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Feenix Nascita & Dimora


Sennheiser G4ME ONE


Lepow Moonstone


App Pick - UNO & Friends

Halo Actress Jen Taylor is WinPhone Cortana

I'm not sure how many of you are excited about this, but dang it - I AM! Even though I don't have a Windows Phone, the good news today is that Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 will feature digital assistant "Cortana" and that will be voiced by Jen Taylor - the very same voice used for Cortana in the video game mega-series, Halo. I do hope they bring this assistant to multiple platforms, but if not, I guess I'll have to skip out as I don't see this as being the killer app to make me switch from Android to Windows Phone. Still, it's pretty cool for all you Halo game junkies.

Microsoft provided the following statement to Neowin regarding Taylor's voice being used in the digital assistant: "[The] Cortana beta synthesizes voices from more than one source, Jen Taylor being one of them. Over time, we plan to employ Jen Taylor’s voice throughout a greater portion of the experience."

Source: Neowin

Windows 8.1 Update Coming April 8

The official Windows 8.1 update is coming April 8th now and there is a few things to know and maybe even a couple to get excited about. This update seems to want to reunite keyboard and mouse users with the interface and I have nothing but good things to say about this. Another big thing is that when you are working within full-screen apps, the taskbar will still be available - again, giving mouse and keyboard users quicker access to other applications they are running in the background. Check out more changes and improvements and the link below.

In addition the the context menus, Microsoft has made it easier to access the power options too by creating a power options menu in the top right area of the modern environment. Not a huge addition by any means but there was a bit of critical feedback around the launch of Windows 8 that the power options were not easily accessible.

Source: Neowin

Amazon FireTV Launches

There have been a lot of rumors about the Amazon set-top gaming device / streaming platform and today it launched. Thankfully, it didn't launch yesterday or it may have got lost in the pile of April Fool's pranks. Still, this is a tidy little device that works with voice recognition and allows you to stream your content from your favorite provides including Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon, Showtime, ESPN and more. Take a look at what they have to offer and make sure you check out and see what Gary Busey thinks of it.

 

Source: Amazon

Microsoft Giving Away Windows

Microsoft has seen the light and is trying to give phone manufacturers a little more incentive to use their OS. That's right, Windows is now free to companies making devices with screens under 9-inches. I'm not sure how much more this will encourage them to use the OS, but it certainly won't hurt and is a step in the right direction for Microsoft. With any mobile OS, the amount of apps and services that you can tie to your platform is impressive and you can make the money off of these - rather than the OS itself.

"We really want to get this platform out there. We want to remove all the friction between you and creating these devices," Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems group, said during the company’s Build conference in San Francisco. 

The move is a dramatic example of the sense of urgency Microsoft feels regarding Windows’ weak position against iOS and Android in the smartphone and tablet markets, which Apple and Google have capitalized upon in recent years.

Source: PCWorld

WTU Episode #256 - Oculus Gets $2 Billion and Angry Backers

We have just posted up Episode #256 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing No Minecraft for Facebook, NVIDIA launches a $3000 consumer graphics card and Twitter gets all Facebooky. We have those stories and more and the links below!

Download Episode #256
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
 

Lepow Moonstone 6000mAh Power Bank

We have just posted up our review of the Lepow Moonstone 6000mAh Power Bank. This is a dual-USB battery that allows you to charge at either 1.0Amp or 2.1Amp. It seems to work as advertised and comes with a few extras so if you need some extra value, this may be the portable battery that fits your needs. Please take a look at our review for all the details.

Overall, I'm somewhat pleased with the Lepow Moonstone 6000mAh. It does what it says it will do and unlike companies that we dealt with a few years ago, they don't lie on their performance numbers. In the early days of portable batteries, companies would rate their mAh rating based on a 1.2v load but when you up the output voltage to 5v, you'd get only about 25% of what they claimed. Thankfully Lepow is honest and the math shows that you get what you are paying for.

Lepow

Half-Life 3 Fan Made Trailer

I know this is just a fan-made trailer, but here's hoping that Half-Life 3 eventually makes it to light.

Source: YouTube

Sony Reveals 13.3" eInk Tablet for $1,100

I know it's April 1st, but it is no joke that Sony is releasing a new eInk tablet for business customers in May that will set you back $1,100. That's right, they are selling a device that packs a whopping 4GB of storage and an eInk display for more than a fancy tablet with an expensive screen and more storage. Their idea is to get paper-based applications moved over to digital and they are doing it wrong. For $200, it might happen, but for this kind of money you can buy a lot of paper and have a better experience. That being said, the device will last for three weeks on a charge.

Bob Nell, director of digital paper solutions at Sony Electronics, describes Digital Paper as "a true replacement for the vast amounts of paper that continue to clutter many offices and institutions," noting that it's easy to use and optimized for reading and annotating contracts and other documents.

Source: InformationWeek

EA Origin Quits Physical Media

Downloadable games are more popular that physical media any more and while you've been able to choose either physical media or downloadable media for current games when buying through Origin, that is coming to a halt later this week. April 4th is slated to be the last day you'll be able to buy anything from Origin and have it shipped to your door. From now on out, it's downloads only.

What does this mean for you? If you're among 99 percent of our users, absolutely nothing. Your shopping experience hasn't changed one single bit," reads a statement from the company. "But if you're that one percent who still desires a physical collection, we want to let you know that Origin won't be able to fulfill that need beginning April 4th. We'll still be here when you transition your gaming habits to the wonders of digital downloads.

Source: Origin

Xbox - Getting Back to Gaming

Microsoft has really diversified over the years and has tried to offer more to more people and as such has often strayed from some of their core products. One of their core products of course is the Xbox platform, and while it is a great multi-purpose box, the system isn't always as great for gaming as other products. According to the new head of the Xbox division, this is going to change.

We've taken feedback, made our products better and renewed our focus on what is most important, our customer. Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation. As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.

Source: Engadget

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