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Topics - Zeus

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1
General Hardware / Hands-On With Huawei's MateBook D, E and X
« on: May 23, 2017, 09:21:29 pm »
Huawei continues to expand their Windows 10 MateBook lineup with the D, E and X versions. These comes in three sizes with the smallest (yet still powerful) version being the MateBook X. The MateBook E is the successor to the original and is a nice upgrade while the MateBook D is the largest one of the bunch and is quite affordable. Check out the hands-on in the video below.

    

Source: Neowin

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2
Operating Systems & Software / WannaCrypt Loves Windows 7
« on: May 23, 2017, 09:15:35 pm »
This seems a little too convenient as it comes on the heels of Microsoft's continued push to get people off of Windows 7 and onto the Windows 10 platform. It appears that the latest Ransomware - WannaCrypt, prefers Windows 7 over all other versions of Windows and in fact it won't even run on Windows XP. On Windows XP, the code crashes and the software can't even run.

   WannaCry appears to target mainly enterprises rather than consumers: Once it infects one machine, it silently proliferates across internal networks which can connect hundreds or thousands of machines in large firms, unlike individual consumers at home.Source: ITNews

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3
General Mayhem / 75% of IoT Projects Fail
« on: May 23, 2017, 09:11:07 pm »
The Internet of Things is becoming more like the InterNOT of Things. It's a great idea to have things connected, but there are some hurdles that make it hard to compete in this huge market. First, the market is huge. Second, there are a lot of security issues. Third, there is always a compatibility issue making sure that things require the same software so that the products are fragmented and that they stay compatible with each other.

   As many as three-quarters of IoT projects are a flop, according to Cisco. But rather than having fewer crappy connected devices, Switchzilla reckons what's needed is a better IoT architecture. If only someone could help... Some 60 per cent of IoT projects stall at the proof of concept stage, with just 26 per cent going on to be be viewed as a complete success, according to a survey of 1,845 IT bods by the biz.Source: TheRegister

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4
General Mayhem / User Created Switch Ad is Solid
« on: May 23, 2017, 09:04:39 pm »
There are times when the internet really shines. They come up with ideas and implement things that make mainstream media look a little weak. This "advertisement" for the Nintendo Switch is exactly that. It's called "Banana Switch" and it's probably better than many of the ads that Nintendo came up with.

    

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5
Operating Systems & Software / Could Android Pro be a Good Thing?
« on: May 22, 2017, 09:54:56 pm »
Google has been doing a good job with mainstream Android and their Android Go has been a fresh new look at an OS variant for entry-level devices. I realize that fragmentation is worse with Android that iOS, but there could be a good case for a "Pro" version of Android as it could have a better fit for high-end devices and offer more of a premium, bloat-free experience.

   So here's a radical thought: maybe there's now room for more than one canonical variant of Android. I can already hear the chorus of disagreement, chanting the word "fragmentation" with cautionary zeal, but Google is already working on a modified version with Android Go, its extra lean serving for lower-spec devices. What I have in mind is a similarly stripped-down option intended for pro users: an Android Pro.Source: TheVerge

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6
General Hardware / Western Digital Adds Helium to 10TB NAS Drives
« on: May 22, 2017, 09:40:32 pm »
Western Digital has a couple of new drive models on the market in their Red Series for NAS storage. They have now added helium to the 10TB versions of both the Pro and Standard drives. The standard Red drive spins at 5,400 rpm, while the Pro drive spins up at 7,200 rpm and offers a better warranty as well as better performance. These aren't available just yet, but will be available soon. If you've got a nice 8-bay unit, that will give you a solid 80TB setup.

   The WD Pro 10 TB drive is engineered for personal or small business NAS systems with up to eight bays, is optimized for mixed workloads and has a 5400 RPM spindle speed. By contrast, the WD Red Pro 10 TB is aimed at medium business and enterprise-class NAS systems up to 16 bays, which is why the HDD features additional protection against vibrations as well as improved random read performance due to both 7200 RPM spindle speed and firmware tuning.Source: AnandTech

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7
General Hardware / Refurbished Surface 3 128GB
« on: May 22, 2017, 09:33:48 pm »
Microsoft has discounted the Surface 3 to a mere $369 if you are looking for a certified refurbished tablet from Microsoft. Keep in mind that this isn't the "Pro" version. As such, this still has a great screen, but the processor has been stripped down to an Atom processor. Still, the 128GB version comes with Windows 10, 4GB of RAM and more for an attractive price. If bargain prices are your thing, the 2GB RAM 64GB storage version is only $299.

   Sporting a quad-core Intel Atom processor, Surface 3 has the power to run your favorite apps and desktop software, including iTunes and Photoshop Essentials1- just like a laptop. Click in a backlit keyboard (sold separately) to type faster than onscreen, and easily connect accessories with the USB 3.0 port.Source: Microsoft

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8
General Mayhem / Samsung S8/S8+ Keyboard Cover
« on: May 22, 2017, 09:28:53 pm »
There are some pretty nifty accessories for the Galaxy S8 device, but some of the accessories are more of a miss that a hit. While the idea of a physical keyboard on a new Smartphone is great, the implementation of the keyboard cover leaves a little bit to be desired. I have never tried one of these myself, but after reading the full review I'd probably have to agree with their observations and may avoid this one for now.

   Compared to the keyboard covers on Samsung's previous smartphones, the new one looks more at home on the S8 and S8+, especially the Midnight Black. When attached, they look like they were meant to be together, whereas clashing colour shades and size differences between phone and keyboard meant the cover looked a bit oddly proportioned/styled with the previous models.Source: Neowin

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9
At the latest Build conference, Micorosft spent quite a bit of time talking about it's move into the Android and iOS markets as they are pushing their applications to platforms that people are actually using. They didn't mention their own mobile OS much at all, and that made some people nervous. They questioned Microsoft about it to which they responded that they will continue to support their own platform. Historically, Microsoft apps have been available for iOS and Android first and eventually make it to Windows phone. This gap will continue to widen until they realize that nobody cares if it makes it to Windows Phone. That will take about a month. 

   With the significantly higher number of users on iOS and Android compared to Windows 10 Mobile, it’s understandable that Microsoft would want to offer their services and products to those using those ecosystems. This often frustrates Windows phone users though as it can appear that Microsoft favors offering support for other companies’ mobile devices over their own.Source: ONMSFT

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10
One of the reasons I liked Google Hangouts so much is that it has a desktop component that allows me to communicate with people via SMS whether I'm on my phone or PC. Google is killing this service as they think nobody really wants it anyhow. WhatsApp realized that people actually do, and they are making a move to put their service on the desktop via the Windows Store. It's not quite as convenient, but it's a nice touch. I guess I'll be moving to WhatsApp when Google finally kills the service.

   The app appears to be a straight conversion of the currently available WhatsApp Desktop app for Windows using the Desktop Bridge. According to Aggiornamenti Lumia, the app stipulates that your PC must be running at least the Anniversary Update, and you will need to connect it to your mobile phone to mirror messages.Source: WindowsCentral

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11
General Mayhem / HTC Ups Game with U11
« on: May 16, 2017, 04:33:35 am »
HTC makes really nice phones, but without the brand recognition that Samsung and Apple get, it's an uphill battle. The U11 is their 2017 flagship that offers everything you need and then some. It comes with the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, an excellent sound chip and even Amazon Alexa. If you have come to love the Alexa service, it's pretty handy to have it packed into a phone. Also, you can give the phone a hug and it will do a couple of other things. It supports "squeeze" gestures. Just what we've been waiting for.

   However, it's with audio that HTC shines. The bundled digital USB-C "USonic" headphones contain a built-in DAC, and also have active noise cancellation. They also have one additional feature, beaming ultrasound into your ear on first use, to tune an equaliser profile most suited to your age and earplugs. You can then manually tweak this if you like.Source: TheRegister

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12
LAN & General Gaming / 343 Teasing New Halo - Not Halo 6
« on: May 14, 2017, 09:04:38 pm »
With E3 pretty much right around the corner, we are starting to get a few more details regarding announcements for the show. 343 Studios is dropping hints about a Microsoft E3 announcement for Halo that will definately NOT be Halo 6. Maybe it's a way to bring previous Halo titles to the PC? Maybe it's another Halo Wars. We'll find out in a few weeks. I'm not holding my breath though and I think this will be a mini Halo 5.5.

   Obviously in a perfect world, Microsoft would have been able to launch this fall’s Xbox Scorpio with some sort of major Halo game, given that it’s still the console’s most beloved exclusive series by a mile, but the timing is just not in the cards for that, clearly. If anything, it seems like Crackdown 3 may end up being the “launch game” for Scorpio, as the dev is teasing a big presence at E3, but Halo? Doubtful.Source: Forbes

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13
Operating Systems & Software / No Netflix for Root
« on: May 14, 2017, 09:00:54 pm »
If you have a rooted Android device, you will no longer be able to update the App on install a new version. They've updated the DRM to ensure that you can't just download a bunch of movies and then keep or share them with everyone and this update detects if the device has been rooted to help prevent piracy. I'm sure there are a few people that are mad about the security update - as there are legitimate reasons for rooting your device. Still, you can't blame Netflix for keeping things secure for their content providers.

   Some rooted users are currently still able to use the app, though. Widevine sorts out devices on the criteria of whether they are running in the Trusted Execution Environment whereas the Google Play Store listing goes on SafetyNet, what Android Pay uses. Perhaps that will change with time as users just won’t be able to work the app through the Play Store. Third-party sources will likely help you out in this case.Source: PocketNow

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14
General Mayhem / Honeywell Fire Alarms Don't
« on: May 14, 2017, 08:57:01 pm »
It seems that Honeywell's new SWIFT wireless gateway that connects to their smoke detectors has a bit of a technical issue. When smoke or fire is detected, something appears to mis-fire and while the sensors themselves appear to work, it's not passing through the gateway and the alarm won't trigger. It's not a great thing when the product only has one job - and it fails. Remind me not to pick up Honeywell products to protect my family.

   The recall isn't about to spark a mass panic when it covers just 900 units sold between October 2014 and December 2016. However, it underscores the challenges of building advanced safety systems. Simply put, there isn't much room for glitches. Fire alarms have to be extremely reliable, and that's not an easy feat when you bring networking into the equation.Source: Engadget

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15
General Mayhem / iPhone 8 Will be Pretty & Expensive
« on: May 14, 2017, 08:52:49 pm »
The leaks have been trickling out regarding the upcoming iPhone 8 and it seems that Apple is stepping up their game to the level of Samsung with the new iPhone 8 design. The downside is that this device will cost about $1,000 USD. Keep in mind that is the starting price. It looks like the larger version will set you back at least another $100. It's not going to be cheap, but it looks almost as nice as the Galaxy S8.

   The good news is, despite the price hikes, Goldman Sachs’ report also confirms all the biggest and best changes Apple is expected to make to the iPhone 8. These include a massive new 5.8-inch OLED display, a “no bezel, all screen” design, removal of the home button, “biometric authentication” (position unknown), an A11 chipset and no 64GB option.Source: Forbes

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