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Western Digital My Book Duo 20TB USB-C external RAID hard disk drive [Review]

17 December, by Brian Fagioli[ —]
Nowadays, more and more consumers are embracing the cloud for data storage and backup. This is not a mistake -- it is smart to store your files off premises. With that said, it is even smarter to also store the data locally for redundancy purposes. For instance, with local storage, if your internet connection is down, you can still access your files. With the cloud, if there is a disaster -- such as a house fire -- your data can be retrieved even if your local storage drives are destroyed. In other words, using the cloud and local storage together… [Continue Reading]

ZoomGo unveils its own media stick with extras

https://betanews.com/2017/12/17/zoomgo-unveils-its-own-media-stick-with-extras/play episode download
17 December, by Alan Buckingham[ —]
Streaming media sticks have become an in-thing these days, with big releases from major players like Amazon and Roku. They plug into an HDMI port on any TV and bring you all sorts of entertainment goodness. The one drawback is that they aren't exactly mobile. Now one company aims to change that, giving you all of your media on the go and just in time for a big travel season. ZoomGo is producing a media stick that's made for automobiles and doubles as an in-car charger for your devices. But that's not all. The ZoomGo WiFi Media Stick & Car Charger also delivers your movies… [Continue Reading]

Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia Xfce and KDE editions are available for download

17 December, by Brian Fagioli[ —]
Linux Mint is killing the KDE version of its operaring system -- a move some people applaud. That's what makes the new 18.3 version -- named "Sylvia" -- so frustrating. It's bizarre to release a new version of an operating system that essentially has no future. But oh well, here we are. After a short beta period, the KDE distro is now available for download -- if you still care. I recommend that KDE loyalists just switch to Kubuntu or Netrunner, but I digress. Despite being the final version of Linux Mint KDE, it is still a great alternative to… [Continue Reading]

Google Assistant gains Hey, Google support on a range of Android devices

17 December, by Mark Wycislik-Wilson[ —]
Voice control of computers and smartphones is becoming increasingly common, and for Android users a new option is opening up. Previously only available on Nexus and Pixel devices, support for the "Hey, Google" trigger is rolling out to more handsets. This gives Android users another option for calling up Google's voice-activated assistant, adding to the existing "OK, Google" command. See also: Huge Janus bug leaves Android apps open to unauthorized code modification Google bans most Android apps from displaying lockscreen ads Privacy: a huge proportion of Android apps are secretly tracking you The change is clearly not a major one,… [Continue Reading]

Windows 10 included a password manager complete with massive password-stealing potential

https://betanews.com/2017/12/17/windows-10-keeper-vulnerability/play episode download
17 December, by Mark Wycislik-Wilson[ —]
Microsoft has been bundling a password manager that features a dangerous flaw with some versions of Windows 10, a Google security researcher has revealed. Tavis Ormandy noticed that his copy of Windows 10 included Keeper, which he had previously found to be injecting privileged UI into pages. The version that Microsoft was including with Windows 10 featured the same bug. What does this mean? In short, it allows any website to steal passwords from you. See also: Security: macOS High Sierra bug lets you log in as 'root'... without a password Windows 8 onwards incorrectly implements ASLR security feature, but… [Continue Reading]

Patreon scraps plans to introduce new charges, and apologizes to users

16 December, by Mark Wycislik-Wilson[ —]
Artists' and creators' platform Patreon has scrapped controversial plans to introduce a new pricing structure after a vocal backlash from users. The site -- used by many artists and creators to raise money -- had planned to add a service charge to pledges placed by patrons. While the new pricing structure would have reduced fees paid by artists, there was a fear that fewer pledges would be made due to fees having to be shouldered by those pledging money. CEO Jack Conte has now apologized and says that the company will work on a better system that does not unfairly… [Continue Reading]

Facebook adds Snooze button to silence irritating friends, pages and groups

16 December, by Mark Wycislik-Wilson[ —]
If you're friends with someone on Facebook it should mean that you're interested in hearing about what they have to say and see what they have to share. But at the same time, it's likely you've been extremely annoyed by the incessant stream of babble that flows from some people. You might not want to go quite as far as unfriending someone -- maybe you're just sick of them posting movie spoilers, or you're tired of hearing them go on about their team's latest success -- so Facebook has introduced a new Snooze option. This can be used to hide… [Continue Reading]

Amazon extends Christmas shopping free shipping deadline -- no Prime needed

16 December, by Brian Fagioli[ —]
Christmas is quickly approaching. If you haven't finished shopping for gifts, what the heck are you waiting for? The longer you wait, the more anxiety you will feel about potentially not having presents ready to give on the big day. Thanks to the internet, you really have no excuse -- other than a lack of money -- to be empty-handed when visiting with friends and family this holiday season. Speaking of online shopping, Amazon is one of the most popular such retailers. Quite frankly, I have done about 90 percent of my Christmas shopping on that site. I mean, can… [Continue Reading]

Google Maps for Android gets step-by-step directions for public transit navigation

https://betanews.com/2017/12/15/google-maps-android-public-transit/play episode download
16 December, by Brian Fagioli[ —]
When some people -- such as suburbanites -- think of Google Maps, their minds likely go to motor vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, and trucks. People also use it for other types of transportation, however, such as walking, biking, and mass-transit. Google Maps works rather well for these various means of traveling, adjusting both the route and estimated time based on your selection. Today, Google Maps for Android gains a new feature that will greatly benefit folks that ride the train or bus. You see, the app will now provide step-by-step directions for public transit navigation. In other words, the… [Continue Reading]

The average US home is worth less than 20 Bitcoin

https://betanews.com/2017/12/15/average-american-home-bitcoin-price/play episode download
15 December, by Mihăiță Bamburic[ —]
It's fair to say that, in its current state, Bitcoin does not work as a means of payment for basic things. The average transaction fee is over $20, which makes common purchases, like a cup of coffee, virtually impossible to justify. However, as I noted in my What can you buy with Bitcoin? piece, things are different when we are looking at very expensive purchases. One such scenario where using Bitcoin makes a whole lot of sense is buying a home. The transaction fee is negligible, as the cost is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if we are looking at… [Continue Reading]

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