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WTU Episode #369 - Facebook is Taking Over the World

We have just posted up Episode #369 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing the end of free Hulu, Apple TV is still dead in the water and Facebook is taking over the world. Check out those and lots more tech stories at the links below.


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Chrome Says Goodbye to Flash

Adobe's Flash was one of the innovations that pushed video and dynamic content onto the web many years ago. Today, many sites use HTML 5 instead of Flash as it is more secure, offers better compression and runs faster on most browsers. With the upcoming version of Google's Chrome browser, Flash will be blocked. If your site relies heavily on Flash, you'd better get fixing things so that it will keep running and offer cross-platform compatibility.

Today, more than 90% of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down, and starting this September, Chrome 53 will begin to block it. HTML5 is much lighter and faster, and publishers are switching over to speed up page loading and save you more battery life. You’ll see an improvement in responsiveness and efficiency for many sites.

Source: Google

Dolphin Steals iPad from "Photographer"

While the world at large is okay with people taking pictures or video with their iPads, Jason and I here at BCCHardware are not. Jason has gone on record that if you are at a sporting event and get hit by a ball as you are taking pictures with your iPad, you deserve it. I know that's not socially acceptable behavior - but neither is this dolphin. Good for the dolphin! High flipper!


Intel's Skull Canyon NUC is the Future

Inte's NUC platform is pretty awesome. Mind you, they weren't the first to put a PC into a tiny enclosure, and in fact they don't even do it  the best. That being said, their new Skull Canyon NUC is extra sweet as it packs in a lot of power into a tiny; albeit longer and thinner platform. 

While previous NUCs looked like boring gray mini PCs, Intel actually infused a bit of style into the Skull Canyon model. It's a slim and small device, at only 1.1 inches tall, 8.3 inches long and 4.57 inches wide. It feels like a small hardcover book, weighing in at around 1.5 pounds. Its plastic case is all black, with a reflective webbing pattern and large skull imprinted on the top -- a not-so-subtle hint that Intel built this thing for PC gamers.

Source: Engadget

Sony's PS4 Neo Lands on September 7

Everybody in the console game has been working feverishly to put out a slightly updated console that will help people get through the next couple of years until a full refresh comes. Microsoft's Xbox One S is now available, and Sony's PS4 Neo is less than a month away. This could be another case of Sony waiting to see what Microsoft does in order to one-up them. We'll find out shortly.

Though the company didn’t unveil the Neo at the E3 event as expected, Sony did confirm that the upcoming console would focus on high-end graphics, 4K content and some kind of support for the PlayStation VR. What Sony failed to provide was a release date, but according to a number of separate but corroborating reports we might be closer to Neo’s unveiling than expected.

Source: Neowin

Internet Archive Adds 10,000 Agima Games and Apps

The Internet Archive is an amazing organization. They have done a lot of cool things to preserve our digital history and the latest is to add a mere 10,000 Amiga games and applications to their archive. The most amazing thing about this is that there were actually 10,000 different games and applications for the Amiga! Take a look and enjoy them right in your browser.

Some of the classic titles like Bubble Bobble and R-Type have already been added to the archive, but notably for other platforms, as in this lower-resolution Sega Master Drive version of the latter game. If you want to play games exactly as the Amiga ran them, this is your ticket. But it's unclear how many of them were previously available.

Source: Engadget

Qualcom Chip Flaw Exposed 900 Million Android Users

There has recently been four new security holes in Qualcomm chips that power everyday Android devices and this is not good. Not good at all. The exploit could enable a malicious person to bypass permissions and run whatever they wanted - without the user knowing. Qualcomm makes about 65% of the world's smartphone chips - so this is a huge deal. The upside is that three out of four holes have already been patched, and the last one is coming very soon. The downside is that if your carrier doesn't push the update - you won't get it automatically. Nexus owners will be getting this patch much sooner however.

This situation highlights the inherent risks in the Android security model. Critical security updates must pass through the entire supply chain before they can be made available to end users. Once available, the end users must then be sure to install these updates to protect their devices and data.

Source: ArsTechnica

Hulu Cancels Free Service

Hulu has had an interesting and quite successful business model. There was a free version that allowed you to watch the last five episodes of your favorite TV show and was ad-supported - as well as a paid subscription model where all shows were available, but at a cost. They just announced that the free version is going to be killed shortly and if you want Hulu, you'll have to pay. On a side note, Yahoo (now owned by Verizon) just announced that they are offering a free video-on-demand service that "features" Hulu. So basically, it's the same horse, but a different color.


These companies want to use Hulu as a hedge against Netflix, where they sell their content and compete for time and consumer dollars. Making Hulu subscription-only allows them to better position it as a premium service that can house original content. By shifting it's lowest margin ad-supported streaming over to Yahoo, Hulu's ownership reduces friction with its own TV advertisers and positions Verizon, which just acquired Yahoo, as a source of substantial future revenue.

Source: TheVerge

Xbox One S 2TB is Very Limited

If you're thinking of picking up a new 2TB Xbox One S, you'd better snag one while you can. According to Microsoft, they will not be restocking these once they are sold out and this was just a limited edition production run for the launch. I think with the game sizes as big as they are - combined with the multimedia prowess that is the Xbox, they should continue this and eliminate the 500GB version instead.

The 2TB Xbox One S was released as a special launch edition in limited quantities only. We’re thrilled at the amount of interest we’ve received and we are always looking for opportunities to offer choice and fantastic value to our fans. Please check with your local retailer to determine whether the 2TB Xbox One S is still available in your market. You can also pre-order the Xbox One S ‘Gears of War 4’ 2TB Limited Edition bundle now at microsoftstore.com and other select retailers.

Source: Neowin

Sony's Portable Laser Projector... is Good.

There was a time when pretty much everything made by Sony excuded quality. Back in the days of the Walkman, VHS players and even into the generation of the Discman, Sony was top notch. Then they sucked; and sucked they have for a long time. Every once in a while though, they do come up with a product that is way ahead of the competition in terms of quality and performance. That time has come again with their laser-powered portable projector. The guys at the Verge love this little thing.

It's a pico projector - you know, those things that seem like they'll be good someday, but are squint-inducing trash right now. Except this one, which is extremely good. It uses lasers-or a laser - to project an image that is always in focus and, despite a "low" lumen rating of around 32, looks so, so good when you're using it.

Source: TheVerge

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