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Super Mario Run
App Pick - Super Mario Run

MIcrosoft's 12 Days of Deals on PCs

If you're looking for some good deals on computer hardware, Microsoft always has some great deals on hardware prior to Christmas. In their latest sale, you can save up to $500 off of a new PC. They do have items ranging from $499 all the way to $2,200+, so if you are looking for something entry level, or a full-on workstation, they have you covered.

Source: Microsoft Store via Neowin

Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

If you're looking for a last minute gift, nothing says "I think of you often", like a gift card. If that's not your thing, maybe sometime else from Engadget's list will help you out. They have things priced from $15 and up so you should be able to find something for just about anyone. I find myself wishing for something more in the $1,000 price range however. Still, there are some great ideas (and gift cards are always pretty handy too).

Amazon’s Alexa updated Echo Dot speaker is an affordable way to help make a run-of-the-mill home smarter. The Dot is tiny and it doesn’t have a very big speaker, but it fits in all of the microphone technology used in the larger model. That lets you to chat with Alexa and tap her thousands of skills from just about anywhere in a room.

Source: Engadget

New Chrome Beta Mutes Autoplay Videos

One of my biggest pet peeves is autoplay videos and ads on different sites. The real problem is when I'm trying to record a podcast and things start playing wide-open. I've had to take different measures, but the latest beta version of Chrome will mute autoplay vides. I love it and am willing to switch back to Chrome for this reason alone.

Other bonuses in Chrome 64, as noted by 9to5Google, include an improved pop-up blocker, additional security measures that prevent malicious auto-redirects, and support for HDR video playback when Windows 10 is in HDR mode. On Chrome OS, there is also a new “split view” feature that allows for easier multitasking with multiple windows.

Source: TheVerge

Eve V Review Crowdsourced Laptop

The Eve V is a crowdsource computer that is actually pretty solid. The goal of this project was to cut out the middleman, a full design team and in turn, produce a very capable machine for as little money as possible. The specification requirements are more were left up to a community of over 1,000 people and the result is the Eve V. It has great build quality, a nice keyboard, lots of ports and is priced well below the Microsoft Surface. The downside is the pen isn't perfect, Bluetooth keyboard is a little weak and the sound is anemic.

To really get a feel for what the Eve V has to offer, we need to look at the available configurations. The most basic model costs $799 and pairs an Intel Core m3 chipset with a 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Microsoft's entry-level Surface Pro costs just as much and also has a Core m3 CPU, but only ships with 4GB of RAM. To further sweeten the deal, every Eve V comes with an active pen and keyboard cover. In the case of the Surface Pro, extras like these add an extra $260 to the bottom line.

Source: Engadget

iTunes isn't Coming to Windows 10 S Until 2018

iTunes is available on Windows PCs through a downloadable file from Apple - but it's not available in the Windows Store. That's not a big deal at all - unless you have a shiny new Windows 10 S laptop. If you have one of those machines, you won't be able to use your iPod or Sync your iPhone through Windows. That's a big deal and Apple is working on it. They aren't working on it very hard though as it won't be available until 2018. If you are stuck with Windows 10 S and have an Apple product you'd like to sync, I'm sure you've already upgraded the device to Windows 10 Pro.

Because of this, the delay really only affects Windows 10 S users, who are only able to use apps that come from the Microsoft Store. The OS is mainly aimed at students for the time being, and the only mainstream device that runs it is still the Surface Laptop. Of course, if users really need iTunes, they've probably already cashed in on the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 Pro, which is available until March.

Source: Neowin

Power User Gift Guide

It's the time of the year when the 'Gift Guides' start hitting the internet, normally I skip right past them but I found one over at Ars Technica that is worth sharing. They've come up with a gift guide for the power user, and yup, I'd agree with most of their choices.

It’s the holidays, which means it’s once again time to rack your brain in search of the right gifts for the right people. If someone on your list is into tech, though, we’ve got your back.

For this year’s edition of the Ars Technica holiday gift guide, we’re breaking down our recommendations into themes. Our fourth and final crop of recommendations are for power users, or people who immerse themselves in tech and demand high utility or high performance.

Many of the items below may skew on the pricey side as a result, but they should still serve as a reminder that you get what you pay for.

Goodbye AOL Instant Messanger

AOL Instant Messenger is shutting down today marking the end of its 20 year run. Chances are good you haven't used the service in a good decade, but there were still a few hardcore users that used the service right to the bitter end. Chances are good if you were still a user you've made sure to transfer any personal data you had, but if you didn't, today it will be deleted automatically.

While the popularity might have diminished over the years, any internet service that last 20 years deserves some credit. Fortune has more on the story.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the chat app that was a hallmark of the fledgling Internet-era in the 1990s, is officially shutting down on Friday. It’s time to say goodbye to the screen name that marked your puberty years. Say farewell to your buddy lists—there is no way to save or export them.

If you’re still using AIM, that gives you one day to find an alternative and rebuild your contact list. AIM will not automatically transfer all of your contacts to another service. All personal data associated with AIM will be deleted after December 15, 2017. The company says users can save their chat logs, but it must be done by Friday.

Users will still be able to use their @aim.com email address to send and receive email, according to Oath (formerly AOL).

Disney ends up with Hulu

Thanks to a massive $52-66 billion dollar deal (depends who you ask), Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox and their assets. While Disney acquires things like the Marvel properties, one of the interesting side effects of the deal is that Disney now ends up with majority ownership of Hulu (60%). No one is sure how this all will go, but I think it's a pretty safe to be that Hulu will be seeing some changes in the next year. Fortune has the full story.

Three months ago, Disney announced plans to start its own streaming service, which would go live in 2019. Today, those plans seem a bit less certain.

With its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney will bump its ownership stake in Hulu to 60%. And while Disney certainly wins if it collects revenues from both companies, it’s much more cost effective to have a single one. The real trick, though, will be convincing Comcast, which owns a 30% stake in Hulu.

Using Hulu as the home for all things Disney would give the company a huge head start, rather than building an audience from scratch. The service stopped giving subscriber numbers last year, but is estimated to have between 12 million and 16 million paid users.

Ataribox delayed

If you were patiently waiting for pre-orders to open up for the Ataribox, you'll just have to wait a bit longer. The Ataribox is Atari's that'll give you your fix of retro gaming but also splatter in some indie titles as well. The Ataribox will have a somewhat current AMD CPU and will be running Linux and is going to set you back somewhere around $250-300 USD (when it's finally available). Today was supposed to be the day when you could get your pre-orders in but it has now been delayed with no word on when they'll start pre-orders.

Hard to say how this one will do, the Atari name has a pretty loyal following, however, for $250+ it'll be interesting to see if people can play old Atari games long enough to justify the purchase. Engadget has the story.

Preorders for the Ataribox were scheduled to start today, December 14th, but it appears that plan has hit a snag. Atari sent out an email today that said it's taking longer than expected "to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves."

The company wants to make sure its product lives up to expectations, so it's delaying the preorders and until it can figure out whatever issues the Ataribox is facing. An updated launch plan is going to be announced in the next few weeks, and the Ataribox team will keep supporters in the loop about what's going on.

Apple Launching a New iMac Pro

Apple is trying to show some shiny hardware to help take your mind off the device crippling they do if you have an older model. The hardware they are showing off is a new iMac Pro. Think of this as an upgrade to your iMac, but nothing so sweet and wonderful as a new Mac Pro. That being said, it's pretty impressive that they are bringing up to 18-core processors to the iMac - but not until later in 2018. Earlier than that, you'll be able to get a sweet 8-core or 10-core unit however. Prices START at $4999 for the 8-core version.

Of course, we will have much more about the iMac Pro in the coming days and weeks, including price details, which have still yet to be revealed outside of the $4999 baseline 8-core version. After seeing it on video, have your plans changed with regard to purchasing one?

Source: 9to5Mac

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