Linksys EA7500 Router

Domotz Evaluation

ROCCAT Kiro Mouse
ROCCAT Kiro Mouse

App Pick - myTuner FM Radio

Windows 10 Rocks Steam

While not everyone likes Windows 10, there are a very large number of gamers that have opted to be somewhat early adopters - or at least get in on the free upgrade so they can spend their money on games instead. According to Valve's Hardware Survey, over 42% of gamers are currently using Windows 10. That's a nice market share and it will only grow from there. Whatever Microsoft is doing with their mobile division, they have at least put their best foot forward with Windows 10.

Steam conducts a monthly survey to collect data about what kinds of computer hardware and software our customers are using. Participation in the survey is optional, and anonymous. The information gathered is incredibly helpful to us as we make decisions about what kinds of technology investments to make and products to offer.

Source: Steam

Microsoft Working to Push Out New Surface This Year

Last week on WeeklyTechUpdate #363 we talked about how Microsoft looked to be ending the Surface (non-Pro) line as there have been no major rumblings of a new piece of hardware coming down the line. In fact, it appears that Microsoft was just working at selling off old inventory and would probably end the standard Surface line as Intel has pulled out of the entry-level mobile chip market. Not much more than a week later, it appears that Microsoft is indeed working on releasing a new Surface product this year - and will have many more to follow. Thankfully, they haven't given up - yet.

While the silhouette is clearly a Surface-related placeholder, it's not clear if the device that will launch this year is a tablet, laptop, an accessory for existing devices, or something completely new. Recent rumors have suggested Microsoft may be preparing to launch a Surface-branded AIO later this year. DigiTimes reported earlier this week that Microsoft is planning a Surface AIO as an alternative to the Surface Book.

Source: TheVerge

11 Year Old Linksys Router Still Making Millions

Linksys has had some very popular products that performed flawlessly, and they in turn have had more than a few lemons. Back in the day, I had a WRT54GL - a Linux compatible 802.11g router that was one of the best routers I've ever owned. It spawned a whole host of DIY firmware communities and made this router sell like hotcakes. 11 years later, it still makes the company tons of money and it is still being manufactured and for sale. The funny thing is that there are much faster and cheaper routers available from Linksys - but the WRT54GL still sells - a lot of units.

Linksys would not release exact sales figures, but La Duca confirmed that it is still a "multi-million dollar SKU" each year. Linksys sells the WRT54GL for $69.99 on its website. In the UK you can find it at third-party retailers for about £40. At that price, Linksys would need to sell 28,576 each year to make $2 million in revenue. They probably sell more than that since it's available for $42.95 on Amazon, and La Duca didn't specify how many millions of dollars the product earns.

Source: ArsTechnica

UEFI Exploit Affects ThinkPads

If you're one of the millions of people that are running a ThinkPad laptop, keep reading. A "Zero Day" exploit has recently been discovered that manages to tunnel it's way in through the UEFI subsytem, bypass Windows security features and run and access scripts though the System Management Mode - and do a lot of damage. This exploit is called "ThinkPwn" as it currently affects ThinkPad laptops only. While it sounds bad, the exploit requires physical access to your computer, so at this point it will probably be somewhat easily contained. We'll try and keep you updated as more details emerge.

Lenovo says that the affected code is not in its own UEFI file, but in one provided by an independent BIOS vendor (IBV). The extent of the security concern is not yet known. At the moment, it is only known to affect Lenovo ThinkPad machines, but it is a real possibility that other vendors and PC manufacturers could also be affected. Lenovo itself says the issue could be “industry-wide”.

Source: WinBeta

Steam Controller - Six Months Later

The Steam Controller has been out for a while now and while it claims to have a lot of feautures and may in fact be a superior controller, I don't believe it's sold all that well. Some people really like it though as it offers a different take and more precision that what you can get from a dual analog-stick controller. There are some other good features as well - including gyro motion as well as a ton of configurations if you want to tweak up your controller to the max.

The growing list of "configs" for the controller has produced some surprising applications -- for example, you can play Street Fighter V strictly with motion controls. Serious Rocket League players have the Steam Controller grips programmed for acceleration/brake and triggers for drift/boost. Cities Skylines has moved into the living room for many people.

Source: Engadget

Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player

Panasonic has just announced they will be coming out with their 4K Blu-ray player this September at Best Buy and other select retail locations. As this is a "new" technology, the price tag is going to be a steep $699 USD at launch which might be even more than you paid for your 4K TV. Content will be limited as well but at least you'll be the first one on your block to have the new 4K Blu-ray player. 

Full press release from Panasonic can be found here.

The DMP-UB900 will be available for $699.00 at select retail locations including Best Buy Magnolia stores and shop.panasonic.com in the month of September.

As demand for 4K continues to expand, the new-generation DMP-UB900 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player offers a new video viewing experience for those who demand uncompromised quality in picture and sound.

Technologies from the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, the foundation of Blu-ray Disc Research & Development, are applied to Panasonic‘s original 4K High-Precision Chroma Processor. 4K image color signals (4:2:0) are interpolated into 4K (4:4:4) by a multi-tap chroma process for natural textures and depth.

Android N is now Android Nougat

Google has finally announced what Android N stands for, it's officially now Android Nougat. Google hadn't thought things through when they started naming their releases after food products and probably wasn't thinking they'd still be naming products after dessert foods years later and coming up with a name that starts with N proved to be tough. Hopefully they've started to think about what food starts with O. The Verge has the story.

Nougat is the latest dessert-themed version of Android, due out later this summer. The release, initially announced in March and currently on its second (and mostly stable) beta, brings new features like an improved notification shade and split-screen multitasking to the mobile OS, while also improving on features like Doze that came with Marshmallow last year. The release also has Daydream, Google's new VR platform, baked in, though it'll only be supported by Daydream-ready handsets running the OS.

Dell exits Android market

Dell has noticed that the Android tablet market is a tough place to compete and has now announced that they will no longer be producing Android tablets but rather focusing on making Windows 2-in-1 tablet products. Dell has never been a big player in the Android market so a move like this is probably actually quite smart thanks to everyone and their dog building Android tablets. ArsTechnica has more on this story.

There's a lot of competition and not a lot of profit in the Android ecosystem, so it's not exactly surprising to hear that Dell plans to exit the Android business in order to focus on its Windows PCs and convertibles. According to The Verge, the company will continue to honor warranties and service contracts for Venue Android tablets, but it will no longer sell or develop new hardware and will stop releasing software updates for current devices.

Apple patents camera blocker

Apple has just filed a patent for a smartphone camera blocker, which basically shuts down a phones camera using infrared signals which tells the phone/camera that it isn't allowed to film and/or take pictures in that area. Obviously there would be very easy ways to get around this problem (like not buy an Apple phone or block the infrared sensor) but as stupid as this sounds it would make going to a live event much more enjoyable than having your view blocked by some moron holding up an iPad trying to record the entire event. The BBC has the full story.

The patent describes a smartphone camera receiving coded infrared signals beamed from emitters in public places.

The handset could then offer on-screen information or disable the camera functionality to stop pictures being taken.

One technology journalist said the technology could frustrate consumers.

AMD Radeon RX 480 - The King of the Budget Video Cards

AMD announced the Radeon RX 480 a few weeks ago and the promises of VR ready performance starting at $200 had people talking. The card is now available on store shelves (or at least was before it probably sold out) and it seems like AMD has delivered on their promises. If you are looking for a killer video card for a great price you might want to act quickly because the RX 480 is going to sell like crazy. Engadget takes a closer look over here at the new RX 480.

Instead of trying to build the biggest and most powerful video card on the market, AMD aimed at the low end with the Radeon RX 480. But that doesn't make it any less exciting than NVIDIA's recent powerhouse GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 GPUs. AMD's pitch for the RX 480 is simple: It's a $200 card that's VR ready. That's huge, especially since the current batch of GPUs that meet minimum VR specs cost around $350. I'll admit, I was skeptical when AMD announced the RX 480 at Computex last month. But after putting one through its paces over the past few days, I feel like Han Solo in The Force Awakens. It's true. All of it.

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