Feb 17



Have you ever wondered if your music player was detracting from the original quality of the music? Well, it’s quite possible. After music is recorded, the file is compressed from its original rate of typically 192 kHz to about 44.1kHz in order to fit on CDs and properly download. But does this actually affect the sound we hear? Famous singer Neil Young believes it does, and so he set out in 2012 to create a device that would be able to support music’s original recording rate. To do this, Young and his team asked for $800,000 in funding through Kickstarter, but music lovers seemed to believe in the idea just as much as Young, as donations exceeded $6.2 million. And thus, the PonoPlayer was created.

The PonoPlayer claims to let listeners hear high-quality music in a way that gives puts the “soul” back according to Young and many others in the music industry. In a video produced by PonoMusic, artists such as Norah Jones, Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Mumford & Sons, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many other music icons agreed that listening to the PonoPlayer let music be heard in a way as never before heard when using a portable device. With all these stars agreeing that this is a revolutionary device, how can it not be true? But a double blind study by Yahoo! found that average music listeners could not confidently agree.

The study tested the PonoPlayer versus an iPhone and the results concluded that the people thought the iPhone actually played better sound. So why do so many say that this new device is the key to better music? No one is too sure, because those who say they love the PonoPlayer focus on the difference they “feel,” not the difference they “hear.” It looks like the better sound may just be a trick of the mind, because according to scientific studies, the human ear can’t even pick up differences after 44.1kHz (that of the average CD or download).

In the end, paying $400 for the PonoPlayer, plus having to re-download every song for $2, may not be the best investment in a “feeling.” But you can decide for yourself by trying it out at Fry’s Electronics. Would you want to try it? Buy it?

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Apr 17


What happens when there are gaps in Internet security? The relationship between the user and the server is at risk of losing encryption. Encryption protects our privacy, passwords, business emails, credit card numbers, and basically all of the information we have given through webpages.

The Heartbleed bug threatens this security by leaving gaps in the OpenSSL software. This flaw exposes Internet memory and allows it to be read by anyone—without being detected. This bug has been in use since December 2011, and software packages have used this flawed version of OpenSSL on websites, apps, and other services since May 2012. This month, the Heartbleed Bug was first detected by a member of Google’s security team and by the software firm Condenomincon. This is good news because researchers located the problem before hackers did.

All sites that use OpenSSL software, like Yahoo, Airbnb, NASA, amongst others, are at risk. The bad news is that there is only so much you can do to recover or change what has already been exposed. For now, this OpenSSL flaw is the responsibility of Internet companies as they update their servers and take security actions. Companies have been sending warning emails to users, implementing patches to fix Heartbleed vulnerability on their severs, and making the decision to apply for new digital SSL certificates.

What can you do? First, check websites of use and read through this list to see if a provider you use has been affected and if they have updated to fix Heartbleed. You can also change your passwords and watch activity on sensitive online bank or email accounts as precautions.

While changes are progressing to fix the Heartbleed bug, it is still highly catastrophic because memory has already been compromised, and it is a difficult technical process to fix the gaps.

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Apr 09



Yahoo Inc. is looking to start four short Web series including 10 episode comedies. The CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer has it rumored for the shows to be announced at an event in New York by April 28th. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo plans on offering high-quality video programming and high-price video ads to compete with other online TV streaming services, such as, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and even Google’s YouTube.

Mayer has high hopes for the company by spending more money (budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars) and working with famous stars and directors to produce an engaging, viral online TV show. However, in order for Yahoo’s Web originals to become a hit the company relies on ad-sales to support the shows WSJ.

Yahoo has a competitive market for top-quality TV series, therefore, their ambitious online video strategy could help turn around Yahoo’s presence amongst other original video programming rivals.

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May 28


Flickr rolled out some new features and a hot new design that offers higher resolution, a news feed, and more.

Landing on the home page, you’ll already notice the brand new design, bigger images, and crisper resolutions. Flickr is giving all its users 1 terabyte (yes terabyte) of space. This makes way for bigger and better images.




Mashable explains that the “news feed” feature is a bit similar to the Instagram news feed. To see this feature in full, check out their video that takes you through the new Flickr here.

Sharing is now also easier on Flickr. Once you post, you can easily share to Facebook. Twitter, Tumblr and more.

Overall, the new design is much more progressive in the digital/social media realm and the endless amount of space and higher resolutions are sure to make all Flickr users happy.

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