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Exploding Kittens - App Pick
App Pick - Exploding Kittens

Dropbox Takes on OneDrive and Goolge Docs

Dropbox is a great tool for synchronizing your data across multiple machines, but it still lacks the ability to edit documents with it's own set of tools. They are now tackling OneDrive's Placeholders application and Google Drive with their latest update that is rolling out to business users first, and then will be available to all Dropbox users. It's called Project Infinite and it's a nice alternative. It will roll out as Smart Sync, but there is no word yet on timeline.

While the biggest need for Smart Sync has come from our business users, the positive response we’ve heard from individual users has led us to explore ways to make Smart Sync available to them in the future as well. We are looking into technical requirements for individuals and exploring go to market options based on customer and user feedback, though don't have a specific timeline.

Source: Neowin

Curved TV Review (Hint; they suck)

While curved TVs are garnering a lot of press from companies like Samsung, they certainly aren't for everyone and while some people have a perfect place for them, the real world can be much more different. While the specs and features look pretty attractive, it's a good idea to read reviews of products before you spend your money - as evidenced by this guy buying the "prettiest" TV and later regretting it.

On a sunny day there is exactly one cushion on our gigantic 12-person sofa from which you can see the picture on this stupendously awful television. And it’s no better at night unless you turn off every single light in the room. Which is fine for late night movie watching, but impossibly annoying at all other times. Leave the couch to get snacks or another glass of wine, and you better remember to turn off any light you use or you’ll be getting right back up again.

Source: TheVerge

Hotel Forced to Pay Ransom to Let Patrons in Their Rooms

Ransomware sucks. It's the latest money grab used by hackers that encrypts your data and then sells you a decryption key - if you pay the ransom. If not, you lose it all. Serious stuff and general consumers aren't the only ones targeted. In fact, this will end up targeting businesses much more than people. The latest strike was against a hotel, where their electronic key-card system was compromised and in order to let people back in their rooms, they had to pay the ransom. Ouch.

It was only after this third attack that Brandstaetter realised that the hackers might just be leaving a backdoor on their systems, enabling them to come back for a top-up when they needed more dosh. IT upgrades were urgently installed and Brandstaetter said that, as a result, a fourth ransomware attempt was foiled.

Source: TheInquirer

PC Gaming Hits 30 Billion

GDC’s 2017 survey toutes that the most popular platform is the PC with 53% of respondents developing games for the PC. To go along with that great news, sales for PC gaming hardware have passed $30 billion for the first time. In 2016 43% came from high-end hardware sales at about $13 billion, with the mid-range at 35% for $10.6 billion and entry-level rounding out the rear with 22% at $6.68 billion. In my opinion, this shows PC gaming is still quite alive and well.

“We know that gamers with lower budgets are just as passionate about gaming as those with more resources and are enthusiasts in the purest sense of the word, so we decided to transition to a more descriptive terminology. Nvidia and AMD are not ignoring these customers either and offerings like the GTX 1050 bring powerful graphics processing for around $120."

Source: DSOGaming

Trolling Windows Support Spammers

I'm sure many of you reading this have received a call from a "Microsoft Support" technician claiming that your computer has been compromised and that you need to install some software so they can fix it. This is a popular scam that I usually deflect by claiming to run either ChromeOS, Linux or OSX. If you have a lot of patience though, you could troll them for hours - as did the guy at the link below.

On Monday afternoon, I got a phone call that someone now probably wishes they never made. Caller ID said the call was coming from "MDU Resources," but the caller said he was calling from "the technical support center." He informed me there were "junk files" on my computer slowing it down and that he was going to connect me with a technician to help fix the problem.

Source: ARSTechnica

Performance Gaming Wear for E-Sports

KontrolFreek seems to think it’s needed for those gamers (me included) who’s palms can get sweaty when gaming. Their line of clothing that debuted back in December includes a hoodie and shorts that have certain areas of moisture-wicking fabric that players can wipe their hands on to dry off quickly. The hoodie also has an oversized hood that can accommodate a user wearing a headset. Both are available to buy.

KontrolFreek’s hoodie and shorts feature certain areas made of moisture-wicking fabric so players can wipe their hands. KontrolFreek writes that this material allows gamers “to easily dry their palms and fingers, mitigating thumb slippage to increase control and accuracy.” This sounds like a feature that might be useful, just make sure to wash those shorts after wearing them for obvious reasons.

Source: TheVerge

Apple's Macbook Officially A Flop

It's no secret that the new Macbook Pro hasn't done nearly as well as Apple hoped, and the biggest cause for this (in my opinion) is the lack of ports, extra expense and inconvenience for dongles and mediocre hardware - as well as poor battery life. There is nothing "Pro" about it when it comes right down to in. PC's on the other hand have faster processors, better performance, better battery life and actually have ports. This is why the high-end market is now choosing Windows over Apple.

Microsoft famously claimed that with the announcement of the Surface Studio, which caused many to claim Microsoft is more innovative than Apple, and Apple’s announcement of the disappointing MacBook Pro “more and more Mac users were switching to Surface.” It seems Microsoft’s Surface line was not the only beneficiary, which is good news for OEMs struggling with the slow decline of the PC market.

Source: MSPowerUser

Netflix Allows Downloading to SD Card

Back in November, Netflix announced wonderful news about offline downloads but have now added more great news. When downloading to watch offline, the app now offers two options, internal storage or external storage (sd cards). Before it used to be just internal storage which could be an issue if your device had very limited internal storage. As long as your device supports external SD storage you should be good to go, however Netflix did state that not all devices may have the capability to save to SD storage.

Keep in mind that offline content does expire (time limits vary depending on the content), so you won’t be able to store movies or shows on microSD and just leave them there to watch much later. And Netflix notes that the feature doesn’t support any and all Android devices with a microSD slot. But this small change definitely makes offline downloads much more convenient on the Android side of things.

Source: TheVerge

PC sales down, Gaming PC sales up

PC sales are down, however, when it comes to gaming PCs sales are actually up. Even though we've been told PC gaming is dead numerous times over the years, it appears to be getting a bit of a resurgence. Also interesting to note is the fact that mid-range gaming PCs are the biggest gainers, which isn't too surprising as at CES 2017 we saw the big guys like Dell and Lenovo adding mid-range options to compliment their high-end gaming systems that they traditionally focused much more on. ArsTechnica has the full story.

While other market analysts are seeing overall PC sales continue to decline, a new report from Jon Peddie Research (JPR) shows the worldwide market for PC gaming hardware growing faster than expected in 2016.

All told, the market for pre-built and "DIY" gaming-focused PCs (which also includes "upgrades and accessories such as input devices and audio/communication systems") exceeded $30 billion (£24 billion) for the first time last year ($30.346 billion, to be precise), according to JPR's latest report. That's well up from the estimated $24.6 billion (£19.6 billion) market for gaming PCs that JPR saw back in 2015. Back then, JPR projected that the PC gaming market wouldn't pass the $30 billion mark until 2018, meaning the industry has accelerated roughly two years ahead of those old projections.

Seagate working on 16TB HDD

Apparently a 10TB spinning hard drive just isn't enough for some people so Seagate is getting a 16TB model ready. Now to be fair, it could be up to 18 months before Seagate gets these onto the store shelves, but in the meantime they've got a 12TB model that will be here sooner and hopefully keep people happy until the 16TB version is available. The SSD market has also seen the capacities increase (Seagate was showing of a 60TB SSD drive, but the prices are crazy high and a cost-per-TB comparison gives the old spinning hard drives the advantage for cheap storage space that doesn't need to be accessed as fast. Techspot takes a closer look at what Seagate has up their sleeves.

Cloud-based storage is a popular alternative to maintaining local data backups or as part of a multi-location / off-site strategy, especially if you’re dealing with mission-critical data that’s irreplaceable. Others, however, prefer to keep their data within arm’s reach on high-capacity hard drives.

If you haven’t shopped around for hard drives in a while, you may be surprised at what’s out there. The largest 3.5-inch desktop hard drives currently available from Seagate, for example, offer a whopping 10TB of capacity for less than $500.

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