back to playing without worrying that your data is vulnerable. In at least SOE's case, some services are already back up and running -- give it a try and let others know how it's going in the comments.

Source: Engadget

Surface 2 Drops $100

If you are looking at getting a budget-minded Surface 2 (not Pro), maybe you'll be willing to drop the cash now that Microsoft has recently dropped $100 off the price tag. You can now pick up one of the 2nd generation Surface products for a mere $349. This is a 32GB version that comes with an MicroSD card slot so you can easily and affordably make it a 96GB version. The Surface 2 has a 1920x1080 screen (up from 1366x768) and is powered by the speedy Tegra 4 chip. I'd like one please. Anyone want to buy my original Surface?

If you're thinking about getting your hands on the Windows RT powered Surface 2 tablet, you be glad to find out that Microsoft is offering a $100 discount on all configurations of the tablet, including the 4G LTE model. This means users can purchase the 32GB Surface 2 for just $349, while the 64GB version is down to $449. As for the 4G LTE variant of the tablet, it carries a $579 price tag which is a good bargain.

Source: Winbeta

Make Windows 8 Feel Even Faster

Windows 8 boots really, really fast. That's no secret. If you want to speed up the feeling of using the OS there are ways that you can do that as well. Mostly this involves turning off some animations and as you can see in the video below, it does make a difference. Still, I think the best way to make people like Windows 8 is to add an actual Start Menu and call it Windows 9.

Source: Neowin

Top 14 hidden features in Windows, iOS, and Android

It must be Friday since the news bucket here at BCCHardware has pretty much dried up. Luckily in those cases I like to go to the good old "Best of" articles and today I've found a gem. PCWorld has come up with a list of 14 of the best hidden features in Windows, iOS, and Android. Chances are good you'll probably find something to make your life easier or at the very least impress your friends.

You may think you're a high-tech power user who knows all the nooks and crannies of Windows, iOS, and Android, but let's be realistic: There could be at least a few undocumented (or poorly documented) commands, control panels, and apps that have slipped by you—maybe more than a few. 

We've dived deep into each OS to uncover the best hidden tips and tricks that can make you more productive—or make common tasks easier. Got a favorite undocumented tip to share with readers? Add them in the comments section at the end of the article.

Windows 9 - September 30th

The rumor of the week is that Microsoft is planning on unveiling Windows 9 (Threshold) on September 30th. This date isn't set in stone yet but so far all signs lead to this being the date that the world will get to see the newest OS from Microsoft. It will still be a while before Windows 9 hits store shelves, but for the early adopters it probably won't be long after that you'll be able to get your hands on a beta copy. CNET has more details.

Microsoft's Windows 9, the successor to the widely panned Windows 8, could be shown off at the end of next month, according to a new report.

Microsoft is planning to hold a special press event on September 30 to show off Windows 9, The Verge is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company's plans. The date is currently "tentative," according to the report.

Tablets with the best battery life

One of the biggest selling features of a tablet is battery life because no one wants a tablet that can barely make it through an entire movie on a long plane ride. CNET has put a whole bunch of tablets to the test to see just how long they actually run and which ones last the longest.

No spec -- no matter how appealing -- should ever be viewed in a vacuum, and the decision to actually commit your time and money to a consumer electronics investment will hopefully have been informed by a multitude of factors.

From design to features; performance to comfort, it's always best to inject your brain with all aspects of a product, swirl them around a bit and wait to see which ones rise to the top for you.

Readers absorb less on Kindles?

A new study has come out that is trying to figure out if you retain information better on an ebook reader or on paper and according to their findings paper still wins when it comes to readers remembering what they've read, especially when it comes to timing of events. This is interesting as ebooks become more and more popular, yet there are still a large amount of people who prefer good old fashioned paper. The Guardian has the full story.

A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were "significantly" worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience.

The study, presented in Italy at a conference last month and set to be published as a paper, gave 50 readers the same short story by Elizabeth George to read. Half read the 28-page story on a Kindle, and half in a paperback, with readers then tested on aspects of the story including objects, characters and settings.

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