HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset
HyperX Cloud Stinger

SureCall EZ 4G

LG X-Power Smartphone

App Pick - The Room

Macbook Headphone Fail

Apple said it was "courageous" to pull the headphone jack on their iPhone 7 and give you a dongle to plug regular headphones into the lightning jack, but lightning headphones were so much better. They just released their Macbook Pro and in addition to NOT having a lightning connecot, the kill the USB port as well. Thankfully they included a standard headphone jack, but a dongle won't work if you want to plug in your shiny lightning headphones. Enjoy your dongle-fest. There will be a USB-C to Lightning dongle and you can plug that dongle into another dongle for more ding-dongle clutter. Thanks Apple.

This according to teardown house iFixit, which noted in its dissection report that the new MacBook Pro (the one model that doesn't have the Touch Bar) still uses a 3.5mm headphone jack, and does not contain a Lightning input.

Source: TheRegister

1.8 Billion Users Still Not on Windows 10

If you have not upgraded to Windows 10, you're not alone. Recent reports show that there are over 1.8 billion people still running Windows XP, 7 or 8 and still haven't made the switch. If Microsoft is really serious about people switching, they'll have to re-open the free upgrade program. Even then, there are a lot of people that won't change unless you break their arms. Which is an option according to Microsoft's Satya Nadala.

Redmond continues to drool over the 400 million users of Windows 10 accrued so far, but the fact is that growth in Windows 10 has almost completely stalled since it stopped being free in late July. In fact, the proportion of users is still lower than it was in August.

Source: TheInquirer

Puma Self-Lacing Shoes

I have no doubt that there is a lot of technology that is worked into shoes, but none more than the Puma Autodiscs. These shoes feature Bluetooth, charge wirelessly and will tighten either by a push of a button, or by the tap on your screen from the connected app. They really look quite normal when it comes down to it, and they perform like champs. I'm sure they'll cost more than you want to pay, but if you are going to live in the future, some things are worth it.

In my time wearing the Autodiscs, they felt very much like normal sneakers but with the added ability to wrap tighter around my feet. It was always satisfying whenever the laces were active on my feet. Combined with a high-pitched mechanical noise, these shoes feel as if they come from the future.

Source: Engadget

Google Update Speeds up Chrome on Windows

While 15% is nothing groundbreaking, a 15% boost in performance is always nice and will probably be noticeable. Many times, performance improvements are theoretical only, but the code tweaks that Google has done on their browser actually make some real-world difference. Thanks to Micorosoft Visual Studios tools, Google has made your browsing life a little less painful.

Starting with the Chrome 53 release of 64-bit Chrome and version 54 of the 32-bit version, Google started using Microsoft’s so-called Profile Guided Optimization technology to speed up startup times (by 17 percent), new tab page load times (by almost 15 percent), and overall page load times (by 6 percent) in Chrome.

Source: TechCrunch

Hot Ice - DIY

Science is amazing. I've always been fascinated with science and here's just another reason why. You can actually make hot ice at home - if you have a little time and a bit of patience. Enjoy!


Surface Book Firmware Update

If you've snagged yourself a Surface Book and have been waiting on a firmware update to fix a few things, you're in luck. The latest firmware from Microsoft fixed quite a few things and improved features as well. There are a lot of other Surface clones on the market these days, and while some may be as good as the Microsoft original, if I was shopping for a new Ultraportable, my money would be on the Surface for sure.

Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be any updates for the Surface Pro 4. Firmware for Microsoft's high-end tablet is typically released in parallel with the Book, although it would appear that that is not the case this time, or the company simply hasn't updated the Update History page for the Pro 4 yet, which seems likely, given Microsoft's continuing struggle to post details of its updates in a timely fashion.

Source: Neowin

Microsoft announced $299 VR headsets

Microsoft has announced this week that they are jumping into the VR market. Pretty much every week some new player enters the market, but when it is a big company like Microsoft people get a little more interested. Basically what we know is the price tag is going to be $299 and feature "inside-out tracking" which is a different approach than the other big guys like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are using. Already Microsoft is listing HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer as partners, which pretty much takes care of all the biggest PC makers. Of all the recent announcements on VR, this one seems like it might actually make an impact of the market. The Verge has the full story.

Microsoft’s partners will ship a new line of virtual reality headsets to take advantage of Windows 10’s VR and holographic capabilities. At today’s event, Microsoft said that the headsets will start at $299 and will include inside-out tracking sensors, obviating the need for external cameras or laser systems like those on the current Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer are all listed as partners.

MacBook Pro

The new updated MacBook Pro has been announced and here is what we know:

1. Only USB-C ports, no regular USB ports. If you'd like to plug your iPhone into your MacBook you'll need a $25 dongle.

2. The headphone jack is still there, people seem to be very happy about that.

3. Apple has changed the charging cable for the MacBook, no more MagSafe port (the cool magnetic charging cable) and are going with a USB Type-C cable instead.

4. The new Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard has people excited.

I think that highlights the headlines the new MacBook has been making, NetworkWorld has more on the release over here.

Apple didn't kill the 3.5mm headphone jack on its new lineup of MacBook Pros, but new design changes to Apple's revamped notebook lineup will undoubtedly irk many customers.

Sure, the new Touch Bar looks amazing, and sure, the specs on the new MacBook Pro models certainly warrant getting excited about, but the port situation on the MacBook Pro is a mixed bag.

Amazon Echo Dot 2

Amazon has updated their Echo Dot offering and its now almost half the cost with more features. The big price drop (now ~$50 USD) probably has something to do with the soon to be released Google Home products, but the Echo Dot v.2 is still a great product at a great price. CNET takes a closer look over here.

Not that it needed much help. The original Echo Dot, launched just last March as a pint-sized follow-up to the surprise smash-hit Amazon Echo smart speaker, was by all accounts just as successful as its predecessor. It sold out quicker than even Amazon had anticipated and won rave reviews, including an Editors' Choice distinction here on CNET.

Microsoft will pay you $650 to ditch your MacBook

The new Microsoft Surface Book and Surface Pro have been announced and people are actually excited about a Microsoft product once again. Microsoft is obviously trying to target the graphic designer market and is taking things even further offering you $650 to ditch your MacBook and move to one of their new products. It'll be interesting to see how many take Microsoft up on this offer but so far it seems that there are features that graphic designers are excited about and might just be enough to get them to change over. CNET has the full story.

If Apple's MacBook updates on Thursday aren't good enough for you, Microsoft has an alternative.

The Windows maker will offer up to $650 for anyone in the US who "trades up" a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air for a Surface Book or a Surface Pro at a Microsoft Store or Microsoft.com starting Thursday, Brian Hall, corporate vice president of marketing for Microsoft devices, said in an interview.

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