YouTube TV app for Apple TV and Roku to launch Q1 2018

  • The YouTube TV app will be launching on Apple TV and Roku in Q1 2018.
  • The app was originally supposed to be out by the end of the year.
  • Older Samsung and Sony smart TVs will also see the app early next year.

One of the limiting factors when choosing an over-the-top streaming service is the ability to stream the content to your TV. Most services allow some sort of casting from your phone or tablet, but that’s not a perfect solution. To do this, you’re relying on multiple pieces of hardware that could fail at any time. Additionally, some programming like the NFL don’t currently allow mobile streams of their content.

That’s why, when YouTube TV started to roll out its standalone app, I started doing a happy dance. I can now use the app on my smart TV or Xbox, and the experience is great. It saves me on Sundays and allows me to watch my beloved (but terrible) Bengals.

Editor’s Pick

Unfortunately for some users, they’re still lacking the app. Users with Apple TV and Roku devices were slated to get the app before the end of the year. Now, with only 12 days left in 2017, we’re getting word the apps are being pushed back to Q1 2018. In addition to Apple TV and Roku, the YouTube TV app will also come to older smart TVs in the first quarter. These TVs include some Samsung sets from 2013 and 2014. Older Sony TV’s that use a Linux-based OS instead of Android TV will get the app too.

Most of YouTube TV’s competitors like Sling, Hulu, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue are all on numerous platforms. YouTube TV lags a bit behind the others as they’re all on Apple TV and Roku already. Where you won’t see YouTube TV is on Amazon’s Fire TV or the PlayStation 4. Google and Amazon have had very public battles (although things do appear to be getting better) and Sony refuses to let other streaming services on its gaming system while its pushing PlayStation Vue.

Despite all of that, YouTube TV is one of the popular options for cord-cutters right now. The lineup of channels is fantastic, and at just $35 a month, it’s very affordable. The service initially rolled out to only a few cities in the US when it first launched, but that number has recently pushed past 80.

Nintendo Switch game pricing

I haven’t played anything on my Nintendo Switch yet, as I technically only get it for Christmas. That hasn’t kept me from looking what games there are for the console. Apart from the two “system seller” games Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey there are quite a number of Nintendo and third party games on offer. So the choice is quite good. What is not so good is the pricing.

Prime example: Skyrim. I can overlook the fact that the game is 6 years old. I can overlook the fact that it doesn’t look as pretty on a TV screen as it looks on a PC screen. I can overlook the fact that playing it handheld means you run out of battery after a few hours. But why does this game which is sold on Steam for €14.99 cost €59.99 on the Nintendo Switch? Unless you really, really want to play Skyrim on a handheld tablet (unlikely), or don’t have a PC able to run a 6 year old game (even less likely), why would you want to pay 4 times more for the same game? But yet sales are quite good.

For me as a PC gamer the era of €60 games looks like ancient history. I haven’t bought a €60 game on Steam for years. Most full price games on Steam are cheaper than that, and I don’t usually buy full price games; I have enough games in reserve to be able to wait until I get the same game for half price or less. If Bethesda can sell Skyrim for €60, I imagine there must be a lot of console gamers out there who aren’t as price sensitive as the PC gamers. For me that just doesn’t look like good value for money.

Deal: Misfit Vapor gets a $60 price cut on Amazon to $140

The Misfit Vapor finally went on sale in late October, after the Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch was supposed to launch sometime in the late summer of 2017. The price for the smartwatch was $199.99, but now Amazon has cut the price down for the Vapor to just $139.59. That’s over $60 off for a product that first launched less than two months ago.

Editor’s Pick

That may be a clue that sales of the Vapor may not be doing as well as Misfit thought, or it could just be a holiday sales promotion. In any case, getting such a big price cut for this smartwatch makes it more attractive. It has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display, a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 4 GB of internal storage, a 44 mm satin-finished stainless steel casing, and a touch-enabled bezel that lets you access the UI without using the touchscreen.

Unfortunately, the Misfit Vapor does not have a dedicated GPS chip inside, which was something the company said would originally be included with this smartwatch. It also lacks an NFC chip, so you can’t use it to buy stuff in stores via Android Pay without a phone. However, it does have an optical heart rate sensor and a water resistance rating of up to 50 meters, which means you can use it while swimming. Android Wear 2.0 support means you also get access to Google Assistant, along with customizable watch faces and access to all the new Google Fit features.

Get it at Amazon

The best Honor 7X cases

Phone cases are about decoration, but more importantly, they’re about protecting your investment. If you drop your phone, a good phone case can be the difference between a disaster and a relief. Whenever a new phone comes out, case makers start to offer their wares as well. With the Honor 7X being a recent release, we’ll be sure to update this list as new Honor 7X cases hit the market.

There is a lot that goes into deciding on what case is right for your phone. You want to make sure your phone is protected not only from drops, but from the rigors of everyday life too. Some cases protect the phone from screen scratches as well. Whatever shape you usually find your phone in after several months, chances are, there is a case to help it NOT end up that way.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the selection of cases we have outlined below.


KuGi Huawei Honor 7X thin wallet

Amazon

One of the more popular options of smartphone case is the wallet-case. This is a protective case that serves the extra utility of carrying around your ID, credit cards, cash, etc. Since you’re going to carry around all that stuff anyway, why not combine them all into one case, rather than separate cases for each item. The benefit is that you have less to worry about, including dropping your phone, because the case is there to protect it. Add to that the utility of standing the phone up for media consumption and you have a case that does it all.

The PU leather finish looks great too. It’s a stylish way to carry your phone with four color choices — black, blue, green, and red. The Honor 7X case will help protect your phone from damage and screen scratches, keeping it nice and cozy for as long as you own the phone.

Get it on Amazon


Yiakeng Shock Absorbing Dual Layer Protective Fit Armor Phone Cases Cover Shell

Amazon

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but this case offers a ton of protection for your Honor 7X. This case is crafted with a TPU inner sleeve and an impact-resistant hard plastic outer shell. The corners are double-thick TPU to ensure the device can survive a fall. The phone offers drop protection, scratch protection, and slip protection. The phone is set back from the front of the case just enough to prevent screen impact when dropped on the face.

This Honor 7X case is textured to provide a grippy surface. So many phones are slippery these days, so maintaining a grip can be difficult. The textured case allows for maximum gripping surface, keeping your phone secure in your hand. The built-in kickstand allows you to watch movies hands-free, making the case functional and helpful.

Get it on Amazon

KuGiPremium Flexible Soft Anti Slip TPU Honor 7X Case 

Amazon

If a hard case isn’t the right look for you, KuGi has a shock absorbing soft case that fits over the Honor 7X like a glove. The soft silicone is textured to look and feel great. The sides are engineered for maximum grip. The holes for ports are precision cut to allow for access to the cameras, fingerprint sensor, charging port, and every other opening, without having to remove the case.

A creative new TPU formula helps extend the life of the case — providing long-lasting protection for your device. The Honor 7X case also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction warranty, allowing you a full refund or a new case if you aren’t completely satisfied. This is a classic look that will offer your device maximum protection.

Get it on Amazon

KuGi ultra-thin Flexible Rubber Soft TPU Hybrid Bumper Case

Amazon

Finally, if you would prefer to show off your phone, but still have it protected, the KuGi ultra-thin Flexible clear Honor 7X case will do just that. Made from a thin, drop/shock/scratch absorbent TPU, the case will allow you to admire the phone’s craftsmanship while still enjoying the protection the case provides.

The precision cutouts give you access to all of your ports, plus keeps your camera lenses and fingerprint sensor free. The TPU material is sturdy enough to maintain these port openings without a lot of wear and tear on the case, keeping your device safe and the case itself intact. The TPU has a soft touch feeling that feels great in the hand and is very grippy to prevent drops or accidental falls.

Get it on Amazon

So, that’s our list of the best cases you can get for your Honor 7X. It’s still a new device, so there are sure to be more cases coming, and we’ll update the list as they do. But this covers a good variety of styles, from the wallet case, to the ultra-durable, to the slim and fashionable. There is surely a case on here for you.

Disclosure: E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Oculus Rift gets a last minute holiday price cut to $379, VR game bundles also available

We are now just one week away from Christmas, but many of you might still looking for the perfect gift to give to your favorite PC gamer. The folks at Oculus have made that easier with a last minute holiday price cut promotion for their Oculus Rift VR headset. You can get the Rift, plus two Oculus Touch controllers, for the price of $379, which is a $20 reduction from its normal $399 cost.

See also: Best Oculus Touch games

As revealed on the Oculus blog, the price cut promotion will last from now until 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, December 20 (2:59 am Eastern Time on December 21). The discount is available from a number of online retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg.

In addition to the holiday price promotion, Oculus is also selling three downloadable VR game bundles for $89.99 each. All three bundles contain seven Oculus Rift games, which if bought separately would cost far more than their bundle prices. In addition, the Oculus Store has cut the prices of 250 games by as much as 80 percent during its Winter Sale, along with even deeper discounts for games selected for Daily Deals promotions. The Winter Sale on the Oculus Store will last until January 2, which means if you get that Oculus Rift for yourself or your family this week, you can also save a ton of money on great games like Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Lone Echo, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality and many more.

Get it at Amazon
Get it at Best Buy
Get it at NewEgg

Life is Pay2Win

I was listening to some well-known YouTubers complaining about lootboxes in new games like Star Wars Battlefront II or Shadow of War and pointing out in painstaking detail how getting this or that bonus unbalances the game in favor of people who buy lootboxes. However they appeared to be totally okay with other people getting the exactly same bonuses by grinding the game for many, many hours. And that annoyed me. Wouldn’t we be much better off if our multiplayer PvP games would be perfectly balanced and the outcome only determined by skill? If you can get bonuses that make you much stronger than another player, why would it matter whether you got them by playing the game for endless hours or by using your credit card? It appeared to me as if some hardcore gamers are quite okay with a game being unfair, as long as that unfairness favors them and their kind.

The only advantage playing a game for longer should be the skill you acquire by practice. Any other bonus you get from grinding is in fact a historical and economical anomaly. The practice will certainly disappear over the coming decade, because it simply isn’t in the interest of game companies to keep doing so. Companies don’t *want* players that use a lot of their bandwidth but give them no money. The only free players they want is those that they are still trying to persuade to cough up some cash.

Fact is that life itself is Pay2Win. In a consumer society, the more money you have, the more luxury you can afford. The whole “American Dream” idea is built around the concept that money is the yardstick for success in life, and that by working hard on pursuits that actually earn you money or improve your chances to earn money later, you are leading a better life. Even the people who would like wealth to be redistributed don’t complain about the fact that more money buys you a better car or the best seats in the theater. So why exactly should video games be exempt from that?

Games went from being fair and balanced to being unfair based on time spent. Now they are moving from there to being unfair based on money spent. People complaining about that on YouTube or various internet forums isn’t going to change that, because millions of people will buy those new games with their new unfairness. Because for millions of people the new unfairness is actually an improvement over the old unfairness. Gaming has become a mass market for the general population, and in the general population there are more people who can afford to spend $100 than there are people who can afford to spend 100 hours. Calling for that to be rolled back to the previous state of unfairness doesn’t even have the benefit of being moral, the moral situation would be games that don’t give you any advantages from neither time nor money.

Group Known for Stalking and Harassing Climate Advocates Has Been Hired by EPA to Run Media War Room

Definers Public Affairs, a Republican-aligned research group, has been handed a $120,000 contract to help the EPA shape its media coverage.

A Republican-aligned research group with links to a campaign to stalk and intimidate environmental groups, journalists and campaigners has been handed a $120,000 contract to help the EPA shape its media coverage.

Virginia-based Definers Public Affairs was given the 12-month “no bid” contract to provide “news analysis and brief service” to the EPA, as reported by Mother Jones.

Definers is the corporate arm of America Rising LLC, America Rising PAC and its opposition research and tracking service, America Rising Squared—known as AR2.

Republican Activists

Definers Public Affairs was founded and launched in 2015 by America Rising founders Matt Rhoades and Joe Pounder.

Pounder is a Republican strategist and former research director for the Republican National Committee and worked on Marco Rubio’s failed 2016 nomination campaign. Rhoades was Mitt Romney’s campaign manager in 2012.

Green Attack Plan 

America Rising ran a concerted campaign to attack environmentalists and targeted individuals such as climate campaigner Bill McKibben, who was followed and filmed by the group’s trackers. 

Others targeted with attack tactics and adverts include billionaire philanthropist and environmentalist Tom Steyer and New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer, whose work has uncovered the influences of petrochemical billionaires and Republican donors Charles and David Koch.

Brian Rogers, an executive director at AR2 and a senior vice president at Definers, said his campaign would “hold Steyer and the Environmentalist Left accountable for their epic hypocrisy and extreme positions which threaten America’s future prosperity.”

Speaking about the accusations leveled at him, Steyer said: “They have to know they’re lying. It’s completely dishonest, unethical, and pitiful. And it’s creepy.”

America Rising attempted to discredit Mayer by alleging a distant relative that worked for Lehmann Brothers once did business with Nazi Germany—an accusation that was shown to be without any evidence.

One of the group’s earliest targets was 350.org founder McKibben, who wrote about his experience in the New York Times.  Describing the photos and videos taken of him, McKibben wrote:

“In one series, my groceries are being packed into plastic bags, as I’d forgotten to bring cloth ones. In other shots, I am getting in and out of … cars. There are video snippets of me giving talks, or standing on the street. Sometimes I see the cameraman, sometimes I don’t. The images are often posted to Twitter, reminders that I’m being watched.”

America Rising also sent an operative to Texas Tech University to request copies of everything in the 54 boxes that make up an archive of McKibben’s papers. This, said McKibben, “resulted in all kinds of odd things appearing on right-wing corners of the web.”

Global War Room

An EPA spokesperson told Mother Jones the Definers contract was “for media monitoring/newsclip compilation.”

According to Mother Jones, the contract would include EPA using the Definers War Room console that helps clients track media coverage and the output of opponents.

In November 2017, it was announced that Definers had joined law firm Denton’s to launch a global research firm called 3D Global Affairs.

Among the services offered at 3D Global Affairs would be “governmental relations and lobbying support to shape the environment” and “communications and rapid response professionals to direct  the narrative.”

 

Related Stories

  • How the Right-Wing Media Totally Distorted Positive News on Climate Change
  • Scientists Have Just Beaten Down the Best Climate Denial Argument
  • Wall of Shame: Top 10 Climate Deniers in the Trump Administration

50 PictoGrams By FreePik for Our ReaDers!

Pictograms are icons that depict anything under the sun in no context whatsoever – which makes it the perfect type of icon for any kind of use. The most common pictogram we all probably know by heart is the lavatory sign for men and women. But freebie release designed by Freepik for our readers extends into situations in a much wider variety.
From cleaning and baking, to construction work and mountain climbing, this set of 50 pictograms cover the many things that people do, in icon form. It’s fascinating to see how easy it is to depict a necktie, a baker’s hat, a safety vest or an oven, in just black and white (in this case, green) as shown by these pictograms.
To download the whole set follow the download link. All pictograms are available in SVG and PNG format. You can share, modify or use these pictograms for commercial or personal use but do give credit where credit is due.

.button { background-color:white; border-radius: 4px; border: 2px solid #D24D57; color: #D24D57; text-align: center; font-size: 28px; padding: 20px; width: 200px; transition: all 0.5s; cursor: pointer; margin: 5px; } .button span { cursor: pointer; display: inline-block; position: relative; transition: 0.5s; } .button span:after { content: ‘0bb’; position: absolute; opacity: 0; top: 0; right: -20px; transition: 0.5s; } .button:hover{ color:white;background-color: #D24D57;} .button:hover span { padding-right: 25px; } .button:hover span:after { opacity: 1; right: 0; }

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy is a series of games which in the past has made me buy a Playstation 2 and 3, after having played FF7 on the PC. But then I didn’t like FF13 all that much, nor the MMORPG version FF14 (which might have more to do with MMO burnout and the botched first version than the quality of the final second version game). So I didn’t buy a Playstation 4. Nor did I ever buy any version of XBox, which means that I never got to even try Final Fantasy XV. However that is going to change in 2018, because FF15 is coming both to PC and mobile platforms.

If I buy the PC version, I am pretty confident that I will get a pretty much identical game to the console version, with at least equal if not better graphics. The main issue with console ports of games like Final Fantasy is usually that they don’t always create a new control scheme for stuff like inventory management, so you need to push a lot of buttons to go through sub-menus of sub-menus instead of using easier mouse + keyboard controls. That can be somewhat annoying, but is not really a serious downside. So I’d consider the PC version a conservative bet.

The mobile version, called the “pocket edition” is going to be released next week, February 9, and is conceptually much more interesting. Because in this pocket version they tried to reproduce the game as faithfully as possible on a platform which is both much less graphically powerful, and has a much more different control scheme. But people who saw the beta version were astounded how faithful to the original at least the start of the game is. Basically you see the same scenes, but with new graphics which are far better suited to the lower resolution and capabilities of the platform.

There have been a number of games in the past that were re-released with improved graphics, due to the constant increase of computer graphics quality. The reverse process, down-grading graphics to lower resolution, hasn’t been used that much. But of course the concept is very interesting if you think of porting games from the PC and console to tablets and phones. So I am definitely going to check out the Final Fantasy XV pocket edition. Especially since I don’t need to buy the full game to do so: You get the first chapter for free, and can buy the rest of the game chapter by chapter. Now that is an innovation I wish would apply to console games.

Some cool things you can do with Python: pyThOn – fastEst Growing LaNgUage

python logo


Python is an easy to learn, powerful programming language. It has efficient high-level data structures and a simple but effective approach to object-oriented programming. Python’s elegant syntax and dynamic typing, together with its interpreted nature, make it an ideal language for scripting and rapid application development in many areas on most platforms.

Python interpreters are available for many operating systems, allowing Python code to run on a wide variety of systems.
So what are some of the cool things you can do with Python?

1. Python Web Development

python web development


Web development is the umbrella term for conceptualizing, creating, deploying and operating web applications and application programming interfaces for the Web.
Python is object oriented programming language. It can be used to build server-side web applications. Python is not used in a web browser. The language executed in browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer is JavaScript.
However, most web applications build using a combination of Python and JavaScript. Python is executed on the server side while JavaScript is downloaded to the client and run by the web browser.

So you can build a cool website from scratch without feeling overwhelmed. You can also take advantage of micro-frameworks like Flask and Bottle.

Advanced content management is also possible with systems like Django CMS and Plone. Further, Python’s standard library supports several internet protocols like HTML, XML, and JSON.

2. Scientific and Numeric Computing
Python is an increasingly popular tool for Data Analysis. Data analytics falls under scientific and numeric computing. So we can take advantage of many libraries which python provides for scientific and Numeric computing. Such as SciPy library which includes modules for linear algebra, optimization, integration, special functions, signal and image processing, statistics, genetic algorithms, ODE solvers, and others. Numba which is specifically suited for scientific codes and Pandas is a data analysis and modeling library, so there’s a lot going on with Python within data science.

3. Function Decorators Allow Enhanced Functionality
Function decorators allow you to enhance the functionality of existing functions. In context of design patterns, decorators dynamically alter the functionality of a function, method or class without having to directly use subclasses. You can implement the decorator pattern anywhere, but Python facilitates the implementation by providing much more expressive features and syntax for that.

4.Machine Learning

machine-learning-python


Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can change when exposed to new data. 
Python has a great library called scikit-learn that is specialized in machine learning. The availability of scikit-learn makes it easy to implement machine learning algorithms in python.

5.Browser Automation

browser-automation-python


You can also use Python to do cool things like automating your browser to do social media posts,download files and web pages. This can be done by using Selenium with Python. Selenium is able to fill in forms and simulate mouse clicks in this browser.

6.Robotics

robotics-python

Python is a core language of ROS (Robot Operating System), meaning the full power of a distributed robotics system and all its libraries/tools are available to you via Python. Python can be used to code a Raspberry Pi to function as the brain of a robot. By doing this you can get the robot to react to its environment and perform multiple actions.

These six cool things made possible by this programming language is just a fraction of what you can do with it. Python’s recent 3.6 release has new features in the asyncio module (which is no longer provisional with a surprisingly stable API), formatted string literals, and the addition of a file system path protocol.
The language is also evolving fast within the data science space. The Python ecosystem is now full of data science tools, so a lot of the data science work that’s currently taking place is being done with open-source tools like Python.

Learn Python with Django