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Netflix to Get Ads Soon?

It appears that Netflix is starting to play some pre-roll ads on their site and while my initial reaction is a resounding NOOOO, I get it - sort of. While they require a paid subscription, over 36% of all internet traffic is Netflix and their storage and bandwidth bills have to pretty expensive. Upon further digging, it appears that they won't play "any third-party" ads and everything that you'll be spoonfed will be additional content from their site. It will be like a video version of the "Because you Watched..." with movie and show trailers. It's not all bad, but hopefully they allow you to skip ahead.

Since last week I've been testing the Intel Compute Stick, the quad-core Atom Z3735F Atom powered PC that's a little bigger than the size of an HDMI connector. In this article are some benchmarks of this $150 quad-core + 32GB eMMC + 2GB RAM tiny computer in a variety of benchmarks comparing it to other low-power x86 and ARMv7 hardware.

Source: CordCutterNews

Intel Compute Stick on Linux

The alternative OS guys have taken the Intel Compute Stick and jacked Ubuntu Linux on it for a run through the performance numbers. This little Quad-Core Atom box is not much bigger than a Chromecast (yes, it's bigger, but not much), and offers up 2GB of RAM in addition to 32GB of storage. The beauty of this little box is that it is x86 and comes with all the wireless radios you need to set up a fantastic streaming box.

Since last week I've been testing the Intel Compute Stick, the quad-core Atom Z3735F Atom powered PC that's a little bigger than the size of an HDMI connector. In this article are some benchmarks of this $150 quad-core + 32GB eMMC + 2GB RAM tiny computer in a variety of benchmarks comparing it to other low-power x86 and ARMv7 hardware.

Source: Phoronix

Nintendo's Next Console = Android Powered

If you believe everything you read on the internet, you'll soon find out that Google's Android OS may be powering the next Nintendo Console. I'm not sure I like that idea, but I guess the code base is there and new Android games are pretty impressive - and well, pretty. Gone are the days of the OUYA and the blocky 8-bit graphics that we left behind when our SEGA Genesis finally died. Still, I'm not sure that Nintendo is making the right move here.

We now might know a little more if, this rumor is true. An insider tells Nikkei that the NX’s “operating system is loaded with Android.” The same insider continued, “This would be able to speed up getting all game developers on board.” It would also mean that development could be expanded to smartphones, tablets, and other devices, this insider added.

Source: Kotaku

How Google Finally Got Design

According to one guys opinion, Google finally figured out software design and the guy was as surprised as I am. I get it though, Google has come a long way, but are they leading the curve? I'm not so sure as the interface on the new Windows Mobile platform is pretty solid - as in Windows 10. Still, their eye on anesthetics is great and this makes software better for all of us. Check out all the details and reasons why Android M is so much better than anything you've EVER seen before.

It would have been crazy to say just a few years ago. But today, Google produces better-designed software than any other tech behemoth. If you don’t believe that, then set down your Apple-flavored Kool-Aid. Take a cleansing breath, open your mind, and compare Android and iOS.

Source: FastCoDesign

ADATA HD710A Dust/Water/Shock-proof USB 3.0 HDD

We have just posted up our review of the ADATA HD710A Dustproof, Waterproof and Shockproof external hard drive. This drive is IP68 rated and we drown it to find out if they are telling the truth. After that we drop in over a dozen times to find out if it's as rugged as they claim. It lives and we find out how fast this $70 drive is - after it takes a beating. Check our review for all the details.

Anything that is abused will break eventually. ADATA claims that this drive has "Military-grade Shockproof Protection" and cites US Military MIL-STD-810G as their reference. Exploring this shows that the drop is a 4-foot drop onto 2-inch thick plywood laid over concrete and I can say from experience that this drive would survive that drop distance all day long. Before we dropped this drive, we did stick it in a tub of pretty nasty rainwater... and it survived.


NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti Launches as Solid 4K Gamer

The "problem" with 4K displays is that many current cards simply cannot game at full resolution. There are a lot of pixels to push at 4K and unless you could invest in a GTX Titan, you had to SLI or Crossfire a couple of cards to really be able to push your display. NVIDIA has answered the call with their latest card that just dropped over the weekend. This new GTX 980 Ti has 2,816 CUDA cores and 176 texture units - about 38% more than the current GTX 980. In addition to the extra power, there is also 2GB of extra GDDR5 that helps push all those textures. The best part? This crazy powerful card is MSRP'd at $500.

NVIDIA claims its memory bandwidth is also 50 percent faster than its predecessor, which makes a big difference when throwing huge textures around. Of course, the Titan X is an even faster option than the 980 Ti, but its high price makes it far out of reach for most, even hardcore gamers.

GTX 980 TI
(Image Courtesy Engadget)

Source: Engadget

Google Updates Chromecast for Gaming

Google has been working hard to stay current with their streaming stick, and this is really the best part about competition. Google has to do more - all companies do - in order to keep your business. The update coming for the Chromecast will make it easier for developers to work more closely with this platform. The idea is that your mobile device can become the controller and the content is displayed on the TV. That sounds like a great update to me!

Google said it will begin offering new capabilities that make it easy for developers to create more interactive apps that run on a smartphone, tablet or PC, and then wirelessly stream to its Chromecast device, which plugs in to a television. One example is with video games, whose developers can stream a game's visuals to a television and use mobile devices as controllers.

Source: CNET

Apple Watch Heart-rate Issue a "Feature"

Apple recently rolled up update 1.0.1 for the Apple Watch to address a few issues that users were having. The patch was to improve performance for Siri and it measured standing activity. Also included in the update was the ability to calculate calories for indoor cycling and rowing workouts. Other features of the 1.0.1 patch included distance and pace during outdoor walk and run workouts as well as better accessibility and support for 3rd party apps. No where in there does it say that it will cause the heart-rate monitor feature to work erractically. Don't worry, this is not a bug - it's a "feature". Thanks for that crApple.

Rather than admit that this was a bug introduced with the 1.0.1 update or give the standard response that it is “looking into the matter” (as was the case with the recent iPhone texting bug), Apple is doubling down and denying that this is an actual bug. In fact, it’s being called a “feature” of the Apple Watch.

Source: HotHardware

Windows 7 & 8 Users can now Reserve Their Copy of Windows 10

If you're a legitimate user of Windows 7 or Windows 8, Microsoft promised that you'd be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. The time has come as the public tech previews are getting closer to a full RTM build and now Microsoft will let you sign up for your free copy to replace you aging operating system. Microsoft is doing a lot right lately, and they have confirmed that there will be no charges for upgrading features, or service packs to Windows 10. After the first year of release however, the OS will set you back some money. It's only free for the first year.

This notification should not be a surprise, the company made it clear that they would be pushing Windows 10 aggressively, especially since it is a free upgrade for anyone with a valid Windows 7 or 8 license (excluding corporations), and this is the first step of many to make consumers aware of the OS. While it is not exactly clear why only some users are seeing this dialog, Twitter is showing widespread reports of users having the prompt show up on their desktop.

Source: Neowin

Woz Loves Whistleblower Snowden

The more I learn and here about Steve Wozniak, the more I like the guy. He's come out recently and said that he applauds the actions of NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden and calls him a "total hero". Edward is probably on the most-wanted list of many US politicians that have used the Patriot Act and other political avenues to spy on honest civilians on their home soil. Edward brought a lot of that to light and has turned a lot of the tech giants upside down and left them blubbering excuses as to why they installed root-kits on every hard drive they manufactured. I'm glad to see that Woz uses common sense and realizes that Americans aren't the enemy.

“Total hero to me; total hero,” Wozniak said. “Not necessarily [for] what he exposed, but the fact that he internally came from his own heart, his own belief in the United States Constitution, what democracy and freedom was about. And now a federal judge has said that NSA data collection was unconstitutional.”

Source: Yahoo

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