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App Pick - Smart Measure

Another Mac Security Flaw

There is another security flaw that affects most Mac computers at-risk while in their sleep state. This issue is especially dangerous as it affects the computer at the EFI Firmware level. If you have a brand-new Mac, you should be okay, but if you have one older than a year you could be affected. At this point their is no solution, but Apple has been alerted to this issue.

Everyday users shouldn't worry too much about this specific hack since it's a complicated process that would probably be more suitable for a high-risk/high-reward hack. However, computer security workers within companies that have valuable data that could cripple the company if manipulated or removed should be aware of the vulnerability.

Source: Neowin

Apple Streaming Music to Launch Monday

If the CEO of Sony is to be believed on the subject, it appears that Apple will be launching their own streaming music service today. There are a ton of streaming music services already, but after Apple acquired Beats, the move for Apple themselves to enter the game was undeniable. The day has arrived and it looks like it will not even be trying to compete with the likes of Google. (IMHO) Time will tell if a lot of Apple users will move to this model, or continue to buy only the music they actually want.

A highlight of that career was a 37-year partnership with iconic producer Jimmy Iovine, who now is running Apple’s music services after the company paid $3 billion to acquire Beats. Underscoring Iovine’s role in the music industry, Morris said he still talks to him twice every day by phone. Morris said the move by Apple to bring in Iovine was a brilliant one.

Source: VentueBeat

Double Barreled 1911 Pistol - Quad Wield

I know that you're thinking akimbo or dual-wielding a couple of handguns is a pretty good time, but Jerry takes it up a notch and dual-wields with each hand. That's right 4x .45ACP being thrown downrange and it's pretty cool. I had the privilege of renting one of these for an afternoon a while back and it was interesting for sure.

 

No so much the year of Apple Pay

Remember back in January when Tim Cook of Apple declared 2015 the year of Apple Pay? As we are approaching the middle of 2015, it appears that Apple Pay might not be taking the world by storm like Apple was hoping (they said that half of the top 100 companies were going to join this year). So far it seems that lack of customer demand and lack of access to data has made Apple Pay a no-go for many top companies and not many of them even have plans of adopting it in the future at this point. There are other 'mobile wallet' platforms out there as well, however, according to one online survey they account for less than 4% of in-store transactions. Reuters takes a closer look at Apple Pay.

In a January earnings call with investors, Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook made a confident prediction: "2015 will be the year of Apple Pay," he said.

Since then, the company has aggressively courted retailers - and claimed significant success. "We've spoken to all of the top 100 merchants in the U.S., and about half will accept Apple Pay this year, with many more the following year," a company spokesperson recently told Reuters.

But interviews with analysts, merchants and others suggest that Apple's forecast may be too optimistic and that many retailers remain skeptical about the payment system.

The Steam Machines are almost here

Steam has been talking about their very own Steam Machines for years now but it looks like we are finally going to be able to get them. Alienware and Cyberpower are the first two to allow you to order them for October delivery (or November delivery if you want the official Steam controller to be shipped with them). Alienware is selling theirs for $449 USD and Cyberpower is coming in at $499. The hype behind the Steam Machines has died down since they were introduced in 2013 and the price tag is going to be a bit higher than other current generation consoles so it should be very interesting to see how they sell. The BBC has more on the story over here.

PC makers Alienware and Cyberpower have both announced machines that will be sent out to buyers in October.

Several Steam Machines will be out this year, an attempt by games publisher Valve to compete with consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation.

Many analysts are not convinced it poses a threat to those well-established brands.

Steam is a hugely popular gaming platform and shop for the PC market. In September 2013, owner Valve announced it was to work with manufacturers to develop Steam Machines in the hope it would encourage PC gaming in the living room - a domain all but sewn up by consoles.

World Video Game Hall of Fame

It's probably not too surprising that someone decided to start a 'World Video Game Hall of Fame' and finding games to be inducted isn't going to be all that tough as there are probably a group of 30 games that would be deserving. The 'experts' have narrowed it down to 6 for the first group every to be inducted and we've got:

  1. Pong.
  2. Pac-Man.
  3. Tetris.
  4. ​Super Mario Bros.
  5. Doom.
  6. World of Warcraft.

While it's pretty tough to argue that any of those 6 don't deserve to be recognized, here are the 9 other finalists that will have to wait until next year:

  1. The Oregon Trail.
  2. Space Invaders.
  3. FIFA.​
  4. Angry Birds.
  5. The Legend of Zelda.
  6. Minecraft.
  7. Pokemon.
  8. The Sims.
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog.

CBC has more on the first group to be inducted.

People like the Galaxy Note 4

The iPhone has normally done very well in the customer satisfaction department and their devices usually top the list each year. This year a new device tops the list, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Samsung has a few devices at the top of the list as the Note 3 and the Galaxy S5 both scored very well in overall user satisfaction. Most of the top devices are all pretty expensive devices so the fact that people are satisfied with them is probably a good thing or maybe it's a case of 'I just spend $800 bucks on this phone so I don't want to say anything bad about it', who knows? BGR has all the charts and the numbers over here.

Over the years though, there is one Samsung smartphone series that has led instead of followed. And as it turns out, the latest version of that groundbreaking smartphone has just topped Apple’s latest iPhones in one of the largest and most respected consumer satisfaction studies in the world.

GameStop to Buy Geeknet (Think Geek)

There was a lot of speculation that Hot Topic was in the running to acquire ThinkGeek and it's parent subsidiary Geeknet, Inc. The actual buyer was actually GameStop. This is interesting as GameStop has been struggling to stay relevant in the world of DLC. Maybe this will help them keep their brick-and-mortar stores open, but this could actually be the end of ThinkGeek. Hopefully both survive and thrive.

Paul Raines, chief executive officer of GameStop, stated, “This acquisition creates value to all stakeholders involved. The addition of Geeknet is an important expansion of our global multi channel platform and we are excited to leverage their product development expertise to broaden our product offering in the fast-growing collectibles category and deepen relationships with our existing customer base.”

Source: GameStop

Photo Storage is All About Trust

Last week, Google launched a new photo service that builds off their pre-existing Google+ Photos but dropping the Google+ requirement. They also will give you unlimited "large file" storage of all your files - forever - for free (or so they claim). The big thing though is that committing your memories to anyone requires trust. Google is in a battle against OneDrive primarily, but there are others in the running as well. The big question is: "Who do you trust?" or maybe "Who do you not trust the least?".

It's a serious effort, and Google deserves credit for it — but it hasn’t convinced everyone. After the announcement, The Verge's own Thomas Ricker was still unsure, in part because Google looks through every image you upload as part of its automatic scan, which is necessary to categorize the photos by content. There’s no way to opt out: it's central to the way Photos approaches organization, and the service doesn't make sense without it. At the same time, if you're using Photos to keep track of legal documents or more sensitive pictures, it's easy to see why that might make you nervous.

Source: TheVerge

Steam Refunds

Normally software in non-refundable. Games are usually final sale, but our beloved Steam is changing that. At this point, Steam is working on refunds that apply to DLC, In-Game Purchases, Pre-Purchased items, Steam Wallet and Bundles. Pretty much everything you buy on Steam will now be eligible for a refund for almost any reason. Hopefully this isn't abused, but if it stays as it is, it will really make companies step up their game provide quality content - or it will be returned. Good on Steam!

It doesn't matter. Valve will, upon request via help.steampowered.com, issue a refund for any reason, if the request is made within fourteen days of purchase, and the title has been played for less than two hours. There are more details below, but even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look.

Source: SteamPowered

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