Kevin Oconnor

Kevin Oconnor

Followers 7
Following 13
US
Maybe it's just us, but it seems as though everyone was on pins and needles last week.Between the looming shutdown of the US government, fretting over President Trump praising anti-abortion efforts, and everyone wondering just why Ja Rule was a trending topic on Twitter (no, really, why?The Real Fake News AwardsWhat Happened: It took some time, but the president finally got around to releasing his Fake News Awards last week.What Really Happened: Remember earlier this month when Trump said he was going to hand out awards for the media he found to be the most dishonest in their reporting?Even President Trump says that the “importance” of the awards is “far greater than anyone could have anticipated.” Well, last Wednesday he made good on his promise.
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The great Raw Water Story of 2017 is finally over.Google tells me that searches went up ten-fold over the raw water craze, but thankfully, humans seem to have filtered out any more stories or follow ups.Over the past few days, we’ve seen the creation of a brand new genre of tech press article which might be called “the Chinese are really bored with Silicon Valley.”(My sources tell me the Albanians are also bored with the Valley, but no one apparently cares what they think these days.As the Journal describes a group of Chinese founders visiting the Valley, “To many in the group, northern California’s low-rise buildings looked shabbier than the glitzy skyscrapers in Beijing and Shenzhen.” Finally, someone noticed.Bloomberg also wrote its own version of the story, which emphasized the growing financial opportunities and career options on the Chinese mainland compared to the U.S. From the article: “Yet the search for returnees has spurred a thriving cottage industry.
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UK
Notably XRP, the coin for Ripple, saw a 50% rise in value one day, then a fall by around 6% the next.Ripple saw a 70+ percent recovery from the lowest price in several weeks at $0.897 (according to CoinMarketCap.)Meanwhile Stellar XLM grew 53-percent from January 17th to the 18th, then down 8% from yesterday to today.Back on January 11th, Stellar validators voted to lower the base reserve to 0.5 XLM on the network.This made “the cost of creating accounts and order inexpensive again.” That’s good news for everybody – especially those in the cryptocoin market with interest only in the results of news, not necessarily the news itself.Stellar is building their network as an Ethereum-killer, instead of trying to kick the king off of the hill.
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UK
We’re all fans of new gadgets, whether cutting-edge TVs or flagship smartphones, but you shouldn’t let your lust for shiny hardware overwhelm your common sense—there’s more to every purchase than a product name and a bottom line price.Which means you’d better be very sure you don’t want whatever new features are coming down the pipe if you buy a new one in July or August (and even then you should really wait for the inevitable price drop that’s going to hit when the new model is released).Not every smartphone or smart gadget runs on a schedule as fixed as Apple’s, but with a little bit of detective work on the web you should be able to get an idea of what’s coming down the line (the Samsung Galaxy S9 will be here at the end of February, if you’re interested).It’s not an exact science but you should at least be able to avoid buying your gadgets at the worst possible times.3) Not doing your researchIt’s 2018 and people are still walking into electronics stores (or firing up the store’s website) to see what catches their eye rather than putting it some groundwork first.
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UK
With growing censorship and regulations threatening global internet freedom and security, in turn, we’ve seen an increasing number of services become available to protect your online web browsing.Virtual Private Networks (or VPNs) have become increasingly popular in recent years for their ability to bypass government censorship and geo-blocked websites and services, and do so without giving away who is doing the bypassing.While technically created by a VPN, the tunnel on its own can’t be considered private unless it’s accompanied with encryption strong enough to prevent governments or ISPs from intercepting and reading your internet activity.The level of encryption the VPN tunnel has depends on the type of tunneling protocol used to encapsulate and encrypt the data going to and from your device and the internet.Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is one of the oldest protocols still being used by VPNs today.Developed by Microsoft and released with Windows 95, PPTP encrypts your data in packets and sends them through a tunnel it creates over your network connection.
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US
The big promise of Windows Mixed Reality headsets was to bring augmented and virtual reality and anything in between to people at more reasonable prices and with an easier setup than competitors.By the time they rolled out late last year, though, it was mostly just the latter that came true: Once the headsets were bundled with controllers the WMR headsets cost the same or more than the current $399 Oculus Rift bundle.But, there's nothing like a steep price cut to spark some sales.As spotted by GameDeals on Reddit, Amazon currently has prices on Windows Mixed Reality headset and controller bundles from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo to around half of what they are elsewhere.All of these headsets and controllers are designed to meet Microsoft's specific requirements, so there aren't huge differences between them and have the same basic set of specs:Two high-resolution 1,440x1,440-pixel LCDs with up to 90Hz native refresh rate
UK
The Surface Book 2 is a pretty solid piece of hardware, assuming you’ve got the money to put down for one.The device is still relatively young, having only launched back in November, and thus far, only its 13-inch models have been available in most regions.That all changes today, as Microsoft has announced that it’s bringing the 15-inch Surface Book 2 to 17 new markets.Those markets are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.For the most part, these are pretty much the same markets where the 13-inch Surface Book 2 is available.In fact, the only markets that already have the 13-inch Surface Book 2 and aren’t receiving 15-inch model today are China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
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US
Sony has had a whirlwind few months due mainly to the launch of several new phones, but it looks like it’s not slowing down anytime soon.According to recent rumors, the company is readying a new flagship to serve as a follow-up to the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and it’s called the Sony Xperia XZ Pro.The phone is rumored to debut at Mobile World Congress 2018., which kicks off February 26.We don’t know all that much about the new phones just yet, but there are a few rumors that give us hints at what the new phone may look like.Here’s everything we know about the Sony Xperia XZ Pro so far.According to a leak from MyDrivers, the phone will be among the first to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is Qualcomm‘s most powerful mobile chip yet.
US
TWiT, officially known as This Week in Tech, is suing Twitter.The audio and video media platform alleges breach of written contract, breach of oral agreement, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and trademark infringement.As the story goes, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams had previously told Leo Laporte Twitter was simply a text-based microblogging service, the lawsuit states.“Williams also acknowledged that Twitter was aware of the conflict” between the TWITTER and TWiT mark, the lawsuit alleges.“At that time Williams, on behalf of Twitter, acknowledged the confusion which likely would arise from the use of TWITTER in the marketplace, as well as instances of actual confusion which already had arisen.”Because Twitter and TWiT were relatively different, Laporte and Williams agreed to allow the trademarks to coexist, “conditioned on each company continuing its own unique distribution platform,” TWiT writes in its suit.
US
Today, Peter Madsen—the inventor, engineer, and owner of the world's largest amateur-built submarine and head of the eponymous "Rocket Madsen Space Lab"—was formally charged with murdering Kim Wall, a Swedish freelance journalist who had been writing an article about Madsen.Copenhagen Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen says that Wall's killing was premeditated and called the case “very unusual and extremely disturbing.”Madsen is also charged with dismemberment, indecent handling of a corpse, and with "sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature."Madsen's trial is set to begin March 8.If convicted, Madsen would face a life sentence.Madsen, who was once one of the founding members of Copenhagen Suborbitals—which describes itself as "the world's only manned amateur space program"—had what could generously be described as a falling out with the group in 2014.
US
BMW has acquired Parkmobile, an app that provides guidance and services for those looking for parking in North America, including on-street and garage parking payments and spot reservation.BMW Group had already held a minority investment in the company, and owned its Parkmobile Group Europe affiliate, but today it increased its holdings to reach majority ownership of Parkmobile, LLC, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia.This will provide BMW with a significant foothold in the U.S. parking services market, since Parkmobile is available in over 300 cities stateside, including NYC, Philadelphia and Phoenix, to name just a few.Parkmobile will become part of BMW Group’s Mobility Services portfolio, which is expanding in scope and influence now that mobility is an area of increasing interest for automakers in general.The Parkmobile acquisition will also help address a growing issue for anyone seeking to get people around within cities: Traffic.BMW points out that as much as 30 percent of traffic in any given city is caused by people looking for spots to park.
US
You’ve been asked to supply a letter of reference by email.You compose one in Microsoft Word — but this is sensitive information.How do you keep someone from changing your words?That’s why there’s PDF (Portable Document Format), the electronic equivalent of a printout.It’s not designed to be edited, so what you write is what the intended recipient reads.You can save Word files as PDFs in Word 2010, 2013 and 2016 for Windows, as well as in Word 2011 and 2016 for Mac.
UK
Last week, Sony introduced the Onyx Wireless Controller from Hori, an officially licensed Bluetooth game controller designed for all of the PlayStation 4 consoles.As promised, the Hori Onyx controller is available to purchase as of today, offering owners a gamepad option with a design that differs from the DualShock 4 models.The DualShock 4 is an excellent game controller, managing to improve upon the PS3’s controller without compromising the things many gamers like about it.That said, the controller isn’t to everyone’s tastes; someone may want a different grip design or a different stick arrangement, both of which are offered by the Onyx.Whereas the DualShock 4 controller has both sticks on the bottom, the Hori Onyx Wireless Controller features the D-pad where the left stick would be, putting the left stick up where the D-pad is found on the DS4.The grip design is different, as well, being slimmer and shorter leading up to a wider, beefier body (basically, it looks like an Xbox One controller).
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UK
Snow descended on the Sahara, the world's largest desert, this winter.This is only the third time in 40 years this has happened, and images of this rare event were recently shared all over social media.Nasa's Earth Observatory (EO) has now also released more images of this event, but this time, they have been taken from space.According to the EO report, snowfall was seen in the area near the Algerian town of Aïn Séfra, called the "gateway to the desert", which sits between the desert and the Atlas mountains.EO also mentioned that between 10 to 30cm of snowfall was recorded in the region, as reported by news outlets on 8 January.The "natural colour" images were shot by Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, according to the Nasa EO.
China
OnePlus CEO has tactically put an end to rumors surrounding its next flagship launch date ( OnePlus 6 ).The company’s CEO Pete Lau in an interview with CNET has confirmed that the sequel to the OnePlus 5T could arrive as early as June 2018.Pete confirmation is in line with a purported list of smartphones arriving in 2018 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset on board which surfaced earlier with June as the arrival date.Though the CEO didn’t reveal exactly when the device will be unveiled, He was simply quoted as saying: “the next OnePlus phone could come late in the second quarter, in line with the OnePlus 5’s arrival last year”.On the preferred chipset of choice for the OnePlus 6, the CEO said his company is left with no other choice than the Snapdragon 845.Lau further confirmed to Cnet that he wasn’t so sure if the company will be releasing a second phone in 2018, even though it did so in 2017 and 2016 with the launch of OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 3T.
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UK
Facebook Messenger Kids is now available on the US Amazon Appstore for Amazon Fire tablets.Facebook Messenger Kids is specially designed for children under 13, who are too young to have their own Facebook account.It lets them send messages and hold video calls with a list of contacts approved by their parents.Parents must download the app to their kid's phone, authenticate the device with their own Facebook account, and set up a profile with the child's full name.Contacts can only be added to the app via Facebook itself, so it's up to parents to decide who their kids can speak to.If a child wants to speak to one of their classmates, for example, their parents have to link the two Messenger Kids accounts on Facebook itself.
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YouTube's AI is the puppetmaster over most of what you watchAll the cool new gadgets at CES 2018Ride this mind-blowing virtual 'Aliens' roller-coasterWeird radio signals may have even freakier source than aliensStephen Hawking: I'll pay to send climate change deniers to VenusSamsung Galaxy S9 unveiling reportedly set for MWC in February
UK
Jeremy Corbyn believes that Esther McVey’s appointment as Work and Pensions Secretary is “a cause for alarm” for disabled people and others, his spokesman has revealed.The Labour leader’s criticism of the minister came amid a Conservative backlash at online abuse directed at McVey, as well as fresh criticism of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s claim that she was a ‘stain on humanity’.Supporters of the newly-installed Cabinet minister suggested some of the attacks stemmed also from McDonnell’s decision in 2014 to quote an activist who called for her to be “lynched”.Corbyn condemned all personal abuse, his spokesman said, but felt that his fellow Labour MP had made justified criticism of McVey’s record on welfare cuts.“Jeremy is also highly critical of her record.Her appointment is a cause for alarm and will be for disabled people in particular, but people across the country [too].
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There were no sensational new smartphones announced at CES this year, but there is one that is at least promising to do that very soon.No, not the Galaxy S9 or any foldable phone.Chinese OEM Vivo, which some might be surprised to know is one of the world’s top 5 phone makers, is showing of what is still a prototype of a smartphone that is ready for mass production.But while the smartphone itself might be a bit nondescript at this point, it has one feature no other smartphone has yet: a fingerprint scanner embedded in the screen.This feature would have been the highlight of last year’s flagships, going hand-in-hand with the nearly bezel-less screens.But due to timing and production problems, it never came to be and OEMs like Samsung and Apple had to look elsewhere for their solutions.
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UK
TiVo sees the smart home revolution and it wants to be a part of it.Today the company announced that it will soon offer integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, two AI assistants that are quickly becoming the centerpiece of many smart home systems.When these enhancements arrive, TiVo envisions the potential to watch your content in a way you haven’t yet before.Of course, most of us with an Echo or Google Home device already know what life is like with controlling playback through voice commands.Asking Alexa or Google Assistant to find certain content or pause playback are examples that immediately spring to mind for most, but TiVo’s vision for smart home integration takes things a step further.Specifically, TiVo is looking to make heavy use of IFTTT functionality once support for Alexa and Google Assistant are live.
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