Watching live TV can be hard, Amazon wants to make it easier

Found on CNet News on Tuesday, 16 January 2018
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Owners of Fire TV streaming devices can discover live programming on a new row called On Now that displays on their home page.

As Amazon points out, you have to subscribe to those services via Amazon Channels, a Prime benefit.

Sadly there will be lots of people who fall for this; not that one should feel sorry for them though.

Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance

Found on The Verge on Wednesday, 20 December 2017
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While many iPhone users have experienced perceived slowdowns due to iOS updates over the years, it appears that there’s now proof Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time.

“This fix will also cause users to think, 'my phone is slow so I should replace it' not, 'my phone is slow so I should replace its battery,’” says Geekbench’s John Poole.

It’s also clear that Apple, which makes its devices hard to open and repair, could do a better job helping consumers understand the benefits of battery replacement.

Sales count, not battery replacements. Apple excels at marketing and pulling the cash out of the pockets of their loyal sheep. There is no reason for them to go for the cheaper and more environment-friendly route.

Belgium ends 19th-Century telegram service

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
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One hundred and seventy-one years after the first electrical message was transmitted down a line running alongside the railway between Brussels and Antwerp the final dispatch will be sent and received on 29 December.

So the world won't really change when Belgium finally pulls the plug on its telegram system, but it is another milestone in the long, slow death of a method of communication that once changed the world and which, in its glory days 100 years ago, seemed as though it would never stop.

Today's replacements can consider them really lucky if they are still known in one or two decades. Client software will be gone, and so will be the history of your conversations. Not that most of it will be just embarrassing decades later and not important at best.

Vulnerability Found In Amazon Key, Again Showing How Dumber Tech Is Often The Smarter Option

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 23 November 2017
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When Amazon introduced its new $250 Smart Key system a few weeks back, most people were understandably skeptical. The product promises to securely let Amazon delivery folk unlock your front door and place packages inside, with an accompanying camera that tracks every move the deliveryman makes to ensure personal security.

Researchers at Rhino Security Labs demonstrated that by using a simple program within WiFi range, the camera can be not only disabled, but frozen -- presenting the image of a closed door while burglars happily pilfer your possessions.

Let's hope these hipster gadgets fail hard and people return to the good old locks.

The new Tesla Roadster just blew our minds

Found on Cnet News on Sunday, 19 November 2017
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Coming in 2020, the new Tesla Roadster is said to do the 0 - 60 sprint in 1.9 seconds and continue on through the quarter mile in less than eight seconds.

All that performance won't come cheap, though. The new Tesla Roadster will cost a whopping $250,000, making it Tesla's most expensive car ever. Those who pre-order now (with an at least $50,000 deposit) will get their cars in 2020 -- or thereabouts.

Tesla, if you want to be taken seriously by the majority of the people, better start producing affordable cars. Until then you are just a company for a minority and will vanish in an instant once others caught up and your minutes of fame are over.

Study Finds Internet of Things Will Continue Rapid Growth Rate in 2018

Found on eWEEK on Monday, 13 November 2017
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The two companies, which surveyed 400 IT professionals, found that nearly a third of organizations are currently deploying internet of things systems and many more are planning to start in 2018, despite the security concerns of some IT professionals.

Cradlepoint also proposed some best practices to make the move to IoT a bit easier.

Study Finds <insert overhyped buzzword here> Will Continue Rapid Growth Rate in 2018

Logitech Once Again Shows That In The Modern Era, You Don't Really Own What You Buy

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 10 November 2017
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Released in 2011, the Link hub provided smartphone and tablet owners the ability to use these devices as universal remotes for thousands of devices. But users over at the Logitech forums say they've been receiving e-mails informing them these devices will be effectively bricked in the new year.

While this entire fracas was unfolding, several Reddit users discovered that the company was banning users from using the phrase "class action lawsuit," which unsurprisingly is only making frustrated Link owners more annoyed.

If the product you plan to buy has the buzzword "cloud" all over it, you better think twice before making your final decision; and then avoid the product.

42% of Americans under 8 have their own tablet

Found on Axios on Tuesday, 24 October 2017
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A whopping 42% of children ages 0-8 have their own tablet device, up from less than 1% in 2011, according to Common Sense Media's newest national "Media Use by Kids" census.

10% of kids age 8 or under own a "smart" toy that connects to the internet and 9% have a voice-activated virtual assistant device available to them in the home, such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Tells a lot about parenting these days where it is easier to keep them quiet with a tablet instead of actually taking care of your child.

Nearly a half million pacemakers could get hacked

Found on CNet News on Wednesday, 30 August 2017
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The FDA sent notice Tuesday that nearly half a million pacemakers from the health company Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) are vulnerable to being hacked and need a software update to protect them.

The FDA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether any pacemakers have been hacked so far.

Shouldn't you make such devices as reliable and dumb as possible, instead of stuffing all sorts of features into it? If your "smart" lightbulb gets bricked, that good; but it's a little different for a pacemaker.

$1,000 for iPhone 8? Here's why you shouldn't freak out

Found on CNet News on Monday, 28 August 2017
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In fact, the only real question is whether $999 is the starting price, or maybe the middle model. (I hope Apple will at least have mercy and start the storage capacity on the baseline model at 64GB instead of just 32GB.)

I think the iPhone 8 -- or whatever it's called -- priced at $1,000 will sell briskly, and probably be hard to find for months. Far from hurting Apple and the iPhone brand, I think a new "luxury" iPhone will only enhance it.

Here are the reasons why fanbois will happily hand over the cash for it:
1. It's from Apple
2. It's from Apple
3. It's from Apple