LG X-Power Smartphone

SureCall EZ 4G

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Kingston MobileLite G3/Pro

App Pick - Wheel of Fortune

Another Reason to Avoid Facebook

It's geting harder and harder to put up with Facebook for me - although the world usage is growing daily. If you already don't like Facebook here's another reason. They are testing out auto-play videos with audio. That's right. You'll be scrolling through your Facebook feed and video's will play - with sound. This is awesome so that everyone at work will have to stop using Facebook. Of course, they are doing this for our benefit. Thanks. I think I'll go delete my personal account now. FYI. This change is for mobile apps only - for now.

Facebook is testing a change to its main mobile apps that would have videos automatically start with the sound turned on, according to Mashable. The test, which appears to be active in Australia and may be ongoing in other countries, has Facebook video playing with sound so long as users have the volume on their smartphone turned on. In a similar test, some users are able to activate and deactivate the sound by tapping a small button in the corner of the video, similar to Twitter and Vine’s handling of videos with sound.

Source: TheVerge

Android 7 Drops - But Not For Phones

Google has been pushing hard with their latest OS update for mobile devices, but the interesting thing is that it hasn't quite landed on phones just yet. The Pixel C, Nexus Player, and Nexus 9 are getting the OTA update, but we'll be waiting a little bit longer to get it on our common mobile devices. In the meatime, keep checking for update. Maybe this time around they'll fix a lot of security issues.

After five months of developer betas, Google yesterday offered the final builds of Android 7.0 Nougat as OTA updates for Nexus devices. There was a time when the company would offer up factory images alongside a new release, but it would appear that those days are behind us.

Source: Neowin

Android 7 Rolls Out - No New Nexus Devices Yet

Normally, Google rolls out their new OS on a new device, but this year that apparently isn't the case. There are reports that Android 7.0 Nougat is already rolling out to Nexus users - and Google has yet to officially launch their new products. We do know that there will be two new Nexus devices at launch, but LG was the first to the punch with Android 7.0 and now Google is rolling it out to last generation devices before it lands on their new devices.

While Android 7.0 Nougat is rolling out now, the images aren't yet available on Google's list of Nexus Factory Images. Once they are, you can use them to flash Nougat onto your device, rather than waiting a couple weeks for the staged rollout. The new build will be available for the Nexus 5X, 6, 6P, 9, Player, and General Mobile 4G.

Source: Neowin

Sony Raises the Price on Free Games

Starting September 22, the price for PlayStation Plus membership is taking a bit of a climb. They are raising the price to $60USD/$70CAD a year and $25USD/$30CAD for three months. I know it will have some people debating on whether or not to keep their membership - but if you do - you get free games! (Look at that carrot!) I haven't heard of any of the free games this month, but take a look and maybe the price hike pill will be easier to swallow.

Starting on September 22, 2016, prices for PlayStation Plus memberships will change to $59.99 USD/ $69.99 CAD for twelve months and $24.99 USD/$29.99 CAD for three months. The monthly plan will change to $11.99 CAD in Canada, and remain $9.99 USD in the U.S. If you are a current member, the new prices will take effect if your membership renews on or after this date.

Source: PlayStationBlog

NASA Makes Contact with Bricked Spacecraft

NASA makes a few mistakes amid all their cool successes. Back in 2014, the were preparing to put a pair of spacecraft into a 1-year sleep cycle and were making sure they were ready to power down as they performed a few pre-operation tests. One of the tests on one spacecraft didn't go so well and STERO-B has been off the grid for a couple of years - until August 21. Thankfully, NASA never gave up and kept trying to make contact.

So NASA had decided to angle the antennas away from the Sun and put the STEREO spacecraft into a year-long safe mode until they could safely communicate with Earth again. To prepare for this, NASA put the two vehicles through a series of tests and resets to see if they would be ready for the repositioning and hibernation. STEREO-A performed just fine, but STEREO-B failed to send signals back to Earth after one of the planned resets.

Source: TheVerge

Iraq Built a Robot with Guns

Irag has put together a nice Roomba - but their version has guns and is designed to take out ISIS. I love the idea, but see so many ways that this could go wrong. Still, anything that keeps troops safe from the bad guys is not a bad thing. It looks like a cross between a Halo Warthog and a Humvee. I like it.

Since details about the robot are scarce, one has to wonder how often Iraq plans to use it and if the country's government is planning to build more. Elliot Zweig, deputy director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, shed some on the country's plans for it. He told DefenseOne that the video with Baghdad Post's story talks about how Iraq will deploy the robot to retake Mosul, a city in Northern Iraq that ISIS occupied in 2014.

Source: Engadget

Windows Phone and BlackBerry Facing Imminent Extinction

Things have been really rough from BlackBerry and Windows Phone over the past year. They've been fighting an uphill battle on an icy slope and have been losing. Many companies have been pulling support and therefor their Apps from Windows phone lately and the numbers tell the story. Q2 of 2015 showed Windows Phone with 2.5% market share BlackBerry 0.3% and since then things have gotten even worse. At the end of Q2 of 2016, Windows Phone now has 0.6% market share with BlackBerry 0.1%. That is basically extinction.

One interesting question to ponder is this -- with only two major players in the game, where will the needle come to rest? Right now the quarterly shipments are divided roughly 85 to 13 between Android and iOS respectively. But over the past year, Android has climbed four percentage points, while iOS dropped almost two points. I predict that in a year or so shipments will be nine to one in favor of Android.

Source: ZDNet

Google Kills Off Chrome Apps for Other OS Platforms

There have been more than a few issues running Chrome Apps on a Windows machine and Google is putting Chrome Apps out to pasture on Windows, MacOS and Linux. I've used a few of these Chrome Apps and for the most part are pretty handy, but with the development of Fuchsia, they are putting more eggs in their own basket.

According to Google, the company launched Chrome apps three years ago to bridge the gap between what could be done on the web and what could be done with a native application. Since then, APIs have been developed that allow web apps to do more, such as use push notifications.

Source: Neowin

New PS4 Slim Pictured (Maybe)

Now that the Xbox One S has launched and Sony has been relatively quiet, sales have been favoring Microsoft. Sony needs something to liven up the rumor mill and so there was an "unfortunate" leaked image of their PS4 slim that is coming early next month. There isn't confirmation if this is the PS4 4K version or if this is just a updated PS4 in order to make a few extra sales to fill the gap until the 4K unit ships.

The seller provided The Verge with some images of the console, which show off a slimmer version of the PS4, with rounded corners. Pictures of the packaging show that this particular model has a 500 GB hard drive, and it appears to be a European model. Posters at the gaming forum NeoGAF have also provided photos comparing this "slim" model with the original PS4.

Source: TheVerge, NeoGAF

Samsung's Milk Goes Bad

Back in 2014, Samsung lauched their "Milk" streaming music service in an attempt to knock Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music off the podium. Back then, we wondered why on earth Samsung - a hardware company - would get into software and services to this extent. Apparently, they've lost enough money to make them take a second look and after consideration, they are pulling the pin on Milk. They will pre-load their devices with other streaming software instead.

Milk Music was Samsung's Pandora-like entry into the streaming music world, launching in 2014 as an oddly-timed but well-designed platform exclusive to the company's devices. But they shut down its streaming video service last September a year after it went live and slowly scuttled the brand thereafter, like quietly renaming its Milk VR app to "Samsung VR" back in June.

Source: Engadget

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