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Bitcoin keeps going up

Every couple months I feel like I keep posting another story about how Bitcoin is still going up and post a story questioning how long it can go up before we see a crash. Apparently that time isn't here yet as Bitcoin has continued to go up and it closing in on $1,900 which is of course their all time high. CNBC takes a look at the continuing rise of Bitcoin.

The digital currency bitcoin jumped to a fresh all-time high Thursday as global investors looked for safe haven trades. Increased interest from Asia also helped boost the digital currency.

Bitcoin rose more than 3.5 percent to hit a record of $1,875.08, according to CoinDesk.

One of the reasons for the move was "buying as a hedge against political chaos," said Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy.

Facebook get hit with $122 million dollar fine

Facebook is being handed a hefty $122 million dollar fine by the EU over their WhatsApp takeover and maybe not being as forthcoming as they should have with some of the information when they were buying WhatsApp and have been deemed to have violated the Merger Regulations. Since this is a legal proceeding, chances are good it'll be challenged or appealed, but even in the end if they have to pay the fine I'm sure Facebook is going to be just fine. For more details head on over to Engadget.

After months of deliberation, the European Commission has ruled that Facebook intentionally mislead officials over its ability to utilize data following its acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. As a result, the social network has been fined €110 million ($122 million or £94 million) and becomes the first company to be penalized under the Commission's Merger Regulation law since it was introduced in 2004.

Google I/O

Google I/O was this week and we saw a couple new announcements from Google. This year there wasn't much at all on the hardware end of things, but we did see some software updates and new features that will be available in the near future. Google Lens and Google Home are both going to see some updates which isn't too surprising as they are both pretty popular right now. The BBC has a breakdown of what you can expect from Google.

At Google’s annual developer conference, held this week near its Mountain View headquarters, the company showed off some of the best practical applications of AI and machine learning I’ve seen yet. They may not make your jaw drop - or, thankfully, put you out of a job - but it’s an incremental change that shows how Google is putting its immense computing power to work.

We weren’t expecting any major new hardware launches this year, instead it was time for Google to build on what we saw here last year with regards to personal assistants, AI, and cloud computing.

Ryzen 16-core 'Threadripper'

If the previous 6 and 8 core Ryzen CPUs from AMD weren't enough, good news, coming in the summer of 2017 you'll be able to get the 'Threadripper" 16 core Ryzen models. Of course most people don't need 16 cores, but with a name like Threadripper, why wouldn't you get one anyways? No pricing is available yet, but chances are good they'll be more on the higher end but most likely still cheaper than other workstation chips that offer similar numbers of cores. ExtremeTech has the story.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors have already punched holes in Intel’s product lines. The Ryzen 5 1600X is a six-core / 12-thread CPU at $250, compared with over $400 for its Intel counterpart, and the eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1800X ($500) compares well with Intel’s Core i7-6900K at $1,100. AMD’s financial analyst day yesterday wasn’t just a discussion of data center and deep learning workloads — enthusiasts got some serious love as well.

MIcrosoft Will Still Support Windows Phone - For Now

At the latest Build conference, Micorosft spent quite a bit of time talking about it's move into the Android and iOS markets as they are pushing their applications to platforms that people are actually using. They didn't mention their own mobile OS much at all, and that made some people nervous. They questioned Microsoft about it to which they responded that they will continue to support their own platform. Historically, Microsoft apps have been available for iOS and Android first and eventually make it to Windows phone. This gap will continue to widen until they realize that nobody cares if it makes it to Windows Phone. That will take about a month. 

With the significantly higher number of users on iOS and Android compared to Windows 10 Mobile, it’s understandable that Microsoft would want to offer their services and products to those using those ecosystems. This often frustrates Windows phone users though as it can appear that Microsoft favors offering support for other companies’ mobile devices over their own.

Source: ONMSFT

WhatsApp Desktop Coming to WIndows Store

One of the reasons I liked Google Hangouts so much is that it has a desktop component that allows me to communicate with people via SMS whether I'm on my phone or PC. Google is killing this service as they think nobody really wants it anyhow. WhatsApp realized that people actually do, and they are making a move to put their service on the desktop via the Windows Store. It's not quite as convenient, but it's a nice touch. I guess I'll be moving to WhatsApp when Google finally kills the service.

The app appears to be a straight conversion of the currently available WhatsApp Desktop app for Windows using the Desktop Bridge. According to Aggiornamenti Lumia, the app stipulates that your PC must be running at least the Anniversary Update, and you will need to connect it to your mobile phone to mirror messages.

Source: WindowsCentral

HTC Ups Game with U11

HTC makes really nice phones, but without the brand recognition that Samsung and Apple get, it's an uphill battle. The U11 is their 2017 flagship that offers everything you need and then some. It comes with the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, an excellent sound chip and even Amazon Alexa. If you have come to love the Alexa service, it's pretty handy to have it packed into a phone. Also, you can give the phone a hug and it will do a couple of other things. It supports "squeeze" gestures. Just what we've been waiting for.

However, it's with audio that HTC shines. The bundled digital USB-C "USonic" headphones contain a built-in DAC, and also have active noise cancellation. They also have one additional feature, beaming ultrasound into your ear on first use, to tune an equaliser profile most suited to your age and earplugs. You can then manually tweak this if you like.

Source: TheRegister

343 Teasing New Halo - Not Halo 6

With E3 pretty much right around the corner, we are starting to get a few more details regarding announcements for the show. 343 Studios is dropping hints about a Microsoft E3 announcement for Halo that will definately NOT be Halo 6. Maybe it's a way to bring previous Halo titles to the PC? Maybe it's another Halo Wars. We'll find out in a few weeks. I'm not holding my breath though and I think this will be a mini Halo 5.5.

Obviously in a perfect world, Microsoft would have been able to launch this fall’s Xbox Scorpio with some sort of major Halo game, given that it’s still the console’s most beloved exclusive series by a mile, but the timing is just not in the cards for that, clearly. If anything, it seems like Crackdown 3 may end up being the “launch game” for Scorpio, as the dev is teasing a big presence at E3, but Halo? Doubtful.

Source: Forbes

No Netflix for Root

If you have a rooted Android device, you will no longer be able to update the App on install a new version. They've updated the DRM to ensure that you can't just download a bunch of movies and then keep or share them with everyone and this update detects if the device has been rooted to help prevent piracy. I'm sure there are a few people that are mad about the security update - as there are legitimate reasons for rooting your device. Still, you can't blame Netflix for keeping things secure for their content providers.

Some rooted users are currently still able to use the app, though. Widevine sorts out devices on the criteria of whether they are running in the Trusted Execution Environment whereas the Google Play Store listing goes on SafetyNet, what Android Pay uses. Perhaps that will change with time as users just won’t be able to work the app through the Play Store. Third-party sources will likely help you out in this case.

Source: PocketNow

Honeywell Fire Alarms Don't

It seems that Honeywell's new SWIFT wireless gateway that connects to their smoke detectors has a bit of a technical issue. When smoke or fire is detected, something appears to mis-fire and while the sensors themselves appear to work, it's not passing through the gateway and the alarm won't trigger. It's not a great thing when the product only has one job - and it fails. Remind me not to pick up Honeywell products to protect my family.

The recall isn't about to spark a mass panic when it covers just 900 units sold between October 2014 and December 2016. However, it underscores the challenges of building advanced safety systems. Simply put, there isn't much room for glitches. Fire alarms have to be extremely reliable, and that's not an easy feat when you bring networking into the equation.

Source: Engadget

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