This week, Cortana rises to new platforms, the PlayStation 4 continues to imitate and Black Friday causes a blackout for two popular online retailers.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
With over ten years of audio engineering experience, Nick's addition to PLuGHiTz Corporation is best served when he is behind the mixing board every Sunday night to produce the audio side of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Piltch Point and PLuGHiTz Live Night Cap. While mixing live every week, his previous radio show hosting experience gives him the ability to co-host as well, giving each show a unique flare with his slightly off-center, yet still realistic take on all things tech. An integral part of the show, you can find Nick always enveloped in coming up with new (and sometimes crazy) ideas and content for the show and you can always expect the most direct opinion on the stories that he feels need to be shared with the world. During the few hours where Nick isn't sleeping or working on ways to improve the company, he spends his free time going to hockey and football games and playing the latest titles on Xbox 360. Email him for his gamertag and add him today for a fun escape from the normal monotony and annoyance that the Xbox LIVE gaming community can sometimes be!
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
When Windows Phone 8.1 was first released, the most anticipated new feature was Cortana, Master Chief's personal assistant. Microsoft went all-out on the implementation of Cortana for Windows Phone, going so far as to bring the voice actor Jen Taylor to voice the predictable parts of the character. As time went on and Microsoft added new features, such as jokes and impressions, Jen continued to voice those answers.
The console rivalry is heating up again, and quickly. Microsoft has made some big moves with its Xbox One console over the past months, changing the interface for the better and adding huge new features. It seems like every time Microsoft adds or previews a feature, Sony responds quickly with the same feature and no timeline in which to release it to the public.
In the United States, Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is the largest retail day of the year. Following a slump in sales, retailers run major promotions in an attempt to get people to shop at their stores, with the goal of bringing their ledgers into the black, or profitability. A lot of problems occur on this day, with brick-and-mortar stores creating such demand that Wal-Marts are known for people getting trampled.
In the world of video streaming services, there are a lot of players. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, plus network-specific platforms are all available for separate monthly fees. Each of these platforms has tried hard to differentiate themselves from the pack. Hulu offers broadcast television mere hours after their initial airing from networks like ABC, Fox and NBC. That makes for an easy differentiator.