January 20, 2019

Bring the sun inside with a deep discount on this popular indoor grill, today only

With multiple blizzards working their way across the northern United States right now, today's deal of the day really couldn't come at a better time. I miss grilling steak so much during the winter, and just last week I remember wishing that I could grill indoors. But what about all that smoke. Then I came across Sunday's deal of the day on Amazon, and I pulled the trigger immediately. The Tenergy Redigrill Smokeless Infrared Indoor Grill lets you grill up delicious food all year round in the comfort of your climate controlled home. Definitely check it out today while it's on sale at a deep 25% discount.

Here's what you need to know from the product page:

  • SMOKE-LESS TECHNOLOGY - Tenergy's indoor infrared grill creates 80% less smoke than other indoor electrical grills. The infrared heat is only directed at the grill rack's surface and the cooling tray catches grease and oils before they get the chance to become smoke.
  • ADVANCED INFRARED HEATING TECHNOLOGY - Our electric barbecue grill evenly cooks meats, fish, poultry and vegetables using advanced infrared heating technology. With the unique infrared heating technology, heat is evenly spread on the grill top. Food is guaranteed to cook evenly, no cold zones or weak spots.
  • EASY TO USE AND CLEAN – Two-piece setup home grill takes less than a minute to start grilling. Just put the grill rack on top, slide in the drip tray, and plug in the power and the grill is ready. Clean up is just as simple and stress free thanks to the non-stick grill and dishwasher safe parts.
  • GRILL LIKE A PROFESSIONAL - Quickly heats up to an ideal grilling temperature of 446°F within 6 minutes. Enjoy searing meats and vegetables with steakhouse like quality diamond grill marks.
  • DESIGNED WITH SAFETY - Tenergy's infrared grill is certified safe by North American ETL standards. This home grill also comes with built-in overheat protection, automatically shutting off if the internal temperature gets too high. Receive up to two years extended warranty support when you register your smoke-less grill with Tenergy Life.
January 19, 2019

Spider-Man, John Wick 3, and all the other new movie trailers from this past week

Like I told you last week, the first half of January lacked any exciting trailers, but that was about to change. And that’s exactly what happened. In a matter of days, we saw not one, but two Spider-Man: Far From Home trailers — yes, the international version does count. Moreover, John Wick fans will be excited to see the first footage for Chapter 3. And then there’s the new Ghostbusters to talk about. However, when it comes to new movies, it’s going to be a rather boring week at the box office, with M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass being the only blockbuster-sized movie launching this week.

Five Feet Apart

Out on March 22nd, Five Feet Apart is a love story between two teenagers that have to deal with life-threatening medical conditions. They meet in a hospital, where they fall in love, which explains the title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YKnbJGM95I

Ghostbusters

It’s not a full trailer, and we’ll have to wait for actual footage, given that the Untitled Ghostbusters Project comes out in 2020. But fans of the original films have every reason to be excited. Who you gonna call? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyjqCRJmCPE

High Life

In High Life, we’ve got a father and a daughter having to deal with the isolation of deep space, as that’s where they happen to live. This sci-fi thriller story, starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, launches on April 12th. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtOwfo1ypOw

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

As much as I wanted to see the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, I have to say that I’m even more excited about the next chapter in the John Wick series. And the first trailer for Parabellum looks amazing. It’ll be interesting to see where the movie goes next, given that Chapter 2 tried to replicate the recipe and success of the first movie without necessarily achieving that goal. But all the action in the following trailer suggests Chapter 3 will tell a completely different story, one where John is trying to survive rather than deliver any sort of vengeance. Launching on May 17th, Parabellum also stars Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, and Asia Kate Dillon, in addition to Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7XM597XO94

Paddleton

Paddleton is an original Netflix movie set to hit the streaming service on February 22nd. We’ve got Mark Duplass and Ray Romano playing two neighbors whose relationship changes when the younger man is diagnosed with cancer. No, it’s not a Romano comedy. Check out the trailer for it below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs9YpUktrWw

Red Joan

Jot this one down for the April 19th weekend: Red Joan. We’ve got Judi Dench playing Joan Stanley, who happens to be the real-life KGB spy who served for the longest time in Britain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkecgBW-Y80

Spider-Man: Far From Home

We already talked about the first Far From Home trailer, as well as the huge revelation from the international one. So, without further ado, let’s just watch the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailers again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYYtuKyMtY8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V38cLTYYXNw

The Hummingbird Project

You’ll make a lot more money at the stock exchange if you’ve got the fastest connection to it. In The Hummingbird Project, a team of traders attempts to get the best connection possible by actually building their own fiber-optic network. Out on March 15th, the film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Mando, and Salma Hayek. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTO6Tij-ALk

What Men Want

We've discussed What Men Want before, but here are the only two things you need to know about it. First, it’s a sequel of sorts to What Women Want, and it should be hilarious. Secondly, it launches on February 8th: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csTMOC_kjCc
January 19, 2019

The 10 best video games of 2018

2018 felt like a turning point for this era of video games. We're undoubtedly closer to the next generation of video game consoles than we are to the last, and there's a chance that 2018 was the last year before the PS4 and Xbox One begin to wind down as developers ramp up for new platforms. But the good news is that, with over five years of experience under their belts, studios are able to push these consoles to their limits. Back in 2013, when the PS4 and Xbox One launched, we could only dream of games like Spider-Man, God of War, and even Sea of Thieves existing. But this generation may very well have peeked in 2018, and since there's no telling what 2019 will look like, it's worth taking a step back and appreciating that. DIsclaimer: The list you are about to read is not comprehensive, nor is it objective. This is an unabashedly subjective take on the best games of 2018 (which I also did in 201420152016 and 2017). Games you absolutely loved won't be here. Games you despised will be ranked highly. But this is my list, and I’m sticking to it.

10. Dandara

I appreciate when a game takes me out of my comfort zone, but I don't often seek out those games, as was the case with Dandara, which seemed to just fall into my lap at the beginning of the year. One of several 2D platformers on this list, Dandara is the only one with a brand new traversal system, forcing the player to bounce from one platform to the next, sticking when they land. There's no running or jumping in this unique title. I'm not sure why Dandara stuck with me all this time, but distinctive traversal mechanics have always excited me. Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive comes to mind. There's just something about having to rewire your brain to do something you've never done before that can turn a good game into a great game. This is also the first full-fledged game from Brazilian developer Long Hat House, and if Dandara is the floor for what this team can create, I can't wait to see what comes next, no matter how long it takes.

9. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

For the second year in a row, a virtual reality game (specifically a PlayStation VR game) has made my top 10 list, but Astro Bot Rescue Mission is perhaps even more deserving than last year's entry (not to take away from Farpoint). I had my doubts when I began to see people online refer to Astro Bot as "the Super Mario 64 of VR," implying that is might truly signal a paradigm shift for the platform. But the hype was deserved. From the moment I took my first step into Astro Bot's colorful worlds, I had to reset my expectations. Most worthwhile VR titles are either singular ideas executed incredibly well, or games that only stand out because of VR support. Astro Bot is neither. While it would be a perfectly competent platformer without VR, the added dimension accentuates the experience to such a degree that I would never want to play outside of VR. Existing inside of these vivid, kinetic, cheerful worlds while guiding my trusty robot companion through a series of increasingly difficult platforming challenges was among the highlights of my gaming year, and I'm hopeful that Astro Bot Rescue Mission is just the beginning of a wave of high-quality VR titles.

8. Gris

Gris was the last game I finished in 2018, and I couldn't have asked for a better palate cleanser to close out the year. In addition to employing an impeccable, irresistible art style, Gris weaves a minimalist narrative that promises to keep you engaged from start to finish. And while it might be the least challenging game on this list, it knows when to push the player to find their own way and when to hold their hand and guide them forward. After spending dozens of hours battling some frustratingly punishing opponents in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Gris was a perfectly timed reprieve. I never got stuck or lost for more than a moment, and it was all about momentum -- using the new powers I'd gained to reach a new area and explore further in this picturesque world. While there's a part of me that wishes the experience could have lasted a bit longer, I definitely finished the main story of Gris long before I had grown tired of it. Plus, no matter how long it had lasted, I was always going to leave the painterly landscapes of Gris wanting more, so instead of complaining, I'll just play it again.

7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

After dominating last year's list, the Switch only makes one appearance in 2019 with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Not only was it one of the only blockbuster Switch games to release this year, but we had to wait until the end of the year to play it, as it didn't arrive until December 7th. Thankfully, it was well worth the wait. With over 70 characters, 100 stages, a 20+ hour story mode, and online matchmaking that actually seems to work, this is among the most appropriately named games of 2018. If you want to collect everything, have friends to play with, and care about your online ranking, you could end up spending countless hours with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for years to come. There's just so much here that it's almost overwhelming. I've played every Smash Bros. game extensively, all the way back to the N64 original, but this is the first time since the GameCube's Melee that I've felt comfortable naming a new best game in the franchise.

6. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is unquestionably one of the most impressive achievements in video game history. No other virtual world feels this alive, from the sweeping landscapes to the bustling towns to the pitch-perfect voice acting to the unmatched attention to detail. Its slow pace forces you to take its world in, and as accustomed as we've become to frenetic, hyperactive shooters, you will appreciate Rockstar's more laidback take. Like many other gamers, I wasn't always sure if I was actually having fun while playing Red Dead 2, but its world and its plot are intoxicating enough to keep you coming back for more, even when you're getting sick of tromping around the same dirt roads over and over again on your trusty steed. With a more modern control scheme and a tighter narrative, I think Red Dead 2 could have been the defining game of the generation. Instead, it will simply have to settle for being defining game, and one that will undoubtedly improve in time as Rockstar continues to add content to Red Dead Online for years to come.

5. Marvel's Spider-Man

I've been waiting for a worthy successor to Spider-Man 2 for over a decade. In 2018, Insomniac Games delivered. Marvel's Spider-Man is not only the best Spider-Man game ever made, but also the best superhero game ever made, the best representation of New York to ever appear in a video game, and one of the only PS4 games I see myself returning to for years to come (unless Insomniac comes out with a sequel before then). Honestly, I probably would have been satisfied if the developer had just nailed the swinging mechanics. If this was just an empty sandbox where I could swing around as Spider-Man, it still would have been one of my favorite games of the year. But the deep combat system, the rogue's gallery of villains, and the best Spider-Man story (outside of Into the Spider-Verse) we've seen in years puts this open-world adventure into rarefied air.

4. Assassin's Creed Odyssey

I've played bits and pieces of every mainline Assassin's Creed game ever made, but none have ever enraptured me the way that Assassin's Creed Odyssey did in 2018. This is without question the new high water mark for the series, and despite spending dozens of hours in this stunning recreation of ancient Greece over the past few months, I plan to return to Ubisoft's biggest world yet often throughout 2019 as more content is added. While it doesn't have much in common with the classic Assassin's Creed games, Odyssey is by far the fastest and most kinetic game that any of the Assassin's Creed teams have ever made, with a fluid and entertaining combat system that takes all the best elements of Origins (while leaving the worst bits behind). Plus, Kassandra is the most compelling assassin to date, with a captivating backstory, a complicated family, and an incredibly active love life to boot. I could spend another 50 hours in the world of Odyssey and I still wouldn't see everything the game has to offer... but that's a challenge I'm willing to take.

3. God of War

As mind-blowing as Red Dead Redemption 2 was from a technical standpoint, God of War might have impressed me even more by flawlessly rebooting one of the most iconic PlayStation franchises of the last two decades while reckoning with the mistakes and missteps its creators made the first time around. God of War is somehow both a touching story about fatherhood and a sprawling adventure of epic proportions. It is also a completely different game from its predecessors, with a new combat system, added RPG mechanics, a different perspective, and a protagonist who wants nothing more than to live peacefully with his family. But the universe has more in store for Kratos, and what follows is my favorite PS4 exclusive to date. Slashing my way through the realms with Kratos' son Atreus was equal parts thrilling and challenging, and I can't wait to see where they take the franchise next. If only every video game reboot could be this good.

2. Celeste

I do my best to avoid hyperbole when talking about my favorite games every year, but Celeste is close to a perfect game. What I mean by that is that every element of this 2D platformer (the third on this list) is sublime. The art, the music, the story, and, most importantly, the gameplay. They all hit the mark. But (like every game on this list) if it wasn't fun to play, it wouldn't matter. And Celeste is exceptionally fun, offering such a well-balanced challenge that I never got frustrated, even when it took me more than a dozen tries to complete a single room. And that's another thing that Celeste has perfected -- stringing together a cohesive world while limiting the platforming challenges to singular rooms. You'll never have to start an entire level over if you fail (and there are some brilliant accessibility options for those who need some extra assistance). If I had to recommend a single game on this list to anyone, I think it would be Celeste. Not many games can balance a poignant, meaningful story about mental health with some of the tightest, most thrilling gameplay of the generation, but striking that balance is just one of Celeste's many impressive feats.

1. Monster Hunter: World

Picking my top ten games of 2018 wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected it to be, but the closer I got to the top of my list, the more trouble I had deciding which game deserved to be number one. Virtually any of the top four games could have ascended to this coveted slot, and I would have been satisfied, but the more I thought about it, I began to realize that I spent more time with one game than most of the other games combined. Monster Hunter: World is the first Monster Hunter game that I've ever spent any significant amount of time with, and while none of the other entries were able to hook me, World dug its claws in deep. Few games that require this much investment and offer this much depth understand how to pace out the experience to give players time to learn the mechanics and decide with play style best suits them. But World does. Much like Bloodborne or Dark Souls, I could feel myself getting better the further I got into the game. Where I once struggled to even reach the last stretch of the Nergigante fight (one of the most difficult monsters before the post-game), I am now more concerned about how quickly I can defeat it than whether I can at all. Trying to keep up with all of the major new releases throughout the year can be a chore, and I rarely have time to return to open-ended games like this as the months roll on, but Monster Hunter: World is one of the few games that keeps dragging me back in, month after month. For that alone, it has to be my game of the year.

While these were my ten favorite games of the year, I played dozens of awesome games that I enjoyed in 2018, such as Hitman 2, Far Cry 5, Donut County, A Way Out, and Detroit: Become Human, which had one of the best voice acting performances of the year (outside of Red Dead Redemption 2) by Valorie Curry. Feel free to blast me for my list below, or share your own list and see if we might have overlapped.
January 19, 2019

You don’t need to be rich to make delicious espresso thanks to this best-selling $52 espresso maker

You don’t need to head out to Starbucks and spend $5 a cup for good espresso. You also don’t need to be rich and buy a $2,000 espresso machine. Believe it or not, you can pick up a fantastic espresso maker on Amazon for just over $50. The Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECM180 Steam Espresso Machine with Starter Set is Amazon’s best-selling espresso machine right now and it’s on sale for just under $52. It makes delicious cappuccinos, lattes, and more, and it even has a built-in milk frother.

Here are the highlights from the product page:

  • Steam system brews up to 20 ounces of delicious Espresso Coffee
  • Powerful milk frothier for creamy cappuccinos and lattes
  • Features cord length of 24 inches with 900 Watt capacity
  • Stainless steel frothing pitcher
  • Measuring scoop, glass carafe, 2 ceramic cups are in clouded
January 19, 2019

These are 10 of the biggest TV shows ending this year

The showrunners and creative teams behind many of our favorite shows don't always get the luxury of an advance warning when the network decides to pull the plug on their series. Sometimes it's a sudden, surprise decision, forcing a creative shift that doesn't always work with an unexpected imposed deadline. The alternative, of course, is plenty of time to script a satisfying conclusion for a series that provides enough time to stick the landing before a sign-off for good, as is the case for the titles below. Many of the biggest franchises on TV -- like HBO's fantasy series about, you know, some warring kingdoms and an iron throne -- have had plenty of time to telegraph that the end is in store. For others, well, read on for a rundown of what's going to leave your TV for good this year, and when.

Game of Thrones

The eighth and final season of what's become a global sensation arrives April 14 for six movie-length episodes. Game of Thrones has long since moved beyond the George R.R. Martin series of books it's based on, so we're no doubt in for more than one surprise and unexpected twist. There's also at least one prequel series to look forward to that HBO has in the works.

Homeland

The eighth and final season of Showtime's terrorism thriller starring Claire Danes as CIA officer Carrie Mathison will arrive in June. Claire has picked up loads of awards and nominations for her work on the series, which mixes slow-burn storylines with tight action sequences and has also seemed to draw repeatedly from current events.

The Big Bang Theory

CBS' sitcom about a group of nerds and their foibles dealing with normal, everyday situations first debuted back in 2007 -- a few months after the launch of the iPhone, to give you a sense how long it's been on the air. It's been a reliably successful property for CBS, which explains why the major cast members are earning more than $1 million per episode for the 12th and final season that ends in May.

Transparent

Amazon's family drama arguably represented the equivalent of Netflix's House of Cards, in terms of being its first original series that got critics and audiences buzzing. Details are still being worked out about its fifth and final season, which may not be a full season at all in light of lead actor Jeffrey Tambor's firing.

Mr. Robot

It's been more than a year since we were last introduced to a new storyline from Elliot Alderson and his band of fellow hackers. Thankfully, this tech-focused drama returns later this year to the USA Network for a fourth and final season, which will consist of a reported 12-episode run.

Veep

HBO's wickedly funny political satire starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus will sign off this spring after a seven-episode seventh season. The show has earned Emmy Award recognition for its star, who told The Hollywood Reporter in September that "We don't want to repeat ourselves or wear out our welcome. The story has a finality to it that feels end-of-series."

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Netflix's quirky comedy starring Ellie Kemper has always been a rather niche-y fan favorite, starting with that glorious earworm of a theme song. The final season was actually split in half, with the remaining episodes of the fourth season set to air this year -- and consideration also being given to development of a Kimmy Schmidt movie.

Broad City

Another buzzy fan favorite, Comedy Central's series about a pair of twenty-something friends in New York is set to end this year with its fifth and final season. Stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson had actually launched it as a web series before moving it to the cable channel.

Orange is the New Black

This drama about life inside a women's prison landed on Netflix not long after House of Cards, which helped cement the streaming network in the eyes of everyone as a new home for compelling originals. The series, which will end this year with season seven, was also the first to feature a transgender actor, Laverne Cox, whose work would be recognized with an Emmy nomination.

iZombie

Again, per THR, this drama starring Rose McIver, based on a DC Comics title, has been a "sturdy" performer for the CW. The zombie series will end with its fifth season, which premieres in May.
January 19, 2019

Sonos just kicked off a huge Super Bowl sale with better deals than Black Friday

Sonos had a few solid sales available this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they were nothing compared to the deals that the world's top smart speaker maker just let loose for Super Bowl 53. For a limited time beginning right now, you can save a whopping $200 on the Sonos PlayBar TV Sound Bar as well as the Sonos PlayBase. The more compact Sonos Beam Sound Bar with Alexa is also on sale, and you can save $50 on this awesome speaker. The Sonos SUB is a must-have with either of those speakers if you really want to feel each and every hit during the big game, and it's $100 off during the sale. Finally — and this isn't part of the official Sonos sale — Amazon's hidden deal still lets you snag two Sonos Play:1 speakers for just $298, and you get a free $30 Amazon gift card when you do.

Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar

  • Complements HD television screens with crisp and powerful sound from nine Amplified speaker drivers. Wirelessly streams all your favorite music services too.
  • Connect your Playbar to any Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled device, then just ask for the music you love.
  • Syncs wirelessly with other Sonos speakers so you can listen to TV or music in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Pair with two Ones and a Sub for a 5.1 surround system, the ultimate home theater experience.
  • Simple two-cord setup. One for power and one for the TV. Control from your existing TV remote, or wirelessly Connect on the Sonos app from your smart device.

Sonos PLAYBASE for Home Theater and Streaming Music

  • Full-theater sound for tvs on stands and furniture. Wirelessly streams all your favorite music services too
  • Pair with Sub and two Play:1s for full surround sound. Sync wirelessly with other Sonos speakers to enjoy TV, sports and music throughout your home.
  • Custom-built 10-speaker array delivers a completely immersive audio experience. Robust construction securely supports tvs up to 75 lbs
  • Dimensions (H x W x D) 2.28 x 28.35 x 14.96 inches, feet must be at least 2.3 inch tall to allow for PLAYBASE clearance
  • Simple two-cord setup. Control from your existing TV remote, or wirelessly connect on the Sonos app from your smart device

All-new Sonos Beam

  • Listen to music, TV, movies, podcasts, radio, audiobooks and video games. Experience rich, detailed sound that fills the entire room.
  • Thoughtfully designed for your home. Place on your TV stand or wall mount.
  • Ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM. Listen to hundreds of other streaming services with the Sonos app.
  • Add the latest Alexa-enabled video streaming device such as Fire TV for remote-free control. Find, start and manage shows and movies just by asking.
  • With software updates, your listening experience is always improving.
  • Set-up is quick and easy. Download the Sonos app, connect Beam to power and your TV, then follow the app instructions.
  • Connect Sonos speakers wirelessly to create a home sound system. Create a home theater system with a pair of rear speakers and a Sub.
  • Play sound from your Apple devices to Sonos with AirPlay, and Ask Siri to play music all over your home.

Sonos Sub

  • Adds dramatically deeper bass to any Sonos wireless speaker. Hear parts of the music you’ve never heard before
  • Connect wirelessly to Playbar, Plabase, Beam, One, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, and Connect:Amp
  • Two force-cancelling speaker drivers positioned face-to-face offer deep sound with zero cabinet buzz or rattle.
  • Simple one button set up
  • Display it or hide it. This slim Subwoofer sounds great standing up or on it’s side. You can even place it under a couch. Available in black or white.

Two Room Set with Sonos Play:1 + $30 Amazon Gift card

  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
  • Fill two separate rooms with different music, or link them together to hear the same song in both. Great surround speakers for your Sonos home theater, too
  • Versatile, compact fit. Place them wherever you want and enjoy rich, room-filling sound
  • Streams all your favorite music services like Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and more
  • Easy 10-minute wi-fi set up. No Bluetooth pairing problems or interruptions
  • Connects wirelessly to Sonos speakers in other rooms so you can expand your Home Sound System when you’re ready
January 19, 2019

Galaxy S10 leak suggests a lineup with three variants

Prolific phone leaker Evan Blass has already posted an image that appears to show the front of Samsung's Galaxy S10, and now he's tweeted a family photograph showing off three variants wrapped in cases. Left to right, you're apparently looking at the...
January 19, 2019

DNC claims Russians launched more phishing attacks after midterms

The New York Times cites court documents filed by the Democratic National Committee that said it believes a Russian group launched a hacking attempt against it after last year's midterm elections. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy between President Tr...
January 19, 2019

How a dangerous piece of Android malware snuck into the Google Play store

Security researchers from Trend Micro recently unearthed a piece of Android malware known as Anibus that managed to sneak into the Google Play Store with a little bit of creativity. The malware in question was found on two separate apps, though neither of them were widely downloaded. The way the apps managed to get on the Google Play Store is actually quite clever. In an effort to evade detection from emulators designed to detect behavior associated with malware, the malicious apps were uploaded to the Google Play Store but remained dormant unless motion was detected. Once motion was detected, the payload would spring into action. This is incredibly shrewd, with Trend Micro noting:
The malware developer is assuming that the sandbox for scanning malware is an emulator with no motion sensors, and as such will not create that type of data. If that is the case, the developer can determine if the app is running in a sandbox environment by simply checking for sensor data.
The two apps found to contain the malware were masquerading as helpful utility apps, with one being a currency converter app and the other a battery monitoring tool. Both apps had scores of positive reviews, though it stands to reason that the vast majority of these reviews were fake. The good news is that Google eventually unearthed the apps before they got too popular. The battery app, for example, was only downloaded 5,000 times before Google got wise and pulled the plug. As for the malware in question, well, it's particularly nasty. When activated, users are presented with a seemingly legitimate overlay of a banking splash page and are asked to enter in their credentials. All the while, the keystrokes are being logged. Trend Micro adds that Anibus can also steal sensitive credentials and user information by stealthily taking a snapshot of a user's screen. Trend Micro has a lot more detail on how the malware operates over here.
January 19, 2019

Microsoft 365 might replace Office 365 soon, but what is it exactly?

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed during a media event earlier this week that Microsoft will soon launch a Microsoft 365 subscription service for consumers, following reports that suggested such a move was in the making. Microsoft 365 isn’t exactly new, as it has been available to business users since 2017. However, the new product targets commercial consumers who presumably already have access to a computer of some sort. Office 365 works across all platforms right now, as long as you have a valid license. And Office 365 users likely own Windows 10 or macOS computers; therefore they already own an operating system. In other words, it’s unclear at this time what a Microsoft 365 bundle will have to offer consumers, and Nadella did not elaborate. “I think about Microsoft 365 as a two-sided market,” Nadella said, according to The Verge. “What we are doing with Office 365 or what we will soon be talking about as Microsoft 365 consumer subscriptions, those would be again completely consumer businesses.” A logical guess would be that Microsoft 365 encompasses all of the Microsoft software solutions a consumer would need, with special emphasis on Windows 10 device owners. Products like Office 365 and Skype could easily be included in the subscription, as well as some sort of Windows 10 perks that go beyond license. Like I said before, most Office 365 users already own computers, including Windows 10 machines. Even though some people might want to build their own desktops and purchase Windows 10 separately, it’s likely that most consumers get their Windows 10 licenses by buying new hardware. Microsoft could also include gaming-related services in the Microsoft 365 bundle. After all, if its Microsoft 365, it should cover all Microsoft products. Speaking of hardware, Microsoft 365 could certainly grow into a service that would allow users to purchase Microsoft hardware, including Surface and Xbox brands, for cheaper than before. But that's also speculation from yours truly. Microsoft already has hardware programs in place, including Surface All Access and Xbox All Access, which should make it more affordable for consumers to buy new Microsoft hardware.