Sunday, July 31, 2016

Free Win 10 Ends Today

Conspiracy theorists have always said that Microsoft will suddenly decide to extend its free upgrade period for Windows 10, perhaps indefinitely. Nope. When the Windows 10 upgrade expires tonight, it’s over.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Best PokeMap

If you want the best Pokémon Go map, why not use the game’s servers to tell you where to find Pokémon? That’s the aim of Pokévision, which claims to use the the game’s own API to discover the Pokémon in your midst.
Pokévision’s premise is simple: It taps the game’s API to provide a real-time “cheat sheet” pointing to the locations of the nearest Pokémon in Pokémon Go. Each Pokémon location comes with a timer; when that timer expires, the Pokémon de-spawns and disappears.
“Find all Pokémon near you (or a selected target location) in real time for Pokémon Go. Pokémon nearby will be marked along with their appearance timer on the map,” thePokévision site claims. “These are real-time Pokemon locations, meaning they are currently live and can be found exactly at the marked spots.”
The map won't find Pokémon lured to you by incense or a lure, as those are only shown to you or the players around you, and not the world at large.
Why this matters: Pokévision may be the best Pokémon Go map precisely because it’s the ultimate cheat: Instead of asking classmates for the answers, Pokévision lifts the answers from the teacher. It begs the question: Doesn’t this violate the spirit of Pokémon Go, which is discovery? Possibly. However, the map doesn’t collect the Pokémon for you; it simply shows you where they are. If anything, this adds an urgency to the gameplay, as the rare Pokémon you want to collect may be a few miles away. The first chapter of Pokémon Go might have been a walking adventure; Pokévision could turn it into a road rally.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pokemon Yogurt?

Less than a month since the app launched, Pokemon Go fervor is still high and brands including Zipcar and McDonald's are getting in on the craze. But the game doesn't rely on traditional in-app mobile advertising to make money, and that's causing some brands like Stonyfield to get creative with their messaging.

On Wednesday, the yogurt brand and mobile advertising company Aki Technologies will kick off a four-week campaign targeting 10,000 Pokestops—the virtual landmarks where players collect characters and points—in popular apps consumers often use in conjunction with Pokemon Go, like weather or messaging apps.
"We don't put a lot of dollars onto traditional advertising—we're not on TV, we don't do a lot of print advertising," said Liz Dube, director of digital marketing at Stonyfield. "The idea of tapping into this particular activity using moment marketing seems like a no-brainer idea for us. This is real-time marketing on an extremely personal level."
The idea was born a few weeks ago when Aki noticed its San Francisco office is located near several Pokestops, and the team started thinking about the game's advertising potential. While Pokemon Go is working with McDonald's to create sponsored locations, the full advertising potential of the game isn't clear, and Stonyfield's creative for the campaign came together in two days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Apple Revenue

Apple Inc. reported revenue that fell less than projected and forecast fourth-quarter sales that may exceed analysts’ estimates, bolstered as iPhone demand picks up and consumers warm to the company’s new low-priced smartphone model.

Key Points

  • Fourth-quarter revenue will be $45.5 billion to $47.5 billion, the Cupertino, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement. On average, analysts projected $45.5 billion. A year earlier, sales were $51.5 billion.
  • Gross margin in the period that ends in September will be 37.5 percent to 38 percent.
  • Fiscal third-quarter revenue fell 15 percent to $42.4 billion. That topped analysts’ average prediction for revenue of $42.1 billion.
  • IPhone unit sales for the quarter fell 15 percent from a year earlier to 40.4 million. Still, that exceeded the average estimate of 39.9 million.
  • Apple shares jumped 5.3 percent in extended trading after the report. They slipped less than 1 percent to $96.67 at the close in New York. The stock has fallen 8.2 percent so far this year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

GameStop and Pokemon Go

Doing its best to turn a liability into an asset, shares of GameStop soared last week after talking up its prospects as an unlikely play in the Pokemon Go frenzy. CEO J. Paul Raines was on CNBC, revealing that sales had doubled at stores that also serve as virtual gyms and PokeStops in the game.
GameStop is talking a good game. It has a page set up to make it easier for Pokemon Go players to see which of its more than 7,000 stores also double as hotspots for virtual items and battle training in the augmented reality game that's sweeping the nation. Nearly 200 of its stores also happen to be designated as PokeStops with more than 30 locations also doubling as Pokemon Gyms.
The chain is also dropping lure modules -- a virtual item that once executed attracts Pokemon to the area for 30 minutes -- at some of its stores, hoping that attracting mobile app players will inspire merchandise purchases in the real world.
A hot mobile app would seem to be toxic for a small-box retailer of new and used video games and gear. If you're glued to Pokemon Go you're not going to necessarily be interested in playing console games. There will be billions to be made by the time the Pokemon Gocraze is over, but that money is going to game developer Niantic Labs, Nintendo and the iOS and Android app marketplaces.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ubuntu 16.04.1

Canonical just released Ubuntu 16.04.1, the first point release in the Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus” series. All the changes made to Ubuntu 16.04 have been combined into a new installer image, which you can now download.

What’s a point release?

If you’re already using Ubuntu 16.04, you don’t need to do anything special to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04.1. Just install the updates available in the Update Manager application and your system will be upgraded to the latest software.
Point releases like this one are primarily useful for new installs. They bundle together the latest security updates, bug fixes, and other improvements. If you have an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS live CD or live USB drive you use, you’ll want to replace it with Ubuntu 16.04.1 to ensure you have the latest security updates.
Some point releases include new “hardware enablement stacks”—new versions of the Linux kernel and graphical X server backported from less stable Ubuntu releases to make Ubuntu work better on new hardware. This one doesn’t, but Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, which will be released in February 2017, will.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Wine on Chromebooks

Windows software will run on Chromebooks thanks to CrossOver for Android. With Android compatibility on Chromebooks, it will soon be possible to install Windows software like Steam as well as the many games only available for Windows.
CrossOver for Android is a commercial project made by CodeWeavers. It takes code from the Wine open-source project that allows Windows applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X, and adapts it to Android.
Running Windows applications on Android is a cute idea, but the average person isn’t going to install desktop applications on their Android smartphone or tablet. But, now that Chromebooks are gaining an Android compatibility system, it’s possible to install CrossOver for Android on a Chromebook and use it to run Windows software.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Google's Android operating system has long suffered from a problem called "fragmentation."

Unlike with the Apple iPhone, it's up to smartphone manufacturers and not Google itself to push out updates to customers. So there's no guarantee that any given phone will get the operating system upgrades.
There's also a ton of different hardware, some of which does a better job supporting certain features. Contrast this with Apple's very few different hardware choices.
All this makes life a nightmare for anybody making Android apps: There's no guarantee that an app that works on my phone will work on yours, or vice versa. Multiply that times the many millions of Android devices out there, and it's a minefield of apps that may or may not work for huge segments of your potential audience.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Nintendo's viral success Pokémon Go has sent merchandise sales rocketing at GameStop, the CEO told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday.
Sales were up 100 percent in stores — highlighted as "gyms" or "stops" in the augmented reality game — that did Pokemon-related events, said J. Paul Raines, GameStop CEO. Raines said GameStop is one of the largest distributors of Pokemon games and collectibles in the world.
"We are very much in the game, and are taking advantage of it now," Raines said.
Shares of the retailer rose about 8 percent on Monday. The company has seen its stock drop more than 35 percent over the past year.
As Pokemon Go provides GameStop a boost during a traditionally slow time of year, the chain is far from a doomsday scenario, despite the market data, Raines said.
Pokemon Go has hit the market at a time when GameStop has pushed heavily on virtual reality headsets and gaming. GameStop has sold out everything they've been given on reserve when it comes to virtual reality, Raines said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

GammaTech News

GammaTech is releasing an optional detachable keyboard for its popular DURABOOK R11 rugged tablet!
The R11 is the lightest and thinnest rugged tablet PC in its class at only 2.73 pounds including battery. With an added sealed keyboard, this lightweight computer now works as a laptop and offers a high-performance, complete mobile computing solution. It can be used for any mobile application subject to constant movement, bumpy rides, or use in damp or dusty areas, and where real-time information and updating is crucial.
The R11 meets or exceeds the most difficult environmental specifications, including:
  • MIL-STD 810G for shock, drop, vibration protection and the ability to withstand a wide-temperature range
  • IP65 for dust and water-sealing protection
  • MIL-STD 461F Army Ground and Air Force standard
  • ANSI ISA Standard 12.12.01 for operation in hazardous locations
The R11 features 1n 11.6 TFT LCD capacitive touch display and a powerful 5th generation Intel Broadwell Core i-5 processor and more including:

  • Intel high-definition audio, M2-SATA SSD 64GB/128GB storage, and a Micro SD card slot that supports SDHC and SDXC
  • Front-side, full HD camera as well as an integrated rear-facing 5MP camera
  • Intel Centrino Wireless AC 7260 NGW 802.11 a/b/g/n/AC and Bluetooth 4.0 Class 1
  • Customizable options include: Intel Broadwell Core i-7 processor, a slim Bluetooth keyboard folio with kickstand, an extended lithium polymer battery pack provides up to 14 hours of operation, ... and more.
  • Security features include computrace support BIOS, administrator password, TPM 1.2, Kensington lock, and boot password protection

Monday, July 18, 2016

Free PCs From MSFT?

As July 29 gets closer and the free Windows 10 upgrade offer reaches its final days, Microsoft is pulling out all the stops in order to convince users to upgrade. It’s even willing to give you a new laptop.
As spotted by Neowin, Microsoft retail stores are offering to install Windows 10 on any compatible machine for free. If the store’s technicians don’t complete the upgrade by the end of that business day, they’ll give you a free 15-inch Dell Inspiron notebook.
The offer runs between now and July 29.

There is, of course, plenty of fine print. The free installation offer only applies to a single PC that’s capable of running Windows 10 (If it isn’t, you may be eligible for a $150 credit toward a new PC). You also need to check in your computer by noon for the offer to be valid. It’s also limited only to the US and Canada, so customers of the Microsoft Store in Sydney are out of luck.

Friday, July 15, 2016

More on Pokemon Go

Shares in Nintendo Co jumped as much as 9.5 percent in early trade on Thursday, powered by ongoing hopes for its new Pokemon GO mobile game, which has become an instant hit after just over a week on the market in three countries.
The augmented reality game, where players walk around real-life neighborhoods to hunt down virtual cartoon characters on their smartphone screens, had more than 65 million users in the United States just seven days after launch.
Industry experts say the game, which has rocketed to the top of Apple and Android app stores in record time, could be the next big marketing tool for retailers.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pokemon Go

Game developers around the world watched in astonishment as Pokemon Go, a mobile version of the beloved 1990s game from Nintendo Co., became an instant hit -- rocketing to the most downloaded app on both Apple and Android phones.

It’s too soon to say if its success will reshape the $25 billion mobile gaming industry, but this much is certain: The surprise hit will inspire copycats.

“You’re going to see other developers potentially changing their pipeline to incorporate augmented reality or location-based technology,” said Mike Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos. “Those plans are probably being put in place right now.” He said he wouldn’t be surprised if Activision Blizzard Inc. added such functionality to Skylanders, its role-playing game featuring toys.

Pokemon Go has been released only in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand so far, and already nimble developers are making lookalike apps for places where the game isn’t available. A few cashing in on the craze have topped mobile-download rankings from Germany and Spain to Singapore and Sweden, according to market researcher App Annie. The game Citymon Go -- led by a character with a striking resemblance to Pokemon’s Pikachu -- became China’s most downloaded Apple iOS game in the past few days. Go Pikachu, a board-game populated with cartoon monsters, is now one of the 20 most-downloaded games on, an Android app store.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Linux Mint 18

The Linux Mint project released the final version of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” on June 30. The project is now working on an upgrade path for Linux Mint 17.3 users.
As usual, two editions of Linux Mint are available: one with the more modern Cinnamon desktop and one with the more traditional MATE desktop.
This release is a big one, being the first major new version of Linux Mint in more than two years, and a release that bumps the underlying code from Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04. That means lots of polish and new features for Linux Mint users.
At the moment, you can only get Linux Mint 18 by installing it from scratch. The Linux Mint project is working on an easy upgrade path from Linux Mint 17.3, the previous release and final version of the Linux Mint 17 series. Linux Mint 17.3 users should get a notification in Linux Mint’s Update Manager when it’s ready.
Also in July, the Linux Mint project will be working on versions of Linux Mint 18 with the KDE Plasma and Xfce desktops. If you prefer one of those desktops, stay tuned to Linux Mint’s website for more details.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

O'Reilly Training

Live Online Training: Managing Successful Big Data Projects
This hands-on course pays for itself by letting you make mistakes during the planning phase instead of the expensive development phases.
You don’t need deep technical knowledge to manage successful data strategies, but you do need an understanding of both the pitfalls and potential data holds. In just two online sessions, Jesse Anderson will show you how to recognize the opportunities, avoid the problems, and get the most value from your data.

What you’ll learn—and how you can apply it
By the end of this hands-on, online course, you’ll be able to:
*Understand how Hadoop, Spark, Kafka (and other data tools) fit together in the big data ecosystem
*Know the steps you need to take to solve problems specific to your team and use case(s)
*Avoid common mistakes made in development
*Do data science on the fly using real datasets
*Determine the problems you can solve with data (and address them in your data solution from the beginning)
*Ensure the success of your Hadoop roll-out or big data project

Live Online Training with Jesse Anderson
August 3 & 4, 2016 | 9:00AM – 12:00PM PDT
Register Now

Monday, July 11, 2016

Foldable Screens

Displays that can be folded and rolled up have been shown in prototype smartphones, wearables and other devices -- but when will such products be available?
Advances in technology suggest they aren't too far off in the future. Such devices could start showing up as early as next year or 2018, said Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst for emerging display technologies and OLED at analyst firm IHS.
Manufacturers are trying to launch them in devices like tablets that can fold into a smartphone-size device. It's possible to use these displays in wearable devices, but reliability, weight and battery life need to be considered, Kang said.
Small folding screens will likely come before larger ones, mainly due to the economics of making such displays, Kang said.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Safe Smartphones

Smartphones are among the most popular gadgets that are being used in the market. Android handsets dominate the industry and companies such as Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC manufacture devices running on Android operating system; however, a security firm suggests that Android-based Samsung and Nexus phones are safest.

Security firm Duo Labs cites security researcher Gal Beniamini, who suggests that about 60 percent of Android smartphones running on a Qualcomm processor are vulnerable to attacks. The security firm found that these devices did not install the monthly Android patch rolled in January this year.

The mobile devices that did not install the patch were left open to attack by hackers. However, the vulnerability was fixed in May's update. Duo Labs reports that smartphone owners who have not installed the May update are at high risk of attacks.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Galaxy S7 Sales

Samsung Electronics Co. reported its biggest operating profit in more than two years, bolstered by brisk demand for its Galaxy S7 smartphones, cost controls and sluggish iPhone sales.
Shares in the world’s largest maker of phones and memory chips rose after it reported operating income of 8.1 trillion won ($6.9 billion) in the latest quarter, exceeding the 7.38 trillion-won average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg and 6.9 trillion won a year earlier.

The results underscore how the South Korean company is defying a slowdown in the smartphone market. Galaxy S7 models, which were timed to go on sale earlier than usual this year, have capitalized on a lull in new iPhones from Apple Inc. That, along with a healthy consumer electronics business, is helping to boost profit margins and make up for declining income in Samsung’s semiconductor business.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Chrome Casting

Google Chrome is about to learn a new trick.
The browser is set to be updated with a new feature that allows you to take advantage of Google Cast without the need for a separate browser extension.
Google Cast is a technology that allows you to beam content from your smartphone or browser to your television or speakers. Though Google Chrome has technically supported casting for some time, it required a separate browser extension to use.
With the update, this feature will be baked into the browser itself. All you'll need to do is click on the tools menu in the top right corner of your browser and select "cast." From there, you'll be able to beam your browser tabs to any Cast-enabled display.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Jay Z to Sell Tidal?

Apple is in early stage talks with Tidal, a music streaming service launched by Jay Z, about buying the business
According to The Wall Street Journal, talks are not necessarily close to a sale and are ongoing.
The report claims that people close to the business confirmed the talks but a Tidal spokesperson has denied that the discussions are happening.
The move is said to be so Apple can bolster its own music service Apple Music and is eyeing up Tidal specifically because of its ties to high profile musicians like Kanye West and Beyonce. Both released their albums on Tidal-only upon release, before releasing more widely.
Beyonce’s decision to release her most recent album ‘Lemonade’ on the service first added to Tidal’s most successful month to date earlier this year.
Tidal sets itself apart from rivals like Spotify by offering a more ‘premium’ or ‘high fidelity’ offering. It charges above average ($20 a month) for a premium service, which offers better sound quality. It says it has over 4m paying subscribers, compared to Spotify’s upwards of 30m paying subscribers.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day

There will be no post today in honor of Independence Day. Have a happy and SAFE July the 4th everyone.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Free Shipping From Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is trying to get a jump on Amazon's second annual sales bonanza.
The world's largest retailer is offering a free 30-day trial on its two-day unlimited shipping service, and an extra month free for paying members, starting Wednesday as it looks to sharpen its attack against the online leader.
Beginning Friday, it will also offer discounts on an array of products from swimming pools to electronics that will ramp up as July goes by. These discounts, or what Wal-Mart calls "rollbacks," typically last 90 days or longer.
Wal-Mart's moves come as Amazon is expected to launch for the second year a sales bonanza called Prime Day, which it has touted as bigger than "Black Friday." It underscores how serious Wal-Mart is about boosting its online sales,