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CDs and vinyl are more popular than digital downloads once again

Mar 23, 2018 - 1:41 PM - by Reverend
Streaming music is taking over the recording industry, and there’s no clearer sign of it than this: digital download sales have fallen so much in the past few years that they’re now smaller than sales of CDs, vinyl, and other physical media, which hasn’t been the case since 2011.

The stats, which come from the RIAA’s newly released 2017 year end report, show that digital downloads fell to $1.3 billion last year, whereas physical media, while also falling, only declined to $1.5 billion.

Of course, both pale in comparison to revenue brought in from streaming, which has taken over the music industry in recent years. In 2016, the music industry made more than half of its revenue from streaming for the first time, and that growth continued into 2017. Last year, nearly two-thirds of all revenue — over $5.7 billion — came from streaming, an increase of 43 percent.

That’s due to the increasing popularity of subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music. But as it turns out, there’s a fast growing new category of streaming services that could soon be a very big deal for the industry. They’re called “limited tier paid subscriptions,” and they’re basically subscription streaming services with some sort of major constraint. Amazon, for instance, sells a $4 per month unlimited music subscription that only works on a single Echo. Pandora’s paid radio service, Pandora Plus, also falls into this category.

Despite the lack of attention on this category, it represented 14 percent of the subscription market in 2017, up from 11 percent in 2016. That may sound tiny, but it represents a 125 percent year-over-year growth in terms of revenue, growing from $263 million to $592 million — bigger than vinyl. That’s huge for a segment that may well be growing largely due to the ballooning popularity of the Echo. Amazon’s streaming service didn’t go live until the end of 2016, so it’s likely responsible for a large part of that... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 19 Views

Galaxy S9 has a ‘dead zone’ screen issue

Mar 23, 2018 - 1:35 PM - by Reverend
A number of early Galaxy S9 buyers have discovered an annoying issue with their screens. Apparently, they come with “dead zones,” which are screen areas that don’t register any kind of activity.

Users have been posting both on Samsung forums and Reddit about the matter.

What’s interesting about these reports is that different screen areas seem to be affected. So the dead zone problem isn’t localized to a particular region of the screen. According to Android Police, some users have been able to fix the problem by resetting the phone to factory settings or increasing the touchscreen sensitivity. Neither solution is acceptable, as the phone’s screen should work flawlessly.

The best thing you should do, if your Galaxy S9 does have a dead zone problem, is to return your units and hope the replacement doesn’t have the same problem.

Samsung, meanwhile, is aware of the issue and encourages users to contact the company.

“At Samsung, customer satisfaction is core to our business, and we aim to deliver the best possible experience. We are looking into a limited number of reports of Galaxy S9/S9+ touchscreen responsiveness issues. We are working with affected customers and investigating,” told CNET. “We encourage any customer with questions to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 10 Views

Microsoft: Windows 10's installation time will be short enough for your lunch break

Mar 20, 2018 - 10:40 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft says its next big update to Windows 10 will install in as little as 30 minutes—as opposed to a year ago, when the Creators Update required well over an hour.

While the total installation time hasn’t markedly changed, Microsoft said the upcoming version (code-named Redstone 4 and informally known as the Spring Creators Update) will do more behind the scenes while you’re actively using the PC. That will reduce the overall downtime to roughly a half-hour, as opposed to a time of about 82 minutes for last year’s Creators Update, and 51 minutes for the Fall Creators Update.

Don’t expect the Windows 10 to require exactly 30 minutes to download and install. However, Microsoft is moving two specific tasks behind the scenes—preparing your user content (files and documents) for migration, and creating a temporary directory for the new OS. By assigning both processes low priority, they shouldn’t negatively affect your PC’s performance as you work.

  0 Replies | 124 Views

Mozilla Firefox 59.0.1

Mar 19, 2018 - 10:52 PM - by Reverend
Firefox is a free, open-source and cross-platform web browser.

English (US): Windows 32-bit | Windows 64-bit | Linux | Mac OS X

Release notes

Firefox homepage
  0 Replies | 186 Views

Google will let you play Android games before downloading them

Mar 19, 2018 - 10:48 PM - by Reverend
You'll now be able to try out Android games before buying them.

Google on Monday rolled out Google Play Instant in its Google Play store. You can tap on one of the games listed and play it without having to buy or download it first. Some of the initial games include Clash Royale, Words with Friends 2 and Final Fantasy XV.

Google also said it has redesigned its Google Play Games app with an "Arcade" tab to show game video trailers. New tags like "New" or "Action" make it easier to find a particular type of game. Google also said it will show users news and YouTube videos related to their favorite games to "boost your skills and become a game master."

Games tend to be some of the highest-downloaded content on mobile devices. Google noted in its blog post that the number of Android users who installed a game in the last year has more than doubled. But it's also a competitive field where one hit can make or break a company. Game developers, like other app makers, can struggle to bring attention to their latest offerings. Offering a way for users to try them out before downloading could help boost the number of users.

  0 Replies | 132 Views

Steve Jobs pre-Apple job application fetches $174,000 at auction

Mar 16, 2018 - 10:05 PM - by Reverend
A one-page job application filled out by Steve Jobs more than four decades ago that reflected the Apple founder’s technology aspirations sold for $174,000 at a U.S. auction, more than three times its presale estimate.

An Internet entrepreneur from England was the winning bidder, Boston-based auction house RR Auction said on Friday, but the buyer wished to remain anonymous.

The application dated 1973, complete with spelling and punctuation errors, had been expected to fetch about $50,000. The sale price reached on Thursday was $174,757, the auction house said.

The form lists his name as “Steven jobs” and address as “reed college,” the Portland, Oregon, college he attended briefly. Next to “Phone:” he wrote “none.”

Under a section titled “Special Abilities,” Jobs wrote “tech or design engineer. digital.—from Bay near Hewitt-Packard,” a reference to pioneering California technology company Hewlett-Packard and the San Francisco Bay area.

The document does not state what position or company the application was intended for. Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak founded Apple about three years later.

RR Auction said the high price reflected the continuing influence of Jobs, who died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 56.

“There are many collectors who have earned disposable income over the last few decades using Apple technology, and we expect similarly strong results on related material in the future,” Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, said in a statement.

Other highlights from the online auction included an Apple Mac OS X technical manual signed by Jobs in 2001 that sold for $41,806 and a rare signed newspaper clipping from 2008 featuring an image of Jobs speaking at the Apple Developers Conference that sold for $26,950.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 268 Views

Amazon recalls fire-risk power packs in UK, Europe and US

Mar 14, 2018 - 10:47 PM - by Reverend
Owners of Amazon's own-brand power bank chargers have been contacted by the firm telling them to stop using them.

A recall covering six models of the AmazonBasics-branded product was announced in the US and Canada on Tuesday.

A notice posted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned the packs could "overheat and ignite, posing fire and burn hazards".

The BBC understands UK and other European countries are also affected.

Amazon had received more than 50 complaints of overheated power banks in North America ahead of the move.

These included one report of a user suffering chemical burns after coming into contact with battery acid.

According to the CPSC, the devices had been manufactured by the Guoguang Electric Company. The watchdog added that about 260,000 units had been sold in the US alone.

It said the affected devices could be identified by the following product IDs printed on the back of the units:


A spokesman for Amazon was unable to say how many products had been sold in the UK.

Purchasers have been sent emails by Amazon asking them to "cease using the product" and requesting that they click on a link to let them it know if they still have one in their possession, so that it can advise them how to dispose of it safely.

The company is offering a gift card-based refund as compensation.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 315 Views

Microsoft expands Spectre, Meltdown patches to include Windows 7/8.1, more Intel chip

Mar 14, 2018 - 10:43 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft said Tuesday that it has expanded its ongoing efforts to patch the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in two directions: by providing patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, and archiving microcode patches for Intel's Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake chips. To address Meltdown and Spectre, PC owners need patches for both the operating system and the processor on their device.

To date, Microsoft's efforts to patch the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities have focused on providing the most recent updates for Windows 10, its most modern operating system. On Tuesday, it began adding support for both Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 via Windows Update and its archived patch catalog, though there's a catch: only 32-bit versions are currently included.

Microsoft also said it has begun archiving microcode patches that support Intel's Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake chips, all members of Intel's line of Core microprocessors. Microsoft had begun archiving some of Intel's Skylake microcode patches for Spectre and Meltdown and earlier this month.

  0 Replies | 291 Views

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