Microsoft announced this week that users will not be able to buy retail packages of Windows 7. The end of sales for PCs with Windows 7 installed will be next October, but if you want to buy Windows 7 by itself, you're out of luck. Leo says that users will have to buy Windows 8 moving forward, and he recommends Start8 by Stardock to make Windows 8 look more like Windows 7. It's only $5.
This Week in Tech News
Ransomware topped the list of cyber threats in 2013, according to Malware Bytes. Chief of these was Cryptolocker, which encrypts your data and holds it ransom for $300. You have only 72 hours to pay up before the key to get your data back is lost forever. Leo says that even police stations have been bit by it and were forced to pay up.
With all the fights that broke out during Black Friday yesterday, Leo says that it's become more of a 'Jerry Springer' like event than a busy shopping holiday. Is it really worth getting up at 3:30 am and ending up in jail for tazing a fellow human being for 30% off one of last year's models? Leo doesn't think so. Maybe it's just plain safer to shop on Cyber Monday!
Leo got the XBox One and he says that gaming has gotten so sophisticated that you need the reflexes of a teenager all the time to play it. But one thing he thought was really interesting is that you can see what your friends are doing if you follow them. You can follow Leo at "Chief Twit Leo".
Other great features include voice commands, and since the Xbox is always listening, you can just turn it on with a word. Through Kinect, it recognizes you and logs you in, which is making people a bit nervous because it's always on, always listening. Very 1984.
Microsoft has launched a store at Scroogled.com selling T-Shirts and coffee mugs. Microsoft's angle is that Google is reading all of your emails, watching and listening to you all the time. However, Microsoft also reads all of your email in order to fight spam. Leo thinks this is very disingenuous of Microsoft, and it's just a dirty trick.
The latest NSA revelation comes from more documents leaked by Edward Snowden. It shows that the NSA has 50,000 computer networks in a 'sleeper cell' that can be turned on at any time. Leo points out that as impressive as this sounds, a 50,000 computer bot net is relatively small compared to what spammers and hackers have for commercial purposes.
Leo got the new XBox One yesterday and hasn't stopped playing it. This isn't a cheap game console, though. It's $500, plus extra controllers, plus games, plus a required XBox Gold subscription. Since Microsoft has decided to build in non XBox gaming content, it's really a media center more than a game platform.
"One Card to Rule them all, One Card to Charge them. One Card to Bring them all, and in debt bind them." That's the idea of Coin, a one size fits all digital credit card that can be programmable for all cards, and can switch between them as users use it. Leo says the marketing has been fantastic with it, but he wonders how secure Coin will really be. And will merchants buy into this idea?