Weekly News Roundup (20 December 2015)

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

The new Star Wars movie is great fun, for fans and non fans alike. Photo credit: Bella Sun

So I saw The Force Awakens on release day. I was far too nervous and excited to maybe take in everything, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the movie (both the good and the bad things about it) since, and I guess that’s an achievement in itself. I really liked it, although it’s not without its flaws, some quite significant. You get the feeling that the people behind TFA tried to play it safe this time around (maybe too safe), mostly because they (and everyone other than the most die hard Jar Jar fans) didn’t want a repeat of The Phantom Menace. That’s not to say it isn’t without its epic moments, scenes that instantly become Star Wars classics in my opinion.

The next one will probably be a bit more adventurous and it will be a better film for it (just like how ESB was a better film than ANH).

I think Star Wars fans will love it (and many will watch it multiple times, like I hope to do, time permitting), and those not sure of the difference between a Wookiee and a Gungan, will probably love it too, which is probably the greatest compliment you can give to JJ, and exactly what Disney wanted. This movie will break most, if not all records.

As for this week’s WNR (and yes, I still found the time to work, even if I’m posting on Reddit every other hour on The Force  Awakens), there are a few interesting news stories, but not ones that warrant too much discussion here (so, another short one, I’m afraid).


Philips Hue

Philips fails in their attempt to introduce DRM to light bulbs

With more and more devices becoming “connected”, true to the vision of the Internet of Things (IoT), there’s one danger lurking in the shadows, just waiting to strike when the time is right … DRM!

So it will surprise no one that Philips tried to infect their “Hue” Iot light bulbs with DRM, to lock out third party bulbs from being used in their system, and again it will surprise no one that their evil plan was foiled by the good guys. By good guys, I mean you and me, and other consumers sick and tired of companies trying to use technological lock-outs, DRM, to stifle competition.

The other thing that was kind of wonderful, and disturbing, about this news story was that Philips was able to use a firmware update to first add inb and then to remove the DRM. Think about that for a minute. A firmware update for light bulbs! If the IoT vision is truly the correct vision for the future, then I wonder how many firmware updates will occur every day for all of my connected devices (my toaster, my toothbrush, my coffee mug, my fruit bowl, etc…). I’m not sure I can afford the bandwidth!

High Definition

Samsung 4K TV

4K TVs will be in many homes by 2019

One of my future devices that will definitely be connected to the Internet, and will receive frequently firmware updates, will be my 4K TV. And by 2019, I will no longer be one of the very few to own a 4K TV, and instead, will be one of the many (but not most) households that will have upgraded to 4K, at least according to a new report by IHS.

What I found most interesting was that China could be one of the biggest markets for 4K TV, with a predicted adoption rate of 24% by 2019. Considering how many households there are in China, that’s a huge number (one that might actually equal the *total* number of households in the U.S.). India, on the other hand, is only expected to have a 4K TV adoption rate of 2%, showing that not all developing countries are the same when it comes to new tech adoption.

Another interesting tidbit from the report was that by 2017, it is predicted that most 50 inch or larger TVs will be 4K. So it’s pretty much like what happened with HD – economies of scale in manufacturing means you’re gonna have to buy a 4K TV whether you need it or not, by 2017.


The PS4 might have been jailbroken, according to a hacker that has previous accomplishments in the field of PS4 hacking. But it’s still early stages, and so don’t expect pirated games, or even homebrew, to work on a jailbroken PS4 (one that has to have a firmware version 1.76 or older).


Well, I told you it was short. Not as short as Luke as a stormtrooper (not a TFA spoiler), but still pretty short. See you next week!


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