An $89.00 Laptop is Coming Soon!

Pinebook Laptop

This laptop is based on the Raspberry Pi competitor, Pine64. I want one.

$89 Linux laptop? Check out the new Pinebook from Raspberry Pi rival Pine

ZDNet – By: Liam Tung – “The makers of a popular Raspberry Pi challenger, the $20 Pine A64, have returned with two sub-$100 Linux laptops, called Pinebooks.

The Pine A64 stood out among developer boards because it was cheap and relatively powerful, helping its maker raise $1.7m on Kickstarter last year with just a $30,000 target.

With an Allwinner quad-core ARM Cortex A53 64-bit processor, the A64 board could run Ubuntu, Debian, or Android Lollipop 5.1. The same processor is powering the 11-inch and 14-inch Pinebook notebooks, which at $89 and $99 respectively, could become some of the cheapest laptops available.

The displays on both models have a 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution, and besides the A64’s ARM processor, the Pinebooks include the basics needed for a functional laptop, including display, keyboard, touchpad, storage, memory, and ports.

Both models feature 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB eMMC 5.0 storage, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD slot supporting up to 256GB additional storage, a mini HDMI input to connect to an external display, headphone jack, built-in microphone, a 1.2-megapixel camera, and a 10,000mAh lithium polymer battery. They also support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections.

CNX Software, which first reported the new laptops, notes that the Pinebook’s system on a chip (SoC) includes a Mali-400MP2 GPU. Also, while the machines will run all operating systems supported by the A64 boards, the firmware needs to be modified due to the LPDDR3 RAM. The devices should support the Remix OS Android fork.

While the new netbooks share a common system on a chip, CNX notes that the new laptops aren’t actually based on the A64 board itself, but rather on a custom board that’s designed to keep the laptops thin.

According to the Pinebook’s spec sheet, the notebook is 352mm wide, 233mm deep, and 18mm high, or 14in by 9in by 0.7in. It weighs 1.2kg, or 2.65lb.

The devices aren’t actually for sale yet, but would-be buyers can register to be told when sales commence.”

Cord Cutters, Take Notice!

We are getting close to being able to drop cable and get cable channels via Internet Streaming!

AT&T Announces DirecTV Now Launch With $35 Plan, $5 HBO and Cinemax

Streaming Media – “AT&T officially launched DirecTV Now yesterday, offering several details on the streaming service but also leaving a few gaps. Starting November 30, DirecTV Now will offer four tiers: Live a Little with over 60 channels for $35 per month, Just Right with over 80 channels for $50 per month, Go Big with over 100 channels for $60 per month, and Gotta Have It with over 120 channels for $70 per month. However, the Go Big tier will be reduced to $35 at launch, and all who grab the intro price will be grandfathered in at that rate. AT&T did not give an end date for the intro pricing. AT&T will offer two add-on packs, with HBO and Cinemax for $5 each per month.

While AT&T repeatedly emphasized the simplicity of the offering, the devil is in the many details, and consumers may have a hard time deciding whether or not it’s worth switching from cable or satellite. For one thing, the company hasn’t announced full channel lineups for each tier. Promotional materials show that the lowest tier includes several of the most popular basic cable channels, such as AMC, FX, Bravo, CNN, E, and A&E. Channels added in the next three tiers seem to be far less popular, but the second tier adds access to two regional sports networks (RSNs).

Subscribers will be able to access two concurrent streams. DirecTV Now will support iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Chromecast (on Android), and Amazon Fire TV and Stick at launch. Support for Roku, Amazon Fire tablet, and Chromecast on iOS will come sometime in 2017. The company didn’t mention gaming console support at all. AT&T will provide a limited amount of free content through the DirecTV Now app to give people a sample of what’s available.

Besides live channels, DirecTV Now will include a video-on-demand library of 15,000 titles. The interface emphasizes live content, but doesn’t allow live video pause. The service won’t offer a cloud DVR at launch, but will add the feature in 2017. Viewers will be able to catch up on programming they missed with the 72-hour lookback feature, but that won’t be long enough for some viewers. The service won’t support 4K video or 5.1 audio at launch.

According to AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey, who spoke at the launch event, customers with poor credit are a major obstacle for satellite TV providers, and 20 million U.S. homes are locked out because of their credit. DirecTV Now gives them an option, as it doesn’t require a credit check. The company doesn’t send out a monthly bill, but simply draws from the customer’s debit card.

AT&T will offer several incentives for new customers. Those who pre-pay for three months can get an Apple TV for free, while those who pre-pay for one month can get a free Amazon Fire TV Stick. Some LeEco TVs and phones will include free service for a limited number of months. Consumers will be able to test the service out with a 14-day free trial.

DirecTV will provide targeted ad opportunities, which the company says is essential for keeping costs down. There’s no ad-free option, and subscribers certainly won’t be able to skip ads.

Other details consumers will need to pay attention to involve live local and sport programming, where AT&T was not able to simplify rights. DirecTV Now will offer content from ABC, NBC, and Fox at launch, but not CBS. Viewers will only be able to watch live broadcast programming in areas where those three networks own and operate the local affiliate stations. Subscribers in other areas will need to wait a day for access. The service doesn’t support DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. Verizon has an exclusive on NFL mobile streaming, so that gives DirecTV Now a hole in its sports coverage.

With DirecTV Now, AT&T isn’t trying to sell just an OTT service, but a package of services. Streaming DirecTV Now video won’t count against AT&T customer data caps. New customers who sign up for wireless plans with messaging can get Fullscreen’s OTT service for free for one year, with data cap-free streaming. The announcement of data-free streaming has already angered net neutrality proponents.

Actress Reese Witherspoon was on hand to announce that in 2017 DirecTV Now will include an on-demand channel with content from her production company Hello Sunshine. AT&T also announced it will carry exclusive behind-the-scenes video from musician Taylor Swift.”

Dr. Bill.TV #411 – Video – “The Really Big Shew Edition!”

Ethanol fuel from the air! The Nintendo Switch, what the Wii U should have been? A Windows 10 PC in your hand! The Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Geek Software of the Week: 7Zip! PLUS, Linux/Mac: rEFIt! Microsoft makes money in the Cloud! A huge DDoS attack!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
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Streaming MP3 Audio

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You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

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Dr. Bill.TV #411 – Audio – “The Really Big Shew Edition!”

Ethanol fuel from the air! The Nintendo Switch, what the Wii U should have been? A Windows 10 PC in your hand! The Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Geek Software of the Week: 7Zip! PLUS, Linux/Mac: rEFIt! Microsoft makes money in the Cloud! A huge DDoS attack!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo

 


Yesterday There Was a Huge DDOS Attack on the East Coast

Did you notice?

Large DDoS attacks cause outages at Twitter, Spotify, and other sites

TechCrunch – By: Darrell Etherington – “Several waves of major cyberattacks against an internet directory service knocked dozens of popular websites offline today, with outages continuing into the afternoon.

Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Shopify, and other websites have been inaccessible to many users throughout the day. The outages are the result of several distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the DNS provider Dyn, the company confirmed. The outages were first reported on Hacker News.

‘We are actively in the third flank of this attack,’ Dyn’s chief strategy officer Kyle York told reporters around 4:30 p.m. ET today. ‘It’s a very smart attack. As we mitigate, they react.’

Dyn’s general counsel Dave Allen added that, with the help of other infrastructure companies Akamai and Flashpoint, Dyn has determined that some of the traffic used in the attacks comes from the Mirai botnet, a network of infected Internet of Things devices used in other recent large-scale DDoS attacks.

Dyn and other DNS providers operate as a link between the URLs you type into your browser and the corresponding IP addresses. DDoS attacks are frequently used to censor specific websites by overwhelming them with junk traffic and knocking them offline. However, by attacking Dyn, it’s possible to overwhelm that directory function and cause outages and loading problems across a large swath of the internet.

Other sites experiencing issues include Box, Boston Globe, New York Times, Github, Airbnb, Reddit, Freshbooks, Heroku and Vox Media properties. Users in Europe and Asia may experience fewer problems than those in the U.S. — according to DownDectector’s outage map, the DDoS attacks against Dyn are primarily impacting U.S. users.

The DDoS attacks on Dyn began this morning. Service was temporarily restored around 9:30 a.m. ET, but a second attack began around noon, knocking sites offline once again.The DNS provider said engineers were working on ‘mitigating’ the issue, but a third wave began around 4:30 p.m. ET before being resolved roughly two hours later.

‘The complexity of the attacks is making it complicated for us. It’s so distributed, coming from tens of millions of source IP addresses around the world. What they’re doing is moving around the world with each attack,’ Dyn’s York explained.York said that the DDoS attack initially targeted the company’s data centers on the East Coast, then moved to international data centers. The attack contained ‘specific nuance to parts of our infrastructure,’ he added.

The White House press secretary told members of the press this morning that the Department of Homeland Security is looking into the attacks. Dyn employees said the company is working with law enforcement to investigate the attacks and has received support from customers, competitors, and the State Department.

Dyn said it has not yet attributed the attack to any group or country, and that the DDoS traffic has been coming from tens of millions of discrete IP addresses around the globe. Although DDoS attacks are sometimes accompanied by extortion letters that ask a company to hand over bitcoin in exchange for ceasing an attack, Dyn said it has not received any messages from its attackers. ‘We are working incredibly diligently on that with the law enforcement community and infrastructure community,’ York said of the attribution process. ‘No one wants to be next.’

The DDoS attack on Dyn follows on the heels of one of the largest DDoS attack in history, which used the Mirai botnet to target the website of independent cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs. Although DDoS attacks have historically used large networks of compromised computers called botnets to send junk traffic to sites, overwhelming them and making them inaccessible to legitimate users, the Krebs attack expanded in scale by using compromised Internet of Things devices like security cameras to build a botnet. IoT devices are cheaply manufactured and notoriously insecure, making them easy to compromise.

After the attack on Krebs’ website, the code used to build the botnet leaked online, making more massive DDoS attacks all but inevitable.

‘There are 3.4 billion internet users globally and 10 to 15 billion IoT devices. It’s a complex world. All we can do is lock arms together and see how we can rectify this,’ York said.

Security researcher Bruce Schneier reported in September that several internet infrastructure companies had been targeted with DDoS attacks, although they had not caused the kind of widespread outages experienced today. Shneier wrote that the attacks seemed designed to test companies’ defensive capabilities:

‘These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they’re used to seeing. They last longer. They’re more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.’

‘Someone is extensively testing the core defensive capabilities of the companies that provide critical Internet services,’ Schneier added.

If you’re experiencing connection problems, you can try changing your DNS settings (instructions for how to do this on Mac and Windows are here). Anecdotally, our staff has used OpenDNS (208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220) and OpenNIC servers and seen connectivity improve.”

Microsoft Makes Money on Office and the Cloud

MicrosoftAzure and Office 365 offset declines in the PC market, but the company’s phone efforts continue to be a drag

Infoworld – By Blair Hanley Frank – “Microsoft’s ongoing move to the cloud paid off once again over the past quarter, as strong growth from Azure and Office 365 offset declines in the PC market.

The company announced on Thursday that its quarterly revenue for the three-month period ending in September was flat overall at $20.5 billion. The company’s net profit was down 4 percent year-over-year from $4.9 billion to $4.7 billion.

Those results were driven by quarterly revenue from the company’s Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes Azure and Windows Server, and its Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes Office 365 and Dynamics. Intelligent Cloud revenue grew 8 percent year-over-year to $6.4 billion, while Productivity and Business Processes segment revenue grew 6 percent to $6.7 billion.

It’s another positive sign for the cloud-focused strategy that the company adopted under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella.

Azure revenue grew by 116 percent year over year, and Microsoft revealed for the first time that its profit margin from its cloud platform is 49 percent. The company continues to keep the exact revenue and profit numbers from its public cloud platform under wraps, however.

Office 365 commercial revenue grew 51 percent year-over-year. Microsoft reported it now has more than 85 million commercial monthly active users of its cloud-based productivity suite as a service offering.

Surface sales were another bright spot for Microsoft. The company’s line of tablets and laptops brought in $926 million over the past quarter, compared to $672 million during the same period in 2015. Phone revenue continued to drag the company down for another quarter, however — revenue from that division dropped by 72 percent year-over-year.

Microsoft’s non-GAAP results of $22.3 billion in revenue and earnings of $0.76 a share blew past analyst expectations for the quarter. The consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was an expected $21.7 billion in revenue and earnings of $0.68 a share. Investors rejoiced at the news, sending the company’s stock to an all-time high above $60 per share, beating a previous high set in 1999.”

Geek Software of the Week (Linux Edition): rEFIt!

Yes, it is no longer under development, but it still works on old Macs!

http://refit.sourceforge.net/

You can use rEFIt to manage partitions on your old Mac to convert it to boot Ubuntu Linux! I did on my Mac Pro 1,1 2006 system!

Burning a CD

If you just want to try out rEFIt without affecting your computer, you can burn rEFIt to a CD-R (or CD-RW) and boot from that. The distributed .dmg and .cdr disk images are ready to burn. See the burning instructions for details.

Automatic Installation with the Installer Package

Both disk image distributions (.dmg and .cdr) also contain the new installer package. It will install rEFIt on your Mac OS X installation volume and make sure it is active. This is now the recommended way to install and use rEFIt.

The steps to install rEFIt this way are as follows:

Download and mount the rEFIt-0.14.dmg disk image.
Double-click on the “rEFIt.mpkg” package.
Follow the instructions and select your Mac OS X installation volume as the destination volume for the install.
If everything went well, you’ll see the rEFIt boot menu on the next restart.

Manual Installation on the Mac OS X volume

If you don’t want to use the installer package, you can do a manual install instead. This section explains how to do a manual install to your Mac OS X installation volume, which requires no additional volumes or disks. It is possible to install rEFIt elsewhere; see the following sections for that.

Here are the steps for a manual install:

Download the ‘Mac disk image or any of the other two binary distributions from the home page. Double-click to mount or unpack them.

Copy the ‘efi’ folder from the rEFIt distribution to the root level of your Mac OS X volume.
Open Terminal and enter the following commands:

cd /efi/refit
./enable.sh

When prompted, enter the password for your user account.

If everything went well, you’ll see the rEFIt boot menu on the next restart.

Note: If you get a message saying ‘No such file or directory’ in the last step, then you didn’t put the ‘efi’ folder in the right place in step 2.

This manual installation method has a drawback that you should be aware of. Since you’re not using rEFItBlesser, Mac OS X updates will disable rEFIt, and the rEFIt menu will show up even when waking from Safe Sleep.

Installing on a separate volume or external disk

If you’re uncomfortable with having rEFIt on your Mac OS X volume, you can install it on any other volume, as long as it is formatted in the HFS+ (“Mac OS Extended”) format. For example, you can install rEFIt on a USB flash drive.

The installation procedure is basically the same as explained above — copy the ‘efi’ folder to the root of the volume, and run ‘enable.sh’ inside the ‘efi/refit’ directory. The path in Terminal will be different, for example ‘/Volumes/MyStick/efi/refit’ if the volume is named ‘MyStick’.

If you want, you can use the provided ‘rEFIt.icns’ icon as a volume icon.

Installing on the EFI System Partition

It is also possible to install rEFIt on the hidden ‘EFI System Partition’ on your internal disk. This is recommended for advanced users only, and will not be detailed here. You will need to use bless with the –mount and –file options. Consult the man page for bless for more information.”

Geek Software of the Week: 7Zip!

7Zip Compression Tool

7Zip Download

FreewareFiles Editor’s Review – “7-Zip is a free zip program that is compatible with different file and archive formats, including the advanced 7z compression format. People commonly associate file compression with ZIP file format but there are actually many other formats out there, and it is good to have a single program that can handle most of them.

Compatible Formats

For compression and decompression, 7-Zip is compatible with 7z, TAR, ZIP, BZIP2 and GZIP. The program can also unpack many other file formats, including CAB, CPIO, ARJ, CHM, ISO, DEB, MSI, DMG, LZH, HFS, RAR, XAR, UDF, RPM, WIM, Z AND NSIS.

The program can be used to compress many file formats, including text and image files.

Compression Ratio

7-Zip generally compresses files better than other compression programs. For example, the program compresses 65MB of such easily-packed files as DOC to about 6MB while zipping the same files via Windows Explorer creates a zip archive of more than 8.5MB.

However, the free zip program does not compress JPEG files as well but remember that these files are already compressed anyway. The best compression results are achieved when native creating 7z files.

Features

7-Zip has several file compression features found in other compression utilities, including:
Multi-volume support
Password protection
Batch compression
Integration with Outlook
The program fully supports Windows Explorer, and almost all its functions can be accessed by right-clicking files.
Although it is possible to perform batch compression and extraction using either drag and drop or hot keys, the feature is not directly supported in the program. Users can also create self-extracting archives when they download necessary plugins and modules from the official website.

Support

While users will get limited support, this is true for most free software. Do not expect an active customer support. However, there are relatively active online forums and a built-in user guide.

Conclusion

7-Zip is a good free file archiver that can be used to compress files into many formats and unpack even more compression formats. However, its user interface is not the friendliest to ordinary people, especially considering that it lacks a Wizard. It has too many options that make it more suitable for users with some technical skills. Fortunately, many options are only available when a user presses the F9 key.

The .7Z files can also confuse many users who may not even be aware that they are compressed. However, the fact that the file format is not easily recognizable has its advantages. For example, you can use it to send an executable file as an e-mail attachment, something you cannot achieve with ZIP files.

Software Product Description

7-Zip is a free zip / unzip file archiver with a high compression ratio.

The main features of 7-Zip:

Highest compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
7-Zip is free software distributed under the GNU LGPL
Supported formats: 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB
For ZIP and GZIP formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
Self-extracting capability for 7z format
Integration with Windows Shell
Powerful File Manager
Powerful command line version
Plugin for FAR Manager
Localizations for 47 languages
works in DOS using HX Extender
There is port of command line version for DOS, Linux/Unix.”

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Pixel and Pixel XL review: What happens when Google designs phones?

Engadget – By: Chris Velazco
– “Google’s fascination with hardware stretches back years. Remember the early days of Android and the G1? The rise of the Nexus line? Those ill-fated Android@Home lightbulbs and those beautiful Chromebooks? It took Google a while, but that fascination turned into a sort of experimental hobby, and now into something far more serious. Software is Google’s art, and the company has been working for a long time to craft the right canvases.

That’s where the new Pixel and Pixel XL come in.

Google has more control over the development — and destiny — of these two smartphones than it ever had with any Nexus phone. It’s not surprising, then, that the company has turned to close friends to help chart this new course. Former Motorola Mobility CEO Rick Osterloh is back at Google heading up hardware after the search giant sold his company to Lenovo. HTC, which most recently worked with Google on the Nexus 9 tablet, is handling the Pixel phones’ production and assembly. There’s a palpable sense that Google wanted to round up its A-team for this project.

It shows. These Pixel phones are a culmination on Google’s part of years’ worth of experimenting with hardware, and they’re unsurprisingly great.

Pros
Excellent build quality
Fantastic camera
Smooth performance

Cons
Expensive
Yawn-inducing design
Less water-resistant than rivals

Summary

After years of experimenting with Nexus devices, Google finally decided it wanted to make a phone of its own. HTC might be assembling the phones, but Google designed and developed the Pixel from end-to-end. In doing so, it crafted a truly great smartphone that sadly looks a little dull. Still, the inclusion of a speedy new Snapdragon 821 chipset and a fantastic camera make the smaller Pixel a device to be reckoned with. Now, if only it were a little cheaper.”

A Windows 10 PC in Your Hand!

Ockel Sirius A – Indiegogo from Ockel Products on Vimeo.

Need a Windows 10 PC in your pocket? Phone-sized Ockel Sirius A might just fit

ZDNet – By: Liam Tung
– “Dutch hardware developers have launched the Sirius A, a Windows 10 device with phone-like specs but all the ports you’d expect from a PC.

The maker of the Sirius A, Netherlands-based Ockel, describes it as the ‘world’s most versatile mini PC’ and is looking ship the device by May 2017, after rounding up its search for backers on Indiegogo.

The Sirius A’s phone-like features include its six-inch full HD touch display, a 3,000mAh battery, 64GB in-built flash storage, a microSD booster slot, and 3.5mm audio port. It’s also got an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer for compass functionality.

Besides these features, the Sirius A aims to capture the feel of a desktop via additional ports not found in any smartphone. These include two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, and ports for HDMI, a DisplayPort, Ethernet and a 12V power input for stationary use-cases, such as employing it as an input device when connected to a larger display.

It will also ship with Windows 10 Home 64-bit, so all desktop applications should work on the tiny PC, and it’s powered by an Intel Atom quad-core processor with 4GB RAM. Wireless connectivity is provided by a Wi-Fi chip and Bluetooth. However, unlike most PCs, it eschews a cooling fan. Instead, it has a heatsink built into the aluminum casing.

As a mini-PC, the device should be extremely portable at 85mm x 150mm wide. Likely to support the additional PC ports, the Sirius A features an interesting tapered design, starting at 20mm wide on the port side, slimming down to 6mm at the front. Despite its pocketable form-factor, the Sirius A only has battery life of about three hours under ‘casual usage’.

The company says it’s working with Microsoft to develop a ‘switch mode’ that will allow the device to behave as a mouse or soft keyboard when connected to a larger screen.

It’s not clear from the Indiegogo campaign whether when used as a mobile device the screen automatically rotates to suit the direction in which it’s held.

The campaign for the Sirius A has raised $259,500 from 491 backers so far and has 22 days left. Prices under the campaign period start at $549 however the device will retail for $699.

The Sirius A follows Ockel’s release last year of the Windows 10 Sirius B, which lacked a touch display but otherwise offered similar specs.”

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