Streaming Channels That You Might Have Missed… But Roku Has Them For You

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 26, 2017 by itnerd

As far as streaming goes, most people are really just scratching the surface when it comes to options on platforms like Roku.

While popular channels like Netflix, YouTube and CinemaNow are great, consumers are now starting to dive deeper into the hundreds and hundreds of channels offering amazing content.  Name any hobby, sideline, area of interest, fad and diversion and there is likely a streaming channel for that topic.

Here’s a few examples:

  • Dieselpunk Industries is a history buff’s dream featuring media from the late 1920s to the end of World War Two. Dieselpunk takes you back in time with features, movies, shorts, and serials along with magazines, books, and comics, all from that time period.
  • You can watch the best travel series on television anytime you want with GlobeTrekker.TV. The award-winning series takes you all over the world with quirky hosts, beautiful photography and unforgettable destinations.
  • Education, recreation and information about the world’s oceans are the pillars behind the programming on the Ocean Network. It’s a mix of TV shows, documentaries and other video all aimed at ocean lovers with six categories: Sports, Preservation, Underwater, History, Documentary and New Releases.
  • A great alternative to blockbuster movie services for those with less commercial tastes. It can be an acclaimed masterpiece, a gem fresh from the world’s greatest film festivals, or a beloved classic, there are always 30 beautiful expert picked films to discover on MUBI.
  • Can’t get enough of the red carpet? Do you need to know all the Hollywood gossip? The Scene channel is your answer. With original programming from the like of Vogue, Buzzfeed, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and others, you’ll be dishing more dirt than any hollywood reporter.
  • Curiosity may have killed the cat but here, it will entertain and inform. With the CuriosityStream channel, viewers get a wide variety of programs in 12 different subject areas. Dive deep into science, technology and history with interviews, lectures, documentaries from some of the best filmmakers in the world.
  • The developers of the Great Big Story channel describe it as a channel “dedicated to the untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing.” The service is a collection of mini-documentaries from stories that vary from “The Story of Chef Boyardee” to “Chasing Tornadoes”.
  • The Relax My Dog channel is ideal to comfort your dog. There is music and videos in four categories; Puppy Music, Separation Anxiety Music, Fireworks and Storms Music and Sleep Music. When you’re not able to walk your fur baby, you can know they’re being taken care of.
  • Blind Cat Rescue is a channel devoted to a blind cat sanctuary located in St. Paul’s North Carolina. There’s a 24/7 live stream of the cats at the facility which was opened as a safe place for blind cats who were deemed unadoptable. It’s the purrfect destination for cat lovers who can’t get enough of innocent cats. There’s live video tours done at noon eastern on Monday through Saturday.
  • All Animals is a channel from the U.S. Humane Society focused to educate people on animal rights. An area devoted to the stories of rescued animals from awful conditions will impact viewers. There is a section on uplifting videos showcasing the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals. This channel spotlights the efforts of the Humane Society to protect animals.
  • A mix of classic TV shows and films involving animals combined with original programming that features former actress, Nancy Stafford, interviewing celebrities about their own pets. The channel accepts video submissions from pet owners indicating a strong chance of your pet getting famous! The Celebrity Pet channel tries to educate and entertain. While the pets are owned by celebrities, they’re the ones who are the real stars here.
  • Pet Viral Videos is a channel where cats rule the world! All videos are cat-related showcasing different feline videos in these categories;
    • Cat interactions with Dogs
    • Small Pets
    • Ninja Cats (Cat owners know what this means)
    • Crazy Cats
  • Pet Tube Planet’s Funniest Animal has original and comical videos featuring pets in all sorts of situations. The producers of network television shows like “Planet’s Funniest Animals” and “Funniest Pet’s and People” are responsible for this channel and many of the clips come from those shows. These classic clips will keep you laughing at the animal antics.
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TP-Link Launches A More Powerful & Smaller Acher C2300 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 26, 2017 by itnerd

TP-Link has announced its newest addition to the Archer series of routers, the Archer C2300 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit MU-MIMO Router. The Archer C2300 has speeds up to 1650 Mbps on 5GHz and 600 Mbps on 2.4Ghz with VPN acceleration and Range Boost technology for fast and secured connection and powerful coverage.

The AC2300 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Router allows you to watch 4K movies and enjoy high-speed gaming with fast Wave 2 Wi-Fi. This powerful router can talk to many devices at once, placing each on the best Wi-Fi band to maximize performance. It even allows users to prioritize games, movies and other content or assign bandwidth to the devices you use most.

For a multi-user environment like student living where every individual in the shared flat needs the same strong Wi-Fi connection simultaneously, the Archer C2300 uses MU-MIMO to support multi-device connection without a drop in performance or increased wait time. Document transfers are guaranteed to be fast, safe and secure with VPN acceleration, Open VPN and PPTP VPN connection. Range Boost technology combined with high-performance antennas and amplifiers create a stronger signal between multiple devices and the router, ensuring all roommates has the same, strong coverage anywhere in the shared accommodation.

TP-Link Archer C2300 Key Features at a Glance:

  • Dual-band speeds up to 2.25 Gbps: 1625 Mbps on 5GHz, 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz
  • Powerful Processing with 1.8GHz Dual-Core Processor with co-processor
  • MU-MIMO achieves 3X efficiency by communicating with up to 3 devices simultaneously
  • Range Boost combined with Power Amplifier and High-performance Antennas ensures greater
  • coverage
  • Smart Connect intelligently assigns devices to the best available band for smoother performance
  • OpenVPN & PPTP VPN server supported and VPN Acceleration speeds up VPN connection to
  • optimal level, providing an overall better VPN connection experience

 

Price & Availability

The TP-Link Archer C2300 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit MU-MIMO Router can be purchased at The Source for $179.99 CAD which includes 24/7 support.

Husqvarna Canada Teams Up with Pro Soccer Teams to Score Goals for Trees

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 26, 2017 by itnerd

Every Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact goal isn’t just good for the teams, they’re also good for the environment. Husqvarna Canada Inc., the official and exclusive lawn partner of each team, is working with One Tree Planted to fulfill  itsGoals for Trees program that will see 100 trees planted for every goal scored this year by the three Canadian teams.

Goals for Trees is part of Husqvarna’s sponsorship programs with the Canadian soccer teams. Along with the tree-planting commitment the programs include half-time events with Husqvarna leaf blowers, branded field crew members and giveaways of custom-painted Automowers, decked out in each team’s colours and logos.

At just over half-way through the season, goals scored to date will account for more than 8,500 trees to be planted, which will have the potential to absorb more than 176,000kg of carbon dioxide per year.

This commitment is evident through Husqvarna’s involvement with the United Nations Global Compact and FTSE4Good initiatives. Both of which help push innovation forward within the professional-grade battery-powered tool industry that include chainsaws, leaf blowers and lawn and hedge trimmers that offer traditional performance, but with a power source that provides a cleaner and quieter experience. Globally, Husqvarna Group is the market leader in outdoor power products and is also the market leader in development and sales of robotic mowers.

Redesigned HP Pavilion All-in-Ones Now Available

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 26, 2017 by itnerd

HP is announcing a pair of revamped Pavilion All-in-One devices just in time for the back-to-school spree. As a product that brings the family together, the new devices have perks for parents and kids as do-all, no-compromise PCs. From the edge-to-edge touch display to the stunningly modern design, go from streaming your favorite show to learning a new recipe on a PC that looks as great as it performs. This architecturally inspired PC boasts powerful performance to enhance the way you see, create, and innovate.

HP Pavilion 24 and 27 All-in-One PC features:

  • The latest Intel Quad core or AMD processors help manage demanding tasks and provides the performance needed for users to dive right into anything from paying your bills or homework to vacation planning or movie watching – the possibilities are endless.
  • Get a state-of-the-art entertainment experience offered with a 24” or 27” diagonal edge-to-edge touch display with up to 4K resolution and fabric covered speakers tuned by B&O PLAY
  • The Pavilion AiO’s ultra-slim chassis saves space on your desk, while a pop-up camera safeguards your family’s privacy.
  • Configurable with up to 16 GB of RAM and offered with optional discrete graphics to deliver improved response rates for graphics intensive activities and demanding applications like photo and video editing

You can find out more at this link.

Open Connectivity Foundation Selects SURE Universal for IoT Interoperability Verification

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 26, 2017 by itnerd

SURE Universal Ltd. is the first client software certified by Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). In addition, OCF has signed a new licensing agreement with SURE Universal to use SURE software for interoperability testing of hardware and software products seeking OCF certification.

OCF is an open-source standard for IoT products to work seamlessly together, regardless of the brand. A number of major appliance manufacturers will be announcing OCF support in their products later this year, with about one hundred more officially announcing support in 2018.

SURE Universal is at the forefront of this exciting new collaboration among the top hardware and appliance manufacturers in the world by providing a complete software solution – universal remote control, cloud server for data and communications, IoT gateway software, and smart appliance software.

SURE Universal is the ultimate solution to make sure all appliances from different brands talk to each other. Imagine traveling for work. You arrive at the hotel and check in via an app on your smartphone. You can then unlock your door, walk into the room and control the entire room environment from your smartphone – turn on lights, close the shades, turn the TV on to your favorite news channel, set your alarm to wake you up in the morning. With all the devices in the room from different manufacturers, everything can be controlled from one central location on your smartphone because of SURE Universal software with OCF support.

The latest version of SURE Universal Remote app for Android announced at MWC Shanghai, features Amazon Alexa voice assistant integration. Future versions of SURE Universal Remote will also include support for Google Voice and Apple Siri, making SURE Universal Remote the only smartphone application needed to control any connected device with voice commands.

The SURE Universal app in combination with OCF standard supports any wireless protocol in common use, ranging from specialized smart home RF technologies, like Z-Wave and Zigbee, to more common networking technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With infrared blaster, SURE Universal can control more than a million different infrared appliances.

Currently, SURE Universal is working with some of the biggest appliance manufacturers in the world to assist them with implementation of the OCF protocol and to achieve interoperability with other IoT vendors. SURE business partners benefit from fast time-to-market because of the proven SURE Universal technology. All appliance vendors are welcome to contact SURE Universal for partnerships on OCF protocol implementation and certification.

#Fail: Marketo Forgets To Re-Register Their Domain

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 25, 2017 by itnerd

For those of you who don’t know who Marketo is, they make marketing automation software to help companies engage with their own customer base. It’s a cloud product and it had a major #fail.

This morning, Marketo users were reporting trouble with logging on to its website. That soon led to #Marketo trending on Twitter. So, what was the cause? Here’s what Marketo CEO Steve Lucas had to say on Twitter:

This was then followed by this:

Then this:

So… What was the issue? Cue the Twitterverse:

Wow. That’s a #fail. A marketing company that makes software that resides in the cloud who couldn’t keep their own domain registered. Someone was asleep at the switch. Fortunately, the Twitterverse has a sense of humor:

While there is a bit of a sense of humor about this, a whole lot of people at Marketo HQ have some explaining to do to customers over the next few days. After all, you can’t have a #fail like this with a cloud based product without some repercussions.

#Fail: iRobot Wants To Sell Maps Of Your Home

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 25, 2017 by itnerd

The maker of the Roomba robot vacuum, iRobot has found itself embroiled in a privacy storm after its chief executive suggested it may begin selling floor plans of customers’ homes, derived from the movement data of their autonomous servants:

No. Seriously. I am not making this up. Here’s the proof:

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” said [iRobot CEO Colin] Angle.

Remember the days when worrying about the Internet of Things meant that you were worrying about someone pwning said thing on the Internet and causing you some grief? Yeah, 2016 was such a good year. In any case, this is a stupid idea. Why? It’s a slippery slope. Targeted ads, law enforcement wanting to get their hands on this data…. That’s just two ways that I can think of that this can go horribly sideways. Now you could opt out…. But:

The iRobot Home app does clearly inform users that they are capable of turning off the cloud sharing functions on their Roomba. But the actual terms of service document is written in typically convoluted legal language. The privacy policy frames most data collection as something that will just make your device better and improve overall user experience. A section of the policy on sharing personal information with third parties bullet points out the situations in which iRobot could share this data.

That doesn’t inspire confidence. I’m going to keep an eye on this as this is guaranteed to blow up. Which means I’ll be reporting on this again in the not too distant future.