ZTE Grand X 4 Smartphone

Tenda PH3 AV1000 Powerline Kit
Tenda AV1000 Powerline Kit

ROCCAT Sova Lapboard

Exploding Kittens - App Pick
App Pick - Exploding Kittens

AMD Ryzen Will Dominate PC Gaming

AMD's Ryzen CPU line-up is getting some interesting leaks that suggest even their high-end premium part will retail for about $320 - only $680 less than Intel's equivalent - if leaked benchmarks are to be believed. As much as I hesitate to believe leaked benchmarks, I am willing to bet money that they are pretty close to what we are going to see on the finished silicon. If not, this would be devastating for AMD as the hype would quickly turn into a mob mentality as we are all hoping for somethng to challenge Intel. Mainstream CPUs get even more interesting.

But it's Ryzen 5 where things get interesting for gamers - there we see a mixture of six-core/12-thread and four-core/eight-thread processors for Core i5 money. This is the gamer's heartland, and the arrival of a well-priced six-core CPU that can compete with Intel is significant for reasons we'll go into shortly.

Source: Eurogamer

Apple + Android = 99.6%

New Smartphone sales numbers are out, and just like we suspected, it's either Apple's iOS or Google's Android that are on the majority of them. Apple and Android combined equaled 99.6% of all smartphones in Q4 of 2016, Microsoft came in 3rd with 0.3%. Android of course was #1 thanks to 81.7% of smartphones sold in Q4 running their operating system and Apple was 2nd with 17.9%, For more details on what kind of smartphones people are buying check out the new stats courtesy of Gartner.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 7 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. The fourth quarter of 2016 saw Apple leapfrog past Samsung to secure the No. 1 global smartphone vendor position (see Table 1).

In 2016 overall, smartphone sales to end users totaled nearly 1.5 billion units, an increase of 5 percent from 2015 

Weekly Tech Update #390 - Twitter: Basically a Dumpster Fire

We have just posted up Episode #389 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Vizio doesn’t care about your privacy, Google steps up their privacy and Facebook pulls VR demos as people don’t care about it anymore. We have those stories and more at the links below...


Download Episode #390
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

Valve isn't sure about VR

There are quite a few big names in tech who are "all in" on the VR bandwagon. Valve's CEO Gabe Newell doesn't appear to be one of them. Valve (owners of the digital content distribution platform Steam) is part of the VR market by offering software their their service, however, they are also "pretty comfortable with the idea that it will turn out to be a complete failure". Guys like Mark Zuckerburg, who has invested billions, will probably disagree, but the fact that in the past couple years neither the killer app or the somewhat affordable hardware solution hasn't surfaced makes one wonder about the future of VR.  CNET has the full story.

Gabe Newell, CEO of game developer Valve, says he's not going to lose any sleep if VR doesn't take off.

"We're optimistic. We think VR is going to be great," Newell stated in an interview with Polygon. "We're also pretty comfortable with the idea that it will turn out to be a complete failure."

Dear Verizon, Sorry we got hacked... - Yahoo

Quick Recap: Verizon offers $4.83 Billion to buy Yahoo. Yahoo shortly after has to disclose that they got hacked twice and may have lost close to a billion user accounts information. Verizon of course isn't super excited about that and wants a discount. Yahoo and Verizon reportedly are close to a "revised" deal that could see between a $250 to $350 million dollar discount.

Of course neither party is commenting on this new deal at the time but it isn't to surprising that Verizon would be wanting a deal and it is far less than the rumored $1 Billion dollars that Verizon was rumored to be asking the price to be dropped.  The deal doesn't appear to be finalized yet so there is still the potential that things change or fall apart but it could be getting close to finally being done and closing the door on this long and drawn out saga for Yahoo. Reuters has more on the story.

Since last year, Verizon had been trying to persuade Yahoo to amend the terms of the acquisition agreement to reflect the economic damage from two cyber attacks. A source told Reuters that the deal, which could come as soon as this week, will entail Verizon and Yahoo sharing the liability from potential lawsuits related to the data breaches.

Another person familiar with the situation said the price cut was likely to be around $250 million, a figure that Bloomberg reported earlier on Wednesday.

A representative from Verizon declined to comment. Yahoo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Damson Cisor Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker

We have just posted our review of the Damson Cisor Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker. The Cisor is basically a Bluetooth driver that vibrates a solid surface of your choice in order to produce sound. It's a simple concept that has been tried by many and mastered by few. Take a look at our review and see which side of the scales the Cisor sits on.

The concept is simple. You have a powerful driver that, while not loud on its own, passes vibration on to whatever surface you stick it against, turning the larger surface into a large speaker. Obviously different surfaces vibrate at different rates, and thus will sound different. But when you find that proper surface (think solid wood or thicker metal), man oh man! You’ve got yourself a party.

Damson Cisor

Forza is a Billion Dollar Success for Microsoft

Microsoft has been doing well with their Forza franchise and while it may not have all the glitz and glamor that adorns Sony's Gran Turismo, a billion dollars says that it's a great franchise. While there will always be haters, I prefer Forza over the likes of Project Cars, Test Drive, Driveclub and others. Is there any stopping Microsoft on the track? I doubt it - this year anyhow.

Although in truth, Microsoft partly has Sony to thank for Forza's success. While Gran Turismo once ruled the racing roost, the franchise has since stalled, with the series' last entry being 2013's Gran Turismo 6 on PS3. Microsoft executives must have been rubbing their hands in glee, as the lack of Gran Turismo has undoubtedly helped Forza to gain significant mindshare over its absentee competition.

Source: Engadget

HPs Security Commercials Feature Christian Slater

HP has a lot of money behind their connected printers and they actually do a really good job with device integration and remote printing. The problem with any internet connected device is that it can be a security risk, but HP takes that seriously too. In fact, they "reinvent" security with their latest campaign and even throw the chops of Christian Slater behind it. If he says it's good, then it must be, right?

In the series, Slater systematically hacks a company - from the mailroom to the boardroom - through overlooked vulnerabilities and poorly secured printers and PCs. This first installment reinforces that security is no longer just the responsibility of the network or something at the perimeter, but it's a concern for everyone.


Source: HP

ASUS Takes Gaming Notebook Crown from MSI

ASUS and MSI have been battling for top spot when it comes to gaming notebooks and MSI has had a firm grip since they redesigned their units a few years back. ASUS has been pushing hard through and has been killing them on flashy design, features and performance. The end result is that ASUS sold 1.2 million units in 2016 while MSI shipped 800,000-ish. I still prefer the classy styling of MSI, but the numbers don't lie.

Currently, high-end gaming notebooks are priced at over US$1,799, mid-range models at US$1,499-1,799 and entry-level ones at US$1,000-1,399. However, Asustek, MSI, Lenovo and HP have launched entry-level gaming notebooks for sale at US$799-999 in the China and Southeast Asia markets.

Source: DigiTimes

Facebook Sucks Even More

If you needed another reason to hate Facebook more than you do, the latest update to their mobile application will not only auto-play videos, it will play them with sound. If you hate auto-play as much as I do, this may very well be the reason you stop using Facebook on the go. This is all part of their effort to force features on you that you don't want because they love you... That's right. It doesn't make sense.

The company hopes that by turning on sound automatically, it can keep more users engaged for longer with video content on its platform. For the past couple of years, Facebook has been transforming its social network into a destination for video, both recorded and live streamed. Video is now a core focus of the company, dominating how it invests resources into new features and controlling every facet of the main app’s design, from the camera to the share option.

Source: TheVerge

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