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Weekly Tech Update #387 - Linux Outlasted 3D TV

We have just posted up Episode #387 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Nintendo forgets some features, Samsung finds the flaw in the Note 7 and 3D TV is dead. We have those stories and more at the links below...


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Lavabit Secure Email is Back

There are not many good email services for us "common" people that offer real security. Protonmail is one of them, but Edward Snowden chose Lavabit for a reason. It's been down for a while, but is coming back and previous user information will be available. Users will be able to migrate their accounts to the new DIME standard for encryption. If you love privacy, this is not a bad thing at all.

Today, we start a new freedom journey and inaugurate the next-generation of email privacy and security. In 2014, with Kickstarter funding, I started the development of the Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME), a revolutionary end-to-end encrypted global standard and Magma, its associated DIME capable free and open source mail server.

Source: Lavabit

The Great Firewall Just Banned VPNs

It seems that China is stepping up their game and fortifying the "Great Firewall" with a declaration of more pointed crackdowns on VPN providers. China is big on their "Internet Sovereignty" and they want to further tighten things up with Trump now sitting in the Oval Office. It's unclear as to how these new rules will be implemented and enforced, but it's not a good time to try and watch Netflix in China.

A statement published on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Sunday said regulators will spend the next year “cleaning up” the Internet by taking aim at companies that provide virtual private networks, or VPNs, that allow people to access blocked sites, including the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Source: WashingtonPost

Galaxy Note8 is Coming

There was more than a little speculation that Samsung was going to drop the Galaxy Note title from their upcoming devices, but they are sticking with it. With all of the press and them owning their mistake, they've certainly been cleaning up public perception. In fact, Samsung just had their best quarter ever - despite the Galaxy Note 7 recall.

The Note 8 is being touted as "better, safer and very innovative". I've heard that "I" word way to much over the years when innovation was basically a higher resolution screen or camera. It will be interesting to see what Samsung can pull off to draw people back to the Note series of products. At this point, I've got high hopes that they can bring it back. The Note line has always been a great product.

Koh also confirmed today that its new Galaxy S8 will not launch at next month's Mobile World Congress industry expo in Barcelona, despite having unveiled its Galaxy S-series handsets at that event in recent years. Samsung could potentially hold back its Note8 launch too, allowing more time for the memory of its last fiery flagship to fade away.

Source: TheVerge, Neowin

Google Releases List of Play-Store Capable Chromebooks

If you've been thinking about getting a Chromebook and want to pick one that supports Google Play Store apps, Google has released their full list of Chromebooks that will have full support for the Google Play Store. The list is a lot bigger than I thought it would be, but my 2-year old Acer Chromebook is not on the list. That's not a deal-breaker for me, but it would be handy. Check out the full list that will be enabled in the coming weeks and months. It's interesting that every Chromebook launched in 2017 will support Google Play Store.

The Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases that will be able to install Android apps are listed below. While we won't be able to bring Android apps to every Chromebook ever made, we're continuing to evaluate more devices based on a range of factors, like processor type, GPU, and drivers. We'll update this list as new devices are added.

Source: Google

DART - World's Smallest Laptop Charger Review

We have just posted a quick look at the DART universal laptop charger. In addition to supporting pretty much every laptop known, the DART is also the world's smallest laptop charger. It packs 65W into a very small unit and offers good quality and it performs like a champ. There is one drawback though and you should read our review before you jump right into the DART.

If you're a road warrior - or you just need a replacement charger for your laptop, you know that many aftermarket chargers are bulky and quite expensive. The DART from Finsix helps address at least one of those issues by making the "World's Smallest Laptop Charger". I haven't searched the entire world to see if this is true, but the DART certainly is tiny, portable and comes with all the ends I need for my devices...


How Many Frames Per Second Can You See?

Every since the day of the Voodoo 2 graphic card, (and probably before) framerate has been a huge issue of debate amongst gamers. Since monitors have increased from their years at 60Hz, we can push higher framerates without visual tearing and things look admittedly nicer. With companies releasing monster graphics cards that can push decent framerates on 4k displays, running 300FPS on a single 1080p display is not unheard of. How many frames to you need and can you see though? This question is answered at the link below.

“Certainly 60 Hz is better than 30 Hz, demonstrably better,” Busey says. So that’s one internet claim quashed. And since we can perceive motion at a higher rate than we can a 60 Hz flickering light source, the level should be higher than that, but he won’t stand by a number. “Whether that plateaus at 120 Hz or whether you get an additional boost up to 180 Hz, I just don’t know.”

Source: PCGamer

Instant Tethering Coming to Android

Google has seen a way to streamline tethering between device that you own that are signed in with your Google account. The new 'Instant Tethering' feature will be rolling out fairly soon and will use a bluetooth connection to negotiate the pairing and when you drop connection on one device (say you run out of WiFi range), Google Play Service will ask if you want to tether to your other device that has a connection. It seems pretty nifty, but will be rolling out to limited devices at launch.

Instant Tethering links up devices that are associated with your Google account to make it easier to stay online when a connection drops. So, if one device loses connection, it can just ask if you want to tether to your other device—no additional setup necessary (uses Bluetooth to negotiate the connection). It even shows you the battery level of your other device.

Source: AndroidPolice

Jay-Z's Tidal May Have Not been All That Honest

There are a host of music streaming services these days and some have big-money backing them, and other's do not. Often when a big player throws their name behind a brand, it can really take off. That's what we were led to believe was happening with Tidal. They claimed over 3 million subscribers and were considered to be a roaring success. The truth is they have 1.2 million and aren't actually doing all that well. So what if they were off by 1.8 million. It's not like they were claiming 3.6 million users.

“In April 2016, one month after [a] press release issued by the company claiming three million members, Tidal made payments to the record labels for around 850,000 subscribers,” reads a translation of the report provided to Digital Music News. “The figure reported internally by Tidal in April is 1.2 million subscribers.”

Source: Fortune

Microsoft "Adaptive Shell" to Unify Windows

As much as I do enjoy Windows as an OS, there are a few quirks that make the experience different on different platforms. When using a tablet, the interface is slightly different that when using a desktop or laptop computer. I've been using the very nice HP Elite X3 phone and that has a different feel and experience as well - also the Xbox One - although based on Windows 10, is much different than the rest. The plan of "One Windows" is about ready to be revealed and this will put the same interface, and scalable performance, across all Microsoft platforms. At least that is the goal. It's a good goal.

While Windows 10 Mobile, for example, is best known for its standard smartphone user experience, higher-end handsets also support the PC-like Continuum mode, which requires a further interface for use on secondary displays, controlled by a mouse and keyboard. Upcoming enhancements to Continuum that Microsoft revealed in September - and which are expected in the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update this year - are said to be related to its CSHELL development efforts.

Source: Neowin

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