If you want to try out Hulu, but don't want to shell out for it, Hulu is allowing Android users to stream for free over the Christmas season. This is good news for you at the moment, but Hulu is hoping that you'll get hooked and sign up for the full-service after they shut you down at the start of next month. If watching TV on your phone is your thing, check it out!
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Hulu Offers Free Streaming on Android for Holidays
US Navy Deploys Ship to Combat with Laser
The US Navy has finally taken their laser cannon out of the testing stage and now deployed it to a combat situation. The USS Ponce was recently sent to the Gulf to patrol and has a defence system that relies heavily on a laser to shoot down incoming planes, missles and other flying things. The cool thing is that it has a mile range and is a frickin' laser!
While that's true, the video shows certain limitations in the LaWS. For a start all the targets it blew up were traveling in straight lines and moving relatively slowly, and it's unlikely such cooperative wartime targets would be available. Nevertheless the Navy could be hiding some of LaWS' lights under a bushel, and the weapon does have one huge advantage – it's cheap to use.
Apple Christmas Commercial
I have a few issues with Apple as a company and their zombie-cult following (mobs of people in search of brains), but that doesn't change the fact that every Christmas, they pull off a great commercial that brings a tear to your eye. I think they've done it again with this one. Enjoy - and remember, you can actually do all of this with a PC running Windows, Linux or OSX. Just saying.
The Pirate Bay Lives On
The rumors of the death of the Pirate Bay have been highly exagerated...sort of. It appears that it has been resurrected by former rival ISOHunt. While the actual Pirate Bay site has not been brought back to life, the database and search feature has been mirrored and lives on. In reality, the Pirate Bay and ISOHunt don't actually host any illegal files, they just host the service that indexes the files on personal computers around the world that have opted in to share. I don't expect this to last, but if you need to get your pirate on, you still have a means to do that.
As you probably know, the beloved Pirate Bay website is gone for now. It'll be missed. It'll be remembered as the pilgrim of freedom and possibilities on the web. It's a symbol of liberty for a generation of internet users. In its honor, we're making the oldpiratebay.org search. We, the Isohunt team, copied the database of Pirate Bay in order to save it for generations of users. Nothing will be forgotten. Keep on believing, keep on sharing.
Xbox beats PlayStation in November
Not surprisingly, thanks to a nice price cut and some aggressive bundles, the Xbox One surpassed the PS4 in sales in the month of December breaking Sony's sales dominance. It should be interesting to see how (or if) Sony responds but so far we haven't seen much yet as we get close to the Christmas season.
Also interesting to note is that the Wii U had its best month so far in November, which can probably be attributed to the new release of Super Smash Bros.
November was also a strong month for Nintendo on the console side, as sales of Wii U hardware and software increased by more than 10 percent and more than 90 percent, respectively, over the same period in 2013. In fact, the week of Nov. 23 was the biggest single week of Wii U hardware sales since the system launched in November 2012...
New Super Mario Bros. Movie?
Rumors are coming out of the Sony camp (thanks to the recent hacking) that they are looking at making an animated Super Mario Bros. movie. The fact that Sony is even considering this is a bit strange due to the fact that their PlayStation division is a direct competitor to Nintendo who obviously own the Super Mario Bros. franchise. At very least we can all be glad that they are looking at an animated project and not a sequel to the hugely unsuccessful 1993 live action Super Mario Bros. movie.
If the absurdity of this needs to be pointed out, Sony Pictures is part of Sony, the same company that makes the PlayStation, and which also developers a ton of its own video games. Yet the Buzzfeed report says they "could not find any emails in which anyone at Sony Pictures expressed concern about any conflicts with their video game corporate cousin Sony Computer Entertainment, which is a direct competitor with Nintendo."
The end of the Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay has been shut down for the past 48 hours and the speculation is already starting as to if it will be back or if this is indeed the end. The Pirate Bay has been in the news pretty consistently for the past 10+ years and has been controversial since day one. TorrentFreak has more on the shutdown as well as thoughts from one of the founders who is more than happy to see it gone.
More than 24 hours have passed since The Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish police. While it's still unclear how hard the site was hit, not everyone is mourning its troubles. Many of the people who built up the site are happy to see it gone, former spokesperson Peter Sunde included.
The Microsoft Lumia 535
The new Microsoft Lumia 535 isn't the most impressive phone ever released, however, there are a couple things that are noteworthy about it. First of all, this is the first "Sans-Nokia" phone that Microsoft has released, they've replaced the Nokia badging with Microsoft's name instead. Secondly, the price tag on the Lumia 535 is ~$30 bucks with no contract which might make you think that it is a piece of garbage automatically but that just might not be the case. Arstechnica takes a closer look at the Lumia 535 to see what it is all about.
It's no secret that Windows Phone and the Lumia smartphone range have had the most success at the low end. The Lumia 520 sold like hot cakes thanks to aggressive pricing, and it's still on the market today, with the Microsoft Store currently running a special offer where an AT&T-locked, off-contract phone can be picked up for less than $30.
The successor to the 520 was the Lumia 530, and it had big, if cheap, shoes to fill. Unfortunately, we don't think it really pulled this off, with less storage, no auto-brightness sensor, and a markedly worse screen. The Lumia 630 and 635 were more compelling, with decent screens and more capable cameras. However, they still had only 512MB RAM and lacked the ambient light sensor, which felt a little substandard for their price point.
Acer Chromebook Impressions and Google vs. Microsoft
We have just posted up an article discussing the real reason why Google and Microsoft are fighting for the entry-level space. They want your data. In return, they are pretty much giving you a free laptop and it's up to you which one you will pick. Google kicked things off with their Chromebook, then lost ground with the initial release of the Chromebook 2. Microsoft stepped up and dropped their price and now Google is back in a big way. We talk about that as well as the Acer 13-inch 1080p Chromebook that will set you back a mere $249. Check out all the details in our latest article.
The performance of the Acer CB5-311-T9B0 13-inch 1080p Chromebook is amazing for the price. While the screen quality certainly isn't IPS quality, it is more than adequate and much better than you'll find in many laptops in this price range. If you're into the Google ecosystem, check it out. You really can't go wrong as the total cost of ownership over two years is exactly the sticker price - not jacked up $60-$70 as with the Windows counterparts.
Gigabyte Tri-SLI Liquid System is Available to Buy
A while back we talked about the Gigabyte Tri-SLI GTX980 setup that comes with three 4GB graphics cards - all equipped with custom water-blocks and a crazy awesome top-mounted liquid cooler. Not only do you get three of the high-end cards from NVIDIA, you also get them delivered to your door in a custom roller suitcase. I guess if you drop $3,000 on a graphics setup, you get a $50 suitcase to haul them around in.