P1 Power Sport Watch
P1 Power Sport Watch

NC50 Noise Canceling Earphones

Mushkin SWAP
Mushkin SWAP 32GB OTG

Super Mario Run
App Pick - Super Mario Run

iPhone X Sales Forecast Cut

Just in time for Christmas, analysts have hacked the forecast for iPhone X sales as the demand has been lukewarm at best. It appears that people aren't interested in over-priced phones that don't offer any new features other than software updates which animate emojis. The fact is, Apple has found the price point where people aren't willing to get the latest and the greatest technology. We knew there was a ceiling on what you could charge, but no one ever found out what it was - until now. Poor Apple. Maybe they should offer better quality at the very least.

Apple has been counting on a redesigned 10th anniversary iPhone to boost shipments as its market value advances toward $1 trillion. The Cupertino, California-based company is facing new challenges from Samsung Electronics Co., which is quickly recovering from the Galaxy Note 7’s recall after fires. In the meantime, Chinese brands such as Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are also luring away potential customers in China and other emerging markets such as India.

Source: Bloomberg

People Still Aren't Buying Smart Watches

Wearable tech is a hard sell and it's been a long road for companies that are starting out. In fact, even companies that have a big name in the business are struggling. Growth of the wearable market is forecast to be down to single digits (in percentages) in 2019 as there is just no reason to have an expensive piece of technology that does nothing new. While I like the idea of Smart Watches, I don't use mine often enough to go shopping for a new one. I have a Pebble Steel and a Martian Notifier. I love them, but not enough to buy them again.

"Other than early adopters, consumers have yet to find a reason to justify the cost of a smartwatch, which can sometimes cost as much as a smartphone," the eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu wrote in the report. "Instead, for this holiday season, we expect smart speakers to be the gift of choice for many tech enthusiasts, because of their lower price points."

Source: Business Insider

The Best Gadgets of 2017

2017 is all but gone and there have been some nifty gadgets make it to market this year. Some of these are almost life-changing and others are just plain fun. The list is pretty lean as it contains some pretty big-ticket items and is more of "Cool Tech of 2017". Still, there is some food for thought here.

After the flop that was the Wii U, Nintendo's Switch hybrid marks a bold step in a new direction. First-party games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey are among the best (if not the best) in their respective series, and developers have been keen to port more adult fare like Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to the new platform. Best of all, you don't need to be lounging in your living room to enjoy the Switch's surprisingly broad slate of year-one games.

Source: Engadget

The Year of Linux Desktop Still Hasn't Happened

Linux has come a long, long way since you had to manually recompile your kernel if you added new features or did a major update. In fact, you can use it for day-to-day tasks just fine and it will probably suit your needs as good as any Chromebook or Stream PC. The fact that we haven't seen the "Year of the Linux Desktop" is a problem that many say is all about fragmentation and diverse projects. Still, I'd like to see it become a more viable option. Dell thinks it's worth putting on some PCs, and that is a good thing.

So any who has read my blog posts probably know I am an optimist by nature. This isn’t just some kind of genetic disposition towards optimism, but also a philosophical belief that optimism breeds opportunity while pessimism breeds failure. So just because we haven’t gotten the Linux Desktop to 10% marketshare so far doesn’t mean it will not happen going forward. It just means we haven’t achieved it so far.

Source: Gnome

Merry Christmas

From all of us here at BCCHardware and WeeklyTechUpdate, we wish you the very Merriest of Christmases. I do hope that you all have a wonderful break from work, and get to spend some quality time with those you love. May Peace on Earth be more than a song lyric, but a reality - at least in the confines of your home and heart. Many blesses to you all!

Merry Christmas

Apple requires loot boxes come with odds of winning

I'll give credit to Apple for this next story, they've now changed their rules for the App Store that any apps that sell "loot boxes" must let people know what the odds of winning are. Basically loot boxes are a chance to win a prize, which has become a popular practice in the past couple years but consumers are starting to realize their odds of winning aren't so great and that you've got to spend a ton of money in an effort to win special items or abilities in these apps. I'm hoping this is precedence setting and that other app stores following suit because some companies (I'm looking at you EA) have really taken the whole loot box concept to stupid levels. ArsTechnica has more on this story.

Apple rolled out a number of iOS App Store rule changes on Wednesday, and the one that catches your eye will likely depend on your mobile-app interests. The biggest change, at least in terms of number of people likely reached, is a tweak to a major rule about video games on the platform: how loot boxes are advertised to players.

9to5Mac was among the first sites to dig into the rules update and pick out the big changes, and it found that Apple has opted to use the term "loot boxes," which it defines as "mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase." Now, any game or app that utilizes such a random-item system "must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase."

Bitcoin drops

If you were excited that Bitcoin had climbed all the way to $20,000 USD at the beginning of the week, you probably aren't super excited that it's dropped below $14,000 USD already. In the ever volatile Bitcoin market, this seems to be par for the course. The ups and downs I guess is what makes the ride thrilling, however, if you'd dropped $20,000 to get in on the Bitcoin craze to see it drop $6,000 in a matter or a day or two you might not be so enthusiastic about the whole craze. Fortune has more on the latest drop.

The cryptocurrency, which was at about $1,000 at the year’s start, had surged to a record high of $19,666 on Sunday in the lead up to exchange giant CME Group’s launch of its bitcoin futures. It has since lost about a third of its value.

“Keep in mind that bitcoin has gone up a lot this year, so a correction is always likely,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers in Sydney.

Bitcoin‘s success brought cryptocurrencies to the forefront and has also boosted the profile of its rivals, which offer alternatives to bitcoin.

“A lot of the capital is flowing from bitcoin into alternative coins. You’ve seen companies like Verge and Ripple, which are over 400% in the last week,” Chanel at ASR Wealth Advisers said.

Apple gets sued for slowing down older iPhones

Well that didn't take very long! After Apple admitted this week that they had slowed down older iPhones due to issues associated with older batteries as iPhones get older, we've already got a lawsuit against Apple. Basically the plaintiff is claiming that if they would have known that replacing the battery would have fixed the issue, they would have replaced the battery, however, Apple failed to mention that and just slowed down the phones anyways. I've got a funny feeling this ends with Apple paying out a bunch of money. MacRumors has the story.

According to the lawsuit, Bogdanovich and Speas have owned the iPhone 7 and several older iPhone models and have noticed that their "older iPhone models slows (sic) down when new models come out." The two say they did not consent to have Apple slow down their devices, nor were they able to "choose whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal." 

They're seeking both California and Nationwide class action certification, which would cover all persons residing in the United States who have owned iPhone models older than the iPhone 8. 

Weekly Tech Update #417 - Disney and Hulu Now BFFs

We have just posted up Episode #417 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we'll be discussing the Ataribox gets delayed, Disney ends up with Hulu, and the video game industry gets their own night with the Game Awards. We have those stories and more at the links below...


Download Episode #417
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

Most common passwords of 2017

I try to post articles like this at least once a year to remind people that if your password sucks, your chances of being "hacked" are much more likely.

Obviously my public education campaign has done nothing to change anything as the top passwords are the same as in 2016, however, now that some require 8 digit passwords, instead of 123456, people have moved to 12345678. Good job, haha.

MentalFloss has the full list.

When a website forces you to use numbers, symbols, and a certain amount of characters in your password, it can be frustrating, but those strength requirements are there for a reason. Without them, many users will enter a password that’s easy to remember and, by extension, is easy for hackers to guess. There are several ways to keep your online identity secure, but before you do anything else, make sure you’re not using any passwords from the list below.

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