Alan Buckingham

Pandora plans to make Rdio part of its music empire


Pandora and Rdio are two of the major forces in the streaming music industry. It's a growing market now that CDs have become part of the past. Yes, sales of them still exist, just not what they once were.

Now Pandora is planning to acquire Rdio and consolidate the two services. It's an interesting proposition and will certainly have implications. Pandora and Rdio are different in certain ways. Pandora simply lets you create stations based on taste and does an excellent job of it. Rdio allows for streaming individual songs.

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Sprint and T-Mobile offer help in the wake of France terror attacks


The past couple of days have been an endless cycle of bad news with the terror attacks in Paris. Everyone feels bad for those caught up in the violence and we all wish we could help in some way. Some are in a position to do so and Sprint and T-Mobile fall into that category, and are planning to do their part during this crisis.

Both are offering free communication options so loved ones can check on friends and family. That's a key thing in any situation, be it a terror attack or natural disaster.

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BBC World News channel available in India on YuppTV

BBC Building London

For those who didn't know, the BBC has launched a 24 hour news channel to compete with such entities as CNN and Al Jazeera. Now the issue is making the network available for as many viewers as possible in this crowded market that is today's news cycle.

One of the largest markets is India and the channel is now there, announcing it has signed on to provide its network to YuppTV, the world's largest provider of OTT TV, at least for Indian content. The service provides more than 200 channels and 5,000 movies to viewers.

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Box launches its official Windows 10 app

Box for Windows 10 app blog post image

Using Microsoft's latest operating system and looking for cloud storage? There isn't a shortage of options out there and you can use whichever appeals to you. However, if you're looking for a dedicated app for Windows 10 then Box could be the direction you want to head in.

The service is announcing its app for Windows 10. It has been a partner of Microsoft for a while and claims that it sees things headed in the right direction under the new management.

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Amazon Echo price slashed for one day only

Amazon Echo

A lot can be said about Amazon's Echo product. People either love it or don't trust it. After all, what you say goes through Amazon's servers to answer the questions and requests, and it works almost instantly.

Now Amazon has a deal for those who want to try it out, but you'll need to act fast because the deal is good for today only. The device normally retails for $179, but today you can get $30 knocked off that price, lowering the product to $149.

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Best Buy reveals its Black Friday deals and sales start now


The holiday shopping season is right around the corner or, in some cases, here now. We've already seen Amazon launch its store which contains the "Lightning Deals" it offers each year as an incentive to keep customers coming back frequently.

Not to be outdone, Best Buy is kicking off its festivities now as well. The company announces today that deals will be available immediately both in stores and online.

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Enhance your home automation with the Mivatek Smart Plug [Review]


Turning lights on and off remotely may seem lazy, and honestly it is, but it's also strangely satisfying. Not moving from the couch while things in your home are turned on and off is a priceless feeling and there is an increasing number of products on the market that aim to provide that satisfaction.

The problem is the lack of cohesion in the market, as different lines are proprietary, at least to a certain extent. That's slowly changing, but we'd like to see the process sped up a bit.

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Xbox One backwards compatibility arrives with 104 games in tow


The one thing people have been clamoring for since the Xbox One was released is backwards compatibility to allow playing of all those collected games from the 360 era. Microsoft is granting that wish, though it will be gradual.

Today the company is publishing a list of the initial games that will be available. In all, it entails 104 titles and includes some big names. Among those in this release are Assassin's Creed II, Bejeweled 2, Gears of War versions 1, 2 and 3, Halo: Spartan Assault, Mass Effect, Plants vs Zombies and many more.

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Pandora makes music discovery even easier


Music services are an ever increasing market, with new ones popping up all the time. There are a few that have distanced themselves from the pack, though. One of those is Pandora which takes a song and analyzes it in an effort to create a station with similar music. You can argue if this works, but it does in most cases, at least based in my experience,

Now Tim Westergren's little hobby is launch an enhanced discover service in an effort to make it even easier to find music.

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Want a Pebble Time Round? It's heading to stores and begins shipping soon


While I have made a bit of fun of the Pebble Time Round's Swatch-type look, that doesn't mean it's a bad product. Honestly Pebble is the product that opened the public's eyes to smartwatches. It wasn't the first, but it set the tone of what to expect with the future of wearable technology.

The round version of the latest watch was creatively called Time and it was a huge hit on Kickstarter when it debuted. The round version came along later and now it's here, hitting retail outlets and ready to start shipping for those who have, or wish to, get it online.

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Samsung takes on Roomba with its own robotic vacuum


Don't feel like cleaning? That's where robotics take over. The "creatures", like home automation, are a growing segment of today's tech market. After all, who wants to vacuum or get up to turn lights on or off? Yes, we're an increasingly lazy species.

Samsung is rolling out, so to speak, an automated vacuum cleaner to rival the long-standing king, Roomba. The company wanted to push the product out in time for the holiday shopping season, stating that customers need to get ready for, and clean up after, the parties. It states that "In fact, a recent survey found that almost one-third of consumers said they stress about cleaning the floors and rugs when they think about holiday entertaining".

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ProtonMail suffers DDoS attack, preventing secure email correspondence

GitHub hit by biggest DDoS attack ever

Given all the spying that goes on these days it's no wonder that people are looking for more private ways to get online and stay in touch with one another. Secure email -- which is what Edward Snowden chose to use for his communications with journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian -- is proving more and more popular.

Unfortunately, not everyone is keen on such services. One such secure email provider, ProtonMail, has been taken down today, by a DDoS attack. Who would want to attack the service? That's the million dollar question and the list of potential attackers could be quite long. A bevvy of agencies have spoken out against encryption, going so far as asking for backdoors into data, blithely oblivious to the consequences of such action. ProtonMail was designed securely and doesn't possess records of correspondence, so law enforcement can't demand data.

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Trek the wilds of New Zealand with Google Maps


You've likely seen some of the beauty of New Zealand. It's been on display in such movies as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as the Narnia movies. It truly lends itself to the Middle Earth feel with the breathtaking landscapes. But the movies only show you parts of this paradise.

Google is taking on yet another wild destination, hauling its Trekker technology down to Australia's neighbor for what it terms a walk on the wild side.

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Motorola arrives in the Windy City as store opens in Chicago


You can tell the holiday shopping season has started. There's Christmas displays in the stores, Amazon has launched its store and perhaps, just maybe, the children are being better behaved. It's also the time when stores suddenly pop up, many of them are simple kiosks located in malls.

Motorola took that concept one step further as it announces its first full-blown store, located right in downtown Chicago.

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Dropbox expands its footprint in Europe and Mexico

girl in cloud

Cloud storage is expanding all the time, with new features and extra space, though Microsoft seems to be going the other way. Dropbox was one of the early players in the game and has remained strong despite being surpassed in capacity by rivals.

Now Dropbx is expanding in Europe, bringing new features to certain locations in an effort to better serve its customers and add functionality. The company states that "With over 70 percent of our users located outside the US, expanding our international footprint is a priority".

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