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    July 24, 2015
    Fallout Shelter Coming To Android August 13

    Call it a belated birthday present for me.  Two months ago, the Bethesda mobile game Fallout Shelter made its debut on iPhones, about the time Bethesda announced that Fallout 4 was going to be a thing that happens on PCs and consoles throughout the world.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it wasn’t immediately available for Android users, just Apple users.  That’s changing, thankfully.  Fallout Shelter is coming to Android on August 13.

    The good thing about the game is that it’s going to continue to be free to download, though users are still able to pay for helpful items within the game and various bonus boosts.  Of course, there will also be content updates to bring the game a little closer to Fallout 4′s content.  They’ll be adding the helpful Mr. Handy robot, as well as new enemies like the dreaded Deathclaw.  That’s very exciting stuff for Fallout nerds like myself.

    I just hope that the game is as fun as I’m hoping it is.  Even if it’s only half as fun as I’m expecting, it’s going to be fun.

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    July 23, 2015
    Apple: Free Beats With A Mac

    Every hot day brings the school year closer.  The sun rises, the sun sets, and back-to-school looms on the horizon.  However, with the encroaching school year comes the coveted back-to-school sale, and while Apple traditionally isn’t very giving when it comes to sales, they are loosening up the purse strings just a bit for a pretty interesting return-to-college promotion.  Apple is giving away free Beats headphones with every Mac purchase for students and faculty members.

    The deal is actually pretty good.  You buy your computer, and you have a choice of either a pair of Beats Solo2 On-Ear Headphones for free or a pair of Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones for $100.  For wireless headphones, that’s a pretty good deal and worth the extra $100 over the price of your $2000 computer system.  I have wired headphones now, and every time I snag the wire on something or ruin another pair of headphones by shorting them out, I wish I would just bring my wireless headphones from home to work and get it over with.  The deal is currently active at Apple stores and Apple Authorized Campus stores as we speak, and it will be coming to the online Apple Store on August 6.

    For more information, check out Apple’s Beats promo page.

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    July 22, 2015
    Xbox One Adding Keyboard And Mouse Support

    One of the key features of Windows 10 is the ability to sync it to everything else you own that’s Microsoft-related.  That’s one of the big reasons behind the re-branding of various Xbox services to something a little more generic than Xbox Music or whatever.  Microsoft wants you to use it everywhere, not just on your video game console.  Also, they want you to be able to play your games wherever you might be, too, be they on your Xbox or your PC.  In order to facilitate cross-platform gaming, Xbox will be adding keyboard and mouse support in the near future.

    The goal is cross platform gaming.  That means playing your PC games on your Xbox, and if you have a fast enough computer, playing your Xbox games on your computer.  That’s where the keyboard support comes in.  After all, the reason why PC gaming is so much more easy than console gaming is the ease of play offered up by mouse and keyboard.  You can just control things better, more accurately, and it’d be nice to bring that sort of prowess to console gaming, too.

    Of course, that would require some great games for Xbox One and some serious support from the PC developers.  That all might take a bite out of multiple sales or cross-platform sales, but maybe Microsoft will make it worth their while?

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    July 22, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Drone Wednesday

    Via Reddit.

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    July 21, 2015
    Reasons to Upgrade To Windows 10

    Every time I get on my computer, at the bottom of my screen on the right, I see a little window icon that reminds me daily that I will soon be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for absolutely nothing.  Part of me is interested, of course, but part of me is also afraid because, well, upgrading can be dangerous, particularly when you’re running a lot of older games and software like I do.  Still, Microsoft is pushing hard to get people to upgrade with a full-court press of information on Win 10. They’ve also made a video.

    YouTube Preview Image

    I’m not entirely put at ease by the update offer, because I just have one laptop and once that goes, I’ll have no computers so I need to protect it as best I can, and installing a buggy launch day version of a new OS isn’t the best way to do that.  Still, it’s very tempting.  If I could find the money for a new computer between now and when the free upgrade offer goes away, then I’d probably take the plunge, if only because it’s free.

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    July 17, 2015
    Rovio Announces Angry Birds 2

    Flick a finger, knock down some pigs.  It’s a very simple idea, but the execution is still awesome, and Angry Birds remains one of the most addictive games I have ever played.  I have wasted hours trying to get three stars on every level, and even now sometimes I’ll pick up the 2009 original and try my hand at birding.  Rovio hopes to recapture that addictive magic once again with a brand new game featuring some familiar, angry faces.  Rovio has announced a sequel to their hit game Angry Birds.

    If you’re surprised there’s a sequel, well, so am I.  Rovio focused a lot on creating spin-0ff games, like the Star Wars Angry Birds, the Angry Birds go-kart game, and the Angry Birds RPG.  There’s also all the tee-shirts, toys, and other assorted products that have kept the game in the public’s eye, even as downloads for the game waned.  Still, in 2014, Rovio brought in $172.3 million in revenue.  That’s down from 2013, but still really impressive.  No doubt the company hopes that a return to classic Angry Birding will be a benefit to the bottom line.

    Image via Angry Birds Twitter.

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    July 15, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Turnstile

    Via Reddit

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    July 14, 2015
    Mozilla Disables “Too Dangerous” Flash

    One of the cornerstones of the Internet is being chipped away.  Once upon a time, if you wanted to have animation or online videos, you needed to know Flash to make that happen, or use a site that uses Flash.  Now, it looks like the software of choice for Newgrounds and other fun games is getting removed from circulation.  Mozilla has disabled Adobe Flash on all Firefox browsers.  Mozilla was one of the last companies who still supported Flash, and now it’s officially getting the boot until Adobe gets it repaired and secure.

    It’s a very rare step for Mozilla to make a universal decision, but the company has decided that Adobe’s Flash product is too unsafe to run on their browsers, as hackers routinely use it to gain access to computers and it’s renowned for being full of exploits.  Google moved to disable Flash on its browsers earlier this year, and even Adobe has stopped developing Flash for mobile phones back in 2011.  Now, hopefully, the rest of the world will follow Adobe’s lead and Flash will finally get replaced by something safe to run on browsers, like HTML5.

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    July 13, 2015
    Windows 10 PCs Won’t Be Around When Win 10 Launches

    With every new operating system comes a round of computer upgrades.  That’s just how it works.  Rather than trying to upgrade computers with new pieces, most people just end up buying a new computer and calling it a day.  For the price of some new parts and Windows 10, you’re probably better off going with that anyway, getting something tested and proven to be functional.  Yeah, about that testing… When Windows 10 hits markets on July 29, there won’t be many/any Windows 10 computers to buy.

    The issue is the testing window.  Microsoft still hasn’t released a version of Win 10 to PC makers to test their software and hardware on, because Microsoft is still flattening bugs.  That means that PC companies can’t release their products because they’re still not sure what’s going to work and how, and the time to do that testing is getting shorter and shorter with each passing day.  However, Microsoft promises to fix the problem before it becomes a problem.

    “A build of Windows 10 will be delivered to our OEM partners soon so they can start imaging new devices with Windows 10,” wrote a Microsoft spokeswoman to PC World.  ”We expect several OEM partners to have Windows 10 devices available for sale on July 29, including Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer with many, many more devices to follow in the coming weeks and months.  We are excited to be working with our OEM partners to see Windows 10 innovations light up on these new devices.”

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    July 10, 2015
    Senators Ask FCC To Investigate Cable Companies

    It seems that every week, another cable company is forming from the merged bodies of two formerly separate entities.  That’s been the case for awhile, but these days, it seems like it’s reaching a peak.  The sort of peak that attracts the interest of federal regulators and, in the case of the newest round of possible cable mergers, four United States Senators.  Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Edward Markey, and Al Franken have thrown their considerable weight behind a letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, asking him to take a look at cable pricing.

    Writes Sanders, “With increasing concentration in the industry, there are now de facto telecommunications monopolies throughout the united states.  for example, just 37 percent of Americans have more than one option for high-speed broadband providers.  Given the lack of incentives for companies to provide better quality service and competitive prices, it is no surprise that individuals rank cable and Internet providers last in customer satisfaction when compared to other companies in other industries.”

    Sanders isn’t asking the Federal Communications Commission to do any investigation, just do a pricing survey and keep an eye on things.  Given the amount of hidden fees and taxes and other things put in, it makes sense to have someone keeping an eye on things, since most of us consumers don’t have an option outside of the local cable monopoly or, in my case, a subpar DSL provider and the local cable monopoly.  Neither of which is a great option, since I don’t like my local cable company since they got bought out by a large provider.

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