iTunes turns 13 (and still needs work)

iTunes is celebrating its 13th birthday. You'd think in 13 years Apple would have improved iTunes more than they have, but of course they haven't. Quartz has a history lesson on iTunes and why it's still awful.

Enter the iTunes Music Store, unveiled with a proud flourish by a beaming Steve Jobs. It was a digital jukebox, a music distribution game-changer, a record store to end all record stores—and it did, in fact, kill off a great number of those. The addition of the online store to the iTunes media player (which debuted in 2001) completely altered the way people bought, sold, and made music around the globe.

LG at CES 2017 - More Than Beautiful TVs

Last year was the first year we took time to set up a booth tour with LG, and we were very impressed with all the products they have to offer. While LG is mostly known for their mobile devices here in Canada, they do make some amazing TVs as well as a host of other products. After being impressed with everything from their clothing "refresher" to their OLED TVs last year, it was obviously one of our must-see booths at CES again this year.

At the entrance to their huge booth was a massive crowd of people waiting their turn to step into the tunnel of OLED. They had well over 100 4K OLED TVs all arranged in a tunnel and with 10 different sound systems overwhelming your senses in both visual and audio glory. The amazing thing about OLED is the total black it can achieve as the pixels are self-lit and therefore, when off - are truly black. The end result is magnificent and images don't really do it justice. 

HLG = One Step up from HDR


LG introduced their new W-Series TVs this year that earned them a bunch of CES awards. The "W" is for wallpaper, because that's about as thick as the TV is - like wallpaper. LG strips away pretty much everything unnecessary with this TV and the panel itself is a mere 2.57mm thin. It is mounted to the wall with magnets so that there is no gap. Hisense, Samsung and LG introduced a super slim cable that goes from their panels to a connector box so you don't mess up the amazing look of the TV with a bunch of unsightly cables. Included with the W-Series is the new Soundbar from LG that incorporates Dolby Atmos and we were able to take in a demo. It is truly unbelievable. Dolby Atmos can project sounds to virtually any where in the room making it feel like you have well over a dozen speakers around, above and below you. 

W-Series with Dolby Atmos Sound
W-Series with Dolby Atmos Sound


LG is much more than just high-end items though. We were able to view and listen to their Bluetooth standard and levitating speakers as well as pick up their new "Gram" Ultrabooks that weigh in at less that a kilogram and pack in unbelievable battery life and Core i5 processors. They have curved displays for your PC, amazing 5K displays as well, and a everything you need in your Smart-home including fridges, laundry care, physical and virtual assistants and more. LG may at one point been a name that you'd consider if you couldn't find what you want, but they have stepped up their game in a monumental way in the past few years and are really industry leaders.

LG Gram
LG "Gram" Ultrabook #want


There are a lot more images from the LG visit in our gallery over here. Of course you can keep up with all of our CES coverage right here.


Driving and Pokemon Go Don't Mix

There have been a few augmented reality games that have been designed to get people out walking. Ingress and Pokemon Go are the first two that pop into my mind. The idea is great. Put objects around different areas and people are encouraged to go walking and find them. We live in a lazy, lazy world though and people take to their automobiles to play these games. The result is a lot of vechicle crashes. In one county in the state of Indiana, two lives were lost and $20 million in damages have resulted because of this "game". Maybe people should walk more.

To understand how they figured this out, it’s important to remember that in the world of Pokémon Go, there are pokéstops and there are gyms. Pokéstops are where you can get more pokéballs and pick up supplies; gyms are where you battle. You’re supposed to walk around to hit all these spots, but plenty of people cheated by driving to the various stops, then hopping out of the car and picking up some supplies or going for a quick battle.

Source: TheVerge

Mushkin @ CES 2018

With the speed of M.2 storage devices, combined with prices that are getting lower and lower, saying that 2018 will be a big year for M.2 hard drives probably isn't too much of a reach. Muskin is ready for the shift to M.2 drives thanks to some upcoming additions to their drive lineup with their new Pilot devices. 

While the new Muskin M.2 devices are probably going to garner the most interest, Mushkin has updated their other SSD offerings which will give you options regardless of your budget.

Google Working on Texting from Browser

Google is stepping up their game with Android Messages and will soon allow you to pair your phone with your PC and then use your PC to send actual SMS's. This integration is what HP rocked with the Elite X3 Windows Phone and is something that other companies lack. Yes, there are 3rd party applications that do something similiar, but I've tried many of them and nothing worked as good as the Windows solution. Still, this is a step in the right direction. Also coming in Android Messages is the ability to send payments directly using Google Pay - or something similiar. 

All told, Google appears to be transforming Android Messages into an Allo-like app, except for mobile SMS texts instead of web-based ones. It could also be monetizing it to a degree via Google Pay. Considering the power it yields over the Android smartphone ecosystem, that could amount to a lot of dollars. Take all the changes with some salt, though, because APKs don't necessarily mean features are set in stone, and some of the aforementioned features are still half-baked.

Source: Engadget

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