Netflix announces a new family plan: for $12 a month, members will soon be able to stream four shows or movies at a time.
Samsung is working with engineers at the University of Texas to develop a system that allows users to control a tablet using only their mind.
If the next Xbox is a home-TV-integrated beast, HDMI-in may not be pretty…but it’s probably the best short-term way to get to the future.
CNET – The battle for the future of television is just beginning, but it looks to be a long one. One of the key players is Microsoft, which has spent the past several years morphing its Xbox 360 from a straight-up gaming console into one of the best video-streaming boxes you can buy.
Of course, the current Xbox 360 is getting long in the tooth, and the next-generation model is expected to be announced soon, and to be available as early as the end of 2013. And TV services look to be just as central to the core of that device as gaming.
Last week, The Verge reported that Microsoft plans to enable live TV access on the upcoming console:
The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft’s console to overlay a UI [user interface] and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box.
That story would seem to confirm earlier rumors that the next Xbox would have support for live TV input, among other upgraded entertainment options, including Blu-ray.
So, the “Xbox 720″ is taking a page from Google TV. But is that wise? Gigaom’s Janko Roettgers asks, “Really, Microsoft? Your vision for the future of TV is…an HDMI cable?” He makes some solid points, ending his argument with “HDMI pass-through is the ultimate admission of defeat.”
Clean It Out
The first thing you’ll want to do is clear out the riff-raff—unused programs and browser extensions, obsolete registry entries, and expired permissions. Uninstall unused and under-utilized programs on your desktop and laptop systems, clear out forgotten apps from your mobile devices (Sorry, Angry Birds Rio). Give your registry a scrubbing with CC Cleaner, a free program for both Windows and Mac, that will clear old registry entries (for PCs) as well as empty recycle bins, zero out recent document lists, and erase a variety of browser information—Temporary files, history, cookies, download history, form history—from the major browsers.
Also be sure to take a look through your browser’s extensions list and remove any rarely used features. The same goes for Google users: Go to your Google account’s security screen, select the “Connected applications and sites” option from the bottom of the list, and nix any old devices that you no longer own or operate.
CNET Editors’ Rating
5.0 stars – Spectacular
The app will be available to everyone next week. So far, celebrities like Ryan Seacrest and Wiz Khalifa tweeted their approval.
Bitcoin’s value crashed from $265 to $105 in six hours Wednesday, prompting fears of a hack attack.
CNET – It seems like just last week that Google was rolling out updates for its Chrome browser for iOS.
In fact, it was: Last week, Google added sharing and history features to Chrome for iOS.
Yesterday, Google brought a few more worthwhile features to its mobile browser: support for AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and full-screen browsing. Version 26.0.1410.50 also lets you save any Web page as a PDF to your Google Drive account.
Full-screen browsing works just like in Safari: When you scroll up, the Omnibox (i.e., address bar) disappears to give you a bit more viewing area. When you scroll back down (or tap the top of the screen), it reappears. Simple, but effective. The feature is good for video and Web-based games, where you don’t want distracting user-interface “chrome” getting in the way of what you’re seeing.
PCWorld – Computers may have become a lot more user-friendly over the past decade, but they’re still far from perfect—PCs require a certain amount of configuration and maintenance to operate at their full potential. Unfortunately, because we humans are also far from perfect, we frequently don’t put in the work we should, and we end up with a slower, sloppier, less secure machine as a result.
No more excuses! Whipping your PC into the best shape it can be requires but a dozen simple tasks. None are complicated, most take a matter of minutes, and all will have a major effect on how well your computer works for you. Even better, by the time you’re finished you’ll never have to worry about doing many of these tasks again.
Clean the case, keys, and display
The first task is the most basic: Are you keeping your computer clean? It’s not just important because a dirty PC looks gross, or is less pleasant to use. Simply put, a clean computer can last longer. Dirt and dust buildup in and around your computer can clog the fans and air intakes, causing your hardware to run hotter, which lowers its expected life span. So if your PC is looking a little musty, take the time to clean it.
To do so, you need to have only a few things on hand: a Phillips-head screwdriver, a can of compressed air, paper towels, and rubbing alcohol.
Once you’re ready to begin, shut down your computer, unplug it, and move it somewhere with a little open space in which to maneuver. Look on the back panel, and find the screws that hold the case’s side panels in place. Unscrew them—making sure to put them someplace safe—and remove the side panels, usually by sliding them backward and then pulling them away. If you haven’t cleaned the computer in a long time, you should immediately see some areas where dust has collected.
You’re likely to find the most dust bunnies on the fans inside the computer and on the vents outside. You can remove a lot of dust simply by wiping the fans gently with a paper towel, and by using a lightly dampened paper towel on the vents. Once you’ve wiped away any piled-up dust, use the can of compressed air to blow the dust out of the inside of any heat sinks, such as the one attached to the CPU or the graphics card. Use the air to clean out remaining dust from the system’s various fans too, but be careful: A sustained blast of air can overspin the fan, damaging it. Either use short bursts of air or hold the fan with your finger to prevent it from spinning. Afterward, clean out any other dust you see inside the case. More
There’s little indication that Facebook Home will be any different. At the Facebook Home question-and-answer session that followed Thursday’s announcement, Zuckerberg said, “Analytics are made anonymous and used for half a percent of the user base.” He added that that’s the same as Google and Apple, which sounds reasonable, right?
The catch is that the more you share on Facebook, the more Facebook learns about you, and Facebook Home is designed to make you want to share even more.
Privacy and security researcher Ashkan Soltani agrees, and he explained that Facebook Home bridges the gap between passive data collection and active data-creating activities — such as when you “Like” something in Facebook. “It’s in the middle of every interaction on your device,”