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App Pick #198
App Pick - PhotoDirector

How Microsoft's Hololens Enhances NFL

Microsoft is not showing an actual tech demo just yet, but they have high hopes that their Hololens could make pretty much everything you watch better. This is actually pretty cool, and while I wouldn't probably wear it when watching things like the new Lego movie, it would make NFL and NHL even more awesome.

Source: Microsoft (YouTube)

Amazon to Open 400+ Bookstores

I'm a bit confused here. First, Circuit City wants back in the retail store business, because more and more people are shopping online. Now, after Amazon has ran many other bookstores out of business with their fantastic online presence, they want to open retail locations as well. Maybe they are making too much money and need a way to lose some? Amazon wants physical retail presence, but a bookstore is probably not the way to go. The Kindle is popular for a reason. You get books - without putting on pants.

Amazon, a company famous for its universal online store, took its first step into the world of physical retail late last year, when it opened the first Amazon book store in Seattle. But according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, that may have just been the tip of the iceberg in terms of the company’s ambition for physical retail presence.

Source: Neowin

WTU Episode #343 - The Good & Bad of Microsoft

We have just posted up Episode #343 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing the good and bad of Microsoft, Circuity City is coming back and the DeLorean is coming back to your future. Check out those and lots more tech stories at the links below.


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Microsoft Puts Datacenters Underwater

Moving Datacenters to the ocean is actually not a bad idea when it comes to proximity of people. While some of the ideas are pretty awesome, there are a few issues - like replacing drives. It would be pretty expensive to pull a server, and swap a drive. That being said, it's pretty nifty.


Source: Microsoft Research

Apple Slides from Grace: Alphabet Takes the Crown

While Apple had a pretty fantastic quarter with their iPad Pro sales and all, they still slide from their spot as the "World's Most Valuable Company". That position has now gone to Alphabet (aka.Google). I'm sure that because both companies have a market evaluation that exceeds $530 Billion, things can change quickly. I'm sure Tim Cook is not really happy about this though and they are already working on ways to inflate stock through some software update hype.

The last time Google was more valuable than Apple was in February 2010, when both companies were worth less than $200 billion. At the time, Apple had yet to release its first iPad, the newest iPhone on the market was the 3GS, and the Mac was the company's biggest product line, accounting for one-third of revenue. Steve Jobs was still at the helm.

Source: CNBC

Windows 95 Now Will Run in Your Browser

Windows 95 was revolutionary. It sure was a huge step up from Windows 3.11 and it heralded a new era in desktop operating systems. The good news is that you can now relive the joy (probably manifested as pain) and run Windows 95 in a browser window. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Andrea Fauld, we now have the power in a browser.

Windows 95

Source: AJF.me

Netflix Can't Win War of VPNs

Netflix recently submitted to pressure from studios and has clamped down on VPNs that can be used to circumvent regional streaming restrictions. While this may not sound like a big deal, the truth is that there are a lot of internet users that use VPNs for security as much - if not more than for getting around regional restructions. I use a VPN service on my wireless phone and if I'm using WiFi anywhere other than my home, I turn it on. Now, when trying to stay secure on public WiFi, I can't watch Netflix. This in turn will increase real piracy and I believe will cause a revolt. I hope that it hurts Netflix just enough for them to rethink and re-negotiate with studios.

What Netflix is asking (er, forcing) its customers to do is, well, insane from a privacy and security perspective. That a company might insist you use 123456 as your password because it solves an internal problem for them sounds ... ludicrous. Except that's pretty much what Netflix is doing by disallowing widespread use of a security tool as critical as a VPN.

Source: Engadget

Microsoft Takes Down Botnet, Wants a PC Killswitch

Microsoft has come a long way and they've done some good stuff - keeping us safe, monitoring botnets and more. After their big success in Decembter, they have made a suggestion that perhaps they should have more control in order to keep our data and computers safe. Their idea is to have your computer report to them several times an hour and if suspicious activity is detected, they can remotely and automatically pull the plug. I really don't want to hand over that level of control to anyone. Not even if they are "good guys".

“There should not be backdoors, because you don’t know who else can use it,” said Frank. “We’re open to other solutions, but encryption is extraordinary important to protecting the privacy of governments, the privacy of individuals and the privacy of enterprises, and we all want to communicate securely.”

Source: TheRegister

Lenovo Default Password: 12345678

Last week Lenovo patches a "flaw" in their File-Sharing App that had a hard-coded password. That's right. Lenovo put in a password - hardcoded into the software to make things more convenient for the users of their application. That's not a huge deal, but the fact that the password was the one that topped the list in 2015 as the worst password in the world, well, that's not great at all. Thankfully, it's patched up and now your documents and other shared items should be safe once again - for a little while at least.

The most pressing issue is the hard-coded password in the Windows version of the app. Core Security said that when the app is configured to receive files from devices, it sets up a Wi-Fi hotspot with the same 12345678 password every time. The updated app removes that default password, but not before it opened the door to another hole that could allow attackers to remotely browse a device’s file system.

Source: Threatpost

Bing Keeps Growing and Growing

Google search market share has pretty much topped out and the only other real player in the market is Microsoft's Bing. It looks like Bing is growing at a pretty steady rate - thanks in part to Windows 10 deployment and things are looking good for Microsoft. In the USA, Bing search now makes up for more that 21% market share - and that is the best it's ever been.

The latest statistics provided by US market research firm comScore show that Bing has reached a market share of 21.1 percent in December while Google continues to lead the market with 63.8 percent. But the good news is that Bing actually managed to improve its share by 0.2 percent while Google lost 0.1 percent.

Source: Softpedia

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