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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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    July 9, 2015
    Beta Test iOS 9 For Apple

    There’s something fun about getting to stuff before everyone else.  Back when I could play games, I loved getting early access perks for buying early, like when I preordered the Warhammer MMORPG.  I had a week or so where it was just me and a million other people grinding away for experience points.  Then everyone else joined up and I lost interest in the game.  That’s not quite as common with software.  Usually, you have to get lucky or know someone to become a software beta tester, but Apple is knocking down the door.  Apple is giving access to the beta version of iOS 9 to anyone who wants it.

    If you’re interested, just head over to Apple’s beta website and sign up.  The iOS 9 download will come with an app for reporting feedback on performance and bugs.  So, yeah, be prepared for lots and lots of bugs.  Apple suggests that users download it onto a secondary phone and make sure to back up your functioning phone BEFORE you put iOS 9 on it, just in case it turns out to be a really bad idea to install beta software on your only phone.

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    July 8, 2015
    Logitech Drops the Tech

    Everything changes.  Apple Computers is now just Apple.  Windows is still Windows, even if all the Xbox products are changing their names.  Now, a company best known for its computer mice is looking to put focus on its other products, and with that new focus comes a new name.  Something sleek, something modern, something that doesn’t sound like the 1980′s.  Logitech is changing its name to Logi.

    “If we look out five or ten years, it’s going to seem odd for a company to call itself ‘something-tech,’” said CEO Bracken Darrell.  ”There will be tech in your clothing, in your shoes, in your tires.  To be Logitech at that point will seem awfully 1980s.”

    Logitech… excuse me, Logi, has been shifting its markets quite well recently.  They no longer just make the best computer mouse on the market, but they also make great iPad keyboards and television remotes, among other peripherals.  If Logitech/Logi has its name on it, it’s going to be a good product, and hopefully a new logo and a new product line will help smooth this transition into the company’s expected future.

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    July 8, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: We Don’t Talk About Fast Internet

    Via Jermaine Clement on Twitter.

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    July 6, 2015
    Groove: Microsoft Rebrands Xbox Music

    With every new operating system, something changes.  Microsoft is a big fan of rebranding, making name changes to try and show off some changed aspect of their service while shaking off the ghosts of the older services.  Hence the jump to Microsoft 10, which is a big part of Microsoft’s new rebranding efforts.  Even the venerable Xbox isn’t immune to the changes.  Xbox Music will now be called Groove.

    That’s not all Xbox is rebranding in the run-up to the release of Windows 10. Xbox Video is now called Movies & TV.  Simple, to the point, hard to mess up, and all part of a plan to make the Xbox just one way in which you can get to all your purchased music, videos, streaming content, and goodies.

    “Our fans asked for faster ways to access the music they love – quickly, efficiently, and on their favorite devices. And for that, we’re proud to introduce the evolution of our current Xbox Music experience, now titled Groove, with new features we think you’re going to love. Groove describes what people feel and do with music, and is more intuitive for our Windows 10 customers on what they’ll find with the app,” says a Microsoft blog post from Brandon LeBlanc.

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    July 3, 2015
    The Nintendo PlayStation?

    Way back in the 90′s, there were only two video game companies that mattered.  On one hand, you had Nintendo, who rolled out the Super Nintendo and stuck with the plastic cartridge format long after others went to video discs.  On the other hand, you have Sega, which boosted its Genesis with a 32-bit plug-in, a CD attachment, and who knows what else to try and extend their console life beyond Nintendo’s.  It didn’t work very well for Sega, but that doesn’t mean Nintendo didn’t nearly try the same thing.  Back in the day, Nintendo and Sony were working together on a video game system that would play both DVDs and cartridges.  This is rumored to be a prototype Nintendo PlayStation.

    That’s right, Nintendo PlayStation.  Nintendo would provide the SNES component, and Sony would provide the disc-playing game component.  Sony and Nintendo would both get to sell the systems; Nintendo would get a CD add-on, and Sony would get the SNES port.  This SuperDisc, if it is indeed real, is one of only 200 consoles of the type ever made.  Even if it didn’t work–and it might work–it’s going to be worth a fortune, assuming it’s authenticated by experts as real.  Otherwise, it’s a really good forgery.

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    July 2, 2015
    Apple Adds Pink To iPhone Line

    The name of the technology game is upgrading.  These days, there are no real new markets.  Everything’s covered, from wearables to phablets.  The key now is to get customers from other brands or get your own users to upgrade to the latest and greatest thing, whatever that might mean at a certain time.  For Apple, the goal is to sell iPhones and goose the iPod market a bit by shaking things up look-wise.  Apple’s always been a company that sold itself on being fashionable, and that has only gotten more prevalent as users continue to want their devices to e pretty and functional.  Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will come in pink, among other colors.

    If you’re not able to upgrade now, don’t worry; the rumors are that Apple will update their iPhone handset line in 2017.  I imagine by the time you do that, you’ll still be able to get your pink or blue or green iPhone with all the new bells and whistles, rather than just a new color and a touch-sensitive screen that reacts to pressure.  Still, the improvement of the touch screen might help things along, and since Apple is already using a lot of colors in their cheaper iPhone line, it’s only reasonable to keep the color scheme moving in the higher-end models.

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