Alan Buckingham

Cut the cord -- HBO will offer standalone streaming service in 2015

Satisfied Happy Businessman Relaxing Office

Cable providers see the writing on the wall. They will eventually become internet services and nothing more, but for now each is fighting this future. The battle took a turn against those TV services recently. HBO has dealt the latest blow.

For the moment, the HBO app requires the user to verify a subscription by adding information for a cable or satellite provider. That's bad for cord-cutters -- it means they simply can't get the HBO service. However, that requirement will be changing in 2015.

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Popcorn Time fights back -- moves domain after takedown


There's no accounting for what will happen if you run a website, especially a questionable one. We've all witnessed the trials and tribulations suffered by the folks behind the Pirate Bay. Others have been more fortunate, though the outcome for the site has been the same -- a takedown. Some give up, while others move on and fight to survive.

Popcorn Time falls into that latter category. The company has so far thwarted efforts to remove it from the internet, but recently faced yet another hurdle. The site's domain name was taken down -- a common problem to the folks at the Pirate Bay. No problem, just get a new one. Move along, nothing to see here.

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Verizon Fios soars to the top of Netflix monthly ISP report

TV cat Netflix

Each and every month video provider Netflix issues a report on ISPs and makes no bones about who's good and who isn't. Honestly, the company has no choice -- its business rides on these speeds and it is not shy about reporting them.

September has been released, and there are some surprises and some not shocking disappointments. First, Verizon Fios flew to the top, averaging 3.17 MB per download. Not bad at all for the customers out there.

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Microsoft releases a new keyboard for Android Wear watches

MS keyboard

Google's Android Wear is still getting started, having a smattering of devices such as the LG G Watch and Motorola's Moto 360. The wrist wear brings the mobile platform to a small screen, and it's received a lot of attention since the launch.

Microsoft has a history of supporting Android, releasing all of its apps to the rival devices, despite Google's failure to reciprocate. Last month the the company released OneNote for watches and now the software giant is working on Android Wear again, offering a new analog keyboard app for the tiny items.

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Brave the sands and visit the Arabian desert with Google Street View


There seems to be no place the intrepid Google Street View team will not go. From oceans to canyons, the team has tackled everything. The latest location is the sands of the United Arab Emirates, a rather desolate place for any person.

You won't need to ride a camel to make your trip to the Liwa Desert, as you can see it all from the comfort of your seat. Google has already braved sand storms and unbearable heat to bring you the images.

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Kaspersky and INTERPOL issue global alert: ATMs spitting out millions without cards


ATMs (automated teller machines) are everywhere and we all use them regularly. That has always made them a target for bad guys -- a card reader can steal all sorts of information. But in the wake of events like the Target and Home Depot breaches things have risen to a new level. So high, in fact, that security company Kaspersky and law enforcement organization INTERPOL have issued a warning.

It seems that ATMs are pouring out money to criminals who are not even using any sort of credit or debit card. While this isn't a problem for any particular individual, it is a major one for the banks, which makes it everyone's worry.

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Plex arrives on Xbox One and 360, brings your media with it

new plex app

Retrieving media from a computer or home server and reproducing it in your home theater has become a growing need among people. Plex offers what is, perhaps, the simplest solution for accomplishing this task. It does so by simply working across almost every known platform, including mobile devices and set-top boxes.

One place where the end-user app has been surprisingly missing is Microsoft's gaming consoles. You'd think Plex would have arrived there long ago -- certainly before places like Roku and Fire TV. Well, that problem is now solved, or at least half of it is.

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Windows 10 is coming, but do we still need Microsoft's operating system?


For the past couple of months I have been working from my porch -- I enjoy the outdoors when weather permits. In doing so, I have adopted a Chromebook, which gets me by quite well, but leaves me in a quandary -- do we still need Windows? The answer to that question is quite a bit more complicated than it seems.

Most people will jump up and yell "yes" -- or Microsoft hopes they will. But it really comes down to usage, and for many people out there the operating system is no longer the be all-end all of computing.

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Braven BRV-1 brings a rugged, waterproof approach to Bluetooth speakers [Review]


Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days, as they are convenient and, depending on brand model, can offer very good sound quality. With that in mind, brands set out to separate themselves in a very competitive marketplace by offering certain stand-out feature that get them noticed. That's the case with the Braven BRV-1.

The company touts several interesting features on this model. Some do exist on rival models, but it's enough to set  the little speaker apart from others.

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Amazon begins slow roll out of new Fire OS 4 update to its 3rd gen Kindle Fire tablets

kindle fire hdx

Amazon just recently announced the launch of new Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle readers. The new tablets will come with version 4 of Fire OS, known as "Sangria" already installed, but it seems last years models will also be shown some love.

Those who turned on their devices today found a surprise -- a letter from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos overlaying the home screen. The announcement is fairly short, but lets customers know that their device will be updated in the coming weeks and also provides a "Learn more" link for the curious.

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Logitech reveals the M320 -- a beautiful, battery saving wireless mouse


Wireless mice are a dime-a-dozen these days, with new ones from all sorts of manufacturers coming along all the time. But when Logitech releases one then notice must be taken, as it and Microsoft are two of the premiere mouse makers on the market.

Today the company announces its latest offering, the M320 wireless mouse, which it touts as both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. The new peripheral has a lot to be excited about, even if it's just a mouse, or at least that's what the company promises.

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Pebble smartwatch gets a major update, tracks health and fitness


The smartwatch industry continues to grow with the latest offerings from both Google Android Wear and Apple. But Pebble, a former darling of Kickstarter, got off to a fast start and has been continuing to improve things since its launch.

Now the watch maker is adding yet more features to its offering, giving users access to health and fitness monitoring. Thanks to RunKeeper, there was already a bit of this present, but the latest update brings much more along with it.

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Google sets sights on Apple and Microsoft -- brings Adobe Photoshop to Chromebooks


Google is trying to grow its budding operating system platform, continually updating and enhancing features. Customers can now work in certain environments offline, for instance. But what lacked was some of the core features of rivals Windows and OS X. However, that slowly changes as well.

Photo editing, for instance, was one feature that, while not absent, certainly wasn't top of the line. Until now you had to rely on an app such as Pixlr, which many Chromebook customers use. But Google today announces that Photoshop is arriving, though not (at least yet) offline.

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Roku adds Cineplex for Canadian customers


Roku, the tiny set-top box, has been on a roll with new content lately. This time the company heads north for its latest score of new content, bringing Cineplex to its devices. The service will lend much new content to viewers in Canada.

If you aren't familiar, Cineplex is like many other streaming services. It allows customers to stream movies whenever they wish, much like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

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Want Plex? Act now because prices will soon increase


Home theater nuts tend to like Plex -- it's cross-platform compatible, working on Windows HTPC, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and various other platforms. The server software is free, though you'll pay for the client apps; there is also Plex Pass, which requires a higher fee if you care to upgrade.

The pass gives users access to exclusive premium features, such as camera upload, cloud sync, free apps and more. You can currently grab this for $3.99 per month or $29.99 for the annual version.

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