Poseidon Z RGB

ZTE Grand X 2 Smartphone

Optoma NE800M Earphones

App Pick - Minion Paradise

Google Glass Without the Glass

The Google Glass Team has quit their initial Glass project and moved onto other projects - one of those was rumored to be Google Glass 2.0. It appears, however, that they are working on multiple project and one of these doesn't include a display - at least a traditional "Glass" display. Google knows the future is really about wearing technology, but there are many ways to make it happen. It will be interesting to see what CES 2016 brings.

Sources for The Information understand that there are three next-generation headsets in development, and that one of them doesn't have a screen at all -- it's an audio-focused model meant for the "sport" crowd. That sounds like an amped-up Bluetooth headset to us, but we'll reserve judgment until there's something to see... or rather, hear.

Source: Engadget

SteamOS Gaming Sucks

For those of you that thought the SteamBox would take over gaming, sadly, you're wrong - so very much so. Now that SteamBoxes have actually shipped, there have been some performance tests with box that range from entry-level to "should-have-just-bought-an-alienware-PC" machines. SteamOS falls short - despite being the main project of a huge team of developers over at Valve. PC gaming isn't dead by all means, but Steam Machine gaming may have already died - at launch week.

While these are two AAA games ported to Linux by respected publishers, it's possible the developers simply weren't able to extract the best performance from the less familiar OpenGL and Linux environment. We figured that Valve's own games wouldn't have this problem; if anyone could get the maximum performance out of its Linux ports, it should be the company behind SteamOS itself.

Source: ArsTechnica

Major Android Wear Update

Google is not one to sit back and rest with the success and current feature-set including with Android Wear. They have been hard at work doing new things and removing some gestures that caused more issues than good - as well as adding new gestures, SIM card support, and speakers. This goes a long way to make Android Wear work for more poeple. That being said, I find that sometimes less really is more and that's why I love my Pebble Steel and the battery life I get with this little gem.

The ability to scroll through cards  is obviously still there, but version 1.4 adds a few more gestures. Among these are the ability to take action on a card, open the apps menu, pull down the settings shade from the watch face, cancel an action before it’s completed, and return to the watch face from within an app. You can read the full details at the Android support site.

Source: 9to5Google

PowerPoint Gets a Real Overhaul

It's been a long time coming, but PowerPoint from Microsoft has finally received an update and a real upgrade that offers a few new features that are pretty nifty. Morph and Designer make it super easy to automate animations, build super-slick custom design templates and more. This looks pretty nifty and if you are trying to impress people with your presentation, this may help you make it happen.

Exclusively available to Office 365 subscribers, PowerPoint Designer and Morph are premium authoring and editing features. PowerPoint Designer and Morph are available first in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows desktop and Windows Mobile, but expect to see these same features rolling out to other platforms in the coming months.

Source: Office Blog

Zune Service is Dead

Apparently, Microsoft officially pulled the plug on Zune here on November 15, 2015 and has ended the life of this great product and service. I thought it was officially canned a while ago, but if you had one of these devices, it apparently was still working and synchronizing with the cloud - up until Sunday. The Zune was Microsoft's better solution to Apple and their iPod / iTunes team, but it never really caught on. Rest in peace. No one will probably miss it.

As of November 15, 2015, Zune services will be retired. You will no longer be able to stream or download content to your device from the Zune music service. However, Zune devices will still function as music players and any MP3 content that you own on the Zune device will remain there. You’ll also be able to transfer music to and from your Zune player.

Source: BetaNews

Windows 3.1 just shut down a french airport

A computer issues has grounded flights at the Paris airport of Orly. A computer issues that has shut down an entire airport isn't something new, however, the culprit behind this issue was good old Windows 3.1. Apparently this airport is still using a Windows 3.1 system to run their landing and takeoff software and without it all flights were grounded. Airport officials are assuring people that this system is much more reliable than the Commodore 64 that had been previously running the system. Vice has the story.

A computer glitch that brought the Paris airport of Orly to a standstill Saturday has been traced back to the airport's "prehistoric" operating system. In an article published Wednesday, French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné (which often writes serious stories, such as this one) said the computer failure had affected a system known as DECOR, which is used by air traffic controllers to communicate weather information to pilots. Pilots rely on the system when weather conditions are poor.

UP vs. Rasberry Pi2

The Raspberry Pi2 is a pretty amazing piece of technology, basically a full computer that is the size of a pack of cards. Well, the limits have been pushed even more with a new project called UP. The UP guys have taken the same form factor and have stuffed an Intel Atom X5-8300 CPU that is running at 1.84GHz with 1GB or 2GB of RAM into the same form factor as the Raspberry Pi2. This small system can run Linux, Windows, or Android and is pretty amazing for the small amount of space it takes up. Currently UP is running a Kickstarter campaign and unsurprisingly has already reached their goal with 17 days left.

Kickstarter details for UP project.

UP is a credit card size board which merges the benefits of Raspberry Pi2, the standard "de facto" of makers with the high performance and low power consumption of latest tablet technology : the Intel Cherry Trail Atom Quad Core x5-Z8300 64 bits up to 1.84GHz. Thanks to the 14nm technology, the CPU is rated at only 2W SDP.

Quitting Facebook makes you happier

A new study out of Copenhagen took 1,095 Facebook users and asked half of them to quit Facebook and then studied both groups to see who was happier. The people who quit Facebook reported they were happier, they also felt less angry, less lonely, less depressed, more decisive, more enthusiastic, and enjoyed their lives more. In addition the users who quit Facebook also appeared to have stress levels up to 55% lower. The results of this study are very interesting, although not to surprising and I'm sure this is only the first of many studies to investigate the results of social media. HuhMagazine has the full story.

The results were incredibly revealing - after just 7 days 88% of the group that left Facebook said they felt "happy" as opposed to 81% in the group still using the site. They also felt less angry, less lonely, less depressed, more decisive, more enthusiastic, and enjoyed their lives more. Ditching Facebook also appeared to reduce stress levels by as much as 55%. They're some pretty strong results…

WTU Episode #334 - Apple Explores the Dark Side

We have just posted up Episode #334 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Apple explores the dark side, Halo's profits go intergalactic and Facebook is not your Father. Check out those stories and more at the links below.

Download Episode #334
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes! alt

Snapdragon 820 Will Be Great Next Year

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor was announced yesterday and it looks pretty impressive. In addition to being considerably faster, the GPU is about 40% faster than the Snapdragon 810. Also, LTE has received a big boost as it now supports speeds of up to 600Mbps and 802.11ad WiFi. It is much more efficient and uses machine learning to fight mobile viruses and malware. It looks impressive for a quad-core CPU.

Naturally, Qualcomm's new flagship chip is significantly faster than its old one. But perhaps more useful is its power efficiency - the company claims it's around twice as efficient as the 810, and it consumes around 30 percent less energy overall. Without any major breakthroughs when it comes to battery technology, the best way to increase battery life is by making chips more efficient.

Source: Engadget

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