Fibion Brings Science to Activity Tracking (Part 1)



Fitbits and other activity trackers are popular: I see them on the waists and wrists of colleagues everyday and I have one myself. Good as they are at encouraging activity, they tend to be a fairly broad brush with an emphasis on hitting targets, typically 10,000 steps. While some trackers attempt show the breadth of activity across the day, they’re not very good at the detail. When was I sitting? When was I standing? How often did I stand up?

The team at Fibion can help answer these questions with their professional sitting and activity analysis, which aims to move away from the gamification of fitness to a scientific assessment for improving health. By combining the Fibion device with algorithms based on scientific research, the Fibion analysis gives accurate results for a week-long measurement, showing how much time is spent sitting versus standing and active.

The device itself might be considered overly plain, but that’s by design. If you don’t see your steps, there’s no incentive to do more, and so the Fibion is more likely to record a representative lifestyle. It’s all about the science.

In the first of two conversations, I interview Fibion partner Olli Tikkanen on their approach and the dimunitive tracker. In part 2, I’ll talk to a professional who uses Fibion to assess activity in the workplace.


iOS 11 Law Enforcement Switch #1221



Apple has implemented and Law Enforcement Switch in iOS 11 that allows users to turn off TouchID very simply. This is sure to rub the government the wrong way. But Apple continues to push boundaries in making it harder for Law Enforcement to get access to all the encrypted data within the phone. What was once a hard thing to turn off can now be done in seconds. Plus a deep look at what tech companies are doing including mine following what happened in Charlottesville.

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Blizzard Entertainment Released StarCraft: Remastered



Blizzard Entertainment has released StarCraft: Remastered.  It is described as “Blizzard Entertainment’s lovingly crafted upgrade of the real-time strategy classic and its legendary expansion “Brood War”. Blizzard announced StarCraft: Remastered in March, saying the game would be out “later this summer.” You can purchase StarCraft: Remastered for $14.99 USD.

Widely regarded as one of the most influential strategy games of all time, StarCraft and Brood War tell the story of the first interstellar war between three distinctive factions: the Earth-born terrans, psi-powered protoss, and hive minded zerg. StarCraft: Remastered lets players reexperience the saga of iconic characters like Jim Raynor, High Templar Tassadar, and Kerrigan, through upgraded 4K visuals, enhanced audio and music, and new illustrated story interludes.

StarCraft: Remastered provides players with an arsenal of new updates and features including:

  • Full graphical upgrade of the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion
  • Widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution
  • Matchmaking and leaderboards
  • Player profiles that track individual statistics
  • Cloud saving for campaign progress, hotkeys, and replays
  • Improved high fidelity music and sound
  • Ability to switch between Remastered and the original StarCraft with the click of a button

StarCraft: Remastered is available now for Windows and Mac PCs. It is available in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin American Spanish, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and simplified and traditional Chinese.


Data Demands #1220



The DOJ is making Data Demands of Dreamhost as they are looking for more info about the rioters who it appears the DOJ felt was organized through the site and will likely end up being an epic court battle. But more worrisome is the depth of data they are looking for. I discuss how Google and GoDaddy brought out the ban hammer over the past 24 hours as well..

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Overwatch League Adds Two New Teams



The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league. Overwatch was created by Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision-Blizzard). Previously, The Overwatch League announced the first seven teams.   Now, they have announced two additional teams.

The two newly announced teams include:

  • Jack Etienne, founder of esports organization Cloud9 (London)
  • Stan and Josh Kroenke, owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles)

The original announcement of team owners included:

  • Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
  • Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterming.VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
  • Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
  • Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
  • Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
  • NetEase (Shanghai)
  • Kevin Chou, Co-Founder of Kabam (Seoul)

The Overwatch League now includes teams from Asia, Europe, and North American – including two teams for Los Angeles. The official player signing window started on August 1, 2017, and will end on October 30, 2017. All Overwatch League teams will be able to sign players to contracts during that timeframe, including teams that join the League during the signing window.


Twitch Collaborates with Blizzard Entertainment



Twitch announced that they are collaborating with Blizzard Entertainment again to bring players a Legendary Loot Chest for Heroes of the Storm. This is not the first time the two companies have collaborated in this way.

In June, the offer was a Golden Loot Box for Overwatch for current and new Twitch Prime members.  That offer is valid through August 20, 2017.  In addition, there is another offer for Overwatch players who have Twitch Prime.

From August 10th – September 10th, Twitch Prime members will receive five Loot Boxes* for Overwatch.  Then, in October, Twitch Prime members will receive five more Loot Boxes containing skins, emotes, highlight intros, and other in-game items to customize your heroes.

The asterisk leads to: Offer valid only in regions where Twitch Prime is available.  Must own Overwatch to redeem. Loot Box does not include any seasonal event items.  Content of Loot Box is random.  Each Blizzard account may only redeem one code per promotional item.

At the time, Twitch stated that similar promotions would be coming in the months ahead for Heroes of the Storm players and for Hearthstone players. The Heroes of the Storm offer is valid right now.  From August 17 to October 10, anyone who links their Amazon Prime account to their Twitch account will receive one Legendary Loot Chest that contains at least one Legendary item for Heroes of the Storm.

Players who are not currently a Twitch Prime member can sign up for a free Twitch Prime trial.  Those who get Twitch Prime also get the benefits that come from Amazon Prime, including streaming movies and TV shows to ad-free viewing of your favorite Twitch streamers.


Piracy in Hawaii #1219



Seems some copyright trolls have invaded the Hawaiian Islands and are sending old school demand letters for movie piracy. The first victim a 72yr old man that has no clue on what they are even talking about. Once again the movie industry seems the can extort money from Internet users without much in the way of proof. Plus all the tech news you can handle. Very late start to the show tonight as the second round of panic is setting in for SoundCloud podcasters.

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Discord Started Testing Video Chat and Screen Share



Discord announced that it has started testing its video chat and screen sharing with 5% of desktop users that had registered before August 9, 2017. They were doing a test run that rolled out over the day.  It is unclear how long the test run will continue.

Discord is a voice chat service. It explained that it needs a test run on video chat and screen sharing before it can release these features to everyone for two reasons.

One reason is because, compared to voice data, “video data is a behemoth” and transmitting it takes way more bandwidth. Discord is doing this beta test to see how their servers handle the increase in bandwidth. They said they could launch it for everyone, but that it would “most likely nuke our own servers and then nobody gets to use it.”

The other reason they needed a test run was because there are likely bugs, crashes, and other issues that Discord was unable to catch themselves. This should be obvious to anyone who has used and/or tested a beta version of something.

Those who got into the test run were able to start video calls with anybody – including people who were not in the test run. Discord warned that there was a possibility that they would have to suddenly turn off video calls during the test.

Discord made it clear that they are at least a month out from considering a full launch of the video chat and screen share features. Those who want to know more about how those features work can check out a brief tutorial that Discord added to their post about the test run.


Niantic Reveals Details About the Pikachu Outbreak



Niantic has announced more details about the Pikachu Outbreak event. It started on August 9, 2017, and will continue through August 15, 2017. The Pikachu Outbreak will take place in Yokohama, Japan.

The event started yesterday with a boat-full of Pikachu and a 17-meter long airship that has Pikachu artwork on it. A Pikachu’s Walk event will happen “from time to time”. It involves 20 Pikachu taking a leisurely walk.

There will be a Pikachu Carnival Parade on August 14, 2017. It is a one-time, standing-only, event that will include more than 100 Pikachu. People who want to watch are encouraged to wear something yellow or their own Pikachu-related items.

During the Pikachu Outbreak, Trainers will be able to explore two special Kanto and Johto-themed parks. At Red Brick Park, Trainers will more frequently encounter Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region in the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue video games. Meanwhile, Trainers in Cup Noodle Museum Park will be more likely to find Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region in the Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold video games.

In addition, Trainers will have the opportunity to encounter some Pokémon that are rarely encountered in Japan, including Mr. Mime. Spinning the Photo Disc at the PokéStops found at each park may award Trainers with special 2km Eggs with the potential to hatch a greater variety of Pokémon than usual.

On the last day of the Pikachu Outbreak, there will be a “Water Carnival” Super Soaking Splash Show, which includes water cannons and uses up to two tons of water. Pikachu and various performers will be there. Spectators may get completely soaked (depending on the viewing spot). Spectators are recommended to safeguard their mobile phones and other electronic devices from being exposed to water.


Disney is Starting its Own Streaming Services



Disney announced that it will launch its own streaming services. This comes as a result of an acquisition and may affect some of the Disney-owned content that is available on Netflix.

The Walt Disney Company announced today that it has agreed to acquire majority ownership of BAMTech, LLC and will launch its ESPN-branded multi-sport streaming service in early 2018, followed by a new Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.

The ESPN-branded multi-sport service will offer a robust array of sports programming, featuring approximately 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam Tennis, and college sports. Individual sport packages will also be available for purchase, including MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live.

The new Disney-branded service will become the exclusive home in the United States for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate, which includes Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen and The Lion King from Disney live-action, along with other highly anticipated movies.

Disney will also make a significant investment in an annual slate of original movies, TV shows, short-form content and other Disney-branded exclusives for the service. Additionally, the service will feature a vast collection of library content, including Disney and Pixar movies and Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD television programming.

These upcoming changes will affect the content that is currently available on Netflix. Disney will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases, beginning with the 2019 calendar year theatrical slate.