Roku Premiere Plus Deal on Amazon

Roku Premiere Plus
If you need to upgrade your streaming options, now is a good time.

In addition to the fourth generation Apple TV, the Roku Premiere Plus really helps to complete all of our streaming needs.  While we were able to get ours for free via a special offer through Charter Spectrum, Amazon is currently offering the Roku Premiere Plus at a price of $79 shipped.  If you would prefer not to go the Amazon route though, the deal is also currently being matched for about $1 more at Best Buy and Target.

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New Apple Park Drone Footage – The Spaceship is Almost Ready

Apple Park Spaceship
It’s almost time.

By now, we all know that Apple’s “feat of engineering” new campus, dubbed Apple Park, resembles a spaceship, and what better way to keep track of its progress than with drone footage?  MacRumors reports that drone videographer, Matthew Roberts, has uploaded a new video to his YouTube channel yesterday, which has been covering the ongoing construction at the new campus in Cupertino.

Despite being close to completion, the building still isn’t quite ready yet to open its doors to the company’s employees.  However, construction has picked up rapidly in recent weeks, and the latest footage shows solar panel installation on the roof nearly complete, with large amounts of construction still going on in the main courtyard due to the large pond and neighboring fauna still being added.

See the new video after the jump:

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Amazon’s Echo Look: A Fashionista’s Friend

Echo Look
Credit: Amazon

There is no doubt that Amazon has continued to make way into our households with its Echo devices and smart assistant Alexa.  Today, Amazon unveiled a new addition to the Echo family, with its Echo Look device, being offered by invitation only to Prime members.  The device is being billed as a “style assistant” camera that will help to catalog your outfits, and assigns your look a rating based on “machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists.”

Each Echo Look comes with a built-in LED light, microphone, as well as a base mount that can either be attached to a wall, or it can be left to be freestanding such as on a nightstand, dresser, etc.  It can also work with a companion app that has a Style Check feature for comparing two outfits.  If you’re not necessarily interested in the Echo Look, you can access this feature by going to your iOS Amazon app, go to Programs and Features, and look for it in that menu.

Similarly to other Echo devices, with the Look, you can still have Alexa read you your daily news flash briefing, play music, or check on how long it will take you to get to work with traffic estimates.  Amazon plans on adding additional skills to the Look also.

From the product page:

  • Introducing Echo Look—everything you love about Alexa, and now she can help you look your best
  • Using just your voice, easily take full-length photos and short videos with a hands-free camera that includes built-in LED lighting, depth-sensing camera, and computer vision-based background blur
  • See yourself from every angle with the companion app. Build a personal lookbook and share your photos.
  • Get a second opinion on which outfit looks best with Style Check, a new service that combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists
  • Echo Look helps you discover new brands and styles inspired by your lookbook
  • Ask Alexa to read the news and audiobooks, set alarms, get traffic and weather updates, control smart home devices, play music, and more
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Starbucks, Fitbit, NPR, and more

Facebook Looking to Hire for Role to Combat Fake News

A picture of a fake news newspaper
The problem is finding someone with the chops for it.

Earlier this month we wrote about how search engine giant Google was stepping up its efforts to help users discern fake news.  According to Recode, Facebook is wanting join in the effort by hiring for a position to head up its news products, with the goal of helping to defeat fake news on its service.

While Facebook is said to be speaking with experienced individuals in both the tech and media industries, multiple sources are reporting that the company is said to be having trouble finding someone with both the necessary applicable skills in news and technology.

Fidji Simo, who is Facebook’s VP in charge of news and video, would oversee the role.  However, the position is not currently listed on the company’s website.  Nonetheless, those sources are reporting that whomever is in the new position would assist Facebook in creating news products for media partners, such as Instant Articles, in addition to looking for ways to help prevent “fake” news from being spread.

As many know, since the US Presidential election, the sharing of misinformation has grown significantly, with some critics having blamed Facebook for the outcome of the election.

Facebook’s recent efforts for combating misinformation have included flagging inaccurate news stories as well as working with third-party fact checkers.

Rumor: Nintendo Working on SNES mini Release This Year

It had to have only been a matter of time, right?  If recent rumors are to be believed from EurogamerNintendo is planning on following up on the smash successes of its Nintendo Classic from last year and this year’s Nintendo Switch with a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) mini edition just in time for the holidays.  According to the sources, development is already underway.  Eurogamer does tend to have a decent track record though in Nintendo rumors, as was evidenced by the Switch concept last summer.

A picture of the SNES system on a desk.
Bring back a bit of nostalgia?

Nintendo provided reasoning that it had never actually expected for the NES mini to be a permanent product, as the unit was discontinued.  “We can confirm that we are no longer manufacturing the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System,” a Nintendo spokesperson said.  “If production resumes in the future, an update will be posted on the official Nintendo website.”  Perhaps the company was merely trying to shift its plans toward the SNES mini and its ongoing lineup for the new Switch device.

Late last year, after the NES mini launched, it would go on to sell out worldwide.  Further shipments would arrive in the lead up to the Christmas shopping season, but the unit still remained hard to obtain within stores.

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Okay Google, What Is The Whopper Advertising Mishap?

You have to admit, it was a pretty cunning ad by the fast food giant.  In case you hadn’t heard by now, Burger King had unveiled the above ad that was designed to query your Google Home device, which would in turn read a rather lengthy description of the Whopper burger from Wikipedia.

However, the search engine giant was less than amused, and as of about 2:45 PM ET yesterday according to The Verge, Google disabled the functionality, and it will no longer respond when prompted by the specific Burger King commercial that asks “What is the Whopper burger?”  Although it will still respond from Wikipedia with the top result when a real user poses the same question.  Similarly to its own Google Home commercials, more than likely the company was able to disable the audio clip from firing off the unwanted Home query triggers.

You may have noticed that before Google pulled the plug, the Whopper query brought up some rather less than flattering descriptions of the flagship sandwich, deeming it being full of ingredients like “toe nail clippings” and “rat.”  Wikipedia admins must have caught wind of this as the entry is now locked and only authorized users can update it.

For now, users will have to “have it their way” another way when researching Burger King offerings.  What’s interesting though is why Burger King didn’t address Siri or Alexa?

Imagining The New Modular Mac Pro Design


The previous Mac Pro lineup
One was modular, the other, not so much.

In what turned out to be a bit of a surprise in the tech world, Apple announced plans that it would be working on an updated Mac Pro, that would contain a modular design for users wishing to perform regular component upgrades.

Whilst development of the new Mac Pro has only just started, which of course means that release is probably still a year or more away yet, designers are already starting to dream up concepts of what the new machine might look like, such as today’s offering from CURVED/labs.  The design includes a Mac-mini style box along with the familiar Apple branded display.  Check out their video below the fold.

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Google Shines Focus on Level Pay Equity Field

Leveling pay equity a picture of Google Headquarters
Credit: Digital Trends

There is no doubt that pay equity and the wage gap is a hot button issue not just for specific companies but across all industries.  Google commented further in their blog today about the importance to them that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, both when they start and during the duration of their careers with the company.

In 2016, the company wanted to highlight the conversation around the gender pay gap – along with how companies could fight it – by sharing their top-level analysis publicly.  Annually, Google conducts what they deem as rigorous analyses so that their pay practices can remain aligned with their commitment to pay equity.

However, the federal government had another observation.

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Starbucks Gift Card Deal for iPhone Users

Starbucks Gift Card can be used for their frappucinos that are pictured.

Starbucks gift card fans will appreciate this deal.  Since Apple revamped its iMessage system with the latest iOS update last year, companies and app developers have been finding ways to make use of the service.  With the Starbucks app, you can receive a $5 Starbucks eGift Card via iMessage when you send a $5 Starbucks eGift Card in conjunction with the Starbucks app and Apple Pay.

See below for terms:


  • Starbucks will give away up to 45,000 Promotional Gifts to eligible customers between 4/10/17 and 4/23/17. To receive a Promotional Gift, you must purchase a $5 or more Starbucks eGift Card using the Starbucks App and meet the other eligibility requirements below.
  • Promotion Period: The Promotion Period runs from 6:00 AM PST on 4/10/17 and ends the earlier of (a) when all 45,000 Promotional Gifts are distributed or (b) at 11:59 PM PST on 4/23/17.
  • Eligibility: This offer is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. who have an Apple Pay account, have downloaded the Starbucks App with an iPhone 5S or above and are iOS 10.2.1 and above users.

Visual directions can be found at Starbucks’ official promotion site.

In Ongoing Legal Battle, Qualcomm Hits Back at Apple With Countersuit

Qualcomm logo on building facade

Apple stock is only down a point or so in early morning trading as a fight between chip maker Qualcomm and the tech giant has been heating up lately, with the former filing its own countersuit against Apple.  In the suit, Qualcomm is stating that Apple covered up how iPhone 7s that had Qualcomm chips in it, outperformed those that contained Intel chips.

Per Investor’s Business Daily, Apple “acted to prevent Qualcomm from revealing to consumers the extent to which iPhones with Qualcomm’s chip sets outperformed iPhone’s with Intel’s chip sets,” said Qualcomm in the countersuit that was was filed later in the day on Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of California.

Allegations from Qualcomm include that Apple lied to regulators to spur investigations of the chipmaker.  Back on January 20, Apple had started the legal battle against Qualcomm over its technology licensing practices.

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