PSA: YouTube TV’s month-long free trial ends soon

A month ago, YouTube unveiled its TV streaming service, YouTube TV. And if you signed up on launch day to take advantage of the month-long free trial on offer, heads up: that expires tomorrow, and you’ll be charged $35 for the next month. Do you want to pay for YouTube TV? Now’s the time to decide.

YouTube TV is interesting, not sure it’s entirely worth the 35 a month though.


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Building a Hackintosh

Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac:

In a previous article, posted shortly after Nvidia announced its new Pascal Mac drivers, I briefly discussed my plans to build a new Hackintosh. I’ve been planning and working on the machine for over a week, and I’m finally at the point where I can share the results of my journey.

This isn’t my first Hackintosh build, but it’s the first build where I decided to go about it without the assistance of the excellent tools over at tonymacx86. I’ve been long interested in building a Hackintosh using just the Clover EFI Bootloader, and that’s exactly what I did for this build.

Going about it this way allowed me to learn more about the process, and helped me to see that the entire premise, while tedious at times, is actually fairly straightforward. In this initial post, I’ll talk about some of my reasoning behind my hardware choices, and share some initial experiences and benchmark results.

It’s been a few years since I’ve built my own Hackintosh, but if you were interested in building one then I recommend you start with tonymacx86.

But if you want to try without using tonymacx86, then Jeff’s article is a nice way to get started.


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Google Rewrites Its Powerful Search Rankings to Bury Fake News

Mark Bergen, writing for Bloomberg:

The Alphabet Inc. company is making a rare, sweeping change to the algorithm behind its powerful search engine to demote misleading, false and offensive articles online. Google is also setting new rules encouraging its “raters” — the 10,000-plus staff that assess search results — to flag web pages that host hoaxes, conspiracy theories and what the company calls “low-quality” content.

The moves follow months after criticism of Google and Facebook Inc. for hosting misleading information, particular tied to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Google executives claimed the type of web pages categorized in this bucket are relatively small, which is a reason why the search giant hadn’t addressed the issue before.

“It was not a large fraction of queries — only about a quarter percent of our traffic — but they were important queries,” said Ben Gomes, vice president of engineering for Google.


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Kevin O’Leary officially drops out of conservative leadership race

Celebrity investor and reality-TV star Kevin O’Leary, who rattled Conservative cages three months ago when he joined the party’s leadership race, did it again Wednesday by quitting a contest observers believe he had every chance of winning.

O’Leary’s stunning news — he’s throwing his support behind Quebec rival Maxime Bernier — appeared to catch even some members of his campaign team off-guard as they gathered to prepare for Wednesday’s final leadership debate.

Behind the scenes, however, O’Leary has been mulling the idea for about a week, say sources, ever more convinced that as leader, he might never be able to rally enough support in Quebec to deliver a majority Conservative mandate in 2019.

“It’s selfish to just take the leadership and say, ‘Great, I’m the leader, now in 24 months I will lose for the party,”’ the frank-talking “Shark Tank” star told a news conference in Toronto.

“That’s not right. That’s just wrong.”

The tipping point, he said, came when he saw Conservative membership numbers overall that were even higher than he expected, which meant he didn’t have as large a share of the support as he thought he did.

When he learned that ballots had already been printed and mailed, he decided to act, picking up a phone at 1:30 a.m. to call Bernier, a longtime Quebec MP, to pledge his support.

I’m mixed on this, O’Leary on one hand, could have been as bad as Trump and on another hand, could have been an interesting leader or at least opposition leader…


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How Apple won silicon: Why Galaxy S8 can’t go core-to-core with iPhone 7

Rene Ritchie, writing for iMore:

Conversely, Apple’s silicon team also doesn’t have to carry the baggage of competing vendors and devices. For example, Apple A10 doesn’t have to support Microsoft’s Direct X. It only and exactly has to support Apple’s specific technologies and implementations.

In other words, what iOS wants fast, the A-team can deliver fast.


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Phishing with Unicode Domains

Xudong Zheng:

Punycode makes it possible to register domains with foreign characters. It works by converting individual domain label to an alternative format using only ASCII characters. For example, the domain “xn–” is equivalent to “短.co”.

From a security perspective, Unicode domains can be problematic because many Unicode characters are difficult to distinguish from common ASCII characters. It is possible to register domains such as “xn–”, which is equivalent to “а”. It may not be obvious at first glance, but “а” uses the Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII “a” (U+0061). This is known as a homograph attack.

Take a look at his example of making’s URL look correct but end up at a potential phishing site.


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Nintendo to launch SNES mini this year

Tom Phillips, writing for Eurogamer, reporting that Nintendo will follow up its successful NES Classic with an SNES Classic later this year:

The SNES mini (or, to continue Nintendo’s official branding, likely the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System) is currently scheduled to launch in time for Christmas this year. Development of the device is already under way, our sources have indicated.

Last week, Nintendo ended speculation about the NES Classic by announcing that they were done with it, which let many people wondering what Nintendo was up to as this was one of their most popular systems to date.

Eurogamer’s report claims that the reason Nintendo made no more—besides claiming it was never intended to be a permanent product—is that it ran up against production ramping up for the SNES Classic.

This could be interesting to see.


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Nintendo Shouldn’t Be Running Nintendo

M.G Siegler:

It’s hard for me to remember being as mad at a tech company announcement as I was a few days ago when Nintendo announced they were killing the NES Classic. You know, their retro gaming device that was so popular when it went on sale last year that it instantly sold out, broke Amazon, and was still impossible to find months later.

Yes, after releasing a number of decidedly unpopular products for years, Nintendo is now killing off one of its biggest hits. Yes, it’s infuriating.

The theories as to why they’re doing this range from silly to insane (read some of the replies here). But no one seems to want to come out and give the Occam’s Razor take: Nintendo doesn’t know what they’re doing.

I used to get a lot of shit for being an Apple apologist back in the day. Nintendo apologists are far worse. They’re absolutely batshit crazy in their thinking that this latest move by their favorite company is a brilliant marketing maneuver. Or better: a masterful game of mind manipulation. This will only lead to bigger and better things for Nintendo, they say.

It’s neither of those things. It’s incompetence.

Just read Nintendo’s own statement on the matter:

“Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.”

My rough translation:

We’re killing the product, the last shipments are going out now. Don’t ask us if we have anymore, go complain to your local stores. We know most consumers that wanted one couldn’t find a system for the past several months. And now they undoubtedly will never be able to. Whoops. But after reading over the feedback and excitement about the system, we realize we have no idea how to ever please our fans. So instead, we’re aiming our NES Zapper right at our own feet and pulling the trigger. But thanks.

This is a company that drunkenly stumbled down the right path, and once it sobered up, realized they were on the right path, freaked out, and ran back the other way. They accidentally launched a hit product and then literally didn’t know what to do.

This is along the lines of what a lot of people have been saying to me since Nintendo announced the end of the NES Classic last week.

I was lucky enough to get a Classic on launch day, by standing in line at 5am at the local walmart on launch day and being one of the first 10 people there for when they opened at 7am (two people had camped overnight), the store had originally said there were only getting 10, but then ended up getting 20. There were over 50 people waiting for those 20 units.

The local EB games had nearly 200 people waiting in line for when they opened, hoping to get one of the 15 units they had in stock, and the insanity is that most people had called ahead and knew the stores were only getting X units, but still lined up hoping to get one.

It’s a great little unit, fun to play all the retro games, and I personally think Nintendo should have kept the Classic around for a year at least before they shelved it.


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