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The Hola VPN Botnet

The popular VPN extension called Hola has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons this week. Hola has been allowing people to watch online video content outside of your viewing area which is considered a 'good thing' by many. However, people have also been using the Hola network for bad things and you probably don't want your idle computer being part of those shenanigans. PCWorld has the full article and probably does a better job of explaining the whole situation.

Sometimes a free service isn’t really free and you can end up paying for it in unexpected ways. If you’re running the Chrome extension Hola Better Internet or the Firefox add-on Hola Unblocker, well, that’s exactly what’s happening. What’s more, your payment might be unwitting participation in a botnet, according to one site moderator.

Hola is a very popular virtual private network (VPN) service that routes your traffic through different countries to mask your true location. That way you can defeat regional restrictions to watch the American version of Netflix from Argentina or BBC’s iPlayer from the U.S.

Typically, a VPN service routes your traffic through dedicated servers, but Hola uses the idle resources of its users’ PCs to route traffic. This essentially turns a Hola user’s computer into a VPN server, or a small part of one. If you’re in Nebraska, for example, and Hola is running on your PC, you might help users outside the U.S. watch Hulu.

Windows 10 on track for July launch

Normally in the past when we are talking about upcoming Windows launches we are talking about 'yet another delay', however, it looks like Microsoft is still on track for a July launch of Windows 10. A couple features might not make the July launch but will be added later but from the sounds of it should be too much of a dealbreaker. The Verge has more over here.

Microsoft is still preparing to finalize Windows 10 in time for a July launch. AMD CEO Lisa Su originally revealed the Windows 10 July launch plans in an earnings call back in April, but Microsoft has not officially commented on the date other than restating that the operating system will launch in the summer. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the company has been targeting a late July release for months now, and that it's still on track.

Google I/O and Android M Features

Just when we were starting to all get Lollipop, Google goes ahead and announced Android M. Other than the name of the next OS for your mobile phone, Google has been pretty forthcoming with details on their upcoming software. There are a few features that are pretty interesting and will definitely improve the Android experience. One of the most talked about features in Android Pay which is little more than a reboot of Google Pay, but this time around it looks like they've done a lot of things right. Check out more details on that feature as well as the ability to use your phone to charge other devices. That's just what I need, shorter battery life on my phone.

Android M officially ushers in Android Pay, a mobile payments system that Google talked about during Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The Android Pay platform lets third-party apps process payments both within the app (think in-app payments) and in retail stores, using NFC. Google Wallet, the standalone mobile wallet app, won't disappear, but it will use Android Pay going forward.

Source: CNET

Sweet Discount: YotaPhone 2 on IndieGoGo

If you've been on the fence about picking up a Russian YotaPhone 2, you may want to get out your wallet today. In conjunction with Google I/O (by coincidence), YotaPhone has just released 50 of their devices on a bit of a flash sale over at their IndieGoGo page. If you're not familiar with the YotaPhone 2, this is the dual-screen phone that has an entire back covered with an e-ink panel. This e-ink screen is responsive and can be used exclusively if you want and this gives you fantastic battery life. Seeing is really believing and it's incredible. 

The YotaPhone 2 is not the latest flagship at the moment, but the specs are pretty solid with a Snapdragon 801 quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 2500mAh battery that can last almost a week thanks to e-ink. In terms of wireless support it packs NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11ac and a GPS. As for LTE support, YotaPhone has you covered with bands 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12 and 20. Unlike some foreign-made devices, this one is tailored for North America as well as the world.



The initial price on IndieGoGo was $525 but they ran out of those devices pretty quick. The next tier is $550, with the final retail price at $600. Today (until they are gone) you can pick up one of these amazing phones for $500. Make sure you head on over and get your paws on one of these devices. 

Source: IndieGoGo

Netflix accounts for 36.5% of peak internet traffic

Anyone who is on a shared internet connection curses the day Netflix was invented as it slows their internet performance down to a halt during peak hours when everyone and their dog is streaming Netflix. According to one North American study, Netflix was taking up 36.5% of the bandwidth with Youtube grabbing 15.6%. Basically 50+% of the bandwidth is taken up by video streaming which in comparison to web browsing (6%) is pretty amazing. The other interesting stat is that the new Call of Duty Advanced Warfare DLC download had just come out and it grabbed 12% of the bandwidth. DSLRepords has more details on why your internet is so slow during peak times.

A new analysis of Internet data indicates that Netflix now accounts for 36.5% of Internet traffic in North America during peak usage hours. According to the latest Sandvine breakdown of user behavior, the sharp climb in Netflix usage continues to coincide, rather un-coincidentally, with a notable drop in BitTorrent traffic. BitTorrent now accounts for 6.3% of total traffic in North America, and 8.5% in Latin America, notes the hardware vendor.

The study notes that YouTube comprised 15.6% of peak downstream Internet traffic, while web browsing was 6%, Facebook 2.7%, Amazon Instant Video 2.0% and Hulu 1.9%. Sling TV accounted for less than 1% of peak downstream traffic.


Everyone wants BlackBerry?

The 'Microsoft wants to buy BlackBerry' rumor has been going strong for a couple weeks now but apparently they might not be the only company eyeing up BlackBerry. Apple is another one that has been rumored to be interested in addition to Xiaomi, Huawei, and Lenovo. BlackBerry is still and interesting company as they've got a ton of patents that other companies would like to acquire and they've still got a brand name even though their market share has vanished over the past decade. With all of the rumors flying around there is a part of me that thinks BlackBerry will be acquired I think the biggest problem right now is determining a value. NASDAQ has more on this over at their blog.

Per latest market buzz, Microsoft is the frontrunner in acquiring the Canadian handset manufacturer, BlackBerry Limited. Also, a few days back, rumors about Apple planning to acquire Blackberry were making the rounds. Reportedly, other Chinese companies, namely Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo, also seem interested in the deal. Though none of the rumors have been confirmed, Microsoft remains ahead in the race. The Redmond-based software giant has even requested investment firms to evaluate the benefits of such an acquisition. 

Epic Mirror

If you think you look better in the "PomPom" mirror than a real mirror, maybe you should put down the selfie stick. Just saying.

Source: Vimeo

Microsoft Keeps Pushing Office on Android

Microsoft is pushing big into the mobile space with hardware and with Windows 10 Mobile. They are also pushing really hard to get Office on as many Android devices as they can - and as a result they have just partnered with 20 more Android tablet makers to get this pre-installed. This is fully functional and "free" but if you want more storage and the best experience, you should probably give them money and become an Office 365 Subscriber. At least that's what they are hoping.

The move is the latest in the “mobile-first, cloud-first” strategy spearheaded by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Over the past year, the company has launched Office applications that expand the reach of its productivity suite beyond Windows devices to Android and iOS. It comes alongside another announcement Tuesday that Microsoft will be bringing its Cortana virtual assistant to other mobile platforms to accompany its appearance on the desktop in Windows 10.

Source: PCWorld

Android Auto Reviewed in a Hyundai

Android Auto has been teased and talked about for a while and now it is actually available in a Hyundai. If you want to get the most out of your device without suction-cupping it to your windshield, Android Auto is where it is at. This interfaces with your Android device and provides you a great interface for all of your navigation, entertainment and communication - all through a Lollipop interface that you're already familiar with. It's a great step in the right direction for Google.


There are a lot more photos, information and more at the link below.

Source: TheVerge

Windows 10 Mobile Adoption Continues to Grow

Windows 10 Mobile has been rolling out in beta stages for a few devices and lately they have been expanding the program to cover more devices. As such the adoption is actually growing quite a bit and there will soon be some flagship last-generation devices on the program as well. One of these is the HTC One M8 Windows Edition, which I would very much like to get my hands on. Good on Microsoft. If they keep this up, most users will already be using Windows 10 Mobile by the time it launches.

When it comes to devices, there aren’t any major surprises. Older phones like the Lumia 520 are slowly declining in market share as they get replaced by newer devices like the Lumia x30 range. Perhaps a bit unnerving is the fact that the newest devices, in the x40 range, aren’t seeing as big of an adoption curve as Microsoft would have wished for.

Source: Neowin

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