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Exploding Kittens - App Pick
App Pick - Exploding Kittens

Five States Introduce "Right to Repair" Bills

If you live in Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Massachusetts or New York and have ever experienced the issues of trying to get a device repaired either at an authorized repair place or with legitimate replacement parts, help is on the way. These five states have introduced “right to repair” bills which would give small repair shops, that are not termed “authorized”, the ability to get access to official parts and manuals needed to repair your device. These bills would also include large appliances and tractors.

The problem is that kiosk and other repair shops like it might be running afoul of the law. Apple doesn't have an "authorized repair" model for its iOS devices. The iPhone maker isn't alone in this. Other electronics manufacturers only offer repairs via their own stores or workshops. This means individuals and small companies don't have access to official parts or manuals.

Source: Engadget

New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

I try to stay away from political issues as much as possible, especially when talking with friends and family. This particular post will not share an opinion but hopefully will get you thinking about possibilities of things that could happen. Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai as the new Chairman of the FCC which comes to joy of the large industry companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. The appointment of Pai could pave the way for less restrictions and regulations on these companies but at the same time this could mean problems for consumers, consumer privacy and supporters of net neutrality. An example would be Verizon or Comcast being able to charge Netflix to stream its content over their networks. This could result in higher fees for consumers of Netflix as subscription prices may go up as a result of such charges by those companies.
Pai was appointed to the FCC by former President Obama.

“The president on Monday named FCC commissioner Ajit Pai to head the agency, which in 2015 adopted rules to preserve net neutrality. Pai, who replaces outgoing Chairman Tom Wheeler, a staunch defender of net neutrality, has already expressed a desire to dismantle those rules.”

Source: CNET

Weekly Tech Update #387 - Linux Outlasted 3D TV

We have just posted up Episode #387 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Nintendo forgets some features, Samsung finds the flaw in the Note 7 and 3D TV is dead. We have those stories and more at the links below...


Download Episode #387
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

Lavabit Secure Email is Back

There are not many good email services for us "common" people that offer real security. Protonmail is one of them, but Edward Snowden chose Lavabit for a reason. It's been down for a while, but is coming back and previous user information will be available. Users will be able to migrate their accounts to the new DIME standard for encryption. If you love privacy, this is not a bad thing at all.

Today, we start a new freedom journey and inaugurate the next-generation of email privacy and security. In 2014, with Kickstarter funding, I started the development of the Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME), a revolutionary end-to-end encrypted global standard and Magma, its associated DIME capable free and open source mail server.

Source: Lavabit

The Great Firewall Just Banned VPNs

It seems that China is stepping up their game and fortifying the "Great Firewall" with a declaration of more pointed crackdowns on VPN providers. China is big on their "Internet Sovereignty" and they want to further tighten things up with Trump now sitting in the Oval Office. It's unclear as to how these new rules will be implemented and enforced, but it's not a good time to try and watch Netflix in China.

A statement published on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Sunday said regulators will spend the next year “cleaning up” the Internet by taking aim at companies that provide virtual private networks, or VPNs, that allow people to access blocked sites, including the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Source: WashingtonPost

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

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