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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

Mini Sega Genesis is Real

Sega has been drooling over Nintendo's success with the NES Classic and SNES Classic, so they too are joining the classic bandwagon with their Sega MegaDrive Mini. This is a mini Gensis console that promises a lot, but I won't get my hopes up until it's actually on the shelves. The Genesis was probably my favorite 16-bit console back in the day.

First, there was the NES Classic. Then the SNES Classic. And now, the Sega Genesis is making a miniature comeback too. Behold, the Sega MegaDrive Mini, just announced in Japan to commemorate the system's 30th anniversary. (MegaDrive was the original name for the Genesis, in case you didn't know.) 

Source: CNET

Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland

Apple has started paying their back taxes to Ireland, which unless they can get the courts to overturn them, come out to a whopping 13 billion Euros ($15 billion USD). In the grand scheme of things this won't hurt Apple too much if the decision stands up but it is an interesting start as countries go after big businesses that have been avoiding taxes with elaborate schemes. Reuters has the story.

The European Commission ordered Apple in August 2016 to pay the taxes it ruled it had received as illegal state aid, as part of its wider drive against what it says are sweetheart tax deals usually used by smaller states in the bloc to lure multinational companies and their jobs and investment.

 
 

Yahoo Messenger Gets Axed on July 17

AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was discontinued last October by Yahoo (Oath) and now Yahoo is killing its own messenging platform. Yahoo Messenger has been around for years, but they can't compete with Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and others. The thing is, Yahoo is directing people to another messenger app they started testing a while ago called Squirrel. It's beta and invite only, but you can request access here. I have no idea why they'd kill one to start another. It makes as much sense as Google having three messaging apps for Android. None.

“There currently isn’t a replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger,” the company writes. “We’re constantly experimenting with new services and apps, one of which is an invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel (currently in beta).” Squirrel is a group messaging app Yahoo started testing last month.

Source: TechCrunch

AMD Shows off Ryzen 2nd Gen

AMD has been on a roll and if you've been keeping up with Computex news, they've helped Intel look really, really bad. AMD announced their Ryzen 2 line and showed off plenty of working Threadripper 2nd Gen systems running an incredible 32-core processor (64-threads). 

 

After the announcement, Intel quickly showed off some 28-core madness, that was cooled by industrial cooling systems. After people started laughing at them, they pulled all of the systems as clearly they just were trying to keep up with AMD and show they had something nifty as well (Spoiler: They don't). The 32-Core Threadripper is cooled by air - although it is a beefy cooler.

 

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