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Exploding Kittens - App Pick
App Pick - Exploding Kittens

Forza is a Billion Dollar Success for Microsoft

Microsoft has been doing well with their Forza franchise and while it may not have all the glitz and glamor that adorns Sony's Gran Turismo, a billion dollars says that it's a great franchise. While there will always be haters, I prefer Forza over the likes of Project Cars, Test Drive, Driveclub and others. Is there any stopping Microsoft on the track? I doubt it - this year anyhow.

Although in truth, Microsoft partly has Sony to thank for Forza's success. While Gran Turismo once ruled the racing roost, the franchise has since stalled, with the series' last entry being 2013's Gran Turismo 6 on PS3. Microsoft executives must have been rubbing their hands in glee, as the lack of Gran Turismo has undoubtedly helped Forza to gain significant mindshare over its absentee competition.

Source: Engadget

HPs Security Commercials Feature Christian Slater

HP has a lot of money behind their connected printers and they actually do a really good job with device integration and remote printing. The problem with any internet connected device is that it can be a security risk, but HP takes that seriously too. In fact, they "reinvent" security with their latest campaign and even throw the chops of Christian Slater behind it. If he says it's good, then it must be, right?

In the series, Slater systematically hacks a company - from the mailroom to the boardroom - through overlooked vulnerabilities and poorly secured printers and PCs. This first installment reinforces that security is no longer just the responsibility of the network or something at the perimeter, but it's a concern for everyone.


Source: HP

ASUS Takes Gaming Notebook Crown from MSI

ASUS and MSI have been battling for top spot when it comes to gaming notebooks and MSI has had a firm grip since they redesigned their units a few years back. ASUS has been pushing hard through and has been killing them on flashy design, features and performance. The end result is that ASUS sold 1.2 million units in 2016 while MSI shipped 800,000-ish. I still prefer the classy styling of MSI, but the numbers don't lie.

Currently, high-end gaming notebooks are priced at over US$1,799, mid-range models at US$1,499-1,799 and entry-level ones at US$1,000-1,399. However, Asustek, MSI, Lenovo and HP have launched entry-level gaming notebooks for sale at US$799-999 in the China and Southeast Asia markets.

Source: DigiTimes

Facebook Sucks Even More

If you needed another reason to hate Facebook more than you do, the latest update to their mobile application will not only auto-play videos, it will play them with sound. If you hate auto-play as much as I do, this may very well be the reason you stop using Facebook on the go. This is all part of their effort to force features on you that you don't want because they love you... That's right. It doesn't make sense.

The company hopes that by turning on sound automatically, it can keep more users engaged for longer with video content on its platform. For the past couple of years, Facebook has been transforming its social network into a destination for video, both recorded and live streamed. Video is now a core focus of the company, dominating how it invests resources into new features and controlling every facet of the main app’s design, from the camera to the share option.

Source: TheVerge

App Pick #209 - Exploding Kittens

We have just posted up another Android App Pick and this week we help merge the best the internet has to offer - kittens and explosions! Exploding Kittens is our pick this week and it is a great digital twist on the super-fun card game by the same name. If you've got a few bucks in your Google Wallet, spend it on this game and you won't be sorry. It's an easy Pick of the Week!

App Pick #209



Windows 10 to Bring PiP to the Computer

A new feature called "compact overlay window" was debuted in a newly released test version of Windows 10. The new feature will have an always on-top window that can be used for watching movies or videos, or could be used to have video chats with friends and family. I would imagine Ben Heide would get full use out of this feature while typing up some reviews!

A test version of Windows 10 released Wednesday comes with a feature called "compact overlay window" that will always float atop your other windows. That could be handy for holding Skype video chats, keeping an eye on political hearings and yes, watching Netflix or the big game when you're supposed to be at work.

Source: CNET

Dodge Repurposing Parking Sensors

The parking sensors in the Dodge Charger Pursuit police cars are being repurposed to help with Officer safety. The Officer Protection Package, when on, will turn on the ultrasonic parking sensors which if tripped by someone walking behind the car, will in turn sound a chime and roll up the windows while activating the rear camera. With the amount of police being targeted lately, keeping officers safe has become a big priority.

"While it does not replace vigilance," said Jeff Kommer, a vice president in charge of fleet sales at Dodge in a statement, "this technology acts as a second set of eyes and provides police officers with added peace of mind when they are in a parked Charger Pursuit."

Source: TheVerge

Intel to Equip Fab42 Facility for 7nm Production

Intel announced that it will bring its Fab 42 facility online to produce 7nm chips which will amount to about 3k new jobs in Arizona. Though it will take about three to four years to get up and running, Intel plans to to spend up to $7 billion to get this done. There is the possibility that the company may start using extreme ultraviolet lithography in the 7nm fabrication process, however details on the 7nm fabrication process are still scarce and Intel won't start moving equipment into the facility until it irons out the manufacturing technology.

Intel said that it will use its 7 nm fabrication process to produce various processors for PCs, data centers and other devices that will be used for AI, automated driving, medical research/treatment as well as other applications. So, as usually, the manufacturing technology will be positioned to make the whole stack of Intel’s products several years from now.

Source: AnandTech

Invisible Malware

A new type of attack called "Invisible Malware" has been discovered by researchers at Kaspersky Lab. This new attack avoids detection by using legitimate software such as penetration-testing and administrative tools along with the PowerShell framework for Window's task automation. The key to these attacks is that no malware files get physically put on the targeted machine and instead, stays in the memory until the system reboots. This could pose to be a very big problem in 2017 as over a 140 enterprise networks have been hit around the globe.

This combined approach helps to avoid being detected by whitelisting technologies, and leaves forensic investigators with almost no artifacts or malware samples to work with. The attackers stay around just long enough to gather information before their traces are wiped from the system on the first reboot.

Source: BetaNews

Intel 8th-Gen Core CPUs Still on 14nm

Intel seems to have hit a bit of a brick wall when it comes to wafer design and scaling. While they do a bit better job that I can do, they still seem to be stuck on 14nm - for the fouth generation in a row. It seems as though the 8th generation CPUS will focus more on the "Y" and "U" line - meaning that mobile is first priority. It will be intesting to see what they can pull off with the same basic CPU die size.

With Intel stringing out 14nm (or at least, an improved variant of 14nm as we’ve seen on 7th Gen) for another generation, it makes us wonder where exactly Intel can promise future performance or efficiency gains on the design unless they start implementing microarchitecture changes.

Source: AnandTech

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