Silicon Power A30 2TB

Silicon Power X20 32GB OTG

Noctua NH-U12S & NH-U14S

App Pick - Compass 360 Pro

Windows "Threshold" To Win Over Win7 Users

We found a little information lately that outlines Microsoft's marketing plan to win over Windows 7 users and get them to upgrade. While Windows 8.1 Update 1 was supposed to do this, it didn't bring back a real Start menu (the Start button doesn't count when it takes you to the same useless interface), the rumor is that Update 2 won't bring that feature either. In fact, Windows 9 (aka "Threshold") will be bringing a single SKU that has different options baked in. If you install it on a tablet, it will behave much differently that on a desktop. This is a good idea, but if Windows users have to wait another year for a usable desktop OS, they may just move a different direction and away from Microsoft.

Users running Threshold on a desktop/laptop will get a SKU, or version, that puts the Windows Desktop (for running Win32/legacy apps) front and center. Two-in-one devices, like the Lenovo Yoga or Surface Pro, will support switching between the Metro-Style mode and the Windowed mode, based on whether or not keyboards are connected or disconnected.

Source: ZDNet

Android App Pick #142 - SwiftKey

We have just posted up another Android App Pick of the Week and this week we get productive with SwiftKey. This is the best mobile keyboard on any platform and it's not absolutely free. Take a look and see all the ways you can customize it and how it adapts to your typing style, and then you'll understand why it's our App Pick of the Week!



MIcrosoft to Ditch Surface Brand

In a classic move to get a better brand image, it looks like Microsoft will be ditching the Surface brand for their phone line and going with "Nokia by Microsoft" instead. Their Surface Tablet line hasn't done all that well, so they want to capitalize on the Nokia brand which has been associated with quality for a long time. The thing is that no matter what you call a donkey, it's still a donkey.

Far more shocking is the claim that the company plans to ditch its Surface tablet brand completely, extending the Lumia brand to its own tablets instead. Nokia previously released a Lumia-branded tablet, the 2520, last year, but two brand in its tablet portfolio is one too many to efficiently manage, and the decision has apparently made to 'streamline' the range at the expense of the Surface brand.

Source: Neowin

Rare and Expensive Video Games

There are quite a few video games made in the past 20 years that weren't that popular and some that were wildly popular. It's interesting that some of these games - popular or not at the time - are now worth a bunch of money. One of the most expensive video games is "Birthday Mania" for the Atari 2600.

With only one verified copy in existence, "Birthday Mania" is one of the rarest games of all time. "Birthday Mania" allows players to play mini games consisting of popping balloons and blowing out candles. It also comes in a box that allows you to personalize it with a birthday message or name.

Source: BusinessInsider

Microsoft Smartwatching Coming in October?

It looks like Microsoft may be getting back into the Smartwatch game afterall. They tried this back a while and were really ahead of their time - much like Clippy. Their latest watch model is rumored to have 11 sensors and will likely be targeted toward the health market as that is a lot more sensors than many other devices and a watch that is basically a mirror of you phone screen really doesn't need that many sensors. Time will tell, but as Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak call wearable tech, this "Slave Jewelry" won't be available until October.



Source: Ubergizmo

MIT Develops Local Warming

If you want to be warm in a large cold room, turning up the heat is really not a very efficient way to get warm. You could put on another coat, or as the people at MIT have recently done, do something a little more interesting. "Local Warming" is the new  thing where a beam of heat and light is directed at you and follows you as you walk around a room. Think of this like a turrent in Portal - except without the bullets.

MIT’s system is rigged to the ceiling, like highly-efficient track lighting. Using a WiFi-enabled tracking system, the lights can sense when a human is present and will beam infrared heat down like a spotlight. “It’s almost like having a your personal sun,” says Carlo Ratti, a professor in the Senseable City Lab.

Source: Wired

Flaying (and crashing) a $1300 drone

The guys over Arstechnica have a new article up taking a look at the new DJI Phanton Vision+ $1300 drone. This drone is pretty fancy (as one would expect for $1300) and they share all the setup and their flying experiences. As the headline suggests, the end result is a crash, which is probably not what you want to think about when you dish out $1300 for your very own drone.

"This is easy!" I said, flying the expensive piece of equipment—on loan from DJI—around in a tight box. "And awesome!" I jammed the left stick forward and the drone rocketed skyward, shooting up to a hundred feet overhead without any apparent effort. Its little LEDs blinked happily at me as I rotated it around its central axis, surveying the neighborhood in stately fashion. As the machine turned, it beamed down 1080p video to my phone, showing me a Google Maps-eye view of myself standing in the driveway below.

Free Apps @ Amazon

Amazon is giving away 31 free Android Apps this week (~$100 worth of free stuff). They aren't even no-namers, included in the selection are, Sonic the Hedgehog, Accuweather Platinum, My Backup Pro, and a whole bunch more. If you are an Android user you'll probably want to check out the selection over here. The only catch is that if you don't have an Amazon device you'll have to install the Amazon App, which if you don't have already can be found over here.

Nest + Google = Data Sharing

Google bought Nest a few months ago for $3.2 Billion dollars in a move that had some people scratching their heads as to how Nest was worth that kinda money. Nest then made headlines by saying that they weren't becoming part of the "Google Machine" and that your info would not be shared. Apparently that might not have been the truth as it has now been reported that in fact there is some data sharing going on between the two companies (as one would expect after Google paid big bucks to buy our Nest). Users will have the option to opt out, but be default it appears like Nest has become a part of the Google machine. TechHive has the story.

Fish gotta fly. Birds gotta swim. Google has to buy smaller companies and change their products’ privacy policies so they can now share data with Google. It’s just the natural order of things, and now it’s happening with Nest.

Nest co-founder Matt Rogers posted to Nest’s official blog late Monday night to announce the company’s Nest Developer Program, a set of developer tools that will allow other products to securely integrate with Nest. Your Nest could trigger actions, like turning your lights on when you get home, and other products can also control the Nest. Your Jawbone UP24, for example, can alert your Nest thermostat to start heating your house when it detects that you’ve woken up.

Oculus Rift on a budget

The Oculus Rift and other VR devices are expensive and not readily available so Google has done something about that. Google has introduced "Cardboard" which is a VR device that is made of, yup you guessed it, cardboard. I'm sure the other VR developers aren't too amused by this device, but it seems like Google is actually somewhat serious seeing as they've released a software toolkit so you can make your own cardboard apps. If you don't believe me head on over to Google's Developer site and check it out for yourself.

Virtual reality has made exciting progress over the past several years. However, developing for VR still requires expensive, specialized hardware. Thinking about how to make VR accessible to more people, a group of VR enthusiasts at Google experimented with using a smartphone to drive VR experiences.

The result is Cardboard, a no-frills enclosure that transforms a phone into a basic VR headset, and the accompanying open software toolkit that makes writing VR software as simple as building a web or mobile app.

By making it easy and inexpensive to experiment with VR, we hope to encourage developers to build the next generation of immersive digital experiences and make them available to everyone.

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