Tech Hangout 2.0 #16: Patrice Strikes Back

Hosts

Ben Roethig

@BenRoethig

BenRoethig.com

Patrice

@casual_kitchen

brendamour.net

Mikel Potts

@twerppoet

Andew Rouch

@Montisaquadeis

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Comcast Invests $200 million in Vox Media

  • Comcast’s NBCUniversal Division has invested another $200 million Vox Media
  • Vox Media’s properties include The Verge, Recode, and more
  • Comcast also has another stake in Vox through its Comcast Ventures Arm
  • Comcast/ NBC will not have editorial control over Vox.
  • Move follows the recent Acquisition by AOL by Verizon

Amazon Stops Accepting Flash Ads

  • Amazon Advertising no longer accept ads with Adobe Flash
  • Move is in response to moves in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari to minimize Flash
  • Use of Flash competitor HTML5 has become more mainstream since the widespread adoption of mobile devices, most of which do not support flash
  • Flash has been known for security and performance issues

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

AppleTV falls to pack in streaming device market

  • Apple has fallen to 3rd place in streaming devices according to Parks Data
  • Roku is the by far the most widespread with 34% of the market
  • Google chromecast is second in a tight race for 2nd at 19% followed by Apple TV at 17% and Fire TV at 14%
  • accounted for 86% of all streaming devices
  • 20% of US household own at least one streaming device
  • 8% own a stick based streamer

Google

News About Google and Android

Samsung Launches 30 Test Drive for iPhone users

  • 30 days free test drive.
  • Only $1

Android 6.0 to be Marshmallow

  • Google has announced final details of Android M
  • will be called Android 6.0 with the codename of Marshmallow
  • Google has launched the Official SDK and final preview of the OS
  • Devs are asked to ready their apps for Marshmallow
  • suggests the OS’s launch could be soon.

Google Updates Android Wear with Interactive Watch Faces

  • Google has added interactive watch faces to Android Wear
  • can now access different functions with a single tap
  • options include faces for Bits, Under Armour, and Together
  • rolling out to Android wear watches over the next few weeks

Google Tries to Fix the Router with OnHub

  • Most consumer internet routers pretty much suck
  • Google is partnering with TP-Link on a new router
  • called OnHub
  • Designed to be functional and elegant for home use
  • automatically adjusts for optimal wi-fi bandwidth
  • controlled by smartphone app
  • can also work as a hub for smart devices
  • $199.99 and on pre-order from Walmart, Amazon, and Google
  • google will also partner with other manufacturers for OnHub devices.

Windows Corner

News Microsoft Products

VAIO Returns to US

  • VAIO used to be Sony’s computer division before being sold to Japan Industrial partners
  • JIP is bringing the VAIO brand back to the US
  • will be sold online and in Microsoft stores beginning in October
  • will focus on high end PCs starting at $2200
  • could also expand into other areas.

Misc Tech

anything that doesn’t fit above

Thunderbolt 3 Prototype Shows Power of Connector

  • Inventec has designed a prototype Thunderbolt 3 hub
  • features 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI, 2 Displayport, a USB-C out, and an external Radeon R9 M385 GPU.
  • can drive twin 4k displays
  • They also demoed a full-size desktop radeon CPU external over Thunderbolt 3
  • intel suggests retail thunderbolt graphics solutions are under development.

ARC Could Bring Practical Fusion Power

  • New magnetic fusion reactor designed by MIT
  • named ARC after the power source that powers Iron Man
  • could make small, practical fusion reactors with a decade
  • can generation 3 times the energy used to sustain the reaction and can boost that by 5-6 fold
  • design allows for reliable output
  • generates the same amount of power as the ITER reactor at half the diameter
  • uses commercially available magnets and liquid cooling.

Gaming

Computer, console, mobile, or tablet top gaming news

Nintendo Reduces 2DS Price to $99

  • price dropped on 2DS from $129 to $99
  • 2D version of 3DS
  • member of Nintendo DS family

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Ben

Final Fantasy 7 for iOS

Patrice

Slack

Mikel

He Got Nothin’

Andrew

Fallout Shelter

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Samsung Announces Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones, Launches Samsung Pay

Samsung’s fall event has been traditionally been the big launch of the company’s big screen phones. This year did not disappoint with the launch of not just one, but two different phones. These phones build off the launch of the GS6 earlier in the year when it comes to styling with the metal frame and glass faces. Let’s take a look at the new phablets.

Galaxy Note 5

I’ll tackle the Note 5 first as many of the base specs are shared with the GS6 Edge+. The Note 5 is built around the same 5.7″ form factor as the Note 4 and also packs an AMOLED screen with a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution. Where the screen may not have changed, Samsung slimmed down the casing around it. Its 2mm narrower and 1mm thinner than the Note 4 while maintaining more or less the same height. The sides on the back are curved for a more natural grip. Samsung want the Note 5 to feel like a smaller phone than it actually is. The phone itself look almost exactly like a larger GS6. With that it also has a fully sealed body. If you wanted a removable battery or mSD card, the Note 5 isn’t for you. Samsung has gone upmarket and plans to stay there.

New for 2015, the Note 5 makes the jump to 64-bit with a new Octacore cpu with 4 high cores at 2.1ghz and 4 low cores at 1.5ghz. That allows it more power when it needs it, but the phone can also use its slower, but more power efficient cores to save battery life. The Note 5 has 4GB of system memory. It needs it as Samsung has backed in some hefty multi-tasking features centered around the updated S-Pen. The back camera is 16mp, same as the Note 4, but has improved software capabilities. The front part is upgraded to 5mp. The Note 5 doesn’t make the jump to USB-C, but it now features much faster wireless charging.

All in all, the Note 5 isn’t a huge jump over the previous generation, but its a nice evolutionary advance over what was a very nice device.

Galaxy S6 Edge+

Don’t let the GS6 name fool you, the GS6 Edge+ is basically the Edge version of the Note 5. The two phones share almost all features save the S-Pen on the Note and the dual edge screens on the Edge+ Without the need to stow the Pen, the Edge+ is even thinner and narrower than the Note 5. When it comes to the Edge screens, it not that much different than the GS6 edge other than the extra screen real estate.

Availability

The GS6 Edge+ and Note 5 will come in 32GB and 64GB variants in White, Black, Silver, and Gold. The phone will launch August 21st with pre-orders starting on the 14th.

Accessories

The most interesting part of the keynote may have been the keyboard over. This physical keyboard works much like the keyboards on the old school phones the Blackberry. It covers part of the screen, but is fully reversible to the back when not in use. It seems a little out of place, but call me nostalgic, I like it.

Samsung Pay

Samsung’s entry into the mobile payments arena, aptly named Samsung Pay, is ready to launch. In fact, the first users will see it launch in beta on August 25th with a full release set for September 28th. Samsung pay uses tokenization and fingerprint security like Apple and Android Pay, but has the ace in the whole of being compatible with with Magnetic secure transmission in additional to the NFC used by its competitors. It already has the support of all 4 major card issuers and several larger banks. It’ll work with the GS6 series and Note 5.

All in all though, Beyond MST compatibility, the Samsung Pay portion sounded a lot like what Apple and Google said months before. One thing is clear though, the Phone payments game is on and with the added security, hopefully consumers are the winner.

Source: Samsung 1, 2

Tech Hangout 2.0 #15: We Gotta Get Monti a Mic and Patrice Some Internet

[Hosts]

Ben Roethig

@BenRoethig
BenRoethig.com

Mikel Potts

@twerppoet

Andrew Rouch

@Montisaquadeis

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Rite Aid Reverses Course, Accepts Mobile Payments

  • Rite Aid Blocked NFC Payments last October
  • Part of MXC Consortium for the CurentC Payment system
  • Company announced that it will accept Apple & Google Wallet on August 15th as well as Android pay when it launches.
  • Multiple CurrentC members have announced plans to offer other NFC including Best Buy and Target

Verizon Debuts New T-Mobile like Plans, Drops 2-year Contracts & Subsidies

  • New simplified plan choices
  • Small = 1GB for $30, Medium 3GB for $45, Large 6GB for $60, an X-Large $80 for 12GB. $15 per overage GB.
  • shared with up to 10 devices
  • $20 connection fee for smartphones, $10 for tablets, $5 for connected devices
  • Not available with 2 year subsidized contract. Full price for device or payment plan only.

UK Makes Your Music Library Illegal

  • a ruling by a British High Court overturned copyright exceptions
  • the exceptions were implemented last year by British Government
  • ripping CDs or importing music into iTunes library is now again illegal.
  • While a crime, it is one that the UK government has never prosecuted anyone for.

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

MacKeeper Owes “Customers” Money

  • ZeoBIT, the developers of questionable cleaning program MacKeeper have lost a class-action lawsuit
  • Will create a $2 million fund, but not admit wrongdoing
  • customers who paid for the software before July 8th of 2015 are eligible for a refund if claimed by November 30th
  • ZeoBIT sold MacKeeper to Kromtech in 2013.

Google

News About Google and Android

Google Becomes Subsidiary of Alphabet… BMW Might Have Something to Say About That

Additional Coverage

  • Sergei Brin and Larry Page have started a new holding company called Alphabet
  • Page will be CEO and Brin President
  • New company will own Google as a wholly owned subsidiary and assume all Google shares
  • Google will be refocused with some business units like X-Labs spun out under the Alphabet umbrella
  • Google product chief Sundar Pichai will become new Google CEO
  • full extent of Alphabet restructuring not yet known
  • BMW also own a company called Alphabet and they are exploring whether the announcements infringes on their trademarks

Android to Receive Vulkan Graphics API

  • Google has announced support for Vulkan
  • Vulcan is a low level graphics API from the Kronos group
  • Meant as a successor to OpenGL
  • Similar in function to Apple’s Metal and DirectX 12
  • Google has not said what release this will be part of

Windows Corner

News Microsoft Products

Windows RT to Receive Final Update

  • Windows RT devices will not receive Windows 10 update
  • Instead will receive Windows 8.1RT Service Pack 3
  • Will launch in September
  • will see a Windows 10-like Start menu and updates to the Start Screen.
  • exact changes are still a mystery

Lenovo Announces First Thunderbolt 3 Mobile Workstations

  • Lenovo has announced 15” P50 and 17” P70 mobile workstations
  • optional 4k UHD display
  • Powered by Skylake Xeon E3-1500M v5 CPUs
  • E3s are typically unchanged from consumer Core chips except for ECC memory support
  • up to 64GB of ECC memory and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage
  • First device to feature Thunderbolt 3 using the new USB-C connector. One or two ports
  • will ship in Q4 starting at $1499.

TV, Web, and Comics

If something happened in hollywood or print, talk about it here.

CBS Finds Millennials Watch TV. Neglects to Offer Programming on Devices They Use

  • CBS found that Millennials do watch TV, but in different ways than older generations
  • Between 65-70% of Millennials watched their TV via traditional broadcasts compared to roughly 85% of Gen X and over 95% of Baby Boomers
  • Computers, Smartphones, and tablets made up approximately 1/3rd of Millennial views
  • Data does not say how programs views on TVs via set top devices are counted
  • CBS currently only network that does not offer programming via Hulu
  • offers CBS all access for $6mo.
  • service works on Roku, but not Apple TV, Fire TV, or Android TV

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Ben

Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation

Mikel:

Trial by Fire by Charles E. Gannon
Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon
Raising Caine
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Tech Hangout 2.0 # 14: We kinda Mailed This One in

Host Notes Okay peeps, this wasn’t our best effort. I had just worked a ton of days in a row and we were not prepared. Same for the show notes. I will try to fix this one, but Episode 14 was more like a release to the old TH 1.0.

Hosts

Ben Roethig

Mikel Potts

Andrew Rouch

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Intel and Micron Announce New 3D Xpoint super memory

Nokia Sells HERE Maps to German Automakers

Budget Carriers Offer Much Slower Speeds

AT&T to Agree to FCC Net Neutrality Terms to Complete DirectTV Deal, Adds New Fees

Additional Coverage

Comcast Won’t Air SlingTV Adds

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

Vulnerability in 10.10.4 leads to Malware

Apple Posts Huge Third Quarter Results

Samsung’s Case Against Apple Supported by Google, Dell, HP, and More

Google

News About Google and Android

First set of devices to get Stagefright update

Motorola Announces New Moto X, G phones

OnePlus 2 Announced

Samsung Introz Tab S2

Manufacturer woes sink Yota Phone 2 US Launch

Misc Tech

anything that doesn’t fit above

UW Madison creates non-metal fuel cell

Transportation Tech

Cars, Planes, Ships, Rockets, ETC

Dutch Company creates ultra durable plastic roads

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Ben

Mikel

Andrew

Gravity Falls

Google Reorganizes into Alphabet

If I told you that Google was becoming part of a larger company called Alphabet, on April 1st, I would have found it in the character of the day. However, it is not April 1st and it has come to pass. Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin announced the formation of Alphabet with Page acting as CEO and Brin as President of the new company. For investors, stock in Google will be converted to stock in Alphabet. The company will act has a holding identity for multiple companies.

What does this mean for Google? Some parts like the X-Lab will be divested and that’s a start. The new Google will be slimmer and focused on what it does best, but what will be divested is not yet clear. There were hints in Alphabet’s blog post about YouTube, but those could have been misinterpreted. What is clear is that Sundar Pichai will be taking the reins of Google. Most analysts saw Sundar as the likely future CEO hand picked by Brin and Page, but saw this as something several years down the line. As a company that has always had several masters, it now has only one voice, Sundar Pichai.

It will be interested to see what happens as we know more about the Alphabet/ Google restructuring. As of now there are more questions than answers, but this restructure doesn’t seem like a bad thing. Instead, it seems like a restructure meant to keep Google focused on it does best while Larry Page and Sergei Brin expand their business interests.

Source: Google & Alphabet
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The Tech Hangout’s “Review” of the iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 Betas….

Grade: Incomplete.

That they’re both in beta and will likely change making any attempt to review them at this time moot. Further more, the quality of user experience isn’t up to what you’d expect in a finished product with features and apps buggy because the code isn’t finished yet. If this sounds like we’re trolling all the other sites who live off of them, damn right we are. Also, unless you’re a developer or a tech journalist willing to take the risks of buggy prerelease software that may void you Apple warrant, just leave the betas alone and wait until the finished product.

Oh yeah, did I mention to just say no to pre-release software?
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