Thurrott Daily: December 22

Thurrott Daily: December 22
8 years ago this week: Boston, MA.

Some tidbits from around the web.

12/22/2015 5:21:12 PM

Microsoft offers up some fitness tips

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The Microsoft Health blog is on part four of a “Map to fitness” series of posts, and today’s entry is all about making a smart plan for your fitness goals.

Your plan defines where you’re going and how you get there. Planning is perhaps the most critical component of your MAP to Fitness. It can be a time-consuming process, especially when done well. However, the more detailed your plan is, the easier it is to follow and the more prepared you’ll be for the bumps in the road that are sure to come.

Your plan needs to be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. Here’s how you can use the S.M.A.R.T. framework to define your plan.

Worth reading. I think a lot about health and fitness. And do precious little about it.

Chromecast now supports more games

This week, the Official Chrome Blog highlighted a Chromecast feature I’ve not tried yet: You can play some smart phone games using the connected device.

Just in time for the holidays, we’re adding more Chromecast-enabled games for both Android and iOS to the list.

Now casting is Rovio’s Angry Birds Friends, featuring everyone’s favorite red bird, where you can compete in weekly tournaments. Also available is Ubisoft’s Driver Speedboat Paradise, where you race your boat through beautiful canals and waterways around the world.

We’re also introducing several new family-friendly Hasbro games which have been remastered for the big screen experience, including Monopoly Here & Now, Yahtzee Blitz, The Game of Life, and Scrabble Blitz 2.0. These are perfect companions for the downtime before that ball drops this New Year’s Eve. And lastly, we’re excited to introduce a new way to play Risk — on Chromecast. Now you can compete for world domination with friends and family. (Hasbro games available in the US and CA only)

Some of these games offer split-screen experiences where you see some things on your phone and some on the big screen. (You can imagine a card or board game working well like that, with multiple players.) Very cool.

9 Things Android Can Do That iOS Can’t

This one caught my attention because it’s a mainstream media publication trying to explain technology to normal people. (This is something The Wall Street Journal and New York Times pretty consistently screw up these days.)

In choosing a smartphone for yourself, the option between Android and iOS is the first decision you’ll make, and the one with the biggest repercussions. Do you seal yourself off inside Apple’s walled garden, or spring for the varied and customizable Android experience? Either choice has its pros and cons alike. To make your decision easier, let’s elaborate on some of the things that the open-source Android can do that the iPhone cannot.

I won’t cut and paste the whole article, but the main bullet points here are change the default apps, customize the interface, change the battery, (use a) power saving mode, charge with any USB cable, (use) wireless charging, expand the storage, (use) HDMI out, and (take advantage of) higher resolution screens.

So … hit or miss, I guess.

Pandora settles with music publishers

I’m not sure if anyone has been paying attention to this story, since it’s a sort of behind-the-scenes type thing, but Pandora has finally settled with the two biggest music catalog holders in the U.S., clearing up some uncertainty for the music service’s future. The WSJ reports:

Internet radio company Pandora Media Inc. has struck deals with the country’s two biggest performing-rights groups to play their combined 20 million songs for several years, after years of fighting with both over royalty rates in federal court.

Pandora, A​SCAP and BMI declined to share the specific deal terms, but said in a joint statement that the deals “allow both A​SCAP and BMI to further their goal of delivering improved performance royalties for their songwriters and publishers, while Pandora will benefit from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company’s product offering over time.”

Next up, Pandora will try to obtain deals with record companies, too, so that it can offer on-demand streaming and expand into international markets.

Ford rumored to partner with Google on driverless cars

An Automotive News report claims that Ford is partnering with Google on a driverless car. Since that’s just a video, here’s Reuters’ take on the story:

Google is said to be in talks with automaker Ford Motor Company to help build the Internet search company’s autonomous cars.

The contract manufacturing deal, if finalised, is expected to come during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during the first week of January, Automotive News said.

Google is expected to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer rides for hire.


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