DirecTV Introduces BYO Internet Content Streaming Later this Year

directv logoThe future of multimedia is becoming more fluid. Consumers seek to stream content to any screen, at any time, anywhere they want.
With AT&T and DirecTV joining forces, it would make sense that the content offered through a satellite TV company would eventually find its way to home internet and mobile streaming devices.
Three new options will be delivered to subscribers later this year, and all three options are internet service agnostic. Regardless of carrier or ISP, media will be accessible to TVs, computers, phones, and tablets. The most basic option will be ad supported with limited content options, but higher tier plans (dubbed affordable by DirecTV reps) will allow for more access and content mobility. h
“We are looking at these offerings differently than others in the market. We often hear from customers who want more content from streaming services, or who can’t get or can’t afford a traditional pay-TV service,” said John Stankey, CEO – AT&T Entertainment Group.
Pricing and availability will be announced later this year. Full details on specific plan options in the press release below.

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Sony Removes Fingerprint Scanner From USA Bound Z5 Smartphones

Why Sony? Why do this?

Our on-going saga of scattered support and terrible relationships between Sony, USA carriers, and customers continues. Their new line of Z5 smartphones was announced back in September of 2015. We’re only a couple weeks away from Mobile World Congress, where it’s likely we’ll start hearing about new Samsungs and LGs, but we’re only just now getting word from Sony about them selling their phones unlocked here in the United States.

The Z5 and the Z5 Compact will be shipping unlocked to retailers like Amazon and B&H starting February 7th. The flagship Z5 will sell for $599 and the smaller Z5 Compact will sell for $499. There’s no word about selling the Z5 Premium, which is the first phone to feature a 4K display.

04. Z5_white_groupThe phones are sleek devices, and feature very good cameras. Lifestyle features like waterproofing are certainly appreciated, but they’re saddled with 2015 tech like Qualcomm’s 810 processor, which has a nasty reputation for running hot and draining battery life. We’re only weeks away from phone announcements featuring a new 820 processor which is performing well enough to get Samsung back on board Qualcomm’s CPU for their next batch of phones. Samsung opted to use their own Exynos processors last year due to performance concerns.

To add insult to injury, we now have confirmation from Sony that because of a “business decision”, USA bound Z5s will not have fingerprint scanners built into the power button like international versions of the phone currently include. This is a terrible feature to remove, as more consumers are starting to embrace biometric security solutions not only for locking their phones, but also for utilizing banking and payment services.

This really isn’t a great strategy for building a fan base here in the USA. Months late to market, denying us the high end 4K version, and withholding features that consumers are starting to embrace. But if you do still decide a Sony is the right fit for you, at least Sony has the decency to charge you full “new phone” price for the privilege.

Microsoft Working on Project Fi Competitor?

Companies like Google and Microsoft consider themselves “services” companies, even though they sell hardware like the Nexus and the Surface. Those brands exist to make sure that other hardware partners have the proper “incentive” to continue producing high quality devices to utilize the software that Microsoft and Google produce.

While it’s important that consumers have access to high quality gadgets to run these services, it’s equally important that consumers have access to affordable data networks to utilize services which are becoming increasingly data intensive.

We’re seeing progress in some areas, carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile embracing practices like rollover data, but we’re also backsliding in other areas with Comcast expanding the number of areas where they will be capping data for home broadband even though it won’t have any significant impact on bandwidth or service stability.

For Google and Microsoft, it’s becoming increasingly important to support initiatives which improve coverage, data speeds, and reduce prices for their customers. Where those initiatives don’t exist, it’s up to those two tech giants to create them.

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Lenovo Intros Thinkpad X1 YOGA with OLED Screen

Lenovo has been a longtime champion of multi-mode computing for Windows portables, and their Yoga line is their most visible product demonstrating a mix of laptop and tablet features.

Unveiling a new Thinkpad at CES, the X1 Yoga builds on their history of ultra-thin laptops, while adding their signature 360 degree screen hinge, and featuring the first OLED display in a convertible computer. I’ve been a long time fan of OLED displays on phones, as you get intense contrast, inky blacks, and vibrant colors. Happily at this 13″ screen size, the X1 Yoga will be arriving with a Quad HD screen, a resolution of 2560 x 1440.

Expect business grade build quality, powered by an Intel Core (up to i7 vPro) with options for up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage when it’s released later this year.

AT&T to Launch Gigabit Internet Service in Los Angeles

GigaPowerCompetition folks. I want more competition. AT&T is pushing forward with their GigaPower fiber internet roll out, and it looks like a major ISP finally has their sights on the Los Angeles Metro area.

“Fast, affordable Internet is essential for today’s cities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Having high-speed digital communications infrastructure is as important as ensuring that we can efficiently deliver electricity, transportation, clean water, and lighted streets to Angelenos. The ultra-fast AT&T Gigapower service will help L.A.’s students, entrepreneurs, and families succeed and help our city’s economy grow.”

Starting with West Palm Beach, Big Blue will be expanding their gigabit footprint over 2016 for businesses and residential areas. This expansion follows their merger with DirectTV which U-Verse customer can subscribe to for multimedia content.

It’s exciting news for those of us in Southern California. Hopefully soon we’ll have more competition for faster broadband services. You can read the full press release below. Continue reading “AT&T to Launch Gigabit Internet Service in Los Angeles”

Lenovo Announces New Multi-Mode Thinkpad Mobile Workstations: P40 Yoga and P50

The Thinkpad name has a reputation for business grade computing solutions. Tough build quality and solid tech guts. Lenovo took the wraps off of their newest mobile solutions at the Autodesk University Conference in Vegas, announcing a new Yoga and the Thinkpad P50.

Thinkpad P40 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga_8 Onscreen

There are a couple different lines of Yoga between tablets and consumer laptops, but the Thinkpad variant looks like it’ll be a flexible beast with Milspec build ruggedness for travelers and a locking keyboard for when the Yoga is in tablet mode. Continue reading “Lenovo Announces New Multi-Mode Thinkpad Mobile Workstations: P40 Yoga and P50”

$100 Off Android Wear Huawei Watch for Black Friday

It’s a sexy little smartwatch watch, and you’ll be able to score one for a much lower price on Black Friday!

There’s going to be a 24 hour sale on the Huawei Watch where the most expensive variant, the black steel body with black steel bracelet, will be $100 off on most major retailers like Amazon, BestBuy, Target, Google Play, and Huawei’s site.

That’s more than 20% off. Not bad at all for a premium wearable made out of steel and sapphire which already costs less than a watch band from Apple (Apple Watch Not Included).

We recently reviewed the Huawei Watch, and you can check out this Android Wearable below!

AT&T Holiday Shopping Specials: Speakers, Headphones, Smartwatches, and Cases

Carrier stores are becoming primary stops for picking up new tech accessories. It makes sense that when you buy your phone, you’d want to be able to outfit it properly before you walk out the door.

somegadgetguy juan carlos bagnell iphone 5s launch day att store west hollywood californiaLeading up to Black Friday, phones and tablets will be hot items for a lot of folks, and to help take some pressure off wallets and purses, AT&T is launching a series of specials and sales for some great accessories.

Headphones, cases, Bluetooth speakers, FitBit smartwatches and fitness trackers, even a sale on an emergency car jump start battery. The full list is below!

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