May 16, 2021 - Episode 594 - Show Notes

May 16, 2021 - Episode 594

Sunday May 16, 2021 (01:19:57)


This week, Zigbee makes the IoT Matter, Discord is playing fewer videogames, and Apple is trying to bring back the Beats.


Scott Ertz


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 rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay 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 helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch


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.


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Zigbee Alliance expands its name and its purpose with Matter standard

While many smarthome owners have interacted with Zigbee technology, not everyone has heard of it. For those who have missed out on the Zigbee Alliance, the organization has been dedicated to creating a communication standard that allows unrelated brands of smart devices to speak to and work with one another over a special wireless technology. This alliance has produced unique and interesting products from big brands, including Philips Hue. The technology is so popular that it is even running on Mars, with the popular Ingenuity helicopter communicating with Perseverance over Zigbee.

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Steam wants to participate in console gaming, but what's the plan?

For many years, Steam has been the go-to store for PC gaming - although Epic Games Store is slowly trying to come for that crown. However, if you've been around the gaming space for a while, you might remember that Steam tried to get into the "console" business with the mostly disastrous Steam Machines. Fortunately, the company abandoned that concept (after most of the partners turned them into Windows computers anyway). However, Valve CEO Gabe Newell says that console news is coming soon.

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Discord ditches focus on videogames, expanding to all topics

Discord has long been known as a platform for videogame communications. However, over the past year or so, people who used Discord for gaming have begun expanding its uses for other topics. A lot of podcast communities have Discord servers. Even some businesses have attempted to use the platform for their in-house communications (though many revert back to Slack or Teams). Rather than fighting this trend, the company has announced that it is expanding its own focus to include all communities.

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Beats design to be overseen by iconic former HTC mobile designer

One of the most loved and iconic Android hardware designs was the HTC One. It was such a popular design that HTC made a Windows Phone variant of the hardware. The designer responsible for that phone was Scott Croyle. That phone also included a technology that few mobile devices had at its disposal: Beats Audio. This tech allowed for deeper bass controls and a higher bitrate for digital audio. While today the underlying technology is available on almost all phones, it was unique to HTC at the time (and HP before that). Now, Croyle will take his design chops, and his experience with the Beats brand, and combine them to lead the Beats team at Apple.


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