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 July 21 2017

Weekly Tech Recap - № 129 - Ataribox, Autumn Creators Update, Nokia 105-130…

Ataribox console



Ataribox. © Atari SA.

Building on the established success of the NES Classic and the probable one of the imminent Super NES Classic, Atari has announced the latest member of its video game dynasty, a mini console which once again banks on retro style and nostalgia. Atari revealed its latest console, called Ataribox, whose design is based on the 1977 Atari 2600. So far, there are few details about it; all we know is that it will have SD card readers, four USB ports and one HDMI port, and that it will come with classic and modern games. Atari’s previous release, the Jaguar console of 1993, was a flop. Release date and price have not been revealed, but according to rumours, it seems that Atari may crowdfund the Ataribox.

The Verge, “Atari’s new Ataribox console will be like an NES Classic.”


Fall Update


Fall in the Appalachians. © iStock.

On July 16, the Windows Central Web site discovered that the Microsoft sites for the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and India had changed the name of the next Window 10 update from Fall Creators Update to Autumn Creators Update. As we know, these countries call the colourful season “autumn”, while the North-American word for it, “fall”, keeps its original, negative meaning. After the news became known, Microsoft changed tack and banned any localisation. So it’s now Fall Creators Update for all, including in the Southern hemisphere, where version 1709 of Windows 10 will come out in Spring… for an America-centred vision of the world. Peter Bright, columnist for Ars Technica, cheekily writes: “Perhaps Microsoft could use names that are more abstract and not tied to any particular features or times of year. The names of big cats, or possibly even regions of California, come to mind as good candidates.”

The Verge, “Because English isn’t the same in England, Microsoft renames Fall Update for some.”

Ars Technica, “‘Autumn Creators Update’ was ‘mistranslation’—it’s ‘Fall Creators Update’ for all.”


Nokia 105 and 130

Nokia 105 - 130.

Nokia 105 and 130. © HMD Global.

Nokia, or more accurately HMD Global, the company that produces Nokia-branded phones, has unveiled two new phones for emerging markets, the 105 and 130. These are basic devices, with 1.8-inch screens, an LED torch and up to a month’s worth of battery on standby. The Nokia 130 additionally features Bluetooth, a microSD slot and a VGA camera. But the best feature of the devices is their unbeatable price: the 105 costs just CA$18.50 (US$14.50) with one SIM card and an extra $0.50 for a second one, while the 130 comes in at CA$27.00 (US$21.50). Why is Nokia targeting the basic phone market? Simply because there’s a market for the device: 400 million such units were sold in 2016, mostly in Africa and Asia. Samsung is the main contender on the “feature phone” market, Nokia coming in second with sales of 35 million units. “With more than 4 billion people remaining offline and unable to benefit from the social and economic development opportunities of the Internet, simply getting connected by voice and text is still such an important step for many people around the world,” noted HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela.

VentureBeat, “HMD Global launches 2 Nokia feature phones starting at $14.50.”


Spiria Montreal.

Spiria Montreal. © Spiria.

Language popularity

IEEE Spectrum published its 2017 ranking of programming language popularity. The interactive tool allows you to filter them by selecting particular sectors, like “Web” or “embedded programming”. Rankings are created by weighting and combining 12 metrics from 10 sources. You can also make comparisons with data from 2014, 2015 and 2016. The top three languages? Python, C and Java. The most highly sought-after languages by emloyers are Java, C, Python, C++ and JavaScript. 

IEEE Spectrum, “The Top Programming Languages 2017.”


Steampunk keyboards

Azio Retro Classic Posh.

Retro Classic Posh. © Azio.

Azio, a Los Angeles-based company that has been specializing in mechanical keyboards since 2009, has just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo for new, original models. The turn-of-the-(20th)-century keyboard in “rose gold”, called Retro Classic Posh, will not go unnoticed in the office. If you’re smitten, get ready to spend US$95 for the wired version (Windows only), or US$110 for the wireless model (Windows and MacOS). Of course, these “industrial vintage” keyboards are backlit and feature a number keypad. Admit it, you’re tempted…

The Verge, “This luxury leather keyboard is ridiculous, but I want one.”


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