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About a month ago I discovered +Twitch and I never looked back

Technology has some amazing consequences, one of the main consequence of the development of Internet is how it brings people together. And I experienced first hand how this can really affect your daily life.

Being unemployed at the moment, some days can be pretty rough and some can be pretty empty so I started to look on the Internet for things to do. I'm a gamer since I was a kid and finding new gaming communities is always a great feeling for me but for some reason I had never really got into Twitch. Like many of you guys I assume, I couldn't really understand why someone would watch someone else play games, especially when you already have that game and can play it yourself.

That was until I found out what Twitch is really about and until I found Meghan.

Meghan is a Twitch partner and calls herself a "variety streamer" which means that she does not stream just one particular game but any game that strikes her fancy at any time. Her focus is not on professional level gameplay but on community interaction and making her viewers feel welcome and entertained. She's very talented for this and really I'm often finding myself waiting eagerly for her next stream. That's when I realized that Twitch isn't (just) about pro gamers but also regular gamers who just want to hang out with other people with the same interests and just chat and laugh. This made me think a lot of Google+ communities actually but live and with video. I can't help but think that Twitch is kind of what Google Hangout on Air could have become.

If I piqued your interested with this post, please do click on the link below and hit that "Follow" button, it's only 2 minutes for you to create a free account and it means the world to a young self starting entrepreneur who worked really hard for more than 2 years to build a fun, welcoming and cheerful community on this site. We're getting really close to 20,000 followers and I hope you can be one of them and even enjoy the stream!

#twitch #stream #games #videogames #wehappyfew 

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Meet Allo and Duo

Those are the new apps from Google to gradually replace Hangouts (I'm assuming here but it seems like a fair guess) if people are using them more. I have to admit that hangout has disappointed me recently more and more especially on the performance front.

We'll need to see how the apps behave but I like where Google is going in terms of concept: make it light and simple, make it work. I really hope it does work as flawlessly as advertised because we don't need a new Hangout.

I also notice that those apps will be linked on the phone number instead of the Google account, yet another reason to believe they're breaking apart their services to phase off Google+. Time will tell.

Impatient to try out Duo, I haven't been able to find yet a satisfying video chat experience on Android similar to FaceTime on iOs. Hope this is it.

#google #io16 #duo #allo

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Google Spaces is here!

So everyone is talking about it (at least in my circles on G+ if nowhere else) because it's Google and it's new and shiny but is it really good?

To be honest it feels unfinished right now as most Google products when they're released. Their strategy is mostly throw a bunch of similar services out there and see what sticks. I guess it's a valid strategy when you're a multi-billion dollar company but it's a bit unnerving for its users.

Regarding Spaces itself, it looks nice and in certain very specific use cases it could even be useful. Planning a trip could be one of them but in my opinion in the case of study groups / class projects, Slack is still way better.

I personally might start using it in complement and maybe later replacement of Pocket. Pocket is awesome and I love it, but I use the offline feature less and less and start to store there more type of contents like a video link or a tweet which Pocket doesn't handle quite well. I think I might just create a Space for my do it later and handle everything from there, could be a neat service for that. Time will tell I suppose if it sticks or joins the other dead Google projects.

#googlespaces 

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This is probably the best summary of the encryption problem

Yep Last Week Tonight did it again with an amazing video on encryption and why Apple refuses to create a backdoor key for the US government.

As a French citizen and someone who understand the importance of encryption, I completely agree with them. Though the end of that video is also absolutely true!

#lastweektonight #encryption #johnoliver 

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I'm not in the habit of promoting Apple's policies but in this case they're 100% right

For sure taking this stand doesn't hurt Apple's PR but let's not be fools, what the US government is asking is too much and insanely dangerous. Not only because Apple sells product all over the world and other countries don't care about old laws from the 18th century which should be updated to current needs, but we also don't want to allow the government of one country with a history of zealous overreaction to get a master key to 50% of the population's smartphones.

I hope Apple fights them all the way with this and that the Government start to learn the real distinction between security and freedom. 

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That's excellent news for the wearable industry!

Qualcomm is really becoming a titan in terms of mobile chips and is trying to get everywhere (with a lot of success so far!).

This new chip is really interesting because wearables have been getting a lot better in this new generation with Huawei and Motorola releasing some really fascinating devices but the dimensions are still a bit off for general adoption and when I talk to people about wearables, the answer I get most of the time is: "yeah but I have to charge it every night".

I honestly think that for wearables as well as phones and tablets, the first company to really break free of that 1 or 2 days battery life is going to become massive very fast. We'll see which company gets to do that in the next 5 years! 

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Can't wait to see what Nvidia will release next!

Hopefully these will continue to be compatible with the current PCI-E architecture so that we don't all have to change our motherboards but this is really exciting!

Also means that laptops are going to get much better in the next few years for gaming. 

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Awesome fan-made video of Star Wars with the Battlefront graphic engine 

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You're losing points here Netflix!

I get why they are doing this really but it sucks. As long as they don't have a better and more global selection they should continue to turn a blind eye on this. I keep paying for Netflix and advocating for it in a country with a poor selection of shows and movies (Spain) because I know that it's possible to easily access the UK or US selection.

I hope +Hide My Ass! will stay ahead of the curve and help me continue to do so for a while longer. Otherwise I'll have no reason to pay for my VPN.

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Which headsets do I use? 

I thought it was quite time that I wrote a little something about some piece of tech I use daily and since I got myself a new pair of headsets for Christmas, I figured it was the perfect opportunity. 

First of all I need to say that I am not an audiophile and I use those devices to listen to music off Google Play Music and thus not in the best quality available. 

For gaming 

Let's start with the elephant in the room (or in this case on the table), my gaming headset which I use to communicate with my teammates. For me in gaming the most important are: quality of the mic, confort and latency. My current headset is the Logitech G35 (http://amzn.com/B001O5CCQKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CJ5FPSQ

I love this headset because everyone hears me perfectly, the listening sound quality is really decent (with equalizer included in the Logitech Gaming App), the cable is tough as nails (reinforced USB cable of 3 meters) and it's pretty confortable even for long gaming sessions (trust me there, I've tested it thoroughly). I've owned this headset for nearly 6 years and it's still as amazing as when I bought, save for the leather coming off from the ear pads but no headset is protected against that. Note that the top pad for the skull is actually changeable and they give you 3 sizes in the box. 

If I had to buy one today, I'd get the Logitech G933 as I've read a lot of good things about it (http://amzn.com/B0148NPJ78http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015HG77FC). It's not cheap, but if it lasts as long as my G35, I don't mind investing some cash in it! 

For sports 

When I started running, I had my Apple earbuds as I use big headsets for commuting and I wouldn't want to run with those. So I decided to look for a good bluetooth headset for running and I have to say it's not easy to find one. The only one which I found had everything I was looking for: stability on the head, waterproofing, long battery life; was the Plantronics Blackbeat Fit (http://amzn.com/B0155D26MQhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N95OZOK).

Plantronics is known for its computer headsets but I didn't know they made more "everyday life" products and I have to say they are amazing! So much so that my colleague saw me wearing them, tried them on and bought the same ones! Sound quality is solid for this type of headset (don't expect audiophile quality obviously), the controls are really simple on 4 buttons, battery life is very good (in average 9 hours) and while they always seem like they're going to fall, they never have so far. A very solid product for a competitive price and I give them an easy 5 stars! 

For commuting 

Now here is an interesting category, which headsets do I use everyday for everything else than the two specific activities mentioned above? Well I started using a bluetooth headset about 1 and half year ago when I got the Philips SHB5500 for a sweet price of 30€, I wasn't really convinced by bluetooth until then but I figured for this price I could afford the loss and I was sick of having my headsets die on me after 6 months because of the cable. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Philips and realized that bluetooth is awesome for the commute!! Never again having to sort out my cables or to fit them inside my coat: turn on and play. The problem was this headset was pretty cheap and didn't have a feature I really wanted after using bluetooth headsets for a while: a jack plug to use when the battery dies. 

So I looked all over the Internet for about a month, reading articles, watching YouTube reviews etc.. Choosing a headset is extremely complicated, it depends on your ears, on your head, on the type of music you listen to, which type of files you use, how you like your sound (more or less bass, etc...) so watching a review can't really tell you if the headset will be perfect for you or not. You also need to like the design and it needs to have all the features you are looking for and it needs to be in your price range... So many factors. 

After a while looking around, I finally decided to take the leap and got myself the Jabra Revo Wireless (http://amzn.com/B00BFO14W8http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B59R3OG), it had mostly good reviews everywhere, have a very neat design, almost all the features I wanted, and I found them for 100€ which was right on my price range. I have them for a week now and they are pretty good, I'm happy with my purchase and while they are not perfect I am confident I can use them happily for the next 2 years or so. 

In a quick summary here are the pros and cons: 

- Pros: great design and built quality, very nice sound with just enough bass, awesome cables sold with it, good microphone for phone calls, NFC and touch controls, very solid battery life (haven't tested it much yet but the charge they had when I got them lasted for a good 8 hours and it probably wasn't full).

- Cons: A bit on the heavy side so it feels like they're going to fall when I bend over, confortable for short period of times but they can hold the ears a bit too tight for long sessions, not foldable vertically (only horizontally). 

If you're on the market for a new headset and see that you are interested in the pros I mentioned, definitely go for it, they're good headsets and I would give them a solid 4 stars. If you have more budget, you can certainly find something better.

Audio quality 

So I decided to make an extra category because while all three headsets are decent in terms of audio quality, they're not spectacular either. Due to the slight lack of confort of my new Jabra for long sessions, I am considering to get a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50x for home and long plane flights (http://amzn.com/B00HVLUR86http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HVLUR86). I couldn't read a single headset review without having the M50x mentioned somewhere, they seem to be the best headset you can get for this price and with an amazing sound quality. The very knowledgeable +Marques Brownlee is recommending them (https://youtu.be/y5DyEYuvF3o) as well as most of the reviewers I checked out for headsets. Let me know if you have a pair and recommend them too! 

So here it is, let me know if you have any questions about any of these models or looking to buy a new headset! Thanks for reading! 

#headphones   #headsets   #philips   #jabra   #audiotechnica   #plantronics   #tech   #audio  
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