Linksys EA9300
Linksys EA9300 Router


HyperX Alloy FPS Keyboard


TP-Link RE650 Range Extender

Super Mario Run
App Pick - Super Mario Run

HP Gets Into the Spy Game

Cue the James Bond music! HP gets into the spy game as they recently started installing a piece of software called "HP Touchpoint Analytics Client" without consent or permission. This piece of spyware "harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint's analytical services." The biggest problem here is that HP won't really say what data they are gathering, what they are doing with it and they never asked or warned about the installation.

Martin Brinkmann on ghacks has a detailed accounting of the spyware and how to remove it. He gives step-by-step instructions for disabling the HP Touchpoint Analytics Client in your Services listing, as well as deleting the HP Touchpoint Manager.

Source: ComputerWorld

Driving and Pokemon Go Don't Mix

There have been a few augmented reality games that have been designed to get people out walking. Ingress and Pokemon Go are the first two that pop into my mind. The idea is great. Put objects around different areas and people are encouraged to go walking and find them. We live in a lazy, lazy world though and people take to their automobiles to play these games. The result is a lot of vechicle crashes. In one county in the state of Indiana, two lives were lost and $20 million in damages have resulted because of this "game". Maybe people should walk more.

To understand how they figured this out, it’s important to remember that in the world of Pokémon Go, there are pokéstops and there are gyms. Pokéstops are where you can get more pokéballs and pick up supplies; gyms are where you battle. You’re supposed to walk around to hit all these spots, but plenty of people cheated by driving to the various stops, then hopping out of the car and picking up some supplies or going for a quick battle.

Source: TheVerge

Destiny 2 Lets You Play for Free

It looks like game developers - most likely publishers are getting the idea. Their games are very expensive to produce and the price of a new game has gone up quite a bit to reflect that. As such, there are a growing number of people that aren't playing the new titles as they are priced too high and people take a "wait-and-see" approach. Destiny was a huge blockbuster game and Destiny 2 has a lot of improvements and changes that are highly regarded - but some don't like it at all. To encourage plays to upgrade to the second title, as well as to get new players, their is now a free version. You don't get the entire game, but they are hoping it's enough to get you hooked.

So you missed out on Destiny 2's beta tests and didn't want to buy the game without giving it a try. Are you stuck? Thankfully, no. Bungie will offer a free Destiny 2 trial on PS4, Xbox One and PC starting on November 28th, and it's giving you a sizeable chunk of the game to try before you fork over your money. You can explore Earth's European Dead Zone and Titan (though you won't get all the campaign missions), fight fellow players in the Crucible's Quickplay rotation and progress up to level 7.

Source: Engadget

Samsung Galaxy S9 and LG G7 to Launch at CES

It appears that the LG G7 and Samsung Galaxy S9 are set to launch at CES. This is the first time in a while that a couple of big names have used the Consumer Electronics show to launch a new mobile device. This used to be the normal state of affairs back in the day, but the mobile world has garnered it's own events such as Mobile World Congress. That is such a huge event now that companies are starting to see that their announcements are getting lost in the shuffle. The good news is that CES is still around and will be the launch platform as we kick off 2018. We will be there and will have details from the show floor.

Citing industry sources, Business Korea is reporting that the release of the iPhone X has spurred considerable interest in next-gen devices. Samsung has apparently moved up its usual March release timetable to January for the Galaxy S9 and S9+. The move is designed to put a "check" on the popularity of Apple's flagship device. While the S9 is expected to keep much of the same design as the S8, with the exception of changing the rear camera alignment and fingerprint sensor placement, the units are expected to have a new AMOLED display, dual cameras, and Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 processor.

Source: Neowin

Bitcoin Breaks $9.000

I don't think anyone can really explain why Bitcoin keeps climbing, and perhaps there are many people mining that really don't want to know why - they just want to make money. While there is talk that Bitcoin funds terrorism, I suspect that is tainted information from regulators that are pissed they can't tax it. Either way, with over a $1,000 rally in less than 10 days, it's climbed to over $9,000USD and has no signs of slowing - yet. 

The result comes in spite of warnings from analysts, including Ulrich Stephan, chief strategist at Deutsche Bank who said, “I would simply not recommend this to the everyday investor.” With the conversion rate of bitcoin increasing at its clip, one could be forgiven for thinking that there will be an imminent crash in the value of the cryptocurrency, particularly as it has appreciated in value by $1,000 every one to two weeks since breaking the $5,000 mark.

Source: Neowin

Jeff is Now Worth More than $100 Billion

Jeff had a pretty good day on Friday. Mr. Bezos has been doing quite well running Amazon over the past few years and with the large amount of Black Friday shopping, his net worth slipped over the $100,000,000,000 mark. For a guy that still buys his velcro-touting shoes at Payless, that's pretty impressive. There have been some fantastic hits and some major misses by Jeff Bezos over the years, but clearly he's figured out how to win more than lose.

But at that stratospheric level of wealth, the kind of money that’s basically impossible to comprehend short of talking about national governmental budgets, you can’t avoid a simple question: how much will he give away and how? Bezos himself is clearly looking for an answer. This past June he asked Twitter for ideas on how to be a better philanthropist. His goal was to tackle problems “at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

Source: TheVerge

MIcrosoft Office for All Chromebooks

While you can access Microsoft Office from any web-enabled device, the applications that run it - rather than a website - are much nicer. There have been Office Apps for Windows mobile devices, Android device and even iOS devices, but until recently, ChromeOS was left out in the cold. Now it's available for all Chromebooks and this will get you rocking and rolling your Office documents easier while on the road.

So, like we do, we checked every Chrome OS device we have and can confirm they all show every Office app in the Play Store ready for download. Again, we don’t have an exhaustive list at this point, but we’ve tried the Samsung Chromebook Pro, Pixelbook, Acer Chromebook 15 (two different models of it) and the Acer C771 and can confirm all these devices are seeing Microsoft’s Office in the Play Store.

Source: ChromeUnboxed

What Do Amazon and Google Do With Voice Data?

It's pretty much a given that every web-enabled service will get hacked sooner or later. Imgur just released a 1.7 million account hack recently and while you may not have a lot of relevant personal data on that service, other services may have more data on them. Things like Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant store voice data and can record you pretty much at any time. That gives me some cause for concern. I'm sure Google and Amazon take more precautions when it comes to security that companies like Imgur, it's still good to know what they do with the data, and how you can clear some of it yourself.

After you say your wake word, though, your Alexa and Google Assistant do start recording, and then whisk those clips away to the cloud. The hardware itself is pretty dumb. In order to let you know with a snap who the 23rd president was, or what the weather will be like tomorrow, or to play a Dokken deep cut, voice assistants need to be able to pull information from the entire internet. That means a faraway server somewhere is what actually handles your request.

Source: Wired

Black Friday Deals

While some of us enjoy the day off for Thanksgiving, we all know that tomorrow is going to be a mad house for shopping and we've compiled a list of deals if you are looking to pick up a bargain or two from Black Friday 2017.

 

Compilation of Black Friday flyers/deals:

BestBlackFriday.com (United States)

TechBargains.com (United States)

RedFlagDeals.com (Canada)

 

In addition I thought I'd add a link to a cool service which will tell you just how good of a deal those Black Friday deals actually are. Just enter the product you're looking for and it'll show you what the price has been over the past few months and you might just be surprised that the deal you were going to wait in line for might be available online already.

CamelCamelCamel (US and Canada)

 

Good luck to all the bargain hunters out there.

Dell + Linux

For the Linux fans out there, here is some good news for your holiday weekend. Dell has just launched 5 new computers that come pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux which includes one all-in-on system and 4 laptops. Of all the big system builders Dell has been very faithful to the Linux crowd that don't want to have to buy a system with Windows pre-installed only to have to delete it and start over again installing Linux. Obviously by looking at the operating system market share numbers the demand for these computers won't be huge but it's nice to see big companies like Dell offering some alternatives. Betanews has the full story.

Over the years, many people have bought Windows machines only to wipe the storage drive and install their favorite Linux-based operating system. For the most part, this practice works well, but you still may experience hardware incompatibilities, albeit far fewer nowadays than in prior years. The Wi-Fi card, for instance, may not have Linux drivers, leading to huge headaches.

The better option is to buy a computer with Linux pre-installed. Why? Well, this lets you know that all the hardware is compatible, as the seller has tested it beforehand. Not to mention, you are supporting the Linux community this way. Buying a Windows PC even when you erase Windows still helps Microsoft -- why the heck would you want to do that?

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