Vox Media Acquires Recode.net

Recode Logo The New York Times reported that Re/code is being acquired by Vox Media. It was an all-stock deal and the financial terms have not been disclosed. The deal would give Re/code access to a wider audience than it currently has.

Re/code was founded by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Both of them will be joining Vox Media. Re/code is going to continue to publish news on recode.net. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher wrote a note at Re/code that gives some further information. It starts with:

We are thrilled to announce that Re/code’s parent company, Revere Digital, is being wholly acquired by the highly respected digital-native media company Vox Media. This is the next big step in our mission to bring you quality tech journalism, because our work will now be amplified and enhanced by Vox Media’s deep and broad skill set.

The note goes on to say that Re/code will collaborate with Vox Media’s current successful tech news site, The Verge. It acknowledges that there will be occasional overlap, and states that Re/code is focused on the business of tech while The Verge is focused on covering tech from a lifestyle perspective.

The New York Times reported that Re/code had 44 full-time employees and three contract employees. Those employees were expected to join Vox. The New York Times says that Vox would not elaborate on potential staffing changes.

Gigaom.com Acquired by Knowingly Corp

Knowingly Corp logoKnowingly Corp, an internet startup that is based in Austin, has announced that it acquired a portion of the assets of Gigaom.com. Those assets include the website gigaom.com and the content library.

Gigaom was founded in 2006 by Om Malik as a technology blog. It grew to become one of the industry’s respected sources for tech-related news, events, and research. Knowingly was founded by Byron Reese in 2014. Knowingly offers a number of websites and services. One of them is Correctica, a tool that catches errors in documents and websites that spell checkers miss.

Knowingly plans to relaunch the Gigaom site on August 15, 2015.

Reddit Announces New Anti-Harassment Policy

In the wake of concerns regarding abuse and harassment on social networking site Reddit, the company has adopted a new anti-harassment policy with stricter rules and consequences for abusive activity.

reddit-logo-01-674x501A survey of 15,000 Reddit users in April found that negative and offensive content is the number one reason why users avoid the site and encourage their friends to do the same. In a recent statement, interim CEO Ellen Pao said, “The community wants these improvements… We believe less harassment means more participation, leading to more free expression, better conversations, and better communities.”

Since its creation in 2005, Reddit has been a haven for free expression on the web. Although the site’s openness has provided artists, satirists, and enthusiasts of nearly any topic under the sun, this anything-goes nature has also made the site a hotspot for trolling and cyber abuse. Subreddits promoting revenge porn (the practice of getting “revenge” by posting of sexually explicit images of someone without their consent), child pornography, and other illegal activities have popped up, casting a dark shadow over Reddit’s reputation.

Reddit banned child pornography in 2012; they again updated their policy in February to ban “involuntary pornography” such as revenge porn. With these new changes, Reddit has broadened their policy by defining “harassment” as:

Systematic and/or continued actions to torment or demean someone in a way that would make a reasonable person (1) conclude that Reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas or participate in the conversation, or (2) fear for their safety or the safety of those around them.

Under the new policy, users can report abusive content by emailing Reddit moderators, who can remove inappropriate content and ban offending users.

Reddit continues to recognize the importance of free speech, stating that the updated policy “will have no immediately noticeable impact on more than 99.99 percent of our users.” The company hopes to make Reddit a safe, inspiring place to share and interact without the underlying threat of abuse and harassment.

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Robot Underpants: 05.7.15 (201) “Oh Hi, Robot Underpants”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines and “Karaoke” Bob bring you this week’s best of the best including: “Vacation” News, Boba Fett’s Sarlaac Survival, Avengers, and more!

* Vacation trailer
* Boba Fett news
* Martin Freeman joins Marvel
* Suicide Squad photo
* The Room with Rifftrax Live tickets

ECBC Lance Executive Daypack Review

lance2As I have written before on how brutal I am on Backpacks, Rolling bags you name it. Rarely does a year go buy in which I don’t have to buy a new one. Part of the reason is I am on the go continuously and I am bit of over packer stuffing the bag full and then shoving bags in airplane bins, back of my SUV or working at the beach. I am the right guy to really stress test bags In fact my wife laughs ever time I tell her I broke a wheel, busted a strap, ripped the fabric, broke a zipper etc and I have the dead hulks here to prove it. So ECBC took a big chance on letting me put one of their bags through my abuse.

My first impressions of the ECBC Lance Executive Daypack upon unwrapping the bag was this is a nice bag. It has a nice smooth outside finish with sturdy straps. The way the bag sits on your back and across one or two shoulders has me convinced that they really thought about the guy or gal on the go. Some backpacks have a tendency to slip when your wearing it on one shoulder, and I did not experience this. The padded straps make for a comfortable wearing experience. The Back of the bag has what I am going to call cooling channels when you are wearing the bag segments of the back of the bag have small pockets where the air can flow. Everyone hates a backpack that sticks to your back. The material that ECBC used insures this is not the case and the cooling channels is a help.

One of the first thing I check on a bag are the zippers, as they seem to be the first things I bust. Examining the zipper lining is important to me as I hate it when internal material gets caught in the zipper, this is usually from the vendor having excess material in the pockets. Under close examination I do not see any catch points, and the zippers are isolated well in the pockets from the material. Internal material has been stitched tight and their is no fluff that you sometimes see. Stress testing the pockets purposelessly putting to much stuff in the pockets over the month I have been using the bag did not stretch the zipper or cause the zipper, to not open all the way.

lance1Lets talk about compartments This is a two comnpartment bag. The aft compartment is TSA approved, you can unzip the compartment all the way down and lay your laptop flat with it still in the bag. The laptop compartment has a restraining strap and a unique modular insert that can be removed in the bottom of the compartment to accommodate a larger laptop. Padding was about standard and provide adequate protection for an older 17″ Macpro around what I call the edge strike zone. Unique to this bag was a sort of barrier between the zipper and the compartment. The design team at ECBC put a lot of thought into this bag design.

The forward compartment shocked me a bit. The compartment would easily hold one day of clothes and even a separate pouch for the tablet. Yet it does not make the bag look big. The way they incorporated two external water bottle compartments allow for the forward compartment to have the extra room. This bag just went up in usability for me, and I see why they named it the Executive Daypack. There are an assortment of pockets some lined some with mesh to store all the little stuff.

lancebatteryThe front pocket though is where my OCD kicks in, I want stuff organized and easy to find. Internal to the front pocket are two zippered pockets and two Velcroed pockets and plenty of room for Glasses, Passport, Pens, Business cards, cables etc. The team even included an really sexy 4500mAh battery with a finish which is executive worthy.

Overall I am very impressed with this backpack, and it is worth every penny of it’s $149.00 price point. It has many of the qualities of a bag that is 2-3 times more expensive. This was my first exposure to ECBC the design team has really done their homework, and built a bag that is super functional and yet durable. See their product Video. Based on the build quality they is no reason this bag will not last the average person 3-4 years.

Kanex Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock Review

For the past several weeks I have been using the new Kanex Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock, that allows the connection of up to 8 devices on your Macbook or Thunderbolt ready device. In my case I have been using it with my Macbook Pro, and it has made easier to just unplug the thunderbolt connection between the Macbook and the dock and roll out of here. Another added benefit the Kanex Dock has alowed me to organize my cables so that I have much cleaner desktop.

The Kanex Docks is in a sleek Aluminum housing featuring 2x Thunderbolt 2.0 Ports, 3x USB 3.0 & 1 charge ready USB port, Ethernet connection, Audio / Mic, and a 4k/HD HDMI dual display port. It has a 12v external power supply to power the unit. With the number of devices we are hooking up to our computers these days, the dock provides the extra USB connections I need along with the ability to charge a device via the dock versus the computer.

I have been looking for a dock for quite some time so the footprint form factor are a big deal for me. This doc measures approx 6x3x1 fits the bill perfectly. I tested the interconnections with both Thunderbolt drives and USB 3.0 drives and had no issues. The 4k/HD dual display port sync’d and worked without issue. The team at Kanex have put together a fine dock, retailing @ $249 if your looking cleanup your desk and quite messing with cables this is the product for you. More details can be found here at Kanex.com

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Solo Stick Premium Review

When the Solo Stick Premium (Selfie Stick) arrived the first thing that happened was my 18 year old snapped it up, and for the past three weeks she has had it. I asked her to write down her thoughts and I am passing what her inputs are including my own summary.

1. Very Light and folds up to fit in backpack, purse.
2. Syncs to Bluetooth very fast once turned on.
3. Battery has long life even when left on continuously 3-4 days.
4. Phone snaps in fast.
5. Very sturdy.

While me personally is not the exact demographic to be snapping selfies, I did use it to capture some video where my view was obscured, and it worked perfectly to get my phone above the crowd. I like that I could put it in my back pocket and have it deployed in seconds if need be. I also used it for crowd control on a video shot where we were doing. Not the designed feature but it worked great for blocking people from walking into a professional video shot. The Solo Stick retails for $39.99 currently at SoloStick.com

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MSI Launches Prestige Series Laptops For Ultimate Style & Productivity

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Computer hardware manufacturer MSI Computer Corp. has launched their Prestige Series of laptops that feature the best in technology and design, making them a great solution for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts.

The Prestige Series features MSI’s True Color Technology, which calibrates and correct display color based on the screen’s color temperature, visible color range, and grey level stage. The panels seamlessly match the standard sRGB color range to display incredibly accurate and crisp images.

“The Prestige Series laptops offer the truest colors available and ensures the images you see are accurately reflected in a camera, computer, tablet, mobile phone, TV or printer,” says Andy Tung, president of MSI Pan America.

MSI-PE-Series-2The Prestige Series lineup features 6 different color profiles to maximize the user experience for a variety of different scenarios: sRGB default mode for o
timum graphics, Gamer mode to increase brightness, Designer mode for increased clarity and crisper lines, Anti-Blue mode to reduce pesky blue light emission, Movie mode with optimized contrast for clearer graphics, and Office mode to reduce eye strain after long periods of use.

The True Color Technicolor LCD screens (which come in 15-inch and 17-inch versions) also include anti-glare protection, wide-angle viewing technology, and 1920 x 1080 resolution.

MSI’s Prestige Series laptops run Windows 8.1 and boast high-quality internals as well, including Intel’s Core i7 processor, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 950M GPU, Killer Gaming Network, Dynaudio sound with Nahimic Audio Enhancer, MSI’s Audio Boost, and support for up to 3 monitors simultaneously at 4K resolution with Mini DisplayPort and HDMI connectivity.

The Prestige Series laptops start at $1199 for the 15-inch models and $1299 for the 17-inch models. For more information, visit MSI’s website.