TrueFi
Sonarworks True-Fi


LG V30 Smartphone

P1 Power Sport Watch
P1 Power Sport Watch

NC50
NC50 Noise Canceling Earphones

Facebook drops 1 million users in North America

As Facebook works hard to try and change things so that "fake news" is harder to sneak by their censors, they also saw a decrease of 1 million users in North America in Q4 of 2017, going from 185 million daily users to 184 million daily users. The number of users isn't all that relevant as they've still got a massive user base, but it could be a signal that people are starting to find alternatives to get their social media fix. Facebook is playing it cool saying they were expecting a bit of decrease and that people's usage could go down but the time they do spend would be "more valuable". Usage numbers aside, Facebook did see their profits go up which should make the shareholders happy. The Verge has the full story.

Zuckerberg warned about the decreased usage earlier this month, saying it was an expected effect of the changes being made. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable,” he wrote. “And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.” Zuckerberg said changes started to be made in 2017, but that it will “take months” for it to be seen across all of the company’s products.

“In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society,” he said in a statement this afternoon. “We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content ... By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.”

GoPro exits drone business

GoPro has been a company that has been struggling and the Christmas season of 2017 saw their revenues drop 37% year over year and as a result they're making changes. Part of those changes is cutting 20% of their workforce and announcing they're exiting the drone market. GoPro had released their Karma drone a while back and just wasn't able to gain much traction in the crowded drone space and as a result is making a swift exit. Engadget takes a closer look at GoPro and their struggles.

The holidays were not kind to GoPro. The action camera company had already issued an earnings warning in January, dropping its projected Q4 revenues from $470 million to $340 million, that's a 37 percent year-over-year decline. The holidays were so dreadful, in fact, that GoPro has since decided to abandon its drone pursuits and a fifth of its workforce, roughly 300 positions. That said, the company did earn $1.18 billion in 2017, flat year-over-year, and the staff reductions did help drop GoPro's operating expenses by 30 percent, which left the company with $247 million in cash and marketable securities at the end of the year. That's $50 million more than it had on hand at the end of Q3.

Mushkin SWAP 32GB USB 3.1 Type-C Flash Drive

We have just posted a quick and simple review of the Mushkin SWAP 32GB USB 3.1 Type-C Flash Drive. This is a nifty little OTG-capable drive that has both USB Type-A and USB Type-C connectors and offers some pretty impressive read speeds for a very attractive price. The downside is that it doesn't write data nearly as fast. Take a look at our review to see if you can live with with the performance for the price.

In a perfect world there is a small OTG drive with lots of capacity and incredible read and write speeds. We don’t live in a perfect world yet, and in order to make this drive small and affordable, you have to give up some things. The only thing you’re giving up is write performance. Read performance is fantastic and the OTG function works perfect on the LG V30 (review upcoming) and my Samsung Galaxy S8...

SWAP

Weekly Tech Update #422 - Apple Pinky-Swears to Be Good

We have just posted up Episode #422 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing Apple's no-more-throttling promise, Google hates bad Apps and Whoopsies! We may have lost $400 Million worth of cryptocurrency. We have those stories and more at the links below...

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Google Took Down 700,000 Apps in 2017

In a perfect world, people create good applications that aren't malicious or harmful. In Apple's world, a LOT of vetting and scrutiny happen to applications before they are approved for the App Store - with many being rejected - not because they are bad - but because they are better than Apple's own Apps. In Google's world, Apps are more readily approved to the Play Store, and AI is used to pull bad Apps later. There is still a bit of a vetting process, but updates and other situations allow bad apps to get through. For instance, Google has pulled 700,000 bad apps in 2017 alone. That's both good and horrible at the same time. It's good that they are policing this somewhat, but super bad that almost three quarters of a million apps were available in the store and then later pulled because they were flawed.

Google has a tough job keeping its Play Store free from bad apps and malicious creators. From keeping those apps from ever making it onto the service, to removing them if they actually do make it through, the company has its hands full. But such is the life of a tech company servicing billions of Android users, and Google continues to refine its process.

Source: Neowin

HP Print Security - We Will Be There

HP has had their fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, but one thing they do take seriously is printer security. Before you laugh that off, think of the places that they are used - hospitals, government, financial and more. Combined with the fact that a printer is the original IoT device, this can become a pretty crazy thing. HP has released a couple of videos to demonstrate how big of a deal this can be - thanks to Christian Slater. HP is hosting a security conference next week in Toronto and we've been invited to be a part of the conference. This is YOUR chance to have a say and ask questions. If you want to ask HP a question regarding printer or other device security, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  (podcast (at) bcchardware (dot) com) and we'll evaluate and curate the best questions and present them next week in person - with accreditation to you! 

 

Hackers Stole $400 Million from Cryptocurrency Exchange

If you use a cryptocurrency exchange, you should really think long and hard about how much real money you invest in this artificial money. There is no doubt that people can get and have gotten rich from this latest craze, but there are drawbacks. One of these of course is also the greatest strength - it's untraceable. That means that it is a huge target for hackers and just recently another $400 million was stolen from Coincheck - a Crytocurrency exchange. That's a pretty big win for hackers, and a big loss for the exchange. I got to hand it to Coincheck though, they actually are covering the loss. The affected currency was not Bitcoin, it was called NEM, but the same principles apply. Be careful with your real money.

One of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has revealed that it’s lost nearly $400 million in a security breach. Coincheck says that it has restricted deposits and withdrawals for a cryptocurrency called NEM, and Bloomberg reports that 500 million NEM tokens have been sent from the company “illicitly,” and that it’s not sure how.

Source(s): TheVerge, Neowin

Acronis Offers Free Ransomware Protection

We've been fans of Acronis products for more than a little while now and often times the best part of a new SSD from ADATA is the initial joy that comes from Acronis True Image - the software required to move your old OS onto a speedy new SSD. Beyond that, Acronis released some great software last year at CES and we interviewed them at a later time and featured Acronis on WeeklyTechUpdate as their 2017 software included Ransomware protection. Fast forward another year and they now offer the same raonsomware protection for free - that's right, free. It is a standalone product now, but if you want more from Acronis, you can always get the full suite of software as well. 

Still, they are giving away their anti-ransomware software as a way to screw the morons that try and lock down your data (my words, not theirs). I love it. Go get it at the link below.

This solution can be used together with other data protection solutions already installed on the device, such as anti-virus and backup software (not just Acronis backup).

It monitors system processes in real-time to automatically detect and stop the attacks other solutions can’t. In event of a ransomware attack, Acronis Ransomware Protection blocks the malicious process and notifies the user with a popup. If any files were damaged in the attack, it facilitates the instant recovery of those affected files.

Source: Acronis

Apple to "fix" throttling in iOS 11.3

Good news Apple fans, in iOS 11.3 you'll get a fix to the throttling "problem" where as your battery ages your phone slows down. Now I'm being generous saying it's a "problem" because Apple did it to user unknowingly on purpose, but regardless, by Spring 2018 you'll finally have the option to turn that off and sacrifice battery life to maintain performance. Mashable has the story.

Apple just announced iOS 11.3 (available in beta today and public release this spring) with a boatload of new features worth getting excited about.

The most notable update is the addition of a controversial power management switch that will let iPhone users turn off any performance throttling. Oh, and there's also four new Animoji for the iPhone X. 

Weekly Tech Update #421 - (Almost) Everyone's Got Problems

We have just posted up Episode #421 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing why Intel's got problems, NVIDIA and OnePlus also have their share of problems, but Netflix has the opposite of a problem thanks to an influx of subscribers. We have those stories and more at the links below...

WTU

Download Episode #421
Show Notes
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