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Topics - Fujitsu

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General Mayhem / Apple requires loot boxes come with odds of winning
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:21:51 AM »
I'll give credit to Apple for this next story, they've now changed their rules for the App Store that any apps that sell "loot boxes" must let people know what the odds of winning are. Basically loot boxes are a chance to win a prize, which has become a popular practice in the past couple years but consumers are starting to realize their odds of winning aren't so great and that you've got to spend a ton of money in an effort to win special items or abilities in these apps. I'm hoping this is precedence setting and that other app stores following suit because some companies (I'm looking at you EA) have really taken the whole loot box concept to stupid levels. ArsTechnica has more on this story.

   Apple rolled out a number of iOS App Store rule changes on Wednesday, and the one that catches your eye will likely depend on your mobile-app interests. The biggest change, at least in terms of number of people likely reached, is a tweak to a major rule about video games on the platform: how loot boxes are advertised to players.   9to5Mac was among the first sites to dig into the rules update and pick out the big changes, and it found that Apple has opted to use the term "loot boxes," which it defines as "mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase." Now, any game or app that utilizes such a random-item system "must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase."

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Bitcoin drops
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:16:19 AM »
If you were excited that Bitcoin had climbed all the way to $20,000 USD at the beginning of the week, you probably aren't super excited that it's dropped below $14,000 USD already. In the ever volatile Bitcoin market, this seems to be par for the course. The ups and downs I guess is what makes the ride thrilling, however, if you'd dropped $20,000 to get in on the Bitcoin craze to see it drop $6,000 in a matter or a day or two you might not be so enthusiastic about the whole craze. Fortune has more on the latest drop.

   The cryptocurrency, which was at about $1,000 at the year’s start, had surged to a record high of $19,666 on Sunday in the lead up to exchange giant CME Group’s launch of its bitcoin futures. It has since lost about a third of its value.   “Keep in mind that bitcoin has gone up a lot this year, so a correction is always likely,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers in Sydney.   Bitcoin‘s success brought cryptocurrencies to the forefront and has also boosted the profile of its rivals, which offer alternatives to bitcoin.   “A lot of the capital is flowing from bitcoin into alternative coins. You’ve seen companies like Verge and Ripple, which are over 400% in the last week,” Chanel at ASR Wealth Advisers said.

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Apple gets sued for slowing down older iPhones
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:12:21 AM »
Well that didn't take very long! After Apple admitted this week that they had slowed down older iPhones due to issues associated with older batteries as iPhones get older, we've already got a lawsuit against Apple. Basically the plaintiff is claiming that if they would have known that replacing the battery would have fixed the issue, they would have replaced the battery, however, Apple failed to mention that and just slowed down the phones anyways. I've got a funny feeling this ends with Apple paying out a bunch of money. MacRumors has the story.

   According to the lawsuit, Bogdanovich and Speas have owned the iPhone 7 and several older iPhone models and have noticed that their "older iPhone models slows (sic) down when new models come out." The two say they did not consent to have Apple slow down their devices, nor were they able to "choose whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal." 
   They're seeking both California and Nationwide class action certification, which would cover all persons residing in the United States who have owned iPhone models older than the iPhone 8. 

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Most common passwords of 2017
« on: December 21, 2017, 09:21:13 AM »
I try to post articles like this at least once a year to remind people that if your password sucks, your chances of being "hacked" are much more likely.

Obviously my public education campaign has done nothing to change anything as the top passwords are the same as in 2016, however, now that some require 8 digit passwords, instead of 123456, people have moved to 12345678. Good job, haha.

MentalFloss has the full list.

   When a website forces you to use numbers, symbols, and a certain amount of characters in your password, it can be frustrating, but those strength requirements are there for a reason. Without them, many users will enter a password thatâ??s easy to remember and, by extension, is easy for hackers to guess. There are several ways to keep your online identity secure, but before you do anything else, make sure youâ??re not using any passwords from the list below.

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Apple slows down old iPhones
« on: December 21, 2017, 09:17:38 AM »
No one can be too surprised that iPhone slow down over time, however, it appears that we now know why, old batteries. In a round about way, it has been figured out that Apple has been secretly slowing down your iPhone because as the batteries become older, running them at full throttle causes issues and less battery life (and who knows, maybe makes you buy a new one!). In the end though, people aren't super happy, nor should they be. TechCrunch has more details.

   The gist, as it always is, is that Apple is being super petty and trying to force customers to upgrade their phones by making their old phones run slower.   As always, the answer is no. It would be beyond stupid and incredibly short-sighted for Apple to do this and, if it was actually true, would likely lead to tangles of a governmental and legal nature that no company like Apple would ever want to happen.   Instead, Apple is focusing attention on smoothing out the very high and quick peaks of power draw that can cause problems with older batteries.

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Power User Gift Guide
« on: December 15, 2017, 07:47:23 AM »
It's the time of the year when the 'Gift Guides' start hitting the internet, normally I skip right past them but I found one over at Ars Technica that is worth sharing. They've come up with a gift guide for the power user, and yup, I'd agree with most of their choices.

   It’s the holidays, which means it’s once again time to rack your brain in search of the right gifts for the right people. If someone on your list is into tech, though, we’ve got your back.   For this year’s edition of the Ars Technica holiday gift guide, we’re breaking down our recommendations into themes. Our fourth and final crop of recommendations are for power users, or people who immerse themselves in tech and demand high utility or high performance.   Many of the items below may skew on the pricey side as a result, but they should still serve as a reminder that you get what you pay for.

Click here to read this article!

Operating Systems & Software / Goodbye AOL Instant Messanger
« on: December 15, 2017, 07:42:03 AM »
AOL Instant Messenger is shutting down today marking the end of its 20 year run. Chances are good you haven't used the service in a good decade, but there were still a few hardcore users that used the service right to the bitter end. Chances are good if you were still a user you've made sure to transfer any personal data you had, but if you didn't, today it will be deleted automatically.

While the popularity might have diminished over the years, any internet service that last 20 years deserves some credit. Fortune has more on the story.

   AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the chat app that was a hallmark of the fledgling Internet-era in the 1990s, is officially shutting down on Friday. It’s time to say goodbye to the screen name that marked your puberty years. Say farewell to your buddy lists—there is no way to save or export them.   If you’re still using AIM, that gives you one day to find an alternative and rebuild your contact list. AIM will not automatically transfer all of your contacts to another service. All personal data associated with AIM will be deleted after December 15, 2017. The company says users can save their chat logs, but it must be done by Friday.   Users will still be able to use their email address to send and receive email, according to Oath (formerly AOL).

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Disney ends up with Hulu
« on: December 14, 2017, 10:34:31 AM »
Thanks to a massive $52-66 billion dollar deal (depends who you ask), Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox and their assets. While Disney acquires things like the Marvel properties, one of the interesting side effects of the deal is that Disney now ends up with majority ownership of Hulu (60%). No one is sure how this all will go, but I think it's a pretty safe to be that Hulu will be seeing some changes in the next year. Fortune has the full story.

   Three months ago, Disney announced plans to start its own streaming service, which would go live in 2019. Today, those plans seem a bit less certain.   With its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney will bump its ownership stake in Hulu to 60%. And while Disney certainly wins if it collects revenues from both companies, it’s much more cost effective to have a single one. The real trick, though, will be convincing Comcast, which owns a 30% stake in Hulu.   Using Hulu as the home for all things Disney would give the company a huge head start, rather than building an audience from scratch. The service stopped giving subscriber numbers last year, but is estimated to have between 12 million and 16 million paid users.

Click here to read this article!

LAN & General Gaming / Ataribox delayed
« on: December 14, 2017, 10:27:40 AM »
If you were patiently waiting for pre-orders to open up for the Ataribox, you'll just have to wait a bit longer. The Ataribox is Atari's that'll give you your fix of retro gaming but also splatter in some indie titles as well. The Ataribox will have a somewhat current AMD CPU and will be running Linux and is going to set you back somewhere around $250-300 USD (when it's finally available). Today was supposed to be the day when you could get your pre-orders in but it has now been delayed with no word on when they'll start pre-orders.

Hard to say how this one will do, the Atari name has a pretty loyal following, however, for $250+ it'll be interesting to see if people can play old Atari games long enough to justify the purchase. Engadget has the story.

   Preorders for the Ataribox were scheduled to start today, December 14th, but it appears that plan has hit a snag. Atari sent out an email today that said it's taking longer than expected "to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves."   The company wants to make sure its product lives up to expectations, so it's delaying the preorders and until it can figure out whatever issues the Ataribox is facing. An updated launch plan is going to be announced in the next few weeks, and the Ataribox team will keep supporters in the loop about what's going on.

Click here to read this article!

Operating Systems & Software / The Game Awards
« on: December 08, 2017, 07:51:38 AM »
The Game Awards are touted as being the video game industry's answer to the Oscars and this week the awards were dished out in Los Angeles. The big winners of th night appears to be Nintendo with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild taking the top prize in addition to Nintendo grabbing a few other of the categories as well. You can find the who list of winners and coverage of the event over at Engadget. 

   Geoff Keighley has been touting this year's The Game Awards as the gaming industry's answer to the Oscars. Now that the ceremony has concluded, we can safely say that he delivered. It had all the hallmarks of a lavish awards show: Live orchestra (check), fervent spiels (check), Hollywood a-listers (check). And, there was the return of the hotly-anticipated game reveals that -- in part -- helped nab 8.6 million viewers last time round. If you didn't catch the action online, we've got your back. Below you'll find a list of the night's winners and the game trailers that went out live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. As always, there were touching moments too, like a noticeably awestruck Melina Juergens getting the Best Performance award for Hellblade from Andy Serkis.

Click here to read this article!

General Hardware / Nvidia Titan V
« on: December 08, 2017, 07:44:55 AM »
Nvidia has just released the most powerful GPU ever with their Nvidia Titan V. 

With the Titan V you'll get 110 teraflops of performance, 12GB of HBM2 memory, 5120 CUDA cores, and 640 tensor cores. What this all means is that it should off up 9x the deep-learning performance of the previous model.

Now of course, with all of that capacity, how much will this cost? $2,999 USD.

The Titan V is available for order right now just in case you won the lottery. If you don't want to order one right now, you can read all about it over at The Verge.

   It seems like Nvidia announces the fastest GPU in history multiple times a year, and that’s exactly what’s happened again today; the Titan V is “the most powerful PC GPU ever created,” in Nvidia's words. It represents a more significant leap than most products that have made that claim, however, as it's the first consumer-grade GPU based around Nvidia’s new Volta architecture.   That said, a liberal definition of the word “consumer” is in order here — the Titan V sells for $2,999 and is focused around AI and scientific simulation processing. Nvidia claims up to 110 teraflops of performance from its 21.1 billion transistors, with 12GB of HBM2 memory, 5120 CUDA cores, and 640 “tensor cores” that are said to offer up to 9 times the deep-learning performance of its predecessor.   Also it comes in gold and black, which looks pretty cool.

Click here to read this article!

The battle between Amazon and Google has heated up once again with Google announcing they'll be pulling YouTube from Amazon Fire TV devices come January 1st, 2018.

This has been going on for a while with Google accusing Amazon of not following their terms of services and blocking Fire TV users a few months back. Amazon then figured out a workaround which of course didn't make Google all that happy and now they are once again putting a stop to Amazon Fire TV users from using their services.

I'm sure none of this has anything to do with the fact that they both sell competing media devices...

Arstechnica hs the full story.

   This drastic measure comes a few months after Google blocked YouTube access for Amazon’s Echo Show device. At the time, both sides blamed the other. Google claimed Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violated its “terms of service” and created a “broken user experience.”   Amazon recently got YouTube to work again on the Echo Show, but in a roundabout way that wasn’t sanctioned by Google. The new version also overlaid voice commands on the on-screen controls, which Google claims also violates its terms of service. That version of YouTube will be blocked immediately while the Fire TV app won't work, starting January 1, 2018.

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Bitcoin mining platform hacked, 56M gone
« on: December 07, 2017, 08:13:32 AM »
Sorry, 2 Bitcoin stories in the same day, I apologize in advance to everyone who is sick of hearing Bitcoin news.

It's being reported that NiceHash, which is a Bitcoin mining program, has been breached and potentially has seen 56 million USD worth of Bitcoin disappear. 

I'm sure there will be a few customers of theirs that aren't so happy but unfortunately their paths of recourse are pretty much zero.

Guru3D has the story.

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Steam no longer accepting Bitcoin
« on: December 07, 2017, 08:07:00 AM »
Lot's of online retailers now accept Bitcoin but already is seems like some are starting to question how good of an idea that is with Steam being the first to pull the plug on using Bitcoin for payment. Citing high fees and volatility, Steam has removed Bitcoin as a payment option. With the sharp fluctuations in the price over the last couple months I'm really not too surprised that vendors are getting concerned with accepting Bitcoin as payment only to see the value drop sharply in a matter of seconds. The Verge has the story.

   Steam is no longer accepting bitcoin as a payment method, game company and distributor Valve announced today. The company is attributing its decision to cryptocurrency’s “high fees and volatility.” In a blog post, Valve explained that bitcoin transaction fees have gone up to nearly $20 per transaction last week, “compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin.” Those fees then have to be shouldered by gamers making purchases on Steam, and the total cost to consumers could be even higher if the value of bitcoin dips in the meantime.

Click here to read this article!

General Mayhem / Samsung working on new battery technology
« on: November 30, 2017, 08:10:54 PM »
Samsung is trying to tackle the old "not enough battery power" issues that plagues every mobile device with new graphene batteries. The talk surrounding this new battery tech sounds promising with them saying it would carry 45% more capacity than lithium-ion and be able to fully charge in 12 minutes. Let's all cross our fingers that this actually work out. TNW has the details.

   While persistent efforts in phone design and software optimization have got us to the point where our handsets can now last a day on a single charge, there’s work to be done yet if we’re heading for a future rife with VR and AR apps.   To that end, Samsung says it’s inching closer to making better batteries, thanks to its breakthroughs in using graphene in place of lithium, which currently powers most phones and electric vehicles.

Click here to read this article!

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