Linksys EA7500 Router

Domotz Evaluation

ROCCAT Kiro Mouse
ROCCAT Kiro Mouse

App Pick - Planner 5D

Valve Banning Cheaters Via Phone Numbers

Let's start by getting this out of the way - cheater's suck. I have no sympathy for people who cheat and they get what they deserve. Valve thinks they need to be banned - not just based on user account or email, but phone number as well. At this point you don't HAVE to provide a phone number, but if you have - you won't be able to use it again - and you'll have to create a new Steam account with a new email address and say goodbye to your old library. That's rough - and I applaud their crackdown.

Kotaku notes that even though carriers tend to re-issue phone numbers, the chances of getting a nefarious Counter-Strike player's digits with a new phone and being wrongly banned yourself are pretty low. Beyond that, CS:GO's matchmaking forbids using a VOIP number, which rules out that loophole.

Source: Engadget via Kotaku

Best Battery Life on Android

Almost every mobile device is really limited by battery life - but there are some devices that stand out as being horrible and some are pretty fantastic. The interesting thing is that the devices with the best battery life are not usually high-end or expensive devices. They are mainstream or budge phones. There is a pretty comprehensive list of technology that makes battery life great - and it's not the fastest processors or the biggest screens - or even the biggest batteries for that matter.

Another one of the factors defining the battery life of a device relates to the screen. There are a few variables at play here: the screen size matters, so does the resolution, and the screen type as well. Along with the screen tech and the spectrum of brightness of the device, these factors influence how quickly the battery drains.

Source: XDA-Devolopers

Microsoft's $1 billion mistake

Microsoft's Xbox 360 was a very successful console - even though it was plagued with the "Red Ring of Death". Microsoft pushed design over function on the 360 and it caused some heat-related issues that were never really solved until the 360 "S" (Slim) was released in 2010. The mistake cost Microsoft $1 billion in repairs and console replacements as they extended the warranty of the console to an amazing 3 years in order to keep customers happy. Unfortunately, it wasn't cheap. More details on the whole process at the link below. It's an interested read.

Before selling the Xbox 360 to the public, Microsoft had run the console through various tests, from heat to longevity to cold to movement, and plenty of others. The Red Ring of Death problem was apparently something they didn't come across. It was only when consoles started coming in as returns that Microsoft began to see the scope of the issue.

Source: BusinessInsider

Apple loses a big shareholder

After announcing no so happy results this week, Apple stock has hit another snag as one of their large shareholders, billionaire Carl Icahn, sold 45.8 million shares which were worth a cool $4.8 Billion. Icahn had sold an addition 7 million last year but this sale has relieved him of all of his remaining shares in Apple. Thanks to all the "no so good" news this week Apple has seen their stock slide almost 7% which lowers their value by more than $50 Billion. Bloomberg has the full story.

Billionaire Carl Icahn, who first disclosed his stake in Apple Inc. almost three years ago, has sold out of his position because of concerns about the company’s relationship with China, the activist said Thursday.

“We no longer have a position in Apple,” Icahn told CNBC. Icahn sold most of his remaining stake in February, he said. “I got out because I’m worried about China.”

Amazon exceeds expectations

Amazon has made their investors very happy with a report that their Q1 results were 29% higher than last year and they raked in $29.1 Billion in revenue in the first 3 months of 2016. This good news sent Amazon stock up 12% and follows a very strong Q4 in 2015. Amazon seems to be on the upswing following some ups and downs over the past couple years. Re/Code has the full story.

Amazon stock soared more than 12 percent in after-market trading as the company posted first-quarter financial results that easily beat analyst expectations.

Amazon recorded a profit of $1.07 per share in the quarter on revenue $29.1 billion, which was a 29 percent increase over the same period last year. Analysts had estimated a profit of 58 cents a share on about $28 billion in revenue.

iTunes turns 13 (and still needs work)

iTunes is celebrating its 13th birthday. You'd think in 13 years Apple would have improved iTunes more than they have, but of course they haven't. Quartz has a history lesson on iTunes and why it's still awful.

Enter the iTunes Music Store, unveiled with a proud flourish by a beaming Steve Jobs. It was a digital jukebox, a music distribution game-changer, a record store to end all record stores—and it did, in fact, kill off a great number of those. The addition of the online store to the iTunes media player (which debuted in 2001) completely altered the way people bought, sold, and made music around the globe.

HTC to build the next Nexus?

HTC is rumored to have been tapped to be the next Nexus builder. The devices have been code named Marlin and Sailfish. No official announcement has been made but if the rumors are true it will be a bit boost for HTC. The also rumored release date for these devices is sometime this summer, which would make sense as that would go along with the Android N release. ArsTechnica has the full story.

The Nexus line has a long history of fish-inspired device code names, and these code names have an equally long history of leaking via rumors and AOSP commit comments. Today both Android Police and Evleaks are chiming in with details on the next Nexus phones.

The State of Cord-Cutting

We've talked many times over the last few years about cord-cutters, the people who cut the cord on their cable TV subscriptions and use other alternatives.

Some of the highlights include:

  • The average American now spends more time on home broadband (2.9 hours) vs watching TV (2.8 hours).
  • There are still 99.4 Million cable TV subscribers in the US.
  • 385,000 Americans canceled their cable subscription in 2015
  • The average monthly price of cable in the US is $100 (up 5%)
  • 37% of Americans stream Netflix on a weekly basis

Motherboard breaks down the numbers.

People have all sorts of reasons why they’re looking to cut the cord, whether it’s because they’re tired of paying upwards of $100 per month to the likes of Time Warner Cable or Comcast for cable, or that they feel they’re simply better served with a smattering of services like Netflix and Sling TV. Regardless of the motivation, there’s a lot of data to unpack.

Comcast buys DreamWorks

The Comcast/NBCUniversal empire has grown a little more thanks to the announcement that they have aquired DreamWorks Animation studios for a cool $4.1 Billion dollars. DreamWorks is slated to become part of the NBCUniversal film group, which makes sense. Comcast is of course the parent company thanks to their acquisition of NBCUniversal from GE back in 2011. Variety has the full story.

NBCUniversal has set a deal to buy DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion in cash.

The deal values DWA at $41 a share, a rich premium over the company’s recent trading levels. The total equity value of the deal including debt is $4.1 billion.

DreamWorks Animation will become part of NBCUniversal’s Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Chris Meledandri, head of Universal’s Illumination Entertainment animation wing, will oversee operations. The DWA brand will remain intact as an imprint.

WTU Episode #355 - Chrome OS Gets to (Google) Play

We have just posted up Episode #355 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Chrome OS adds Android Apps, Steam adds movies and Intel subtracts 12,000 employees. Check out those and lots more tech stories at the link below.


Download Episode #355
Show Notes
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--New-- Get it on Google Play! --New--

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