#94 Notch Gets Scrubbed

Microsoft just introduced a snapshot that essentially removes all references of Notch from the splash screen and I couldn’t be happier.

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#71 WhirlwindFX Vortx Unboxing

For the entire month of December, our shows are FREE to watch on Facebook, Twitch, Mixer and YouTube! Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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Looking for the video for today’s show? Look no further, we’ve included it below!

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5G smartphones are coming in 2019. What does that mean?

5G is already here, but you can’t do much to access those super-fast speeds unless you live in a specific place with a particular piece of technology. That’s about to change. Samsung and Verizon jointly announced Monday the companies would sell a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. Although they didn’t say which phone would support 5G, Samsung usually announces its latest Galaxy S smartphone in the spring.

Fortnite’s Season 7 gets start date and chilling first tease

Between the shambling monsters, meandering cubes, and inter-dimensional butterflies from beyond time and space, Fortnite’s sixth season has certainly been memorable. All good things must come to an end however, and Epic has now confirmed that Season 6 only has only three days left to go. On a happier note, it’s also shared the very first tease for Season 7. For weeks now, Epic’s subtle and not-so-subtle in-game shenanigans have lead many to believe that Fortnite’s Season 7 will have an appropriately wintery sub-zero theme. There’ve been hints of frost and snow in a number of new cosmetics, and then there’s the not-inconsiderable matter of the great snowstorm bearing down on Battle Royale island right now.

Indie Developers Don’t Like Steam’s New Revenue Sharing Policy

Steam is constantly evolving behind the scenes, but the latest reorganization of the storefront’s molecules has left some developers scratching their heads. Now, if a game makes $10 million, developers have to share less money with Valve. And if it hits $50 million, even less than that. Valve announced tweaks to Steam’s revenue sharing system in a post on Friday. Previously, all developers had to give 30 percent of their revenue to Valve. Now, if a game makes $10 million, its developer only has to toss 25 percent of earnings after that into Valve’s bottomless money abyss. If it makes it all the way up to $50 million, the developer only owes Valve a 20 percent cut of remaining sales. “The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants,” Valve wrote. “Finding the right balance to reflect those contributions is a tricky but important factor in a well-functioning network. It’s always been apparent that successful games and their large audiences have a material impact on those network effects, so making sure Steam recognizes and continues to be an attractive platform for those games is an important goal for all participants in the network.”

Unboxing The Whirlwind Vortx

Tune in to the above video to get my immediate thoughts and a hands-on look with this epic new gadget, promising to provide the first environmental simulator for PC gaming! Full Review coming soon!

Here’s a look at the launch video:

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#3 DSL Is Stiffing You $60/mo For 10Mbps, What??

This episode was recorded LIVE on Twitch.tv! If you want to be part of the live show and to hang out and play video games with us in the post show, you’re missing out. It’s time you became an insider.

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Tech News Topic:

New report explains how AT&T and Verizon profit from DSL internet customers twice

Yea, if you want to flip out and rage, this is where to do it. DSL customers are paying $60/mo for 10Mbps while the rest of us cable internet people are getting at least 100Mbps.

Gadget Topic:

Dojo by BullGuard

A really interesting gadget that connects to your wifi and protects every device connected to it. Perfect gift for college students heading back to school or to have in the house, because you never know when someone may want to hack into your network.

Video Game Topic:

‘Gloomhaven’ is Getting a Video Game Adaptation

“In this rogue-like dungeon-crawling adaptation of the famous board game, you will journey through terrifying randomly generated dungeons, fight against increasingly horrific and powerful foes…or die trying.

Our game designers are channelling Gloomhaven’s quintessential spirit day after day: deep tactical mechanics, battle preparations… and also dying.

In Gloomhaven, you play as a team of mercenaries on their own personal quests to go conquer a world of darkness and trials. Choose your group members wisely, because in the turmoil of battle you can only rely on your wits, skills and spells to fight your way through the putrid dungeons and forgotten ruins.

If you survive your perilous journeys, you might have the opportunity to expand your team, improve your spells or maybe fill your coin purse. You’ll need these things to overcome the hordes of malicious beasts, demons and whatever else may find itself in your path towards victory and domination of all. No decision should ever be made lightly, so choose with caution!”

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AT&T Launches Amazon Dash-style Button Called LTE-M

AT&T has partnered with Amazon Web Services to introduce the LTE-M Button.

AT&T has just launched a physical button that allows users to order stuff online with a single click. Called the LTE-M Button, it works in the same principle as the Amazon Dash.

Although powered by Amazon Web Services, the device does not need a WIFI connection to work. This is because it is connected to AT&T’s LTE-M network and targeted to areas with low connectivity.

While the Amazon Dash is targeted to homes and individuals, AT&T designed the LTE-M button for businesses. Companies can program the buttons to best suit their needs. For example, it can be used to place orders supplies from a job site or it can be programmed to order medication for Seniors. Hotel conference rooms, airports and sports venues can also use it for instant customer feedback. The possibilities are basically endless!

The button supports actions through different clicks including single, double and long presses. It has an LED indicator and runs on two lithium AA batteries. The LTE-M Button has a lifetime of three years or 1,500 clicks, whichever comes first.

Companies can also customize the buttons with their own logos and design printed on it.

Currently, AT&T’s latest offering is available in the US at an initial price of $29.99. After 5000 units are sold, the price will be at $34.99.

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Best Buy Wont Sell Mate Pro 10 And All Other Gadgets From Huawei

(Credit: Huawei) The Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Chinese company receives a major blow and losses Best Buy as one of their retailers.

It is definitely not a good time for Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer.

Best Buy, the US’s largest retailer electronics retailer, has reportedly stopped ordering smartphones from the Chinese company. They will also stop selling its products over the next couple of weeks. This is according to a person who is familiar with the issue.

“We don’t comment on specific contracts with vendors”, a Best Buy representative explained in a report. “And we make decisions to change what we sell for a variety of reasons,” he adds.

A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment on the issue but maintains that Best Buy is a “valued partner”. But “as a policy, we do not discuss the details of our partner relationships,” she said.

“Huawei currently sells its products through a range of leading consumer electronics retailers in the U.S.,” the Chinese company also said in a statement.

“We have a proven history of delivering products that meet the highest security, privacy and engineering standards in the industry and are certified by the Federal Communications Commission for sale in the U.S.”

This move follows AT&T and Verizon’s last-minute change of decision to not go ahead with promoting the Mate 10 on contract after the increased U.S. scrutiny of Chinese tech firms over protection issues.

The company was apparently expected to announce their partnership with AT&T in January at the CES but the US company backed out. When asked for comments, AT&T kept mum but about the reports but said that they never publicly committed to the partnership. Verizon followed the move a few days later.

 

Reolink Go: Wireless Mobile Rechargeable HD Security Cam at Indiegogo

Reolink Go, an HD Security Camera currently sold in the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, and Australia is wire-free, mobile, and rechargeable; features that make it one of the most innovative in the market. Crowdfunding on Indiegogo starts late March 2018 and the fact that it is supported by telecommunications giants AT & T and Telstra (with more mobile service providers to come) makes it attractive to investors.

“Wire-Free Security Solution on the go with no wifi and no power outlets”

Reolink Go is one of those inventions whose concept is so fundamental that it makes you wonder it hasn’t hit the market any sooner than it did. It operates on 4G-LTE network and is perfect for situations where you want a security solution without the hassles of a wired or corded system. If you hate messy cabling, this is definitely the security camera of choice.

But clearly, the foremost advantages are its ability to operate in areas where with limited WI-Fi access and no electricity.

Reolink Go can be as mobile as you are – take it while traveling or make it your low-maintenance sentinel even in remote areas or sites without power.

 

 

It’s perfect for homes, boats, trucks, construction sites, depots, farms, and practically any place you wish to keep an eye on but could not do in the past because of constraints.

 

 

 

 

And there’s more to love aside from its long-lasting per charge battery that saves you money and is eco-friendly. When connected to a Reolink Solar Panel, your surveillance system can now run on natural, non-stop power and is totally freed from needing electricity!

You also get to capture image and videos with amazing clarity and vividness thanks to Reolink Go’s “Starlight Vision”. Whether used indoors or outdoors, the camera can capture images with amazing detail even in low light conditions up to a distance of 33 feet or roughly 10 meters.

A fully functional surveillance camera, it is easy to install and economical since it does not require expensive electrical wiring or phone cabling. It can monitor what you want to see – especially when you aren’t around to physically keep your site from intruders.

 

You can be traveling or sipping pina colada somewhere else and have the confidence that Reolink Go is keeping an eye. Of course, it can’t actually prevent a home invasion or catch critters poaching your produce – but that’s another story. With its capacity for motion detection and 2-way audio, you can design other security measures for alerting the authorities.

So go ahead and monitor, protect, secure, watch, and supervise from just about anywhere!

Tech specs:

The specs are what you would absolutely expect from high-end cameras starting from its Sony CMOS, night vision (Starlight), motion sensor, 2-way audio, and an impressive range of motion. Weatherproowaterproof-proof, it can operate equally well in sub-zero regions and the tropics. Large storage capacity and an unbelievable standby battery life of 1-2 months make it indeed a reliable companion.

  • Resolution – 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Image Sensor – Sony STARVIS CMOS Image Sensor
  • Night Vision – Starlight Night Vision (Up to 33 Feet)
  • PIR Motion Sensor – Yes
  • Outdoor/Indoor – Weatherproof
  • Two-Way Audio – Yes
  • Motion Detection – Yes
  • Angle of View – 130°
  • Free App – iOS, Android
  • Operating Temperature: -10℃ to 55℃
  • Storage Type – External Micro SD Card
  • Storage – Up to 64GB
  • Internet Connection Type –  4G-LTE Mobile Network
  • Mobile Service Providers Supported – AT&T, Telstra (More to Be Updated)
  • Battery Type – 18650/3.6V/7800mAH Rechargeable Lithium Battery
  • Battery Life (Standby Mode)- 1 – 2 Months
  • Warranty- 2 Years

Huawei: Undetected Spying, Commercial Witch Hunt or China Bashing?

The innovative Chinese company, Huawei is again in the news and not because it has dislodged Apple in second place in the global smartphone market. CNBC  reports in what seems to be a re-hash of an advisory issued six years ago, that the heads of CIA, FBI, and NSA warned the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that Americans should be cautioned against buying Huawei and ZTE smartphones, two popular Chinese brands. Ironically, the U.S. brand, Apple, has been accused also of spying on user data.

FBI Director Chris Wray issued the strongest ever statement against the popular brand, “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks. That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

Is life imitating art in the post-Cold War era? Is your innocent little phone, a depository of confidential information moonlighting as a spy? Huawei, based in Shenzen China is a 30-year old company but has only been producing handsets since 2003. Present in 170 countries, it has shipped over 139 million units, and in Sept. 2017 dislodged Apple’s firm position as the second most popular brand and is now just behind Samsung. However, this second place position is disputable because Counterpoint Research claims that it is highly popular only in China, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East but not in Northern America. Furthermore, none of its models have ranked as the best selling models with the top spots claimed by iPhone, Oppo, and Samsung.

So, is this commercial witchhunt or a legitimate concern about possible “undetected espionage”? Here’s what the U.S. consumer market was warned about six years ago – a deja vu to current claims:

Huawei has faced grave accusations from the U.S., Australian, and Canadian governments. The U.S. Congress has even gone to the factories but isn’t convinced six years after the initial controversy that Huawei is above board and is not a security threat. Why then were Huawei and ZTE allowed to sell (and prosper) in the U.S. market even after the congressional committee (back in 2012) declared that it had no confidence in these two Chinese companies as far as providing infrastructure, equipment, and services in the U.S. because of the risk to cybersecurity? In particular, there was fear that embedded electronic bugs that could transmit data furtively back to China. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee claimed that there was a legitimate concern because of the potential leak of trade secrets. The U.S. at that time was reeling from a cyber-attack that exposed 300B worth of trade information that would impact U.S. market competitiveness. Congress has also admitted it was protectionist because Huawei was producing cheap but high-quality products that will potentially outsell U.S. brands at home and internationally.

Back in 2012, Huawei and ZTE have denied the claims and have declared that they are not under the control of the Chinese government. At that time, both companies were told that in order to continue doing business in the U.S., there must be complete disclosure of information – including financial records to ensure that these companies are not merely puppets of the Chinese government. Some quarters referred to this pressure as China-bashing.

Fast forward to 2018, despite its attempt to “sanitize” its image and prove that it is not beholden to the Chinese government, the effect of the announcement on Huawei is disastrous. In the midst of this latest controversy, talks collapsed between ATT and Huawei with the American telecommunications carrier pulling out of their deal. Congress has also an impending bill that will ban government employees from using Huawei phones. Furthermore, in what is seen as commercial pressure, a bill (companion bill to Defending U.S. Government Communications Act) is being introduced by Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, that will prohibit the government from engaging in a contract with companies that use Huawei or ZTE products, equipments or component parts. He is the same congressman who asked for a show of hands on whether they should recommend to Americans the use of smartphones produced by Apple’s Chinese competitors.

Huawei claims that they are in the U.S. for business and not likely to engage in cloak-and-dagger activities. They had reacted strongly to allegations during CES. Huawei released a statement saying that the Congressional report “employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations…We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market.”

Whether the claims are true or proven to be high-level paranoia, it pays to be cautious when using our smart devices. Here are some ways we could protect ourselves from inadvertently leaking information to both iOS and Androids.

 

What You Need To Know About Google’s RCS Business Messaging

Search giant Google has reportedly flipped the switch on “RCS business messaging.” This came after Google has developed the platform a year. This would mean that recognized brands could send multimedia-rich messages to Android users.

 

What is Google RCS Business Messaging

 

Google said that using RCS business messaging; brands can get more information apart from getting an SMS using a five-digit short code. To demonstrate, brands could get a message with complete details like hotel address, a photo of a room, and a quick-reply buttons.

 

And that’s the core idea of Google’s RCS business messaging. If you are following Google Messaging apps or its Rich Communication Services, texting using the Android platform rarely meet. But it has the downside; only a few companies are using the platform. These companies include 1-800-flowers, 1-800-contacts, DHL, Booking.com, Subway, among others.

 

In a blog post, Google has posted a note that it already collaborated with Sprint. The search giant said that its services would also be coming to Mexico. Google said that it would roll out the services to other regions and businesses.

 

Also, Google pointed out that its RCS for business would likely fall to standard SMS. Regarding privacy issues, the search giant said that it would follow the same legal rules for SMS as messages are encrypted.

 

Over the past years, the search giant has initiated to increase some bold initiatives to increase support for the Universal Profile. In fact, some of the mobile companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung, and have expressed their commitment to support on their phones and services.

 

To date, there are 43 companies are using Google’s Android Messages app or servers.

Huawei Chief Slams Lawmakers After Collapse of AT&T Deal

China-based mobile company Huawei said that consumers were also hurt when the deal with AT&T collapsed this week.

Huawei, AT&T phone deal collapsed?

 

An official of the Huawei’s consumer business group shared this news when he delivered his keynote at CES.

 

“I think it’s quite a big loss for us and also for the carriers, but it’s more of a big loss for consumers,” Richard Yu, chief of Huawei’s consumer business group, said.

 

The Huawei chief was expected to publicly announce the record-breaking deal between Huawei and AT&T. Sadly, the deal did not take off as expected a day before his CES keynote speech.

 

No official from AT&T has publicly explained why the supposed partnership with Huawei collapsed. Reports, however, indicated that US lawmakers raised the issue of security concerns if Huawei will be selling their product to a US-based mobile carrier.

 

Also, it can be recalled that back in 2012, Huawei was tagged as a security threat apparently because if its alleged ties with the Chinese government.

 

But Yu stressed that the company’s Mate 10 Pro will come to the US but as an unlocked device that will be sold to online retailers shop such as Best Buy and Amazon.

 

During the CES event, Yu showed a video of European customers expressing how happy and satisfied they are with their Huawei phones. He further stressed that Huawei was practising both the best security and privacy practices.

 

What do you think of the AT&T and Huawei phone deal? Leave us a comment below!

AT&T Just Dumped Huawei’s Mate 10, Will Samsung’s Galaxy S9 Succeed?

For several years, there has been a tight competition in the US when it comes to the Android phone market. It has been a norm for mobile companies to sell their smartphones through mobile carrier partnerships. But Huawei  is now stealing the show.

 

The China-based mobile company has earned the reputation for having a big chunks of sales across the globe. The company, according to mobile analysts, has never competed in the US market before.

 

For instance, Samsung is the only company that sells expensive Android smartphones in the US. Other mobile companies like HTC, Sony, LG, and Google are struggling to keep afloat.

 

 

Huawei’s Mate 10 deal with AT&T cancelled?

 

In fact, a report late last year indicated that Huawei had entered a partnership agreement with US’ AT&T, of which it would sell Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 10. The move apparently disturbed Samsung’s confidence as the consumers’ top choice for Android smartphone.

 

Also, the company’s Mate 10 has innovative features like a headphone jack, a fingerprint sensor. The Mate 10 has a Leica-branded dual lens camera-all are good selling points against Samsung’s Galaxy 9.

 

“The U.S. market presents unique challenges for Huawei, and while the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will not be sold by U.S. carriers, we remain committed to this market now and in the future,” the company said in a statement.

 

This means that Huawei is expected to sell the Mate 10 through “open channels” and not via any wireless carrier. Unfortunately, a political pressure prompted the cancellation of the deal, recent news reports said.

“Whatever they have spent on US marketing is a waste now, and the letdown this time may also deter other potential carrier-partners in the future,” Canalys analyst Mo Jia as quoted saying in a Reuters report.

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