Sony TVs Getting Apple Airplay; Intel & Comcast-10 Gig Broadband & WiFi 6 Deal; Gillette Bows Heated Razor; AT&T Brands 4G ‘5G’; App Helps Kill Spoofed Spam Calls

After the announcement at CES yesterday that a number of Samsung TVs will feature iTunes and Apple AirPlay, today Sony revealed that it will also have 4K and 8K sets that will support Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit. The full iTunes availability remains exclusive to Samsung for now. Engadget.com says the Sony sets will continue to offer Google’s Cast protocol as well, giving buyers more options than ever…including synchronized multi-room audio via your TV controls.

Comcast has cut a deal with Intel…announced at CES…that will enable fast broadband speeds of 10 Gigs per second and using WiFi 6, the latest WiFi standard that uses less energy. TechCrunch.com reports that this should be a plus for Comcast’s home gateway in that it will enable much more efficient hubs and control of Internet of Things devices in connected homes. The actual service should be rolled out in 2020, although some devices that use it will be available later this year. As more people cut the cord, Comcast seems to be positioning itself to be the ultimate home net supplier, as a way to fend off lightening fast 5G cell service.

Gillette has taken a bit of a beating lately…note that they are running TV ads after a long time away. The likes of Harry’s and Dollar Shave club are cutting into their business. With Dollar shave blades costing…well, a dollar, and Harry’s getting 2 bucks, it makes it tough to sell blades that are…at the cheapest….$3.66 each. Engadget.com says Gillette has taken a new tack. For decades, they’ve sold razors cheap, and made money on the blades. Now, instead of adding a ludicrous 6th blade, they have rolled out a heated razor. It has a gold, metal bar on the blade surface that heats up in a second and warms the shaving cream, giving you a ‘hot towel’ quality shave, like in a barber shop. That’s all great, but The razor will sell for $160! A Harry’s razor will set you back $9! No word on when the heated razor will hit the shelves and web.

So 5G isn’t ready to roll out yet, and phones don’t really have it? No problem! AT&T has re-branded their 4g LTE as ‘5G* Evolution.’ It will be 5G E for short. This is reminiscent of the old ‘Edge’ network, that was really 2.5G. According to arstechnica.com, when ACTUAL 5G is more widely available, AT&T will brand that 5G+! Don’t be sucked in…neither AT&T nor anyone else has real 5G in 400 markets or anything close, and the first true 5G handsets are just going to hit the market this year. It’s marketing, folks!

If you’ve been getting more and more spam calls that seem to be from the same area code and exchange as your number, a new app might help. A lot of folks have gone to Nomorobo, but that costs. Now, an app called No Neighbor is available on Apple’s App Store for free…normally $.99. Engadget.com says the app sends calls with the same number and exchange (next 3 digits) to voicemail automatically. Since a lot of spoof calls are using the technique of posing as one from your exchange, it should really cut down on those. Please note that it doesn’t whitelist any…so if you have a lot of friends with your exchange (I don’t), you will have to check VM and call them back. For me, it will cut down dramatically on the Chinese language fake IRS calls…a big win!

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