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Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

If you're looking for a last minute gift, nothing says "I think of you often", like a gift card. If that's not your thing, maybe sometime else from Engadget's list will help you out. They have things priced from $15 and up so you should be able to find something for just about anyone. I find myself wishing for something more in the $1,000 price range however. Still, there are some great ideas (and gift cards are always pretty handy too).

Amazon’s Alexa updated Echo Dot speaker is an affordable way to help make a run-of-the-mill home smarter. The Dot is tiny and it doesn’t have a very big speaker, but it fits in all of the microphone technology used in the larger model. That lets you to chat with Alexa and tap her thousands of skills from just about anywhere in a room.

Source: Engadget

Some Android Games are Recording Your TV Habits

If you ever wondered why I always suggest you read application permissions when installing any app, this is yet ANOTHER reason why. Lately, some games have been usng the microphone on your phone to record what you are watching on TV. That's right, the microphone is activated and records ambient noise, identifying TV shows and then reporting that information to whatever entity has set it up. That's bad news for users and their personal privacy. Alway, always read app permissions and don't install it if it doesn't make sense.

The Times says that it identified more than 250 games on the Google Play Store that include just one specific type of software for monitoring users’ TV habits. It’s from a company known as Alphonso, and the apps that include it - the ones that disclose it, at least - often don’t make what they’re doing particularly clear. Most apps seem to hide their disclosure in their description, beneath a “read more” button.

Source: TheVerge

VulcLAN XVI

It's coming. Registration open! More details incoming at VulcLAN.com! There is NO other gaming event that promises more fun, frags and is four-day event for a mere $30 pre-registration. Come and get some!

VulcLAN XVI

 

Weekly Tech Update #420 - CES 2018 Wrap-up and More!

We have just posted up Episode #420 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing the resurrection of Circuit City, Intel and AMD play nice, and we wrap up our CES 2018 coverage with news from Sony, LG, Samsung, Dell, and more! We have those stories and more at the links below...

WTU

Download Episode #420
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play! --New--

NVIDIA tells retailers to sell to gamers, not cryptominers

If you've been looking for a mid-high range video card for the last few months you've probably noticed quite a shortage in addition to prices going up. Well that's thanks to the huge demand caused by the crypto-miners and while that's great for video card makers sales, it's causing a little bit of a public relations disaster and NVIDIA is the first one to speak up. NVIDIA has asked its retailers to limit the number of cards they sell to each person in an attempt to hopefully get them into gamers hands, but of course retailers might not be so excited when they can bundled them into "6 packs" and charge a premium to the crypto-miners. Unfortunately until the cryptocurrency craze dies down, we'll probably be seeing a shortage of higher end video cards. HotHardware has the full story.

This should be a time when every hard-core PC gamer should be gloating and grinning from ear-to-ear. PC gaming was never dead; it's actually picking up steam in a big way and so is the DIY PC build market. However, there is one thing that's throwing as a wrench in many a PC builder's gears currently and that's pricing. There's no way around it and it's downright painful right now. Cryptocurrency mining isn't the only reason for the currently high cost of a new gaming PC, but it's the one dynamic acting as a true roadblock to people building a new gaming PC themselves. It's also serious motivation to consider a pre-built system, even if you can build one yourself.

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