Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NIVIDIA Shield Now Available Checkout These Reviews

Following up on last week's announcement of the all new NVIDIA SHIELD gaming tablet comes the launch of the $300 8-inch gaming device. The only question that remains now is whether or not you the SHIELD is geek-worthy enough for you gaming geeks to plop down your hard earned cash.

We scoured the web and found some reviews from our favorite geeks sites that we hope will help you make your decision.

Maximum PC: NVIDIA Shield Tablet Review
Would we buy the Shield Tablet if we owned the original Shield (now renamed the Shield Portable)? Probably not. If we were looking for a new tablet and top notch gaming performance was on the check list, the Shield Tablet is easily the top contender today. We’d take it over the second-gen Nexus 7 in a heart beat. While we understand why Nvidia decided to separate the cover and controller to keep the prices down and avoid the Kinect factor, we think a bundled package with a small price break as an alternative would have been nice. All things considered though, consider us surprised. The Shield Tablet is pretty dang cool.

AndroidCentral: NVIDIA Shield Tablet Review
If you're looking for something a little different in a tablet, and think that you'd take advantage of the huge gaming potential available in the Shield Tablet, this may be one to take a look at. As long as you're willing to go all-in with the accessories and spend a little money on games as they come out, this is a better value proposition than picking up a gaming device and tablet separately. But if your tablet budget is $299 and not a penny more, you'll likely be better served by something that's cheaper and simpler — just be sure keep your gaming aspirations modest.

GameSpot: NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Controller Review
Given that Twitch streaming is one of the key selling points of the Shield Tablet, it's disappointing that it doesn't work consistently across the device. Its small line up of games doesn't help matters either, particularly as there are frame rate issues with the more graphically intensive titles. Certainly, you're not going to be swapping your Vita or 3DS for a Shield Tablet anytime soon.

However, I like to think of the Shield Tablet this way: if you buy one, you're getting a great looking, powerful Android tablet with a near stock version of the OS for an enticing price; its gaming features are simply a nice bonus. PC players with a large library of games will also get a lot out of the tablet's Gamestream functionality, which--despite its issues over slower connections--is a great way to access your games away from your main machine.

Despite Nvidia's claims, I wouldn't get a Shield Tablet for its gaming features alone. Indeed, if you're buying it solely for the gaming features, then you might be a little disappointed. But, if you're interested in what the future of gaming might look like, Shield Tablet is perhaps the best glimpse we've had of it so far. If Nvidia can push the power of its mobile chips every year as much as it does its desktop ones, and if broadband keeps up, within a few years, something like the Shield Tablet may very well be the best way to game.

AnandTech: The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Review
After getting through all of these observations over the past five days, I’ve come to realize that even though it’s not the perfect tablet, all of the features that this device brings to the table right now would be enough for me to seriously consider buying one. If NVIDIA manages to get enough multiplayer titles with an active community on Shield Tablet, there wouldn’t be a need to stop and consider at all. As someone that has spent the past few years never considering a tablet purchase at all, the Shield Tablet is the first ARM tablet that I would seriously think about buying.
Gizmodo: Nvidia Shield Tablet Review: A Gaming Beast, But So Much More
Do you care about games? Like at all? Do you think you might in the future? Then yes. Yes! The Shield tab is not quite the best all-around tablet tablet out there (mainly because of battery life reasons, and also because it's a little hefty) but it's still damn good for $300, futureproof like whoa, and the most bang for your buck because of it. Unless your use-case is literally "I want to watch at least 9 hours of consecutive video with a single charge, on a particularly small and light tablet" (get a Kindle Fire HDX) the Shield tablet is a Solid Buy.....It's not bar-none the best choice for normals and gamers alike—that wonderful ideal of gaming hardware that's also just "the best"—but it's delightfully close for a first stab. The future is bright. Get excited.

Hexus.net: Review: NVIDIA Shield Tablet
Shield Tablet's gaming credentials are unmistakable, yet it would be remiss of us not to mention the device's strengths as an everyday tablet. Take away the controller and Gamestream, and you still have one of the quickest Android tablets on the market, complete with 2GB of memory, excellent stereo speakers, a very handy stylus, dual 5MP cameras, expandable storage and solid build quality throughout. A higher-res display would have been preferred, but from a hardware perspective Shield Tablet ticks a lot of boxes at the $299 price point.

Nvidia has built a tablet that's undoubtedly strong on various fronts, however there's one crucial piece of the puzzle that's still missing: high-quality Android games. As it stands, Shield Tablet is a device with promise, but it needs developers to harness the power of Tegra K1 to deliver a truly outstanding games-playing experience.

Bottom line: for PC gamers in the market for an Android portable, Shield Tablet makes a lot of sense. For everyone else, it may pay to wait for the software ecosystem to catch up.

Reading the full reviews you will see a few mixed messages in there. However, for the most part everyone agrees that the NVIDIA SHIELD was a strong performer and not likely to disappoint and gamers or geeks that buck up for the purchase. It most certainly caught or eye and earns many kudos to being a very strong fist production unit. If this is a sign of things to come from NVIDIA then gamers should hold on to their seats because we might be in for a wicked fun ride!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Amazon Launches New 3D Printing Store

We geeks are always thinking outside the box, which often times leads us to needing that special one-off item. While 3D printing has become cheaper and more prevalent, there are still a good deal of costs associated with getting started. Enter Amazon to the rescue!

Amazon has announced the launch of a new 3D Printed Products store (www.amazon.com/3dp), a marketplace that gives customers access to more than 200 unique print on-demand products, many that can be customized by material, size, styles and color variations, and personalized with text and image imprints.

“The introduction of our 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail – that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience. Sellers, in alignment with designers and manufacturers, can offer more dynamic inventory for customers to personalize and truly make their own,” said Petra Schindler-Carter, Director for Amazon Marketplace Sales.

To create custom pieces such as that cool new 3D phone case, slim wallet or personalized bobblehead you won't need any special skills. Amazon has created a new easy-to-use design template that will make it easier for you to add your individual style on an item. You'll also be able to see your new creations before ordering thanks to the 3D preview capability. With the 3D product preview function, you will be able to see your geekiest creations in a 360 degree view that rotates as a virtual model of a product so you can tailor the item from every angle.

Upon completion of your designs and the item is personalized to your liking simply finish the checkout process, the item is then 3D printed on-demand by a manufacturing provider and shipped directly to your door.

While it appears as though customizable items are limited to what is currently in the 3D Printed Products store template set the concept certainly has the ability to be expandable. Meaning Amazon may eventually add the options for customers to upload their own designs to include more custom items down the road. No matter how you look at it it is nice to see a viable 3D printing option that enables us the option to design our own geek gear at a reasonable price!

So what do you think, should we create a few custom Geek-News items for you geeks out there?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beware: Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder Installs Search Protect By Conduit

For various reason it is often necessary to find and know the product keys of installed operating system and applications such as Windows 8 and Microsoft office. When such needs arise we often turn to some of our favorite freeware apps out there. Magic Jelly Bean Keyfinder typically being one of them.

Unfortunately we recently discovered an alarming issue. The app now installs a second, third party app, called ‘Search Protect’ by Conduit LTD. This third party app sneaks in on the install page, which the makers of  Magic Jelly Bean Keyfinder happen to minimize to a barely readable page. The serch app can be classified as nothing short of malware as it is barely noticed on the install information, is set to automatically install, even in custom mode and hijacks a users browser settings and changes them to use Conduit Search.

While the app appears to be easily removed by going into the control panel and uninstalling it. It still raises a few red flags!

First the fact that the creators of Magic Jelly Bean Keyfinder and OpenCandy, the company that creates the installer package, feel the need to minimize the install page to slip this app in seems highly suspect. Second is the fact that it creates browser changes, completely unrelated to the Magic Jelly Bean Keyfinder software with absolutely no confirmation at all

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Makes Official Debut

Following lots of rumors and speculation, NVIDIA has finally taken the wraps off the company's much anticipated gaming tablet dubbed NVIDIA SHIELD. The new 8-inch gaming tablet will be powered by Android and feature plenty of power and performance thanks to a solid set of specs!

At the heart of the beast is NVIDIA’s new mobile SoC, the NVIDIA Tegra K1, which features the same Kepler graphics cores NVIDIA builds into their GeForce GTX graphics cards and Tesla supercomputer accelerators. The quad-core ARM chip features 192 CUDA cores with a 2.3GHz max clock speed. K1 supports a variety of APIs and features which include OpenGL ES 3.1, AEP, OpenlGL 4.4, DX12, Tessellation, CUDA 6.0. Nvidia claims that the K1 can do all of this while consuming less than two watts of power.

For exceptional video and sound the SHIELD will feature an 8 inch 1900x1200 IPS display and front facing speakers with NVIDIA PureAudio technology and dual-bass reflex ports into the tablet to deliver great sound.

"If you're a gamer and you use a tablet, the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet was created specifically for you," said Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's co-founder and chief executive officer. "It delivers exceptional tablet performance and unique gaming capabilities to keep even the most avid gamers deeply immersed, anywhere they play."

Since the shield offers a full Android experience users will have access to the thousands of Android games currently available on Google Play. However, the games don't stop there. NVIDIA says there are now more than 400 SHIELD-optimized games available through the SHIELD Hub, as well as 11 specially optimized games for Tegra K1.

Additional features of the SHIELD tablet include what NVIDIA says are a range of firsts for a tablet:
  • PC Streaming: First to stream games from a PC desktop or notebook using NVIDIA GameStream technology, which streams from NVIDIA GeForce GTX- powered GPUs.
  • NVIDIA GRID Cloud Streaming: First to stream PC games from NVIDIA GRID. Gamers can access the GRID cloud gaming beta, available exclusively to SHIELD owners in Northern California, to instantly stream a library of high-quality PC games, and then save them in the cloud.
  • Twitch and NVIDIA ShadowPlay: First to feature ShadowPlay, an advanced game-capture tool that lets users save and stream their greatest gaming moments to Twitch, the leading video platform and community for gamers. Gamers can stream titles from the SHIELD tablet to friends and foes worldwide. SHIELD tablet also includes a 5MP front camera to enhance the image of the gamer overlaid on the Twitch gamecast.
  • Console Mode: First to feature NVIDIA Console Mode, which takes tablet gameplay to big-screen TVs. Console Mode transforms the device into a full living-room gaming and entertainment experience. Gamers can connect their SHIELD wireless controller, sit back on the couch and play PC and Android games, browse the web, and watch their favorite movies -- all in native 1080p HD.

Pricing, Availability and AccessoriesThe SHIELD tablet comes with either Wi-Fi connectivity, or Wi-Fi and LTE. It's available in 16- and 32GB, with MicroSD support (up to 128GB), starting at $299. The SHIELD wireless controller retails for $59. The SHIELD tablet cover retails for $39.

The SHIELD tablet, wireless controller and tablet cover are now available for preorder in the United States, Canada and select European countries. Preorders in the United States are available at shield.nvidia.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, GameStop, Micro Center, Newegg and Tiger Direct, and in Canada at Canada Computers, Memory Express, NCIX and ThinkGeek. Preorders in Europe are available at many top e-tailers.
The full list of resellers and further information, including product specifications, are available at http://shield.nvidia.com/.

Source: NVIDIA

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dell Joins Growing List of Companies Accepting Bitcoins

Despite numerous highly publicized issues and a growing list of security concerns, Bitcoins are gaining more and more traction and are quickly becoming more widely accepted as forms of payment. In fact they are now so widely accepted and traded that states such as New York and California have enacted state level regulations for their use and trading.

It should then come as no surprise that major tech players and websites are amongst the first to join the Bitcoin craze.

Two of the country’s biggest names in e-commerce, Overstock.com and TigerDirect.com were at the fore front of the Bitcoin era, being amongst the first major online retailers to accept the digital currency as a purchase option. Earlier this week popular electronics e-retailer Newegg became one of the latest sites tech sites to join the fray.

Still we haven't seen many 'major' tech manufactures willing to take the leap, until now!

Dell on Friday announced consumer and small-business customers in the US can now use Bitcoin to make purchases on Dell.com. In addition to accepting Bitcoins, Dell has said they'll be running  a special Alienware promotion wherein customers can save 10 percent off a new Alienware system purchase (up to $150 limit) when checking out with bitcoin. Stay tuned to Dell.com/bitcoin for more information on this exciting offer.

Dell Bitcoin Checkout

Dell partnered with Coinbase, a trusted and secure third party payment processor, to make this possible. For users wanting to pay via Bitcoin the process was made fairly simple. When you’re ready to make a purchase, just add your items to your cart, fill out your shipping details and choose Bitcoin as your payment method. When you submit your order, you’ll be taken to Coinbase.com to complete your purchase.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Facebook Wants To Sell You Stuff With New 'Buy' Button

Facebook has just made it a bit easier for you to make those impulse buys with the launch of a new “Buy” call-to-action button that will be featured on ads and Page posts. The new feature will allow shoppers to purchase a product directly from businesses featured on the social media site without having to visit an outside page.

The new service, which Facebook described in a blog posting, is initially being tested with a "few small and medium-sized businesses" in the United States, and will soon be available on the mobile and desktop PC version of its website. Facebook users viewing sponsored ads from the select merchants will soon see the Buy Button as an option, allowing them to purchase whatever goods or services that are being offered.

For those concerned about privacy and/or security Facebook says they built the feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.

Facebook isn't the only social media company testing out this type of feature. Twitter has been quietly testing a new "Buy now" button that apparently lets you purchase items featured in tweets without leaving the site. The Twitter Commerce service will appear inside users’ Twitter stream, similar to promoted tweet advertisements, according to the documents seen by ReCode.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Intel 2-in1 Devices The Ultimate Summertime Companion

Featuring all the power of a laptop with the added portability of a tablet, an
Intel 2 in 1 can make for the perfect summertime traveling companion.

Whether sitting on the beach, enjoying a quiet afternoon by the pool or just traveling to some of your favorite lunch spots, for us tech geeks staying connected and keeping productive is always a must. Sure you can do almost anything from those amazing smartphones these days, but having a larger screen sometimes is a must. Tablet are always great, but we don't always want to sacrifice productivity. For those wanting the best of both worlds I'd suggest checking out some of the newest #Intel2in1 devices.

On our days out of the office this summer we've been working from our new Dell Venue 11 Pro equipped with the Dell Tablet Keyboard. Like many of the Intel 2in1 devices on the market today this combo allows us to maintain portability with the standalone tablet as well as the ability to switch to a more productive platform with the full keyboard and extra battery.

So far we've managed to pack our Dell Venue 11 Pro with us on several day hikes and beach trips. The 10.8" full HD screen is super bright and offers a crisp viewing experience even when the sun is beating down. So far the 8MP camera has been great for snapping photos and since it is a Windows 8.1 device and offers a 'true Windows experience' we can use our favorite Adobe Suites for editing those photos.

When all that fun is over for the day and we are relaxing on the patio at our favorite brew spot, we snap on the Dell Tablet Keyboard, add on a wireless mouse and jump into work mode. This in our opinion is where the #2in1 platform really shines, you get the option of that true laptop-like experience. Since we have the ultrapowerful Intel Core i5 processor we can get multiple tasks done at the same time. Making it quicker and easier to get back to enjoying the fun in the sun.

How about you guys, how would you put your
Intel 2 in 1 to work this summertime? Share your ideas in a comment below!

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Google Teams With Udacity To Offer Free Android Development Course

Ever thought about developing the next big Android App? Well thanks to Google you'll have a new free tool that may help you on your way. Earlier this week Google announced announced latest resource for learning to develop Android apps: Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals.

Operating through educational website Udacity, the free course offers step-by-step training to help you build your first Android app from scratch. This isn't your basic beginner course however. Google explains that the course will be advanced and technical enough for experienced developers who are new to Android — maybe even new to mobile — but not new to programming. So you should have the basics down before taking the course. It is free though so you really have little to lose!

“The full course materials – all the videos, quizzes, and forums – are available for free for all students by selecting ‘View Courseware’,” Meier explained in a post on the Android Developers Blog. “Personalized ongoing feedback and guidance from Coaches is also available to anyone who chooses to enroll in Udacity’s guided program.”

So what do you need to do to get started? That is simple, all you’ll need to head over to Udacity and click “Start free trial” to access the full course for free.And for those looking for addition resources, Google points out that would-be Android developers should also check out Google’s existing Android developer documentation, samples and videos. I'd also strongly suggest checking out the Android Developers Blog as it has tons of info and news to help you get started and stay up to date on what Google is working on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Warning: Keyloggers Found In Hotel PCs Used For Stealing Guests' Log-in Information

In a non-public advisory distributed to companies in the hospitality industry on July 10, the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) warned that a task force in Texas recently arrested suspects who have compromised computers within several major hotel business centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth areas.

The advisory that was first discovered and reported on by KrebsOnSecurity reporter Brian Krebs  on Monday, explains that several PCs in the hotel's business centers had been infected with malware that steals passwords and other sensitive data from guests using those PCs.

Image via KrebsOnSecurity

“The keylogger malware captured the keys struck by other hotel guests that used the business center computers, subsequently sending the information via email to the malicious actors’ email accounts,” the warning stated. “The suspects were able to obtain large amounts of information including other guests personally identifiable information (PII), log in credentials to bank, retirement and personal webmail accounts, as well as other sensitive data flowing through the business center’s computers.”

“In some cases, the suspects used stolen credit cards to register as guests of the hotels; the actors would then access publicly available computers in the hotel business center, log into their Gmail accounts and execute malicious key logging software,” the advisory reads.

The report should serve as a serious reminder that while in some cases it may be necessary to use public PCs it's rarely a good idea to use them for anything more than casual browsing of websites. Even the most protected PCs can be hacked and/or infected given direct access and even when PCs are within eyesight of a business center employee, librarian, or other supervisor, it can still be easily infected and should be used with the most extreme caution! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Analyst Believes Apple Fanboys Could Scoop Up 30 to 60 million iWatches In First Year

According to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, Apple merely needs to release an iWatch and then sit back and rely on the fact that Apple fans will buy whatever comes out of Cupertino in order for the company to sell as many as 60 million units in its first year.

Huberty believes Apple's ecosystem, combined with an unrelenting sense of brand loyalty generating a "halo effect" could mean big things for Apple once the company releases their rumored iWatch. If the wearable device's sales numbers follow the same trajectory as iPhone sales, Apple could conservatively see sales revenues boosted by $9 billion during the first year alone.

Huberty offered up three sales scenarios.
  • Base case: iWatch sales follow the same trajectory as iPhone sales, and Apple sells some 30 million units, which if sold at $300 each would boost revenue by $9 billion.
  • Bull case: iWatch sales follow the same trajectory as iPad sales, and Apple sells some 60 million units, and shares increase to $132 (equivalent to $924 at pre-split prices).
But what if things go wrong? There's where the bear case comes into play.
  • Bear case: iPhone sales flatline, there's no interest in iWatches, and Apple's share price falls to $74.
Huberty is not alone in predicting big things for Apple and the iWatch. Not long ago UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said that he believed that the iWatch could match initial sales of the iPad, with the Cupertino giant shipping 21 million units during the 2015 financial year, and 36 million units during 2016. Following this trajectory, the iWatch would become Apple's fastest-selling iOS product to date.

Not all is wine and roses for Apple and the iWatch though. A recent survey from Piper Jaffray showed that only 1% of those polled would buy an iWatch if it costs between $300 and $350, and 35% of respondents wouldn't buy a wearable from Apple regardless of the price. While most consumers said they wouldn't purchase one regardless of the price, more than 30% said they would buy the iWatch if it fell in the $100-$200 price range. Only 10% said they would buy the watch if it was priced at $100 or less, as shown in the chart from Statista posted below.

Infographic: Consumer Interest In iWatch Depends On Its Price | Statista

The low willingness to pay for the rumored device could become a problem for Apple. After all, it seems hardly imaginable that the company known for its premium pricing will market the iWatch with all of its alleged capabilities for less than $200. What makes pricing for the iWatch so difficult is that, as opposed to the iPhone, it won’t be subsidized by wireless carriers. For it to become a mainstream success, it will have to be priced like an iPod rather than like an iPhone.

Do you think Apple's entry into the wearables market will have the major impact analysts believe it will? Despite being first to the market, and already on their second generation, Samsung is still stumbling to make a major impact. Now with other companies like LG and Motorola entering the market we are quickly see a lot of saturation in the wearables sector.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

According To LG Bendable, Flexible TVs Could Be On The Market By 2017

Earlier this week LG Display showcased two new 18-inch displays, one that is a flexible OLED panel that is flexible and rollable like a newspaper as well as one that a transparent OLED panel. LG says the displays shows that the company has already acquired fundamental technologies that will lead to the availability of large-sized flexible and transparent display reaching the market, potentially as soon as 2017.

LG OLED Rollable Display
Image: LG Display

The flexible OLED panel has a high-definition class resolution of 1200 X 810 with almost 1 million mega-pixels. The panel’s curvature radius is 30R. The panel can be rolled up to a radius of 3cm without affecting the function of the display. This proves that LG Display can bring rollable TVs of more than 50 inches to the market in the future.

As for the transparent OLED panel, it boasts 30 percent transmittance, which was achieved by adopting the company’s transparent pixel design technology. LG Display has successfully lowered the haze of the panel which is generated by using circuit devices and film components to a level of 2 percent. With this breakthrough development, the company has been able to improve greatly the technology level of the transparent display. Considering that the transmittance of existing transparent LCD panels is around 10 percent, this new panel offers significantly improved transmittance.

“LG Display pioneered the OLED TV market and is now leading the next-generation applied OLED technology. We are confident that by 2017, we will successfully develop an Ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED panel of more than 60 inches, which will have transmittance of more than 40 percent and a curvature radius of 100R, thereby leading the future display market.” said In-Byung Kang, Senior Vice President and Head of the R&D Center at LG Display.

However, head of corporate PR, Jean Lee told me that more work needs to be done before the product can be commercialised: “We expect that it should take time to see the products in market because all related components should also be fully ready.”

Flexible displays certainly aren't new. Samsung and LG both originally revealed a flexible smartphone style screen at CES 2013. Since the both companies have been working on curved displays for not just their phones but TVs as well. Apple has even been rumored to be looking into adding a rolled or curved display to the latest iPhone. This however, is one of the first times we've seen any flexible displays of any real decent size or quality.

It should be interesting to see where the tech leads us and how far it will evolve over the next few years. Flexible transparent tablets would be ideal. A smartphone you could roll-up and stuff in a pocket would also be cool! 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Unplugged: Have You Ditched Your Landline or Cable Company?

More American homes are cutting the cord, are you? The dependence on landlines and cable companies is quickly becoming a thing of the past. According to recent studies more and more American families continue to ditch their traditional phone services for wireless-only households. While still more are ditching their cable companies for online streaming services.

Are the numbers high? No, not when compared to the subscriber base. However, they are statistically significant and.

According to a study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in every five American households, or 41 percent of the 21,512 surveyed households, used only wireless telephone service. That’s up from the CDC’s 2012 mobile substitution study, which reported 35.8 percent of surveyed households said they did not having landlines. 

So who are the top cord cutters? About two-third of millennials live in a wireless-only house. Among adults aged 25 to 29, 66 percent live in a house without a landline. Among the 30 to 34 age group, 60 percent live in a house without a landline, according to the survey.

Landlines aren't the only cords being cut!

While the numbers of American households dumping phone services are impressive they aren't the only cords we are cutting. Cable companies are being ditched. Though not nearly at the same breakneck rates.

6.5 percent of American households terminated their cable subscriptions in 2013. In all, that totals about 5 million people that ended their cable and broadband subscriptions between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2013.

These numbers may seem significant in some ways but that doesn't represent the vast numbers of people that actually said they'd be willing to cut the cord.

For the past several years, the folks at Morgan Stanley have surveyed Americans about their desire to cancel their cable or satellite TV subscription once and for all. In 2013, 8% said “definitely” while 9% said “probably” on the survey. With 94 million pay-TV households in the country and 17% expressing such firm intent then, you’d expect that millions would have gone through with it, right?

Fortunately for the cable providers that number doesn't seem to have held true. Yes numbers indicate some companies have lost a significant number of subscribers, but the overall drop wasn't nearly as great as you'd expect.

In the meantime, more of you than ever are promising to dump cable or satellite this year. The “definitely” group is up to 10%, while the “probably” camp has reached 11%. That’s very close to 20 million overall.

Have you joined the cord cutting revolution? If so what services have you opted to cut and what alternatives have you found? 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Warning: Sony Recalls VAIO Flip PC Laptops Due to Fire Danger

Due to the potential fire danger and risk of harm to consumers, Sony and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, have issued a serious warning to consumers who have purchased Sony's VAIO Flip PC laptops with model number SVF11N13CXS. Owners of this laptop should immediately stop using the device, shut it down, unplug it and contact Sony for instructions on how to return the product for a free repair or a full refund.

According to the alert Sony is aware of at least four incidents, which occurred in Asia, of computers overheating, resulting in units smoking, catching on fire and melting. No injuries have been reported.

Affected laptops were sold via Sony retail stores nationwide and online at www.store.sony.com from February 2014 to April 2014 for about $800.

The computers were sold in three colors silver, black and pink. They have a Panasonic-manufactured lithium-ion battery and a folding touch screen that measures about 11.6 inches diagonally and a backlit keyboard. The VAIO logo is etched on the outer top of the computer, near the hinge. The model and serial numbers are printed on a black label with white lettering on the underside of the screen. To locate the label, consumers should open the computer, move the switch from the lock to the release position and flip the display.

Consumers who believe they own one of these units can contact Sony toll-free at (866)702-7669 anytime or online at www.sony.com and click on the Support tab, then on Electronics and then on Product Support. Once on the Product Support site, click on the Computers & Tablets tab, then on VAIO Laptops & Desktops and scroll down to Product Alerts for more information.