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Microsoft closes So.cl

Microsoft would like to remind everyone that they've got a social network, they've been calling it so.cl and it's been around since 2011. Obviously it has never caught on like Microsoft was hoping but it has not been announced that Microsoft will be pulling the plug officially on March 15th. I don't think we'll see mass protests for the of so.cl. TechCrunch has more.

So.cl, the little-known and probably much-forgotten social network project from Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs division, is closing down.

The service was launched in late 2011 as a social community where the objective was “collaborative consumption, not communication.” Initially for students, So.cl opened up to anyone once it had gotten going and subsequently added support for mobile devices, too.

Weekly Tech Update #393 - Nintendo Sets Records

We have just posted up Episode #393 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Lenovo is bringing Motorola back, RadioShack was back but might not be for long, and the Nintendo Switch is setting records.We have those stories and more at the links below...


Download Episode #393
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

ROCCAT Sova Lapboard Review

We have just posted our review of the ROCCAT Sova Lapboard. This is a rather large keyboard/mousepad combo that is geared for your living room. You can plug in your favorite mouse and an extra USB peripheral and have it all on your lap. While this is not a new idea, ROCCAT really pushes things and refines it for 2017 and beyond. If you want to game from the comfort of your couch, check out this review!

I am very surprised with how comfortable this lap-board was to use, the four cushions on the bottom are good and think and make it seem more like a pillow than a peripheral! Quality is something ROCCAT seems to be knocking out of the park and the Sova is not an exception.


AMD Wants Back in the Server Farm

AMD has been making quite a splash in the desktop/enthusiast market with their new Ryzen chips, but they aren't done there. Intel has dominated the server room for years now and AMD wants back in. They have a 32-core Naples chip that should give most anything from Intel a run for it's money - and it will come in at a very attractive price. 

The Naples server chips are based on the x86 architecture, but they don’t have an official name yet. AMD was once a legitimate threat to Intel, but a series of missteps killed its server business. The decline started with the heavily criticized Bulldozer architecture, and the company later bet its server future on ARM chips, but slow demand knocked the company out of servers.

Source: InfoWorld

Real Gaming in Your Browser

Mozilla is pushing hard to make their browser better and more feature rich than anyone - at least in the near future. The are now pushing WebAssembly development that will allow games to run in Firefox almost as fast as a full-installed game. This is a pretty nifty idea and would enable cross-platform compatibility that would be helpful for developers.

With WebAssembly, developers will be able to code a game or app and know it will run in the same way on any supported browser, regardless of platform. Consumers get the convenience of using a web browser to run any WebAssembly-enabled game or app, regardless of platform or operating system.

Source: Engadget

GPD Win Handheld - Windows 10 Handheld Gaming

If you're looking for a handheld device to take your gaming with you, perhaps the GPD Win is the device you've been waiting for. Maybe it's the device that we've all been waiting for. It supports full-version Windows 10 and comes with enough RAM and storage to install a few programs. As for basic gaming, it probably does a pretty darn good job - and it fits in your pocket pretty easily.

The real interesting part happens when you open up the device to reveal its 5.5-inch 720p touchscreen display, gaming controls, and QWERTY keyboard. There is also a toggle switch to customize the way the thumbsticks function. While it might not be the most flamboyant device, everything seems fairly well designed and laid out.

Source: Neowin 

Mass Effect Early Access Trial Details

It's been a few years since we've had a Mass Effect sequel and Andromeda looks to be pretty impressive overall. While it may not be entirely open world, there should be enough of a galaxy available to keep you playing for hours on end. That's the nifty think about the earlier installments. Choice you make do affect the play-path in the game and the outcome. It will be available for early access for some people and the details about what all you get and at the link below.

BioWare has shared some new details about Mass Effect: Andromeda's 10-hour Early Access trial for EA Access and Origin Access subscribers, noting that its single-player will be limited. Set to go live on 16 March, a week ahead of Andromeda's release date, subscribers will get to play the game for up to 10 hours.

Source: IBTimes

RadioShack Looking at Bankruptcy - Again

It's been a rough rollercoaster ride for RadioShack over the past few years as they've declared bankruptcy, been bailed out, closed stores, laid off people, merged companies, re-branded themselves, almost risen from the ashes only to find themselves right back where they were in 2015. Looking to shut down and fold up for good. While RadioShack brings fond memories, they are distant and it's been a long time since RadioShack was really relevant in our throw-away generation. It's too bad I guess, but when you are late to adapt, you do become extinct.

The bankruptcy would deal another blow to the RadioShack brand, an almost-century-old source of electronics that struggled to compete with online merchants and big-box retailers. The General Wireless venture was designed to help the RadioShack name live on following the demise of the original chain. But pressures on the business, including sluggish foot traffic at shopping centers and a shift to e-commerce, have persisted.

Source: MSN

Cord Cutters On the Rise

People have been "cutting the cord" and ditching their paid satellite or cable subscription service for a few years now in favor of another cord - their internet cable. The fact is that paid TV is pretty expensive - but it is convenient. If you opt out of your cable package, you'll need several streaming services to replace the content - but if you want less content, it's a great way to go. Another 1.7 million people have cancelled their TV package this past year, but that is only a 1.7% increase.

"With the results now in from all of the largest operators, it is clear that cord-cutting of legacy distribution services -- that is, without including OTT-delivered virtual MVPD bundles like Sling TV and DirecTV Now (and soon, YouTube TV) -- has at last meaningfully accelerated," Moffett said.

Source: DSLReports 

Hacking the Western Digital MyCloud NAS

As we often discuss, your data is not private anymore. This is a sad reality that some people try and avoid by managing their own personal cloud - whether it be through a full NAS, a Lima device or any other means. The fact is that pretty much everything can be hacked if someone tries hard enough. Another sad reality is that if you have a MyCloud NAS from Western Digital, people don't have to try too hard at all.

In the middle of last year I (Zenofex) began looking for a NAS that provided hardware decoding through my currently prefered media player, Plex. After a bit of research I ordered a Western Digital “MyCloud” PR4100. This device met all the requirements of what I was looking for and came highly recommended by a friend. After adding the NAS to my network and visiting the device’s admin page for the first time, I grew weary of adding a new device to my network without giving it a proper audit. So, I logged in, enabled SSH access, and looked at how the web server functionality of the device worked.

Source: Exploitee

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