Galaxy Note 8 Launch in August; Virgin Mobile Goes iPhone Only; Classic Sega Genesis Games FREE on Mobile

Hot off the press…or web, anyway, Samsung will unveil its Galaxy Note 8 in August. According to cnet.com and Reuters, it will have a curved screen that will be slightly larger than the Galaxy 8’s 6.2 incher, and have 2 rear cameras. Despite the flameout…in a number of cases literally…of the Note 7, there is a substantial hard-core fan base that will snap up the Note 8 models as soon as they hit the market!

Galaxy Note 8 fans, Samsung fans, or any other Android users will have to look elsewhere for a carrier if they were considering Virgin Mobile…they have announced that after June 27th, they will sell nothing but Apple iPhones. Bgr.com reports that Virgin will be kicking off a new wireless plan to go along with the change. A new promotion for the $50 per month Inner Circle plan is out too…buy a new iPhone through Virgin, and get the 1st full year of unlimited service for just a dollar. After that, the monthly fee pops back up to $50. (Check the fine print…like with everyone else’s ‘unlimited’ plan, there are limits!)

The venerable Sega Genesis managed to attract substantial hard core, dedicated fans to its games. If you were one or know one, you’ll be happy to find out that Sega has launched the 1st wave of its Sega Forever collection on mobile…for free! Engadget.com says there are ads, but for $2, you can play ad free. The initial launch includes the 1991 version of Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, and Altered Beast. All are available today on iTunes and Google Play. For iPhone or iPad, you also get some iMessage sticker packs. Sega will be adding new titles about every two weeks.

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Standalone Android VR Headset Coming; iPhone 7 Plus Will Have 2 Rear Cams; iTunes NOT Stopping Selling Downloads

Google will reportedly announce a standalone Android VR headset at I/O next week. Techcrunch.com says the untethered headset will be less powerful than the Vive or Rift, and it’s expected to come in at well under the $300 price point. Needless to say, it will cost more than the 15 bucks for a cardboard headset, but you need an Android phone to use that anyway.

Early rumors had a premium version of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus getting the dual rear camera setup, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities, all the Plus phones will come with the high end camera. According to theverge.com, the bigger handset will also have 3 gigs of ram in order to handle the image processing for the new cam. There’s still conflicting information as to if the Plus, or all iPhone 7’s or none will have the Smart Connector like the iPad Pro.

Apple put out a rare statement late yesterday dispelling a rumor that they planned to stop selling downloads over iTunes. Appleinsider.com says one rumor had Apple dropping downloads in 2 years, and another in 3-4. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said ‘not true.’


Nexus 6 for $250 at Amazon; Hi-Res Music May be coming to iTunes & Apple Music

If you are in the market for a phablet at a great deal, or for a last minute gift for someone you REALLY like, Amazon has a 32 gig Nexus 6 for $249.99 shipped in Cloud White or Midnight Blue. With Amazon Prime, it can be under the tree by the 23rd. 9to5toys.com says the 64 gig model is $299.99, and both come with Android Marshmallow.

A rumor is afoot again that hi-resolution audio is on the way to iTunes and Apple Music. This one is from Japanese blog Macotakara, picked up by 9to5mac.com. The blog claims Apple will have better than CD quality for iTunes sometime next year. The leak is from some manufacturers that make Lightening based headphones, which would support the higher res format.


Medical Pot App, DNA Data Storage, & Apple Music Quadruples Library Size

So you really need medical weed, but just can’t get yourself to a doctor? There’s an app for that, dude! Gizmodo.com reports that EazeMD, which works only in California so far, will hook you up with a board certified physician that will look at your medical history and do the evaluation. Once a recommendation is issued, you can order weed right on the spot from Eaze, and you will also get a recommendation in the mail you can take to a physical dispensary. The fee for the recommendation is billed directly by the doctor, and runs about $30.

We just reported on a 10 TB hard drive you can buy…if 6 or 8 isn’t enough, but storage limits may become a punchline if research on DNA pans out. Teams from Microsoft and the University of Washington, and a separate group at University of Illinois have published results that indicate all human knowledge could be stored in about 9 liters of solution. A speck of DNA the size of a grain of sand could store a million terabytes. According to geek.com, DNA storage stability is measured in centuries, so no worries about losing your data. It could be happening in just the next few years!

On the topic of enormous storage, great news for people with insanely large music collections. Appleinsider.com says Apple has finally increased the iTunes Match/Apple Music upload limits from 25,000 to 100,000 songs. Thank goodness, huh? Who has the time to upload, then listen to, 100,000 songs? I’ve been in broadcasting for a long time and only have 6369 as of today. A colleague has close to 15,000, and basically uploaded every track he’s ever come across. On behalf of the minuscule number of crazy people with this size library….thanks, Apple! Maybe in a few years we can store it in our DNA and won’t need a cloud.


Android’s Billion Phone Year

A huge milestone has been passed by Android. 9to5google.com says there were a billion Android smartphones shipped in 2014. Strategy Analytics says they had expected the billion number, but only with tablets added in. China was a big help to pushing that number…sales there have doubled since 2012.

Over at Apple, an updated version of iTunes was just released. Thenextweb.com reports that version 12.1 includes a new widget that lets you see what’s playing, skip ahead, and buy songs right from the widget.

DARPA, the folks that basically gave us the internet, has a new futuristic project. Engadget.com says they are developing new tech that lets robots learn from YouTube videos! The idea is to teach the machines not only to collect data, but how to act on it. Don’t expect the rise of the machines to happen any time soon, though!