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Nextbit: No Robin Phone for Verizon, Sprint

nextbit robin phone Bad news for those who thought they were going to get the Nextbit Robin smartphone for Sprint and Verizon customers. Nextbit announced that they have decided to cancel plans to launch a CDMA version. Originally, Nextbit was not planning to release a CDMA version. Due to high customer demand, the company decided to try to launch a CDMA version when they started receiving a high influx of user requests.

Nextbit CEO, Tim Moss, said the idea was rushed, and the answers were not clear. The Kickstarter campaign was only 30 days long. The decision to start investigating a CDMA version did not begin until two days into the campaign.

Moss explains that because of the late decision the company was not prepared to meet the demand, “We had to go with the best information we could get before the campaign was over, and over time it turned out that this information was not accurate,”. He goes on further to reveal the cost was much higher than anticipated, from estimated thousands to estimated millions. With little knowledge of when the device would be complete and ready to ship, the company decided to cancel the request altogether.

No need to worry if you already pre-ordered your Nextbit CDMA version. The company has promised to credit each backer their entire pledge including any extras such as accessories and shipping costs. As an added bonus, Nextbit is offering each CDMA backer a 25 percent discount code on one order from the company’s online store.

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Three Unbelievably Tiny Computers

The market for a device that can easily replace the standard PC has taken a new approach to size. Don’t be fooled, you may be surprised when you find out what is hiding inside these small machines.

Zotac Zbox Sphere

This computer not only breaks the mold in terms of size, but shape. The Zbox is in fact, not a box, but a sphere. Simply twist the circular top and feast your eyes on the interior powerhouse of the computer. The top half of this tiny PC houses an Intel Core i5-42WP 300U motherboard and 4GB of memory. The back panel provides six USB ports, as well as an HDMI and DisplayPort. In addition, the Zbox includes a 802.11ac WiFi module and a spot for an Ethernet cable if preferred. This almost bowling ball like computer packs a serious punch in terms of creativity and power. WP 4





Intel Compute Stick

This tiny PC resembles a USB thumb drive, and has stirred massive attention since its release in early 2015. The Intel Compute Stick plugs into any monitWP 5or’s HDMI port, an added bonus for anyone working in tight spaces. Concerned about over heating? Fear not, this tiny machine has a fittingly tiny fan inside, ensuring fast performance without
overheating. Unfortunately the stick does not have an internal battery and thWP 6erefore must run off micro USB power at all times in order to function. What the Intel Compute Stick lacks in battery capabilities it makes up for with a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, with micro SD support for up to 128GB of storage. That’s a lot of power crammed into 4.5 inches.






Mouse Box

The tiniest computer of the three is cleverly disguised as a computer mouse. The Mouse Box device contains a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM processor, a 128GB solid-state drive, and built-in b/g/n WiFi. The wireless image transfer module allows for easy visual transmitting in addition to the convenient micro HDMI port. The coolest part? Sticking with the mouse motif, the Mouse Box doesn’t need to be plugged in. The inductive charging mat doubles as a mousepad. Although the Mouse Box is not up for public release quite yet, they most certainly have our attention.  WP 8

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Microsoft OneDrive raises the bar for cloud storage

Microsoft OneDrive Cloud Storage The Microsoft OneDrive, otherwise known as “device cloud”, is available free of charge for anyone who has created a Microsoft account. Included are 5 GB of free storage, easy access to media files, folder syncing, documents, as well as playing and viewing capabilities in addition to simple storage.

Similar to the iCloud for iPhones and iPads, OneDrive allows iPhone, Android, and Windows phone users to automatically upload photos to the OneDrive camera roll. Combining online storage and syncing into one device, One Drive offers a new convenience for Microsoft users who had to previously deal with separate storage and syncing services. Windows 10 has allowed OneDrive to grow as a built-in capacity. If you utilize other technology platforms OneDrive is compatible with Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.



Excellent photo viewing and slideshow capabilities.

Clear interface.

Works with Windows phone, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Easily retrieves any file from a PC.



Storage offerings shrinking according to a recent release from Microsoft.

Not a share target for Windows 10 apps.


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Microsoft Gets Rid of OneDrive Unlimited Storage

logo_onedrive2014_hero1It’s time to say adios to unlimited storage from Microsoft’s OneDrive.  Subscribers of Office 365 now have 1TB of space rather than unlimited. The 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans will be replaced with 50 GB storage for $1.99, while Free OneDrive storage will go from 15GB of available storage to 5GB.  These changes will take place next year.

The unlimited storage has given users the ability to back up PCs and even store entire movies collections as well as DVR recordings according to the OneDrive FAQ page, sometimes exceeding 75TB per user.  Although OneDrive has gone from unlimited to set limits, the company still reminded its users of what can be stored with the new changes.  For instance, OneDrive Free with 5 GB is still enough to keep around 6,600 Office documents or 1,600 photos.  The 1TB can keep 1 million documents or 330,000 pictures.

You can check how much space you have consumed by visiting the Manage Storage page. If you’ve taken up most of the available storage, Microsoft will notify you to make changes within 90 days or 12 months depending on your plan. You may need to remove files or purchase more storage if that is the case.

Ransomware not yet a threat to Macs

ransomeRansomware, a malicious type of malware that works by encrypting files in exchange for a ransom, has yet to be a threat to Apple computers. This is not to say that Apple’s operating system is any more secure than Windows, it is just that malware developers have not yet figured out writing ransomware for OS X because infecting Windows machines has been extremely profitable enough.  A few security researchers even demonstrated how easy it could be to develop ransomware that targets Macs.  Rafael Salema Marque’s experiment to show how OS X can be targeted took him just a few days and security expert Perdo Vilaca created a proof-of-concept code for his Mac ransomware.

The infamous Cryptowall has proven that ransomware can be devastating to both companies and consumers alike, with losses of more than $18 million. The cost to get a decryption key could range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, and it is not unusual for the cyber criminals to not even provide the key despite being paid.

A mac user that encounters ransomware would have to somehow be tricked into running it. Apple uses security technology called Gatekeeper which blocks apps from unidentified developers from running. This will help save those from being fooled into running something that is not available in the app store or is not from an identified developer. However, security experts have found software flaws that show that Gatekeeper can be circumvented. This, along with the experiments conducted by Vilaca and Marque, show that although penetrating the OS X is not something to be worried about as of now, never underestimate the potential of these malware developers because infiltrating Mac is not impossible.


Bitdefender cracks Linux Ransomware

Those infected with the recently released ransomware for Linux should thank researchers from Bitdefender as they have created a tool that can decrypt victims’ files. They did this by discovering a major flaw in the implementation of their encryption algorithm.

The Linux.Encoder.1 ransomware works by using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is then encrypted too by using an asymmetric encryption algorithm, RSA. This algorithm has two keys, a public key to encrypt data and a private key to decrypt it. Only the public key is sent to the infected systems and the private is retained by the attackers. However, researchers realized that once the AES keys have been generated, the program has a source of weak data-time and date. This time stamp determines when the key files were created and researchers can reverse the process and recover the AES key. The tool created by Bitdefender determines the initialization vectors as well as the AES encryption keys by analysis of the files and fixing their permissions on the system. You can find complete instructions on how to use the tool on their blog post.

Windows 10 Concerns

windows-10Ever read service agreements? Neither do I. You might want to take a look at Microsoft’s for Windows 10 though because agreeing to all the terms allows them to poke through the data of your machine. Buried within the gargantuan 12,000 word service agreement it states:

We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.

Thankfully you can opt out of that, but keep in mind that the default of this feature is ON. Change this by going into Settings and Privacy applet. You should really weed through all the tabs as they state what types of data each app on the system can access.

Additionally, there’s Cortana. It has access to your camera, microphone, contacts, calendar, and probably all your documents.  You can turn this off in the Speech applet. You must also create a Microsoft account in order to use many services such as Skype, which is probably just another way for Microsoft to get their hands on your information.

Lastly, Wi-Fi sharing defaults to ON. If you don’t want to be sharing your Wi-Fi with your neighbors better turn this one off too.

Wireless Networks Not Available After Windows 8.1 Upgrade to Windows 10

Once you upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, there are no listed wireless networks available even if your wireless network adapter is functioning correctly. Restarting the computer or trying to reinstall the wireless network adapter does not address the problem. This issue can also prevent your wired Ethernet from functioning correctly as well, whether the connections are made through a built-in Ethernet adapter or a USB Ethernet adapter.

One known issue is the unsupported VPN software from Windows 8.1 that is not upgraded correctly to Windows 10. It occurs if older VPN software is installed on Windows 8.1 and is present when the older software version contains a filter driver (the Deterministic Network Enhancer).

It is crucial to follow these steps carefully to resolve the problem. Failing to do so can consequentially lead to serious problems if you modify the registry incorrectly.  Back up the registry for restoration before you modify in case you run into problems.


  1. Download the Toubleshooter.
  2. When you are prompted, click Open.

Note If you receive a security prompt, select Yes to start the troubleshooter.

  1. In the Window that opens, follow the instructions to run the troubleshooter.


  1. Open the administrative Command Prompt window.
  2. Run the following commands:


This issue is set to occur when older versions of the Cisco VPN client and SonicWall Global VPN client are utilized. You can contact your VPN vendor to attain supported software for Windows 10.

How to Create a New Profile for Office on Mac 2016


Open Finder app and locate Microsoft Outlook in the Application folder.


Hold the CTRL key and click Microsoft Outlook to bring up the menu and select Show Package Contents.


Click on the Contents folder.


Click on the SharedSupport folder.


Once in SharedSupport folder, double-click Outlook Profile Manager.


In Outlook Profile Manager window, click the Add (+) button and type a name of the profile, then select the gear icon and select Set as Default. You can then close out of the Outlook Profile Manager and re-configure your email within Outlook.


New Small Business PC Lineup Released by HP

New all-in-ones, desktops, and laptops will be launching soon from HP’s small business lineup. The HP ProOne 400 G2 is a slim, 20 inch PC that includes a new adaptable easel stand that is height adjustable. It bears a 10-point capacitive touch panel and can be configured with the 6th Generation Intel Core processors. The all-in-one also encompasses BIOS-level security features, allowing automatic detection and recovery from BIOS corruption or attacks.  The ProOne 400 G2 will be available in October starting at $649.

As for desktop space, the new ProDesk 400 series was unveiled, featuring desktops of assorted sizes including the 400 G2 Mini, the 400 G3 Small Form Factor (SFF), and the 400 G2 Microtower, all of which can also be configured with the 6th Generation Intel Core processors and DDR4 RAM. They will all feature BIOS-level security too as well as a new standard serial port, a VGA port, and DisplayPort. The ProDesk 400 Mini and Microtower will be available in October starting at $479. The SFF will be released later in 2015 starting at $549.

Lastly, the Probook 400 G3 series of business laptops focus on an airy design with 13-, 14-, 15-, and 17- inch laptops that are thinner and lighter than the previous generation.  Configuration options range from the Intel Corimagese i3 to Intel i7 processors, up to 16 GB of memory, and as much as 1 TB of storage space.  No pricing information has been released thus far, but the Probook 430 G3, 440 G3, 450 G3, and the 455 G3 are expected to launch this month. Premium features include touch displays, an aluminum reinforced, spill resistant keyboard, and soft touch Gravity Black Finish.