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App Pick - Rolling Ball

Deal of the Day: Xbox One, 3 Games, 2 Controllers - $349

If you've been looking for a reason to get an Xbox One, this is probably what you've been waiting for. Amazon has a pretty impressive bundle for sale that includes a couple of Assassin's Creed titles as well as Wolfenstein for a mere $349. To sweeten the deal, they even through in an extra controller. This will get you set up and playing your multiplayer games for a great price. If you had intended on buying these gaames, and an extra controller, the bundle saves you almost $200 if you were to buy all the games separately. Take a look.

  • Item includes: Xbox One Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and 2nd Xbox One Wireless Controller
  • The Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle contains a digital download code for Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed Black Flag packaged in the box
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order and the second controller are phsyical items

Source: Amazon


Lollipop Lets You Tweak With Your Voice

If you're one of the low percentage of Android users that are now using Lollipop, you may have noticed that you can now do some settings changes with just your voice. You can control things like your flashlight, WiFi, Bluetooth and a few more bits. As people use these settings more, I'm sure that Google will allow you to do even more with your voice down the road as their voice-to-text and voice recognition is actually very good.

The feature can be really useful at times, especially if your device doesn't come with a built-in flashlight controller or if you need to use your phone while on the road. It seems to be limited to those three for now, and only for Lollipop devices, so you'll still have to work those thumbs to adjust any other setting.

Source: Engadget

Raspberry Pi 2 Review

The Raspberry Pi 2 is an amazing little device. It's a full quad-core computer that can run Windows 10 and it will only set you back $35. That's the good news. If you want to find out what the bad news is, or in fact if there actually is any bad news, make sure you go check out the review at the link below. I really, really want one of these...

The Raspberry Pi 2 includes three basic, powerful upgrades. It replaces the single-core, 700MHz ARM11 processor of the original in favor of a far more powerful quad-core, 900MHz ARM Cortex-A7 chip; it doubles the available RAM from 512MB to a full 1GB; and it packs four full USB ports, twice the amount of the original Model B.

Source: PCWorld

Samsung Lied - Smart TV's Are Indeed Spies

Samsung has some pretty nice gear - Smart TVs with integrated cameras for Skype calling as well as a host of other applications. The worry was at launch, "Will the TV spy on me with the camera?" Samsung assured us that no such action would or could take place. Well, they lied. These units have been indeed spying on users and Samsung knows this is and not doing anything about it. This is huge and I certainly won't be buying a new Samsung TV anytime soon.

Last week, the good folks at The Daily Beast dug through the company’s policy page to find that Samsung smart TVs were orchestrated to record everything you say and send them back to the company, which was later sent to an unidentified third-party player. This could be a major issue to many, as not all of us would be comfortable with the fact that all the conversations we have in front and around our TV set are being analyzed by someone.

Source: BetaNews

Lenovo and Superfish

Lenovo has been making headlines this week for all the wrong reasons thanks to a piece of adware that they were putting onto their systems called Superfish. While Superfish might sound delicious and a great name for a new kind of sushi, its main purpose in life is to inject additional ads into your browser (which isn't a good thing). Lenovo is aware of this issue and it appears that only systems shipped in a short period of October to December of 2014 were affected and the Superfish software has been removed from their systems shipped since that point. 

Lenovo isn't the first company to get in trouble for pre-loading adware onto your new system, but it does bring up the point once again, will there ever be a day when I can order a new system from these big companies with no OS installed so I can have a computer without 500 app pre-installed?

BBCNews has more on this story.

The adware - dubbed Superfish - was potentially compromising their security, said experts.

The hidden software was also injecting adverts on to browsers using techniques more akin to malware, they added.

Lenovo faces questions about why and for how long it was pre-installed on machines - and what data was collected.

The company told the BBC in a statement: "Lenovo removed Superfish from the preloads of new consumer systems in January 2015. At the same time Superfish disabled existing Lenovo machines in the market from activating Superfish.

'Premium Sound' Micro SDXC Cards

If you've got too much money and are looking for reckless ways to spend it, Sony has announced their new 'Premium Sound' Micro SDXC cards which are around 4-5 times more expensive than their regular Micro SDXC cards. What's the big difference? Well, apparently these 'Premium Sound' cards have 'less electrical noise' which has people puzzled since storage devices don't actually change the quality of the sound but simply store it. The debate is on over at PCWorld and you can make up your own decisions as to whether this is actually a premium product or a fancy marketing gimmick

Now, the idea of audiophiles obsessing over barely-perceptible details is nothing new. The speaker market is filled with products whose frequency response exceeds the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range of the human ear, and you can spend thousands of dollars on audio cables in pursuit of eliminating noise.

But while those expenses at least have some technical justifications behind them, the case for audiophile storage is flimsy at best..

Microsoft is the new Google

I'm not sure what is up with all the "Google is dying" articles that have been popping up around the internet, however, they do have some interesting points. Today's article over at Forbes is comparing Google to Microsoft and how they are on different paths. Google has seen their ad revenues decline to the lowest in seven years while the Microsoft bunch led by Satya Nadella have become a progressive web services company. There are some interesting points in this article that get you thinking, probably a topic that might surface on next week's Weekly Tech Update podcast.

A year is a long time in technology, but the past 12 months has seen one of the most surprising and exciting shake-ups in recent history: Microsoft and Google have swapped places.

In my opinion this is the current situation. In 2015 the Satya Nadella led Microsoft has become a progressive, open, web services company. By contrast Google grasps at ageing revenue pillars and neglects the present to concentrate on scattergun projects which overpromise and underdeliver.

Adblock Plus doesn't think all ads are bad

If you are familiar with Adblock Plus you might have noticed that they now have a "acceptable ads" program which allows certain ads to come through to the end user and encourage advertisers to tone down the ads. Sounds legit right? Ads are how a good majority of websites make their revenue so that is a win-win situation, right? Well apparently the "acceptable ads" are coming from companies that are paying Adblock Plus to let them slip through which has people scratching their heads about the "acceptable ads" program in general. The Verge has more over here.

Some of the web's biggest companies have been paying to get around Adblock Plus, according to a new report from Financial Times. Microsoft's Bing search ads and Taboola's "recommended links" box are among the ads that are currently slipping through Adblock Plus's filter, and FT confirms that it's the intentional result of a paid deal between the makers of Adblock and the owners of the ads. According to FT sources, the companies have paid Eyeo (the maker of Adblock Plus) to be added to an official whitelist, which allows them to bypass the plug-in. Google has a similar deal, as has been previously reported.

Samson Meteor M2 Multimedia Speaker System

We have just posted up our review of the Samson Meteor M2 Multimedia Speaker System. These are some pretty solid speakers that are really solid. Made of metal, they can be used to enjoy music, prevent home invasions and for other general multimedia enjoyment. Take a look and check out our review as we share our listening experiences.

The Meteor M2 is a wired-only setup and there is not subwoofer for chest-pounding bass. What there is however, is a couple of zinc die cast speakers that look great and sound about as good as they look. While there is no extra subwoofer, each unit has a rear-ported passive radiator that offers a really nice bass response and balances quite well - but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Meteor M2


WTU Episode #301 - Facebook: Not Just for the Living

We have just posted up episode #301 of WeeklyTechUpdate. In this episode we cover some good stuff including Google reworks mobile payment, Candy Crush takes in a lot of mobile payment ($1.47 Billion last year), and Facebook is really interested in helping you with your page after you're dead. We have those stories and even more goodness below!

Download Episode #301
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