Dr. Bill.TV #385 – Video – “The Pong is Old Edition!”

Reserve your free Windows 10 Upgrade now! Google Cardboard, ‘gateway drug’ to VR, Sling TV for Cord Cutters, Skype for Web Beta, up-coming improvement in Chrome to help battery life, GSotW: Zback, the first inductees in the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

ZBack – Backup Utility

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio

Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!


Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo


Dr. Bill.TV #385 – Audio – “The Pong is Old Edition!”

Reserve your free Windows 10 Upgrade now! Google Cardboard, ‘gateway drug’ to VR, Sling TV for Cord Cutters, Skype for Web Beta, up-coming improvement in Chrome to help battery life, GSotW: Zback, the first inductees in the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

ZBack – Backup Utility

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio

Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!


Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo


Pong, Doom and Super Mario Bros. in New Video Game Hall of Fame

PongThese are all “blasts from the past!”

The first inductees into the new World Video Game Hall of Fame

News.com.au – “The first inductees into the new World Video Game Hall of Fame include ‘Pong,’ the game that introduced millions to electronic play, ‘Doom,’ which triggered a debate over the role of games and violence in society, and ‘Super Mario Bros.,’ whose mustachioed hero has migrated to everything from fruit snacks to sneakers.

The first six games to enter the hall of fame cross decades and platforms, but all have impacted the video game industry, popular culture and society at large, according to the new hall at The Strong museum in Rochester, where the games were enshrined Thursday.

Joining ‘Pong,’ launched in 1972, ‘Doom,’ from 1993, and 1985’s ‘Super Mario Bros.’ are arcade draw ‘Pac-Man’ (1980); Russian import ‘Tetris’ (1984); and ‘World of Warcraft’ (2004), which has swallowed millions of players into its online virtual universe.

The newly created World Video Game Hall of Fame pays homage to an industry that rivals Hollywood in the entertainment pecking order.

The Strong, which bills itself as the national museum of play and also houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, has been preserving and collecting games and artefacts for years through its International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

‘Electronic game play is increasingly influential and important,’ Strong President and Chief Executive G. Rollie Adams said.

‘It’s changing how we play, how we learn and how we connect with each other across boundaries of geography and culture.’

The inaugural hall of fame class was recommended by a panel of judges made up of journalists, scholars and other experts on the history and impact of video games.

They chose from among 15 finalists that also included: ‘Angry Birds,’ ‘FIFA,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Minecraft,’ ‘The Oregon Trail,’ ‘Pokemon,’ ‘The Sims,’ ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ and ‘Space Invaders.’

Nominations for the hall can come from anyone and be from any platform — arcade, console, computer, handheld or mobile.

But they must have had a long stretch of popularity and left a mark on the video game industry or pop culture.

‘Doom,’ for example, introduced the idea of a game ‘engine’ that separated the game’s basic functions from its artwork and other aspects, but even more significantly was one of the early games cited in the debate that continues today over whether violent games inspire real-life aggression.

‘World of Warcraft,’ is the largest MMORPG — ‘massively multiplayer online role-playing game’ — ever created.

As of February, it had more than 10 million subscribers, represented by avatars they create, according to The Strong.

Sixteen-year-old gamer Shaun Corbett, of Rochester, said after the induction ceremony that he was expecting ‘Doom,’ ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘Pac-Man’ to get in.
”Tetris’ I wasn’t expecting but I can see where they’re coming from. It made puzzle games popular,’ Corbett said.

He said his fascination with video games started with Pokemon.

‘I enjoyed watching the show. I enjoyed playing the card game,’ he said.

‘I got the video game on the Game Boy Advance for Christmas when I was 7 and I just have a lot of good memories of playing it with my cousins, my parents showing me how it worked.’

More than 150 million Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and 42 per cent play for at least three hours a week.

In 2014, the industry sold more than 135 million games and generated more than $22 billion in revenue, according to the ESA.

Nominations for the hall of fame’s class of 2016 are open from now through the end of March.”

Geek Software of the Week: ZBack!

ZBackDo you need to make simple, straight-forward backups?

ZBack – Backup Utility

Zback – backup and synchronize tool for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win7, Win7 64bit, Win8, Linux (Wine).


1) Synchronize files and folders, for example between hard drive and USB drive or synchronize two computers via USB drive or LAN

2) General purpose backup and restore utility with many options


– portable – no installation needed – just unzip to any directory on a fixed or removable drive
– there is also version with installer available from homepage
– works from USB stick, does not write to the registry
– backup/ synchronize to local drives or network computers (LAN)
– can be used as front-end for cloud backup/ synchronize/ mirror (Google Drive)
– Unicode support for foreign characters in file names
– support for files larger then 4 GB
– allows more then 260 chars in pathnames
– copy modes: update files, refresh existing files, mirror source to target, synchronize, dated backup and restore
– filter files based on extension, size, date, subdirectories, only new or existing files
– keep multiple versions of backup files
– include/ exclude specific directories
– preview and execute operation
– automatic generation of batch scripts for routine backups
– simple, manual, batch or command line operation
– single batch script may contain many backup and sync jobs
– using scripting you may backup to multiple locations or backup from multiple locations to single backup location
– scheduling for batch operation – you may set job repetition interval and auto-run when overdue
– verify copied files
– drag and drop support from Windows Explorer or third party file explorers
– small size
– personal freeware

An Up-Coming Improvement in Chrome Helps Battery Life

And, of course, the problem is Adobe!

Better battery life for your laptop

Chrome Blog – By: Tommy Li – “Adobe Flash allows web pages to display rich content—but sometimes that can put a squeeze on your laptop’s battery. So we’ve been working with Adobe to ensure that your experience on the web can be power-efficient as well as rich and interactive—and today, we’re introducing an update to Chrome that does just that.

When you’re on a webpage that runs Flash, we’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption. If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback. This update significantly reduces power consumption, allowing you to surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet.

This feature will be enabled by default on Chrome’s latest desktop Beta channel release starting today, and will be rolling out soon to everyone else on Chrome desktop. If you need to manually enable it, just head to Chrome’s content settings and select ‘Detect and run important plugin content.'”

Skype for Web (Beta) is Here!

SkypeNow that Skype for Web (Beta) is available in Chrome, that means I can Skype on my Chromebook! (Well, some features, not all yet.)

Skype for Web (Beta) is now available to everyone in the US and UK

Skype Blog – By: Jonathan Watson – “Hot on the heels of our recent post announcing improvements to Skype for Outlook , today we’re pleased to share more good news for people that use Skype on their browser – Skype for Web (Beta) is now available for all new and existing users in the US and UK.

Now, anyone going to Skype.com (or web.skype.com) in the US and UK can sign in and connect to Skype for Web to get to their conversations in an instant without downloading the Skype app.

Skype for Web is perfect if you normally use Skype on your mobile, but want to quickly get to your calls and IMs on a bigger screen. Or perhaps you’re sitting at a Windows or Mac computer in an internet café or hotel that doesn’t already have Skype downloaded. If you’re in the US or UK and are using a computer, take a moment to give Skype for Web a try. Just go to Skype.com and join or sign in with your Skype ID and password.

As we explained at the end of last year, Skype for Web is an important step for Skype as we move towards implementing the technology to make Real-Time Communications (RTC) on the web a reality. But just as importantly, we’re doing it because the hundreds of millions of people that visit Skype.com every month told us they want to call and IM when they visit our website. We know how critical it is for you to get to your conversations – and Skype for Web helps you get connected anytime.

Conversations sync seamlessly

If you already use Skype, sign into Skype for web and you’ll notice your contacts and conversations load in just a few seconds, so whether you usually use Skype on a mobile, tablet, native desktop app or a TV, you’ll see your latest chats are ready to respond to in your browser.

Easy searching

We’ve improved the way you search for people and groups on Skype. Instead of two separate lists for contacts and recent conversations, Skype for Web introduces a timeline view – a single, searchable list that makes it easier to start new conversations and find existing ones.

Great for all your conversation types

Video calls, instant messaging and audio calling with a friend or group of friends – however you want to keep in touch, Skype for Web gets you to the conversation quickly from your desktop browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox). Don’t forget to install the plug-in before you make or receive your first call.

Never miss a moment

We’ve added notifications on Skype for Web (you’ll need to enable them when you sign-in), so you don’t miss incoming instant messages, audio or video calls, even if you’re using another app or viewing a different website in another browser window.

We’ll be continuing to roll-out Skype for Web worldwide in the next few weeks, so please share your thoughts in the Skype Community. We are constantly improving Skype for Web and would love to hear your feedback.”

Cord-Cutters Embrace Sling TV

SlingTVI’ve had several people ask me about Sling TV. It looks like ‘cord-cutters’ are beginning to ‘get it!’

Sling TV’s Web TV Subscriber Numbers Keep Growing, Now Around 250,000

re/code – By: Peter Kafka – “Sling TV, the ‘over-the-top’ service that delivers pay TV over the Web, has around 250,000 paying subscribers, according to industry executives familiar with its performance.

If you assume that the vast majority of those subscribers are paying the service’s base rate of $20 a month, that would mean the service, owned by satellite TV operator Dish Network, is generating more than $5 million a month.

Sling, which offers a free 30-day trial, has been open to the public since early February; in March, Re/code reported that Sling had at least 100,000 sign-ups. For context: Hulu, the streaming video service that offers repeats of broadcast TV shows and its own original programming, has 9 million subscribers. And Netflix, which offers its own mix of originals plus repeats, has about 41 million subscribers in the U.S.

In March, Sling apologized for a well-publicized failure on one of its highest-traffic nights – the semi-finals of the NCAA March Madness tournament; the company said it had been overwhelmed by ‘extreme sign-ups.’

I’ve asked a Dish Network rep for comment, but I don’t expect to get one.

Industry executives say the new data point is interesting and encouraging, but they’re not nearly ready to assess Sling’s performance. Sling offers a ‘skinny bundle’ of 22 cable TV channels, including ESPN, CNN and AMC, which stream live over the Web to phones, tablets and connected TVs. Depending on whom you believe, the service is meant to target Millennials who’ve never signed up for pay TV, or is aimed at cable TV ‘cord-cutters.’ Perhaps both.

Apple is trying to put together a service that would do something similar, but would also offer access to broadcast TV networks like ABC and CBS. Apple hasn’t signed up network partners for that one yet, and TV industry executives believe it may not launch this year. Sony is also offering a Web TV subscription service, but so far it is only available in three U.S. cities.”

Google Cardboard: A Gateway to Virtual Reality?

I HAVE to try Google Cardboard. It looks pretty cool!

The reason Google Glass failed is why Cardboard will change VR forever

The Daily Dot – By: Ben Branstetter – When a new gadget is first unveiled to the public, it has to answer one seemingly simple but actually rather complicated question: How will anyone use it?

Many devices can get by on simply being cool or trendy, but eventually they all have to prove their worth to the average consumer. If the device is a relatively simple, single function tool—like a calculator or an e-reader—its intended use is pretty easy to understand. But since the rise of the smartphone and its almost infinite utility, very few gadgets are attempting to do just one thing. This complicates what a company must do to justify the existence of any new products.

This was the trap Google found itself in after its muddled release of Google Glass, the smart eyewear that became the preeminent symbol of tech bubble douchebaggery. Before the device’s release, Google worked extensively to explain to America why customers should shell out up to $1,500 for what basically amounts to a voice-activated camera strapped to their face.

Google’s famous video showing off how people might use Glass mostly relied on very specific circumstances in which the device might or could be practical—on a trapeze! Or a rollercoaster!

Combine that with its possible use among criminals, creeps, and identity thieves—not to mention its extravagant $1,500 price tag—and it is no wonder Glass was a rare failure for Google.

As I’ve written before, Google needs to adjust its widespread ambitions to the pace of the consumer market itself. It can’t drag out the next Jetsons-level invention and expect Americans to get on board immediately. It’s with this lesson in mind that, at its massive I/O developers conference, Google announced a major expansion of its astonishingly simple virtual reality headset, Google Cardboard.

With this very simple idea, Google hopes to introduce easy-to-use, headache-free virtual reality to educators and consumers at a low cost.

If you’ve never heard of Google Cardboard, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Instead of the bulky, futuristic headsets that have come to dominate the VR market, Cardboard is quite literally made out of a few scraps of the titular material. You drop your smartphone into the front of the setup, play a compatible video (like this one), and hold Cardboard up to your face like a hi-tech viewmaster.

While you do lose some of the immersive effect of headsets like the Oculus Rift, Cardboard serves as a perfect introduction, or ‘gateway drug,’ to what virtual reality should feel like. Best of all, you can buy it for just $15 or, heck, make one yourself.

Like Glass, Cardboard is an early public test drive for a technology most consumers aren’t fully aware of—and even less would think to buy. Virtual reality to most consumers is likely still stuck in its Michael-Douglas-in-Disclosure heyday.

Unlike Glass, however, Cardboard is not an expensive, heavy commitment toward a technology with a still-questionable application. It’s something to try, not to own. This is emphasized by its lack of a head strap or even an earpiece to hold Cardboard in place. Cardboard merely provides a dark, portable theater to watch 360° video with a semblance of atmosphere.

To call Cardboard a ‘gadget’ stretches the meaning of the term, as the technology the system operates on is all in the smartphone. Earlier this year, Google announced that YouTube would be compatible with videos recorded for VR experiences; alongside Cardboard, Google unveiled Jump, its own camera rig for recording 360° video.

By utilizing its own infrastructure, Google is working around the technological leaps companies like Oculus and Samsung have had to surpass to make their visions of a virtual future a reality. The technology that makes VR so intriguing—position tracking, high-quality video, and sound—can already be achieved on most Android devices. With Cardboard, Google seems to be almost laughing at the idea that VR is really all that innovative.

This is exactly what Google knows it needs to explain to consumers: Cardboard isn’t really that big a deal. Unlike Glass, it doesn’t involve a major financial commitment and is desperately easy to use. If you own a smartphone, which most of you do, you can use Cardboard. No voice activation commands to memorize, no extra touch screens to feel around for, and no reason to ask why you couldn’t just do this with your smartphone.

Even if you might only use Cardboard for watching a music video or playing a simple game from time to time, that’s perfectly fine. You can always just take your smartphone out and your life goes on like normal.

This factor of commitment—not just how much a consumer spends on a device but how much it forces them to adjust their behavior—is perhaps the most overlooked factor when we talk about ‘the next big thing.” For what seems like no other reason than tech journalism’s fear of being proven wrong by the waves of fashion and time, smartwatches are a thing. They look nice, they might keep us healthier, and you can go buy $17,000 gold-plated one.

But all smartwatch manufacturers have completely failed to justify the existence of their products. As Mat Honan postulated after the Apple Watch’s release, everyone is afraid to call out the uselessness of smartwatches, for fear they could be found in a listicle of wrongheaded predictions five years from now. After all, who could’ve predicted the rise of the iPhone?

Cardboard circumvents this entire cycle by being one thing smartphones, smartwatches, and smart eyeglasses can never be: change-in-the-sofa-cushions cheap. It’s an ingenious opportunity for consumers to merely greet a technology that, like smartwatches and Glass, is being announced with awe but could be met with exhaustion. Virtual reality headsets are likely to be awesome, immersive displays of nerdiness for only the richest of dweebs, but its biggest fans imagine they could change cinema, travel, sports, and most other things that might actually force us to leave our house.

While I’m not brave enough to publicly doubt that possibility, Cardboard allows us to dip our toes into the pool without debating how far down it is to the bottom.”

Windows 10 is Close!

Windows 10Have you noticed a little Windows 10 icon showing up in your PC’s tray at the right hand bottom of your screen? You can click it, and reserve your upgrade to Windows 10 starting TODAY! The official update day is now July 29th. It will be here before you know it!

Newegg leaked this info: Windows 10 will be available for purchase on August 31, according to a page on the Newegg’s web site. An OEM copy of Windows 10 Home will cost $109; an OEM copy of Windows 10 Professional will cost $149. Neither page lists any substantive differences between the Home and Professional editions of Windows 10, the two versions of Windows 10 designed for home PCs.

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