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Loon Baloon Crashes in Africa

If you think that having your internet crash is a bit of a pain, be thankful that you are not depending on Google's Project Loon just yet. As part of the testing process, there were a lot of these baloons deployed and not all of them were met with success. One didn't work out well over Africa and a sheep farmer discovered one of these crashed on his property. Thankfully, no sheep were harmed.

Botha didn’t know what to make of the balloon, especially since it contained several electronic components. His 20-year-old daughter, Sarita, was just as intrigued, and took photos of the balloon on her smartphone, sending them to her brothers John, 30, and Benny, 27. The brothers identified the words “Made in the USA” and “Google X” on the pictures, and so Googled “Google X” and balloons.

Source: WSJ

Nearly All Top 100 Apps Have Been Hacked

When it comes to getting Apps from sources other than the official markets, you're taking serious chances. Last year just over half of the Apps available on both iOS and Android platforms had been hacked, infected with malware and then released on less-than-reputable sites, and today those numbers climb up  to over 87%. That's not great news - if you like to pirate applications for your device. There are other apps affected of course, but the Top 100 are always the biggest target. PSA: Pay for what you get. It will be cheaper in the long run.

As a specialist in application protection, Arxan has an obvious vested interest in talking up the threat from poorly protected mobile apps. However, that's not to say it isn't onto something. The recent discovery of the WireLurker iOS malware provides evidence that the issue of tampered apps is a real and present danger.

Source: TheRegister

Destiny Trial & Demo

If you weren't a part of the beta demo for Destiny, you are still able to try out the demo - or a trial here right away. The good news is that the progress and characters you develop in either of these test versions will carry on into the full game if you decide to pull the trigger and pick one up. This is pretty cool and I'm glad to see more and more companies take this approach. It makes the decision a little easier and starting the full game a little less painful.

Beginning November 18th, 2014, players will be able to try Destiny for free via Trial or Demo. Both experiences offer a sampling of character creation and progression, story mission content, along with cooperative and social activities.
  • The Destiny Trial is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
  • The Destiny Demo is available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Source: Bungie

Xbox One Sales Catching PS4

Right off the bat, Jason Schneider stated that the Xbox One needed to be priced the same as the PS4 in order for it to compete in sales. Although Microsoft stated that they have a lot of extra value on their console (and rightly so) this didn't change the mind of consumers that had to shell out an extra $100 for the Xbox One. With the price now about the same, sales for Microsoft have really picked up and according to an EA executive, Microsoft is "quickly catching up". 

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's corporate vice president of devices and studios, said at the time that Xbox One sales had "skyrocketed" since a new price point took effect in the US on November 2. "Compared to the previous week, Xbox One sales in the US have more than tripled, he added. "As we head into the busy holiday season Xbox One led generation 8 console sales in the US for the past two weeks."

Source: CVG

Smash Bros. for Wii U Is All Kinds of Awesome

Nintendo has been looking for the "killer app" for their Wii U that will drive sales and if you believe everything you read about the new Super Smash Bros., they may just have struck gold. In time for the holidays, the latest installment in the Smash Bros. legacy arrives this Friday - a week before the infamous Black Friday sales next week and you can bet that you'll be able to pick up a Wii U & Smash Bros for a steal. What makes it so great? Tons of gameplay as well as some insane 8-player multiplayer action. If I can snag one of these for cheap, I may finally upgrade my console - to a Wii U. Really.

I can't believe I just said that.

The Wii U version of Smash Bros. is very similar to the version that launched on 3DS back in October. The series' portable debut was a surprisingly solid outing; but with its fast pace and huge stages, Smash Bros. isn’t necessarily the best fit for a handheld, and when you play on Wii U the difference is obvious — Smash Bros. can finally breathe again. Playing the game on a television feels like stretching your legs, as you can finally test the limits of a level without having to worry about the camera zooming out and characters shrinking down to minuscule proportions.

Source: TheVerge

Firefox Chooses... Yahoo?

After years of Firefox having Google as the default search engine, Mozilla has brokered a deal to use Yahoo for the next few years. Of course you can always specify what search engine you want, but many users just use "whatever comes in the box" and in this case, the contents of the box have changed. I'm not sure if this is a good move for Mozilla or not (in the long term), but I'm sure that Yahoo outbid Google, so for the next few years, they will have that money rolling in.

  • Under a new five-year strategic partnership announced today, Yahoo Search will become the default search experience for Firefox in the U.S.
  • Starting in December, Firefox users will be introduced to a new enhanced Yahoo Search experience that features a clean, modern interface that brings the best of the Web front and center.
  • Under this partnership, Yahoo will also support Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox.
  • Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia will continue to be built-in as alternate search options.

Source: Mozilla.org


An Update Is in Your Destiny

You might have already been psyched about the new update for Destiny but you will even be more so after reading this next bit. Hidden within the patch is some info on some new things to expect from upcoming DLC. On Reddit, user sgtfrankieboy has broken down a list of the upcoming additions and as you will see there is plethora of nice stuff!

The new destiny updates brings new stuff to the database! This includes 35 new Activities, 7 new Activity Types and around 230 new items! These items are related to the upcoming DLC expansion. Don't want to click on every single item? Try using the DTR tooltip extension for Chrome!

Source: Reddit

Smart Gift

If you've considered getting a smartwatch but think they all look ugly, you might be intrigued by this one. Intel recently debuted their new smart bacelet called the MICA or "My Intelligent Communications Accessory". This thing not only looks stylish, it also has an abundance of features. The price tag might keep most casual consumrers at bay though. At $450 retail, it's not cheap, but it does come with an AT&T SIM card with 2 years of service. The MICA will be coming to Barney's in time for Christmas and sold exclusively though this retailer.

“My Intelligent Communications Accessory (MICA), a collaboration between Opening Ceremony and Intel, celebrates what can happen when beauty meets intelligence. Meticulously designed for the stylish, connected woman and crafted from premium finishes, 18K gold coating and a curved sapphire glass touchscreen display. Engineered with Intel® technology, allowing you to easily view messages, your calendar, and alerts from your curated VIP contacts.

Source: Intel, Techcrunch

Super Duper

Are you getting tired of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook? There is a new social media app for android and iOS that might be up your alley and it is called Super. It is where you take a photo and add a caption that you try to make as witty as you can. It may not be the biggest thing on earth but it is worth a peek anyway and is created by Jelly Industries, the co-founder of Twitter.

Jelly Industries has launched another application. It’s called Super and it’s fun. We had fun building it, we have fun using it, and we hope you will have fun using it too. Super is available today for iOS and Android. I’ve decided not to come up with some slick and pithy marketing description for Super. I’m also not going to proclaim that it’s the most innovative thing ever or that it’s going to save the world. It’s not, it’s just fun.

Source: Medium

A Bit of an Auction

For those in the States you will be intrigued to know that there is a second series of auctions to sell seized Bitcoin from the Silk Road, an online criminal bazaar. This second auction is selling 50,000 Bitcoin belonging to the mastermind behind the bazaar, Dread Pirate Roberts. This part of the auction will be taking place on the 4th of December for over six hours. You must pre-register for the auction by the 1st to get your chance at picking up some of this coin.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service on Monday announced a second series of auctions to sell off thousands of bitcoins related to the seizure of the online criminal bazaar known as the Silk Road. The first auction, which took place in June, sold off bitcoins belonging to Silk Road, while the new auction will sell those belonging to the site’s mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, better known as "Dread Pirate Roberts."

Source: Gigaom

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