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Update: Kodi Shutdown……

As I was surfing around I received a notification about Kodi. It sounded like nonsense to me so went to go check the website & this came up…

So it is now official. Kodi has been taken down by the copyright police. As the site now says that it has been taken down by Homeland Security. The domain has been seized. So what does this mean? Not much really if you ask me. Although I will say anyone using Kodi should consider using a VPN from now on. To explain what I mean further, Kodi is open source software so it can be reproduced and rebooted in many ways and the ball will start rolling again. See the Kodi you find one ‘hacked’ devices is altered with 3rd party addons which connect to servers in other countries. So such a move would not remove Kodi from existence.

As of right now Kodi on installed devices is working and you can still get Kodi in the app stores. So this leads me to believe otherwise. Is this some hacker? Kodi website hacked? There has been a lot of news about Kodi with a push to take down Kodi due to copyright infringement. I would also add in all the people benefitting from sales of devices with Kodi loaded on them. To read more on this just visit a previous post on the matter. (Link on bottom of page.) Better check your Firesticks or whatever device you use cause it may not work…

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Windows 10 – Revert Your User Account to a Local One

Windows 10 is here and it is here to stay and along with it comes the almost forceful push to using a Microsoft Account. When you first buy your new Windows 10 device you are bombarded with the Sign In with your Microsoft Account. You can in fact just login in the old fashion way and login with a simple username and password even though Microsoft would rather you login with a Microsoft account so you can sync all your goodies while also allowing them to track what you do more.

If your Windows 10 user account is currently a Microsoft account (by choice or because you got roped into it) it is easy to revert it back to a local account if you know where to look. Read on as I show you.

Why Do This?

There are benefits to using a Microsoft account as your login but many people prefer to have their Windows login as a totally separate experience and entity from any online accounts they might have.

I have noticed a super annoying way that your local user account is automatically (without your permission) converted into a Microsoft account. Of which is when you first log into the Windows Store on your new Windows 10 PC your local user account (called “Ninja”) gets switched over seamlessly to whatever email address you use for your Microsoft account (say “whatTheHell@gmail.com”). This Microsoft account can be one you created for several reasons. Maybe you have a Hotmail email or you use the Microsoft Office Suite of software.

A scenario that can happen is when someone who isn’t you logs into the Windows Store then it converts your local user account to a Microsoft account with their login credentials. You then will end up needing their password to undo the mess. If the computer is logged off, goodness, you then cannot get into the computer until you get their password. It is a very poor and quite underhanded way to get people to use a Microsoft-style login instead of the old way to login.


Reverting Your Microsoft Account Back to a Local User

If you’ve had a Microsoft account for a while and you want to switch it back to a local user. If you had a crazy and annoying experience where the Windows Store or some other App hijacked your entire user account, the way to reverse everything is pretty easy if you know where to look.

On the Windows 10 PC in question,  goto the Accounts menu. You can do so in alot of ways but the fastest way is to simply type “accounts” in the search box on the Windows 10 start menu and select “Change your account picture or profile settings” as in the screenshot above.

When the Account Settings menu opens you will see in the screenshot to the left the email address of the now active Microsoft Account (top arrow). Below you will find a link saying “Sign in with a local account instead”.

Click on that link.

Confirm the account again and you will also be required to plug in the password. Click “Next”.



Enter a new local username and password (or the old username and password you had before things got all freaky). Click “Next”.



The last box is a confirmation and a reminder of some details you should read for you information. Click “Sign out and finish”. Now I did notice after signing out and going back to a local account didn’t change anything with the Windows Store app and I was still logged in under my Microsoft user account. Why couldn’t Microsoft had just allowed you to login to the Windows Store in the first place???????





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Super Mario Run for Android Released!…

Finally Super Mario Run for Android has been released. It seems the game was released a day early. You can download the game via the
Google Play Store now. The game is pretty much the same as the iOS version where you can install the game for free but you will need to purchase the game to unlock all the modes. Nintendo had the placeholder up in the Google Play Store for some time which allowed you to pre-register and you would get notified.  😕    Well….. I never got the notification. Go figure.

Super Mario Run for Android apparently has not reached Nintendo’s expectations. I would assume this is due to the $10 in game purchase to unlock all the modes. Nintendo being the newby in this arena hasn’t learned yet how things go in Android world where open and free are one of its features. Apps or games with high up-front or near up-front purchases do not generally do well. To give you an idea of where Nintendo’s expectations are, the iOS version’s gross revenue hit about $30 million in 2 weeks and they were still not satisfied with that. Now it has only been a few days and Nintendo is already running touting horns is displeasure. I didn’t even know it was out yet so I am sure this is true for others. Nintendo should have done a little more to advertise this release then mainly relying on a Google Play front page ad or even the pre-registration process which failed in my case.


Try in the Google Play Store!…


On another note, Nintendo is not trying to focus on freemium games or apps despite the success of another game they have called Fire Emblem: Heroes. This notion is based on comments made by different Nintendo officials.

Android will allow more people to see the game and so money really can’t be totally the main focus at this point in the game for Nintendo. Of course it is overall the goal but being the newby Nintendo needs to build a larger presence in the smartphone industry. So if Nintendo continues they would be able to make good on claims they have made to use smartphones to introduce their games to a wider audience.

This in turn would in fact open up doors into the next step for Nintendo in their newly released console, the Nintendo Switch, which is doing pretty well it seems so far. If you want the numbers, well approximate numbers now, Superdata and various sources say about $1.5 million consoles worldwide have been sold and get this… 90% are buying Zelda with it. There has been a drop in sales though in the second week of its release so question has arose as to whether the Nintendo Switch will hit mainstream status once…say…the rave over Zelda dies down.

I mention all of this because it is relevant as Super Mario Run is the first step into a new era for Nintendo where portability in gaming becomes a focus. The Switch opens up the door to the next step being portable high-end gaming. Can Nintendo stay on top in this area cause now that the cat is out there will be others in the shadows that will try to copy and improve on their idea.


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Leading the Charge? – Verizon??????????

Verizon Leading the Charge - Unlimited Plans

Verizon is known as being the most expensive phone carrier and many would say with good reason. That reason may not always be valid but Verizon has proven itself to many. Recently something non-characteristic of Verizon has occurred and it can pose a real problem to Verizon’s competitors.




The unlimited plan has been shunned by Verizon for years. Unlimited plans were too data-greedy for Verizon’s tastes and yet they have announced straight up from out of nowhere that it would start offering an unlimited plan again. This move marks the first time since in 2011 when Verizon discontinued the unlimited plan in their effort force customers into tiered data plans.

The result, T-mobile, Sprint, and AT&T have day laters followed suit by offering new unlimited plans also. So why would Verizon perform a military about-face in their stance on the unlimited plan? I say this because I remember a commercial where Verizon argued basically that unlimited plans costed a lot and forced consumers to pay for data they would never use. To me the commercial was nonsense (using a better word) and just some attempt to move people from the obviously better choice plans that their competitors offered.

“At the end of the day the majority of people don’t need unlimited plans. But the people who use unlimited plans can be abusive, they can really wreak havoc to your network. And at the end of the day as we launched LTE, I continue to say you cannot make money in an unlimited video world.” Fran Shammo, Verizon CFO, 9/22/16

I needed to understand this new move from Verizon cause they are still the Big Red (Dog) of the cellular industry. People despite the extra cost still flock to them for their service and they know it.

“When the competitive world launches new price plans — and this quarter it was around unlimited and, obviously, we did not respond to that. But as I’ve said, there’s going to be a two- to three-week period of time where there is an impact to our growth. And we saw that. But, as I’ve always said, after that three weeks everything kind of normalizes back out.” – Fran Shammo, Verizon CFO, 10/20/16

I thought well T-Mobile has been improving since all the changes they have made but are they doing that well? I have not really heard much from AT&T and Sprint there are talks of a possible merger with T-Mobile. Fact is  that Verizon still has more customers than say T-Mobile despite their rise and are only nibbling at Verizon’s feet. What I found is alot of data that suggests a continued decline in Verizon with a continued and gradual increase in other companies like T-Mobile. I will literally quote Walter Piecyk from BTIG Research:

Verizon’s Q2 results were marred by weak ARPU, which could have been a result of losing high-end customers to unlimited rate plans of competitors. We noted this while cutting our wireless EBITDA estimate by $2.0 billion less than a month ago. (Link) Since that time, T-Mobile has offered tax-free rate plans and Sprint cut rates on its Unlimited Freedom plan. The downward EBITDA revisions also happened after Verizon eliminated the option for consumers to purchase phones on subsidized rate plans, a move that we think generated a $1.5 billion non-cash benefit to reported EBITDA, the metric that our peers use for valuation. The bottom line is that it appears that Verizon’s perceived network advantage is no longer strong enough to keep its best customers on unattractive rate plans and it was forced to respond. We look forward to getting updated from T-Mobile on how porting ratios fared when they report Q4 tomorrow.

He has also tweeted on T-Mobile’s Porting Ratio verses Verizon’s.

Since T-Mobile has made their changes they have only improved in their numbers.

So T-Mobile has literally forced the industry into their space and now Verizon has finally jumped the bandwagon. See last quarter T-Mobile gained about 1.3 million new customers which is double the amount Verizon had at around 590,000. This along with a continued decline (yeah I said it again) in revenue every quarter last year Verizon I believe had to make that jump to offering unlimited plans. Problem is the competition has also made some changes.

T-Mobile Response

T-Mobile upgraded its own unlimited plan to match Verizon’s, and adds HD video streaming and 10GB of LTE tethering including also a limited-time discount. If you compare the plans, they are the same unlimited with full-speed data on everything (including HD video and 10GB of LTE tethering) backed by unlimited 3G speeds. But, T-Mobile made a slight improvement by de-prioritizing data after 26GB with Verizon’s doing the same at 22GB. T-Mobile having the cheaper plan at $70 for a single line, $100 for two, and $160 for four lines (including all taxes and fees) while Verizon, charges $80 for one line, $140 for two, and $180 for four.

Sprint Response 

Sprint, who copied T-Mobile somewhat in the past by also offering an unlimited plan but with more restrictions now continues the copying but adds similar tethering and HD video features packed into a cheaper deal in an attempt to beat the competition. Sprint’s plan though is more diluted offering unlimited data, but game streaming is capped at 8Mbps speeds while music tops out at 1.5Mbps. When a customer has used up their 10GB of LTE tethering, Sprint knock them down to 2G speeds, not 3G. It is currently the cheapest plan for $50 per month (plus taxes and fees) and a great deal that gets five lines for $95 (plus taxes and fees) per month which will last until March 31st, 2018.

As for AT&T, no point really in mentioning them at this time. They offered a $100 a month unlimited plan to only their DirectTV customers in the past and has only now made that plan available to everyone making it the most expensive plan now with less to offer. So to conclude, competition is good for anyone looking to buy a phone now. Well I would say a face value mainly cause of all the bills that people have to pay now a days. A cellphone bill with data is redundant when one has to also buy internet at home too but competition will hopefully continue to bring those bills lower and lower. Can you feel me on that?



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All Things Galaxy S8

All things Galaxy S8

Here we go as usual with the loads of rumors of the next big thing by Samsung and the talk now is Galaxy S8.  So with everything that has happened with the Note 7 just what is Samsung going to do next with this S8 device? I will start by letting you know that it looks like Samsung will be playing it a little safe in the S8 this time. Now some are going as far as saying Samsung will be making the S8 worse than the Note 7 but I think that is a little over dramatic. So let’s get to it shall we?

What about the battery?

There are numerous reports that claimed the S8 will have bigger batteries but it looks like Samsung is playing it safe due to the Note 7 battery fires. Korean sites have stated that the S8 and the S8 Plus will have 3000mAh and 3500mAh batteries respectively which are almost the same capacities used for the Galaxy S7s. Samsung appears to have been talking to New1 Korea as having said:

“After completing a range of tests, Samsung made a final decision to deploy the battery capacity for the two S8 variants”

“We decided to install 3000mAh for the 5.8-inch model and 3500mAh for the 6.2-inch model through various tests on the Galaxy S8 battery,”

Samsung has made a change just as they said they would by replacing battery manufactures SDI and ATL in China with SDI and Murata in Japan. So Samsung will be sticking with their own company and changing their alternate. I would assume keeping their own is a way to pay closer attention to what goes on during manufacturing while kicking ATL to the curb would be justified since they screwed up in the aftermath of the SDI (Samsung) screw up. So Samsung is going with someone else to have their back this time. There are sites stating this change while also saying what they think as Samsung still using ATL but who knows really for sure other than Samsung and its employees. I will contact Samsung for a response to be sure though.

Samsung has started getting the components in large volumes in preparation for mass production of the Galaxy S8.

So what is this new S8 going to be like?

There is always rumor going around for every device before it  launches and it looks like Samsung had a hard than usual time keeping the cat in the bag this time. (or maybe  after the Note 7 issues they may have wanted rumors to spill out this time as a way to hopefully spark interests and subvert skepticism) Some of the rumors this time are a tad interesting.

Release Date:

With all of the rumor going around I had to really go looking to find a consensus and it looks good to say that Samsung will unveil the S8 in March with the device being made available for sale on April 18th. This is apparently a pushed back date from what Samsung had planned. They wanted to take more time in making sure there are no issues to avoid a repeat Note 7 debacle.

Specs:

Pictures work better. Don’t you think?

Keep in mind though that  most of the images are leaks and renders that people have created as their predictions of what the phones will looks like. Some based on eyewitness accounts.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Display: 5.8in Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2650 (2K) Gorilla Glass
• Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / Samsung Exynos 10-nm
• RAM: 4GB RAM
• Back Camera: 16MP, f/1.7 optics, 4K video, dual-LED flash
• Front-facing camera: 8MP wide-angle lens with f/1.7 optics
• Battery: 3,000mAh
• Internal Storage: 64GB, w/256GB microSD card slot
• Other Features: Fingerprint scanner, Metal frame, Wireless charging, USB-C

Samsung Galaxy S8 (Plus)

Display: 6.2in Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2650 (2K) Gorilla Glass• Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / Samsung Exynos 10-nm
• RAM: 4GB RAM
• Camera: 16MP, f/1.7 optics, 4K video, dual-LED flash
• Front-facing camera: 8MP wide-angle lens with f/1.7 optics
• Battery: 3,500mAh
• Internal Storage: 64GB, w/256GB microSD card slot
• Other Features: Fingerprint scanner, Metal frame, Wireless charging, USB-C




The specifications have been gathered over the past several weeks from a lot of leaks and insider tips of different varieties so take it with a  few grains of salt. Until Samsung releases their official specs for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, we won’t really know for sure but the leaks over the years for phones have been pretty good as far as accuracy is concerned. Well, as long as you know what leaks to call bull crap cause there are usually a few that are more conceptual in idea.


eGlobal Central link

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge @ eGlobal Central