Alan Buckingham

Amazon deal -- grab a Fire HD 6 and get a bonus

Amazon Android

Amazon recently released new devices, including Fire tablets and Kindle readers. But with the holiday shopping season now upon us, it's time for deals. The retailer is responding with multiple ones, some already being available on the site.

This one is a bit different, though. The online store wishes for you to purchase its new Fire HD 6 tablet, and to entice you, the pot is sweetened.

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CryptoLocker: the comeback -- malware reemerges ready to steal your money

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CryptoLocker has now been around the block a few times -- it's been locking people's data and demanding money for sometime. The threat finally (mostly) disappeared. However, it seems to be experiencing a resurgence, as a new strain of the virus has been detected.

If you aren't familiar, and honestly, you don't want to be, CryptoLocker encrypts the files on your computer and then holds you for ransom -- pay or lose your data.

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XBMC moves forward with name change as new logo is chosen

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XBMC, whose name was derived from Xbox and Media Center, is making a change that you may have heard about. Or at least you have if you delve into the HTPC world. The platform will soon be officially known as Kodi, distancing itself from Microsoft, though it continues to work on the company's products, just as it always has.

To go along with this fresh new face, a new logo was also in order. For that, the organization reached out to its community. The result was an amalgam of the feedback received during the process.

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Gamer alert -- you can now play Tetris on your Roku

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Most people don't think of a set-top box as a gaming device, but that concept has been changing recently. Amazon's Fire TV and  Google's new Nexus Player are both enabled with capability that has the gamer in mind. Now Roku is stepping up as well.

The company announces that the classic game of Tetris is now available to its customers. "Casual gaming is a great feature available on Roku players and is perfect for a little friendly competition on family game nights. The addition of the Tetris game to the Roku Channel Store provides another great option for a fun, engaging game to keep your whole family entertained".

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HBO GO reaches the living room via Xbox One

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HBO GO has been in the news lately, especially when the HBO network announced that it will be discontinuing its paid cable/satellite service restriction and turn it into a stand-alone service. It's also now making inroads into the living room -- perhaps in preparation for that big move next year. To that end, the network is moving into the Xbox One ecosystem.

Larry Hryb, better known to most folks as Major Nelson, announces the release -- "HBO GO is arriving on Xbox One in the US, bringing along every episode from every season of your favorite HBO shows. With HBO GO, subscribers can watch the latest episodes from shows like 'True Detective', 'Game of Thrones' and 'Girls', along with your favorite hits like 'Entourage' and 'The Sopranos', HBO GO on Xbox One features Kinect voice and gesture control so you can easily search the entire catalog via gestures or voice commands".

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Momentum continues as Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines move to Surface Pro 3

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It may have taken a few tries, but Microsoft is gaining momentum with its tablet/laptop, the Surface Pro 3. The device, which includes an optional keyboard, was released a couple of months ago, and sales seem to be lively from what we've heard.

It's not a major surprise, as businesses love Windows, and now more are adopting this platform. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are moving to Surface Pro 3. Microsoft claims it is adopting "certain commercial requirements" in an effort to make the device more appealing to the enterprise.

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Microsoft and Opera agree to terms on App Store deal for Nokia phones

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Microsoft purchased Nokia, in part, earlier this year and has now begun the slow process of making it their own. New phones are being rebranded, which is not particularly surprising. Though, parterning with Opera (yes, the browser maker) is bit of a shock.

However, today the Norwegian company announced a deal with the software giant to begin powering the app store on certain models of handsets.

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The new Kindle reader -- bang for your buck [Review]

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If you have grown tired of hardback and paperback books, then a Kindle may be your answer. Coincidentally, Amazon has released two new models, a standard and the Voyage, which my colleague Brian Fagioli reviewed recently. These complement the existing Paperwhite, which has not yet been updated.

If you've never before owned a Kindle, a club I fell into, then you'll find many interesting aspects to the device, which we'll discuss as we go along. The most prominent feature is obviously e-ink, and that isn't new to the platform. But it's important for several reasons -- one, it makes your books look like actual books, and two, it preserves battery life beautifully. You can go weeks without charging.

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Google goes to Australia, lets you tour the parks with Street View

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There is, perhaps, no place the Google Street View team will not go, including national parks around the US. The crew has traveled around the world, and even beneath the oceans. Now the team is honoring the IUCN World Parks Congress, which is taking place in Sydney, Australia this time around. The meeting happens only once per decade, so it's a big deal.

In celebration, Google has trekked 21 parks and 27 underwater spots in an effort to bring them to your desktop. There was some help, and this came about through a partnership with New South Wales National Parks and Catlin Seaview Survey.

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Wearable technology market grows -- Asus releases ZenWatch

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Wearable technology is here, though not everyone seems to be on board with the 'trend'. Still, the market is growing and existing products are evolving to do more. Pebble has just released a new batch of updates featuring the ability to order Domino's pizza, new watchfaces and several other apps available to its customers.

Now Asus, known for its computers and tablets, is releasing its entry into the market, announcing the ZenWatch. The new model is utilizing AndroidWear and features a classy look, with a nice face and stitched leather band.

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Order Domino's pizza from your watch? Pebble now does that

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Pebble was not the first smartwatch, but it could be argued that it popularized the platform and led to others creating similar devices. The company isn't resting on its laurels either, as it continues to make improvements and get apps in its store. The latest new addition is geared towards the hungry.

Pebble is announcing that pizza giant Domino's has arrived on your wrist. Yes, you can now order your pie right from the watch -- toppings are up to you.

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YouTube Music Key joins the streaming battle

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The battle for your hard earned money in the music streaming business is heating up, which seems to be a statement I make regularly these days. This time, the offering comes from an unexpected source. While YouTube is a go-to for music videos, it isn't generally thought of for a streaming music source. Or perhaps I'm old.

YouTube is unveiling its new service, Music Key. "You’ve asked us for ways to listen to music without ads, to keep playing music videos even if you lock the screen or start using another app, and to play music even if you’re not connected to the Internet. That’s why today we're introducing YouTube Music Key beta, a monthly subscription service".

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Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet -- Is it worth the upgrade? [Review]

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Amazon has been producing its Fire tablets for the past few years, and the devices have remained among the retailer's top selling items. For one reason, they are always good solid products, but for another, Amazon sells them at a good price and frequently discounts the devices. Now the company has released its latest iteration of the tablet, but what new features does it bring along?

In all honesty, there are not a lot of big changes, but many minor updates to both the operating system and the hardware have been made. The new tablet comes in both six and seven inch models, though there is also a new 8.9, which retains the HDX name used for last year's models of both 7 and 8.9 devices.

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Netflix unveils October Speed Index Report, Comcast still middle of the pack

Netflix

Every month streaming video provider Netflix announces its speed results for the biggest ISPs in the US and other nations. The report is aimed to let customers know why their video may be dodgy and also to praise those that get it right. The order tends to vary each and every time, but there is some relative consistency seen in the results.

This time around, the October report reveals that Verizon Fios remains in the top spot. Comcast also retained its position, though sixth is still not great given the provider is getting paid by Netflix to provide the best service. In between those positions you will find Cablevision, Bright House, Cox and Charter.

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Deal alert: Toshiba Encore Windows tablet on sale for $99

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The Windows tablet market isn't a danger to Android or iPad, but it isn't doing horribly either. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 seems to be a hit and others are on the market as well, with makers like Dell and Toshiba jumping on board. But in case you haven't yet taken the bait, Microsoft wishes to add a bit more enticement with a sale on one of them.

Between now and November 21st the company is offering the Toshiba Encore Mini WT7-C16MS Signature Edition for a steal of a price. The tablet is a seven inch model and it comes with an Intel Atom Z3735G processor, one GB of memory, 16 GB of storage, front and rear cameras and promises up to seven hours of battery life.

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