Brian Fagioli

Microsoft OneNote team creates Tony Award-worthy YouTube performance


As a Long Islander, I am only a short train ride from Manhattan. And so, I have been to my fair share of Broadway shows. After all, if you are going to live in New York, you might as well take advantage of it.

While musicals on Broadway are commonplace, it is odd to see them come from Redmond, Washington. However, that is exactly what has happened, as the Microsoft OneNote team delivers a Tony Award-worthy YouTube parody of the song "One Day More" from Les Misérables.

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Google stops the hemorrhaging -- patches OpenSSL Heartbleed bug


The Heartbleed bug is quite the devastating blow to computer security. The OpenSSL failure has the unfortunate effect of lowering computer users' confidence in SSL. However, the mistrust in SSL is misplaced, as it is only the OpenSSL implementation that is affected. No matter though, the damage is done and the flaw has been available for exploit since 2011.

When the news of the flaw was announced, many people's attention turned to Google. No, the company is not the cause of the bug, but since it controls such a huge part of the Internet, people hoped that its services were unaffected. Sorry people, Google was affected too. However, the company was also quick to patch, announcing the details of such today.

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Logitech announces HTPC-friendly Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830


Home-Theater PCs (HTPC) are a bit of a dying breed. While many people still build and use them, the rise of media boxes and dongles have rendered them a bit unnecessary. After all, something like a Roku takes up far less space, costs less and uses much less electricity than a full-fledged PC.

However, HTPCs still have their place in some homes. And so, high quality wireless pointing devices and keyboards are still desired by some consumers. Hell, I run XBMC on Raspberry Pi in my living room and have a need in that regard too. Today, Logitech announces a solution for these users, with the Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830.

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HTC One (M8): From quality comes Android greatness [Review]


Smartphones are very personal -- one device cannot fit all. Some people love the phablet craze, declaring enormous devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as the best. However, others will say it is too big. Even more will decry the fact that it runs Android and not their favorite mobile OS of choice, iOS or Windows Phone.

So, in reality, if a reviewer says something is the best, or perfect, it is the best or perfect for them. For you, maybe it would be a poor choice. But, if you do prefer Android, the nice thing is, those devices come in many shapes and sizes, so you can make your own choice. With all of that said, for me, the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone available and it is damn-near perfect, save for a few minor gripes.

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Amazon Instant Video kicks the butt of both Apple and Hulu


For many people, streaming video is a top means of entertainment. It is easy to see why -- services like Netflix allow people to consume mass quantities of movies and television shows for a paltry amount of money. There is even a whole market now to sell dongles and boxes for connecting the services to your TV, such as Roku, Chromecast and Amazon's new Fire TV.

Speaking of Amazon, besides its new streaming media box, the company has been on fire lately (pun intended) when it comes to its Instant Video service. Today, the company announces that it has swiftly surpassed both Apple and Hulu.

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Microsoft and Google bring improved YouTube experience to Xbox One

Youtube television

Microsoft and Google are unlikely partners nowadays. After all, they are direct competitors on many fronts. There is Bing vs. Google Search, Windows vs. Chrome OS and Office vs Google Docs. Let us not forget that Google has been blocking Microsoft's YouTube app on Windows Phone. Heck, Google has essentially ruined Windows Phone for many, by not bringing its services to the platform.

Surprisingly, despite all the bad blood, Google has embraced Microsoft's Xbox One game console. Today, both companies announce that you can now upload Xbox One gameplay footage directly to YouTube or watch a YouTube video while simultaneously playing a game.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 8 -- the Rolls Royce of small Windows tablets [Review]


For many, small tablets are synonymous with low cost. This is thanks to Android tablets like the Nexus 7, which is great. While there is nothing wrong with being inexpensive, many of those Android tablets are also of poor quality -- the market is flooded with no-name variants. This has given small tablets a bad name. Small Windows tablets have been hit or miss. There have been duds such as the Acer Iconia W3 and good ones such as the Lenovo Miix 2 8. What has eluded the market thus far, is a great one.

The ThinkPad name is synonymous with business-class quality and durability. The laptops under this branding are known to be rugged, but elegant too.  Leonovo only designates this moniker to computers that meet a certain high standard. So when given the opportunity to review an 8.3 inch ThinkPad tablet, I was excited for a quality product. Is it the great tablet we have been waiting for?

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Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter adds wireless connectivity to old gear


Bluetooth audio is all the rage nowadays. It can be found in headphones, speakers, automobiles and more. However, this does not mean that non-Bluetooth audio gear is obsolete -- quite the contrary. In fact, there is a very good chance that your older equipment offers better sound and features. It is a shame to discard that tech for a lack of a wireless connection.

Luckily, you don't have to. You see, many manufacturers offer solutions to this dilemma, such as an analog to Bluetooth converter box. The problem is, many of them are unattractive and too large to truly blend in. After all, you do not need to see the thing; ideally you want it out of sight, yet easy to access. Don't worry, Logitech has you covered with the all-new Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter.

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Amazon Dash is a magic wand for your food-shopping


Magic is pretty awesome. When Harry Potter uses his magic wand to cast spells or fight evil, he is pretty much the coolest guy ever. However, Mr. Potter is just make believe. Still, it is fun to imagine having magical powers too. Imagine waving your wand, saying "hocus-pocus" and a gallon of milk or a bag of grapes appears on your counter. Well, that is no longer make-believe, it is reality.

Yes, Amazon has created a magic wand of sorts called the Dash, which enables you to order groceries to your home, through the Amazon Fresh program. Hopefully it is not available in Colorado, because if it is, the company may be overwhelmed by people ordering Doritos and Oreo cookies!

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The fat lady sings for Microsoft, thanks to Google Apps


The office suite battle is really starting to heat up. Last week, Microsoft released Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPad, signaling a sea change in the company's focus. However, Google is still pushing forward with its attempt to sway users with its web apps. While both are good, no one can deny that Microsoft's offers more features.

With that said, more features does not always equate to better. In other words, if Google's offering meets a user's or business' needs, then it may be more cost effective. Quite frankly, too many features can be seen as noise when unused. One such company, the Glyndebourne opera house, switched from Microsoft to Google with great results.

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Brendan Eich steps down as Mozilla CEO after equality controversy


Brendan Eich is no longer the CEO of Mozilla. Effective today, he has stepped down. This news is rather bittersweet for me. While I disagree with Eich's perceived stance on marriage equality, I defend his right to express it. However, I also support the rights of others to boycott and call for his removal.

Today, showed, in some measure, that the Internet and freedom of speech still work as intended. In other words, one person expressed a view, others expressed an opposite view. Brendan Eich's stepping down was not the result of violence or negativity, it was the result of shared ideas and communication. But was his leaving necessary? Mozilla thinks so. Do you?

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Microsoft is back, baby! 5 things the company finally gets right


Microsoft is a lot like Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, and the tech news community has been acting like trashy paparazzi. You see, Lindsay and Britney were at one point the darlings of the entertainment business. They were well respected and people enjoyed following their rise to fame. However, once on top, those same people took joy at their self destruction.

Microsoft is the same; its Windows product was a huge reason why the personal computing explosion occurred. Without that operating system, the world would be a much different place -- likely for the worse. It too was celebrated, but once on top, many people bashed the company for its policies and business practices. Windows 8 was perhaps the apex though, with many news publications claiming that the operating system was a failure and that the company's best days were behind it. Well, I am here to say that Microsoft is finally doing some things right! Here are five things that prove it.

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Microsoft embraces Open Source with WinJS


When the story of open source is told, Microsoft is often portrayed as the evil, closed-source antagonist. While I like the open source model, I also understand Bill Gates' belief in paying for software. After all, there is nothing wrong with someone wanting to be financially compensated for their hard work. In other words, closed source ideology is not evil, just different.

While Microsoft's commitment to closed source ideology is not expected to change anytime soon, that doesn't mean the company can't stray a bit. Today, in a shocking and surprising move, the software-giant announces that it is releasing the WinJS source code as an open source project.

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Canonical admits failure -- shuttering Ubuntu One cloud services


The cloud business is all the rage nowadays. There are so many companies offering similar services, that it can be hard to choose one. It can also be hard to break into the crowded landscape when big boys such as Microsoft and Google are representing.

So, when Canonical launched Ubuntu One, I was dubious. After all, a small company competing in cloud storage and music sales would be facing an uphill battle. Also, I am sorry to be blunt, but naming a cloud service after an operating system is just plain idiotic. It confuses consumers to think it only works on that operating system. Not to mention, Linux users are very competitive -- Fedora or Arch users would never use anything branded "Ubuntu". And so, today, Canonical announces that it is shuttering its cloud services. Will you shed a tear?

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Hey Google, grow up -- enough with the April Fools pranks already


Email is a means of communication. Sure, it can be used for personal means; having fun or whatever. But many people, including myself, use it for business too. And so, I expect my email provider to be professional and reliable.

Imagine my shock when I logged in to Gmail today and was alerted to a new feature called "Shelfie". Now, I'm just trying to read my email, but instead I get presented with an alert, so I assume it is serious. But no, it turns out that is was an April Fool's prank that sets a picture of Katy Perry as my theme. Funny right? Heck, no. This nonsense really needs to stop.

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