Thurrott Daily: July 8

Thurrott Daily: July 8
Toronto skyline. I took this shot a few years ago with my Lumia 1020.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/8/2016 4:34:27 PM

Next up: Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto

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Brad and I are flying to Toronto on Sunday to attend Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference this week. And there are a couple of meet-up possibilities if you live there or are visiting too.

The first is on Monday, July 11: Mary Jo Foley and I are hosting a meet-up at the Bier Markt at 58 The Esplanade, Toronto, M5E 1A6 from 6 to 8 pm. No RSVP needed.

Then, on Wednesday, July 13, Mary Jo and I will be recording Windows Weekly live from the Constitution Hall Room 106 North Building Metro of the Toronto Convention Center. Everyone is invited—you don’t need to be attending the show. I think we’re starting about 30 minutes later than usual, so about 2:30 pm.

See you in Toronto!

Band 2 is obviously being cleared out of inventory

I’ve written a lot about how the Microsoft Band 2 seems to be on perpetual sale, and that it’s likely Microsoft is simply burning through existing inventory ahead of some future upgrade. Well, as Neowin notes, the perpetual sale is continuing. Again.

The latest [Band 2] discount was due to end tomorrow, July 9; but rather than bring that deal to an end after six weeks, the company has quietly extended it instead. The small print on the Microsoft Store listing for the wearable device now states that the deal will remain available until July 31, over two months after it first began.

It’s not yet clear if the Band 2 will actually return to its full $249.99 price after that date, or if the offer will simply be extended again.

I think it’s safe to say we won’t see $249.99 again until Band 3 arrives. And even then we shouldn’t.

Red Dead Redemption for Xbox 360 is available now via Xbox One backwards compatibility

Red Dead Redemption—or as I call it, Grand Theft Old West—is widely regarded as one of the better open play games of the Xbox 360 era. So as Microsoft explains, it’s sort of a big deal that Xbox One users can now play it on their consoles too.

Starting today, you can relive John Marston’s gunslinging epic through Xbox One Backward Compatibility – or finally give the game a shot for the first time if you missed it in 2010.

Red Dead Redemption is now available via Xbox One Backward Compatibility.

Audible finds success with short-form audio

The New York Times hits on a topic I’ve been quietly thinking about myself: Audible has moved aggressively into the short-form audio space, bringing with it lower prices (than the typical audiobook) and better aligning itself, I think, with the short attention spans of today.

Audible, Amazon’s audiobook and spoken-word subsidiary, on Thursday announced Channels, a subscription service that will offer a new library of audio, including original programs, articles read aloud and more. At $4.95 a month, it presents a lower-priced entry point to the service and significantly expands on Audible’s core audiobook offering, while giving listeners more incentive to stick with the company.

Channels will be free under Audible’s traditional $14.95 monthly membership, which provides access to hundreds of thousands of programs and audiobooks.

Roughly two out of five Audible customers listen to podcasts, he said. But those customers are not always satisfied with what they find.

“When you talk to those customers and you ask them about podcasting, they describe something that equally enthralls them and frustrates them,” he said. In that frustration, Audible sees an opportunity.

I will need to examine this, obviously. You can find out more about Audible Channels here.

“Google is fighting future hackers with post-quantum cryptography”

Sure, and Time Cop was a documentary.

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