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Optoma NE800M Earphones


NZXT Noctis 450


Sennheiser CX 686G SPORTS


App Pick - Spending Tracker

Windows 7 vs. 8 vs. 10 Performance

I've been running Windows 10 pretty successfully on a couple of systems for the last week or so, and while the OS certainly feels fast, I have wondered how the overall speed and performance of applications and games running under this OS compare to previous operating systems. Often, a company bloats the new software as the hardware is faster and it takes less time to optimize code - saving them money. Take a look at the link below as they cover things like boot times, 3D rendering, browser performance, file compression and a lot more. This is a great read to see how they all stack up.

There are going to be future performance benefits of Windows 10 that we can't measure yet, and even once we can, we won't be able to compare the changes with previous operating systems -- DirectX 12 gaming, for example, will only be supported by Windows 10 and later.

 

Oh if you've upgraded to Windows 10 and you're finding that your computer is rebooting while trying to install an update - continuously, you're not alone. Find out how to fix that over at CNET.

The cause of the problem... is a bad entry in the Registry, which is the viewable and editable database for virtually all key Windows settings. After failing, the initial installation writes a bad entry to the Registry that prevents further attempts to reinstall the update correctly. Forbes suggests a workaround to the problem, which is also documented on the Windows forum thread.

Source: TechSpot, CNET

Windows RT Tablets are Dead (For Real - Again)

While the Surface RT tablets are still working - and will continue to for as long as their hardware lasts, the fact is that the OS is being killed quicker than Microsoft can say "Zunepass". Microsoft was all geared up for universal apps that would work equally well on their Surface devices, Windows 10 desktop devices as well as their Windows 10 mobile devices. Microsoft just announced that they won't actually be supporting Windows RT after all. This is not surprising to me or Jason I'm sure, but it just shows how big of a mistake Windows RT was for the company.

Microsoft has said that after Update 3 is delivered to Windows RT users (primarily Surface 2 owners), the device will not support Universal apps. This means that if a developer takes advantage of the new functionality that the company is pushing heavily, that developer's app will not work on the company's aging tablet.

Source: Neowin

HTC Gives Away Your Fingerprints

In the world of fingerprint security, I always have my reservations. While I do use it on my Lenovo Thinkpad, they do have a reputation of security in the enterprise market. The same cannot be said for HTC and Samsung. It appears that the HTC One Max stores fingerprints as simple "dbgraw.bmp" files - that's right bitmap files in a standard folder that can be read by any application that wants to read files on your devices (pretty much all of them). This is a bit of an oversight, that will no doubt be remedied soon, but in the meantime, is available for anyone to snag. Whoops.

Users of biometrics-equipped phones will do well to upgrading to a supported and recent ROM, which given the telco and vendor patch bottleneck probably means moving older devices to custom operating systems like CynaogenMod. If that sounds a bit weird or scary, know that the community-coded Android variant claims more users than BlackBerry and Windows Phone combined.

Source: TheRegister

Design flaw in Pre-SandyBridge Intel CPUs

There is some bad news if you are running an older Intel Core processor. It appears that Intel chips made from 1997 up to SandyBridge has a flaw that allows hackers to install a rootkit into the low-level firmware of the actual processor. This means bad things. Even if you format and reinstall your operating system, the flaw is still present - even if you swap hard drives. This rootkit could be very destructive and while Intel is working on a patch, not all CPUs will be able to be patched. AMD processors may affected, but they could be affected as well.

Once installed, the rootkit could be used for destructive attacks like wiping the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) the modern BIOS or even to re-infect the OS after a clean install. Protection features like Secure Boot wouldn't help, because they, too rely on the SMM to be secure.

Source: PCWorld

Cortanta Takes on Google Now for Android

Microsoft may not have as many devices in people's hands as Cyanogenmod, but they still are trying to push their platform (and I hope they do well). Now you get get Cortana on your Android as they try to take of Google Now with tiles and cards much like they have in Windows 10. I like the implementation in Windows 10, but the word on the street is that location based stuff works great with Cortana, but replying to sms and other voice stuff is still not quite finished. Take a look and see for yourself.

Microsoft bringing Cortana to rival platforms is a key part of the company's plans to win users for its services on iOS and Android. Cortana for Android requires a Microsoft Account, and signing in brings any user directly into Microsoft's Bing search engine over Google. Microsoft is also planning to bring Cortana to iOS later this year, but an official preview version of the Android client is expected in the coming weeks.

Source: TheVerge

Humans are Lazy

Humans are lazy. We invent all sorts of things so that we have to exert as little manual force and labor as possible. One more invention that seals this fact in my mind is the "WalkCar" that is a micro-car that fits in a bag. You stand on this unit and it can go up to seven miles at up to 6mph - and all you have to do is stand there. It looks sort of like a bathroom scale, which would be helpful so you know how much weight you're gaining as you DO NOTHING!

 

Hailstorm Horrors

This isn't tech related, but the pilot of Delta flight 1889 deserves as much recognition as he can get. He was trying to dodge a severe thunder/hail storm and rack smack dab into another smaller one. The smaller of the two still pummeled the aircraft, but the pilot managed to land safely - without a windshield.

Pilots normally fly around thunderstorms, sometimes deviating course by hundreds of miles in order to avoid the severe turbulence and hail. In this case, the flight was suddenly caught in an area where a new storm was rapidly developing as the storm systems merged. Weather radar does not warn of storms to come, only of storms that have already formed.

Delta 1889

Source: Mashable

OnePlus 2 Reaches 2 Million Pre-Orders

The OnePlus 2 looks like it will be another successful device. With pre-orders now topping up over 2 million devices, it looks promising and is a real option to those of us that don't want to spend $600 or more on a new device. OnePlus' goal is to move 3-5 million devices this year and with pre-orders stacking up this fast in a week, it looks like they could do it.

The OnePlus 2 walks in its predecessor's footsteps, with flagship-class specs at low prices. However, while the company ditched its frustrating invite system for the One a few months ago, it is being reinstated for the new device. Nonetheless, it has promised a "new and improved" invite system this time around, with more availability and less waiting.

 

On a slightly different note, it seems that these alternative phones are helping move Cyanogenmod along and they've just released some numbers show that this alternative OS (based off Android) has a bigger market share that Windows Phone and Blackberry combined. According to their numbers, they have 50 Million installs.

Source: Neowin, AndroidCentral

24,000 Android Devices from 1,300 Brands

The number of Android devices is growing and in a new report it has been revealed there are now ever 24,000 Android devices available from almost 1,300 manufacturers. Over the past 3 years the number of companies dealing with Android has increased from 300 to 1,300 now and the issue of Android fragmentation has continued to grow. ZDNet takes a look at the growth of Android.

Samsung may be the biggest seller of Android devices, but it's far from alone: there are now 1,300 brands behind the one billion Android handsets now in use across the globe.

OpenSignal, the maker of an app that gauges mobile signals, has released its fourth annual Android fragmentation report which found a total of 24,093 different Android devices now in the wild, made by 1,294 companies.

It's a vastly different picture to 2012: 1,000 of the brands that appear in this year's survey didn't exist three years ago. Now, there's a growing number of Android device makers both large and small, chipping away at Samsung's dominance and chasing the small slice of the industry's profits that aren't held by Apple.

Apple's Stock Drops

Apple's stock has been dropping the past couple days. Their stock has dropped $113 Billion dollars worth of value over the past couple days and is down about 14% from their peak. I don't think there were many people who didn't think that Apple's stock was a bit overvalued but I don't think there were many people who thought it would correct itself so quickly. USA Today has all the details.

Apple shares fell significantly for the second day Tuesday — bringing investors' paper losses to staggering levels and putting the stock further into correction territory.

Shares of Apple finished down $3.80, or 3.2%, to $114.64 in regular trading Tuesday, meaning they've fallen more than 14% since hitting their high of $134.54 on April 28. Given the massive size of Apple's market value, this sell off is enormous in that it has wiped out $113 billion in paper wealth. The sell off essentially erases more than the entire market value of corporate giants including Nike at $98 billion or McDonald's at $95 billion, separately.

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