TP-Link RE650 Range Extender


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TabPro S
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Super Mario Run
App Pick - Super Mario Run

GameStop Shuts Down Unlimited Used Game Rental Program

A few weeks back, GameStop announced their unlimited game rental program called "PowerPass". This service cost $60 for 6-months and allowed you to use GameStop as a library for gaming. You can check out one game at a time - an unlimited number of times. It was a great solution for those that live close to a GameStop. They soft-launched the service recently and have just told their employees to pull the signs, kill the program and put everything in a back room for now. They may fire it up again in the future, but for now they have paused the service. This is not a good sign.

“For those guests who have already purchased the service, we will allow them to bring the pass, and video game they have checked-out, back to receive a full refund,” said the spokesperson. “In addition, we will allow them to pick out any Pre-Owned game for free.”

Source: Kotaku

Payphones Still Make Millions

While most people seem to have a cell phone these days, and payphones feel like a thing of the past, the fact is that they still make a bunch of money. In 2016 Canadian payphones netted an income of $22 million. In the USA, the figure is about 10 times that - thanks to 10x the population. It's surprising that the quarter-eating machines still do that kind of business, but there are times when you have no other choice - and there is a small percentage of the population that use them regularly...and it's still cheaper than a monthly phone plan.

It might not be much in the grand scheme of the multi-billion dollar telecommunications industry, but it goes to show that some old and decrepit (and, crucially, shared) technologies still play a key role in many people’s lives. Payphones are out here making money while some of the newest, hottest, and most “successful” tech companies around are still figuring out how to get their revenues to climb ahead of their yearly losses.

Source: Motherboard

Microsoft Getting into the Holiday Spirit

Microsoft is getting their holiday on and has already announced some pretty decent deals on Xbox One S consoles and games for Black Friday. For a mere $189, you'll be able to snag a 500GB unit and there are plenty of discounts on games as well. It's a good time to have a little extra money in your wallet. On their other electronics, they have good deals as well with the Surface Pro being the most discounted. If you are looking for a new PC, make sure to check out the Microsoft store as it's going to a be a hot season.

To kick off the promotions, Microsoft will offer a special discount on its Surface Pro that will take $329 off the retail price of the Intel i5 with 256GB model or $229 off the Intel i5 with 128GB variant. Both of these will come bundled with a Black Type Cover that should make it an excellent option when it comes to productivity.

Source: Neowin (2)

Tesla Semi Truck Details Emerge

Tesla has had a few wins this year to go along with their big loss on their production numbers. Speaking of things that will never be popular, more details have just rolled out regarding their Tesla Semi Truck. They are having plenty of problems getting the Model 3 out the door and the semi reveal has been postponed from September to October and now November. I'm thinking that they should just stick to a couple of models and figure out how to produce them in volume first. The demand is there - and they need to fill it. Semi trucks, while incredibly popular need incredible range and power - something that electric vehicles delivery half of.

Still, Tesla claims to have had the ear of the trucking industry and that industry experts consulted in the product planning process for the semi. “We’re getting them closely involved in the design process, so the biggest customers of the heavy duty Tesla semi are helping ensure that it is specified to their needs, so it’s not a mystery,” Musk said at a June conference call. “They already know that it’s going to meet their needs, because they’ve told us what those needs are. So it’ll really just be a question of scaling volume to make as many as we can.”

Source: TheVerge

Motorola Returns to the Tablet Game

Motorola was purchased by Lenovo a while back and while Motorola hasn't made tablets for years, Lenovo, on the other hand, has quite a few models ranging from entry-level to mid-range. They are pushing the Motorola brand here in North America though and are bringing the Moto Tab to AT&T. This tablet features a 10.1 screen, a pair of cameras, a solid battery and a mainstream processor that will offer plenty of time between charges. It has a few nifty software features that help it compete with a Chromebook or a Surface Laptop.

Alternatively, there is a productivity mode that retains the Moto Tab’s software buttons, but shifts them to the left and converts the rest of that bottom area into something akin to what you see on Windows or Chrome OS. This mode is most useful with Lenovo’s Productivity Pack, an optional case folio that includes a keyboard and connects to the tablet through Bluetooth. To add a cherry on top, you will even find an integrated mouse pad below the keyboard, though you might find the whole thing a bit cramped if you have large hands like myself.

Source: AndroidAuthority

Many Anti-Virus Flawed - Some Fixed

It seems that many anti-virus programs out there have (or have had) a flaw that allows an attacker to quarantine malicious code and then move it to a different location. This would allow the code to be executed once it's been improperly quarantined, and is kind of a big deal. The downside is that while some companies have patched this issue, there are probably more of them that haven't. Make sure you have proper backups with software such as Acronis - and for the love of God, don't open attachments from people you don't know.

"AVGater can be used to restore a previously quarantined file to any arbitrary filesystem location. This is possible because the restore process is most often carried out by the privileged AV Windows user mode service. Hence, file system ACLs [Access Control Lists] can be circumvented (as they don't really count for the SYSTEM user). This type of issue is called a privileged file write vulnerability and can be used to place a malicious DLL anywhere on the system," Bogner explained.

Source: TheInquirer 

Weekly Tech Update #412 - Twitter is the King of Disinformation

We have just posted up Episode #412 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we are discussing Facebook might have exaggerated a little bit, but if you want to truly disinformed, try Twitter, and hell has officially frozen over - that's right, Intel and AMD teamed up. We have those stories and more at the links below...

WTU

Download Episode #412
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

iPhone X Has Cold Issues

Good news for people that live in tropical climates - your iPhone X will work just fine. The bad news is that if you live in Canada, you are going to be frustrated with your new iPhone X as the screen becomes quite unresponsive when the temperatures dip. That is not good news - and combined with a new green line on the edge of a growing number of screens, this is not what Apple needed. I'm still very happy with my GS8 - and will continue to enjoy the Android camp for the foreseeable future.

The iPhone X uses a 5.85-inch OLED display, and apparently it is particularly sensitive to changes in temperature. The timing of the engineering blunder is going to be particularly troublesome, as the autumn weather turns to winter for much of the world and temperatures drop.

Source: TheRegister

Nintendo Ramps up Switch Production - Again

Nintendo is planning on ramping up Switch production as they near the holidays and feel that they won't be able to meed current demand as they can only produce a limited number of units at this time. This is the second time they've increased production and with more block-buster titles landing on the console - and with the holidays just over a month away, this may be too little, too late to keep up with holiday demand. Still, it's a nice move and hopefully there will be a few extra ones that will get a price cut around black friday.

The company said at the end of October that it was doubling production and would produce at least 17 million units in its first year, but it looks like Nintendo now has even higher hopes for its smash hit console. The Switch had sold 7.63 million units between its March launch and the end of September, and at the price of $300 a piece, it’s been immensely profitable for Nintendo.

Source: TheVerge

Bitcoin Price Causes Electricity Consumption to Soar

Bitcoin has been tearing up the stock charts for some reason and while more and more people are trying to get into the Bitcoin game, there are a few things that are happening because of this. First, graphics cards are pretty hard to come by and the price is staying pretty static on these as the demand is so high. Second, as more people try to mine coins, electricity use is through the roof and this could cause issues down the road. If you are paying the electric bill, you may not be making much money on coins, but the good news is that the price could break $7,000 this year.

An index from cryptocurrency analyst Alex de Vries, aka Digiconomist, estimates that with prices the way they are now, it would be profitable for Bitcoin miners to burn through over 24 terawatt-hours of electricity annually as they compete to solve increasingly difficult cryptographic puzzles to "mine" more Bitcoins. That's about as much as Nigeria, a country of 186 million people, uses in a year.

Source: Vice

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