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IBM buys The Weather Channel

In a move that everyone saw coming, IBM has announced that they've purchased The Weather Channel. Ok, maybe not, I don't think anyone saw that coming but I guess IBM was feeling left out after all of the big acquisition announcements that have been happening over the last couple weeks. The real reason that IBM acquired The Weather Channel was for their cloud technology and sensors as they are currently handling 26 Billion inquiries a day through their weather apps and through their website, which makes the acquisition make more sense. MarketWatch has more on this announcement.

IBM Corp. on Wednesday confirmed the purchase of The Weather Company, which includes the Weather Channel and its related technology platforms and sensors, to enhance its cloud ecosystem. Terms of the deal, including the price, were not disclosed, but IBM said the purchase adds to the $3 billion investment IBM committed earlier this year to build out products and services in the Internet of Things. 

Microsoft Aces Antivirus Test

Microsoft's free antivirus program hasn't been ranked very well over the past couple years but apparently they've been working on it and in a new test by AV-Test Institute it actually managed a top ranking. No virus detector is perfect and of course common sense and a little bit of caution is always best in combination with a detector program. PCWorld takes a look at the exciting world of antivirus programs.

For years, Microsoft's antivirus has been the sad sack in antivirus tests. Several labs have taken to calling Microsoft's performance a baseline. If you can't beat the baseline, you're doing something wrong. That trend seems to be changing, though. In the latest test results reported by AV-Test Institute, Microsoft earned a respectable 14 points (out of a possible 18). That's a lot better than its previous score of 9.5 points; 10 points is the minimum to pass this test.

WTU Episode #332 - Everybody's Got a Price

We have just posted up Episode #332 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Dell buys EMC, Western Digital buys SanDisk, Twitter's CEO tries to buy Employee Happiness and $10 Buys You Ad-Free YouTube. Check out those stories and more at the links below.

Download Episode #332
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes! alt

Google Play Music Finally Opens Doors to Podcasters

If you live in the USA and are a podcaster, you'll be happy to know that Google is now willing and able to host your podcasts as an extension of the Google Play Music service. This is pretty awesome as podcasts are one thing that Google has really struggled with on their Android platform. They have opened this portal for content producers before the service goes live so that when it launches, it will already be full of content. If you live the USA, you can start uploading you content by visiting the link below.

To that end, today we’re launching a portal for podcasters to start uploading their shows to Google Play Music before we open up the service to listeners. Along with direct searches and browsing for podcasts, the service will connect new listeners with podcasts based on what they’re doing, how they’re feeling, or what they’re interested in. Similar to our contextual playlists for music, this will give podcast fans and new listeners a way of finding and listening to content that’s unique to Google Play Music.

Source: Official Android via Google Play Music


Facebook Goes 2G Tuesdays

If you work for Facebook, you'll be happy to know that they are killing the speed of their internal network - just for you. The reason they are going for 2G Tuesdays is because they want employees to know what it feels like to be connected to a slow network - like much of the world is. Things aren't LTE everywhere and it makes a difference in how you code if you have to load the pages over a slow connection. It's a good idea, but one that seems a little odd. Still, it will make them appreciate their 10GbE connection the rest of the week. On another note, there seems to be a flu-bug that suddenly crops up around the Facebook campus every Tuesday forcing employees to stay home.

For many in the US and other developed nations, it's easy to take for granted the faster 3G and 4G connections that give us seamless streaming video and easy Internet access. Facebook said people living in underdeveloped countries are coming online at "a staggering rate" using much slower 2G connections, which can take up to two minutes to download a single Web page.

Source: CNET

LG Offers 200GB microSD, Extra Battery & Cradle

If you're on the fence and don't have a lot of brand loyalty to Samsung, Apple or another major player, LG is hoping they have an offer you can't refuse. They are offering a 200GB microSD card, 3,000mAh battery and a charging cradle with their new V10 flagship device. The device is no slouch all by itself as it boasts some pretty impressive hardware. Still, when you offer a few of these extras, it might just be enough for someone to give Lucky Goldstar a try.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor
  • 5.7-inch QHD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 513ppi) and 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display (160 x 1040 / 513ppi)
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM / 64GB eMMC ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)
  • 16MP rear camera with F1.8 Aperture / OIS 2.0 with 5MP front-facing dual lens
  • 3,000mAh (removable)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / USB 2.0


Source: Neowin via LG

Everything in the Future Could be Made of Ants

Ants are pretty impressive little critters. Not only do they taste great when covered in chocolate, they apparently can be used as shock-absorbers, semi-conductors and a lot more. That's right. Ants. The bugs. This doesn't bode well for Flick, but for many of us that would rather not have giant ants become our ungrateful overloards, it's not a bad thing. It's also a renewable resource. Think about it. Seriously.

Your future windows, walls, and possibly boats will be made of ants — or at least of an ant-like substance. New research shows why ants classify as both a solid and a liquid, and why they’d make the best self-repairing building material.


Source: Gizmodo

Halo 5 Guardians Review In Progress

Halo 5 officially launches here in a couple of hours (at the time of this writing) and ShackNews has been hot on the heals of Master Chief and has been playing through Halo 5 for a while now. They have compiled their initial thoughts and have some video footage of the game. There are spoilers in the video below, so if you are thinking about playing through the game - and want it to be a surprise, make sure you skip the video. It looks amazing though! I can't wait.

I've been critical of the story in Halo games, mostly because its generous dollops of space-magic and lore has overshadowed its characters. Halo 5: Guardians addresses this head-on by putting the focus on individuals and relationships. Master Chief's decision to go AWOL is motivated by his care for Cortana, a relationship that has been built slowly over the course of four games.

Source: ShackNews

Steve Jobs Movie Bombs at Box Office

It's been a few years since the egocentric Steve Jobs passed away, and since then there have been multitudes of people trying to cash in on the fame and notoriety of the co-founder of Apple. There have been lots of books and a couple of movies made of his life - the first, starring Ashton Kutcher, and the latest staring Michael Fassbender. While it may be a "brilliant" movie (Fassbender is British), the public doesn't care anymore and the movie debuted with a resounding thud. Much like the Apple Lisa, Newton and the lesser-know Pippin.

In contrast, Jobs, his genius for design and demanding personality, have all been thoroughly picked over. There’s the Walter Isaacson biography that formed the basis for the Sorkin picture, the Kutcher biopic, and endless profiles and think pieces. Steve Jobs is many things, but he is not an unknown commodity.

Source: Variety

InFocus Kangaroo is a $99 Windows 10 PC With a Battery

There are a growing number of Windows 10 PCs on the market and they are starting to get pretty decent. The first of these were pretty weak and didn't have a lot of features, but the $99 Kangaroo from InFocus is pretty sweet - especially for $99. Hardware wise, it packs in an Atom x5-Z8500 CPU, Gen8 Intel Graphics, 2GB DDR3, 32GB internal storage as well as supporting MicroSD cards. Security is handled by a fingerprint reader and it has 802.11ac WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.0.

We've reviewed our fair share of mini PCs and while a majority of these devices offer similar specifications at a fair price, they don't really tend to have defining features that allow them to differentiate themselves amongst the pack. That's where the InFocus Kangaroo mini PC comes into play as it offers expandability and true portability.

Source: Neowin

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