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Exploding Kittens - App Pick
App Pick - Exploding Kittens

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

Acronis True Image Next Generation

Acronis released its new premium subscription for True Image 2017 dubbed Acronis True Image Next Generation. Acronis Active Protection which was released for the WIndows version, scans for ransomware-like activity all the while the Next Generation feature prevents malicious changes to the MBR of your system. The new antivirus-like tech from Acronis has some other neat features to add but also adds to the price.

The product debuts Acronis Active Protection on the Windows edition. It’s a real-time behavioral monitoring system which looks for ransomware-like activity on your PC, detecting and blocking any attempted file encryption. Next Generation prevents malicious changes to your Master Boot Record, helping to keep you safe from some ransomware and assorted other threats.

Source: BetaNews

3D TV is dead

I always hesitate to claim any technology is dead, however, 3D TV is spiraling very quickly and will see LG and Sony drop support for it in 2017. Samsung dropped support back in 2016 and all three of the major companies I've mentioned held on longer than Vizio who dropped support back in 2013. No other major TV-makers released any new 3D  TV capable devices this year at CES. 

Will we ever see 3D TV again? It's not looking good, however, you never know when makers figure out a way to improve the technology enough to get people excited again, never is a long time! CNET has more on the seemingly close end of 3D TV.

It's been a walking corpse for the last couple of years, and now 3D TV finally looks dead.

LG and Sony, the last two major TV makers to support the 3D feature in their TVs, will stop doing so in 2017. None of their sets, not even high-end models such as their new OLED TVs, will be able to show 3D movies and TV shows.

Samsung dropped 3D support in 2016; Vizio hasn't offered it since 2013. Other smaller names, like Sharp, TCL and Hisense, also failed to announce any 3D-capable TVs at CES 2017.

No video streaming on the Nintendo Switch at launch

The Nintendo Switch at launch will apparently be missing a couple things, in particular, the ability to steam video from the big sites like Netflix or Hulu. They are saying that feature could be added later but the lack of support for Netflix and Hulu is a bit of a head-scratcher. Support for Wii and Wii U controllers will also be missing (but could be added later). Kotaku has a bunch of other questions that they asked Nintendo over here if you are on the fence about pre-ordering.

The Switch won’t have Netflix or any other video apps at launch, but it will have a Mii Maker app. No video capture, sad to say.

Last week, just after the Switch event, we sent Nintendo a bunch of questions about their new hardware, which launches on March 3. Today, Nintendo sent back responses. Here’s the full list, complete with Nintendo’s answers (and non-answers)

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