Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Top 4 apps for your Halloween shenanigans

Top 4 apps for your Halloween shenanigans

It's Friday, and that means Halloween is officially one week away. This is the last weekend before the holiday, and so it'll likely be filled with some sort of festivity: maybe a trip to a haunted house or a costume laden block party. Your smartphone will no doubt be following you wherever you go, and so having some apps on hand is a good way to round out the fun. As with all things, there are a ton of options in the app stores, and so to make things easy for you we've gone through and picked out four must-haves for Android and iOS.

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HP Stream 11 Windows laptop now available

HP Stream 11 Windows laptop now available

Last last month HP rolled the red carpet out for its new colorful -- and more importantly, cheap -- Stream laptops. Their appeal is multi-fauceted, and though they aren't the most powerful machines out there, the mixture of a sub-$200 price tag and the inclusion of Windows 8.1 makes the HP Stream 11, in particular, a milestone machine for the company. When it was announced, HP stayed quiet on the laptop's launch date, and now about a month later it has quietly changed the machine's status to "available".

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Woman turns home into anti-WiFi zone with shielding paint

Woman turns home into anti-WiFi zone with shielding paint

There's an interesting story coming out of the United Kingdom this week about an elderly woman who has paid a substantial amount of money to turn her house into an anti-wireless technology zone. Stefanie Russell, who is 72-years-old and from Steyning, according to The Argus, has spent several thousand dollars to have her home painted in a type of radiation shielding paint that keeps all wireless signals out, making it an Internet and cell phone-free zone. The reason, she says, is concern about her health.

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PlayStation 4 software update 2.0 arrives October 28

PlayStation 4 software update 2.0 arrives October 28

The past couple of weeks have been a blur of game console updates and pre-update details, with the Xbox One October update having started rolling out on October 15, and PlayStation having followed closely behind it with details about its own users can expect in the 2.0 update. While Sony did detail the goods last week, in terms of features and improvements, it didn't say when PlayStation 4 users could expect to see the update, which makes it hard to be anticipatory.

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South Korean ISP announces 10Gbps broadband Internet plan

South Korean ISP announces 10Gbps broadband Internet plan

The United States is clamoring for widespread availability of 1 gigabit Internet service options, something that is slowly rolling out but is still a long way off from being an option for most. In the meantime, Internet users in South Korea are slated to get service that trumps that connection speed ten-fold, with SK Broadband revealing that it has a 10Gbps service in the works. The service is not available yet, and it seems there will still be a decent wait before it arrives.

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Torrent sites hurting after Google’s latest anti-piracy change

Torrent sites hurting after Google’s latest anti-piracy change

Last Friday Google revealed its newest anti-piracy efforts, which largely amounted to a mixture of demoted rankings for torrent websites and a new box dangling legal download alternatives to those looking for content. It hasn't been quite a full week since the announcement, but the changes are in place and torrent websites are already hurting, with some of the biggest ones reporting massive decreases in traffic in the past handful of days -- though, it seems, some of the small sites are benefiting from the change.

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Aereo denied license request, but hope remains

Aereo denied license request, but hope remains

Aereo, swept up in a legal battle earlier this year that it ultimately did not win, has been denied a license that would let it operate as a cable company. Aereo had requested this license during the late summer, and was told in August that it needed a court ruling on whether it could continue operations under this special designation. An injunction was put in place against the service today, but as the legal battle winds down towards a close, there is still a ray of hope for the service.

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Paranautical Activity creator resigns after making death threat

Paranautical Activity creator resigns after making death threat

In case you missed it, a bit of hoopla surfaced earlier this week revolving around Steam, the game Paranautical Activity, and the game's rage-prone creator Mike Maulbeck. The final version of Paranautical Activity was released on Steam on Monday, but some snafu resulted in the game's page showing it as "Early Access". This frightened Maulbeck, who was worried that still being dubbed Early Access would "cripple" the game's success. Rather than dealing with the problem like an adult, Maulbeck resorted to raging -- something that resulted in a death threat, the game being pulled, and, more recently, the creator resigning from the company.

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Counter-Strike zombie chickens rise for Halloween

Counter-Strike zombie chickens rise for Halloween

What's more fun than video games? Easter eggs and similar things slipped in games for the sole purpose of giving you a smile (or, you know, a fowl-based zombie to kill). Halloween is quickly approaching, and as it approaches gamers have been presented with what the company calls "A Murder Most Fowl". That is, a zombie chicken, which you can identify by its green color and outstretched feather-frocked wings. The zombie chickens aren't the only addition, however, with Valve going all-out in the holiday spirit.

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Google DeepMind partners with Oxford for AI push

Google DeepMind partners with Oxford for AI push

Back in January of this year, Google bought DeepMind, a startup focused on artificial intelligence and its possible future uses. Though the company has been relatively quiet on its efforts since then, work has been underway and will soon get a boost from Oxford University professors, among others. Google announced a partnership with the university today, saying that under the collaboration its artificial intelligence research will "accelerate" and, in turn, Oxford will benefit by way of a "substantial contribution" from Google.

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