Alan Buckingham

Scroogled is officially dead as domain gets rerouted by Microsoft

Scroogled

We knew the Scroogled campaign was no more -- it was a miserable failure and the object of ridicule that somehow still got architect Mark Penn promoted within the company. While some folks found it amusing, most laughed it off, as the misinformation conveyed was a joke. Now it seems the fate of this advertising endeavor is completely sealed.

Microsoft has rerouted traffic from the Scroogled website in an effort to forget this embarrassing moment in history. If you visit the site now, you'll be sent to WhyMicrosoft -- a site that shows off the good things the company has to offer, as opposed to a mudslinging campaign against a rival.

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Verizon FiOS stays atop of Netflix monthly rankings

TV cat Netflix

It's that time again -- the part of the month where Netflix rolls out its report on ISP performance. This is something that became important back during the Comcast debacle. That was when the streaming service was held hostage while negotiating a deal, all the while with its speed on the carrier steadily dropping.

Well, the top three have not changed and, despite the shakedown, Comcast still is not among them. Verizon FiOS retains its seat at the top, follow by Cablevision and Bright House. Comcast at least hasn't ceded its number four position.

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And so it begins -- Anonymous launches attacks on Jihadist websites

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The other day I wrote about hacker collective Anonymous, covering its war on Lizard Squad and its vow to now go after terrorists. This isn't the slippery slope that some may think it is. The group isn't attacking Islam, it is targeting the extremists responsible for the murders of people. That clarification makes it hard to not be behind them. After all, entire governments have been doing this in a less technological way.

Those promised threats are now no longer just promises. Anonymous has taken down its first target -- ansar-alhaqq.net (we aren't linking to them), rendering the site, which was deemed a terrorist hive back in 2013, completely inaccessible. Reaching the site is now impossible as the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) targeting of it is well underway.

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Panasonic shows off a ToughPad for POS, runs Windows 8.1

panasonic-toughpad

Panasonic is known for its rugged notebook computers and, more recently, tablets. The devices have become essential for folks in certain fields of work. While folks in the construction industry can benefit from this technology, what about those who have a need to process payments while on the go? Panasonic now has that covered as well, unveiling the Toughpad FZ-R1 mobile point-of-sale tablet.

This is a seven inch tablet that runs Windows 8.1 and is powered by an Intel Celeron processor. It also comes with a PIN pad to make accepting payments simpler.

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Anonymous breaks hacker stereotype, stands up for what is right

Guy Fawkes Anonymous

This is a story I never thought I'd write. After all, while we're all for finding and fixing flaws in systems, hacking goes a bit against our principals. Well, certain kinds of it at any rate, there's a debate there that I will not be starting as it becomes complex in a hurry. One of the most notorious groups known is Anonymous, those folks in the Guy Fawkes masks. You've likely seem them around if you look at news of the tech slant.

The thing is, lately the news coming from them isn't too scary -- well depending on who you are. The organization has been active and a couple of groups of people certainly should be scared, as Anonymous is not to be taken lightly when it comes to a fight or attack.

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Toshiba releases its first DVR for 960H resolution security cameras

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Home security is always in demand, and many people pay to have alarms systems installed and monitored. These systems can call the police when intrusion is detected or the fire company if there's smoke. Cameras are one of the newer additions to this home arsenal, though they've been around for a while. However, they come with an added complication -- the recording and saving of the video. After all, it's useless if you can't see what happened.

For this recording of video, you generally have two options -- a DVR or the cloud. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The DVR is obviously local and allows for more control and less chance of your video being hacked. Now Toshiba is looking to provide you with that solution, announcing the new EAV16-480 DVR, built for 960H resolution cameras.

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3D is dead, but will you buy a 4K TV in 2015?

family-watching-tv

HD, with its 1080p picture took off, albeit a bit slowly at first. But in the long run, almost all content moved to the format and customers bought sets. It was a boon for manufacturers, but it was one that ended quicker than they hoped. Once everyone had that new TV, the rush came to a screeching halt and companies began puzzling over what to do next, desperate to get back those sales figures that had become a bygone era.

Enter 3D, people must want that experience, right? Not so fast. The platform fell flat on its face when nobody rushed to buy a TV that required wearing glasses -- worse, expensive ones at that. To quote my colleague Derrick Wlodarz, "the hurdles for 3D TV are plentiful. By far, the biggest, nastiest one has no doubt got to be content. And more specifically, breadth and reach of such content. Not just across movies, but television channels too. And this is one nagging factor that 3D TV proponents can't seem to come to grips with".

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The US claims North Korea hacked Sony, security experts disagree

hackers-ahead

Let's get one basic thing out of the way -- incidents are sometimes used for political maneuvering. That's not always the case and I'll be making no accusations, as the information simply cannot confirm nor deny anything about the recent Sony hack, or North Korea's possible role in it. We can, however, defer to more expert opinion.

As for background, if you could possibly have missed this story, Sony was hacked rather badly and the big thing that came out of it was the movie The Interview, which ends with the death of Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea. The US government, in turn, accused the nation of perpetrating the act. That seems an odd thing, given that those responsible released the ending of the movie, which would be detrimental to North Korea.

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Reports of Windows Phone being pulled from Verizon are partially erroneous

ative-se-verizon

In the past few hours reports have surfaced that all Windows Phone devices had been pulled from the Verizon site. It's a lovely conspiracy theory and certainly something to fire up the fanboys, nothing spells fan better than Microsoft or Apple. Unfortunately, rumors of the handset's demise have been greatly exaggerated, if I may paraphrase Mark Twain.

Journalists may wish to pay a quick visit to the Verizon site, as devices such as the Samsung Ativ SE, for instance, are still available. Nokia Lumia, or Microsoft, as the case may be, aren't listed. That is odd, but not end-of-the-world.

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Microsoft takes the restrictions off Office for Android tablets preview

Google Nexus 9

Microsoft has offered its Office suite to other mobile platforms for sometime now, but Android tablet support is fairly recent. It was in Preview form and there were hoops to be jumped through in order to get access. No matter, the response was still overwhelming, or at least the company claims that is the case.

Now things are opening up as the Redmond-based company announces the expansion of this program to all users. This update to the "testing" allows all users to get access -- no more requests, or begging, through the Google Plus account.

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Google brings Android TV to CES with new partners in tow

Sony-android-tv

In 2014 Google debuted Android TV, using Nexus Player as a sort of reference device. The new entry into the crowded market replaced the previous Google TV, which had been around for a while but never really took off. Google hopes the new platform will change the company's fortunes, as it desperately wants to be in your living room.

At the big Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas, the search giant delivered more information about its new platform. Google arrived with announcements of new partners in the way of TV manufacturers offering sets powered by Android TV.

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Simplicam brings face recognition to home video monitoring, cool or scary?

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Security is very much in the news these days, with government surveillance, hacks and the like. However, what about video cameras that can recognize you simply by recording your face? Yes, that technology is also available, it's one of the things that scares people about Google Glass, The technology is there, so folks might as well get used to it.

Simplicam is debuting a home monitoring camera with built in facial recognition at the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. But it also goes a step further, telling the user who is at home.

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Amazon Fire TV and Roku gain Sling TV service, joining Xbox One and others

Sling_Food_Network_mini_guide

Sling TV, yes from the folks who brought you the Box, has launched and it's heading in many directions all at once. Earlier we heard that Xbox One would be the first gaming console to feature the service, now we're learning of the set-top box makers also partnered with Sling.

The new internet TV and video service has also teamed up with two of the most popular device makers currently in this market -- Roku and Amazon. Both companies plan to carry this new internet-based video service.

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The march to 4K continues as DISH announces Joey set-top box with Ultra HD

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Despite the fact we now have 5K available, most people still haven't even made the leap to the Ultra HD, or 4K, technology. Satellite TV provider DISH Network is taking aim at that crowd now, announcing it will be moving into this growing field. With the failure of 3D, it seems TV makers have finally found a viable way to lure people into buying a new set or box.

The company is announcing the new Joey, a set-top box compatible with this latest video technology. It claims "that it will be the first pay-TV provider to launch a 4K ‘Ultra HD’ set-top box. Named the 4K Joey, the unit is designed to easily integrate with DISH’s Hopper Whole Home HD DVR system".

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Sling TV comes to Xbox One, brings exclusive offer along

xbox one

Sling Box and Xbox may have similar names, but they are rather different technologies. However, that doesn't mean the two products can't get together to improve the entertainment in your living room. That's exactly what is now happening as Microsoft announces Sling TV (a bit different from Sling Box) for its gaming and entertainment console.

Sling TV which will be coming to the Xbox One, adding even more entertainment options. The service will carry many channels, including live sports, news, internet video and more. The new partnership has been announced by Xbox Live chief Larry Hryb, or Major Nelson as he is more commonly known.

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