Popcorn Time – Basically Netflix For Free

Popcorn time has the same feel to it as Netflix and works relatively smoothly, streaming most of the movies you would like to see. But unlike Netflix it runs on the BitTorrent network so its pulling movies from unknown sources with no traceback to you. Popcorn Time has beta builds which run on Windows, Mac, & Linux, and the best part is that it very user friendly & has an intuitive user interface.

The service was killed off a little while back even though technically they didn’t store any movies, but as it was an open source program someone else picked up the mantle and brought Popcorn Time back to life.

“The YTS team will now be picking up the Popcorn Time project and continuing on like previously,” a developer told TorrentFreak. “We are in a better position copyright wise as for us, because it’s build on our API. It’s as if we have built another interface to our website.” Whether or not this new version of Popcorn Time will last longer than the original remains to be seen, but the team sounds confident it can keep things running. “It’s our vision at YTS that we see through projects like these and that just because they create a little stir in the public, it doesn’t mean they are shut down,” a YTS dev said.

The link below is a link to GitHub which is a download source for Popcorn Time

Link: GitHub

iPad Air & iPad Mini 2

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After so many years Apple has finally upgraded the memory on the iPads, they finally got to 128 GB and with that I will be upgrading my 3 year old iPad 2 which I still love to use and abuse. Now with the latest update from Cupertino a lot of people wanted more like the iWatch or the Apple TV Major update, but it looks like that will be at a later stage, but for me the iPads were the winner and the iPad Mini 2 was the best of the bunch, yes now I have a reason to purchase one.

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Basic Breakdown iPad Air

  • Its Thinner
  • Only 1 lb – Very Light
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – More Power Won’t Hang – Hopefully it will survive my abuse
  • New Design & iOS7 – I’m liking IOS 7 from my Update
  • Up to 128GB of Storage – At Last

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Basic Breakdown iPad Mini 2:

  • New Design
  • A bit heavier then the previous design due the new design
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – A lot of power packed into a small Design
  • Retina Screen – 7.9inch Display – At Last, everything will look good on it
  • Up to 128 GB – Thank you
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together

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I am personally going to be getting the iPad Mini 2 – 128 GB because I want the space and that beautiful screen with the powerful wifi. I don’t care for LTE because I have one of the first 3G versions that I never put a chip in and when I did it was annoying and preferred wifi. Also if you purhcase the iPad LTE the US like most of us will, the 4G won’t work in Kuwait so that would be pointless. Also for the price of the 4G units, they are not worth it at all, serisouly almost 1000 USD for the top end iPad Air, thats just ridiculous, but the iPad Mini 2 is an excellent buy.

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Pricing:

  • iPad Air Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 499/629 USD
  • 32GB – 599/729 USD
  • 64GB – 699/829 USD
  • 128GB – 799/899 USD
  • iPad Mini 2 Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 399/529 USD
  • 32GB – 499/629 USD
  • 64GB – 599/729 USD
  • 128GB – 699/829 USD

Pics From Venture Beat

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Applecentric

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This post has been a long time coming, and at this point I think it is somewhat appropriate. I have been a Windows user for a very long time, some Linux and Solaris thrown into the mix for a little while but never really Apple. So over the past few years I got introduced to Apple, the first one being the Mac Mini from last year which was an impressive little guy. If you asked me back in 2006 if I would be using a Mac I would say that is blasphemy but now I will happily admit it. Over the years I think that Apple’s hardware has improved drastically and you get the better hardware for a better price unlike before, and OS X and higher is much better then its previous versions with better compatibility. Still I’m really annoyed that they don’t have NTFS built into OS X but I think its just Apple being their usual stubborn self so people can’t use the same external USB/Hard Drive between Apple & Windows Machines. I have been using my iPod for a while now, pretty much since the iPod Touch came out and the useful applications and games. So a few years later I got into my first apple, and it was as if I was walking into an unknown zone. Overall I think Apple does have a winning product but you can’t knock Windows just yet, it does have its good uses and I know you Apple fans do get crazy but it wouldn’t be dominating in the market if it didn’t do something right. A lot of you know how much I love Android products but I do love my iPad, I will admit which platform is better for which application, and Apple knows how to integrate all their products but its annoying how much they lock out other companies from innovating on their platforms. I prefer my Android over iOS by far but I wouldn’t mind it syncing with iTunes so I can get my music, of course there are ways to get around it but I’m too lazy to go through the hassle. Luckily for me I started using Spotify to a large extent and so I depended less on iTunes but still on an Apple device iTunes is worlds better then on Windows, for one thing it works.

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What I really think which is better in which:

Mac:

  • Graphical Items
  • Doesn’t Crash As Much, And Yes It Does Crash Under My Abuse
  • Very Smooth Interface, Very Nice Design Of Their Machines

Windows:

  • Network Management
  • Larger Software Compatibility
  • More Games, Alot More Games
  • Larger Variety of Manufacturers to Choose From

I haven’t really jumped into any video editing yet so I can’t compare between the machines, but most probably I will be trying it out on the Mac for sure. If you ask me which do I use more I would say its 70% Windows 30% Apple, and for work I can only use Windows. Apple can be used in Advertising or Media companies but everything else its Windows, too many work applications just aren’t compatible with Macs.

The Haswell Desktop Built

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Took a bit to get all the parts together, this was the first time a processor was flagged before they could ship it from my mailbox, but after a few days they shipped it out. Got all the parts together and a few pieces from Professional and I was good to go.

Hardware

  • Thermaltake Urban S41 ($130)
  • CoolMaster 1000W
  • Samsung 840 SSD 500 GB SATAIII (Windows 7) ($331)
  • OCZ 256 GB SSD SATAIII (Windows 8) ($239)
  • Intel Core i7-4770 ($320)
  • Gigabyte Z87 LGA 1150 Dual LAN ATX ($230)
  • Corsair 16 GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengence ($128)
  • Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 ($400)
  • Digistar BlueRay Drive (Slot Loading)
  • 2 x Seagate 3TB SataIII

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The other components I got from Kuwait for 254 KWD which isn’t too bad overall the most expensive parts in Kuwait was the original OS and I wanted both on it since I do love Windows 7 and I wanted to try Windows 8 on a Desktop, but its going to be missing the Gestures still an interesting item to try.

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Installed Windows 7 First and then installed Windows 8, then it comes up as an option which one Operating System to Start at Boot, and when you choose, its up in only a few seconds. Years ago it would have taken over a minute and a half, and now its 10 seconds tops, I love SSDs.

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I’m planning to install a few games on the Windows 7, nothing crazy just StarCraft II & the latest addition as well as Diablo III. Just worth having on my machine, and I do want to play those games. And what I love about this machine is that it is powerful and VERY quiet, no sound from it what so ever, I wouldn’t know it was on without that blinking lights on top.

The Haswell Desktop – Another Build

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Recently my desktop has had a few hiccups but being almost 3 years old it has taken a beating. A lot of things I do myself and around the house revolves around the Lian Li machine which was repurposed from a Windows Home Server to a Heavy Weight Single Desktop use. With the launch of the new Intel Haswell Processors and a few interesting pieces of hardware I had laying around I decided to put this new machine together and also add some more gaming capability to it.

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Hardware

  • Thermaltake Urban S41
  • Thermaltake 1500W
  • Samsung 840 SSD 500 GB SATAIII
  • Intel Core i7-4770
  • Gigabyte Z87 LGA 1150 Dual LAN ATX
  • Corsair 16 GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengence
  • Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5
  • Digistar BlueRay Drive (Slot Loading)
  • OCZ 128 GB SSD SataIII
  • WD 3TB SataIII

For the software I want to dual boot both Windows 8 & Windows 7, honestly Windows 7 is amazing and does the job and extremely stable. I have one Windows 8 laptop with a touch screen, and for Windows 8 to work smoothly it has to be a Touch Screen integrated into it. So dual boot option looks like its something I’m contemplation at this point, but the first install is going to be Windows 7 at least. Then the Windows 8 install on the other SSD and W8 can handle the dual boot option on start up, but lets see how it develops.

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Razer Blade – 14 Inch Gaming Machine

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Razer just announced a more 14inch Blade, we always picture gaming machines as heavy bricks attached to a big screen, thats as portable as it will get. But Razor has a different idea, they wanted a Gaming machine as powerful as desktop yet as mobile as a Mac Book Air, I like where these guys are going, they have the vigor that Alienware and Voodoo once had. I really feel the guys behind the Razer are true gamers and want a portable gaming machine, not something that weighs a ton and has to be plugged in to play.

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“We tried to distill the very best reference points of the MacBook Air for our gaming laptop,” says Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, pointing out that the 0.66-inch thin model is thinner than the thickest point of Apple’s machine. Despite the thinness, it uses the same graphics card and an unspecified fourth-generation Intel processor at 37W TDP, with a matte 1600 x 900 screen and a multi-touch trackpad.

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The company claims it will run Crysis 3 at 45 frames per second on average. It carries 8GB of RAM and a baseline of 128GB in solid-state storage, expandable to 256GB or 512GB, and you’ll find three USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port on the sides. It promises six hours of battery life, which is far more life than one could expect from a larger gaming laptop, though that number might be a bit overzealous compared to real-world usage, but still not bad. The 14-inch Blade will start at a hefty $1,799, with pre-orders beginning June 3rd at midnight.

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  • Future 4th gen Intel Core processor (formerly codename Haswell)
  • RAM 8GB onboard memory (DDR3L-1600MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M (2GB GDDR5 VRAM, Optimus Technology)
  • 14.0″ HD+ 16:9 Ratio, 1600×900, with LED backlight
  • 256GB SATA III SSD

Price: Starting @ $1,799
Link: Razer

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In-Flight Wifi on Lufthansa Flights

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This turned out to be a surprising feature on Lufthansa, In-Flight wifi that was useable, something I wasn’t expecting. I just flew back form the the US and on the flight back I was supposed to sleep to try to get my sleep in order, but that didn’t work out as I planned.

When I connected to the wireless I had a few emails to shoot and then I was done, I thought the connection was going to be mediocre at best because of previous in-flight wifi experience. I was wrong, to my surprise the connection was good, I was getting speeds from 3 to 5 MB which made surfing decent, I went through all my emails, and started going through my RSS Feeds on Google Reader. Even youtube streaming was working fine to my surprise, not lightning fast but pretty decent.

Pricing:

  • HotSpot Pass Sky 1 hour: €10.95 or 3,500 miles
  • HotSpot Pass Sky 24 hours: €19.95 or 7,000 miles

I went with the 24 hour option because that worked out perfectly for use on my flight back to Kuwait as well.

After using it for a while, I was very impressed, surfing was pretty good and some high bandwidth websites were operating fine. But don’t expect downloads to do much, overall I think Lufthansa did a fantastic job with the system they have setup. But from their website I understood coverage only works over the Atlantic, US, Europe and Middle East but not all the other regions yet. Also it isn’t on every plane, some planes have it and some don’t.

Re-Buidling Media PC

The Dewaneya Media PC has been running for a good 6 years, and I think the age is showing. Since I have made some major changes to the dewaneya I was going for a bit of a hardware upgrade, starting off with the media PC.

New Specifications

  • Intel® Desktop Board DH67CF – Mini-ITX – Media Motherboard
  • Core i5 2300 – 2.8 GHz
  • 8 GB Ram (2x4GB)
  • Corsair 90 GB SSD – Sata 3 (For The OS)
  • Pioneer BluRay RW

Total 187 KD From Professional Computer

What I Already Have

  • Thermaltake Case
  • Power Supply
  • 2TB HD – Sata 3 (For The Media)

I almost store nothing on my PC’s these days, everything is stored on a network storage device which in this case is the Netgear 24TB Storage Unit. This little Unit is gonna pack a punch with the upgraded hardware and will be able to handle everything that I throw at it. Gonna install Windows 7 on it and from there I’m going to configure XBMC for my network, gonna take some tweaking and getting used to but I’m sure it will work perfectly. Other hardware upgrades are taking place in the dewaneya but that will be forthcoming in another post.

The Chrome Book – Updated

I’m always interested in Google Products, and I have been very interested in their Chrome platform, basically the online all the time OS. There are very few times when we aren’t connected to the net and this case it is the only way the Chrome Books operate. Right now the Chrome OS received a major update and you can get a laptop and desktop/box version for it. The Verge has a fantastic article below which goes into every freaking detail of Chrome OS and basically giving you the breakdown of what is really useful for you and how it could improve and whats great about the update. The video below is a simple review of Chrome Book, and what major improvements they have done and the feel of it, and the capabilities of the Samsung hardware. The video review really got my interest, I’m tempted to pick one up a laptop and try it.

Link: TheVerge

Live Drive – Your Online Hard Drive

Everyone at this point has heard or is using DropBox, its so convenient and very simple to use with a lot of options, also its one of the least complicated sharing solutions. For a while I have been checking out LiveDrive since they have almost the same features but with a more bells and whistles, you get the option of 2TB or 5TB, and the back ups from your machine doesn’t count against your quote. The interesting thing is that the space loads up on your computer as a hard drive and you can do that across several machines Windows or Mac which is pretty cool. Currently I’m paying for the extra DropBox storage and I’m around 80% capacity, they other day I realized that I store a lot on DropBox and rarely take it off since I’m accessing it a lot from different machines. I would go with one of the home solutions which doesn’t have file restriction sizes like Box, and provides a lot more space then DropBox. For now DropBox is the best on the go solution and fantastic, but LiveDrive is when you need something for those huge files and flexibility to do what you want with them across multiple machines.

LiveDrive App Available For:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android

For Home Services (Yearly Price)

  • 2 TB – $150
  • 5 TB – $250

For Business Services (Yearly Price)

  • 5TB – $500
  • 10TB – $1500

Link: LiveDrive