GNC-2013-07-25 #877 Chromecast

Your going to enjoy this show I tell a few stories along with covering the Chromecast announcement along with and the news you can handle.

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Shared.com Gives 100 GB of Storage Space

shared-logoShared Media have announced a new service where you can share files with others instantly – up to 100 GB in the freemium model with 2 GB upload cap.

Shared.com has come out of the gate with a higher storage capacity to hopefully grab early adopters and get some of the Mega and Dropbox clientele. With Shared.com, you can share a file with the public or just have it ready at your fingertips between devices.

Shared.com Pro and Pro Plus models have also been added – For $9.95 a month you can upload 5 GB files with a 2 TB storage area and Pro Plus allows for up to 10 GB files with unlimited capacity.

Coming options will include mobile apps so you can access your files on the go.

There have been legitimate concerns to sites like this after what happened with MegaUpload in 2012. However, a shared file resource is a great way to distribute legal files to the masses. Shared.com says they will be following DMCA rules and resolve any disputes on their service.

In the meantime – its a great way to send photos of the family to loved ones, post a video of you doing something silly or a document that you need shared information on.

Robot Underpants: 07.24.13 (111)

Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice, and “Starman” Michael Gaines have San Diego Comic-Con news, including Langley’s DC photoshoots, and appearance on the front page of Reddit, Robocop news, Batman and Superman movie. How many times can reviewers use “DOA” when talking about “R.I.P.D”? Google Glass porn, Chromecast, Neverwet, and more!

* SDCC gallery from io9

* Langley on Reddit   and Langley’s Comic-Con photos

* Comic-Con Biggest Bombshells

* Robocop Full Panel from SDCC

* R.I.P.D is DOA 

* “Rocky” Spinoff about Creed’s Grandson

* Most Underrated Sci-Fi Actors

* SFW Google Glass Porn

* Futurama Holophonor Prop

* Star Wars vs Game of Thrones

* Real Griswolds Drive Real Truckster to Disney

* Neverwet

* Outro Track

Is ChromeCast the only Set Top Box You’ll Need?

ChromeCast

Today at Breakfast with Sundar, Google announced ChromeCast. This is a single dongle with a slimmed down version of Google Chrome browser. You can connect with any mobile device and push music, TV shows or movies. Android or iOS – PC or Mac with Chrome installed.

From Netflix to YouTube. Pandora to your library on your mobile phone. Even pictures and video you created on your mobile device or computer will send to ChromeCast and play on your TV through the HDMI port.

“It Just Works,” states Rishi Chandra, director of product management at Google.

ChromeCast allows you to watch on the TV while you still surf on your device. It does not take power from the device to run (depending on what you push) so your phone can go into sleep mode. GoogleCast turns your device into a remote control.

ChromeCast also comes with Google Cast SDK for developers, which will launch later today.

Chromecast will cost $35 and comes with 3 months of Netflix. You will be able to get ChromeCast at Best Buy, Google Play or Amazon.

How This Changes the Set Top Box Wars

In the last few years, we saw the fight for the HDMI port. Apple TV, Boxee, Roku and Google TV have been fighting for Over the Top Television options. However, with ChromeCast, you basically removed the set top box and turned whatever device in your hand as the remote.

It also turns the TV into a smartTV for $35. All you need is your remote and your controlling device.

ChromeCast Remote

ChromeCast Remote

 

WD My Passport Edge drive — the good and bad

If you are looking for a small, portable hard drive for your laptop then there are several choices on the market and hard drive prices continue to reach new lows. The one I settled on, mainly because of a price deal, was the WD My Passport Edge. The stipulation was that I was buying a drive that specifically said “for Mac”. There is a version that is not labeled this way, and is generally the same price, but at the moment of my purchase the Mac one was cheaper. No problem since, after all, a hard drive is a hard drive, right?

wd my passport edge

The Good

With 500 GB of storage, the little USB drive packs plenty of extra space into its enclosure. When I say “little” I mean that quite literally, as the dimensions are 4.4 x 3.4 x 0.4 inches and 4.6 ounces. In addition to the sleek design, the drive also is USB 3.0 (backward compatible of course) and comes with pre-installed software to work with Apple Time Machine.

The Bad

I am sure the Apple software is great, but I purchased with for Windows, and there is a process that needs to be carried out to make that work. That pre-installed software blocks Windows access.

As I plugged in the drive, I heard the familiar USB connection chime, but a trip to Explorer showed no extra drive. Normal trouble-shooting resulted in the same thing — I unplugged and re-plugged, switched ports and the like, all to no avail. A trip to device manager showed the drive, no problem. A PC reboot also produced all of these same results.

It turns out you will need to open Explorer and right-click on Computer (“This PC” if you are running Windows 8.1) and choose “Manage”.

Now, locate the WD My Passport drive — the simplest way is to unplug the drive while watching the console. Pay attention to which one disappears. Then plug it back in and again and pay attention to see which drive appears (it should be the same). Likely you will find it listed as “Disk 1″.

Move to the lower pane and right-click on the WD. Choose “New Simple Volume” — wording may vary based on Windows version. During this setup process you will be prompted to enter a volume name — I simply named it “WD My Passport”. If you choose none then the drive will be named “new volume”. You also must choose a drive letter, but the default should be fine (F in my case). You can always go back and right-click the drive later and rename it or change the drive letter.

Conclusion

The above steps fix the problem, and now you have a small and elegant looking hard drive that will easily fit in a pocket and holds 500 GB of data. For the price, this drive can not be beat, but setup is a bit of a trick.

GNC-2013-07-22 #876 One Billion Subscribers

Apple Announces 1 Billion subscribers. We take a look at those numbers and what they mean for the podcasting space. Plus a full range of tech, news and information.

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The Royal Baby

With the world going ga-ga (or goo-goo) over the Royal baby, it’s inevitable that memorabilia and souvenirs will start appearing in short order. However I was somewhat surprised that my first promotional email, received just a scant two hours after the announcement, was not a medallion or plate but a toy from The Early Learning Centre, a children’s store. Check out this commemorative set, the HappyLand Royal Baby Set.

HappyLand Royal Baby Set

Congratulations to the ELC’s marketing team for their rapid response to the happy event.

 

One Billion Podcast Subscriptions

One Billion Podcast SubscriptionsWhile some people have suggested that podcasting is a dying art, the data indicates an entirely different reality. Apple announced on Monday, July 22, 2013, that there have been more than 1 billion podcast subscriptions through the iTunes store. Thats a big number!

If you visit the iTunes store today, and visit the part about podcasts, you will see the image that accompanies this blog. It is part of Apple’s special promotion to commemorate the 1 billion podcast subscriptions.

The data from Apple notes that the 1 billion subscriptions are spread over 250,000 unique podcasts. The podcasts are in over 100 languages. More than 8 million episodes have been published in the iTunes store (so far).

Those 1 billion podcast subscriptions do not necessarily equate to the same amount of “listens”. Many people, myself included, have fallen behind on listening to the podcasts that they have subscribed to. Personally, I have more podcast episodes that are sitting in my iTunes, waiting for me to get around to listening to them, than is reasonable. My intent is to get to them all, eventually!

Buffalo Claim Fastest USB 3 Drive

Buffalo LogoThe folks over at Buffalo Technology have announced a screamingly fast external drive, the DriveStation DDR. By adding a 1 GB DDR3 cache to a standard SATA drive, they’ve created a USB3 hard drive with SSD transfer rates. Write speeds are doubled from around 170 MB/s to over 400 MB/s, which is pretty nippy in anyone’s book, and read speeds are similarly improved.

DriveStationDDR

 

Obviously, the benefits of the cache aren’t so clear with large data transfers but the greatest use of external hard drives is storing photos or music files and these are typically MBs rather than GBs in size. Consequently, these kinds of files are ideal for the fast data transfer rate of the DriveStation DDR. Think about transferring your latest photos from your camera to the DriveStation DDR – it’s ideal.

Prices are on a par with standard external hard drives with MSRPs of £129 for the 2 TB version and £169 for 3 TB, which isn’t bad. Compatible with all OSes that support USB 3 and there’s no need for any special drivers. The full specs are here.

Geek News Central expects to get a review unit soon, so I’ll be putting the DriveStation DDR through its paces shortly.

SIM Card Security Flaw Exposing 750 Million Cell Phones

SIM Card

SIM Card

Outdated encryption is to blame for a new risk on your cellular device. According to a report by SRLabs and research which will be presented at BlackHat on July 31st, the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card can be hacked in a few ways, including through SMS messages.

According to SRLabs, SIM cards use 56-bit DES encryption – a technology created in the 70s. Using what is called FPGA clusters, a SIM can be crackable. SRLabs is looking to make aware these issues, then recommend a better SIM card technology, SMS firewall and SMS filtering so simple hacking techniques cannot access SIM card data.

It is reported that over 750 million SIM cards are vulnerable to this hack. That is 1 in 8 SIM cards, according to Karsten Nohl of SRLabs. An improperly encrypted SMS message – along with use of a custom Java program – can open the SIM to the malware. A hacker can do anything from change your voicemail to access your personal information on the SIM card.

In some phones, most information is stored on the phone and not the SIM. In some phones, SIM data can also include bank information, passwords to websites and programs and more. However, as we move to mobile and wearable devices, more SIM cards will be used to connect people to cellular networks.