Dr. Bill.TV #433 – Audio – “The Area 51 Demo Edition!”

A new version of DirCaster! Amazon is buying Ring, Apple may release a new MacBook Air, Amazon to stop sales of Nest products, Alexa did lose its voice, Dropbox adds G Suite integration, GSotW: Linux Edition: Q4OS, more Cord Cutters, a demo of Area 51! (Starting at 24:51)

Want to try Area 51? Use this affiliate link: http://area-51-hosting.host/billing/aff.php?aff=163

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TechPodcasts Network

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Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Q4OS Linux Distro

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People Continue to ‘Cut the Cord’!

OTA AntennaThis is a big trend all right!

More and more people cut the cord as cable TV companies struggle

Digital Trends – By: Mark Austin – “Cord-cutting: if you haven’t done it yourself (yet), you probably know someone who has. The number of people who’ve said goodbye to their cable or satellite TV package — and their monthly bill — just hit another new record, and telecom companies are floundering as they try to cope with the new reality.

Fortune’s analysis of a recent report from MoffetNathanson Research concluded that more than half a million customers cut the cord in the fourth quarter alone. The 3.4 percent decline in the number of pay TV subscribers is the highest since 2010.

‘For all distributors, this is mostly just varying degrees of … bad,’ Craig Moffett noted in the report.

2018 will likely be a breakout year for streaming services, as BGR summarized. Sling TV leads the pack, with 2.2 million subscribers. Hulu’s live streaming has about 450,000 subscribers, and YouTube TV boasts more than 300,000, according to CNBC.

Customers of the five top internet TV providers has more than doubled, from 2 million in 2016 to nearly 4.6 million at the end of 2017.

The research doesn’t include people who never signed up for cable in the first place, younger viewers known as ‘cord-nevers’ rather than ‘cord-cutters.’ From a high of 88 percent in 2010, the number of households who pay for cable or satellite TV service has declined to 79 percent in 2017.

The cable TV exodus is being reflected in stock prices as well. Comcast and Verizon are both down 9 percent in 2018, and AT&T shares have lost 6 percent.

Streaming services may not be generating much profit, however. An average streaming bundle is around $30-$40, while a standard cable package is about $100. Because they have a regional monopoly, cable companies can negotiate lower prices with content providers. Streaming services, on the other hand, have transparent pricing models and must compete with each other for a nationwide audience.

Cable companies also have another weapon on their side — their notoriously bad customer service. Because cancelling is so easy, streaming services may face an uphill battle when trying to grow their customer base in the long term, according to industry analyst Rich Greenfield. ‘You can cancel these livestreaming services with four clicks of a button,’ he said. ‘Have you tried canceling your cable?'”

Geek Software of the Week – Linux Edition: Q4OS

Q4OSQ4OS is a Linux distro designed to be a Windows user’s intro to Linux. Free, fast and cool looking, it is awesome!


“(A) fast and powerful operating system based on the latest technologies while offering highly productive desktop environment. We focus on security, reliability, long-term stability and conservative integration of verified new features. System is distinguished by speed and very low hardware requirements, runs great on brand new machines as well as legacy computers. It is also very applicable for virtualization and cloud computing.

Get professional support for your business. The team behind Q4OS is ready to provide any kind of system customization, including core level API programming as well as user interface modifications. For any form of commercial support ask at support@q4os.org.

We are currently seeking business partners to accelerate development, in order to build the perfect operating system for professional use. If you would like to participate, fund or make an investment in Q4OS, please contact us at partner@q4os.org.”

Dropbox is Partnering with Google for G Suite Integration

Dropbox‘Bout time!

Dropbox to add native G Suite integration in new partnership with Google

TechCrunch – By: Ron Miller – “It’s been an eventful week for Dropbox coming off its announcement last Friday that it was finally going public, but that doesn’t mean the business stops. The company announced plans to partner with Google today to bring native G Suite integration to Dropbox storage.

The fact is that more than 50 percent of Dropbox users have a G Suite account — which includes GMail along with Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. To this point, there hasn’t been a way to store these files in Dropbox. That has required a Google Drive account, but customer requirements can sometimes make for strange bedfellows and Dropbox and Google have been working together to bring this integration to fruition because it’s something both companies’ customers have been asking for, Quentin Clark, SVP of Engineering, Product and Design at Dropbox explained.

‘Dropbox is increasingly building out its content collaboration functionality with the freedom to use whatever tools [customers] want to use on whatever platform that they want to use. This partnership is another step on that journey,’ Clark told TechCrunch.

Clark points out that Dropbox has been in the process of building out these partnership deals for the last couple of years with partnerships with Microsoft, Autodesk and Adobe already on the books. This fills in a major content type that had been previously (conspicuously) missing.

He said that the two companies are in the process of working out the details of how the integration is going to work, but he expects the integration to be completed by the end of the year. When it’s done users should be able store, open and start G Suite documents in Dropbox. ‘The way that integration looks and feels, that’s the stuff we are finding our way together,’ he said.

Clark, who has had past stints at Microsoft and SAP, says that he has learned over time that it’s incumbent upon vendors like Dropbox to focus on the needs of the users over the needs of the company. That’s why two companies that sell online storage services are willing to work together. ‘It is enabling best of breed and recognizing that you are going to hire your product to do a certain job and may be hiring other products to do other jobs, and you have to be at peace with that,’ he said.

While the timing may seem to be close enough to the IPO announcement that it is related, the fact is the partnership has been in the works for some time. Perhaps the company wanted to put it out there to enhance their enterprise street cred prior to the IPO, but if that were the case, they weren’t saying during the legally required quiet period prior to going public.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Google has teamed up with another company to provide third-party storage. In fact, Diane Greene, who is head of Google Cloud, announced a partnership to make Box a third-party storage partner for Google content at the 2016 Boxworks customer conference.”

Alexa REALLY DID Lose Her Voice… Briefly

You mean the Super Bowl ad is real? Wow.

Alexa briefly lost its voice amid widespread Amazon Web Services outage

The Verge – By: Chris Welch – “Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa went quiet Friday in an unintended, real world reproduction of the company’s Super Bowl ad. A regional outage impacting Amazon’s servers led to Alexa becoming unresponsive on Echo products and other devices that support the assistant. I tried a simple weather inquiry on the Echo Dot in my living room, and the signature blue ring stayed lit up for about 15 seconds without any answer. A tone eventually sounded, and Alexa said it had lost connection. Subsequent attempts also failed, producing a red ring accompanied by Alexa asking me to try again later.

By mid-afternoon, Alexa had returned to normal and was responding to voice commands again. The issue was likely tied to troubles today with Amazon Web Services. Slack and other applications that depend on AWS as a backbone experienced downtime earlier in the day.”

Amazon to Stop Selling Nest

Nest DoorbellThese “product wars” are getting silly!

Amazon to stop sales of all Nest products as battle with Google intensifies

AppleInsider – By: – “Citing sources familiar with the matter, Business Insider reports Amazon informed Nest in a conference call late last year that it would not sell the firm’s newest products, which includes devices like the Nest Cam IQ and forthcoming Hello video-enabled doorbell.

Amazon said the decision came ‘from the top’ and had nothing to do with Nest’s product quality, leading some Nest employees to speculate it was Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who made the call, the report said.

In response, Nest has resolved to discontinue dealings with Amazon, meaning currently available items like the Nest Security Camera and third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat will disappear from Amazon’s digital shelves once existing stock runs dry. A source said Nest wants to present customers its entire lineup or nothing at all, the report said.

The move comes as Amazon looks to leverage its prominent market position to push into the connected home space. Riding on a wave of success from its Alexa virtual assistant ecosystem, the e-commerce titan recently purchased connected doorbell and security device manufacturer Ring.

Ring’s Video Doorbell and outdoor Floodlight Cam both compete against products from Nest, though Amazon’s decision does not smack of anticompetitive behavior. The online retailer currently sells a number of similar devices from various manufacturers.

It is Amazon’s ongoing battle with Google that might be to blame. Google this month announced plans to absorb Nest into its Google Home division, a strategy it says will ‘supercharge’ Nest’s mission to create a more ‘thoughtful’ home.

‘By working together, we’ll continue to combine hardware, software and services to create a home that’s safer, friendlier to the environment, smarter and even helps you save money — built with Google’s artificial intelligence and the Assistant at the core,’ Google SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh said in a blog post.

Amazon’s Alexa and Echo series of speakers is challenged by Google Assistant and Google Home, which multiplied last year with the release of Google Home Mini and Google Home Max.

In line with its recent decision to ban new Nest products from its site, Amazon does not carry Google’s Home line, Chromecast hardware or Pixel smartphone. Likewise, Google in December blocked YouTube compatibility with Amazon’s FireTV platform and Echo Show device.

Amazon is in a precarious position as it both courts and competes with major tech companies. The firm had a similar tiff with Apple.

In 2015, Amazon yanked Apple TV from availability, saying the device was removed because it did not ‘interact well’ with Amazon Prime Video. At the time, the company refused to develop a Prime Video channel for Apple TV, assumedly due to Apple’s mandated 30 percent cut of content sales.

Most recently, however, Amazon reinstated sales of Apple TV in December and released a Prime Video app for tvOS.

Today’s report suggests the same thawing of relations could happen with Google, as Amazon plans to reboot Chromecast sales in the near future. Whether the olive branch is enough to get YouTube working on FireTV — and ultimately Nest products back on Amazon shelves — remains to be seen.”

Rumor: New Macbook Air?

This is a “maybe”… but it would be a smart upgrade.

Apple is reportedly planning to release a cheaper MacBook Air later this year

The Verge – By: Andrew Liptak – “Apple hasn’t done much with its ultra-thin MacBook Air in recent years, opting to slim down some of its other offerings instead. But the computer is reasonably popular, and according to Apple analyst KGI Securities (via 9to5Mac), the company is reportedly planning to release a cheaper model at some point in the second quarter of 2018.

According to 9to5Mac, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects that Apple will release a 13-inch MacBook Air ‘with a lower price tag,’ later this year, and that the lower price could help boost Apple’s laptop sales.

While the line celebrates its tenth year in 2018, the line has largely only received incremental updates, the last of which came last summer, when Apple updated it with a faster 1.8GHz Intel processor. Apple currently sells the MacBook Air for $999.

The report also says that Apple will likely refresh its AirPods, and that the HomePod has been met with ‘mediocre’ demand.”

Amazon Pays a Billion for Ring

Ring Video DoorbellI saw Ring debut on “Shark Tank” – Boy! They really missed this one! Fox Business Channel reports that Amazon will pay one BILLION for the company!

Amazon is buying smart doorbell maker Ring

TechCrunch – By: Greg Kumparak – “With Nest’s first smart video doorbell right around the corner, Amazon is busy buying up the competition.

After acquiring Blink just two months ago, Amazon is now acquiring Ring, makers of the self-titled Ring doorbell (plus a bunch of other security gear, like solar security cameras, floodlight cams and an in-home alarm system).

GeekWire broke the rumor this afternoon, and we’ve just received independent confirmation.

Details on the deal are still pretty light; the financial terms of the deal, for example, haven’t trickled out just yet. Update: Reuters is reporting, via tweet, that the sale price was more than $1 billion. The company had raised around $209 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

This acquisition makes plenty of sense. Amazon has already built a few connected cameras of its own — but hardware is, as they say, hard, and that’s not going to change. With nearly a dozen solid products to its name, the Ring team has proven themselves more than capable of building hardware (and I’m sure its array of patents doesn’t hurt, either.) With Amazon, Google, Apple et al. all duking it out for physical space in and around your home, someone was going to make a big offer — and I’d be surprised if Amazon was the only bidder in the mix. Plus, who on earth is responsible for more doorbell presses than Amazon?

(Fun bit of trivia: Ring debuted to the world on Shark Tank back in 2013, then known as ‘DoorBot.’ They wanted $700,000 for 10 percent of the company, but no one took the deal.)

Dr. Bill.TV #432 – Video – “The Story Time Edition!”

Samsung 30TB SSD, Intel’s Spectre fix, YouTube questions, Angry Birds Champions, Sling TV 47% growth, Intel, AMD face lawsuits, Harley’s ‘Project Livewire’ update, GWotW: Font Squirrel Matcherator, Dropbox IPO, Google and languages, Black Panther movie

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET


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

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Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
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