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Topics - Zeus

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General Hardware / Pi-Top Turns Raspberry Pi into an Expensive Laptop
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:28:22 pm »
I love the Raspberry Pi. I've currently got three of them doing various tasks and they are certainly worth their weight in Rubles. The latest Pi is quite powerful (for a $35 machines) and includes WiFi and Bluetooth to name a few features. It's fantastic for $35. How could you make it better? Make it portable with a laptop housing and have a Raspberry Pi powered laptop. This would be great for learning to code projects, but at $320 - it's priced way too high. That being said, it does have a 1080p panel.

   The updated Pi-Top is easier to assemble than the first model, and features a clever adjustable keyboard, which slides forward to reveal the Pi itself, along with what the company calls the “Modular Rail,” where users can attach new components and Pi-Top accessories. The new Pi-Top comes with one compatible accessory out of the box; an “Inventor’s Kit” that consists of a breadboard and some basic components for building small projects, like LEDs; a microphone; and a motion sensor.Source: TheVerge 

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General Mayhem / Netflix to Spend $8 Billion on Content in 2018
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:24:22 pm »
Netflix is doing well, but spending so much money on original content may come back to bite them in the booty. That being said, they have better and more original content than any other streaming service and this is what sets them apart. Still, at $8 billion, that's a lot of overhead and combine that with all the licensing rights payed to Hollywood and you'd better not have a quarter that sees people migrating away from your service.

   Netflix on Monday reported third-quarter revenue of $2.99 billion, up 30 percent from the same period last year. It brought in earnings of 29 cents per share, up from 12 cents per share during the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, Netflix grew its subscriber base by 850,000 members in the U.S. and 4.45 million members internationally. That adds up to 5.3 million new members during the third quarter. Source: HollywoodReporter

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General Hardware / Amazon Fire HD 10
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:06:00 pm »
Amazon has had a few misses when it comes to hardware, but their Kindle and Fire tablets have been winners for sure. The original Fire tablet was a winner with solid specifications and a price of ~$60 USD. They haven't released a new one for a few years, so it's high time that the Fire HD 10 makes its way into the market. It is a mere $150 and competes with tablets twice the price and offers some pretty great value and bang for the buck. There is a full review at the link below.

   I don't expect much from a $150 tablet, but the Fire HD 10 surprised me -- first, with its sturdiness. The plastic case didn't flex when I tried to bend it, and there weren't any any noticeable creaking noises either. It feels like something that could take a tumble with ease. That makes it particularly well suited to children and the chronically clumsy. It's odd that Amazon didn't make an extra-strong "Kids Edition," even though it did for the smaller Fire 7 and HD 8.Source: Engadget

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General Mayhem / Apple Users Buying iPhone 7 Instead of iPhone 8
« on: October 16, 2017, 07:07:13 pm »
Apple users have been flocking to their latest last-generation handset in droves. That's right. The iPhone 7 is outselling the iPhone 8. This is not what Apple was hoping for and it shows that maybe Apple users are getting tired of paying a ridiculous price for the latest devices and instead want to buy good devices at good prices. 

   Apple last month introduced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which resemble the iPhone 7 but have a glass back for wireless charging. While iPhone 8 starts from $699 in the United States, iPhone 7 is retailing from $549 after a price cut. The iPhone X, a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display, will start shipping from Nov. 3. The 10th-anniversary iPhone is priced from $999 - Apple’s most expensive mobile till date.Source: Reuters

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We have just posted up Episode #408 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we are discussing the end of AOL Instant Messenger and Microsoft Groove, Google shows off new hardware and shocking news, Yahoo actually had all of their accounts breached. We have those stories and more...

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Yahoo! Got Hacked Much Worse than they Admitted

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BlackBerry Krypton

Pixel 2 Phone Launch (And Other Google Updates)

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Not too long ago, when a company claimed it would double the size of hard drive capacity, we thought it was ridiculous. Things have changed and as technology and the way data is stored improves, drive capacity is rapidly expanding. 12TB drives are available to consumers for a very low price per GB of storage. In these new drives, microwaves will be used to write data onto drives making the actual physical unit of data smaller - while storing the same amount of data in that block. Super cool stuff that will probably require helium at the very least to keep it cool. Good luck trying to get your data back when a drive fails.

   An allied method that uses heat instead of microwaves was thought to be the best way to help HDDs grow in capacity but it is known to be an expensive and technically tricky way to boost data density. The resulting devices, whose platters must be regularly heated beyond 400C, can also suffer reliability problems. Heat-assisted magnetic recording also requires changes in manufacturing plants and the materials used to make the magnetic platters that hold data. By contrast, MAMR requires far fewer changes to manufacturing and works with materials currently used to make HDDs.Source: BBC

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General Mayhem / BlackBerry Motion is Pretty Sweet
« on: October 15, 2017, 08:42:35 pm »
Last week, BlackBerry announced their latest phone made by TCL - the Motion. This phone is pretty elegant and is a mid-range device that aims to make an impression. The specifications are nothing too impressive, but it will perform like a champ - plus you get some exclusive BlackBerry features. At the end of the day, I'd be willing to use one as a backup. I do like my S8 though.

   The Motion is different from BlackBerry's previous release and does not have a physical keyboard, instead, flaunting a front surface where most of its real estate is dedicated to a 5.5-inch display. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, and packs a 4,000mAh battery with support for QuickCharge 3.0. It also has a 12MP camera on the rear, 8MP front-facing camera, and an IP67 rating to protect against dust and moisture.   Source: Neowin


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There has been a lot of work put into Microsoft's Edge browser as the older Internet Explorer was probably the worst browser of the big three. Microsoft has been working tirelessly on their latest browser from start to "it-will-never-be-finished" and this is a good thing. It's fast, secure and blocks more malware and phishing attempts than any browser out there. Of course, Microsoft also uses it to advertise to you within Windows as well. You upgraded for "free" and nothing is free.

   According to NSS Labs of Austin, Tex., Edge automatically blocked 92% of all in-browser credential phishing attempts and stymied 100% of all SEM attacks. The latter encompassed a wide range of attacks, but their common characteristic was that they tried to trick users into downloading malicious code. The tactics that SEM attackers deploy include links from social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and bogus in-browser notifications of computer infections or other problems.Source: ComputerWorld

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There's a part of me that really wants to try this out. According to the latest information from Google, if you buy a new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL they will give you unlimited original file photo storage for life. That means you don't have to resize your photos, instead they will be saved to the cloud in all their original glory. I'd like to test this out, snag a Pixel 2 phone and upload a thousand a day just to see if they will change their policy. Yeah, it is kind of a jerk move, but offering it for life of the device is interesting. I still have my original Nexus One.

   Ever since Google went out of its way to put a (very short) expiration date on unlimited photo uploads for the new Pixel 2s, there's been some concern about the original 2016 Pixels, as they never had a limit placed on them. We reached out to a Google representative for some clarification and were told that nothing has changed when it comes to the original Pixels. Both the 2016 Pixel and 2016 Pixel XL will continue to receive free unlimited original-quality storage for photos and videos with no time limitations.Source: AndroidPolice

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General Mayhem / Microsoft Bezel-less Phone from 2014
« on: October 10, 2017, 10:16:11 pm »
Microsoft really has done a lot of things right over the years, but has given up on many ideas instead of staying invested in the project. One of these was music subscriptions - before they were cool - and the norm. Another was phone design - with the help of Nokia. One device that never made it to market was the Lumia 435 - an all-screen phone that was targeted at the low-end with a price of $200 back in the day. 

   The display itself is pretty nice. It can get very bright, which is good for outdoor viewing, and although it's a 720p display, text, and images look sharp enough for a Windows phone. The only real complaint I have about the screen is that it's an LCD panel instead of OLED. An OLED screen would've made the "bezel-less-ness" feel a whole lot more edge to edge.Source: WindowsCentral

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General Mayhem / Simple Exploit to Steal Apple Passwords
« on: October 10, 2017, 10:10:27 pm »
There are a lot of fingers pointed at Google and their Android devices because of security issues that have affected their handsets. Often we look at one company and give the other guys a free pass as it were. The truth is Apple has a major security issue on their iOS devices that has been around for a while. The issue exhibits as a "legitimate" sign in prompt to iTunes that actually doesn't come from iTunes at all. This gives a person your account credentials and full access to anything you have in there. It's kind of a big deal - and it's been around for a while.

   iOS asks the user for their iTunes password for many reasons, the most common ones are recently installed iOS operating system updates, or iOS apps that are stuck during installation. As a result, users are trained to just enter their Apple ID password whenever iOS prompts you to do so. However, those popups are not only shown on the lock screen, and the home screen, but also inside random apps, e.g. when they want to access iCloud, GameCenter or In-App-Purchases.Source: KrauseFX

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LAN & General Gaming / More SNES Classic Edition Shipping
« on: October 10, 2017, 09:56:35 pm »
If you missed out on the SNES the first time around, you may be happy to know that stores (online and retail) are being restocked. Starting on October 10, stores should have more of these available. There is no official word on how many more units have been shipped or will be produced, but if you can find one, snag it. If you don't want it, there are more than a few people that will pay $200+ for the micro console.

   “Only individual units will available in stores starting today, while bundles and standalone units will be available online starting tomorrow, October 11. All U.S. stores will start to receive their shipments today, and will have their full allotment by Thursday, October 12, at the latest."Source: Neowin

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General Mayhem / Hulu Drops Price - With Commercials
« on: October 10, 2017, 10:37:17 am »
Hulu can't get the traction it needs with new subscribers, so they are offering a bit of a discount if you sign up or come back. They've only dropped the price by $2.00 - but it's nice to see them trying to gain subscribers. The new $5.99 price is for the lowest tier - that includes commercials. Still, it's much cheaper than your cable bill and probably has most of the TV that you want to watch anyhow. It's region-locked to the USA so we can't get it up here, but for you south of the 49th, it's not a bad way to go.

   Last month, Hulu announced that it had budgeted around $2.5 billion for original programming in 2017. Hulu’s biggest breakout original so far is The Handmaid’s Tale, which won the streaming service its first Emmy (and several Emmys) last month. But the company has more originals on the way, including a Stephen King anthology series with J.J. Abrams attached to executive produce. As for non-original content, Hulu recently added a slew of hugely popular sitcoms, like How I Met Your Mother, M*A*S*H, and Glee.Source: TheVerge

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General Hardware / Seagate Hard-Launches 12TB Consumer Drives
« on: October 10, 2017, 10:32:40 am »
Mechanical drives aren't going anywhere for a while. The reason why is the speed has improved so much in the past few years as platter density has increased. Also, the massive size and cost per GB of a mechanical drive is far better than anything solid-state. The proof is that Seagate has officially launched their 12TB consumer drives that come in both the BarraCuda Pro series as well as the IronWolf and IronWolf Pro for the NAS market. I'd LOVE to setup a 8-Bay NAS with a whackload of these. 72TB + Dual RAID 5 redundancy? Yes please!

   Offering the highest capacity, reliability, performance and system scalability in the industry, Seagate’s 12TB IronWolf and IronWolf Pro HDDs empower customers to centralize their data onto NAS systems to ensure round-the-clock access for multiple users. At 12TB and in only a 3.5 inch form factor, IronWolf and IronWolf Pro offer more capacity in less space, meeting the needs for file-sharing, remote access and backup for SMBs, enterprises and creative professionals.Source: Seagate

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LAN & General Gaming / PUBG Closes in on 2 Million Players
« on: October 10, 2017, 10:27:26 am »
Player Unknown Battle Grounds has come a long, long way in a relatively short time. DOTA 2 had an incredible 1 million concurrent users on Steam, but PUBG has somehow managed to approach and destroy that previous record. Over the weekend, there were over 16 million people logged into Steam at one point and 12% of them were playing PUBG. While this game is all the rage right now, for me, it means that I should stay away as there are likely 2 million people much better than me playing - right now.

   Only available now on PC, PUBG is scheduled to launch for Xbox One later this year. Microsoft is publishing the game, and the company might be interested in extending its exclusivity deal with Bluehole, though this is not confirmed. PUBG could come to PlayStation 4 later, though no announcements have been made. Additionally, Bluehole has caught the attention of Epic Games, which has threatened the studio about the game over claims of its similarities to Fornite: Battle Royale.Source: GameSpot

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